The Sportfolio Strategists’ NFL Week 1 X-Ray Report
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The Sportfolio Strategists’ NFL Week 1 X-Ray Report

Brett M
09-18-2020

Brett Matthew, Zach James, and Corey Larson, lead strategists for BetKarma’s NFL managed sportfolios.

Karma clan, we welcome you to check out our new weekly report that provides a deep-dive recap of several key games from the previous week, providing you with actionable insights that see through the final score and into the most substantive key takeaways, many of which will be incorporated into future sportfolio positioning. I think we can all appreciate that relying on ESPN storylines and highlights to frame your understanding of a team's performance or the evolution of a game is a disservice to your bankroll. Our x-ray will isolate critical factors that misalign with the media's broader narrative of a game, providing you with more opportunity to capitalize on mispricings in the market.

Be sure to also subscribe to get access to our NFL Core and Aggressive sportfolios. Core was +1% and Aggressive was +3% in Week 1. Core was up 10% and Aggressive was up 40% in 2019. 

 

NFL WEEK 1 X-RAY

 

Seahawks / Falcons:

Pick Six: (Let Russ) Cook Index, Tom Brady's disappointing debut and more –  The Athletic
- 4th downs KILLED Atlanta. 4th and 5, Seattle gets TD. Atlanta 3 4th downs in the first 3 quarters - 3 turnovers on downs. Terrible play calling. On 3rd and 2s, run up middle predictably.
- Seattle could not get pressure without blitz
- Atlanta got tons of pressure including sacking wilson 3 times in 1H
- Play calling in key moments was bad by koetter, and Wilson and play calling the other way dominated Falcons decent defense.
- This game caught Falcons off-guard how aggressive offensively Seattle would be with Wilson. And then had to do things they are not good at, like going for it on 4th down with a non-running QB and fake punt. 
- The game turned when 4th and 5 Seattle got TD, then Atlanta fumbled the 4th down going for fake punt, then TD by Seattle off that on next drive.
- This was Seattle and Wilson putting their best foot forward and Atlanta doing Atlanta type things.

 

Chargers / Bengals:

A.J. Green isn't happy with late flag on potential game-winning TD
- 1st couple of drives by both teams, unremarkable. both OLs struggling. both QBs inaccurate.
- Burrow held ball, made various risky/no reward plays when under pressure, including a reckless unexpected toss and another backward pass / neither resulted in turnover, so fly under radar
- good punt by bengals, 3 n out chargers, results in good field position for bengals across midfield. one good pass by burrow, followed by 30y TD run. 7-0 
- several longer passes that require touch Taylor was just way off, but WR had space. had 1 nice 30y drop to Williams. 
- 4th n 3 for chargers, call Taylor run, dude so slow and clunky looks like TE, no chance. turnover on downs. resulting in short field for bengals.
- bengals penalties, sack, sack, punt 
- anouncer mentioned Taylor has had 1 career 300y game. 
- chargers generally ran the ball well and found space, but forced Taylor into passing unnecessarily 
- bengals penalties and good runs move chargers across midfield. another Taylor run call on 4 n 1. stuffed. turnover. 
- bengals 3 n out. chargers move down field in 30 sec, helped by bengals breakdowns. run out of time, but squeeze in FG. 7-6 @ HT.
- rookie rb kelly for chargers got a lot of exposure in 2H. looks good. 
- bengals basically can’t stop run, but chargers keep going away from it and forcing the issue w Taylor pass game, which stalls drives
- chargers missed long FG results in short field for bengals. burrow misses long TD, wide open, but convert into long FG, 10-6
- if burrow gets time (big ask given his OL), very accurate in the 10-15y range. took several deep shots, but consistently missed 
- in 4Q, chargers finally lean into run game, and you can just see bengals can’t stop it (esp after DJ Reader went out). chunk chunk chunk. TD. 13-13
- mixon fumble on own side of field, chargers run run run to 1yd line, then force two Taylor throws (what?!)...can’t convert, results in FG 16-13
- burrow doesn’t look comfortable in pocket if 1st option isn’t open. happy feet. 
- haha, as mentioned earlier, burrow gets cute, under pressure, tries to force toss, int by DL. sullies otherwise decent drive. but chargers do nothing w it. punt. 
- burrow nice 2 min drive down field. great throw, TD catch by green, but called PI. missed 30y FG. chargers win 16-13.

 

Browns / Ravens:

Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens: Key Takeaways from Week 1
- Browns pick up couple 1st downs on 1st drive, but then Baker pick midfield, gives Ravens short field, pick up chunks of yards on ground, TD
- Browns miserable attempt at fake punt after 3 n out, another short field for Ravens, but Browns stuff run game, results in FG, 10-0. unconscionable decision by Stefanski to fake so early in the game so deep in own territory.
- Browns quickly down field on 3rd possession. big pass, 2 big runs by Hunt/Chubb, 10-6 (after missed xp)
- big kick return by ravens, another short field. next play big pass, inside RZ. Ravens lost fumble. Browns getting a lot of pressure in backfield, LJ just elusive. 
- Browns move right down field again, cross midfield to 35, but then bk to bk penalties puts Browns behind sticks. Sack. Punt. 
- Ravens 99y drive for TD. LJ finds wide open dudes w no one around over n over. Sharp, accurate passes tho
- Browns right down field in 2 min drill. OBJ drops wide open pass 3rd down pass. Force FG, missed. 
- Gives Ravens another short field, 3 quick passes, into RZ, 3rd down TD pass by LJ to Andrews in center field. 35 sec drive. 24-6 @ HT, despite roughly even total yards per team
- Ravens get KO in 2H, facemask by Browns, more good field possession, but 3 n out, culminating in LJ sack
- Ravens D a lot of tight coverage, but OBJ played miserably, i counted 3-4 drops. the best thing he did was draw a lot of penalties by Ravens.
- Baker under considerably more pressure 2H, resulting in rushed/inaccurate passes. 
- Chubb rumble on own 20, another short field for Ravens...couple plays, TD
- LJ unquestionably outperformed Baker and looked crisp. Made the plays they needed to make. Capitalized on short fields that Browns gave them, but also had long drive. 
- Could have been closer, bc Browns moved the ball, but honestly didn’t look any more disciplined than they did last year. Same bonehead plays, drops, penalties, poor decision making. Baker missed several long balls. Showed promise tho, if can get cleaner.
- Ravens look consistent w last year, tho I’d note looked like LJ took more hits than he usually does.

 

Patriots / Dolphins:

Patriots' Cam Newton defends N'Keal Harry fumble: 'He's growing up into his  best self' | Fox News
- a LOT of play action and RPO by Pats. got sufficient yards almost every time. for most part, Pats OL dominated Dolphins DL, created a lot of room for these plays to work.
- not a lot of explosive plays, but 3-4 yard chunks over n over 
- Cam didn’t throw much (didn’t need to), but when he did, he had time, and had nice zip on his passes.
- even on Pats’ drives that didn’t result in points, they accumulated enough yards that after a punt put Dolphins inside 10/15. Tough spots, hard to gain momentum.
- Dolphins OL looks improved from a pass protection perspective. Fitz wasn’t running for his life, often had time (Pats only got 1 sack) but rushed passes nonetheless and zinged passes over WR heads/generally inaccurate. Typical
hit or miss Fitz performance.
- Promising Dolphins drive stunted by bad Fitz int middle of field right before half.
- Pats’ run game eats a lot of clock. 7-3 at halftime. 
- Bill B adjustments, pick up pace, 1st and 2nd and 3rd possessions after HT Pats methodically down field 3 TDs (altho one resulted in touchback due to Harry fumble thru RZ) / these 3 drives basically are all the time up of the 2H
- Lots of tight coverage by Pats. Not a lot of room for Fitz to fit balls.
- Pats only struggled really containing Geseiki
- 14-11 w 10min remaining. 21-11 w 2 min and Dolphins inside RZ. But Fitz throws 3rd pick.
- Dolphins didn’t really look that bad; Pats just had great game script and ate up clock. Dolphins D didn’t give up big plays, but couldn’t stop the wear and tear of Pats run game, esp w Cam option.

 

Skins / Eagles:

Eagles looked way different, but also the same in ugly Week 1 loss to  Washington | PhillyVoice
- Skins 8 sacks
- Haskins very raw still, missed plays, sloppy strip sack that lucky offense recovered, two bad balls that should have been picked
- Wentz was good early, but then two picks that DB's watched his eyes and jumped routes were his fault. Both led to Wash TD's
- Wentz could have had 2 more interceptions
- Pressure took its tole, and so there was a volatile phillly offense looked good in spurts and terrible in other spurts. 
- Washington made plays led by defense as expected.

 

Raiders / Panthers:

Raiders RB Josh Jacobs named 'secret superstar' of Week 1
- Raiders struggled to get pressure, typical achilles heel
- 3rd downs were easy pickins for Raiders, no pressure by panthers
- Ruggs, before banged up was used heavily and complete separation. If learns to play WR, he is a Diet Tyreke Hill
- Bridewater moving around pocket was dangerous, he is quicker than most think, and can use feet.
- Abram for Raiders was the lone bright spot for Raiders D, like 14 solo tackles.
- Jacobs made TONS miss, not just bad tackling.
- Car up 30-27 8 min left, but no chance of stopping Raiders.
- 4th n 1 Raiders got the stop to end game.
- Both defenses cannot get pressure. But Carolina has maybe the worst D talent in NFL, until some cohesion happens.
- Cannot sleep on Robby Anderson, CJ moore, Curtis Samuel and Bridewater. This team will be top 10 offense by EOY and surprise.

 

Cards / 49ers:

SF 49ers offense stutters, sloppy play ends with Week 1 loss to Cardinals
- 49ers got a blown coverage by cards on mostert that scored long TD
- AZ blocked punt and next play TD 10-7
- San Fran could not guard Hopkins, who ALWAYS had separation
- 4th n goal on 1 49ers stuffed, bad plsy call
- AZ missed 2 FG
- Murray was so elusive, he was x factor that won game 100yds rushing, great 30yd run for TD, moving away from pressure.
- Jimmy G was not good, but after losing Kittle in 2H, not much to throw to.
- Mildly impressed with Cards pressure, but 49ers had literally 2nd stringers to throw to.

 

Jets / Bills:

TAKEAWAYS: Bills almost fumble away big lead vs Jets, come away with  double-digit win on opening day | Sports | thedailynewsonline.com
- Jets stifled Bills running game, except josh allen.
- Key to Bills offense was josh allen running, opened up passing game
- Jets offense is bad, but seemed more so no rhythm at all, so should have improvements through season
- Josh Allen had 3 terrible plays, typical, that if game was competitive, could have cost bills a cover/victory
- Jets long TD was on WR screen and complete whiff by edmonds - fluky
- Not sure losing Bell matters, josh adams and frank gore are about same with this o-line.

 

Remember to sign-up for the Bet Karma NFL Premium package to get exclusive access to our market-beating, competitor-crushing managed Sportfolio picks 🤑, delivered in real-time and posted in our premium Discord channel! Be sure to also listen  to The Sports Trading Desk Podcast 📈on iTunes and Stitcher each week to hear our most salient handicaps, market insights, and Sportfolio performance breakdowns 📊. Follow Brett (@nonrandomalpha), Zach (@betkarmazach) and Corey (@pickswclars24) on Twitter 🐦 to catch their latest musings, actionable intel, and sardonic commentaries - you might even find a free premium play or two 🚀🚀🚀


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