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I’m not sure I could have been more wrong about the Thursday night game, but I’m still not sure the pick was wrong with what we knew but the Steelers ran away with the game and I have a nasty feeling they will be extending their lead at the top of the AFC North this week. Anyway, before that I have the minor matter of a trivia pick to get wrong.

This week we have the reverse fixture from week 1 when I asked you which was the Highest stadium of the 31 in the NFL but this time I want to ask about the lowest. As with Mile High being the highest the Saints Superdome at just 3 feet would also be too easy so who is 2nd and what ‘altitude’ are they at? I’ll offer UP TO 2 points for the right answers this week. Is that, I hear you ask, a clue?

It’s a Fair Catch’

So I’m really struggling this week as I don’t have that great a knowledge of American geography but the lowest stadium is going to be on the coast somewhere and if the New Orleans stadium is the lowest I’m going to with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Raymond James Stadium and guess it is four feet above sea level.

I’m pretty confident I’m picking up the points this week, and that’s largely based on the giant clue that Dad has given us! I think the answer is Los Angeles (two points – two teams…).’

Having seen Dan’s answer I’m now feeling particularly dumb…

Falcons @ Browns (+4.5)

So on the face of it this is a horrible game to pick. However, the Browns have now lost four straight and have no settled infrastructure around a rookie quarterback whilst the Falcons have found a way to win three straight. The home underdog points are always tempting, but with the Browns having lost their last two games by a combined thirty-one points I think the Falcons might be able to run up the score again and I am going to need more points than this to pick the dysfunctional Browns.

Gee’s Pick:      Falcons
Dan’s Pick:      Falcons

Bills @ Jets (-7.5)

This seems like a lot of points to be laying by a New York Jets team who are struggling to move the ball. I am not prepared to give up on Sam Darnold but with the injuries at receiver and with a defensive minded head coach I don’t see things changing much this season and now that he is injured we have Josh McCown starting. However, whilst the Jets offence is bad, the Bills’ offence is historically putrid, although Matt Barkley is expected to make the start this week, but the only thing we can really trust is that we have a matchup of two top ten defences. This is not a recipe for points and so I’m going to hold my nose and pick the Bills in what is likely to be a pretty awful watch. I would love to be proven wrong, and I may well get the pick wrong given the flux at quarterback, but I doubt this game will set many pulses racing.

Gee’s Pick:      Bills
Dan’s Pick:      Jets

Lions @ Bears (-6.5)

I am really interested in seeing this game as it pits two divisional rivals against each other with the Chicago Bears riding high off their second big win and are hosting the up and down Detroit Lions. The Lions are something of an enigma to me as they have a couple of good wins but overall they seem to be heading in the wrong direction and the front office appears to be making long term decisions, which won’t help them win right now. This feels like a lot of points but given the Lions have lost their last two games by more than eight points and the Bears have won it this either means the trend is set to continue or due for a change. I’m going to back the better team in this one but I don’t exactly feel happy about it.

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

Saints @ Bengals (+4.5)

This game really scares me. The hope is that we get some bad weather that hinders Drew Brees, but with Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram running the ball against the Bengals suspect run defence they might not need Brees to be at his best. This is without even considering how the Bengals offence will function minus AJ Green. I am hoping to be proven wrong, and will gladly lose the point but I don’t think I am.

I always wanted to take a moment to mark Dez Bryant tearing his Achilles having signed for the Saints, which is just a horrible thing to happen for a player trying to find a way back into the league after not finding a team during the offseason and could be potentially career ending.

Gee’s Pick:      Saints
Dan’s Pick:      Saints

Patriots @ Titans (+7.5)

This is another intriguing game, but given the New England Patriots recent form it is hard to see them not covering any points spread. The Tennessee Titans have been grinding through the season with their new coaching team but the offence has not been turned around under Matt LaFLeur as people were hoping and with a DVOA ranking of twenty-sixth that goes with a defensive ranking of twentieth they have done well to be 4-4. Given the Patriots have rounded into form as they usually do I’m going to back them even if they are on the road.

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

Jaguars @ Colts (-2.5)

The Jacksonville Jaguars have lost four straight and coming off a bye they are hoping to get Leonard Fournette back from injury, which they will be desperate for as the offence just hasn’t functioned without him. The strange thing with this team has been the lack of discipline and this week we’ve had AJ Bouye rule himself out with injury to the press, which was news to head coach Doug Marrone. They travel to face an Indianapolis Colts team who have the same 3-5 record but they are heading in the opposite direction after last season and it will be interesting to see what the result is. I’m struggling with the line in this one as if Fournette can re-establish the power run game that would help the Jaguars control he clock and have a functional offence then they might be able to look more like the team who went to the playoffs last season, but there are a lot of unknowns. I’d like to stay well away from this game, but seeing as we can’t I am going to back the team with the better DVOA ranking who only need to win by a field goal to cover but I don’t exactly feel great about it.

Gee’s Pick:      Colts
Dan’s Pick:      Jaguars

Cardinals @ Chiefs (-16.5)

The Arizona Cardinals are coming of a bye and face a ridiculously difficult game going against the buzzsaw that is the Kansas City Chiefs at home. There seems to be a lot of positive feeling about Byron Letwich who has taken over as offensive coordinator for the Cardinals and their defence is actually rated top ten by DVOA, but defence isn’t exactly a predictor of success in the NFL with six of the top ten defences by DVOA belonging to teams with losing records and the Seahawks are 4-4. This is way too many points to give and looking at the Chiefs they have only managed to win by the required seventeen points once, and yes that was against the Bengals and so I’m going to guarantee they do it a second time by backing the Cardinals to cover.

Gee’s Pick:      Cardinals
Dan’s Pick:      Chiefs

Washington @ Buccaneers (-2.5)

This is such a tough spot for Washington after the cluster of injuries on their offensive line they travel to a warm muggy Tampa who are a dangerous 3-5. The Buccaneers have huge problems on defence but can at least move the ball on offence through the air and stand a fighting chance with Ryan Fitzpatrick starting at quarterback. I’m going to nervously back the Buccaneers given the flux in Washington on the line of an offence that only ranked twentieth before this happened, but this is another shot in the dark.

Gee’s Pick:      Buccaneers
Dan’s Pick:      Washington

Chargers @ Raiders (+9.5)

The lines this week all seem to be horrible, and now we head into a run of nine and a half point lines. The first is given to the Raiders at home because they have been awful. Despite this being a divisional matchup I strongly fancy the Chargers to win but this is a lot of points. That said the Raiders have to look back to their week four win over the Browns for the last time they managed not to lose by more than ten points and I don’t see where a magical turnaround is coming from so the Chargers it is.

Gee’s Pick:      Chargers
Dan’s Pick:      Chargers

Dolphins @ Packers (-9.5)

The Miami Dolphins are still in the hunt for the playoffs despite their up and down play but they have not been good on the road and Green Bay is not exactly the easiest of places to play. That said, the Packers are on something of an iffy run themselves although losing to the Rams and Patriots is hardly a horrific drop in form but at 3-4-1 they are in desperate need of wins. They have the ninth best offence by DVOA despite having arguably the most talented quarterback in the league and I think they will win this game but this seems like too many points for a team whose only big win was against the Bills. I’m going to back the Dolphins to keep it closer than ten points and hope I don’t jinx Dan’s team too badly.

Gee’s Pick:      Dolphins
Dan’s Pick:      Dolphins

Seahawks @ Rams (-9.5)

The Seattle Seahawks travel to face a now defeated LA Rams team but losing on the road to the Saints like the Rams did last week is hardly something to be embarrassed about. There are still some wobbles in the Rams’ play but I think they have more than enough to beat a Seahawks team who are one of the few teams who are still managing to win with the formula of defence and running the ball. This is line is too rich for me given the Rams’ recent run of form against teams that are not the 49ers and so I’ll back the Seahawks to keep it within ten even if I think the Rams get back to winning ways and can seal a playoff berth with a win.

Gee’s Pick:      Seahawks
Dan’s Pick:      Seahawks

Cowboys @ Eagles (-6.5)

I am curious enough about this game that I’m going to watch it given the ongoing mess that is going on in Dallas, but more because I want to see the Eagles and in particular how Golden Tate will be worked into the offence. Given the Eagles are coming off a bye and really need to push on if they are going to make the playoffs they really need a win and I expect them to get it but this is another big line. However, the Cowboys have lost all of their road games so far this season and having lost to the Titans by fourteen points I’m going to back the team with the coaching staff I have more faith in, although with the now standard caveat that I’m not happy about it.

Gee’s Pick:      Eagles
Dan’s Pick:      Eagles

Giants @ 49ers (-2.5)

I’m wary of reading too much into the 49ers win against the Raiders last week, but Nick Mullens is to get his second start and a rested 49ers team will face a New York Giants team coming off a bye but how much of difference will that have made? They may next to be each other in the overall DVOA rankings but I have more faith in the 49ers coming off a win and generating something than the Giants who were moving out pieces from their defence at the trade deadline.

Gee’s Pick:      49ers
Dan’s Pick:       Giants

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