NFL winners & losers – Betfred Blog

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The New England Patriots can claim the title of week 1 winners after signing arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL before hammering Pittsburgh Steelers, while it was a Sunday to forget for the much-hyped Cleveland Browns.

Winners

As the defending Super Bowl champions, hopes were already high for the Patriots before they snuck in to pick up the pieces from the Antonio Brown and Oakland Raiders soap opera. They now have a receiving core featuring Brown, Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon, with the latter of that trio showing up well in Sunday’s 33-3 demolition of Pittsburgh. Quarterback Tom Brady looked as good as ever, while the defence shut down the Steelers and it is no surprise New England are now the 7/2 favourites with Betfred for Super Bowl 54.

Baltimore also enjoyed a strong opening week as they set a franchise record for points scored in their 59-10 thrashing of the Dolphins in Miami. Quarterback Lamar Jackson took most of the plaudits as he silenced all those who had branded him as nothing more than a glorified running-back, throwing for five touchdowns and over 300 yards.

Jackson could be the x-factor that propels the Ravens to the play-offs and they are the 13/8 favourites for the NFC North.

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The final winners prizes goes to the resurgent Minnesota Vikings as they put memories of their disappointing 2018/19 season behind them by man-handling Atlanta Falcons at home. The visitors were kept scoreless until the final nine minutes as the defence dominated.

The NFC North side are clearly intent on running the ball more this year with quarter-back Kirk Cousins throwing just 10 times. It was a successful tactic as running-back Dalvin Cook went for 111 yards and two touchdowns, and the Vikings, who are 10/1 to win the NFC Championship, will be ones to watch out for going forward.

Losers

Cleveland slipped to 25/1 for the Super Bowl after a disastrous 43-13 defeat to Tennessee Titans at home on Sunday. Star off-season acquisition Odell Beckham Jr couldn’t get involved in the game, while last year’s No.1 draft pick, QB Baker Mayfield, threw three inceptions.

The offensive line struggled to protect Mayfield all afternoon and that will need to improve if the Browns want to be taken seriously.

Next up for Cleveland is another of this week’s losers as they travel to the New York Jets on Monday (Jets 6/5, Cleveland 20/29 – NFL Moneyline). The Jets also caused a stir in the off-season by landing Le’Veon Bell and CJ Mosley, and both had good games against the Buffalo Bills.

However, they were left down by the rest of the team as they surrendered a 16-0 lead at home to lose 17-16. The Bills lost the ball four times in the first half but a limp display on offense cost New York badly.

The final losers spot is shared by Miami and Jacksonville, who will be keen to forget about week one. Several Dolphins players reportedly request trades after their mauling at home by Baltimore, while the Jaguars potentially lost quarterback Nick Foles for the season to injury, while having their much-hyped defence shredded by Kansas City in a 40-26 loss to the Chiefs.

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