I hope everyone survived Thanksgiving without too much strife. It’s been a busy week for me, adjusting to a new work schedule, so I’ll be keeping the intro to just one quick item before I get to the picks.
So, apparently, THIS happened this week:
This is a video that JuJu Smith-Schuster posted on his Instagram. It appears to show him driving over 100 mph. No one from the Pittsburgh organization is commenting about this. If you do an internet search on JuJu Smith-Schuster, you get results relating to his injury status, stats, etc., but you have to add another word to the search, like “driving,” to get results relating to this incident. The player and the team need to be held to account for this, and the media that covers the team and the league needs to act responsibly and make this a bigger story. Smith-Schuster is not playing this week, but not because he’s suspended (which he absolutely should be), but because he has a knee injury. He’s also been in the league’s concussion protocol recently. Honestly, I think that driving like that, he should be arrested. Just another example of stupid behaviour by a member of the team that is, consistently, one of the biggest collection of assholes in the league.
Winners in Bold:
Tennessee at Indianapolis
As much as I like this Indy team, with Tennessee surging the way they have lately, with Ryan Tannehill playing better than ever, and with Derrick Henry running over, around, and through everything, it’s hard for me to pick against them right now. Also of note, Indy will be without TY Hilton (yet again) and Marlon Mack. With Houston playing the Pats this week, this is a huge opportunity for Tennessee.
NYJ at Cincinnati
So, Cincy is going back to Andy Dalton. I wonder how he feels about that. As much as I like Dalton, his team still stinks. I just hope Andy doesn’t go getting himself hurt trying to prove something.
Washington at Carolina
It’s typical for a garbage franchise like Washington that at the end of only their second win last week, their high-profile rookie QB could not be found to take the knee to run out the clock because he was taking selfies with fans. I seriously doubt Washington is capable of winning again against Carolina.
San Francisco at Baltimore
This is the game that intrigues me the most this week. I’ve been standoffish when it comes to San Fran, but they really made a statement in their dominant win over Green Bay last week. They have one of the best overall defences in the league, and they have the personnel to challenge Baltimore’s red-hot offence. Baltimore has been scoring in bunches lately, and their defence has been steadily improving. If San Francisco can sustain drives and limit Lamar Jackson’s possessions, something New England failed to do, then San Fran has a good shot in this one.
Tampa at Jacksonville
I’ve been saying it for a couple of years, but it bears repeating: Jacksonville HAS to fire Doug Marrone. Every year, he loses the team, and the players give up because they know that they have no chance as long as he’s in charge. Tampa will probably blow them out, not that this game matters.
Cleveland at Pittsburgh
I love it when Pittsburgh loses. I expect I’ll love this game.
Green Bay at NYG
Green Bay got taken apart by San Fran last week. That’s got to be a blow to the confidence of a team that fancies itself as among the class of the conference. New York had Chicago on the ropes last week, but the defence couldn’t close the deal. Big Blue is overmatched in this one, but it will still be interesting to see how they fare against a quality team.
Philadelphia at Miami
Dallas losing twice in five days has opened a door for Philly in the NFC East, and they have to capitalize on the opportunity. They’ll be ready.
LAR at Arizona
The sun is setting on LA’s playoff chances. They need a winning streak. I probably should pick them this week, but it’s more fun picking against them. And besides, Arizona is definitely capable of pulling an upset.
LAC at Denver
The Bolts are another one of those maddening, disappointing teams. They’re still in the playoff hunt, but just barely. A win against Denver will be a step in the right direction.
Oakland at KC
Oakland getting thumped by Gangrene last week was a big shock to me. I expect them to bounce back this week. If Oakland’s defence can contain KC’s offence even a bit, then Oakland’s talented young offensive playmakers can run wild against KC’s awful defence.
New England at Houston
Another in a series of tough tests for New England’s killer defence. The Pats will most likely be able to hold Houston to a low point total, and New England’s offence should be able to have a decent outing against Houston’s so-so defence.
Minnesota at Seattle
OK, so Kirk Cousins might be finally making a believer out of me. Or himself. Or something. Whatever it is, Minnesota seems to have gotten over that thing they do where they beat up on bad teams but fail to show up for the big games. This is a big game, against a tough Seattle team at home, and with lots playoff seeding implications. I think Minnesota is up to the test.