Week 2 aka the week we all over react. We spend all off season ranking teams based on last season, analyzing off season moves and then after 60 minutes of football, for many those opinions completely change. Now in some cases week 1 may give some actual insight to how teams will look the rest of the way but for the most part I think it is important not to over react but because so many do we end up getting some great value in week 2.
Hou +3 @ Car
Bet% Hou 54% Car 46%
I bet against Car last week @ Jac and really outside of the turner from the Jags the game was very even. Meanwhile Houston played a much better team in KC and got down big early and never really managed to get back into the game. Coming into the season I expected the Car passing game to really have trouble. Car has very few passing options and a very shaky Off Line, last year they gave up sacks on 7.4% of drop backs which ranked 22nd and the line this year is expected to be worse. The strength of the Texans is, well of course JJ Watt who had 6 TFL last week but overall they play the pass very well, they were 6th last year in def passer rating but yeah JJ Watt vs the Car off line is a mistmatch.
I also think Car missing Luke Kuechly will greatly impact their defence in this game, he is not only their best player on defense but the quarterback of the defense. Last week Hou was able to rush for 4.7 yards/rush, admittedly its hard to take a lot out of the KC game because they fell behind by so much early but if they can run the ball with any success here they should be able to control this game.
Game 2: SF @ Pit -6
Bet % SF 38% Pit 62%
This is the first overreaction game of the week. A month ago most people had SF as a bottom 5 team in the league, now after an opening week win on MNF at home vs the Vikings, a game in which they were home dogs, everyone has changed their mind on the 49ers.
Last week SF was able to control the game completely on the ground running 39 times for 230 yards, because of this the fact that they only passed for 165 yards didn’t hurt them. One thing we know about the Steelers is that to beat them you have to score because they will, they have one of the best passing games in the league, 3rd last year in passer rating with 101.5 and leagues top receiver. While the 49ers new look defense had a very good game vs the Vikings, it’s not ebough for me to believe they can just pick up be the same type of defense they were last year without the likes of Patrick Willis, Chris Borland and Aldon Smith.
Had the 49ers lost last week I believe this line would have been 7 -7.5 this week, having this young team go play on the road in a tough environment with the shortest week of any team after playing the late MNF game against Pit who has 3 extra days is also a big advantage.
Game 3 Det @ Min -1.5
Bet% Det 68% Min 32%
Overreaction Game #2. The Vikings were one of the most heavily bet teams on the season win totals on the over, season 2 of Teddy Bridgewater, the return of AP and year 2 Mike Zimmer working with a defense that he greatly improved in year 1. Vikings opened the season as favs on the road in SF and were terrible causing many to jump off the bandwagon. The 49ers ran for 230 yards picking up 5.9 per rush attempt. While Min wasn’t great vs the run last year giving up 4.3/att, its hard to expect a replay of last weeks disaster especially to the Lions who finished 30th last year at 3.5/rush att.
It’s also hard for me to expect the performances by Bridgewater and Peterson last week are going to be repeated this week at home, Bridgewater had a QBR of 24.6 in week 1, in his rookie year he had an avg QBR 56.9 and I expect him to rebound in this game against a Lions defense getting used to life without Suh and Fairly. I also expect Adrian Peterson to be much bigger part of the offense this week after only getting 10 carries for 31 yards last week.
Game 4: Atl @ NYG -2
Bet% Atl 45% NYG 55%
This is an interesting game as Atl won a game on national TV against the Eagles,a very famous team on MNF at home while the Giants lost the most talked about game of the weekend national TV to another very famous team the Dallas Cowboys. Te Falcons have traditionally been a very good team at home inside the Dome and a not very good team on the road, especially in games outside
The Giants were the most criticised team of the week, both Manning and Coughlin were killed for their handling of the cock and gifting the Cowboys a late win. While Dallas was able to move the ball, I thought the return of Steve Spagnola made that defense look very active and I think he will find ways to attack the weak ATL offensive line.
I also think that Eli and the passing game will get going against the Falcons, Atl was 32nd last year in opp pass yards per attempt.
Game 5: Ten @ Cle +1.5
Bet% Ten 82% Cle 18%
Overreaction Game #3- This is the game with the greatest overreaction based on week 1 as the line moved 4 points from its original line posted in pre season. The Titans coming off of a 2-14 season blew out the even worse TB Bucs in week 1 where Marcus Mariotta passed for 4TD’s in his first career game. The Browns on the other hand got blown out by the Jets in week 1 and have Johnny Manzeil starting this week, a QB nobody wants to back.
Looking at the boxscores for these 2 teams a couple of things jumped of the page. For the Browns, they actually had almost the same yardage as the Jets last week 323-335 but that was all undone by 100 yards in penalties and most critically 5 turnovers. The crazy thing about the turnovers was the Browns had 4 fumbles and incredibly lost all 4, the chances we see that again this season seems very unlikely.
Meanwhile the Titans played the Bucs and in his first career game Marcus Mariotta averaged 10.3 yards per pass att which is pretty amazing. That being said there are few teams as bad as the Bucs are vs the run, last year TB was 25th in opp pass yards/att giving up 7.2/att and 27th in opp passer rating. On the flip side, to the surprise i am sure of everyone the Browns last year were actually one of the best pass defenses in the league finishing 1st in Opp Passer rating.
Game 6 Dal @ Phi -4.5
Bet% Dal 45% Phi 55%
2014-7 Rec 114yds 3TDs
2013-8 Rec 110yds 0TD
2012: 3Rec 87yds 1TD, 6Rec 98yds 2TDs.
In the last 3 years the Cowboys have beat the Eagles 4 of the 6 regular season games played and the numbers above belong to Dez Bryant in those wins. As Julio Jones proved in week 1 the Eagles secondary is still very much he weakness of the defense and it is one that Bryant has feasted on especially in the redzone.
Where the Eagles defense is strong is in their front 7,especially vs the run where they finished 6th last year giving up only .8 yards per attempt. With no Dez Bryant, the Cowoys will rely heavily on their offensive line and run game but in game 1 without Demarco Murray, the Cowboys averaged only 3.5 yards per attempt vs the Giants.
The Eagles got off to a painful start in the 1st half on MNF in a game eerily similar to their opener last season but came back in the 2nd half and moved the ball up and down the field scoring 21 points in the 3rd and 4th Q. The Eagles definitely had troubles on the interior of their offensive line but the Cowboys are not a defense that creates a lot of pressure so Bradford should be able to play a very comfortable game. With no Dez and no established replacement in the redzone, I expect the Eagles to be able to handle the Dallas offense and look at lot like the Eagles of the 2nd half of MNF as opposed to the 1st half.
Edit – This line has moved to 6 -6.5 from the 4.5 I got late Sat night, would still play at 6