Tuesday’s Den: Thoughts, questions about the upcoming NFL season

— Its been 20 years since a team won consecutive Super Bowls; can the Chiefs go back/back this season? They’ve been in three of last four Super Bowls, winning twice.

— Eric Bieniemy was the offensive coordinator for those teams, but now he’s moved on to the same job with the Washington Commanders- they are rumors that Bieniemy/Patrick Mahomes didn’t get along too well, and we know who wins those battles. 

So now Bieniemy is the OC for a team with a 2nd-year QB who started one game last year- Sam Howell. Howell made his first career start in the last game of his rookie year, just like Patrick Mahomes did.

— Since 1995, only one time has the Super Bowl loser gotten back to the Super Bowl the next season; can the Philadelphia Eagles break that cold spell?

By the way, the last 20 years, the Super Bowl loser is 4-16 ATS in Week 1 the next year. 

— Three teams (Colts, Panthers, Texans) are expected to start rookie QB’s this week; two of those three teams also have rookie head coaches, the third head coach (Frank Reich) is in his first year with that team. 

— Last seven years, Indianapolis Colts have started a different QB every year in Week 1:
2017— Scott Tolzien
2018— Andrew Luck
2019— Jacoby Brissett
2020— Philip Rivers (he started against them in Week 1, 2019)
2021— Carson Wentz
2022— Matt Ryan
2023— Anthony Richardson

Colts haven’t won in Week 1 since 2013; they tied Houston LY, as 7-point favorites.

— Detroit Lions are favored to win the NFL North; they’ve been in the playoffs three times in this century, with last time in 2016. Lions haven’t won a playoff game since 1991. Last time Detroit won this division was 1993; would you bet on them this year?

— Sean Payton is the new coach in Denver, where his #1 project is to revive Russell Wilson’s career. Broncos’ QB coach is Davis Webb, who seven months ago was the #3 QB for the Giants- they started him the last regular season game last year, then he retired. 

So the most valuable player on your team is being coached by a 28-year old first time coach, who started one NFL game. This should be interesting.

— Dallas Cowboys told OC Kellen Moore to take a hike, after going 13-6 LY; HC Mike McCarthy will call plays now. About 10 minutes after Dallas fired Moore, the Chargers hired him as their new OC (actually it was the next day), 

Chargers’ OC last year was Joe Lombardi, who now works for Denver; Charger-Bronco games figure to be interesting this year.

— Word of the Day— Mentor— an experienced and trusted adviser.

— NFL Trend of the Day— Over last 10 years, Cincinnati Bengals are 45-30-6 ATS as an underdog.

— Jordan Love is the new QB in Green Bay; since 1992, the Packers’ starting QB has been either Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers. No pressure there, following those two Hall of Famers.

Think about the contrast:
Packers have had two #1 QB’s the last 31 years.
Colts have had seven #1 QB’s the last seven years.

— You may have heard; Aaron Rodgers has moved on to the Jets, who haven’t made the playoffs since 2010. Jets already have a good defense; this should be interesting.

— Los Angeles Rams are taking their salary cap medicine this year; their defense may be the youngest one in the NFL this century. They still have Aaron Donald on the line, but this is a very young defense.

Did they fix the offensive line? If so, they can run the ball enough to take the pressure off that defense, or Matthew Stafford can try to outscore teams.

— New England went 8-9 LY, playing a 2nd-year QB; Patriots’ offensive coaches were terrible. Matt Patricia, Joe Judge; are you kidding me? This year, New England brought Bill O’Brien back to be Jones’ QB guru; Patriots haven’t won a playoff game (0-1) since tom Brady left town. 


— Lamar Jackson got a boatload of $$$ from the Ravens, and they changed OC’s, to find a more explosive offensive for Jackson to run; now he has to be available in December. 

In 2021, Jackson didn’t play after Week 13.
Last year, Jackson didn’t play after Week 12.

One of the most important abilities is availability; Ravens are 1-3 in his playoff starts, scoring 13 ppg. Now is the time for Jackson to produce and earn all that $$$. 

— Arizona Cardinals have an over/under win total of 3.5 this year; no other team has a win total under 6.5 wins- they’ve already traded a couple players away, for draft picks. Kyler Murray won’t be ready to start the season; Joshua Dobbs (0-2 as an NFL starter) gets the nod this week for the Redbirds, against Washington. 

— NFL Sunday Ticket switches from DirecTV to YouTube TV; I made the switch myself back in January, so I’m looking forward to seeing how they do it. Apparently, four games on one screen will be their thing. Baseball package on YouTube has been fine, so I’m optimistic.