Fluke or For Real?

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????There were a few games this week that were surprising. Was it a Fluke, or was it For Real?

Buffalo beat Chicago? For Real – Both. Buffalo has re-tooled their offense over the off-season, including adding the top wide receiver in the draft, Sammy Watkins. Expect them to have a winning season. Given the strength of the AFC and that they are in New England’s division, baring surprises, I don’t expect they will reach the play-offs, but any given Sunday…   Chicago looked the way I expect all year – mediocre. They have strong players, but at the end of last season I didn’t see a strong team. This showed in their home opener loss to Buffalo. I expect a 500 season for them, missing the play-offs.

Minnesota dominated St. Louis? Minnesota – Fluke, St. Louis – For Real (bad). Minnesota beat a team that has some serious issues. Given that I don’t expect St. Louis to win more than 3 games (starting QB is out, they have a TOUGH schedule) this wasn’t a good showing for Minnesota. If they were that good, the score would have been higher. There’s only so much AP (Adrian Peterson) can do.

Jacksonville scored 17 unanswered 1st half points against Philadelphia? Fluke – Both. As I shared from Colin Cowherd in a previous post, Jacksonville didn’t know they were bad when they walked out on the field, at home. Philadelphia had nerves in the 1st half. Phily scored 34 unanswered points in the 2nd half. The 2nd half was a better picture of what to expect from both teams this season.

Houston beat Washington? Washington – For Real (bad), Houston – TBD. Sorry my dear Washington friends, but your team has some serious issues. The QB is talented but still playing like he’s at Baylor and scared of getting hurt. I don’t see much of a team, and I have a feeling the front office & coaching is still a mess. Houston? I’d like to believe they are for real – although in my as post I said they would struggle. They have a strong defense (even without Clowney). They have great weapons on offense, but can their new QB’s utilize it? Again, TBD. They get a little test in a few weeks, and then the real test against Indy on 10/9.

Cleveland nearly beat Pittsburgh, without Johnny what’s his name? For Real. Cleveland and Pittsburgh are division rivals. They always play each other tough. Brian Hoyer isn’t a terrible QB. These are scrappy teams in a fairly even division. Both have a shot of getting a wild card spot in the playoffs, if they can play a full season. That’s the real question TBD – do the players have the stamina to play hard and be healthy after week 12?

Miami beat New England? Fluke. Don’t panic. Miami always plays New England tough at home, and almost always covers the spread. Don’t know why, but they do. It’s always my bonus move in my pick ‘em pools that no one else seems to remember.

New Orleans lost??? Fluke. New Orleans lost to Atlanta, a team that struggled last year, which may have surprised some Saints fans. The Falcons made some solid off-season moves, still have Matty Ice at QB, and they had home field advantage.

Carolina beat Tampa Bay in Tampa/St. Pete WITHOUT Cam Newton??? Fluke. Divisional game. Carolina has an outstanding defense. Tampa Bay is still getting their act together. That’s about it.

Disclosure: I did not see every game, so much of this is conjecture based on highlights, conversations with others who saw the games I didn’t, and instinct.

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