This is the wrong offseason for any new coaching staff. When it’s a situation like Carolina’s, with a new head coach, new offensive coordinator, new defensive coordinator and new quarterback, we can only expect the transition to be a lengthy process. Matt Rhule has engineered two impressive rebuilding projects at the college level, turning around the programs at Temple and Baylor. Rhule’s record in his first year at Temple was 2-10. His first year at Baylor, the Bears went 1-11.
Make no mistake about it: this is going to be a lengthy process for Carolina, not an immediate turnaround. This Panthers team cannot be expected to win Week 1 against a veteran Raiders squad with much more continuity – returning their head coach, both coordinators and their QB – as well as a big chip on their collective shoulders off last year’s debacle. Look for Vegas to open the season with a SU road win – the negative impact of West Coast teams travelling east for early start games is largely mitigated for Week 1 games.
Edges: Long awaited debut for the 2020 season couldn’t arrive quick enough for the Falcons, who finished 7-9 last year for the second consecutive season despite a 1-7 start to the season. Thanks to prudent offseason moves, Atlanta becomes the only team since the common draft era projected to start 10 No. 1 picks on offense this season. With Falcons QB Matt Ryan 11-2 SUATS in his NFL career in home openers, and Seattle the most fortuitous team in the league last season (12 wins, but 10-2 in one-score games), look for Atlanta to improve to 12-3-1 ATS in its last sixteen games again the NFC West in this contest. We recommend a 3* play on Atlanta. Thank you and good luck as always.