When one finds out that we pick preseason games their first reaction is often a serious question on the integrity of the source.
Preseason games are practice in pads against an opponent not on your team.
With that in mind, is there any way the outcome of a National Football League preseason game could be determined with any more certainty than flipping a coin?
Turns out, they is.
In fact, a preseason game is the only time when you can find two coaches with opposing objectives. One wanting a win, and their opponent working on some marginal players before a critical cutdown date. A major difference between NFL head coaches in the preseason and the regular season, is that most often in the preseason they tell the truth.
If a player is going to be out, or they will be working with a bunch of untested rookies in search of a diamond, their Wednesday statements usually line up with the actions taken on game day. The preseason serves up the only time when you can have one coach clearly interested in the final score and an opponent with no major preference to what the scoreboard said in favor of getting marginal athletes on film in game action.
The unique advantages available with preseason games make them very wagerable, and still we rate the August selections with a money management number of one. All regular season games carry with them a number of four or higher.
The reason for the less than full-throated recommendations in August is because it is a bite when you see your team has run out of talent at the quarterback position and there is still a lot of time left on the clock. All the while, the team losing has an All Pro on the sidelines that is smiling with teammates while only marginally interested in the game on the field.
If we are going to lose a game, at least we would want our side to be in a full out effort to win. In the regular season, that is almost always the case. In the preseason, it often is not.
The National Football League opens their first full week of preseason action tonight when the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles host the Washington Redskins (until they have a real new name) and Pittsburgh Steelers respectively. The Steelers are playing their second preseason game, last week they downed the Dallas Cowboys, 16-3, at the annual Hall of Fame Game.
I have often thought that a team that wanted a win and had played an extra game had a slight advantage. Problem with the Steelers tonight is that the Eagles are a lot more interested in a win tonight than the visitors. Philadelphia missed the playoffs last year out of a division that seemed destined to advance a team to the postseason with a losing record. Ultimately, the team that did advance to the playoffs out of the NFC East was the Washington Redskins, who ended the regular season with seven wins and nine losses. The Eagles finished in last place, with four wins.
On comes a new head coach for the Eagles, Nick Sirianni, he replaces Doug Pederson, who guided the Eagles to their only franchise Super Bowl win four years ago. The Eagles are also deciding on the replacement for Carson Wentz, who they traded to the Indianapolis Colts. The competition in camp includes the favorite to win the job, Jalen Hurts, along with one-time Super Bowl winning signal caller Joe Flacco and veteran backup Nick Mullens.
NFL first-year head coaches have a history of strong showings in their initial outing. That gives the Eagles a third discernable edge in this “meaningless” preseason encounter. Chief among the advantages for Philadelphia is at quarterback, a spirited competition between three veteran signal callers and the Steelers once again leaving Ben Roethlisberger on the sidelines in bubble wrap.
Qoxhi Picks: Philadelphia Eagles (-1) over Pittsburgh Steelers