NFL WEEK TWO 2021
Updated: Sep 23, 2021
The following is stolen from my favorite announcing riff of Week One—paraphrasing Aaron Taylor’s call after Chandler Jones’ fifth sack of the Titan’s Ryan Tannehill:
"Go ‘head, take a good look…Bring a magnifying glass, a freakin’ electron microscope—
You will not find a single hair on the Gairzo’s ass…
After last weeks final whistle, it had been waxed so thoroughly Gorilla Glue would’ve slid right off."
Here’s the tally to our worst start in memory:
2020 NFL TALLY SHEET – WEEK ONE
Week One Tally: 5 – 11 2020 Overall Tally: 5 – 11
Week One Totals 4 – 2 Cumulative Totals: 4 – 2
Weekly Specials 2 – 2 Cumulative Specials: 2 -2
GAME OF THE WEEK 0 – 1 LOCK OF THE WEEK 1 – 0
UPSET SPECIAL 0 – 1 O/U OF THE WEEK 1 – 0
PREMIUM PICK CUMULATIVE 6 – 4 WEEKLY THREE POINT PARLAY 0 – 1
Fortunately we salvaged some pride with our 4-2 Totals performance and a .600 week on our Premium Picks.
We also have a new rival over at The Athletic. Sheil Kapada boasts a .577 last year and was 10-5-1 last week. Him and I don’t agree on many games this week either…
GAME OF THE WEEK
K.C. Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens PK 51.5 [O]
John Harbaugh deserves the football world’s respect even if I do mock him as having the most punchable face in America.. He was sitting hot a few years back as the team managed the transition from Ozzie Newsome to Eric DeCosta as GM, and, on the field, the Joe Flacco debacle leading to the brilliant pick of Lamar Jackson at #32 of the 2018 draft.
Harbaugh is in the discussion as the NFL’s best head coach—without a rap sheet for cheating—along with Pete Carroll in Seattle, the Bayou’s Sean Payton, and AFC North rival, Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh.
Their records are almost identical, Harbaugh has won three more post-season games than Tomlin, Payton two—but only Tomlin has been to more than one Super Bowl; all three have won a ring and Tomlin’s win % is the best.
Tomlin also excels at always keeping his team in the hunt. Best example being 2019, when he narrowly missed the playoffs with Duck Hodges and Mason Rudolph subbing for Big Ben. (No, not Duck Dodger of the 24th Century—Duck Hodges of the 2019 Steelers.)
Although Harbaugh rebuilt one of the NFL’s legendary defenses, no season will test him as 2021 surely will. His Ravens have 14 players on IR, and they aren’t depth players. We’re talking multiple starting elite CBs and RBs. To rub salt in those wounds—the Magpies lost the Week One Monday Nighter to Las Vegas in a very unlucky, and very long overtime.
Meanwhile, Andy Reid, who also belongs in the best non-cheating coach discussion has Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Nikcole Hardiman, and a revamped O-Line featuring former Raven, Orlando Brown. The Arrowheads got Brown for what amounts to a first-round pick.
If you look at Lamar Jackson’s playoff record—he’s only won one game—his average QB rating is 35 points lower than that number during the regular season; he has thrown only 3 TDs against 5 picks—and his per game rushing average is a couple ticks higher.
That says to me—allowing for the increased intensity and opponent quality during the playoffs—the kid presses when the stakes are highest. Since 2018, when Jackson was drafted, his Crows are 5-8 ATS after a loss, the fifth worst mark in the league.
Jackson has never beaten KC in three tries. Harbaugh and his QB know this game is as close to a must win as there can be in Week Two.
Usually when almost everything points to one team beating another, handicappers have to look at the less likely outcome as being the better choice.
Not this week. Mahomes is starting to feel better after a recent ankle tweak and Baltimore is starting too many second stringers.
If they couldn’t stop Derek Carr…
LOCK OF THE WEEK
Denver Broncos @Jacksonville Jaguars +3.5 43.5 [O]
When a college coach, even a successful one like Urban Myer, has to face questions about his commitment to the pro team that only a few months ago hired him---something is very wrong.
When Von Miller is back wreaking havoc in his opponent’s backfield and the Broncos are stopping the run—and gaining 6 yards per offensive rushing play, something is very right.
Teddy Bridgewater has found a home in the Mile High City and deserves all the success he has worked for. If he can keep his one game QB rating of 115 above 100 for the season, the Broncos could be the Darkest of Dark Horses in the AFC.
Call it the Lou Saban effect—I don’t trust coaches who are linked to every opening a level below the league in which they currently operate. Is it reasonable to ask, who’s doing the “linking?”
The Wild Horses have better talent in all three phases; Trevor Lawrence will be running for his life all daylong.
OVER/UNDER OF THE WEEK
San Francisco 49ers @ Philadelphia Eagles +4 46 [O]
Jalen Hurts at 126.4 and Jimmy Garrapolo at 124.2 are 6th and 7th in the NFL QB rating derby.
I know a one-week sample is pretty lame, but that’s all we have to go on…
The Prospectors gain 8 YPP—1.5 more than Nick Sirianni’s Eagles…
Philly gives up only 3.9 Yards PPA = per pass attempt…
The 49ers look like the stronger team but we love what Hurts brings to the table.
Should be a high scoring game—unless the defenses show more than they did last week.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Chicago Bears – 3.5 45.5 [O]
The Week Two slate I’m looking at shows me this is the only viable Upset Special on the board.
The Raiders were a contender, but under Gruden they are the NFL’s 3rd worst team ATS after a win—and they went deep into OT, and have to fly across country…Oh yeah, and Pittsburgh’s defense is for real.
The visiting Saints will be just too good for the Black Cats, even in Carolina...
Even with the big number of 13.5, the Browns are just beginning to show their teeth. They are far more talented than Houston.
Of course I could be drop dead wrong about every game I referenced, because until October, few teams have their identity compass pointing true north.
Fact is, I like Joe Burrow; Cincy’s O-Line will protect him better than Chicago will protect the Ginger Slinger, Andy Dalton….
The Bengals under Zachary Taylor and Burrow think they can play with anyone—but how can we trust either of these offenses to put two or three games together?
That screams, “take the points” and hope Burrow will make a couple big plays.
WEEKLY PARLAY Saints -2.5 @ Carolina…Broncos -3.5 @ Jax…K.C./ Browns Over…
Thurs., Sept. 16
NY Giants at Washington Football Team (-3, 43) [O]
Sunday, Sept. 19
Patriots (-3, 42.5) @ NY Jets
Broncos (-3.5, 43.5) @ Jaguars LW [O]
Bills (-3, 48.5) @ Dolphins
49ers (-4, 46) @ Eagles O/U
Rams (-1.5, 49.5) @ Colts
Raiders @ Steelers (-5.5, 49)
Bengals @ Bears (-3.5, 45.5) US [O]
Texans @ Browns (-13.5, 46)
Saints (-2.5, 47.5) @ Panthers
Vikings @ Cardinals (-3, 49.5)
Falcons @ Bucs (-9.5, 52)
Titans @ Seahawks (-3.5, 49)
Cowboys @ Chargers (-1.5, 52)
Chiefs @ Ravens (PK, 51.5) [GW] 
Monday, Sept. 20
Lions @ Packers (-7.5, 47.5) [O]