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Old 09-04-2017, 02:17 AM
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Cnotes 2017 NFL Trends/Stats/News/Picks Thru The Super Bowl

NFL notebook: Buccaneers add S Ward
September 3, 2017


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are expected to sign three-time Pro Bowl safety T.J. Ward, who was released by the Denver Broncos as they made their final roster cuts at the Saturday deadline.

It will be a one-year deal worth $5 million, multiple media outlets reported Sunday. Ward was scheduled to make a non-guaranteed $4.5 million with the Broncos in the final year of the four-year contract he signed in 2014 but was cut after three seasons.

Ward, 30, started 14 games last season and recorded 69 tackles, one sack and one interception. He did not play in any of the four preseason games after sustaining a hamstring injury at practice in early August.

--The Washington Redskins talked projected starting safety Su'a Cravens out of retiring at age 22.

Cravens told some within the organization this weekend that he was planning to retire, but a meeting with the team's coaches and executives changed his mind for now, league sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Cravens, who has been nursing a knee injury, now is expected to miss the start of the season as Washington helps him address his issues rather than have him walk away from the game, according to ESPN. The 6-foot-1, 224-pound Cravens, a second-round pick out of USC in 2016, recorded 34 tackles, one sack and one interception in 11 games (three starts) during his rookie season.

--The Dallas Cowboys acquired outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott in a trade with the Green Bay Packers, who received a conditional 2018 seventh-round draft pick.

In addition, the Cowboys cut defensive tackle Cedric Thornton, their biggest free agent signing in 2016. Thornton signed a four-year, $17 million deal that included $9 million guaranteed, but he did not become a starter and was slowed in training camp by a hamstring strain.

In 11 games last season, Elliott led the Packers with 13 special teams tackles and was credited with 19 on defense with one sack.

--Brock Osweiler's
relatively short but eventful career has now come full circle. The quarterback is returning to Denver after the Broncos signed him to a one-year contract.

The deal is for one year at the veterans' minimum of $775,000. The Browns, who cut Osweiler at the end of preseason camp, still will owe him approximately $15,225,000.

The Broncos had a need at the position with backup Paxton Lynch out at least a month because of a shoulder injury. And Osweiler knows the Broncos' offense, having played there under offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.

--The Buffalo Bills waived backup running back Jonathan Williams in a surprise move.

While Williams dealt with hamstring and knee tweaks this offseason, the Bills' reasoning to cut the former fifth-round pick in 2016 had nothing to do with injury, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported.

Williams, 23, had been expected to be LeSean McCoy's primary backup this season. Williams ran for 94 yards on 27 carries with one touchdown in 11 games during his rookie season. Veteran Mike Tolbert appears to be first in line to back up McCoy.

--The Indianapolis Colts claimed running back Matt Jones off waivers a day after he was cut by the Washington Redskins.

Jones, a third-round pick by the Redskins in 2015 out of Florida, spent two years in Washington, compiling 950 yards on 243 carries with six touchdowns and eight fumbles (six lost).

Jones, 24, began last season as the Redskins' starting running back before losing the job. He was a healthy inactive for the final eight games and finished the season with 460 rushing yards and three TDs.

--The Miami Dolphins changed kickers, claiming Cody Parkey off waivers and waiving Andrew Franks.

The Browns waived the 25-year-old Parkey as they trimmed their roster to 53 players. He lost his job to rookie Zane Gonzalez, a seventh-round pick.

Parkey joined the Browns in Week 3 last season after Patrick Murray injured a knee in practice. He missed 3 of 6 field-goal attempts in his debut but recovered to make 17 of his next 19 attempts. Franks, 24, has been the Dolphins' kicker for the past two seasons, converting 29 of 37 field goal attempts and 74 of 78 extra-point tries.

--The Pittsburgh Steelers acquired safety J.J. Wilcox and a seventh-round pick in the 2019 draft from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a sixth-round pick in 2018.

Wilcox, who just signed a two-year contract with the Buccaneers this offseason, previously played four years with the Cowboys, who drafted him in the third round in 2013. The 26-year-old had 49 tackles, one interception and a forced fumble in 13 games with the Cowboys last season.

Wilcox became expendable when the Buccaneers reportedly landed free agent safety T.J. Ward.
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:21 AM
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Buccaneers Preview Capsule
September 3, 2017


TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (9-7)

New Faces: WR DeSean Jackson, DE Chris Baker, TE O.J. Howard, S Justin Evans, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, K Nick Folk, WR Chris Godwin, S J.J. Wilcox.

Key Losses: QB Mike Glennon, WR Russell Shepard, LB Daryl Smith, CB Alterraun Verner, S Bradley McDougald.

Strengths: Bucs go as Jameis Winston goes. With additional playmakers - Jackson, Howard, Godwin - around young QB, coach Dirk Koetter is counting on offense being more explosive.

Weaknesses: Despite making strikes defensively following slow start last season, absence of consistent pass rush remains concern. Team hasn't had player finish with double-digit sacks since Simeon Rice in 2005. Five-time Pro Bowl DT Gerald McCoy welcomes addition of Baker on line also featuring Robert Ayers Jr. Second-year DE Noah Spence can make difference, too.

Fantasy Players To Watch: Winston; Jackson, WR Mike Evans; TE Cameron Brate; RB Doug Martin, who begins season on reserve/suspended list while serving remaining three games of ban for violating NFL policy on performance enhancers.

Expectations: After improving from six wins to nine in Winston's second season, next logical step would seem to be contending for NFC South title, as well as team's first playoff berth since 2007. But if Bucs have learned anything during long drought, it's that nothing's guaranteed, even with roster that seems talented enough to win. Winston threw for more than 8,100 yards and 50 touchdowns over past two years. He's also thrown 33 interceptions. Improving on last year's 9-7 finish won't be as simple as curbing turnovers and scoring more points, either. Inconsistency on defense has been problem, though Koetter is confident club's headed in right direction after bolstering depth at linebacker and safety.
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:30 AM
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Week 1 Fades - Falcons, Raiders
September 2, 2017


The NFL preseason has often been called “meaningless” and many pundits ignore the records in August because they rarely carry over into the regular season, especially the teams that finish unbeaten.

Dating back to the 2005 season, we’ve seen 23 teams produce an unbeaten record in the preseason. In the 2016 exhibition season, there were four teams that went 4-0 and only one of those teams made the playoffs.

That club was Houston, who finished 9-7 and captured the AFC South. Baltimore (8-8) and Minnesota came up short with .500 records while Philadelphia faded to a 7-9 mark.

Since 2005, the 23 teams with 4-0 preseason records have combined to go 173-195 (47%) straight up in the regular season.

Heading into the 2017 season, we have four teams that posted winning records. The quartet features Baltimore and Cleveland from the AFC North, Denver and Seattle.

While perfection in August hasn’t translated into consistent records year-over-year in the fall, the same can be said for teams that go winless.

Losing all of your preseason games is never a good thing and the records don’t lie.

WINLESS PRESEASON TEAMS (2006-2016)
Season Team Regular Season Record Playoff Result


2006 Pittsburgh Steelers 8-8 -

2006 Washington Redskins 5-11 -

2007 Arizona Cardinals 8-8 -

2007 Kansas City Chiefs 4-12 -

2008 Cleveland Browns 4-12 -

2008 New England Patriots 11-5 -

2009 Arizona Cardinals 10-6 Lost in the NFC Divisional Round

2009 Carolina Panthers 8-8 -

2009 Kansas City Chiefs 4-12 -

2010 Chicago Bears 11-5 Lost in the NFC Championship

2010 Indianapolis Colts 10-6 Lost in the AFC Wild Card Round

2011 Atlanta Falcons 10-6 Lost in the NFC Wild Card Round

2011 Kansas City Chiefs 7-9 -

2011 Oakland Raiders 8-8 -

2012 Buffalo Bills 6-10 -

2012 Miami Dolphins 7-9 -

2012 New York Jets 6-10 -

2013 Pittsburgh Steelers 8-8 -

2013 Atlanta Falcons 4-12 -

2014 Dallas Cowboys 12-4 Lost in the NFC Divisional Round

2014 Indianapolis Colts 11-5 Lost in the AFC Championship

2015 New Orleans Saints 7-9 -

2015 St. Louis Rams 7-9 -

2016 New Orleans Saints 7-9 -

2016 Cleveland Browns 1-15 -

In the last 11 seasons, we’ve seen 25 teams go winless in the preseason with a 0-4 record. Only seven of those teams managed to produce a winning record in the regular season and just six of them reached the playoffs.

This year’s winless group includes Oakland and Atlanta, who both went 0-4.

Looking at the NFL futures market, the oddsmakers have high expectations for both of these clubs and they both made the postseason last year. Even though the Falcons were in the Super Bowl last season, history isn't exactly on their side. Only 57 percent of SB runner-ups have made a return trip to the playoffs.

While forecasting futures is fun, we dug into the numbers deeper and checked out how winless teams played in Week 1 of the season.

The results (listed below) weren’t great as the winless teams saw their struggles carry over to their opening matchup.

Going back six seasons, winless preseason teams have produced a 4-12 (25%) record both straight up and against the spread.

Atlanta and Oakland will both begin the regular season on the road as the Falcons visit Chicago while the Raiders travel to Tennessee.

A large part of the success from the Falcons and Raiders last year came on the road as the pair both posted 6-2 records away from home. Based on this angle, bettors might be hesitant to back these clubs as visitors this season.

2016 (0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS)
Cleveland (Lost 10-29 at Philadelphia, +9.5)
New Orleans (Lost 35-34 vs. Oakland, -3)

2015 (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
New Orleans (Lost 31-19 at Arizona, +2)
St. Louis (Won 34-31 vs. Seattle, +3.5)

2014 (0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS)
Dallas (Lost 28-17 vs. San Francisco, +3.5)
Indianapolis (Lost 24-31 at Denver, +8)

2013 (0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS)
Pittsburgh (Lost 16-9 vs. Tennessee, -6)
Atlanta (Lost 23-17 at New Orleans, +3.5)

2012 (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS)
N.Y. Jets (Won 48-28 vs. Buffalo -3)
Buffalo (Lost 28-48 at N.Y. Jets +3)
Miami (Lost 30-10 at Houston +13)

2011 (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS)
Oakland (Won 23-20 at Denver, +3)
Kansas City (Lost 41-7 vs. Buffalo, +3.5)
Atlanta (Lost 30-12 at Chicago, +1)

2010 (1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS)
Indianapolis (Lost 34-24 at Houston -1.5)
Chicago (Won 19-14 vs. Detroit -6.5)
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:32 AM
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Trends favor Patriots in Week 1
September 2, 2017


The 2017 NFL regular season kicks off on Thursday Sept. 7 when New England hosts Kansas City at Gillette Stadium from Foxboro, Massachusetts.

Oddsmakers are expecting the Patriots to repeat as champions, listing them as the top betting choice to win Super Bowl 52 from Minnesota next February.

This year’s campaign begins against a formidable opponent in the Chiefs, who have been to the playoffs in three of the last four years under head coach Andy Reid.

Since he arrived in KC, these teams have split both of their meetings with the home team coming out on top each time. In their most recent encounter, New England dropped the Chiefs 27-20 in the 2016 Divisional Playoff Round and covered as a six-point favorite at Foxboro.

For this week’s matchup, the Patriots opened as seven-point favorites and the number has jumped as high as nine at a few betting shops.

Backing the defending Super Bowl champions in their Week 1 opener the following season is a well-known angle and many bettors have banked on it.

After watching the Super Bowl champions drop back-to-back openers in 2012 and 2013, the defending champions have bounced back with victories in each of the last three seasons.

SUPER BOWL WINNER - WEEK 1 HISTORY (2000-2016)

Year SB Winner Opponent Score (SU-ATS-O/U Result)


2016 Denver (+3) vs. Carolina 21-20 (Win-Win-Over)
2015 New England (-7) vs. Pittsburgh 28-21 (Win-Push-Under)
2014 Seattle (-4.5) vs. Green Bay 36-16 (Win-Win-Over)
2013 Baltimore (+7.5) at Denver 27-49 (Loss-Loss-Over)
2012 N.Y. Giants (-3.5) vs. Dallas 17-24 (Loss-Loss-Under)
2011 Green Bay (-4.5) vs. New Orleans 42-34 (Win-Win-Over)
2010 New Orleans (-4.5) vs. Minnesota 14-9 (Win-Win-Under)
2009 Pittsburgh (-5) vs. Tennessee 13-10 (Win-Loss-Under)
2008 N.Y. Giants (-4) vs. Washington 16-7 (Win-Win-Under)
2007 Indianapolis (-5) vs. New Orleans 41-10 (Win-Win-Under)
2006 Pittsburgh (-7.5) vs. Miami 28-17 (Win-Win-Over)
2005 New England (-7.5) vs. Oakland 30-20 (Win-Win-Over)
2004 New England (-3) vs. Indianapolis 27-24 (Win-Push-Over)
2003 Tampa Bay (+3) vs. Philadelphia 17-0 (Win-Win-Under)
2002 New England (PK) vs. Pittsburgh 30-14 (Win-Win-Over)
2001 Baltimore (-10) vs. Chicago 17-6 (Win-Win-Under)
2000 St. Louis (-7) vs. Denver 41-36 (Win-Loss-Over)

Including Denver’s come-from-behind win over Carolina last season, the defending champions are now 15-2 straight up and 11-4-2 against the spread in Week 1 openers since 2000.

Last year’s matchup between the Broncos and Panthers was a rematch of the Super Bowl and Carolina’s loss helped another popular betting angle tied to the finale from the previous season.

That angle calls for fading the runner-up in Week 1 and in case you forgot, the Atlanta Falcons fit into that situation this season.

SUPER BOWL LOSER - WEEK 1 HISTORY (1999-2016)

Year SB Loser Opponent Score (SU-ATS-O/U Result)

2016 Carolina (-3) at Denver 20-21 (Loss-Loss-Over)
2015 Seattle (-3.5) at St. Louis 31-34 - OT (Loss-Loss-Over)
2014 Denver (-8) vs. Indianapolis 31-24 (Win-Loss-Over)
2013 San Francisco (-5.5) vs. Green Bay 34-28 (Win-Win-Over)
2012 New England (-5) at Tennessee 34-13 (Win-Win-Under)
2011 Pittsburgh (+1) at Baltimore 7-35 (Loss-Loss-Over)
2010 Indianapolis (-2.5) at Houston 24-34 (Loss-Loss-Over)
2009 Arizona (-6.5) vs. San Francisco 6-20 (Loss-Loss-Under)
2008 New England (-16) vs. Kansas City 17-10 (Win-Loss-Under)
2007 Chicago (+6) at San Diego 3-14 (Loss-Loss-Under)
2006 Seattle (-6) at Detroit 9-6 (Win-Loss-Under)
2005 Philadelphia (-1) at Atlanta 10-14 (Loss-Loss-Under)
2004 Carolina (-3) vs. Green Bay 14-24 (Loss-Loss-Under)
2003 Oakland (+3) at Tennessee 20-25 (Loss-Loss-Under)
2002 St. Louis (-3) at Denver 16-23 (Loss-Loss-Under)
2001 N.Y. Giants (+3) vs. San Francisco 13-16 (Loss-Loss-Under)
2000 Tennessee (PK) at Buffalo 13-16 (Loss-Loss-Under)
1999 Atlanta (+4) at Minnesota 14-17 (Loss-Win-Under)

Including Carolina's setback last season, the runner-up has gone 5-13 SU and 3-15 ATS since 1999.

Despite the poor overall numbers (16.7%) versus the number during this span, the ‘losers’ have won three of the last five seasons and they were expected to do so as favorites.

Back to the Falcons.

They will visit Chicago in Week 1 and Atlanta is listed as a seven-point road favorite over the Bears.

We also highlighted in the above table that the ‘over’ has gone 6-1 in the last seven Week 1 openers for the Super Bowl loser and the total for the Falcons-Bears matchup is one of two games with an ‘over/under’ listed in the fifties for the opening weekend.
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:37 AM
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Cuts tracker: NFL teams finalize 53-player rosters

The NFL preseason is over. The season is less than a week away from kicking off -- and that means it's time for teams to trim their rosters.

Here's a team-by-team rundown of every player cut as NFL general managers trim their rosters to the mandatory 53-player limit by Saturday's 4 p.m. ET deadline. We will update this list as cuts are announced:

Arizona Cardinals

WR Carlton Agudosi, DT Peli Anau, LB Alex Bazzie, LB Cap Capi, CB Jarrell Carter, TE Gerald Christian, S Ironhead Gallon, LB Zaviar Gooden, CB Gump Hayes, WR Krishawn Hogan, WR Chris Hubert, LB Jarvis Jones, RB Chris Johnson, G Dorian Johnson, G Kaleb Johnson, LB Tre'Von Johnson, QB Trevor Knight, LB Ryan Langford, P Richie Leone, CB Ryan Lewis, T Jonathan McLaughlin, S Harlan Miller, DT David Moala, C Daniel Munyer, T Givens Price, WR Jeremy Ross, TE Ricky Seals-Jones, CB Sojourn Shelton, DT Ed Stinson, RB James Summers, DT Pasoni Tasini, G Cole Toner, TE Hakeem Valles, LB Terence Waugh, LB Scooby Wright

Atlanta Falcons


QB Alek Torgersen, WR Anthony Dable, WR Josh Magee, WR Reggie Davis, WR Marvin Hall, WR Deante Burton, RB Jhurell Pressley, TE Joshua Perkins, FB Tyler Renew, C Travis Averill, C Larson Graham, C Cornelius Edison, OL D.J. Tialavea, OL Daniel Brunskill, DE A.J. Jefferson, DE Joe Vellano, DE J'Terius Jones, DE Chris Odom, DT Taniela Tupou, CB Jarnor Jones, S Marcelis Branch, DE Martin Ifedi, LB Josh Keyes, QB Matt Simms, TE Darion Griswold, WR Bra'lon Cherry, WR Reginald Davis, OT Wil Freeman, OT Kevin Graf, DB Akeem King, OL Andreas Knappe, LB Jack Lynn, WR Josh Magee, K Mike Meyer, DB Jordan Moore, RB Kelvin Taylor, DB Deron Washington


Baltimore Ravens

WR Quincy Adeboyejo, P Kenny Allen, LB Randy Allen, WR C.J. Board, G Jarell Broxton, TE Larry Donnell, DB Otha Foster, T Roubbens Joseph, QB Thaddeus Lewis, LB Boseko Lokombo, TE Ryan Malleck, WR Chris Matthews,RB Taquan Mizzell, C Derrick Nelson, FB Ricky Ortiz, LB Donald Payne, LS Taybor Pepper, CB Reggie Porter, G Jarrod Pughsley, RB Bobby Rainey, WR/RS Keenan Reynolds, G Maurquice Shakir, C Matt Skura, FB/RB Lorenzo Taliaferro, CB Trevin Wade, G/T De'Ondre Wesley, WR Griff Whalen, QB Josh Woodrum, G/C Jeremy Zuttah

Buffalo Bills

TE Rory Anderson, LB Carl Bradford, WR Jeremy Butler, S Shamiel Gary, OL Cameron Jefferson, RB Jordan Johnson, DT Marquavius Lewis, WR Dezmin Lewis, LB Jacob Lindsey, LB Abner Logan, S Adrian McDonald, OL Jordan Mudge, OL Michael Ola, S Joe Powell, OL Greg Pyke, WR Brandon Reilly, S B.T. Sanders, TE Wes Saxton, CB marcus Sayles, DE Ian Seau, WR Daikiel Shorts, WR Rod Streater, CB Bradley Sylve, DE Max Valles, OL Zach Voytek, QB Keith Wenning, DT Nigel Williams

Carolina Panthers


LB Ben Boulware, LB Zeek Bigger, OT Blaine Clausell, DE Bryan Cox, DT Eric Crume, WR Austin Duke, C Brian Folkerts, WR Mose Fraizer, WR Trevor Graham, QB Garrett Gilbert, WR Keyarris Garrett, CB Devonte Johnson, DT Toby Johnson, P Andy Lee, DT Gabriel Mass, DE Arthur Miley, DE Zach Moore, DE Efe Obada, S Damien Parms, CB Jeff Richards, WR Fred Ross, DB Zack Sanchez, RB Jalen Simmons, TE Scott Simonson, S Dezmen Southward, TE Eric Wallace, QB Joe Webb, DE Larry Webster, TE Bryce Williams, DT Connor Wujciak, OL David Yankey, FB Darrel Young

Chicago Bears


DB Johnthan Banks, OL Taylor Boggs, WR Victor Cruz, DL Jaye Howard, Jr., DL John Jenkins, LB Kelvin Sheppard, LB Dan Skuta, DB B.W. Webb, DL C.J. Wilson, K Roberto Aguayo, LB Jonathan Anderson, WR Daniel Braverman, DL Rashaad Coward, WR Titus Davis, WR Tanner Gentry, OL Brandon Greene, DB DeAndre Houston-Carson, WR Alton Howard, LB Isaiah Irving, DB Harold Jones-Quartey, OL Dieugot Joseph, OL Mitchell Kirsch, OL Will Poehls, TE MyCole Pruitt, DB Rashaad Reynolds, OL Cyril Richardson, RB Josh Rounds, FB Freddie Stevenson, LB John Timu, QB Connor Shaw, DT Kapron Lewis-Moore, LB Alex Scearce

Cincinnati Bengals


LB Bryson Albright, LB Brandon Bell, WR Chris Brown, DE Ryan Brown, DE Will Clarke, S Demetrious Cox, LB P.J. Dawson, DT David Dean, G J.J. Dielman, K Jake Elliott, DE Wallace Gilberry, DE Marcus Hardison, FB Darrin Laufasa, OT Landon Lechler, G Cameron Lee, CB Tony McRae, P Will Monday, OT Kent Perkins, WR Alonzo Russell, G Dustin Stanton, DT Josh Tupou, WR Kermit Whitfield, DT DeShawn Williams, HB Jarveon Williams, S Brandon Wilson, OT Eric Winston

Cleveland Browns


WR Mario Alford, WR Rasheed Bailey, LB B.J. Bello, WR Josh Boyce, DB Christian Bryant, DB Trey Caldwell, DL Xavier Cooper, OL Anthony Fabiano, LB Ladell Fleming, OL John Greco, CB Joe Haden, WR Rannell Hall, DB J.D. Harmon, DB Alvin Hill, TE J.P. Holtz, TE Nate Iese, C Gabe Ikard, LB Cam Johnson, LB Deon King, WR Jordan Leslie, RB Terrence Magee, TE Taylor McNamara, WR Richard Mullaney, DB Najee Murray, OL Kitt O'Brien, LB Kenneth Olugbode, QB Brock Osweiler, WR Jordan Payton, K Cody Parkey, DL Karter Schult, DB Channing Stribling, DL Brandon Thompson, RB Brandon Wilds, WR James Wright


Dallas Cowboys

DE Richard Ash, DE Woody Baron, S Robert Blanton, RB Brandon Brown-Dukes, WR Brian Brown, C Ross Burbank, CB Dejaun Butler, DT Jordan Carrell, T Emmett Cleary, G Kadeem Edwards, LB Kennan Gilchrist, CB John Green, WR Karel Hamilton, RB Ronnie Hillman, P Sam Irwin-Hill, DT Joey Ivie, TE Blake Jarwin, WR Andy Jones, LB Joseph Jones, DE Lenny Jones, WR Lance Lenoir, DE Darnell Leslie, LB Lamar Louis, QB Luke McCown, TE M.J. McFarland, QB Kellen Moore, DE Lewis Neal, WR Uzoma Nwachukwu, CB Sammy Seamster, S Jameill Showers, G Dan Skipper, G Nate Theaker, CB Marquez White, LS Zach Wood

Denver Broncos

DE Nelson Adams, S Dante Barnett, DE Jimmy Bean, WR Marlon Brown, C Dillon Day, OLB Vontarrius Dora, OLB Ken Ekanem, ILB Jerrol Garcia-Williams, ILB Quentin Gause, OLB Deon Hollins, G Cameron Hunt, NT Tyrique Jarrett, OT Cedrick Lang, CB Chris Lewis-Harris, OLB Danny Mason, LB Deiontrez Mount, OT Justin Murray, WR Anthony Nash, NT Kyle Peko, WR Kalif Raymond, RB Stevan Ridley, CB Marcus Rios, TE Steven Scheu, OL Michael Schofield, WR Hunter Sharp, QB Kyle Sloter, ILB Kevin Snyder, DE Shakir Soto, S Orion Stewart, S Dymonte Thomas, RB Juwan Thompson, TE Austin Traylor, S T.J. Ward, OT Elijah Wilkinson, RB Stanley Williams

Detroit Lions

RB Matt Asiata, LB Thurston Armbrister, CB Adairius Barnes, OT Nick Becton, WR Jace Billingsley, G Connor Bozick, S Alex Carter, DT Ego Ferguson, WR Dontez Ford, DB Tramain Jacobs, QB Brad Kaaya, C Leo Koloamatangi, OT Cyrus Kouandjio, TE Khari Lee, DT Derrick Lott, DT Caushaud Lyons, S Rolan Milligan, DE Giorgio Newberry, T Storm Norton, DE Pat O'Connor, TE Scott Orndoff, WR Michael Rector, WR Dez Stewart, WR Noel Thomas, CB Josh Thornton, TE Robert Tonyan, TE Cole Wick, LB Antwione Williams

Green Bay Packers


G Kofi Amichia, CB Donatello Brown, TE Emanuel Byrd, QB Joe Callahan, LB Johnathan Calvin, WR Michael Clark, WR Montay Crockett, WR Malachi Dupre, G Thomas Evans, LB Reggie Gilbert, G Geoff Gray, LB Cody Heiman, DT Calvin Heurtelou, QB Taysom Hill, CB Daquan Holmes, T Robert Leff, LB Josh Letuligasenoa, DT Izaah Lunsford, LB Derrick Mathews, WR Max McCaffrey, G/T Adam Pankey, TE Aaron Peck, RB Kalif Phillips, DT Brian Price, CB Raysean Pringle, S Aaron Taylor, LB Jordan Tripp, S Jermaine Whitehead, WR DeAngelo Yancey, LS Derek Hart, WR Colby Pearson, RB William Stanback

Houston Texans


TE RaShaun Allen, WR Dres Anderson, DT Eli Ankoy, C Erik Austell, S Lonnie Ballentine, TE Evan Baylis, P Corey Carter, LB Mike Catapano, S K.J. Dillon, OT Laurence Gibson, DE Matthew Godin, WR Justin Hardee, DT Rickey Hatley, WR Germone Hopper, CB Bryce Jones, WR Marcus Leak, LB Eric Lee, WR Riley McCarron, LB Sio Moore, CB Robert Nelson Jr., K Nick Novak, RB Dare Ogunbowale, LB Gimel President, G David Quessenberry, LB Shakeel Rashad, CB Denzel Rice, CB Marcus Roberson, DE Daniel Ross, G Chad Slade, S Malik Smith, WR Chris Thompson, G Josh Walker, LB Tony Washington Jr., LB Avery Williams WR Wendall Williams, WR Devin Street, LB Dayon Pratt, QB Brandon Weeden

Indianapolis Colts

LB Akeem Ayers, CB Dante Blackmon, DT Josh Boyd, WR Marvin Bracy, WR Fred Brown, T Fahn Cooper, LB Lavar Edwards, S Tyson Graham Jr., S Lee Hightower, WR Bug Howard, TE Henry Krieger-Coble, WR Justice Liggins, RB De'Mard Llorens, DT T.Y. McGill, G Blake Muir, WR JoJo Natson, DT David Parry, RB Troymaine Pope, G Adam Redmond, RB Daaryl Richardson, WR Brian Riley, ILB Darnell Sankey, WR Valdez Showers, OLB Garrett Sickels, LB Sean Spence, DE Jhaustin Thomas, T Arturo Uzdavinis, G Terran Vaughn, QB Phillip Walker, CB Corey White, S Andrew Williamson, TE Steven Wroblewski, T Andrew Wylie

Jacksonville Jaguars

RB Tim Cook, DE Hunter Dimick, CB Brian Dixon, TE Alex Ellis, WR Amba Etta-Tawo, LB Andrew Gachkar, OL Avery Gennesy, DE Malliciah Goodman, TE David Grinnage, RB DuJuan Harris, DB Tracy Howard, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, S Jeron Johnson, OL Nila Kasitati, DT Tueni Lupeamanu, DT Kevin Maurice, LB Josh McNary, DE Carroll Phillips, OL Chris Reed, DB Ezra Robinson, DE Jonathan Woodard

Kansas City Chiefs

DL Ricky Ali'ifua, CB De'Vante Bausby, TE Orson Charles, OL Joseph Cheek, WR Gehrig Dieter, TE Gavin Escobar, K Sam Ficken, CB Jacoby Glenn, CB Trevon Hartfield, T Donald Hawkins, T Josh James, WR Seantavius Jones, WR Tevin Jones, WR Marcus Kemp, G Damien Mama, LB Justin March-Lillard, S Leon McQuay, LB Earl Okine, OL Mike Pearson, RB Devine Redding, OL Jah Reid, LB Marcus Rush, CB Larry Scott, RB C.J. Spiller, QB Joel Stave, WR Tony Stevens, DT Maurice Swain, S Steve Terrell, DT Cam Thomas, G Andrew Tiller, WR Robert Wheelwright

Los Angeles Chargers


P Toby Baker, RB Kenjon Barner, QB Mike Bercovici, G Brett Boyko, WR Da'Ron Brown, NT Ryan Carrethers, QB Kellen Clemens, LB Kyle Coleman, TE Jeff Cumberland, CB Michael Davis, TE Mike Estes, CB Randall Evans, C/G Barrett Gouger, WR Jamaal Jones, K Josh Lambo, S Dwight Lowery, WR Mitchell Paige, WR Andre Patton, WR Cameron Posey, CB Trovon Reed, DT Caraun Reid, WR Artavis Scott, CB Brandon Stewart, CB Brad Watson, TE Matt Weiser, RB Andre Williams

Los Angeles Rams

DT Omarius Bryant, WR K.D. Cannon, OL Parker Collins, K Travis Coons, CB Carlos Davis, LB Kevin Davis, OL Michael Dunn, OL Jake Eldrenkamp, LB Josh Forrest, DB Tyquwan Glass, RB Aaron Green, TE Cory Harkey, DB Isaiah Johnson, DB Michael Jordan, OL Alex Kozan, OLB Willie Mays, LB Cassanova Mckinzy, WR Paul McRoberts, OLB Andy Mulumba, OL Pace Murphy, LB Folarin Orimolade, QB Dan Orlovsky, DB Aarion Penton, NT Mike Purcell, FB Sam Rogers, WR Shakeir Ryan, DT Casey Sayles, WR Brandon Shippen, WR Nelson Spruce, OLB Carlos Thompson, RB Lenard Tillery, OLB Davis Tull, G Cody Wichmann, TE Travis Wilson

Miami Dolphins

LS Winston Chapman, P Matt Darr, QB Brandon Doughty, TE Thomas Duarte, G Isame Faciane, QB David Fales, WR Trey Griffey, S A.J. Hendy, T Sean Hickey, CB Larry Hope, RB Storm Johnson, LB Deon Lacey, WR Rashad Lawrence, WR Malcolm Lewis, CB Jordan Lucas, DE Camerson Malveaux, DE Praise Martin-Oguike, WR Mitch Mathews, WR Drew Morgan, DT Lawrence Okoye, TE Chris Pantale, CB Lafayette Pitts, DE Joby Saint Fleur, RB De'Veon Smith, WR Damore'ea Stringfellow, LB Junior Sylvestre, DE Julius Warmsley, T Avery Young


Minnesota Vikings

G Willie Beavers, WR Moritz Bohringer, G Alex Boone, DT Dylan Bradley, CB Sam Brown, TE Kyle Carter, DT Chunky Clements, OL T.J. Clemmings, LB Noor Davis, T Reid Fragel, WR Isaac Fruechte, QB Taylor Heinicke, RB Bronson Hill, WR Cayleb Jones, G Zac Kerin, K Marshall Koehn, LB Elijah Lee, QB Mitch Leidner, DE Sam McCaskill, RB Terrell Newby, DE Ifeadi Odenigbo, CB Jabari Price, TE Josiah Price, CB Horace Richardson, CB Tre Roberson, LB Edmond Robinson, WR R.J. Shelton, T Austin Shepherd, CB Terrell Sinkfield, DT Will Sutton, P Taylor Symmank, G Freddie Tagaloa, S Jack Tocho, TE Nick Truesdell

New England Patriots

RB Brandon Bolden, OL Jamil Douglas, OL James Ferentz, RB D.J. Foster, LB Jonathan Freeny, DL Geneo Grissom, DL Woodrow Hamilton, OL Ted Karras, DL Darius Kilgo, TE James O'Shaughnessy and WR Tony Washington, LB Trevor Bates, FB Glenn Gronkowski, WR Devin Lucien and WR K.J. Maye, DL Josh Augusta, DL Michael Bart, WR Austin Carr, TE Sam Cotton, RB LeShun Daniels, Jr., LB Brooks Ellis, WR Cody Hollister, DB David Jones, DB D.J. Killings, OL Jason King, DB Will Likely, OL Conor McDermott, DB Kenny Moore II, OL Max Rich, DB Jason Thompson, DB Damarius Travis, LB Nick Usher, LB Christian Kuntz

New Orleans Saints

OT Khalif Barnes, LB Adam Bighill, TE Braedon Bowman, DB Taveze Calhoun, RB Travaris Cadet, LB Audie Cole, WR Travin Dural, DB Malik Foreman, G John Fullington, QB Garrett Grayson, TE Garrett Griffin, DE Obum Gwacham, WR De'Quan Hampton, T Bruce Harris, DB Erik Harris, DT John Hughes, DE Alex Jenkins, DE Jason Jones, WR Jake Lampman, RB Zach Line, DT Ashaad Mabry, DB Arthur Maulet, LB Michael Mauti, DT Tony McDaniel, DB Elijah Mitchell, QB Ryan Nassib, G Kristjan Sokoli, DB Damian Swann, C Cameron Tom, G Landon Turner, OT Jerry Ugokwe, RB Darius Victor, LB Jonathan Walton, DT Justin Zimmer

New York Giants

RB Khalid Abdullah, CB DaShaun Amos, OL Adam Bisnowaty, WR Marquis Bundy, LB Chris Casher, LB Steven Daniels, CB Donte Deayon, RB Shaun Draughn, WR Ed Eagan, WR C.J. Germany, DB Tay Glover-Wright, LB Curtis Grant, DB Daniel Gray, OL Jon Halapio, FB Jacob Huesman, QB Josh Johnson, OL Jarron Jones, WR Jerome Lane, G Richard Levy, LB Stansly Maponga, S Ryan Murphy, K Mike Nugent, DE Owa Odighizuwa, DB Eric Pinkins, WR Darius Powe, DL Bobby Richardson, S Trey Robinson, OL Matt Rotheram, WR Travis Rudolph, DB Tim Scott, WR Canaan Severin, LB Deontae Skinner, DL Devin Taylor, CB Nigel Tribune, TE Will Tye, DL Jordan Williams

New York Jets


RB Anthony Firkser, RB Romar Morris, RB Jahad Thomas, WR Frankie Hammond, WR Gabe Marks, WR Jalin Marshall, WR Lucky Whitehead, WR Kenbrell Thompkins, WR Dan Williams, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, OL Alex Balducci, OL Chris Bordelon, OL Ben Braden, OL Javarious Leamon, DL Patrick Gamble, DL Deon Simon, DL Lawrence Thomas, LB Frank Beltre, LB Connor Harris, DB Xavier Coleman, DB Robenson Therezie, DB Shamarko Thomas, ST Tanner Purdum, OL Jeff Adams, TE Brandon Barnes, DB Armagedon Draughn, DL Jeremy Faulk, WR Chris Harper, ST Ross Martin, LB Spencer Paysinger, LS Tanner Purdum, DB David Rivers, OL Craig Watts, WR Myles White

Oakland Raiders


OL Kareem Are, RB George Atkinson III, CB Breon Borders, DT Paul Boyette, WR K.J. Brent, OT Chauncey Briggs, DE Fadol Brown, TE Pharaoh Brown, LB Shilique Calhoun, S Anthony Cioffi, RB Jon Crockett, CB Kenneth Durden, LS Andrew East, LB IK Enemkpali, LB Najee Harris, WR Keon Hatcher, TE Cooper Helfet, TE Gabe Holmes, RB Elijah Hood, CB Chris Humes, DL Branden Jackson, S Rickey Jefferson, LB Rufus Johnson, LB LaTroy Lewis, S Marcus McWilson, WR Jaydon Mickens, TE Ryan O’Malley, G Oni Omoile, LB Brady Sheldon, G Ian Silberman, G Jordan Simmons, L Giorgio Tavecchio, WR Isaac Whitney, LB Xavier Woodson-Luster, WR Ishmael Zamora

Philadelphia Eagles

C/G Josh Andrews, DB Ron Brooks, TE Billy Brown, LB Don Cherry, DT Winston Craig, WR Rashard Davis, TE Anthony Denham, QB Dane Evans, LB Carlos Fields, LB Nathan Gerry, T Dillon Gordon, G Darrell Greene, CB Aaron Grymes, DT Justin Hamilton, T Taylor Hart, P Cameron Johnston, RB Byron Marshall, DE Jake Metz, C Aaron Neary, C Tyler Orlosky, T Victor Salako, CB C.J. Smith, LB Christian Tago, WR Bryce Treggs, WR Paul Turner, WR Greg Ward, DB Mitchell White, CB Jomal Wiltz, DT Gabe Wright, TE Adam Zaruba

Pittsburgh Steelers


WR Demarcus Ayers, DT Christian Brown, C Ruben Carter, OL Ethan Cooper, RB Knile Davis, CB Brandon Dixon, C Kyle Friend, LB Matt Galambos, LB Austin Gearing, S Malik Golden (waived/injured), CB Senquez Golson, S Jacob Hagen, WR Cobi Hamilton, LS Colin Holba, DE Lavon Hooks, QB Bart Houston, LB Farrington Huguenin, TE David Johnson, LB Steven Johnson, DE Francis Kallon, LB Keith Kelsey, DE Johnny Maxey, TE Jake McGee, OT Brian Mihalik, OL Keavon Milton, TE Phazahn Odom, CB Dashaun Phillips, DT Roy Philon, OT Jake Rodgers, CB JaCorey Shepherd, WR Justin Thomas, RB Fitzgerald Touissant, WR Marcus Tucker, S Terrish Webb and RB Trey Williams


San Francisco 49ers


QB Matt Barkley, C Tim Barnes, TE Blake Bell, RB Kapri Bibbs, LB Austin Calitro, WR DeAndre Carter, CB Will Davis, NT Quinton Dial, DL Leger Douzable, OL J.P. Flynn, OL Andrew Gardner, RB Tim Hightower, TE Cole Hikutini, CB Asa Jackson, WR Jeremy Kerley, OL Andrew Lauderdale, DL Sen'Derrick Marks, FB Tyler McCloskey, QB Nick Mullens, WR Louis Murphy, DL Noble Nwachukwu, WR Tim Patrick, OL Norman Price, K Nick Rose, LB Shayne Skov, WR DeAndre Smelter, S Vinnie Sunseri, OL Darrell Williams Jr.

Seattle Seahawks

TE Stevie Donatell,QB Trevone Boykin, T Darrell Brown, LB Rodney Butler, RB Alex Collins, RB Mike Davis, WR Cyril Grayson, DT Tylor Harris, C Joey Hunt, DT Quinton Jefferson, WR Kenny Lawler, DT Jeremy Liggins, DT Greg Milhouse, WR David Moore, LB Kache Palacio, C/G Will Pericak, LB Otha Peters, WR Darreus Rogers, DT Garrison Smith, WR Rodney Smith, TE Tyrone Swoopes, T Tyrus Thompson, CB Mike Tyson, LB Christian French, CB Demetrius McCray, DT Rodney Coe, CB Pierre Desir, WR Kasen Williams , LB Mike Morgan, FB Marcel Reece, DT Ahtyba Rubin

Tampa Bay Buccaneers


DE Mehdi Abdesmad, OL Josh Allen, DE Sterling Bailey, DE Tarvaris Barnes, LB Richie Brown, LB Riley Bullough, CB Mariel Cooper, WR Donteea Dye, DE Hendrick Ekpe, RB Russell Hansbrough, CB Vernon Harris, G Jarvis Harrison, WR Shaq Hill, K Zach Hocker, WR Josh Huff, S Marqueston Huff, FB Austin Johnson, S Isaiah Johnson, T Korren Kirven, LB Jeff Knox, OL Mike Liedtke, T Marquis Lucas, WR Freddie Martino, RB Jeremy McNichols, CB Jonathan Moxey, LB Eric Nzeocha, DB Cody Riggs, G James Stone, WR Derel Walker, TE Tevin Westbrook, WR Bobo Wilson, LS Andrew DePaola, DE George Johnson, LB Paul Magloire, RB Blake Sims

Tennessee Titans

CB Manny Abad, TE Jace Amaro, DE Angelo Blackson, NT DeAngelo Brown, TE Jerome Cunningham, QB Tyler Ferguson, CB Demontre Hurst, WR Darius Jennings, S Denzel Johnson, WR Jonathan Krause, WR KeVonn Mabon, T Tyler Marz, G Josue Matias, WR Tre McBride, T Steven Moore, RB Khalfani Muhammad, WR Giovanni Pascascio, T Jonah Pirsig, RB Brandon Radcliff, DE Cameron Robbins, T Brad Seaton, TE Tim Semisch, G Jake Simonich, CB Darrius Sims, CB D'Joun Smith, C Mark Spelman, LB Justin Staples, WR Eric Weems, NT Antwaun Woods

Washington Redskins

S Will Blackmon, DL A.J. Francis, DL Brandon Banks, TE E.J. Bibbs, C Lucas Crowley, WR Robert Davis, TE Manasseh Garner, WR Maurice Harris, WR Matt Hazel, RB Kenny Hilliard, CB Tevin Homer, WR Levern Jacobs, RB Matt Jones, G Kyle Kalis, T John Kling, G Arie Kouandjio, LB Nico Marley, DL Joey Mbu, CB Jeremiah McKinnon, OL Kendall Pace, T Vinston Painter, WR Zach Pascal, C Ronald Patrick, DL Ondre Pipkins, WR James Quick, LB Pete Robertson, S Fish Smithson, WR Jamari Staples, QB Nate Sudfeld, LB Ron Thompson Jr., LB Lynden Trail, LB Zach Vigil, G Isaiah Williams
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Monday’s six-pack

Since 1980, the 10 largest pointspread upsets in college football history:

+43— Howard over UNLV, 9-2-17

+39— Stanford over USC, 10-6-07

+36.5— Texas State over Houston, 9-1-12

+36— Syracuse over Louisville, 9-22-07

+36— UTEP over BYU, 10-26-85

+36— Temple over Virginia Tech, 10-17-98

+35.5— Central Michigan over Western Michigan, 11-11-00

+35— Oregon State over Washington 10-19-85

+33— Appalachian State over Michigan, 9-1-07

+33— Liberty over Baylor, 9-2-17

— Florida State QB Deondre Francois is out for the year after his knee injury Saturday nite.

— UCLA 45, Texas A&M 44— Aggies led 44-10 in 3rd quarter. Really, they did.

— Virginia Tech 31, West Virginia 24— WVU was on the Tech 10-yard line when game ended.

— USA 81, Argentina 76— Americans were down 20 in third quarter. Jeff Van Gundy’s team comes home with the gold medal from the AmeriCup tournament— a great road win.

********************

Monday’s List of 13: Clearing out a cluttered mind…….

13) If you have season tickets for an NFL team, you buy 10 games at regular season prices; the obvious problem is this: 2 of those 10 games are exhibition games.

NFL should reduce the price of those two unwatchable preseason games to $25, which would allow people who don’t normally go to exhibition games to go. At some point, the owners have to stop sucking every last dollar from the consumer. Its not good business. Greed isn’t good.

12) 37 Buccaneers sat out their exhibition game Thursday night; assuming all of those guys are making the squad, that means only 16 players who will be Bucs in Week 1 played vs Washington.

11) NFL owners get stadiums built for them; they’re rich people with a sense of entitlement that is out of control. At some point, NFL owners need to give something back to their communities.

10) Seahawks acquired defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson from the Jets on Friday. In return, Seattle sent WR Jermaine Kearse and a 2018 2nd-round draft pick to New Jersey.

9) A professional golfer named Kelly Kraft (#64 in FedEx Cup standings) made a 12 on the par-5 second hole Friday, shot a 44 on the front nine, then withdrew with a foot injury. Oy.

8) Nigel Williams-Goss transferred from Washington to Gonzaga, sat out 2015-16, then helped the Zags make the Final Four last year. He skipped his senior year at Gonzaga, was drafted in the second round by Utah, but instead of getting a two-way contract with Utah, he is off to Serbia to play ball for $130,000 this season. Curious decision.

7) 49ers cut QB Matt Barkley, who figures to get picked up by someone (Buffalo??). Browns cut Brock Osweiler, who still banks $16M from Cleveland— Osweiler is headed back to Denver with a hefty bank account, but with very little success on the field.

6) Baseball players who are September 1st call-ups making minimum MLB salary ($535,000 a year) will earn $90,628 for the rest of the season.

5) Was reading where Justin Verlander approved his trade to Houston one minute before the trade deadline. Supposedly there was a chance he would be traded to the Cubs, but that fell thru.

4) UL-Lafayette 51, SE Louisiana 48— Ragin’ Cajuns ran two kicks back for TD’s; Lions ran a punt back for a score. With 0:42 left, SE Louisiana scored a TD to make score 49-48- they went for two points and the win, but their QB fumbled and ULL ran it back for two points of their own. Game was 35-35 at halftime.

3) Cleveland Browns’ three QB’s (Kizer-Kessler-Hogan) have a total of zero NFL wins to their credit. Browns are paying Brock Osweiler $15M+ to be a backup in Denver.

Dolphins signed K Cody Parkey, which means RPI alum Andrew Franks is out of a job, at least for now.

2) Indians 11, Tigers 1— Cleveland has won 11 games in a row.

1) Jets, Jaguars, Browns picked up five guys each off the waiver wire; Ram picked up three, the Colts four. Most of the better teams didn’t add anyone— you can get a little bit of a feel of who the better teams are by seeing which teams add which players.
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:56 AM
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Week 1 games

Chiefs @ Patriots— Last 14 years, defending Super Bowl champ is 12-2 in its first game the next year (8-3-3 vs spread). Patriots are 6-2 in last eight games with KC; Chiefs lost last six visits here- their last win in Foxboro was in 1990. New England is 12-1 in last 13 season openers (lost @ Miami in ’14); they’re 14-1 in last 15 home openers, but just 1-4 vs spread in last five- their last four wins in HO’s were by 7 or less points. Chiefs won three of last four season openers; they’re 3-8 in last 11 road openers (under 8-4 in last 12), but 6-5 vs spread in last 11 AO’s as an underdog. Under Reid, Chiefs are 4-7 vs spread as a non-divisional road underdog. Since ’13, Patriots are 17-8-3 as a home favorite, 11-4-1 vs non-division opponents.

Jets @ Bills—Buffalo led NFL in rushing yardage last two years; will that change under the new coach? Bills had won five in row over the Jets before getting swept 37-31/30-10 in two meetings LY. Jets lost three of last four visits here, with losses by 19-23-5 points. Jets open on road for first time since ’09; they’re 5-1 in last six season openers, 15-5 vs spread in last 20 road openers. Buffalo is 7-3 vs spread in last ten home openers- three of last four stayed under. Last five years, Bills are 9-6 vs spread when hosting AFC East foes; since 2012, they’re 12-10 as a home favorite. Over is 12-4 in their home games the last two years. Jets are 2-4-2 as road underdogs under Bowles. Under is 10-6 in Jet road games the last two seasons.

Falcons @ Bears— Last 14 years, Super Bowl loser is 5-9 in its first game the next year (2-12 vs spread). Atlanta also has two new coordinators this year; they’re 3-2 in last five season openers, 4-3 as a road favorite under Quinn. Under is 15-9 in their road games the last three years. Chicago is 6-11-1 vs spread as a home underdog since ’12 (4-1 LY). First meeting in three years between these two; Falcons lost last six games in Windy City- their last win here was in 1983 (also in Week 1). Atlanta is 3-2 in its last five road openers. Under is 10-3 in their last 13 AO’s. Chicago lost its last three home openers, by 3-8-15 points; over is 4-1-1 in their last six. Bears were -20 in turnovers LY, are 14-34 SU the last three years.

Jaguars @ Texans— Houston won last six games in this division rivalry; they swept Jaguars LY, 24-21/21-20. Jax lost five of last six games in Houston, losing last three by 1-24-6 points. Texans are 12-4-1 as a home favorite under O’Brien; they’re also starting 4th different QB on Opening Day in his four years as Texans’ coach. Since ’09, Jaguars are 24-29-1 as a road underdog; over is 11-5 in their road games the last two years. Jax lost its last nine road openers (2-7 vs spread)- they stared 0-1 the last five years. Houston won six of last seven season openers, are 5-2 vs spread in last seven home openers. Under is 8-4 in their last 12 home openers, 10-6 in their home games the last two seasons.

Eagles @ Redskins— Washington won last five series games, sweeping Iggles 27-20/27-22 LY. Philly lost last three visits here, by 3-3-7 points. Last two years, Redskins are 12-4 vs spread in games where spread was 3 or less points- they’re 4-8 as a home favorite under Gruden. Eagles are 8-9 vs spread as a road underdog the last three years. Redskins Philly won seven of last eight road openers- they covered last five tries as an underdog in AO’s. Over is 5-2-2 in their last nine AO’s. Washington lost four of its last five home openers; five of last six went over total. Last two years, Eagles are 7-10 vs spread in games where spread was 3 or less points. Over is 22-10 in Philly road games the last four years.

Cardinals @ Lions— Redbirds are 10-6 vs spread on artificial turf, 10-7 as road underdogs under Arians. Detroit is 11-4-3 as home favorites under Caldwell. Arizona won its last seven games with Lions; five of those seven were in desert. Redbirds won 31-24/42-17 in last two visits here; their last loss to Lions was here in 2005. Arizona had covered eight road openers in row before losing Week 3 AO in Buffalo LY- three of their last four went over. Cards won five of last seven season openers. Detroit won five of last six season openers, lost last two home openers, scoring 12-15 points. Over is 5-2 in their last seven HO’s. Over is 13-3 in Cardinal road games last two years. Over is 23-17 in their home games the last five years.

Raiders @ Titans— Silver/Black was 7-1 LY in games with spread of 3 or less points; they’re 12-4 vs spread on road under Del Rio. Oakland won in Music City last two years, 24-21/17-10; road team won last three series games. Last four years, Titans are 9-20-3 vs spread at home; since 2011, they’re 13-22-3 vs spread in games with spread of 3 or less. Oakland lost four of last five season openers; they’re 7-2-1 vs spread in last ten road openers— over is 12-5-1 in their last 18. Tennessee won three of last four season openers, but lost its last three home openers. Titans are 5-13-2 vs spread in last 20 non-divisional home tilts. Under is 7-3 in their last ten season openers. Oakland is 15-5 vs spread in its last 20 non-divisional road games.

Buccaneers @ Dolphins—Since 2007, Miami is 11-31-1 vs spread as a home favorite; dogs are 26-12-2 vs spread in their last 40 home games. Series is 5-5; home side is 7-3. Bucs lost three of four visits here, with one win in 2000. Three of last four meetings were decided by 3 or less points. Tampa Bay won its last two road openers, covered five of last seven; over is 6-3 in their last nine. Miami won four of its last five home openers- their last eight home openers went over the total. Last three years, Tampa Bay is 6-11 vs number in games with spread of 3 or less points. Since 2013, under is 17-14-1 in Bucs’ road games; over is 15-9 in Miami’s last 24 home tilts. Since ’12, Tampa is 15-10 vs spread in non-divisional road games.
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Old 09-04-2017, 11:56 AM
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Weekend Sports In Brief
September 4, 2017


US OPEN

NEW YORK (AP)
Maybe this was just one three-setter too many for Maria Sharapova.

Sharapova tried a bit of everything, even resorting to switching over her racket to hit a few lefty shots. Still, the five-time major champion could not quite keep her Grand Slam comeback from a doping suspension going, losing in the fourth round of the U.S. Open to 16th-seeded Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.

Sharapova's exit leaves Venus Williams as the only past U.S. Open champion in the women's field. The 37-year-old Williams, who won the title in 2000 and 2001, got to the quarterfinals by beating Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. Next for Williams will be a showdown against No. 13 Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon winner, who eliminated reigning Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza 7-6 (3), 6-3.

Earlier, 18-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov's entertaining stay ended with a 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3) loss to 12th-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain. In the quarters, Carreno Busta will play No. 29 Diego Schwartzman of Argentina, while No. 17 Sam Querrey of the United States takes on No. 28 Kevin Anderson of South Africa. ''You know, it's another life-changing event for me.''

NFL

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)
- The Chiefs are signing C.J. Spiller one day after releasing the veteran running back, resolving a curious move on cut day that left Kansas City with only two players on the roster at the position.

A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Sunday night that Spiller was returning to the Chiefs. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the move was not announced.

The Kansas City Star was the first to report that Spiller was returning to Kansas City.

The reason he was released in the first place was to keep injured cornerback Steven Nelson on the roster. The Chiefs wanted to put Nelson on injured reserve with a designation to return, but they could only do that if the third-year pro made the initial 53-man roster.

The designation means that Nelson, who recently had surgery for a core muscle injury, would be eligible to begin practice in six weeks and could begin playing in games after eight weeks.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - The Chicago Bears have waived running back Jeremy Langford.

A fourth-round draft pick in 2015, Langford ran for 537 yards as a rookie.

He came into last season as the starter, but ankle injuries early on and in training camp this year along with the emergence of Jordan Howard helped make him expendable. Howard ran for 1,313 yards as a rookie in 2016.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

LOS ANGELES (AP)
- UCLA practiced a fake spike last week, never imagining that it would cap off the biggest comeback in school history.

Josh Rosen faked the spike and threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Lasley with 43 seconds remaining and UCLA overcame a 34-point deficit to stun Texas A&M 45-44 on Sunday night.

Rosen was 35 of 59 for 491 yards and four fourth-quarter touchdowns, and Jalen Starks and Soso Jamabo had scoring runs for the Bruins in the opener for both teams.

UCLA overcame a deficit of more than 20 points for the first time since overcoming a 22-0 hole in the first quarter of the 2005 Sun Bowl against Northwestern.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois will miss the rest of the season after tearing the patellar tendon in his left knee in the fourth quarter Saturday night in a 24-7 loss to No. 1 Alabama in Atlanta.

People familiar with the situation confirmed the injury to The Associated Press on Sunday night. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the school's medical information policy.

The Tallahassee Democrat first reported the injury.

Coach Jimbo Fisher is expected to have a further update, including when Francois is expected to have surgery, during his weekly press conference Monday.

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Caylin Newton accounted for 330 total offensive yards and three touchdowns to lead 45-point underdog and FCS-member Howard to a stunning 43-40 win Saturday night in the season opener and debut for new Bison coach Mike London.

Howard spoiled the start of UNLV's 50th season of play with the biggest upset in college football history based on point spread. Stanford held the previous record when it was declared a 40-point underdog against USC in 2007 and beat the Trojans.

Newton, the younger brother of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, had 21 carries for 190 yards and two scores and passed for 140 and a score.

GOLF

NORTON, Mass. (AP) - PGA champion Justin Thomas ran off eight birdies on a long, wet TPC Boston for a tournament-best 63, giving him a share of the lead with Marc Leishman going into a Labor Day finish in the Dell Technologies filled with the game's best players.

The FedEx Cup playoff event in Boston has a history of delivering big moments, and this was set up for another.

Leishman, who won at Bay Hill this year, also played bogey-free for a 65 to join Thomas at 12-under 201.

Eight players were separated by three shots going into the final round, a listed that included Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson, Paul Casey and Jon Rahm. Still very much in the mix was Phil Mickelson, only four shots behind.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Stacy Lewis came through for her hurricane-ravaged hometown - and ended a long winless streak.

The Houston-area player won the Cambia Portland Classic, with her $195,000 in winnings going to the relief efforts. Her sponsor, KMPG, also pledged to match the donation.

The 32-year-old Lewis, from The Woodlands, won her 12th LPGA Tour title and first time since June 2014, ending a frustrating stretch that included 12 runner-up finishes. She closed with a 3-under 69 to hold off In Gee Chun by a stroke at tree-lined Columbia Edgewater.

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) - Scott McCarron won the Shaw Charity Classic for his fourth PGA Tour Champions title of the season.

McCarron closed with a 3-under 67 to beat Miguel Angel Jimenez by a stroke at Canyon Meadows. After Jimenez missed a long eagle putt en route to a birdie on the par-5 18th, McCarron holed a 3-footer for par.

McCarron opened with rounds of 63 and 64 to take a two-stroke lead into the final round.

The 52-year-old McCarron matched Bernhard Langer for the season victory lead and earned $352,500 to pull closer to the idle German star in the Charles Schwab Cup season standings.

AUTO RACING


DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) - Denny Hamlin has run for championships before without success. He's worked hard this season to make sure his latest try for a title the way he and his team want.

Hamlin won for the second time this season and established himself a strong contender for his first NASCAR crown when he overcame a bad mistake to take the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

Hamlin reeled in Martin Truex Jr. with three laps left, erasing a deficit of some 20 seconds to sweep Darlington's throwback weekend.

After a regular-season finish at Richmond International Raceway next week, the playoffs get going and Hamlin again plans to be hot on the heels of regular-season points champion Truex.
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Old 09-04-2017, 11:58 AM
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Patriots, retired WR Boldin could be match
September 4, 2017


Anquan Boldin knows a job with the New England Patriots could have a nice ring to it.

Boldin, 36, is intrigued by the possibility of joining the defending Super Bowl champions, who lost slot receiver Julian Edelman to a season-ending knee injury last month.

Only a few weeks removed from retirement, Boldin walked away from a spot on the Buffalo Bills' roster 13 days after signing a one-year deal with New England's AFC East rival.

Boldin said at the time the decision was "bigger than football" and driven by his desire to make an impact beyond the game. Boldin was known for his charity work, including being recognized as Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.

Boldin was expected to bring a veteran presence to the offense after signing a one-year contract with the Bills on Aug. 7. The 36-year-old made one catch for 5 yards in his lone preseason game with Buffalo against the Philadelphia Eagles.

"Football has afforded me a platform throughout my career to have a greater impact on my humanitarian work, and at this time I feel drawn to make the larger fight for human rights a priority," Boldin said in a statement. "My life's purpose is bigger than football."

Boldin spent portions of the last two years on Capitol Hill fighting for criminal justice reform. His cousin, Corey Jones, was shot to death by a plain-clothes police officer in 2015 after Jones' van broke down on the side of a South Florida highway.

In his 14-year NFL career, Boldin ranked ninth all-time in receptions (1,076), 14th in receiving yards (13,779) and tied for 23rd in receiving touchdowns (82). He won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens after the 2012 season.

His departure leaves Buffalo with questions among its wide receiver ranks. Former first-round pick Sammy Watkins was traded to the Los Angeles Rams on Aug. 11, and while wideout Jordan Matthews was acquired from the Eagles the same day, he is recovering from a chipped bone in his sternum.

Boldin began his career with the Arizona Cardinals as a 2003 second-round draft pick out of Florida State. The 6-foot-1, 218-pounder played seven years with the Cardinals and appeared in the Super Bowl following the 2008 season, with Arizona losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He moved on to Baltimore in 2010 and spent three years there.

While with Baltimore, Boldin caught the first completion of current Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor's career in 2011. It came in mop-up duty during a late-season loss to the San Diego Chargers, as Taylor, then a rookie, hit Boldin for an 18-yard completion.

Boldin spent 2013-15 with the San Francisco 49ers. He played 2016 for the Detroit Lions, catching 67 passes for 584 yards and eight touchdowns. Seven of his touchdowns came when he was lined up in the slot, the second most from that position in the NFL last season behind only Sterling Shepard of the Giants.
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Old 09-04-2017, 12:05 PM
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Panthers' Rivera confident Newton 'ready' for season opener
September 4, 2017


Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera declared quarterback Cam Newton "ready" for the Sunday's season opener against the San Francisco 49ers.

Newton, who had surgery on March 30 to repair a partially torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder, was limited in training camp. He played only one series -- a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive when he completed both of his passes for 21 yards and a TD -- during the four preseason games.

"I think he's ready,'' Rivera said. "You wish he'd had a few more snaps and played a little bit earlier in the preseason so we'd have more to go on. But what we saw, we liked.

"We liked how everything seems to be meshing together as an offense. We'll see how it goes as we continue to work this week.''

Newton, 28, has been a full participant in practice over the past week as the Panthers prepare for the opener at San Francisco.

"You really won't know until the opener," Rivera said of Newton. "Nobody knew what he was going to be like his rookie year. That's kind of how this is going to be."

Newton's injury occurred in the Panthers' Week 14 game against the Chargers last season. He played in each of the team's remaining three games and underwent offseason MRI exams to monitor his progress before deciding on surgery.

Newton, the 2015 NFL MVP, passed for 3,509 yards with 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 15 games last season for the Panthers, who missed the playoffs after finishing last in the NFC South with a 6-10 record.

*********************

Luck able to practice but ruled out for Colts' opener
September 4, 2017


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Andrew Luck will not play in Sunday's season opener against the Los Angeles Rams.

General manager Chris Ballard made the official announcement Monday.

Luck has not taken a snap or thrown a pass to a teammate since having January surgery to repair a partially torn labrum in his throwing shoulder.

Indy's franchise quarterback missed all of the team's offseason workouts, all of training camp and the preseason before he was activated from the physically unable to perform list Saturday. And it's no guarantee he'll be on the field later Monday when the Colts typically hold a light workout.

Scott Tolzien is likely to make his fourth NFL start, even after the Colts traded for Jacoby Brissett on Saturday.

****************************

Le'Veon Bell signs franchise tender, returns to Steelers
September 4, 2017


PITTSBURGH (AP) Pro Bowl running back Le'Veon Bell is officially back at work with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Bell signed his franchise tender on Monday, clearing him to return for the 2017 season. The team placed the franchise tag on Bell in February. He declined to sign his one-year, $12.1 million tender while waiting to see if a long-term deal could be reached. When the Steelers and Bell did not come to an agreement by the mid-July deadline, Bell opted to skip training camp and work out on his own.

The Steelers were given a two-week roster exemption for Bell, meaning they can carry an additional player on the 53-man roster.

Bell worked out with the rest of the team Monday. His status for Pittsburgh's season opener in Cleveland is uncertain.

*****************************

Buccaneers bolster secondary, sign ex-Broncos S T.J. Ward
September 4, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed safety T.J. Ward, two days after the three-time Pro Bowl selection was released by the Denver Broncos.

Ward spent the past three seasons with the Broncos, who cut him on Saturday. The eight-year pro helped Denver win the Super Bowl two years ago.

The Bucs cleared room on the roster for Ward on Sunday when they traded safety J.J. Wilcox to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The team also announced Monday that third-string quarterback Ryan Griffin has been placed on injured reserve. Long snapper Garrison Sanborn was re-signed after being waived over the weekend, when the roster was trimmed to 53 players.

Ward began his career as a second-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2010. He signed with Denver as an unrestricted free agent after the 2013 season.

Ward started all 95 regular-season games he appeared in with the Broncos and Browns. He has eight career interceptions, along with 8 1/2 sacks and three fumble recoveries.

***************************

Falcons cut Hageman following 2016 domestic violence charges
September 4, 2017


FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) The Atlanta Falcons have released defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman two days after he was placed on the commissioner's exempt list because of domestic violence charges in 2016.

The Falcons said in a statement Monday the move was made after a ''thorough investigative process by local authorities.'' The NFL said Saturday its investigation is pending.

Hageman is a four-year veteran who started four games in 2016 and 12 games in 2015. He was listed as a backup before Saturday's designation prevented him from playing in games or practicing.

Hageman faced charges of battery, cruelty to children and interfering with calls for emergency assistance. Police say he was at the home of his girlfriend, Janeal Jefferies.

**************************

Bills' Tyrod Taylor has concussion, uncertain for opener
September 4, 2017


ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor is still recovering from a concussion, raising the possibility of rookie Nathan Peterman opening the season against the New York Jets on Sunday.

Coach Sean McDermott said before practice Monday that Taylor has shown signs of improvement but remains in concussion protocol.

Taylor has been out since he was injured during the second series of a 13-9 preseason loss at Baltimore on Aug. 26. He missed practice last week but attended Buffalo's preseason finale against Detroit on Thursday.

Veteran third-string quarterback T.J. Yates is also in concussion protocol after he was hurt against Baltimore.

That means the Bills could turn to Peterman. The fifth-round pick out of Pittsburgh has jumped ahead of Yates to become the primary backup. Peterman saw the most extensive playing time this preseason, and finished 43 of 79 for 483 yards and a touchdown.

''He is ready,'' McDermott said. ''When you look at what he's done throughout the preseason, I'm confident, and we're extremely confident in Nathan. I expect that he's only going to continue to get better.''

The Bills signed quarterback Joe Webb for insurance in case Taylor or Yates can't play. Webb has been in the NFL seven seasons and spent the past three with Carolina, where he also played on special teams.

The Bills are off Tuesday and returning to practice Wednesday.

McDermott wouldn't say when he must decide on his starter.

''We'll cross that road when we come to it at this point,'' he said. ''We feel good we'll have clarity around the situation when we need it, and this team's ready.''

To make roster space for Yates, Buffalo released veteran safety Colt Anderson.
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Brady not thinking of '08 injury as he prepares for Chiefs
September 4, 2017


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) The previous time Patriots quarterback Tom Brady opened a season at home against Kansas City in 2008, it ended with him limping off the field with a season-ending knee injury.

Now nine years removed from the most significant injury of his career, Brady said it is the furthest thing from his mind as New England prepares to host the Chiefs on Thursday night.

''Yeah, I didn't think about that,'' Brady said Monday. ''Time flies.''

What's also a distant memory is the unfamiliar situation he found himself in last season when he was forced to sit out the first four games of 2016 after accepting his four-game ''Deflategate'' punishment.

Brady brushed off that disappointment by capturing his fifth Super Bowl in February. Now he's happy just to be thinking about football and how to get the best of a Kansas City team that was the AFC's No. 2 seed in the playoffs last season.

It's a unique challenge for a Patriots offense that will have several new options for the 40-year-old quarterback to utilize as he tries to deal with a defense that ranked first in the NFL last season with 33 takeaways.

With minimal new film of Kansas City's starters to dissect at this point, Brady is expecting to see plenty of wrinkles from what he called an ''explosive'' unit.

One of the players he singled out was cornerback Marcus Peters. Peters tied for the NFL lead with eight interceptions during the 2015 regular season. He followed that up by tying for second in the league with six picks in 2016.

Brady also is expecting to be challenged by safety Eric Berry and the active linebacker duo of Derrick Johnson and Justin Houston.

''They have playmakers,'' Brady said. ''When they're roaming around, you can't just stare them down right where you want to throw the ball. It's always a little cat and mouse with safeties and cornerbacks. ... That's why they force that many turnovers.''

But Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said familiarity alone won't be enough to get Brady off his game.

''I don't know if it helps. You're aware of how good he is,'' Sutton said. ''When you play (271) games, pass for 61,000 yards - or whatever he has - you're playing against a football player, a quarterback that's really talented, that has a great skillset - great command of his offense in all regards. It's just a huge challenge.''

But even at 40, Brady said opening a season in prime time still offers the same excitement as it did early in his career.

''Everyone's pretty amped up for this one,'' he said. ''It's been waiting a long time for this. ... It's a big game and it's an important one.''

NOTES: The Patriots placed LB Shea McClellin on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury. They filled his roster spot by adding RB Brandon Bolden. Bolden, who has been a fixture on special teams since arriving in New England in 2012, was originally cut on Saturday. ... OT Cam Fleming (ankle) and DT Vincent Valentine (knee) did not participate in practice Monday. DL Adam Butler (knee), DB Nate Ebner (shoulder), LB Harvey Langi (concussion) and WRs Malcolm Mitchell (knee) and Matt Slater (hamstring) were all limited participants.
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Matthew Stafford expects great things from Lions this season
September 4, 2017


DETROIT (AP) Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions avoided a potential distraction recently by agreeing on a deal that gives him the NFL's richest contract .

He and the team still have a lot of work to do.

Detroit selected Stafford No. 1 overall in 2009 - after its infamous 0-16 season - and he has panned out, unlike many of the franchise's picks. By drafting and keeping Stafford, the Lions have finally ended their decades-long search for a franchise quarterback.

He has a strong arm, a penchant for leading comebacks, and a likable presence in the locker room. He helped Detroit do enough to be in the 2016 playoffs despite a late-season slide, appearing in his third postseason in a six-season stretch.

Still, the Lions have been stuck on one playoff win for more than a quarter century and haven't won an NFL championship in six decades.

Stafford is determined to give a desperate fan base something to cheer about in the playoffs.

''Health is a factor, and timing and all those kinds of things, but we're an extremely talented team,'' Stafford said after getting a $135 million, five-year extension. ''We've got great depth. We've built that through the draft and free agency. Brought in some front-line starters, some guys that are going to fill out our roster and really help us win games.

''I expect great things from this team.''

Lions management must also believe better days are ahead. They removed a banner that simply listed postseason appearances as part of a $100 million project to refurbish Ford Field.

Here are some things to know about the Lions:

GROUNDED GAME:
Detroit has ranked among the NFL's worst in yards rushing the last three years. In Week 1 of 2016, Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick combined for 120 yards receiving and 108 yards rushing in a 39-35 victory at Indianapolis. That was as good as it got. Abdullah hurt his left foot in Week 2 and missed the rest of the season. Riddick was limited to 10 games, missing five with an injured left wrist.

''I know we can do more than we did in that game,'' Abdullah said. ''And, we've both done what we can to get healthy and ready for the season.''

INJURY REPORT:
The Lions will start without left tackle Taylor Decker, out indefinitely after shoulder surgery. Decker will be replaced by a highly motivated Greg Robinson, who the Los Angeles Rams traded even though they drafted him No. 2 overall just three years ago. Detroit's passing game will be much better if tight end Eric Ebron (hamstring) and Riddick can overcome the injuries.

Defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, limited much of last season with a sprained ankle, became even more important for the team when Kerry Hyder went down during the summer with a season-ending Achilles tendon.

''There are only a few guys that have the kind of explosion, power, size, that (Ansah) has,'' Lions coach Jim Caldwell said. ''We don't have a lot of guys on our team like that, are genetically built the way he's constructed. He can create some problems.''

The Lions put standout punter Sam Martin on the reserve/non-football injury list, giving Kasey Redfern a chance to make his NFL debut after spending time with Jacksonville, San Diego, Carolina and Cleveland.

RESHAPED LINE:
The Lions let two starters go, Riley Reiff and Larry Warford in free agency, in free agency, and believe they upgraded by added veteran tackle Rick Wagner and T.J. Lang.

PLAYMAKING ROOKIES:
Detroit desperately needs playmakers on defense and hopes it landed two in the draft. The Lions drafted Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis No. 21 overall, and one of his teammates, cornerback Teez Tabor, in the second round. Davis is expected to replace middle linebacker DeAndre Levy, who was cut during the offseason. Tabor is expected to be on the field when the Lions put five or six defensive backs in play.

TOUGH SLEDDING:
Detroit has lost four straight games, including the postseason, and will have a hard time getting off to a good start. The Lions open up at home against a Cardinals team motivated to bounce back from a 7-8-1 season after winning 24 games the two previous years. They play the New York Giants on the road before returning to Ford Field to host the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons.
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Winston is confident Bucs can end long playoff drought
September 4, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Jameis Winston isn't content with re-energizing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The young quarterback is coming off leading the team to its first winning record in six years, however he cringes when reminded the Bucs haven't made the playoffs since 2007.

Winston is determined to end the drought this season.

NFC South rivals Atlanta and Carolina wound up playing in the Super Bowl after winning the past two division titles, and the third-year pro said there's no reason why Tampa Bay can't do the same after upgrading.

''It's definitely about putting your team in a situation to be in the playoffs and give yourself that chance,'' Winston said.

''And who knows what happens when you get in the playoffs,'' he added. ''You think about all the wild-card teams that barely got in that end up winning a Super Bowl.''

Receiver DeSean Jackson, who signed a three-year, $33.5 million deal in free agency, and rookie tight end O.J. Howard could help Winston get the ball in the end zone with more regularity.

End Chris Baker and safety T.J. Ward, a late pickup after being released by the Denver Broncos, are the most notable additions to a defense that overcame a slow start to help the Bucs surge to playoff contention late last season.

Winston knows he has to be better, too.

While he threw for more than 8,100 yards and 50 touchdowns over the past two seasons, the No. 1 overall pick from the 2015 draft also has 33 interceptions.

Coach Dirk Koetter, who calls his own plays, is confident the 23-year-old will continue to blossom.

''As I've said many times,'' the coach said, ''experience is the best teacher.''

Some things to know about the Buccaneers:

HELPING JAMEIS


WR Mike Evans, coming off his third 1,000-yard season and first Pro Bowl appearance, is one of the NFL's top young receivers. Surrounding Winston with more playmakers in hopes of making the offense more successful figures to help Evans, as well as the young quarterback.

Jackson has established himself as one of the top deep threats in the league over nine seasons with Philadelphia and Washington. Howard was drafted in the first round after helping Alabama win one national title and come within seconds of claiming another. The Bucs are also excited about speedy third-round pick Chris Godwin, who provides Winston with another potential deep threat.

MARTIN'S FUTURE


RB Doug Martin will miss the first three weeks of the season while serving the remainder of a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

Koetter has said the two-time Pro Bowl selection is not guaranteed a starting job when he's eligible to return. Martin was the league's second-leading rusher two years ago. Jacquizz Rodgers will be the team's primary ball carrier in Martin's absence.

REJUVENATED DEFENSE

Former Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith begins his second season as defensive coordinator after deciding to not pursue opportunities to leave Tampa Bay.

That was welcome news for defensive leaders Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander and Brent Grimes, as well as younger players such as CB Vernon Hargreaves III and pass rusher Noah Spence, who figure to benefit from the continuity.

NO WORRIES


The Bucs had difficulty getting the ball in the end zone while losing three of four preseason games. Winston and the rest of the first-team offense worked 14 possessions, producing one touchdown rushing and five field goals.

''Who remembers how many touchdown passes quarterbacks throw in the preseason?'' Evans asked. ''Nobody really cares.''

RELIABLE INSURANCE


Winston started all 32 games over the past two seasons, leaving little work for backup Mike Glennon. When Glennon left for Chicago in free agency, Koetter brought in veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has 116 starts, as insurance.

''He's a fiery competitor. I think he's the type of guy that players want to play for when he's in the game,'' Koetter said. ''With that said, I hope he's not in the game.''
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Texans looking ahead to opener after tough week
September 4, 2017


HOUSTON (AP) After a tough week waiting out Hurricane Harvey in Dallas and scrapping their final preseason game, the Houston Texans are home and looking toward Sunday's opener against Jacksonville.

While their thoughts are with the city as it begins its recovery from the storm and subsequent floods, the Texans know they must shift their focus to football this week.

''It's about winning football games,'' coach Bill O'Brien said. ''I think that we'll do whatever we can in our spare time that we have to help the city, but ... as a football team, we're paid to coach and play and to win games. So, that's what our job is and we're going to go back to making sure we do as good a job as we can at our job.''

Houston returned to a normal schedule on Monday for the first time since playing its third preseason game in New Orleans on Aug. 26.

From New Orleans the Texans flew to Dallas in advance of the storm and remained there, practicing in the Cowboys' facilities, until piling in busses and driving back to Houston on Wednesday when the roads into town were finally clear enough to return safely.

Players and staff spent Sunday in various locations around the city volunteering before returning to practice on Monday.

NRG Stadium was not damaged in the storm and O'Brien confirmed Monday that Sunday's game against Jacksonville will be played there as planned. He said team officials spoke with Houston mayor Sylvester Turner before making the decision.

''Everyone agrees that our game will not take resources away from other parts of the city and that this game will be an opportunity to continue to bring us all together as Houstonians and as Texans,'' O'Brien said.

And receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who practiced on Monday after missing time with an injured thumb, believes the game will be a boost to the city.

''In a big way. This is a football state,'' Hopkins said. ''The state of Texas, in general, is a football state, so for us to go out there and get a win, I think that's what this city needs.''

Hopkins said O'Brien didn't talk to the team about switching gears this week and he doesn't believe they have to shut out what's going on around the city to be successful on Sunday.

''I'm sure guys are going to go out this week and still (volunteer), even though we have a game Sunday, and I don't think that's going to mess our focus up,'' he said.

The Texans face a quick turnaround after Sunday's game with a Thursday night game at Cincinnati in Week 2, making preparations this week even more important with the short turnaround looming.

''We're professional coaches and professional football players. The train's not stopping in the NFL,'' O'Brien said. ''Nobody feels real sorry for us, for the football team.

''Obviously there's been a great outpouring of support for the city, but in the NFL, they're moving forward and we have to move forward.''

The Texans enter this week with questions on their offensive line with veteran left tackle Duane Brown continuing his holdout. He told reporters at a charity event on Monday that he plans to play this season, but didn't provide any details on when he might return to the team. But it's unlikely that he will be back in time to play on Sunday.

With Brown out, the Texans will look to Kendall Lamm to fill in. Lamm, who signed with the Texans after going undrafted in 2015, is looking forward to the opportunity.

''I'd lie (if I told) you there won't be a little bit of jitters,'' he said. ''But as soon as I make contact the first play, all that goes away and, you know, you get back to football. So, it's exciting.''
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Home underdogs, Super Bowl hangovers and other NFL Week 1 trends bettors need to know

The Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers are all at home in the first week of the season and catching six or more points. Something that only happened four times over the last five seasons.

Week 1 of the NFL season is a moment sports bettors would like to freeze in time. It’s a week where the books and the bettors are able to go mano a mano wagering on lines based solely on personal preseason projections without any in-season results clouding those opinions.

Sportsbooks will play the first week of the season with more caution then they do once the game results begin to pour in. Those Week 1 lines will not be as sharp as the lines later in September.

That’s what makes three spreads particularly interesting on the NFL Week 1 betting board. The Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers are interesting. All three teams are at home in the first week of the season and catching six or more points. Over the last five seasons (2011 to 2016) there have only be four home teams getting six or more points in Week 1.

“Last year, the bad teams were really bad and the good teams like the Patriots, Cowboys and Falcons crushed us week in and week out,” says Sportsbook.ag oddsmaker Peter Childs.

The Browns, Bears and 49ers went a combined 6-42 straight up and 15-32-1 against the spread last season. All three teams have different starting quarterbacks than a year ago but bettors are skeptical on whether any one of the three teams has improved.

“The public is on the chalk in all three games,” Chris Andrews, an oddsmaker at the South Point sportsbook in Las Vegas, told us. “Some wiseguy play on the Browns but no sharp money yet on the Bears or 49ers.”

One bet the public should be on is the Under. Jason Logan tweeted last November about the Under being on a run in games where the home team was getting 6.5 or more points.

The trend continued the rest of the 2016 season pushing the mark now to 5-21 Over/Under since 2015 and 23-44 since 2013.

Here’s a quick look at each of these games and where the Bookmakers project these lines landing just before kickoff.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns (+9, 47)

The Steelers are 8-1 straight up and 6-2-1 against the spread in their last nine games against the Browns. Cleveland released former Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden last week and he was swiftly picked up by Pittsburgh. Haden’s first game as a Steeler will be against his former teammates.

The Browns are starting rookie DeShone Kizer at quarterback – something that would have surprised a lot of Cleveland fans three months ago. It’s unclear whether Kizer won the starting job or took it by default after dreadful training camps from Cody Kessler and Brock Osweiler.


“Since opening we’ve taken a small bit of smart money on the Steelers,” Bookmaker.eu spokesperson Scott Cooley says, “but I really doubt that is going to hold up. This line should get to double digits by the time kickoff rolls around.”

If it gets to double digits, it’ll be just the second time in the last six years a home team gets 10 or more points in Week 1. The New England Patriots were 10-point favorites at Buffalo to start the 2013 season. The Bills lost 23-21 but covered the spread.

Atlanta Falcons at Chicago Bears (+7, 51)

It’s a rebuilding year in Chicago where the Bears are 28/1 longshots just to win their own division. The Windy City blew away Jay Cutler and sucked in former Tampa Bay backup Mike Glennon to start under center for the Bears.

The Falcons, meanwhile, are hoping to overcome the Super Bowl slump – a trend for those sides that came up short in the title game. Teams that lost in the Super Bowl are 5-12 SU and 2-15 ATS in their Week 1 games the following season since 2000. The Super Bowl hangover is a real thing, people.

Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers (+6, 48)

The Panthers hope their Super Bowl hangover is past them. They lost to the Broncos in Super Bowl 50 and followed that up with a 6-10 campaign last year.

Quarterback Cam Newton had offseason surgery on his throwing shoulder and bettors didn’t get to see much of him in the preseason. Will he be ready against the Niners?

“This game has garnered plenty of sharp support on the Panthers’ side,” Cooley says. “They may be fading this 49ers team early this year.”

Kyle Shanahan is the third head coach San Fran has hired since the team let go of Jim Harbaugh in 2014. The Niners won just seven of their 32 games under Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly.
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NFL
Dunkel

Week 1


Thursday, September 7

Kansas City @ New England

Game 451-452
September 7, 2017 @ 8:30 pm

Dunkel Rating:
Kansas City
137.425
New England
151.405
Dunkel Team:
Dunkel Line:
Dunkel Total:
New England
by 14
52
Vegas Team:
Vegas Line:
Vegas Total:
New England
by 8
47 1/2
Dunkel Pick:
New England
(-8); Over



Sunday, September 10

NY Jets @ Buffalo

Game 453-454
September 10, 2017 @ 1:00 pm

Dunkel Rating:
NY Jets
120.501
Buffalo
131.352
Dunkel Team:
Dunkel Line:
Dunkel Total:
Buffalo
by 11
49
Vegas Team:
Vegas Line:
Vegas Total:
NY Jets
by 8 1/2
40 1/2
Dunkel Pick:
Buffalo
(-8 1/2); Over

Atlanta @ Chicago


Game 455-456
September 10, 2017 @ 1:00 pm

Dunkel Rating:
Atlanta
145.594
Chicago
125.059
Dunkel Team:
Dunkel Line:
Dunkel Total:
Atlanta
by 20 1/2
48
Vegas Team:
Vegas Line:
Vegas Total:
Atlanta
by 7
51
Dunkel Pick:
Atlanta
(-7); Under

Jacksonville @ Houston


Game 457-458
September 10, 2017 @ 1:00 pm

Dunkel Rating:
Jacksonville
128.402
Houston
135.342
Dunkel Team:
Dunkel Line:
Dunkel Total:
Houston
by 7
38
Vegas Team:
Vegas Line:
Vegas Total:
Houston
by 4 1/2
40 1/2
Dunkel Pick:
Houston
(-4 1/2); Under

Philadelphia @ Washington


Game 459-460
September 10, 2017 @ 1:00 pm

Dunkel Rating:
Philadelphia
135.140
Washington
134.387
Dunkel Team:
Dunkel Line:
Dunkel Total:
Philadelphia
by 1
43
Vegas Team:
Vegas Line:
Vegas Total:
Washington
by 2 1/2
48
Dunkel Pick:
Philadelphia
(+2 1/2); Under

Arizona @ Detroit


Game 461-462
September 10, 2017 @ 1:00 pm

Dunkel Rating:
Arizona
135.444
Detroit
132.930
Dunkel Team:
Dunkel Line:
Dunkel Total:
Arizona
by 2 1/2
46
Vegas Team:
Vegas Line:
Vegas Total:
Detroit
by 2 1/2
49
Dunkel Pick:
Arizona
(+2 1/2); Under

Oakland @ Tennessee


Game 463-464
September 10, 2017 @ 1:00 pm

Dunkel Rating:
Oakland
133.403
Tennessee
129.210
Dunkel Team:
Dunkel Line:
Dunkel Total:
Oakland
by 4
55
Vegas Team:
Vegas Line:
Vegas Total:
Tennessee
by 2
50 1/2
Dunkel Pick:
Oakland
(+2); Over

Tampa Bay @ Miami


Game 465-466
September 10, 2017 @ 1:00 pm

Dunkel Rating:
Tampa Bay
133.146
Miami
134.164
Dunkel Team:
Dunkel Line:
Dunkel Total:
Miami
by 1
46
Vegas Team:
Vegas Line:
Vegas Total:
Tampa Bay
by 2 1/2
44
Dunkel Pick:
Miami
(+2 1/2); Over

Baltimore @ Cincinnati


Game 467-468
September 10, 2017 @ 1:00 pm

Dunkel Rating:
Baltimore
128.711
Cincinnati
138.548
Dunkel Team:
Dunkel Line:
Dunkel Total:
Cincinnati
by 10
40
Vegas Team:
Vegas Line:
Vegas Total:
Cincinnati
by 2 1/2
43
Dunkel Pick:
Cincinnati
(-2 1/2); Under

Pittsburgh @ Cleveland


Game 469-470
September 10, 2017 @ 1:00 pm

Dunkel Rating:
Pittsburgh
137.350
Cleveland
125.112
Dunkel Team:
Dunkel Line:
Dunkel Total:
Pittsburgh
by 12
45
Vegas Team:
Vegas Line:
Vegas Total:
Pittsburgh
by 8
47
Dunkel Pick:
Pittsburgh
(-8); Under

Indianapolis @ LA Rams


Game 471-472
September 10, 2017 @ 4:05 pm

Dunkel Rating:
Indianapolis
133.411
LA Rams
119.032
Dunkel Team:
Dunkel Line:
Dunkel Total:
Indianapolis
by 14 1/2
50
Vegas Team:
Vegas Line:
Vegas Total:
Indianapolis
by 3
47
Dunkel Pick:
Indianapolis
(-3); Over

Seattle @ Green Bay


Game 473-474
September 10, 2017 @ 4:25 pm

Dunkel Rating:
Seattle
133.337
Green Bay
138.548
Dunkel Team:
Dunkel Line:
Dunkel Total:
Green Bay
by 5
53
Vegas Team:
Vegas Line:
Vegas Total:
Green Bay
by 3
50
Dunkel Pick:
Green Bay
(-3); Over

Carolina @ San Francisco


Game 475-476
September 10, 2017 @ 4:25 pm

Dunkel Rating:
Carolina
132.321
San Francisco
124.072
Dunkel Team:
Dunkel Line:
Dunkel Total:
Carolina
by 8
52
Vegas Team:
Vegas Line:
Vegas Total:
Carolina
by 5 1/2
48
Dunkel Pick:
Carolina
(-5 1/2); Over

NY Giants @ Dallas


Game 477-478
September 10, 2017 @ 8:30 pm

Dunkel Rating:
NY Giants
130.020
Dallas
141.275
Dunkel Team:
Dunkel Line:
Dunkel Total:
Dallas
by 11
51
Vegas Team:
Vegas Line:
Vegas Total:
Dallas
by 3 1/2
47 1/2
Dunkel Pick:
Dallas
(-3 1/2); Over



Monday, September 11

New Orleans @ Minnesota

Game 479-480
September 11, 2017 @ 7:10 pm

Dunkel Rating:
New Orleans
129.432
Minnesota
136.833
Dunkel Team:
Dunkel Line:
Dunkel Total:
Minnesota
by 7 1/2
40
Vegas Team:
Vegas Line:
Vegas Total:
Minnesota
by 3 1/2
48
Dunkel Pick:
Minnesota
(-3 1/2); Under
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Old 09-05-2017, 02:20 AM
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Long Sheet

Week 1


Thursday, September 7

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

KANSAS CITY (12 - 5) at NEW ENGLAND (17 - 2) - 9/7/2017, 8:30 PM
Top Trends for this game.
NEW ENGLAND is 16-3 ATS (+12.7 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
NEW ENGLAND is 16-3 ATS (+12.7 Units) in all lined games over the last 2 seasons.
NEW ENGLAND is 15-3 ATS (+11.7 Units) as a favorite over the last 2 seasons.
NEW ENGLAND is 13-3 ATS (+9.7 Units) in home games over the last 3 seasons.
NEW ENGLAND is 13-3 ATS (+9.7 Units) in home lined games over the last 3 seasons.
NEW ENGLAND is 10-1 ATS (+8.9 Units) in all games where the total is between 42.5 and 49 points over the last 2 seasons.
NEW ENGLAND is 12-2 ATS (+9.8 Units) against conference opponents over the last 2 seasons.
NEW ENGLAND is 17-7 ATS (+9.3 Units) in games played on turf over the last 3 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
NEW ENGLAND is 1-0 against the spread versus KANSAS CITY over the last 3 seasons
NEW ENGLAND is 1-0 straight up against KANSAS CITY over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sunday, September 10

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NY JETS (5 - 11) at BUFFALO (7 - 9) - 9/10/2017, 1:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
BUFFALO is 41-24 ATS (+14.6 Units) in a home game where the total is between 38.5 and 42 points since 1992.
NY JETS are 50-31 ATS (+15.9 Units) in road games versus division opponents since 1992.

Head-to-Head Series History
BUFFALO is 2-2 against the spread versus NY JETS over the last 3 seasons
BUFFALO is 2-2 straight up against NY JETS over the last 3 seasons
3 of 4 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ATLANTA (13 - 6) at CHICAGO (3 - 13) - 9/10/2017, 1:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
CHICAGO is 0-6 ATS (-6.6 Units) in September games over the last 3 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JACKSONVILLE (3 - 13) at HOUSTON (10 - 8) - 9/10/2017, 1:00 PM
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
HOUSTON is 3-1 against the spread versus JACKSONVILLE over the last 3 seasons
HOUSTON is 4-0 straight up against JACKSONVILLE over the last 3 seasons
3 of 4 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PHILADELPHIA (7 - 9) at WASHINGTON (8 - 7 - 1) - 9/10/2017, 1:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
WASHINGTON is 83-112 ATS (-40.2 Units) in home games since 1992.
WASHINGTON is 83-112 ATS (-40.2 Units) in home lined games since 1992.
WASHINGTON is 83-112 ATS (-40.2 Units) in home games in games played on a grass field since 1992.
WASHINGTON is 13-30 ATS (-20.0 Units) in home games in September games since 1992.

Head-to-Head Series History
WASHINGTON is 4-0 against the spread versus PHILADELPHIA over the last 3 seasons
WASHINGTON is 4-0 straight up against PHILADELPHIA over the last 3 seasons
3 of 4 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ARIZONA (7 - 8 - 1) at DETROIT (9 - 8) - 9/10/2017, 1:00 PM
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
ARIZONA is 1-0 against the spread versus DETROIT over the last 3 seasons
ARIZONA is 1-0 straight up against DETROIT over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OAKLAND (12 - 5) at TENNESSEE (9 - 7) - 9/10/2017, 1:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
TENNESSEE is 24-11 ATS (+11.9 Units) as a home favorite of 3 points or less since 1992.
OAKLAND is 9-2 ATS (+6.8 Units) in games where the line is +3 to -3 over the last 2 seasons.
OAKLAND is 11-3 ATS (+7.7 Units) in road games against conference opponents over the last 3 seasons.
TENNESSEE is 6-17 ATS (-12.7 Units) against conference opponents over the last 3 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
OAKLAND is 2-0 against the spread versus TENNESSEE over the last 3 seasons
OAKLAND is 2-0 straight up against TENNESSEE over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TAMPA BAY (9 - 7) at MIAMI (10 - 7) - 9/10/2017, 1:00 PM
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BALTIMORE (8 - 8) at CINCINNATI (6 - 9 - 1) - 9/10/2017, 1:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
BALTIMORE is 3-11 ATS (-9.1 Units) in games played on turf over the last 3 seasons.
CINCINNATI is 71-97 ATS (-35.7 Units) versus division opponents since 1992.

Head-to-Head Series History
CINCINNATI is 2-2 against the spread versus BALTIMORE over the last 3 seasons
CINCINNATI is 3-1 straight up against BALTIMORE over the last 3 seasons
3 of 4 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PITTSBURGH (13 - 6) at CLEVELAND (1 - 15) - 9/10/2017, 1:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
PITTSBURGH is 100-70 ATS (+23.0 Units) as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points since 1992.
CLEVELAND is 5-14 ATS (-10.4 Units) as an underdog of 3.5 to 9.5 points over the last 3 seasons.
CLEVELAND is 3-12 ATS (-10.2 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
CLEVELAND is 3-12 ATS (-10.2 Units) in all lined games over the last 2 seasons.
CLEVELAND is 3-12 ATS (-10.2 Units) as an underdog over the last 2 seasons.
CLEVELAND is 3-12 ATS (-10.2 Units) in home games over the last 3 seasons.
CLEVELAND is 3-12 ATS (-10.2 Units) in home lined games over the last 3 seasons.
CLEVELAND is 0-7 ATS (-7.7 Units) in a home game where the total is between 45.5 and 49 points over the last 3 seasons.
CLEVELAND is 7-17 ATS (-11.7 Units) in all games where the total is between 42.5 and 49 points over the last 3 seasons.
CLEVELAND is 1-10 ATS (-10.0 Units) versus division opponents over the last 3 seasons.
CLEVELAND is 3-12 ATS (-10.2 Units) in home games in games played on a grass field over the last 3 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
PITTSBURGH is 3-0 against the spread versus CLEVELAND over the last 3 seasons
PITTSBURGH is 4-0 straight up against CLEVELAND over the last 3 seasons
3 of 4 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

INDIANAPOLIS (8 - 8) at LA RAMS (4 - 12) - 9/10/2017, 4:05 PM
Top Trends for this game.
INDIANAPOLIS is 25-12 ATS (+11.8 Units) as a road favorite of 3 points or less since 1992.
LA RAMS is 175-224 ATS (-71.4 Units) in all games since 1992.
LA RAMS is 175-224 ATS (-71.4 Units) in all lined games since 1992.
LA RAMS is 80-114 ATS (-45.4 Units) in all games where the total is between 42.5 and 49 points since 1992.
LA RAMS is 2-10 ATS (-9.0 Units) in games played on a grass field over the last 3 seasons.
LA RAMS is 33-52 ATS (-24.2 Units) in September games since 1992.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SEATTLE (11 - 6 - 1) at GREEN BAY (12 - 7) - 9/10/2017, 4:25 PM
Top Trends for this game.
GREEN BAY is 38-22 ATS (+13.8 Units) against NFC West division opponents since 1992.
GREEN BAY is 181-127 ATS (+41.3 Units) in games played on a grass field since 1992.

Head-to-Head Series History
GREEN BAY is 2-0 against the spread versus SEATTLE over the last 3 seasons
GREEN BAY is 2-0 straight up against SEATTLE over the last 3 seasons
1 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CAROLINA (6 - 10) at SAN FRANCISCO (2 - 14) - 9/10/2017, 4:25 PM
Top Trends for this game.
CAROLINA is 78-55 ATS (+17.5 Units) in all games where the total is between 42.5 and 49 points since 1992.
CAROLINA is 56-35 ATS (+17.5 Units) in road games in games played on a grass field since 1992.

Head-to-Head Series History
CAROLINA is 1-0 against the spread versus SAN FRANCISCO over the last 3 seasons
CAROLINA is 1-0 straight up against SAN FRANCISCO over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NY GIANTS (11 - 6) at DALLAS (13 - 4) - 9/10/2017, 8:30 PM
Top Trends for this game.
DALLAS is 6-15 ATS (-10.5 Units) in games played on turf over the last 3 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
NY GIANTS is 4-0 against the spread versus DALLAS over the last 3 seasons
NY GIANTS is 3-1 straight up against DALLAS over the last 3 seasons
2 of 4 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Monday, September 11

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NEW ORLEANS (7 - 9) at MINNESOTA (8 - 8) - 9/11/2017, 7:10 PM
Top Trends for this game.
MINNESOTA is 23-10 ATS (+12.0 Units) in all games over the last 3 seasons.
MINNESOTA is 23-10 ATS (+12.0 Units) in all lined games over the last 3 seasons.
MINNESOTA is 13-4 ATS (+8.6 Units) in home games over the last 3 seasons.
MINNESOTA is 13-4 ATS (+8.6 Units) in home lined games over the last 3 seasons.
MINNESOTA is 17-6 ATS (+10.4 Units) in all games where the total is between 42.5 and 49 points over the last 3 seasons.
MINNESOTA is 16-5 ATS (+10.5 Units) in games played on turf over the last 3 seasons.
NEW ORLEANS is 13-4 ATS (+8.6 Units) as an underdog over the last 3 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LA CHARGERS (5 - 11) at DENVER (9 - 7) - 9/11/2017, 10:20 PM
Top Trends for this game.
LA CHARGERS is 16-30 ATS (-17.0 Units) in a road game where the total is between 42.5 and 45 points since 1992.
DENVER is 6-0 ATS (+6.0 Units) in September games over the last 3 seasons.
LA CHARGERS is 40-22 ATS (+15.8 Units) as a road underdog of 3.5 to 7 points since 1992.

Head-to-Head Series History
DENVER is 2-2 against the spread versus LA CHARGERS over the last 3 seasons
DENVER is 3-1 straight up against LA CHARGERS over the last 3 seasons
2 of 4 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
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Week 1


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Trend Report
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thursday, September 7

9:30 PM
KANSAS CITY vs. NEW ENGLAND
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Kansas City's last 6 games when playing New England
Kansas City is 10-3 SU in its last 13 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of New England's last 6 games when playing Kansas City
New England is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games when playing Kansas City


Sunday, September 10

2:00 PM
ATLANTA vs. CHICAGO
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Atlanta's last 5 games on the road
Atlanta is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Chicago
Chicago is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Atlanta
Chicago is 4-15 SU in its last 19 games at home

2:00 PM
OAKLAND vs. TENNESSEE
Oakland is 6-3 SU in its last 9 games on the road
Oakland is 3-8 SU in its last 11 games when playing on the road against Tennessee
Tennessee is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Oakland
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Tennessee's last 6 games

2:00 PM
NY JETS vs. BUFFALO
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the NY Jets last 6 games when playing on the road against Buffalo
NY Jets are 2-5 SU in their last 7 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Buffalo's last 6 games
Buffalo is 5-2 SU in their last 7 games when playing NY Jets

2:00 PM
TAMPA BAY vs. MIAMI
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Tampa Bay's last 7 games
Tampa Bay is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games
Miami is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Tampa Bay
Miami is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing Tampa Bay

2:00 PM
JACKSONVILLE vs. HOUSTON
Jacksonville is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Houston
Jacksonville is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing Houston
Houston is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Houston's last 5 games when playing Jacksonville

2:00 PM
PITTSBURGH vs. CLEVELAND
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Pittsburgh's last 6 games when playing on the road against Cleveland
Pittsburgh is 7-2-1 ATS in its last 10 games
Cleveland is 1-8-1 ATS in its last 10 games
Cleveland is 1-8 ATS in its last 9 games at home

2:00 PM
PHILADELPHIA vs. WASHINGTON
Philadelphia is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Washington
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Philadelphia's last 7 games on the road
Washington is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Philadelphia
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Washington's last 10 games at home

2:00 PM
BALTIMORE vs. CINCINNATI
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Baltimore's last 5 games
Baltimore is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Cincinnati
Cincinnati is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing Baltimore
Cincinnati is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Baltimore

2:00 PM
ARIZONA vs. DETROIT
Arizona is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games
The total has gone OVER in 10 of Arizona's last 13 games when playing Detroit
Detroit is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Detroit's last 5 games at home

5:05 PM
INDIANAPOLIS vs. LOS ANGELES
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Indianapolis's last 7 games
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Indianapolis's last 8 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Los Angeles's last 6 games when playing Indianapolis
Los Angeles is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games at home

5:25 PM
SEATTLE vs. GREEN BAY
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Seattle's last 7 games
Seattle is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Green Bay
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Green Bay's last 5 games
Green Bay is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games

5:25 PM
CAROLINA vs. SAN FRANCISCO
Carolina is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Carolina's last 9 games
San Francisco is 2-13 ATS in its last 15 games when playing Carolina
San Francisco is 1-14 SU in its last 15 games

9:30 PM
NY GIANTS vs. DALLAS
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of the NY Giants last 9 games on the road
NY Giants are 3-5-2 ATS in their last 10 games on the road
Dallas is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Dallas's last 8 games when playing at home against NY Giants


Monday, September 11

8:10 PM
NEW ORLEANS vs. MINNESOTA
New Orleans is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games when playing Minnesota
The total has gone OVER in 4 of New Orleans's last 6 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Minnesota's last 6 games when playing at home against New Orleans
Minnesota is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against New Orleans

11:20 PM
LOS ANGELES vs. DENVER
Los Angeles is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games
Los Angeles is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Denver
Denver is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing Los Angeles
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Denver's last 5 games
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Old 09-05-2017, 02:23 AM
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Armadillo's Write-Up

Week 1

Thursday's game


Chiefs @ Patriots— Last 14 years, defending Super Bowl champ is 12-2 in its first game the next year (8-3-3 vs spread). Patriots are 6-2 in last eight games with KC; Chiefs lost last six visits here- their last win in Foxboro was in 1990. New England is 12-1 in last 13 season openers (lost @ Miami in ’14); they’re 14-1 in last 15 home openers, but just 1-4 vs spread in last five- their last four wins in HO’s were by 7 or less points. Chiefs won three of last four season openers; they’re 3-8 in last 11 road openers (under 8-4 in last 12), but 6-5 vs spread in last 11 AO’s as an underdog. Under Reid, Chiefs are 4-7 vs spread as a non-divisional road underdog. Since ’13, Patriots are 17-8-3 as a home favorite, 11-4-1 vs non-division opponents.
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NFL Opening Line Report: Sharps cause massive movement in Week 1 betting lines

The long national nightmare is almost over. Real, meaningful NFL games start this week, and thankfully we only have to wait until Thursday for the first regular-season contest.

Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots (-7)

New England is coming off a historic Super Bowl comeback, rallying from a 28-3 deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime and cash as a 3-point favorite. In fact, the Patriots were tops in the league SU and ATS in 2016, going 17-2 SU and an equally superb 16-3 ATS, winning their last 10 SU while covering in nine of those contests.

Kansas City won the AFC West last year on a tiebreaker with the Oakland Raiders, earning a first-round bye. But the Chiefs’ playoff stint was short-lived, as they lost to Pittsburgh 18-16 laying 2.5 points at home to finish 12-5 SU, 9-8 ATS.

Bookmaker.eu first posted NFL Week 1 lines back in April, and bettors have since pushed the defending champs to -8 for the Thursday night season opener.

“Steady action on New England over the last few months has caused this number to tick upward, but I don’t expect it to be north of a touchdown come Thursday,” Cooley said. “The sharps are likely going to wait and see how high the public can push it, and then start picking off the numbers. (Chiefs coach) Andy Reid is great with time to prepare, and I wouldn’t be surprised one bit at an outright upset.”

Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers (-3)

A couple of perennial NFC powerhouses collide in Week 1 at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won its last six regular-season games in 2016 to claim the NFC North, then made a run to the conference title game before getting dumped at Atlanta 44-21 as a 6.5-point pup. The Pack finished the season 12-7 SU (11-7-1 ATS).

Seattle (11-5-2 SU, 9-9 ATS) won the NFC West in 2016, then rolled Detroit 26-6 as an 8-point favorite on wild-card weekend. But like Green Bay, the Seahawks’ season ended at the hands of Atlanta, 36-20 as a 6.5-point road pup.

Bookmaker.eu’s opening line of Green Bay -3 was up to 3.5 most of the past couple of weeks, but dropped back to 3 Saturday.

“We’ve seen smart money on the ‘dog side in the last 24 hours, so we are back to the opener,” Cooley said. “It’s going to be the afternoon game every bettor tunes in to, and more than likely as we move toward Sunday, we’ll need the Seahawks to come out on top. Really looking forward to this one to get an early gauge on these elite teams.”

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-6.5)

Dallas is currently embroiled in Ezekiel Elliott’s appeal of a six-game suspension, hoping to have the star running back on the field for this NFC East prime-time showdown on Sunday night. Behind Elliott and rookie QB Dak Prescott last season, the Cowboys had an 11-game winning streak and covered the first nine of those. Dallas earned a first-round playoff bye, but finished 13-4 SU (10-7 ATS) after a 34-31 loss to Green Bay giving 5.5 points at home in the divisional round.

New York went 11-5 SU (9-6-1 ATS) in the 2016 regular season to nab a wild-card berth, then lost at Green Bay 38-13 as a 5-point dog.

Bookmaker.eu opened Dallas at -6.5. That number is down to 3.5 and could be headed lower still.

“This line is off the board now, as we continue to wait for news on one key injury and one key suspension,” Cooley said, pointing not only to Elliott’s status, but that of Giants wideout Odell Beckham (ankle). “Professional bettors came out early and often for this one, as this number dipped down to -3.5 prior to the unknown status of Beckham and Elliott. If Elliott is in fact out for Week 1, we will likely reopen at -3. The public will be all over Dallas, no matter who is playing.”

Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans (+1.5)

Oakland had a stout 2016 regular season, going 12-4 SU (10-6 ATS), but quarterback Derek Carr broke his leg in the second-to-last game. That was key to the Raiders losing their regular-season finale at Denver, which relegated them to a wild-card berth and a road playoff game. They subsequently lost at Houston 27-14 getting 4 points.

Tennessee went 9-7 SU (7-9 ATS) last year, winning four of its last five to tie Houston atop the mediocre AFC South. But the Titans lost the tiebreaker and therefore stayed home for the playoffs. Coincidentally, the same week Carr broke his leg, Titans QB Marcus Mariota also suffered a broken leg.

Both QBs are back at the helm for this season opener, but bettors are leaning on Mariota, with this game jumping the fence from Oakland -1.5 to Tennessee -2.

“A big swing in this one, as the Titans have gone from ‘dogs to favorites, and it’s all sharp money shaping this one,” Cooley said. “The ticket count on Oakland is higher, but the money on Tennessee is very heavy. We do expect this to come back down before reaching the key number, but unless we see a lot of square Raider money this weekend, we’ll need the visitor in a big way.”
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Old 09-07-2017, 02:25 AM
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Chiefs-Patriots Capsule
September 6, 2017


KANSAS CITY (12-4) at NEW ENGLAND (14-2)

Thursday, 8:30 p.m. EDT, NBC

OPENING LINE - Patriots by 7 1/2

SERIES RECORD - Chiefs lead 17-14-3

LAST MEETING - Patriots beat Chiefs 27-20 in divisional playoffs, Jan. 16, 2016

AP PRO32 RANKING - Chiefs No. 7, Patriots No. 1

CHIEFS OFFENSE - OVERALL (20), RUSH (15), PASS (19)

CHIEFS DEFENSE - OVERALL (24), RUSH (26), PASS (18)

PATRIOTS OFFENSE - OVERALL (4), RUSH (7), PASS (4)

PATRIOTS DEFENSE - OVERALL (8), RUSH (3), PASS (12)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES -Patriots have won two of past three meetings. ... Bill Belichick holds 5-1 edge over Andy Reid in head-to-head meetings. ... Chiefs beat Patriots 41-14 at Arrowhead Stadium in last regular-season matchup. ... Kansas City won AFC West in 2016 for first time since 2010. ... Chiefs have won 22 of past 26 regular-season games. ... Chiefs led NFL with 33 takeaways. They were also plus-16 in turnover differential last season, tied for best in NFL. ... Kansas City scored 105 points off turnovers, third best in league, and forced league-best eight red-zone turnovers. ... Chiefs CB Marcus Peters tied for second in NFL with six interceptions last season. ... Chiefs QB Alex Smith is 9-0 in regular-season games against AFC East, beating Patriots in their only meeting. His only postseason loss to division was also to Patriots two years ago. ... Travis Kelce led all NFL tight ends with 1,125 receiving yards and ranked second with 85 catches in 2016. ... S Eric Berry tied for NFL lead returning two interceptions for TDs in 2016. ... New England is coming off capturing its fifth Super Bowl title to cap 2016 season. ... Patriots begin 2017 trying to become first team to win consecutive Super Bowls since they did it during 2003 and 2004 seasons. ... They have won eight consecutive division titles, most in NFL history. ... New England is 4-0 in season openers after winning previous season's Super Bowl. ... QB Tom Brady is expected to become 13th quarterback since 1970 merger to start an NFL game after turning 40. ... Previous time Brady opened season against Chiefs in 2008, he suffered season-ending left knee injury. ... Rob Gronkowski returns after being limited to eight games in 2016 and undergoing back surgery in December. He leads NFL tight ends with 68 TD catches and ranks second with 6,095 receiving yards since entering league in 2010. ... WR Brandin Cooks makes Patriots debut after leading Saints with 1,173 receiving yards in 2016. ... DE Trey Flowers led team with seven sacks last season. ... Fantasy Tip: Brady should be numbers producer in 2017. Even with his four-game ''Deflategate'' suspension he managed 3,554 yards passing and 28 touchdowns.
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TNF - Chiefs at Patriots
September 6, 2017


Kansas City at New England (-9, 48.5), 8:30 pm ET, NBC/NFLN

Nine years ago on the exact same date as Thursday's season opener, the Patriots opened the season against the Chiefs at Gillette Stadium and saw disaster strike almost immediately. Tom Brady suffered a season-ending ACL tear when Kansas City safety Bernard Pollard took out his knee in the first half, resulting in the only games he's missed since 2002 not related to Deflategate.

If not for eerie similarities between today and 2008, this game would be more easily billed as a potential AFC Championship preview given how stacked the Chiefs look coming off a 12-4 season. They finished with the second-best record in the conference behind the 14-2 Patriots but never ran into them in the playoffs, lasting only a single round following an 18-16 divisional playoff loss to Pittsburgh. Although Kansas City cut top receiver Jeremy Maclin and will be without top running back Spencer Ware for the season after he tore his PCL in the third preseason game, there are still plenty of weapons for New England to be concerned with.

Travis Kelce has emerged as a Rob Gronkowski type and has managed to stay healthy enough to replace him as the NFL's most productive tight end, leading the league in receiving yards and yards after catch while finishing second with 85 receptions. Tyreek Hill's speed makes him a dangerous weapon who scored 12 touchdowns last season as an electric return man and emerging receiver. Rookie Kareem Hunt, versatile Charcandrick West and veteran import C.J. Spiller are in the mix to help replace Ware, so Andy Reid will have plenty of options to try and trouble a Patriots defense that struggled some in the preseason and saw LB Shea McClellin and DB/KR Cyrus Jones join receiver Julian Edelman in being lost for the season.

Despite those injuries, the defending champion Patriots' hold on the favorite's role entering this season has strengthened following the preseason. Rob Gronkowski looks to be 100 percent and newly acquired receiver Brandin Cooks should be a valuable weapon whose role likely increases with Edelman out of the equation. James White, Mike Gillislee, Rex Burkhead and Dion Lewis are all on board as backfield options, so replacing LeGarrette Blount should also be manageable for Bill Belichick.

Even replacing Brady, as Belichick managed to do to the tune of a 3-1 start during last season's suspension, hasn't proven too daunting a task for the Pats of late. Unless he's out there mopping up after a blowout, New England doesn't want to see backup Jimmy Garoppolo doing anything but holding a clipboard. Brady had a productive preseason, throwing three touchdowns and completing 75 percent of his 24 passes. His 10 yards per attempt ranked among the highest in the league.

Alex Smith was inconsistent, but still easily held off the challenge of first-round pick Patrick Mahomes II. The Chiefs generated big plays on both sides of the ball in a 30-12 preseason Week 2 win against Cincinnati, then struggled mightily in Seattle in the dress rehearsal game, falling 26-13 after failing to execute on plays that were there to be made.

The Patriots are 14-1 in home openers in the Belichick/Brady era, while Belichick is 13-4 with New England in Week 1 (15-7 overall). Andy Reid has won three of four openers since joining Kansas City and won four of his last five with Philadelphia, so there's little doubt both teams should be prepared to get things started.

Kansas City Chiefs

Season win total: 9 (Over -120, Under +100)
Odds to win AFC West: 2/1 to 9/4
Odds to win AFC: 10/1 to 12/1
Odds to win Super Bowl: 20/1 to 25/1

New England Patriots
Season win total: 12.5 (Over +100, Under -120)
Odds to win AFC East: 1/14 to 1/25
Odds to win AFC: 3/1 to 5/4
Odds to win Super Bowl: 6/1 to 11/4

LINE MOVEMENT


The Patriots may as well have already won their division as far as the odds are concerned since they're a wild 1-to-25, which is almost as amusing as the Jets going from 100-to-1 to 200-to-1 to win the AFC East before playing a game that counts in the standings. Since 2003, New England has prevailed 13 of 14 times, with the lone outlier coming in '08 after Brady was lost for the season and Matt Cassel was pressed into duty.

Kansas City has the second-best odds to win the AFC West, placed behind favored Oakland (5/4) and ahead of Denver and San Diego (9/2). Considering the Chiefs have won 22 of their last 26 regular-season games, a projected win total placed below double-digits raised a few eyebrows. Between the loss of Ware and their inconsistent preseason, the Chiefs have seen their conference and Super Bowl future odds become more longer overthe last few weeks.

As far as this matchup is concerned, the Patriots are currently laying 9 points in this first contest after the line initially opened at 7 and hovered at 7.5. The total opened at 49.5 but is set at 48.5 at many books as of Wednesday afternoon. Weather conditions are supposed to be clear and perfect for football.

INJURY CONCERNS


Kelce made this week's injury report due to a calf injury but was removed and is expected to play without limitations. The news isn't as positive on guard Parker Ehringer, who was downgraded to doubtful along with new linebacker Reggie Ragland. DT Bennie Logan (knee) and kicker Cairo Santos (groin) are also expected to play.

The Patriots have seen speedy WR Malcolm Mitchell limited by a knee injury throughout camp, so we'll see whether he can be a factor. The Patriots traded for WR Philip Dorsett from the Colts and also envision a larger role for Danny Amendola. Backup offensive tackle Cameron Fleming returned to practice but is uncertain here. Safety Nate Ebner is also questionable for New England.

RECENT MEETINGS (New England 3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS last five; UNDER 3-2)


1/16/16 New England 27-20 vs. Kansas City (NE -5.5, 43)
9/29/14 Kansas City 41-14 vs. New England (NE -3, 46)
11/21/11 New England 34-3 vs. Kansas City (NE -17, 47)
9/7/08 New England 17-10 vs. Kansas City (NE -16, 43.5)
11/27/05 Kansas City 26-16 vs. New England (KC -3, 51)

PATRIOTS AS A HOME FAVORITE

Since losing to Seattle at Foxboro in Week 10, New England is a perfect 5-0 SU/ATS at home, including playoff wins over the Texans and Steelers. They're averaging 33.4 points in those wins. Both of the Patriots' losses last season came as a home favorite.

CHIEFS AS A ROAD UNDERDOG

Kansas City was a road 'dog only four times last season and won three of those instances outright, carrying a streak into 2017. The Chiefs beat the Panthers, Broncos and Falcons in a four game streatch from mid-November to early December in 2016. The Chiefs haven't been this heavy an underdog since Week 2 of the '14 season when they covered at Denver in a 24-17 loss as a 13-point underdog. The last meeting between these teams saw Kansas City in this role in the 2015 Divisional playoffs. New England won and covered.
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Tolzien ready to take over as Colts' QB
September 6, 2017


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Scott Tolzien had a whole offseason to get acclimated to his job description and his new duties as the Indianapolis Colts' starting quarterback.

It still sounds a little strange.

On Sunday in Los Angeles against the Rams, Tolzien will replace Andrew Luck in Indy's lineup, becoming only the fourth Colts' quarterback since 1998 to start on opening day.

''It is different, but surprisingly, it's not as different as you might think because you always prepare as if you're going to start,'' Tolzien said Wednesday. ''You just try to treat it like every other game and not make it any different.''

But it is different.

Over those past two decades, Luck or Peyton Manning started every Colts' season opener except 2011 when Kerry Collins got the job at Houston.

Each of the other three starters was a top-five draft pick who came into the league with lofty expectations. Each eventually played in a conference championship game and Manning went on to reach four Super Bowls, winning two.

Tolzien's resume is the total opposite.

He signed with San Diego as an undrafted rookie in 2011, was claimed off waivers by the San Francisco 49ers just before the season opener that season, wound up on the Green Bay Packers practice squad in 2013 and eventually signed with the Colts as an unrestricted free agent in 2016.

In six NFL seasons, Tolzien is 0-2-1 as a starter and has thrown almost four times as many interceptions (seven) as touchdowns (two).

Still, the former Wisconsin quarterback insists the extra snaps he's taken this spring and summer have given him a critical boost of confidence.

''He understands what the circumstances are, we all do,'' coach Chuck Pagano said. ''All Scott needs to worry about is good communication, good identification, get us in the right play, accuracy, make great decisions, protect the ball in the pocket, keep two hands on it and you can't worry about who's trotting out there. He just needs to focus on playing fundamental football.''

How long Tolzien remains in this role isn't clear.

Luck was activated from the physically unable to perform list Saturday, but has not practiced with his teammates since undergoing January surgery to repair a partially torn labrum in his throwing shoulder.

With Luck out, Tolzien worked almost exclusively with the starting offense during all of the team's offseason workouts, all of training camp and the entire preseason.

''I want to make sure when we get Andrew back he can practice every day,'' general manager Chris Ballard said Monday. ''It'll be a little bit of a process to get him to that, but we will. We don't want to jeopardize a little short term here over the long haul. Andrew is a young player still, and we've got to have a long-term view here of where we're going.''

Pagano doesn't have a lot of other options right now, either.

Tolzien's backup is Jacoby Brissett, who was acquired in a trade from New England on Saturday and is cramming to learn the playbook. The only other quarterback in town is Phillip Walker, an undrafted rookie who was re-signed to the practice squad Sunday after spending training camp with the Colts.

And when Tolzien steps onto the field Sunday, he'll be working behind yet another reconstructed offensive line.

Starting center Ryan Kelly (foot surgery) is expected to be replaced by undrafted rookie Deyshawn Bond. Last year's left guard, Jack Mewhort, has moved to right guard and last year's right guard, Denzelle Good, has moved to right tackle. Jeremy Vujnovich, who started each of the previous three seasons on practice squads, will get the starting nod at left guard. Longtime starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo is the only lineman to retain his old spot.

But none of that matters to Tolzien, who is simply trying to heed Pagano's advice by staying focused on football.

''I guess it's kind of like any parent would tell their kid - prepare for it, work hard,'' Tolzien said. ''And enjoy it.''

Notes: Safety Malik Hooker and converted cornerback T.J. Green were not limited in practice after returning from shoulder injuries. ... Mewhort, who has been limited this summer after returning from season-ending knee surgery, said he feels ''good'' and expects to play the way he did before last year's injury. ... The Colts announced Wednesday that they had agreed to a 10-year deal, starting in 2018, to hold training camp in nearby Westfield at the 400-acre Grand Park Sports Campus.
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Chiefs looking to make statement against champion Patriots
September 6, 2017


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) The New England Patriots are set to kick off another season in the afterglow of a Super Bowl title.

Seven months after completing the largest comeback in Super Bowl history, the Patriots will raise the franchise's fifth championship banner prior to Thursday night's season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.

It's what's come to be a familiar sight ever since Bill Belichick and Tom Brady captured their first Lombardi Trophy together in 2001.

Trying to spoil this latest party will be a Kansas City team that has been chasing its own post-championship commemoration since the franchise won its lone Super Bowl in 1970.

The Chiefs were the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs last season before having their postseason run truncated by an 18-16 loss to Pittsburgh in the divisional round.

The Patriots are 4-0 in season openers following a Super Bowl win, but have vast respect for a Kansas City team that has been responsible for some sour Patriots memories during the Belichick-Brady era.

The previous time Brady opened a season at home against the Chiefs in 2008, it ended with him limping off the field with a season-ending knee injury . Then in 2014, Kansas City flatly embarrassed New England 41-14 in Arrowhead Stadium.

''I respect the way they play. They're always tough. We've always had great battles with them,'' Belichick said. ''I can't think of too many teams that have handled us better than the way they handled us in 2014.''

But that win was Reid's lone head-to-head victory against Belichick.

''He does a heck of a job with his team,'' Reid said. ''To be able to sustain as long as he's sustained is really something. That's a phenomenal thing in this profession.''

Professional respect aside, the matchup will be an early glimpse of how formidable the Patriots are after only losing a few pieces off last season's roster. They will reveal a new-look running game after not re-signing LeGarrette Blount, last season's rushing touchdowns leader. In addition, receiving stalwart Julian Edelman is out for the season following a preseason knee injury.

And on defense they're without a dedicated edge rusher with Chris Long leaving in free agency and Rob Ninkovich retiring. But several familiar and important contributors remain.

''When the schedule comes out, you've got this first game that is the only one you're really looking at and all the preparation, everything's building for this week,'' Brady said. ''It goes for both sides. I'm sure they're looking forward to it, too.''

Here are some things to watch for:

EAGER DEFENSE:
As much continuity as New England will have on the field, the Chiefs will trot out an equally stout defense that had a league-best 33 takeaways in 2016. They're eager to see how it fares against a now 40-year-old Brady and the defending champs.

''Nothing is downplayed,'' safety Eric Berry said of the matchup. ''We have our own perspective in the building among each other and we have big expectations for this season, but it takes place one game at a time. We are going to put everything we have into this game and this game plan and take it from there.''

R-E-S-P-E-C-T:
Reid and Belichick have matched wits plenty of times over the years. Belichick has the most wins among active NFL coaches with 263, while Reid is second with 184.

GRONK RETURNS: Being a spectator over the final eight games of the regular season and playoffs was not fun for Gronkowski. While rehabbing from back surgery this offseason, he also adopted the strict diet regimen that Brady says has helped keep him healthy since the 2008 injury. Gronk says he's eager to show he still has the skills that made him one of the most dominating tight ends in football.

''It's been a while, and I just can't wait to get out there,'' he said.

ROOKIE WATCH:
The Chiefs planned to use Spencer Ware and Kareem Hunt in tandem at running back, but Ware went down with a season-ending injury in a preseason game at Seattle. So it's up to Hunt, a third-round draft pick, to carry the load for Kansas City. Charcandrick West and C.J. Spiller will give him a breather.

''We put a good amount on his plate,'' Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy said. ''So far, he's done a great job with it.''
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NFL notebook: Dolphins-Bucs moved to Week 11
September 6, 2017


Citing player and fan safety concerns, the NFL moved the Miami Dolphins-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game scheduled for Sunday to Nov. 19.

Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., sits in the projected path of Hurricane Irma, the Category 5 storm expected to make landfall in the early morning hours Sunday.

The Week 1 regular-season opener for both teams was scheduled for 1 p.m. ET until the NFL announced Tuesday the game would not be played Sunday in Miami.

Over the weekend, multiple alternatives were on the table, including playing the game Friday night.

Other contingency plans were considered, including a neutral site game, but complications of getting the teams safely in and out of Florida and removing a home game from the Dolphins' schedule made for strong arguments to postpone the contest until Week 11.

--Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott "seems very focused" a day after getting the news he is eligible to play in Sunday night's season opener against the New York Giants even though an arbitrator upheld his six-game suspension handed down by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Elliott was on the practice field Wednesday for the only padded practice of the week, but his eligibility to play beyond Week 1 remained in question.

"He seems very focused, locked in on meetings, the walk-through," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett told reporters. "We'll have a good practice today. He's done an excellent job in his preparation."

Elliott's six-game suspension for violation of the NFL's domestic-violence policy was upheld by league arbitrator Harold Henderson on Tuesday. The second-year running back will be allowed to play Sunday because of the timing of the announcement.

--A joint review by the NFL and NFL Players Association determined New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady did not suffer a concussion in 2016.

The league and players' union reviewed Brady's medical records with his permission as well as the records of the Patriots' medical staff and independent concussion spotters. The review announced Wednesday also confirmed Brady did not report any signs or symptoms related to a concussion last season.

Brady's wife, Gisele Bundchen, said in May on "CBS This Morning" that her husband suffered a concussion last season and in other years.

--Six practices, no limits: Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco claims he's ready for the Cincinnati Bengals and Week 1 of the regular season after idling for more than a month to calm a balky back.

"It's not ideal," Flacco said Wednesday. "I feel good now and I'm ready to go."

General manager Ozzie Newsome and head coach John Harbaugh followed medical instruction to give Flacco ample rest to avoid dealing with his back injury into the regular season. The injury report and injured list dominated storylines for the Ravens in 2016. Losing Flacco for an extended period would be catastrophic for a team without a proven backup to take the reins.

-- Quarterback Tyrod Taylor cleared concussion protocol and will start in the regular-season opener for Buffalo Bills against the New York Jets on Sunday.

"We expect him to start on Sunday," Bills coach Sean McDermott said Wednesday morning.

Taylor was sidelined Aug. 26, when he sustained a concussion against the Baltimore Ravens.

--An impressive preseason from No. 2 overall pick Mitchell Trubisky forced the Chicago Bears to promote him from third on the depth chart.

"He's one play away," offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said Wednesday in confirming Trubisky had leapfrogged Mark Sanchez to become Mike Glennon's top backup at the position.

Trubisky completed 67 percent of his passes in the preseason and showed more mobility and overall athletic ability than some draft evaluators credited him for; even head coach John Fox, not prone to hyperbole, said the team was impressed.

--Former All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis claims the Baltimore Ravens were close to signing Colin Kaepernick before the free agent quarterback's girlfriend posted a "racist" tweet featuring Lewis and team owner Steve Bisciotti.

Lewis made his comments on Showtime's "Inside the NFL" on Tuesday night. He is a new regular analyst on the weekly program.

"We were going to close the deal to sign him," Lewis said of his former team. "Steve Bisciotti said, 'I want to hear Colin Kaepernick speak to let me know that he wants to play football.' And it never happens because that picture comes up the next day."

Lewis described the Aug. 2 tweet by Nessa Diab as "racist" that compared a picture of Lewis hugging Bisciotti to a scene from "Django Unchained." In the movie scene, actor Samuel L. Jackson portrayed a loyal house slave held by Leonardo DiCaprio's cruel plantation owner character.

--J.J. Watt's online fundraiser to aid flood victims of Hurricane Harvey is now over $27 million and the Houston Texans All-Pro defensive end says Sunday's season opener is "going to be special."

A $5 million donation from the Texas-based H-E-B grocery chain on Wednesday is the largest to the online campaign started by Watt, continuing to surpass his target goals from more than 189,000 donors at YouCaring.com.

H-E-B president Scott McClelland presented Watt with the check on behalf of company owner Charles Butt.

"There are no words to describe when someone steps up to the plate like this," Watt said.

--Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett said Las Vegas police threatened to "blow his head off" for "doing nothing more than simply being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time."

In a social media post, Bennett said the incident occurred after the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight in Las Vegas on Aug. 26, when police detained him after what sounded like gunshots in a crowded area.

Bennett said uniformed police pointed guns at him and one officer, with his gun drawn, warned him that he would "blow my f------ head off" if he moved, Bennett wrote. Another officer jammed his knee into Bennett's back and handcuffed him, according to Bennett's account.

Upon confirming his identify, Bennett said he was released from a police car with no explanation and "without any legitimate justification for the Officers' abusive conduct."

--Twenty-one game officials attained full-time status in a landmark move by the NFL designed to be a pilot program for expansion if successful.

The league dictated in a decision announced Wednesday that officiating must be the "top professional priority" of all full-time NFL game officials, but other jobs are still permitted. For example, Walt Anderson, one of four referees granted full-time status, remains the Big 12 Conference officiating coordinator.

According to the NFL Referees Association, the benefit of full-time officials would be in the offseason, when additional training and on-field work could be done to incorporate rules changes and address new or added emphasis to existing game measures.

--Rookie defensive end Myles Garrett was unable to finish Wednesday's practice with the Cleveland Browns due to an ankle injury and his status for Sunday's regular-season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers is uncertain.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft dealt with lower leg and foot issues at Texas A&M and tweaked his left foot this summer.

With the Aggies, Garrett had a high ankle sprain in 2016 and spent time in a walking boot.

--New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. did not practice Wednesday because of his lingering ankle injury, but he still hopes to play in Sunday night's regular-season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

"Wouldn't count it out," Beckham said regarding the possibility he will play Sunday.

Beckham was present at practice Wednesday but did not participate. He did some light jogging without a brace, and said his left ankle is feeling better.

He said he would not play if he needed a brace or extensive taping. Beckham assessed his status as day-to-day.

--The Cincinnati Bengals bolstered their defensive line by acquiring defensive tackle Christian Ringo on waivers from the Green Bay Packers.

Ringo, 25, played eight games for the Packers in 2016, totaling seven tackles and a forced fumble. The former sixth-round pick from Louisiana-Lafayette spent the entire 2015 campaign on the Green Bay practice squad.

Ringo joins a defensive tackle group in Cincinnati that also includes Geno Atkins, Andrew Billings, Ryan Glasgow and Pat Sims.
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