DID YOU SEE THAT?! I hope you did not turn that Thursday night game off!! If you did, you missed a pretty exciting win by the Cleveland Browns. Their first in 19 games!! With Tyrod Taylor pulled out of the game to go through the concussion protocol, rookie Baker Mayfield came in and debuted like a superstar. He even had his own play that folks are calling “The Baker Special” on a two point conversion. Not only that….I picked Cleveland to win!!! WOO HOO!! Guess who I am choosing this week? Read on and find out.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS vs ATLANTA FALCONS:
Oy vey! The New Orleans Saints are not what I expected them to be starting out this season. With the Atlanta Falcons looking like they are back on track, Drew Brees and company may have a tough one this week. The Falcons got in to rhythm with that game over the Panthers last week. Offensively, they should have not problem with the Saints. Defensively, well that remains to be seen. If they can hold the Saints offense back, namely Michael Thomas, then they should get this win. The Saints are not showing any promise through two games that they are a force to be reckoned with at this point. Although this could go either way, the home team gets the advantage.
GREEN BAY PACKERS vs WASHINGTON REDSKINS:
Aaron Rodgers is 2-2 against the Washington Redskins. This game will depend on which Redskins team shows up: the squad that played against Arizona or the one that crumbled versus Indianapolis. They are going up against a clever quarterback in Rodgers. Alex Smith will need the offense clicking on all cylinders along with the defense keeping Rodgers off the field. The Packers are gaining momentum with each game. They should have won last week against ex-Redskin current Vikings QB Kirk Cousins, but the refs thought otherwise. (Yeah, and what?!) The Packers defense is not that strong in the middle and if the Redskins can see that, they may stand a chance at keeping pace. The pick last week went against everything inside so this week will be the ONLY choice.
Green Bay Packers
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS vs PHILADELPHIA EAGLES:
Let’s see. Carson Wentz is in. Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles, Alshon Jeffery, Mack Hollins, and Mike Wallace are out. Seems like the Eagles are working with a skeleton crew. Lucky for them, Wentz has been working with that same skeleton crew throughout training camp. This could be trouble for a Colts team that had a bit of success against the Redskins last week. The Colts have definitely looked good with Andrew Luck running the show again. They are not the best though. Indianapolis’s defense is strong. This might give them a chance to stay in the game against Philadelphia. Wentz has a better team around him at this point. It’ll be close.
BUFFALO BILLS vs MINNESOTA VIKINGS:
Rookie QB Josh Allen against the Vikings defense. There is no more to say here.
OAKLAND RAIDERS vs MIAMI DOLPHINS:
No one thought that the Oakland Raiders would have been this bad this season, right? Very pedestrian and unable to close. Miami has looked like a team revived with the return of Ryan Tannehill. So, they have not played against the best teams, but every win counts. No need for details here.
DENVER BRONCOS vs BALTIMORE RAVENS:
Two tough defenses. This will be hard to decide. Case Keenum seems comfortable driving the offense in Denver. Joe Flacco has shown those flashes of years past since getting a few new weapons. Hmmm….. the Ravens of old are on the horizon. The Broncos look good, but have not faced much adversity in the first two games. Baltimore’s defense will win out.
CINCINNATI BENGALS vs CAROLINA PANTHERS:
It is taking everything that Cam Newton has to keep his team afloat each week. Andy Dalton has his boys rolling. The Panthers are not all that healthy. That will be no match for the Bengals defense. Honestly, it will be enough for the Bengal offense either. Have you seen A. J. Green lately? Yeah. Cam is not going to be able to carry them the entire game this week.
NEW YORK GIANTS vs HOUSTON TEXANS:
Houston could not get it done against a Marcus Mariota-less Tennessee team. If they let Blaine Gabbert beat them, do think they will fair any better against Eli Manning? Eli is far more talented than Blaine. Eli has Odell and Sequon. If the Texans defense can play like they can, the possibilities could be endless in getting a win. If they continue to play on the mediocre side, then there are no possibilities. Deshaun Watson is not looking good for the offensive side of the ball either. Houston securing this win would be ideal, but unlikely.
New York Giants
TENNESSEE TITANS vs JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS:
Maybe it was too hot on the field last week for the New England Patriots. Maybe the Jags stepped up in the absence of Leonard Fournette. Maybe the Jaguars ARE that good. They will be on their high horse after beating Tom Brady and company. There are no signs of slowing down for this team. The Titans have been ok. They beat the Texans last week. Is it enough against a hot Jaguars team? Not so much.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS vs KANSAS CITY CHIEFS:
Are Jimmy Garoppolo and the running game with Matt Breida enough against the gunslinger Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce? The answer right now is NO. San Fran is playing well, but the Chiefs are playing great! Garoppolo does not have the weapons to make this into a shoot out. He will rely heavily on the run game. This does not mean that it will be easy for KC. If KC gets ahead though, do not expect them to look back.
Kansas City Chiefs
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS vs LOS ANGELES RAMS:
No one can argue that the Rams are contenders. They have Todd Gurley running the ball. No one can deny the Chargers play either. They have Melvin Gordon and Keenan Allen catching the ball. The battle of L. A. will come down to defense. The edge goes to the Rams. Both teams have outstanding offensive sides. In this matchup, it’s the defensive side that will determine the outcome.
Los Angeles Rams
DALLAS COWBOYS vs SEATTLE SEAHAWKS:
Dallas rained on my parade last week with that Sunday night win over New York. They will be playing in one of the loudest stadiums in the league this week. To say that Seattle has Russell Wilson is sadly not enough. There is a strong belief that he can pull it off on his own against a so-so Cowboys defense, but there is not a lot of assistance around him. Jason Garrett appears to have no game plan for the boys. Rhyme and reason have no place in his strategy. It is possible they could steal one in Seattle, but doubtful if Russell and Pete Carroll can hone in on the Cowboy’s weaknesses.
CHICAGO BEARS vs ARIZONA CARDINALS:
Depressing is the word used to describe the Arizona Cardinals. Up against a rising Chicago Bears club, they are not going to fair well. Unless the football gods bless them in some way, the Cardinals will be praying for a win.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS vs DETROIT LIONS:
UGH!!! Could there be a more uninteresting contest for a Sunday night? Detroit looks like they are on their way to a, let’s say, bad season. New England will not lose two in a row. Tom Brady will try to prove his age is just a number. The Lions may attempt to play up to the talent they are facing, but to no avail. Do not look for a lot of action in this game.
New England Patriots
Cross your fingers that there is no tie game this week. LOL! With the teams seeming to settle into their respective rhythms, it may get harder to pick who might win. This is why they play the game though. I’m always curious to see who you all picked. Feel free to let me know in the comments section. Good luck to your teams and picks!
Check out my colleagues below.