Jazz: Since I’m back to posting the NFL thread I must have done something right last week. After a 4-3 start in week 1, I improved my performance to 6-1 last week bringing me to an early season total of 10-4. (How on Earth did the Giants let me down on Monday night?) Getting a winning set like that almost made the Jets’ pathetic performance a bit bearable. Okay… a winning set and a few martinis, but you do what you have to do in order to make it through a Jets game these days. Ed’s Steelers are looking pretty good this season, so I’m considering ordering one of their jerseys to wear as a backup on Sundays. Let’s see if I can repeat last week’s performance just to keep my hands away from the airplane glue.
Ed: Well, Jazz and I did the ol’ switcheroo this week — he’s got the 6-1 record, and I got the 4-3. We’re both 10-4 for the season, which makes this week even more interesting, but not as interesting as Thursday’s Rams-49ers game. It’s the first game I’ve watched this season that was impossible to turn off, even with two teams that will strive for mediocrity in 2017. Now if they’d just get rid of the Color Rush uniforms …
Jazz: So here we go again. The 0-2 Jets have their home opener against the Dolphins (1:00 pm, CBS) who are technically in first place with a 1-0 record after missing a game in week one. Miami is the favorite by a touchdown, but who knows with the Jersey Boys on the field? Jay Cutler has had some accuracy problems but is generally reliable and the Jets have given up more points than anyone in the league so far. (66!) It’s a home game so I’ll give our boys a chance of at least keeping up with the spread. Dolphins win 24-17. The Steelers visit the Da Bears (1:00 pm, CBS) and Pittsburgh is an early favorite. The Steelers, while not flawless, have looked pretty good so far while the Bears are actually scoring fewer points than the Jets and are missing their three best receivers. I’ll take Pittsburgh 27-15. And finally, the Vikings welcome the Buccaneers (1:00 pm, FOX) to a dryer place than their home. Two teams with one win each, but the Bucs have only played one game. Tampa is favored by a field goal, probably because Teddy Bridgewater is out for the Vikings and they’ve lost a couple more starters already as well. But I’ve got a funny feeling about this one. I’m going to go out on a limb and take Minnesota in a lower scoring, slight upset, 20 – 15.
Ed: The Jets are in for a long season, and for a long day today. The two teams seem evenly matched on yards gained/allowed, but the Jets give up way more points (as Jazz noted) and don’t score more than Miami does out of their yards gained. Call it 31-17 Dolphins, with New York on their way to the #1 draft pick in 2018. Pittsburgh played much better on defense last week at home against the Vikes simply by avoiding stupid penalties. Defense will be the big difference in this game too, with a 27-10 victory for the Steelers. Defense will probably make the difference in Minnesota too; normally I don’t pick against the Vikes at home, but Tampa’s D looked solid and their offense more potent in their first game last week. With Minnesota relying on backup Case Keenum again, Tampa prevails 28-20.
Jazz: Four more games, all with teams carrying names bound to tick off somebody.
- Broncos at Bills (1:00 pm, CBS) – The undefeated Broncos are only a slight favorite over the Bills, even on the road.
Small wonder since their defense is listed in the top five in the league in the early going and their rushing game is near the top as well. The Bills have been stingy in allowing points so far but one of those games was against the Jets. I think it’s a bigger spread than advertised. I’ll take Denver 24-12.
- Chiefs at Chargers (4:25 pm, CBS) – These rivals have a history of good matchups, and with the Chargers being at home they might be a good pick. But “home” has changed and the Chiefs will be visiting them in a soccer stadium that only holds 25K people and the LA fans couldn’t even fill that up last time. Home field advantage negated. Still, they both have hot offenses this year and can put up some points. I’ll take the Chiefs in a shootout 33-30.
- Raiders at Redskins (8:30 pm, NBC) – The Raiders are 2-0 and have put 71 points (!) on the board already. Washington’s offense has been doing well in grinding out yards, but not so much at putting points on the board. I think the weak link here will be the Redskins’ defense, even given home field advantage. I’ll take the Raiders to go 3-0 with an exciting 24-21 finish by a last minute field goal.
- Cowboys at Cardinals (Monday, 8:30 pm, ESPN) – The Monday Night Football game has the Cowboys going to Arizona. Both teams are 1-1 and have both allowed and scored nearly an equal number of points so far. The only thing separating them for me is that Dallas will be really looking for revenge after that ugly game against Denver. Dak Prescott has been developing nicely and I think he’ll handle the Cardinals, but not in a blowout. Give me Dallas 24-17.
- Broncos at Bills (1:00 pm, CBS) – Denver got off to a shaky start but put on an impressive show against Dallas last week. The Bills have a good defense, but so does Denver, and the Broncos O is even more impressive. Denver 31-17 over Buffalo.
- Chiefs at Chargers (4:25 pm, CBS) – So far, the Chargers look the same in LA as they did in San Diego. Kansas City should have no problem handling Los Angeles Jr in a 35-20 blowout in front of hundreds of fans.
- Raiders at Redskins (8:30 pm, NBC) – Oakland outclasses Washington on both sides of the ball, but the Redskins do play tough at home. Their defense, though, is going to match up badly against the Raiders at home or otherwise. Oakland wins 33-21.
- Cowboys at Cardinals (Monday, 8:30 pm, ESPN) – Dallas will be looking to atone for an embarrassing outing in Denver last week, but Arizona matches up well with them, and they’re at home. I’ll take the Cardinals in an upset in a low-scoring 20-14 win.