Don’t let the final score fool you. A 56-14 win by Atlanta over Tampa Bay isn’t indicative of how lop-sided last night’s game was. In fact, it was worse. If the Falcons continue to play at full strength, they definitely break the NFL record for biggest shutout and most points scored by a winning team (73-0) in an NFL game. After scoring 56 unanswered points from the start of the game, the Falcons pulled some of their starters and the Buccaneers scored a couple of touchdowns to save some of their dignity and avoid being shutout. Like I said, it was as bad as the score shows or worse. The first drive showed it all. The Falcons started the game at their own 30-yard line and marched down the field with little to no resistance, taking less than three minutes to score their first touchdown of the game. From there, it was a snowball effect against the Buccaneers. Atlanta started the game with two passing TDs by Matt Ryan but after that it was more of a “pick your poison” style of scoring for Atlanta. Fumble recoveries, interceptions, sacks, punt returns etc. Anything and everything was working for the Falcons and it was the most lopsided NFL game that I’ve seen in a while. Atlanta’s Devin Hester gets most of the headlines, breaking the NFL’s record for return TDs and now holds the top spot by himself with 20 scored. Normally i’m against celebrating before you get into the end zone, but its not every single day you get to break a record set by Deion Sanders so i’ll let it slide. So what’s next for these teams? Atlanta can hold the top spot of the division, depending on what happens with the Panthers so they’re looking alright with a somewhat favorable schedule coming up. And for Tampa Bay, things can only go up from here.
Now that last night’s game is over, we’re going to get better games on Sunday, right? It appears so. Just like in week 1, we’re getting a massive early slate of games. Only a couple of those ten games immediately jump off the page but all-in-all, there are plenty of games that should be very interesting. Can’t wait to see the Chargers in Buffalo, a good test for both of these teams that should reveal how good they are. What about all these early division games? Can Kirk Cousins continue good play when they’re in Philadelphia? Ravens in Cleveland should be fun. Is the Browns defense, specifically the front part, one of the best in the league? With the Packers at the Lions in a dome, how high can the score be? Over/under is 53 points for that game and I love the over. Also, people are underestimating the Jaguars and with the Colts in town, what’s stopping them from having an exciting game? There are only three late afternoon games but two are very good and the other one probably won’t be as great. I’ll have the 49ers in Arizona on a side screen but of course everyone will be tuning into the Broncos in Seattle. Super Bowl re-match…blah blah blah. We know the headlines and all the possible talking points. Just watch the game. The Steelers are in Carolina to finish things off and a part of me wants to pick Pittsburgh but I have to stop doubting the Panthers and their stellar defense.
My two picks were terrible last weekend. I’m going with the big spreads this weekend. The Patriots (+14) against the Raiders and the Saints (+10) against the Vikings. Betting against the Raiders and betting the Saints at home seem like the logical way to go. Enjoy the games everyone.