WR Antonio Browns signing of a one year deal in Tampa only surprised me because of the confidence that Seahawks coach Pete Carroll spoke with earlier in the week. When asked at one of his press outings Carrol said - “we’ll see how that goes." To me, that was a statement of confidence that the Seahawks thought they were getting Brown. I thought at the time, for him to respond like that, it was a done deal with the Seahawks. I’m not sure that statement didn’t spur on the Bucs to close the deal on their end. The fact that there was competition for Browns services tell you how the arms race is ongoing for NFL rivals. It also tells me, teams are throwing defense aside and the feeling for this year is- let’s outscore our opponents, don’t worry about the defense stopping anyone. In the season of COVID, offense is winning games this year.
Speaking of covid-19, look for the Raiders to pay a penalty of at least some hearty fines for their latest breach of protocol, if it’s found that OT Trent Brown was not wearing his tracing bracelet in the team’s facility last week. There is zero excuse for a player lacking the discipline to do so. The fact that they were already on “double secret probation”, should make this an easy decision and message to send by the league office. These changes in scheduling, that are necessary and must be done, cost money- to TV preparations, to clubs and their charter flights/hotels, etc.
Most media comments have been in favor of the Jets current fire-sale to get rid of players before the trade deadline. I see it differently. I do not think there is value in 5th or 6th round picks for NFL players who can contribute now. Those picks are a crap shoot to turn into players, at best, unless you use them as part of a package to move up, in earlier rounds. Sure, Tom Brady was a 6th round pick but the odds of duplicating that are minuscule. It’s different if your acquiring top choices but these late round picks, in my opinion, do nothing to move the meter of we will be better next year. Plus, every time they send one player out the door, the locker room is reminded of “I could be next." Watch this team’s effort start to dwindle the more this happens. Plus, trading defensive lineman? They are really hard to find and I would prefer to hang on to all those I can get.
I am going to dive into some tradable commodities, and try to make some sense of the names we are hearing who may be on the block, next week in a blog post- stay tuned.
Week 7 Recommendations
Let me first say, I really dislike doing this. ☺ It ruins my weekend because I really do care what I say and this information is important to me. I can’t stand misinforming people and I’m supposed to be an expert. I’d never bet on an NFL game because it’s crazy how good the odds makers are and how even these games end up being. I used to get asked a lot, by buddies, questions about fantasy football matchups etc. My answers forced me to worry about stuff that should not be on my mind, ha. It forces me to watch games for the wrong reason. I know, but I like to be accountable. I have not had any passion for picking games over the last couple weeks. Nothing has really jumped out at me. Sometimes I think the best selections or leans, for that matter, are the ones you stay away from. I have had a chance to dig deep into a couple games this week and here is my take compared to the “boys in the desert”. At last count, I was 8-4 against the spread in this blog. Take my advice, couple it with $3 and you’ll get a Starbucks. ☺
Detroit was giving 3 points on the road vs Atlanta. I actually think the wrong team was favored and the betting money changed to now Atlanta being favored by 3. I like Atlanta to win this game. The Falcons responded to interim HC Raheem Morris last week and beat Minnesota by playing at least more opportunistic on defense (winning the turnover game) and by giving up a season low 23 points. They still gave up too many explosive plays but if they can reduce this by just a couple they can out-score the Lions. If I had doubts about a winner I’d still lean with the over (56.5).
The Seattle/Arizona game is going to be one I’m really focused on. I happen the think the Arizona defense is way better than most, even people in Arizona. Defensive linemen Corey Peters and Jordan Phillips have become formidable to hold the point of attack and coupled with Linebacker’s Jordan Hicks and De’Vonte Campbell’s range from sideline to sideline it will be hard for Seattle to run the ball at all. Arizona DB Budda Baker is also a difference maker vs both the run and pass. Seattle secondary will really have its hands full with the Arizona spread offense. They lack speed and I think it’s going to be a shootout that for once, Russell Wilson will have trouble winning. Keep in mind, Arizona went “to Seattle” last year and beat the Seahawks so they are confident vs this group. I’ll take the points (3.5) and the Cardinals in this one. All the money seems to be coming in on Seattle and that’s another reason I’m liking Arizona this week.
I’m very much surprised that Green Bay is only giving 3.5 points at Houston. Houston is not a good team, especially on defense. They allowed 600 yards vs Tennessee- hard to do in this league. I see a bounce back for Rodgers. Houston protections have improved and so has Deshawn Watson’s decision making but I can’t get the first month of their season out of my mind. I’m leaning toward giving the points and also think there will be plenty of scoring for the OVER.
The other game that interests me is Carolina at New Orleans. The 7.5 points that the Panthers are getting is just too much to ignore. Especially with both Saints WRs, Michael Thomas and Emanuel Sanders being ruled out on Friday. I think the Saints may still win the game but I think it will be closer than the points lead. I think Carolina is solid on both sides of the ball and very well coached, plus the road hurdles obviously are not what they should be under normal conditions. I’d lean toward the points and Carolina to cover.