Without wanting to kick the 49ers when they’re down, their game against the Chargers is perhaps the easiest to forecast this week. An offense shorn of weapons when Jerrick McKinnon went down in preseason saw its highly-priced leader tear his MCL on Sunday. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is now out for the year and CJ Beathard will face a defense that’s generated 27 takeaways, good enough to rank sixth in the NFL so far this season.
Talking of down, Houston have lost their first three games by seven, three and five but an inconsistent Indianapolis look ripe for the taking. Last weekend, Andrew Luck’s crew played the world-champion Eagles close but their passer is still not back to his pre-injury arm strength. In the two-minute drill against Philly, he checked down repeatedly before head coach Frank Reich subbed in back-up Jacoby Brissett to heave the Hail Mary on the final play.
Seattle Seahawks got their season started with an impressive 24-13 win over Dallas on Sunday, as the offense, missing key receiver Doug Baldwin, found its rhythm. Third-year defensive tackle, Jarran Reed bagged two sacks as the Seattle defense harassed Dak Prescott, downing him five times.
This week, an SBNation.com poll of NFL fans chose the Arizona Cardinals as the worst team in the league (59%) with the Oakland Raiders ranked second (23%, more on the Raiders in a moment). Poor Cards rookie passer Josh Rosen got thrown to Khalil Mack and the Chicago defense in his first action and is rewarded for his courage under fire with a start against Seattle who’ve intercepted a league-leading seven passes in 2018.
Fellow first-year quarterback Baker Mayfield gets to make his starting debut this week after powering the Browns to their first win since 2016. His presence and the zip on his passes compared to Tyrod Taylor’s seemed to energise Cleveland and Hue Jackson expects him to continue that when facing Jackson’s former team, Oakland.
The Raiders are at the bottom looking up in their division at the Broncos and Chiefs, who present a mouth-watering clash on Monday Night Football. The Chiefs are undefeated at 3-0 and, with second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ record-setting start to the season, top the points-scored charts. Mahomes’ absurd 13 touchdowns in three weeks broke Peyton Manning’s 2013 record and the offense is on pace to break the NFL record of 606 points.
Holders of that record are the 2013 Broncos, led by Manning, that ended up in the Super Bowl. Denver’s formerly formidable defense been mid-table against the pass so far so they’ll be hoping this is the week their new pass rusher Nick Chubb breaks out, otherwise, it could be a long day for the Broncos defensive backfield.
Five-fold acca pays around 10/1
- Texans over Colts
- Seahawks over Cardinals
- Chargers over 49ers
- Chiefs over Broncos
- Browns over Raiders