NFL is back in action tomorrow, so let’s have a look at this weeks slate of games.
Firstly, an apology for not getting the picks in last week. Was a hectic week out there in the real world. Equally so, it was a strange and hectic week in the NFL: The Cleveland Browns are about to start their 26th quarterback since re-joining the league back in 1999 (that’s an average of one and a half a year!), New England are in a weird QB position of their own, and the Minnesota Vikings lost the face of their franchise for a couple of months. Not to mention some results that caught your host off guard.
You hate to call it so early in the year, but there are some must win games this week for certain franchises. Some seeking that elusive first win, some trying to hold ground in their division, some just trying to avoid getting their coach fired.
So let’s delve into this weeks games!
(Last week Josh went 11-5. He is currently 19-13 on the year)
Houston Texans 17 New England Patriots 13
If Houston wants to be taken as a real threat in the AFC and a potential playoff contender, they need to take advantage of rookie Jacoby Brissett at QB. The offence is ticking along and that defence is stout, why can’t they win? Well, Pats Head Coach Bill Belichick is an evil genius and knows how to get it done. But having only 3 days to prep a young QB is hard. Fun Fact: Houston has only beaten New England once since it joined the league back in 2002.
Arizona Cardinals 31 Buffalo Bills 14
No more scapegoats for Rex Ryan. This is your team now and you need to get the best out of them otherwise it will be you getting fired, not your OC. The Cardinals looked stellar in their beat down of Tampa Bay last week and there is no reason it shouldn’t continue it again against a team with as many injuries as the Bills do on defence.
Oakland Raiders 21 Tennessee Titans 18
Flip a coin. The Raiders have looked amazing on the attack these last two weeks, yet abysmal on the other side of the ball. Last week I said we shouldn’t over-react to the Raiders defence looking as bad as it did against the Saints, but if they can’t shut down the smash mouth style of the Titans, hit the panic button folks!
New York Giants 35 Washington Redskins 21
Statement game for the Giants. Stomp out the internally bickering Redskins and their lacklustre QB and you now have two (!) division wins in your first three games. Last week, their defence showed a return on the money that was invested into it. This week, that aerial attack should tear up a rather disappointing Redskins secondary.
Miami Dolphins 21 Cleveland Browns 7
Really don’t want to talk about this game to much as the Browns just make everything sad. If Dolphins Head Coach Adam Gase wants to finally display why he was worth the hype, this is the game to do it against the Factory of Sadness.
Jacksonville Jaguars 28 Baltimore Ravens 20
Alright Jags, it is put up or shut up time. You can not go 0-3 to start the season considering the amount of puff pieces that were written about you during the offseason. Show us why we should believe in you. The Ravens are playing tough on both sides of the ball, but there is still a sense of smoke and mirrors about how they are doing it.
Green Bay Packers 31 Detroit Lions 30
Oooo this is a juicy game. The Packers can not afford to drop another division game so they need to start playing like they did back in 2014. Something isn’t clicking on their attack and they need to start this week. The Lions on the other hand are playing with their hair on fire. Matthew Stafford looks the best he has in years and could very well hang with Aaron Rodgers this week. Remember, the Lions beat the Packers at home last year.
Denver Broncos 21 Cincinnati Bengals 14
The only reason the Broncos will get to 21 is because of their defence. Their defence is great and completely ruins games. However, Cincinnati is a tough place to play and the Bengals will be licking their wounds after losing a division game.
Carolina Panthers 14 Minnesota Vikings 13
This is a matchup of Cam Newton versus that Vikings D. If the Vikings can get to Newton the way they did to Rodgers last Sunday night, the result will be different. But the Vikings are now missing Adrian Peterson and that is no small cog. Expect the Panthers to be a little blitz happy and put all the expectations to win on QB Sam Bradford’s shoulders.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28 Los Angeles Rams 14
Let’s keep this simple: The Rams offence has not scored a touchdown yet this season. The only reason they get to 14 is because Jameis Winston will force passes into tight windows and most likely be picked off.
Seattle Seahawks 24 San Francisco 49ers 10
Seattle are dealing with quite a few injuries on their end. Russell Wilson ankles were heavily strapped last week and that does remove some of his mobility from the attack. However, this 49ers team is just not very good and will most likely be making a switch at quarterback soon. Even though it probably won’t do them any good.
New York Jets 21 Kansas City Chiefs 19
Coin flip! Can Ryan Fitzpatrick get the ball rolling early and allow that insane Jets D to be the difference maker in the game? I think so. If the Jets are able to travel into Arrowhead Stadium and come out the victors, don’t be surprised if they can make a solid crack at the division race with the Patriots.
Indianapolis Colts 35 San Diego Chargers 31
The Colts are backed into a corner and need to come out with a win or else they will go 0-3 in a division where the Texans could potentially be 3-0. Andrew Luck vs Phillip Rivers is going to be a great battle. Both very smart and tough QB’s who continue to try and make chicken salad out of… you know. The loss of Danny Woodhead for the Chargers will be greatly felt, perhaps more so that Keenan Allen.
Philadelphia Eagles 24 Pittsburgh Steelers 21
It’s time to shine Carson Wentz! You’ve had two weeks against rather porous secondaries, now you come against the traditionally brutal Steelers D. But that’s not where this game will be won or lost. It’s can the Eagles defence, which is loaded with talent, shut down the Steelers “Pick Your Poison” offence which can (and often does) shred opposing defences.
Dallas Cowboys 27 Chicago Bears 10
How did the Bears manage to get on Prime Time again? They are dreadful, and now they have lost QB Jay Cutler for at least 2-3 weeks. This should be a perfect showcase game for the ‘Boys and their young talent to show what it can do.
New Orleans Saints 31 Atlanta Falcons 28 (OT)
Call this a homer pick, but the Saints always play the Falcons tough. These two franchises have had some epic battles over the years. Both teams have terrible defences, both have great offences. But why the Saints? The Saints can not go 0-3 and they can not lose a second game in their home dome.
Until next week!