LOS ANGELES: Jalen Ramsey got, as Damon Wayans would say, “PAID!” The disgruntled cornerback was traded from the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Los Angeles Rams. Every time one player sets the bar, the next player has to leapfrog. When the Raiders traded Khalil Mack to the Bears, Chicago gave up two number one picks. In this trade, the Rams gave up two number one picks and a fourth-rounder next year.
The Rams believe they are close to returning to the Super Bowl. Jacksonville needs the picks.
Ramsey is a shutdown corner.
The ultimate lockdown corner was Deion “Prime Time” Sanders. Prime wears a t-shirt that explains why the brinks truck unloaded on Ramsey’s driveway.
“You look good? You feel good. You feel good? You play good. You play good? They pay good!”
What that t-shirt lacks in grammar, it makes up for in reality.
The NFL is the ultimate meritocracy, and Ramsey’s play on the field gave him leverage. This is not an Antonio Brown situation. Ramsey did want out of Jacksonville, but he should thrive in Los Angeles.
Ramsey has gone from the NFL’s smallest market to its second-largest. Rams owner Stan Kroenke has deep pockets. Next year the Rams play in their new mega-stadium. Brown was too flashy for New England’s boring at all costs culture.
Ramsey will thrive under the ultimate players’ coaches in Sean McVay and Michelin Man Wade Phillips.
Ramsey’s payday will only lead to bigger paychecks for the next several defensive stars.
In recent years, the quarterback market has exploded. Now it is the defensive stars who are about to get PAID. Mack and Ramsey are just the beginning.
With that, here is the NFL 2019 Week 17 Preview and Bettor’s Guide, with the point spreads provided by FootballLocks. All times Eastern.
Thursday, October 17, 2019, 8:20 p.m.
Kansas City Chiefs (-3) at Denver Broncos —
The Chiefs started 4-0 and lost two straight. The Broncos started 0-4 but have won two straight. This week order is restored. Even with injuries, the Chiefs have enough offensive firepower to steamroll Denver. Chiefs cover.
Sunday, October 20, 1:00 p.m.
San Francisco 49ers (-9.5) at Washington Redskins —
Washington finally eked out a one-point win over another winless team. The 49ers are unbeaten and had a big statement win over the Rams. The spread is high, but the 49ers have far too much talent to take the lowly Redskins seriously. The defense is for real. 49ers cover.
Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants (-3) —
Neither team is very good, so go with the home field. Neither team has much of a defense, so it could be who has the ball last. Giants cover.
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-1) —
The Colts are improved, but the Texans are playing lights out football. Go with Deshaun Watson over Jacoby Brissett. Upset special, Texans win outright.
Oakland Raiders at Green Bay Packers (-5.5) —
The Raiders have won two straight, both away from home. However, the Packers have a serious defense. Oakland’s offensive line neutralized Chicago’s defense, and the Raiders had two weeks to prepare for this game. It won’t matter. Aaron Rodgers is that good, and he finally has help. Packers cover.
Minnesota Vikings (-1) at Detroit Lions —
The Lions find creative ways to lose. Kirk Cousins finally lived up to his contract last week in a statement win over Philadelphia. Mike Zimmer s too tough to allow his team to have a letdown. The Vikings are disciplined and the Lions are undisciplined. Vikings cover.
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3.5) at Cincinnati Bengals —
The Bengals are winless, witless and worthless. The Jaguars have faded the last couple of weeks. The Jaguars just traded away Jalen Ramsey, making their defense worse. Upset special, Bengals win outright.
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (-17) —
Buffalo is a good team with a very good defense. Miami is trying to become one of the worst teams of all time. Last week Josh Rosen was benched in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s beard, who nearly pulled out a win. The talent gap is wide, but the spread is too high to bet against the beard. Bills win but fail to cover.
Los Angeles Rams (-3) at Atlanta Falcons —
The Rams offense looked listless in a home loss against San Francisco, but Atlanta has no defense and an inconsistent offense. The addition of Jalen Ramsey will only help the Rams. Rams cover.
Los Angeles Chargers at Tennessee Titans (-2) —
A pair of bad teams meet. Marcus Mariota has been benched for Ryan Tannehill. The perpetually underachieving Chargers will finally show signs of life by default against the lifeless Titans. Upset special, Chargers win outright.
Baltimore Ravens at Seattle Seahawks (-3.5) —
These are both good teams with solid quarterback play and tough defenses. Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson are both dual threats, but Jackson fumbles too much. Against the Seattle defense, that is a death knell. Seahawks cover.
New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears (-3) —
Chicago is not the same team they were last year. Teddy Bridgewater is 4-0 in relief as the team has rallied around him. The Saints can run the football, which eases the pressure on Bridgewater. Upset special, Saints win outright.
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (-3) —
The Cowboys have lost three straight as both of these teams are 3-3. The loser of this game is in trouble. Dallas needs to feed Ezekiel Elliott the football over and over again. Go with the home crowd in a big night game. Cowboys cover.
Monday, October 21, 8:00 p.m.
New England Patriots (-9.5) at New York Jets —
The Patriots are playing like it is 2007. They are the complete team. Normally they would steamroll the Jets, but Gang Green is a different team with Sam Darnold. He came back healthy last week and the Jets immediately responded. The Patriots have been beating spreads higher than this, but give Darnold the benefit of the doubt at home. Patriots win but fail to cover.