By Brent “The Hawk” Walker
AFC BYE’S- Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers
NFC BYE’S- New York Giants, Saint Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers
I can’t believe that we are almost at the halfway point of this NFL regular season already. Anyways a 10-4-1 week 7 puts me at 55-51-1 for the year. Finally above .500. Gonna make this short and sweet. I’ve been moving into a new place the last couple of days and have gone to two going away parties in the last week. But the show must go on no matter what.
Washington Redskins (4-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-4) (-3.0) (0/U 47.0)—In London
Slow start of the year for the Bengals but I think they are starting to turn the corner.
Kansas City Chiefs (4-2) at Indianapolis Colts (3-4) (+2.5) (O/U 50.0)
Ah the Chiefs! Such a boring team on offense, but they do play good d.
Started off strong in the early games last week, but faded in the late ones, finishing up with a 9-7 week 1 record.
What a hell of a start to the year though as 11 of the 16 games were decided by one possession, including a few dramatic comebacks. Most notably the Chiefs coming back from a 24-3 deficit late in the 3rd quarter to take it to OT. Here’s to hoping for another exciting week.
Cincinnati Bengals (1-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0)
(-3.0) (O/U 48.5)
Cincy scraped out a 23-22 victory over the Jets in week 1,with a game winning Mike Nugent field goal with less than a minute left in the game.
Pittsburgh took only a 14-6 lead over the Redskins into halftime before blowing them out of the water in the second and winning 38-16.
The Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown combo was once again dominating as Brown would haul in 8 catches for 126 yards and two Td’s. One of the better rivalries in football today, but the Steelers are incredibly dangerous and it’s in Pittsburgh.
Picking winners in week 1 is a crap shoot. You just never know what good teams from last year will fall apart this and what bad team will step it up and become playoff contenders. But I am committed again this year so let’s get right to it.
Green Bay Packers at Jacksonville Jaguars
(+4.5) (O/U 48.0)
Everyone always like picking the Packers. They have a high powered offense with Aaron Rodgers, and Jordy Nelson is back after missing all of last season.
But you know who else has a high powered offense? This Jaguars team. Blake Bortles threw for 4428 yards and 35 TD’s last year. Mainly to his two elite receivers Allen Robinson (1,400 yards, 14 Td’s) and Allen Hurns, ( 1,031 yards, 10 Tds) their defense needs work but they can keep up with the Packers high paced offense.
A 9-7 record last week puts me at 97-79 for the year as the season continues to fly by. On we go.
Seattle Seahawks (6-5) at Minnesota Vikings (8-3)
(+1.0) (41.5 O/U)
Big playoff implications in this one.
Seattle won a shootout last week against the Steelers 39-30. In that win Russell Wilson had his best game of the year, if not his NFL career, completing 21-30 passes for 345 yards and 5 Td’s.
This is good news for an offense that has been stagnant, but it’s an offense that will have to change after losing Tight End Jimmy Grahamfor the year with a torn patellar tendon. Defensively the Seahawks gave up a franchise record 456 passing yards to Ben Roethilsberger, who torched them all game. While this is somewhat concerning, considering how dominant the Seahawks defense has been the last 3 years, one most also take into perspective the fact that Seattle was scoring so quickly the Steelers had more possessions than normal.
Minnesota is once again in first place in their division. The defeat of the Falcons 20-10 combined with a Green Bay loss to Chicago last week is why. Adrian Peterson had another monster game compiling 158 yards and 2 Td’s and remains the league’s leading rusher with 1,164 yards. AP remains far and away the best weapon the Vikings have so expect the Seahawks to stack the box up front and make QB Teddy Bridgewater beat them, which he won’t do.
Hawk’s NFL Preview NFC East Edition, which The Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, New York Giants, and Philadelphia Eagles.
Last season Dallas went 12-4 and won a playoff game for only the second time in the Tony Romo era, before losing the next round to the Packers in the years most controversial call:
Cowboys fans are back to their cocky, over confident selves again, but they have reason to be optimistic. Romo had the best year of his career, leading the league in completion percentage (69.9) and passer rating (113.2), running back DeMarco Murray led the league in rushing yards…. handily with 1845, the next highest was Le’Veon Bell at 1361, damn near 500 yards less, which is unheard of.
Oh wait, they let Murray go which means injury prone Darren McFadden, who for the most part has underachieved his entire career will most likely get the start. Him, Lance Dunbar or Joseph Randle, who aren’t exactly household names.
Pundits are quick to say that because Dallas has the best offensive line in the league, their running game will be just fine. I’m here to tell you that won’t necessarily be the case. These are significant downgrades at the position. I don’t care how good your line is you still have to have a back that has enough strength and vision to succeed. Murray had it but I don’t know about the guys on the current roster.
Other issues that will face this team will most certainly be a questionable pass defense and having a roster that is chock full of trouble makers. Aside from being notoriously immature and whiny Dez Bryant was at one point accused of assaulting his mom and Pro Bowl D Lineman Greg Hardy was involved in one of the most sickening domestic abuse scandals in NFL history. Dallas also signed Undrafted rookie OT La’el Collins, who was projected as a first round pick before becoming a suspect in the murder of his pregnant ex girlfriend, but obviously he was not convicted.
It doesn’t stop there though. LB Rolando McClain was arrested for resisting arrest, Joseph Randle was arrested twice in 4 months. Once for shoplifting and once for drug charges. He was also investigated for domestic abuse.
Unless Darren McFadden explodes this year and Dallas has one of the best counselors in the world on their staff all signs point to a down year for them. Sorry Cowboys faithful but I expect another 8-8 year.