Believe it or Not - NFL Week 3
Talking heads grace the media, airwaves, and print waxing about the latest insight from NFL Week 2. In our Believe it or Not Series, we will look for actionable intelligence to drive our handicapping moving forward. What is fact? What is fiction? Which teams do we fade? Which teams do we play? In this week's Believe it or Not, we answer those questions and more.
DANIEL JONES / NEW YORK GIANTS
The former Duke quarterback made his first NFL start on Sunday. After much criticism by pundits at the draft selection, Dave Gettlemen and the New York Giants have the most recent laugh, if not the last one entirely. In our NFL Week 3 Picks, we identified the momentum that would lift the Giants tide, which ultimately propelled them to a victory in Tampa Bay. Daniel Jones was clocked at the third and fourth fastests speeds by a quarterback this year. Kurt Warner, of the NFL Network, claimed he didn't miss a read the entire game. Eli Manning had never brought his team back from an 18 point deficit to win the game. Daniel Jones did it on his first start. Certainly, we need to pump the brakes before we enshrine him in Canton, but there is a lot Big Blue to be excited about. I think the Giants need to move up our Power Ratings and yours.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
The Los Angeles Chargers were ballyhooed as a playoff, if not, a Super Bowl contender this offseason, but that was before they started to fall apart at the seems. First, it was the Melvin Ingram hold out and distraction. Then, it seemed like players started befalling to injuries as if they were bitten by the plague. Now, they find themselves in a hole at 1-2 staring up at the Kansas City Chiefs' undefeated start. Because hardly any of the players are household names, the market still has not properly adjusted to all the injuries the Chargers have suffered. The cumulative impact of the absent players is deciding games and spreads. Believe the Chargers you have seen on the field to start of the season and not the one you expected to see before it began.
There are a lot of teams that start 1-2 and can recover, but Freddie Kitchens, Baker Mayfield, and the Cleveland Browns are not one of them. The Cleveland Browns have been all flash and no substance. Grabbing talented rejects from the New York Giants in OBJ and Vernon, to add to a roster all ready ripe with personality, if the Browns can't get the train back on track, it might end in a tumultuous season for the Browns. Players coaches are great when the team is winning, but they tend to open themselves up to infighting when things go awry. Whether the Browns can get their mojo back or if the drama builds to combustibility, grab the popcorn. It is going to be exciting times in Cleveland. Don't buy the Dog Pound hype!.
Despite the early season heroics, Kyler Murray has not been able to bring the Cardinals to their first victory of the season. In a game that was devoid of Cam Newton, Kyler Murray could only muster 20 points in a drubbing to the Carolina Panthers. Certainly, the Arizona Cardinals problems are much deeper than Kyler Murray, but despite the college and draft interest, this team is bad, the coach is bad, and the quarterback is historically undersized. As the season progresses and there is more tape on Murray, we suspect his numbers to dwindle. There will still be fade opportunities in the future for the Arizona Cardinals and their diminutive gunslinger.
WEEK 3 NOTES
NFL Underdogs: 9-7 ATS
NFL Road Teams: 10-6 ATS
NFL Unders: 6-9 ATS
Season Long Stats
NFL Underdogs: 27-20-1 ATS (57%)
NFL Road Teams: 31-16-1 ATS (66%)
NFL Unders: 26-22 (54%)