By: Drew King (@drewking0222)
Week Four Recap
Biggest stroke of genius: Taking DeShaun Watson and the Texans over Tennessee
Biggest regret: Taking the Falcons to “sore in week four” against the Bills
Justin rebounded last week, returning to his status quo of picking double-digit games correctly. He’s letting me take a crack at it this week and I love one-upping him, so *fingers crossed* I’ll get 12 games right. Alas, there’s only 14 games this week…
New England Patriots vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Remember when everyone thought the Patriots would go 16-0, then thought they lost to the Chiefs on purpose to avoid the pressure of going undefeated? What say you now? New England dropped a nail-biter last week, losing to the Carolina Panthers, 33-30. The result left the Patriots with the same record as the NEW YORK JETS. However, there is room for optimism this week. Tampa Bay has been more hot and cold than a Katy Perry song, going 2-1. This will be another test, and one they’ll probably fail. Since 2008, New England is 14-3 on the road the week after a loss.
Prediction: Patriots 34, Buccaneers 27
Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Have you ever felt less confident in a team that started the season 3-1? Buffalo has effectively become Denver Broncos-East, leaning heavy on its defense, then praying an average-at-best offense doesn’t screw it up. Of the teams that have won three or more games, the Bills are averaging the fewest points with 18.3 per game. Still, the Bengals’ offensive line has been weaker than the Chargers’ home game attendance, and Buffalo’s “Cold Front” should have no issues getting to Andy Dalton.
Prediction: Bills 20, Bengals 14
New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns
Did no one tell Todd Bowles he’s supposed to be tanking? The Jets are 2-2 after an overtime win against the Jaguars, and they have a real chance to go above .500 heading into Cleveland. The Browns have been blown out by everyone, except Jacoby Brissett. This game might just come down to who can throw less interceptions between Josh McCown and DeShone Kizer. At the moment, the latter has five more than the latter.
Prediction: Jets 18, Browns 15
Carolina Panthers vs. Detroit Lions
You know what else is funny? Playing the Lions. On the road.
Prediction: Detroit 28, Carolina 21
San Francisco 49ers vs. Indianapolis Colts
Jacoby Brissett has been a pleasant surprise thus far, showing he’s fully capable of taking over a team on short notice and keeping them competitive, something many quarterbacks have tried (and usually failed). Unfortunately, he plays for the Colts and deals with the same issues that have plagued Andrew Luck’s career, namely the weak offensive line. If it’s a game of who can be the least incompetent against the 49ers, Brissett has the edge.
Prediction: Indianapolis 26, San Francisco 23
Tennessee Titans vs. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins are a lot like Jay Cutler in the wildcat formation: going nowhere. Sure, the Titans got smoked by Houston last week, 57-14. And yes, Marcus Mariota might not play in this game. But how are we supposed to trust an offense who put up a combined grand total of six points against the Jets and Saints?
Prediction: Tennessee 31, Miami 7
San Diego Chargers vs. New York Giants
This game gives new meaning to the word ofer. Historically successful quarterbacks, stud wide receivers and Bob McAdoo’s new slicked-back haircut have meant nothing to these teams. This game likely has some people’s jobs on the line, which means the best possible outcome for both teams would be a tie. But when in doubt, roll with the home team.
Prediction: New York 20, San Diego 17
Arizona Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Eagles
I am here for the Carson Bowl. Wentz has taken a step forward in his development this season, cutting down on his turnovers and increasing his yards per throw average by a yard. Palmer’s been more uneventful than my weekend plans, but it’s only a matter of time before he goes off for three touchdowns. It probably won’t be in this game, but don’t be surprised if Palmer “sons” Wentz.
Prediction: Philadelphia 24, Arizona 21
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
We’re not in London anymore, Jags. Jacksonville wet the bed against the Jets last week in an overtime loss. I almost felt like both teams were more comfortable with the ball in the hand of the other team, waiting to pounce on a mistake made by Blake Bortles or Josh McCown. The Jaguars won’t want to resort to that strategy again as they take on Ben Roethlisberger and his arsenal of weapons. However, they may not have a choice.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 31, Jacksonville 17
Baltimore Ravens vs. Oakland Raiders
Any takers on the E.J. Manuel bandwagon? Anyone? No?
Prediction: Ravens 22, Raiders 12
Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams
The Rams always seem to rattle the Seahawks somehow, whether it’s one of the greatest trick punt returns in recent memory or stuffing Marshawn Lynch on 4th and one to seal an overtime win. Over the past three seasons, the Rams have gone 4-2 against Seattle. Jared Goff has popped off, and Aaron Donald is still around to wreak havoc on the Seahawk’s sham of a line. Give me the Rams.
Predicition: Los Angeles 26, Seattle 20
Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys
Speaking of the Rams, they really did a number on the Cowboys. Dallas was once again unable to do much on defense, and the team is averaging 35 points allowed per game over the past three weeks. Enter Aaron Rodgers, arguably the most talented quarterback in the league, and this matchup looks pretty ominous.
Prediciton: Green Bay 38, Dallas 31
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans
Kareem Hunt is on pace to gain 2,000 rushing yards this season. Let that marinate. When you’re finished, take a bite out of the fact that Alex Smith has yet to throw an interception. Accompany it with Justin Houston, who’s tied for sixth in the league with four sacks. Concoct them together and you got a tasty dish that’s gone undefeated despite facing some of the best teams in the league. The Texans can eat it.
Prediction: Kansas City 32, Houston 24
Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears
The Bears aren’t throwing their rookie quarterback to the wolves, but throwing him to the Vikings might be worse. Minnesota has only allowed five passing touchdowns this season, tied for 10th in the league. They held Matthew Stafford to just 209 yards and no scores despite losing to the Lion 14-7. The Bears need to prepare for some good, old-fashioned growing pains.
Prediction: Minnesota 21, Chicago 10