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FOOTBALL FREAK: Time for some football


The days are getting shorter and there's a definite chill in the air, which can only mean one thing – it's the start of the NFL football season! 

Journal Pioneer NFL columnist John Turner.

Doesn’t it seem like yesterday we were talking about the Patriots’ miraculous comeback in the Super Bowl?  
Time flies the older you get, and The Freak definitely has a few more grey hairs than in this picture you see. Hopefully, the Giants won’t add too much to the hair colour this season.
Now, the madness of the 2017-18 season is upon us as the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots open the season on Thursday night.
What makes opening week so exciting is all the local fans of NFL teams believe their team has a chance to be special. Some football dreams will come true, and others will be shattered for many local fans.
Fantasy football has become huge across P.E.I., and will have curious owners channel surfing, unless you have NFL Red Zone, and checking their cell phones for instant updates on their fantasy teams.  
Unfortunately, there will be some major player injuries that will cost a team or two, but picking a key player on the waiver wire may salvage their fantasy season. Is there anything quite like the NFL season?
Enjoy the opening week.
 
Sure thing
The Freak may sound like a broken record – I do have a record player – but in football there is no sure bet. Just your best in-depth, educated guess on who will win.
It’s a tough first week as usual as many teams have new coaches and players, and it’s hard to gauge the quality of teams except basing your views on last year’s records. Anyways, good luck to everyone in NFL Survivor pools as Week 1 is usually the most difficult to get through.
Cleveland has cleaned house and is building a team through draft picks and a solid veteran offensive line, which is the smart way to develop rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer. However, even though they are home in the “Dog Pound,” the Steelers’ defence, which will confuse many veteran quarterbacks, will be too much for him to handle. Take Pittsburgh.
Can the Falcons rebound after that heart-breaking loss in the Super Bowl? They will with vengeance, and start with a road win in Chicago against a Bears’ team also in rebuild mode.
Don’t think any team can go into “Brady’s House” the night they are raising the Super Bowl banner and beat the Patriots. The Chiefs are a good team, but not Thursday. New England wins.

Don’t mortgage the house
The Jets, on paper, are terrible and might be the worst team in the league. Buffalo isn’t much better, but at least they have a solid running back in LeSean McCoy and a decent defence. Wish the Giants played in the AFC East, where the best two quarterbacks in the division are on the Patriots! Take the Bills at home.
Indy has no Andrew Luck, and was not very good last season with him. With no upgrade on defence, the Colts will have trouble in Los Angeles. The Rams can play D, and will score just enough to beat Indy.
Adrien Peterson (AP) plays in Minnesota, this time in a black Saints’ jersey, which will be weird. Regardless, he won't do enough for the Saints to beat the Vikings.

Upset special
Hard to get your head around saying the Los Angles Chargers, and The Freak wonders how many times the broadcast crew will screw it up?  
The over/under is four.
The Chargers are on the road in a big divisional game to start the season. The one thing San Diego, sorry Los Angeles, has going for them is a healthy offence, and Phillip Rivers will show the Broncos there is lots of life in his old right arm.  
The Chargers in a road upset.

John Turner is a Summerside schoolteacher and coaches youth football. His column appears every Thursday during the NFL season. Feel free to e-mail questions and comments to ssidespartansfootball@yahoo.ca.

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