The Dog takes a bite out of NFL Week 1, looking for more in Week 2
September 13, 2016 3:01 AM
by Dennis Ball
Denny The Dog is off and running. I picked 10 of 14 games correctly against the pointspread at the conclusion of Sunday night’s game.
It could have been a whole lot better, if only I had stayed away from the games involving quarterbacks making their first NFL start. I took the side of Dak Prescott and Trevor Siemian and bet against Jimmy Garoppolo and Carson Wentz. The latter two handed me losses and so did Dak. The only game I won out of the four was Siemian with the Denver Broncos. But no whining from this corner after a 10-4 start through Sunday night. It was a great start to the regular season. There were plenty of close games and a few unbelievable comebacks. It’s going to be another wild season.
Week 1 record: 10-4
(not including 2 MNF games)
Jets +3 at Bills: Buffalo grounded the Jets in both meetings last season. But the Bills have lost Reggie Ragland, Shaq Lawson and Marcell Dareus. I believe the Jets will be ready to avenge last year’s losses with a roster just as talented or more than the Bills, especially if Ryan Fitzgerald stops throwing balls over the heads of his receivers! Todd Bowles will not be out-coached by Rex Ryan. JETS.
Titans +5.5 at Lions: Titans defense held the best running back in the league, Adrian Peterson, to 31 yards on 19 carries last Sunday. If they clean up a few things on offense and Mariota and company play the way they’re capable of the Titans should cover. The Vikes capitalized on two defensive scores. They’re offense really didn’t do too much damage. TITANS.
Chiefs +1.5 at Texans: Both clubs notched big comebacks on opening day. The Chiefs win was much more dramatic but the Texans also trailed at halftime. Houston has energized their backfield with Lamar Miller and added a special dynamic in Will Fuller to go along with DeAndre Hopkins. Clowney and company are picking up the slack until J.J. Watt fully recovers from his off season surgery and plays his way back into game shape. TEXANS.
Dolphins +4.5 at Patriots: What a tough opening for the Fish. It’s not bad enough they have to open at Seattle. Now they have to travel north to Foxboro after playing their hearts out on defense against the Seahawks and coming up short. I took a shot against Garoppolo in Arizona. He showed me enough to back off here. I don’t think Brady will have to worry about getting his job back. But those eyes looming over Garoppolo’s shoulder from the gigantic Brady banner have to be wondering if they’re looking at the future QB of the Pats – and how long it might be before he takes over. PATRIOTS.
Ravens -6 at Browns: I guess we’re beginning to see the results of the Browns allowing so many veterans to leave town. The team is very young. I’m sure there are many fans in Cleveland today wondering why in name of quality QBs didn’t we nab Carson Wentz! Joe Flacco looks like his knee is fully healed. RAVENS.
Bengals +3 at Steelers: Andy Dalton was impressive in holding on to a win over the Jets. But he might not have enough weapons to overcome the stacked arsenal of Big Ben. STEELERS.
Cowboys +3 at Skins: I’m at a little disadvantage picking these last two games prior to seeing them play their openers. But it’s difficult not to take the better QB when the rosters are fairly even in overall talent. SKINS.
Saints +5.5 at Giants: Saints fans breathed a sigh of relief when Rob Ryan left town. I’m not sure what they have now is much improved. But you can’t deny Drew Brees is going to pile up some points on the other side of the ball. SAINTS.
49ers +13.5 at Panthers: Carolina deserves a cakewalk here after playing their hearts out in Denver only to lose by 1 point. Cam Newton was beat up really bad and somehow avoided a concussion after numerous blows to the head. He must have cleared out all the cobwebs following the extensive sideline flossing! PANTHERS.
Bucs +6.5 at Cards: If the Cards struggled with the Pats minus Brady and Solder, wouldn’t it make sense they might have trouble covering an improved Tampa Bay club? Jameis Winston looked solid in the opener, hitting four different receivers for TDs. BUCS.
Colts +5.5 at Broncos: Trevor Siemian must have gained a ton of confidence after bringing down the mighty Panthers along with Superman. Now he’s home again, facing another QB in Andrew Luck, trying to be Superman to a team surrounding him that is acting like his Kryptonite. BRONCOS.
Falcons +5.5 at Raiders: I’m a little worried about the Raiders’ defense after allowing Drew Brees to throw for four TDs and over 400 yards. But Matt Ryan hasn’t proved he’s anywhere close to Drew Brees. Falcons’ fans were worried about Kyle Shanahan’s offense. But they better start worrying about the defense. Dan Quinn has not been impressive in shaping the Falcons’ club so far. Who isn’t a Raiders’ fan after Jack Del Rio’s decision to go for 2? RAIDERS.
Jaguars +3 at Chargers: The Bolts suffered another devastating injury with Keenan Allen. Looks like the defense should be much improved and Melvin Gordon has turned their running game in the right direction. But I can’t ignore the Jags’ impressive showing in nearly upsetting the Packers. I think the improved Jacksonville defense along with the vast array of offensive weapons makes them a lively dog. JAGUARS.
Packers -2 at Vikings: Vikes have one heck of a nasty D. The defense scored two TDs against the Titans. This week they might not be as fortunate. And, who knows who’s going to be the QB? PACKERS.
Eagles +3 at Bears: Is Carson Wentz that good or are the Browns that bad? I think Wentz will be great eventually. But he might struggle a little here against a formidable defense. BEARS.