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Thread: NFL 2018 Season Starts Tonight

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    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    NFL 2018 Season Starts Tonight

    The NFL season starts tonight with The World Champion Philadelphia Eagles playing the Atlanta Falcons.

    At Philadelphia -1
    Atlanta

    What is your pick? Also, what other games do you like?

    And which teams do you pick to play in the Super Bowl?

    I am looking forward to hearing who Town Heretic picks since he seems to be better at this than just about anyone!

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    Out of Order Town Heretic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    The NFL season starts tonight with The World Champion Philadelphia Eagles playing the Atlanta Falcons.

    At Philadelphia -1
    Atlanta

    What is your pick? Also, what other games do you like?

    And which teams do you pick to play in the Super Bowl?

    I am looking forward to hearing who Town Heretic picks since he seems to be better at this than just about anyone!
    Shoot. I meant to post it here. Wasn't sure anyone was still paying attention to the NFL around here so I've taken to talking about it elsewhere. Anyway, here's what I said about it earlier in the day before gametime: ESPN's line was different/stronger.

    Atlanta travels to Philly. The line is Eagles by 3.5
    The money is running 64/36 to take Atlanta.
    I'm guessing that's largely based on the poor offensive production by Philly during the preseason.


    If you believe that then Atlanta is around a 2 pt favorite.
    If you think it will go closer to last year then Philly would be around a 9 pt favorite.
    The truth is likely somewhere closer to the middle of that...going without my algorhythm I'll take the defending champions, at home, to play better on both sides of the ball than the preseason.

    So that's a good start for me to the season. I'll try to get the rest in before Sunday.
    You aren't what you eat, but you're always what you swallow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    Also, what other games do you like?
    The ones I'm really curious about, off hand...

    I want to see Hou @ NE. The Pats have lost a little and I was excited by what I was seeing out of Houston last year. A road test against one of the best teams early could tell us something about the Texans worth knowing. Brady and company are a 6.5 favorite at ESPN. Could be, but I like it closer to 4. KC and SD (I know, but the Chargers are SD to me) is interesting. The line is a 3.5 nightmare fav for the home squad. Talent wise and considering the under center and unproven rookie, I'm inclined to take the Bolts, but my line is tight on that one and I'm ignoring the half point to speculate that it's just a little too much for the new guy. The SF @ Min should be worth watching, to see how the Niners look against a top tier defense, but the Vikes are too strong for them and a 5.5 line should be a relatively easy one to make.

    And which teams do you pick to play in the Super Bowl?
    Hard to have any sort of bead. Play under center will decide it...Houston could be one if they get qb play like they did before Watson was injured. Will Brady hold up? Will Rodgers step up again? Will Bortles play well enough to keep the Jags hopeful? Is this the year Goff breaks out or down? Is Mariota beginning the slide toward really good backup or does he make a case for growth? Is Cousins enough or a system player to make the difference for Minnesota, or should they have tried harder for a slightly better Smith model?

    That sort of thing. I have no real idea at this point...
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    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Town Heretic View Post
    I want to see Hou @ NE. The Pats have lost a little and I was excited by what I was seeing out of Houston last year. A road test against one of the best teams early could tell us something about the Texans worth knowing. Brady and company are a 6.5 favorite at ESPN. Could be, but I like it closer to 4.
    Yes, this game should tell us a lot about the Texans. I am taking them plus the 6.5 points.

    In another game, the Panthers are weak on their offensive line due to injuries and the Boys might have the best pair of pass-rushers in the business today with the return of Randy Gregory. So it might be a long day for Newton. I will take the Boys and the 3 points.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    Yes, this game should tell us a lot about the Texans. I am taking them plus the 6.5 points.
    So we agree on that one, unless I've gotten take the points mixed up again. I'm thinking they could definitely keep it closer, though a win doesn't seem likely to me.

    In another game, the Panthers are weak on their offensive line due to injuries and the Boys might have the best pair of pass-rushers in the business today with the return of Randy Gregory. So it might be a long day for Newton. I will take the Boys and the 3 points.
    I've been sweating that one. Again, this week is mostly eye test with me. The long weekend and then Jack was sick and home for a couple. Didn't get to do much with anything until very, very late. Given that there won't be a lot of here's why, numbers and explanations this week. Maybe I'll have more time for that in the next round.

    I. Atl @ Phi (3.5): I liked Philly to look more like last year than the preseason and they didn't disappoint me, though the Falcons look like they're ready to be taken seriously again, which is good news for Atlanta fans.

    2. Buf @ Bal (5.5): it's 82/18 for the linesmen that Baltimore will cover against a perpetually rebuilding Bills. I agree.

    3. Cin @ Ind (3.5): and it's 64/36 against the Colts covering. Until I see Luck play a full game looking like himself I'm going with the majority here and like the Bengals by a pt.

    4. Pit (6.5) @ Cle: and I'm a lot less confident than the 58/42 for the cover here. I don't like the division within the Steelers of late and while I know it's Cleveland...Cleveland...man. I'm still going to say this one could be much closer than you'd think and I'll take a flyer on the Dog Pound to gain a moral victory.

    5. Ten (1.5) @ Mia: obviously the line hates both of these teams and with good reason. It's 75/25 for Ten covering and winning. I'm no longer confident in that organization. On the road I'll take Miami and the marginal upset with qb play deciding.

    6. SF @ Min(5.5): it's 69/31 for a Vikings cover. They got better at qb and were already scary on defense. SF got a lot better with their new golden boy on board, but he's about to face a nightmare, defensively. I have it around 17 - 28 in favor of one of my SB favorites, Minnesota.

    7. Hou @ NE (6.5): and the split is a modest (for NE) 58/42 for the cover. I can see it going either way, depending on how the Texans travel. Last year with Watson under center the answer was better than you'd think. I'm going to reach with this one and take Houston to keep it to a...let's say 28 -24 loss.

    8. TB @ NO (9.5): and man is that a big early line. The split is 74/26 in favor of the cover. I can see this one getting brutal. Like 31 - 16 brutal. I'm taking the Saints declaring their bid for another run at the ring.

    9. Jac (2.5) @ Gia: given how poorly the Giants have played of late and how well the Jags have that's a strangely insulting line. The split is 67/33 in agreement. It's possible that Eli wakes up, but I'm weary of waiting on that happening. For me it's more likely a snooze button relay and a cover by the still potent Jags. 23 - 14 or so, maybe.

    10. KC @ SD (3.5): yes, I know, but the Chargers are SD to me for now. Live with it. I think this is Rivers most dangerous team. KC is loaded with talent but I'm not ready to rest on an unproven rookie who still throws too many "What the heck was he thinking" balls. I'll take SD to cover and keep an eye on, though my rough math has this a toss up/3 pt contest. The split, 50/50, appears in line with that math.

    11. Dal @ Car (2.5): at full strength this one would make me sweat. The split is 73/27 on the cover. Vegas likes Carolina going away. I'll take them because I'm not sold on the Dallas braintrust or the defense, their last game notwithstanding. I'll take the Panthers in a someone has to win and it's probably the home team pick.

    12. Sea @ Den (2.5): the split here is 53/47 against Denver making the cover. I get it. Unanswered questions. A defense in Denver that isn't looking like the one that manufactured Peyton's farewell tour and a weak but observable upgrade under center against a team that has a tendency to play well on the road and with something to prove...I'm taking Denver at altitude. 27 - 24 ish in a game that needs the full clock.

    13. Was @ Arz (.5): Half a point? Now that's the definition of a dog. Another 58/42 split favoring the home cover. I'm curious about this one. Alex is much better than he's given credit for being. I could see the upset here, but the talent level in Washington doesn't inspire me. I'll go with the Cardinals on this one. A healthy Bradford trumps a healthy Smith all things being equal. Washington was a middle of the pack offense without Smith and a weak defense. Arizona fields a top ten defense and should be better on offense.

    14. Chi @ GB (8.5): I guess Vegas didn't get the memo. The split is, you guessed it, 58/42 for the home cover with that line. I'm going to reach again and say Rodgers needs to get back into the rhythm and the Bears are more improved than you'd think. Closer. Could be scary close. Could be an upset. But all I need is the line, I think. We'll see.

    15. Jet @ Det (6.5): the split is 71/29 even with that big opening line. I'm going to keep swimming upstream and take the Jests to keep it closer. No particular reason. I just lack faith in the Lions and think the Jets are improved. I'm likely wrong on this one. But it's week one. Where's the fun in playing it safe?

    16. Rams (2.5) @ Oak: Wow. That's a resounding lack of confidence line with the Rams, who should crush Oakland by rights. Until I see what Gruden has left in his tank and without his best defender, I'm going with the prettier girl and taking the Rams.


    And that's it for my from the seat of my pants week one. Let the games begin...well, the rest of them at any rate.
    You aren't what you eat, but you're always what you swallow.

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    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Thanks!

    I agree with you on the Bengals and Jacksonville but wouldn't bet on any of the others except Dallas and Houston.

    The Pittsburgh-Cleveland game will be fun to watch!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    Thanks!

    I agree with you on the Bengals and Jacksonville but wouldn't bet on any of the others except Dallas and Houston.

    The Pittsburgh-Cleveland game will be fun to watch!
    It's a tough week even if I'd done the actual math, with so many different faces and mixtures, from coaches to the controlling forces under center.

    So far...

    The Colts are showing life I was wondering about. That's encouraging for Colts' fans.

    Baltimore is even stronger than expected. I thought they might challenge for the division. They very well might.

    Cleveland isn't showing much.

    Miami/Ten is as dull as you'd have thought.

    Stunned by what's happening with the NO/TB game. Though I suppose I shouldn't be. Fitzpatrick can have one of those games. He just doesn't tend to have them consistently. A bit like Frank Reich was for Buffalo back in the day.

    The rest is about right. We'll see how it shakes out when the dust settles.
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    Good day so far. Going into the night with 9 wins against the line. Should have been 11, but I went against my rough math in the KC game and played at the margin with New England. I can live with that.

    I'll recap my week after the last game. Hopefully I'll be at 10 wins or better by then.
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    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Town Heretic View Post
    I'll recap my week after the last game. Hopefully I'll be at 10 wins or better by then.
    As usual you had a great week picking.

    I was 2-2 but my favorite two teams lost!

    But Dallas And Houston will bounce back!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    As usual you had a great week picking. I was 2-2 but my favorite two teams lost! But Dallas And Houston will bounce back!
    I was really more surprised by Houston. If they'd had any real production offensively in the first half they'd have done me proud. Watson didn't look like himself through most of the game. He won't have too many days like that and they were still a fg away from making my points.

    Looking at the week going into tonight's games then:

    I. Atl @ Phi (3.5): I liked Philly to look more like last year than the preseason and they didn't disappoint me, though the Falcons look like they're ready to be taken seriously again, which is good news for Atlanta fans.
    Starting off the week with a win is always a good thing.
    1-0

    2. Buf @ Bal (5.5): it's 82/18 for the linesmen that Baltimore will cover against a perpetually rebuilding Bills. I agree.
    I had Baltimore handling business handily, but the score floored me. I had it 28-18, not 47- 3.
    2-0

    3. Cin @ Ind (3.5): and it's 64/36 against the Colts covering. Until I see Luck play a full game looking like himself I'm going with the majority here and like the Bengals by a pt.
    I was nervous early and Luck looked good. They were winning going into the 4th quarter. It's going to take a while for him to be who he is for a full game, but what I saw was solid as it could be, given. My scratch guess was 24-23 Bengals. So the Colts were as expected, but the Bengals pleasantly surprised, if mostly in that 4th quarter of their 34-23 win.
    3-0

    4. Pit (6.5) @ Cle: and I'm a lot less confident than the 58/42 for the cover here. I don't like the division within the Steelers of late and while I know it's Cleveland...Cleveland...man. I'm still going to say this one could be much closer than you'd think and I'll take a flyer on the Dog Pound to gain a moral victory.
    And I had it 24-22 Pittsburgh. The 21 all final was in line and there you go.
    4-0

    5. Ten (1.5) @ Mia: obviously the line hates both of these teams and with good reason. It's 75/25 for Ten covering and winning. I'm no longer confident in that organization. On the road I'll take Miami and the marginal upset with qb play deciding.
    Not much about this one that raised an eyebrow. I had it around a 25 - 20 Fins victory. Final: 27 - 20.
    5-0

    6. SF @ Min(5.5): it's 69/31 for a Vikings cover. They got better at qb and were already scary on defense. SF got a lot better with their new golden boy on board, but he's about to face a nightmare, defensively. I have it around 17 - 28 in favor of one of my SB favorites, Minnesota.
    Final: 16 - 24 for Min. Close enough.
    6-0

    7. Hou @ NE (6.5): and the split is a modest (for NE) 58/42 for the cover. I can see it going either way, depending on how the Texans travel. Last year with Watson under center the answer was better than you'd think. I'm going to reach with this one and take Houston to keep it to a...let's say 28 -24 loss.
    Final: 27-20 NE and my first disappointment of the day, but not one that surprised me. Anything more by Watson in that first half and I'm golden. As it was, I barely missed the mark.
    6-1

    8. TB @ NO (9.5): and man is that a big early line. The split is 74/26 in favor of the cover. I can see this one getting brutal. Like 31 - 16 brutal. I'm taking the Saints declaring their bid for another run at the ring.
    Man. I forgot Fitzpatrick was the back up. He's the Frank Reich of the NFL these days. If you don't recall Frank, who is coaching now, as a player, he led the largest comeback in NFL history as a Bill's backup. Prior to that he'd led the all-time college come from behind victory. But he couldn't bring it every week. Fitz is like that. Any given Sunday he can look like the next big deal, but it won't last. Well, he was certainly on for the Bucs. He's going to make it hard to figure for the next couple of weeks.

    Final: 40-48 Bucs.
    6-2

    9. Jac (2.5) @ Gia: given how poorly the Giants have played of late and how well the Jags have that's a strangely insulting line. The split is 67/33 in agreement. It's possible that Eli wakes up, but I'm weary of waiting on that happening. For me it's more likely a snooze button relay and a cover by the still potent Jags. 23 - 14 or so, maybe.
    About as expected, sadly. Eli is on his way out absent a turnaround. I had it likely 23-15 Jags. Final: 20-15 Jags.
    7-2

    10. KC @ SD (3.5): yes, I know, but the Chargers are SD to me for now. Live with it. I think this is Rivers most dangerous team. KC is loaded with talent but I'm not ready to rest on an unproven rookie who still throws too many "What the heck was he thinking" balls. I'll take SD to cover and keep an eye on, though my rough math has this a toss up/3 pt contest. The split, 50/50, appears in line with that math.
    I don't feel badly about missing this one. You just can't know what the rookie will give you week to week at this point. He looked good for the Chiefs yesterday to be sure. I had it 24-21 Chargers. Final: 38-28 Chiefs. So a higher scoring game than I figured to boot. Oh, well.
    7-3

    11. Dal @ Car (2.5): at full strength this one would make me sweat. The split is 73/27 on the cover. Vegas likes Carolina going away. I'll take them because I'm not sold on the Dallas braintrust or the defense, their last game notwithstanding. I'll take the Panthers in a someone has to win and it's probably the home team pick.
    I had it a more exciting 28-21 Panthers win. Final: 16-8 Panthers. Or, the anti-Chiefs/Chargers game. Equally surprising, but this time in a good way, at least line wise.
    8-3

    12. Sea @ Den (2.5): the split here is 53/47 against Denver making the cover. I get it. Unanswered questions. A defense in Denver that isn't looking like the one that manufactured Peyton's farewell tour and a weak but observable upgrade under center against a team that has a tendency to play well on the road and with something to prove...I'm taking Denver at altitude. 27 - 24 ish in a game that needs the full clock.
    Final: 27-24 Denver on the nose.
    9-3

    13. Was @ Arz (.5): Half a point? Now that's the definition of a dog. Another 58/42 split favoring the home cover. I'm curious about this one. Alex is much better than he's given credit for being. I could see the upset here, but the talent level in Washington doesn't inspire me. I'll go with the Cardinals on this one. A healthy Bradford trumps a healthy Smith all things being equal. Washington was a middle of the pack offense without Smith and a weak defense. Arizona fields a top ten defense and should be better on offense.
    I should have gone with my gut on this one. Had it 26-19 Arizona on paper, but I could feel the upset in the air, supra. Darn it.
    Final: 24-6 with Arizona surprisingly off rhythm on offense.
    9-4

    14. Chi @ GB (8.5): I guess Vegas didn't get the memo. The split is, you guessed it, 58/42 for the home cover with that line. I'm going to reach again and say Rodgers needs to get back into the rhythm and the Bears are more improved than you'd think. Closer. Could be scary close. Could be an upset. But all I need is the line, I think. We'll see.
    Didn't see Rodgers getting hurt, but I did see the rust making him less effective early and that Chicago defense getting after him. I had it 28-27 with Rodgers upright at the end. Final: 24-23, so all that really happened is the offenses scaled down.
    10-4

    And that leaves tonight's games, which I should play conservatively to pick up a win or two and go from good to great on the week, but...you know me.

    15. Jet @ Det (6.5): the split is 71/29 even with that big opening line. I'm going to keep swimming upstream and take the Jests to keep it closer. No particular reason. I just lack faith in the Lions and think the Jets are improved. I'm likely wrong on this one. But it's week one. Where's the fun in playing it safe?
    Wow. The Giants are really going to have to rethink passing on the guy who just shellacked them to stay with the diminishing hand of Manning, aren't they...
    11-4

    16. Rams (2.5) @ Oak: Wow. That's a resounding lack of confidence line with the Rams, who should crush Oakland by rights. Until I see what Gruden has left in his tank and without his best defender, I'm going with the prettier girl and taking the Rams.
    Crushed as called. 12-4
    Last edited by Town Heretic; September 11th, 2018 at 11:53 AM. Reason: Min, not Fins...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Town Heretic View Post
    I don't feel badly about missing this one. You just can't know what the rookie will give you week to week at this point. He looked good for the Chiefs yesterday to be sure.
    You shouldn't bet against the rookie from my alma mater!

    Other than that, once again you are the best in the business that I have ever seen!

    12-4 is excellent!

    This week do me a favor and study the Cowboy-Giants game in detail and then let me know your thoughts.

    Dallas Cowboys -3
    New York Giants

    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    You shouldn't bet against the rookie from my alma mater!

    Other than that, once again you are the best in the business that I have ever seen!

    12-4 is excellent!

    This week do me a favor and study the Cowboy-Giants game in detail and then let me know your thoughts.

    Dallas Cowboys -3
    New York Giants

    Thanks!
    Will do. It was a pretty good week. Would have been better if I'd followed my inclination on a couple, but that's life and week one for you.

    Off the top, just beginning to mull, Eli really looks like a quarterback in decline. People forget the rule because of Brady, or Favre. But most signal callers stop being particularly effective past their mid 30s. While that's going to keep upticking a bit because of fitness regimes and rules changes, the body is still the body and most of them aren't meant to physically compete with 20 year olds when you're approaching twice that.

    I'll come back later with particulars on both teams, though I try to be careful with reading too much, plus or minus, into one game.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Town Heretic View Post
    I'll come back later with particulars on both teams, though I try to be careful with reading too much, plus or minus, into one game.
    Thanks!

    Wonder where the Steeler's biggest fan is, Tet?

    You there?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    Thanks!

    Wonder where the Steeler's biggest fan is, Tet?

    You there?
    They've got problems at qb too. He's not looking like Ben in his prime, or even Ben engaged. And don't let Steeler nation talk anyone into thinking they can do without a certain rb who was watching at home. They can't. They need what he does as a receiver out of the backfield and how that impacts defensive schemes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Town Heretic View Post
    They've got problems at qb too. He's not looking like Ben in his prime, or even Ben engaged. And don't let Steeler nation talk anyone into thinking they can do without a certain rb who was watching at home. They can't. They need what he does as a receiver out of the backfield and how that impacts defensive schemes.
    I completely agree!

    Maybe that's why we hear nothing from Tet?

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