of these teams are 1-2 with their lone win coming against the Giants.
That begs the question, if the Giants aren’t present for this game how
will Washington or the Falcons get a win? Maybe they’ll play to a tie,
then all jump on a plane to New Orleans together, and throw pebbles at
the Giants hotel window until they come out and agree to play.
Houston at Buffalo
don’t give the Texans much of a shot in this game, but I believe their
best chance is for back-up QB turned starter Davis Mills to change his name
to Davis Bills. It could confuse Buffalo, “Hey, this guy’s one of us!
Wait, why is he throwing the ball that direction?” So yeah, he could
maybe steal a touchdown, but after that the Bills would probably feel so
betrayed that they’d spend the rest of the game beating the shit out
of him. Within the rules of course. Actually to be honest, some of it
will be after the play and downright egregious. But after what Mills
tried to pull the refs will look other way.
Detroit at Chicago
his debut as a starter, Bears rookie quarterback Josh Fields had 68
yards passing and took 9 sacks for a loss of 67 yards. In the NFL sack
yards are subtracted from team passing yards. That means the Bears has 1
yard passing last week. They passed for 3 feet. It only took Lions
quarterback Jared Goff two attempts in Week 3 to top that total. Which
really isn’t impressive, he only needed to complete a two yard pass and
it took him two tries? We could be in for a real slopfest this Sunday,
and I can’t wait! Mainly because there will be eight other games to
watch, so we can just occasionally check in on this one and have a good
Carolina at Dallas
don’t look now but this is a match-up between first place teams. I say
don’t look because the Panthers are super self-conscious about their
potential success, and they really don’t like people pointing out how
well they’re doing. I’m like, just take the compliment guys! But I don’t
know, maybe they’re afraid of pursuing their dreams for fear that
they’ll fail. Or worse yet, that they’ll get everything they ever wanted
and it still won’t be enough. Whoa. Damn.
Indianapolis at Miami
quarterbacks know when a play has unraveled and choose to drop the
pretense by ditching the ball at the feet of the nearest eligible
receiver. For years Matt Ryan was the league’s preeminent practitioner
of just such a play. Well move over Matty because Carson Wentz is the
new King of the Turfball! No QB spikes it more, or with greater relish
than Wentz. If I didn’t know any better I’d think the grass is his first
read on most plays. It’s certainly his leading receiver at this point.
If you’re watching this Sunday keep an eye out for Wentz’s turf balls
and maybe even keep a running tally like I do. Take it from me, it’s one
of the only ways to make the Colts offense tolerable.
Cleveland at Minnesota
want a game with top running back talent? Well look no further than
this ... Oh, you don't want a game with top running back talent? Ok, what do you want? A pizza?!? That has nothing to do with what we’re talking
about. No, I’m not saying I don’t want pizza, it’s just completely off
topic. What are you thinking, pepperoni? And sausage and mushrooms? Well
then fork over some cash jocko, I ain’t footing the entire bill for a
three topping large. Besides this was your idea in the first place.
New York Giants at New Orleans
Winston has only attempted 63 passes this season. So yes, he’s the
Saints starting quarterback, but I think Sean Payton trusts Winston
about as far as he could throw him. Which, to be clear, is not as far as
Winston could throw a football. I have to imagine that Payton messes
his pants every time Jameis cocks back his arm to throw it deep. Luckily
for New Orleans’ coach, his team should be able to impose their will on
the Giants, so he can probably leave his diaper and I.V. bags at home.
Though, if he already has a diaper and I.V. bags he might as well bring
them. Better safe than sorry, I always say. Which is why I wear a diaper
24/7. That and my livestream. Oh, and in case it wasn't clear, the I.V. bags are to combat his diarrhea-induced dehydration.
Tennessee at New York Jets
are some strong contenders out there, but the Jets are probably the
worst team in the league right now. No offense Jets fans ... That’s what
you’ve been watching, no offense. New York has scored 20 points so far.
That’s half of the team with the next fewest. They’re averaging less
than a touchdown per game. Hey, that’s the same amount of touchdowns I’m
averaging! The Titans don’t have the greatest defense in the
league, so maybe the Jets can reach double digits in this one. Then
again, they might also score negative points. I think I heard that was
Kansas City at Philadelphia
Chiefs are in last place. Tee hee. Enjoy it while it lasts smart ass,
because you won’t be able to say that for long! Well actually, even if
KC wins this game there’s no way for them to get out of last. Jeez, should the Chiefs just pack it in and build toward next year?
Hmm, in a normal 16 game season I’d be tempted to say yes. But now that
they have 17 games to work with I’d recommend a slightly more patient
approach. Now, if they lose to the Eagles, it’s time for them to see what they can
get for Mahomes.
Arizona at Los Angeles Rams
undefeated teams enter, only one leaves. That’s right, the loser has to
stay overnight in the stadium as punishment. But actually it could be
fun. They’re going to sleep on the field and watch a movie on the
Jumbotron. Either Castaway or Under Siege because those are the only two
that SoFi Stadium has on hand. If the losing team wants to watch something
else they’ll have to provide it themselves. I heard DeAndre Hopkins has
Terminator 2 for keeps, so he’ll probably bring that just in case. Safe
to say, whoever comes up short in the game will end up with an
opportunity for the bonding experience of a lifetime after it.
Seattle at San Francisco
Seahawks have scored 13 total points in the second half this season.
Pete Carroll’s regular postgame extolling of 4th quarter importance
begins with him asking his team, “Can you win the game in the first
quarter?!?” Normally the answer is a resounding “No!” Though it seems
like for the 2021 Seahawks the answer is “Hopefully!” "And can you win the
game in the second quarter?!?” “God willing!” Seattle has had double
digit leads in each of their losses, so either they need to get up by
about 30 at halftime or figure out a way to be more effective late in
games. Or maybe do both. Whoa! Can you imagine?!? They’d be unbeatable!
Baltimore at Denver
week in Detroit the Ravens needed an NFL record 66 yard field goal
bouncing off the cross bar to beat the Lions. Now they have to take on
the undefeated Broncos. I’ve been saying for a couple weeks
that Denver would get to 3-0 and we still wouldn’t know how good they
are. Well, that’s about where we’re at. To be fair to the Broncos,
they’ve handily defeated the dumpers on their schedule. But to be fair
to the rest of us ... those teams were dumpers. I expect a dramatic
contest here, especially considering Baltimore has lost in overtime, won
by 1 point, and then won by 2 points in their games this season. Also,
they’re not dumpers.
Pittsburgh at Green Bay
Packers escaped Santa Clara with a victory Sunday night. They also
escaped with millions of dollars heisted from local banks during the
game. That was their ploy all along. Play a dramatic contest that would
distract the area's vault guards. Didn’t you notice how the defense was
always scrambling to get back on the field when the offense was done and
vice versa? They’d been out robbing banks! Hopefully the feds catch
onto these scallawags and arrest the whole team. Barring that though, I
don’t like the Steelers' chances. Not with Been Roethlisberger at
quarterback. No, that wasn’t a typo. His name is now in the past tense.
Tampa Bay at New England
abound, as the Buccaneers’ ship runs aground. That would be a good
headline if Tampa lost this game. That probably won’t happen though. But
who knows? Let’s hear what Sunday Night Football’s Cris Collinsworth has to say about it.
I agree with everything he said.
Las Vegas at Los Angeles Chargers
Raiders are riding high at 3-0, but they're also a few flaps of a butterfly’s
wings away from being 1-2. These guys live on the edge, and so far
they’ve gotten away with. They’re like the new Chargers, except they win
these wacky games. Which reminds me, the fact that the Chargers didn't lose to the Chiefs last week after scoring an unnecessary touchdown in the final minute, missing the
PAT, and giving the ball back to Mahomes may be a sign that their luck
has changed. Though I won’t be shocked at all if the Raiders wins this
game on a last-second defensive touchdown after Justin Herbert trips on a
kneel down and fumbles.
Fox will begin their Thursday Night Football simulcast soon. Can you guess when? Do you think it’s this week, when the match-up is Jaguars and Bengals? Or next week when it’s Seahawks and Rams? If you chose option A, god bless you, you’re a true dreamer and this world needs people like you. If you chose option B you’re correct, unlike that other dipshit. Yes, this is the last scrap game that Fox didn’t want, but the NFL network will gladly take, because it’s still technically football. One man’s Jags is another man’s treasure.
Is it possible to beat a team 35-0 and still be underwhelming? The Bills may have accomplished just that last week. Suffice it to say, the Buffalo offense has not been as impressive as we thought it would be. At the same time, the Washington defense doesn’t seem to be as good as we thought it was either. So get hyped for a clash of two disappointing teams! Maybe all of their parents will show up to the game and just slowly shake their heads.
Chicago at Cleveland
Andy Dalton tweaked his knee in Sunday’s win over the Bengals, but apparently he avoided an ACL tear. I’m sure most Bears fans wouldn’t wish serious injury upon anyone, but if you asked them to honestly say if they’d prefer that Dalton blew out his knee, at least half of them would say yes. And if you let it be anonymous that number would climb to 98%. Bears management has said that if he’s healthy Dalton will still be the starter. Maybe that 98% of Bears fans can contribute to a Go Fund Me account and buy Dalton a new stereo or something to convince him to sit out. We’re talking a real top of the line sound system. I think Dalton would be on board. But he’s not just going to take a seat for nothing, he’s gonna need that new stereo.
Baltimore at Detroit
It’s been a rough opening to the season for the Lions. First the Niners, then the Packers, now the Ravens. I’m not loving Detroit’s chances at avoiding an 0-3 start. Speaking of not loving chances, 0-3 would give the Lions about 3% odds of getting to the postseason, based on historical data. But that historical data is exactly that, history! None of it means squat in a 17 game season. We’re in uncharted waters, anything is possible! So Detroit fans, if your team loses again this week don’t despair, they still have a maybe better than 3% chance to make the playoffs.
Indianapolis at Tennessee
Carson Wentz seems to be exactly who we thought he was. The Colts traded for an inconsistent, injury-prone quarterback. So far he’s been inconsistent and injury-prone. Thus, Indy has no one to blame but themselves for their 0-2 start. Though, they could blame their fans if they wanted to. The Colts went 6-2 at home last season with greatly reduced attendance. Now, with full capacity allowed at Lucas Oil Stadium, they’re already 0-2 in 2021. Clearly all those fans have made them self-conscious. And who can’t sympathize with that? I think we’d all feel more comfortable singing in the shower than in front of 60,000 people. Unless of course you’re Lady Gaga reading this right now. But you’re not, are you? Wait, are you? Holy shit, what?!?
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City
The final scores in the Chargers games this season have been 20-16 and 20-17. Uh what’s going on here? Those scores are normal as hell. These aren’t the Chargers we know. Is it possible that the Chiefs have stolen LA’s kooky energy? KC’s first two games have had finals of 33-29 and 36-35. That’s the kind of zaniness we need from the Chargers. Maybe meeting up with the Chiefs will rekindle that spark for Herbert and the gang. Like reuniting with an old flame. Sure their relationship was toxic, but damn it, they’ve never felt so alive! So basically what I’m saying is that all the players will start making out hard sometime late in the first quarter. Of course, they’ll get mad at each other and split up at halftime, but by the fourth quarter, look out. CBS probably will probably have to cut the feed.
New Orleans at New England
The Saints debuted with a bang, then followed that up with a bung. No team looked quite as different between weeks 1 and 2 as New Orleans. But that’s life baby. One week you’re dominating the Packers, the next you’re getting stomped by the Panthers. Then the next week you have to play the ... Patriots. What the ... what’s going on here? Why does every team the Paints play part with a P? Ahhhhhh!!!! They’ve gotten to me too! Pave yourpelf!
Atlanta at New York Giants
The loser of this game will be 0-3, and likely not a playoff contender. The winner of this game will be 1-2 and likely not a playoff contender. It’s a shame too, because I’ve been dying to see these squads square off in the postseason ever since the last time they met in the Wild Card round back in January of 2012. I won’t lie, I don’t remember a ton about that game, but I know what the final score was: 24-2. Perhaps the most hilarious playoff final score of my lifetime (if we were to include regular season and college the title would go to Iowa’s 6-4 win over Penn St. in 2004). I can only imagine what type of Scorigami magic the Falcons and Giants would conjure up if they were to ever go head to head in the postseason again. Alas, we’ll have to settle for this regular season tilt, and what will likely be a basic ass score. Something like ...
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
Every team in the AFC North is an identical 1-1. We haven’t seen that sort of parity in any division in any sport since the Karl Marx’s Soccer Super Association in Russia. Of course, in that league each team was guaranteed a win and loss in every game. Speaking of spreading the wealth, Joe Burrow passed to his team and the Bears last week, throwing interceptions on three straight passes. He’s truly the embodiment of the AFC North in 2021, one for you, one for me. Whichever team loses this Sunday shouldn’t fret too much, since they’ll obviously win next week. As for the winning team, I got bad news for you guys; might as well pack it in for Week 4 and save your gameplan for another day.
Arizona at Jacksonville
Are the Jags good? No. But are they a football team? Technically yes. Thus, they will continue to participate in the NFL week after week until they’re deemed otherwise. The Cardinals will gladly get a game in against Jacksonville while they still can. Arizona seems a good bet to get to 3-0 for the first time since 2015. Hmm, thought maybe it would have been longer than that. Not a very interesting fact now. In fact, they did it in 2014 too. At this point it would be more interesting if they didn't get to 3-0. Who’s with me?!? Come on everybody, let’s goooo ... Oh right they’re playing the Jags. Forgot that part. Ok, 3-0 it is.
New York Jets at Denver
The Broncos will likely win this game to get to 3-0, and we still won’t know if they’re any good. They’ve had a very soft schedule so far, but it’s bound to get tougher from here. Let’s take a look at their Week 4 opponent ... the 2017 Browns?!? How is that even possible? Who do they have after that, that Lions team that also went winless? Wouldn't that be something? Let me check ... Yes! That's exactly who it is, the ‘08 Lions. What the hell is happening here? Ok come on, who are they playing in Week 6? The 1944 Packers ... Huh ... Well I guess that team did win the NFL title. But also the whole league was 180 pound white guys. Man, Denver's gonna be 6-0!
Miami at Las Vegas
The Raiders are one of only two undefeated teams in the AFC. One might be tempted to call that a fluke, but they’ve beat the Ravens and Steelers, so it’s not as if these have been cheap victories. Now their opponent is an offensively challenged Dolphins squad without their starting quarterback. Yet strangely this may be the game where we learn the most about the Raiders. Can Vegas go out and win a game when they’re supposed to? Or will the pressure of expectations squeeze their bodies into gnarled hunks, like a biscuit made from leftover batter? Oh you know, when there’s not enough to make a full circle, so you just plop down whatever’s left onto the baking sheet. Actually, maybe that’s a better analogy for the Dolphins right now.
Tampa Bay at Los Angeles Rams
Before the season a lot of people had this as their NFC title game match-up. But not me, because I didn’t actually make preseason playoff picks this season. I’m just going to wait until January, write up a fake post, and then screenshot it so I can pretend I totally nailed it. I’m convinced that’s what Tom Brady did to all of us. He just paid some top-notch editors to splice together games from the past and that was the Super Bowl that we all watched in February. That’s more believable to me than Brady showing up in Tampa and immediately winning another title.
Seattle at Minnesota
Last Sunday Vikings kicker Greg Joseph missed a PAT and a 37 yard FG, and his team lost by 1. You hate to blame a loss solely on a kicker. Which is a weird thing about you. Personally, I don’t have any problem with that, so I blame Joseph for that loss. What I don’t think you’re taking into account is that a field goal is worth 3 points, so if he had made that last-second attempt it would have put his team up by 2 with no time left on the clock. See what I’m saying? I don’t know, it makes sense to me. Joseph will have to turn things around quick, because if there’s one thing the Vikings organization doesn’t tolerate it’s kickers blowing games.
Uh oh. Seems like he accidentally hit post instead of delete. Should we tell him, or ... We have to just leave it, right? Can't get involved. We're like National Geographic camera men.
Philadelphia at Dallas
With only 3.9 yards per carry over the first two games, I think it’s
fair to wonder, is Ezekiel Elliott any good? Sure, maybe two games is
too small of a sample size to leap to any conclusions. Would 15 games be
big enough for you? That’s how many he played in last season, when he
averaged 4.0 yards per carry. The writing is on the wall folks, this guy
stinks! Anybody who took him in their fantasy draft is an idiot.
Especially if they’re now writing an overly harsh blog post in the hopes
that Elliott will read it and use it as motivation. Not gonna happen
pal! Give it up, ya made a dumb pick and you dress like an asshole. Wait
what the hell? Oh now he’s going to act all confused like it’s not just
him writing this whole thing. Typical.
Panthers are ... checking ... 2-0?!? That can’t be correct. Checking
again ... Ah, right they’re 0-2. Hmm, that doesn’t seem accurate
either, I could’ve sworn I saw them win once. Let me check again ...
2-0! I was right the first time. No way! The Texans have also been
strangely competitive, so maybe this will actually be a quality game.
Then again, Houston will be starting Davis Mills at quarterback after
Tyrod Taylor’s injury. Of course, this isn’t the first time that a
Taylor injury has made way for a rookie to take over. In fact, it
happened in Cleveland (Baker Mayfield) and Los Angeles (Justin Herbert) and Tool Time (Al).
However, this time around Tyrod has a much better chance of regaining
the starting job once he’s healthy, because his replacement isn’t a high
first-round draft pick; it’s someone named Davis Mills. I don’t know
much about him, but from his name it sounds like he’ll be playing in a
I was just thinking, with the Bengals’ primary color, the Bears’ secondary color, and Andy Dalton’s hair color, why, this game should be played in the Orange Bowl! And wait a minute, the Cincinnati Bengals versus the Chicago Bears? Let’s broadcast it on CB radio! The NFL will probably chicken out and claim it’s a “logistical and financial nightmare” to move the game to Miami and broadcast it exclusively over a medium used only by long haul truckers. Sure. NASA probably said the same thing about going to the moon. Greatness requires sacrifice.
Houston at Cleveland
In Week 1 the Texans dominated the Jags en route to an easy win. And that will perhaps be the last time Houston can say that this season. When I was 14 I was in a competitively imbalanced parks and rec basketball league. We’d beat a team by like 20 and then be losing the next game so bad that the scoreboard would be turned off at halftime. I’m guessing my team was in the same boat as the Texans are now. Sure they pounded Jacksonville, unfortunately they still have to play 15 non-Jags games this season. Meanwhile Cleveland’s season began exactly the way the last one ended, an excruciating loss at Kansas City. Deja vu. Or rather, since we’re talking about the Browns here, deja poo.
Los Angeles Rams at Indianapolis
Based on comments made during the off-season, it’s likely that Carson Wentz is unvaccinated. In Week 1 he definitely wasn’t un-sackcinated. In fact, he was sacked three times and under pressure for most of the day. Now the Colts face Aaron Donald and the Rams, meaning Wentz is probably about to receive a booster shot. Though, since he is a Colt now he may want to think about using Ivermectin.
Buffalo at Miami
The Bills’ 23-16 opening week loss to the Steelers can mean one of two things: 1. Buffalo’s offense has taken a big step back from last season. 2. Pittsburgh has one of the best defenses in the league. 3. Some combination of 1 and 2. 4. It was only one game, so we shouldn’t leap to conclusions. 5. Cole Beasley called his own routes because he believes in an individual’s rights to chart their own course. Hold it, how many things did I say the outcome of the first game could mean? Wow, this situation is more complicated than I originally thought.
New England at New York Jets
Two rookie quarterbacks looking for their first win. Mac Jones probably has the better shot here considering the team around him looks better and the Patriots have beaten the Jets 10 straight times (18 of the last 20). The past and present are on Jones’s side, but will the future be? Future as in this Sunday? Yes. Future as in the next 10 years? I’m not ready to make a definitive statement after only seeing one game from him and Zach Wilson. Ask me again next week.
San Francisco at Philadelphia
These teams each went on the road in Week 1 and played 7 quarters of dominant football. It would have been 8, but the Niners took their foot off the gas in the fourth quarter against Detroit. They then fell asleep at the wheel and woke up just as they were about to drive off a cliff. Luckily they were able to veer away from that ... only to slam into a deer and damage their engine. Eventually they managed to putter into their driveway and call a mechanic, but yeesh, it was a harrowing drive. What’s that? What happened to the deer? Oh, it uh, it lived.
Las Vegas at Pittsburgh
On Monday the Raiders avoided a total collapse in overtime that had the potential to be a season-defining loss. Instead, they won, and now have all season to achieve that season-defining loss. Will it be this week? No. Don’t get me wrong, I think they’ll lose, it just won’t be that devastating.
New Orleans at Carolina
The post-Drew Brees era in New Orleans is a roaring success so far. But that’s not necessarily surprising. Since 2019 the Saints are 9-1 in games where someone other than Brees starts at quarterback. Sure they’re 17-6 with Brees, and that’s still pretty good. But it ain’t 9-1 baby! Meanwhile, Sam Darnold is now 1-0 as a Panthers starter. Technically that’s a better win percentage than 9-1, but come on, who are we kidding, Sam Darnold is no Jameis Winston. Is that a compliment? Not sure. I started writing it before I knew what it meant.
Denver at Jacksonville
Any NFL maven will tell you that starting the season with consecutive road games is never easy. But those mavens should take a long look at the Broncos’ schedule and reevaluate. After handling the Giants in New Jersey, they now travel to Jacksonville to go up against a Jags team that was dominated by the Texans. That’s a pretty easy path to 2-0 for Denver. But hey, you can’t blame them, they don’t make the schedule. Or do they? That would explain a lot ... I think we may have stumbled onto a conspiracy, and there’s no telling how high it goes. A mile high? Stop it! This is no time for jokes!
Minnesota at Arizona
After their win over Tennessee last week, Arizona now takes on Minnesota with hopes of winning the State Title. That’s right, it’s not just for high school football anymore! There are three teams in the NFL who use a state as their location, and if the Cardinals beat the Vikings on Sunday they’ve conquered the other two such squads. And man, if they win State, they’ll have their pick of prom dates. And yeah they’re gonna be needing the car all night. Hand over the keys old man! Don’t make this get physical.
Atlanta at Tampa Bay
The Falcons came out strong in Week 1 and made their case for being the worst team in the league with a 26 point loss to the Eagles. Now they face the defending Super Bowl champions. I don’t like Atlanta’s chances. But hey, you know what Matt Ryan always says, “Never tell me the chances!” He’s trying to quote Han Solo, but he doesn’t realize that the actual line is “Never tell me the odds.” Nobody’s bothered to point it out to him yet though. It’s that lack of transparency and communication within the Falcons’ building that is dooming the franchise.
Dallas at Los Angeles Chargers
The main question going into this game: will the percentage of Cowboys fans in the crowd be higher than a Dallas home game? I’d say at an average Cowboys home game 70% of the crowd is rooting for the home team. At this one in LA, it’ll probably be 95% Dallas fans. Ok fine, maybe not that high. But certainly 92-93%. The Chargers may be the only team in the league that would describe the return of fans to their stadium as “demoralizing.” Whether or not they can overcome that may be the deciding factor in this game.
Tennessee at Seattle
Bad news for the Titans: they were blown out at home in Week 1. Good news for the Titans: the only team to win in their division was the Texans, so the AFC South title is still within reach. Especially with that extra game this season. But the real storyline that everybody’s talking about going into this game is, of course, whether or not the crowd noise in Seattle will be reduced by the Lumen Field mask requirement. Maybe. But it will no doubt be louder than that crowd I heard on the game broadcasts last season. Those people were weak as hell. They’d always cheer like two seconds after things happened too. Not sure what their deal was, but clearly they didn’t have a high football IQ.
Kansas City at Baltimore
Two MVP quarterbacks go head to head in what promises to be an entertaining Sunday Night tilt. Sorry, I was just practicing my TV info prose. Enough of that garbanzo, let's hear from Cris Collinsworth:
I'm thoroughly confused and craving stew, the sign of any good NFL analysis.
Detroit at Green Bay
After an abysmal loss in Week 1 everybody’s ready to write off the Packers. Saying that Rodgers is disinterested and the team's chemistry is shot. Yeah, that’s what everybody is saying. And I’m no different. If I were that wouldn’t be what everybody is saying. That’s what everybody means. Green Bay is done for! These suckers probably won’t win a game all season!
The Giants haven’t had a winning record
at any point during a season since 2017. With their loss in the opener
they blew their best chance to snap that streak. Now they’re facing an
uphill battle that at some point would require consecutive victories to
get above .500. That might be too much to ask from these poor bastards.
Yes it certainly seems to be raining shit on the Giants. And to make
matters worse, this week they have to play in a stadium where it
literally rained shit last Sunday.
A week 1 battle of the birds?!? Yep, it certainly is. A week 1 battle of the turds?!? Perhaps. I’m not expecting either of these teams to do much better than 8-8 this season. What’s that? 17 games?!? You’re telling me some team out there is going to go 4-13? Or 10-7? No thanks. I didn’t sign up for this. Some things are too precious to disturb, and a 16 game NFL schedule is one of those. And what about the younger generation of fans who are going to see this on TV and just think a 17 game season is “normal.” Did anybody think about how warped their minds will become? This ain’t the future that Kyle Reese came back to save!
Pittsburgh at Buffalo
Whoa mama, we’ve got a triple P (possible playoff preview) right out of the gates! The Steelers and Bills went 12-4 and 13-3, respectively last year, and it’s quite possible that they’ll have those same exact records this season. Oh wait, no it’s not. Damn it! Maybe they’ll both be 13-4. Barf.
Minnesota at Cincinnati
I was tempted to pick an upset in this game until I considered the fact that the Vikings have the bravest starting quarterback in the league. A man who defies science and the advice of experts because it doesn’t jibe with his beliefs. Beliefs based on what you ask? That’s personal, and shame on you for asking.
San Francisco at Detroit
Everybody you ask will tell you to expect a bounce back year from the 49ers. And most of the time it doesn’t even matter what you’re asking them. “Can I have some extra ketchup packets?” “What’s the diagnosis?” “I need a kidney and you’re a match, would you be willing to help?” Every time the response was “Expect a bounce back year from the 49ers.” At a certain point one has no choice but to consider San Fran as a strong bounce-back candidate. If we’re still around in January we’ll see if that comes to fruition.
Arizona at Tennessee
The Titans' offense looks poised for a big season. The Cardinals' offense also looks poised for a big season. Literally every offense in the NFL looks poised for a big season because every one of them is going to play 17 games. Son of a bitch!
Seattle at Indianapolis
First Carson Wentz broke his foot, then he wound up on the COVID contact list. As of now he looks ready to go for Week 1, but you have to wonder, does he even want to play? Seems like he’s coming up with a lot of excuses. Look, I’m not questioning Wentz’s desire, I’m just saying don’t be surprised if he doesn’t show up on Sunday because a “masked intruder” came into his house and knocked him unconscious. The guy didn’t steal anything or do any damage to the house, I guess he just wanted to knock someone out. Weird, I know. But unquestionably what actually happened. And, in fact, if you do question that recounting you're the real monster.
Los Angeles Chargers at Washington
These teams finished 2020 with identical 7-9 records. One went to the playoffs while the other one missed the postseason by four games. While that’s not necessarily fair for the Chargers (the team that missed the playoffs), at least they have a dynamic young quarterback in Justin Herbert. But what if I told you that this off-season Washington picked up one of the most dynamic quarterbacks of the century? That’s right, Ryan Fitzpatrick is now the starter in Washington, which means the sky’s the limit. This team could legitimately make the playoffs this season, and not just on a technicality! That’s the goal of every franchise.
New York Jets at Carolina
The schedule-makers wasted no time in pitting Sam Darnold against his former mates. I like to imagine that they had to shoehorn this one in too. Like it caused a lot of logistical problems down the line and made the whole process way more complicated, but the schedulers took a hard line on this and wouldn’t budge. They had to have Sam Darnold vs. the Jets in Week 1. And thank god they took that bold stance, because now we’re all treated to the revenge game of the century! You guys gonna watch it? Me either.
Jacksonville at Houston
Tyrod Taylor has officially been named the starting quarterback of the Texans. That’s not surprising, it was either him or Davis Mills. They do have another quarterback on the roster, but apparently he’s become the victim of a vast conspiracy, and get this, he's the one being punished for it! Go figure. The good news for Houston is that they’re setting themselves up nicely for the #1 pick in the 2022 draft, even if that wasn’t in their original plans. But ain’t that how it goes? Plans change. Sometimes due to injury, sometimes due to despicable behavior relating to a massage fetish.
Cleveland at Kansas City
Wow, another triple P! And also a DPR (definite playoff rematch). In case you forgot, Chad Henne threw a gutsy 4th down pass for the Chiefs to clinch a divisional round victory over the Browns last season. But that’s not surprising, because when you think about Chad Henne you think about guts! And no, I’m not talking about the children’s sports game show Guts, because Chad Henne never appeared on Guts. How do I know, you ask? Because I watched every episode back when they aired, and I don’t remember anybody being named Chad. That seems unlikely now that I think about it, but not as unlikely as Chad Henne appearing on an episode of Guts. So let’s just agree to move on, yeah?
Miami at New England
Tua Tagovailoa vs. Mac Jones, former Alabama quarterbacks forced to do battle. This hasn’t happened since last week when a bunch of drunk fans at a sports bar harassed Brodie Coyle and Greg McElroy into having a contest on the football throwing arcade game. Both of them said they’d rather just do the Pop-A-Shot, because they’re more than just football guys, and also it’s simply a better game. The football game is too hard and not really indicative of how good a quarterback is. But the crowd insisted, and neither of them did very well. I mean they were fine, but they didn’t blow anybody away. The fervor in the bar quickly died down. Croyle and McElroy shuffled back to their table. They paid full price for the rest of their drinks.
Green Bay at New Orleans
Saints fans are used to the historic accuracy of Drew Brees at quarterback. Now they’ll be treated to the steady hand of Jameis Winston, who threw 30 interceptions the last time he started a full season. Safe to say the New Orleans faithful may be flabbergasted by what they witness. They may also be confused when they look up this Sunday and realize they’re not in a dome. And hey, why does it smell like Jacksonville out here? And why does that look like the famous Jacksonville skyline in the distance? And why, when I landed at that airport yesterday did that sign say “Welcome to Jacksonville.” And why did I purchase a ticket for, then subsequently board a flight to Jacksonville? Oh right, the game got moved to Jacksonville.
Denver at New York Giants
It’s Week 1’s only match-up between former Super Bowl opponents (XXI). But what are the odds that that this is a match-up between future Super Bowl opponents? Well, it’s not happening this season, so we can rule it out for the immediate future. You have to figure we’re at least 10 years away from the Giants and Jets finally cutting their losses and deciding their best chance to compete with the rest of the league is to merge into one team known as the “Giant Jets.” A lot of people thought “Jumbo Jets” made more sense, but the Giants were real sticklers about the whole thing, so they ended up with a very dumb name. But anyway, that leaves the Broncos and Giants approximately 10 more seasons to sync up Super Bowl runs. Possible? Yes. Likely? Yes. Oh whoops, that second “Yes” was supposed to be a “No.”
Chicago at Los Angeles Rams
SoFi Stadium finally opens to fans on Sunday Night Football. Don't take it from me, take it from the schedule, it's right there, clear as day. But you can also take it from the analyst who'll be calling the game, Cris Collinsworth:
Baltimore at Las Vegas
Over their last five openers the Ravens have outscored their opponents 177-26. They’ve also won 20 straight preseason games. They’re like the kid in class who’s super ready to show everybody how much cooler they got over the summer. And sometimes it works. They are cool. For most of the school year anyway, until they stumble in the playoffs. But hey, as long as you’re still looking good on picture day that’s all that matters.