Thursday Night Football
Since my weekly AFCE predictions will come out on Friday, I will make my pick today for the Patriots game:
Steelers’s defense is a shadow of what it used to be, but they can score, even without LeVeon Bell. Pats at home are not easy to beat. Both teams will put up points and play in a mistake driven game. I see the Patriots winning this one 33-27
Browns @ Jets
Browns hit the road with a 10 game opening day losing streak, I doubt any other team has done worst. This is a team in shambles; if their home location was dealing with the NY media, it would be none stop laughs. Wait! It already is.
Defensive minded head coach, Mike Pettine returns to NY with his Rex like team, all defense no offense. To make matters worst, Pettine subscribes to the concept that if you get to the QB at any cost, and only stop the pass, you will win the game. As a result his last few gigs (NY, Buffalo and so far in Cleveland), none of those teams were good against the rush, and records mirrored that. Secondary is good, but safeties will have to come up closer to the line, leaving CBs exposed.
The Jets have an entire new system in place, on both sides of the ball. The talent level is well above that of the Browns. This Jets team was among the NFL leaders in rushing a year ago, it doesn’t look good for Cleveland, this Jets team will score against the AFCN cellar dwellers. I expect a huge day from Ivory, and good balanced passing, especially to Decker, now that he has a counterpart that is also a threat. This will not be a close game. Jets win 24-10
Colts @ Bills
Rex Ryan makes his debut behind the Bills bench. Buffalo finished at a high note last year, and rightly the euphoria has carried over. Bills will be playing with a very banged up McCoy, the shining new toy in the backfield. A backfield that has someone named Booby returning, and all new faces. Gone is a legend in Buffalo, Freddy the Steady, as is his counterpart, first rounder C.J. Spiller. Defensively the Bills will miss newest millionaire Dareus, as he serves a one game suspension for basically speeding (how dumb is this league becoming)? At QB Tyrod “The Rod” Taylor makes his debut as the starting QB. Tyrod, although a veteran, is rather unknown. In college he ran and hardly passed the ball. Hard to imagine the Ravens letting him walk away with little return, if he is talented enough to win in the NFL. The kid will run, his passing abilities against schemed defenses remains to be seen.
The Colts have tried to improve their one glaring weakness, defense. If they have, it remains to be seen, however, they have Andrew Luck. Luck was the prize many teams tried to suck for, and he has not disappointed. The young man is growing yearly, and already has taken a place among the top QBs in the league. This offense will score often, all year, but this week it’s a little harder. Colts on the road on opening games are not that good (lost 4 straight). I think they win this game, but barely. Colts 17-13
Dolphins @ Redskins
The Redskins have become a soap opera, and mostly because the owner likes to let it be known that he is the man. Redskins are a mess full of talent, a shaky OL this week faces a revamped DL, led by Ndamukong Suh. Kirk Cousins tries yet again to make the job his, so far he has failed at every opportunity. Redskins run a lot, however that line prevents them from having huge running games.
The Dolphins have a lot of new faces, and their success will depend on how well Tannehill adjusts to his new toys, and the ability of that OL to keep him upright. This week it’s not a problem.
I see a very emotional Redskins team opening at home, but eventually talent wins out. The game will be a lot closer than if it was played in three-four weeks, but the Dolphins win 23-19
Enjoy the games, I for one am very excited that my Sundays will once again revolve around the NFL.