September 12, 2014

What’s next for Ray Rice + Week 2 picks

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

Ray Rice has been cut from the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL for knocking out his then-fiancee in an Atlantic City elevator.

We’ve all read about it and I’m sure we’ve all read too much of it. So let’s just skip the “pleasnatries” of this horrible act and look towards the future.

Where will Ray Rice play next? With this suspension he is surely done for this season, but what about 2015? That answer might be more complicated than you think.

Rice is coming off the worst season of his career, but did show signs that he was in great shape during the pre-season and was poised to regain at least some of his previous great form when he returned from his previous two-game ban. He will be 28-years-old, which is getting towards the tail end of a career for running backs, but is still an age which it’s possible to compete well at.

So which teams could Rice suit up for?

-A CFL team: Let’s just cross this one off to start. I think that Rice would likely retire before testing the waters here up north. There isn’t a great track record for backs coming to the CFL from the NFL either.

-Baltimore Ravens: Not a chance. After what Rice has put this team through with this saga so far, all bridges should be considered burnt with Baltimore.

-San Francisco 49ers: The Niners won’t shy away from signing a player with a few warts. Just look at their defence. The one hurdle may be the fact that that another Harbaugh brother coaches the team – for now.

-New England Patriots: Bill Belichick isn’t afraid of reclamation projects. Also, when you look at the Patriots depth chart, you can’t help but notice that they could use a versatile guy with good hands and every-down back experience.

-Seattle Seahawks: Another team that’s not shy about signing troubled players. Coach Pete Carroll has even started a program with his players about domestic violence to educate them. Taking on Rice could be considered a character rehab move. It would be tough to get Rice decent carries though, with Marshawn Lynch around.

-Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys have never been shy on signing pariahs if the talent is still apparent. Just look at T.O.

-Cleveland Browns: If only to mess with the Ravens. Also, God hates Cleveland.

-Oakland Raiders: They’ll sign anybody, right? Also have shown the willingness to gamble on aging running backs like Maurice Jones-Drew.

-He never plays again: It’s a real possibility, but given the fact that a team took a chance on Michael Vick after his dog-fighting conviction, I don’t see Rice getting completely shunned out of the league.

The lines are from Vegas and the home teams are in CAPS.

Pittsburgh +2.5 over BALTIMORE

There was two ways this game could’ve gone: Either the Ravens would fall apart under the weight of the Rice saga, or it would galvanize the team and make it stronger. It was obviously the latter, although the Steelers have some real issues.

Detroit +2.5 over CAROLINA

So, Carolina’s defence is still pretty good. And Cam is going to be back. But I can’t shake the feeling that the Lions offence is for real.

Miami (pk) over BUFFALO

The Dolphins are lucky their annual trip up north isn’t in December. Miami

Jacksonville +7 over WASHINGTON

Sure, the Jags gave up 35 points in the second half, but they were up 17-0 in the first half! Washington looked a mess in Texas and should consider starting Kirk Cousins over RG3.

TENNESSEE -3 over Dallas

As long as Jake Locker remains healthy, the Titans are a viable playoff contender.

NEW YORK GIANTS +2.5 over Arizona

Two things about this game before you call me insane: 1. The Cards played late on Monday night, have to travel across the U.S. and play a 1 p.m. game. 2. Who isn’t ripping Eli Manning right now? He looked awful. If he doesn’t step up, he could lose his job.

New England -3 over MINNESOTA

The Patriots just don’t lose two in a row. Although there is a fear that Adrian Peterson could gash them up like Knowshon Moreno did last week.

New Orleans -7 over CLEVELAND

Seven points is a lot to give to a home team, but the Saints have to be fired up after giving away that game in Atlanta. Look for their defence to be better too – can’t be worse, right?

Atlanta +5 over CINCINNATI

Perhaps my fears of Andy Dalton and the loss of both co-ordinators were overblown. Then again, the Falcons offence looked fierce last week.

St. Louis +7 over TAMPA BAY

The Rams defence should keep them in this game. Josh McCown wasn’t great in his Bucs debut and could be in tough against Robert Quinn and Co.

Seattle -7 over SAN DIEGO

Losing Nick Hardwick for the season is a big blow for the Chargers. Any time your centre goes down, it impairs your offence. And with an average O-line already, Philip Rivers will be running for his life.

Houston -2.5 OAKLAND

Poor Oakland. It should do better at home, but if it can’t beat the Jets, can it beat a better version of that team in the Texans?

GREEN BAY -9.5 over New York Jets

The Pack may be ailing, but they have had 10 days to simmer from that loss in Seattle and to prepare for the underwhelming Jets.

DENVER -13.5 over Kansas City

It’s hard to imagine Alex Smith leading a comeback cover like Andrew Luck did last week. The Chiefs are in big trouble for this one.

Chicago +7.5 over SAN FRANCISCO

Despite the scoreline, the Niners weren’t anything special against Dallas last week. The Bears won’t be taking this one lightly after last week’s upset to Buffalo.

Philadelphia +3 over INDIANAPOLIS

The Monday nighter looks like a dynamite one on paper, but is it really? The Eagles showed their flaws going down big early to Jacksonville while the Colts did the same in Denver. Sure, the both staged comebacks to varying degrees of success, but the warts are there. So grab the points and enjoy.

This week: 0-1

Last week: 6-10

This season: 6-10

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