Week 1 of the NFL season is in the books and it was quite a dandy. You’re probably a bit sick if you had the Chicago Bears with any of your NFL picks, but that’s the way it goes. Here’s what we learned.
Bears Defense Still Stinks
Remember that the Chicago Bears defense that finished 30th in the NFL last season in points allowed (29.9 per game)? Well, they made E.J. Manuel and the Buffalo Bills look like the 2013 Denver Broncos. Manuel, and the Bills first string offense, who were on the field for 23 possessions in the preseason and produced just two touchdowns, looked great against the Bears. Manuel finished 16-of-22 and the Bills ran for 193 yards in the 23-20 win. This defense has not improved.
Can’t Win A Super Bowl With Cutler
It’s time to face facts: Jay Cutler is a very good quarterback but the Bears will never win a Super Bowl with him. The stats from Sunday look pretty good with 34-of-49, 349 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, but the turnovers were crippling. He’s got some Tony Romo in him; he makes too many mistakes.
Cowboys Are Still A Mess
Speaking of Romo, his Cowboys didn’t even give bettors a chance in the late game, losing 28-17 to the San Francisco 49ers. Romo threw three more interceptions, reminding us again about his mind-boggling mistakes. Jason Garrett’s team continues with the ridiculously-debilitating mistakes, including a DeMarco Murray fumble that led to a 49ers touchdown less than a minute into the game. Garrett is a good bet to be the first coach fired this season.
Saints Still A Dicey Road Bet
Nothing really new here but worth remembering as a lot of people were laying the points with the Saints: they’re not a great road bet. Things looked good early but they blew leads of 13-0 and 20-7 against the Atlanta Falcons, and eventually lost 37-34 in overtime. They’re just 6-11 in their last 17 road games.
Yes, The Rams Are In Trouble
The Rams were a team with so much optimism but the balloon has deflated quickly. Sam Bradford is out, Shaun Hill is banged up and the team, and this team looks like they’ll be toothless on offense once again. Because of the injuries, they can’t be any better than last year.
Panthers Are Still A Playoff Contender…Because Of The Defense
A lot of was made that the Panthers were a team in decline but on Sunday, they showed that they aren’t going anywhere. Their defense was downright dominant, shutting out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers through the first three quarters. They held the Bucs to just 264 total yards and forced three turnovers. Even though the offense doesn’t boast great receiving weapons, the Panthers should be a playoff contender thanks to one of the best defenses in the NFL.
Ravens Offense Still Stuck In Neutral
It’s something that could change as the season progresses but as of right now, the Ravens offense is still stuck in neutral. They show flashes where everything works – as evidenced by Joe Flacco’s 345 passing yards – but on the whole, there just isn’t any consistency. They had more yards than Cincinnati, more first downs and 21 more total plays, but seven less points. We’ll see if Ray Rice makes a difference but for now, the Ravens are still out of sync.
Harvin Looks Back To His MVP-Form
A lot of people forget that two years ago, Percy Harvin was an MVP candidate. Yes, he was that good. Although he missed almost all of last season, he looked fantastic in the Seattle Seahawks opener and appears to have regained his form as one of the league’s most dynamic players. Harvin finished the night with 59 receiving yards, 41 rushing yards and 60 return yards. He just looks electric and will be an integral member of the Seahawks quest to repeat; keep this in mind when placing your NFL picks at a sportsbooks like 5Dimes.