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Week Three…

…making this weeks’ picks during the Thursday Night Jets/Browns game while wondering:  1) How Tyrod Taylor could start any game over Baker Mayfield…or any QB for that matter.  2)  Can Mayfield keep this up?  3)  The Jets were the opposition so it could be unlikely Mayfield’s performance actually means squat.  4) even though when Mayfield starts next week against the likely 0-3 Raiders, I can’t help but see one of those 11-35, 134 yards, 1 TD, 4 INT games coming…and even 5) I didn’t hear Jamie Collins’ name much all night.  So did he get his money and make himself invisible like many predicted?  Hmmmmm… Oh yeah, and for the postgame 6)  Future Hall of Fame left tackle Joe Thomas certainly looks just a hair smaller, no?  Funny how that happens…

San Francisco at Kansas City (-6.5)

Is Patrick Mahomes for real?  Is Jimmy Football grossly overpaid and overrated?  Too early to tell for either.  But the Chiefs are tough to beat at home.  They also have some serious weapons.  The Niners appear to have no weapons whatsoever.  Tough schedule for the Niners to start with to boot.  Spread may seem kind of high on the surface.  But it’s probably legit.  Vegas knows…

Kansas City 30, San Francisco 20.

Denver at Baltimore (-5.5)

Speaking of high spreads, Denver is actually 2-0 and Baltimore is 1-1, but their one win was against a pathetic Buffalo Bill team.  So does that really count as a win?  But you know what?  I’m feeling the Ravens.  I have no idea why.

Baltimore 27, Denver 21.

New York Giants at Houston (-5.5) 

The Texans are 0-2.  They are supposed to be in the playoff mix.  Deshaun Watson may not yet be back to full strength.  But maybe this is the week?  G-Men?  Please.

Houston 24, New York Giants 13.

Oakland at Miami (-3.5)

Miami is 2-0.  How fraudulent is that?  Extremely.  But you know what?  It’s going to take time for Jon Gruden to make something of this Raider team, if he even ever does.  So it appears the Dolphins will be 3-0, much to my chagrin.

Miami 20, Oakland 14.

Green Bay (-2.5) at Washington

I have no idea why I am doing what I am doing here.  Let’s leave it at that.

Washington 27, Green Bay 24.

Indianapolis at Philadelphia (-6.5)

I also have no idea why I am doing what I am doing on this one.  Other than the fact that I expect Carson Wentz to be rusty.  That’s all I have.

Philadelphia 24, Indianapolis 23.

Cincinnati at Carolina (-3.5)

Is anyone buying the Bengals’ 2-0 start?  I’m not sure I can.  Despite the fact they are playing the abundantly average Panthers.

Carolina 20, Cincinnati 16.

Tennessee at Jacksonville (-6.5) 

Marcus Mariota may play, he may not.  Will it matter?  Well, it should be worse with Blaine Gabbert at the helm.  Will Jax have a letdown after their apparent Super Bowl win over the Patriots in Week Two?  Perhaps.  But again…Gabbert…

Jacksonville 38, Tennessee 17.

New Orleans at Atlanta (-3.5) 

There are “experts” that picked the Saints to go to the Super Bowl.  That may well still happen.  But a pretty uninspiring start to the season.  Speaking of uninspiring starts to the season, you can very well say the Falcons fall into that group as well.  That all being said, I feel like this is where New Orleans start ramping it up.  I don’t know why I feel that way.  It’s Week Three for the Blowhard after all.  We don’t have all the answers yet either.

New Orleans 31, Atlanta 24.

Buffalo at Minnesota (-16.5) 

The Bills are REALLY bad.  The Vikes are mad after their stupid tie last week and they went out and got a new kicker.  But he won’t matter this week.

Minnesota 52, Buffalo 10.  

Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams (-7.5) 

The Chargers seem to have a pretty good team.  The Rams have been absolutely otherworldly so far this season.  One thing is for sure…is there really going to be any “home field advantage”?

Los Angeles Rams 31, Los Angeles Chargers 27.

Dallas at Seattle (-2.5) 

No way the Seahawks go 0-3.  Being at home after two road games to start the year should take care of that.

Seattle 30, Dallas 17.  

Chicago (-5.5) at Arizona  

The Cardinals have scored 6 points in 2 games.  SIX.  And given up 58.  ‘Nuff said.

Chicago 27, Arizona 13.

New England (-6.5) at Detroit

The Patriots, per usual, are finding their way the first month of the season.  Will the rest of the season be different based on all the crap going on down in Foxborough these days?  Maybe.  But not this week.  Matty Patricia is having his own issues in Detroit.  That being said, the Pats defense apparently still is putrid.  Two of their better players in Trey Flowers and Patrick Chung are unlikely to play this week.  Eric Rowe is likely to play, which is bad enough, but he also apparently has a tender groin.  So the Lions should put up some points I would imagine.  Whether Josh Gordon plays or not, I think this is the week the Pats offense makes some real noise as well.

New England 41, Detroit 31.

Pittsburgh (-1.5) at Tampa Bay

Fitzmagic has had a nice run.  The Bucs are 2-0 and are at home.  The Steelers have been scuffling to start the season.  Le’Veon Bell is still not in the building.  You know what that means.

Pittsburgh 38, Tampa Bay 27.

Week (against the spread):  0-1

Week (straight up):  0-1

Season (against the spread):  13-20

Season (straight up):  16-17

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Off To The Races…

…now that Game One of Week One is in the books for the 2018 NFL Season, it’s time to get the rest of the league rolling on Sunday.  Per usual, Week One is always hard to predict…seeing that we really cannot take a whole lot from the preseason games.  Sure, we know the players and what teams should be good and all that.  But one never knows once the curtain goes up.  So let us take our wild stab on Opening Week and see how the chips may fall:

Pittsburgh (-5.5) at Cleveland

No Le’Veon?  Who cares?  He may show up anyway, but does it matter?  Hue Jackson is 1-31 in 2 years.  Is Tyrod Taylor going to make a big difference?  Or any of their other additions?  Doubtful.  Especially not in Week One.

Pittsburgh 27, Cleveland 13.

Tennessee (-1.5) at Miami

Two teams seemingly getting a lot of love.  The Titans I guess because they have a new coach in Mike Vrabel and the Dolphins I guess because…I don’t know…Ryan Tannehill is back?  Jay Cutler, Ryan Tannehill…what’s the difference?

Tennessee 20, Miami 17.

Buffalo at Baltimore (-6.5) 

Nathan Peterman everyone!  Joey Flacco is supposedly rejuvenated because he was pissed the Ravens drafted Lamar Jackson.  What, he wasn’t threatened by Robert Griffin III?  Oh and wait…Patriot fans…does this scenario sound familiar?

Baltimore 27, Buffalo 17.

Houston at New England (-6.5)

Pundits, fans, opponents and everyone around the world is predicting the demise of the New England Patriots.  Local sportswriters think the team will start 0-2.  The team has no wide receivers.  The defense cannot stop anyone, no less Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins.  We’ll see.

New England 30, Houston 27.

Jacksonville (-3.5) at New York Giants

The Jags had a great year last year.  The D is apparently still strong.  But they still have Blake Bortles…and will have him for some time now.  I’m betting they are going to regret that contract extension.  The G-Men stunk last year.  But that clown head coach is gone.  That’s worth at least a win right there.

New York Giants 24, Jacksonville 21.

San Francisco at Minnesota (-5.5)

The Jimmy G era is really kind of starting now.  Welcome to Minnesota.

Minnesota 34, San Francisco 17.

Tampa Bay at New Orleans (-9.5)

Fitzy!!  He just won’t go away.  But that’s not necessarily a good thing.

New Orleans 41, Tampa Bay 13.

Cincinnati at Indianapolis (-2.5) 

Somehow Marvin Lewis remains.  Andrew Luck is back.  I really don’t have much more to add.

Indianapolis 24, Cincinnati 21.

Kansas City at Los Angeles Chargers (-3.5) 

The Chargers are another team I hear a lot of positive chatter about in the AFC.  We will see about that, though they should have been a playoff team last year.  Hopefully, they got themselves a good kicker this year.  The Chiefs are handing the reins to Patrick Mahomes.  Expect some inconsistency there.

Los Angeles Chargers 23, Kansas City 17.

Dallas at Carolina (-2.5) 

Go with the home team here.  Unfortunately, that’s really all I can tell you on this one.

Carolina 31, Dallas 20.  

Washington at Arizona (-0.5) 

Yaaaaaaaaaawn.

Washington 13, Arizona 10.

Seattle at Denver (-2.5) 

I’m not rooting for it, but I’d almost bet my house that Case Keenum comes crashing back to earth this year.  Seattle isn’t the same team they were when they were going to Super Bowls.  But they still scare me for whatever reason.

Seattle 27, Denver 16.  

Chicago at Green Bay (-8.5)  

I don’t think Khalil Mack is going to make much of a difference.

Green Bay 34, Chicago 10.

New York Jets at Detroit (-6.5)

I’ll be rooting for Matty Patricia to succeed.  Seems like a nice guy.  Even though that defensive game plan in the last Super Bowl may have been the worst one I have ever seen.  And that includes any Cleveland Browns game plan…ever.  Don’t we have to blame Patricia at least a little bit for that, instead of heaping all the blame on Belichick?  And for the record, I have never rooted for the J-E-T-S to succeed.  And never will.

Detroit 27, New York Jets 9.

Los Angeles Rams (-2.5) at Oakland

Jon Gruden is back on the sidelines!  This should be fun.  Maybe not this week though.

Los Angeles Rams 45, Oakland 13.

Week (against the spread):  0-1

Week (straight up):  0-1

Season (against the spread):  0-1

Season (straight up):  0-1

That’s It??!

Dave?

Serious?

There were a number of deals made by contending teams in Major League Baseball leading up to yesterday’s trading deadline.

And your Boston Red Sox got…Ian Kinsler.

Ok, we can include Nathan Eovaldi.  And even Steve Pearce if you wish.

But…once again, I ask…that’s it?!

These three dudes are probably going to be decent pieces.  Will certainly help down the stretch.  Or they should anyway.  But will these players put you over the top in the playoffs?

Hardly.

Kinsler should be ok at second base.  But he isn’t the player he once was.  And we all probably could have lived with Brock Holt and Eduardo Nunez there if we had to, right?  Maybe Brandon Phill…ok, probably not him.

Pearce can be a decent bat off the bench.  And Eovaldi is some sort of arm for the staff anyway.

But none of these dudes are difference makers.

So what would the Blowhard have done?  Glad you asked!

The lineup is probably ok….what with Jackie Bradley Jr. starting to awaken…at least a little bit.  And with Blake Swihart playing more (and, in turn, hitting some).  I’m not sure the team needed Kinsler.  If you are going to add a bat, maybe get a BETTER one though?  Were the Sox really that concerned with second base defense?

I’m not sure I would have done anything with the lineup actually.  Per usual, my focus is on pitching, pitching and more pitching.  And battle-tested pitching at that.

Why?  All these so-called studs we have in the rotation have proven zero in the playoffs.

Why, Part Two?  I don’t trust any of these bums the Sox have in the current bullpen…other than Craig Kimbrel, of course.

Let’s start with the rotation though.  We know what David Price’s playoff history is.  Rick Porcello’s too.  Even Chris Sale.  Eddie Rodriguez is hurt…and we know when he gets a boo-boo, he is out for months.  Drew Pomeranz stinks this year.  Steven Wright is hurt, but are you going to trust a knuckleballer in the playoffs?  Brian Johnson?  Surely, you jest.

Eovaldi is technically a starter, but an impact one?  Nope.

Throw in Sale’s surprise disabled list stint now and that’s a whole lot of uncertainty there.

And the bullpen.  Maybe they think Tyler Thornburg is back…but with only 10 appearances under his belt this year and only a couple in high leverage, how do you know?  Heath Hembree, Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes, Brandon Workman, Ryan Brasier (who?), Hector Velasquez, etc….there’s a solid bunch of 6th inning relievers to me.  Ok, maybe the 7th.  But who wants these guys in the 8th inning or later in pressure situations?

Right, no one.

I know, I know, I know…the Sox have zero prospects.  Ty Buttrey, Williams Jerez and Jalen Beeks are in their mid-twenties and are probably not even good.  These are the guys that got you Kinsler and Eovaldi.  Dombrowski has emptied the farm system and there is really nothing left.  So was this the best they could do?

I don’t think so.  They have…MONEY!

Luxury tax, schmuxury tax.  Please.  John Henry would take your wallet or purse at the park entrances if he could.  The team makes a ton of money.  They can afford to take on some contracts in order to get REAL talent in return.  You know, like George Steinbrenner and the Yankees used to do.  God, I hate that the Sox have become the Steinbrenner Yankees.  But it is what it is.

But the rumors are they don’t want to go deeper into the tax.  Stupid.  What’s another few million?  Especially when the teams’ window appears short now.  Lots of Red Sox are due up contractually the next couple of years.  The pipeline is dry.

They needed to do more NOW.

Yeah, they can still make trades in August.  But it’s tougher.  And the Yankees, for one, will likely be able to block a waiver move, if they are so inclined.

I’m not saying Dombrowski didn’t try.  But the results are clearly underwhelming.  And it appears just about everyone else got better.  Not a good combination.

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