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Things are a little out of sync this weekend so this will have to be a shorter picks post than normal. The Thursday night game certainly was trying to contribute to that given that there was no real contest as the Patriots ground the Falcons into a 25-0 loss. The defence of the Patriots just blanketed the Falcons offence, making Matt Ryan’s life miserable behind a line that struggled to protect him. This was not the best game for rookie quarterback Mac Jones, but it didn’t matter and the Bills will be watching the surging Patriots nervously now they have a won five straight.

Early Games:

  • The Colts have been playing better and it will be interesting to see if Carson Wentz can tame his tendency to try too much, but if feels baked in at this point and I just wonder how the Bills will go given their recent stumbles.
  • The Ravens lost two of their last three games, and whilst a short week after overtime might explain it, they will be hoping to get back on track against a Bears team who seemed lost even before they had confirmation that pass rusher Khalil Mack was not coming back for the rest of the season after having his foot operated on.
  • The only two teams in the NFL to have winless seasons face off this week with the Lions yet to get off the mark and it doesn’t look that hopeful this week.
  • The Titans have won six straight games and it’s. hard to see the Texans stopping it, although given the injuries the Titans are dealing with the cover is tempting.
  • The Vikings really can’t afford to drop any more games behind the Packers, although it’s hard to see the Packers losing the division, but if the Vikings are to challenge for the playoffs, they need to put a string of wins together.
  • The Dolphins have won two straight and have a good chance to make it three against a struggling Jets team who rather than develop one of their young quarterbacks are starting Joe Flacco even though another win is not going to really help them at this point.
  • The Saints visit to Philadelphia will be a tougher game than it might have seemed a couple of weeks ago. I don’t know if that will lead to an upset, but I would be genuinely interested in watching this one and I wouldn’t have said that a couple of weeks ago.
  • The Panthers re-signed Cam Newton in the hopes of rescuing a season where their young defence had made a leap forward, but the offence had stagnated and struggled until last week. The Washington Football Team came out of their bye and beat the Buccaneers last week and will be hoping to make another statement, this time on the road.
  • The Jacksonville Jaguar have begun to put something together on defence, but the offence is still struggling and this week they face a 49ers team fresh of a good win against the Rams who will be hoping they can build on that.

Colts @ Bills (-7.5)

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

Ravens @ Bears (+6.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Ravens
Dan’s Pick:      Ravens

Lions @ Browns (-9.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Browns
Dan’s Pick:      Lions

Texans @ Titans (-10.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Texans
Dan’s Pick:      Titans

Packers @ Vikings (+2.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Vikings
Dan’s Pick:      Packers

Dolphins @ Jets (+2.5)

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

Saints @ Eagles (-1.5)

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

Washington @ Panthers (-3.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Panthers
Dan’s Pick:      Panthers

49ers @ Jaguars (+5.5)

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

Late Games:

  • The Bengals dropped from 5-2 to 5-4 thanks to two rough losses so will be coming off their bye with an eye on getting back to winning ways. The Raiders have also lost two straight but it feels like the bad things are snowballing for them. I’m sure both teams will be hoping to turn things round and while I’m. not ready to trust the Bengals right now, I think they should win this one.
  • The game of the week sees the Chiefs fresh from three straight wins host the 7-2 Cowboys who are ranked ten places higher by DVOA. I don’t trust the Chiefs defence to hold up against Dak Prescott and I am fascinated by the prospect of seeing how Patrick Mahomes and the struggling Chiefs offence will fare against the fourth ranked defence by DVOA.
  • The Cardinals have had a tough couple of weeks with Kyler Murry out with an ankle injury but won one of those games. Russell Wilson struggled last week in his return from his finger injury, but the Seahawks have been distinctly average this season and I wonder if they have enough to beat the 8-2 Cardinals. The numbers say something different though.

Bengals @ Raiders (+1.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Bengals
Dan’s Pick:      Bengals

Cowboys @ Chiefs (-2.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Cowboys
Dan’s Pick:      Cowboys

Cardinals @ Seahawks (+2.5)

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

Sunday Night Football:

Steelers @ Chargers (-4.5)

The Steelers have activated Ben Roethlisberger from the Covid-19 list but given how they have been playing I’m not sure this will magically turn things round for them. Having said that, the Chargers are struggling on offence, with plenty of criticism about them not taking advantage of young QB Justin Herbert’s powerful arm and with only one win in their last four games the Chargers will be hoping they can stop their season fading from the promising start.

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

Monday Night Football

Giants @ Buccaneers (-11.5)

I have no handle on the Giants, but it is hard to see many positives for this team given how they have struggled and visiting a Buccaneers team who were beaten by Washington last week doesn’t feel like a situation where the Giants will turn things round. Yes, the Bucs are dealing with injuries, but there is a chasm between these teams in the DVOA ranking and I would expect the Bucs to take care of business in this one, I am just not sure of this points total with Tom Brady seemingly a little out of sync.

Gee’s Pick:      Giants
Dan’s Pick:      Giants

DVOA is Football Outsiders statistic for measure a team’s success on every play versus the league average and you can read more about it and other football topics at https://footballoutsiders.com.