NFL 2018: Five Things I was wrong about

Being wrong sucks, but admitting you were wrong is the sign of growth.  Here are the five things that I was completely wrong about before the start of the season.

Chicago Bears are the third best team in their own division.

When the Bears pulled off what could have been the steal of the century acquiring Khalil Mack from the Raiders I knew it was going to be an impactful move.  But with an offense that featured a second year QB that had not yet proven much on the NFL level and a new head coach that was transitioning his style I wasn’t sold on them as NFC North winners.

I was very wrong.  Matt Nagy has taken Trubisky and the Bears offense to a new level in 2018 while utilizing his Swiss army knife RB Tarik Cohen and many ancillary pieces.  This team is still built around their defense but the surprise for most teams will be Nagy’s offense in the playoffs.  Multiple targets that can step up at any time will be a headache for opposing defensive coordinators. 


Can’t believe I fell for Kirk Cousins.

Le’Veon Bell is going to play in 2018.

I was one of those guys that drafted Bell in his fantasy draft.  I am also one of those guys that refused to trade him despite great offers…actually turning down a trade of Michael Thomas and Andrew Luck. 

Bell stuck to his guns, as did the Steelers, sitting out the entire season.  James Conner and Jaylen Samuels filled in admirably for Bell, but the Steelers are most likely not making the playoffs and whether this was because of Bell or not I was still very wrong about his playing status. I’m not mad at Bell but it really sucked for my fantasy squad.

The Jaguars are a Superbowl favorite in the AFC.

I bought into Jacksonville and Blake Bortles. Shame on me.  Injuries have been a problem for the Jags, Leonard Fournette has a problem with staying healthy and without him this team just has not been able to put together a kind of consistent run. 

After defeating Patriots I thought that maybe I was right about the potential of this team and maybe Blake Bortles is actually good, when you are wrong, you are wrong.

I was wrong.


The Broncos may make the playoffs.

This was an in season change of opinion Phillip Lindsey came out of nowhere to become an elite level RB in the league. Two upset victories over the Chargers and the Steelers made me believe this team was going to make a real run in their division.  Then the real Case Keenum stood up. The one-dimensional offense of the Broncos became very obvious, Lindsey had to face stacked boxes with zero passing ability.  Von Miller and Bradley Chubb are both great players but a team with no real offense and terrible coaching never truly had a chance to succeed.

Baker Mayfield was the best Quarterback in the Draft.

Drafting Baker Mayfield #1 overall last season, seemed like another blunder from the Cleveland front office.  With standouts like Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen presumably ranked ahead of Mayfield it made no sense to go after the controversial Oklahoma QB. Mayfield was held back by the clueless Hue Jackson and when given the opportunity Mayfield immediately made his impact and began to turn around the sorry franchise. Mayfield is the leading candidate to win rookie of the year (in my opnion) and has proven me and all other doubters…cough Colin Cowherd… completely wrong.  Mayfield is a star and will be for a long time.

I Talk Sports Picks- NFL, NCAAF

2-8 to start the season sucks but we have to tread on.  Late adds again helped us out but we can only document what we put on this page.  Eventually it all turns around and this week could be the week.

NFL

Buffalo Bills at Minnesota Vikings -17

17 points is a huge margin in the NFL.  Let’s look at the facts, LeSean McCoy has busted ribs, Rookie QB Josh Allen making his second start, Bills defense has players retiring in the first half.  This has beat down written all over it.

Minnesota was not happy with their performance in week two versus an injured Aaron Rodgers, they will come out hungry to make a statement at home.  We could see a few more Bills players retiring at halftime in this one.  While 17 points may be a lot, in this case that may be to low.

PicksVikings -17

Chicago Bears -6 at Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals have been the definition of awful through the first two games of the 2018-19 season. Scoring just 6 points over their first two games they now get a matchup with a stingy Chicago Bears defense.

Sam Bradford’s QB rating sits at a league worst 55.6 with his longest pass play so far being 15 yards to Larry Fitzgerald.  Star runningback David Johnson has been limited to 14 touches in their week two matchup which will never lead to a victory.  While the Bears don’t yet feature a top level offense with the still developing Mitchell Trubisky at the helm, they have begun to progress with a new go to receiver in Allen Robinson.  Look for the bears to establish Jordan Howard early and Khalil Mack to potentially injure Sam Bradford.  Opening up the door for Josh Rosen…a door that should be at the least unlocked.

PicksBears -6

New England Patriots -6.5 at Detroit Lions

Let’s start with the obvious.  Since 2000, New England is 21-6 against the spread following a double digit loss.  Tom Brady does not take losing well and Bll Belichick will not allow his former coordinator to look good against him. For what it’s worth, Belichick has faced former assistants who went on to be head coaches on 18 occasions and has posted a 12-6 SU and 11-7 ATS record.

Even without the pickup of Josh Gordon I would think this is a huge advantage for the New England Patriots.  Gronk, White, Michel, Hogan and company should all have big days.  This should be a blow out.

PicksPatriots -6.5

NCAAF

Nebraska Cornhuskers at Michigan Wolverines -17.5

Nebraska took a humbling loss last Saturday to Sun Belt for Troy, the first time since 1957 that the Huskers have lost their first two games of a season. Many will look at these first two home losses and say the Huskers will be on a mission this weekend in Ann Arbor.  I see it a different way.

Nebraskas first two losses of the season came at home to lesser competition then the Wolverines.  It is Michigan that has something to prove in this game.  They are still look to make a statement on the national scene.  If Michigan can avoid turnovers while finally establishing the run they can dominate the game and take this home easily.  I may wait and see if the money begins to come in on Nebraska as I expect it will.

PicksMichigan -17.5

Minnesota Golden Gophers at Maryland Terrapins -1.5

I watched this line move from 3 to 1.5 over the last week. With two key injuries for the Golden Gophers, RB Rodney Smith and QB Zack Annexstad the offense should be partially neutralized.

The Terps are coming off a disaster of a game losing to Temple 35-14.  They return home to face a Minnesota team that has yet to face a real power five team.  Maryland’s offense has been rough early in the season but with the homefield advantage and a litany of injuries Maryland should be able to pull this one out.

PicksMaryland -1.5

Boston College Eagles -6.5 at Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue beat me last week putting up points against the horrid Mizzou defense sinking what looked like a sure thing. But they still took an L in a game where the momentum was in their favor. Boston College will feature AJ Dillon in the backfield spear heading a dominant running attack that has averaged 296 yards per game over their first 3.

Purdue is no doubt better then their record may show but after a few brutal losses and facing a team with a solid pass rush and runningback that will allow BC to utilize clock management this will be a tall task for Purdue.

PicksBoston College -6.5

 

James “Why Not” Pick of the Week 1-1 .

Cincinnati Bengals at Carolina Panthers

Last week I road the Tannehill train to victory over the Jets.  The Dolphins being an underdog in that game never really made much sense but I will take the victory.  This week is a little tougher.  I wanted to go with a college game but none of them seemed to stand out.  So I went with a team that is hot.

The Cincinnati Bengals have started the season 2-0 with a couple of impressive victories, they head into Carolina to take on a beat up Panthers squad.  The Panthers will need to rely on their defense, forcing a turnover will be huge especially from Andy Dalton. When Dalton throws one interception in a game, the Bengals are 21-13-1 straight up and 17-14-4 against the spread. However, should Dalton throw two picks, that record dips to 10-16-1 SU and 8-16-3 ATS.  I don’t think the loss of Joe Mixon will play a huge factor as Gio Bernard is a veteran that knows the role he must play.

PicksBengals +3