Shane Dunaway

Shane Dunaway is a sports writer for The Daily Home.

If people are able to see beyond the NFL’s botched national anthem policy, the inept catch rules, the frustrating new helmet rule and the bold Nike ad campaign featuring half the fans’ Public Enemy No. 1, Colin Kaepernick, they would recognize the professional football season has finally arrived.
I’ve had some time let the 2017 season marinate – a campaign that saw me finish with a 62.5 percent success rate at picking games, yet I missed on the Super Bowl pick for a fifth straight season.
Those who’ve been regulars here know how this works. I’ll pick a featured game to break down and project a score, then I’ll recap whether my Thursday Twitter Pick came through (or what went wrong with the pick) and wrap up with remaining score projections and some hit-or-miss one-liners. Sound about right?
Sweet, then let’s get started!
The Los Angeles Rams went all-in during the offseason, trading for a pair of quality cornerbacks in Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters, as well as acquiring New England Patriots wide receiver Brandin Cooks via trade.
As if those moves weren’t enough, they signed defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to play alongside reigning Defensive Player of the year Aaron Donald, forming a fearsome DT tandem to clog gaps and harass passers.
The Rams will travel to Oakland Coliseum to face the Raiders in the nightcap of a Monday Night Football doubleheader
The Raiders broke the bank to bring back Jon Gruden as their head coach on a 10-year, $100 million deal. Not bad for a guy who’s been in a studio for nearly a decade.
Unfortunately, Oakland didn’t see fit to pay its star defender, Khalil Mack, who was traded to the Chicago Bears for a bounty of draft picks. Mack leapfrogged Donald to become the highest paid defensive player in the league with a six-year, $141 million contract ($90 million guaranteed).
I’m not sure Oakland will be able to stop Rams running back Todd Gurley or generate much of a pass rush on quarterback Jared Goff.
Offensively, the Raiders will play rookie Kolton Miller at left tackle and trust him to protect quarterback Derek Carr’s blind side. Running back Marshawn Lynch likely won’t have many holes to run through, and that’ll put Carr at a disadvantage.
If Oakland wide receivers Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson can get open, they may be good for some garbage-time fantasy points, but touchdowns against the Rams will be hard to come by for anybody this season.
Final score: Rams 34, Raiders 13

Thursday Twitter pick
Despite the upgrades and additions the Atlanta Falcons made on offense, it was not enough to start me off on the right foot in picking games. The red-zone offense was putrid against the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, and offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian’s lack of imagination near the goal line should've resulted in him being left on the tarmac at Philadelphia International Airport.
It’s only one game, but if Atlanta continues to struggle, head coach Dan Quinn better make the decision that’ll ensure he avoids getting the axe himself.

Best of the rest
Carolina Panthers 27, Dallas Cowboys 16

Expect to see some interesting play calls from new offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who has a habit of making good quarterbacks look great and great quarterbacks look spectacular.

Baltimore Ravens 23, Buffalo Bills 10
This game will be all about the Ravens’ defense taking what Bills quarterback Nathan Peterman gives them.

Jacksonville Jaguars 24, New York Giants 17
After today’s game, Giants quarterback Eli Manning will definitely know Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey and the skills he brings to the table.

New Orleans Saints 41, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10
It would honestly be a shock to me if Saints running back Alvin Kamara didn’t rush for more than 100 yards and catch more than eight passes.

New England Patriots 30, Houston Texans 21
This year, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady won’t look his age in the season opener.

Minnesota Vikings 28, San Francisco 49ers 19
Not having running back Jerick McKinnon, who tore his ACL during weekend workouts a week ago, will definitely hurt the 49ers in this game, and possibly beyond.

Tennessee Titans 25, Miami Dolphins 20
Tennessee’s Mike Vrabel picks up his first victory as a head coach against one of the AFC East cupcake teams.

Indianapolis Colts 26, Cincinnati Bengals 23
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck finally gets an opportunity to show if he can be the star he was four seasons ago.

Pittsburgh Steelers 17, Cleveland Browns 13
With no Le’Veon Bell in the starting lineup, Steelers running back James Conner must prove he can carry the workload if Bell decides to extend his holdout further into the season.

Los Angeles Chargers 29, Kansas City Chiefs 22
Without safety Eric Berry (sore ankle) patrolling the secondary, the Chiefs may be in trouble against Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, who might be the most overlooked quarterback in the AFC.

Seattle Seahawks 20, Denver Broncos 14
Both teams lost some key defensive components, but Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson should be able to make enough plays for a victory.

Washington Redskins 23, Arizona Cardinals 20
After every game ends this season, I suggest the Cardinals put quarterback Sam Bradford and running back David Johnson in a bubble, but not the same bubble. They might trip over each other and end up on injured reserve.

Green Bay Packers 33, Chicago Bears 14
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will demonstrate why he is the highest paid player in the league.

Detroit Lions 23, New York Jets 16
Some people might say neither team should be playing in a prime-time game, but regardless who wins or loses, both will make things difficult for teams in their respective divisions.

Thursday Twitter pick: 0-1
2017 overall record: 167-100
Perfect picks: 0

Contact Shane Dunaway at sdunaway@dailyhome.com or on Twitter @DailyHome_Shane.

Contact Shane Dunaway via email at sdunaway@dailyhome.com or on Twitter @DailyHome_Shane.

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