Sunday, October 19, 2014

NFL Picks Week 7: Who are the contenders for the Super Bowl?

In the NFL's 2014-2015 season, we are starting to get to the point where we have our "contenders" and our "pretenders" for the upcoming playoffs.  If the playoffs were held today, this is how it would look.

1. Philadelphia Eagles
2. Arizona Cardinals
3. Detroit Lions
4. Carolina Panthers
5. Dallas Cowboys
6. San Francisco 49ers

Of these teams, I'd have to say that the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers, and San Francisco 49ers are the contenders in the NFC.  I don't see Arizona going very far with Carson Palmer at the helm and the Packers are the more formidable team in the NFC North with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback.  Another team worth mentioning as contenders are the Seattle Seahawks, who have just traded Percy Harvin to the New York Jets because of a variety of behavioral issues.

1. San Diego Chargers
2. New England Patriots
3. Cincinnati Bengals
4. Indianapolis Colts
5. Denver Broncos
6. Baltimore Ravens

In the AFC, we have very familiar teams slotted as possible playoff teams.  Of these six teams, five were in last years' playoffs and the Ravens won the Super Bowl just two years ago.  Here, the San Diego Chargers and Baltimore Ravens are the most impressive teams because of the play of their respective quarterbacks, Phillip Rivers and Joe Flacco.  However, I have some concerns over the Patriots, Bengals, and Colts because none of them has a considerable defense that can win games and cause turnovers in the playoffs.

With that in mind, we shall begin our picks for the week.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Indianapolis Colts:
These two teams played in a high scoring game last year and are currently slated to be in the playoffs. As a result, this matchup has significant playoff seeding implications, but we have to take a look at the quarterbacks in this one: Andrew Luck is playing far better than Andy Dalton this season. Because of that, I trust the Colts in this one.

Bengals 27
Colts 35

Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams:

Coming off a rough loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Seattle, these Seahawks are going to have to win a tough road game in the division to maintain hopes of winning the Super Bowl again.  Moreover, the Rams, who were up 14-0 on the 49ers, simply can't find a way to play an entire game of football this year.  Because of that, I'm going with the Seahawks.

Seahawks 23
Rams 19

Atlanta Falcons @ Baltimore Ravens:
To put it simply, this Falcons team has been a debacle for the last three weeks.  After losing to the Vikings, Giants, and Bears, the Falcons have significant concerns on defense and on the offensive line.  The home team this week, the Baltimore Ravens, are currently playoff contenders and need to win an important home game to further playoff hopes.

Falcons 17
Ravens 34

Miami Dolphins @ Chicago Bears:
This matchup hosts the NFL's two most inconsistent teams: the Dolphins and Bears have each had some signature wins so far, but have failed to defeat some of the weaker teams.  While the Bears have not won a home game yet so far, I think that they can win this kind of game and advance to 4-3.

Dolphins 20
Bears 29

New Orleans Saints @ Detroit Lions:
Before this season started, I circled this game as a must win for the Saints: a game that would prove if they are possible Super Bowl contenders.  Now, I view this game as a statement game for the Lions, who are playing significantly better on defense this year.  Even though the Saints have had a bye week to prepare for this game, they are not doing very well on defense.  I'm going with the Lions in this one.

Saints 18
Lions 27

Cleveland Browns @ Jacksonville Jaguars:
These Cleveland Browns are not the Browns we have seen for the last ten years or so: this team can win some games and possibly have a winning record.  However, these winless Jaguars are not as bad as they have been playing: they have some potential with Blake Bortles at quarterback.   While I do think this game will be close, I'm going with the Browns in this one.

Browns 17
Jaguars 13

Minnesota Vikings @ Buffalo Bills:
After rough division losses for both of these teams last week, the Bills and Vikings need a win to remain competitive in their divisions.  These Bills have been playing some fairly good football with wins over the Lions, Bears, and Dolphins.  This is a must win game for these Bills to compete in their division and the Vikings lack enough offensive weapons to win in this one.

Vikings 14
Bills 24

Carolina Panthers @ Green Bay Packers:
This matchup hosts two of the better quarterbacks in the league: Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers. Both had some great games last week and have had some relatively strong seasons so far.  However, Rodgers, who has 15 touchdowns so far, is starting to hit his stride after not throwing an interception since Week 1.  While both teams are struggling to play "tough" defense, I'm going with the Packers in a high scoring game.

Panthers 27
Packers 44

Tennessee Titans @ Washington Redskins:
While the Redskins have been arguably one of the NFL's worst teams so far at 1-5, I have to pick them in this one against the Titans.  At the very least, they are not facing an "elite" quarterback this week because the Titans have their own quarterback issues.   As a result, the Redskins will win this week.

Titans 20
Redskins 33

Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers:
Here, we have a great AFC West divisional game between the Chargers and Chiefs.  While both of these teams made the playoffs last year, the Chargers have been among the AFC's best this season with a signature win over the Seahawks in the second week of the season.  The Chiefs have been doing better, but I don't trust them to win a game of this magnitude on the road here.

Chiefs 24
Chargers 28

New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys:
I think a lot of experts are forgetting that the Giants are 4-1 in Jerry World and typically do the best when no one expects them to win.  We need to consider that the Cowboys just played the Seahawks and won in Seattle.  However, I simply can't trust these Cowboys, who are just an injury on offense away from stinking up the rest of the regular season.   As a result, I'm picking the Giants in an upset this week.

Giants 26
Cowboys 20

Arizona Cardinals @ Oakland Raiders:
This, to put it simply, is a major trap game for the Cardinals.  The Derek Carr led Raiders have been playing some fairly good football, but have yet to actually win a game this season.  The Cardinals have already lost to an AFC West team on the road and the Raiders are going to win their first win of the season in this one.

Cardinals 15
Raiders 23

San Francisco 49ers @ Denver Broncos:
This week's Sunday Night Football game hosts a great inter-conference matchup between the 49ers and Broncos.  These 49ers have lost substantial talent on the defense with Navarro Bowman, Patrick Willis, and Aldon Smith out with injuries and a suspension to Smith.  However, Vic Fangio has helped this unit remain one of the best defenses in the league.  Nevertheless, I'm still picking the Broncos in this one in a shootout because of Peyton Manning's ability to stretch the field with Julius and Demariyus Thomas.

49ers 30
Broncos 38

We'll post our Monday Night Prediction tomorrow.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

NFL Picks Week 4

This week in the NFL marks the end of the first quarter of the 2014 season.  Some teams have done very well so far, dominating in the first several weeks with unblemished records (Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles) while others have plummeted without a win (Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers).  However, a majority of teams have either a 1-2 or a 2-1 record, making this week a very interesting one in the NFL in terms of establishing a tone for the year.  With that in mind, we shall begin our predictions.

New York Giants @ Washington Redskins:
We were correct on this selection, see here for more details.

Miami Dolphins @ Oakland Raiders (in London):
Here we have a game in which the coaches of both teams are on the so called "hot seat" or are in danger of losing their jobs.  Joe Philbin, head coach of the Miami Dolphins, has had trouble in the media by creating a "quarterback controversy" by not stating that Ryan Tannehill, the Dolphins first round selection in 2012, would be starting.  His decision has caused some issues and may distract the team from beating the winless Derek Carr led Raiders in London.  I'm thinking it is going to be a rather low scoring affair.  Dennis Allen and his Raiders win their first game of the season.
Dolphins 13
Raiders 17

Detroit Lions @ New York Jets:
The Jets are coming off of a losing streak to two NFC North teams (Packers and Bears) that they should have beaten.  Instead, the Jets are 1-2 and desperately need a win to remain in the divisional race.  Here is an interesting statistic: Geno Smith has thrown at least one interception in each game this season.  However, it appears that he has made some strides as a quarterback and I think he'll even lead them to a win this week.  This is going to be a relatively high-scoring game: the Jets advance to 2-2.
Lions 23
Jets 28

Carolina Panthers @ Baltimore Ravens:
Both of these teams are 2-1 right now and look like possible playoff contenders.  The Ravens have been playing far better on the defensive side of the ball while the Panthers are maintaining sustained success from the 2013 season.  However, Steve Smith, former Panthers receiver, was released in the offseason and decided to sign with the Ravens.  Smith clearly wants revenge which might make this game one of the best of the week.  Count on a low scoring game with some great defensive performances.
Panthers 14
Ravens 20

Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts:
Coming off of a very impressive victory over the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars, the Colts have another divisional game.  The Titans, who haven't won a game since the first week of the season, may be without starting quarterback Jake Locker. Andrew Luck, franchise quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts, may be set for yet another huge game if the Titans cannot pose any threat on offense.  As a result, I'm going with the Colts in a big win.
Titans 10
Colts 37

Buffalo Bills @ Houston Texans:
One of these two teams will be 3-1 as of Monday and will be viewed as a considerable contender to make the AFC playoffs.  Both are led by quarterbacks who either have or are playing for the Bills (Ryan Fitzpatrick and EJ Manuel), adding some intrigue to one of the more boring games this week. Manuel has been making some improvements this season, thanks to rookie Sammy Watkins and will likely lead his team to a victory here.  This game has the potential for many turnovers so I would not start anybody in Fantasy Football unless we're talking about defense.  I'm going with the Bills.
Bills 23
Texans 19

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears:
The last time the Packers were in Chicago, they won a division title.  Now, 1-2 coming off of a loss to the Lions, these Packers are desperate for a win.  However,  the Chicago Bears are coming off of two road prime-time victories, which bodes very well for their playoff hopes. However, the Packers have the best quarterback in the league on their team (Aaron Rodgers) and should win a shootout on the road.  I'm going with the Pack.
Packers 35
Bears 31

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Pittsburgh Steelers:
Coming off of an impressive win over the Panthers on Sunday Night Football, the Steelers are hoping to win against a team that failed to show up in its only primetime appearance so far.  The Bucs are rolling with Mike Glennon, who had a decent rookie year in the NFL.  However, these Bucs have had plenty of time to recover and may actually pose a threat to the Steelers.  As a result, the Steelers should win, but it will likely be closer than most expect it to be.
Buccaneers 17
Steelers 24

Jacksonville Jaguars @ San Diego Chargers:
This is the first week of the Blake Bortles era for Jacksonville and after watching him in the preseason, I think the Jaguars will be better.  However, they are going up against one of the AFC's best teams: the San Diego Chargers.  While I don't think this game will be a blowout, it won't be close either.
Jaguars 14
Chargers 30

Philadelphia Eagles @ San Francisco 49ers:
This has trap game written all over it for the 49ers, who have lost their last two games this season. These Eagles are 3-0 and are doing very well on offense this season.  The 49ers need to go back to the "ground and pound" offense that we are so familiar with to win this one.  Something about this matchup says that Philadelphia will win but I'm going with the 49ers in a mid-scoring affair.
Eagles 23
49ers 31

Atlanta Falcons @ Minnesota Vikings:
The Atlanta Falcons are coming off of a great win over a divisional rival while the Vikings are starting first-round selection Teddy Bridgewater for the first time.  Atlanta's defense is not very good and but the Vikings have had to deal with injuries and suspensions.  I also think that Bridgewater is better than many may anticipate and may shock the Falcons in this one.  However, Matt Ryan may have one of his best seasons so far and I'm counting on him to win this one.
Falcons 24
Vikings 20

New Orleans Saints @ Dallas Cowboys:
Fantasy Alert!  This game has the potential for a real shootout with almost 70 possible total points because both defenses are so bad.  Both of the quarterbacks in this game, Tony Romo and Drew Brees, have the potential to score at least forty points each.  However, the Saints are a better team and barely have a better defense than the Cowboys.  This is going to be a high-scoring game.
Saints 45
Cowboys 38

We'll post our Monday Night Prediction tomorrow.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Week 4 NFL Picks: New York Giants @ Washington Redskins

After coming off of a solid home win against the Houston Texans, the New York Giants travel to Washington to take on the Redskins on a short week for Thursday Night Football!

Eli Manning and the Giants offense is coming off of one of their best games in quite a while. Rashad Jennings, one of the Giants' free agency additions, has really helped the offense maintain drives. Additionally, Victor Cruz finally had a great game and even showed off some of his famous salsa in front of the home crowd.  The Giants' defense has been playing fairly nicely, coming off of a game in which they had three interceptions and a couple of sacks.  As a result, this Giants team is looking pretty good, compared to its performance in Week One.

The Redskins, led by backup quarterback Kirk Cousins, are coming off of a narrow loss to the Eagles.  Cousins has been playing very well but has faced some of the worst defenses in the NFL. The Giants faced Cousins in the season finale last year, limiting him to a lost fumble, two interceptions, and a completion rate lower than 50%.  Obviously Cousins will play better than that, but he may not have an easy time against these Giants.  Moreover, the Redskins have lost a few players to injuries on both sides of the ball and have to rebound after the loss to the Eagles.

I am picking the Giants to win this game: their offense is starting to click and show progress while Kirk Cousins has to play one of the better defenses in the NFL.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

NFL Picks Week 3

After yet another exciting week in the NFL, The Rishab Report is revealing its Week 3  picks. Last week, we had our worst week in three years, finishing 6-10.  Fortunately, we picked Atlanta to beat Tampa Bay. As a result, we are 1-0 this week so far.  With that in mind, we shall begin!

San Diego Chargers @ Buffalo Bills:
The Bills are currently 2-0 and have had some great victories so far this season over the Bears and Dolphins. Meanwhile, San Diego has recently defeated the current champions, the Seahawks. However, they have to travel across the country to Buffalo. I'm going with EJ Manuel and the Bills.
Chargers 20
Bills 24

Houston Texans @ New York Giants:
The Giants have been turning the ball over as much as my dog grabs a towel from my kitchen counter (extremely often). Fortunately, the Giants' offense looked much better last week and because of that, I'm going with the Giants to snap the losing streak.
Texans 13
Giants 23

Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles: 
The Redskins are coming off of a great win over the Jaguars with Kirk Cousins at the helm. Moreover, the Eagles have been slow to start in the first two weeks of the season and Nick Foles has already matched his interception total from last year.   I'm going with the Redskins in an upset.
Redskins 28
Eagles 24

Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions:
The Green Bay Packers were in jeapordy of starting the season 0-2 when the Jets were up 21-3 in the second quarter.  Then, Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson lit the Jets and won 31-24.  Additionally, the Lions are coming off of a rough loss to the Panthers and are looking for a win at home.  However, I have the Packers winning a shootout.
Packers 37
Lions 30

Dallas Cowboys @ St. Louis Rams:
Slowly but surely, the Cowboys are starting to rely on the run game, rather then watching Tony Romo throw a game-ending interception.  As a result, I'm liking the Cowboys in this one (they have a quarterback and a great running game).  However, St. Louis' defensive line is one of the best lines and should give the Cowboys some problems.
Cowboys 20
Rams 9

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars:
The Colts have not been lucky this season so far (they are currently 0-2) and are not relying on their young franchise quarterback, Andrew Luck, as they did before.  However, Jacksonville is coming off a horrible loss to the Redskins and the Colts need a divisional win to get back in the playoff picture. With that in mind, I have to go with Indianapolis, otherwise the Houston Texans may very well win this weak division.
Colts 30
Jaguars 17

Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints:
Here we have another 0-2 team that needs a win to reestablish its playoff hopes: the New Orleans Saints.  After losing two close road games to the Browns and Falcons, the Saints need a great victory at home to prove that they are still playoff contenders.  Additionally, the Patriots made a fool out of the Vikings last week and I think Minnesota has a hard time rebounding.
Vikings 14
New Orleans 35

Tennessee Titans @ Cincinnati Bengals: 
After a great win over the Falcons, the Bengals are looking to start the season 3-0 with a win over the extremely inconsistent Titans.  Because Andy Dalton looks refreshed and calmer with Hue Jackson as the new offensive coordinator, I'm going with the Bengals in this one.
Titans 10
Bengals 27

Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns:
Here we have this week's AFC North duel between the Ravens and the Browns.  The Ravens are playing their third divisional opponent in three weeks, a real challenge for most teams.  However, the Browns almost beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh in Week One and upset the Saints last week.  I like the Browns at home to win an important low-scoring divisional game.
Ravens 14
Browns 20

Oakland Raiders @ New England Patriots:
This might be the last straw for the Dennis Allen era in Oakland.  Unless Allen can coach his team to beat the juggernaut Patriots, he might be fired on Monday.   I'm going with Brady and the Patriots.
Raiders 14
Patriots 42

San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals:
I watched the first half of the 49ers/Bears game last week and I am worried about Colin Kaepernick. However, the 49ers are more likely to run the ball in this game. I'm going with the 49ers in this one.
49ers 27
Cardinals 22

Denver Broncos @ Seattle Seahawks:
We all remember the Super Bowl (43-8) and the prowess of the Legion of Boom.   Unfortunately for Denver,  the Seahawks' offense looks much better this year. I'm going with the Seahawks.
Broncos 20
Seahawks 37

Kansas City Chiefs @ Miami Dolphins:
The Chiefs are looking like a 6-10 team that does not have enough weapons on offense to reach the playoffs.   Furthermore,  the Dolphins have a great pass rush that will humiliate Alex Smith.  Dolphins are the wise choice in this one.
Chiefs 13
Dolphins 16

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Carolina Panthers:
This week's Sunday Night game is an interesting one.  With Cam Newton and Ben Roethlisberger,  this game might be the best of the week.  I'm going with the Panthers to win this one.
Steelers 20
Panthers 21

We'll post our Monday Night projections tomorrow.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

NFL Picks Week 2

While the first week of the 2014 season carried many surprises, The Rishab Report was only 50% correct on all of its predictions.  Even worse, we already got this week's game between Baltimore and Pittsburgh wrong as well.  This starts us out at 8-9 to start the season, but we have plenty of chances to adjust and improve our accuracy.  With that in mind, we shall pick!

New England Patriots @ Minnesota Vikings-
I'm going with the Patriots in a seven point win. If the Vikings start out 2-0, I would be very surprised, considering the latest incident with Adrian Peterson.  Tom Brady should really have no problem getting his first win of the 2014 season.
Patriots 27
Vikings 20

New Orleans Saints @ Cleveland Browns-
This is a trap game for New Orleans: they were 3-5 on the road last year and are coming off a close loss to the Falcons.  However, nothing in Cleveland makes me want to pick them without Josh Gordon in the passing game.
New Orleans 35
Cleveland 17

Atlanta Falcons @ Cincinnati Bengals-
While both teams won last week, the Bengals looked far more impressive in Baltimore than I expected them to be.  Moreover, Atlanta's offensive line has taken some serious injury hits as of late and I think they are due for their first loss of the season.
Falcons 27
Bengals 34

Detroit Lions @ Carolina Panthers-
I still can't believe that the Panthers are still looking like a possible NFC South Champion, even without quarterback Cam Newton in the huddle.  As a result, I'm picking the Panthers to open the season 2-0 over the Detroit Lions with help from Cam.  I don't think that the Lions are a bad team, but I think the Panthers will be better than most expect.
Panthers 23
Lions 14

Arizona Cardinals @ New York Giants-
After a brutal Monday Night Football loss to the previously mentioned Lions, I'm picking the Giants to win in an upset.  The Cardinals have lost parts of their defensive foundation due to injuries and suspensions and are coming from the West Coast on a short week.  Additionally, the Giants need to prove that last year's 0-6 start was a fluke, rather than an expectation.
Giants 17
Cardinals 10

Dallas Cowboys @ Tennessee Titans-
After embarrassing themselves against the 49ers last week, the Cowboys are looking to get their first win of the season on the road.  However, the Titans looked great on the road last week and I'm going with them to start their season 2-0 and leave the Cowboys with even more questions.
Cowboys 20
Titans 30

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Washington Redskins-
I'm going with the Jacksonville Jaguars to win their first game of the season after falling short against the Eagles last week.  With RGIII  confused in his new offense, I think the Redskins will struggle to score against a possibly good Jaguars team.
Jaguars 23
Redskins 16

Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills-
The Bills did very well against the Dolphins last year, and after coming off a road win in Chicago, I'm liking EJ Manuel's development.  If he and Sammy Watkins can start to connect, then the Bills might have a playoff ready roster.  This is my upset pick of the week, I'm going with the Bills in a very close one.
Dolphins 17
Bills 20

St. Louis Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers should have no issues in winning this game: the Rams are without a quarterback and a decent squad of wide receivers.  If Tampa does not win this game, then the calls to start Mike Glennon might start earlier then expected.  However, I'm going with Tampa in a decent victory.

Rams 9
Buccaneers 23

Seattle Seahawks @ San Diego Chargers-
Seattle looked truly dominant and worthy of winning a second Super Bowl last week, but they have to win some games on the road to have the opportunity of home-field advantage in the playoffs.  I think that they can beat a tired Chargers team that is coming off a letdown loss to the Cardinals on Monday Night.

Seahawks 31
Chargers 20

New York Jets @ Green Bay Packers-
After looking like a good, but not great quarterback against the Seahawks, Aaron Rodgers returns home to face the New York Jets.  He and his team have had plenty of time to prepare and I don't think that they will have significant problems to worry about against the Jets' questionable group of cornerbacks.
Jets 14
Packers 24

Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos-
Coming off of a home loss to the Titans was bad, but having to face the juggernaut Broncos is no easy task either.  With few weapons on the offense (other than Jamaal Charles), I can't see Kansas City putting up more than 20 points on the Broncos who are likely to score over 35.
Chiefs 20
Broncos 38

Houston Texans @ Oakland Raiders-
Despite a close loss to the Jets last week, the Raiders looked pretty good with rookie Derek Carr at the helm.  With the absence of Jadeveon Clowney, I think the Raiders can win in an upset.
Texans 10
Raiders 21

Chicago Bears @ San Francisco 49ers-
With the possibility of not playing with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, the Bears are looking far more likely to start the season 0-2.  Additionally, the 49ers played very well against the Cowboys last week and were up 28-3 by half way through the second quarter.  I'm going with the 49ers in a good win.
Bears 20
49ers 38

Philadelphia Eagles @ Indianapolis Colts-
I feel like this contest has the potential to be one of the league's best games of the season.  Because both teams have weak defenses, I'm counting on a shootout.  However, Andrew Luck is home and is looking for a win after last week's loss to the Broncos.  I'm taking the Colts in the shootout.
Eagles 41
Colts 47

Saturday, September 6, 2014

NFL Picks Week One: Who Starts the Season with a Win?

It has been quite a while, but football is back!   This season, I am proud to announce that The Rishab Report will be expanding its predictions with spread predictions.  Over the last two years, we only predicted the winners, but we will now try to prognosticate the margin of victory and the winners of each game.  All spreads are from CBS NFL.

Without further ado, we shall begin the picks!

Green Bay Packers @ Seattle Seahawks-
For The Rishab Report's prediction of this game, you can click right here.  We predicted the right winner, but not the correct margin of victory so we are 1-0 in picking the games but 0-1 against the spread.

Minnesota Vikings @ St. Louis Rams-
After losing quarterback Sam Bradford to injury, the Rams plan to rely on a stellar front seven and journeyman Shaun Hill to win games this season.  However, while the Rams have more questions at the quarterback position, the Vikings are content with Matt Cassel and anticipate Teddy Bridgewater as the team's future.  Additionally, Minnesota has the best running back in the game: Adrian Peterson, to take the Rams down.  This is going to be a tough season for St. Louis.

Game Prediction:
Minnesota 24
St. Louis 20

Spread Prediction: St. Louis is a 3 point favorite, but Minnesota wins a tough road game to open the season.

New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons-
Of all of the rivalries in the NFL, the one between New Orleans and Atlanta is one of the league's best.  With two of the game's better quarterbacks, Matt Ryan and Drew Brees, both of these teams have the potential to make some noise this season.  However, the Saints have less questions than the Falcons, after coming off of an 11-5 season.  The Falcons failed to soar and ended 4-12.  The Falcons made some upgrades during the offseason, but the Saints have a better overall team.  As a result, I'm giving this one to the Saints in a shootout.

Game Prediction:
New Orleans 37
Atlanta 30

Spread Prediction: New Orleans is currently a 2.5 favorite, but I say that they will win by a larger margin.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens-
After coming off of their first season without a playoff appearance in the John Harbaugh-Joe Flacco era, the Baltimore Ravens have significant pressure to improve off of an 8-8 season.  However, the Bengals are a force to be reckoned with: they won the division last year and have one of the league's best defenses.  However, Bengals quarterback, Andy Dalton, has not performed well in Baltimore, losing every time he has played there.  As a result, I'm going with the Ravens in this mid-scoring affair.

Game Prediction:
Bengals 24
Ravens 27

Spread Prediction: The Ravens are currently a one point favorite, but I think that they can surpass that by winning on a late field goal.

Tennessee Titans @ Kansas City Chiefs-
The Kansas City Chiefs were last years' "worst to first" team, going from 2-14 in 2012 to 11-5 in 2013.  Unfortunately for them, they gave up a 38-10 lead in the playoffs to the Colts to find themselves home for the rest of the season.  Furthermore, the Chiefs have lost substantial talent on both sides of the ball this offseason, leaving many more questions than answers.  As a result, the Chiefs might lose this game.  However, I think Alex Smith can propel his team to a win over the mediocre Titans.

Game Prediction:
Titans 13
Chiefs 16

Spread Prediction: Kansas City is a 3 point favorite right now, and I'm going to stay with that prediction in this game.

Buffalo Bills @ Chicago Bears: 
In one of the only inter-conference games in Week One, I have to give Chicago the benefit of the doubt.  With disrespect to Buffalo, the Bears are the better team because they have a juggernaut offense that can shred through most NFL defenses.  Even worse for Buffalo, EJ Manuel does not look confident in the pocket and had a very poor preseason.  I have to pick the Bears in this one, and it might not be pretty at all.

Game Prediction:
Bills 12
Bears 30

Spread Prediction: Currently a 7 point favorite, I think the Bears expand the margin of victory.

Washington Redskins @ Houston Texans:
Both of these teams did very poorly last season (Washington went 3-13 and the Texans went 2-14) and both are looking to improve.  What the Washington Redskins have that the Texans don't is a franchise quarterback: yes, I think Robert Griffin III is the present and the future in Washington. Because of this, I have to place my confidence in the Redskins to win this game.

Game Prediction:
Washington 20
Houston 13

Spread Prediction: The Texans are a three point favorite right now, but Washington should win this one.

Oakland Raiders @ New York Jets:
Coming off of an 8-8 season, the Jets need Geno Smith to make some serious strides as a sophomore to potentially make the playoffs.  The Jets tried to fix their offensive issues by adding Eric Decker, Chris Johnson in free agency and other talent in the draft.  Meanwhile, the Raiders are rolling with rookie Derek Carr and a questionable defense.  The Raiders added substantial veteran talent, but I'm not sure that was the correct answer to their problems.  I'm going with the Jets in their home opener.

Game Prediction:
Raiders 20
Jets 35

Spread Prediction: The Jets are 5.5 favorites at home, but I think they can win by a larger margin.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Philadelphia Eagles:
After winning the NFC East's crown last year, many analysts speculate that the Eagles can possibly advance in this year's playoffs.  To do that, they need to start off correctly with a matchup against the Jaguars.  Currently led by Chad Henne, the Jaguars look like a 6-10 or 7-9 team right now. However, Gus Bradley has this franchise in the right direction. As a result, I'm going with the offensive juggernaut Eagles in a closer then expected victory.

Game Prediction:
Jaguars 26
Eagles 35

Spread Prediction:
Since the current spread is Eagles by a 10.5 margin, I think the Jaguars only lose by nine points.

New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins:
With the league's worst offensive line, the Miami Dolphins gave up more than 50 sacks to Ryan Tannehill in 2013.  While they made some improvements in free agency and the draft, the Patriots' defense is no joke anymore.  With more than six first round selections on the starting lineup, the Patriots and Tom Brady win in a mid-scoring affair on the road.

Game Prediction:
Patriots 24
Dolphins 10

Spread Prediction: The Patriots are a 5.5 favorite but I think they expand the margin of victory to 14 points.

Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers:
With the media's insane infatuation for Johnny Cleveland, many have forgotten how bad the Browns might be this season.  With relatively few offensive weapons, neither of their quarterbacks will be able to do much damage.  Additionally, the Steelers look to start this season on the right note after starting the 2013 season with a 0-4 record.  With Big Ben and a youthful defense, I'm picking the Steelers in a very, very low scoring event.

Game Prediction:
Browns 9
Steelers 20

Spread Prediction:
The Steelers are a 6.5 favorite right now, but I think they win by 11 or 10 points.

San Francisco 49ers @ Dallas Cowboys:
While they have had a stormy offseason, filled with suspensions, crime, and injuries, the 49ers are still one of the league's better teams.  With Colin Kaepernick and a plethora of offensive weapons against a Dallas defense that has lost almost every core player, it is hard to pick against the 49ers.  However, Tony Romo and the Cowboys offense should give the weakened 49ers defense plenty of issues.  I'm going with the 49ers in a high-scoring affair.

Game Prediction:
49ers 40
Cowboys 27

The 49ers beat the current spread by nine points.

Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
With or without Cam Newton, I have the Panthers losing to the Bucs on the road.  With a weakened receiving corps, a lackluster secondary, and questions on the offensive line, I have the Bucs winning this game.  If Cam Newton can play, then the Panthers have a decent shot at winning this game.

Game Prediction:
Panthers 13
Buccaneers 17

Spread Prediction: The Bucs are 2.5 favorites right now, but I think they win by four.

Indianapolis Colts @ Denver Broncos (Sunday Night Game!):
In arguably the week's best matchup, Andrew Luck faces off against Peyton Manning for the second time in his career.  However, the Broncos have rebuilt their defense in the offseason and still have the league's best offense led by The Sheriff (Peyton Manning).  While this game will be very high scoring, I expect Peyton Manning to excel in this one.

Game Prediction:
Colts 30
Broncos 45

Spread Prediction: The Broncos win in a larger expected victory by 15 points, beating the current spread of 7.5 points in their favor.

We'll post our Monday Night Picks on Monday.  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

NFL Week One Picks: Green Bay Packers @ Seattle Seahawks

It has been quite a while, but football is back!  On September 4th, the Green Bay Packers will travel to Seattle to attempt to take down the defending Super Bowl Champions to kick off the NFL's 2014 season.  This season, I am proud to announce that The Rishab Report will be expanding its predictions with spread predictions.  Over the last two years, we only predicted the winners, but we will now try to prognosticate the margin of victory and the winners of each game.

Without further ado, we shall begin the picks with tonight's game!

Green Bay Packers @ Seattle Seahawks-
Aaron Rodgers, the NFL's best quarterback, returns to the site of his rather peculiar loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the 2012 season.  However, the Seahawks have substantially improved since that game and won last year's Super Bowl.  While most teams travel to Seattle and fail, Green Bay has something most teams do not have: a juggernaut offense.  With Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, and other elite offensive players, Green Bay has the potential to be the NFL's best team this season.  Of course, that will look far more likely if the Packers can stun the NFL world with a win in arguably the loudest stadium in the NFL.  Unfortunately, I don't see the Packers winning this one, but they will beat the spread and keep it close.

Game Prediction:
Green Bay 23
Seattle 28

Spread Prediction:  Seattle is currently a 5.5 favorite, but I think Green Bay will make it a bit closer.