The OVER might look like a good preseason football pick with all these lower totals, but there are too many missing quarterbacks this Friday for us to pull the trigger.
So you want to be an NFL quarterback? Interesting career choice. Let's say you're one of the few athletes who are talented enough to compete for the job. You still have to keep yourself healthy, and that's not easy to do with so many people trying to take your head off – including your own teammates, if you're Geno Smith. And even if you survive long enough to put in 10 years as a pro, you could end up like Erik Kramer.
We're quite content here at the ranch to sit back and evaluate the carnage. Quarterback depth is a primary concern when it comes to making preseason NFL picks, and both of Friday's games have been affected by injuries, enough for us to lean heavily toward the UNDER. Hmmm... sounds a lot like Thursday's picks against the total, except with different “skill” players to fret about.
Atlanta at New York Jets (7:30 p.m. ET)
In case you've been living under a nice, shady rock this summer, the Jets are already down one starting quarterback after Smith got socked in the jaw. They happen to have another viable starter in Ryan Fitzpatrick; however, it's a giant step down from there to Bryce Petty, who went 10-of-18 for 50 yards and zero touchdowns in last week's 23-3 loss to the Detroit Lions (UNDER 35.5). The Jets did sign QB Matt Flynn on Wednesday, but he won't be ready to roll out for at least another week.
Atlanta is in much better health going into Week 2 of the preseason. It was a typical shootout at the Georgia Dome last week when the Falcons beat the Tennessee Titans 31-24 (OVER 37), with both teams showing off their quarterback depth. That scoring output will be harder to come by this week at the New Meadowlands with the Jets on the mend.
Free NFL Pick: Take UNDER 39 (–107) at Pinnacle
Seattle at Kansas City (8:00 p.m. ET, NFLN)
Looking at one of Flynn's many former employers, the Seattle Seahawks are stretching themselves a bit thin this Friday without back-up QB Tarvaris Jackson, who's still recovering from a high-ankle sprain. It's unlikely that Russell Wilson will be exposed to too much danger before giving way to R.J. Archer. To his credit, Archer led Seattle on a TD drive late in last week's 22-20 loss to the Denver Broncos (OVER 36.5), although he only went 11-of-20 for 110 yards.
We already know that freshly-converted WR B.J. Daniels will return to quarterback duties as Seattle's third-stringer this week. Jake Waters was signed on Tuesday to fill out the depth chart, but like Flynn, Waters won't be ready for Friday's game. We'd normally suggest the OVER in this matchup given the two coaches involved and their preseason records, but not this week under these circumstances.
Free NFL Pick: Take UNDER 41 at BetCRIS