Jazz: I managed to go 5-2 in week one, missing only on the Jets and the Browns. There’s probably some irony in that statistic because the Jets play the Browns this week. Of course, our superstar sophomore quarterback is out for a few weeks with mono and Le’veon Bell injured his shoulder, but I’ll cry more about that later. For the time being, I’ll just make sure there’s plenty of alcohol available on Monday night.
Ed: Speaking of crying, I’ve been weepy over that shellacking the Steelers took in Foxboro all week. At least I started out above .500, but a 4-3 record and five bucks gets you a café latté around here, I see. Perhaps now that we’ve had a chance to take our first look at everyone’s starting squad, we’ll do a bit better this week … as long as we don’t pick the Browns.
Jazz: As mentioned above, the Jets host the Browns on Monday night (Monday, 8:15 pm, ESPN) and the outlook is not bright in Mudville. The Jets were already probably going to be at even odds at best, but now Sam Darnold has mono, our new star running back has a bum shoulder and we had to recruit a new placekicker out of the parking lot. I hate doing it, but even I can’t pick New York this week. I’ll take Cleveland over New York, 23-9. The Steelers host the Seahawks in what should be one of the better games of the week (1:00 pm, FOX). As horrible as Pittsburgh looked at New England, I have to believe they’ll shake that off. They are so much better on paper. And Seattle is good, but they’re not Patriots level good. I’m picking the Steelers over the Seahawks 27-17. The Vikings visit the Packers (1:00 pm, FOX) after both of them had a great opening week. Both of these teams also looked a lot better on defense than offense. I foresee a lower scoring game that may just come down to home field advantage. I’ll take Green Bay over the Vikings 21-16.
Ed: As bad as the Pittsburgh Steelers looked last week, there were two upsides. First, it looked like execution problems rather than talent deficiencies, and execution can get fixed. At home, the Steelers will be a lot tougher, and the Seahawks didn’t exactly chew up the ground either against the Bengals in Seattle last week. Steelers over Seahawks, 24-20. Green Bay looked very impressive on defense last week, and this week they’re playing at home. The Vikes have a good running game, but they’re better at home than on the road. Packers 17-14 over the Vikings, maybe even in OT. Finally, the NFL has put the Browns at Jets on Monday night, which might be the best expression of hope over experience anyone has seen. Even with the Browns’ flop last week they’re still favored by a TD, thanks to Darnold’s illness and Bell’s injury. I’m … not so sure. I’ll take the Jets 21-17 over the Browns in an upset.
Jazz: Here’s four more games to fill out our card for the week.
- Chargers at Lions (1:00 pm, CBS) – I would have picked the Chargers if they hadn’t gotten more banged up than the Jets last week. As it is, the good look the Lions defense gave us should be enough to cause Philip Rivers problems. I’ll go with the Lions over the Chargers 17-14.
- Saints at Rams (4:25 pm, FOX) – These are two good teams who now have some contentious history behind them so passions will probably be running high. The Saints definitely look playoff ready to me, but they’ll be flying to the west coast for this one. It’s just a hunch, but I’ll take the Rams over the Saints 28-24.
- Bears at Broncos (4:25 pm, FOX) – A fun pick, but neither of these teams looks like they’re ready to put a bunch of points on the board. I’ll take the Broncos over the Bears 20-12.
- Eagles at Falcons (8:20 pm, NBC) – The Falcons wound up with a tough schedule, first running into the Vikings and now the Eagles. Sadly, with their somewhat dodgy offensive line against the Birds’ massive D line, it won’t improve this week. I’ll take the Eagles over the Falcons 24-13.
- Chargers at Lions (1:00 pm, CBS) – The Lions looked good for three quarters in Arizona before fading badly in the fourth. At home, they’d better pull it together, but I think the Chargers will pull this one out, 31-28.
- Saints at Rams (4:25 pm, FOX) – Want to bet pass interference calls won’t get missed this time around? The Saints come into Los Angeles with a lot to prove — and maybe the Rams do, too. I’ll give the edge to the Saints this time around, 33-27.
- Bears at Broncos (4:25 pm, FOX) – Da Bears got humbled at home last week … and Denver didn’t do too well on the road, either. Chicago has the better team and will bounce back first, 19-14.
- Eagles at Falcons (8:20 pm, NBC) – Fly like an Eagle to the sea. Atlanta’s at home, but Philly will be too much for them. Eagles 27-17 over the Falcons.
Edit: Original post corrected to show that the Falcons played the Vikings last week, not the Saints.