I had a so-so day yesterday, losing on my two early game picks, hitting an unofficial play on the over in the Packers/49ers game, and then hitting the Cowboys and an in game over on SNF. The first Sunday of the NFL provided plenty of excitement, but there were some teams that looked like they just got back from a lockout. Sloppy play dominated in many accounts, including the Patriots that coughed away a cover, and then nearly lost the game straight up. There were numerous opportunities for the Pats to cover in that one, but kept shooting themselves in the foot, with Stevan Ridley fumbling deep in Bills’ territory, Brady fumbling the snap on the 1-yard line, and then turning the ball over to the Bills with time expiring in the first half, giving the Bills another free touchdown essentially. It wasn’t that I handicapped that game too wrong, I did say E.J. Manuel was going to have a tough day, and that the Patriots would cover it on the defensive side of things, so I am not feeling awful about missing that pick.
Typically in recent years MNF games have taken a backseat to Sunday night games, which is certainly true. I don’t know how many times I have had to watch the Jaguars and Chiefs playing in the Monday slot for whatever reason. Tonight though, we get a nice treat to conclude the week 1 schedule with the Washington Redskins playing host to the Eagles.
Eagles vs. Redskins Betting Odds:
Philadelphia Eagles +3.5 (-105)
@Washington Redskins -3.5 (-105)
Over 52 (-110)
Under 52 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Eagles vs. Redskins Pick:
This game between the Eagles and Redskins features Chip Kelly’s long awaited debut as an NFL head coach. Kelly is coming off a successful career with the Oregon Ducks, and is looking to parlay that into a winning NFL career as well. He’ll be utilizing the name offense as he did at Oregon, which is all about being fast, fast. Get to the line and snap the ball off soon as possible as how he works. There is no hitting the brake pedal on Kelly’s offense, which is similar to how the Patriots operate, an offensive attack that Bill Belichick actually borrowed from his friend, Chip Kelly. So if there’s one NFL offense to compare it to, you could say the Patriots which try and get as many plays off in a game as they can.
Michael Vick is the perfect guy for Kelly’s kind of offense. The quarterback Kelly had at Oregon was similar with regards to how he could pick up yards in the air or with his legs. Vick of course brings a similar set of skills to the mix, skills that should translate very well into Kelly’s offense. The Eagles had a pretty good offense to begin with, but this new system should prove to improve it even more. Along with Vick, the Eagles boast other terrific offensive weapons that should give the Redskins’ defense issues. Most notably the presence of two burners, wide receiver DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy. The Eagles will be without Jeremy Maclin at receiver, however.
The Eagles will have the offense this year and score points, the problem with them lies in the defense. They are undergoing a major transition in their system and in personnel. The Eagles are going from a base 4-3, overhauled over into a 3-4. I would feel more confident perhaps if the Eagles had some players that are a little more familiar playing in Philadelphia and starting. In fact, the Eagles’ defense will feature three new starters in the secondary. Two new cornerbacks with Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher, and then Brandon Boykin will start in the nickel formations.
The Eagles’ defense will need to improve from a season ago against the Redskins, where they let Robert Griffin go wild. In two starts against the Eagles, RGIII went 30-39 for 6 touchdowns and 1 interception against the hapless Eagles. It will be interesting to see how his knee holds up early, but all indications are that he will be at 100 percent to start the season. The offense in 2012 was as solid as they came, ranking 4th in the league with 27.2 points scored pre game. All the glory shouldn’t just go to Griffin though, as rookie running back Alfred Morris led the Redskins to a top ranked rushing attacking, averaging 169.3 yards a game. In this respect, it was two rookies that dominated opposing defenses on the Redskins every week. The Redskins will need to do a much better job defensively if they want to make it deeper in the playoffs this season, however. The defense ranked near the back of the NFL, coming in at 28th overall. They’ll face a tall task against the offense of Chip Kelly in week 1.
If you like touchdowns and plenty of scoring, I think you’re going to like what you find in this matchup. I have a hard time believe that either offense is going to be slowed down much Monday night. I cashed in on a lot of overs with the Oregon Ducks, and I think it is going to be a similar story for me with Kelly in Philadelphia. I foresee the offense being a seamless transition at the NFL level. I do, however, think that RGIII is going to steal the show tonight. I don’t think there has been any player more eager to get back to playing than Robert Griffin. In front of the home fans in Washington, I can see Griffin putting on quite the spectacular show against an Eagles’ defense going through a major overhaul. I have a lean on the Redskins with a play on the over.
PICK : OVER 52 (-110)