Category Archives: NFL

Seahawks Embarrass Giants at Home; Continue Success at MetLife

Russell Wilson and Co. are quite familiar with the confines of MetLife Stadium. Why? Let me humbly remind you:

The greatest day of my life. Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII (48 for my non-bilingual readers) at MetLife in 2014. On Sunday, they returned to the Meadowlands for the first time since their pouncing of the Broncos and made the NY Football Giants look just as bad as the San Francisco Giants in 2017, winning 24-7.

The first half went as many Seattle Seahawks football games go…poor offense, great defense, dumb penalties, and losing going into the second half. The receivers were at fault multiple times with big drops by Jimmy Graham and a bad one by Rawls on a screen pass. Play-calling around the endzone was pretty horrid too, as we had about 1200 attempts in the redzone and came away with zero points.

The Giants only score came off a Thomas Rawls fumble and a quick score on a play-action pass from Eli Manning to Evan Engram.

Engram actually looked like the best player on the field for the Giants offensively, and showed flashes of why he was picked in the first round in this years draft. Other than that, there were no positives for this Giants offense. Eli had to check down multiple times in the fourth quarter, and it seemed like the only big play they really had a chance on was a deep ball in the first quarter that Richard Sherman made a great play on to bat away.

On the winning side, the Seahawks offense looked methodical in the first half, but broke out in the second half (as per usual) with great passing and a few mixed in running plays. Watching these games, I always hear the announcers compare this Seahawks team to the teams of the past, where the running game behind Marshawn Lynch was everything. This has to stop because clearly running the ball is no longer our strong suit, but keeping it as a change of pace with multiple different backs has really worked to our advantage. We know what each running back is going to give us, but the Seahawks like to keep opposing defenses on their toes as to who will be in on the next snap. Their running game has gone from chaos to organized chaos, and it seems like Pete Carroll finally has a handle on what he wants to do with Lacy, Rawls, McKissic, and Prosise (when healthy). This is a great sign moving forward, maybe not for the individual success of each back, but for the team as a whole.

Russell Wilson was good, not great. His stats were stellar, but I expect better. He missed Baldwin on a bomb down the field that would have been an easy touchdown, and he didn’t make enough good throws in the endzone with a poorly thrown ball to Graham and a rocket to Lockett (lol) that did not have to be as hard as it was. He, like the Seahawks, figured things out in the second half.

We had a small blast from the past when Paul Richarson came down with a “Fail Mary” looking catch on Giants safety Landon Collins.

The rule is that when an offensive and defensive player have joint possession of the ball on the ground, the catch is rewarded to the offensive player. I saw some people argue that it should have been an incomplete pass, but that is just stupid. The ball was in somebody’s hands on the ground, so one of them had to have caught it. Crazy rule, but these are once every few years type plays…both just happened to happen to the Seahawks.

He also floated a touch pass to Baldwin for the lead midway through the third quarter.

I was really excited that the Wilson-Baldwin connection was back in dominant form. In order for the passing game to be effective, Baldwin needs to be incorporated. Even when he doesn’t have big statistical games, he is a game-changer. He moves the chains so often that when Wilson can’t find him, the offense stalls. To be the elite team Seattle can be, their bromance on the field needs to continue.

The defense looked great, even though that isn’t saying much with the battered down Giants team.  They will be tested next week at home against the red-hot Texans and Deshaun Watson. We will get our starting cornerback back Jeremy Lane and allow Shaquill Griffin, who has played above expectations in his absence, to slide back into nickel coverage. Healthy and looking like an elite team once again, the Seahawks are back at Century Link Field in Week 8, let’s get a dub.

#GoHawks

McGon’s Picks: NFL Week 7

Weeks like Week 6 make me wonder why I even waste my time writing these blogs every week…

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… because after last week, it’s clear that you don’t know what’s coming on any given Sunday this season.

With the amount of upsets that took place last week, I’m grateful that I was busy and I didn’t place action on any of these games. Underdogs went 9-5… STRAIGHT UP. That’s right, 9 underdogs not only covered their spreads, but won the game as well. 7 of these 9 underdogs were also road teams. Also, of the 5 favorites to win, only 3 of them covered. That means favorites were 5-9 straight up, and an abysmal 3-11 against the spread.

As you can imagine… I did not do too hot. But then again, did anyone? Everywhere I looked after the game, expert’s predictions were wrong. I went 5-9, both straight up and against the spread. In all 14 games, I was either right about the spread and cover, or wrong about both, no 1-1. I’ve decided I will now look back on my picks from the week before and make comments on where I went wrong, or simply, why the NFL was unpredictable last week. Here’s a look back at the picks I made (winning team in red, spread winner in red):

Eagles at Panthers (-3.5) 

  • Eagles 28, Panthers 23- Maybe the Eagles are the team I thought the Panthers would be this year? Not writing off the Panthers because of a close loss to a good team. But the Eagles could be for real this year, and I don’t like the look of that. The Cowboys will still see them twice late in the year (I’ll be in Dallas Nov. 19), so it should be an exciting division race if the Cowboys can edge out wins in these high scoring games.

Dolphins at Falcons (-11.5)

  • Dolphins 20, Falcons 17- Don’t even get me started, because this one makes no sense. The Falcons have won a couple of games this year that they could have easily lost, but by no means is it panic time in Atlanta. As for the Dolphins, they came in as arguably one of the worst 2-2 teams of all time. They only scored 6 against the Jets, got shutout by the Saints, yes the Saints, defense, and hardly edged out wins against Young Hoe Koo and Matt Cassel. The Falcons also were up 17-0, so I think there is only one explanation here: the 2017 NFL season (or as PFT said, the Dolphins paid tribute to Chris Foerster by having a nose for the goal line).

Packers (-3) at Vikings

  • Vikings 23, Packers 10 Two words. Aaron. Rodgers. I feel bad for those who bet Packers, but then again, not really because if they picked them the week before as well, then they ruined my Sunday. The Packers are in for a long and frustrating 2017 season.

Lions (+5) at Saints

  • Saints 52, Lions 38- Was this the trap I said it could be? I’ll say no, I don’t want to make excuses. This game was an absolute shootout, and the Lions D did their best impression of the Saints D to let New Orleans cover easily.

Patriots at Jets (+9.5)

49ers (+10) at Redskins

Bears at Ravens (-6.5)

  • Bears 27, Ravens 24 F/OT- The Ravens are clearly not reliable this year, especially since they got off to a 2-0 start. The Bears have looked awful on the road this year, but finally edged one out thanks to Jordan Howard.

Browns at Texans (-9.5)

Buccaneers (-2.5) at Cardinals

  • Cardinals 38, Buccaneers 33- Okay, maybe AP is here to come to the rescue. While their once stellar defense looked horrible in the 4th quarter, the Cardinals offense finally looked like what I thought they could be capable of coming into the year. One game is not enough to say what AP is going to bring, but the Cardinals are only a game out of first, and if they can keep this up, they are a real threat in the NFC West.

Rams (+2.5) at Jaguars

Steelers at Chiefs (-4.5)

  • Steelers 19, Chiefs 13- Once again, talk about a tail of two weeks. The Steelers go from getting crushed at home by the Jaguars to beating the NFL’s last unbeaten team on the road. This Chiefs have been the best team in the AFC this year, but the Steelers proved that come late in the season, they will still be a tough out.

Chargers at Raiders

  • Chargers 17, Raiders 16-This game had not had a spread yet, so I took the Raiders as if they were even (changes to that coming, keep reading). Despite Derek Carr playing, it’s clear he is not 100 percent healthy yet. There’s a clear difference in a Raiders team with a healthy Carr vs. one without him. The Chargers continue to look like last years Chargers, losing heart breakers and getting gritty wins on the road.

Giants at Broncos (-11.5)

  • Giants 23, Broncos 10-You thought the Falcons loss made no sense? Well, this was 10x worse. The Giants came in 0-5, with minimal offensive damage (especially in the run game) done this year. They then lose their top three receivers. Now they are playing in one of the toughest road venues against a defense that held last year’s rushing leader Ezekiel Elliott to 8 yards. Everything pointed towards a Broncos win, even if it was low scoring. And quite frankly, I don’t think there is any explanation.

Colts at Titans

Enough for last weeks losses, time for an unpredictable Week 7.

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Note: While there are no games like this in Week 7, for games whose spreads have not been released yet, I will no longer be making this picks in this blog, and instead will closer to gametime and mention whether I won or lost the following week. Don’t worry, I ain’t a liar. 

Buccaneers at Bills (-1)

  • It will be interesting to see if the Bills, a historically disappointing team, look as strong as they did before their bye week came up. The Bucs have looked awful on the road this year (besides last week’s 4th  quarter), and Jameis may not be 100 percent, so I think the Bills come out looking like they did before their bye week and beat the Bucs at home.

Panthers (-3) at Bears

  • While the Panthers have had their ups and downs en route to their 4-2 record, they are 3-0 away from Carolina. At the same time, the Bears have been a very competitive team at home this year. I think this spread is perfect, and if I had to predict score, I would say Panthers by 3 as well. But I gotta choose one, so I’ll take the Panthers to cover in their close victory.

Titans at Browns (+6)

  • Even though it only lasted a game and a half, there was such a sense of relief when Tony Romo returned in 2015 and took over for Matt Cassel. Therefore, I know how Titans fans are feeling right now. The Titans look back on track and I think they will win, but the Browns need a home win, and a non-dominant AFC team is the perfect one to come in and let the Browns cover, but still beat Cleveland in the end.

Saints (+4) at Packers

  • They may not be this bad, but a good equivalent of what this Packers team could look is what the Raiders have looked like without Derek Carr. The Saints offense has exploded over their last three games, so I expect them to go in and cover against a banged up Packers team.

Jaguars (-3.5) at Colts

  • The odd week Jags are back! The even week Jaguars played like we all knew they would, but they are back for Week 7 to show us what they are capable of. The Jaguars D and Leonard Fournette will take over again, and the Jags will win and cover in Indy.

Cardinals at Rams (-3.5) (London)

  • The game is a hard one to pick, because as great as the Cardinals looked last week, we all know trends like these mean nothing this season. That being said, I think Peterson and the Cardinals come back down to Earth, and the Rams offensive explodes on the Cardinals defense to get the win and cover in London.

Jets at Dolphins (-3)

  • The Jets have shown over the past four weeks that they are better than bad. That being said, a few losses in a row could send them on a trend that most projected them to be on this year. I think the Dolphins build off of their impressive win in Atlanta, and they win a close, low scoring game in Miami, but enough to cover.

Ravens at Vikings (-5.5)

  • What a mess the Ravens have been since starting the season 2-0. The Vikings have also been playing some pretty good football lately, even with Case Keenum at QB. With the Vikings playing at home in a battle of the Purple People Eaters, I think both of these trends continue, and the Vikings easily win at home. (Note: Watch the video. Easily one of the greatest games I have ever watched.)

Cowboys at 49ers (+6)

  • You have to feel for these Niners. Coming into the year projected to be one of the worst teams in the league, the standings reflect that. But they have now lost their last five by 3, 2, 3, 3, and 2, respectively. Combine that with their historic rivalry against the Cowboys, and the close game they played last year, I like them to cover. However, I definitely think the Cowboys will win. The Boys never looked back last year after going down 14-0 in Week 4 in SF, so I’m hoping for the same this season.

“How bout the kid, Dak Prescott?”

Bengals (+5.5) at Steelers

  • Another loss like one to the Jaguars against the Chiefs could have really put a damper on the Steelers season. Their defense is clearly improved this season. I like them to win, but the Bengals played three straight great games before their bye week, so I think they will cover in this division rivalry game.

Broncos at Chargers (-1)

  • With the way the NFL season has gone, I’m gonna consider the Broncos game last week a fluke. That being said, these Chargers look so much like last year’s Chargers, a team who started 0-4 and then hit their peak in the middle of the season. The Chargers have won two in a row on the road, so I think they come back home and win over a Broncos team that struggles on the road.

Seahawks (-4.5) at Giants

  • Don’t let the Giants fool you after last weeks performance. They are still missing so many weapons that gave them chances to win in a few of their games. The Seahawks are coming off their bye, looking to turn their season around to be the more dominant team they are capable of. The Seahawks have had great success at MetLife, including winning Super Bowl XLVIII, and I think they will win and cover on the road.

Falcons (+3) at Patriots

  • Coming into the season, I had the Falcons winning this game, as they had something to prove after dominating the NFL’s best team for 3 quarters in last years Super Bowl. While the Falcons have lost two in a row, the Patriots are very close to being 0-3 at home this season. I think this trend continues, and the Falcons gets revenge in Foxborough.

Redskins (+5) at Eagles

  • The Redskins have had an impressive start to the season, with their only bad performance coming in Week 1 at home to the Eagles. Expect a Redskins team much more ready to play Philly this time. That being said, the Eagles looked great last week, and got an extra few days of rest. The Redskins will keep this one close and cover, but the Eagles will pull it out on Monday night.

That’s all for Week 7, come back for Week 8 when every game went as predicted, of course. Will the Falcons get their revenge?

McGon’s Picks: NFL Week 6

After the Ravens-Jaguars game in London, I tweeted this.

And after last Sunday, I have the same reaction. Will the real Jacksonville Jaguars please stand up?

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The odd week Jaguars have been incredible with blowout wins away from Jacksonville against the Texans, Steelers, and Ravens, who are a combined 8-4 in games not against the Jaguars. The even week Jaguars have been a different story. They got crushed by the Titans at home and lost to the Jets on the road, and these two teams are a combined 3-5 in games not against the Jaguars. This makes the Jaguars a very tough team not only to bet for, but bet against as well. Will the even week Jaguars be back this week? Keep reading to find out.

Week 5 was much better for me than Week 4, but still not nearly as strong as my first two weeks. I went 8-6 straight up, and 7-7 against the spread. Here’s a look back at the picks I made (winning team in red, spread winner in red):

Continue reading McGon’s Picks: NFL Week 6

McGon’s Picks: NFL Week 4

Over two-thirds of my survivor pool has already been eliminated, and this week was a killer. The 3rd, 4th, and 5th most common selections in Week 3 were the Steelers, Dolphins, and Broncos, respectively, and they all went down. The two teams most commonly selected? The Patriots and Packers, who both trailed at home with under a minute to go.

The bad luck for those who were survivors up to Week 3 reflected my picks from last week as well, as I had my worst week to date. I went 9-7 straight up, and 7-9 against the spread to move me back to even in terms of the spread this year. Here’s a look back at the picks I made (winning team in red, spread winner in red):

Rams (-2.5) at 49ers

Ravens (-3.5) at Jaguars

Broncos (-3) at Bills

Saints at Panthers (-5.5)

Steelers (-7.5) at Bears

Falcons at Lions (+3)

Browns at Colts (+1)

Buccaneers at Vikings (EVEN)

Texans (+13.5) at Patriots

Dolphins at Jets (+6)

Giants at Eagles (-6)

Seahawks at Titans (-2.5)

Bengals at Packers (-9)

Chiefs (-3) at Chargers

Raiders (-3) at Redskins

Cowboys (-3) at Cardinals

2017 Straight Up: 34-13, 2017 vs. Spread: 23-23-1

Onto Week 4.

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Continue reading McGon’s Picks: NFL Week 4

The Yankees Are All I Have Left in Sports

This weekend was a tough one for me for sure. I consider myself a fan of four sports teams – the Yankees, the Giants, the Knicks, and Rutgers. I’m a Rangers fan too, but I haven’t followed hockey closely enough for the past few years to really consider them one of my main teams. 3 of those 4 teams, with the exception of the Yankees, are doing less than fine right now. I’ll start with Rutgers. Continue reading The Yankees Are All I Have Left in Sports

McGon’s Picks: NFL Week 3

Maybe if DeShaun Watson started Week 1, I’d still be in this Survivor Pool. And if I had survived Week 1, I probably would have made it to Week 3 based on how my Week 2 picks went.

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Week 2 would have made me some money, and it was even better straight up. I went 9-7 against the spread, and 14-2 straight up. The only two I got wrong were the debacle in Denver, and the missed field goal by Younghoe not so Koo anymore. Here’s a quick look back at the picks I made (team winning in red, spread winner in red).

Texans (+6.5) at Bengals

Browns (+8) at Ravens

Bills (+7.5) at Panthers

Cardinals (-7) at Colts

Titans (-2.5) at Jaguars

Eagles at Chiefs (-5.5)

Patriots (-6.5) at Saints

Vikings (+5.5) at Steelers

Bears (+7) at Buccaneers

Dolphins at Chargers (-4)

Jets at Raiders (-14)

Redskins (+2.5) at Rams

49ers at Seahawks (-14)

Cowboys (-2.5) at Broncos

Packers at Falcons (-2.5)

Lions (+3.5) at Giants

2017 Straight Up: 25-6, 2017 vs. Spread: 16-14-1

Week 3 is now upon us.

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Rams (-2.5) at 49ers

  • Despite losing last week, it’s clear that this Rams team is going to be much more competitive than the team they sent out last year. The 49ers know this could be their best chance all year to get a win, but I’m going to choose the Rams to win and cover over one of two teams who still have not scored a touchdown yet.

Ravens (-3.5) at Jaguars

  • The Ravens have been looking great on both sides of the ball this year. The Jaguars stunned all of us in Week 1, but came back down to Earth a little bit last week. The Ravens will continue their hot start and win and cover over the London Jaguars.

Broncos (-3) at Bills

  • Everyone knew their defense was great, but I do not think anyone thought the Broncos would be this impressive through 2 games. Whether Trevor Siemian will be manageable enough to lead this team to a great season is yet to be seen, but give me the Broncos continuing to start their season hot.

Saints at Panthers (-5.5)

  • The Panthers struggled to score points last week- but the Saints have struggled even more trying to stop opponents. The Panthers have only given up 6 points this year, and if their offense can get clicking, they will for sure be a team to watch out for once again. The strength of the Panthers defense combined with the weakness of the Saints’ defense will lead the Panthers to win and cover.

Steelers (-7.5) at Bears

  • Talk about a tale of two weeks. The Bears went from being a dropped pass away from knocking off the Falcons to getting absolutely crushed by the Bucs. The Steelers looked great last week against Minnesota, so expect the trend to continue and for them to easily win and cover in Chicago.

Falcons at Lions (+3)

  • Upset pick of the week right here. The Falcons looked great last week, but the Lions have impressed two weeks in a row. Matt Stafford is proving he’s worth what he got, and the Lions will continue their hot streak. The Falcons struggled against their previous NFC North opponent, and with this one being much stronger, give me another Stafford 4th quarter comeback as the Lions win.

Browns at Colts (+1)

  • The Browns have only been road favorites 9 times in the past 20 years, and there is a reason why. They have not played bad the last two games, but I do not like the idea of them as road favorites. Jacoby Brissett and the Colts nearly pulled one out against the Cardinals last week, so look for them to get their first victory of the season against a weaker opponent in Cleveland.

Buccaneers at Vikings (EVEN)

  • Sam Bradford’s health is huge in this one, as it is clear how much better the Vikings were in Week 1 than in Week 2. If he plays, expect the Vikings to look much more like their Week 1 selves, and for the Minnesota defense to shutdown the young Bucs offense and get the win.

Texans (+13.5) at Patriots

  • While the Saints are not the greatest test, the Patriots looked much more like their normal selves in Week 2. New England never has problems beating the Texans at home, so they will definitely win this time in Foxborough. However, the Texans defense was much improved last week, and this spread usually indicates the Patriots are hosting a team like the Jets. The Texans should be able to cover the spread in a losing effort.

Dolphins at Jets (+6)

  • The Jets have not looked good at all through two weeks, but that was expected. Taking on their rival Dolphins in their home opener, expect them to keep it interesting and give their fans the idea they might win a game this year. But the Dolphins are a much better team, so expect them to win but not cover.

Giants at Eagles (-6)

  • Whenever OBJ gets completely healthy, don’t be shocked if the Giants break out one week. But I don’t think this is the week. The Giants have looked brutal offensively and the Eagles have impressed in both weeks despite being 1-1. The Eagles will keep the Giants offense stagnant and get the victory while covering in their home opener.

Seahawks at Titans (-2.5)

  • Like most seasons, I think the Seahawks will eventually find their groove and still end up as one of the better teams in the NFC. However, I think their early season offensive struggles will continue in Tennessee. The Seahawks are commonly a weaker road team, so expect Mariota and the Titans to get the victory at home over Seattle.

Bengals at Packers (-9)

  • Honestly, I’m shocked this spread is not higher. The Bengals have looked brutal and have not scored a TD this season, with both games being at home also. Despite being 1-1, the Packers have looked themselves, however, so the same will continue as the Packers will rout the Bengals.

Chiefs (-3) at Chargers

  • The Chargers string of heartbreaking losses from last season has been nothing but the same in 2017. In a division rivalry game against the hot Chiefs, I’m expecting the same. If the spread was Chiefs (-4), I may take the Chargers in the spread to lose by a field goal. However, I’m not predicting the push, so give me the Chiefs winning by one score, but enough the cover.

Raiders (-3) at Redskins

  • The Raiders have looked amazing through two weeks, and I’m expecting nothing different this week. The Raiders finally get to show this team off in prime time, and they will make the most of it and crush the Redskins in Washington.

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Cowboys (-3) at Cardinals

  • The game will be very interesting to watch for both teams. The Cowboys are coming off by far their worst performance in the Dak/Zeke era, and the Cardinals have looked weak since David Johnson went down. The rest of the season will be a better implication of how the Cowboys will recover from that loss, but the Cardinals looked bad despite winning against the weak Colts, so expect the Cowboys to bounce back, winning and covering.

Be back next week for Week 4. Maybe by then the Bengals and 49ers will have TDs in 2017.

Mayor Duck Special – Ep. 9 “Bounce-Back Picks, Sleepers, and QB Matchup” w/ Rob Sartori

Rob and I break down everything you need to know for Week 2 of the 2017 NFL season, so before 1 o’clock hits on Sunday, make sure to take 10 minutes out of your day to listen to some expert analysis.

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