We learned a lot watching our favorite teams roll out onto their respective fields to battle it out in Week-1 NFL action. There were a few lack-luster showings, some big plays by those that we expect big plays from, and there were definitely some unexpected surprises. Each of these four over-looked factors that we gleaned from watching Week-1 play, will be useful for predicting Week-2 outcomes for either our survival pools, fantasy leagues or simply betting on the games.
What We Learned About the Pats via the Chiefs
One such unexpected surprise was the manner in which we learned that the Pats are not invincible at home. New England got broken down and busted up as 10-point home favorites. The 42-27 trouncing wasn’t as bad as the numbers seem. It was a tight game with the Patriots actually leading until their 4th Qtr defensive meltdown. Alex Smith put up 368 yards and four touchdowns … 240 of those yards came in the second half. Even more astounding was his second-half passer rating of 156.2.
Next week you can bet your wallet load that Tom Brady is going to go into New Orleans and take out that home loss on Drew Brees’ crew. Sam Bradford picked the Saints’ secondary apart on Sunday like it was a bunch of full grown men against boys. One thing we might want to keep an eye on, is if the Patriots defense starts slouching in the 4th. If they breakdown again this week, you should check out this list of the most trusted betting sites and start to bet on teams who have prolific offenses to outscore the Patriots in the 4th quarter. I was fairly certain the lines would tighten up on the New England Patriots, but the markets haven’t reacted. They are listed again as touchdown favorites on the road … and this will probably close around 9 points again.
Are the Young QBs All Grown Up?
No sophomore slump is apparent yet for Wentz or Goff. Both played fantastic football. I was thoroughly impressed with how unflappable Carson Wentz was under pressure. He showed great poise and extremely elusive, athletic ability with an arm that can hit targets while churning his wheels to escape a sack. Wentz dropped 307 yards on the Skins by targeting eight different receivers. This shows that he is checking his routes and finding the open man –poise.
But a ‘slump’ could be forced upon the Eagles QB. We learned that the Philly offensive line is pitifully poor at its job: keep defenders off the QB. The O-line was leaking like a sieve against a not-so-awesome Redskins defensive line –ranked #31 by USA Today Sports. His luck will run out against better defensive fronts. The Chiefs are not the best in the league but ranked at #11, the KC defensive line is lightyears more advanced than that of Washington. More importantly … the Giants (#5) and Chargers (#8) come next … Those are two of the best lines in the NFL coming into this season. How much time is he going to spend running for his life and getting tossed into the turf instead of completing passes? There isn’t much reprieve, as after facing the Cardinals, the Eagles’ weak O-line will be going against the 3rd Rated defensive line, the Carolina Panthers. So, Wentz fantasy owner beware the next few games may get rough for Wentz. If you are a bettor, you might look into taking the over on Wentz sack props.
Jared Goff dropped 306 yards, 1 touchdown, a 72.4% completion rate and a 117 passer-rating on the Indianapolis Colts. Sure, we knew the Colts offense would be pedestrian at best, and the defense mediocre … but man, without Luck … the Colts have nothing. The Fade the Colts! They are already getting up to eight-and-a-half-point underdogs to an Arizona Cardinals team that just got schooled by the Lions. Bet against them and pick against them in your survivor pools until further notice.
Now back to the sophomore. I wouldn’t say that he is a title position QB in your fantasy lineup just yet because his RB core is going to eat-up his touchdowns, but he will be a viable option if he keeps smothering teams with 300+ passing yards on top of that strong rushing game. Keep an eye on Goff. He is starting to show reasons why trades were made so that he could be taken #1. If you are in a two-quarterback league then he is a great addition to your roster for situational use.