One down… 255 games left (plus 11 in the playoffs)!

After a seven-month absence, the NFL finally had a meaningful game which kicked off the 2017 regular season.

Alex Smith played like Tom Brady as the Kansas City Chiefs raised eyebrows with a dominating second half in a
42-27 triumph over Brady and the New England Patriots.

Kansas City outscored the defending champions 28-10 in the final 30 minutes.

Chiefs fans are not calling for rookie quarterback and first-round draft pick Patrick Mahomes after Smith picked the Pats apart going 28-of-35 for 368 yards and four touchdowns, without an interception.

Brady was just 16/36 for 267 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.

Now that he is 40, I wonder if anyone will have the nerve to over-react after just one game and suggest that Brady’s age is starting to show.

It was just the second win for the road team in the last 15 Thursday night openers.

###

Did you know that in each of the past 29 years at least one NFL team has increased its win total by five or more games from the previous season?

Last year, for example in the NFC, Dallas went from a 4-12 record in 2015 to a 13-3 mark in 2016.

Meanwhile, Carolina went from 7-8-1 record in 2014 to 15-1 in 2015.

In the AFC, the New York Jets went from four wins in 2014 to ten victories in 2015, although the 10-6 record wasn’t enough to get the Jets in the playoffs.

In the previous season, Houston jumped from two wins in 2013 to nine in 2014.

###

Competitive balance has arguably been achieved in the NFL.

In 2016, 146 games (57%) were decided by eight points or fewer, the most of any season in league history.

In addition, there were six new playoff teams last year: Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, the New York Giants, and Oakland.

Since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990, a minimum four teams have advanced to the playoffs in every season that were not in the post-season the year before.

###

Amidst the culture of the NFL, many fans compete in a growing trend, where participants speculate and pick weekly winners in a popular contest widely referred to as ‘THE FOOTBALL POOL.’

Prince George is no different than most cities as interest in the NFL elevates by participating in a pool.

Some, like the one hosted by 94.3 the GOAT are free; others have a token entry fee.

There are wide spectrums of pools that include:

  • TIME FRAME = Weekly winners or season-long chase
  • ELIMINATION POOLS = Pick one team each week to win, keep going until the last player is left alive;
  • SURVIVOR POOLS = Pick one team each week to lose, keep going until the last player is left alive;
  • TEAM-WIN POOLS = draft certain teams whose wins count for you during the season.

Here are some guidelines I try to follow when picking winners:

  • KNOW THE LINE = Vegas odds makers are professionals who know what they are doing when they establish a line; use that as a gauge
  • PAST REPUTATIONS = Avoid picking teams living off previous reputations that have not been successful recently
  • KEY TO SUCCESS = The blueprint for winning a pool is “nailing” the games that are close on the spread (three or less points). In this realm, upsets are common. Still, it is important to have some basis for believing the so called better team will lose
  • EVEN KEEL APPROACH = Do not get discouraged about having a bad week. Standings fluctuate and it only takes a few games to change the direction of the leader-board

###

Week one is often difficult picking a team in both an Elimination and Survivor pool.

I generally don’t like taking a road team as a lock even if they are a nine-and-a-half-point favorite like Pittsburgh over Cleveland.

My best guess for a sure fire win is Buffalo (-9) over the New York Jets.

###

Week one NFL Odds From www.footballlocks.com

NFL Lines For Week 1 – NFL Football Line Week One
NFL Line 9/7 – 9/11, 2017

Date Favorite Line Underdog Total
Sept 7 At New England -9 Kansas City 48.5
Sept 10 At Buffalo -9 NY Jets 40
Atlanta -6.5 At Chicago 49
At Houston -5.5 Jacksonville 39.5
Philadelphia -1 At Washington 47.5
Arizona -1.5 At Detroit 48
At Tennessee -2.5 Oakland 50.5
Postponed Tampa Bay -2.5 At Miami 41.5
At Cincinnati -3 Baltimore 42.5
Pittsburgh -9.5 At Cleveland 47
At LA Rams -3.5 Indianapolis 41.5
At Green Bay -3 Seattle 51
Carolina -5.5 At San Francisco 48
At Dallas -4 NY Giants 48

Monday Night Football Line

Sept 11 At Minnesota -3 New Orleans 48
At Denver -3 LA Chargers 43.5

 

FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

Todd Marinovich, 48, went 19 for 28 for 262 yards and 7 TD’s in his debut with the SoCal Coyotes, a developmental pro team. Alas, another QB who is likely to get a job offer before Colin Kaepernick.

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

 

I read that New York City could host the World Cup in 2026. That’s right, thousands of people trying not to use their hands— or as that’s called in New York, “riding the subway.”

*Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon

 

A 79 year old Alberta man, Roger Macmillan, has run his 100th Marathon.  The only problem is that he started the race when he was 77.

*Comedy writer Jim Barach of WCHS-TV in Charleston, W.Va., http://jokesbyjim.blogspot.ca/

 

“LPGA rookie Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong will be the first golfer ever disqualified for running out of ink while signing her scorecard.”

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/

 

Remember when the Yanks featured “Murderer’s Row”. Today’s version features Yankees Cereal Killers:

  • Capt. Crunch Sabathia
  • Special KKK Judge
  • Jacoby FrankenBerry
  • Wheedees Gregarious
  • Sonny Graype Nuts
  • Granola Greg Bird Seed

*Comedy writer Tony Chong of Vancouver

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

What do you called the betting favourite at the World Hen Racing Championships? The Gizzard of Odds.

*Comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

 

————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Hartley Miller is the sports director and morning news anchor for 94.3 the Goat.
He also is the 94.3 radio color commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca
Follow him on twitter: @Hartley_Miller