I managed to win a few here and there last week and get myself back up to .500 for the year. Sure would’ve been nice if Cincinnati’s kicker could make an extra point…
Regardless, a new week brings new opportunities.
Tonight the Panthers take on the Falcons. They say when you bet with your heart you lose. So I’m gonna root for Teddy and the Panthers tonight but I’ll take the Falcons and the points (+2.5).
The Lions have quietly won two in a row and are right in the mix in the NFC with a 3-3 season record. A couple weeks back I picked the Browns over the Colts, not because they were necessarily the better team, but because the Browns are able to fly around the field and the Colts aren’t. I’m gonna go with a similar line of thinking this week. The Lions head coach has plenty of experience game-planning for Phillip Rivers, who is turnover prone when playing against defenses with some speed, and just in general. Detroit has that speed, and an offense that’s very underrated at all the skill positions. And don’t look now but Matthew Stafford has 38 career 4th quarter or overtime game-winning drives in his career. If it’s close and the ball is in his hands I like their chances. I’ll take Detroit with the points (+3) and I think they’ll win the game outright.
The Seahawks have a lousy defense and Russell Wilson is great. All the ingredients for cooking up a lot of total points. I’ll take San Francisco and Seattle to go over 53.5 points Sunday afternoon.
The Dolphins are giving Tua his first NFL start Sunday. I look for the Rams to welcome him into the league without much hospitality. I think Tua might eventually be a good qb, but this is a bad spot for him. He’ll be getting his first start against Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey…uuoofff. I like the Rams big here. Give me the Rams (-3.5) against Miami.
Why do I have a feeling that now that the Bills finally have a chance to stomp on the Patriots throats, and put them out of division contention for the first time in 20 years, they won’t capitalize? Give me the Patriots (+4.5).
And now to my bread and butter. The Minnesota Viking pick of the week (2-5 on the year). Green Bay seems to be a no-brainer here. But I really want to pick the Vikings. So much so I’ve been thinking about it all week. This is one of those games where Minnesota could show up and win, with no logistical way to do so…just football and the human element of sports. Nothing on paper or statistically shown from either team this year would say the Vikings should win. I was going to pick them, but then I saw the secondary they have, that’s already young and inexperienced, is mostly banged up or on the COVID-19 reserve list. They’re literally bringing in guys off the street this week to suit up. Seeing that made me want to just be lazy and pick the Packers. BUT, then I remembered a Thursday night game in 2015 against Arizona. It was a game that pitted a Cardinal team that would go on to the NFC championship game that year against a banged up Vikings defense without the likes of Harrison Smith, Anthony Barr, and Linval Joseph. Four days earlier, with the same three guys out, Seattle had strolled into Minnesota and crushed the Vikings 38-7. I was telling my buddy down here, who was looking forward to watching that game with me all week, that it wasn’t going to be competitive and they had no chance with those three guys out. But Zimmer’s team surprised the hell out of me that week. The defense hung in there the whole time and they only lost by three. The offense had the ball in field goal range when Teddy got strip-sacked with five seconds to go. So, in that spirit of things, lets flash back to the past this Sunday, and maybe finish the game off this time. Give me the Vikings to at least cover (+6.5) and hopefully shock everyone with a hard-fought win. Also Harrison Hawkins just asked what I was doing. I told him I was writing about the Vikings. He said, “Yeah, the Vikings in purple are gonna GET those other guys this time.” Hey, what can I say…I believe him.
Bonus Pick: Browns-Raiders over 51 points.
***SEASON RECORD*** 17-17-1 (5-3-1 LAST WEEK) (2-5 on VIKINGS PICKS)