There were good games and upsets all over the place in the NFL last week as the league proves to be just as unpredictable as ever. That makes my job tough as I try to correctly guess each game every week. Let’s give it a fifth crack of the year as we hit the quarter mark of the season already. Oh my!
Last Week: 6-10
Thursday, October 5th, 8:25 e.t.
New England Patriots (2-2) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1)
I want to go on record by saying I really like the Buccaneers team this year, and this pick does not necessarily show that since I’m going against them for the second straight week at home, but the Tampa defense can be had, and you better believe that Tom Brady will come into town knowing this. The Pats have had a lot of defensive struggles of their own so this should be a shootout. Who do I trust more in a shootout? I’ll take the five time Super Bowl champ for this one.
New England 35, Tampa Bay 29
Sunday, October 8th, 1:00 e.t.
Tennessee Titans (2-2) @ Miami Dolphins (1-2)
The Titans just got crushed by the Texans last week and still can’t seem to get that big division road win. Luckily they get a chance to bounce back against a Miami team that got shut out for, what should have been, the second week in a row. That offense is not good right now and I don’t think they can trade points with the Titans, no matter who is in at QB.
Tennessee 27, Miami 14
New York Jets (2-2) @ Cleveland Browns (0-4)
We are a quarter of the way through the season, and who woulda thought that the Jets would be 2-2? They are beating the teams that they probably should beat and Cleveland is one of them. Their quarterback play has been dreadful for the last couple of weeks while Josh McCown has done a serviceable job for Gang Green. It’s the McCown revenge game! Well, about a third of the Jets’ opponents this year fall into revenge game category with this well traveled vet. Jets win.
New York 22, Cleveland 17
San Francisco 49ers (0-4) @ Indianapolis Colts (1-3)
For the third straight week, the Niners played a divisional opponent tough but still lost. A lot of people may be tempted to go with San Fran here, but I don’t like them on the road against the Colts. Jacoby Brissett is doing a decent job holding down the fort for Indy and there wasn’t much that they could do last week versus the second half avalanche from Seattle. I like them to bounce back against a bad team.
Indianapolis 40, San Francisco 16
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1)
The Jaguars had their we are who you thought we were game last week in New York, and that takes a lot of the edge off of this matchup. Pittsburgh’s defense is balling right now and I don’t see that changing this week. We are still waiting for Ben Roethlisberger to toss for 300 yards (he hasn’t done this in 10 straight games by the way). I don’t think it will happen in this game, but it also won’t have to. Turnovers sink the Jags on the road.
Pittsburgh 29, Jacksonville 13
Arizona Cardinals (2-2) @ Philadelphia Eagles (3-1)
The Cards got the job done in OT versus the 49ers last Sunday, but that offense has me concerned heading into this contest with the Eagles. Philly may be able to get after Carson Palmer with their D-line, sans Fletcher Cox. Meanwhile the Eagles have found a running game and their O-line is blocking it up very well. That alone accounts for a huge difference. In other news, this is the Carson bowl. Wentz versus Palmer. What a time to be alive!
Philadelphia 27, Arizona 14
Los Angeles Chargers (0-4) @ New York Giants (0-4)
Someone has to win here. I was going to pick the Chargers because I like the talent they have on offense, but I don’t like the fact that they have to travel all the way across the country to take on the Giants. New York has been playing good ball in the second halves of their last two games and I trust them a little more to get it together at home over a team that has just lost three straight games in their own stadium.
New York 19, San Diego 16
Buffalo Bills (3-1) @ Cincinnati Bengals (1-3)
I think one of the biggest surprises this year has to be the Buffalo Bills. They just went into Atlanta and shut the Falcons down and that one was shocking. I like the Bills, but this one smells like a trap game to me. The Bengals are finally hitting their stride on offense and even though Buffalo has yet to let up more than 17 points in a game this year, I think they crack just a bit in Cincy. Throw this one into the weird games of 2017 category.
Cincinnati 22, Buffalo 20
Carolina Panthers (3-1) @ Detroit Lions (3-1)
This is one of the top games of the week, and it is happening in Detroit. The Lions have been one of the best teams in football and outside of a drubbing at the hands of the Saints, the Panthers have looked good too. At this point in the year, it is easy to say Detroit is a safer bet. Playing at home, I like them to get the job done yet again. They might have the best team in the NFC at the moment.
Detroit 34, Carolina 27 ***LOCK OF THE WEEK***
Sunday, October 4th, 4:05 e.t.
Baltimore Ravens (2-2) @ Oakland Raiders (2-2)
Boy has the Raiders’ season gone sideways ever since the beat down they received in Landover. Derek Carr will be out the next couple of games with a broken back and things are not looking so hot for Oakland right now. They have a Raven team that has been just awful on offense coming to town this week, so that is the good news for them This is going to be a game for Marshawn Lynch to take over. He will. Let’s not forget also that the Raiders did almost beat Denver on the road last week, and the offense was able to move the ball, perhaps even a little better, with E.J. Manuel at the helm.
Oakland 17, Baltimore 13
Seattle Seahawks (2-2) @ Los Angeles Rams (3-1)
Is there a more fun team to watch than the L.A. Rams right now? I love seeing them relevant again and it’s bringing a lot of fun to the west coast. This is a fairly important game to determine this division right now because Seattle and Los Angeles are the two teams that will be competing to win it in the end. So let’s not undersell this one. I liked how the Seahawks got off the mat in the second half of last week’s game and this one, on paper, is one that the Rams should win but I’m going with the Hawks here. Wade Philips’ “D” has some issues at the moment and I like Russell Wilson to exploit them.
Seattle 30, Los Angeles 27
Sunday, October 8th, 4:25 e.t.
Green Bay Packers (3-1) @ Dallas Cowboys (2-2)
Green Bay took a big L a couple of weeks back against the Falcons, but besides that they have found a way to win games despite having an injured offensive line and Aaron Rodgers not playing the best football of his career. Dallas simply got outslugged last week by the Rams and were actually pretty well contained in the second half. Their secondary has not been great and if it were not for DeMarcus Lawrence being so dominant up front, that defense would be a total liability. That said, I don’t think their “D” will be able to hold Rodgers and the Pack back in this game and the Cowboys drop to 2-3.
Green Bay 35, Dallas 28
Sunday, October 8th, 8:30 e.t.
Kansas City Chiefs (4-0) @ Houston Texans (2-2)
Wow. 57 points from the Texans last week (a franchise record) and all of the sudden we are singing a different tune about this team. They have a real shot at beating the Chiefs this week if Deshaun Watson plays lights out like he has been over the last two weeks. Coming off of a short week and having to hit the road against a team that really could be 3-1 right now is not something that if favorable. I think Houston steals a W on Sunday night.
Houston 30, Kansas City 27 ***UPSET OF THE WEEK***
Monday, October 8th, 8:30 e.t.
Minnesota Vikings (2-2) @ Chicago Bears (1-3)
The Bears have had a long time to mull this game over having played last Thursday, so in effect they are coming off of a near BYE. They will roll out Mitch Trubisky for this game and I don’t like his chances going against a fierce Minnesota defense. Their “D” was not the problem a week ago, it was the offense that was a bit sluggish. Things don’t get better for them with the absence of Dalvin Cook now with a completely torn ACL. That said, I love the matchup that the Minnesota wide outs have against the Chicago secondary. The Bears have not been bad defensively and are a bit frisky at home, but the Vikings are the better team and they will show it Monday night.
Minnesota 23, Chicago 6