What I learned from week 8

Jameis Winston is a what I thought he was.

I have been preaching this for the last two seasons, Jameis Winston is a talented player that will never be a winner. He is the definition of a loser as a player and a person.  When you choose a player #1 overall you are expecting to get a great talent that is going to progress into a potential Hall of Famer.  It doesn’t always work out that way but in this case he has been the exact opposite of what you are looking for. Winston has gotten worse year by year and continues to just hurl the ball all over the field whether or not it makes sense or not.

Ryan Fitzpatrick will take over in week nine for the Bucs and hopefully the organization realizes that if you are forced to put in Fitzmagic mid-way through a season the guy he is replacing is most likely not the answer to your organizations future.

My advice for Jameis is to drop the I from his name and go by James Winston and hope that most people don’t realize who he is.  Maybe then he will get a chance somewhere else.

Redskins are the class of the NFC East.

The NFC East was up for grabs and the Redskins have grabbed it a locked it away.  Alex Smith and Adrian Peterson have given them leadership on the offensive end while the defense has quietly been very underrated.

The most surprising aspect of Sunday’s matchup with the Giants was that Washington was only favored by 1.5 points! The final score was only 20-13 but the score didn’t show the true dominance of the Redskins.  The Cowboys and Giants are flashy, the Eagles are the champs, the Redskins are the best in in the NFC East.

The Saints are legit contenders.

The Saints are good.  They are very good.  Week 1 they were tricked by the Fitzmagic but since that lose they have won 6 in a row in impressive fashion. The return of Mark Ingram has given them another weapon to use along with Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas.  Drew Brees is known for spreading the ball around, whenever you think that you have them figured out they find a new star in the making.

The Saints have had three impressive wins versus winning teams the Ravens, Vikings and Redskins.  The Saints will continue to be tested as their schedule doesn’t get much easier down the stretch of the season. The are looking at matchups against the Rams, Eagles and Bengals over the next three weeks.  The Saints have the ability to run, throw and the defense has stepped up holding down the run.  I think they take down the LA Rams this week and the rest of the NFL realizes this team is for real.

The Steelers may not need L-Bell.

James Conner continues to roll along as the premier back for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Conner has the support of the locker room and the fans.  146 rushing yards, 66 receiving yards and  two touchdowns are LeVeon like numbers.  The Steelers have pulled off three straight victories including two in the division.  With the Ravens loss this weekend to Carolina they have been put right back in the driver’s seat of the AFC North.

So what happens if Bell returns from his hold out?  Does the team really play as hard for him?  If he is in shape and ready he can be a difference maker for them.  At this point how can they turn the backfield back over to Bell.  Conner has earned his playing time and the team is winning.  James Conner is for real and he wants to be there.  Trade Bell and get yourself something for him before it is to late.  Bell is great, but sometimes its time to cut the cord.  The time has come for the Steelers.  This is James Conner’s team.skysports-james-conner-nfl_4469320

I Talk Sports- Picks ATS (NFL, NCAAF

I will be the first to admit that a 1-4 start to my season was not ideal.  Meltdowns from the Steelers, Florida Atlantic and Arkansas were a grocery list of bad beats.  Oh and the Saints forgot how to play defense.  Luckily late adds like Penn State and the Rams kept me in good graces.  Let’s get into this weeks picks.

Houston Texans -2 at Tennessee Titans

Following the longest game in NFL history the hobbled Tennessee Titans return home to take on division foe Houston. Both teams will be looking to avoid an 0-2 start to the regular season.

Let’s start with the obvious, the Texans have dominated the Titans winning 9 of the last 12 meetings.  They are also 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games against the Titans.  Houston’s defense will look to bring the heat on a Marcus Mariota whom is likely to start despite an elbow injury that caused him to leave their week 1 game.  All signs point to Mariota playing on Sunday but with some injuries to the offensive line the Titans could be looking at a long day trying to stop powerhouses JJ Watt and Jadaveon Clowney.

The Texans have lost 8 straight games on the road but this matchup with a healthy DeShaun Watson and and a returning Will Fuller will be to much for the Titans to handle.

PicksTexans -2

 Indianapolis Colts at Washington Redskins -5.5

The Washington Redskins have been flying under the radar during the preseason.  The addition of Alex Smith was not a sexy one but could pay dividends during the season.  His first game was as success full as you would think completing 21 of 30 for 255 yards and 2 touchdowns against an above average Cardinals secondary.  Veteran Adrian Peterson showed he’s still got it by rushing for 96 yards and a touchdown on 26 touches. He also caught two passes for 70 yards.

The veteran Redskins will now have a chance to feast on a Colts defense that has been its achillies heel for an eternity. Statistically, they finished in the middle of the pack in total yards allowed this past Sunday. However, Andy Dalton averaged 8.7 yards per attempt, sixth-highest in Week 1, and Cincinnati gained 5.1 yards per rush as a team, second-most in Week 1. Alex Smith will have homefield advantage and the weapons necessary to pick a part the secondary.  Luck will keep the Colts in the game but the Redskins are to solid on offense to let this game slip away.  I would love this line to get to three but that won’t happen I’ll settle for where it is.

Picks Redskins -5.5

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons -6

The Carolina Panthers play a gritty style of football.  The Falcons don’t like to score in the red zone.  This game has tightly contested written all over it.  The Panthers come into Atlanta as 6 point dogs most likely due to a litany of injuries including long time tight end Greg Olsen.  Cam Newton’s go to receiver broke his foot, he will likely be out for at least three weeks.

The Falcons are dealing with their own injuries as well. The loss of Keanu Neal for the season is a huge blow to the defense, linebacker Deion Jones has also been missing practice due to a foot injury.  Other injuries for the Falcons includes mental injuries, offensive Coordinator Steve Sarkisian tends to forget that he has arguably the best wide receiver in football on his team in the red zone.  Matt Ryan has forgotten how to throw a pass with any velocity as well.  This game is a tough one to pick.  So I am going to go a different direction.  I am looking under for this one and leaning towards the Panthers covering.

PicksPanthers +6 and under 44.5

Ohio Bobcats at Virginia Cavaliers -3.5

Virginia fell to Indiana in week two of the college football season but they intrigued me with their ability to keep it close.  Virginia Quarterback Bryce Perkins has been good for the Cavaliers, dealing with tough weather conditions last week, he will have a favorable matchup against an Ohio secondary that was picked a part by Howard Quarterback Caylin Newton.

Virginia will need to get out to a lead quickly and not look back.  Ohio’s best option will be to play a grind it out style to control the clock.  Keep the bad secondary off the field.  I don’t think Ohio has it in them.

PicksVirginia Cavaliers -3.5

Mizzou Tigers -6.5 at Purdue Boilmakers

The season could not have started in better for the Missouri Tigers.  Two dominate offensive games.  Drew Lock looks like a legit NFL prospect, as a team they have scored 91 points in two games and have covered both weeks spreads…Lock is also averaging 396 passing yards per game over the first two.

Purdue on the other hand has not started the season they way they had envisioned.  A tough loss to Northwestern in game one was followed up last week with a surprising defeat at the hands of Eastern Michigan. A big problem for the Boilermakers has been on the offensive side of the ball. They are averaging only 23 points per game. They have also had an issue with throwing interceptions. Giving a talented offense like Mizzou multiple opportunities will lead to a long night.

PicksMissouri Tigers -6.5

James “Why Not” Pick of the Week 0-1

PicksDolphins +3

My “Why Not” pick of the week fell just short of cashing due to a late interception thrown by DeShaun Watson.  This week I am sticking with the NFL and going with The Miami Dolphins.  The Dolphins will head into the 1-0 New York Jets looking to build on their upset victory over the Tennessee Titans. Sam Darnold looked great outside of his first throw of the game but I still see a rookie QB in a divisional game.  The Dolphins also have a passing attack that can be a problem for any secondary.  Establishing veteran Frank Gore alongside Kenyan Drake will also give the Dolphins a solid run game to back up Ryan Tannehill.  I am not only looking for the Dolphins to cover but I think they win outright.