Well despite dropping points to Dan and his dad on Thursday I don’t actually feel bad about my pick, particularly given Adam Vinatieri hit the post with a field goal attempt but I can’t drop too many more as we head into the rest of the week five picks. However, first I have to try to get myself back level with Dan in the trivia question comptition so here’s a reminder of this week’s question set by Dan’s Dad, who will also be offering his thoughts on this week’s games with Dan being on holiday:
‘Which NFL player kicked a 62-yard field goal, the longest of the 2017/8 season?’
Now I feel relatively confident about this questions as if I’m right, the Bengals drafted this kicker last season, placed him on the practice squad so I had to watch him be picked up by the Eagles, kick a sixty yard field goal and win a Super Bowl so I believe that the player is Jake Elliott.
‘I seem to remember us covering this kick on the pod last year, what with me being a kicking aficionado – it was The Mexico game, and the kick was made by Stephen Gotskowski (I googled him, but only to check how to spell his name, I promise!) for the Patriots.’
Falcons @ Steelers (-3.5)
This game is a huge one for both teams who each only have one win and can’t really afford to lose. Neither team are exactly playing much defence although the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defence is ranked significantly better at nineteenth by DVOA as opposed to the thirtieth ranking of the Atlanta Falcons who have lost yet another starter. The Falcons’ offence on the other hand have been playing really well and are ranked top ten whilst the Steelers have not quite jelled so far. This should lead to an exciting game, but does not make it easy to pick as the form book does not offer much help yet with the Falcons on the road and really suffering through injuries I’m leaning Steelers for the win. However, the extra half point is making it a really awkward pick for me but in the end I’m going to back the Steelers against a dome team on the road.
Gee’s Pick: Steelers
Dan’s Pick: Falcons
‘I’ve changed several times on this one so there’s a 50-50 chance I’ve ended in the wrong camp but I think the Falcons have something to prove and even away I’m picking them.
Dan’s Dad Says FALCONS’
Titans @ Bills (+3.5)
I have been impressed with the Tennessee Titans’ ability to grind out wins over the last few weeks and after beating the Eagles in overtime they travel to Buffalo to face a Bills team that crashed back into their bad season last week with a shutout loss to the Packers. With the hope from the Vikings win quickly fading for the Bills I feel like they face a Titans team on the up. I thought that Marcus Mariota looked much better last week and the new offence seems to be showing signs of where Matt LaFleur wants to take them so whilst I could be wrong, I think the Titans will win and cover this.
Gee’s Pick: Titans
Dan’s Pick: Titans
‘This isn’t sour grapes based on a fluke result in the Twin Cities but I think the Titans form tells me they will more than match the modest spread here.
Dan’s Dad Says TITANS’
Dolphins @ Bengals (-6.5)
So here we are then, the big Wrong Football rivalry game that sees Dan’s Miami Dolphins travel to face the Cincinnati Bengals and the Dolphins will be looking to bounce back from the hammering they took in New England last week. I think the Dolphins are a better team than they showed in that game but I like how the Bengals are playing this year. The loss of Tyler Eifert is big for the offence and the defence desperately needs to improve on third down, although they welcome back Vontaze Burfict this week. I think the Bengals are more likely to win this game than not but this line feels high, and whilst that could be because I’m something of a nervous fan I’m not backing the Bengals to win by seven and will hope to be proved wrong.
Gee’s Pick: Dolphins
Dan’s Pick: Dolphins
‘Quite a week for Dan to disappear but he would without doubt gone Dolphins. I, however, can be a little more objective and a good score in the ‘for’ column, despite a higher than average against count still puts me in the Cincinnati camp
Dan’s Dad Says BENGALS’
Ravens @ Browns (+2.5)
The Baltimore Ravens passed one test last week when they beat the Steelers but they now face a different divisional test as they travel to face a Cleveland Browns team that you could argue should be 4-0 this season. Certainly they were unlucky last week and in Baker Mayfield they look to have finally found someone who could be the franchise quarterback this reboot version of the Browns has never had. However, the Ravens have really looked good so far this season with an offence that is much improved and a defence that is once again top five in the league by DVOA. I think the Browns will really give the franchise their fans hate for leaving Cleveland a hell of a game, but with the options that Joe Flacco now has to throw to and the not so secret weapon of kicker Justin Tucker I like the Ravens to win by at least a field goal. I could live with being wrong though…
Gee’s Pick: Ravens
Dan’s Pick: Ravens
‘In the 1st of 5 divisional match ups this week I can’t see the Browns repeating the success against the Jets in Week 2. As that leaves just one team I’m going Baltimore
Dan’s Dad Says RAVENS’
Broncos @ Jets (-0.5)
Both of these teams have lost their last two games but in very different manners as the Denver Broncos really pushed the Chiefs whilst the New York Jets have not looked the same since their week one win over the Lions. The question is can the Broncos win on the road despite the horrid time slot for them and a short week, but given how the Jets have played over recent weeks I have to think the answer to that is more likely than not yes.
Gee’s Pick: Broncos
Dan’s Pick: Broncos
‘Much as I have a lifelong (well since 1972) affinity to Joe Nameth and the Jets I do see the Broncos breaking their 2 game losing streak although this is one which I wouldn’t be surprised sliding the other way.
Dan’s Dad Says BRONCOS’
Packers @ Lions (+1.5)
I really don’t have a good handle on the Detroit Lions as after what looked to be a turn the corner win against the Patriots they followed that up with a loss to the struggling Dallas Cowboys. This week they welcome a Green Bay Packers team who shut out the Bills last week, but who Aaron Rodgers described as, ‘terrible on offense’ in what I’ve seen spun as creative tension between him and head coach Mike McCarthy. The points are really tempting, but I just don’t trust the Lions who haven’t even worked out that rookie Kerryon Johnson should be their primary running back and in my experience it seldom pays to bet against even an injured Aaron Rodgers unless you are very sure of the team he is going against.
Gee’s Pick: Packers
Dan’s Pick: Lions
‘Another divisional game I think this one will go the way of the streaks, particularly with a very small spread. It sticks in my throat but I’m going Green Bay.
Dan’s Dad Says PACKERS (spits and considers taking up alcohol again to take the sour taste away)’
Jaguars @ Chiefs (-3.5)
This game includes the matchup of the week in my opinion as we get to see this season’s break out star Patrick Mahomes running Andy Reid’s highflying offence go against the Jacksonville Jaguars vaunted defence (even if they are second in the league by DVOA to the Chicago Bears) in what should be a cracking game. The Chiefs have paired their offence with the league’s now second worst defence so all of their games have been entertaining and certainly at points this season the Jaguars’ offence has demonstrated the capacity to take advantage of this defensive weakness. However, most of whether they will or not falls on the combination of how the Jaguars approach this game and which version of Blake Bortles plays. He does have the capacity to play really well and were this game in Jacksonville I might feel another way but Mahomes and the Chiefs have so far kept finding a way to win and in front of their vociferous fans I’m going to back the Chiefs to do so again.
Gee’s Pick: Chiefs
Dan’s Pick: Jaguars
‘I already have the feeling that the free scoring Chiefs could go all the way this season and with home advantage and a low spread it has got to be the Chiefs. I expect the Jags though to make the playoffs and be in the shake up come January.
Dan’s Dad Says CHIEFS’
Giants @ Panthers (-6.5)
The New York Giants lost again last week and in pretty straight forward fashion at home against the Saints. The offseason overhaul of their offence doesn’t look to have worked and this week they travel to face a rested Carolina Panthers team coming off a bye and a 2-1 start. The Panthers’ defence may be an uncharacteristic rank of twenty-fourth by DVOA but their offence is rolling with Norv Turner as their new co-ordinator despite the injury to Greg Osen and I think this should be a relatively straight forward game for them. I have a slight pause about this laying this number of points but I don’t think the Giants have enough going at the moment to cover this line on the road.
Gee’s Pick: Panthers
Dan’s Pick: Giants
‘Nothing I was measuring really gave me a solid clue here but I think that the Panthers are probably more together so the spread was more a nudge than a clincher
Dan’s Dad Says PANTHERS’
Raiders @ Chargers (-5.5)
This will be another of the strange home games for the LA Chargers where there will be more away fans than home fans and I suspect it will be particularly bad for this game given the Raiders historic ties and popularity within LA. It has been an up and down start to the season for the Chargers, although having to face the Rams and Chiefs in the first four weeks is a pretty tough start. They welcome a Raiders team coming off their first win of the season who have looked better since the week one loss to the Rams. I’m still not convinced about the Raiders long term plans and trading away Khalil Mack, but Marshawn Lynch has somehow managed to maintain his fearsome playing style at thirty-two. I’m not sure the Raiders will win this game but I like them to keep it closer than six points against a Chargers team who frequently don’t seem to be able to get out of their own way despite the excellent play of Philip Rivers.
Gee’s Pick: Raiders
Dan’s Pick: Chargers
‘The 3rd divisional game this week brings together two very closely matched teams and choosing was not easy. Until I saw the spread I was edging towards Raiders but the spread and home field advantage left me ticking the Chargers
Dan’s Dad Says CHARGERS’
Rams @ Seahawks (+7.5)
The LA Rams are rolling even with multiple injuries at corner, thanks in no small part to their league dominating offence. This week they travel to Seattle to face a Seahawks team who are 2-2 despite playing three games on the road but the Seahawks also had to work hard to beat the Cardinals last week and lost Earl Thomas for the season with a broken leg. Despite having Russell Wilson their offence ranks twenty-seventh in the league by DVOA and it is hard to see them winning this game even with their famous home field advantage. The difficulty in this game is that as it is divisional so you could see it being closer than normal for the Rams but I just don’t think this iteration of the Seahawks will keep up and the Rams stay as aggressive against anyone so whilst the Seattle crowd does make me pause, they also had to watch their team lose by thirty-five points last season in this fixture and I think it will be big differential again. Watch the Seahawks now keep it close!
Gee’s Pick: Rams
Dan’s Pick: Rams
‘Yet another divisional game and at last one where I thought it would be easy. Two teams that are on winning streaks but the Rams 4 on the spin and +73 point net for me is why even with a 7 point spread away from home I cant see past them
Dan’s Dad Says RAMS’
Vikings @ Eagles (-3.5)
This is an important game for two teams who have not looked quite right so far this season. This is strange for the Minnesota Vikings as the combination of new offensive coordinator John DeFillippo and quarterback Kirk Cousins looks to be working really well, but only has them a ranking of nineteenth by DVOA and apart from losing to the Rams and drawing with the Packers despite Aaron Rodgers knee injury, they found a way to get beaten convincingly by the Bills. This week they take on a Philadelphia Eagles team who just don’t look right even with the return of Carson Wentz who lost an overtime game to the Titans last week. The vaunted pass rush of last season doesn’t look to be the same although the defence has remained top ten by DVOA but the offence ranks twenty-fourth. I find this a hard game to predict and I thought it was interesting that Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said he could be over coaching the defence so in the end I’m going to grab the extra half point for the road team as I’m really not sure how this one is going to play out.
Gee’s Pick: Vikings
Dan’s Pick: Vikings
‘This would normally be seen as a competitive game and indeed it may well be one but both are unusually on losing streaks. Who has something to prove, well both really but a modest spread and home advantage I think plays to the Eagles. That said against the Rams Mike Tice seemed to have started a turn round – and the time since Thursday night will have given him time to work on things. My fear is that there is a lot to work on and the Vikings’ defence are not the wall they were last term. Sorry to say, it’s the Eagles (but if I’m wrong I will be happy !)
Dan’s Dad Says EAGLES’
Cardinals @ 49ers (-4.5)
The Arizona Cardinals didn’t win last week, but Josh Rosen kept them competitive after Sam Bradford did the same the week before against the Bears. However, they still don’t have a win and this week they travel to face a San Francisco 49ers team who managed to keep the game competitive against the Chargers despite having to start CJ Beathard at quarterback. This looks to be one of the better chances for the Cardinals to get a win this season as there is only a solitary win between both these teams through week four, but it’s hard to see it happening on the road for the Cardinals. That said they have kept their last two games to within four but as this is their second road game of the season I do think the 49ers will win but in the end this is too many points for me to give away with a backup quarterback starting and the list of injuries the 49ers have.
Gee’s Pick: Cardinals
Dan’s Pick: Cardinas
‘The last of this week’s divisional games sees 2 teams well in the mire. The Cardinals are not scoring but shipping points which is not a good combination, hence looking for a 1st win of the season. So will that spur them on? Well at home possibly, and with a spread perhaps, but neither is there for them so I’m going for the 49ers
Dan’s Dad Says SF 49ERS’
Cowboys @ Texans (-3.5)
The battle of Texas sees the Cowboys travel from Dallas to Houston to face the Texans in what is kind of an intriguing game. Both teams are coming off wins but the Cowboys have been struggling on offence all season, particularly throwing the ball, and they have lost both of their road games so far. The Texans may have only got their first win last week but Deshaun Watson is beginning to look more like himself and the front seven of the Texans is starting to look strong as the various players who were injured last season start to look like their olds selves. The Cowboys look ill equipped to take advantage of the problems the Texans are having in coverage whilst also missing Sean Lee on defence again. I don’t have a strong feel for this game and I’ll likely watch it this week as I’ve only seen Cowboys’ highlights, but I fancy the Texans to win their second game and so I’ll reluctantly back them to cover this one.
Gee’s Pick: Texans
Dan’s Pick: Texans
‘When teams are 2-2 and 1-3 and with similar scoring profiles a lot comes down to gut feel and spread. Both have 1 game winning streaks and the spread is not helping but that along with home field advantage and I’ll go Texans
Dan’s Dad Says TEXANS’
Washington @ Saints (-6.5)
I’m really looking forward to seeing the Monday night game this week as the New Orleans Saints welcome a rested Washington team that has a top ten offence by DVOA and a defence that ranks twelfth. The Saints meanwhile have been rolling on offence but have really struggled on defence, essentially making them the NFC Chiefs but without the unbeaten record. However, the consistency of Drew Brees has to be admired and the offensive production is why the Saints are seen as such heavy favourites in this one. The issue for me is the up down nature of a Washington team that has paired convincing wins against the Cardinals and Packers with a bad home loss to the Colts. Sure the rest will help with them coming of a bye but will they be competitive against a Saints team in a dome? I’m going to suggest that with that week’s rest and going against the twenty-ninth ranked defence in the league that Washington can keep this game to within seven. Whether they will or not is a different matter but that’s why they play the games.
Gee’s Pick: Washington
Dan’s Pick: Saints
‘On the one hand both teams are on winning streaks, and are better than .500 so far. The Saints have home field and are scoring strongly, but conceding too. Will they win by 7? Possibly thanks to playing at home so I’m picking them this week.
Dan’s Dad Says SAINTS’