Cowboys and Patriots Will Win on the Road; Steelers Will Win at Home
Fikkle Fame’s NFL Predictions for September 14-18, 2017
The new team to beat in the AFC South is the Jacksonville Jaguars. Well, maybe it’s too early to say that, but the Jaguars did look good against the Texans in Houston, with a franchise record 10 sacks and a nice debut performance by rookie running back Leonard Fournette, who rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown in the 29-7 victory. The Texans did not look good at all, and even switched quarterbacks at halftime. It’s early of course, but Houston will have to try something different if they are to contend for the post season.
Game of Thursday September 14th
Houston (0-1) at Cincinnati (0-1). Bengals favored by 5. O/U: 38. A matchup of two teams that looked lousy last week. The Bengals lost 20-0 at home to Baltimore, with Bengals QB Andy Dalton committing five turnovers. We don’t think he’ll be nearly as bad this week and give the edge to Cincinnati. Bengals 24 Texans 17.
Games of Sunday September 17th
Cleveland (0-1) at Baltimore (1-0). Ravens favored by 7 ½. O/U: 41 The Browns put up a good fight against Pittsburgh in Week 1 before losing 21-18. The Ravens are coming off that shutout of Cincinnati, and will win at home. Ravens 24 Browns 14.
Buffalo (1-0) at Carolina (1-0). Panthers favored by 7. O/U: 42.5. Both teams coming off victories over lesser competition, the Panthers will take this one. Panthers 27 Bills 19.
Arizona (0-1) at Indianapolis (0-1). Cardinals favored by 7 ½. O/U: 44. The Colts looked horrible in their 46-9 loss at Los Angeles against the Rams and the Cardinals will pick up a victory even without injured running back David Johnson. Cardinals 31 Colts 17.
Tennessee (0-1) at Jacksonville (1-0). Titans favored by 2 O/U 43.5. As mentioned, the Jaguars won impressively at Houston last week. Tennessee lost to a very good Raiders team. While we believe the Titans are a strong contender for the title in the AFC South, they will drop this one on the road to the possibly relevant for the first time in years Jaguars. Jaguars 30 Titans 24.
Philadelphia (1-0) at Kansas City (1-0). Chiefs favored by 4 1/2. O/U: 47.5. The Eagles beat Washington behind a fine performance by second year QB Carson Wentz. The Chiefs are a quantum leap ahead of the Redskins however, and proved it by winning impressively at New England, and they’ll win again this week. Chiefs 34 Eagles 24.
New England (0-1) at New Orleans (0-1). Patriots favored by 6 1/2. O/U: 55. The Patriots looked bad in the second half of their loss to the Chiefs, and New Orleans lost at Minnesota by 10 points. The Patriots still have a lot of upside, more so than the Saints, and the New Orleans defense is not as good as Kansas City’s. Patriots 34 Saints 28.
Minnesota (1-0) at Pittsburgh (1-0). Steelers favored by 6. O/U: 45.5. This should be one of the better games this week. The Vikings should contend for at least a Wild Card playoff, while the Steelers should win the AFC North if the prognosticators are correct. Perhaps looking ahead, Pittsburgh had a close victory against an unexpectedly tenacious Browns team last week, but they will be more themselves this week at their home opener. Steelers 31 Vikings 23.
Chicago (0-1) at Tampa Bay (0-0). Buccaneers favored by 7. O/U: 43. The Bears fought the Good Fight against Atlanta last week before succumbing 23-17. They did lose wide receivers Cameron Meredith and Kevin White, plus linebacker Jerrell Freeman, all starters, to injuries. Tampa Bay had an unexpected bye week due to Hurricane Irma. The Bucs should be plenty ready to go now. Buccaneers 27 Bears 17.
New York Jets (0-1) at Oakland (1-0). Raiders favored by 14. O/U: 43.5. As the spread indicates, this one is all Raiders over the perpetually retooling Jets. Raiders 35 Jets 14.
Miami (0-0) at Los Angeles Chargers (0-1). Chargers favored by 4 1/2. O/U: 45. The Dolphins were to play Tampa Bay last week so they too had a bye week. The Chargers came up just short at Denver last week, and while this should be a close one, too, we think the Chargers will come out on top this time in the team’s L.A. debut. Chargers 31 Dolphins 28.
Dallas (1-0) at Denver (1-0). Cowboys favored by 2. O/U: 42. At this point it looks like Ezekiel Elliot will play again at least this week while the appeal process of his suspension works through the system. The Cowboys looked good in their win over the Giants, and with Elliot playing, should pull out a victory at Mile High Stadium. Cowboys 24 Broncos 21.
Washington (0-1) at Los Angeles Rams (1-0). Rams favored by 2 1/2. O/U: 46. Good heavens, what got into the Rams last week? They completely dominated the Colts 46-9. Washington QB Kirk Cousins completed passes to six different receivers, none of who are the departed playmakers Pierre Garcon or DeSean Jackson. While someone or two will probably emerge as a go to guy at WR, it won’t be in time for this game and the Rams will move to 2-0. Rams 34 Redskins 21.
San Francisco (0-1) at Seattle (0-1). Seahawks favored by 13 1/2. O/U: 42.5. This should be no problem for the Seahawks, who are playing in their home opener after a hard fought loss at Green Bay last week. Seahawks 35 49ers 14.
Green Bay (1-0) at Atlanta (1-0). Falcons favored by 2 1/2. O/U: 53.5. Last January 22nd, the Falcons got off to a 31-0 lead over the Packers en route to a 44-21 victory in the NFC Championship as QB Matt Ryan had 392 yards and four touchdown passes, two of which were to Julio Jones, who had 180 receiving yards. Green Bay worked hard on improving the defense in the off season, and it paid off in the 17-9 opening win over Seattle. The Packers are motivated to make up for that embarrassing loss last January, and the Falcons didn’t look particularly great in their opening win against the Bears, a team they should have handled easily. So despite playing their first game in new Mercedes Benz Stadium, the Falcons will lose to the motivated Packers. Packers 34 Falcons 31.
Game of Monday September 18th
Detroit (1-0) at New York Giants (0-1). Giants favored by 3 1/2. O/U: 43.5. Lions QB Matthew Stafford became the highest paid player in the NFL with his new contract this offseason. While he may not be the actual best player in the league, he is a good quarterback who generates a lot of offense, and will generate more than enough to beat the Giants, who were held to just three points in their opening game loss at Dallas. Lions 27 Giants 21.