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Mike Handzelek's NFL Week 2 Analysis/Review/Notes/Look-Aheads


By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Sep 19, 2018
   
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Sunday, September 16, 2018 Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -240 Atlanta Falcons Rating: 7* Mike's NFL Earlybird Dependable (WIN) Let's not over-react to the Falcons loss @ Philadelphia Thursday. Their defense limited the Super Bowl champs to 232 total yards. Remember, the Dirty Birds are home now in their division. That's been a profitable place either SU or ATS where they stand 8-2 & have won these divisional affairs by an average margin of 11.3 PPG the past 3 seasons. DC Marquand Manuel & HC Dan Quinn have seen their 2016 dead last in scoring defense climb the charts to 8th in 2017 using a fast & physical 4-3 defensive scheme. For this matchup, Atlanta has won 3 straight SU & ATS by an average of 11 PPG @ this venue. These same Falcons have been BIG money in home openers as well. They sit @ a near-perfect 9-1 ATS their last 10 with signal-caller Matt Ryan in Georgia. They now play a Carolina team without TE Greg Olsen (re-injured foot) & with a banged up offensive line (OT's Matt Kalil & Daryl Williams are both dealing with knee injuries). Also in the numbers we have to look @ the Falcons "D" whose limited opponent offenses to a stingy 17.8 PPG over the past 9 contests. Other alarming numbers clearly in our favor is QB Cam Newton passing accuracy & YPP (yards per pass) coming in ranking in the lower echelon @ 24th. Speaking of Newton, he's been horrible away against avenging divisional opponents where the Panthers have covered 2 of their last 9. My bottom line points out it's not about game 1 anymore, it's about performing AFTER in Game 2's. Carolina is a perfect 0-3 SU & ATS in Game 2 roadies while Atlanta is @ the other end of the spectrum winning 8 straight Game 2's @ home SU & ATS. While Carolina is still a possible backdoor cover, we'll travel to Mercedes Benz Stadium (2nd year there) to play the ATLANTA FALCONS for the "W" as my NFL Earlybird Dependable! NOTES/LOOKAHEADS: Even though we won quite comfortably with Atlanta (up14 late), it was despite missing RB Devonta Freeman, losing SS Keanu Neal & MLB Deion Jones plus FS Damontae Kazee exiting for a helmet-to-helmet disqualification. QB Matt Ryan shines @ home! In addition to 170 team yards rushing, Ryan was a very rich 23-for-28 good for 272 yards. The real NFC controversy had to be in the Packers-Vikings game. Late in the 4th, an official ruled a (highly-controversial) borderline roughing the passer penalty on Green Bay LOLB Clay Matthews. Why so controversial? Without it, the Packers had a game-sealing INT that would have ended any Minnesota chances for a "W". Auburn rookie Daniel Carlson missed 3 FG's & sealed the Vikings fate (they held a 480-357 total yards edge) as the 2nd NFL tie happened in consecutive weeks (a feat that's happened once in the past 21 years). Carlson was cut soon afterward. Speaking of kickers, we can't fail to mention 2nd-year Cleveland K Zane Gonzalez. Gonzalez was cut this past week after missing 3 crucial FG attempts that would have the Browns sitting 2-0 instead of 0-1-1. Switching to QB's, you can't deny kudos to Tampa Bay's Ryan Fitzpatrick who throws an excellent post-game interview while donning DeSean Jackson's bling. The #1 QB that's over-shadowed Fitzpatrick has to Patrick Mahomes. Under HC Andy "The Walrus" Reid's tutelage, Mahomes has thrown for an NFL record 10 TD passes in the first 2 weeks of the season & a #1 ranking in total offense. KC probably needed them since the Chiefs have the worst (rank 32nd with 508 YPG!) total defense in the league. Don't read to much into the Titans hard-fought home win versus Houston. They got miserably out-gained 430-283. Eagles' QB Carson Wentz looks to shake off some rust as he defends his 13-2 SU record (his last 15 starts) against the Colts @ Lincoln Financial Field. Remember, Indy HC Frank Reich was Philly's OC last season. How about Seattle's 0-2 start (actually 0-6 with pre-season)? Did the Fish miss QB Ryan Tannehill? I believe tremendously since he's now 9-1 SU his last 10 starts for the Turquoise & Orange. In jeopardy are their 9-0 SU record in home openers as well as HC Pete Carroll's 6-0 SU & ATS Seahawks' record @ home off back-to-back SU losses. Something has to give as the Pittsburgh Steelers (should be 0-2 but are 6-0 SU on MNF the past 5 seasons) travel to RED HOT Tampa Bay to take on Fitzpatrick & Co. It'll be interesting to see what happens when Fitz attempts to flood the intermediate-long passing lanes with receivers to commit the safeties to the shorter routes & freeing the long ball. Will his O-Line give him time once again to throw deep this week? Be back this weekend as we look to ride the momentum on a signature season similar to the World Championship year. Mike Handzelek's 2018-19 NFL Overall Season Record: 4-0 for 100%
 


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