Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, August 10, 2018 at 12:00 AM
THE NFL PRESEASON WEEK 1 LANDSCAPE –
TONIGHT’S TWO TILTS (THAT’S FALCONS-JETS
PLUS IT’S LIONS-RAIDERS) AND KEY NEWS/NOTES
FROM A BUSY THURSDAY NIGHT MENU
Okay, so if you want to just “get the facts, Jack” regarding the first full night of NFL Preseason action, then here they are:
Betting Favorites went 3-7 ATS (against the spread) with two Pick ‘Em games last night as the only chalk-eaters to cover the numbers were Baltimore (- 3.5) besting the Los Angeles Rams 33-7, New England (- 2.5) charging from way back to down Washington 26-17 and Green Bay (- 1.5) bopping Tennessee 31-17.
The Green Bay win/cover was a Jim Hurley Network winner … plus Jim also cashed with Tampa Bay (+ 2.5) in its thrilling 26-24 victory in Miami and so we’re off and rollin’ in this 2018 preseason that also happened to feature last week’s Hall of Fame Game “under” winner in the Baltimore versus Chicago bash.
Folks, Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will be bashing the books plenty this NFL preseason with lots more winners straight ahead. Plus, don’t forget that Jim keeps piling up the profits with Major-League Baseball too – so go ahead and get all the MLB winners and all the NFL Preseason winners at www.jimhurley.com or via our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453. Remember: There’s two games here on this Friday night (see quick-hitter previews below) and two more games on Saturday night (that’s Minnesota at Denver and the Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona).
Tonight, it’s …
ATLANTA at NEW YORK JETS – 7:30 p.m. ET, NFL Network
No doubt that all the buzz coming from this MetLife Stadium game revolves around NYJ’s rookie quarterback Sam Darnold who has wowed folks in recent practices with his arm and his head – but if the J-E-T-S decide to start the draft’s No. 3 overall pick this past spring we could see the Falcons counter with some blitzes … word is Atlanta will play its defensive starters for a series or two and so that’ll be fun stuff. On the flip side, Atlanta is counting on first-round draftee WR Calvin Ridley (Alabama) to be an instant star and he could be on the receiving end of a couple of flip-the-field plays here. Yes, starting QB Matt Ryan should be in there for a handful of plays (WR Julio Jones will not) and so keep an eye on a fly pattern or two to Ridley here.
Current Line: Jets – 3.5 and 35.5 points
DETROIT at OAKLAND – 10:30 p.m. ET, NFL Network
Here’s a case where the Lions and Raiders have been bucking heads in practice the past few days and so don’t be surprised if there are some on-field “fireworks” here: The proverbial bottom line is that both will be trying to strut their stuff for new head coaches as the return to the sidelines for Oakland’s Jon Gruden (the $100 million man) while Detroit’s new boss Matt Patricia will be looking to change the culture for a team that has not won a playoff game in the QB Matthew Stafford Era. Gotta believe that both Stafford and Raiders’ slinger Derek Carr – one of only five NFL quarterbacks to have thrown 100+ touchdowns in his first four seasons – will get in for just a series or two and remember no DE Khalil Mack (contract holdout) here for the silver and black.
Current Line: Raiders – 3 and 36.5 points
In Thursday night’s NFL Preseason 1 games, it was …
If you watched the 11 p.m. ET SportsCenter on ESPN last night then you know they led with Cleveland Browns’ rookie QB Baker Mayfield who showed lots of moxie – to go along with a strong arm and active legs – in his team’s 20-10 Pick ‘Em game win against the host New York Giants. True, Mayfield – 11-of-20 passing for 212 yards with two TDs and 0 INTs to go along with three rushes for 13 yards – showed no fear in his two-plus quarters of game action but funny how the all-sports network “buried the lead” and that’s Tyrod Taylor completed all five of his passes for 99 yards and one TD against Giants’ defensive starters and it’s Taylor who’s gonna be the team’s starting signal-caller come Week 1. Meanwhile, if you’re a Giants fan than the awful outing by #2 quarterback Davis Webb (9-of-22 passing for 70 yards) has to bother you because he’s been a bit too chatty this summer and all he did was overthrow targets left and right. P.S., we won’t be shocked if Webb’s not even on the Giants’ roster come Week 1 if he plays like that again this summer …
No Tom Brady, no matter. The New England Patriots rallied from down 17-0 to nail down their above-mentioned 26-17 triumph over Washington as rookie RB Ralph Webb (Vanderbilt) scored two touchdowns and registered a pair of two-point conversions but it was the other team’s rookie running back that – unfortunately – made big news as Derrius Guice (LSU) went down with a knee injury after rushing six times for 19 yards. Guice was a second-round pick of the ‘Skins this past spring and D.C. fans are banking on him boosting the oft-dormant ground game but gotta see what today’s MRI shows as the NFC East team could be scouring the market for another back should Guice be an early casualty …
Finally, the San Francisco 49ers (- 3.5) rallied with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown to beat Dallas 24-21 but the injuries piled up on the SF sidelines with six players exiting with first-half hurts: TE George Kittle (shoulder) and RB Matt Breida (shoulder) could be lost for awhile and that would be very damaging to a team attempting to build up its depth. Note that Dallas rookie RB Bo Scarbrough (Alabama) scored on a one-yard TD and also ran 28 yards for one big gainer as the Cowboys search for some depth behind super-stud RB Ezekiel Elliott. Overall, the ‘Boys looked good when starting QB Dak Prescott played (see 3-of-3 passing featuring a 30-yard scoring strike to rookie WR Michael Gallup of Colorado State).
NOTE: More NFL Preseason Week 1 goodies in tomorrow’s weekend edition of Jim Sez.