I’ve been following sports and wrestling since I can remember. Not too much, aside from my family, gives me as much joy as watching my Raiders, Blackhawks, Bulls, White Sox or WWE. Add in some honey Jack to sip on and that’s the equation for a perfect evening!
I want to start this week out by taking a look at the top 10 of NFL.com’s Power Rankings this week…
1 – Philadelphia
2 – LA Rams
3 – Pittsburgh
4 – Kansas City
5 – New England
6 – Seattle
7 – Minnesota
8 – New Orleans
9 – Buffalo
10 – Jacksonville
Now let’s go back to the pre-season. Raise your hand if you thought that more than half of the top 10 would consist of the Eagles, Rams, Vikings, Saints, Bills and Jaguars…I’ll wait…still waiting…so…not you then?
This just sums up how topsy-turvy this season has been. By now, we should have a pretty good idea of what the 2017 version of the 32 franchises are. And, if anything, we will always know that “the Browns are gonna Brown!”
Week 9 – HERE WE GO!!!!
(HOME TEAM IN CAPS)
13 – PHILADELPHIA over Denver – It’s scary to think that the best just got better with Philly’s acquisition of Jay Ajayi. Not even that Broncos defense will be able to stop that offense.
12 – HOUSTON over Indianapolis – Folks, DeShaun Watson is for real. If you don’t know by now, you need to know.
11 – JACKSONVILLE over Cincinnati – The Jags are used to being this high on our sheet…just not on the winning side.
10 – SEATTLE over Washington – Seattle has quietly found their way back towards the top of the league. It’s hard to see the ‘Skins stopping their momentum.
9 – NEW ORLEANS over Tampa Bay – Speaking of quietly becoming a force again, the Saints have found a bit of a defense to back up the Drew Brees led offense that never really seemed to miss a step.
8 – TENNESSEE over Baltimore – Baltimore looked dominant last week against Miami…key words being “against Miami.”
7 – DALLAS over Kansas City – Ezekial Elliot’s suspension is set to begin this week. But Alfred Morris isn’t exactly a slouch. My BOLD PREDICTION for this week is that ALFRED MORRIS WILL HAVE 100 YARDS THIS WEEK.
6 – GREEN BAY over Detroit – Hopefully the Packers used their bye week to realize that Aaron Rodgers is no longer under center and put together an offense more fitting for Brett Hundley.
5 – Atlanta over CAROLINA – I still don’t understand why the Panthers traded away Kelvin Benjamin.
4 – Oakland over MIAMI – Good news for the Dolphins is that their starting QB should be back this week. Good news for the Raiders is that the aforementioned QB is Jay Cutler.
3 – Buffalo over NEW YORK JETS – Keeping with the theme of a surprising first half of the NFL season, THIS game has implications for the top of the NFC East!
2 – NEW YORK GIANTS over Los Angeles Rams – The Giants have quickly been a team that if you think they will win, they should be on the #1 line. Unless of course you think…
1 – SAN FRANCISCO over Arizona – …the 9ers will also win this week. No David Johnson, no Carson Palmer, the Cardinals that are left standing will help the Jimmy Garoppolo era get off to a solid start.
This week, six teams are on bye. That means that we will only have 13 games this weekend…only 13 chances for points. If you are towards the top of your pools, that means less chances for others to gain ground. If you’re behind, it means that every game is critical – let’s not blow it this time!
Week 8 – HERE WE GO!!!!
(HOME TEAM IN CAPS)
13 – PHILADELPHIA over San Francisco – A team that looks like a Super Bowl favorite is hosting a winless team that will be traveling across the country. Nothing really to think about here.
12 – NEW ENGLAND over Los Angeles Chargers – The Chargers have been looking better as of late. But just like the 49ers, they are traveling across the country to take on the team that always seems to be in the Super Bowl conversation.
11 – Minnesota over CLEVELAND (game played in London) – As a promotion, apology to the London fans for giving them the Browns to look at, I believe the 20,000 person that enters the stadium will spend the 3rd quarter playing quarterback for the Browns.
10 – CINCINNATI over Indianapolis – The Bengals are always a hard team to figure out, but it’s pretty easy to see them get past the lowly Colts. My BOLD PREDICTION for this week is FOR THE SECOND STRAIGHT WEEK, THE COLTS WILL BE SHUTOUT.
9 – KANSAS CITY over Denver – After the hottest start in the league, the Chiefs have lost their last two games. Lucky for them this Monday Night matchup sees them hosting a lost and confused division rival.
8 – BALTIMORE over Miami – The week starts on Thursday with two teams that are just mediocre at best. The Dolphins lost starting quarterback Jay Cutler last week…so that should at least give them a chance.
7 – NEW ORLEANS over Chicago – Simply put, you’re going to have to complete more than four passes to beat Drew Brees, Mitchell.
6 – SEATTLE over Houston – DeShaun Watson will find out what it means to be in a low scoring game – something I don’t think he can overcome…yet.
5 – TAMPA BAY over Carolina – Did the real Cam Newton stand up last week in Chicago? No, but I don’t think that MVP Cam will be back this week either.
4 – Oakland over BUFFALO – The Raiders incredible 2016 season was based on winning close games…like they did last week. I think the 2016 Raiders have finally joined 2017.
3 – Atlanta over NEW YORK JETS – Who would have thought that this would actually look like a good game on paper?
2 – DETROIT over Pittsburgh – This should be a shootout to say the least. Big Ben’s road woes will find their way to Sunday Night Football though.
1 – WASHINGTON over Dallas – Just like the Raiders looked like their successful team from a year ago, the Cowboys finally dominated last week. Only difference is that it was against the 49ers.
But let’s be honest, its unpredictability is a big part of what keeps us entertained. Any Given Sunday isn’t just a notch on Al Pacino’s belt. (pause for awkward groan)
It’s been a rough couple weeks but we keep fighting strong. It’s time to get back on the right path!
Week 7 – HERE WE GO!!!!
(HOME TEAM IN CAPS)
15 – PITTSBURGH over Cincinnati – The Steelers’ reward for taking down the last undefeated team is a home game against a team seemingly in shambles. Should be an easy one.
14 – PHILADELPHIA over Washington – Haven’t said this since McNabb…the Eagles are a legitimate Super Bowl threat! A home game against Washington shouldn’t be a worry for them.
13 – NEW ENGLAND over Atlanta – So last week against Miami, the Falcons had a big lead toward the end of the game…the Dolphins came back to win…now Atlanta heads to Foxboro to play the Patriots… … … do you see where I’m going with this?
12 – MINNESOTA over Baltimore – Anytime you lose a home game to the Bears, you’re probably going to lose the next week on the road as well.
11 – Dallas over SAN FRANCISCO – It seems like Ezekiel Elliot’s status for this game changes by the hour. Don’t really think it matters though – 9ers won’t be able to stop him, Alfred Morris, Darren McFadden or whoever they have behind Dak.
10 – LOS ANGELES RAMS over Arizona – Honestly, there are a lot of games that are almost too close to call. The way the Rams have been looking lately put them as what I like to refer to as the best of several evils.
9 – Carolina over CHICAGO – The Bears were good enough to come home from Baltimore last week. But, well, basic match – Cam >>>> Flacco.
8 – Tennessee over CLEVELAND – Remember when it looked like the Browns might be taking a step in the right direction as a franchise? Well, then the season started.
7 – GREEN BAY over New Orleans – I really don’t think that (another) Aaron Rodgers injury is necessarily a death sentence for Green Bay thisseason. My BOLD PREDICTION for this week is that EVEN WITH THE RODGERS INJURY, THE PACKERS WILL STILL WIN THE NFC NORTH.
6 – Denver over LOS ANGELES CHARGERS – Denver needs to shake off the images of the nightmare that was last week. A road game in a soccer stadium full of people who MIGHT know the Chargers are the home team is a good way to help that out.
5 – Seattle over NEW YORK GIANTS – Safe bet is that the Giants put all of their eggs in the basket last week.
4 – OAKLAND over Kansas City – A couple of years ago, the Chiefs went to Oakland for a Thursday Night matchup. The Raiders came in to the game with an unintimidating 0-10 record. I picked the Raiders to win that night … and they did. It can happen again, right?
3 – MIAMI over New York Jets – I know that the Jets are one horrible call away from a 4-2 record but I just can’t get on the bandwagon just yet.
2 – BUFFALO over Tampa Bay – Tampa would be the pick here if Jameis was 100%.
1 – INDIANAPOLIS over Jacksonville – Eh, someone has to win this game, right?
OK, last week was just bad. I would like to offer my apologies…and so should the Steelers!
But again, your lowest score is removed so let’s also remove it from our memory – still plenty of season to play!
Week 6 – HERE WE GO!!!!
(HOME TEAM IN CAPS)
14 – DENVER over New York Giants – The Denver defense is already referred to as the “No Fly Zone.” Should be a pretty easy day when Eli Manning will basically be throwing to waterboy level wideouts.
13 – ATLANTA over Miami – The Dolphins have officially been “Jay Cutler’d” It will be a rough rest of the season in South Beach.
12 – HOUSTON over Cleveland – Houston took two major blows to their defense last week…but they’re playing the Browns…sooooo….you know.
11 – BALTIMORE over Chicago – The Mitch Trubisky show hits the road for the first time. Pretty easy to see that the outcome won’t change with the time zone.
10 – TENNESSEE over Indianapolis – To say that the Titans 2017 have been disappointing so far would be an understatement. Lucky for them Andrew Luck isn’t back just yet.
9 – New England over NEW YORK JETS – Can’t say that I expected to see two teams over .500 in this game. What will be expected is the outcome though.
8 – WASHINGTON over San Francisco – Traveling across the country in search for your first win this season isn’t exactly the best way to go about it.
7 – KANSAS CITY over Pittsburgh – The Chiefs are clearly the best team in the league so far. But the fact that the Steelers ended the Chiefs season last year drops them down a few points in this game.
6 – JACKSONVILLE over Los Angeles Rams – Sooooooooo with how the first quarter of the season played out, this could be considered a possible Super Bowl matchup…just gonna let that sink in for a bit.
5 – OAKLAND over Los Angeles Chargers – The Raiders are just a different team with Derek Carr under center. If Carr plays, you can bump them up a few spots.
4 – CAROLINA over Philadelphia – Thursday Night gives us what should be the most exciting game of the week. My BOLD PREDICTION for this week is that EVEN AFTER THEIR SLOW START, THE PANTHERS WILL WIN THE NFC SOUTH.
3 – Green Bay over MINNESOTA – What is it about the Packers and Aaron Rodgers that makes you think they won’t have a chance to win every game they play?
2 – NEW ORLEANS over Detroit – I wouldn’t be surprised if the Adrian Peterson trade is very beneficial for the Saints. Peterson’s attitude may have been a bit of a distraction. At least it would be enough to win this week.
1 – ARIZONA over Tampa Bay – Obviously the trade was beneficial for the Cardinals. Finally they have someone after the David Johnson injury that will allow Carson Palmer not throw the ball 83 times a game.
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