So we have reading the NFL quarter pole, barring the two teams who are behind a game, and what we have mostly learned is that there are no obviously great teams this year. The Kansas City Chiefs are looking very good and are the only unbeaten team left in the league, but they have looked vulnerable at times.

In fact, that sort of sums up the league at the moment. The short term troubles surround the league trying to find a balance with the players on activism and how to allow players a voice without them upsetting a large section of their fans.

More disturbing to me is the report regarding Aaron Hernandez’s brain, which showed that he had severe case of CTE. In fact his brain looked more like a player in their sixties, and whilst it would be unwise to extrapolate too much regarding his behaviour and the injury, the degree of injury is very worrying.

So hits like that which happened to Devantae Adams last week on Thursday night football become tricky to deal with. The player has been suspended for a game, but whilst some are saying Danny Trevathan should be suspended for longer. The players seem to feel it was an unfortunate football play and that there was not intent. The problem is, they well could be right, and the players do know the risks to an extent, but that concussion is going to have an effect on Adams’ life and the truth is we don’t know how bad. There is talk that there may be a protein that can be used as a test on living players to see if they have CTE, and while the more we know the better in the long run, no one knows where the league will go with this information if it does become available.

It is a strange time to be a football fan and it doesn’t look if that is going to stop any time soon.

Gee:      Week 4   11-5                     Overall   36-28
Dan:       Week 4   10-6                     Overall   30-34

Patriots @ Buccaneers (+5.5)

This looks like a winnable game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but their record concerns me. The New England Patriots are currently ranked bottom in the league by defensive DVOA and managed to make a moribund Panthers’ offence look good last week. If your offence can score thirty points on the Panthers then you should win the game, but the Patriots defence could do nothing to stop Cam Newton marching his team down the field to get in range for a game winning field goal.

On a short week there is not a lot of time to sort the communication issues that appear to be part of the problems. The Buccaneers’ defence has been pretty banged up, but I would hope that at home the Bucs can keep this game closer than six points, and so whilst I don’t feel good about it, having lost twice backing the Patriots to cover, with them being on the road on a Thursday night I’m taking the home underdog.

Gee’s Pick:          Buccaneers
Dan’s Pick:          Patriots