SOME clutch kicking from Adam Vinatieri, the Chargers first win and some Aaron Rodgers heroics helped me boast a pretty good record last weekend. Not all of my choices paid off though with the Texans, Astros and Browns letting me down, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Another straightforward set of fixtures gives me another chance at reeling off a 12-0 slate.
Last Sunday Picks: 8 – 5
Overall: 310 – 240
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Miami Dolphins @ Atlanta Falcons
JAY Cutler is really bad. Like ‘should have stayed retired’ bad. His passer rating of 74.8 ranks 30th out of the 32 quarterbacks and he’s throwing for the 4th fewest yards per game. On the other side of the ball, the reigning MVP Matt Ryan is coming off the bye and ready to help the Falcons take the NFC South lead. Bad news for Dolphins fans.
Verdict: Falcons W
Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings
FRESH off another clutch performance to give the Packers a W, Aaron Rodgers faces a much tougher test this weekend. Their division rival Vikings are one of the best defensive units in the league owning the leagues best percentage (25.5%) on third down. The fourth quarter king versus the Minnesota defense is one of the matchups of the weekend and should not be missed.
Verdict: Packers W
Detroit Lions @ New Orleans Saints
THE week in, week out Saints defense remains as confusing as ever. At times they look like they have improved and then they look like they would struggle to stop a college team. With a struggling O-line and a quarterback reeling from being sacked too many times though the Saints D should once again have a day out.
Verdict: Saints W
New England Patriots @ New York Jets
A 38-year old and 40-year old are starting at quarterback trying to help their teams move to the top of the division. It’s not a scenario we expected to find Josh McCown and Tom Brady in at this point of the season, but football is a funny game. However, this is the Patriots versus the Jets, don’t overlook that fact.
Verdict: Patriots W
Image from nysportsday.com
San Francisco 49ers @ Washington Redskins
AS usual, the 49ers stuck to their theme of hanging in games right up to the end but still coming away with a loss. So don’t be surprised if San Fransisco is right in the game, or even leading late in the game. Only for the Redskins to then pull off the win.
Verdict: Redskins W
Chicago Bears @ Baltimore Ravens
AFTER getting his NFL debut out of the way last week Mitchell Trubisky should be a little less nervous this Sunday. However, going up against a tough defense unit the turnover prone Bears might be in a spot of bother. They could lean on their talented backfield duo to maybe grind out a win, but the Ravens defense is too good for them to not leave the field victorious.
Verdict: Ravens W
Cleveland Browns @ Houston Texans
OH how things could have been different if the Browns drafted Deshaun Watson. The former Clemson stud has been balling out for the Texans helping them remain in the hunt for another AFC South crown. All that translates to another disappointing weekend for Cleveland fans.
Verdict: Texans W
Image from chron.com
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Arizona Cardinals
FOR Cardinals fans they can see the fast closing championship window before their eyes. With Carson Palmer ageing 10 years with every game, he plays the team is on a downfall and as a result, they find themselves struggling to win ball games. With the Bucs keen to avenge their Thursday night loss to New England last week, a win for them is pretty guaranteed.
Verdict: Bucs W
Los Angeles Rams @ Jacksonville Jaguars
I did not think that the Jaguars and the Rams would be one of the headlining matchups for Week 6 at the start of the season. Yet, here we are with the two division leaders squaring off. I have more faith in the Jags defense than I do in Jared Goff right now and even if Blake Bortles throws for less than 100 yards they are good enough to beat LA.
Verdict: Jaguars W
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs
THIS match is very very interesting to me. If the Chiefs are the real deal then they will stomp the Steelers at home, move to 6-0 and establish themselves as a SuperBowl threat to the rest of the NFL. The other scenario sees Big Ben bounce back from the worst game of his career and move the Pittsburgh up the power rankings after a stirring win on the road. It may be dumb but I’m predicting the latter.
Verdict: Steelers W
Los Angeles Chargers @ Oakland Raiders
LAST week the Chargers popped their 2017 cherry over the still winless New York Giants. With Derek Carr likely to return for Oakland this weekend though things will be very different. Even if Carr remains sidelined I still think there is enough talent left on the field for the Raiders to help them get back on track.
Verdict: Raiders W
New York Giants @ Denver Broncos
THERE isn’t much to look at in this one. Denver has one of the best defenses (if not the best) in the league. The visibly ageing Eli Manning just lost his three best receivers for the rest of the season. Therefore the Broncos will win the final game of the week.
Verdict: Broncos W
Chicago Cubs @ Los Angeles Dodgers
SURPRISINGLY to some, the Cubs were able to overcome the powerful Nationals outfit that went close to winning 100 games this season and advance to the NLCS. The defending champs are facing the Dodgers in a rematch of the championship series from 12 months prior, with their ambitions to defend their crown alive and well. In fact, it’s so promising that I expect them to claim Game 2.
Verdict: Cubs W