The results from last week's NFL action split cleanly into two groups - they were either comfortably predictable or they were kind of bizarre. The Bills shutting out the Patriots in Foxboro. Definitely bizarre. The Lions blowing it against the Bears - a bit odd. The Chargers basically forcing the Saints to beat them - bizarre. The Colts taking three quarters off and still expecting to beat the Jags - bizarre. Case Keenum leading his squad to their third straight win? So, so bizarre. Let's hope that this week's action features less of the bizarre and more of the comfortably predictable. Here's how I see the games setting up for you straight up office pool players:
Arizona at San Francisco: The Cardinals are, bizarrely, a hot mess this year, and now they are likely to be without Carson Palmer. They are never good without Palmer. Still, it's the 49ers - and now they are without Navorro Bowman. Arizona should be dramatically better than they have been. There are issues, but I still have a little faith. Take the Cardinals.
New England at Cleveland: Take the Patriots . This will be a bloodbath. Brady's back, and he'll be looking to make up for lost time.
Philadelphia at Detroit: I wanted to believe in the Lions a couple of weeks ago. But then they lost to the Bears, I don't even know how it is possible to lose to the Bears right now. The team is a mess and should be in the head coaching market right now. Philly was incredibly good last time out against the Steelers, and they are coming off a bye. Take the Eagles.
Chicago at Indianapolis: The Bears won one they shouldn't have. The Colts lost one they shouldn't have. Indianapolis qualifies as one of the most frustrating teams in the league. Their inability to protect Andrew Luck not only hijacks their offense consistently - it is going to get the poor guy killed. Still, they are at home and are the better team by far - even with their issues. Take the Colts.
Tennessee at Miami: These are both bad teams coming off of bad games. Miami should be a little better than Tennessee, they have a head coach I like more, and they are at home. Take the Dolphins.
Washington at Baltimore: Tough game here. Washington has won two in a row, but the second was against Cleveland so it hardly counts. Baltimore lost to Oakland last week but mostly looked okay. This one could easily go either way. I'll give Baltimore the nod, but mostly because they are at home. Take the Ravens.
Houston at Minnesota: The Vikings are a very good team. Their defense is more than elite, and it will make things miserable for Brock Osweiler the entire game. Their offense isn't fancy but it is simple and effective, and it will find ways to score here. It will be 5-0 for Minnesota after this one. Take the Vikings.
New York Jets at Pittsburgh: Two weeks ago the Steelers looked just awful and were crushed by the Eagles. They got a little bit healthier this week and absolutely destroyed the Chiefs. The NFL is weird sometimes. The Jets are lousy, and they are coming off a game in which they couldn't run and couldn't stop throwing interceptions. Plenty of issues for Pittsburgh to exploit. Take the Steelers.
Atlanta at Denver: This sets up as a great game. An offense coming off a 500+ yard passing day against a top defense. I don't really trust either team at this point, so I'm torn. I'll usually take a top defense against a top offense - especially when the D is at home. Take the Broncos.
Cincinnati at Dallas: The Bengals won last week, but that was only against a messy Miami squad. They have again shown their tendency to wilt when they get punched in the mouth, and Dallas can do that punching. Take the Cowboys.
Buffalo at Los Angeles: The Bills just beat the Patriots. In Foxboro. Case Keenum is 3-1 as a starter this year. Literally nothing about this game makes any sense at all. I respect little about either of these teams. Neither can claim momentum here, so I can only go with geography. Buffalo is a long way from home, and the Rams are going to have rabid fans on their side. Take the Rams.
San Diego at Oakland: San Diego does some things well, but closing out games certainly isn't one of them. Oakland is a very tough team - all three of their wins this year have come on the road. The epic nature of this rivalry will likely be dimmed somewhat by both teams flirting with relocation, but home field will still matter. Take the Raiders.
New York Giants at Green Bay: The Giants have issues when facing good teams. That much was again made clear when they were largely overwhelmed by the Vikings on Monday night. The Packers aren't as good as they should be right now, but they are a talented team coming off a bye week, and they are at home. Take the Packers.
Tampa Bay at Carolina: Which horrible underperforming team do you want to trust? The health status of Cam Newton is unclear as I write this, so it is tough to make a call. Still, Carolina is better and is at home, so I don't feel like I have much of a choice. What I do know, though, is that this is far from the game the league was hoping for when they set the schedule. Take the Panthers.
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