Without a proper preseason, I felt I needed to see one game to really get a gauge for how this season will play out. Either that or I am later submitting this for week 1 – I’ll let you decide.
Just a refresher – I will provide 5 bold predictions each week. I will grade those 5 bold picks on the old elementary scale of grades A-D:
- Grade A: Nailed it.
- Grade B: It somehow fell short but if you followed it you likely still benefitted from it greatly (for example a QB was supposed to have 400 passing yards but he only had 375)
- Grade C: It missed by a decent margin, there was a hint of something there
- Grade D: Egregiously missed, I feel great shame for leading you down this path.
2019 Final Grades:
- Grade A: 22 times
- Grade B: 16 times
- Grade C: 9 times
- Grade D: 32 times
Onto Week 1 predictions!
1. New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills hits the over
Justification: Over/under currently at 39 points. Give me the over at 45. The Jets had a somewhat porous secondary last season albeit a tough line. The Bills were quite the opporite with an excellent secondary and an average line against opposing running. It’s the first game of the season so anything could happen but I think the Bills get a hefty lead and late in the game Darnold gets some garbage points to bring this up to 45 total points.
2. Teddy Bridgewater is currently slotted at QB25, he will be a top 8 QB this week against the Las Vegas Raiders
Justification: I feel pretty confident on this one. Teddy Bridgewater will be making his first start since October of last year and that’s a good thing. The film and expectations of what he will do for the Las Vegas defense will be difficult to follow. Teddy will have a strong start to this season until teams get footage of his playing style and can adjust accordingly. Also, the game is a home game at Bank of America stadium AND Las Vegas allowed the fourth most points to opposing QBs last year.
3. Raheem Mostert is currently slotted as RB21, he will be a top 8 RB this week
Justification: In a Kyle Shanahan offense where running backs prevail, Mostert now finds himself the beneficiary of a larger workload with Matt Breida off in Miami. The Cardinals had an average rushing defense last season. The games last season where Raheem Mostert had at least 10 attempts he averaged 77 yards and almost a touchdown a game. That’s not too shabby.
4. JuJu Smith-Schuster will have 110 receiving yards and a touchdown against the Giants
Justification: Pittsburgh is facing the Giants, who allowed the sixth most points to opposing wide receivers last season. Big Ben is back and the Steelers still have a top 10 offensive line (it’s true, look at PFF) between Alejandro Villaneuva at LT, and Matt Feiler at RT. I think they come out real strong and make a statement utilizing Juju heavy in the first game of the year.
5. Hunter Henry is currently slotted as TE7, I think he lands outside the top 15
Justification: Cincinnati has a decent secondary and one of the more dominant defensive lines. The Bengals additions of Germaine Pratt (third round draft pick) and Josh Bynes should help solidify a linebacking group that struggled last season. Perhaps that means that Tyrod Taylor will have to get the ball out quickly (to a TE) but I think there will be a bit of a learning curve in place for LA Chargers who have a new quarterback under helm for the first time in 15 years. When Tyrod started for the Browns a few years ago against a Pittsburgh Defense who was getting to him, he threw to David Njoku just three times for 13 yards.