Steelers -7 at Dolphins
Coming off of back to back big home wins, I am somewhat hesitant taking Pittsburgh on the road since Big Ben's numbers haven't been as dominant away from Heinz Field, but Miami is coming off back to back bad losses. Their secondary is likely to get picked apart by this explosive attack, and Ryan Tannehill might not have much time in the pocket with this offensive line trying to block the Steelers' fierce front. A healthy Arian Foster could help if he is set to make his return, but it won't matter if the Steelers get up early and tee off.
|I like Antonio Brown's chances of finding the end zone again this week.|
Both of these teams burned me last week, but I'm going back to the well because I still don't believe in Washington's defense. Baltimore fired offensive coordinator Marc Trestman because they should have run away with that game, and Philadelphia should have more success on the ground with Ryan Mathews after he gave last week's win away with their first turnover of the season. With star tight end Jordan Reed dealing with another concussion, the Eagles should have an easier time stopping this already inconsistent Redskins offense.
Jaguars +2.5 at Bears
Jacksonville is coming off their bye week after holding onto their first win against the same Indy team who just beat Chicago last week. Playing on the road is dangerous for this young team, but John Fox is only 2-8 at home in his Bears tenure. As long as Blake Bortles can avoid killing his team with turnovers, Allen Robinson and T.J. Yeldon should be able to create plays against this shaky defense. On the other side, the Jaguars are playing good pass defense behind #5 pick Jalen Ramsey, so if they can key in on impressive rookie running back Jordan Howard, they should have a chance at this game.
|Young defensive ends Yannick Ngakoue and Dante Fowler have started to spark this pass rush.|
Speaking of teams coming off a bye, Andy Reid is famously known for being 15-2 after the off week in his career, and that number jumps up to 18-2 if you include the playoffs. I liked this line a lot better when it opened at +2, but I guess the public is aware of Reid's record and also saw Oakland almost blow their win at home last week. Former Chief corner Sean Smith has been inconsistent since signing a big contract with the Raiders, so Alex Smith could build on his strong finish to that drubbing in Pittsburgh before the bye. Without All-Pro Justin Houston, Kansas City's pass rush has struggled, but they could get a boost with Oakland's right tackle Austin Howard still getting worked back in from his ankle injury after being limited to just 11 snaps last week.
|Jamaal Charles could get more work this week and has a ton of success in Oaklad.|
Atlanta took advantage of a backup right tackle and rookie quarterback who didn't look ready to get a big road win last week, but asking them to do it back to back weeks is a tall order. Vic Beasley does have a chance to try and match the best game of his career by far against Seattle's poor offensive line, but Russell Wilson is now another week healthier and has the escapability to take advantage of this defense. Operating in the slot, Doug Baldwin should avoid the tight coverage of Desmond Trufant, and Christine Michael's burst could cause problems for this run defense. Conversely, I expect the Falcons to have a much harder time running the ball against this disciplined defense, and Richard Sherman is about as good a bet as there is to slow down Julio Jones if he continues his shadow coverage from their last game.
Last week: 1-4
Season total: 19-17