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Around the NFL: Vegas loves the Raiders and they have not even arrived yet

What’s happening around the league today?

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NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Oakland Raiders Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders most popular Super Bowl pick at Las Vegas sports books Todd Dewey, Las Vegas Review-Journal

It has not been that long ago that we all would have scoffed at the idea of the Oakland getting to the Super Bowl, but recent seasons have shown the Raiders on the rise. Of course, some of the local betting might be influenced by the Raiders pending move to Sin City, but even without that factor Oakland is not a bad pick.

“If (quarterback Derek) Carr stays healthy, they should be fine. They were playing at an all-time level before he got hurt. If he’s back to 100 percent, I think they’ll do super.” - Nick Bogdanovich, Las Vegas sports book director

The AFC West division rival Chiefs recent handling of the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots might cause some to rethink their position but look for the silver and black to stay near the top of the pecking order over the first few weeks of the season. They offer an enticing combination of “likely to happen” and return on initial investment.

Each NFL team’s best playmaker Grey Papke, Larry Brown Sports

Wide receiver Dez Bryant may have the best pure skills, but the numbers haven’t matched the reputation for the last two years. Meanwhile, Prescott made himself impossible to ignore with a successful rookie season. There was no way Dallas should have gone 13-3 after losing Tony Romo in preseason, and yet Prescott, with his 23-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio and 3,667 yards passing, made it happen. His success has the Cowboys now saying Prescott deserved to be their top pick last year.

You can probably guess quite a few of the playmakers for the other 31 teams, but there might be one or two you take exception with.

Hurricane Harvey relief fund started by J.J. Watt hits $30 million Josh Peter, USA Today

The past couple of seasons have witnessed some antics that have left fans with a bad taste in their mouths when it comes to the NFL.

Bad publicity will get beaten like a dead horse, but for every player that leaves a black mark there is someone else who tallies up a positive. It is that way in any profession but most of us are not in the public eye.

J.J. Watt is, and when I think of players who give back he stands tall. More important is that he takes no credit for himself.

“It’s such a testament to the people out there. It’s such a testament to how much good there is in the world.’’ - J J Watt

As a Houstonian I am proud that my community is fortunate enough to have a man of Watt’s caliber in it.

New Orleans Saints will try to rescind Jon Dorenbos trade after serious heart ailment detected Eric Edholm, Pro Football Weekly

Trade from Eagles likely saved veteran long snapper's life when pre-existing condition discovered

The subtitle on this story says it all. Nobody wants to think about something like this impacting a player, but the news, while devastating to the athlete might turn out to be the blessing of Dorenbos life. There are things more important than professional football and we all wish him all the best.