Time for me to get back on the horse and see if I can get; myself back into contention in the picks competition, but first there’s the minor matter of trivia competition.
‘Bronco’s Peyton Manning along with Brett Favre are the only 2 QB’s to have achieved what?’
So this is a trickier question, but I think the answer is that they are the only two quarterbacks to get to the Conference Championship game with two different franchises, with Farve doing it with the Packers and Vikings, whilst Manning managed it with the Colts and Broncos.
It is my week to be flummoxed but the trivia theme, I’m sure I’m going to kick myself when we finally find out what it is. As for Dan:
‘Absolutely wracking my brain trying to work out the link between Peyton Manning and Brett Favre – I really feel like I should know this but nothing is coming to mind at all. I’m going to say “they’re both players who I wish I’d seen live” and that way there’s no way I can be wrong!
On the theme, the only thing I have noticed is that the questions are all about different teams running alphabetically – i.e. with this week’s being Denver, I’m sure next week’s question will be about the Detroit Lions, and the following week will be the Green Bay Packers… etc. Let’s go with that!’
Falcons @ Saints (-12.5)
It looks like the Atlanta Falcons will be getting Matt Ryan back from his ankle sprain but even with them being rested coming off a bye it is hard to trust this 1-7 squad, particularly with the defence being ranked thirtieth by DVOA. Given the Saints are coming off their own bye and have been beating teams for fun I’m going to take the Saints.
Gee’s Pick: Saints
Dan’s Pick: Saints
Bills @ Browns (-2.5)
The Cleveland Browns inspire no trust at the moment and so whilst I have been hesitant in the past about the Buffalo Bills’ offence, when I’m getting points I’m going to back the team I think is definitely better. On any given Sunday anything can happen, but I feel comfortable this is the more likely result.
Gee’s Pick: Bills
Dan’s Pick: Bills
Lions @ Bears (-2.5)
The Chicago Bears are really struggling, and I have learned my lesson from last week. The Bears probably can’t help but gain more yards this week, but with the quarterback situation being what it is I have to go with the Detroit Lions, even if they are struggling to win, they have always been competitive.
Gee’s Pick: Lions
Dan’s Pick: Lions
Ravens @ Bengals (+9.5)
I’m hoping that the Cincinnati Bengals’ offence shows something this week with Ryan Finley getting his first NFL regular season start, but I have no faith in the defence being able to contain the Ravens’ running game. There has been some talk of a let down game for the Ravens having beaten the Patriots last week, but in this division matchup I fear that things won’t get much better for the Bengals.
Gee’s Pick: Ravens
Dan’s Pick: Ravens
Chiefs @ Titans (+3.5)
It looks like the Kansas City Chiefs could get Patrick Mahomes back this week, but I trust Andy Reid to keep the Chiefs competitive whoever lines up under centre. I can’t quite say the same for the Tennessee Titans, who look to have a more functional offence with Ryan Tannehill starting at quarterback but I’m not sure they have enough to win this game. I have seen the line as high as six points to the Titans so I’m going make a value play on the better team and hope.
Gee’s Pick: Chiefs
Dan’s Pick: Chiefs
Giants @ Jets (+2.5)
It is a strange world where the New York Giants are giving points on the road against anyone, except this the home stadium for both teams and the New York Jets are currently imploding. I don’t really want to pick at all in this game, but I am reluctantly going to back the Giants as they only need a field goal to cover this and the Jets lost to the Dolphins last week.
Gee’s Pick: Giants
Dan’s Pick: Giants
Cardinals @ Buccaneers (-4.5)
This is a sneaky intriguing game as the Arizone Cardinals have been relatively competitive in Kliff Kingsbury’s first NFL season, and it looks as if the pairing of him and quarterback Kyler Murray have a future, but the roster still needs a lot of work. The Buccaneers have played well in stretches, but Jameis Winston just cannot seem to stop himself from giving the ball away in clusters. This line feels a little high considering that the Bucs are 2-6 so I’m going to grab the points.
Gee’s Pick: Cardinals
Dan’s Pick: Buccaneers
Dolphins @ Colts (-10.5)
Nevermind the Miami Dolphins getting a win last week, they have been competitive for a few weeks now and with the Indianapolis Colts missing Jacoby Brissett due to an MCL sprain and continuing to have kicking problems I am going to grab the points. I’m not saying the Colts can’t win or beat this line, the Dolphins are after all resetting their roster, but this is too many points for me to be laying with the Colts.
Gee’s Pick: Dolphins
Dan’s Pick: Dolphins
Panthers @ Packers (-5.5)
The good news for the Carolina Panthers is that Kyle Allen bounced back from his awful performance against the 49ers and they got the win last week. The good news for the Packers is that they are back in Green Bay and they have a chance to get back to winning ways after an awful performance in LA against the Chargers last week. I still think the Packers are going to make trouble in the playoffs, and I can see them winning this game but I think this is too many points to be laying against the Panthers.
Gee’s Pick: Panthers
Dan’s Pick: Packers
Rams @ Steelers (+3.5)
I do not trust the LA Rams, who are having a difficult season that largely look to be down to problems on the offensive line and although they have stabilised over recent week, they have a tough schedule coming up. This week they travel to face a Pittsburgh Steelers team who have got themselves back to 4-4 having lost their opening three games and four of their first five. I’m not sure how much I trust the Steelers given their injuries on offence but getting this many points at home feels like a good spot to me, even if the Rams are coming off a bye.
Gee’s Pick: Steelers
Dan’s Pick: Steelers
Vikings @ Cowboys (-2.5)
The Minnesota Vikings could have won last week, and certainly should have covered if it were not for a missed extra performance, but the play of Kirk Cousins concerns me as he threw wayward passes for a lot of that game and once again will be missing Adam Thielen after he reaggravated his hamstring injury. The Dalla Cowboys have seemingly struggled to put everything together at the same time, and their defence doesn’t seem to be living up to expectations but they are fourth in the league by DVOA for a reason and I like them in this spot.
Gee’s Pick: Cowboys
Dan’s Pick: Cowboys
Seahawks @ 49ers (-6.5)
This is definitely the game of the week for me, as the unbeaten San Francisco 49ers welcome a Seattle Seahawks team who are only one win behind them in the division. The Seahawks have managed this mostly on the back of excellent play from Russell Wilson who has been excelling in making things happen in the passing game, in fact he’s been doing so well that they lead the league in passing offence DVOA. The weakness however is the uncharacteristically poor Seattle defence who are currently twenty-seventh by DVOA. The 49ers sit atop the over DVOA rankings, have the second best defence according to DVOA, and Jimmy Garoppolo had a great game last week. I think this game should be really competitive and I think this line is too high. I could be proven spectacularly wrong as either team could win big, but I’m going to back the Seahawks to keep this contest within a touchdown.
Gee’s Pick: Seahawks
Dan’s Pick: Seahawks
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.