NFL Monday Night Predictions
NFL Monday Night Football Schedule
Monday night football returns to the NFL with a pair of exciting matchups, including the first game that the Chargers will play for the city of Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the Chargers will have to deal with one of the NFL’s top defenses in the thin air at Mile High Stadium.
The Vikings started 2016 red-hot with a 5-0 record, before going 3-8 for the rest of the season to finish outside of the playoff picture. Their first challenge will be the Saints, who appear ready to vastly improve their defense, which was among the worst in the NFL.
NFL Monday Night Football Schedule
|Sep. 11||Saints||at||Vikings||Vikings -3, -155, Under 48|
|Sep. 11||Chargers||at||Broncos||Broncos -3, -150, Under 43|
The Chargers haven’t beat the Broncos in Denver for five years, dating back to a Thursday night game in 2013. There’s no compelling reason this streak ends tonight. Denver’s defense, lead by Von Miller, remains among the top three in the NFL. Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles attack are competent, but won’t be able to crack the code at Mile High.
Minnesota began the season well in 2016, and a Monday night home start this season against the Saints will help the team. The Vikings defense features five Pro Bowl players primed to have another great campaign. New Orleans offense is superior, but Drew Brees and Adrian Peterson won’t be enough to prop up a defense that projects as average at best.
New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings Preview
During the 2016 season, the Vikings ended up being one of the best defensive teams in the NFL, finishing sixth best in points allowed at 307. Minnesota’s secondary and pass rush were particularly effective, limiting the opposition to 3,327 yards, which was third best in the NFL. This allowed the Twin Cities to roar out of the gate with a 5-0 mark. A knee injury to Adrian Peterson in week two would soon make its mark on the Vikings, and the team finished 8-8.
Sam Bradford provided decent productivity, finishing with a career-high 99.3 passer rating despite slightly below average numbers for total yardage and TD passes. The run cratered without Peterson, which caused Minnesota to rank dead last in rushing productivity with only 1,205 yards. The Vikings won’t have another disastrous rushing game in 2017, especially with new o-line starters.
The Saints had an awful defense in 2016, and the squad has shown progress in the preseason to fix this problem. They won’t be as bad as last year, but it’s a stretch to believe that the Saints will be anything more than average defensively. Drew Brees and Adrian Peterson will headline an exciting attack, but without defensive support the Saints will once again fail to qualify for the playoffs.
Bet on the Minnesota Vikings earning a win at home, beating a spread of three. Neither offense will be ready to operate at full power, including Brees and Peterson, which makes an under bet on a total of 48 points a good wager.
L.A. Chargers at Denver Broncos Preview
It’s a shame the Broncos can’t find a good, or even average quarterback to lead Denver to the promised land. Last time the franchise had a competent quarterback they won the Super Bowl against the heavily-favored Panthers. Instead of focusing on hiring or developing a good pivot, they have three unproven players in Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch and Brock Osweiler – the latter released by the Cleveland Browns. In 2016, the pass finished in the bottom third of the NFL, while Denver’s rush was sixth worst in yards gained.
Frustratingly, despite an anemic offense, the Broncos have a good chance to make noise in 2017, simply because of their defense. Von Miller leads an overwhelming pass rush while the secondary locks down receivers tightly, resulting in the best pass defense in the NFL, allowing only 2,972 yards in 16 games. Denver controls the air so tightly that their underwhelming run defense rarely matters.
The Los Angeles Chargers finished eighth best in passing yards gained during 2016, despite a relatively inefficient 87.9 passer rating from Philip Rivers. In terms of rushing, Los Angeles was seventh worst in yards gained, with only 1,510 yards last year. Chargers QB Philip Rivers will have a tough time making progress in the air against the Broncos, and can’t rely on the run to pitch in.
Bet on the Denver Broncos to win a low scoring game at home, beating the field goal spread. Neither team will score buckets of points, which makes an under wager on a total of 43 points a better bet than an over result.
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