It’s just one game, but the Broncos’ passing attack looked mighty unstoppable last night. With the way Peyton Manning carved up a respected (although rebuilt) defense, you wonder if the Broncos even need to figure out their running game. It’s a long season, however, and the Broncos will face teams with better offenses than Baltimore. Those offenses might run heavily and keep Manning off the field. Those teams might also have secondaries that communicate better. (Baltimore’s will, too, in time. There’s no need to completely overreact there.) But for one night the Broncos looked unstoppable. I feel bad for anyone who faced Peyton Manning in fantasy football, especially if their leagues award six points for a passing touchdown.
And if you missed it somehow, Denver Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan is a big fan of Desean Jackson. So much so, he decided to showboat his would-be touchdown return by dropping the ball short of the goal line. He’s lucky his team was leading by a few touchdowns at the time. He may not have scored too many return touchdowns in his day, but he’s played enough to know what he needs to do. Maybe if they convert scoring tries in football to the rugby rules, then we’d miss out on such blunders. But the people of America love stupidity, so we’ll probably get another one of these soon.
Locks of the Week:
CLEVELAND +0.5 over Miami
Both teams took pass rushers in the top 6 picks of the draft, but neither seems ready to make an impact. Who didn’t see that coming? Physical freaks don’t become great pass-rushers just because they’re big and athletic if they didn’t do it in college. The Browns aren't getting any respect here at all. You're telling me Miami is clearly a better team that they get to be a road favorite? That sounds as delusional as Floyd Mayweather having $123 million in a bank account. (Wait, that’s true!) The Browns should be able to run the ball and Brandon Weeden has shown signs of improvement this preseason, completing 60 percent of his passes while throwing three touchdowns and no interceptions. That doesn't even take into account that the Browns have a better defense.
Reggie’s pick: Cleveland
INDIANAPOLIS -10 over Oakland
As outlined in yesterday's column, Indy should cruise through this game. The over/under on Terrell Pryor's turnovers is 2.5 and I'm taking the over. Now, if only they could keep their rookies in line. Guy has been on the team how long and thinks he can get respect from the police by saying he's a member of the Colts? We sure he wasn't tripping on acid?
Reggie’s pick: Indianapolis
Tennessee +7.5 over PITTSBURGH
The Titans did a lot of work to upgrade their offensive line this offseason and it’ll show in the production of Chris Johnson. Pittsburgh’s the better team, but prone to weak offensive efforts and lack talent in the offensive line and backfield.
Reggie’s pick: Pittsburgh
Trap Game of the Week:
Cincinnati +3 over CHICAGO
I definitely went back and forth on this game a few times. Cincinnati returns their strong defense and added some offensive weapons, but I've believing the gospel that Marc Trestman will change Jay Cutler's career. The Bears are missing Brian Urlacher, but still bring a respected defense to the table. I think it’s weird that Chicago would be favored on a neutral field given Cincinnati’s abilities, but Vegas might know more than us on this one.
Reggie’s pick: Chicago
Rest of the Picks:
NEW ORLEANS -3.5 over Atlanta
Defense will be at a premium in this affair, so expect to get a shootout. Hopefully none of my fantasy football players injure themselves while celebrating their scores. Atlanta still hasn't fixed its pass rush issues and Sean Peyton has been preparing all season for his comeback game. Look for the Saints to rally behind they're great home crowd to win by a touchdown.
Reggie’s pick: Atlanta
Minnesota +4.5 over DETROIT
Here's another spread I don't understand. I get that Minnesota lost Percy Harvin, but they have Adrian Peterson and Christian Ponder should be improved in his second year. The Lions still struggle running the ball and sure as hell won't stop anybody on defense.
Reggie’s pick: Detroit
New England -10.5 over BUFFALO
I feel like I never peg the Pats-Bills game right. There seems to be one blowout and one close game over the last three seasons. I’m taking the Pats here because Buffalo’s got a rookie QB in his first start against a veteran defensive coach with an improved defense.
Reggie’s pick: Buffalo
Tampa Bay -3 over N.Y. JETS
The Jets have been so fun to watch (unless you're actually a Jets fan) and we haven't even started playing games that matter. With the Sanchize out for what looks to be a couple weeks, Geno Smith gets to show us what he can do. The Buccaneers remade their secondary in the offseason, so they should be primed to turn Geno over. We'll just have to see if Geno has any Keith Hernandez in him and decides to take a trip or two to Revis Island. Given how Derrelle Revis seems to hold a grudge against the Jets, I'd think that's probably not a wise idea. The Jets will only score more than 10 points if they pull some shit like this off.
Reggie’s pick: J-E-T-S
JACKSONVILLE +4 over Kansas City
Let me get this straight. Bringing in Andy Reid (a coach who continually failed to win championships with a talented team) and Alex Smith (a quarterback who had failed so often before last year that his coach couldn't replace him due to injury fast enough) is supposed to turn the Chiefs into a playoff contender? They have some nice pieces, but really? The Jags sure as hell aren't great, but they deserve a little more respect with a healthy MJD at home. Blaine Gabbert is nursing a sore thumb, but he wasn’t the reason I was backing the Jaguars to begin with.
Reggie’s pick: Kansas City
Seattle -3.5 over CAROLINA
Everyone is still enamored with Seattle after their run last year, maybe too much so. But given that Seattle can shut down Carolina's best receiver and they haven't had a running game outside of their QB in a few years, what's to say Carolina will be that productive on Sunday. Their defense is average, so Seattle should be able to move the ball enough to win. I’ll probably be buying the under (45) here.
Reggie’s pick: Seattle
SAN FRANCISCO -4.5 over Green Bay
Green Bay will have to prove they’re more than just a one-dimensional team. The 49ers lack something in the passing game without Michael Crabtree, but the Packers don’t bring enough defensively to make it matter this week. There’s just no need for 49ers to get this excited about their new quarterback.
Reggie’s pick: San Francisco
Arizona +4.5 over St. Louis
I went back and forth on this game, too. I’m buying that Arizona’s offense will be reasonable with Carson Palmer and their defense is in really good shape. The Rams also have a good defense themselves and don’t really possess too many offensive weapons despite the fact that people are getting behind Sam Bradford and the gang from a fantasy perspective. I don’t think St. Louis is clearly the better team, so I’ll take the points.
Reggie’s pick: St. Louis
DALLAS -3.5 over N.Y. Giants
It pains me to say this, but I think the Cowboys are going to have a field day with the Giants’ secondary. The Giants offense has looked anemic during preseason and while it’s still just preseason, it’s telling how poorly they’ve executed.
Reggie’s pick: Dallas
Philadelphia +3.5 over WASHINGTON
It also pains me to say I think the Eagles’ offense is in for a rebirth. Michael Vick, Lesean McCoy, and DeSean Jackson are at full strength and Chip Kelly’s going to have some offensive magic up his sleeve. I don’t think RGIII can just step in without any live in-game reps and hang with the Eagles this week. Let’s just hope the Eagles keep their shit together on the sideline.
Reggie’s pick: Washington
Houston -3.5 over SAN DIEGO
The Chargers have a good chance to be terrible this year. Their fans might ask to get hit in the head with a football so they don’t have to remember anything.
Reggie’s pick: Houston
This Week: 0-1
Ol’ Reggie: 1-0