The 2014 NFL season and our own Fantasy Football Challenge kickoff tonight with a marquee showdown between Aaron Rodgers' Green Bay Packers and the reigning Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks. Again, we want to thank and welcome New England Patriots Examiner, Tarringo Vaughan. We would also like to congratulate Mr. Vaughan for what is sure to be a blowout win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
Thursday, August 05, 2014
Green Bay Packers v Seattle Seahawks -5
If this is the same Seahawks team that dismantled the Denver Broncos in Superbowl XLVIII, they will win this game, they will cover, and they will similarly obliterate whomever the AFC sends to Super Bowl XLIX. Every new season comes with uncertainties, and we're not certain Aaron Rodgers is going to dump his opening game by five points. Tarringo knows the Packers will have to run successfully or get run out of CenturyLink Field. They won't be able to. Only one of us is picking with his head so far.
New England Patriots Examiner: Seattle -5
San Diego Fantasy Football Examiner: Green Bay +5
Sunday, August 07, 2014
New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons +2.5
The Saints finally have all their familiar pieces in place; brilliant coaches, excellent tight end and quarterback inexplicable running attack. They appear loaded for bear. Bad news for the Falcons in this early season rivalry match up. Atlanta regains the services of their best offensive weapon, WR Julio Jones, but have lost their most reliable target, TE Tony Gonzalez, to retirement, and their backfield currently makes up the lower third of your fantasy leagues waiver wire. A Betting Tip: a team getting points at home is even worse than the spread indicates.
NE Examiner: New Orleans -2.5
FF Examiner: New Orleans -2.5
Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers -6.5
The Steelers lost their first four games last season, never truly recovered, and missed the playoffs. Opening against the Browns, whom they beat twice in 2013, is a fine way to right one's fortunes. The Browns best offensive player just got suspended until 2015. The Cleveland fans and franchise are vesting their future in unproven, unhinged rookie QB Johnny Manziel. The Browns faithful could teach Cub fans a thing or three about forlorn hope. We look for Pittsburgh to start 1-0.
NE Examiner: Pittsburgh -6.5
FF Examiner: Pittsburgh -6.5
Jacksonville Jaguars v Philadelphia Eagles -10
Rookie quarterback Blake Bortles and replacement runner Toby Gerhart are all that stand between the Jaguars and another miserable season. If they can't keep the Eagles within ten-points, it's not going to matter how many times they play the equally lamentable Texans. One of us has little faith, the other has none.
NE Examiner: Jacksonville +10
FF Examiner: Philadelphia -10
Oakland Raiders v New York Jets -4.5
One of the year's great mysteries: just how bad are the 2014 Oakland Raiders? Making this pick difficult, one other uncertainty is how bad are the Jets? All anyone can say positively about these two teams involves defense. Since this game might end 3-0, it's impossible to give 4.5-points. Unless you are an AFC East honk, that is.
NE Examiner: New York Jets -4.5
FF Examiner: Oakland +4.5
Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens -2
Bengals QB Andy Dalton got a fat new contract, and there's a significant bit of excitement for football in Cincinnati. A pity they open against Baltimore who handed them a 34-17 loss on their way to an early playoff exit last season. Tarringo notes the Bengals beat Baltimore, in Baltimore, in Week 10. Joe Flaco had 140 yards in that game. The Ravens defense won the second match up, and will likely do so today.
NE Examiner: Cincinnati +2
FF Examiner: Baltimore -2
Buffalo Bills v Chicago Bears -6.5
In fantasy circles, Jay Cutler is rumored to be a valuable commodity. He's got plenty of capable targets and a blank stare to rival Eli Manning, so a Super Bowl title is eminent. The Bills continue to flounder, drifting away from any playoff appearance, but closer, perhaps to Canada.
NE Examiner: Chicago -6.5
FF Examiner: Chicago -6.5
Washington Redskins v Houston Texans -2.5
What have the Houston Texans done to deserve being favored in a professional football game? Okay, they shipped QB Matt Shaub off to Oakland, and replaced their head coach, but they haven't won a game since September of 2013. Tarringo remembers a time when the Houston home field was worth three points. All we can think of is their 2-14 record.
NE Examiner: Houston -2.5
FF Examiner: Washington +2.5
Tennessee Titans v Kansas City Chiefs -4.5
The best home-field advantage this side of Seattle will be tested in this match up of quarterbacks from whom it's hard to know what to expect. Hugely passionate fans, and, oh yeah, that Jamaal Charles guy will be the adequate difference.
NE Examiner: Kansas City -4.5
FF Examiner: Kansas City -4.5
New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins +4.5
This game was over when it was scheduled. There is little to be gained facing Tom Brady fresh off the worst season of his career. The Patriots are going to look to silence all the rosy new Bronco fans, and get their Hall of Fame QB back on track. New England's Super Bowl run starts today. Dubious news for the Dolphins.
NE Examiner: New England -4.5
FF Examiner: New England -4.5
San Francisco 49ers v Dallas Cowboys +5.5
For the first time in a long time there are no expectations of the Dallas Cowboys, even among the compulsively faithful. The big talk our of Big-D is how terrible the defense is going to be.
NE Examiner: San Francisco -5.5
FF Examiner: Dallas +5.5
Indianapolis Colts v Denver Broncos -7
From right about the time Seattle was scoring that safety on Denver's first offensive possession in the Super Bowl, Peyton Manning has been plotting his revenge. That the Broncos open against Manning's former squad is just gravy. The Colts have some talent (not at running back), though they got no love from the schedule makers. Bronco fans will be looking for blood. Their quarter back is going to bathe them in it.
NE Examiner: Denver -7
FF Examiner: Denver -7
Monday, September 08, 2014
New York Giants v Detroit Lions -4.5
The underachieving journey of Eli Manning will get off to a recognizable start in 2014, as New York travels to Detroit on Monday night. The Giants defense is pretty good. Calvin Johnson has a trophy room littered with accomplishments that have come at the expense of pretty good defenses. Living not a thousand miles from New York City, Tarringo is subject to the considerable Giants sphere of influence, and thinks that's a lot of points to give.
NE Examiner: New York Giants +4.5
FF Examiner: Detroit -4.5
San Diego Chargers v Arizona Cardinals -3.5
Airing two games for the first week of Monday Night Football is a head scratcher. Making one of those an Arizona Cardinals home game against San Diego is positively baffling. We love our Chargers, but are fully aware their appeal is limited geographically. The Cardinals is even worse. No one beyond the lower left corner of the map is going to be enthusiastically tuning in for this one. Tarringo is even holding it against us.
NE Examiner: Arizona -3.5
FF Examiner: San Diego +3.5