Is it just me, or has this been a slow week for the NFL in terms of hate-worthy stories? Either it’s been really quiet, or I’ve been too preoccupied by all the crazy political upheaval to notice.
Since it’s been such a quiet week, and since they’re not playing this week, I thought I’d begin this week’s column with a couple of items loosely related to one of my least-favourite teams, the New York J**s.
I saw a story on TV earlier this week about a guy on a plane protesting because there was a big line-up to use the bathrooms in Economy, while the flight crew refused to allow the aggrieved to use the vacant First-Class facilities. At first, I thought, “Good for you, buddy. Fight the power.” That is, until they got to the part of the story where the would-be hero lost his grip on reality and started threatening to kill people. You have to respect the dedication and commitment to assholery of Gang Green fans.
Also, in case you’ve been wondering what Brett Favre has been up to lately, I spotted this item in my local drug store. It’s the perfect item if you need to do some quick grooming before sending an unsolicited dick-pic to that special someone:
All right, enough foolishness. Let’s get to the picks.
(I was 12-4 last week, BTW)
As always, winners in Bold:
Tennessee at Atlanta
Sometimes it seems like if Atlanta didn’t have bad luck, it wouldn’t have any luck at all. Last week, in a close game against a tough opponent, they lost S Keanu Neal to a torn Achilles. They ended up losing a close one to Indy, but I think they’ll bounce back this week. The loss of Neal will hurt in the long run, but Atlanta should be able to outscore Tennessee’s middling offence.
Washington at NYG
So how do you like THAT for a debut, Big Blue fans? Even though New York fell behind, even though they lost Saquon Barkley, and even when they struggled, Daniel Jones kept battling, kept competing, kept fighting. It was thrilling, and it gave this team’s fan base renewed hope for the future. Though they aren’t nearly ready yet, and although the defence needs some serious work, it looks like New York might have found its QB. Whatever happens, Jones showed real cojones against Tampa, in the face of a lot of pressure and scrutiny. And you can’t spell “cojones” without J-O-N-E-S. This week brings another winnable game, and though Barkley is on the shelf for the time being, Jones should have a full complement of receivers at his disposal. Let’s see how the kid responds in front of the home crowd.
LAC at Miami
Melvin Gordon might play for the Bolts this weekend, but that won’t solve their injury problems. Fortunately, they’re playing Miami, so they should still be ok.
Oakland at Indianapolis
Last week, Jacoby Brissett, was instrumental in lifting Indy to a tough victory over Atlanta. Brissett is looking more and more like the guy that can keep this young, talented team in contention.
Carolina at Houston
Kyle Allen played admirably in Cam Newton’s stead last week in Arizona. Newton is still out, and this week’s matchup is much tougher. Houston is coming off a big road win, and looks ready to seize control of the AFC South. Deshaun Watson continues to dazzle.
KC at Detroit
Who would have thought that Detroit would be the last undefeated team in the NFC North? But for a late fade in their opener against Arizona, Detroit would be 3-0. It will be curious to see what Detroit’s defence can do against Patrick Mahomes. Word that Matt Stafford is hurting hurts Detroit’s chances in this one.
Cleveland at Baltimore
I’m very curious about this game. Baltimore’s offence has looked really impressive, but they haven’t really been challenged by a good defence. Cleveland’s defence will be the best that Lamar Jackson has faced this season. Cleveland’s offence has struggled so far, but Baltimore’s defence hasn’t been all that great either, and will be without CB Jimmy Smith again. Call me crazy, but I think that Jackson will be made to look mortal this week, and Baker Mayfield will bring his game up a notch.
New England at Buffalo
AFC East battle of undefeated teams! Exciting. Buffalo has looked as good as I predicted they’d be, but they’ve made hay thus far against poor competition. New England, especially their defence, will be a serious step up in competition for Buffalo. I’ll be very curious to see how Buffalo’s offence performs in this one, and I also look forward to seeing how the Pats’ offence holds up against Buffalo’s tough defensive front.
Tampa at LAR
With the exception of a few flashes, LA’s offence doesn’t look quite as potent as it did last season. Fortunately, their defence has held up its end so far. LA is more than talented enough on both sides of the ball to win this one easily.
Seattle at Arizona
Seattle’s defence got torched last week at home, which surprised me. What surprised me even more is how poorly Russell Wilson played. They’ll look to bounce back against an Arizona team that has shown some promise on offence, but still has a long way to go on defence.
Minnesota at Chicago
Minnesota thumped Oakland last week. That’s been Kirk Cousins’s MO since he came to Minnesota, beating up on bad teams and coming up short in big games. Chicago’s defence is tough, but their offence is pathetic, so Cousins shouldn’t have to do too much. If Cousins can keep from turning the ball over, Minnesota’s defence should be able to shut down Mitch Trubisky.
Jacksonville at Denver
It might soon be time to add Vic Fangio’s name to the list of co-ordinators who make lousy Head Coaches (aka the “Wade Phillips List”). Since Denver has decided to play like ass, and since Joe Flacco has decided to still suck, and because Jacksonville has the incomparably chill Gardner Minshew at QB…
Dallas at New Orleans
When these two teams met last season, it turned out to be one of my favourite games of the year. New Orleans’s offence was on fire, but Drew Brees looked a little off to me, and Dallas turned in a superlative defensive effort to pull out a close victory. This season, I’d say that Dallas’s defence is just as good, and its offence is much better, while New Orleans seems to have lost a bit of punch on offence. Teddy Bridgewater looked really good last week in Seattle, but he’ll have to be much better this week.
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
It seems that no matter what the circumstances, Pittsburgh always gets the better of Cincinnati. Both of these teams are bad. Pittsburgh’s offence is punchless, and their defence is so-so. Cincy’s defence hasn’t been all that great either, but their offence has shown flashes. Based on what Cincy’s offence brings to this game, even without AJ Green, they should be able to outpoint Pittsburgh. I’ve been burned before, but I guess there’s nothing wrong with a bit of wishful thinking.