Matt Ryan led the Falcons to their second win of the season by hitting his favorite target Julio Jones over and over again.

(Gerry Broome / Associated Press)

We got our first push of the year! Such a tantalizing tease of what could've been. Sounds a little like Baker Mayfield's whole career up to this point.

Week 7 Vibe Check (2-2-1) - Let's look at the losses, but not too long, please. The Seahawks went full Fredo this week and BROKE MY HEART. You can read more on that here. Meanwhile, the Niners tried their hardest to hit that over by themselves, but got no help from Cam Newton and a busted-looking New England offense. Pocket that info for a moment.

As for our wins, the Packers took care of business against hapless Houston, even without Aaron Jones. Here's to hoping you all managed to vulture Jamal Williams off the waiver wire 15 minutes before game time, like I did.

Now, for my proudest moment of this column, D'Andre Swift scored a TD, the first TD, as a matter of fact. If you threw a meager 10 bucks down, you'd be sitting on a C-note and change. Oh, what a feeling!



Ride that thrill of victory into this Week 8 slate…

Colts -2.5 over Lions

The Colts offensive line slaps. It absolutely could step onto any field anywhere and dominate. I'm talking about Quenton Nelson vs. a monster truck at a demolition derby and I'm taking Nelson. Rivers and Jonathan Taylor have both thrived behind them. On the other hand, the Lions have never protected Stafford, who currently might have the most complete set of weapons at his disposal. However, it all hasn't meshed into a functioning high powered offense, which is a shame. Not to mention, I can't really figure out what Matt Patricia's doing since this defense cannot stop anybody.



Bills -4 over Patriots

At some point, the Patriots are going to snap out of this slide and Belichick will look like the genius mastermind that he so clearly is, but I wouldn't bet on it this week. The Bills have been second banana to New England for years now and they are ready to assert their dominance on the AFC East. The Bills D must be chomping at the bit to take on a disjointed Cam Newton-led offense.

Josh Allen must be salivating at the thought of dropping dimes all over the lost Pats D, who might be ready to move on from Stephon Gilmore (if you read the right tea leaves) and throw in the towel. Buffalo is ready to take care of business and officially end a reign of terror.

Chargers -3 over Broncos

Justin Herbert notched his first win as a pro against the Jaguars in his most statistically impressive start to date. At every turn, even when the outcome didn't go his way, Herbert has proved able to handle running an NFL offense. Meanwhile, the Broncos have looked further and further from having an NFL-ready QB in Drew Lock, as the season progresses. Their D, the saving grace of the team, has gotten banged up and seems less likely to hold down a surging rookie campaign.



Rams -3.5 over Dolphins

The Dolphins had won two out of their last three, and even managed to cover four out of the last five before heading into a bye week. What did they announce? The Tua Era starts now.

Brian Flores has done an incredible job making a team built to tank into a fundamentally sound spoiler, but I have to question the wisdom of throwing your rookie QB in front of the most fearsome man in football, Aaron Donald, for his first career start. The Rams got right on Monday against the Bears, and even with the cross country trip, I expect them to take care of business on offense and the D to terrorize the youngster.



Patrick Mahomes over 2.5 TDs

The Kansas City Chiefs will be playing the New York Jets this weekend, which is a little bit like the Los Angeles Dodgers playing a a particularly disorganized little league team. I found this bet at the pretty decent odds of +140, considering this feels like something Mahomes could have wrapped up by the end of the first quarter. I'd easily smash the over for Mahomes yards, too. It feels like free money.

Paul George grabbing a rebound in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals

Barry Gossage/Getty Images

In a must win game for the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul George was finally able to look like the best player on the floor in a playoff game.

After a slow start, George poured it on in the second half on his way to a game high 41 points in Game 5. The performance elevated the Clippers over strong outings from the likes of Devin Booker and Chris Paul as L.A. outlasted Phoenix 116-102.

The Clippers don't have much time to bask in their win however as they have to turn around and play two more elimination games just to make it out of the West. The Suns jumped out to a 3-1 series lead as Los Angeles struggled to find their identity without Kawhi Leonard. If the Clippers are to stave off elimination any longer, George has to continue this level of play.

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Ben Simmons disappointed in the playoffs this season

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Following a Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the Philadelphia 76ers and coach, Doc Rivers, are questioning if Ben Simmons is the right guy to be running their offense through moving forward.

Offense being the key word here.

Simmons is an all-world defender possessing the ability to guard virtually any opponent on the court from the perimeter to the rim. But it was his lack of offensive help throughout this playoff season that stood out beyond any accomplishments this year. Simmons joined Rudy Gobert as unanimous selections for the NBA's All-Defensive First Team this year and also finished fifth in the NBA in assists per game with 8.8 per contest.

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The Lakers looked lost in the Valley

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns are just a win away from sending LeBron James home in the first round of the playoffs for the first time in the King's illustrious career.

After stating that "These shoulders were built for a reason," James referring to facing the challenge of taking on added responsibilities after Anthony Davis was ruled out for Game 5, the Lakers and LeBron disappointed in a big way Tuesday night. L.A. started off hot jumping out to a 10-5 lead behind a couple shots from James and a three from Davis' replacement Markieff Morris. But it didn't take long for the wheels to completely fall off for the defending champion Lakers as they spent most of the first half trying to remember how basketball works.

LeBron James LeBron looking on during Game 5Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Two numbers stick out in the Game 5 loss for the Lakers and those are 34.5 and 12. Los Angeles shot 34.5% from the field on Tuesday night and were minus 12 in turnover ratio. No matter who's on your team, if you can't shoot and you can't protect the ball, the outcome is already determined.

The Suns weren't simply beneficiaries of a poor performance however as the Suns put it on the Lakers early and often and they never let their foot off the pedal for 48 minutes. Phoenix ended with 15 more assists, had seven more combined steals and blocks, and outscored L.A. in the paint by 12 points. Devin Booker and Cameron Payne were spectacular and they seemed to hit big shots every time the Lakers appeared to threaten a comeback. Mikal Bridges was effective on both sides of the ball adding three steals and two blocks to help electrify his team with the defensive effort.


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