Every key player in the NFL is hurt, there will never be another kickoff return for a touchdown and the Chargers have a win. Great league we have here, Roger.
Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers (TNF)
Line: CAR (-3.5)
TV: NFL Network
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) October 8, 2017
When Nelson Agholor is catching balls thrown his way — let alone pulling off R1+B+L2+R3 on his controller — you know it’s the Eagles season.
Also, it’s a shame that Budda Baker of the Arizona Cardinals has to retire after the first five weeks of his NFL career. You don’t survive after a play like that. Remember when Michael Jordan verbally eviscerated Muggsy Bogues and called him a midget, and Bogues’ career literally spiraled from then on? If Baker never lives up to his potential, it will all go back to that play.
Ed Dickson is the main reason I don’t play DFS or fantasy football. Who predicted him to have 139 yards midway through the second quarter? I was waiting for Darren Rovell to tweet about how many fantasy owners had him active in their PPR leagues at 2:35 p.m. Sunday.
Thankfully, the Panthers staved off the Lions in the fourth quarter. The Matt Stafford/comeback narrative is one of the worst in the NFL. Have we ever slandered the Lions for literally never having the lead for the first three quarters?
Prediction: Panthers, 27-24
Chicago Bears at Baltimore Ravens
Line: BAL (-6.5)
The coolest thing the Bears will do over the next 12 years.
— Ben Murphy (@BenMurphyTV) October 10, 2017
The best part about that? They stole it from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers! Thieves! I’m on to you, Ryan Pace. Keep drafting kids out of James Madison AT&T in the third round while linebackers from Alabama are still available.
Reason No. 174 the NFL is Glitch City: The Ravens scored 30 points, on the road, against the Raiders. Mike Wallace turned into 2010 Mike Wallace.
Bears obviously can’t beat teams wearing purple. Trubisky’s still probably shook.
Prediction: Ravens, 17-13
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
Line: GB (-3)
Feel free to bet against Aaron Rodgers but here’s a pro tip: I like to wrap my fists in hand-me-down T-shirts before I start throwing fists into my TV screen. He’s the best quarterback on this planet and it only helps having a Pop Warner defense in the Dallas Cowboys to throw on. Turn your head around, Jourdan Lewis!
Send quarterback Sam Bradford to the glue factory, man. Minnesota’s going to do this thing where it rushes Bradford back every two to three weeks because the Vikings believe they can compete for a playoff berth when we all know the second wild-card spot is going to one of those flukes out of the NFC East.
Remember when Laquon Treadwell wore a backwards hat during the combine?
Prediction: Packers, 24-21
Miami Dolphins at Atlanta Falcons
Line: ATL (-11.5)
You have to hand it to the Dolphins. How does a team respond after scoring six points over its previous two weeks? By putting up a blistering 16 points behind the offensive prowess of Jay Cutler, who finished with 12 completions for 92 yards.
This game might have a running clock by the third quarter as Miami’s Brandon Doughty throws vertical routes to Leonte Carroo.
Prediction: Falcons, 35-10
Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints
Line: NO (-5)
I’ll never forget it. It was a blustery January afternoon in 2012 and the NFC wild-card game was about to kick off.
Some “expert” recommended a play on the Saints/Lions Under 58, which was the highest total ever for a playoff game.
“Sheesh, Brees in the Dome?” I murmured. “I don’t like it, but I’ll take it.”
With a 45-28 final, chalk that up as an L. Thanks for the pick.
Detroit’s Eric Ebron dropped a touchdown pass last week and said the defender “guarding” him made a good play. Always deflect your miscues.
Prediction: Saints, 30-23
Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans
Line: HOU (-10)
Hey Cleveland, how many chances do you want? Even the New York Jets were like “No, no, we’ve already won enough games this season and are actually trying to tank to get Sam Darnold. Why don’t you take this one?”
Lo and behold, the Browns prevailed in the tanking tilt. Seriously, there should be an FBI investigation into point-shaving. Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer (aka Paul Crewe) turned the ball over inside the 5-yard line twice. Zane Gonzalez, who used to hit field goals from Scottsdale when he was at Arizona State, missed two for Cleveland. It was a new level of bad.
The fun Texans are back. This team could be must-watch football from now on, now that Will Fuller is healthy, DeAndre Hopkins is still jumping high and there are negative healthy bodies in the front seven. If quarterback Deshaun Watson is forced to just stand back and throw 60-yard heavers, I’m all for it.
Prediction: Texans, 28-20
New England Patriots at New York Jets
Line: NE (-9.5)
Uh-oh, Tom Brady has a boo-boo on his shoulder.
Wait, is Brady’s diet a conspiracy then? Do I just mail him my $353 receipt from Whole Foods and get a full refund? I thought the immortal juicers and everlasting protein shakes were to prevent the body from ever enduring an injury. I still have a pound of folic acid just catching dust in the back of my cupboard. I haven’t eaten a milligram of trans fat since March.
The Jets have three wins and it’s early October. This team next spring is going to miss out on Darnold and Josh Rosen, then reach for Josh Allen. Inject it!
Prediction: Patriots, 27-16
San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins
Line: WSH (-10)
The only thing that makes back-to-back overtime losses more difficult to deal with for the Niners is that both defeats were to teams that aren’t good at football. I figured Indianapolis was in a good spot with San Francisco off a gut-wrenching loss to Arizona, but the Fighting George Kittles proved me wrong and kept it close.
If wins and losses were based off how close teams kept games, the Niners grab the first wild-card spot and make a deep run in that playoff format.
Niners receiver Pierre Garcon will also make his return to Washington on Sunday. I like that squiggle he has at the bottom of the “C” in his last name. I think it’s because he’s of French descent. But if any ol’ person was able to have squiggles wherever they’d please, I’d be rife with squiggles.
Prediction: Redskins, 34-13
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arizona Cardinals
Line: TB (-2)
Hey J.J. Nelson, thanks for fumbling out of the end zone at the end of Sunday’s game for the Cardinals. That didn’t affect the total of 44.5 or anything.
Slingshot the Cardinals to Venus and leave them there until Halley’s comet comes shooting across the hydrosphere. In a rare midseason trade, the Cards acquired Adrian Peterson, mainly because this team feels the need to acquire a running back who is about 4 years past his prime every half decade.
This team is going to trade for Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles, book it.
Prediction: Buccaneers, 20-17
Los Angeles Rams at Jacksonville Jaguars
Line: JAX (-2.5)
The “Headlines Bowl!”
Unless this game goes into a tie, the newspaper clippings on Monday are going to be gleaming.
If the Rams lose, we get to read why the franchise should have drafted Carson Wentz and a 3,000-word column on why we were quick to judge Jared Goff’s second season after five weeks. Win or lose, we also get to read more excuses on why wide receiver Sammy Watkins isn’t getting more touches. Did you know he’s a former No. 4 pick? Did you know that the Rams traded for him and aren’t using him enough? Did you know that he’s been targeted minus-6 times since Week 3?
If the Jaguars lose (fingers crossed), we get to hear about the inconsistency. How can a team beat the pants off the Steelers and force Ben Roethlisberger into a faux retirement but can’t win at home?
Please don’t tie. Someone lose this game. I want the newspaper hand-delivered to my front porch at 6 a.m.
Prediction: Jaguars, 26-23
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs
Line: KC (-4.5)
Ben, take it from someone who has astigmatism in his left eye and can only read the second line of arranged letters when he goes to the eye doctor: Get the Biomedics Toric dailies, -1.75 power and 010 axis.
— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) October 8, 2017
We knew Roethlisberger was climbing in age, but for his demise to come at the hands of the Jaguars at Heinz Field is truly a spectacle.
The Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill throwing up the deuces every time he breaks a long play for a touchdown is so disrespectful. I would rather have an opponent shush my own home crowd after he scores than have someone remind me that he’s faster than I am.
Prediction: Chiefs, 24-21 (OT)
Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders
The Chargers’ midseason surge en route to 6-10, missing the playoffs, getting the No. 11 pick and drafting someone who is ruled out with a season-ending injury in July is going swimmingly.
Raiders coach Jack Del Rio hates the stupid dirt in Oakland. Can you blame him?
Prediction: Raiders, 28-27
New York Giants at Denver Broncos (SNF)
Line: DEN (-11.5)
I know #BoatGate gets overused and that the Giants haven’t won a game since touring the Pacific but it’s not false. Chapter 6 of #BoatGate saw literally every wide receiver on the team go down last week, to the extent that the Giants signed something named Ed Eagan.
Let’s check the playoff percentage odds of teams that start 0-5. Well, that’s not ideal.
Prediction: Broncos, 20-10
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts
Remember when Eric Decker was a wide receiver who caught passes? I get that there are mouths to feed on offense but one would have thought this team was getting fitted for rings after ol’ Deck came strutting into Tennessee.
If I’m the Colts, I trade Andrew Luck to the Chargers for Mike Williams and Melvin Ingram and a future first that becomes Courtland Sutton. Get the rebuild going. Start stocking the farm system.
Don’t actually do this.
Prediction: Colts, 24-23