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The weekend saw a number of statements and responses to Donald Trump’s rhetoric about disrespecting the flag across the weekend’s NFL games, and several tight finishes. I will pick up the actual football in a minute, but I feel I have to take a moment to broaden a little on what I wrote at the weekend given what happened before kick offs of the week three games.

The kneeling of Colin Kaepernick, and the other players was to protest social injustice and police brutality. This has been reframed as protesting the flag and anthem by those that object to these actions, and by Trump himself. The response from the NFL over the weekend sought to project unity against the criticism of Trump and to say we stand with these players using their first amendment rights, even if they don’t agree with the action themselves.

This does not look to be a problem that is going away any time soon as the actions of the players and owners still upset people, and we shall have to see how things proceed. However, I do think it is important to keep stating the players are not protesting the flag or the anthem, they are making a statement on society.

And so on to the football, which saw multiple close game and signs that teams are finding their way a bit on offence. It was also a topsy-turvy weekend that saw several unexpected results including the Pittsburgh Steelers losing to the Chicago Bears and the Miami Dolphins losing to the New York Jets. The Baltimore Ravens travelled to London and were totally outplayed by the Jacksonville Jaguars, losing 44-7.

What does this tell us? The honest answer is that we don’t know what we don’t know – i.e. we only have a small sample size and until we get well into October we should treat our general feelings about a team with a pinch of salt. The Cincinnati Bengals have a better defence than their 0-3 record might indicate, but they have a huge amount of work to do if they want to finish with a respectable record, yet alone think about playoffs, which must surely be out of reach. There are plenty more teams like this and I am excited to take a closer look now that coaching tape has hit the European Gamepass site.

Schedule allowing I shall be taking a look at the coaching tape of the Tennessee Titans’ offence taking on the Seattle Seahawks’ defence to see how the managed to be effective against the scary Seahawks’ front seven.

And so onto tonights game, but before that here are the results of our picks last week.

Gee:      Week 3   7-9                       Overall   25-23
Dan:      Week 3   5-11                     Overall   20-28

Bears @ Packers (-7.5)

This is an interesting line given that the Green Bay Packers needed overtime to get a win against the winless Bengals on Sunday, and the Chicago Bears just beat the Steelers at home. The Bears are on the road, and I would expect the Packers to find a way to win. However, given their continued injury problems I can’t quite bring myself to back the Packers to win by eight. I may well suffer from the stupidity of picking against Aaron Rodgers at home for a second week in a row, but that’s what I’m going to do.

Gee’s Pick:          Bears
Dan’s Pick:          Bears

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