So this week I got a polite request from a 49ers fan to do a bit of a write up on the matches for this weekend, i’ll still be sticking with the televised matches during my write ups, but lets be fair, his life hasn’t been great this season, and it isn’t looking like his team is going to do anything to cheers him up, so here’s James Hatton’s write ups for the weekend to come, nothing bet related as of yet, although i’ll probably refer to them on the Sunday picks post, as you’ll soon tell, he knows his stuff! – He’s been a very busy guy this week and they’re in depth, so i’ll post the 1800 kick offs now (minus Eagles v Redskins) and the remainder will be along in a separate post tomorrow
A very little insight into the man himself –
“As much as I love the Niners, I love the game just as much. Growing up and playing sports as a kid made me appreciate the finesse and the brutality that the NFL brings. The term ‘any given Sunday’ (as well is being an incredible film) is applicable each and every week where the worst can beat the best. Literally anything can happen. All part of the joy and frustration that American Football brings its fans.”
San Francisco @ Buffalo
I assure you that I won’t let my bias get in the way of any 49er games. This will prove it. Kaepernick is back at QB but sadly I don’t see this being anything else other than a Bills win. I loathe the Ryan brothers, I don’t view them as anything other than mid-tier coaches with big mouths but as much as a spark that Kap can provide, the Bill’s D is playing very well and the Niners cannot stop the run. With Shady McCoy seemingly back to his old self the Bills have played controlled football earning themselves a nice 3 game winning streak.
I hope I am wrong!
Winner – Buffalo.
Jacksonville @ Chicago
Brian Hoyer just won’t go away will he? Fair play to him though. Doing better than Jay Cutler is hardly difficult but he has come in and played well. My fear is that the magic runs out and we see ‘Meltdown’ Hoyer like we did last year against the Chiefs. Alshon Jeffrey is one of the bigger disappointments from a fantasy perspective but if Hoyer distributes the ball as well as he has been then this can only be a good thing for the Bears. Jacksonville had so much hype with their defence catching up with the high flying offense but it has yet to materialise in to anything of substance. Both teams are bottom of their respective divisions but this could be a high scoring game with plenty of fantasy points going around.
Winner – Jacksonville
LA @ Detroit
Hard to see which way this one will go. Stafford is playing good football. Certainly see no real flaws with him in Jim-Bob Cooter’s (one of my favourite names ever) offence. Depends which Rams D turns up really. Their front line is as good as they come but their secondary is poor which should be exploited by Stafford; providing he is given time to throw. See where I am going here? The Rams are the epitome of average in the NFL and I don’t foresee Jeff Fisher doing anything different this year probably ending up with a third place finish around the 500 mark…..again. The decline starts this Sunday unless the team that beat the Seahawks turns up.
Winner – Detroit
Pittsburgh @ Miami
As detailed earlier, Miami is one of the most confused and dawdling teams in the league at the moment. Don’t seem to have a real identity which should have been transformed this year with bright mind Adam Gase at the helm. That being said, a coach can only work with the roster that he has so I expect it will be at least another year before you start to see that change. Pittsburgh is on fire again now that Mr Bell is back in action. Other than David Johnson there isn’t another player that gives so much versatility but at such a high standard. Shame to see DeAngelo Williams being shifted back to the bench so abruptly but we knew it would happen. Sammie Coates currently has a giant soft cast on his hand so wouldn’t expect too much from him this week. Look for Big Ben to lean on Antonio Brown and Bell this week.
Winner – Pittsburgh
Cincinnati @ New England
Ok. Adam will hate me on this one but given how the Bengals are playing and their lack of offensive weapons AND how Zeke Elliott rampaged through their defence last week; It is hard to see the Bengals coming out with a win. Not to say that the Patriots are invincible as their defence could be torched by AJ Green at any time but Dalton has to get him the ball first. His 4 catches for 50 yards just won’t get it done unfortunately. Don’t get me started either on their run game. Keeping this respectable after Brady destroyed Cleveland last week should be the only focus, look for Gio Bernard to get increased work this week if they fall behind early.
Winner – New England
Carolina @ New Orleans
Newton is still in the concussion protocl but it is not like we are seeing the the polarizing NFL MVP so far this year. If you needed one team to play against to get your rhythm back as an offence, with or without your star QB, New Orleans is as good as any to face as they allow 422 yards a game. Brees has been Brees-like with 7 receivers with 10 catches or more but he must be bored of always having to score 30+ points just to bail out his teammates on the other side of the ball. Carolina must get better distribution than last week, 75% of their passes went to Olsen and Benjamin. With Brees playing well and considering how the Panthers secondary have been BATTERED the last few weeks (leading to some players getting cut) I give the advantage to the home side.
Winner – New Orleans
Baltimore @ New York Giants
Is there any other team in the league more underwhelming than the Giants? They have easily one of the best WR trios in the league and they are scoring under 18 points a game. This ranks them at 27th in the league. Granted they have no running backs but you would expect more out of Eli Manning than this. On paper the Ravens are one of the dullest teams in the league but moods obviously boiled over with key guys in the locker room as they fired offensive ‘guru’ Marc Trestman this week. Something must be wrong for that to happen but all you have to do is ask the Buffalo Bills if changing co-ordinators mid season works and their answer would be a resounding YES. You wonder if the Ravens control the game with Terrance West on the ground would actually play in to the Giants hands and force them to take to the air. OBJ is a game changer at any point in a game but the Ravens defense looks rejuvenated so I would imagine the Ravens sneak this one.
Winner – Baltimore
Cleveland @ Tennessee
0-5 is generally not a good place to be. 5 QB’s in 5 weeks is also generally not a good place to be. Somehow, I still feel that there is hope in Cleveland. The RGIII experiment is hopefully over and there is promise with Cody Kessler amongst several rookie QB’s that have come in and played very well. Tennesse has the 2nd best rushing attack and Cleveland ranks in at 5. Both have pairs of dynamic running backs who will literally smash through d-lines with obvious success. Mariota looks to be in the sophomore slump but continues to flash brilliance. Would help if he had anyone else other than Delanie Walker to throw to. Tennesse have some building blocks to work with but remain very much a ‘meh’ team, their defence has been playing well though and I give them the edge against Cleveland this week.
Winner – Tennessee