Week One is in the books. It was everything we hoped for. Except when it wasn’t. Like Wonder Woman 1984. Or Tinder. The important thing here is, everybody got a little too excited, and everybody got a little disappointed. That’s how you know football is back, baby!
Speaking of disappointment, did anyone really think the Browns were gonna win that game? At any point? Bueller…? Did you know when these two teams met in Week One of the 2002 season the Browns lost because a player took off his helmet in the celebration too early, drawing a penalty that set up a game-winning field goal for the Chiefs? Yeah, that happened. Cleveland literally invents ways to lose. The city and the team. Look, you either pay attention to these things or you don’t.
The Chiefs were happy. Even people who bet on the Browns were happy (since they covered). Really everyone came out a winner except Cleveland. And how is that slogan not on a t-shirt yet? It would sell out everywhere, especially Cleveland.
Let’s talk Week Two!
GIANTS (+3.5) AT FOOTBALL TEAM
I don’t like either team right now. Daniel Jones? Nope. At least Washington lost to a good team in the Chargers. And the drop-off from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Taylor Heinicke isn’t much going forward.
The Giants lost to Denver. Denver isn’t good, they’re scrappy. They haven’t been “good” since John Elway left (winning a Super Bowl with the corpse formerly known as Peyton Manning doesn’t count. Anyone can pull off Weekend At Bernie’s once, but what happens in the sequel? 43-8 Seahawks, that’s what). But Bronco fans would disagree, of course. Remember when Tim Tebow won them a playoff game? They do.
I guess what I’m saying is I’d go with Football Team here. Which reminds me, I thought of a good new name for them: the Washington Denzels.
He likes it! You can tell.
BENGALS (+3) AT BEARS
The Bengals should ride their momentum into another win here. But they won’t. Hey, you don’t get to 7-10 without losing some winnable games along the way. Chicago is headed for the same record, but something’s gotta give here. It’s in Chicago so go with the Bears. They’ll fight hard since they don’t realize their season is over already.
Plus the Andy Dalton revenge thing. And if he stinks they can just put in Justin Fields. Either way, Joe Burrow will wonder how the hell he lost. Then he’ll remember. Oh right, I play for Cincinnati. We’re in Ohio. We don’t win at the pro level.
Dalton is Burrow’s Ghost of Christmas Future.
BRONCOS (-6) AT JAGUARS
I still like Trevor Lawrence (even if he’s not related to Johnny, he should still sweep the leg). But the Jags’ sad display against Houston was unsettling. We’ve talked about Denver. If the Texans game was more competitive I’d be up for taking Jacksonville with the points.
But it wasn’t. So I’d stick with the scrappy team that will probably go 7-2 before people start to realize they’re not THAT good. I think the Broncos win here.
Sorry, Jacksonville. For now, you’ll just have to be content with being the twelfth best city in Florida. Hi, Melbourne, yep, 11th.
49ERS (-3.5) AT EAGLES
At first, this looks like just a classic matchup of two teams that crushed vastly inferior foes the previous week and now think they are way better than they actually are. And it’s still that. But how did the Niners/Lions score go from like 38-10 to a one-score game in like three minutes? Way too close, San Fran! That’s a little concerning. As is the fact that your players tear ACLs every hour on the half-hour.
Because of that, I’m going Eagles here. Keep in mind I don’t think much of Philly yet, but I can see them riding the delusion through another week. Maybe more. The wheels will come off later. But Eagle fans will take it in stride, they’re known to be a pretty chill bunch. Like this guy:
And that’s when they win!
BILLS (-3) AT DOLPHINS
Everybody still on that Bills to the Super Bowl train? I tried to warn you. Still, I expect they will improve. And the Steelers are always like a better version of the Broncos. Scrappy, tough, good enough to win lots of games, just not Super Bowls. So I see Buffalo rebounding against Miami this week.
The Dolphins got a nice win in New England, denying Mac Jones his first NFL victory and even after he bothered to get in shape. But it was hardly resounding. Miami is a solid team these days. They’re in the top half, but not the top ten. You’d go to the prom with them, but is it really worth getting all dressed up?
The Bills are better and will play better this week. So they lost to the Steelers. It’s not like they canceled your Warcraft account.
PATRIOTS (-5.5) AT JETS
It’s the points that unsettle me on this one. It so feels like it will be a close game. They want you to take the Jets, they’re daring you. Zach Wilson and Mac Jones are each coming off a respectable enough debut that ended with an L. Zach v Mac.
I like the Pats to win but the Jets to cover. Neither team is built to put up a lot of points.
Speaking of points, why do tennis points start at 15, then go to 30, and then go to 40? How does that make any sense on any level? Was it invented at Hogwarts? If Harry Potter snags the ball at any point is that it, the game just ends?
TEXANS (+12.5) AT BROWNS
The Browns will win. But by how much? I forgot about Tyrod Taylor. He’s not half bad. More like a quarter. And no matter how many points Cleveland puts up, how often do they win by more than twelve?
This will be one of those times. I don’t see Houston keeping it close in the end. If at all. Maybe they’ll stack the D with all the women accusing Deshaun Watson of massage time indecencies. A 15-yard penalty for too many opportunists on the field.
Besides, the Browns need to string together some convincing wins so their fans believe next time they play the Chiefs it will be different. You’ll see, Chiefs. You’ll see.
Even the Cleveland helmets are sad. No decoration at all, not even a letter. They’re not even brown. It’s like somehow they even got the color wrong. Like, not even close.
SAINTS (-3) AT PANTHERS
A battle of two mighty, undefeated teams. Well, undefeated anyway. Don’t be fooled by what New Orleans did to Green Bay. That wasn’t Aaron Rodgers out there, it was this guy:
On the other hand, Carolina struggled to put away the Jets. I’m not a big Jameis Winston guy. But I’m even less of a Sam Darnold guy. So Saints I guess. But to be clear, it’s not because of how they pummeled the Packers.
Okay, maybe it is. Also, the once-a-century hurricane that comes every two years.
FALCONS (+13) AT BUCCANEERS
Atlanta lost to Philly by 26. At home. And that was no wood chip at QB, it was the actual Matt Ryan. But I can see where you would be confused.
Meanwhile Tampa Bay was sloppy against Dallas and it almost cost them. Did Cowboy fans actually get excited when they took a one-point lead with like 1:24 left in the game? Good luck getting out of this one, Tom Brady. I think the only real question at that point was whether or not Brady was gonna let Byron Leftwich call a play (he did not).
Was it enough of a wake-up call for the Bucs? I say yes. Take the Bucs here.
Poor Matt Ryan. Think he’s excited to keep seeing Brady after 28-3? This is pretty much their relationship now:
VIKINGS (+4) AT CARDINALS
Kyler Murray. Were his parents torn between naming him Kyle and Tyler? Either way, how many times did birthday cake makers double-check before putting that name in icing? They probably blamed the parents. As they should.
If he keeps balling like last week, I promise everyone in the cake business will know the name. The Cards are good, they’re just in a tough division. Which always seems to be the case whenever they’re any good. In fact, EVERY team in that division is good. Parity at last! The good kind I mean. Not like Minnesota’s division where everyone lost and is still tied for first.
I don’t trust the Vikings. Kirk Cousins isn’t the answer. Minnesotans should know better than to marry their Cousins.
TITANS (+5.5) AT SEAHAWKS
I sense a good game here. Tennessee had a shaky start. Do they rebound? Or struggle again? See, I don’t trust Pete Carroll. But I DO trust Russell Wilson.
I go Hawks here. Unless there’s a key coaching decision near the end. Or in the middle. Or the beginning. Put it this way: the less the cameras show Pete Carroll, the more I like Seattle’s chances. I mean…
How many coaches actually yell “Oh no!”? Doctors know better than to do that in front of patients.
He’s lucky he has Wilson, or he’d be yelling it a lot more.
RAMS (-4) AT COLTS
Matthew Stafford may be the happiest guy in the NFL. Eventually, anyone stuck in Detroit comes to understand why Barry Sanders retired so young. But Stafford was freed and now he can actually win. He and Jared Goff must feel like Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy in Trading Places.
In the end, they’ll team up and make Roger Goodell return kicks for the Lions.
The Colts can’t be trusted right now. Stick with the Rams.
RAIDERS (+6) AT STEELERS
That Raiders/Ravens game was fun. The Raiders totally deserved the win. They made every play they needed to make and then won in OT twice. That’s gonna give them a lot of confidence going into Pittsburgh. Although lack of confidence is never really the Raiders problem is it? They’re kinda the Bears of the AFC.
I think the Steelers win this game, but I’d take Las Vegas with the points.
This feels like a smash-mouth kind of game. Whatever that means. It’s probably even illegal to say in schools.
COWBOYS (+3) AT CHARGERS
When do the Chargers do something Charger-y, that’s the question. I was impressed at how the Cowboys fought Tampa Bay in the opener, despite the Bucs being so erratic. This is another good game, with evenly matched teams. But it’s definitely not smash-mouth, whatever that means.
I’m going with the Cowboys here, mainly because trusting the Chargers is like trusting Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct. They’ll mess with your head and then stab you with an ice pick, all while writing a book about it and sleeping with someone else. LA knows better. The Chargers didn’t pick up any new fans when they moved. And the old fans are either Michael Douglas or the dead guy from the beginning.
Also, Dak Prescott pulled the old “We’ll see you again” thing on Tom Brady after the loss. Meaning playoffs. So an 0-2 start might not be the best look. And the Foot In Mouth award goes to…
CHIEFS (-3) AT RAVENS
KC had a bit of trouble there with Cleveland, huh? It could give one pause unless one watched the Ravens look helpless against the Raiders. Maybe the injuries are a problem after all. And maybe the Chiefs aren’t quite as unstoppable as everyone (mostly them) likes to think. Or maybe, just maybe, Lamar Jackson will make a breathtaking play. And then fumble.
You have to take the Chiefs here. I mean if you take the Ravens you might as well take the Chargers while you’re at it. You could have a side bet on which team is more painful to root for. Careful though, Charger fans look really cocky on that one.
Patrick Mahomes. You can’t argue with that. Because I made no point.
But you get the point.
LIONS (+10.5) AT PACKERS
So you’re worried about Aaron “Seamus” Rodgers? It’s a fair concern. Me, I don’t think he wants to look like trash every week no matter how unhappy he may be. That’s how legacies get tarnished. I expect him to vent on Detroit instead. I mean we want Goff to get the full Trading Places effect, right? Like by Christmas he’s drunk and dressed up as Santa Claus as he steals food from a buffet table. Only then does Mortimer win the dollar.
Sure it could go the other way and Green Bay could just implode faster than Mike Richards as the host of Jeopardy, but I don’t see it. The Packers are the pick here.
And that wraps up the can’t-miss picks for Week Two. Just remember, you miss 100 percent of the picks you don’t make. Wait…
As always, thanks for playing!