Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears came out flat against the Packers during Week 1. Can they right the ship this Sunday against the Broncos? We examine that matchup as well as Kansas City vs. Oakland and New Orleans vs. Los Angeles.

Kansas City Chiefs (-7) vs. Oakland Raiders

John Gruden and the Oakland Raiders have been in the spotlight all summer after being featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks, and the turmoil involving wide receiver Antonio Brown. Fortunately those distractions didn’t stop them from winning their home opener against the Denver Broncos 24-16. Quarterback Derek Carr threw for 259 yards and a touchdown and his solid game was enough to help Oakland hold on for the win.

A tougher test is in store this week when Andy Reid and his Kansas City Chiefs come to town. KC dominated the Jaguars 40-26 and knocked Jaguars QB Nick Foles out of the game. The offense showed zero signs of rust and QB Patrick Mahomes threw for 378 yards and three touchdowns.

Oakland has a nice victory in Week 1 but I can’t foresee this game being anything similar to what happened gassing Denver. I expect Mahomes to continue his red hot play and help the Chiefs score over 30 points against their division rival.

The only drawback is the Kansas City defense. Jaguars backup Gardner Minshew had a solid game off the bench, completing his first 12 passes and throwing for over 300 yards. Can K.C. hold the Raiders to under 20 points and cover? I will bet they can.

Pick: Kansas City -7

Chicago Bears (-2) vs. Denver Broncos

The Bears opened up the season last Thursday night and lost a tough game to the Green Bay Packers at home. It was a rough performance for Mitchell Trubisky, who struggled to move the ball down the field and hit open receivers throughout the night. He went 26-for-45 for only 228 yards. Chicago head coach Matt Nagy is an offense of genius who excels at play calls and getting receivers open. The situation is dire as Trubisky has not yet proven that he is the man in Chicago.

The one bright spot, however, was the Chicago defense, which held Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to only 213 yards of total offense. That performance should have allowed the Bears to win, but they didn’t, and the reason was obviously their offense. More specifically, the quarterback. this is a quarterback league and Trubisky has not yet proven he can get it done on the big stage.

Enter the Denver Broncos and their quarterback Joe Flacco. Flacco was with the Baltimore Ravens for his entire career, winning a Super Bowl and many playoff games over the years. He has proven that he can win a big game before, and I believe he still has something left in the tank. This game will come down to which quarterback makes more plays, and right now Denver has the better QB. It may be a close game, but I think Flacco and the Denver Broncos come out on top and spring the upset.

Pick: Denver +2

New Orleans Saints vs. Los Angeles Rams (-1.5)

Undoubtedly this is the game of the week after what happened in the NFC championship last year. The Saints were poised to win when a third down non-pass interference call forced them to kick a field goal and send the game to overtime. The rest is history, as the Rams won in overtime on a field goal.

There is little doubt that both teams will be thinking about last year when they prepare for this game. But can the New Orleans Saints put the past away and focus on the future?

Leadership is important in adverse times, and the Saints have just the man to get them focused on the task at hand in Drew Brees. Last Monday night New Orleans needed to drive down the field when they trailed late at home against Houston. It was the steady hand of Brees who calmly led them down the field to set up a game-winning field goal as time expired. I believe this leadership at the top will help the Saints focus on the game at hand.

The Los Angeles Rams have struggled offensively in their last two games. In the Super Bowl they struggled to score in a defensive battle with the Patriots, and last week Carolina did a good job bottling up the Rams offense. Rams head coach Sean McVay will have to make some serious adjustments to help out Jared Goff.

I am a firm believe that the “ball doesn’t lie”, and the Saints should have won last year. This year they will be coming fully cranked. Brees and the New Orleans offense will be too much to hold off, and the Saints get it done 27-24.

Pick: New Orleans +1.5


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