2017 Season: Week 8 Preview

We are just about halfway through the NFL season already and it has been a strange one.  The Jaguars and Rams are relevant, the Eagles have the best record in football, the Browns are winless… okay that one is not so weird, but how about the AFC East finally being a pretty competitive division?  Or the AFC North being a bad one?  It has all been hard to figure but we will continue to pick ’em.  Here are my picks/thoughts for the thirteen Week 8 games.

Last Week: 11-4

Season: 63-43

Locks: 2-4

Upsets: 2-4

Thursday, October 26th, 8:25 e.t.

Miami Dolphins (4-2) @ Baltimore Ravens (3-4)

The last handful of Thursday night affairs have been pretty solid games, especially last week in Oakland.  This one, on paper, doesn’t scream quality matchup but who knows?  I do like the Ravens at home though, and here is why.  Baltimore’s defense is due for a breakout game and the Dolphins come into town with Matt Moore at the helm.  Is he that much of a downgrade from Jay Cutler, maybe not, but I do think he will struggle with a short week hitting the road against a team desperate to stay relevant.

Baltimore 23, Miami 10

Sunday, October 29th, 9:30 am e.t.

Minnesota Vikings (5-2) @ Cleveland Browns (0-7) (in London)

What a clash at the Twick!  Okay, that was a lie.  London seems destined for another poor game with one of the best teams in the league taking on the worst.  This is actually not the biggest mismatch with records of the week, but it is the biggest in terms of talent.  The Browns hung tough with the Titans at home but that was more of an aberration in my opinion.  They don’t have the skill players on offense to make much headway against this swarming defense from the Vikings.

Minnesota 31, Cleveland 7

Sunday, October 29th, 1:00 e.t.

Carolina Panthers (4-3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4)

The Panthers are certainly a week-to-week proposition because one week they look like world-beaters and then the next they can fall flat on their face.  I could see them blowing this game out or getting blown out.  Meanwhile, Tampa Bay’s offense has been inconsistent on the year.  They’ve yet to put a complete game together and their defense has been very bad to this point.  Against a Panther team with a good defense and an, at times, scary offense, I do not like their odds of pulling this game out.

Carolina 30, Tampa Bay 24

Indianapolis Colts (2-5) @ Cincinnati Bengals (2-4)

A couple of two win teams hook horns in Cincy here when the Colts face the Bengals.  After getting shut out by the Jaguars, Indy’s season can officially be considered done while the Bengals are desperate to stay alive.  I like them to do just that at home with an offense that until last week under Bill Lazor has looked pretty good.  The Colt “D” is not very good.

Cincinnati 33, Indianapolis 13 ***LOCK OF THE WEEK***

San Francisco 49ers (0-7) @ Philadelphia Eagles (6-1)

This game pits the team with the best record in the league, at home mind you, against the team that is tied for the worst record.  The Eagles lost two key players in their Monday night win over the Redskins in Jason Peters and Jordan Hicks, but that is not going to matter this week.  Carson Wentz cemented his case for being in the MVP discussion on Monday and he is capable of carrying the team.  He won’t have to this Sunday as the Eagles should win easily with their running game and defense.

Philadelphia 27, San Francisco 14

Oakland Raiders (3-4) @ Buffalo Bills (4-2)

This game is one of the better ones on the docket for Week 8 and it is probably the hardest one for me to pick.  I think I am going to go with the Raiders to win because they seem to have found their mojo on offense and could be at the beginning of an upswing.  Marshawn Lynch will miss his chance to play in Buffalo for the first time since being traded due to a suspension so that could hurt, but I think that Tampa Bay exposed the Buffalo “D” a bit last week and I like the well rested Raiders to pick up on that.

Oakland 26, Buffalo 19

Los Angeles Chargers (3-4) @ New England Patriots (5-2)

The Patriots played their best game of the season last Sunday night at home against a reeling Falcon team and seem to be peaking as we forge towards November, like they usually do.  The Chargers defense did just shut out the Broncos and has been a very underrated unit to this point in the year and I like them to keep this game close through three quarters.  However, you can only slow Tom Brady for so long and I can see them running away with this one in the fourth quarter at home.

New England 33, Los Angeles 17

Atlanta Falcons (3-3) @ New York Jets (3-4)

The Atlanta offense has been struggling lately and has people calling for O.C. Steve Sarkesian’s job.  They are 0-3 against the AFC East and desperately need a win to keep pace with the suddenly hot Saints in their own division.  I think they get something going on offense against the Jets and take this one on the road.  New York hung tough but eventually blew the game against Miami and can do the same thing here.  The thing is, if this does turn into a shootout I don’t think that Josh McCown can keep pace with Matt Ryan.

Atlanta 27, New York 20

Chicago Bears (3-4) @ New Orleans Saints (4-2)

The Saints have won four straight games and will now host the Chicago Bears who just won a game with only five first downs!  They are going to have to do a heck of a lot better than that this week if they want to hang in there against the Saints who can actually lean on their defense and running game a bit.  For the first time since 2013 New Orleans has a winning record and it is no fluke as I believe they are favorites to win the south at this point in the season.  They should improve to 5-2 with a win over the Bears who do not typically travel well this year.

New Orleans 29, Chicago 15

Sunday, October 29th, 4:05 e.t.

Houston Texans (3-3) @ Seattle Seahawks (4-2)

The Texans are coming off of their BYE Week and immediately get thrown back into the fire on the road in Seattle.  DeShaun Watson has been fantastic for Houston this year but I don’t like his chances going against Seattle’s defense on the road here.  The Hawk’s offense looked great against the Giants last week, even though they struggled to finish some drives.  I think they put it together this week and blow out the Texans.

Seattle 39, Houston 14

Dallas Cowboys (3-3) @ Washington Redskins (3-3)

I like this game.  The loser is going to have a tough time getting back into the NFC East race, especially if it’s Washington having already lost twice to the Eagles.  The Cowboys looked phenomenal on the road in San Fran and it was mostly because of the efforts of Ezekiel Elliot.  He makes this team better and Dallas can keep pace with Philly if he stays on the field.  I was going to take the Redskins here because they will be desperate, but I really don’t like the way their defense stacks up to the Cowboys.  Dallas should take this one on the road.

Dallas 28, Washington 22

Sunday, October 29th, 8:30 e.t.

Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) @ Detroit Lions (3-3)

Will this be the week that Al and Cris finally get a good game?  I think it is.  I really like Pittsburgh and where they are going this year, but I am going to take the Lions at home.  Detroit is coming off of a BYE and almost made a 35 point comeback the week prior.  Of course, they played poorly enough to go down by 35 in the first place but if the game is on the line I think we can all trust that Matthew Stafford will make some plays.  Look for this one to go down to the wire on Sunday night.

Detroit 30, Pittsburgh 28 ***UPSET OF THE WEEK***

Monday, October 30th, 8:30 e.t.

Denver Broncos (3-3) @ Kansas City Chiefs (5-2)

Both of these teams come into this game having lost two straight contests but I feel much better about KC than I do Denver.  The Bronco offense has vanished over the past couple of weeks while the Chiefs attack looked great against the Raiders.  It was their defense that let the game get away.  Playing at home on a Monday night for the second time this year, I think that they can use that crowd to their advantage and really get after Trevor Siemian.  Look for the Chiefs to get back to their winning ways.

Kansas City 34, Denver 17

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2017 Season: Week 7 Preview

The drama that is the NFL keeps on coming and we’ve got 15 games this week to preview.  Let us just hope that there will be no more crushing season-ending injuries to speak of following the action from this stanza in the season.  Let’s get it.

Last Week: 8-6

Season: 52-39

Locks: 1-5

Upsets: 2-4

Thursday, October 19th, 8:25 e.t.

Kansas City Chiefs (5-1) @ Oakland Raiders (2-4)

The Chiefs took their first loss of the season, and perhaps it can serve as a bit of a wakeup call for them as their offense was pretty much handled at home versus Pittsburgh.  Meanwhile the Raiders find themselves in last place in the division and losers of four straight.  I think that streak will run to five in a row here as Kansas City should have a prime opportunity to get their offense back on track against an inconsistent pass “D”.

Kansas City 30, Oakland 20

Sunday, October 22nd, 1:00 e.t.

New Orleans Saints (3-2) @ Green Bay Packers (4-2)

This game would have been a barn-burner if Aaron Rodgers did not exit the game last week against Minnesota with a broken collarbone.  As it stands we get Drew Brees versus Brett Huntley.  I am not among the majority that thinks that the Packers’ season is sunk without Rodgers and in fact I think they can surprise the Saints this week by stealing a win at home.  I’m going to put my faith in their defense to make a stop with the game on the line.

Green Bay 21, New Orleans 17 ***UPSET OF THE WEEK***

Arizona Cardinals (3-3) @ Los Angeles Rams (4-2) (In London)

This looks to be a pretty good matchup for the fans over in London.  Adrian Peterson definitely gave the Arizona offense a spark last week and made the passing game better since Tampa’s “D” actually had to respect a rushing attack.  While that game was going on, the Rams were riding the strength of their defense and two return touchdowns in a road win over the Jags.  This Rams team is a lot of fun to watch and they can win a game in a lot of different ways.  I like them to do the job across the pond against a defense that has not been themselves this season.

Los Angeles 25, Arizona 20

Baltimore Ravens (3-3) @ Minnesota Vikings (4-2)

Remember the last time these two teams got together?  It produced one of the wildest finishes to a game that you will ever see with over an inch of snow on the ground.  Weather will not play a factor in this game, but the crowd noise will.  Now in the driver’s seat atop the NFC North, I like the Vikings to come out and dominate the offensively challenged Ravens with their top 10 defense.

Minnesota 21, Baltimore 6

Indianapolis Colts (2-4) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3)

This game was targeted as the return date for Andrew Luck but as of this writing his status in uncertain.  That said, I will be taking Jacksonville regardless of who starts because I really think that their defense can stifle the Colts’ running game and make the offense one dimensional.  With the number one pass rush in the league versus one of the worst O-lines, I don’t like Indy’s odds of keeping whoever lines up under center clean.

Jacksonville 19, Indianapolis 12

Carolina Panthers (4-2) @ Chicago Bears (2-4)

The Panthers, off a nine day hiatus, look to rebound from a tough loss at home to Philly and they draw a Bears team that shocked the Ravens in overtime last week.  This is a pretty fun matchup of quarterbacks here with Cam Newton and Mitchell Trubisky.  The Panthers have to get their running game going if they are going to be a serious threat this year, but I don’t necessarily think they need to do it this week.  I see Cam bouncing back and throwing for a pile of yards as the Panthers roll over the Bears.

Carolina 30, Chicago 17

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) @ Buffalo Bills (3-2)

Lost behind the loss of Aaron Rodgers was the shoulder injury of Jameis Winston.  It seems that he will be okay to go on the road against the Bills who always play teams tough at home.  The BYE week came at a good time for Buffalo as well because they got a chance to get healthy on offense.  This is a tough one to pick and I do think that it will end up being one of the best games of Week 7, but this time I am going to go with Tampa Bay.  Outside of LeSean McCoy there aren’t too many plays on the Buffalo offense for their opponents to sweat over.  The Bucs’ “D” will have to play better this week than they did last week, however.

Tampa Bay 31, Buffalo 29

New York Jets (3-3) @ Miami Dolphins (3-2)

In what I think is the most shocking result of the year, the Dolphins went into Atlanta and came back from 17 down to take a win away from the Falcons a week ago.  Now, after a much maligned start to the year, Miami is 3-2 and poised to go 4-2 against a Jet team that did give the Patriots a nice punch before falling.  I do think that the Dolphins are still trying to figure out who they are on offense, but their defense is a good unit and I think that’s going to be the difference in a close game.

Miami 22, New York 20

Tennessee Titans (3-3) @ Cleveland Browns (0-6)

In a wide open AFC South, the Titans need to take control of things if they hope to live up to the preseason hype.  They’re in a good spot to do this against a Browns team that is reeling and doesn’t look like they can beat anybody at the moment.  Yup, the Brownies are on 0-16 watch again and that talk will continue after the Titans come into town and run the ball right down their throat en route to a dominant win.

Tennessee 41, Cleveland 16

Sunday, October 22nd, 4:05 e.t.

Dallas Cowboys (2-3) @ San Francisco 49ers (0-6)

Will Ezekiel Elliot be playing this week?  It looks like it as he has been granted permission to play in this game.  With that, I don’t seen any reason to believe that the Cowboys won’t bring their record back to .500.  I don’t see the Niners being as efficient on offense this week because they will not have the element of surprise this time around with new QB C.J. Beathard who did have a slightly above average game against Washington.  Unlike the Browns, however, the 49ers do have some good things to build off of in a winless season.  At least they are keeping their games interesting.

Dallas 26, San Francisco 17 ***LOCK OF THE WEEK***

Sunday, October 22nd, 4:25 e.t.

Denver Broncos (3-2) @ Los Angeles Chargers (2-4)

Just when we were all starting to raise our eyebrows with the Broncos, they come home off of a BYE and get embarrassed by the New York Giants.  Now they hit the road and take on a Charger team that is beginning to get it’s bearings.  L.A.’s offense is still having difficulty finishing drives and that will have to change this week if they want to win.  Phil Rivers tends to play well against Denver, however, and I see that continuing here as the Chargers claw their way back in the AFC playoff picture.

Los Angeles 21, Denver 20

Seattle Seahawks (3-2) @ New York Giants (1-5)

The Giants finally got into the win column against the Broncos in a game that was largely dominated by their defense.  Go figure it came on the road in a tough place to play sans all of their best offensive players.  Good luck figuring this league out.  Anyways, do I see New York pulling off a second straight upset?  No, I do not.  I’m predicting the Seahawks to go on a bit of a run here with an NFC that is very much anybody’s for the taking.

Seattle 36, New York 19

Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)

I love the move of this game to Sunday afternoon because this should be an intense game pitting the surging Bengals and the Steelers who are fresh off of their somewhat surprising road win over KC.  The Steelers defense is becoming the strength of the team and it should show up strong here as Cincy and Pittsburgh typically produce low-scoring affairs.  Running game and defense will get the job done in the Steel City and I am going with the home team on that note.

Pittsburgh 23, Cincinnati 17

Sunday, October 22nd, 8:30 e.t.

Atlanta Falcons (3-2) @ New England Patriots (4-2)

The Falcons just lost a close game to Miami a week ago at home while the Patriots closed out a tough road win over the Jets.  Now hosting the Falcons who are in a bit of a tailspin offensively, the Patriots look to regain their position of supremacy atop the AFC with a win.  However, their defense is still getting shredded by every opponent this year and that provides a good opportunity for the Falcons to have a get-well game on the road.  That said I’ve learned my lesson picking against the Pats in prime time in the past so I’m not doing it here.

New England 34, Atlanta 28

Monday, October 23rd, 8:30 e.t.

Washington Redskins (3-2) @ Philadelphia Eagles (5-1)

The Eagles look like the best team in the NFC right now and have won games with their offense and their defense.  The Redskins always play Philly tough, but I don’t think that will give them a win on Monday night.  The ‘Skins are a little too banged up for me to like their chances going on the road and getting a “W”.  Not to mention, but I’ll mention, the Iggles tend to do pretty well on Monday Night Football, especially against Washington.

Philadelphia 32, Washington 24

2017 Season: Week 6 Preview

Another week and another slew of crazy and unpredictable NFL action is on our plate.  All teams have played at least a quarter of their games this year, and we are starting to get a feel for how some are.  However, there are still a few teams that we don’t know about five games in.  These games are getting hard to pick, but here comes another effort from yours truly.  Let’s get it.

Last Week: 8-6

Season: 44-33

Locks: 1-4

Upsets: 1-4

Thursday, October 12th, 8:25 e.t.

Philadelphia Eagles (4-1) @ Carolina Panthers (4-1)

We kick off Week 6 with the best of the fourteen games.  Both the Eagles and Panthers are built a lot alike.  Two tough quarterbacks capable of making plays with their legs, defenses that can get after the ball, and a running attack that could take over a game.  Also, these teams ate #1 and #2 in the league in converting third downs on the year.  In a tough one to pick I am going to go with the Eagles.  They can control the clock with their running game better than Carolina in my opinion.

Philadelphia 26, Carolina 20

Sunday, October 15th, 1:00 e.t.

Miami Dolphins (2-2) @ Atlanta Falcons (3-1)

Fresh off of their BYE, the Falcons host the offensively challenged Dolphins.  There is not much to debate here, the ‘Phins will not be able to keep up with Atlanta on the road.  I expect Matt Ryan to carve up Miami en route to a healthy win.

Atlanta 37, Miami 14

Cleveland Browns (0-5) @ Houston Texans (2-3)

This could be our first battle of rookie QBs on the season, and these rookies could not be having more polar opposite of seasons.  DeShone Kizer was benched last week versus the Jets for poor play and turning the ball over while Deshaun Watson has accounted for five touchdowns in back-to-back weeks.  Houston did suffer a major blow losing both J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus last week, but it won’t matter this week at home versus Cleveland who still looks like a hot mess on offense.

Houston 30, Cleveland 10

Detroit Lions (3-2) @ New Orleans Saints (2-2)

Here’s a fun stat: the Saints have not turned the ball over yet this year.  No team has ever opened the season with five straight turnover-free games and they look to be the first against a team that, to be honest, I don’t know too much about.  Are the Lions a good team or one that has been fortunate to play teams like the Cardinals, Giants, and the Sam Bradford-less Vikings?  I think Detroit has a solid squad, but I do not see them going in to the Big Easy and winning for the second straight year.  I saw what Cam Newton did to this “D” on the road and I’m convinced that Drew Brees can do the same at home.

New Orleans 27, Detroit 24

Green Bay Packers (4-1) @ Minnesota Vikings (3-2)

How good is Aaron Rodgers?  He lead his team back on the road against Dallas with the go-ahead touchdown pass at the eleven second mark.  The craziest thing is, that was not surprising to anybody.  We all expected it to happen and it did.  Right now the Vikings offense is Jekyll and Hyde and they will have no chance if it is slumping this week, even at home.  Green Bay is the hot team right now and I think they will go on the road and take care of business like the Lions did two weeks ago.

Green Bay 22, Minnesota 16 ***LOCK OF THE WEEK***

Chicago Bears (1-4) @ Baltimore Ravens (3-2)

Mitchell Trubisky looked pretty good on Monday night before throwing a pick in the final minutes, but let’s face it, he was going against a very good defense.  The Chicago offense was very sloppy and wiped out a lot of nice plays with penalties.  That shows that the Bears are not a quality team.  They’ve been no shows in their two road games this season, and I expect that to continue against a Raven team that may have found a bit of their mojo on offense last week against the Raiders.

Baltimore 29, Chicago 13

New England Patriots (3-2) @ New York Jets (3-2)

Who woulda thunk it: both the Pats and Jets have the same record five weeks into the season.  The Patriots looked great on offense for the second and third quarters against Tampa Bay while their defense looked awesome for the first 50 minutes of that game.  Against the Jets, who were barely able to beat the struggling Browns, I think Bill Belichick and company will overwhelm them on both sides of the ball.

New England 30, New York 15

San Francisco 49ers (0-5) @ Washington Redskins (2-2)

If I had to pick the best out of the winless teams, there is no doubt it would be the 49ers.  They actually could have won any of their last four games and are hanging in there.  However, they are finding ways to lose which is what bad teams do.  The Redskins are not a bad team.  They have an even record, but their two losses came against squads with a combined record of 9-1.  Jay Gruden’s team, at home, should get their ground game going against a Niner team that can be had in that department.

Washington 27, San Francisco 10

Sunday, October 15th, 4:05 e.t.

Los Angeles Rams (3-2) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2)

Who woulda thought that this would be an interesting game?  We got a good offense versus a good defense.  The Rams did just turn the ball over five times against Seattle but they still remained in the game thanks to a solid effort from their “D”.  Meanwhile the Jags were busy going on the road and dominating the Steelers.  It is still hard to tell if the Jaguars are for real because they seem to appear and then disappear the next week.  I was going to pick them at home, but I got a weird feeling that this will be their knuckleball of a game.  Rams win.

Los Angeles 20, Jacksonville 14 ***UPSET OF THE WEEK***

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2) @ Arizona Cardinals (2-3)

The Cardinals were torched a week ago against a good Eagle team and have managed just 22 points over their last two games.  They are not protecting Carson Palmer well, but luckily for them Tampa Bay has struggled to get to the passer (although they did a fine job at that versus New England a week back).  That said, I don’t know if I like their odds traveling across the country to play a very ticked off Cardinal team that will be looking to take some shots on offense.  I like an Arizona upset here.

Arizona 26, Tampa Bay 25

Sunday, October 15th, 4:25 e.t.

Los Angeles Chargers (1-4) @ Oakland Raiders (2-3)

The Chargers picked up their first win of the year against a very banged up and still winless Giants team while the Raiders struggled on offense for the third straight week.  Oakland’s problem is that they have not been able to run the ball during this stretch.  Luckily, the Chargers have had a lot of problems stopping the run themselves and that does not bode well for them here.  I think the Raiders can eek out a win without Derek Carr at the helm here, but with a loss, they would drop to last place shockingly enough.

Oakland 21, San Diego 20

Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2) @ Kansas City Chiefs (5-0)

Ben Roethlisberger’s comments following his five interception performance were concerning stating that maybe he didn’t have it anymore.  To me, that just sounded like a QB frustrated with his performance and I can see him breaking back out at some point.  However, that will not happen this week.  The Chiefs have too many weapons on offense to contend with and they are hitting on all cylinders right now.  At Arrowhead, I love the home team.

Kansas City 38, Pittsburgh 24

Sunday, October 15th, 8:30 e.t.

New York Giants (0-5) @ Denver Broncos (3-1)

Why can’t Sunday Night Football flex out of this game?  The Giants are a mess right now and are essentially missing their entire receiving corps and cannot protect their QB against one of the best defenses in the league on the road.  The Broncos should have no problem steam-rolling Big Blue here.

Denver 35, New York 7

Monday, October 16th, 8:30 e.t.

Indianapolis Colts (2-3) @ Tennessee Titans (2-3)

This game could be very intriguing with Andrew Luck versus Marcus Mariota or it could be another blah Monday night game with Jacoby Brissett versus Matt Cassel.  Let’s hope it is the former.  I think Mariota should be a go for this game and the Titans really need a win to keep pace in the division at home.  The Titans have struggled to beat the Colts as of late, but I think that trend ends on Monday night.  Their defense is good enough and the offense is much better with #8 healthy.  I do reserve the right to change my mind on this contest provided who is starting at QB for each team.

Tennessee 28, Indianapolis 17

2017 Season: Week 5 Preview

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

Season: 36-27

Locks: 1-3

Upsets: 1-3

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

2017 Season: Week 4 Preview

After a wild and thrilling Week 3, we are ready for some more fun as the NFL season forges into October.  Who will be the big winners this week?  Here are my picks.

Last Week: 10-6

Season: 30-17

Locks: 1-2

Upsets: 1-2

Thursday, September 28th, 8:25 e.t.

Chicago Bears (1-2) @ Green Bay Packers (2-1)

Both of these teams are coming off of an overtime victory at home versus an AFC North opponent.  The week is short and that always favors the home team.  While the Packers did not look dominant against the Bengals, I do like them to win this game easily.  I feel that Chicago is going to be one of those teams that does not travel well, but plays solid ball at home.

Green Bay 31, Chicago 14

Sunday, October 1st, 9:30 am e.t.

New Orleans Saints (1-2) vs. Miami Dolphins (1-1) (In London)

The Saints may have temporarily saved their season with a win in Charlotte last week while the Dolphins looked pitiful on the road against the Jets.  This is one of the hardest games to pick this week, but I do like the Dolphins to reel in a big win.  I think Jay Cutler and company can attack New Orleans vertically and create some splash plays in the passing game.  That will help them get out of London with a W.

Miami 28, New Orleans 22

Sunday, October 1st, 1:00 e.t.

Detroit Lions (2-1) @ Minnesota Vikings (2-1)

In one of the best games of the week, the NFC North lead is up for grabs and this should be a great game.  The Lions nearly beat the Falcons at home last week while the Vikes blew out the Bucs in Minnesota.  Given that this game is being played Minnesota that should give Mike Zimmer’s squad the advantage here.  I like their defense to turn up the heat and make life uncomfortable for Matthew Stafford.

Minnesota 26, Detroit 19

Carolina Panthers (2-1) @ New England Patriots (2-1)

Tom Brady pulled off a heart-pounding come from behind win last week versus Houston but the Patriots have been played tough twice at home this year.  However, I think that the Panthers 2-1 record may be a bit of smoke and mirrors to this point and I say the Pats flex their muscles at home for the first time all season.

New England 38, Carolina 21

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1) @ New York Jets (1-2)

Okay, this is a weird one.  One of these teams is going to have a surprising record after this week either the Jets at 2-2 or the Jags at 3-1.  The Jets looked impressive at home last week but I think their offense will struggle mightily against a Jacksonville defense that has looked great in all but the second half of their game against the Titans.

Jacksonville 23, New York 12

Buffalo Bills (2-1) @ Atlanta Falcons (3-0)

The Falcons could be 1-2 if a couple of plays didn’t break their way this year, but alas they are undefeated and will be hosting the first ever day game at their sparkling new stadium.  I don’t see Buffalo hanging in with the Falcons in a shootout and thus I am going with the home team in this battle.

Atlanta 32, Buffalo 22

Tennessee Titans (2-1) @ Houston Texans (1-2)

Here’s another sneaky good game.  Deshaun Watson looked good on the road against the Patriots last week while the Titans finally got a statement win over (what should be) a quality team this year.  Of course, most people would take the Titans here, but I think I’m gonna roll with Houston and their defense.  Tennessee is still getting it together on “D” this year and the Texan rookie QB should be able to make some plays Sunday.

Houston 21, Tennessee 20

Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1) @ Baltimore Ravens (2-1)

I feel like I’ve been a bit hard on the Ravens this year, but I really am not a big fan of their offense, and that unit looked horrible in London against the Jags last week.  The Steelers run defense was not good against the Bears, but their pass defense was just fine.  That should not prove to be an issue on the road in Baltimore this week.  I see Pittsburgh pounding the rock on the ground and shortening this game en route to a nice division win.

Pittsburgh 20, Baltimore 9

Los Angeles Rams (2-1) @ Dallas Cowboys (2-1)

Both teams got some big plays out of both of their passing and rushing game last week on the road and the Rams will be coming in off a mini-BYE.  However, the Cowboys proved that they can outlast their opponents by pounding the run and being scrappy on defense against the Cardinals on Monday night and I can see them doing the same thing at home against a Ram team that has looked good in their two wins, albeit against poor teams.

Dallas 27, Los Angeles 17 ***LOCK OF THE WEEK***

Cincinnati Bengals (0-3) @ Cleveland Browns (0-3)

Ahh, the good ole battle of Ohio is taking place for the first of two times this weekend.  It is also a battle of two out of five winless teams in the league this year.  The Bengals looked good running the ball with Joe Mixon in Lambeau last week, but Andy Dalton needs to get things right as he is missing some open receivers this year.  I can see them taking a win away from the Browns who are still trying to find that identity on both sides of the ball in Cleveland.

Cincinnati 21, Cleveland 14

Sunday, October 1st, 4:05 e.t.

Philadelphia Eagles (2-1) @ Los Angeles Chargers (0-3)

For the second straight week, Philly takes on a winless team desperate for a win.  This time around I do not see them winning.  The Chargers will be desperate and at home on the west coast versus an Eagle team that is not healthy right now.  Philip Rivers needs to have a bounceback game and I think he can do that at home on Sunday.

Los Angeles 23, Philadelphia 21

New York Giants (0-3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)

This is another tough game to choose because I think that the Bucs are slightly better than the Giants at this point in the season, but New York is very hungry for a win.  A healthy Odell Beckham Jr. made the New York offense look worlds better in the fourth quarter last week and the Giants need to mimic what they did against Philly again because if that formula works they can win plenty of games this year.  The Bucs will make it tough, but Jameis Winston will ultimately make one too many mistakes at home.  Side note: Tampa Bay is not a great home team.

New York 24, Tampa Bay 20 ***UPSET OF THE WEEK***

San Francisco (0-3) @ Arizona Cardinals (1-2)

The Cardinals have looked like a mess on the O-line so far and that does not bode well for them in this game with the pass rush probably being one of the Niners strengths on the season.  If San Fran can stuff the run game and Brian Hoyer can play nearly as well this week as he did last, I like Kyle Shanahan to pick up his first win as a head coach this week on the road.

San Francisco 16, Arizona 10

Sunday, October 1st, 4:25 e.t.

The Raiders were embarrassed in prime time against the Redskins and will be really ticked off this week.  Meanwhile, the Broncos were humbled on the road against Buffalo.  Obviously Denver is a much better team at home and they should play well against the Raiders but I feel obligated to pick Oakland seeing as how they were my Super Bowl pick.  Also, barring a tie of course, one of these previously 2-0 teams will be dropping to 2-2 and I say that will be the Broncos, but slightly begrudgingly.

Oakland 26, Denver 17

Sunday, October 1st, 8:30 e.t.

Indianapolis Colts (1-2) @ Seattle Seahawks (1-2)

This is probably the least appetizing Sunday Night Football game in recent history but it will feature two teams that really need a win to keep pace in their divisions.  Seattle finally got something going on offense last week and it came all via Russell Wilson.  He shouldn’t have any trouble carving up a poor Indy defense at home Sunday night.

Seattle 34, Indianapolis 10

Monday, October 2nd, 8:30 e.t.

Washington Redskins (2-1) @ Kansas City Chiefs (3-0)

Its Week 4, and no other team has looked better than the Kansas City Chiefs.  The Redskins will have their hands full on the road in front of a raucous crowd at Arrowhead.  The only thing Washington has going for it is that their defense has looked very good this season.  Offensively they are sound, but they won’t have the horses to hang with an AFC superpower on the road.

Kansas City 30, Washington 21

2017 Season: Week 3 Preview

We’ve got two weeks in the books and there are only ten undefeated teams left in the league.  Week 3 boasts just one matchup of 2-0 teams, so in theory we could still have nine after this weekend.  This likely won’t happen, but you never know with today’s NFL.  Defense has been the name of the game for the first two stanzas, so will this be the window when the offenses catch up?  Here are my game picks for the third week of the season.

Last Week: 10-6

Season: 20-11

Locks: 0-2

Upsets: 0-2

Thursday, September 21st, 8:25 e.t.

Los Angeles Rams (1-1) @ San Francisco 49ers (0-2)

After demolishing the Colts at home, the Rams got run over by the Redskins last week and that evened their record out.  Now they hit the road for the first time this year to take on a 49er team that hung tough with Seattle a week ago.  The Niners won two games all of last year and both were against these Rams.  I want to pick them to win again here but I can’t pull the trigger given the fact that I think that L.A.’s D-line will dominate this game.  Could see this one being close, but ultimately I think the Rams will put it away midway through the third quarter.

Los Angeles 21, San Francisco 12

Sunday, September 24th, 9:30 am e.t.

Baltimore Ravens (2-0) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) (in London)

We get our first international game of the season, and it pits two good defenses alongside two not so great offenses.  I don’t expect to see a ton of points here and this contest will come down to which “D” steps up in the end.  I like Baltimore to improve to 3-0 in that situation.  The Ravens have had a terrific start to their season on that side of the ball with ten takeaways (five in back-to-back weeks).  While I don’t think they will steal the football five times yet again, I can see them making some splash plays and making life tough on Blake Bortles sans Allen Robinson.

Baltimore 17, Jacksonville 10

Sunday, September 24th, 1:00 e.t.

Houston Texans (1-1) @ New England Patriots (1-1)

The Pats showed everybody last week that they are not on the downfall after taking one on the chin opening night.  Now they play host to an offense that has looked terrible for the most part this season.  Deshaun Watson has a lot to learn in this league, and on the road in New England is not the place to do it.  Look for the Pats’ “D” to make a statement win at home against the rook.

New England 31, Houston 14

Cleveland Browns (0-2) @ Indianapolis Colts (0-2)

Last week I said that the Colts wouldn’t win a game without Andrew Luck this year.  I was almost wrong a week ago and I’m ready to go back on my word here.  I think the Browns have a much improved team over a year ago, but it could take a little bit of time for their offense to gel.  The Colts aren’t anything special, but they are playing at home and I think they can squeak out a win playing the Brownies this early in the season.

Indianapolis 20, Cleveland 18

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0) @ Minnesota Vikings (1-1)

As of the writing of this column, we don’t know if Sam Bradford will be good to play in this game.  I am operating under the assumption that he will not be which will make things tough on the Vikings.  That said, I love the homefield advantage that the Vikes do have and I think that their offense will look much better this time around with that edge.  So, regardless of who starts at QB, I like Minnesota to take this one.  Jameis Winston makes a couple of mistakes that tilt the game in the home team’s favor.  It also seems like a good opportunity for the Vikings to shut down that Tampa run game and make the Bucs one dimensional.

Minnesota 27, Tampa Bay 14

New York Giants (0-2) @ Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)

You won’t see a more desperate team entering Week 3 than the New York Giants and the story of their season has been their poor play up front on the O-line.  Things do not get better as they hit the road to take on a stout Eagles’ D-line.  The Giants will utilize a lot of quick passes to prevent Philly from getting after Eli Manning, but as long as the Eagles tackle well, they shouldn’t have a problem here.  I like what I’ve seen from Carson Wentz so far too as the birds have looked like the best team in the NFC East thus far.  I don’t think the Giants season is done with a loss here, but they got a big hole to dig themselves out of.

Philadelphia 26, New York 17

Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) @ Chicago Bears (0-2)

Okay, which Bears will we see this week?  The one that nearly (and probably should have) beat Atlanta Week 1, or the one that got destroyed by the Bucs last week.  Methinks they will be a little closer to the former as they draw the Steelers in Chicago.  Le’Veon Bell has yet to really get it going on the ground and I look for Pittsburgh to establish the run early.  The Bears have been good versus the run thus far, so it will come down to Ben Roethlisberger’s right arm.  I think he gets the job done, but not without a fight.

Pittsburgh 24, Chicago 20

Atlanta Falcons (2-0) @ Detroit Lions (2-0)

I’m looking at all sixteen games this week, and I think that this is the best out of all of them.  Both teams have looked pretty good to start the year, and one of them is going to 3-0 to start the year.  I think that will be Atlanta.  They’ll be running on turf this week which gives them a huge advantage.  Also, the Falcons’ offensive line is much better than the Giants’ and Cardinals’, so Detroit won’t be able to bully them around quite so much.

Atlanta 37, Detroit 27 ***LOCK OF THE WEEK***

Denver Broncos (2-0) @ Buffalo Bills (1-1)

The Broncos looked good last week against the Cowboys, proving their defense is still great.  The big story has to be Trevor Siemian and his right arm thus far, though, as he has looked like a potential franchise quarterback.  Most people will be picking Denver to go to 3-0, but I think that the Bills can steal one here.  I look at the Broncos and can see that defense falling off a bit as they fly to the east coast and fall into a classic trap game.  If Buffalo can get some rhythm going on offense, I like their chances at an upset at home.

Buffalo 23, Denver 21 ***UPSET OF THE WEEK***

New Orleans Saints (0-2) @ Carolina Panthers (2-0)

The NFC’s answer to Baltimore’s defense has to be the Carolina Panthers.  They have allowed just six points through two weeks and are getting after the passer much better than they did a year ago.  The Saints, meanwhile, have had some issues on offense to this point in the year with only three touchdowns, two of them coming in garbage time.  Last year the NFC South matchups produced a lot of points, but I don’t think this one will.  I was going to take the Saints to win their first game of the season, but they’re going to have to get the ground game going.  Drew Brees can’t do it all and unfortunately I think he will have to on the road in Charlotte.  Give me Carolina.

Carolina 19, New Orleans 16

Miami Dolphins (1-0) @ New York Jets (0-2)

The Dolphins eeked a win out on the road in Los Angeles a week ago and now they fly back across the country to take on an underwhelming Jet team.  Josh McCown actually looked decent on the road in Oakland but he has no other help on offense at the moment.  The Dolphins did a great job against the run versus the Chargers and they shouldn’t have any trouble shutting that facet of the game down here either.

Miami 30, New York 14

Sunday, September 24th, 4:05 e.t.

Seattle Seahawks (1-1) @ Tennessee Titans (1-1)

Each of these teams picked up their first win of the year last week, but the Titans have looked like a much better team this season.  All I’ve got to say is luckily for Tennessee, they draw this game early in the year because if this was November or later, I’d probably pick Seattle.  Unfortunately for the Hawks, they are still trying to put the pieces together on offense and their rush defense has not been great to this point.  The Titans get the job done at home here with some power football and play action passing.

Tennessee 24, Seattle 18

Sunday, September 24th, 4:25 e.t.

Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) @ Green Bay Packers (1-1)

The Bengals have been a major disappointment this season so far.  Their offense has been atrocious and they have yet to score a touchdown on the season.  The Packers got torched by Atlanta on the road last week, but a lot of teams will probably meet that same fate this season.  Returning home, Green Bay gets back on the ball with a win.  However, I think the Bengals will shock everybody by playing them tough.  Their defense has not been the problem this year, so if the “O” gets it going a little bit, this could be a better game than most would expect.

Green Bay 29, Cincinnati 23

Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) @ Los Angeles Chargers (0-2)

The Chargers need a win, and badly.  Unfortunately for them they are playing the hottest team in football this week.  The Bolts could be 2-0, but continue to find ways to lose games.  I think they can keep this game very close until then end, but I can see Alex Smith driving his team down the field for a go-ahead score late to down L.A. for a third straight heartbreaking defeat.  That offense is looking good and they continue to roll to their third win.

Kansas City 32, San Diego 28

Sunday, September 24th, 8:30 e.t.

Oakland Raiders (2-0) @ Washington Redskins (1-1)

The Redskins picked up a huge road win last week late versus the LA Rams and it’s a good thing they did because I do not see them winning this game here against the Raiders.  Derek Carr and the Oakland offense has looked good this season and the Washington defense has not been that fantastic so far.  The Raiders will travel well this year and I think their passing attack can shred the Redskin defense in Landover.

Oakland 38, Washington 20

Monday, September 25th, 8:30 e.t.

Dallas Cowboys (1-1) @ Arizona Cardinals (1-1)

I wanted to pick Dallas to win here since the Cardinals have not been that good this season and barely beat the Colts last week.  However, this is their home opener, and I think that will really help them out.  Their defense should be swarming and Denver really put the blueprint down on how to defeat the Cowboys: make Dak Prescott beat you.  He was unable to do so last week and won’t be able to again this week as the Cards will work to shut Ezekiel Elliot down for the second straight week.

Arizona 21, Dallas 19

2017 Season: Week 2 Preview

Week 1 has come and gone, and mercifully so for some (I’m looking at you Giants, Colts, Bengals, and Texans).  We saw a lot of good defense, and also some poor offensive displays which is quite odd in this day and age of football.  I think that this week will provide a lot of excitement and, hopefully, some good football games.  Here are my picks for Week 2’s action.

Last Week: 10-5

Season: 10-5

Locks: 0-1

Upsets: 0-1

Thursday, September 14th, 8:25 e.t.

Houston Texans (0-1) @ Cincinnati Bengals (0-1)

Boy, after last week this game here is not very appetizing as both offenses looked horrific against good defenses.  I really don’t like the Texans’ attack this year and the Bengals do have some potential on that side of the ball.  Playing at home I feel very confident that they will bounce back against a potentially bad team.

Cincinnati 27, Houston 10 ***LOCK OF THE WEEK***

Sunday, September 17th, 1:00 e.t.

Buffalo Bills (1-0) @ Carolina Panthers (1-0)

How about the Bills sitting alone atop the AFC East?  They better enjoy that while it lasts because I have a feeling that will not be the case after this week.  The Carolina defense got the job done on the road last week, so their offense has to catch up.  In their home opener I think that will end up happening.

Carolina 30, Buffalo 23

Arizona Cardinals (0-1) @ Indianapolis Colts (0-1)

The Colts looked awful against the Rams, so much so that they’ve got me wondering if they’ll even win a game without Andrew Luck.  I don’t think they can and even though Carson Palmer looked like age was catching up to him a week ago, and the Cards are going to be without David Johnson for a while I don’t think anybody is losing to Indy anytime soon.  Give me Arizona on the road.

Arizona 22, Indianapolis 7

Minnesota Vikings (1-0) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0)

The Steelers did play down to the Browns last Sunday, but still won in the end.  Meanwhile the Vikings were looking like a dominant team at home versus the Saints and Sam Bradford looked like a possible franchise player.  I like the Vikes this year, but Pittsburgh is home and I think that is going to make a world of difference in this match-up.

Pittsburgh 29, Minnesota 20

Cleveland Browns (0-1) @ Baltimore Ravens (1-0)

The Baltimore defense looked dominant on the road against the Bengals and now they will host the Cleveland Browns and rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer.  Kizer wasn’t bad at all against the Steelers but I think that he’s going to find life on the road tough against Dean Pees’ unit.

Baltimore 16, Cleveland 6

New England Patriots (0-1) @ New Orleans Saints (0-1)

This game could turn out to be the shootout of the week as I’m sure that Tom Brady is going to want to go off on the New Orleans defense that is still not quite there.  Drew Brees is going to guide the Saints to some points here, but in the end I think that the Patriots are going to do everything they can to avoid losing two straight games to start.  Look for that to happen.

New England 38, New Orleans 31

Tennessee Titans (0-1) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0)

The Jags set a franchise record with 10 sacks last week against the Texans and their defense looked flat out dominant.  For the Titans, they lost at home against a good team and they should bounce back on the road here.  The keyword there is should but I think the Jaguars shock the football world again and steal a win at home with a late defensive stand against their rivals from the northwest.

Jacksonville 20, Tennessee 16 ***UPSET OF THE WEEK***

Chicago Bears (0-1) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-0)

The Bucs finally open their season at home against a Bears team that played the Falcons very tough at home.  I like the Chicago running game to do some nice things this season, but I have a feeling they are hitting a buzzsaw here traveling to an emotional Tampa Bay.  Jameis Winston will throw the ball all over the yard en route to a nice win for the Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay 37, Chicago 13

Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) @ Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)

No other team looked as good in Week 1 as the Chiefs did on the road in New England.  Now they come home to play an Eagle team that is coming off of an impressive road win in their own right.  This is a potential trap game for Kansas City, but I think that their home crowd is going to be a huge factor.  Philly is also going to have to do better than 58 yards on the ground here.  Oh yeah, can I say this is the Andy Reid/Doug Peterson bowl.  A lot of ties here.

Kansas City 27, Philadelphia 19

Sunday, September 17th, 4:05 e.t.

New York Jets (0-1) @ Oakland Raiders (1-0)

This one is not hard to pick; the Raiders looked good on the road against the Titans while the Jets looked like… well the Jets in Buffalo.  While I don’t think Gang Green’s defense is awful by any means, it certainly isn’t good enough to carry them to a win over Oakland.  Also, if you have Marshawn Lynch on your fantasy team, make sure you start him this week.  He’s gonna go off.

Oakland 33, New York 13

Miami Dolphins (0-0) @ Los Angeles Chargers (0-1)

It is the Chargers’ first home game in Los Angeles since the 1960’s and it is the the Dolphins first game this season period.  Like the Buccaneers I think the late start to the season will benefit Miami.  Jay Ajayi may be able to get some work done on the ground against an LA defense that looked porous versus the run last week in Denver.  Also, who can’t get enough of Jay Cutler versus Philip Rivers?  I love that rivalry!

Miami 34, Los Angeles 27

Sunday, September 17th, 4:25 e.t.

San Francisco 49ers (0-1) @ Seattle Seahawks (0-1)

Seattle’s offensive line looked terrible against the Packers on the road last week and they could get pushed around this season.  I loved how DeForrest Buckner looked last week against Carolina and I think he can do some big things in Seattle, but it won’t be enough.  Not only will the ‘Hawks win this game, but they will also pitch a shutout.  The Niners’ offense is horrible.

Seattle 17, San Francisco 0

Washington Redskins (0-1) @ Los Angeles Rams (1-0)

I know it was against the Colts, but the Rams looked good last week.  They have a good defense and a lot of offensive potential this season and could be a sneaky team.  For the Redskins, they struggled against the blitz last week and I think Wade Phillips is going to come after Kirk Cousins this time around as well helping the Rams get to 2-0.

Los Angeles 26, Washington 15

Dallas Cowboys (1-0) @ Denver Broncos (1-0)

Here’s an interesting game: it is the Dallas offense versus the Denver D.  On the road I wouldn’t go out of my way to pick the Cowboys here, but I think they can tough out a win.  I’m not sold on the Bronco offense and if the ‘Boys put points on the board early I’m not sure they will be able to keep up.  It should be a good one, though, I’m just going with the road team here.

Dallas 20, Denver 17

Sunday, September 17th, 8:30 e.t.

Green Bay Packers (1-0) @ Atlanta Falcons (1-0)

These two teams played a classic in Atlanta last regular season before meeting again.  The second time the Packers got blown out.  I’m liking this game to be more like the first one from a season ago in a brand new stadium.  This should be good.  Lots of offense will be seen and in the end I give the slight edge to the Packers only because I think Aaron Rodgers will get the job done with all of his weapons healthy.

Green Bay 33, Atlanta 31

Monday, September 18th, 8:30 e.t.

Detroit Lions (1-0) @ New York Giants (0-1)

Obviously the absence of Odell Beckham Jr. had a bad effect on the Giants but I think there are a lot more issues than just that.  The offensive line was bad on the road in Dallas and Big Blue had no running game to help their cause.  I think they will come back to life at home against a Lion team that was pretty much dormant on offense for two and a half quarters last Sunday.  Matthew Stafford will make it interesting, as usual.

New York 24, Detroit 20

In this blog I will preview all NFL games and provide some weekly thoughts.