Week 7 was about my best week of predictions ever. Period. So it is ALL DOWNHILL from here. Consider yourself warned, since what goes up MUST COME DOWN…
Survivor Pool Pick of the Week: Washington Redskins
As it so often happens, the weeks are getting tougher as we progress into the season. The Giants are in fire sale mode, so I am going to simply take the Redskins on the road this week for that reason alone. Not a good reason, but a reason nonetheless. I could go Indianapolis Colts here, but I somehow see the Redskins as a safer bet because they need this win to keep the competition at distance in the NFC East. The Raiders could come out ablaze and win one and this would surprise no one, including myself. Not expecting it as I am assigning some good confidence to my prediction of a Colts victory, but that is why they play the games, right? For the weak of heart, this is the week to cash in the Patriots chip in Survivor pools if needed. Or maybe the Chiefs actually, as at home I am not seeing a Broncos upset in the making.
#RookieQBsAreWhoTheyAre: The Vikings taught Darnold a ton. Brutal lessons in pain and futility. Bad weather. Bad performance. Darnold is quite the man to stand up and take all of the blame he could possibly attempt to take in media sessions. It wasn’t all on him, as he needs some talent around him. But man, he stunk. And so did the other rookies not too hurt to play. Rosen was not good, and Mayfield did some things when not shackled by the playcalling as he brought them back from 23-9 to send the game into OT. So the drama as always shifts to power struggle in CLE, because it would be too easy to look at the positives and live in that alone. This team is not the same team that fought it out for a 21-21 tie on Opening Day at home against the Steelers, and nor are the Steelers who look to be slowly figuring it out. I smell a victory this weekend for the rookie crew, but all of 1, and that 1 will be the FIRST W for Josh Rosen in Arizona, as they host the Niners in a battle of suckitude and for positioning for the #1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Cardinals will serve up an un-needed win here and Rosen will finally taste victory at the pro level. So, 1-2 weekend upcoming for the rookies. (note that the Bears are so unpredictable that they could easily ruin my prediction, but I think the Jets are too banged up to beat the Bears in Chicago)
#Don’tCallItAnUpsetPartDeux: The Saints marched into Baltimore, and on the strength of a missed Justin Tucker XP (the first miss of his entire NFL career), escaped with victory. For me, bottom line is Saints win against a tough Ravens team on the road. The reward? Another road game against a tough opponent that dons the purple colors. This time, the scene shifts to Minnesota. They played an uneven game that was a struggle for quite a while last week against the Jets. The Saints offense will give the Vikings much more to deal with. And there is that little matter of the NFC Playoff revenge that should be crossing their minds, the one that cost the Saints a berth in the NFC Championship game and perhaps even a Super Bowl appearance. I am calling for yet another Saints victory as they march towards a first round bye in the NFC (and perhaps even a shot at the overall #1 seed in the NFC).
#UndefeatedWatch: We remain at 1, as the Rams stomped all over the Niners in a convincing thrashing to move to 7-0 on the season. And now we see them with a challenge as they host the Green Bay Packers. Are the Packers an SB contender that makes this a huge risk game? Probably not. BUT, when you have Aaron Rodgers at head of the table, anything is possible. Rams D is banged up, and capable of giving up yards and points – this much is clear. I suspect there is enough risk in this game for these reasons alone that I have such low confidence on the game in my picks, further that I am opting to take the Packers ATS, as I don’t see the Rams winning this one huge. THey will give up some points to Mr. Rodgers and this game could be much tighter than they would like. A great gut check and test for them at this stage in their quest for perfection. The prediction? They WILL BE 8-0. But it won’t be easy like last Sunday.
BYE WEEK: San Diego Chargers, Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons, Tennessee Titans
SU = Straight Up, SU-C = Confidence Index (Straight Up), ATS = Against the Spread
|Atul (SU)||Atul (SU-C)||Atul (ATS)||Larry (SU)||Larry (SU-C)||Larry (ATS)|
|Miami Dolphins (4-3) at Houston Texans (4-3)||Texans||10||Texans (-7.5)|
|Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4)||Eagles||9||Eagles (-3)|
|New York Jets (3-4) at Chicago Bears (4-3)||Bears||6||Bears (-6)|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) at Cincinnati Bengals (4-3)||Bengals||7||Bengals (-6)|
|Seattle Seahawks (3-3) at Detroit Lions (3-3)||Lions||1||Lions (-2.5)|
|Denver Broncos (3-4) at Kansas City Chiefs (6-1)||Chiefs||13||Chiefs (-9)|
|Washington Redskins (4-2) at New York Giants (1-6)||Redskins||5||Redskins (-1)|
|Cleveland Browns (2-4-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2-1)||Steelers||12||Steelers (-7.5)|
|Baltimore Ravens (4-3) at Carolina Panthers (4-2)||Panthers||2||Panthers (Pick’Em)|
|Indianapolis Colts (2-5) at Oakland Raiders (1-5)||Colts||8||Colts (-1.5)|
|Green Bay Packers (3-2-1) at Los Angeles Rams (7-0)||Rams||4||Packers (+8.5)|
|San Francisco 49ers (1-5) at Arizona Cardinals (1-5)||Cardinals||3||Cardinals (Pick’Em)|
|New Orleans Saints (5-1) at Minnesota Vikings (4-2-1)||Saints||11||Saints (+2.5)|
|New England Patriots (5-2) at Buffalo Bills (2-5)||Patriots||14||Patriots (-13)|