FRIDAY AFTERNOON QUARTERBACK: NFL WEEK 2
Week 2 of the NFL season got off to a tremendous start, with the first ever regular season game played on Amazon Prime. And, I’ve got to say, it actually looked like a real game broadcast, and that’s not just because Al Michaels and Kirk Herbsteit make a shockingly good team.
No, it’s that the game, shown on a commercial free streaming service somehow, dumbfoundingly, included commercials. Commercials for shows on the very streaming service I was already subscribed to in order to watch that specific football contest. Amazon was advertising itself to me, a person who has already purchased it. It was an interesting choice. Did they think we wouldn’t know how to react without commercial breaks in the action?
Or, what is more likely the case, was this was a request from the NFL itself in order for the home audience to not be spoiled by legitimate non stop football action with nary a break to sell, beer, sports cars and penis pills?
I have to say, I would have been very curious as to what real commercial free NFL broadcast would be like. And how long it would last. I don’t think we’ll ever get to find out.
Oh, and, hey, the game was pretty fantastic for most of it. The Kansas City Chiefs won it 27-24, but the story of the night belongs to Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert, who cost his team points with an inexplicable red zone pick, but brought them back with half the side of his torso crushed in. Hopefully, the kid is OK, because even after the insane mistake and obvious injury that was affecting him non stop at the end, he still tossed some absolutely ridiculous balls. Passes in windows you don’t even see Patrick Mahomes attempt.
That was the first of four prime time games on our slate this weekend thanks to a double-header on Monday night. That means, instead of our regular Lucky 13 games in the FAQ, we get the Dirty Dozen.
And we’ve got the odds, lines and totals with which to really do some damage this week. Lots of upset potential.
MIAMI DOLPHINS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS (-3.5, O/U: 44.5)
The Dolphins put a nice beat down on the Pats to open the season, but Baltimore is a whole different monster. And while they too have their offensive coordinator issues with Greg Roman calling the plays, they don’t boast a single Belichick kid on the staff. Ravens 23, Dolphins 19
NEW YORK JETS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS (-6.5, O/U: 39.5)
While all of civilization is rooting against the Browns, they’ve drawn the games early in the season that make them impossible to ignore for those of us looking to expand our wallets. New York is an unfixable mess and Joe Flacco is just collecting a paycheck at this point. Jacoby Brissett can get it done here, especially at home. Browns 27, Jets 13
WASHINGTON COMMANDERS AT DETROIT LIONS (-1, O/U: 48.5)
Now, would you look at that? The Detroit Lions are favored in a game against a team with a winning record. Granted, the Commanders are just 1-0, but the stat is honest nonetheless. Detroit is at home, they’re fired up and they nearly pulled off a miracle last week against the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s time for Dan Campbell’s crew to become a factor and, at long last, chew through that kneecap. Lions 24, Commanders 20
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (+4, O/U: 45.5)
I’m not prepared to eat my all the words I wrote in the preseason about the Colts just yet, but I am eyeing the spice rack and hot sauce cubby. Jacksonville nearly pulled off the upset last week in Washington, so they’re not going to be an easy out. I think this one might be surprisingly close, but I’m going to stick with Indianapolis. I’m not ready to jump off the bandwagon yet, even though it already feels pretty lonely back here in the tuba section. Colts 23, Jaguars 20
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (+2.5, O/U: 44.5)
Here it is, my first upset pick of the week. The Saints took their turn to come back from a double digit fourth quarter deficit to the Atlanta Falcons in order to embarrass that team and everyone that loves them. Tampa Bay screwed around in Dallas for four quarters moping to a win over a team that barely showed up to play. New Orleans has won four straight in the regular season against the Bucs. I think they make it five. Saints 27, Buccaneers 24
CAROLINA PANTHERS AT NEW YORK GIANTS (-2, O/U: 43.5)
Well now, isn’t this game significantly more interesting than we thought it would be when the schedule was announced? Not because of Carolina. Oh no, the Panthers remain a dumpster fire of dirty baby diapers. It’s the Giants that are suddenly very intriguing. New head coach Brian Daboll won his debut last week with a monster upset over the Tennessee Titans. He brought Saquon Barkley back to life. And maybe he can find a way to keep winning with Daniel Jones before losing him to the Microsoft Surface tablet for good. Giants 27, Panthers 13
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS (+2, O/U: 40.5)
Speaking of horrible Belichick children, the head coach and patriarch of the Patriots, Bill Belichick has a problem. He’s put his offense in the hands of two of the worst assistant coaches in the NFL, Matt Patricia and Joe Judge. The problem is, to fire them, Bill would have to also jettison two of the other worst assistant coaches in the NFL, who just happen to be his sons Steve and Brian on the defense. It’s a conundrum and one that could really ruin Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, all Mike Tomlin is doing is once again clawing out a winning record with a team that has no business ending the season with one. He’s about to start 2-0. Steelers 31, Patriots 16
ATLANTA FALCONS AT LOS ANGELES RAMS (-10, O/U: 46.5)
Here’s the scary thing about a line like this one — Sean McVay needs to win this game, needs to get his team on track and knock the bad taste out of their mouths from a week ago. But, he’d happily take a four-point win at the buzzer with Matthew Stafford in victory formation. It’s the NFL, not the MAC. Atlanta did that thing they do where they dominate for three quarters and then decide to head back to the hotel in the fourth last week. They’re dangerous though, especially for a back door cover in garbage time. I’m rolling the dice. Rams 34, Falcons 23
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (-8, O/U: 41)
I’ve already tossed my chips in with two upsets, but this one seems far too intriguing not to think hard about it. First off, this line is ridiculous after the way both these squads played last week. Second, are the Seahawks that bad? It didn’t look that way Monday and I was the guy predicting they had a shot at nabbing the No. 1 overall pick. Add that to the fact that Seattle has owned the 49ers for years. We all thought that was Russell Wilson, but how much of it was Pete Carroll? Yeah, I’ve talked myself into to. Seahawks 21, 49ers 19
CINCINNATI BENGALS AT DALLAS COWBOYS (+7, O/U: 41.5)
The fact that the Rams got -10 line after scoring only 10 a week ago, the 49ers got -8 line in spite of, again, only scoring 10 a week go and the Bengals, the defending AFC Champions, who only lost their game because of multiple missed field goals gets just -7 favorites against a Cooper Rush QBed Dallas team? That’s an insult and Cincinnati should really do something about it. Bengals 38, Cowboys 10
HOUSTON TEXANS AT DENVER BRONCOS (-10, O/U: 46)
The Texans have once again ruined our shot at enjoying the hapless antics of an 0-17 team by defying the odds right out of the gate in Week 1. This time, it wasn’t an outright victory, but a tie. Denver and its head coach, Nathanial Hackett, have been eating a bushel of donkey turds all week since the decision to attempt a super long field goal when the team had plenty of time outs and time on the clock to try to actually deserve a victory. I’m going to trust them here, but I’m definitely giving Russell Wilson and Hackett the side eye. Broncos 40, Texans 13
ARIZONA CARDINALS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (-5.5, O/U: 51.5)
With no double XP weekend on tap for Call of Duty in Week 2, Kyler Murray might actually show up ready to play. Las Vegas battled tough against a Los Angeles Chargers team that’s just significantly better than they are in total talent. The Cards can’t boast that at all. Raiders 26, Cardinals 20
Straight up: 10-5-1
Against the spread: 9-7
Straight up: 10-5-1
Against the spread: 9-7
Follow Adam Greene on Twitter @TheFirstMan.