Cincinnati is getting a field goal at Chicago so the better team is getting the points. I'll take that all day long. The Bengals defensive line is one of the best, if not the best, in the league and the Bears' offensive line has been outclassed in recent years. The Bears have new coach Mark Trestman but that's a system that takes a while to implement and a system that needs a very good offensive line and they don't have it. People just don't get how good Cincinnati is. They ended the regular season last year winning 7 of 8. They have upgraded offensively. Tyler Eifert the Tight End, the team with Jermaine Gresham, that is the best Tight End core in the National Football League. And you don't think of stability with the Bengals but while the Bears are turning over their front office and their coaching staff the last couple of years, Marvin Lewis entering his 11th year. So I get stability, I get a better roster, I get points. By the way, Andy Dalton the first quarterback to lead the Bengals to the playoff in each of their first two seasons. He's not flashy, he gets it done. I think Cincinnati wins, their the better team, swallow the points, 33-20 Cincinnati.
This one it almost feels like a trap bet it's so obvious but I'll take the trap, Tampa Bay -3 at the Jets. We're talking about a New York Jets offense that's weaponless, a shaky offensive line, and a guy that almost everybody believes needed a year on the bench to become a starting quarterback. The Jets are just not a very good football team. They'll hang around because of Rex Ryan's defense but the Buccaneers have greatly upgraded their skill positions. Doug Martin is one of the great finds out of the NFL draft in the last 5 years. He is a star. Geno Smith will be over-matched. Now Tampa Bay's defensive line last year was injury plagued, so their sack numbers are down. That's two things, they were beat up physically and they faced mobile quarterbacks last year. This year they're healthy and a secondary that not only added Darrelle Revis but Dashon Goldson from San Francisco. So you're getting elite veteran secondary guys with an upgrade in pass rush to a rookie quarterback who may not have a clue what he's doing after the first 12-15 scripted plays. This feels like an absolute blowout to me. Rex's defense keeps it close for the first 2.5 quarters but I'll swallow the points, Tampa Bay 27 Jets 13.
Basically this is a pick'em, Cleveland's -1, so just pick the winner in this game. I love games like that, all I got to worry about is pick the winner. I'll take Cleveland -1. They're one of the better bad teams in the NFL and what I mean by that is they'll probably finish 4th but they can push you around. Offensive lines are huge in the National Football League. Cleveland's offensive line is a top 10 offensive line in this league and all their starters are back. Meanwhile Miami's offensive line is reshuffling. By the way, Mike Wallace, the big free agent from Pittsburgh Wide Receiver, free agent Wide Receiver's rarely duplicate their numbers. They get big numbers with a star Quarterback, go on the market, go to a lesser Quarterback and a lesser team, and don't duplicate the numbers. Miami's offense was 27th in the league last year, this year their offensive line is worse. Cleveland has added a coordinator who I think will improve Brandon Weeden. By the way, Weeden threw for more touchdowns than the heralded Ryan Tannehill last year. Weeden's not awful. He's more Andy Dalton than he is bottom of this league. Trent Richardson, by the way, maybe the most underrated player in the league. He had 950 yards, 11 TD's, and he played half the season with 2 broken ribs, he's a Running Back for crying out loud. Swallow the 1 point, it's a pick'em game, Cleveland 27 Miami 20.
Everybody loves the Steelers, I don't love them when their missing Heath Miller, missing Mike Wallace, and La'Veon Bell the Running Back is out. And I get a Tennessee team which has upgraded offensive line and skill positions. So I'll take Tennessee and the 7 points. You got a Steelers team that is dealing with injuries offensively and the absence of Mike Wallace. That was the Mike Wallace I liked, not the one in Miami. And this is gonna be a punch you in the neck type football game anyway. When Tennessee and Pittsburgh get together it's physicality. The Steelers led the NFL last year in yards allowed per game so they have a good defense. But here's the thing, the Steelers do not force turnovers which Jake Locker can be prone to. They're an aging defense that has excellent principles but they don't take the ball away from you. And I think Jake Locker had a very nice camp. People are saying they've added dimensions, Chris Johnson is there, they've got Kevin Walter, Kendall Wright, Kenny Britt for the time being. I like Tennessee early in the season, I think over time the truth will be unveiled, but I'm gonna take the 7 points. I've got Pittsburgh winning 27-23, but I'm gonna take the points here. It's too many in what should be a street fight.
Now this is my risky one. And it's probably not my favorite pick, but again you're giving me Carolina and a field goal and a half against Seattle. Carolina had Seattle beat last year. The Panthers, get past all the Cam Newton stuff, they won 6 of 9 to close last year. And there were some road wins, they went to Atlanta and won. This is a team that in the trenches can push Seattle back. Another thing about this, Seattle's defensive line has issues. We were told Chris Clemons won't play and we know Tony McDaniel has been slowed by injuries. They've got concerns in that front gap and I think Carolina with Cam Newton's mobility can pick up yards and keep Russel Wilson off the field. Carolina was in a lot of games. Atlanta they lost a game they outplayed them, Seattle's a game they outplayed them and lost at home. Seattle's coming out east and playing a game that's 10:00 Seattle time. I'm gonna go with the upset here. Seattle's a much better team but it doesn't mean they're the better team early. Arizona beat New England last year early. Buffalo got off to a hot start early. I'll take Carolina and the points 23-21.