Welcome to Gotta Get Unstuck, which will be your guide to the last games on the weekly NFL schedule. The NFL celebrates Week 1 with a rare doubleheader of Monday Night Football (MNF) games. Toss in the usual Sunday Night Football (SNF) festivities, and you have three games at the end of the Week 1 schedule to help you get unstuck for the weekend.
We live in weird times. This is no ordinary football season with a pandemic looming about. It’s okay if you had a rough betting start to the NFL season. The first week of the NFL season includes three prime time games, or three opportunities on Sunday and Monday evenings to turn around your misfortune.
|WEEK 1 SNF / MNF LINES|
- SNF: Dallas Cowboys -1 at Los Angeles Rams (51.5 o/u)
- MNF: Pittsburgh Steelers -5.5 at New York Giants (45 o/u)
- MNF: Tennessee Titans -3 at Denver Broncos (41 o/u)
The Dallas Cowboys head to Hollywood to take on the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football. They opened as a 3-point favorite until late backers pushed the line to a point by Sunday morning. A couple hours before kickoff, the line moved to a pick’em.
In Week 1, the NFL debuts one of its two new stadiums and the SNF audience will get a first glimpse of the Rams new home. SoFi Stadium is located in the old shadows of Hollywood Park Racetrack and nearby the legendary LA Forum, where Magic Johnson and the Showtime Lakers won all those NBA titles in the 1980s.
On Monday evening, the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants battle in the first game of the MNF doubleheader. The Steelers opened as -3.5 favorites, but a steady stream of money on Pittsburgh moved the line two points.
The Tennessee Titans surprised everyone last season with their deep run in the playoffs. They get some MNF love by playing the second game of the doubleheader against the Denver Broncos.
SNF: New Coach, Three-Headed Monsters
Mike McCarthy takes the helm for the Cowboys after Jerry Jones finally parted ways with Jason Garrett. McCarthy won a Super Bowl with Aaron Rogers a decade ago, but he wore out his welcome in Green Bay. Cowboys fans hope he used the year off to conjure up some fresh ideas for his outdated playbook.
The other question for the Cowboys: After Jerry Jones paid his top players, will their production match their paychecks? If Dak Prescott, Zeke Elliot, and Amari Cooper stay healthy and bring their A-game, the Cowboys offense will be difficult to slow down.
The LA Rams went from the Super Bowl runner-up two years ago, to a struggling team that failed to qualify for the playoffs last season. The Rams struggled with injuries last year, including the weird situation with Todd Gurley. The highest-paid back in the league gutted out a knee injury and played through the pain, but he was nowhere close to peak Gurley from 2017 (1,305 rushing yards, 19 combined touchdowns) or 2018 (1,251 rushing yards, 17 rushing TDs).
After Gurley signed with the Atlanta Falcons, the Rams drafted Cam Akers out of Florida State. Sean McVay hopes Akers can flourish in his system as a proficient dual-threat back.
For now, Akers will be competing with veteran Malcolm Brown and second-year RB Darrell Henderson for playing time.
“What we got now is kind of a three-headed monster back there,” QB Jared Goff told the LA Times.
McVay has three running backs to choose from, but clearly Akers has the potential to become the next big offensive star out of SoCal.
MNF: Big Ben Last Hurrah?
Will this be Big Ben’s final season in Steeltown?
Ben Roethlisberger missed last year after he blew out his elbow and the Steelers had to endure a season with Mike Tomlin shuffling the deck between Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges. Both back up quarterbacks were equally not good, yet the Steelers somehow finished the season 8-8.
As Big Ben winds down his career, the Daniel Jones Era finally begins with the New York Giants. He no longer has to look over his shoulder to see Eli Manning looming overhead.
Now that Manning retired, its Jones’ team now. Jones has big shoes to fill because Manning won two Super Bowls with the Giants defeating Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots both times.
Oddsmakers think Daniel Jones could be one of the front runners for the most interceptions this season. At DraftKings, Sam Darnold from the NY Jets is the favorite to throw the most interceptions at 10/1 odds, but Jones is right behind at 11/1 odds.
Mile High MNF
Has John Elway finally found a reincarnation of himself with Drew Lock? The Mile High City has been blazing through quarterbacks faster than doobies at a Phish show.
Joe Flacco is no longer with the team, so it’s Lock or bust at this point. Flacco went from a starter in Denver to a backup with the NY Jets. Harsh, bro.
Elway did his best to give Lock a new weapon. The Broncos drafted Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy with the #15 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Tennessee Titans come into this season with high expectations after last year’s surprise run in the postseason. They did not make the playoffs the year before, but went all the way to the AFC Championship game.
Running back Derrick Henry (1,540 yards, 16 TD) destroyed teams last year, especially the New England Patriots in the AFC Wild Card game (182 yards, TD). Will the wear and tear from the deep playoff run catch up to him? Or will he be ready to steamroll teams once again?
In 2019, Henry averaged 5.1 yards per carry in the regular season. In the postseason, he averaged 5.4 yards per carry.
Henry gets to put his skills on display in Week 1 in front of a primetime audience on MNF.