If you missed the annual Royster Brothers NFL Preview — which you’ll find by clicking the link — you learned that Attiba and I will be dedicated to making picks every week. Last year, we realize that we both kinda gave up on that premise. Part of the reason for that is because Attiba and I got in pretty deep with Vinny, and we had to stay on the move.
We’re both at zero, now, so everything is cool — until the first huge losing streak, that is.
New Orleans +3.5 at Minnesota
You see some crazy things in the NFL in week one, but one thing remains: bet on what you know.
I know the New Orleans offense is going to put up points. Drew Brees plus what appears to be a new power running attack. That should be fun, right?
I know the New Orleans defense is going to allow points. That’s their mo. Rob Ryan is no longer the defensive coordinator, so I just assume that gives them a bump, defensively. (I cannot stress enough how much I hated Rob Ryan from 2013-2015.)
Nick Fairley is lost for the 2017 season with a heart condition, Manti Te’o is recovering from a blown Achilles, but he’s still an upgrade at who the Saints had at linebacker last year. (How depressing is that, by the way?) The Saints still have a good pass rusher in Cameron Jordan, and they added Marshon Lattimore — who could be the shut-down corner that’s been needed for quite some time.
I don’t know what the Minnesota offense is going to look like. Is Dalvin Cook good? Probably. Is “Checkdown Sam” Bradford going to sling the ball around to keep New Orleans from putting eight or nine guys in the box? Probably not. Bradford is going to do what he always does: throw for five yards when he needs eight or nine. Minnesota’s defense is still top-notch, but they’re going to be spending A LOT of time on the field because the Vikings offense stutters more than a 1980s-era Ford.
I’ll take New Orleans.
(SIDE NOTE: Adrian Peterson revenge game. I’m factoring that into my decision as well.)
Houston Texans -5.5 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
I, Attiba Royster, am a New Orleans Saints fan and I saw what happened to that team after Hurricane Katrina.
Thinking about what those players and the people of that city were going through with pent-up emotions, the feelings of frustration and powerlessness was gut wrenching. In 2006 the Saints were finally able to release those emotions against the Atlanta Falcons.
The result was one of the most historic games in Saints history (the Steve Gleason Block). I believe the Houston Texans are ready for a similar emotional explosion at the expense of the Jacksonville Jaguars. I feel bad for Blake Bortles. I, for one, do not want to be around when J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney start unleashing pent-up emotions.
Bonus Teebs picks:
KC+9, NYJ +9, ATL-7, Was+1, Ari -2,Oak +2½, Cin -1,Pit -9, LAR +3½, GB -3, Car -5½, Dal +4, NO +3½, LAC +3½
(I can’t believe I get to take Washington and Oakland and get points!)