Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, August 12, 2016 at 12:06 PM
IT'S OPENING-NIGHT NEWS/NOTES FROM NFL PRESEASON WEEK 1 PLUS A TASTE OF SATURDAY'S MENU
If you happened to watch the first episode of HBO's Hard Knocks featuring the Los Angeles Rams, then you already know that rookie QB Jared Goff - the first overall selection in this year's NFL Draft - has some issues as in he didn't know the sun rises in the East and sets in the West.
Well, maybe he'll be a bit sharper tomorrow night when his new-look Rams host the Dallas Cowboys in an NFL Preseason Week 1 bash - last night we eyeballed the pro debut of Philadelphia Eagles' rookie QB Carson Wentz (the second overall pick in this past draft) who generally played okay and could've been helped if his receivers hung onto a couple of high throws.
When the night was done, Wentz threw for 89 yards on 12-of-24 passes - mostly quick-hitter darts - and he showed some real grit by nearly going head-over-heels on a rushing play out of Philly's spread option offense.
Hey, new quarterbacks such as Goff and Wentz will gobble up many of the NFL Preseason headlines this summer but last night also brought us the Denver debut of QB Mark Sanchez (see 99 yards passing with 1 TD and 1 INT) who is expected to land the starting job for the defending Super Bowl champions even if the AFC West club claims it's an "even competition" with Trevor Siemian (88 yards passing and a nice touch on his timing throws over the middle).
Lots of QB stories will be filling these Jim Sez columns the next few weeks - even though we continue to say 29-of-32 starting quarterback jobs are all wrapped up ... just LA, San Francisco and aforementioned Philadelphia will truly be decided by the preseason games.
FYI, NFL Preseason Betting Favorites went 4-2 ATS (against the spread) while "Overs" split their six spread verdicts with "unders" in the totals plays last night.
Folks, Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers want to welcome you to the start of the 2016 Football Season. It rolls on all weekend long with plenty of NFL Preseason Week 1 action: There's 5 games this evening, 4 on Saturday and one more Sunday night -- and keep in mind the College Football campaign swings into high gear on Friday, August 28th when California battles Hawaii in Sydney, Australia and then on September 1st we begin a full weekend card that includes such games as South Carolina at Vanderbilt (Sept. 1), Kansas State at Stanford (Sept. 2nd), Clemson vs. Auburn, LSU vs. Wisconsin and USC-Alabama on Sept. 3rd plus it's Notre Dame at Texas (Sept. 4th) and finally it's Ole Miss vs. Florida State on Labor Day evening (Sept. 5th).
Also, take note that America's #1 Handicapper continues to bang out lots of winners in Major-League Baseball these days and all you need to do is check in either right here online or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 any time after 1 p.m. Eastern time for the weeknight action, after 11 a.m. ET for weekday games and after 10 a.m. ET for Saturday/Sunday/Holiday Winners and get all the Football & Baseball winners.
In NFL Preseason Week 1 action on Saturday, it's ...
SEATTLE at KANSAS CITY - 4:30 p.m.
The Seahawks might be a bit short of quality targets for this game at Arrowhead Stadium as TE Jimmy Graham is taking it slowly while rehabbing last year's season-ending knee injury while veteran WR Doug Baldwin (quad) has a ways to go before he's close to 100 percent.
Current Line: Chiefs (- 3) and 35.5 points
INDIANAPOLIS at BUFFALO - 7 p.m. ET
Can the Bills have a worse injury week before they've even played a single Preseason game? From DB Aaron Williams suffering a possible concussion to OL Cordy Glenn's high ankle sprain to rookie LB Reggie Ragland being lost for the year with a knee injury, the mood in camp has been dour ... and still the Bills are favored here.
Current Line: Bills (- 2) and 36.5 points
DALLAS at LOS ANGELES - 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Okay, so checking out QB Goff is high on our to-do list this weekend but don't forget the Cowboys need to begin their search for a quality backup to QB Tony Romo - he ain't getting any younger, you know! - with word circulating that rookie Dak Prescott (Miss State) has looked super so far.
Current Line: Los Angeles (- 5) and 35 points
SAN DIEGO at TENNESSEE - 8 p.m. ET
Last year's Titans ranked 25th in the NFL in rushing and 25th in passing, so there's major room for improvement and Tennessee coaches are particularly interested in monitoring the progress of WR Dorial Green-Beckham who has been rather erratic in camp so far. Green-Beckham could be a 90-catch guy for second-year QB Marcus Mariota but Titans' head coach Mike Mularkey has wondered aloud recently if "DGB" is properly motivated.
Current Line: Titans (- 3) and 35.5 points
NOTE: More NFL Preseason Notes plus Sunday's Houston at San Francisco preview too in tomorrow's Jim Sez.