I have to admit there have been a lot of fun games so far. Even Thursdays and Mondays, normally reserved for the desperation watch, like The Weather Channel or Young Sheldon.
But it’s early. Teams are just starting to reveal themselves. Oh, there are still a few fakers left to be unmasked by the Scooby-Doo gang, but we’ll get there (looking at you, Panthers). The important thing to remember is taunting penalties are ruining the game. If anything we need MORE taunting. This isn’t Wimbledon, it’s football! Players should be literally tarred and feathered when they get smoked. That’s what we want!
Either that or make the offending taunter undergo sensitivity training right there in front of all of us. Equally fun idea. Thanks, Present Day. You ruin everything.
Let’s hit Week Three!
PANTHERS (-7) AT TEXANS
The Tyrod Taylor injury is big. Not because he’s elite (he’s not), but because he’s good enough to keep Houston competitive against other middling teams. Like, oh, say, Carolina. And don’t be fooled by Sam Darnold. He’s only as good as the pieces around him, which is why he looks so much better with the Panthers than the Jets.
But look what Darnold just did to the Saints, who crushed the Packers in Week One. Because if there’s one thing we know about Jameis Winston, it’s that he’s the model of consistency.
The Panthers are the pick here. But again, do not be fooled by the stacking wins. Look at who they beat. Their unmasking day is coming… Yoinks!
Also, we don’t give the Texans enough crap about their awful nickname. It’s like the Miami Floridians or the LA Californians. Can we just make them be the Oilers again?
COLTS (+4.5) AT TITANS
Momentum is a real thing. That comeback against Seattle means Tennessee has it. For a variety of reasons, Indianapolis does not. Keep in mind all it takes is a dumb fumble or something to LOSE momentum, but for now, the Titans have it.
The Colts have the feel of a mangled bunch of pieces meshed together like Forky in Toy Story 4.
Actually, this is just a picture of Carson Wentz. But you get the idea.
Remember (to pick) the Titans.
CHARGERS (+7) AT CHIEFS
Ah, the Chargers. There were more Cowboy fans in LA than Charger fans. They really belong in San Diego with the Padres. How many Bears fans would root for the Bengals if they moved to Chicago to share a stadium? NFL owners, we love our fans!
Kansas City is lucky to be 1-1 at this point. It’s a little concerning. On the other hand, that Chiefs offense is so scary that John Harbaugh would rather go for it on 4th and two (in his own territory) to win the game rather than give the ball back to Patrick Mahomes. And I don’t blame him.
I blame the KC defense for looking that bad on 4th and two to win the game. Gee, do you think it might be a Lamar Jackson run? It wasn’t even a valiant effort. They gave up three yards faster than Game of Thrones flamed out in Season 8.
But does this sound right to you? Chargers 2-1, Chiefs 1-2? It does not. Go with the Chiefs. The argument to take LA and the points is that almost all Charger losses are 3 points or less, that’s why they’re the Chargers. It’s a good argument actually. Especially against an uncharacteristically wobbly Chiefs team. Damn good…
Maybe if the Chargers had a home-field advantage, with all their Cowboy fans.
CARDINALS (-7.5) AT JAGUARS
Arizona did not deserve that win over the Vikings. Though the Vikings deserved it less, obviously. But this Kyle+Tyler = “Kyler” Murray continues to impress. Unfortunately, this means more babies being named Kyler until we’re forced to accept it as a real name.
The Jags just stink though. The kind of stink that makes your season play out like this:
7.5 is a lot of points. But I need more to feel good about that kind of stink.
SAINTS (+3) AT PATRIOTS
And we’re back to Jameis “Win Some” Winston. You have to be very afraid of teams that go from one extreme to another in one week. Believe it or not, that’s not a good sign. I don’t know what to make of the bipolar Saints yet. I don’t think they’re as good as the Packers game OR as bad as the Panthers game. Okay, they’re as bad as the Panthers game.
The Pats are a plucky bunch. Zach v Mac was a little one-sided. And will be for a while. Didn’t the Jets pick their QB before the Pats picked theirs? Just checking.
Jet fans right now:
I mean they finally got Tom Brady to go away. And now this.
Speaking of Brady, he’s coming for Bill Belichick next week. And it might not be pretty. This means the Pats really need to beat New Orleans this week. And they will. Patriots get the nod here.
FALCONS (+3) AT GIANTS
The Giants are showing more fight than I expected. They’d be 2-0 if not for a really well-timed penalty on the last play against Football Team. That’s just good coaching. Joe Judge must be cheating off the wrong kid in school. Probably Pete Carroll.
Meanwhile, the Falcons suddenly showed a little spurt of life against Tampa Bay to make it briefly interesting. Then they were immediately punished for it. The lesson as always, never try.
This is a coin flip game, as the spread suggests. I’ll go NY and here’s why. The Giants’ loss was a bitter pill to swallow and they will be amped up for redemption. Whereas Atlanta’s losses (plural) just seemed demoralizing. Like meeting your Tinder date in person.
FOOTBALL TEAM (+8.5) AT BILLS
It’s tempting to think Buffalo will run away with this after they made the Miami players all look like chalk outlines. And Washington is lucky to be 1-1. Still, Football Team plays people tough. They might lose, but they’ll make sure you don’t enjoy winning. Like what happens when married couples fight.
Yes, I think the Bills win. But I’m taking Washington to hang tough. Football Team with points.
Speaking of “hangin’ tough”, whatever happened to the New Kids on the Block? That was a #1 hit song for them. The lead singer was Mark Wahlberg’s brother. The only reason Mark wasn’t in the band was because he was busy with a hip-hop career. Hip-hop! Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. All this happened for real, look it up. We dig back into people’s high school tweets but THIS stuff gets a pass? Okay, okay, I’ll stop mocking Mark Wahlberg now.
He was an underwear model too. You Google that photo on your own time. My browser history is pure.
BEARS (+7.5) AT BROWNS
Some Browns injuries add a little spice to this one. Enough to make the spread annoying. Cleveland is terrible at winning by more than ten, even if they’re up by thirty at some point. If Baker Mayfield doesn’t play (he will) take the Bears with whatever points you can get.
But assuming he plays (he will), I guess I go with the Browns here. But I’m not happy about it. Whenever you have to count on the Browns AND give points you should be very nervous. Like, stealing Mike Tyson’s tiger nervous.
But I trust Cleveland right now more than Chicago. So…Browns. You can tell I feel great about it.
BENGALS (+4.5) AT STEELERS
The Steelers are being punished for losing at home to the Raiders by the look of this spread. That’s a mistake. The Bengals aren’t the Raiders. Las Vegas was riding the momentum of the insane Week One OT win over the Ravens. I knew they would at least cover against Pittsburgh.
This is the kind of game the Bengals simply don’t usually win. The Steelers will rebound and I just don’t see it being this close of a game. Maybe not a blowout, division games are always tough, but I like Pitt here.
And I say that with confidence. Like, stealing Mike Tyson’s tiger confidence.
But with more confidence.
SEAHAWKS (-1.5) AT VIKINGS
I warned you about Pete Carroll. 10 penalties for 100 yards and a blown 15 point lead. That’s just good coaching. Poor Russell Wilson. He’s really good but hampered by an iffy coach.
Then you have the Vikings, losing on a missed (and very makable) last-second field goal. There were some painful losses last week, and now these two crying emojis match up this week in Minnesota. I had (and still have) my doubts about Kirk Cousins as the answer at QB. I see him more as a Ryan Fitzpatrick type. Solid journeyman, good enough to start for 8-10 teams. Just never gonna be elite enough to get you over the hump for whatever reason. Good, but not great.
That said, Cousins looked really good against Arizona, and set his team up to win. So up yours, Schectman.
But they didn’t win.
I go with the better QB here, and that’s Wilson by a mile. Seattle is the pick. But again, if the cameras start showing a lot of Pete Carroll at key moments, you’ve already lost.
“Wait. Where’s that soft pretzel I ordered?”
BUCCANEERS (+1.5) AT RAMS
If you’re looking for a game the Bucs might lose, this is a pretty good candidate. The Rams are good, maybe even a legit threat, but the squeaker against the Colts doesn’t exactly make you terrified of stealing Mike Tyson’s tiger. Still, the Rams could win here.
Me, I know better than to bet against Tom Brady. It’s not exactly a winning strategy. What would be the argument for doing it? That he just won his 7th Super Bowl and complacency has to start somewhere? That he’s won ten in a row with the team that just got him #7 so he’s due for a loss? That he just said he might play till he’s 50 so he can retire with an AARP card?
Oh and let’s make him an underdog while we’re at it. That makes sense.
Take Tom Brady. This game. Every game. When he’s 70 take him against the field at shuffleboard. Take Brady. Until there’s a really good reason not to.
JETS (+10.5) AT BRONCOS
It doesn’t get better for the Jets this week. The Pats secondary did that to Zach Wilson (4 INTs) WITHOUT Stephon Gilmore. Belichick loves to torture rookie QBs. Can’t draft a receiver to save his life, but he farts out good cornerbacks at breakfast.
The Broncos are a lot like the Panthers. A middling team with a deceptive record, just waiting to be exposed like Mark Wahlberg on a billboard in his underwear. But it won’t be the Jets who expose them. NY has yet to cover the spread. Eventually, they will, but hard to be tempted until they do.
Stick with Denver while they’re still Rocky Mountain high.
Remember that time Belichick was named head coach of the Jets and immediately scribbled “I quit” on a napkin and went to New England instead?
DOLPHINS (+4.5) AT RAIDERS
Inspiring performance by the Fins, huh? It’s hard to lose 35-0 at home. Competitive game though. Much closer than the final score would indicate. There should be a rule that when you get shut out at home you have to send “Thanks for coming!” notes to every player on the team that beat you. And give the fans in attendance a gift certificate to the strip mall spa Robert Kraft visits when in South Florida.
Look, the Bills were mad and the Dolphins got too high after winning in New England. It happens. They won’t lose by 35 this week.
But they will lose by more than 4.
The Raiders are riding crazy momentum right now. It will turn on them at some point, but until then roll with it, baby. Hang on and just roll with it, baby.
This is what 1988 looked like.
The Jets were terrible then too.
PACKERS (+3.5) AT 49ERS
I don’t think beating Detroit is quite a reason to R-E-L-A-X, but at least the Packers stopped looking like Pete Carroll out there. Have they found their mojo? That’s the question.
This was Aaron Rodgers after Week One. He had to go back in time and steal his mojo back from Dr. Evil. It was all foretold by Mike Myers.
On the other side, the Niners seem shaky to me. Something’s off with them. But hey, if you can win while not playing your best that says something. Or so I’m told. By people who win while not playing their best.
This could be a really good game if both teams play well.
I’m going Green Bay with the points. Mojo, baby.
RAVENS (-8) AT LIONS
They got the timely turnover they needed, but that’s not why Baltimore beat KC. They won that game on the 4th and two call. And by won I mean earned. And by earned I mean lucky to get that fumble.
To their credit, the Lions fought for a while against the Packers. So there’s that.
Lamar Jackson is gonna be Bo Jackson against Detroit, and this is how it’s gonna go:
Ravens here, no matter how the spread moves. Wake me when it hits 15.
EAGLES (+3.5) AT COWBOYS
Philly came crashing back to Earth pretty quickly in Week Two. Although the defense kept them in it against San Fran. The Eagles are not bad.
They’re not really good either though.
I expect them to put up a fight, but Dallas is no slouch. Although to be fair, handing the Chargers a soul-crushing loss is something even the Lions could do. It just happened to be the Cowboys’ turn.
Eagles have a chance here, but I’m sticking with the Cowboys.
And there you have it, Week Three! Which team will lose by a point due to an agonizing last-minute mistake this time? (Patriots, Giants, Vikings, and Chiefs have entered the chat…)
As always, thanks for playing!