Chiefs @ Patriots – Week 6 Preview and Predictions

Week 6 approaches and the play-off picture develops once more. Week 6 includes a blockbuster games as the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs face the remaining AFC Champions the New England Patriots in Foxborough.

Kansas City are led by the young and fresh quarterback Patrick Mahomes who has been exceptional in his first 5 games of the season. He has 14 passing touchdowns and 2 interceptions through the first 5 game weeks.

However the Patriots have initially struggled but have improved dramatically in the last two weeks ahead of this clash which could be the AFC conference final match.

The Chiefs came into Foxborough in week 1 of last season and blitzed the Patriots 42-27 in their last meeting, however the Chiefs are known to start hot and fizzle our with the Patriots being the opposite as the season goes on.

Where the Patriots can exploit

The Chiefs sit dead last in defence and that will be something Tom Brady and his offence will look to exploit. The Chiefs defence has allowed 400+ pass yards in 3 of 5 games this season and this is tied for the most (3) in a season since 1940. The return of Julian Edelman at wide receiver provides a key cog to the Patriots offence, who have now put up 38 points in each of their last two games, the improvement of Josh Gordon’s understanding of the playbook is another positive.

Coach Belicheck against top scoring offence’s and rookies

When the #1 or #2 scoring offence has faced the Patriots defence 23 times during the Belicheck era with a 7-16 record.

Over the last 3 seasons, the Patriots are just 7-5 in the first 4 weeks but from weeks 5-17, the Patriots are 22-2 with just one loss at home.

The last 8 quarterbacks with 10 or less career starters prior to starting against the Patriots are 0-8, maybe spelling doom for Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes.

As a bias patriots fan I am not going to bet against them, especially at home.

 

Predictions

Thursday

Eagles @ Giants

Sunday

Buccaneers @ Falcons

Steelers @ Bengals

Chargers @ Browns

Bills @ Houston

Bears @ Dolphins

Cardinals @ Vikings

Colts @ Jets

Seahawks @ Raiders

Panthers @ Redskins

Rams @ Broncos

Jaguars @ Cowboys

Ravens @ Titans

Chiefs @ Patriots

Monday

49ers @ Packers

The Brady ‘500’ + Week 5 Preview and Predictions

Thursday night, Tom Brady became the third NFL Quarterback to reach 500 regular season passing touchdowns, as he helped his New England Patriots dispose of the Indianapolis Colts 38-24 at Gillette Stadium.

For me, no other record is going to further or alter the fact that Tom Brady is not only the greatest quarterback of all time but the greatest player of all time.

Brady connected with new wide receiver Josh Gordon on a 39-yard pass play to join only Peyton Manning (539) and Brett Farve (508) as the only QB’s with 500 passing touchdowns, with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees on the cusp of becoming the 4th to reach that target.

The ‘Brady 500’ has been made a topic of conversation but this disregards his most memorable touchdowns and moments in the most important place of all…the play-offs!

Brady has thrown for 71 touchdown passes in the playoffs (most of anyone) and has said in the past that the only statistic that matters to him is victories and he tied his former teammate Adam Vinatieri (pictured below with Patriots coach Bill Belichick) for most wins by a player (226).

Of Brady’s 500 regular season touchdowns he also hold the record of throwing to 71 different touchdown receivers. Tight-end Robert Gronkowski has recorded 76 of those 500, with Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss the next closest with 39.

At this point these record do not impact his legacy it’s how far can he get away from the pack in the terms of Super Bowl titles before he eventually retires.

Predictions

Thursday

Indianapolis @ Patriots

Sunday

Titans @ Bills

Dolphins @ Bengals

Ravens @ Browns

Packers @ Lions

Jaguars @ Chiefs

Broncos @ Jets

Falcons @ Steelers

Giants @ Panthers

Raiders @ Chargers

Vikings @ Eagles

Cardinals @ 49ers

Rams @ Seahawks

Cowboys @ Texans

Monday

Redskins @ Saints

Goff System QB? Week 4 Preview and Predictions

System QB?

The term system quarterback means that the offence isn’t full dependable on the quarterback and to many this is a degrading term due to it being used many times to downplay the quarterbacks ability.

The term has been more recently labelled to former number one pick Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams who on Thursday night edged out the Minnesota Vikings in a wild shoot out 38-31 to leave the Rams 4-0 and arguably the most complete team in the league.

Goff entered the league and struggled under the guidance of former Rams head coach Jeff Fisher who to many ran a ‘high school’ and very basic offence with no real support to help Goff, subsequently when Goff was started in the back end of his debut season he struggled and look a boy playing a mans game.

Goff under Fisher played 7 games with 5 TD’s, 7 INT’s and only 54.6% pass completion. (Passer rating of 63.6)

Now the change, Fisher was sacked after an awful season and his offence being last in pretty much everything but most notably points per game.

The addition of Sean McVay, the Washington Redskins offensive coordinator, made him the youngest head coach in modern NFL History. Fast forward a season and he would be named coach of the year by the Pro Football Writers of America after leading the Rams to an 11-5 record, it’s first playoff birth since 2004 and now the first team to go from the lowest points per game to the highest. However they fell to the Atlanta Falcons in the wildcard match-up.

McVay had given Goff a reliable offensive line, most notably the addition of former Cincinnati Bengal Andrew Whitworth. McVay’s creative offence also gave running back Todd Gurley a chance to show his talents as he also had a great season.

Goff was able to show the potential and hint at the reasons why the Los Angeles Rams traded up the draft board and decided to take Goff and not Wentz.

Goff under McVay played 15 games with 28 TD’s, 8 INT’s and 62.1% pass competition. (Passer rating of 100.5)

McVay added another weapon for the LA offence in former Patriots Brandin Cooks who is lightening quick and to replace the out of contract Sammy Watkins.

Goff who is only 23, seems to be coming into his own and some of this type of throws he is now making, whereby the window is literally the size of the ball and he’s throwing dimes into double coverage and changing games because of it.

Goff under McVay played 4 games with 11 TD’s, 2 INT’s and 72.4% pass completion. (Passer rating of 127.3)

Does McVay deserve the credit?

Yes he should be credited but so should Goff for his own improvement, McVay does not read the defence from under centre and then make the pin-point throws which literally make you say ‘wow’.

Goff really could have an MVP season if he keeps this momentum up and has a great shot of a deep run into the playoffs and the chance at the Super Bowl.

Prediction Record

Week 3 – (9-7)

Overall – (28-17-2)

Prediction for Week 4

Miami @ New England

Cincinnati @ Atlanta

Tampa Bay @ Chicago

Detroit @ Dallas

Buffalo @ Green Bay

Philadelphia @ Tennessee

Houston @ Colts

New York Jets @ Jacksonville

Browns @ Oakland

Seattle @ Arizona

New Orleans @ New York Giants

San Francisco @ LA Chargers

Baltimore @ Pittsburgh

Kansas City @ Denver

Baker’s Perfect Entrance in Browns Win – Week 3 Preview and Predictions

Another crazy NFL week has past and now we are onto week 3 with number one draft pick, Baker Mayfield, finally entered the affray of the NFL, as he overturned a 14-0 deficit against the New York Jets last Thursday night, whilst giving Cleveland it’s first win after 635 days. Meanwhile troubled former Cleveland Brown’s wide receiver Josh Gordon was traded to the New England Patriots.

Baker’s Perfect Entrance

Baker Mayfield did not flinch when called upon to replace the injured starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor last in the second quarter. Whilst the offence really struggled with Taylor, the entrance of Mayfield provided a massive boost as the offence seemed to click, this is very much surprising considering Mayfield has had very limited if even any reps with the starters in practice.

The number one draft pick of 2018, completed 17 of his 23 passes for 201 yards as he helped Cleveland outscore the Jets 18-3 after his introduction. Cleveland had not won in 635 days so it was the perfect arrival for the Texas native and former Heisman Trophy winner.

It was an impressive win however the opportunity was perfect due to the number 3 pick Sam Darnold struggling for the New York Jets and the Browns having a collectively better defence, running back and wide receiver. So credit must be given to Baker as with Taylor I don’t think this would have happened but the Jets were the perfect opponent.

Browns head coach Hue Jackson said that he will ‘look at the tape’ to decide who will be his starting quarterback for the week 4 match up against the Oakland Raiders.

Can the Patriots help put Gordon’s career back on track?

Gordon who has only appeared 11 times in 4 seasons due to various drug and outside of the sport issues, was given plenty of last chances by the Cleveland Browns off the back of his break-out 2013 season whereby he went to the pro bowl with his statistics for the season being – 87 receptions for a league high 1,646 yards and 9 touchdowns.

Gordon’s issues include violating the NFL substance-abuse policy many times causing many suspensions and a driving under the influence charge. Gordon had applied to be reinstated to the league in 2015 and 2016 but both were denied due to failing a drugs test.

If anything for sure is that the Patriots, led by the great Bill Belichick, will not hesitate on getting rid of Gordon if he continues to cause harm to himself and the team. However the upside of Gordon could be monumental as he has the nickname ‘Flash’ for a reason. It’s certainly been the storyline of the week and Patriots QB Tom Brady has come out and said that he does not want to set expectations for the Texas native.

Gordon will need to be like the flash in adapting to the New England offensive playbook whereby many players have struggled with its complexities which are driven on its schemes and quick tempo. New England do not have a ‘number one’ wide receiver and Gordon would be the closest thing to replacing the loss of Brandin Cooks who was traded to the Los Angeles Rams in the recent off-season.

Gordon’s arrival in Boston has attracted some comparisons to Hall of Fame and former Patriot wide receiver Randy Moss due to his ‘persona’ and ‘issues’. However I do not see the close comparison and just that they are both extremely talented. Moss went onto be all time great and although he was not the easiest to get along and did have some issues off the pitch it was not to Gordon’s lengths. Gordon has shown many times at relapse and for the sake of himself I hope he at least gets better even if that means he does not return to the field. However as a Patriots fan, I hope he can contribute greatly and if anyone is to get the best out of him it will be Tom Brady. Fingers crossed.

Predictions

Week 1 – (9-6-1)

Week 2 – (10-5-1)

Overall – (19-11-2) 59.4% Correct

Last Thursday

New York Jets 17-21 Cleveland Browns

Sunday

NO Saints @ Atlanta Falcons

San Francisco 49ers @ Kansas City Chiefs

Oakland Raiders @ Miami Dolphins

Buffalo Bills @ Minnesota Vikings

Indianapolis Colts @ Philadelphia Eagles

Green Bay Packers @ Washington Redskins

Cincinnati Bengals @ Carolina Panthers

Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Denver Broncos @ Baltimore Ravens

New York Giants @ Houston Texans

Los Angeles Chargers @ Los Angeles Rams

Chicago Bears @ Arizona Cardinals

Dallas Cowboys @ Seattle Seahawks

New England Patriots @ Detroit Lions

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

AFC Championship Rematch – Week 2 Preview and Predictions

After game week one my predictions were mixed so I will be hoping to have a better set of predictions this week.

Week 2 throw’s up some top tier match-ups which include New England travelling to Jacksonville which will attract lots of attention to due it being a rematch of the AFC Conference match last season, whereby the Patriots came from behind in the 4th quester to win 24-20 and head off to the Superbowl. Both teams recorded wins and will aim to go 2-0 at the TIAA Bank Field.

A key match up will be Jacksonville’s cornerback Jalon Ramsey who, as I mentioned in my last post, has been voicing his opinion and said that the patriots tight end Robert Gronkowski who will be a first ballot hall of fame candidate has really bad games when put up against cornerbacks. So it will be interesting to see who lines up across from Gronkwoski and if Jacksonville will double team him as teams usually do and I think if Brady can use Gronkowski in motion (moving him before the play starts), Brady can assess the defence as he dictates the play behind the line of scrimmage.

Jacksonville maybe without first round draft choice running back Leonard Fournette who limped out of week 1’s opener against the New York Giants. The jaguars are primarily a run first team so losing their key piece would be a blow. Against a New England defence which already looks steps above last season’s and as they seem to have much more depth and the return of outside linebacker Dont’a Hightower is a big bonus as he missed the back end of last season and he was a key defensive cog which really hurt New England. Either way, both sides of the turf it will be an interesting game to watch. Like the last game, even if the Jaguars get a lead I expect Brady to work out the very good Jaguars defence in a one score game and 4th quarter comeback.

Predictions

Week 1 (9-6-1)

Week 2 (Prediction in Bold)

Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons

LA Chargers @ Buffalo Bills

Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers

Cleveland Browns @ NO Saints

Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets

Kansas City Chiefs @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Philadelphia Eagles @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans

Indianapolis Colts @ Washington Redskins

Arizona Cardinals @ LA Rams

Detroit Lions @ San Fran 49ers

Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos

New England Patriots @ Jacksonville Jaguars

New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys

Seattle Seahawks @ Chicago Bears

Last Thursday

Baltimore Ravens 23-34 Cincinnati Bengals

This Thursday

New York Jets @ Cleveland Browns

NFL Sunday’s are back! – Week 1 Preview and Predictions

NFL Sunday’s are back as we get to see a majority of the new look teams in action for week 1.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs New York Giants

Odell Beckham Jr, returns from injury and big new contract alongside number 2 draft pick Saquon Barkley for the New York Giants against the Jacksonville Jaguars led in part by the very vocal Jalen Ramsey who has had his fair share of comments about OBJ and his quarterback Eli Manning. Ramsey a former top 5 pick, labelled the New York Giants receiver a premier player, and he was nowhere near as boastful as he was in an ESPN story by Mina Kimes or the piece in GQ magazine in which he was critical of numerous NFL quarterbacks, including saying Beckham is the reason for Giants quarterback Eli Manning’s success.

Ramsey also went on to say that

“Football is a team game. Eleven guys out there for us, 11 guys out there for them. We going to have to come together and do what we gotta do to try and get a win. I’m going to try and do my part…. It’s 11 versus 11. It’s not me vs. him all game. I’ll be on him a fair amount; I’m sure other guys will be on him too.”

Odell vs Ramsey has been a headline but I believe that Jacksonville have a better cornerback in A.J Bouye who I think will take most of the snaps across from OBJ, but nevertheless I am sure Ramsey will be talking his usual trash from the Jacksonville secondary. Barkley’s impact will be one to watch for as he is an explosive running back but against a top Jaguars defence it will be tough for him, I expect the Jaguars to edge this encounter.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cleveland Browns

The new look Cleveland Browns who will start Tyrod Taylor at quarterback instead of number one pick Baker Mayfield who continues his NFL education, will play division rival the Pittsburgh Steelers.. Cleveland seem to have wiped there slate clean after an awful few years and will look to write a different story this season.

The Steelers have had their fair share of woes this offseason with the drama of star running back Le’Veon Bell’s dramatic holdout situation. Bell has been holding out from the preseason and training camp, refusing to report for the $14.5 million franchise tag after he and the Steelers in July failed to agree on a new contract. Bell is looking for a deal that pays him as the best running back and doesn’t want to play on one he feels is below market for his skills. Bell looks likely to lose $852,000 for every week he misses, but by holiday out could easily make that back and much more in a major deal next offseason and due to missing game weeks he is preserving his body and keeping his touch count low, therefore meaning that he could extend his career and achieve a large contract which for running backs in their later years is rare.

Even without the great Le’Veon Bell Pittsburgh who have won their last 6 games against their division rival should prevail, with offensive talent of Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger.

 

My Predictions (in bold) for Week 1

Thursday

Atlanta Falcons @ Philadelphia Eagles – Lost

Sunday

Buffalo Bills @ Baltimore Ravens

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns

Cincinnati Bengals @ Indianapolis Colts

Tennessee Titans @ Miami Dolphins

San Francisco 49ers @ Minnesota Vikings

Houston Texans @ New England Patriots

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orlean Saints

Jacksonville Jaguars @ New York Giants

Kansas City Chiefs @ Los Angeles Chargers

Washington Redskins @ Arizona Cardinals

Dallas Cowboys @ Carolina Panthers

Seattle Seahawks @ Denver Broncos

Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers

New York Jets @ Detroit Lions

Monday

Los Angeles Rams @ Oakland Raiders

I am planning to aim to preview the midweek game and then two games for the weekend, including my predictions. Thanks for reading!

NFL Returns – Philadelphia Eagles vs Atlanta Falcons Predictions

A new season approaches and after 214 days football is back, with the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Philadelphia Eagles against the explosive Atlanta Falcons in Philadelphia, and this was a play-off match up last year when the Eagles edged the Falcons 15-10 on the same ground.

The Eagles defeated the New England Patriots in Minneapolis on the 4th February earlier this year to capture their first Super Bowl to cap off a 17-2 season led by head coach Doug Peterson, despite losing their franchise quarterback during the regular season.

As mentioned, Philadelphia are without former 2nd overall pick Carson Wentz as he continues his recovery from his ACL injury, sustained in the back end of the 2017 season. Therefore the Eagles will by led by the recent Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, so not too bad. However I was surprised that during the major free agency quarterback shake up that nobody gave the Eagles a tempting offer for the Super Bowl MVP in the past offseason. Foles was incredible in the Super Bowl and will look to stamp his mark on the 2018 season Eagles but will face a tough prospect in the Matt Ryan led Falcons with weapons such as Julio Jones, who in his last 4 games against the Eagles has 100+ reviving yards in each of those games which is a Philadelphia record.

By looking at least seasons statistics we can see that the Foles led Eagles averaged nearly a touchdown less points per game (24.5) to the Wentz led Eagles (31.1). Although the Eagles were the only team last year to have 3 players with 8+ receiving touchdowns. (Jeffery 9, Agholor 8 and Ertz 8)

As first games of the season go this is a great match up and to lead the league into the new season I hope it is an explosive one and I have the Falcons out-gunning the Eagles for an upset road win against the Defending Champions. I think that Julio Jones will stretch the field early to provide Atlanta the time to implement their ground game with Devonta Freeman, who since he entered the league in 2014 have the joint top amount of touchdowns from scrimmage for a running back. (Tied with Mark Ingram)

Prediction – Atlanta to win by at least a TD.

Aiming to get at least a few briefly detailed previews each week and a list of my initial predictions, then hopefully keep score.