John Warner previews this week’s NFL TNF matchup and gives out his favorite bets!
Week 5 kicks off with a QB rematch of LII between Tom Brady and his new team the Tampa Bay Bucs, and Nick Foles, and his third team in as many years, now with the Chicago Bears. Foles earned the starting job over Mitch Trubisky when HC Matt Nagy installed him in the 4q against Atlanta, where Foles went on to lead three touchdown drives and sparked a comeback for the win. Not sure Nagy knows that Foles uncanny ability to have an impact only occurs when he comes off the bench or is labeled as the backup, but I’m sure he’ll learn in due time.
For Tampa — I mean, TOMpa — Bay, they’re coming off three straight wins and it looks like the team is really starting to gel. The offense led by Brady and HC Bruce Arians is averaging 30 PPG, despite being league average in YPP and YPA. Anyone that has watched a Patriots game the last few years know that Brady doesn’t have the deep ball accuracy that he used to, and that his depth of target has slowly gotten closer to the LOS. Despite that, it’s been the defense that has helped propel this team closer to its first playoff appearance since 2007. The run defense, which was tops in the league last year, is repeating that same performance a quarter of the way through the year, giving up just 2.7 YPC. However, one aspect to watch that Arians didn’t want to repeat from last year is their penalties. After finishing tops in the league in penalty yardage given up last season, the Bucs are 3rd so far this year, giving up over 75 YPG. If there’s one thing you can’t do against a generally anemic Chicago offense, it’s to give up free penalty yardage to Big Dick Nick, who we know has no problem throwing it deep.
For Chicago, HC Matt Nagy had to be looking for any reason to bench former #2 overall pick (LMAO) Mitch Trubisky, in favor of the QB he traded for in the offseason in Foles. The Bears are now 3-1, but the easiest portion of their season is already behind them. If this is going to be a playoff team, they are really going to have to prove it over the next few weeks with matchups against New Orleans, LA Rams, and Tampa over the next month. I personally am not a believer in this team, as I just don’t think they have the firepower to keep up offensively. The Bears are firmly in the bottom quarter of offense in almost every category and will have to lean on their defense heavily tonight if they want to have a chance against the Brady-led Bucs.
Tough go on Monday night, with neither the Chiefs nor Packers displaying the offensive explosion we were anticipating. Go figure that a Bill Belichick led defense was going to come out extra prepared to take on an offensive juggernaut in KC, bringing out defensive looks that he hasn’t used all season is just classic Belichick. I’ll be looking for TOMpa Bay to bring it home tonight. I know that it’s tough to lay points on the road like this, but I just don’t see how Chicago is going to move the ball with any gusto unless they force a couple of key turnovers.
Thursday Night Football Bets
Chicago Team Total Under 20 -105
Tampa Bay -3.5 -108
Season Total: 8-12-1 -2.32x