Will a new quarterback help the New York Jets beat the NFL odds Friday night? And what are the Seattle Seahawks going to do at Arrowhead without their No. 2 QB?
Matt Flynn has had a very interesting career in the NFL. After four promising years backing up Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, Flynn signed with the Seattle Seahawks in 2012 and was poised to become their starting quarterback – until Russell Wilson came along and took the job away in training camp. Then the same thing happened in Oakland with Terrelle Pryor.
It's been a whirlwind tour for Flynn ever since. His most recent stop is New York, where the Jets signed Flynn on Wednesday to back up Ryan Fitzpatrick, who himself was brought in to back up now-injured Geno Smith. Can Flynn get established quickly enough to make New York worth putting in Friday's NFL picks? And do the Seahawks wish they'd brought him back instead?
Atlanta at New York Jets (7:30 p.m. ET)
Regarding that first question: No. While his new teammates were taking Thursday off, Flynn was expected to spend the day studying the Jets playbook. Flynn also has to work his way back into game shape after pulling his hamstring before training camp, which prompted the New England Patriots to release him earlier this month. It's expected to be another week or so before Flynn starts practising with the team.
That leaves us exactly where we were when we added the Falcons to our football picks. Fitzpatrick has done well against Atlanta in preseasons past, but unless new head coach Todd Bowles has something up his sleeve, we'll be seeing more of Bryce Petty and/or Jake Heaps than Fitzpatrick this Friday. We'll stick with the Falcons in this situation.
Free NFL Pick: Take the Falcons +2 at WagerWeb
Seattle at Kansas City (8:00 p.m. ET, NFLN)
The Seahawks have depth concerns of their own at quarterback. Tarvaris Jackson is still out with a sprained ankle, although he should return in another 7-10 days. Seattle's solution: Jake Waters. The former Kansas State Wildcat went undrafted this summer, then failed to stick with Jacksonville and Buffalo before landing with the Seahawks on Tuesday.
Again, Waters will have to learn the playbook and get up to speed physically before he can be thrown into action, even if it's a preseason game. Pete Carroll has already told reporters that B.J. Daniels will act as Seattle's third-string QB against the Chiefs, behind Wilson and R.J. Archer. So here we are back where we started, with Kansas City in our NFL picks.
If this were a regular season game, we might feel differently. The Chiefs have some holes on the offensive line that could complicate things this week, but Seattle's legendary defense is missing several key players to injury. Even worse, safety Kam Chancellor has yet to report to training camp and insists he won't show until his contract concerns are addressed. The closer we get to September, the more problematic this will be for the Seattle Seahawks and their supporters.
Free NFL Pick: Take the Chiefs –3 (–106) at Pinnacle