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Mike Handzelek's Week 2 NFL Analysis/Review


By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Sep 21, 2017
   
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Sunday, September 17, 2017 Buffalo Bills vs. Carolina Panthers (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -290 Carolina Panthers Pick Title: 10 Star Headliner Moneyliner (WIN) There's always one game out there that has very, very strong NFL Survivor Pool potential but always that risk for a backdoor cover. Here it is! This ball game will be sort of a homecoming for new Bills' HC Sean McDermott & GM Brandon Beane. Both came over from Carolina. What I took in from last week was that Buffalo had a rough time in disposing of the lowly Jets @ home. I didn't see that same shakiness from the Panthers on the road versus lowly San Francisco. These Panthers aren't the JETS! Another thing that looked radically different last week was QB Cam Newton's pocket presence. He looked a lot calmer & wasn't forcing the ball into places like last season. Even though he looked slightly rusty off shoulder surgery to repair a rotator cuff, Newton registered a 40-yard bomb for a TD to WR Russell Shepherd. My bottom line here says we'll side with the 3-headed triple-threat coin of QB Cam Newton, rookie RB Christian McCaffrey & RB Jonathan Stewart to mix up the playbook attacking the Bills' "D" (with a brand new secondary) through short to medium range routes utilizing a full arsenal of talented receivers (Shepherd-McCaffrey, Benjamin-Olsen-Stewart). That "D" has to get used to a new system of Leslie Frazier's switching to a base 4-3 defensive scheme from Rex & Rob Ryan's 3-4. But the dagger for us here has to be the stellar play & leadership of 5th-year LB out of Boston College, Luke Kuechly. He's back off of missing the final 6 games of last year & looks really hungry to get his Panthers' "D" right back to what it was just 2 seasons ago. They will key on RB LeSean "Shady" McCoy & dare QB Tyrod Taylor to beat them. I love our chances with that. Let's go to rowdy Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte to play the CAROLINA PANTHERS as my 10 Star Headliner Moneyliner! Philadelphia Eagles vs. Kansas City Chiefs (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 5.5/-110 Philadelphia Eagles Pick Title: 9 Star Inter-Conference Side Of The Week (WIN off Buy to + 7 1/2) Many suggest that KC could repeat last season's win tally (12) after witnessing them demolish Super Bowl Champion New England 42-27 last Thursday up in Foxborough. Guys, it's NOT going to happen. They won't repeat going 6-0 against their rival AFC West & they won't survive a killer schedule that still has Oakland twice, Denver twice, Pittsburgh & 2 other trips to Dallas & the Giants. I love what HC Andy "The Walrus" Reid has done in his tenure @ KC. However, this season's schedule has them competing for the Wild Card in the end & NOT the divisional crown. The key things that I'm looking @ from last week was an sloppy 15 penalties for 139 yards & the fact they also lost key SS Eric Berry for the season to an Achilles tendon injury. There wasn't too much film on the Chiefs' new playmaker, rookie RB Kareem Hunt, But I'm sure that DC Jim Schwartz has a game plan centered on containing Hunt & WR Tyreek Hill. CB Jalen Mills will be their top cover guy since they lost CB Ronald Darby to a dislocated ankle last week. Schwartz will use a man-press coverage on the outside & a mix of man and zone underneath. however, rushing 4 & dropping 7 will still be their base. The Patriots' "D" wasn't what we usually see last week so seeing Philly will be a step up for the Chiefs. My bottom line says to look for the Birds to challenge for the NFC East crown. The odds of last season's 1-6 record in one-score games says they won't be repeated. As long as 14-year veteran out of Arkansas OT Jason Peters stays healthy (when he was out last year-Philly plummeted), look for 2nd-year QB out of North Dakota State Carson Wentz to shine. He now has enough good recievers (Ertz-Agholor-Sproles-Jeffery-Smith-Celek) @ his disposal. The dagger for us has to be how historically bad a team has looked coming off beating a Super Bowl champ the previous week to start the season. I love our odds here. Let's go to Arrowhead Stadium in Missouri to play the PHILADELPHIA EAGLES as my 9 Star Inter-Conference Side Of The Week! Minnesota Vikings vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 7.0/-110 Minnesota Vikings Pick Title: 9 Star Public Missed Perception Play Of The Week (LOSS) Everyone is expecting the Pittsburgh Steelers (who certainly looked like they laid down last week) to rise up & play typical Steelers' football in Week 2. I don't see it! For one reason, key playmaker & WR Antonio Brown (11 receptions for 182 yards) won't enjoy that same success with Vikings' shut-down CB Xavier Rhodes. Yes, I'm sure they'll be a few "home-cooking" calls going Brown's way, but not enough to indicate a double-digit win. The Purple People Eaters have an experienced secondary across the board & should give the immobile & aging QB Ben Roethlisberger fits. Major-Dependent RB Le'Veon Bell's rust showed (10 carries for just 32 yards versus the Browns) & it looks like it may take awhile before he reaches his form after missing the pre-season. My bottom line here says RB & rookie sensation out of Florida State Dalvin Cook won't see 127 yards rushing like last week, but he's dangerous after the catch on check-down throws from QB Sam Bradford. I'm not looking for a repeat performance from Bradford (27-for-32, 346 yards, 3/0 TD/INT ratio & a 143 passer rating), but it's clear that Minnesota's revamped offense is clearly BETTER with him looking comfortable in the system. They should find success using TE Kyle Rudolph in the middle & WR's Adam Thielen & Stefon Diggs breaking loose in crossing routes. The dagger for us here has to be HC Mike Zimmer being 15-2 ATS against the AFC & their stubborn "D". Those are way too hard to ignore. Let's go to emotional Heinz Field @ the three rivers (expect Pitt to honor the departed Dan Rooney) to play the MINNESOTA VIKINGS (buying to + 7 1/2 @ -130) as my 9 Star Public Missed Perception Play Of The Week! NOTE: Previous Play Edit--Take the Eagles but @ + 7 1/2 off the buy). Washington Redskins vs. Los Angeles Rams (NFL) - 4:25 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: 123 Washington Redskins Pick Title: 9 Star NFL Moneymaker Big Paybacker ML Underdog Play (WIN) We lost a tough one here last week but let's look @ hitting 50% or better for a nice profit using ML dogs. What it comes down to for me is which QB is likely to shine, Goff or Cousins? Their track record clearly points to Cousins for me. Don't look for 4 turnovers, 0-for-2 in the red zone & 3-for-11 on 3rd down conversions from Cousins or 300+ passing yards from Goff. Despite Los Angeles's 46-9 blowout win over the Luck-less Colts here @ the L.A. Coliseum, Goff's (2016's #1 draft pick) SU record as a starter is just 1-7! Having a 2nd-Goff & the youngest NFL HC in modern history - Sean McVay tells us they will share more than a few growing pains throughout the season. Missing the pre-season also will be a factor for Rams All-Pro DT Aaron Donald when he hits the center of his 70-year-old DC Wade Philips' 3-4 defensive scheme. On the flip side of the coin, Los Angeles should improve after acquiring 3-time Pro-Bowler & LT Andrew Whitworth. But there's clearly a game dead ahead that is their extreme focus, a road game against their long-time hated rival, the San Francisco 49ers. My bottom line says Washington's defensive play-makers should shine with CB Josh Norman in the secondary AND WLB Ryan Kerrigan in the middle of DC Greg Manusky's 3-4 defensive scheme. My dagger for us has to be the Rams' returning to the usual Ram status. It's been 14 years since this franchise (then in St. Louis) enjoyed an over .500 season. That's a hard one to shake against a 2016 playoff team that has playoff aspirations once again. Remember, L.A.'s fan base can't be too strong either since their 60,000 seats last week had 10,000 no-shows in it. Let's go to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to play the WASHINGTON REDSKINS as my 9 Star Moneymaker Big Paybacker ML Underdog Play! Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos (NFL) - 4:25 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 2.5/-105 Denver Broncos Pick Title: 9 Star Ugly Pig Play Of The Week (WIN) There's always that pick every week that make you scratch your head with wonder. This is that pick. While the Broncos look far from flashy on offense led by QB Trevor Siemian. Despite this, Denver still has 2 very dependable receivers back with Demariyus Thomas (90 receptions for 1,083 yards) & Emmanuel Sanders (79 receptions for 1,032 yards) that can give them strong hopes to make it to the post-season. I'm sure OC Mike McCoy (ex-Chargers' HC) will exploit the Cowboys' secondary (mainly 2nd-year CB Anthony Brown out of Purdue) since Dallas lost top CB Orlando Scandrick broke his hand last week versus the N.Y. Giants. My bottom line here looks @ the defenses. DC Joe Woods (moved up since Wade Phillips went to the Rams) will still have a tenacious 3-4 that's vastly improved upfront with key additions 325-pound NT Domata Peko & 334-pound DT Zach Kerr plugging the middle. This was their biggest void last season. In addition, look for defensive play-makers to shine with OLB Von Miller (13 1/2 sacks last year) & CB's Chris Harris, Jr. and Aqib Talib throughout the season. They did finish 1st versus the pass & 4th in total defense in 2016. On the flip side of the coin, the Broncos "O" (who face the NFL's toughest schedule in 2017) will have major success if they poke open holes for RB C.J. Anderson & the newly-acquired Jamaal Charles. The dagger for us has to be the Cowboys trying to buck back-to-back years of dominating road wins. In the numbers finds Dallas being just 3-12-1 ATS & 1-10-1 as a favorite after a Giants' meeting & taking on a non-conference opponent. This supports nicely with the fact that the Broncos are a near-perfect 13-1 ATS as a non-division home underdog right after a divisional game. I also like what new HC Vance Joseph brings to the table for Denver. Their beefing up of both OL (RG Ron Leary & RT Menelik Watson) & DL lines (Peko & Kerr) clearly gives them 2 new dimensions. Let's go to Sports Authority Field @ Mile High in Colorado to play the DENVER BRONCOS (buying to + 4 1/2 @ -175) as my 9 Star Ugly Pig Play Of The Week! NOTES: It burned my butt that Minnesota purposely concealed (wasn't listed as doubtful) the fact that Sam Bradford was doubtful. There's NO WAY we would take Minny without Bradford against a team with an offense. Like in MLB (listing starters), they should list starting QB's & offer listed or action bets. We very easily could have gone 5-0 last week if it weren't for the Vikes "Bush-League Tactics" enforced. Get ready for Sunday, we won't take that unnecessary loss lightly! SIDETRACK: We're actually 1 game ahead of our Week 2 pace the year we took home the World Championship. 2017-18 NFL Overall Seasonal Record: 6-4----60%
 


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