The Patriots were eight-point favorites going into last night's NFL opener against the Chiefs. The question wasn't, "will New England win?" but rather, "how much will New England win by?".
All five experts at CBS Local in Boston picked the Pats to win, each by at least eight points and one by 21. And that's not to call anybody out either — theirs was the popular opinion. Even the Chiefs writers at Arrowhead Addict were split 5-5 on which team they thought would win.
Popular opinion said the Chiefs couldn't throw the ball downfield. You might as well call Alex Smith "Dink" and Andy Reid "Dunk" the way they refused to put the ball in the air for more than a half second on any throw.
The Twittersphere said Tom Brady would play for another five years. He would only retire once he cemented his status as the greatest player of all time. Eight of 15 NFL experts on NFL.com picked Brady to win the MVP this year, and seven of them picked the Patriots to win the Super Bowl.
All of those things might still be true. But if I told you before the game that one quarterback would complete 28 of 35 passes for 368 yards, 4 TDs, and no interceptions, while the other would connect on just 16 of 36 passes (including just one completion beyond 25 yards) for 267 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions, you know damn well what you would have thought.
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It's true that one game does not a champion make. Brady could still win the MVP, the Pats could still win the Super Bowl, and the Chiefs could go back to the conservative play calling to which we've grown accustomed.
But if the Chiefs' 42-27 win teaches us anything, it's that the NFL is unpredictable. We've learned this lesson before — many, many times — but it's an easy thing to forget over the course of a long offseason.
The unpredictability is a big part of why we love it. Even the most dialed-in experts regularly get it wrong, while a brand new fan from across the pond could google "American football betting odds" and make a handful of cash betting against the team from somewhere called "New" England.
We just don't know. The moral of the story is to sit back, enjoy, and start every rookie running back you can pick up off the waiver wire — they're averaging 44 fantasy points per game this season.