We are now just a couple of months away from preseason NFL football. After we see how the boys play in the preseason, we’ll at least have a little bit better idea of how rusty the teams will be when it counts in Week 1 play.
Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots
This is an interesting early-season matchup. An up and coming Dolphins team going against a declining Pats team. Most places have the Patriots listed as 6.5-point favorites and a couple at a full 7, but you can find New England -6 at Pinny.
Why is this important?
Well, the Dolphins are still the Dolphins and the Pats are still the Pats. New England is still going to have a tough defense, and they’ll be playing at home. Essentially, we’ll have two QBs that we can’t whole-heartedly back … but we can trust that the Pats D will show up.
It will be interesting to see if the Pats are as good on defense in 2020 as they were in 2019. Apparently, they are changing their style a bit; mostly due to the fact that the Chiefs are so fast … and just added more speed with Clyde Edwards-Helaire … and of course, the threat that guys like Lamar Jackson pose behind center.
So, now the Pats will have Kyle Dugger at Safety, adding a lot of speed to the secondary. They also did a revamp at defensive end and ‘edge’ adding talent and speed … but will all this speed hold up to the hard-nosed standard the Pats D put forth last year? We’ll have to wait and see how the season plays out to get that answer, but as far as the Miami Dolphins are concerned, I believe the coaching alone will make the difference … after all, if most books think the Pats will win by 6.5 or 7 points … the Dolphins are not completely out of it. But, at the moment, I’m backing Stidham over Tua … who has missed a lot of time. Couple that with the Patriots defense and I think there is a two-field-goal win or more in Week 1.
Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions
This is a game that the boys and girls in Las Vegas have lined out really tight. At 5Dimes, they have this game lined out with the Bears as just 1-point favorites – which I love.
This is a Chicago squad that had one of the tougher defenses in the league last season but just struggled to move the ball with Mitch Trubisky under center. The Bears were the 4th best at keeping opponents off the board, compared to the Lions No. 26 stat. The Lions will be a bit better this year, but they are not going to have a Bears level defense yet. On top of that, they haven’t really solved their productivity problem, whereas, Chicago brought over Nick Foles. Do, I think the Bears are going to win the Super with BDN? No. But do I think they are going to go over to the Motor City and smash the Lions by more than one point? Yes.
The Bears’ defensive line has stayed intact for the most part. They only real difference is the fact that Nick Williams has been replaced by Brent Urban. However, there is a little less depth up in front, but that should matter for the 1st game of the season. That said, the pass-rush should be even better this year. And when we add Nick Foles into the fold, the Bears might be able to average more than 20 points per game and move up in the NFC North.
I could be wrong, but sorry, Lions’ fans … I think the Bears are going to get the first win in this 2020 division rivalry.