Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, August 9, 2012 at 9:49 AM
Hope last Sundays NFL Hall of Fame Game - New Orleans Saints 17, Arizona Cardinals 10 - merely whet your pigskin appetite this summer 'cause theres a full NFL Preseason Week 1 card straight ahead beginning Thursday night.
Lets just say there are storylines galore all week/weekend long including the Thursday Nite hot topics including Heisman Trophy-winning QB Robert Griffin III making his pro debut with the Washington Redskins (think that franchise has been searching for a quarterback savior for years?) plus dont forget the start of the Peyton Manning Era with the Denver Broncos and who better to begin that time than with a game against the big, bad Chicago Bears?
Well have our Jim Sez quick-hitter analyses and comments shortly but first this key reminder:
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are gearing up for a big-time NFL Preseason run all summer long and well keep in rollin this Thursday and Friday nights with those aforementioned busy cards -- get all the NFL Preseason Sides & Totals Winners and so dont miss out on all the profits this weekend and beyond. Do yourself a favor and Sign up today and get all the discount rates from Americas #1 Handicapper! Make sure to check in with us on game days either right here online at or else at our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453. Come in for our Season Of A Century Football program, and get the Preseason and the resat of the baseball season FREE! .
Now, heres a look at Thursdays NFL Preseason Week 1 games:
WASHINGTON at BUFFALO - 7 p.m. ET
The"RG3" Era begins with the visiting Redskins who keep telling anyone who will listen that folks need to be"patient" with Griffin who must show hes willing to sit in the pocket for that half-second longer before tucking the ball under his arm and running and wont it be interesting the first time new Bills pass-rushing DE Mario Williams makes a bee-line to the hot-shot rookie here? On the flip side, Buffalo wants QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to show steady improvement under new quarterbacks coach David Lee and no doubt everyone in Bills camp was juiced up by a pair of 50-yard completed passes to WRs Stevie Johnson and Derek Hagan.
Current Las Vegas Lines: Redskins (- 2) and 35 points
NEW ORLEANS (1-0) at NEW ENGLAND - 7:30 p.m. ET
Now that the Saints have scratched the win column with that aforementioned H.O.F. Game win last Sunday night theres more focus being placed on position battles and depth issues but one thing to watch for here in Foxboro is how often NOrleans swings the ball on pass plays to RBs Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles. In the win against Arizona, the Saints RBs were ultra-active as pass-catchers and so keep an eye on how New Englands youthful linebacking corps handles the"swing" passes against them here. New England - which is holding a pair of joint practices with the Saints this week - hopes to pick up some tendencies here and Patriots QB Tom Brady merely proclaimed"were going to see where we are at" following the practices while heading into this exhibition tilt.
Current Las Vegas Lines: Patriots (- 3.5) and 38 points
PITTSBURGH at PHILADELPHIA - 7:30 p.m. ET
No doubt the premature death of Eagles head coach Andy Reids son Garrett last Sunday morning in Lehigh sucked the life right out of this NFC East team and so who knows what to expect with Philly in this Keystone State showdown? The fact of the matter is the Eagles normally dont put a whole lot of stock in preseason action in the Reid Era but this summer may be different as that"something to prove" attitude prevails and so dont be shocked if QB Michael Vick gets in for more than a handful of plays here. Note that Pittsburgh, meanwhile, plans to start two rookies along the teams offensive line as both guard David DeCastro (Stanford) and OT Mike Adams (Ohio State) will see instant action at right guard and left tackle, respectively, but keep a close eye on Steelers return specialist Marquis Maze as this former Alabama wide-out could be a field-flipper in this clash.
Current Las Vegas Lines: Pick 'Em and 35 points
BALTIMORE at ATLANTA - 7:30 p.m. ET
How about the fact that Ravens QB Joe Flacco - finally - looks to be taking a more vocal leadership role with this AFC North team? Ask folks around the Baltimore organization and theyll be quick to tell you new QB coach Jim Caldwell - the former Super Bowl-losing coach with the Indianapolis Colts - has fine-tuned Flaccos fundamentals and given him a major confidence boost - lets see (even in limited time here) how Flacco handles the Georgia Dome noise and the Falcons defense in this preseason opener. Remember no Baltimore OLB Terrell Suggs (Achilles Heel) here or for the foreseeable future and keep in mind Ravens OLB Courtney Upshaw just returned to practice after missing a slew of time with his sprained shoulder injury.
Current Las Vegas Lines: Falcons (- 2) and 34 points
GREEN BAY at SAN DIEGO - 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Theres been plenty of hub-bub surrounding the news that a female official will work as a referee in this game (Shannon Eastin) but maybe the NFL should spend less time publicizing this factoid and more time at the bargaining table with its normal on-field officials - those jokers that worked the Hall of Fame Game last weekend couldnt even get the coin toss correct! In terms of this national TV tilt, the Packers claim they will be without - get this - 17 injured players here most notably WR Greg Jennings and LT Marshall Newhouse and so dont expect QB Aaron Rodgers to play more than five or six snaps in this one. Note that the SD Chargers reportedly really slowed down the pace of practice yesterday after under-siege head coach Norv Turner was quoted as saying,"We have had extremely physical practices (lately)." Look for undrafted QB Jarrett Lee (LSU) to play significant minutes here as journeyman slinger Kevin OConnell has consistently overthrown receivers the past several days in camp.
Current Las Vegas Lines: Chargers (- 1) and 37.5 points
DENVER at CHICAGO - 8:30 p.m. ET
Drum roll, please! The aforementioned Peyton Manning knows there is nowhere to go but"up" with a passing attack that ranked next-to-last in the NFL a year ago but there were reports the past 24 hours that Manning isnt thrilled with the clubs two-minute offense after the unit stalled on the four-yard line (four consecutive incompletions from there) after a solid 56-yard drive in practice. Manning the perfectionist is hoping for better results here (hope he was watching Saints QB Drew Brees in that Hall of Fame Game drive to start things last weekend!) but Bears boss Lovie Smith hinted his team wont let up when rushing the new Broncos signal-caller. In fact, Smith said,"Our pass rushers want to get to the quarterback (against Denver)." Note that the Bears claim rookie OLB Shea McClellin (Boise State) will see time on kick return and punt return squads - while Chicago return star Devin Hester missed Tuesdays practice with an illness and hes questionable for this preseason opener.
Current Las Vegas Lines: Bears (- 3) and 34.5 points
NOTE: Theres more NFL Preseason Week 1 Previews in the next edition of Jim Sez.