Vikings @ Falcons
Both Minnesota and Atlanta have aggressively average quarterbacks who will probably be more highly thought of in this era than they truly deserve. Are we sure Matt Ryan is very good? How long has ol’ Matty Ice been in the league? When Matt Ryan entered the league, Roddy White was a consistently dominant weapon at the height of his power. Now that White is washed up, Julio Jones is an unstoppable force and the unquestioned best receiver in the NFL. There was even a small, two-season window where they were elite together. Sure, Matt Ryan can compile stats and complete enough passes to go for 4,000+ yards. But Atlanta has never been raised to another level by Matt Ryan’s performance. Teddy Bridgewater isn’t there yet because of a very conservative approach heavily reliant on the running attack. But all the signs are there and Bridgewater will inch closer to 4,000 yards and a 2:1 TD/INT ratio once Adrian Peterson is no longer the focal point. Although Bridgewater isn’t up to that level right now, Matt Ryan still isn’t good enough for it to make a difference despite being at home in the Georgia Dome.
Win: Minnesota Vikings
Rams @ Bengals
Welp, now we know Jeff Fisher isn’t above letting his quarterback die on the field. Jeff Fisher hates Nick Foles to the extent that he was willing to let a clearly concussed Case Keenum get scraped off the turf and stood upright just so Nick Foles couldn’t come back into the game. If Peyton Manning played on the Rams, we would almost assuredly see him still hobbling around on a torn foot with broken ribs. It basically took a near-decapitation of Case Keenum to get Nick Foles back in action. AND the supposed concussion spotter completely ignored what happened so no one protected poor Case Keenum. If we didn’t have footage of his lineman trying to pick up his limp body immediately after the play, Jeff Fisher probably would have pushed Case through the concussion protocol in order to get him cleared to play against the Bengals on the road. Right now, Case Keenum has no idea he’s in Cincinnati. Let’s make sure he’s dressed in street clothes so Jeff Fisher isn’t tempted to throw him out there again when Foles faceplants.
Win: Cincinnati Bengals
Raiders @ Titans
I hate both of these teams. I have nothing against their players or anything like that. But every time I pick Oakland or Tennessee, they shit the bed and show their true nature. What am I to do in this situation? Somehow, this will turn into our one tie of the season. I can’t wait for the Tennessee Titans to turn from boring to mildly more interesting after trading for Chip Kelly this offseason.
Win: Oakland Raiders
Buccaneers @ Colts
Crab Legs has quietly established himself as decent for a rookie QB. That’s actually an accomplishment. Jameis is boosted by his 5 TD performance last week, but the tools are there for a potential Dante Culpepper-esque player. Taking care of the football needs to be higher priority in order for Jameis to reach that next stage in his development. Indianapolis is always a prime candidate to get torched on defense, but the Colts should take care of another average team to stay on top of the division.
Win: Indianapolis Colts
Bills @ Chiefs
Buffalo and Kansas City have similar run-first approaches to offense. However, the Bills can at least threaten to throw the ball downfield. If Rex Ryan’s defense gave Tom Brady so many problems last week, then how the hell is Alex Smith going to complete a pass longer than 5 yards? Playing at Arrowhead is going to exasperate Buffalo’s penalty issues, but the Bills should have the talent and coaching advantage. As long as Tyrod Taylor is healthy, Buffalo pulls off the road win. If E.J. Manuel is forced to do anything but put on Tyrod Taylor’s coat for him (like he’s James fucking Brown or something), then the Bills are going to be in huge trouble because that guy is good for nothing besides sucking frosty snowballs.
Win: Buffalo Bills
Dolphins @ Jets
Ryan Fitzpatrick looks like a hobo. I don’t think Donkey Kong Suh has a problem with attacking a homeless man. In fact, it seems like something new head coach Dan Campbell would condone if it leads to a win. I wasn’t alive the last time these two teams were interesting, but I think there’s still some type of rivalry there. It’s the type of rivalry where no one on the national level can manage to give a fuck. I’m sure the blood will be heated in this Duel of the Ryans—Tannehill vs. Fitzpatrick, there can be only one. That would be the worst gimmick for a new Highlander movie franchise reimaginging.
Win: Miami Dolphins
Giants @ Redskins
Everything about this game screams a win for Washington. The Giants don’t have anything that resembles a healthy offensive line. New York has no running attack so they just throw four guys out there. Meanwhile, Kirk Cousins has shown promise has caretaker in the Alex Smith mold. With what is intended to be a home-field advantage, this should be an easy waltz for Washington. But the Giants manage to win games you never expect and then give away games they never should—like against Dallas near the start of the season. The New York Giants’ destiny is an 8-8 season and the undeserved NFC East division title.
Win: New York Giants
Chargers @ Jaguars
Fuck Philip Rivers. I know no one on San Diego is healthy, but Rivers couldn’t manage to throw a single touchdown last week? That’s pathetic. And it will get even worse this week when Blake Bortles and the Jaguars beat the Chargers. It’s like the front office is more focused on a move to Los Angeles than fielding a competitive team on the field. They might as well leave Philip Rivers and his 7 children in San Diego.
Win: Jacksonville Jaguars
Saints @ Texans
Houston will probably win this game at home against a below-average team. But I hate J.J. Watt and he deserves to rot on a shitty Texans franchise without sniffing the playoffs again. The Saints can’t play any worse defensively without Rob Ryan guzzling beers on the sidelines. So maybe Drew Brees pulls one of his improbable 400-yard performances out of his ass for a reminder of the good old times. Then Sean Payton pops a couple painkillers and they enjoy a nice long hug knowing this is their last hoorah.
Win: New Orleans Saints
Cardinals @ 49ers
Another week where I would much rather hear Jim Tomsula talk than watch the 49ers play.
Win: Arizona Cardinals
Steelers @ Seahawks
Pittsburgh against Seattle is easily the most entertaining matchup this week. But I still hate both franchises—specifically despising each team’s starting quarterback. I can’t win unless an atomic bomb is dropped on the field. Seriously, I cannot think of a single likeable player on either team. Le’Veon Bell doesn’t count because he shredded his knee, but that’s probably the only contender. The only outcome that would make me happy is if both teams lose. Unfortunately, that won’t happen so Seattle will likely find a way to win to keep lurking around like a stupid hipster Michael Myers.
Win: Seattle Seahawks
Patriots @ Broncos
Fuck Tom Brady. Congratulations, Brock Osweiler, you managed to look mediocre against the middling Bears. Unfortunately, the Patriots don’t just give up on plays and decide not to tackle like that embarrassing Demaryius Thomas touchdown last week. Denver can try to push Peyton out the door all they would like, but there’s a reason they didn’t hand the reins over to Brock Ock at the start of the season. Football isn’t the same without Peyton Manning and the lack of interest in this Patriots-Broncos matchup is a prime example. I wouldn’t put it past Belicheat to go bland and let Osweiler look impressive so they don’t have to see Peyton start again this year. I was at the 4th and 2 Game in Indianapolis when Belicheat was desperately afraid of Manning coming back and winning the game. You can’t tell me that no one wants to see one last Manning vs. Brady matchup in the playoffs. If Peyton can’t topple the Evil Empire, it all falls on Eli’s shoulders. Someone needs to step up and kill the New England Patriots, once and for all.
Win: New England Patriots
Ravens @ Browns
So much for seeing John Football the rest of this season. Johnny Manziel has now shit away his one and only chance at being a starter. I think we can all agree that the only GM stupid enough to give this alcoholic shithead another shot is an alcoholic shithead who just so happens to also own the team—Jerry Jones. We already know Manziel and Jones owe their success to the oil industry and the share a love for partying and shady women. That’s enough for me to predict that Jerry will push to slap a star on Li’l Romo and give him an undeserved second chance. Hopefully crazy Greg Hardy is still there and decides to slam Manziel on a bed of automatic weapons to make this Circle of Hell complete.
Win: Cleveland Browns