Last week in the almost ten years I’ve published my predictions was the worst I could recall having. Granted, everyone was probably impacted by the Packers losing in Lambeau to the Lions or T.J. Yates leading a game winning touchdown drive on the road against a previously undefeated Bengals team. While the NFL doesn’t have the parody it claims compared to other sports, this week did remind us that anything can happen on the field. Hopefully this week I’m just a little better at predicting it.
Last week: 4-10, Season: 96-50
Last week against the spread: 4-10, Season: 78-68
Game of the weak: Rams vs Ravens: With many (including myself) picking the Ravens to win this division, we’re eventually going to look back and only wonder what the heck went wrong. To this point, it’s probably a mix of injuries, poor record in one score games and just bad luck overall. There were points last Sunday where it seemed like the Ravens were just begging the Jaguars to win and yet they still should have won as the league came out saying was the case this week.
The Rams are on the outside looking in on playoff contention at 4-5, but are coming off a bad loss at home to the suddenly surging Bears. This led to a quarterback change as Nick Foles was benched for Case Keenum showing that early returns on the Foles/Sam Bradford trade really haven’t been beneficial to anyone so far. And with Keenum starting, the over/under for Todd Gurley carries is 27.5. Rams 16 Ravens (-1.5) 20
Game of the week: Packers vs Vikings: A divisional rivalry with huge playoff implications? Sign me up. As you probably know by now, the Packers have lost their last three games and while two were road losses to the Broncos (undefeated at the time) and the Panthers (still undefeated), losing at home to the Lions who came in with one win was not expected. Much has been made about Aaron Rodgers struggling the last three games, but this happens to every quarterback. These same analysts were doing it to Tom Brady a quarter into last season and look how that has played out.
Meanwhile the Vikings come in red hot having won their last five games doing it with defense and a heavy dose of Adrian Peterson. In the event Rodgers can get it going against a secondary which has had some struggles, it will be interesting to see how the Vikings respond as Teddy Bridgewater to this point has mainly been used in a “game manager” capacity. Packers 23 Vikings (-1.5) 21
Raiders 26 Lions (+1.5) 24
Colts 20 Falcons (-6.5) 27
Jets 20 Texans (+2.5) 13
Buccaneers 21 Eagles (-5.5) 23
Broncos 17 Bears (-1.5) 23
Cowboys 26 Dolphins (+1.5) 24
Redskins 16 Panthers (-7.5) 26
Chiefs 24 Chargers (+3.5) 21
49ers 13 Seahawks (-12.5) 26
Bengals 21 Cardinals (-3.5) 27
Bills 20 Patriots (-7.5) 28