NFL Picks - Week 7

Sunday Morning
Los Angeles Rams @ Atlanta
The Rams' offense was in shambles last Sunday against the 49ers, to the extent that Jared Goff threw for only 78 yards. The team as a whole only gained 147. While the San Francisco D deserves plenty of credit, it’s clear that something is wrong with the Rams. “I believe we could be of some assistance ...” said the Falcons. Atlanta’s defense has allowed more points per game than any team whose name doesn’t rhyme with Miami Dolphins. So if the Rams are looking to get back on track this is the perfect opportunity. In fact, the next three games on LA’s schedule (@ ATL, CIN, @ PIT) are extremely winnable, so it’s very possible they’ll be 6-3 in no time. Either that or they’ll lose all those, sending the franchise into a tailspin that results in the demolition of their new stadium and a move back to St. Louis. So it’s a pivotal stretch for the Rams here. 

Rams 31-24

Miami @ Buffalo
I predicted a tie in last week’s Washington/Miami game, and the Dolphins were an extra point away from forcing overtime. Instead they decided to go for two, and after a horribly executed attempt they lost by one. Honestly though I’m surprised Miami didn’t just have Ryan Fitzpatrick take a knee. Who are we kidding? You don’t really want to win that game against one of your primary #1 draft pick rivals, so don’t insult our intelligence. Just kneel, jog off the field, and have the Jumbotron operator display a message for the fans that reads, “We’re doing this for your own good. You’ll thank us later.” The Bills opened as 17 point favorites for this game. The Bills have only scored more than 17 points in two of their five games this season. Add this to the seemingly never ending list of stats that point to the 2019 Dolphins being one of the worst teams of all time. But of course, they still have 11 games to lose, so let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves just yet. After last Sunday’s near-win wake-up call I expect a rededication to miserable play from this Miami squad.

Bills 24-6

Jacksonville @ Cincinnati 
The Jaguars traded Jalen Ramsey to the Rams on Tuesday, and I have to say they made a killing. Two first round picks for a guy with a bad back? I know Rams are fleeced on a regular basis, but this is next level. And now that Jacksonville has rid itself of the albatross that is Jalen Ramsey they can soar unfettered into the NFL’s stratosphere. Or at least they’ll probably be able to beat the Bengals on Sunday. Even if for some reason they don’t, it’s not the end of the world. The end of their season? Yes, but not the end of the world. 

Jaguars 20-16

Minnesota @ Detroit
With each game played in Minneapolis it becomes clearer that the Vikings are much better at home. In fact, they’ve won their three games there by an average of 18 points. Unfortunately for Minnesota, they’re not playing at home this week, so a W isn’t automatic. Meanwhile, every Lions game this season has been decided by 4 points or less. Sounds like a recipe for a tight contest this Sunday. And judging from Minnesota’s juicy Lucy and Detroit style pizza that recipe will also include cheese on the inside. What exactly does that mean for a football game? That the players will have a bunch of Kraft singles shoved down their pants, of course. While that may make for a foul stench on the field it shouldn’t negatively affect the game play. I think Detroit will be the more desperate team and pull this one out. The more difficult part will be pulling the melted cheese out of their pants.

Lions 23-20

Oakland @ Green Bay
In retrospect it was probably a mistake for me to put the Lions game this close to the Packers, Detroit’s going to get flagged for illegal hands to the face again. The Packers were gifted a win on Monday on the strength of two incorrect penalty calls and now remain atop the NFC North at 5-1. But does that scare the Raiders? Hell naw! Oakland is 3-2 after actually impressive wins over the Colts and Bears, moving them in a troubling direction to where they may no longer be easy fodder for goofing. And since, in my book, that’s the most important asset an NFL team can have I sincerely hope they start to sputter again. 

Packers 27-17

Houston @ Indianapolis 
After an up and down start to the season the Texans’ offense has finally strung together two outstanding performances and enter this game coming off of a momentum-building win over the Chiefs in Kansas City. “Hey, us too!” said the Colts. Indy won in KC two weeks ago and felt so pleased with themselves that they decided to take Week 6 off. Sure, it was also mandated by their schedule, but I have a feeling they would’ve chillaxed anyway. Whoever wins this game will be in sole possession of first place in the AFC South, while the loser will ... still be in pretty decent shape. Let’s face it, there just aren’t that many good teams in the AFC, so even if the Colts wind up at 3-3 after this one I still think they have a good shot at being a wild card team. Assuming they stop taking weeks off that is, because from now on that would result in a forfeit. 

Texans 27-24

Arizona @ New York Giants
The Cardinals looked destined for their second tie of the season last week as they generously allowed the Falcons to storm back from 17 points down to nearly tie the game before Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant missed a late extra point, resulting in a one point loss. The Falcons really shot themselves in the foot, but that’s not too surprising considering the game was played in Glendale, and Arizona is an open carry state. This week the Cardinals play in New Jersey, where I’m pretty sure there are no guns, so perhaps they can avoid self-inflicted wounds. This game features two rookie quarterbacks though, so it’s stands to reason we could see things get zany. Just how zany? You’ll have to tune in to find out. But if the phrase “backwards touchdown” interests you at all, you won’t want to miss it.

Giants 31-26

San Francisco @ Washington 
The Niners have rounded into one of the top defenses in the league, while Washington has unraveled into one of the worst offenses in the football. Notice I didn’t specify a league there. After this game Washington goes to Minnesota and Buffalo so it’s entirely possible that they won’t reach a combined double-digit point total over the next three weeks. To make matters worse Washington was out-lousied in Miami last week and have now ceded an iron grip of the #1 pick in the draft to the Dolphins. So what’s left for them this season? I dunno, I guess they could try to win a few games. It likely won’t be possible until November though, so let’s check in with them then. Ok, fine I’ll still write about their games in the meantime, I know it would’ve broken your heart if I didn’t, and I always value the satisfaction of my reader(s?) above all else. 

49ers 22-3

Sunday Afternoon

Los Angeles Chargers @ Tennessee 
The Chargers hit rock bottom on Sunday night. They’re 2-4, so technically they’re not at the actual bottom of the league, but they are last in their division now, and they just lost to a team quarterbacked by someone named Devlin Hedges while their “home” stadium loudly rooted for the other team. This isn’t the first time the Chargers’ makeshift home field has been overrun by opposing fans, but with this game being played in prime time, it was certainly the most glaring example. It’s become cliche for teams to use the rallying cry of, “nobody believes in us except the guys in this locker room,” but with the Chargers it’s probably more true than ever, simply because I don’t think they have any fans left. It’s unclear who is supposed to like them. LA fans have already chosen the Rams, and any lingering San Diego supporters have hopefully cut ties by now. So really, nobody believes in them except for the guys in their locker room. But even they seem to be losing faith. Soon they’ll just be able to say “Literally NOBODY believes in us! Also, what’s the best spot to vacation in January?” That being said, they have to be able to beat Ryan Tannehill, right? Right?

Chargers 24-17 

New Orleans @ Chicago 
The Saints’ defense continues to step up in Drew Brees’s absence, and New Orleans keeps winning ugly. Meanwhile the Bears keep winning and losing ugly. So this game figures to be a first rate uggo. I’d take even odds that there will be more safeties than touchdowns. And with the type of pass rushers that both these squads trot out you’re gonna see more sacks here than in Santa’s sleigh! Though, scholars debate the amount of sacks Santa actually brings with him on Christmas Eve, with some arguing that it’s just one magical, bottomless satchel. Either way, my point is that there are going to be a ton of sacks in this game. I keep expecting the Saints to finally lose without Brees, but it just isn’t happening, so I’m convinced, they’ll never lose again. Unless Alvin Kamara can't play, then they're in trouble.

Saints 10-9

Baltimore @ Seattle 
This contest features three of the top eleven rushers in the NFL. Chris Carson (5th), Mark Ingram (11th), and !!!RECORD SCRATCH!!! Lamar Jackson (8th)?!? Huh? A quarterback?!? How can it be? That’s right, this QB can throw and run. Welcome to the future. Though, is it sustainable for a quarterback to run the ball that much? Time will tell. That’s kind of the deal with sustainability. In my season preview I theorized that Baltimore’s offensive strategy would result in Jackson being injured by November. Well, we’re a couple weeks out and he’s still looking quite spry. That being said, a lot can happen in a couple weeks. Like did you ever see the movie Troy? The whole Peloponnesian war took place within a fortnight. Of course I’m not hoping Jackson gets hurt, if anything I’m scared for him. If you run that much you’re bound to take some serious hits, and accumulate major wear and tear. One day you’re running down the field fancy-free, and the next your achilles is shot. Spoiler alert: that’s how Troy ended too. 

Seahawks 27-22

Sunday Night

Philadelphia @ Dallas 
It's a pivotal NFC East match-up, which of course means it will be on Sunday Night Football. Let's check-in with color commentator Cris Collinsworth to get some insight into this clash:
Now that's what I call a hot take.

Eagles 30-27

Monday Night

New England @ New York Jets
The Patriots' defense continues to stifle opponents. The 14 points they gave up last week to the Giants was actually well above their season average of 8. In fact, the defense itself has done even better than that. Of their opponents’ six touchdowns this season, three of them have come via the opposing defense or special teams, meaning New England’s D has only surrendered 3 TDs on the season, and a couple of FGs for a grand total of 27 points over the first six games. If you’re not near a calculator and are too lazy to do the mental math for yourself, that’s 4.5 points per game. And in case you don’t watch football and read this column strictly for its hilariosity and flawless prose, then first let me humbly thank you, and secondly assure you that 4.5 is not a lot of points for an NFL offense to score. The Pats took on the Jets about a month ago and New York’s O managed, well, O. That was without Sam Darnold, however, and you have to imagine he’ll be able to lead his group to, I don’t know, 10 points? Sure let’s go with 10. 

Patriots 23-10


NFL Picks - Week 7 Thursday

Kansas City @ Denver
After consecutive home losses everyone is asking “What’s wrong with the Chiefs?” The answer is simple: Patrick Mahomes’s gimpy ankle. The real question should be: “What’s right with the Broncos?” They’ve won in back to back weeks after an eight game interseasonal losing streak. Not only that, but they shutout of the Titans last Sunday. Maybe first year head coach Vic Fangio finally has this defense on the right track! Maybe they’ve found their identity! And most importantly for this week, maybe Patrick Mahomes’s ankle still hurts! If all of that proves to be true, then Denver could absolutely pull the upset here. However, if we find out that none of those things are true then don’t be surprised to see the Chiefs roll. And don’t be surprised if I’m not here when you get home Broncos. You swore you’d never lie to me again, and you’ve had too many last chances already. I’m taking the kids, if you need me I’ll be at my sister’s. 

Chiefs 24-20


NFL Picks - Week 6

Carolina @ Tampa Bay
Ok, it’s been three weeks now, I think we have a big enough sample size to definitively say Kyle Allen is better than Cam Newton! How else can you explain the Panthers going 3-0 with Allen as the starter and 0-2 with Newton? Have I actually sat down and watched a full Carolina game with Allen as the starter? No, but the results speak for themselves. It took me a minute to look up the Panthers' record with Allen, and now I know all I need to. I just saved myself 9 hours. Now the only question is how best to use that recouped time. Charity work? Maybe. Read a book? Could. Get sucked into an endless deluge of salacious true crime stories on ID, the murder channel? Hmm, feels like that’s the likely winner. Though maybe I’ll just use the time to get some extra sleep, because I’ll need it to wake up for this 6:30a PT kickoff. Does waking up that early for a Carolina/Tampa game come across as troubling or dedicated? I agree, troublingly dedicated. 

Panthers 23-17

Sunday Morning

Seattle @ Cleveland 
Three of the Seahawks’ four wins have come by a combined total of four points. Some would say that they’re skating on thin ice, but I’d argue that they’re the ultimate showmen. They’re bringing the drama, and that’s what the people pay to see. I mean aren’t the most entertaining figure skating events the ones where they actually are skating on thin ice? You know, someone will be mid-axel then just come crashing through the surface and flail around wildly to the raucous applause of the audience? Actually those events are pretty underground, so it would make sense that a square like you wouldn’t know about them. And now that I know you’re a real drip it makes sense that you’re all up in arms about Seattle’s margin of victory. Sure, some folks like a nice, comfortable win, but not these Hawks. They live on the edge and keep the tension cranked all the way up. Sorry if you can’t handle it jabroni.

Seahawks 24-20

Houston @ Kansas City
If the Chiefs’ offense can dust themselves off after a middling performance last Sunday night, and the Texans bring the high-octane attack that they unleashed on Atlanta a week ago, this game could be downright wild. So wild, in fact, that CBS has brought in Joe Francis to run the production. It will almost certainly be a mistake, but sometimes you gotta take risks. And these starting quarterbacks know that more than anyone. They’re not afraid to push the ball downfield and keep their foot on the gas pedal. That being said, between the two of them they’ve only thrown one interception on the season. They’re managing to maximize aggressiveness while minimizing risk, something that cannot be said for Joe Francis. Which, again, is probably why CBS is making a mistake here.  

Chiefs 38-35 

Washington @ Miami 
Alright, what's next here? Let's see ... Uhhhh, oh shit. Oh god what have we done to deserve this? There are four teams on a bye this week, all of whom have winning records, so of course we’re going to be left with a good amount of lackluster squads on the docket, I understand that. But this is beyond lackluster. These are likely the two worst teams in the league, possibly competing for the 1st pick in the 2020 draft. At this point it really behooves them both to lose. Of course the players themselves are still going to compete, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some dubious coaching decisions, perhaps dictated by upper management. I’m talking going for it on 4th & 15, punting on 2nd down, or even subbing Colt McCoy back into the game. All of the proverbial stops will be pulled out and I can only hope that the final score is 0-0. Though if these teams are smart they’ll start taking intentional safeties. So maybe we’ll see something like this:

TIE 4-4

Philadelphia @ Minnesota 
This is a re-rematch (they played last season too) of the 2017 NFC Championship game, a contest I feel will become lost to history. You may have forgotten about it already for all I know. First off, it was a blowout and wouldn’t be memorable on its own for anyone outside of Philadelphia or Minnesota. But what really buries it are the games surrounding it. The Vikings advanced to that round by way of the Minneapolis Miracle, an all-time classic finish that will live on forever in highlight history. And the Eagles followed up their demolition of Minnesota with a thrilling upset of the Patriots in a Super Bowl shootout for the ages that even a casual fan should be able to recall years from now. But that conference title game in between the Miracle and the Super Bowl? That stinker will fade away like a fart in the wind. Trust me, 50 years from now you won’t be able to recall who Philly beat to get to Super Bowl LII. Of course, you won’t be able to recall football at all, because our new lords the Zorgons will have wiped the sport from our collective memories and destroyed the earth’s supply of sports almanacs. Our conversation will probably center around the Zorgons’ favorite sport korful. Ya know, standard stuff like which squadron will win the Earthling Cup and who will lose and be summarily executed as per the sport’s bylaws. But even before that distant future I’d be willing to bet that in a few years very few will recall the 38-7 trouncing that propelled Philly to SB52. Will Sunday’s game be more memorable? What does it matter? If I were you I’d start boning up on the rules of korful.

Vikings 26-23 

New Orleans @ Jacksonville 
I look at this match-up and assume we’re all thinking the same thing, right? Say it with me ... Play the game on a barge in the Gulf of Mexico! Geographically it just makes sense. Does it make sense in any other capacity? No, probably not. And actually it doesn’t really make sense geographically either. Tallahassee is a perfectly fine midpoint if you’re looking for a neutral site. But c’mon, you’re definitely gonna watch an NFL game that’s being played out on the open sea, right? Well as it turns out, no you wouldn’t watch it, because you couldn’t. See, the barge wasn’t big enough to fit any of the cameras or other production equipment, so it can’t be televised. Boy this whole idea is starting to feel like a mistake. Furthermore, these teams are making plenty of waves on their own. The Saints have proven that they don’t need Brees to keep sailing along, while the Jags’ swashbuckling reserve QB has certainly made a splash. Hmm, all this aquatic talk has me liking the barge idea again. And wait a minute New Orleans’ QB is named Bridge Water. That one’s just obvious! Ok, that’s it, back to the barge!

Jaguars 20-17 

Cincinnati @ Baltimore 
After an overtime win over the Steelers last Sunday the Ravens proved once again that they’re ... fine. Just fine. Good enough to beat lousy teams but not quite a true contender. That’s not to say they can’t grow into a real threat, but right now it appears they’re merely a notch above mediocre. They’re like the California Pizza Kitchen of the NFL. Sure it beats Pizza Hut, but I ain’t bringing a date there. Not anymore anyway, I learned that lesson the hard way. But c’mon when I asked if she wanted a second appetizer she should’ve understood that I had no intention of splitting the spinach artichoke dip I'd just ordered. Once I picked up on her bad vibes I guess I could left her some, but I only had one pizza coming as an entree, and I knew from experience that that wasn’t going to be enough. Anyway, Baltimore is playing the winless Bengals this week, a game that meets the criteria for a Ravens victory.

Ravens 27-13

Sunday Afternoon

San Francisco @ Los Angeles Rams 
It’s a pivotal NFC West match-up, but are we really dealing with an even playing field? I’m not referring to the LA Coliseum itself, though it’s possible that the field is gnarled and slippery due to left over USC paint. The real issue is that the 49ers are coming off a short week after their Monday night win while the Rams haven’t played since last Thursday. This is a travesty! What’s that? Same scenario in the Hawks/Browns game? Well maybe it’s not such a big deal then. After all, teams have to play other teams coming off bye weeks all the time, and that’s a whole extra seven days of rest. They're the real bastards. San Fran was impressive in their flushing of the Browns on Monday, but the shorter rest coupled with the 45 minute flight to LA may prove to be too much to overcome against a Rams team that’s desperate for a win. 

Rams 24-19


Atlanta @ Arizona 
The Cardinals finally got their first win last Sunday, and at 1-3-1 they’re now technically better than the Falcons. Can that be right? Oh it’s right, and ya know what else? It might actually be true. Sure that sounds redundant, but what I mean is that Atlanta may legitimately be worse than Arizona. The Falcons have -50 point differential while the Cards are at -38. Is point differential the only metric we should judge teams on? No, but it’s one of the only metrics available when quickly glancing at the standings while trying to figure out who’s going to win a game between two last place teams. I’ll cut the Falcons some slack and point out that they have had a somewhat difficult schedule. Though when you suck aren’t all schedules difficult? While you contemplate that poignant question, I’ll just go ahead and take Atlanta, because they have to better than this, right? Did you realize that was the fifth question posed in this paragraph? Hey, there's the sixth!

Falcons 34-31

Tennessee @ Denver 
I can’t figure the Titans out. I’m not exaggerating, I literally have not picked one of their games correctly this season. They’re 2-3 and I’m 0-5. Theoretically I should just go with the opposite of what I think from here on out. The only problem is, I don’t know what I think. How could I? I’m completely flummoxed by these guys. Ok, let’s see, Tennessee is 2-1 on the road and Denver’s 0-2 at home, so that would indicate that the Titans have a decent shot at winning. Which, of course, means that I must pick them to lose ... right? Also Tennessee averages around 19 points per game and gives up only 15. You know what that means? We’re gonna have a shoot out on our hands! In the end I think the Titans get the win, which means I’m picking Denver.

Broncos 27-24


Dallas @ New York Jets
This Sunday Sam Darnold returns to a Jets offense that scored 9 points in his three game absence. Darnold must have that feeling us normies get when we take a vacation then come back to work to find everything’s screwed up and nothing’s where you left it. You’re mostly aggravated at your co-workers’ incompetence at covering for you, but part of you is shamefully giddy that no one could fill your shoes. It’s nice to be missed. I’m thinking Darnold and company can top those aforementioned 9 points in this game alone, however, it might not be easy. Before last week the Cowboys were only giving up 14 points per game, and after their letdown against the Packers they figure to be hungry for atonement. And from what I hear there’s more than a few James McAvoy fans on that Dallas D, so it’s safe to say they’re also hungry for Atonement. 

Cowboys 30-16

Sunday Night

Pittsburgh @ Los Angeles Chargers
I guess it's too early for SNF to flex out of a game, so we're left with this. I think we all know the most entertaining part of the game will be the man in the announcer's booth, and he's joining us now:
Oof, rough stuff CriColl. Sorry to hear that.

Chargers 31-10

Monday Night

Detroit @ Green Bay
Aaron Rodgers dominates the Lions. Wait a minute, Detroit has beaten Green Bay in four straight meetings? Well those two things don’t jibe. Or do they? You see Rodgers only played one of those last four in full. For his career Rodgers is 13-3 against the Lions when he makes it through the whole game. So really both teams have to come into this game feeling confident. But you know what Vince Lombardi said, “Football is a game that shatters confidence, and the balls have the biggest laces is sports.” The second part of that quote isn’t as pertinent, but that doesn’t make it any less true. So which team’s confidence will be lying in shards on the field once Monday Night is through? Probably Detroit, but who knows? One thing’s for certain, those laces are gonna be big as hell. 

Packers 22-16 


NFL Picks - Week 6 Thursday

New York Giants @ New England
Look, I have nothing against Daniel Jones, he seems like a nice young man. That being said, I very much hope that he suffers some sort of injury that forces him out of this game. Nothing serious, maybe just a sprained ankle or a case of the runs. Whatever the ailment, it has to happen, because we, as a people, need to see Eli vs. the Patriots one more time. Imagine if he were to beat New England, and then the Pats win out, so that Eli spoils another perfect season for them. Are you imagining it? Hold it, why is Eli only wearing tighty whities and shoulder pads in your visualization? Also he looks a lot more jacked than he really is. This feels weird now, maybe this was a mistake ... Aw man, now you have him spanking Tom Brady with a Super Bowl 42 program?!? And why is Brady smiling? Ok, this is too much. Forget it. Daniel Jones plays the whole game and New England wins. I blame this on you. 

Patriots 30-10


NFL Picks - Week 5

Sunday Morning

Arizona @ Cincinnati
A couple of winless teams clash in Cincy, and someone’s gotta get off the schneid. “Not so fast!” say the Cardinals, who, with an 0-3-1 record, know first hand that not every game must have a winner. And as Fox is about to find out, not every game must have a viewer.

Bengals 24-22 

Buffalo @ Tennessee 
With Bills quarterback Josh Allen attempting to work his way through the concussion protocol Buffalo may be forced to turn to Matt Barkley. Coach Sean McDermott says the team is “extremely confident” in Barkley. That sounds great, but is Barkley extremely confident in Barkley? Judging by his official picture I’d say yes! Judging by his career statistics though I’d say he shouldn’t be. Whoever starts at QB for Buffalo will likely have a tough time against a Titans defense that’s only given up 15.5 points per game this season. I’m guessing that Tennessee won’t give up that exact amount, because that total is impossible, but if there’s a quarterback out there who could manage to score half a point it just may be Matt Barkley. Adding the other 15 would be the problem. 

Titans 20-12

Chicago @ Oakland 
I’ve heard some referring to this as a Khalil Mack revenge game. But does it really count as revenge when he strong-armed his own way out of Oakland? I don’t think so. Though that doesn’t make it any less likely that he’ll mercilessly obliterate the Raiders on Sunday in London, leaving their corpses for the bobbies to collect. And thus the legend of Mack the Ripper will be born. He’ll shortly thereafter be arrested and sentenced to life in prison however, because he murdered a bunch of football players during a game being broadcast on live TV in the UK and America. So yeah, the story of Mack will have a lot less mystery than that of Jack. 

Bears 23-9

Tampa Bay @ New Orleans 
Quick, do you know who’s leading the league in sacks? Here’s a hint, he’s playing in this game ... He’s on a record pace ... Time’s up. It’s Shaq Barrett. Ok, next question, do you know which one of these teams he plays for? Here’s a hint, it’s not the Saints. Yes, it’s true, Tampa linebacker Shaq Barrett has 9 sacks through the first 4 games, putting him on track for a record-obliterating 36 on the season. I’m embarrassed to say I wasn’t aware of this torrid pace until the last couple days. Maybe I need to watch more Bucs games; this one looks to be pretty entertaining. Or maybe the answer is just that I need to peruse the NFL stat leader board more often. I took a gander at it earlier, and found a few more surprises. For instance, did you know that A’shawn Stevenson is leading the league in tackles? Crazy, right? Ya know what’s crazier? I just made up A’shawn Stevenson! He doesn’t exist! See? I’m not the only one who needs to check the stats page more. Something inside me tells me that Tampa pulls the upset here. And if I'm wrong I'll have that something removed.

Buccaneers 27-24

Minnesota @ New York Giants
After four weeks it’s clear the Vikings are a different team at home than they are on the road. Not literally ... I think. Though, I’ll be honest, I don’t know if Kirk Cousins has a twin brother that alternates games with him in some sort of Prestige/Multiplicity scenario. Whatever the real explanation is, the fact remains that away from Minnesota this team is much less threatening. They’re certainly not living up to their team name, the real Vikings were notoriously effective on the road. Of course it doesn’t really matter how good they are on the road, because this Sunday they’re up against the literally unbeatable Daniel Jones. Hey, I’m just looking at the facts folks, the guy has not been beat, what can I say? 

Giants 20-17

New York Jets @ Philadelphia 
The Eagles righted the ship against the Packers last Thursday, and may have saved their season in the process. Meanwhile the Jets had a bye. So both teams are coming off their most successful week of the season. New York is hoping to get Sam Darnold back from his mono absence, and if they do they may lose this game by less than 10. Either way, look for the Jets to plummet into a very dismal tie for last place with the Dolphins. And that tie may not be broken until Week 9, when it’s very possible that those teams will meet with both of them at 0-7. I want this to happen very badly. 

Eagles 31-10

Baltimore @ Pittsburgh 
Going into Week 3 the Ravens were considered one of the best teams in the league after dismantling the Dolphins and beating the Cardinals by 6 in Baltimore. Now, going into Week 5 there are some question marks because they’ve lost two in a row, and those wins over the Dolphins and Cardinals seem less impressive by the week. It’s like starting out your MMA career 2-0 then finding out those opponents were actually inanimate training dummies. Hey, it’s not your fault, you didn’t book the fights, though I will say that you seemed to gloat a little too much. I mean repeatedly wiggling your butt in the first guy’s (dummy's) face was over the top. Also, how did you lose a round in that second match? Anyway, Baltimore has a good chance to get back on track this week. The Steelers finally got their first win of the season in Week 4, but it came against a winless Bengals team that presented much less of a challenge than the Ravens will, and not much more than one of those aforementioned lifeless dummies. I think Baltimore gets the win. 

Ravens 27-17

New England @ Washington 
Washington’s rookie QB Dwayne Haskins saw his first action last week against the Giants and it wasn’t pretty. He threw three picks in three quarters and Washington lost 24-3. Luckily for them the schedule softens up a bit this week as Washington hosts the Patriots. Wait a minute, the Patriots?!? Oh no. This isn’t going to go well. A rookie quarterback making his first start against a defense that has dominated the first quarter of the season is a recipe for disaster. And in case you’re curious that recipe is one part safety, two parts fumbles, three parts interceptions, five parts sacks, and zero parts points. The argument could be made that New England hasn’t played against a good offense yet, so we don’t know just how great their defense is. Even if you subscribe to that theory, it doesn’t matter for Sunday because they’re playing another lousy offense. Also, I’ll stress again, that Haskins is making his first start against Bill Belichick. Did you know that a Belichick Pats’ team has never lost to a rookie QB? Just kidding, remember this?  

Patriots 35-9

Jacksonville @ Carolina
The Jaguars and the Panthers came into the league together in 1995. Twins, born of the same seed must now reunite to do battle nearly 25 years later. Their journeys have been arduous, but everything has been leading to this very moment. One team will win and move on, the other will lose and cease to exist forever! Oh you hadn’t heard? Yeah that was agreed upon when these teams were created. The statute stated that when 2019 rolled around, if neither team had won a Super Bowl they would contract whichever lost their Week 5 matchup. It seemed like a drastic measure at the time, and is even more ludicrous now. But the agreement is non-reversible, as it was signed in Tom Coughlin and Dom Capers’s blood. So yeah, the stakes are pretty high here. 

Panthers 23-20

Atlanta @ Houston
At 2-2 the Texans are tied for first and last in their division. That’s right, all four teams in the AFC South are at .500. The odds are low that the season will end with this anomaly still intact, but I for one hope that it does. Why? Because I crave the chaos baby! Burn it all down and let society rebuild upon the ashes! Except for all the stuff I like, keep that. Also, I’d feel bad about ruining other people’s businesses and livelihoods, so maybe let’s just keep things the way they are. Even if within that structure it remains unlikely that an NFL division will have four 8-8 teams at the end of the season. Maybe the Falcons should burn it all down though. There are currently only two teams in the NFC that have scored fewer points than Atlanta: the Bears, whose defense has carried them to a 3-1 record, and Washington, who are just real bad. Houston has been inconsistent, but Atlanta has been even more inconsistenter, so I’ll side with the home team. Of course, that means they’ll have to lose next week to fall back to .500 and restore equilibrium to the AFC South.

Texans 26-17

Sunday Afternoon

Denver @ Los Angeles Chargers
The Broncos might not be the worst team in the league, but don’t tell that to their record, because at 0-4 Denver is indeed at the bottom of the barrel. They’ve lost two heartbreakers in which they had a late TD drive to take the lead, and now one of their best players, Bradley Chubb, is out for the season with a torn ACL. Other than that they’re doing alright. Meanwhile, the Chargers are coming off a bye week in Miami so they should be well-rested and ready to take advantage of the hard-luck Broncos. 

Chargers 30-20

Green Bay @ Dallas 
The Packers have owned the Cowboys in the Rodgers era, going 7-1, including two divisional playoff games. What’s more is, one of those wins came with Matt Flynn leading Green Bay back from a 26-3 halftime deficit to win in Dallas. So to summarize, Cowboys fans likely shudder when they see the Packers up next on the schedule. Though, I’m not sure if that shudder is totally due to the Green Bay game or because they’re a grown man staring at an NFL schedule. What happened? When Cheryl left they swore they were gonna make some changes, yet here they are again, obsessing over a team that’s won 3 playoff games in the last 22 years. It’s pathetic. What kind of a life is this? Some people just care too much about football I guess. Sad. 

Packers 28-27

Sunday Night

Indianapolis @ Kansas City 
It's a rematch of last season's Divisional round contest, though this season things are obviously a little different. I have a thought about who will win, but before I get to that let's see what Sunday Night Football's Cris Collinsworth has to say about it:

Oof, sorry bud. That's rough. Anyway, I agree KC wins.

Chiefs 34-23

Monday Night

Cleveland @ San Francisco 
Baker Mayfield has been criticized this season for trying to force throws to his wide receivers. While I can’t claim to have seen every pass he’s made in 2019, his 59% completion rate is almost 5% lower than his rookie season, so perhaps that’s true. As far as I’m concerned, it’s always a mistake to force things, which is why I never do it. I don’t even set an alarm, that would be forcing me to wake up. Am I regularly late to work? Yes. Has it cost me multiple jobs in the past? Absolutely. But do I wake up well-rested each and every morning? No. My bed is trash. I’d get a bigger one, but I’m not sure it would fit through my door, and well, I don’t want to force it. So my advice to Mayfield would be to just go with the flow and let the chips fall where they may. Sure you might end up out of a job with a lumpy mattress and crippling back pain, but that’s better than only completing 59% of your passes, isn’t it?

Browns 26-23