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    The NFL regular season is a couple of weeks away, but we’re in the thick of the preseason, which means we’ve peered through the peephole and know exactly everything that will happen between the opening kickoff and Super Bowl LVIII.

    We’ve seen at least one preseason outing from each NFL outfit – that means debuts for the incoming quarterback class, a window into how new sideline regimes will handle their power, and fresh looks at defenses around the league. The hottest takes sizzle best in August.

    Don’t come here expecting anything rational. I’m formulating opinions based on games that don’t count. But if I’m right, then you heard it here first, and if I’m not, well, who among us is perfect?

    Anthony Richardson Is a Project

    When you take a quarterback with the No. 4 overall pick, you expect him to become the face of your franchise. That’s the bet the Colts made on Anthony Richardson in April, and the former Gator got his first taste of the pros when Indianapolis faced the Bills in its first preseason matchup.

    Richardson’s physical attributes and potential are what attracted the Colts, not an expectation that he’s ready to carry the team to the promised land immediately. That was apparent against Buffalo.

    On his third pass, Richardson looked jittery in the pocket, chucking the ball off his back foot directly into the waiting arms of Dane Jackson for an interception.

    “Just find a way to manage it, instead of trying to force it and be Superman,” Richardson told the media after the game about the pick.

    It wasn’t all bad for the rookie, who made a few nice throws later during his time in the game, even if they weren’t completed. But a full stat line of 7-of-12 on his passing attempts for 67 yards, one interception, no touchdowns, and a 39.2 rating isn’t a shining example of a player primed for the limelight. Maybe Richardson will come good for Indianapolis in time, but that time doesn’t look like 2023.

    Running Back Questions in Dallas

    Dallas released Ezekiel Elliott in March (who has recently signed with the Patriots), serving the likely-uncontested starting role to Tony Pollard. But Elliott helped lighten the load for Pollard last season, and the Cowboys reportedly feel they won’t get the best out of the back if they overwork him. Pollard wasn’t in the lineup against the Jaguars in his team’s initial preseason action, offering quite the opportunity for other running backs to make their mark. None of them really did.

    Rico Dowdle had the bulk of the work, mostly against Jacksonville’s first and second strings, and tallied just 21 yards on six carries. Malik Davis was even worse with the four carries he got, managing three yards for a 0.8 yards per carry average. Rookie Deuce Vaughn was most encouraging, rattling off 50 yards on eight carries, including a 26-yard rush and a touchdown, but that was in the second half against the end of the Jacksonville bench.

    Dallas has Ronald Jones on its roster, though he is suspended for the first two games of the regular season for violating the league’s PED rules. Right now, things are looking a bit thin back there, especially for a team that doesn’t want the brunt of the burden on one set of shoulders. Maybe an injection of a wily veteran into their backfield is in the cards for the Cowboys between now and Week 1.

    Jalen Carter Is Terrifying

    Last season, the Eagles posted the third-most sacks in an NFL regular season with 70. Then, they used the No. 9 overall pick in the 2023 draft to add Georgia’s Jalen Carter to its defensive line to help replace the holes left by the departures of Javon Hargrave and Ndamukong Suh.

    Carter was scary in his first NFL showing in Philadelphia’s preseason showdown with the Ravens. In his very first snap as an Eagle, Carter easily moved by Ben Cleveland and was in the backfield in a flash to drag Josh Johnson to the ground and blow up the play.

    At Georgia, Carter wasn’t a sack machine, but he doesn’t need to be for Philadelphia to find him effective. He offered the Bulldogs plenty of valuable moments that never showed up on the stat sheet, and his debut for the Eagles indicates he’ll be capable of the same in the NFL.

    One of the scariest defenses the NFL has seen in a long time enjoyed the luxury of adding on the most promising young talents to its D-line this spring. This is not good news for the rest of the NFC East.

    The Packers Are in Lovely Hands

    Please ignore my corny pun – Packers fans will have to accustom themselves to writers, reporters, and commentators alike making awful plays on Jordan Love’s name for the foreseeable future because he looks like the real deal.

    The Packers have followed the same process with Love as they did with Aaron Rodgers, the man he’s replacing when Brett Favre’s tenure was near its end. The organization picked the Utah State product with the No. 26 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and he’s been waiting in the wings as an understudy to one of the best quarterbacks of his generation since.

    The ball is in Love’s hands now, and in his debut as Green Bay’s main man, he went 7-of-10 on his passing attempts for 46 yards and one touchdown against the Bengals in the team’s first preseason game. He didn’t feature much, just basically leading his first-string teammates down the field in a well-orchestrated drive that ended in the end zone, but it looked like he’d been doing it for years.

    “There’s a lot to learn from it,” Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said about his quarterback after the Cincinnati game. “A lot of good came out of it, just the poise he showed, the command he showed. I thought we were getting in and out of the huddle quickly. I thought it was really good first exposure for him for the season.”

    Love has some huge shoes to fill, and I’m not asserting he will be as good or better than Rodgers, especially in 2023. But Green Bay looks in line for a smoother transition than most teams experience after a quarterback like Rodgers moves on.

    Brock Purdy Is Safe (Elbow Notwithstanding)

    One of the more muddied storylines in the NFL over the last year or so has been the quarterback situation in San Francisco. Jimmy Garoppolo, Trey Lance, and Brock Purdy all had starts in 2022, and now only two of the three are still with the 49ers. Purdy was at the helm at the end when the Niners reached the NFC Championship Game, and he has already been named the starter for 2023, assuming he recovers in time from his offseason elbow surgery.

    That leaves Lance and new acquisition Sam Darnold in competition for the second spot, or perhaps the starter role if Purdy has any complications, and the two accepted nearly every snap the Niners had against the Raiders in their first preseason contest.

    Lance was featured for the entire first half and was not convincing. The 49ers offense sputtered with him under center, scoring just seven points and otherwise mustering three three-and-outs, a turnover on downs, and a missed 40-yard field goal. Lance completed 10 of his 15 pass attempts but should have thrown two dropped picks, one of which coincidentally bounced into Ross Dwelley’s hands for the only San Francisco score of the half.

    It’s just the first preseason game, and injuries kept the 2021 No. 3 overall pick from seeing the field much in 2022, which was supposed to be his season to shine. But his performance versus the Raiders makes Purdy look that much more comfortable at the top of the depth chart.

    Aiden O’Connell for Super Bowl MVP

    Forget the Kansas City Chiefs. Forget the Cincinnati Bengals. Forget the Philadelphia Eagles. The Super Bowl, and its MVP, are already decided.

    Aiden O’Connell, the fourth-round pick out of Purdue, went connected on 15 of his 18 pass attempts for 141 yards and a touchdown as Las Vegas blasted San Francisco, 34-7, on Sunday.

    So, it’s over. Why even play the season? O’Connell makes Tom Brady look like Jimmy Garoppolo. The Raiders are your 2024 Super Bowl champions, and O’Connell is the MVP.

    NFL FAQs

    How do you play football survival pool?

    Players pick one team each week they think will win the game outright. They may only pick a team ONCE per season, meaning you can't pick the same team twice in one season. If their pick is correct, the player survives another week and continues to play. An incorrect pick eliminates the player from the contest entirely. This is sometimes called an elimination or suicide pool. The last person standing wins.

    How to make a football pool?

    A football pool generally requires the creation of a shareable spreadsheet (like Google Sheets) so that members may pick teams. Then depending on the game type, creators must use several kinds of formulas (e.g. CountIF), data validation, and conditional formatting. Or, you can just use football pool hosting service like RunYourPool where we do all the work for you!

    How to run a weekly football pool?

    In order to run a football pool, you must first crown yourself as Pool Commissioner. Begin by picking a game type like Survivor or Pick'Em. You'll want to establish rules before inviting friends, family, and colleagues to join. As commissioner, you make the rules and also need to enforce them equally and fairly.

    What is a football survivor pool?

    In a Football Survivor Pool, players choose one team weekly they think will win. Usually, a team can be picked one time per season. Picks are made "straight up," no spreads necessary. If a pick is correct, members survive another week. An incorrect pick eliminates the player, unless a mulligan is used.

    How does a football pool work?

    Football pools are games of skill played among a group of people. There are a variety of pool types to fit every players needs, from casual to competitive. Pool commissioners can set up pools manually, or use a hosting service like RunYourPool whiel still customizing your own settings. Some examples include NFL Squares, NFL Survivor, NFL Pick 'Em, and Playoff Brackets.

    What is an NFL pickem pool?

    In an NFL pick’em pool, simply pick the outcome of each NFL game throughout the season. You can pick straight up winners or losers, or pick each game against the spread.

    How to play a football pool?

    The way one plays a football pool varies on the game type. For example, in Survivor, you pick one team to win each week and can't pick that team again. Guess wrong and you lose. Another example is Pick'em Pools in which you simply pick every game each week.

    How does a fantasy football pool work?

    Fantasy football pools don’t involve a traditional fantasy football draft. You can have as many members in your pool as you’d like, meaning no more 12 or 14 team limits! You pick a new lineup of players each week, and once you use a player once, you can’t use them again for the rest of the season.

    What is a fantasy football pool?

    A fantasy football pool is similar to a traditional fantasy football league but without the draft. Pick a new lineup each week, and once you use a player, you can’t use them for the rest of the season. Your players will receive points based on their in-game stats, and the member with the most points at the end of the season is the winner.

    What is a football pool?

    "Football Pool" is a broad term for a group of people competitively guessing the outcome of one or more football games. There are many types of formats, each assigning winners differently. They can be played informally between friends or through a more formalized system. They are often considered a great alternative to fantasy football given the ease of playing, although there are fantasy football pools as well.

    How do football pool squares work?

    There are different kinds of football square pools. Most have a 10x10 grid with one team for the rows and columns. In an attempt to win, participants select a square where they believe the last digit number of each team's score will intersect at the end of each quarter, and the game's end.

    How do you play football squares pools?

    To play a football squares pool, you're going to want to pick the squares with the best odds. As winners are determined by the point totals at the end of each quarter, try to consider options where scores are most common. Some of the most popular squares include 7-3, 7-0, 7-7, and 0-0. Numbers divisible by seven are good starting points.

    How many squares in a football pool?

    In a traditional football squares pool, a grid is sectioned off into 100 squares with 10 columns and 10 rows. This accounts for a direct relationship between each possible digit from 0 to 9 on both the X and Y axis. For smaller square grids like 5x5, multiple numbers can be assigned to each column and row.

    How to play squares football pools?

    Football squares are played by creating a grid, in which Team 1 takes the column and Team 2 the rows. In some cases, participants may claim as many squares as they like. In others, commissioners limit them to one. At the quarter times and end of the game, the winner is decided at the point the scores final digit intersect.

    What is a football squares pool?

    Also called Grid, Block, or Box Pools, Football Squares Pools can be played with any single game, but are most popular during the Super Bowl. Pool members claim squares on a 25, 50, or 100-square grid by putting their information in the square. Game scores are matched to the winning square(s), usually with winners being determined every quarter.

    How to read a football pool sheet?

    In Squares formats, football pool sheets include a grid, where one team is the column and one is the row. Winners are determined at the end of each quarter when the last number in the team’s score (on each side) is matched to the numbers on the grid, and the intersecting square wins.

    How do you play football credits pool?

    In the credits format, all players start with the same number of credits. Players make picks each week by risking a certain number of credits on games, assigning more credits to the picks with a higher confidence level. Members receive double the credits risked for each win. The member with the most credits at the end of the season wins.

    What is a football credits pool?

    In Football Credits Pools, players start with the same number of credits. They then make picks each week by risking a number of credits on games, assigning more to the picks they have more confidence in getting right. Members double credits risked for each win. The member with the highest credits at the end of the season wins.

    How to run a football pool?

    How you decide to run a football pool varies greatly depending on the game type. In each case, however, you'll want to determine the rules and settings before you begin inviting members to join you. You'll want to clearly establish how score will be kept, how tiebreakers work, and how winners are decided before anything else.

    How do you play football confidence pool?

    A football confidence pool is played straight up, not with a point spread. Not only do members pick the winning teams, they must back up their picks by giving them a relative confidence ranking. Your score reflects the number of confidence points given to winning teams. So if your confidence for a team winning is '1', then you can only win one point at most. If your confidence for a team winning is '5', then you can win five points for a win. The member with the most credits at the end wins.

    What is a football confidence pool?

    "Football Confidence Pool" refers to how you rank the teams that you think will win each week. For example, in the NFL, there are often 16 games weekly. In this scenario, you would rank each game from 16 to 1, based on the your confidence in that team winning.

    How do you play football margin pool?

    Margin pools are an NFL pool format that rewards members for picking a winning team each week. Pool commissioners can decide whether they award points equal to a winning teams margin of victory or the point spread for that game. When a commissioner chooses the point spread option, this format is often referred to as an NFL Underdog Pool.

    What is a football margin pool?

    In a Football Margin Pool, you are awarded points for picking a winning team. Pool commissioners get to decide whether they award points equal to a winning teams margin of victory or the point spread for that game. The player with the most points at the end of the season wins.

    How do you play football 33 point pool?

    The football 33 pool format is a casual pool where members are each assigned an NFL team (these pools are 32 members max, as there are 32 NFL teams). Members win when their team scores 33 points. Options for changing the target score, or having the closest to the target win each week is also available.

    What is a football 33 point pool?

    In the football 33 pool format, each member is assigned a unique NFL team (32 members max). A member will win when their team scores 33 points. This is a casual pool where you can change the target score or the option to have the closest to the target that week win.

    How to run a weekly football pool?

    In order to run a football pool, you must first crown yourself as Pool Commissioner. Begin by picking a game type like Survivor or Pick'Em. You'll want to establish rules before inviting friends, family, and colleagues to join. As commissioner, you make the rules and also need to enforce them equally and fairly.

    What is an NFL Playoff bracket pool?

    NFL Playoff Bracket pools are simple NFL pool formats where members pick every round of the playoffs before they start in an attempt to predict every match up correctly. It's optional to configure a multiplier for each round, or add a tiebreaker option of total points in the Super Bowl.

    How to make a football pool?

    A football pool generally requires the creation of a shareable spreadsheet (like Google Sheets) so that members may pick teams. Then depending on the game type, creators must use several kinds of formulas (e.g. CountIF), data validation, and conditional formatting. Or, you can just use football pool hosting service like RunYourPool where we do all the work for you!

    How to set up a football pool?

    To set up a football pool, you'll need to first choose a pool type like Survivor or Pick'em. Then, you'll need to set the ground rules. As pool commissioner, you'll enforce these rules and make sure the game runs smoothly throughout the season. Many commissioners use pool hosting sites like RunYourPool to make it easier and more engaging.

    What is a football power ranking playoff pool?

    In a power ranking playoff pool, members rank all 12 NFL teams competing in the playoffs from strongest (12 points) to weakest (1 point). Picks are made only ONCE before any games begin. Members are awarded the number of points assigned to a team when they win. Commissioners can optionally set up a point multiplier for each playoff round.

    What is a football confidence pool?

    "Football Confidence Pool" refers to how you rank the teams that you think will win each week. For example, in the NFL, there are often 16 games weekly. In this scenario, you would rank each game from 16 to 1, based on the your confidence in that team winning. This is similar to the Playoff Pool Power Ranking, just less teams.

    How to run a football pool?

    How you decide to run a football pool varies greatly depending on the game type. In each case, however, you'll want to determine the rules and settings before you begin inviting members to join you. You'll want to clearly establish how score will be kept, how tiebreakers work, and how winners are decided before anything else.

    What is a football playoff precision pool?

    In a playoff precision pool, members attempt to pick the winner of every playoff game each week. You can decide if it’s straight up or on a point spread picks, but point totals are also added. Points are awarded for correct picks AND for how close to the correct combined point total they were.

    How to read a football pool sheet?

    In Squares formats, football pool sheets include a grid, where one team is the column and one is the row. Winners are determined at the end of each quarter when the last number in the team’s score (on each side) is matched to the numbers on the grid, and the intersecting square wins.

    What is a Super Bowl Prop Bets Pool?

    A Super Bowl Prop Bet Pool is a fun and thrilling way to compete against friends and family during the big game! It's a simple questionaire of prop betting questions revolving around the Super Bowl, and whoever earns the most points based off correct answers wins!

    How does a Super Bowl Prop Bets Pool work?

    Pool members simply fill out a wide range of prop questions, each question worth a different value. Commissioners decide on the point value for each question, along with the amount of questions. Whichever member earns the most points based on corret answers wins the pool.

    What is a football Super Bowl Squares pool?

    Also called Grid, Block, or Box Pools, Football Squares Pools can be played with any single game, but are most popular during the Super Bowl. Pool members claim squares on a 25, 50, or 100-square grid by putting their information in the square. Game scores are matched to the winning square(s), usually with winners being determined every quarter.

    What is a prop bet?

    Prop bets are any sort of pick or wager on a game that has nothing to do with the score or the final score outcome. Props can range from game types, to team types and even player types - such as who will score the game's first and last touchdowns? Other props, such as novelty or exotic, feature bets on things such as the coin flip or the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

    How to read a football pool sheet?

    In Squares formats, football pool sheets include a grid, where one team is the column and one is the row. Winners are determined at the end of each quarter when the last number in the team’s score (on each side) is matched to the numbers on the grid, and the intersecting square wins.

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