Rodgers vs Brady, Rams @ Saints – Week 9 Preview and Predictions

Week 9 is upon us and we have some incredible games ahead which include Rodgers vs Brady and the undefeated Rams at the 6-1 Saints.

The game of the Goats. A game between Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady will always be talked about and it’s a shame this is the second and probably the last time we will see them play against each other, unless a Super Bowl between the two sides happen and that was be a great spectacle. However the Rodgers argument is an interesting one, the 34 year old has 2 MVP awards and one Super Bowl compared to Brady being 41 years old, 3 MVP awards and five Super Bowl. On statistics whether it be Super bowls, championship appearances, 4th quarter comebacks it is all in Brady’s favour.

However as natural talent goes, Rodgers is excellent and can make every throw in the book but his injury prone nature has limited his greatness in parts and same for his rough relationship with his own coach. While Brady and Belicheck, who do have their problems, continue to succeed and do what is best for the team and regardless of how hated they are, once again continue to succeed. Brady has the leadership qualities that cannot be measured but can only be seen and that is evident in his greatest moments. The New England blueprint is like no other, one of the greatest ever sporting dynasties. If Rodgers really wanted out of Green Bay he should have just refused to sign his contract and sign for a team that gives him the best opportunity to win.

It would be iconic if one of the two great players led their team down the field for a game winning drive. If I want anyone in that spot, I want Tom Brady.

The undefeated Los Angeles Rams (8-0) travel to the high flying (6-1) New Orleans Saints and after edging out the Packers, the Rams do not appear to be firing on all cylinders and despite being undefeated they do not look as comfortable as they have previously in other weeks. The Saints lost at home to Tampa Bay in week one and have looked much better since the weeks have progressed and their dynamic offence of Alvin Kamara and Drew Brees always give the Saints a shot. This hopefully will be a great game and a high scoring one at the least.

Nick Mullens led the 49ers to an easy victory on Thursday night, over the Jon Gruden led Oakland Raiders who look awful and his 10 year contract given to him looks very debatable now. The raiders organisation ahead of their Las Vegas move look a mess and a massive turn around will be needed.

Thursday

Raiders @ 49ers

Sunday

Steelers @ Ravens

Bears @ Bills

Buccaneers @ Panthers

Chiefs @ Browns

Jets @ Dolphins

Lions @ Vikings

Falcons @ Redskins

Texans @ Broncos

Chargers @ Seahawks

Rams @ Saints

Packers @ Patriots

Monday

Titans @ Cowboys

Rodgers Packers @ Undefeated Rams -Week 8 Preview and Predictions

Another week and one step closer to discovering what teams will proceed to the all important play-offs and for some fans which teams are edging closer to that number one draft pick.

Los Angeles Rams head into their blockbuster matchup against the Aaron Rodgers led Green Bay Packers at 7-0, aiming to extend that unbeaten start to the season. The Packers have performed better in recent weeks but I expect the Rams who are an all round better side to prevail.

New Orleans Saints at (5-1) face Minnesota Vikings at (4-2-1) in a rematch from last postseason whereby the ‘Minnesota Miracle’ was the difference between the two sides. The Saints look inform and eager to make a deep play-off run and nobody will want to face them in this form, so I’m picking Drew Brees and his men for the victory on Sunday.

Two teams with only one win each are the Indianapolis Colts and the Oakland Faiders and they face off in what maybe the game which could decide the number one pick for 2019. With Oakland trading away their entire team away for draft picks (recently traded WR Cooper for Dallas’ 1st round pick). I have the Colts led by the improving Andrew Luck taking the win.

New England on the back on a months worth of great offence face off against AFC East rival the Buffalo Bills whereby they’ll aim for another 38+ point offensive performance, however they’ll need to limit the turn-overs (which has been an unusual issue for New England) and continue to get better on defence. Bill Belicheck coaches aides usually get better as the season progresses and I wouldn’t expect anything else from the Patriots who should win this by at least a couple touchdowns.

Predictions

Dolphins @ Houston

Eagles @ Jaguars

Jets @ Bears

Buccaneers @ Bengals

Seahawks @ Lions

Broncos @ Chiefs

Redskins @ Giants

Browns @ Steelers

Ravens @ Panthers

Colts @ Raiders

Packers @ Rams

49ers @ Cardinals

Saints @ Vikings

Patriots @ Bills

Patriots @ Bears – Week 7 – Preview and Predictions

Week 7 commences and after last week it will be tough to top it, however with some great games ahead it will be one to watch.

Last week included the game of the season as the New England Patriots fought off a great comeback from the Kansas City Chiefs to win 43-40 and leave only the Los Angeles Rams as the only undefeated team going into week 7.

The Patriots face a tough road game in Chicago, whereby the colossal Khalil Mack has been causing major issues for the oppositions offence, he has 4 strip sacks and an interception.

The outside linebacker was traded from the now struggling (1-5) Oakland Raiders who in my opinion maybe couldn’t afford the elite defenders new contract so traded him for 2 1st round picks to Chicago, where he has been incredible and certainly a top 3 player this season. Mack after his trade agreed a $141m 6-year extension.

The Patriots surprisingly ran more running plays than passing ones against the Chiefs and as this New England offence adapts and utilises rookie running back Sony Michel which gives Brady more opportunities to take advantage of. For example, the Indianapolis Colts have a very good quarterback in Andrew Luck but as the Colts do not have a running back (of good quality) they are basically forcing Luck to throw 55+ times a game and is already very predictable. The Patriots being able to run a balanced offence really is key and as players such as Julian Edelman comeback from suspension and the development of Josh Gordon at wide receiver, this gives Brady many options.

Sony Michel has springed into life in these last three games as he has ran for more than 95 yards in all three, helping the New England offence out up at least 38 in their last three games.

On the other hand, the 3-2 Chicago Bears have the number 3 defence and on the other side of the ball their QB Mitchell Trubisky has improved dramatically with 11 TD’s, 4 INT’s and over 70% pass completion against a Bill Belicheck defence which has allowed 24.7 points per game and that is the most by New England defence in the Belicheck era.

Elite Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski looks set to miss the road game with injury therefore Josh Gordon’s impact will be key to the New England Offence at Soldier Field.

 

Predictions

Broncos @ Cardinals

Titans @ Chargers (Held at Wembley)

Patriots @ Bears

Bills @ Colts

Lions @ Dolphins

Panthers @ Eagles

Browns @ Buccaneers

Texans @ Jaguars

Saints @ Ravens

Rams @ 49ers

Cowboys @ Redskins

Bengals @ Chiefs

Giants @ Falcons

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

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!