FRIDAY AFTERNOON QUARTERBACK: NFL WEEK 1
It was a brutal start for the 2022 NFL campaign as the Buffalo Bills proved all the preseason hype was real by absolutely destroying the Los Angeles Rams in SoFi Stadium. On the night the Rams hung their Super Bowl banner while, they ironically were hoisted on their own petard.
What’s worse, I took the loss too. But, hey, there’s nowhere to go but up and we’ve got the odds, lines and totals to make it that dream real.
Just a quick recap on 2021 here at FAQ HQ, last year I finished 178-106-1 straight up and 150-135 against the spread. In the playoffs I was 8-6 straight up and 7-6 against the spread. So that’s our baseline this year and the goal is to smash it like a Josh Allen stiff arm unleashed on an unsuspecting Rams defensive back.
BALTIMORE RAVENS AT NEW YORK JETS (+7, O/U: 44.5)
This is one game where the fact that the Jets are starting their backup quarterback means absolutely nothing. I would do nothing different if Zach Wilson was starter, other than hiding my mom’s cellphone. Baltimore should crush them and this touchdown line is a gift. Ravens 34, Jets 10
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT ATLANTA FALCONS (+5.5, O/U: 43)
This will be Jameis Winston’s first real action in nearly 11 months and Marcus Mariota’s first start in two years. While the Saints are breaking in a new head coach, Dennis Allen, he’s the same guy that ran their defense for the last half decade. And that defense is pretty good. Saints 27, Falcons 17
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT MIAM DOLPHINS (-3.5, O/U: 46)
I keep thinking of this one as an upset, but there’s not a book on the planet that’s been fooled by this game since it was first announced on the schedule. New England always has trouble in Miami and most of those were with Tom Brady at QB. This is the beginning of a long season for Bill Belichick and Mac Jones. Dolphins 31, Patriots 16
CLEVELAND BROWNS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS (pk, O/U: 42)
This game was Panthers -2 or more almost since it was listed after Deshaun Watson’s suspension was finally settled. In the last couple of days, it’s turned into a pick-em specifically because people woke up and realized that the Jacoby Brissett vs Baker Mayfield QB duel is basically a push and Cleveland has a loaded roster. Carolina does not. Browns 24, Panthers 13
PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS (-6.5, O/U: 44)
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has never finished with a losing record. I think this year will be the first, and that sub .500 campaign begins with a beat down at the paws of the defending AFC Champions. Bengals 33, Steelers 20
SAN FRANCSICO 49ERS AT CHICAGO BEARS (+6.5, O/U: 40)
Trey Lance gets an extended look at a pretty descent defense with the ball in his hands and the Niners’ fortunes squarely on his shoulders. Justin Fields gets a do-over on his own rookie season with a real head coaching staff. Every year we get a shocker in Week 1. I think this one is it. Bears 23, 49ers 20
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT DETROIT LIONS (+4, O/U: 48.5)
Detroit head coach Dan Campbell did the unthinkable in the latest season of HBO’s Hard Knocks, he made me like and respect the head coach of the loser franchise featured on the show. I can hardly believe it myself. What I can’t believe is the Lions holding off a pretty loaded Philly team. But I think they’ll make it close. Eagles 26, Lions 23
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT HOUSTON TEXANS (+7, O/U: 45.5)
If the 2022 Matt Ryan Colts need to get in some calisthenics, stretches and light jogs, the Texans show up on the schedule in Week 1 to make it all happen. Indianapolis is loaded on offense and defense and the Texans, well, they will participate for 60 minutes of football and it will documented on local television, whether the nearby population deserves it or not. Colts 48, Texans 13
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT WASHINGTON COMMANDERS (-2.5, O/U: 44)
Last season the Jags got Carson Wentz fired from the Colts by beating them in the last game. Two years ago, Doug Pederson got Wentz fired from the Eagles by benching him and running them both out of town. I think that the Jacksonville – Pederson team up will once again doom Mr. Wentz to eventual unemployment. Jaguars 23, Commanders 17
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS (+6, O/U: 53.5)
Last year, the Cardinals went 1-4 (1-5 if you count the playoffs and I do), with DeAndre Hopkins sidelined with an injury. He’ll be sitting out the first six games due to a PED suspension. Kyler Murray comes into this contest with something to prove after his own team busted him for being subpar in his game preparation with his new contract. Add the fact that the Chiefs should still be pretty good even without Tyreek Hill and are probably pretty pumped at the idea that they’ll be picking up a victory on the same field they could be playing the Super Bowl on in February. Chiefs 34, Cardinals 23
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-3, O/U: 52)
The rematch of last year’s epic overtime play in game in Week 18 comes in Week 1, with the team that won it, the Raiders, traveling to the team that lost it. LA’s had a good offseason to stew over this game. Devante Adams’ debut for the Raiders will go well enough to annoy every angry Green Packers fan, but I like Los Angeles to get some revenge here. Chargers 27, Raiders 24
GREEN BAY PACKERS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS (+1, O/U: 47)
Minnesota has delivered a solid rivalry with the Packers in recent years, winning two of their last three and posting a 7-5-1 record over Green Bay since 2016. Kevin O’Connell is going to show exactly how much of an upgrade he is over Mike Zimmer. Aaron Rodgers bragged this week about how he’s dominated the NFC North. I’m thinking the Vikes, who regularly own him, might have been listening. Vikings 29, Packers 27
NEW YORK GIANTS AT TENNESSEE TITANS (-5.5, O/U: 43.5)
I don’t want you to think too hard on this one. Look at the teams, look at that ridiculous line and go ahead do what you need to do with it. If Derrick Henry is anywhere near what he was before getting hurt last year, this one could get historic. Titans 31, Giants 14
Follow Adam Greene on Twitter @TheFirstMan.