Baker Mayfield and the Browns enter 2019 with high hopes but were embarrassed by the Titans at home in week one. (AP)
Two teams with high hopes enter this Monday Night Football matchup desperate for a win. Cleveland and the Jets both feature highly touted 2nd year QB's, Baker Mayfield for the Browns and Sam Darnold for the Jets. However, Darnold is suffering from Mono and will miss Monday's matchup. This news has pushed the line 4.5 points resulting in Cleveland being installed as a 7 point road favorite, the largest road line they've seen since the franchise resumed operation in 1999.
Broncos visit Brown-less Raiders NFL - The Raiders bungled their way through the Antonio Brown saga for most of the summer. Now their star free agent receiver is gone to New England, and Oakland is finally set to start their season by hosting division rival Denver in Monday Night's late game. The Raiders are coming off a disappointing 4-12 season and have covered just 35% of the time as a home dog of a TD or less dating back to '92. Denver features former Super Bowl winning QB Joe Flacco and is off a forgettable 6-10 2018 campaign themselves.
Jerry World hosts Auburn vs Oregon CFB - Oregon opens a potentially promising 2019 campaign Saturday vs. SEC foe Auburn at AT&T Stadium in Arlington TX. The Ducks return 17 starters, 10 on offense including a top NFL prospect in QB Justin Herbert. Auburn will be looking to improve upon an 8-5 season and sub-par 3-5 SEC record. Gus Malzahn's Tigers return 7 starters on both sides of the ball.
Cincinnati faces off vs UCLA in opener CFB - The 1st full weekend of the college football season kicks off with a rematch between 11-2 Cincinnati and 3-9 UCLA on ESPN. The Bearcats jump started one of the most successful seasons in program history last year with a 26-17 upset victory in Los Angeles. UCLA, with 2nd year coach Chip Kelly, seeks revenge and will be looking to erase a disappointing 2018 season in which they finished with their worst record since 1977.
Dark Horse League Contenders Watchlist CFB - College football is a chalky sport. Parity tends to be found in the middle class. The favorites usually win the championships. For some teams, though, simply being in contention late in the season or reaching the conference title game is a huge accomplishment. Here are 6 teams that could surprise in 2019.