Philadelphia vs. Jacksonville
I took Week 7 off, but I’m back and ready to expertly dissect this league again. Alright, what did I miss? Last time I checked in with Jacksonville them they were 3-2, and looked like a contender in the AFC. So what’s new with the Jags? Ohhhhh Bortles. Ah jeez. Blake and the gang have been outscored 60-14 in consecutive losses. And one of the members of that aforementioned gang is Cody Kessler, who came in for Bortles and actually led Jacksonville to their only TD in last week’s loss to Houston. Doug Marrone has confirmed that Bortles will be the starter going forward, but the mere fact that that had to be stated when the other option is Cody Kessler means the wheels have really come off. But it’s a good thing you don’t need wheels to cross the pond, because this game’s in London, the Jags’ second home. On second thought, you do need wheels, otherwise you won’t be able to land the plane. You gotta admit though it sounded cool in the moment. Ok fine, you don’t have to admit it; you’re lying to yourself, but whatever. I know that the trip to London has been fortuitous for Bortles in the past, but against a desperate Eagles team I’m not sure we should expect the same this time around. In fact it’s probably a good idea to relinquish all expectations regarding this year’s Jaguars.
New York Jets @ Chicago
The Bears came agonizingly close to converting a game-tying Hail Mary at the end of last week’s game against New England. Kevin White caught the ball but could not extend his arms to get it across the goal line. It must have been heartbreaking for Chicago, but what more could they have done? I’ll tell you what, ensure that it never happens again. And how do they guarantee that? Simple ... the Bears need to sign Gheorghe Muresan. He’s 7’7”, with a 7’10” wingspan. He’d easily be able to outreach a crowd of players and reach the ball over the goal line. He’d be unstoppable. This isn’t just some tall schlub we’re talking about here, he’s a former professional (dare I say world class) athlete. Now, some critics may argue that Mitchell Trubisky would be sacked 5-6 times in the amount of time it would take Muresan to lumber down to the end zone. I would counter that argument by asking those naysayers to imagine Gheorghe Muresan wearing a football uniform.
Tampa Bay @ Cincinnati
Buccaneers vs Bengals may seem like an innocuous matchup to you, however it’s anything but on a certain intersection in Las Vegas. Every four years this game is the physical manifestation of a longstanding rivalry between Strip neighbors the Treasure Island and Mirage hotels. Obviously the T.I. folks side with the Bucs, while the Mirage staff favors the Bengals due to the hotel’s famed Siegfried & Roy show featuring white bengal tigers. Sure it may seem silly, and possibly even made up for the sake of a gag on a lightly-trafficked blog, but don’t tell that to the good folks that operate those two hotels. They pin their hopes, pride, and, if the rumors are true, a good chunk of their paychecks on this quadrennial clash. Keep that in mind when you hunker down to watch this one on Sunday; but definitely don’t bet on it, because it will definitely be fixed by one of the sports books involved.
Seattle @ Detroit
Both of these teams are 3-3 and on the fringes of wild card contention in the NFC. Odds are there won’t be room for both though, so it’s safe to consider this a playoff elimination game. One could argue that that isn’t true since both teams will still have more than half the season to play afterwards. To me that’s a bunch of new age, sabermetric nonsense though. We’re dealing with sudden death in Detroit! Coincidentally that was also the Chamber of Commerce’s slogan last year.
Denver @ Kansas City
The Chiefs’ offense is on pace to score the second most points in NFL history. The top scoring team in NFL history? These Denver Broncos. Well no, not these Denver Broncos, the 2013 version. These Broncos are coming off a 45 point effort in Arizona though, so they’ve at least proven that they could possibly keep pace with Kansas City. That is, as long as Kansas City plays a lot like the Cardinals. Based on what we’ve seen so far this season I don’t think that’s a reasonable expectation. And that’s coming from a man who’s renowned for his reasonable expectations ... Look, all I’m saying is who’s getting above Muresan for that ball? He has experience boxing out!
Washington @ New York Giants
The Giants have started the season 1-6 and have begun to unload their assets. They’ve sent Eli Apple to the Saints and Snacks Harrison to the Lions. Geez, I knew a lot of trading happened in New York, but I thought that was on the floor of the stock exchange! But seriously, what’s going on with these stock brokers? Buy! Sell! Buy! Sell! It’s like, uh guys, have you ever thought about just buying something to keep? I bought a TV years ago and I’ve had it for years now. It’s worked out great! Maybe you ought to try it ya wacky brokers! ... Um look, I’m 32 years old and I don’t understand how the stock market works. I uh, I guess I make these jokes so that I don’t have face reality or accept any responsibility ... So yeah, I think the Giants will get the upset.
Cleveland @ Pittsburgh
It’s Week 8, and as promised LeVeon Bell has reported to the Steelers. And by “reported” I don’t so much mean that he’s shown up for work, but that his continued absence is basically Bell reporting to the Steelers that they can go fugg themselves. If I were him I would have made it a point to be back for this game, because with October 31st only a few days away it’s the perfect Halloween matchup. Orange vs. black, what a combo! You just know that the NFL schedule maker had a wry smile on his or her face when they concocted this. Oh wait, the schedule is created by a computer now. So did the computer do this on purpose? If so that’s pretty clever. TOO clever. This is the first warning sign. We have to destroy the NFL’s scheduling computer.
Baltimore @ Carolina
The Ravens lost in stunning fashion last week when Justin Tucker’s game-tying PAT hooked wide in the final minute. A turn of events that was unthinkable considering it was the first PAT Tucker has missed in his NFL career. In other words, before Sunday it seemed like it would have taken an act of God for Tucker to miss that kick. And I think it’s possible that that’s exactly what happened. Have you seen the kick? Look at the video. The trajectory of the ball looks perfectly straight off of the foot, until it suddenly takes a hard right turn and narrowly misses the upright. If I didn’t know any better I’d say there was some type of Angels in the Outfield shenanigans at play. And guess what, I don’t know any better, so as far as I’m concerned that’s precisely what’s going on. Think about it, Baltimore was playing the SAINTS. It makes too much sense. The Ravens likely won’t have to worry about supernatural interference this week, but the fact that they’re on the road probably means they’ll lose anyway.
Indianapolis @ Oakland
Jon Gruden continues to insist that the Raiders aren’t tanking. Some might find that hard to swallow after Oakland traded away Amari Cooper this week, but I finally think Gruden’s telling the truth. Cooper was average at best, and the Raiders simply don’t accept average. They’ll take above or below, but not average. Unfortunately they have more below than above at the moment, but Oakland now possesses 5 first round picks over the next two drafts. With that kind of capital they can either rebuild from the ground up with young talent or trade for a marquee player. For instance, Khalil Mack cost the Bears two first rounders earlier this season; Oakland has the stockpile to make a similar move. Can you imagine if the Raiders could get a player like Khalil Mack?!? Oh. Oh boy.
Green Bay @ Los Angeles Rams
The Packers are in the NFC mix as usual. They come into this game at 3-2-1, but that record might as well be a countdown to what’s about to happen. Four of Green Bay’s next five games are on the road against the Rams, Patriots, Seahawks, and Vikings. The Packers have not yet won a game away from Lambeau this season. My advice to them would be to brace themselves. Yet now I hear that Aaron Rodgers is hoping to shed his knee brace that he’s been playing with since Week 1 prior to that upcoming gauntlet. What are you doing Rodgers?!? I just told you to brace yourself, not de-brace! God you’re such a maverick Rodgers. Don’t you ever get tired of having more guts than brains? Which is saying a lot by the way, because you are an extremely intelligent individual. Alas, some heroes are just too brave for their own good.
San Francisco @ Arizona
It’s a rematch of a game you don’t remember happening! Shame on you, it was only 3 weeks ago. Also it was Rosen/Beathard I, you should really try to recall where you were so that you’ll be able to accurately pass the story down to future generations. I know where I’ll be for RB II, and that’s in front of the TV, with my butt glued to the seat. At least I imagine it will be glued, otherwise I’ll just get up and walk away, because I have to imagine I’ll have better things to do than watch two 1-6 teams go at it. I can’t think of any specific better things at the moment, but if I were a more serious, adult man I probably could.
New Orleans @ Minnesota
It's the playoff rematch that Saints fans have been waiting for and simultaneously dreading because of the ad nauseam replays they'll be forced to watch in the lead up to it. What sort of unimaginable drama can we expect this Sunday night? Let's ask the best color commentator in the game, Cris Collinsworth:
Looking good brother.
New England @ Buffalo
Wait a minute, Derek Anderson is starting for Buffalo? How long was I gone? Did I travel back in time on that plane? What year is it? Who’s the president? Oh. Shit. Ok, I guess it’s still 2018. Apparently Anderson started last week as well, throwing for 175 yards and 3 interceptions in a 37-5 loss to the Colts. Bills coaches and fans alike agreed that it was a marked improvement over the other option, which would have been starting Nathan Peterman. Is there any chance Buffalo can win this game? In reality even if I had traveled back in time, it’s still Derek Anderson vs. Tom Brady, the year is inconsequential.