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Goldie’s Week 5 Picks: Can the Dolphins cover in Tampa? (and more)

Goldie:

All Time Record: 163-78          

Vs. Spread: 119-119

 

21-22 Season:  37-23                

Vs. Spread: 30-30

 

Week 4 Record : 8-7                 

Vs. Spread: 5-10

 

Guarantee All Time: 11-7       

21-22 Season: 2-2

 

Upset All Time: 11-6              

21-22 Season: 2-2

 

Crazy Uncle Jeff 

All Time: 23-3              

21-22 Season: 7-2       

Week 4: 2-1

 

Goldie’s Guarantee

Tennessee Titans (2-2) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4)

Vegas Picks: TEN -4.5

Goldie’s Take: Titans WIn 31-14

After a bit of a disappointing start to the season, the Titans look to get back above .500 with a win in Jacksonville. The Jags, on the other hand, have been a mess recently. Following their loss to the Bengals on TNF, inappropriate photos of head coach Urban Meyer at an Ohio bar surfaced. The organization has been dealing with these off field issues all week. Leaves me to believe that I’m not so sure they’re too focused on football over there in Jacksonville. Even if they WERE focused on this game, I’d still take the Titans to win and cover. Henry runs wild as T’s go into Jacksonville and destroy the Jags. I GUARANTEE IT!

 

Goldie’s UPSET of the Week

Buffalo Bills (3-1) @ Kansas City Chiefs (2-2)

Vegas Picks: KC -3

Goldie’s Take: Bills Win 30-28

Game of the Week, also UPSET of the week. The Bills have had this rematch of last season’s AFC championship game circled on their calendar since January. The Chiefs have been shaky to start the season, and the Bills have, so far, clearly looked like the best team in the AFC. Buffalo has been running through teams and seem to have found their groove. They’ve won their last three games by an average of 32 points. Plus this is a revenge game for them. Sunday Night UPSET in Arrowhead!

 

Crazy Uncle Jeff’s Lock of the Week: NO -2.5

New Orleans Saints (2-2) @ Washington Football Team (2-2)

Vegas Picks: NO -2.5

Goldie’s Take: Saints Win 27-23

Uncle Jeff and I view this game as a trend breaker. The Saints have seemed to lose their mojo a bit since that Week 1 beatdown they put on Green Bay. Last week’s loss to the Giants at home was not a good look for N’awlins either. On the other hand, Washington is feeling great after a miraculous late game comeback in Atlanta last week. We don’t see Taylor Heinicke continuing to play like prime Brady, and Jameis still has something to prove on the other side. Never fade the Crazy Uncle. Saints get back on track this Sunday with a win in the nation’s capital.

 

Crazy Uncle Jeff’s Lock of the Week: PIT +1

Denver Broncos (3-1) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3)

Vegas Picks: DEN -1

Goldie’s Take: Broncos Win 24-21

A RARE occurrence where Jeff and I don’t see eye to eye. Jeffy likes the veteran presence of the Steelers at home to prevail. Whereas, I think Big Ben and the Steelers have finally fallen off the cliff. Big Ben can’t throw like he used to, and he sure as hell can’t run/move like he used to. Denver’s pass rush is going to give Pitt troubles all day. Teddy-Two-Gloves is a great game manager, and that’s the perfect counterattack to a stingy defense like Pittsburgh. Give me the Broncos to go in and take this one on the road. 

 

New York Jets (1-3) @ Atlanta Falcons (1-3) (LONDON)

Vegas Picks: ATL -2.5

Goldie’s Take: Falcons Win 30-23

Dirty Birds are kicking themselves after another 4th quarter collapse last week. However, no better remedy to get on track than a game against the New York Jets. That being said, New York does come into this one with some swagger after an overtime win against Tennessee. Anything can happen in a 9:30AM game across the pond, but the safe play is to take Atlanta in this battle of 1-3’s.  

 

New England Patriots (1-3) @ Houston Texans (1-3)

Vegas Picks: NE -9

Goldie’s Take: Pats Win 24-13

If you live under a rock, maybe you didn’t hear that Brady returned to Foxboro last week. However to many people’s surprise, the Pats were a first down away from probably winning that game. Moral victory? Belichick and the Pats will carry that momentum right into this one and cruise past Davis Mills and the frail Texans. 

 

Detroit Lions (0-4) @ Minnesota Vikings (1-3)

Vegas Picks: MIN -10

Goldie’s Take: Vikings Win 27-14

Although I’ve been one of the biggest supporters of the Lions’ fighting spirit this season, their already weak roster has recently been hit with the injury bug. Detroit has three starting O-Lineman iffy to play to go along with losing one of their best pass rushers to a season ending Achilles injury. Not to mention it’s a divisional game on the road. Expect Minny to win and cover with ease at home this Sunday.  

 

Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) @ Carolina Panthers (3-1)

Vegas Picks: CAR -3

Goldie’s Take: Eagles Win 27-23

Lots of question marks surround this matchup, but none bigger than the status of Carolina star RB Chistian McCaffrey. He’s iffy to play, and it’s evident that the Panthers offense is not the same without him. Even if he does play, he shouldn’t be at 100%. A hobbled CMC could be enough for the Eagles to steal this one on the road. Three straight losses after a win in the opener has the desperation starting to set in for Philly. ‘Birds get back on track with a much needed win. UPSET!

 

Miami Dolphins (1-3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1)

Vegas Picks: TB -9.5

Goldie’s Take: Bucs Win 24-20

Tua-less ‘Fins head to Tampa for an all-Florida battle. Brady and the Bucs barely put away the Pats last week in an emotional roller coaster, so they could be resting on their laurels a bit for this one. Honestly, that’s probably just my Miami-bias talking. However, don’t be surprised when Brian Flores and the Dolphins defense keep this one competitive. Taking Tampa to win at home, but taking the ‘Fins to cover.

 

Green Bay Packers (3-1) @ Cincinnati Bengals (3-1)

Vegas Picks: GB -3

Goldie’s Take: Packers Win 30-21

Since the week 1 anomaly against the Saints, the Packers have looked like the contenders we all thought they were. Wins against good teams in back to back weeks has resolidified the Packers status across the NFL landscape. On the flipside, the Bengals have surprised many by their 3-1 start, but struggled to put away the Jags last week. That has me questioning their validity. Bengals are a nice up and coming team but I don’t put them in the same category as Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Give me the Pack by multiple scores in Cincy. 

 

Chicago Bears (2-2) @ Las Vegas Raiders (3-1)

Vegas Picks: LV -5.5

Goldie’s Take: Raiders Win 28-16

Chicago has named Justin Fields the starting quarterback moving forward. Awesome move for the Bears, let the kid see NFL action and develop as the season goes on. However rookie quarterbacks with subpar weapons usually don’t result in a lot of wins. Not to mention the Raiders have been great this year. I envision Fields struggling on the road, and Vegas cruising to a victory to improve to 4-1 for the first time since 2016. Al Davis said it best, “Just Win Baby!”

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Cleveland Browns (3-1) @ Los Angeles Chargers (3-1)

Vegas Picks: LAC -2

Goldie’s Take: Browns Win 27-26

In my mind this game is basically a pick ’em. I love both of these teams and view them both as legitimate contenders. Usually in a game like this I make it a venue call and go with the home team, but the Chargers historically have been the most unlucky team ever. So I’m taking the Browns. I like Cleveland’s run-heavy offense to control the pace of play in this one, as the Chargers defense should have a hard time getting off the field. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Cleveland Browns are the real deal this season. 

 

New York Giants (1-3) @ Dallas Cowboys (3-1)

Vegas Picks: DAL -7

Goldie’s Take: Cowboys Win 28-24

The Giants showed us something last week in their overtime win in the Superdome. That’s why I’m picking New York to cover in this one, but I do believe the ‘Boys are the better team. However in a divisional matchup, 7 points seems like way too hefty of a spread. It seems every time these teams face off it’s a competitive matchup. Dak and the Cowboys have shown no signs of slowing down, but the G-Men are better than most think. Cowboys win in a close one. 

 

San Francisco 49ers (2-2) @ Arizona Cardinals (4-0)

Vegas Picks: ARI -5

Goldie’s Take: Cardinals Win 31-27

The Upset of the week committee took a hard look at this one before deciding to play it safe and take the Cardinals. Just couldn’t trust rookie Trey Lance in his first NFL start in a divisional game on the road against an undefeated team. The Cardinals murdered the Rams last week, and many thought the Rams were the best team in football. Kyler Murray has also emerged as the MVP frontrunner and all is well in ‘Zona right now. Good times keep rolling with a home win this Sunday to improve to 5-0.

 

Indianapolis Colts (1-3) @ Baltimore Ravens (3-1)

Vegas Picks: BAL -7

Goldie’s Take: Ravens Win 30-17

Hobbled Colts finally got a win last week against the hobbled Miami Dolphins, but now they have to go on the road to face Lamar Jackson and the Ravens?? Good luck with that. Baltimore defense will be too much for Wentz and the slow-moving Colts offense to handle. Ravens cruise to 4-1, while Colts are starting to get desperate at 1-4. 

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.

Dolphins Chris Grier

Pressure Point: Up to Chris Grier to build on Brian Flores’ good work

Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores just made the job of general manager Chris Grier a whole lot tougher.

So be it.

How can you care at all about the Dolphins and not find delight in the stunning 27-24 upset they pulled off Sunday in Flores’ finale as a rookie head coach in his first visit to New England, where he worked for 15 years in the Belichick regime?

Especially when it mucks up Patriots playoff plans, denying them a first-round bye.

Also considering Miami hadn’t won at Foxborough since September 2008.

I know. I know. By winning five of their last nine to finish 5-11, the Dolphins strayed far from the tanking playbook — which Flores always claimed he wasn’t in on anyway. And there is no choice but to believe him now.

Win didn’t hurt draft standing

Sunday didn’t alter their standing in the draft order anyway.

Trying to win by losing has always been a cockamamie concept. Of greater importance, the win at New England was the latest in a growing stack of evidence that the Dolphins finally have a coach they can win with.

It was remarkable, really, coming to New England as 17-point underdogs and considering the 43-0 debacle in Miami in Week 2.

Sure, now Flores must show he can win more meaningful games when given the tools to work with. But he achieved far more with less than Adam Gase did in taking the 2016 Dolphins to the playoffs in his first season.

But he has a locker room full of believers, and likely much of the fan base.

Now that this most confusing of Dolphins seasons is over, speculation can shift from what they may or may not be trying to achieve on the field to what they must accomplish in the NFL draft.

Now it’s all about what Grier will do with those three first-round and assorted extra draft picks (14 total in 2020).

Finding the quarterback of the future remains the general manager’s mandate despite the team’s competitive gains behind the inspired play of veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Dolphins give Patriots a taste of their own medicine

Tua tough call as first-round pick

The Dolphins have the No. 5 pick next April and may have a chance to select Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa (provided he enters the draft), who must come back from a significant hip injury.

Maybe Tua will fare better than Bo Jackson, whose mercurial career was halted by a hip injury. Considering the injuries to both ankles that have also sidelined Tagovailoa, his durability is an issue.

Grier will spend more time poring over Tua’s medical reports than his game film. It will take conviction to make that choice or another available quarterback.

Regardless of whichever quarterback Grier chooses, bringing back Fitzpatrick would buy time in the development process.

Fitz reached folk hero status with what he accomplished leading an offense devoid of any reliable running game. That was cemented Sunday by outplaying Tom Brady and orchestrating the winning touchdown drive capped by the payoff pass to Mike Gesicki.

That doesn’t change that Grier must come away from the draft with a quarterback, but it’s just the top of a laundry list of needs.

Numerous needs on offense, defense

On offense, the challenge is to upgrade the line and add a featured running back, through draft picks and signings.

The receiving corps is respectable, with DeVante Parker having a breakout year and Gesicki making major strides in his second season. But pass protection and blocking for the running game needs to improve.

On defense, pass rushers are top priority, on the line and at linebacker. An ever-changing cast in the defensive backfield held its own against Tom Brady on Sunday, highlighted by former Patriot Eric Rowe’s pick-six. But Grier will be looking for another cornerback and likely a safety, especially if Reshad Jones isn’t brought back.

Grier is on the clock and on the spot for 2020.

As for 2019, which began with getting outscored 163-26 in the first four games, Sunday’s stunner made it almost sad to see time expire.

One thing for sure, the time for hoping for losses is thankfully over.

Craig Davis has covered South Florida sports and teams, including the Dolphins, for four decades. Follow him on Twitter @CraigDavisRuns

Tom Brady needs to feel heat from Dolphins pass rush

The Dolphins need to bring defensive pressure to the New England Patriots in the passing game.

It’s no secret that the Miami Dolphins have a tough task this weekend with the New England Patriots coming to town. After all, New England demolished the Pittsburgh Steelers by a 33-3 score. With a stout defense and Tom Brady at the helm, they did whatever they wanted last Sunday. Oh by the way, Antonio Brown should join the team in Miami just in time for the game. It is safe to say the Dolphins will have their hands full.

This may seem like an obvious statement, but the Dolphins need to get pressure on Brady. Last weekend, Lamar Jackson was pretty much free to do whatever he wanted. He burned the Dolphins for 378 passing yards and four touchdowns. Tom Brady will do the same if the Dolphins do not get to him quickly. A receiver like Josh Gordon can beat you with pure speed, while a receiver like Julian Edelman is great at improvising routes and getting an initial first step on his defender. The running backs are huge part of the passing game as well. They can catch screens, wheel routes, and even line up as receivers. They are extremely versatile and add another wrinkle for the defense to look out for.

Sam Eguavoen  and Jonathan Ledbetter each recorded a half sack last week. With one sack in total, the Miami defensive line did not get to the quarterback enough. If the Dolphins have any chance of beating the Patriots, they need to create a consistent pass rush. If you give Tom Brady time to throw, he will make you pay. Even at 42 years old, he can still throw the football extremely well. it’s fascinating to see quite frankly. However, he always seems to struggle in Miami. Whether it be the heat or the crowd noise, a New England Patriots-Miami Dolphins game in Miami is always a good one.

New England Patriots need to feel the heat

Bringing pressure up the middle often makes Tom Brady think a little bit in the pocket. I used to see it a ton with the New York Jets defenses in the early part of this decade. They would bring pressure up the middle, and also bring a little bit of pressure off the edge. They constantly stumped Brady and rushed him into making throws he didn’t like.

Those New York Jets defenses were very good. I’m not asking for the 2019 Miami Dolphins defense to play like those just defenses. The formula of getting pressure up the middle and making Brady think is something that they can do on Sunday. I like to see a little bit more out of Christian Wilkins in this game. He can do a little bit of everything. He can clog up running lanes, but he can also rush the passer. I would love to see him be able to get pressure on Brady. Getting pressure on the quarterbacks was something he did at Clemson, and his skill set should translate well to the National Football League.

Playing Tom Brady and the New England Patriots is not going to be easy. The odds are certainly stacked against the Dolphins, but they can at least make life for Brady in the new England patriots difficult.  Getting pressure on Brady would be a nice step toward keeping this game close. keeping this game close and general would certainly be a moral victory for Miami.

Tom Brady annoys people again

It’s April’s Fools Day, if you weren’t aware, people play practical jokes on this day.

And no one is a bigger joker than Tom Brady.

So today, the typically reclusive New England Patriots quarterback — and Miami Dolphins tormentor, except in Miami Gardens — sent out his first tweet.

And it was a super funny one.

This thing had nearly 100,000 likes as of this post.

Apparently, some didn’t find it that amusing, even those very calm people in the Boston area.

No, the Tuck Rule call was a bad joke.

So, sorry, Dolphins fans.

You’re getting more Brady this season, with all his hilarity.

(Photo by our Tony Capobianco)