Chicago @ Baltimore
Baltimore has feasted on young or subpar quarterbacks this season. Already having defeated Deshone Kizer and EJ Manuel, they'll now go up against Mitchell Trubisky in his second start. The Ravens are like sadistic kids pouring salt on slugs. And you might say, "Hey, they don't make the schedule, they just play the games." Well guess what, I have it on good authority that the Baltimore Ravens did create their own schedule. In fact, I have photographic evidence of Joe Flacco and Jim Harbaugh greedily rubbing their hands together with a rough draft of their schedule on a giant blackboard in the background. That version was 16 home games against the Browns, so obviously the league put the kibosh on that. A lesser journalist would post that picture, but being the highly esteemed writer that I am I will hold on to it for blackmailing purposes.
Cleveland @ Houston
The Browns are making a change at quarterback! Full disclosure, I copy-and-pasted that sentence from one of the ten past posts that I've started with the same headline. Would it have been easier for me to have just typed it out rather than fish through the archives to find it? Sure. But don't you also think that at this point the Browns would have been able to at least stumble into a decent starting QB? The point is, sometimes we make things harder on ourselves than we have to ... I think. Look, I'll admit, that seems like a stretch, but so does Kevin Hogan as a starting quarterback in the NFL, yet here we are. The good news for the Browns is that they don't have to face JJ Watt this week whose season has once again been cut short by an injury. The bad news? They are, in fact, the Cleveland Browns. As a result they will lose.
Green Bay @ Minnesota
Two weeks ago I made a joke that Sam Bradford's knees had passed away. It was hilarious and we all had a good laugh, but now it appears to be accurate as it was clear to anyone who watched the Vikings' Monday night win in Chicago that Bradford was walking around on a pair of ghosts; and we're still too far from Halloween for that to be cute or funny. Actually now that I think about it Bradford playing the rest of the season with sentient, wise-cracking ghost knees would be pretty entertaining. Like maybe they have a mind of their own and make him kneel during the anthem even though he doesn't want to? Or they won't let him take a knee to run out the clock at the end of the game eventually leading to a loss? This thing is writing itself. Unfortunately the Vikings seem to think they need knees that need no kneading, so they're starting Case Keenum this Sunday. Keenum vs. Rodgers, need I say more?
Detroit @ New Orleans
This game seems like a tough one to predict, but guess what guys, I killed Pickler. That's right, I outsmarted him in some fashion or another and now he's dead. That is what happened. In a completely unrelated bit of advice, do not listen to any rhyming, goblin-like creatures who you may run into that tell you they know me and that they unleashed a swarm of hornets through the vent above my stove causing me to instantly burst into hysterical tears and attempt to run so quickly that my feet comically spun out of control resulting in me falling flat on my back and incurring an astounding amount of facial hornet stings ... because he's a liar. He also thought the Lions were going to win, but like I said, he's a liar.
Miami @ Atlanta
Alright, just what the hell is going on with the Dolphins? Last week Jay Cutler threw for 92 yards on 26 throws, for a putrid 3.5 yards per attempt, and yet somehow they won to improve their record to 2-2. They have scored 41 points on the season, a total that has been topped by at least one team each week so far. But again, they're 2-2. I don't know how. I suppose the best way to decipher this 53-man Rubik's Cube would be to watch one of their games. That doesn't seem advisable or logical, so I'm just going to speculate that they've been lucky with their schedule. And like an inattentive rabbit's foot harvester, their luck is about to run out.
New England @ New York Jets
The winner of this game will be in first place in the AFC East. One of these teams is the New York Jets. I'm not sure how this is possible either. But hey, nobody told them they weren't supposed to win any games! Except for their owner and GM probably, men who seemingly designed the team to compete for the #1 pick in the 2018 draft. If that was the original goal the front office will be thrilled to see the Patriots coming to town. And while New England hasn't been their regular, dominant selves yet this season they should have enough to beat New York. That is, unless these Jets are even spunkier than I'm giving them credit for. Maybe they have so much spunk inside them that they're just waiting to unload on the Pats. Oh god what have I done? I'd delete this whole post if it wasn't against my own no deleting anything policy.
San Francisco @ Washington
The 49ers continued their season-long pattern of agonizing defeats, losing in overtime (again) to the Colts last week. As soul-crushing as it may seem, they should attempt to keep the trend going this week because of whom they're playing. San Francisco has long been a rumored landing spot for Kirk Cousins once his franchise-tag saga is complete in Washington. If the Niners want to convince Cousins that he'd be the missing piece that would make them into a winner what better way than to stay close in this one and have Brian Hoyer do something stupid to blow it in the end? Now you might be wondering, "If it means eventually losing his job why would Brian Hoyer purposefully do something stupid and lose the game?" But don't you see my dear boy? He's Brian Hoyer, he doesn't have to try to lose the game, he'll just do it regardless.
Tampa Bay @ Arizona
The Buccaneers' kicking woes continued last week when Nick Folk missed three field goals in a 5 point loss to New England. But is Folk really to blame? Let's a take a closer look. First of all, one of those misses was a 56-yard attempt, outdoors, on grass, which is certainly not automatic no matter who you are. So we can wipe that one out. Alright, now he only has two misses. Folk's second attempt was a 49-yarder, which is also no chip shot whatsoever. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that in that situation any given professional kicker would be about a 50/50 bet to make it. So let's cut Folk some more slack and erase that miss from his record too. As for the last one, well it was a 31-yarder, which is a must make for any and every kicker in the league. However, as he was lining up for the kick Folk could see his wife being held hostage in the stands to the left of the upright so he rocketed that ball right into her captor's head knocking him unconscious. Nick Folk saved his wife from a life or death situation and you want to give him shit?!? Of course Tampa, being the heartless bastards that they are, cut him this week and ... well they'll probably win this game on a last-second field goal. Let's face it, Nick Folk was pretty lousy.
Los Angeles Rams @ Jacksonville
After the Jaguars intercepted him 5 times in their win over the Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger wondered aloud to reporters whether or not he still has it in him to be a successful quarterback in the NFL. That's the weight that a loss to Jacksonville carries, it can make a hall of fame quarterback reconsider whether or not he wants to play football again. But Roethlisberger can take solace in the fact that these Jags are 3-2 now and might actually be good ... No! I'm not doing it, I'm not going to start believing in the Jags. I can't go back down that road. And if I end up being wrong, well then maybe I don't have it in me to keep doing this. It'll leave me with some more free time, maybe I'll hit up the bars with a newly retired Ben Roethlisberger. On second thought, that's probably not a good idea.
Pittsburgh @ Kansas City
It's a playoff rematch and the Chiefs have GOT to have revenge on their minds. Indeed, revenge is a dish best served cold, but Kansas City is all kinds of hot right now and ready to burn through the Steelers. Still it's also been said that living well is the best revenge, and in 2017 no one in the NFL is living as well as the Chiefs. However, Confucius himself once said, "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves." Well, two won't be enough for the Steelers, they have way more players than that, so maybe this one doesn't work as well. Unless one of the graves they dig is right behind Ben Roethlisberger, then they cover it with some turf to disguise it so that when Ben drops back right he steps right on top of it and falls in. There it is! That's what Confucius must have been talking about.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Oakland
This is a game being played between one team who just moved to a city that doesn't want them, and one team about to leave a city that desperately wishes they would stay. As for Mother Nature, apparently she doesn't want either of these teams playing in the scheduled location this Sunday. Fires in the nearby wine country have resulted in possibly dangerous levels of smoke in Oakland's air. The NFL is hopeful they will be able to safely play the game on, but are exploring their options just in case. Could one of those options be playing the game in Carson? That gasp of horror you just heard was from the Chargers players who are dreading the possibility of having to play an extra "home" date. Also, if you did indeed hear a gasp of horror that means that a Los Angeles Charger is apparently in the room with you, reading this over your shoulder; respond accordingly. And by that I mean hug them and tell them it's not their fault.
New York Giants @ Denver
On paper this looks like a lopsided game for the home team, but let's check in with SNF analyst Cris Collinsworth and find out what he thinks:
Yikes, that's heat. But I'll agree with CriColl.
Indianapolis @ Tennessee
Did you realize that the Colts are five games into the season but have already played all four NFC West teams? They now return to their home (the AFC South) with tales from the wilderness. Ripping yarns about frontiersmen, great birds of prey, and vicious, horned beasts who play in a cavernous, half-empty colosseum. I'll bet the folks back home won't even recognize this group when they return, especially since Andrew Luck looks a lot different now, and is a lot worse at football. They'll soon find out that that's actually Jacoby Brissett, and he's doing his best damn it! Speaking of backup quarterbacks, if the Titans have to go with Matt Cassell or Brandon Weeden on Monday ESPN should just air a couple World's Strongest Man episodes, preferably the Magnus ver Magnusson years.