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2017/18 NFL Pre Season Picks
Updated: March 2019


Our 2017 NFL Predictions


AFC East: New England
AFC North: Pittsburgh
AFC South: Houston
AFC West: Oakland
NFC East: Dallas
NFC North: Green Bay
NFC South: Carolina
NFC West: Arizona

AFC Championship Game: New England 24, Pittsburgh 20
NFC Championship Game: Green Bay 31, Dallas 24
Super Bowl LI: New England 33, Green Bay 28


The New England Patriots have won two of the past three Super Bowls and there is really no reason to believe that the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady dynasty will earn anything less in 2017. No team has repeated as Lombardi Trophy winners since New England accomplished the feat back in 2004 and 2005. Future Hall of Famer Brady will have yet another offensive weapon in former New Orleans WR Brandin Cooks. The 5-10, 185-pound Cooks had 78 receptions for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns in New Orleans last season. What was really the story of last season was a much-improved Patriots defense that returns mostly intact.


In the AFC, the one team that can challenge the Patriots’ supremacy is the Pittsburgh Steelers. New England beat Pittsburgh in last year’s AFC title game, and the Steelers may have some questions related to Le’Veon Bell and the running back position. Pittsburgh gave Bell the franchise tag in the offseason, but the Steelers’ star has yet to report to training camp. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and WR Antonio Brown, the NFL’s highest-paid receiver, return to the offense. Defensively, the Steelers are solid and improved with the drafting of OLB T.J. Watt, the brother of three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt

In the NFC, it will be hard for the Atlanta Falcons to repeat as conference champs. The Falcons did lose offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who left to become the new head coach in San Francisco. Carolina should bounce back from a disappointing 6-10 season and Tampa Bay is much improved. New Orleans is always a threat when Drew Brees is at quarterback. Brees has led the league in passing yards in each of the past three seasons.


The real threats in the NFC are Green Bay and Dallas. The Cowboys could become the first team since the Eagles of the early 2000s to repeat as champs of the NFC East. Dallas surprised everyone last season ending with a 13-3 record. The Giants could challenge after finishing 11-5 and qualifying for the postseason.


Green Bay returns a wealth of talent on both sides of the ball and has QB Aaron Rodgers running the show. Rodgers, a two-time MVP award winner, has enough healthy weapons surrounding him to take the Packers back to the NFC title game. The other candidate to make a postseason run is Seattle. The Seahawks are always very good on defense and QB Russell Wilson just keeps getting better every year.


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NFL Pre Season Schedule


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NFL Pre Season Week 4 Preview


New England Patriots at NY Giants:

When: Thursday, Sept. 1st @ 7:00pm EST
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

Bovada Lines: line is -3 Giants, over/under is 38

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is considering starting QB Jacoby Brissett against the Giants on Thursday. It is the same approach Belichick took with Jimmy Garoppolo in 2014. The New England head coach wants to make sure all three of his quarterbacks are prepared for the regular season. Most, if not all, of both team’s starters will sit this game out. The Giants will have a battle for spots at both running back and receiver in the final game as the team looks to keep five RBs and six wideouts. .. New England 17, NY Giants 14.

Buffalo Bills @ Detroit Lions:

When: Thursday, Sept. 1st @ 7:30pm EST
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, MI

Bovada Lines: line is -3.5 Lions, over/under is 38

The Bills will limp through their final preseason game trying to figure out who to keep at wide receiver. It will probably come down to Walter Powell and Dezmin Lewis with Powell having the edge right now. Quarterback Cardale Jones has been suffering from a shoulder injury so the Bills signed Austin Trainor. The Lions, who are also 1-2 this preseason, are looking to finalize their offensive line situation. They just released veteran Geoff Schwartz and traded WR Jeremy Kerley to San Francisco for Brandon Thomas. Lions are at home… Detroit 23, Buffalo 17.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Carolina Panthers:

When: Thursday, Sept. 1st @ 7:30pm EST
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC

Bovada Lines: line is -4 Panthers, over/under is 38

The Panthers are primed for another run to the Super Bowl. They are just 1-2 this preseason, and head coach Ron Rivera just wants to get through Week 4 unscathed. All three rookie defensive backs will make the roster and two are likely to start on opening day. What the Panthers need to find is a punter. Mike Scifres was injured in last week’s game. The Steelers will work on correcting some things in their secondary and QB Ben Roethlisberger will be wearing a headset, not playing, on Thursday night… Carolina 17, Pittsburgh 15.

Chicago Bears @ Cleveland Browns:

When: Thursday, Sept. 1st @ 8:00pm EST
Where: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH

Bovada Lines: line is -5 Browns, over/under is 38

The big news in Cleveland is the QB Robert Griffin III will be the starting quarterback…and he’s getting divorced. Browns head coach Hue Jackson may buck the recent trend of starters not playing the preseason finale. The Browns need work on both side of the ball. The Bears, who like Cleveland have not won a preseason game, are in the same boat. Chicago looked awful in last week’s game with the Chiefs. The backup QB situation might be muddled as veteran Brian Hoyer was taken off the field against the Chiefs and second-year pro Connor Shaw suffered what appeared to be a serious lower leg injury. The good thing is one of these two teams will get a win… Cleveland 19, Chicago 13.


Green Bay Packers @ Kansas City Chiefs:

When: Thursday, Sept. 1st @ 8:00pm EST
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO

Bovada Lines: line is -3.5 Chiefs, over/under is 38

The good news for the Chiefs is that they signed S Eric Berry to a one-year contract. He will practice this week, but likely won’t play against Green Bay on Thursday. The Packers are 3-0 this preseason and likely will start their final preseason game with rookie Joe Callahan or Marquise Williams at quarterback. Backup Brett Hundley is still nursing an ankle injury and head coach Mike McCarthy wants to make sure Hundley is ready for the regular season. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson probably won’t play either for Green Bay… Kansas City 20, Green Bay 17.

Houston @ Dallas
The Cowboys are right back to where they were a year ago – an injured Tony Romo. The Dallas starter will be out six to ten weeks with a broken bone in his lower back. Rookie Dak Prescott will likely be the opening day starter. Dallas will probably add a quarterback to the roster this week for this week’s game with Houston. Jameill Showers will see substantial playing time as the Cowboys prepare for Week 1 of the regular season. The Texans have won all three of their preseason games. Houston QB Brock Osweiler has improved and looked comfortable in last week’s win over Arizona. Texans starters likely won’t play much, if at all, as the team gears for another run at the AFC South Division title.

Denver @ Arizona
Trevor Siemian earned the Broncos starting quarterback job and will start the regular season opener against Carolina. Head coach Gary Kubiak will likely take a long look at rookie Paxton Lynch as the team heads to Arizona. Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians and his staff will use the final preseason game to solidify their roster. Arizona needs to take a good look at the depth they have at the corners. The Cardinals have yet to win in the preseason, though they will likely be one of the favorites to reach the NFC Championship game this season… Cardinals 24, Denver 20.

San Francisco @ San Diego
The only reason to tune in to the 49ers-Chargers preseason game on Thursday will be to see whether or not Colin Kaepernick stands for the national anthem. Both teams are 1-2 in the preseason and will have some battles in the preseason’s final game. Chargers RB Melvin Gordon has been impressive and looks forward to atoning for a rather disappointing rookie season… San Diego 17, San Francisco 15.


NFL Pre Season Week 3 Preview



Atlanta Falcons vs. Miami Dolphins:
When: Thursday, August 25th @ 8:00pm EST
Where: Florida Citrus Bowl, FL

Bovada Lines: line is -2 Dolphins, over/under is 43

The Dolphins host the Falcons but not at their home stadium. Thursday’s game will be held in Orlando at Camping World Stadium. Atlanta beat Cleveland, 24-13, in Week 2 and looks to play well in what will be a dress rehearsal for the regular season. Atlanta’s offense played well in the win over the Browns. The defense may be without OLB/DE Vic Beasley once again. He was inactive last week. For Miami, head coach Adam Gase is planning on getting RB Arian Foster game ready this week. It is unclear how much he will play Thursday. One Dolphin starter who will definitely not play is All-Pro center Mike Pouncey, who may miss the start of the regular season with a hip injury. The Falcons will be better on defense… Atlanta 23, Miami 17.


Cleveland Browns @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
When: Friday, August 26th @ 7:00pm EST
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL

Bovada Lines: line is -3.5 Bucs, over/under is 42

The Browns have not won in the preseason thus far, but head coach Hue Jackson has seen some improvements from his offense and defense. The Robert Griffin III experiment is working well. The Browns starter went 6-for-8 for 96 yards and tossed two touchdown passes, one to Terrelle Pryor and the other to TE Gary Barnidge. Jackson is hopeful that the rest of his receiver corps can get healthy. Corey Coleman and Andrew Hawkins are back from nagging injuries and suspended WR Josh Gordon took some reps with the first team this week.

Tampa Bay head coach Dirk Koetter is excited about rookie first-round draft pick Vernon Hargreaves who picked off two passes in the Bucs last preseason game against Jacksonville. Koetter is still wondering what is wrong with kicker Robert Aguayo. The Bucs moved up in the draft to take Aguayo in the fourth round. In two games thus far, the kicker has missed kicks that he should have made. It may be the difference this Friday… Cleveland 18, Tampa Bay 16.


Pittsburgh Steelers @ New Orleans Saints:
When: Thursday, August 26th @ 8:00pm EST
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA

Bovada Lines: line is -2.5 Saints, over/under is 45

While Week 3 is usually the preseason week that is treated most like a regular season game, the Steelers need to get healthy. Head coach Mike Tomlin will play many of his starters, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The backup quarterback situation is iffy with veteran Bruce Gradkowski out. The Steelers signed Bryn Renner as insurance. Tight end Ladarius Green remains on the PUP list and will not play. The Saints, like the Steelers, are winless this preseason. They are coming off an ugly, 16-9, loss to the Texans. New Orleans mustered just 260 total yards and produced just three late second half field goals. This one could be real ugly… Pittsburgh 10, New Orleans 9.


Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers:
When: Friday, August 27th @ 10:00pm EST
Where: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, CA

Bovada Lines: line is -2.5 49ers, over/under is 46.5

Chip Kelly’s 49ers offense is starting to come together despite having what could be termed a franchise quarterback. Colin Kaepernick is still trying to get healthy, Blaine Gabbert has been adequate, and Christian Ponder revitalized his career with a solid outing last week against Denver. Gabbert was 6-for-9 for 69 yards while Ponder went 7-for-8 for 86 yards passing and ran two times for 21 yards and a touchdown. Ponder’s two fourth quarter TDs led the Niners to a 31-24 victory over the Broncos. In Green Bay, WR Jordy Nelson finally gets the okay to begin practice after last year’s knee injury. Backup QB Brett Hundley will likely miss another week with a sprained ankle. At least this Friday game will be interesting… Green Bay 33, San Francisco 30.

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NFL Pre Season Week 2 Preview


Philadelphia Eagles vs. Pittsburgh Steelers:
When: Thursday, August 18th @ 7:00pm EST
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA

Bovada Lines: line is -3.5 Steelers, over/under is 40

The Eagles continue making the transition with new head coach Doug Pederson. The defense has switched to a 4-3 under new coordinator Jim Schwartz, who watched his Buffalo defense record 54 sacks last season. While he doesn’t have nearly the talent that he had in Buffalo, Schwartz does have LB Connor Barwin a legitimate pass rusher who has 21.5 sacks over the past two seasons.

The big news out of Philadelphia is the hairline rib fracture suffered by rookie quarterback Carson Wentz. The former FCS star has been developing well, but the injury will set him back. Sam Bradford looks to be the starter with Chase Daniel the backup.

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Antonio Brown are two of the best in the NFL at their respective positions. Neither played in the Steelers first preseason game against Detroit. Their play will be limited in Week 2 as well. Still, the Steelers have a wealth of talent at wide receiver. Running back Le’Veon Bell, back from an injury last season will probably be limited as well.

Playing at home on Heinz Field, the Steelers will have the advantage against an Eagles team still trying to find itself… Pittsburgh 23, Philadelphia 13.

Chicago Bears vs New England Patriots:
When: Thursday, August 18th @ 7:00pm EST
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA

Bovada Lines: line is -4 Patriots, over/under is 40

The Bears have struggled for past few years and can learn a lot from their Thursday night game against New England. The two teams will spend time together in some joint practices prior to playing on Thursday. This will lend the opportunity for some of the young Bears, such as last year’s No. 1 draft pick WR Kevin White, to learn how greatness is achieved from the most consistent team in the league.

With QB Tom Brady suspended, Jimmy Garappolo will get another opportunity to prepare for his four-game stint as the Patriots starter. Former Chicago TE Martellus Bennett is now in New England and, while his playing time will be limited, he will get a chance to go up against some of his old teammates.

While Patriots head coach Bill Belichick leads everyone to believe that the preseason is meaningless, you know he wants to win. Playing at home gives those trying to make the roster an advantage… New England 17, Chicago 10.

Miami Dolphins vs Dallas Cowboys:

When: Friday, August 19th @ 8:00pm EST
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX

Bovada Lines: line is -3.5 Cowboys, over/under is 40

The Dolphins beat the Giants, 27-10, their first win with new head coach Adam Gase. While it’s a win, the bigger picture is that the Miami starters did not produce a first down in two series against the Giants. Add in that rookie Laremy Tunsil may wind up starting at guard on the offensive line and the Dolphins may take some lumps early in the season.

Dallas needs to solve its backup quarterback situation sooner rather than later. The answer may very well be rookie Dak Prescott. The Mississippi State product went 10-for-12 for 139 yards and two touchdowns in his debut, a 28-24 Cowboys loss to the Rams.

Dolphins’ rookie wide receiver Jakeem Grant has been having a great camp. He was the team’s leading receiver – 4 catches, 68 yards – in the win over the Giants. He should continue to improve as do the rest of the Dolphins as they get used to the new offense. Going to Dallas and getting another win will be difficult. Dallas RB Ezekiel Elliott, the rookie first-round draft pick, is expected to play some after missing the opener. The Cowboys win this one… Dallas 24, Miami 17.


San Francisco Giants vs Denver Broncos:

When: Saturday, August 20th @ 9:00pm EST
Where: Sports Authoriday Field, Denver, CO

Bovada Lines: line is -4.5 Broncos, over/under is 40


Two teams that need to figure out their quarterback situation face off on Saturday night. San Francisco fans got their first glimpse of the Chip Kelly offense when the 49ers faced Houston in their first preseason game. San Francisco ran 50 plays in the first half. Blaine Gabbert failed to take a commanding lead in the quarterback battle. He did throw an early touchdown but finished just 4-of-10. Colin Kaepernick did not play but is expected to against Denver.

The Broncos shut out the Bears 22-0 in their preseason opener and QB Mark Sanchez laid his claim to the position. Sanchez went 10-of-13 for 99 yards and a touchdown. Trevor Siemian, who was listed as a co-No. 1 with Sanchez, played the second quarter and went 7-of-12 for 88 yards and looked sharp. Saturday’s game with San Francisco will give each quarterback another chance to make his case.

Denver defensive end DeMarcus Ware will not play, but the Broncos defense is still very good. Against a team still trying to adapt to a new offense, the Broncos should have little problem… Denver 28, San Francisco 19.




NFL Pre Season Week 1 Preview



Green Bay Packers vs. Indianapolis Colts:

Hall of Fame Weekend Game
When: Saturday, August 7th @ 4:30pm EST
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO

Bovada Lines: line is -1 Colts, over/under is 36

The Colts must sure up their offensive line in order to protect QB Andrew Luck, who they just gave a huge fat contract to. I will be looking to see how the OL comes together and whether they can run the ball effectively to take pressure off of Luck. The Packers will get a healthy Jordy Nelson back who was greatly missed last year. I will be looking to see if the other WRs step up and make plays for Aaron Rodgers unlike last year, when no receiver emerged as a true number one.

Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams:
When: Saturday, August 13th @ 8:00pm EST
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA

Bovada Lines: line is -3 Rams, over/under is 36

The Rams took QB Jared Goff number one overall in this year's draft so I will be looking to see how well he does in his first game action. The Cowboys defense was absolutely terrible last year and instead of addressing it, they took a RB in Ezekiel Elliott number four overall. The defense will be tasked with defending a rookie QB but a beast in RB Todd Gurley so I want to see if the Cowboys made the right decision in choosing not to improve the defense.

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Carolina Panthers at Baltimore Ravens:

When: Saturday, August 11th @ 7:30pm EST
Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD

Bovada Lines: line is -1 Ravens, over/under is 36

Both of these franchises had major injury issues last season, but they each had very different seasons. The Ravens must protect Joe Flacco so he does not get hurt again and Steve Smith returns for one final season in the NFL. Both teams are contenders but they must stay healthy. The Panthers lost WR Kelvin Benjamin last off-season but still managed to produce the league's most dominant offense led by MVP QB Cam Newton. I want to see how quickly Benjamin gets back up to speed and how he gels with the rest of the offense after missing a year.

Once again, either way, it’s time for some football!



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