NFL Drafts and Picks
By now you’ve probably heard about the Colts’ perennial struggles in Jacksonville. If you haven’t, let me remind you:
- The Colts haven’t won in Jacksonville since the 2014 season.
- The Jaguars are 6-0 straight-up (SU) at home against the Colts since 2015, winning by an average of 16.8 points per game.
- The Jaguars are 6-0 against the spread (ATS) at home against the Colts since 2015, winning by an average of 20.1 points per game.
- The Jaguars have beaten SU as the underdog in each of the past four matchups, with an average margin of victory of 11.5 and an average margin of victory of 19.3.
It’s no surprise that the Colts have struggled in a matchup like this one. The familiarity of divisional matchups tends to be an equalizer. And as a dome team, the Colts are not used to playing in Jacksonville’s hot and humid climate.
But there’s a lot more than just a streak that favors Jacksonville in this game. The Colts’ best defensive player (LB Shaquille Leonard) was ruled out for the second straight week. Their best catcher (WR Michael Pittman) was demoted from limited practice participant on Wednesday to DNP on Thursday and Friday with a fourth issue. Another of their starting WRs (Alec Pierce) has been ruled out with a concussion.
The Jaguars, meanwhile, didn’t even list a player on the final injury report.
Combine a newly acquired, aging quarterback with not much in the way of pass catchers outside of Pittman on offense and a defensive leader missing (Leonard), and you get an underpowered, mediocre team that can’t put away a team like the Texans on the way
The Jags present a much tougher matchup for the Colts. Their new-look offense under Doug Pederson and Press Taylor averaged 6.1 yards per play against Washington in Week 1. And Jacksonville’s defensive strength stops the run (3.0 yards per carry allowed on 28 carries), which aligns perfectly with what the Colts want. to do aggressively
According to our Action Labs data, Week 2 underdogs by 6 points or less coming off a straight Week 1 loss are 62-34-2 (65%) since 2005, beating the spread by an average of 1.9 points per game.
Home dogs in this spot were even better, going 26-12 (68%) ATS and beating the closing number by an average of 2.6 points.
This is a great place to sell high on the Giants.
While Daniel Jones is 13-6 (68%) ATS on the road, he is just 7-12 (37%) ATS at home. That’s still an offense that was held scoreless for the first 34 minutes of the game in Week 1, one that featured Richie James Jr. as his main target and David Sills as a WR who ran a route 57% of the time. And one whose most explosive pass catchers — Wan’Dale Robinson (sprained knee) and Kadarius Toney (questionable-hamstring) — are both injured.
The Panthers will be able to use Christian McCaffrey to exploit a Giants linebacking corps that is absolutely terrible in pass coverage. The Giants’ starting linebackers are Tae Crowder and Austin Calitro. Crowder has earned a bottom 15 percent coverage grade from PFF every year of his career. Calitro is a 2017 undrafted free agent who made his first start in nearly three years last week, grading out as the worst linebacker in the league in coverage.
Combined, those LBs allowed seven completions on eight targets for 102 yards and two TDs, with both scores going to RB Dontrell Hilliard. Good luck with CMC.
The Giants will also be without lost No. 2 cornerback Aaron Robinson. Adoree Jackson is great, but he can’t cover DJ Moore and Robbie Anderson at the same time.
As I have noted many times, the key to beating Baker Mayfield is pressure. The Browns was able to do so, pressuring him on 42.4% of his dropbacks last week, fifth-highest from Week 1. The Giants, meanwhile, registered pressure on just 25.4% of Ryan Tannehill’s dropbacks, fifth-lowest — and that was with them . blitzing on 45.7% of his dropbacks.
According to Action Labs, Week 2 “dogs coming from a close loss by four or fewer points are 26-14 (65%) ATS in Week 2 since 2005. And during that same span, “dogs by 6 points or less coming from one . ATS loss in Week 1 went 56-32-2 (64%) in Week 2.
If it wasn’t obvious in Dallas last Sunday night, this is not the same Bucs offense
The Bucs scored just 19 points in Week 1 while running 33 times and passing just 29 times. Although the Saints had a rough go at stopping the run against the Falcons unconventional rushing attack featuring Cordarrelle Patterson and Marcus Mariota, they are consistently among the NFL’s best run defenses and present a more difficult matchup on the ground than the cowboys.
But the Bucs could struggle even more if they try to air it out. In five meetings against the Saints as a member of the Bucs, Tom Brady did not throw for 240 yards in four of them. The one time he did (last season in New Orleans), he committed three turnovers, including a game-sealing pick-six.
The Saints have a formula for success against Brady because they can get inside pressure, and Marcus Lattimore always keeps Mike Evans below his normal averages.
Also, the Bucs’ offensive line is a problem this season. Their three new starters on the interior line combined to allow five pressures and four hurries last week against Dallas. Left tackle Donovan Smith (elbow) is questionable, and his replacement, Josh Wells, allowed two pressures and a sack in just 19 snaps last week, according to Pro Football Focus. The last time these two teams met, the Saints shut out the Bucs, 9-0.
On the other side of the ball, the Bucs have three quality cornerbacks in Carlton Davis, Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting who can go toe-to-toe with Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry, and Chris Olave. And with Vita Vea anchoring their interior line, the Bucs are also consistently one of the NFL’s best run defenses, which doesn’t bode well for a Saints running game dealing with injuries to both Alvin Kamara (questionable ribs) and Mark Ingram. (doubtful-ankle).
I’m splitting my unit on this between the full game and the first half if we see one of these teams fall behind. Brady in comeback mode is still Brady, and Jameis Winston in comeback mode can give up six points to the defense at any time.
According to our Action Labs data, Week 2 Division unders are 40-22-2 (65%) since 2005 when the total opens at 43 or higher.
Wilson finished with four catches on eight targets in his debut despite sitting out much of the first quarter. Wilson should be more involved this week. According to Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletics“[Jets head coach Robert] Saleh said Wilson didn’t play as much at the start because the Jets were focused on using their 12 personnel (one running back, two tight ends) and 13 personnel (one RB, three TE) packages against the Ravens.”
This week, No. 2 tight end CJ Uzomah is questionable, leaving a converted wide receiver (Lawrence Cager), a practice squad call-up (Kenny Yeboah), and a rookie who was a healthy scratch in Week 1 (Jeremy Ruckert) at tight end behind starter Tyler Conklin.
In addition to more packages featuring wide receivers this week, Wilson should also get a boost in playing time because No. 4 receiver Braxton Berrios, who ran just six fewer routes than Wilson (35) last week, is listed as questionable with a heel injury. . Wilson was moved around between the slot and outside in Week 1, so he should be able to avoid Cleveland’s best cornerback, Denzel Ward, enough to post at least three catches for the second straight week.
I’m selling high on Washington here. Both of these teams have bad defenses, but the difference is that the Lions have a quarterback in Jared Goff who is less likely to turn the ball over. This is also a good situational spot for the Lions as they are in their second straight home game still hungry for win #1 while Washington could have a slump in their first road game after winning at home last week.
According to our Action Labs data, Week 2 home teams competing against visitors who covered at home in Week 1 are 60-50-2 (55%) ATS since 2005, including 8-4 (67%) when favored by downfield . goal