by the Pigskin Pundit
Clash Daily Contributor
Here we are five weeks in, and picking winners is still as elusive this season as it has proved to be so far. Games that you think are slam dunks (Vikings vs. Buffalo) turn out to be inscrutable upsets. So far this season (starting from Week 2, skipped the first week), my record is 25-20. But hey, it’s all in good fun, so here we go.
Pats at Colts – The Patriots finally played some defense against Miami that actually looked organized. I’m not a believer in Andrew Luck anymore as the monster passer he once promised, and I think the Pats know this team well and can neutralize their strengths. Patriots on Thursday.
Titans at Bills – I like the Bills’ talented roster and Coach McDermott, and I think they are headed in a good direction with Josh Allen under center. However, Tennessee is further along that same road under Mike Vrabel. Titans tighten their record over Buffalo.
Falcons at Pittsburgh – The Steelers haven’t shown much of the old mettle they are famous for this season, and the absence of a healthy Bell ringing in their backfield and AB’s discontent have taken a psychological toll on this team. Still, the Steelers are resilient and proud enough to pluck the mediocre Falcons at home.
Broncos at Jets – While the J-E-T-S have good things shaping up for them, the Broncs are already there. Monday night’s choke notwithstanding, Team Orange is much better than Gang Green on both sides of the ball. Broncs romp.
Jags at Chiefs – Okay, I’m a believer. As passers go, Mahomes is quite the catch. Monday’s performance against Denver’s blistering defense in Mile High was epic. This kid reminds me of Colin Kaepernick’s first season with his incredible mobility and athleticism and improvising on the fly, and of Aaron Rodger’s ability to rifle pinpoint passes 40 yards downfield while in full sprint. You just don’t see that combination very often. If the Jags want to inherit the AFC crown, the path runs through Arrowhead Stadium. Chiefs tame the Jags.
Packers at Lions – Detroit reverted to who I thought they were last week against Dallas, after beating my lackluster Patriots convincingly the week before. The Packers have their issues, but playing well against divisional weak sisters is not one of them. Motor City bows to the Bay.
Ravens at Cleveland – We’re all enjoying seeing some actual football being played in Cleveland this year. This team will get better with time, and probably with the dismissal of Hue Jackson at some point this season. This isn’t their breakout game. Ravens are playing well, and John Harbaugh teams rarely underperform for very long. Ravens say Nevermore to Browns.
Giants at Panthers – You just never can trust these Jints to play consistent football. Starts with Eli, whose mediocre career is the definition of inexplicable inconsistency. Panthers don’t impress me that much this year as they are still looking for another gear, but they will hold sway at home.
Dolphins at Bengals – 3-1 Miami fell back to earth last Sunday, while the Red Rifle put together enough to clip the Falcons’ wings by a point last week. The Bengals are close in talent to the Dolphins, but again, further along the road as a team. Cincy at home.
Oakland at Chargers – I’ll one-line this pick: Chucky chokes on Chargers.
Cardinals at 49ers – This unwatchable game could go either way, with the Italian Stallion sidelined for the year, but bet on the Gold-diggers to pluck the hapless Cards at home.
Vikings at Philly – This remake of last year’s NFC title game will end differently, as the Vikes are vindicated in Philly.
Rams at Seattle – How do the battered Seahawks meet the challenge they are about to face in the Rams? How do you stop a juggernaut? You don’t…and they won’t.
Dallas at Houston – The Battle for Texas will be an interesting game in the sense of which struggling team shows greater character. Both victor and vanquished will know where they stand (or lie) when this gunfight is over. Jason “Pat” Garrett outdraws “Wild Bill” O’Brien.
Saints at Washington – Drew Breezes through Washington on his way to football immortality. Saints skin the Skins.
Enjoy the games! – PP
Image: CCO Creative Commons; https://pixabay.com/en/american-football-super-bowl-nfl-67439/