NFL betting favorites such as the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos delivered the goods in their preseason openers, while the Carolina Panthers started off on the wrong foot. In addition to that, teams that entered week 1 as the favorites in their respective match-ups also lived up to the expectations of people who bet on NFL.
New England Patriots 34-New Orleans Saints 22
Jimmy Garoppolo started under center for the Pats and played the entire first half. And while Tom Brady’s backup did not exactly set the world on fire, at least he didn’t throw up on the gridiron either. Garoppolo was slow to start but managed to complete 11 of 18 attempted passes – including several long passes – for 168 yards. He did not produce TDs but was not intercepted either. Moreover, he converted a fourth-down run. Third tier QB Jacoby Brissett played in the second half. New England outside LB Jamie Collins added a 43-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Denver Broncos 22-Chicago Bears 0
Let’s face it; the Broncos preseason opening game was more a quarterback audition than anything else – no disrespect to Da Bears, but the final score says it all – and in that respect, Mark Sanchez made an authoritative statement as to why he should fill the vacancy left by Peyton Manning (and coughBrock Osweilercough). The former Eagle completed 10 passes of 13 attempts for 99 yards and 1 TD in the first quarter. Fellow QB Trevor Siemian went 7-for-12 and threw for 88 yards with no touchdowns. Finally, rookie Paxton Lynch completed 6 of 7 passes for 74 yards, but also no TDs.
Carolina Panthers 19-Baltimore Ravens 22
The Panthers were the only NFL betting contender that disappointed in August 11th. To be fair, league MVP Cam Newton only directed a 68-yard drive before turning the gridiron over to backup Derek Anderson. Newton went 5-for-6 for 36 yards, while Anderson completed 7 of 14, including a touchdown pass to Devin Funchess for a 10-0 lead. And to be fairer, the Ravens were without Joe Flacco. Ryan Mallet started under center instead, and threw for 91 yards and one TD. Terrance West and Javorius Allen reached the end-zone for Baltimore to turn the score around.
Washington Redskins 17-Atlanta Falcons 23
The returning Matt Schaub passed for 179 yards and led three scoring drives for the Falcons. Schaub found Aldrick Robinson for long passes of 47 and 68 yards, and completed 10 of 15 passing attempts for 179 yards, to give Atlanta a 13-3 lead at halftime. Schlaub came through as the top backup for Matt Ryan, who was 0 for 4 and could not manage a first down on two possessions.
Tampa Bay Buccanners 9-Philadelphia Eagles 17
QB Carson Wentz – second pick overall – made an expectedly inconsistent debut, completing 12 of 24 attempted passes for 89 yards and one interception. The Eagles’ three remaining QBs also saw action throughout the game, but Philadelphia’s two TDs both came in a span of 97 seconds. Understandably, Wentz still has a long way to go before he can turn the Eagles into NFL betting contenders.