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QB Controversy Brewing in Gainesville?

This past Saturday, Florida played FAU in its first game of the season, defeating the Owls, 35-14.

 

Redshirt junior Emory Jones patiently waited his turn since 2018 to become the starter this year after Kyle Trask got drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Going into this season, Jones has played in 24 Florida games, making the FAU game his 25th game to play in and his first career start. There was a lot of preseason hype surrounding him, as he’s on the Johnny Unitas and in some conversations for the Heisman. This being said, Jones didn’t play as well as we all expected him to. He finished the night 17-27 with 113 yards, 1 TD pass and 2 interceptions. Jones did contribute to the team’s 400 rushing yards, with 74 total. The two interceptions were definitely surprising, with the first one a forced pass to the end zone. There was also confusion on 4th and goal in the first half when Emory ran a quarterback sneak with coach Dan Mullen visibly upset afterwards. 

 

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I’m not going to sit here and say Anthony Richardson, otherwise nicknamed as AR or AR15, was perfect when he came in but his energy was just great. He finished 3-8 for 40 yards passing but what stood out to me the most was his rushing attack, running seven times for 160 yards. Two of his carries were electric, which included a 73 yard rush touchdown and a run for a first down in which he hurdled over the defender, both coming in the 4th quarter. With AR in the game, the energy was just different and you could tell he needs to have playing time because he’s got something special.

 

After the game, coach Dan Mullen said, “Obviously Emory’s our starter.”

 

We certainly don’t want to count Emory out after just one game as a starter, but it will be interesting to see who will have the most playing time with a key game in just under two weeks against top-ranked Alabama. This weekend, Florida faces USF, who didn’t look great in their season opener against NC State, losing 45-0. Only time will tell but there’s definitely a quarterback controversy brewing in Gainesville.

 

Photo from Al.Com 

Xavien Howard reported to Miami Dolphins training camp but his contract demands remain unresolved.

Quick Take: Time to Move on from Xavien Howard?

Over the past few days, Xavien Howard has made it widely known that he wants a trade away from the Miami Dolphins. Howard feels underpaid and under-appreciated by the Miami Dolphins.

So should Miami keep him or should they trade him?

 

Reasons to keep Xavien Howard:

 

  1. He was in the DPOY race

Howard was known as a top candidate for the DPOY award. Although Aaron Donald and TJ Watt beat him out as the top 2 contenders, Howard was right there with the best defenders in the league last NFL season.

 

2. If Howard leaves, Miami is left with a huge hole at cornerback

Miami would be left with Byron Jones, Jason McCourty, and either Nik Needham or Noah Igbinoghene. And let’s just say Needham and Igbinoghene aren’t the best options to play a slot corner spot for us.

3. Howard makes Miami a more fun team to watch

He led the league with interceptions and also got 8 more interceptions than the next best on the team. From one handed interceptions, to acrobatic plays, he brings a new level of fun to the game.

 

*****

Reasons to Trade Howard away:

  1. Howard is overrated

Xavien Howard just had the highest-performing year of his life. In my opinion, I see no world where Howard can have the same season he just had. He will lose trade value if he isn’t gone by the end of this year.

2. A Howard trade could bring another star to Miami

Getting rid of Howard could bring in names like Stephon Gilmore or even Deshaun Watson. Howard is regarded as one of the best cornerbacks in the league, and could easily get the Dolphins more star-level talent if given away.

3. Howard could hold out from playing if he’s kept on the team

If Howard stays, he may decide not to play this season, and we will lose a player without getting anything back. He really wants a bigger contract, and Miami hasn’t provided that for him, which could lead to a season-long holdout.

 

*****

Final Analysis:

I think The Miami Dolphins should trade Xavien Howard. Whether it’s a deal for Deshaun Watson, draft picks, or another star, Miami doesn’t need the negative energy he now brings to the team.

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5 from Juan: Observations from First Day of Dolphins Practice

Welcome guys and gals to something I’ll try to do once a week but figured it would be a good time to start my observations which will be about the first day of practice. These are going to be my thoughts and opinions sprinkled in with some facts from people that know or were actually at practice. Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Tua thoughts:

Tua overall had a decent day as he did score some TDs like the long 60 yarder to Albert Wilson and another on a waggle to Shaheen where he looked off Baker with his eyes to fit it in there, he did have 2 interceptions on the day which people love to bring up. One interception was against AVG in a clear miscommunication with Shaheen where he was either between lobbing it up or coming back to the RB. The other was a pass that was described to me as lazy and batted at the line where Baker got the pick. 

Tua after practice talked at length about the differences between this year and last season with how much time he can spend with guys like eating with them and not having to go back home for a 2-hour zoom meeting like they had to do last year because of covid.When asked about the deep ball he talked about “getting everything down with guys, knowing where guys are going to be, and how they run certain routes..”. 

Sun-Sentinel reporter Omar Kelly and others have noted him taking the next step of leadership with bringing in guys to work out during the offseason, being a coach on the field, and even after practice where he mentioned “I got to get everyone together talk to the entire offense and I’ll just talk about our evaluation of the day you know how we started how it looks about the middle of practice and then how we finished on and you know I think overall we did pretty good obviously there’s always going to be things we need to brush up and cleanup.” All in all a good first step for Tua, that will give him things to pat himself in the back for while also giving him things to improve and work on. Remember this was all during install, which as our own Alfredo broke down, is just the Offense running the same play sometimes 3 or 4 times in a row with the Defense knowing exactly what’s coming.

Rookie Update:

We know Jaelan Phillips is playing OLB but a clip came out of him in a coverage drill and man did he look good. Phillips looks like a player ready to take on a huge workload as he looked fluid in pass defense sinking his hips and attacking the ball. Waddle as we’ll talk about next took full advantage of some guys being out and was all over the field and moving fast, like really fast. Holland is a rookie playing a position that usually requires a lot of communication which means he needs to know this defense well enough to not only know where he is lining up but also what the rest of the secondary has to do and how they align. Eichenberg having just been signed before the start of camp will probably has his shot to earn a job. Lastly Hunter Long who as more time passes, more people are standing up and realizing that he has legit talent and could really explode and be a top TE in the league.

Fuller leaves practice early

I can confirm Mando’s report of Fuller leaving practice early. Nobody seems to have seen him go down or even limp off the field, but it is something to monitor because of DVP and Preston starting on PUP. Other guys will have opportunities to impress like LBJ, Perry, Foster, Hollins, Albert, and even Waddle who’s probably the biggest benefactor in that he’s probably taking most of the snaps at WR. Wilson also seemed to take advantage on the 60 yard TD (a duck in some of the eyes of our fans) so these are names that based on the injury history of our top guys, will eventually be needed to not just play but also produce.

X showed up and practiced

After the bomb that X and his team dropped the night before the first practice, many assumed he would be pouting or working with less pep in his step, but I can report that he practiced with energy and showed no lack of professionalism with his on-field play. After the initial news hit It took me a while to get my thoughts together and I have to say that I feel the most for Byron Jones who had to withstand shots being thrown by a guy who’s opposite of him. I can report that X made it a fact to go and dap up Byron Jones before practice in front of the media.

Flores Song Selection

Can’t tell me nothing by Kanye west was the song used to start practice and to end it. The lyrics go like this:

We’ve seen in the past Flo send subliminal messages through his music selection but this one is as direct as can be IMO. Flores has press conferences every other day so look for his next interview on Thursday, July 29th, to be the one where he gets bombarded by Xavien Howard questions. Shocking that 2 days into camp and we already have so much to deal with and go through but this is the result of being a good team, something most fans this century have no experience with.

All in all, a positive first step for your 2021 Miami Dolphins but it’s only one of many that are going to be needed to get this team to where we all believe they should be, the playoffs. Till next time, Fins Up!

 

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Brian Flores makes it clear that Tua Tagovailoa will be the Miami Dolphins quarterback when he is healty. (Craig Davis for Five Reasons Sports Network)

Quick Takes on Dolphins 2021 Draft

No. 6 overall pick

Jaylen Waddle, WR

My take: I think this was Tua Tagovailoa’s pick. And I think it was a great one. The Miami Dolphins have released that Jaylen Waddle was their top pick no matter who was on the board. They wanted Waddle over Ja’marr Chase or Kyle Pitts if they were available. Tua used to play with Waddle on Alabama, and Waddle was his top target to throw to. Waddle is speedy, and adds an amazing slot-threat to The Dolphins offense.

 

No. 18 overall pick

Jaelan Phillips, DE

My take: I think this was an absolute steal. I don’t think Phillips should have dropped to the Dolphins, but I sure am happy he did. A pass-rusher is a huge edition for the team, and while it is a risky pick, Phillips is worth the possible reward.

 

No. 36 overall pick

Jevon Holland, S

My take: The Dolphins have been in dire need of a Slot Corner, and while Jevon Holland is a safety, he played 64% of his snaps at slot. The Dolphins used to play Nik Needham at Slot most of the time, and I can’t even count the amount of times I saw him get beat by his man. I think Jevon Holland could be a great defensive playmaker for the Dolphins Secondary.

 

No. 42 overall pick

Liam Eichenberg, OT

My take: While the Offensive Tackle isn’t the flashy pick, the Dolphins NEEDED some pass protection early on in this draft. Eichenberg is one of the best pass blockers in the draft, only allowing pressure on 1.1% of his blocks in the past two years.

 

Overall first two rounds: I think these were all amazing picks, and while the Dolphins didn’t pick a running back early on, they filled in some major holes that needed to be filled.

Dolphins Cardinals

Miami’s hopes all rest on Tagovailoa in 2021 and beyond

The Miami Dolphins recorded a solid season in the 2020 campaign, taking a significant stride forward in Brian Flores’ second year at the franchise.

In his first term, Flores overcame a difficult start to end the 2019 season with a 5-11 record. The Dolphins snapped up Tua Tagovailoa in the 2020 Draft, with an eye to the future at the quarterback position, despite the presence of Ryan Fitzpatrick. After starting the 2020 season 0-2, Miami won 10 out of their remaining 14 games and narrowly missed out on a place in the playoffs. The franchise now has the opportunity to build behind Tua at quarterback.

And although the former Alabama Crimson Tide man endured struggles in his rookie term after overcoming a hip injury, Flores and company have staked their futures in the left hand of the quarterback to allow the franchise to become a competitive force in the AFC.

However, it will be far from straightforward, given the talent of the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East and the potential return to prominence of the New England Patriots after a down year in 2020. The Dolphins are backed at +330 to win the AFC East in the Space Casino betting on football odds, with the Bills considered the leading contenders to retain the crown.

Miami has acquired further capital in the 2021 Draft that will allow them to bolster their roster after trading back from the third spot overall with the Houston Texans. The franchise has notched further first-round picks over the next two years, which will only stand them in good stead to add quality to a team that was stripped back to the screws in Flores’ first season.

The Dolphins are developing strength across their roster. The draft will demand an influx of talent at running back and wide receiver if the right player sits on the board. Will Fuller was signed during free agency to present Tagovailoa with a burner to stretch the field as he enjoyed during his college days. Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson should also return to the fold after missing the 2020 campaign. DeVante Parker is one of the best wideouts in the NFL when healthy, and an off-season of recovery may allow him to return to his peak form in the 2021 campaign.

The tight end room has promising talent led by Mike Gesicki, although a dream scenario could play out for the franchise to snag Florida Gators’ Kyle Pitts with the sixth-overall selection in the 2021 Draft. Pitts is widely regarded as the best player available in the selection process, and Miami could land a steal with a move for the tight end.

Surrounding Tagovailoa with talent has to be the key for the franchise. Miami were solid enough on their offensive line, while their defense under Flores has been stout. The NFL is trending towards powerhouses on the offensive side of the ball, with the Kansas City Chiefs and Bills highlighting the requirement to put 30 points on the board on a regular basis.

There will be a lot of pressure on Tagovailoa to live up to the billing at quarterback. The Dolphins have made sound moves around him and could bolster their roster still with exciting prospects, not only this season but in the years to come, too.

However, it all hinges on the play at the quarterback position. Flores and general manager Chris Grier made the bold move to trade away the third selection, which would have landed them one of the best quarterbacks in the 2021 Draft. They have put their faith in Tagovailoa, and he will need to deliver in the new campaign to drive the franchise into prominence in a tough AFC Conference.

Prop Bets: Odds and Betting Guides

There are many sports betting games that are available to bettors such as prop betting. The prop bet’s function is more on the aspects of games rather than on the statistical data that we usually have in betting strategies.  A prop bet will allow you to wager beyond the standard game odds, and you can bet on different games. 

Different Types of Prop Bets

Prop bets have come in different types that are found at more sportsbooks.

Game Prop Bet

This type of prop bet is set by spread, moneylines, over and under totals, or yes or no format. Game props can be deliberated on the entire game and be divided into derivative winnings, halves, or quarters. 

 

Some examples of the game crops are the first team to 15 points,  the total number of yards, and the team with the highest strikeouts. 

Team Prop Bet

It focuses on the performance of each time. This type of bet is often over or under totals, yes or no formats, and moneylines. They can also be separated into derivatives too. 

 

Some examples of the team props are over and under a total of the three-pointers that have been made, the team winning in all four quarters, the team also score in a defensive touchdown, and the first-half team total points. 

Player  Prop Bet

They are decided according to the player’s performance during the game. These bets can bet on through spreads, moneylines, over or under the total, or yes or no props. It also focuses on the individual players or even two or more players against each other in the head-to-dead prop bet. 

Some examples are the first player that will score, over or under total rebounds, the particular player or team that will finish with the best first-round score, and the number of the sets to win. 

 

Exotic Prop Bet

These betting props are marketed beyond the boxscore for the contest and the game’s odds offering like the non-sporting events and pop cultures. It depends on where you bet. An exotic prop bet may or may not be available all the time due to regulatory restrictions.

Come up With Your Own Prop Betting Strategy

 It is better to make the whole system on your own than depending on other betting processes. Bettors have a difference in figuring out the specific prop betting options, betting system, stake amounts, and bankroll management. Knowing all the said things on your own is the best approach. It may be time-consuming, but it will be paid off in the long run.  

How to Win a Prop Bet

Prop bets are the best way of winning money when the game is on. It is less limited than the standard point spread and moneyline. To help you win a prop bet, you have to study the forms of the game, including the updated current forms, top scorers, and head-to-head results.

 

You have to try focusing on one sport. This will allow you to concentrate on your favorite team and track their performance well. It is also good to do more research online as betting sites will regularly offer odds on prop bets. 

 

The most exciting part of prop betting is to make more money during the game. Good research can be a great help if you have the feeling on which teams will get the score points. Additionally, you can also make a  prop bet to increase your overall odds.

Track the Prop Bet Odds

When we talk about game lines, it is simple to track the odds from the beginning until the game time. After you have seen the opening lines, you will see that there are changes based on things like market reactions and news that will break after the odds are unveiled.

 

In prop bets, pieces of information are not easy to rack since there is no centralized location for the prop betting odds. Generally, you have to observe each game to explore the opportunities. For instance, you can read the individual performance of a particular player or team. This will be a great spot for prop bets that will be related to that certain player or team. 

 

Betting sites and bookmakers offer odds for prop bets. There is a characteristic feature of the bet odds differential on bet pricing. Relatively to the size of the props market compared to the totals, moneyline, point spread. Thus, this will create a big opportunity as it will make the props potentially profitable.

To Conclude

Prop bet can be a great addition to an entertainment betting strategy. It is essential to come down to your ability to find value and choose winners. If you have knowledge about sports teams and players, then using them on betting is a great opportunity. Gambling is fun, and predicting is a match with risk. So, be prepared and follow the guides on prop bets that can be a way to potential profit for you, and always remember to do it responsibly.

 

After Trevor Lawrence, how do the Jaguars Build?

With the exception of the AFC Championship appearance in 2017, the Jaguars have had losing seasons every year since 2007. They hit rock bottom with a 1-15 mark in 2020.  After such a dreadful season, the team needs help across the board. Let’s take a look at the first few selections in a mock draft 2021.

 

Round 1: Trevor Lawrence, Clemson (Quarterback)

 

This pick is a lock. The Jaguars know that Lawrence immediately brings positive attention to the team as a player with star potential.  He’s far and away the best quarterback coming out of the draft.  Urban Meyer would not have taken the head coaching job if he wasn’t certain that Lawrence would be selected.

 

The numbers on Lawrence are mind-boggling. In 36 collegiate starts, he is 34-2 with his only losses coming in the College Football Playoffs.  Lawrence had a 90-to-17 touchdown-to-interception ratio for his collegiate career, threw for over 10,000 yards and rushed for nearly 1,000. In addition, he led Clemson to a National Championship as a freshman.

 

Round 1:  Christian Barmore, Alabama (Defensive Tackle)

 

Although he comes in without a lot of experience, Barmore is big on raw talent that can be easily worked with to developed into the type of player a team needs. He was a redshirt sophomore and only started one season. Barmore stepped up in the biggest of games, recording 15 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in the SEC Championship and two playoff games. 

 

The Jaguars counted on Taven Bryan to be a big difference maker in the middle of the defensive line, but turned out to be a huge disappointment.  Therefore, the team could really use a great interior defensive lineman and Barmore could fit that description.

 

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Round 2: Rondale Moore, Perdue (Wide Receiver)

 

After coaching superior teams at the collegiate level, Urban Meyer knows how important speed is at the skill positions. Therefore, adding a player such as Rondale Moore makes sense. The wide receiver position isn’t as pressing a need for the Jaguars as other positions with the likes of DJ Chark, Collin Johnson, and Laviska Shenault on the roster. However, Moore could clearly play the slot and add depth.

 

At 5’ 9”, Moore doesn’t have the size NFL scouts look for in a first-round selection, but Moore possesses the elusiveness that the Jaguars currently lack.  He caught 113 passes in 2018 but then appeared in only seven games over the past two seasons, catching 64 passes.

 

Round 2: Tyson Campbell, Georgia (Cornerback)

 

After being torched most of last season in the defensive secondary, the Jaguars need an athletic corner such as Campbell. At 6’ 2” with good agility and talent, Campbell is perfect to add to the team’s limited depth chart.  The team is likely to add a veteran cornerback via free agency at some point, but Campbell is a solid selection for this pick.

 

Campbell has the size, strength and length to handle an outside receiver, so the Jaguars would likely look for a slot cornerback or allow Tre Herndon a chance to earn that position. Either way, Campbell is too good of a fit for the Jaguars to pass up with this late second round pick.

 

Round 3: Brevin Jordan, Miami (Tight End)

 

The tight end position is very thin for the Jaguars and particularly so following Josh Oliver’s injury. Coach Meyer always likes to use the tight end in his passing game, so selecting an athletic, pass catching tight end such as Jordan makes sense.

 

Jordan has great athleticism and the ability to gain yardage after the catch.  His skill set would fit in nicely with Lawrence, who has shown he can throw into the seams of the defense.  Jordan clearly would be an upgrade over Tyler Eifert and James O’Shaugnessy.

Super Bowl Primer: GOAT vs. Successor

It’s not too much of a surprise that the best quarterback to ever play is making his 10th Super Bowl appearance this year. Tom Brady is ready to go to the Super Bowl again, except this year, he is with a different team.

It’s also not that much of a surprise that the next face of the NFL also made the super bowl for a second year straight. Patrick Mahomes is one of the flashiest quarterbacks in the NFL, making no-look passes left and right in style.

Tom Brady has easily made himself the best player to ever play football, at least in my opinion. Before this season, people made the argument that Brady only made Super Bowls due to Bill Belichick, but now that Brady made a Super Bowl under a different head coach, he has proven he is much more than a system quarterback.

I also think that out of any person in the National Football League, Patrick Mahomes is the only player who can become the next Tom Brady. Mahomes has already proven that he is an amazing quarterback, and he can bring a team to Super Bowls year after year.

Let’s get into what everyone wants to know.

Who’s going to win the Super Bowl, 43 year old Brady, or 25 year old Mahomes?

While the Buccaneers are a more balanced team, I still think the Chiefs are going to win. The Chiefs offense is unstoppable. Tyreek Hill can outrun any player in the NFL, Travis Kelce is the most dominant Tight End, and Patrick Mahomes is a top talent. Along with their explosive offense, their defense makes big plays when they’re needed.

The Buccaneers have a star-studded offense between Tom Brady, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, and Rob Gronkowski. They also have an amazing defense from Shaq Barrett to Lavonte David to Devin White.

Even though the Buccaneers have the more balanced team overall, I really can’t see the Chiefs offense being stopped in this Super Bowl, considering they beat the best defense in the NFL in last year’s super bowl against the 49ers.

No matter who wins, this should go down as one the best Super Bowls in NFL History.

Bater’s Best Bets: Week 17 NFL

Previous Week’s Record:  2-1
Overall Season Record:  26-18 

 

As we finish this first year of NFL Best Bets, we are glad to do so with a guaranteed winning record and having provided a little respite from the sheer awfulness that was 2020. 

 

Now we begin 2021 with an injection of optimism and perhaps facing the biggest challenge of the season thus far, because Week 17 is perhaps the riskiest of the past 20 years to gamble in. 

 

Think about it: As of Thursday, the Cleveland Browns were facing a potential win-or-go-home game unable to practice because of COVID-19 cases on the team, the Pittsburgh Steelers are sitting their most important starters but the Buffalo Bills may or may not pull theirs. Add the fact that the Los Angeles Rams will place their own playoff hopes in the hands of a backup quarterback who has never thrown a pass in the NFL and you have a recipe for craziness in the making. 

 

Alas, we go forth and place our bets because we are bold with Mahomian confidence and a healthy dose of Fitzmagic. 

 

You can find all odds for this weekend here, via Yahoo! Sports. 

 

BUFFALO BILLS (12-3) vs. MIAMI DOLPHINS (10-5) 

 

The Bills are just 1.5-point favorites at home. Hosts usually are at least a +3, so that means Vegas is thinking that the Bills will A) rest their starters or B) play at least a healthy portion of the game with Matt Barkley as their QB. 

 

This will be Tua’s first start against the Bills, who defeated the Fitzpatrick-led Dolphins 31-28 in a game that had the Fins leading 20-17 with six minutes left in the game before consecutive passing touchdowns by Josh Allen. 

 

If Tua can clear the cobwebs in his mind and play with confidence while the Dolphins defense plays with much more zeal and desperation than a Bills offense looking to stay healthy, I like Miami to win and finish fifth in the AFC. 

 

My pick: Bills 24-27 Dolphins (+1.5) 

 

NEW YORK GIANTS (5-10) vs. DALLAS COWBOYS (6-9)    

 

The most meaningful game for two teams that hope to drunkenly stumble into a playoff game at home. The Indianapolis Colts may miss the playoffs with a 11-5 record in the AFC, but the NFC East might gift the 6-10 Giants a divisional title. 

 

The Cowboys have won three games in a row averaging 36.0 points per game during that streak, while the Giants lost all the swagger they had after beating the Seahawks in Seattle and have averaged 8.6 points per game during their latest three-game slide. In fact, they haven’t scored more than 20 points since Week 11 against the Philadelphia Eagles. 

 

Dalton is hot, New York is not. 

 

My pick: Giants 17-20 Cowboys (-2) 

 

GREEN BAY PACKERS (12-3) vs. CHICAGO BEARS (8-7) 

 

The Bears have lost eight of their last nine against the Packers and haven’t prevailed in Green Bay since 2015, when Jay Cutler was their quarterback. 

 

Aaron Rodgers was the Packers QB back then and he still is now, with the NFC’s number one seed and consequent bye week in his sights and the fresh memories of putting up 41 points and four touchdowns on the Bears in Chicago during a 41-25 spanking that was 41-10 after three quarters in Week 12. 

 

A motivated Rodgers is a lethal Rodgers, and I’m afraid that the Bears will be glued to the TV in the locker room hoping for a Rams win over the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon. 

 

My pick: Packers (-5.5) 31-20 Bears  

Tua Tagovailoa had reason to celebrate as the Dolphins won in his first NFL start against the Rams.

Martin’s Best Week 16 NFL Bets: Dolphins and More

Previous Week’s Record:  1-2
Overall Season Record:  24-17 

 

We have arrived in the last week of 2020 for the NFL, the penultimate one of the season. And you know what? Good riddance to the worst year ever. The one that made us play with fear and uncertainty, the one that infected players and coaches from coast to coast, the one that kept fans away from cheering on the teams they love!  

 

No matter what happens the rest of this year, the best bet you should make is that 2021 will be better for everyone.   

 

Now let’s take a look at what Week 16 has in store for us. One thing is for sure, I am not putting any money on the Pittsburgh Steelers. They couldn’t even beat the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football to give us a winning slate last time around. For shame. 

 

You can find every game’s odds here on the Yahoo! Sports website. We took the ones as of Thursday morning. 

 

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (7-7) vs. MIAMI DOLPHINS (9-5)  

 

Two teams heading in opposite directions.  

 

The Raiders are 1-4 in their last five games, just a push away from being eliminated from playoff contention and from their 17th season with eight or fewer wins in their last 18 tries dating to 2003. Their defense has allowed 36.0 points per game since they were 6-3.   

 

The Dolphins are 8-2 in their last 10 and 5-2 with Tua as their promising starting quarterback that doesn’t seem to make the same mistake twice. He takes care of the ball and the defense forces opposing turnovers while allowing 21 points or less in five of their past six contests. 

 

I don’t really care whether Derek Carr or Marcus Mariota start at quarterback for the Raiders. I’m going with the Dolphins, and the Raiders don’t even cover at home. 

 

My pick: Raiders 20-27 Dolphins (-3) 

 

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (6-8) vs. CAROLINA PANTHERS (4-9) 

 

The NFC East is such a shitshow that it is currently being led by a team whose owner currently believes he is the victim of a extortion while their backup quarterback is fined for “pulling a Harden” (AKA breaking COVID-19 protocols for stupid reasons). 

 

An organization in such a state of disarray shouldn’t be just two wins away from a division title and the fourth seed in the NFC playoffs, and yet that is exactly where the Ron Rivera Riverboaters find themselves.  

 

Christian McCaffrey looks to be MIA for the Panthers for the sixth straight game, and why wouldn’t he be? All his presence can do is increase his risk of aggravating his quad injury and putting Carolina’s top five draft pick in jeopardy. 

 

The Panthers have allowed seven sacks combined in their past two games against the Broncos (11th in the league in that category) and the Packers (10th). Now they will face a hellacious Washington front four led by rookie sensation Chase Young that’s tied for fourth in the league in sacks. 

 

My pick: Washington (-2) 20-17 Panthers  

 

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL PICK 

 

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (6-8) vs. BUFFALO BILLS (11-3) 

 

As if 2020 wasn’t bizarre enough, we end it with the division-leading Buffalo Bills that boasts a quarterback that is also an MVP candidate facing a Patriots team with nothing to play for and serious questions under center for this game and for the future. It’s like the Freaky Friday of football. 

 

The Pats were a Cam Newton fumble away from at least forcing overtime in Buffalo back in Week 8, but they ended up losing 24-21 instead during what would be the beginning of the end for them. 

 

The Bills’ offense has averaged 34.8 points per game since then, and they are a Kyler Murray Hail Mary in Arizona away from being 8-0 since Week 7. 

 

Their firepower and motivation to secure the second seed in the AFC will be too much for Belichick and his players to overcome. 

 

My pick: Bills (-7) 31-23 Patriots