Two Games to Watch In Week 9

Yuck, what an ugly slate of NFL games we have for week 9. Usually, I write about four games to watch, but this selection of games is so awful I’m only writing about two of them. If you have errands you’ve been putting off, this Sunday would be a good one to finally get those done. Next week is looking better, but for now, here are two games to watch in week 9.

Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers – 12 CT

It’s been a tough few weeks to be a Falcons fan. After starting the season with three straight wins, the Falcons lost three in a row. Last week, they narrowly beat the Jets (who were leading the game entering the final quarter), and now the roof of the brand new Mercedes-Benz Arena has to be closed for the rest of the season due to leaks. Ouch. Meanwhile, things aren’t very rosy for the Panthers either. After a 4-1 start, the Panthers have dropped two of their last three. In addition to that, they just traded away Kelvin Benjamin (their best receiver) for draft picks, a move that shocked everyone. The Panthers offense hasn’t exactly been electric, and that was with Benjamin. Without him? Well, it’ll be interesting to see how the Panthers plan to adjust. Atlanta is favored in Carolina by a single point, which seems a bit strange to me. I’ll take the Panthers just because they are at home, but I worry about their ability to put points on the board after dumping Benjamin.

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Kansas City Chiefs @ Dallas Cowboys – 3:25 CT

Last week it looked like Ezekiel Elliott was set to play the rest of the season with the Cowboys. Now, the endless saga of appeals has come to an end and Zeke will be serving a six game suspension. The Cowboys are currently sitting at 4-3, second in the NFC East. Can Dak Prescott step up and take control of a Zeke-less offense and lead the Cowboys to the playoffs? If I had to wager, I’d say probably not. Without Elliott, this game has lost some luster. On the other hand, the Chiefs haven’t been looking as stellar as they were during their five game winning streak. Andy Reid has a tendency to get too cute with the offensive play calling at times (the Tyreek Hill pass in the red zone was terrible), but overall the Chiefs still look good. The game is a pick ’em in Vegas, and I’ll happily take the Chiefs.

Four Games to Watch In Week 6

Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings – 12 CT

Aaron Rodgers lead the Packers on another game winning drive last week, beating the Cowboys in spectacular fashion. The Packers have been banged up to start the year, but they look as good as any team not named the Chiefs. Speaking of banged up, the Vikings have had to deal with injuries to Sam Bradford and Dalvin Cook. Cook is out for the year, and Bradford is listed as questionable but it appears unlikely he will play in this game. On top of that, breakout WR Stefon Diggs may also be out with a groin injury, though he says he thinks he will play. The Packers are favored by 3 points in Minnesota, and I’m a little surprised they aren’t heavier favorites than that. That said, the Packers have allowed the second most sacks thus far, and Vikings DE Everson Griffin has six sacks already. If the Vikings can get to Rodgers, this will be a close game. I’ll take the Packers by 3, but expect a close game.

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Detroit Lions @ New Orleans Saints – 12 CT

The Lions came up short last week against the Panthers, and now they are one game back in the NFC North. The Lions are a good team, but their offense has left something to be desired early this season, which isn’t what you would expect. Surprisingly, Detroit’s defense has been the thing carrying them so far. The Saints are coming off of two straight wins after opening the season with two losses. After trading Adrian Peterson, Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara should get more touches and their running plays won’t be as telegraphed. The Saints are favored by 4.5, which is surprising to me. Maybe Vegas expects the bye week to help the Saints, but I’m taking the Lions to win this game outright.

Los Angeles Rams @ Jacksonville Jaguars – 3:05 CT

Who would have thought that a game between the Rams and Jaguars would be one of the most interesting games to watch in week 6? But here we are, with both franchises at 3-2. The Jaguars pulled off a pretty shocking defeat of the Steelers last week in a game where Blake Bortles only threw one pass in the second half. Let me say that again, the Jaguars won a game where their QB threw one pass in the second half! That’s crazy. The Jaguars defense is elite, and second year cornerback Jalen Ramsey is a force to be reckoned with. Not to mention rookie RB Leonard Fournette who is second in rushing so far this year. This matchup features another great RB: Todd Gurley. Gurley has been great in both running the ball and in the passing game. For the Rams, they’re coming off of a loss to the Seahawks where Cooper Kupp dropped the game winning touchdown pass in the final seconds. Which of these surprising teams will improve to 4-2 on the season? Vegas favors the Jaguars by 2.5, and I’m picking them simply because they are playing at home. Who knows though, if the Rams can score on the Jaguars, Blake Bortles and the Jaguars offense is going to have a difficult time keeping up.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs – 3:25 CT

The Chiefs are the NFL’s last undefeated team, and they look to stay undefeated Sunday against Pittsburgh. The Chiefs have been consistent: good defense, solid play from Alex Smith, explosive plays from Tyreek Hill, and running the ball with league leading rusher Kareem Hunt. Things got dicey in the 4th quarter last week against Houston, but the Chiefs toughed out the win. While the Chiefs are the most consistent team in football right now, the Steelers might be one of the most inconsistent. The Steelers have beaten the Browns, Vikings, and Ravens, but have fallen to the Bears and Jaguars. The loss to the Jaguars came last week at home, which is pretty shocking as the Steelers are notorious for playing very well at home. Ben Roethlisberger threw five interceptions last week, and it’ll be on him to get the struggling offense turned around. The Chiefs are favored by 4.5, which seems low. I’ll take the Chiefs to cover.

Four Games to Watch In Week 5

Carolina Panthers @ Detroit Lions – 12 CT

Despite the big win over New England last week, the story surrounding the Panthers right now is focused on Cam Newton’s comments toward a female reporter. Last week’s victory was impressive, but I’m still having a hard time believing in this Panthers team. Newton had a rough start to the season, but maybe the Patriots game will be a turning point for him. For the Lions, they traveled to Minnesota and squeaked by with a mostly unimpressive victory. The Lions defense looked good, but Stafford and the offense looked out of sorts. The Lions are favored to win by 2.5. Expect the Lions offense to get back on track and beat the Panthers by 3+ points.

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Arizona Cardinals @ Philadelphia Eagles – 12 CT

The Eagles enter the week with a 3-1 record, and a lot of NFL analysts are loving the. I’m a Carson Wentz fan, but are we sure the Eagles are actually good? The Eagles win over the Redskins in week 1 was impressive, but since then they’ve lost to the Chiefs (excusable), and then beat both the 0-4 Giants and Chargers by a combined 5 points. That doesn’t impress me much. Hopefully the Eagles prove me wrong, I want to see Wentz make the playoffs in his sophomore season. The visiting Cardinals are a very strange team. Sometimes Carson Palmer looks like he isn’t capable of throwing a football more than five yards, and other times he slings it like Brett Favre. The Eagles are favored by 6.5. While I think the Eagles could and should win this game, I think they will play down to the Cardinals level and narrowly get the victory by less than 6.5.

Seattle Seahawks @ Los Angeles Rams – 3:05 CT

Two of the most mysterious teams in the league, hopefully we will be able to learn something from this game. The Rams shockingly have one of the best offenses in the league after four weeks, can they keep it up against a good Seahawks defense? Can the Seahawks offensive line give Russell Wilson time to get the ball downfield? These two teams are battling to win the NFC West, so this is a big game. In Vegas, the game is a pick ’em, which seems about right. I really don’t have a good feel on how this game is going to go, but I’ll say the Seahawks win in a very close game.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Houston Texans – 7:30 CT

The Chiefs are the NFL’s last undefeated team, but they certainly didn’t look unbeatable last week on Monday Night Football. I think this speaks to the fact that parity in the NFL might be at an all time high this year, it seems like almost any team can win any given week. That said, the Chiefs are definitely a good football team, Alex Smith and Kareem Hunt are carrying the offense, and the defense is good as well. On the other hand, the Texans seemed to have figured it out. After a close loss to New England in week 3, the Texans destroyed the Titans 57-14. The Houston defense looks back, and on offense, DeShaun Watson looks like a franchise QB. The Chiefs are favored by just 1 point in this one. Expect a close game, but expect the Chief to cover.

Four Games to Watch In Week 4

Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings – 12 CT

The Lions suffered their first loss of the season last week against the Falcons after a controversial 10 second runoff after a booth review. The Lions came up just inches shy of being 3-0. This week, they’re taking on a Vikings team that looked shockingly awesome with Case Keenum at quarterback last week. With Sam Bradford ruled out for Sunday, Keenum will be getting the start again. Keenum and the Vikings benefited from playing an injured Buccaneers defense last week, but Detroit should be a bigger test. If the offensive line can give Keenum time to throw, I like their chances at home. The Vikings are favored by 2. I’m picking the Vikings to win. Don’t forget, Keenum beat the Lions in Detroit last year, throwing for 321 yards and three TDs.

Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans – 12 CT

Deshaun Watson looked promising for the Texans last week, going into New England and almost pulling out a victory. The Texans may only be 1-2, but I still believe the Texans have the potential to win the AFC South. Most expect the Titans and Texans to finish at the top of the South, so this is a big game. On the other hand, the Titans look like one of the best teams in the league. Last week, the Titans beat the Seattle Seahawks, leaving many to question if the Seahawks are going to have a disappointing season. The Seahawks may end up having a disappointing year, but the Titans look like the real deal. DeMarco Murray is one of the best running backs in the league, and if gets going early the Texans will be in trouble. The Titans are favored by 2, but I’ll take the Texans at home.

Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos – 3:25 CT

Both the Raiders and the Broncos laid duds last week. The Raiders looked awful on Sunday night against the Redskins, Derek Carr was under constant pressure and was sacked four times. The Broncos went to Buffalo and lost to a Bills team that might be better than we thought. Trevor Siemian had his worst game of the season, throwing two interceptions. Despite the awful performances last week, expect both the Raiders and Broncos to rebound. These are two teams that have definite playoff potential, I expect at least one of them to make it in. The Broncos are favored by 3 points. Denver is a tough place to play and their defense is good at forcing pressure on quarterbacks, so I can’t pick against them here.

Washington Redskins @ Kansas City Chiefs – Monday, 7:30 CT

The Chiefs looks like the best team in football, and the Redskins just put a thumping on the Raiders. We got a good one for Monday night. Just an aside, I think its a shame Mike Tirico left ESPN, he was great on Monday Night Football. Sean McDonough is fine, but no where near as good as Tirico was. Oh well. Back to the actual game. Kirk Cousins and his receivers haven’t really been on the same page this season, but to get the win in KC they’re going to have to get going. It isn’t like the Redskins have a bad group of receivers, Jamison Crowder is good, and Terrelle Pryor was a monster for the Browns last year. The Washington defense is going to have to slow down Kareem Hunt, who is leading the league in rushing yards (by over 100 yards). The Chiefs are favored by 7, and while I think that is a bit high, I’ll still take them.

Four Games to Watch In Week 2

The novelty of the NFL season returning hasn’t quite worn off yet. Football is football. In some respects, all games are worth watching. That said, here are the five games you should keep an eye on in week 2 of the NFL season.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Kansas City Chiefs – 12 CT

Both the Chiefs and Eagles impressed in week 1. Alex Smith and the Chiefs tore apart the Patriots defense, with rookie running back Kareem Hunt going for 246 yards plus three touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Eagles defense forced four turnovers against the Washington Redskins, and Carson Wentz showed some incredible poise. The Chiefs are favored in this game by 5.5 points. It should be a good one, both defenses looked good last week, and the Chiefs offense sure was impressive. I’ll take the Chiefs to cover.

Minnesota Vikings @ Pittsburgh Steelers – 12 CT

Sam Bradford took home NFC Offensive Player of the Week after he lit up the Saints on Monday night, but can he match that performance on the road against a better defense? There is no denying the Vikings offense looked good, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen were open all game and killed the Saints. On the defensive side of the ball, the Vikings only allowed a touchdown in garbage time to an offense lead by one of the best QBs in the game. The Steelers struggled against the Browns, but it was the first time the offense with Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, and Martavis Bryant had all been on the field together in over a year. That offense should be one of the best in the league when it gets going. The Steelers are favored by 5.5 points, but I think that’s a little high. I’m not saying the Vikings will win, but I expect it to be closer than 5.5 points.

Dallas Cowboys @ Denver Broncos – 3:25 CT

The Broncos nearly blew a 24-7 lead, but through the power of icing the kicker, they managed to come away with the victory. Through three quarters, the Broncos looked great. The defense was flying around the field making tackles, and Trevor Siemian actually looked like a good QB. The Cowboys destroyed the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football. Adam Schefter is reporting that Ezekiel Elliott will not have to serve his suspension this season, which is great news for the Cowboys. The Giants offense looked awful against the Cowboys, lets see how the Broncos can do. Dallas is favored by 2 points, but I like Denver and the points.

Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons – 7:30 CT

Oh boy, this should be a good one. This is the game I’m looking forward to the most this week. The Packers are coming off of a win against a tough Seahawks team, and the Falcons struggled with the Bears. I don’t think either of those games are indicative of what will happen Monday night though. The Packers and Falcons both had offenses that struggled to get going in week 1, but I’m expecting a shootout in this one. On top of the potential offensive fireworks, this is the opening game in the Falcons’ new home, Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Unfortunately, since the game is on a Sunday, fans will not be able to experience the Chick-fil-A stand in the stadium. The Falcons are favored by 3, and I think that’s a pretty fair line. However, I’ll take the Packers in this one.