Jazz: If you see me starting the NFL thread you know I couldn’t have done too badly last week. But it wasn’t anything to get too proud about either. I limped in above the .500 mark with a 4-3 finish, held back by the Jets’ seemingly endless ability to blow totally winnable games. That brings me to 36-26 on the season and moves me comfortably back ahead of the 50-50 mark for at least a couple more weeks. But I could seriously use a couple of weeks like Ed had in week 9 to really get into the clear.
Ed: Once again, Jazz has edged me out, but I did most of the damage to myself. My 3-4 mark last week moves me to 33-29 for season, three games down to Jazz with eight more weeks to go. If I want to catch up, I’d better get a couple of those Week 9 results myself.
Jazz: Our three feature games will all be out of the way in the two normal slots today. The Jets host the Los Angeles Rams (1:00, FOX) and are somehow a slim favorite in Vegas. The Rams started off well but are now 3-5 in the NFC West and stuck in a four game losing streak. Rumor has it that the Jets will be starting our rookie QB draft pick because apparently Tim Tebow was busy playing baseball. Still, I refuse to give in and will once again pick the Jets to bounce back. I don’t expect either team to move the ball all that much, so I’m going to call a record low scoring 9-6 New York win. The Steelers host the Cowboys (4:25, FOX) who are on a seven game winning streak riding high at first place in the NFC East. Pittsburgh looks, on paper, as if they should be at least that good but they seem to be leaving their fans in tears every week. Still, I’m going to go out on a limb and hope for the sake of Ed’s sanity that this is the week they turn it around. I’ll take Pittsburgh in a minor upset 27-24. The Vikings visit the Redskins (1:00, FOX) and they both have fairly mediocre records. (Though Minnesota’s is good enough to be in first place at the moment.) This game just isn’t setting up well for the Vikings. Kirk Cousins guided the Skins to offensive outputs averaging more than 450 yards each over the three games before their bye. The Vikings’ D has looked sketchy enough that I’ll take the home field advantage and go with Washington 23-17.
Ed: The Jets are doing better on offense than the Rams by three points a game, but they’re coughing up six more points a game. Both teams are inconsistent, but I’ll go with the Rams 26-23 in a slight upset. Will Tony Romo’s imminent return to the roster start making Dak Prescott nervous? Man, I sure hope so, or it will be a long game for Pittsburgh. Steelers 31-24 over the Cowboys. The Vikings have suddenly started looking like a team that has lost its starting QB and running back after going undefeated in five games without both. Minnesota has a much tougher defense than Washington, and the differences on offense aren’t that much when it comes to scoring points. Vikings 21-17 over the Redskins.
Jazz: Let’s pull four more games out of a hat.
- Chiefs at Panthers (1:00 pm, FOX) – The Chiefs have been looking very solid, but despite a few recent struggles I still think the combination of Cam Newton’s arm and his talented running backs will be too much for Kansas City. Give me the Panthers, 30-24.
- Falcons at Eagles (1:00 pm, FOX) – The birds have dropped four out of their last five and the bloom seems to have come off of Carson Wentz’s rose. Atlanta is plagued with some injury questions on defense, but should be able to put up a few more points than Philly in a high scoring, exciting game. I’ll take Atlanta 36-30.
- Packers at Titans (1:00 pm, FOX) – Tennessee has a lot of potential they’ve failed to live up to but have shown moments of brilliance. The Packers at 4-4 just haven’t been delivering and are on a serious losing streak. Green bay is a favorite by a field goal, but I smell an upset coming for Marcus Mariota. They can both put a lot of points on the board so I’ll take the Titans 31-28.
- Bengals at Giants (8:30 pm Monday, ESPN) – The Bengals are a slim, one point favorite in the Monday night game but their run defense has really crumbled, placing in the bottom third of the league. The Giants are on a three game winning streak and that, combined with the home field advantage will let them pull out a minor upset and take this one 27-17.
- Chiefs at Panthers (1:00 pm, FOX) – Kansas City’s slightly better than Carolina on both sides of the ball, and they’re executing better in general as well. Chiefs in a mild upset, 23-20.
- Falcons at Eagles (1:00 pm, FOX) – The Falcons just keep looking better and better, while the Eagles seem to have plateaued. Philly scores eight fewer points per game, while Atlanta gives up ten more points per game. Should be a fun game to watch, but I’ll take the Eagles at home 24-20 in a defensive-battle upset.
- Packers at Titans (1:00 pm, FOX) – The Packers need this game to keep pace in the NFC North, and they should win it. Given the way Green Bay has played this year they’ll make it close, but will win 28-24.
- Bengals at Giants (8:30 pm Monday, ESPN) – For some reason Cincinnati is slightly favored in this game, but the Giants should take care of business at home. 24-21 New York.