I over-analyzed today’s NFL contests for many hours, feeling no better than when I started. My brain cramped as I looked at trends, off-season moves, point spreads, strengths, and weaknesses. Suddenly, with the clock ticking on today’s NFL games, I heard the voice of my high school literature professor, “Keep it simple, stupid!” This was his favorite thing to tell me as I spent too much time analyzing both sides of the fence in my argumentative writing assignments.
In an effort to keep today’s NFL handicapping simple, I’ve decided to bet against the teams starting rookie NFL quarterbacks. Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons, and Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens, will today make their career debuts. At times, in the preseason, they both showed flashes of a brighter future for their respective NFL franchises. At other times, they both looked like deer in headlights. Neither player can possibly be ready for what is about to be thrown at them, as the oppositions’ defensive coordinators will likely put 8 in the box, and blitz from every angle.
Mr. Flacco, in particular, looked like he won’t know what to do with the ball when facing pressure. Couple that fact with the Ravens’ less than speedy wide receivers, and a 60% completion percentage seems out of the question.
Mr. Ryan looks a bit more NFL ready. When he has extra time in the pocket, you might even mistake him for a veteran signal caller. Sadly for him, he’ll likely have to bring his team from behind against a Detroit Lions team with an explosive offense that should win the time of possession battle. When an inexperienced quarterback has to bring his team from behind, sacks and interceptions happen. Victories usually don’t.
So, grab a beverage and enjoy today’s festivities as you take the sip each time either quarterback throws an incomplete pass. Take the Bengals at -2 and the Lions at -3 both to cover in their matchups against the young pups.
Today’s picks: Bengals -2, and Lions -3.