Nover's View: NFL Week 1 Notebook

by Stephen Nover

It worked. Not for me, for my friend. Figuring the randomness and variance factors would be highly increased in Week 1 of the regular season since many of the teams held out key starters during preseason, he played all underdogs. 

The 'dogs had their day going 12-4 ATS with eight outright winners. 

Here are my observations of the opening week insanity:

An ominous beginning for the 0-4 NFC North. The Vikings, my preseason pick to win the division, aren't going to finish above .500 unless they fix their offensive line and their secondary plays better. Their offensive line isn't any better than the Bengals. 

Mike Pettine isn't looking so bad now in Packerland after the disastrous debut of Green Bay's new defensive coordinator Joe Barry. At what point do the Packers realize Kevin King is not a legitimate starting cornerback? 

The Lions' gunslinging passing days are finished. Jared Goff is the new sheriff in town and he carries a water pistol with his dinks-and-dunks. Don't be fooled by the Lions' 41-33 cover against the 49ers. Detroit trailed, 31-10, at halftime.

The Bears have offensive line woes, too. That could delay the inevitable quarterback switch to Justin Fields. 

The Ryan Fitzpatrick era didn't last long in Washington. Taylor Heinicke risks his popularity by starting now. 

If you're not concerned about Saquon Barkley, you should be. He averaged 1.8 yards last year before his injury. He averaged 2.6 yards in 10 carries against the Broncos. 

It's going to be a quite a contrast in Thursday night games going from the Cowboys-Buccaneers shootout to the Giants versus Washington. 

The Urban Meyer disaster train remains in full throttle. I see another Lou Holtz NFL failure here. 

I'm not sure what was more unusual, Jameis Winston throwing five TD passes in 20 attempts against the Packers, or Winston not committing a turnover. 

Now that Michael Gallup is out with an injury, I'd rate the Bengals as having the best wide receiver trio in the NFL with Ja'Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins. 

Nice coaching debuts by Brandon Staley and Nick Sirianni, who outcoached the more hyped Arthur Smith. The Chargers were 7-16 in one-score games the past two years under Anthony Lynn. Now they are 1-0 this season. 

If you play against the Eagles, you better be able to defend basic zone run reads because that's the key to stopping Jalen Hurts.

Kyler Murray is the Lamar Jackson of the NFC. 

I spent hours during the summer trying to analyze just how good Jerry Jeudy would be in fantasy football. Now he's out with a high ankle sprain. 

Speaking of fantasy football, Kyle Shanahan has replaced Bill Belichick as the most difficult coach to get a handle on regarding skill position personnel. Shanahan made Trey Sermon inactive and buried Brandon Aiyuk on the bench. Those were two heavily targeted players in the middle rounds of fantasy football drafts. 

Andy Reid is a Hall of Fame coach. His greatness stems from his innovative schemes that he works on and polishes during the summer. Combine this with Patrick Mahomes and it's no fluke the Chiefs have won their last 11 September games. Mahomes has a mind-blowing 36-to-0 touchdown-to-interception ratio in these games. 

The Texans are already 25 percent there in reaching their season-win total of four. Now the Jets are the major threat to become the first 0-17 team. Houston came up with three takeaways against the Jaguars. The Texans had all of nine takeaways last season, the lowest season figure of this century. 

The Ravens have won a record 20 preseason games in a row going 18-1-1 ATS. I think John Harbaugh would trade all of those victories to have a healthy Marcus Peters, J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards. 

Baltimore is in early trouble with that upset loss to the Raiders. Not only are the Ravens already down to their third-string running back in a top-heavy, run-oriented offense, but they have the Chiefs this week. The Ravens draw the Lions in Week 3, but then have games against the Broncos in Denver followed by home games against the Colts and Chargers. 

Certainly a great win for the Raiders on Monday. But let's see how they react in a letdown spot traveling to Pittsburgh on a short week with an early Sunday start time. 

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