NFL Trends: Time to believe in Atlanta

Julio Jones is on record setting pace for a WR through three weeks
Julio Jones is on record setting pace for a WR through three weeks

Each week Neil Monnery will give us his three up and three down list, looking at which teams are trending upwards and who are looking like less secure bets. This week he is waving his cash in the air and like Fry from Futurama is screaming, 'shut up and take my money' at anyone who wants to take him on and back against the Atlanta Falcons...

"The Dolphins looks like they have quit on head coach Joe Philbin and somehow they are only slightly odds against early on the exchange for their next game at 2.166/5 - run away screaming folks, the Dolphins are going down."

Last week I wrote about how New England, Arizona and Denver were trending up. They are all now 3-0 and might just be the best three teams in the NFL. It's been harder to find three teams this week, but I could have easily found five or six I think will not live up to pre-season expectations.

Trending Up

Atlanta Falcons

When Atlanta got five draft chips and pushed them into the centre of the table to trade up to get Julio Jones in 2011, it was quite the bold move. They traded up believing they were getting a superstar. Having watched him a lot at Alabama I liked the move. He has shown glimpses but has also had injury issues but this year he is healthy and is now the most dynamic player in football. Through three weeks he has 34 receptions for 440 yards, averaging 12.9 yards per play. He is now a superstar and Atlanta are the best team in the NFC South.

Next up: home v Houston

Seattle Seahawks

I'm not going to say I'm fully on board with Seattle just yet but they are certainly trending up. Kam Chancellor has ended his self-imposed hold out. Jimmy Graham is finally getting more integrated into the offense. The signs are there that they are turning the corner. I'm not sure they are the best team in the NFC, heck they are probably not even the best team in their own division, but they are fundamentally a good team. Shutting out Chicago isn't anything to crow about but it will give them some much needed self-belief.

Next up: home v Detroit

Cincinnati Bengals

Look, we all know the story in Cincinnati. All bets are off about just how good they are until they win a playoff game. The AFC North is a terrible division this year and in all likelihood they'll win it with ease. Yet they are 3-0 and are facing a team next up who have lost a heart breaker to Denver and are coming off the short week following a defeat in Green Bay in the past two weeks. I should give the Bengals some love but I don't trust Andy Dalton when it matters one jot. A.J. Green is great but we'll find out if they are for real in Week 5 when they face the Seahawks.

Next up: home v Kansas City

Trending Down

Miami Dolphins

I had so many more teams trending down than I did up this week and who better to start with than the Dolphins? The exchange had them as the favourite to beat Buffalo last week but I hated that pick and tipped Buffalo straight up. It finished 41-14 to the Bills and Ryan Tannehill threw three picks. The next defence he faces is the NY Jets and they aren't exactly chopped liver either. The Dolphins looks like they have quit on head coach Joe Philbin and somehow they are only slightly odds-against in early markets on the exchange for the Wembley clash. Run away screaming folks, the Dolphins are going down.

Next up: v NY Jets in London

San Diego Chargers

San Diego are 1-2 with their only win a squeaker at home to Detroit after spotting them a large first half lead. A lot of talking heads had either the Chargers or fellow AFC West contender Kansas City finally knocking off Denver for the division crown. These talking heads are all wrong. They have two games at home coming up that they should win but in terms of winning the division, the AFC or even the Super Bowl, the Chargers aren't drifting out, they have been taken by a rip current deep out to the nether regions of the exchange.

Next up: home v Cleveland

Pittsburgh Steelers

In this very spot last week I talked about a team I fundamentally liked but had just lost their quarterback to injury. I could just copy and paste what I wrote last week. Then it was Dallas, but this week it is Pittsburgh. Ben Roethlisberger is out for a month and while I am fascinated to see if Michael Vick still has it, if I was a Steeler fan I'd be far less excited to find out. They need to tread water until Big Ben returns but in a division where the Bengals are already 3-0, the Steelers are already fighting to get one of the wildcard spots and for the next few weeks I'd be very concerned if I was putting down any money on Mike Tomlin's men.

Next up: home v Baltimore

Recommend Bet
Back NY Jets to beat Miami @ 1.845/6

Neil Monnery NFL P/L 2015 Season

Staked - 15pts
Returned - 40.27pts
P&L - +25.27pts

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