New York Jets @ Cleveland
Oh yuck, we're starting the day off with a match-up of winless teams. Wait a minute, what? The Jets are 2-2?!? How did this happen? This feels like when you hear a statistical theorist say that in 1000 simulations of the 2017 NFL season the Jets managed to go .500 once. I think we're living in that outlying simulation. It all makes so much sense now, that's why I've been so mediocre at picking games this season, we're in an outlier. That also explains why I've been wetting the bed so much. I figured it was the night terrors involving the bird-headed man, but nope ... outlier! Even within this anomaly can New York achieve a winning record? Well look who they're playing. It's possible ... but I doubt it.
Carolina @ Detroit
There has been great uproar, deservedly so, after Cam Newton's ignorant comments regarding a question from a "female" on Wednesday. Personally, however, I was more offended by his post-game press conference after the Panthers defeated the Patriots last Sunday. Not because of anything he said, but because he was dressed like the inventor of a failed 19th century aircraft prototype. Will Newton and the Carolina offense take flight this Sunday in Detroit? For his sake I hope so, because otherwise he'll most likely sulk and pout as per usual, which are funny actions coming from a grown man.
San Francisco @ Indianapolis
The 49ers are 0-4 on the season, but have lost their last three by a scant total of 8 points. Clearly this is a young team that's in the process of figuring out how win games in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE. But will this squad be encouraged or discouraged by repeated close losses? Ah tis akin to the age-old question: is it better to have loved and lost or never to have loved at all? Except in this case "loving" is winning a football game, er, wait ... you know what guys? I'm not so sure that twas akin to the aforementioned age-old saying. I believe what I was getting at is that San Fran has been sniffing around a win, and luckily you can teach a young dog new tricks. And, of course the "young dog" in question here is the 49ers and the "new trick" is winning a football game. But is it better to have learned a new trick and forgotten it or never to have learned the trick at all? I've been sniffing glue.
Tennessee @ Miami
In their last two games the Dolphins have scored 6 points against the Jets (on a meaningless TD at the gun) and 0 points against the Saints. Their offense has been as inert as Jay Cutler in a wildcat formation. On that one play Cutler defined the term "couldn't care less." And from what I can tell he's inspired the whole offense to reach the same level of apathy. However, this week will be a stiff test for Miami's ineptitude as they will be facing a Titans team that surrendered 57 points last Sunday. What happens when an immovable object runs up against a non-resistant force? Can Cutler lead the Dolphins to another shutout under these harsh circumstances? Of course! This is Jay Cutler we're taking about here, he can do anything, as long as that means doing nothing.
Buffalo @ Cincinnati
This is a tricky game to predict since I'm not sure the Bills are for real, and the Bengals offense seems like it may have been resurrected by their coordinator change. Normally in this scenario I'd employ the help of Pickler, the score-picking goblin, but he's done nothing but harass me all season, plus he hasn't chosen one game correctly yet. As a result I decided not to bother conjuring him this week and instead settled in for a peaceful night's sleep. Of course I awoke to discover that half my head had been shaved and the loose hair glued to my stomach to crudely spell out "Bils" which I can only assume was the result of Pickler telling me to pick Buffalo. Well screw you goblin! You're probably the worst guy I know. Tread lightly you little worm, because I will have my revenge if it's the last thing I do (though I'd like to wrap it up within the next couple weeks at the latest).
Los Angeles Chargers @ New York Giants
What a timeless backstory for this game. Two quarterbacks swapped for each other on their draft days and sent to opposite ends of the country. Both have been maddeningly inconsistent throughout their careers, both have repeatedly made ridiculous faces. Between them in their careers they've combined for 2 Super Bowl titles and 11 children. This season they've combined for 8 losses. Yes it's true, both teams enter this contest winless, and yes it's true that the Giants will most likely hear some boo birds from their fan base this Sunday, but as the Chargers would tell them, at least they have a fan base. So what happens when two teams that can't beat anybody play each other? The Chargers lose in heartbreaking fashion, of course. Again though, heartbreaking just for the players and staff, because they no longer have any fans.
Jacksonville @ Pittsburgh
Antonio Brown flipped out on the sidelines last week after Ben Roethlisberger didn't see him running free through the Ravens' secondary. But it turns out Brown's reaction had nothing to do with missing out on a potential touchdown. What really transpired was that while they were sitting on the bench Roethlisberger again brought up his argument that Tom Hanks' finest performance was in Apollo 13, whereas Brown was, is, and always will be a Big man. And while I agree with Antonio's opinion, the way he went about venting his frustration over the dispute is just unacceptable. Be that as it may, I believe that the Steelers' best performances are still ahead of them, and what with the unpredictable nature of Hollywood and his continued presence on the silver screen, perhaps the same could be said for Tom Hanks (probably not though, I mean how could you beat The 'Burbs?).
Arizona @ Philadelphia
The Cardinals come into this game at 2-2 with both of their wins coming in overtime. Some readers might look at that and think, "These guys are clutch." Those wins came against the Colts and the 49ers. Some readers might look at that think, "These guys ain't so much." And still other readers might look at Ed O'Neill's IMDb page and think, "His finest film role was in Dutch." The thing is, all three opinions could be correct, and I'd be very interested to hear what Antonio Brown has to say on that last topic. This week Arizona faces a quality opponent in the Philadelphia Eagles. Will the Cardinals be up to the task? I wouldn't expect much.
Seattle @ Los Angeles Rams
Look out folks, the Los Angeles Rams are 3-1! This is their hottest start since ... last season. Yes, believe it or not the 2016 Rams started 3-1 before finishing the season with a record of 4-12. Of course, that was when they had Jeff Fisher as their head coach, who was known to be less inspiring than Dermot Mulroney in Angels in the Outfield. Things are different this season, and it's obvious simply by looking at the point totals (which is a good thing, because that's usually the extent of my research). Through their first four in 2016 the Rams had put up 63, while this season they've scored 142. That's an astounding improvement, however, LA has also surrendered over 26 per game so far and they now have to deal with perhaps the most potent weapon in the NFL in JD McKissic. Laugh all you want, but the guy has touched the ball on offense 5 times and scored 2 TDs, you find me someone with a better ratio! Please don't actually check, I didn't look into it and there may very well be someone else with a better ratio. So who wins this pivotal NFC West clash? If you ask me, it's the fans ... and the Seahawks.
Baltimore @ Oakland
After an injury to their starting QB last Sunday the Raiders now have something in common with disgruntled teens everywhere: they don't have a Car(r). Yes, Derek will be parked on the bench which means it's up to EJ Manuel to drive Oakland down the field. Will the Raiders' offense stall as a result, or will they run over the Ravens? And if so, how many of the players will be charged for vehicular manslaughter? Depending on the final arrest total this game could really derail Oakland's season. Wait, that was a railroad one. Shit!
Green Bay @ Dallas
Whoa mama! Packers vs. Cowboys! Is this the first page of a Braille calendar? Because it feels like January! Relax though, you haven't time-traveled, it's still October. Oh, unless you just awoke from a three month coma, in which case it is January. Also, you look rested. I'm loving the new 'do! Your breath is stank though, you should get your hands on a toothbrush ASAP. Speaking of cleansing, Dallas would like to wash away the pain of last season's playoff loss to Green Bay with a victory here. But as any coma patient will tell you, temporary solutions to lingering problems can only go so far; sooner or later you're going to have to wake up and deal with your issues (Just to be clear, as I understand it most comas are self-induced as a method of shirking one's responsibilities. That's correct, right?).
Kansas City @ Houston
The last remaining undefeated team visits an improving Texans squad that may have what it takes to be the first blemish on Kansas City's record. Let's kick it over to Cris Collinsworth to get his two cents on this intriguing match-up:
Weird, it seems like I would have seen that punt on a blooper reel at some point, but I'll take your word for it CriColl. And I'll roll with you on the prediction as well.
Minnesota @ Chicago
The Vikings suffered yet another devastating injury when their rookie running back phenom Dalvin Cook went down with a torn ACL. After so many maladies over the past two seasons it's become clear what's really happening in Minnesota. Say it with me folks ... Coach Mike Zimmer ran afoul of a gypsy priestess who cursed him and his football team. How else would you explain the Bears benching Mike Glennon right before this game? Pernicious forces are at work here. Now, if Glennon somehow puts on the wrong uniform and is allowed to play for the Vikings, well then there will be no denying it.