Last week’s Mythical Picks were not good and they were not bad. It was a week of “Meh!” I made 16 selections and the record for the week was 8-8-0. That makes the record for the season 21-12-0. There was one Curmudgeon Central Coin Flip Game and the coin was correct so its record was 1-0-0 bringing its season record to 2-0-0.
The Best Picks last week were:
Rams +3.5 against Seahawks. Rams won outright
Vikes +3 against Packers. Vikes won outright.
The Worst Picks last week were:
Jax +3 against Chargers. Jags got smoked by 24 points
Jets/Bills UNDER 41. Total was 68; game went OVER in 3rd quarter.
Paraphrasing what Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon say at the end of Pardon the Interruption, I’ll try and do better the next time.
Despite my intention to do better this week, no one should use any information here as the basis for making a real wager on a real NFL football game this weekend should that wager involve real money – or anything else of value. You would have to be this dumb to do such a thing:
You think crestfallen means that the toothpaste fell onto the floor.
After the Bills lost to the Jets 37-31 last Thursday night, the casualty from that game was Bills’ offensive coordinator, Greg Roman. The Bills fired their offensive coordinator despite scoring 31 points and losing. Can anyone spell “scapegoat”? The Bills’ defensive unit got lit up by Ryan Bleeping Fitzpatrick to the tune of:
24 for 34 for 374 yards and 1 TD with 0 INTs
Bills’ DBs Stephon Gilmore and Ronald Darby were beaten like drums for most of the night. Give me a moment here until I try to show that the Bills’ offense was not very good either, but the REAL blame belongs with the defense. Now, if you are going to fire a coach whose players did not play well, you ought to look at the defensive side of the ball – – – except the defensive coordinator happens to be the twin brother of the head coach. This is why nepotism is a bad idea.
Now to look at the Bills’ offense. It was good-but-not-great. The Bills had 307 yards passing and total offense of 393 yards which looks good. Looking a bit deeper in the stats you will see that only amounted to 16 first downs and the offensive numbers included two long TD passes that accounted for 158 yards of that total offense. I do not mean to imply that Greg Roman is some sort of martyr here; he is not. But he was not the reason the Bills lost that game.
One more thing … Do not feel too sorry about Greg Roman’s lack of employment. I read one report that said the Bills owe him $3M until the end of the 2017 NFL season. He and his family will not be dining in soup kitchens during the Holidays this year.
The Steelers beat the Bengals 24-16 and the good news is that there were no fights or outbreaks of juvenile behaviors during the game. A lot has been made about a questionable call at the end of the game that went against the Bengals and some have attributed the loss to that call. I think there might be another issue to consider here:
The game was played in the rain. The Bengals called 54 pass plays for Andy Dalton in the rain. Even if you count the 2 rushing attempts by Dalton as “called running plays” the Bengals only ran the ball 18 times. On 75% of their offensive snaps, the Bengals threw a wet football.
I am not sure that is a good offensive game plan or good offensive play calling.
The Cowboys beat the Skins 27-23. That means the Skins have lost their opening two games for the season and both of them were home games. The Skins are the only team in the NFL starting out that way. Dez Bryant had 7 catches for 102 yards in this game and the Skins did spend some of the time having Josh Norman cover Bryant so that was a plus for the Skins’ defensive braintrust. There are reports of some malaise within the Skins’ locker room surrounding the play and the aura around QB Kirk Cousins – he of the franchise tag and the $20M salary for this year. With the Skins leading 23-20, the Skins had the ball on the Cowboys 6-yardline with about 10 minutes to play. On 3rd down, Cousins threw into TRIPLE coverage and the Cowboys got an INT in the end zone to keep their deficit at 3 points. The ensuing 80-yard drive give the Cowboys a TD and the win.
Rookie RB, Ezekiel Elliott had a better day here than he did in Week 1. Against the Skins he carried 21 times for 83 yards; if he did that every game, he would be over 1300 yards by the end of the season and the Cowboys will be happy with that. The downside here is that Elliott fumbled twice in this game. If he did that in every game, he would fumble the ball 32 times and the Cowboys would be unhappy with that…
The Texans beat the Chiefs 19-12 last week. Frankly, it did not seem as if either team was all that keen on winning this one. Consider these stats:
Chiefs gave up 4 sacks.
Chiefs were 3 for 14 on 3rd down
Chiefs were penalized 9 times for 77 yards
Chiefs lost 3 fumbles
And with all that, the Texans only got 19 points – – because – –
Texans only gained 268 yards passing
Texans threw 2 INTs – one deep in the red zone
Texans gave up 268 yards in returns for the game
The Giants beat the Saints 16-13. How did that happen? The last couple of times these teams met, the scores for both teams needed to be recorded in scientific notation. Here is the really bad news from this game; the Saints – for the first time in a while – got a very positive and very effective game from its defensive unit and on the same day, their normally potent offense decided to take a slide. The Saints’ offense produced 288 yards on offense; more than once in a while, Drew Brees has 288 yards passing at the end of the 3rd quarter. The Saints defense did not give up a TD all day long; the Giants’ TD came on a blocked field goal and a return.
So here is the question from that Saints/Giants game:
The Giants handed out contracts to defensive players in the offseason that had a total face value of more than $160M. Have they really fixed their horrible defensive woes from last year in doing that?
In my pre-season analysis, I said that I did not think they had done so, but if it was the Giants defense that throttled the Saints’ offense, I was probably very wrong in that assessment. For the first two games, the Giants have only allowed 32 points. This bears watching for the next few games…
The Ravens beat the Browns 25-20 after spotting the Browns a 20-0 lead in the first quarter of the game. At the end of the first quarter, the score was Browns 20 and Ravens 2; but that was not a safety recorded by the Ravens. Those points came from a blocked extra point that was returned for a TD by the Ravens. That came with 4:34 to play in the first quarter and the Browns never scored again. As happened in the first game, the Browns had their QB suffer a shoulder injury. Josh McCown is not going to play this week; the Browns are down to their 3rd string QB, Cody Kessler, for this week’s contest against the Dolphins in Miami. Both teams threw 2 INTs in the game; neither defense distinguished itself on 3rd down the two teams combined to convert 18 of 31 3rd down situations.
There is another team who will be starting a 3rd string QB this week; that would be the New England Patriots who still have two weeks to wait until Tom Brady is allowed to come out to play and they lost Jimmy Garoppolo to a shoulder injury last week against the Dolphins. Until he had to leave the game, Garoppolo was lighting up the Dolphins’ defense. When he left the game in the second quarter, he was 18 for 27 for 234 yards and 3 TDs with 0 INTs. Not bad for a substitute QB, right?
Rookie Jacoby Brisset (out of NC State) took over last week and will start this week. The Pats emphasized the run more in the second half and held on to win 31-24. Brisset was 6 for 9 for 92 yards in a little more than half the game; he committed no turnovers; he ran the ball 4 times for 12 yards. For his first appearance – and without a week of fulltime prep with the first unit – that is an acceptable showing. This week – on a short week of preparation – he will take the field against the Houston Texans, a team that emphasizes defense as demonstrated by the comments above. At least he does not have to deal with adverse crowd noise as he would if the Pats were on the road this week.
The Titans beat the Lions last week 16-15. Titans’ coach Mike Mularkey characterized the Titans’ offense back in the exhibition season as “exotic smashmouth football”. The Titans do have a pair of big and powerful RBs in DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry and they utilized both of them last week to the tune of 21 carries for 129 yards. The game was about as even as the score would imply:
Time of Possession: Titans 30:51 Lions 29:09
Total Offense: Titans 363 yards Lions 375 yards
Yards Rushing: Titans 139 yards Lions 137 yards
Yards Passing: Titans 224 yards Lions 238 yards
The biggest statistical discrepancy I could find was this one:
Penalties: Titans 12 for 83 yards Lions 17 for 138 yards
The Rams and Seahawks played another low-scoring game last week with the Rams winning 9-3 in their first game back in Los Angeles. If you are a Seahawks’ fan, you have to be happy that the team is not peaking so early in the season. This game was ugly; the score was not suppressed because teams found ways to turn the ball over; the score was low because neither team played very well. Consider:
There was 1 fumble lost in the game and 0 INTs.
There were 19 penalties in the game for 192 yards
There were 13 punts in the game
There were only 35 return yards in the game
Neither team could average 3 yards per rush attempt.
The Rams seem to play a whole lot better against the Seahawks than they do against everyone else in the league – – or maybe it is the opposite. Going back to the 2014 season, the Seahawks are 1-4 against the Rams and they are 22-6 against the rest of the NFL. As strange as those stats may seem, here are two more stats to think about:
In 2016, the LA Rams have played 120 minutes of football and have yet to score a TD. In this offense-emphasis era, that is unusual.
In fact, the last time the LA Rams scored a TD was on December 24, 1994 just before they bolted to St Louis. It was a 36-yard TD pass from Chris Miller to Jermaine Ross with the PAT by Tony Zendejas.
BTW, the Rams lost that game 24-21 to the Skins. It was a game of no importance whatsoever; the Rams wound up 4-12 and the skins wound up 3-13 in that season. That had to be the Dog-Breath Game of the Week.
The Cardinals manhandled the Bucs 40-7 last week. Yes, the beatdown was as bad as the score indicates. I think there is an important takeaway from this game however. You should recall that in Week 1, the Pats and first-time starter Jimmy Garoppolo went to Arizona and pretty much controlled the game against the same Cards’ defense that just put the kibosh on the Bucs here. Remember that the Pats converted 10 of 16 first down attempts in Week 1. This week, the Cards recorded 3 sacks and 4 INTs (including a Pick Six) against Jameis Winston.
The Panthers beat the Niners 46-27. This was a game of ebb and flow. The Panthers rolled out to a 31-10 lead at the end of the 3rd quarter. Then the Niners closed the gap to 34-27 with about 8 minutes to play in the game. Then the Panthers put it back in gear and scored a TD and 2 field goals in the final 4 minutes. Looking at the stats you would never have thought that this would have been a 1 score game in the middle of the 4th quarter. Consider:
Total Offense: Panthers 529 yards Niners 302 yards
Third Down Conversions: Panthers 7 for 15 Niners 4 for 14
Return Yards: Panthers 175 yards Niners 66 yards
Time of Possession: Panthers 35:56 Niners 24:04
The Broncos beat the Colts 34-20. Two defensive TDs by the Broncos provided the margin of victory here; the defense also sacked Andrew Luck 5 times in the game. The OL and the DL for the Colts continue to be sub-standard. The defense gave the Broncos an average of 4.5 yards per carry.
The Falcons beat the Raiders 35-28 and Matt Ryan had an excellent day producing this stat line:
26 for 34 for 396 yards and 3 TDs with 1 INT
Julio Jones also had a nice day catching 5 passes – on 5 targets no less – for 106 yards and 1 TD. The Falcons amassed 528 yards on offense and a bit over 8 yards per offensive play. Like the Bills above, the Raiders need to look at their defense – and perhaps at their defensive coaches – for the reason they lost this game. The Raiders offense scored 28 points and moved the ball for 454 yards here; this is the second week in a row that the defense has allowed opponents to “north of 30 points” and that is not a winning recipe in NFL football.
The Chargers beat the Jags 38-14 last week. In last week’s Mythical Picks, I took the Jags +3 in the game and said that I expected the Jags to win outright. OK, now that everyone has stopped giggling, I will proceed. The game was not as close as the score indicates.
After a scoreless 1st half, Jags punted on first 3 possessions of 2nd half.
At the end of the 3rd quarter, the score was 35-0.
The second Jags’ TD came with a minute left in the game.
Jags converted 2 of 11 third down tries
Jags penalized 14 times for 93 yards
In my pre-season analysis, I put Gus Bradley on the coaching hot seat because I had put him there the year before. I fully expected – and said so at the time – that he would not be in trouble because I thought the Jags would win the AFC South. They have stunk it up badly in their first two games. The Jags’ ownership has been extremely tolerant in Bradley’s tenure there. Consider:
Gus Bradley’s record as the head coach in Jax now stands at 12-38.
Here is some perspective on that record:
Only 1 coach in NFL history had a worse record after his first 50 games.
That “other coach” was Bert Bell who was the owner of the Eagles in the 30s and 40s. The Eagles were a doormat team then; Bell used that doormat status to plead with the other owners to adopt the NFL Draft so that the bad teams could be competitive; with great foresight, the other owners went along. Bell and the Eagles had the first pick ever in any NFL draft and the guy they picked refused to play for them because they stunk. They traded his rights to another team for someone who never played for them and then had the first pick in the next draft. You guessed it, they didn’t sign that guy either.
From 1936-1940, Bert Bell coached the team he owned and ran up a record of 10-44-2. After a complicated series of puts and takes between Bell and Art Rooney of the Steelers, Bell then coached the Steelers for 2 games in 1941. You guessed it; the Steelers lost both of those games so Bell’s total coaching record is 10-46-2.
Gus Bradley’s record is not that bad – but it is close. If the Jags’ players like him and want him to stay around, they had better start winning some games…
The Vikes introduced the world to their new stadium on Sunday night last week and did so in grand fashion beating the Packers 17-14. The Vikings rode their defense to the playoffs last year and the unit is clicking again this year. Last week, the Vikes held the Packers to 263 yards of offense and they forced Aaron Rodgers to fumble 3 times. On offense the Vikes had some good news and some bad news:
Good news: Sam Bradford played very well
Bad news: Adrian Peterson hurt his knee and was carried off in the 3rd quarter
The Eagles beat the Bears on MNF 29-14. The Carson Wentz Bandwagon is starting to get awfully crowded; he played well on Monday night but no one should be carried away here. Looking at the stats for the game, the Eagles won handily on the scoreboard but the stats actually look as if the Bears were the better team except for two stats:
Total offense: Eagles 280 yards Bears 284 yards
Yards per play: Eagles 4.1 Bears 5.7
Yards per pass: Eagles 5.0 Bears 6.9
Return Yards: Eagles 85 Bears 155 (and 1 TD)
The two stats that indicate how and why the Eagles won the game have little to do with Carson Wentz:
Turnovers: Eagles 0 Bears 3
Time of Possession: Eagles 36:05 Bears 23:55
I do not want anyone here to think I am “throwing shade” on Carson Wentz; his first two games in the NFL have been very good; and, frankly, they have been about everything that the coaching staff could have asked for from a rookie starter. But the ESPN post-game analysts were about to strew rose petals in front of him should he have come out to their set on the field. He was good – – but not that good.
Before getting to this week’s games, I want to channel Paul Harvey here and tell you The Rest Of The Story…
Recall in Week 1, some guy ran onto the field in the Niners/Rams game and took off his shirt and then outran the security guys for a while until they finally tackled him. Naturally, I – and many others – assumed that he had over-indulged in adult beverages prior to making his run. Not so. It turns out that he is a 16-year old boy and he did it because someone dared him to do it. His brain was not addled with alcohol; it was addled with testosterone. Because he is a minor, he did not serve time in jail but he has been banned from Levi’s Stadium for one full year. There is no word what came to the guy who dared this kid to do what the kid did…
(Thurs Nite): Houston – 1.5 at New England (40.5): I am surprised by the spread here; I would have thought that it would be about 2 points higher in favor of the Texans. Given the Texans defense, I would have thought the public would be averse to backing the Pats here – – but clearly, I was over-estimating that sentiment. However, perhaps people are paying attention to this trend I ran across:
In the last 8 games where the Pats have been underdogs, the Pats are 7-1 straight up and 7-1 against the spread.
I agree with the oddsmakers that this game will be low scoring given that Jacoby Brisset is almost assuredly going to be the Pats’ QB for the entire game. Nevertheless, I am not ready to declare that the Pats ore dead meat in this matchup. I am declaring this as a Curmudgeon Central Coin Flip Game. The coin is out and the coin says to take the Texans and lay the points. Who am I to argue with “the coin” when “the coin” is perfect so far this season?
Denver at Cincy – 3 (41): Trevor Siemian will experience a road game against a good team for the first time in his NFL career. Last year when he watched from the sidelines in road games against good teams, he had to absorb the elements/atmosphere of those games; this year, the Broncos’ game against a top-shelf team (Panthers) was at home; now Siemian gets to see what it is like under center and on the road against a quality roster. Meanwhile, the Bengals have to regroup after a division loss last week. The matchup of AJ Green and Aquib Talib will be exciting to watch. I really have no idea how the teams will come out to play this game nor how they will structure game plans against one another. Ergo, this is another Curmudgeon Central Coin Flip Game and the coin says to take the Broncos plus the points. Why not?
Oakland at Tennessee – 2 (47): This spread demonstrates that the oddsmakers have little faith in Raiders’ Nation to show up at the betting windows to play for the Raiders side of the deal. So far, the Raiders’ defense has been a no-show in 2016 (see above). In the first two games, the Raiders have given up an average of 517.5 yards per game. To put that in perspective, the next worst defense in the NFL is the Saints and they “only” give up 451.5 yards per game. By the same token, the Titans’ offense has not spread fear amongst the defensive coordinators around the NFL. I think there is a litmus test here for the Raiders’ defense:
They have to hold the Titans under 30 points lest they look forward to allowing more than 500 points for the 2016 season.
I am going to go with the Raiders here because I think they will indeed keep the Titans’ offense in check. I’ll take the Raiders plus the points.
Arizona – 4 at Buffalo (47): Now that the Bills have fired Greg Roman (see above) all should be well in Western New York, right? After losing to the Pats, the Cardinals came right back and simply dominated the Bucs last week. I know this is a long trip for the Cards; but the simple fact is that they have more talent on the field than do the Bills. I expect the Bills to come out and play hard this week after what happened to them in a national game last week but I still prefer going with talent over emotion. Here are a couple of interesting trends:
Cards are 19-7 against the spread against teams with losing records.
Bills are 6-13 against the spread in Week 3.
This is Week 3 and the Bills have a losing record.
I like the Cards to win and cover – even on this long road trip.
Baltimore at Jax “pick ‘em” (47): The Jags were competitive in Week 1 against the Packers but they did nothing constructive at all against the Chargers in Week 2. The Ravens are 2-0 having beaten two of the bottom-feeders of the league (Bills then Browns). It is difficult to call a game in Week 3 a “must-win game” but for the Jags, this one approaches that status. I cannot turn this game over to the Curmudgeon Central Coin Flip Protocol because there is no provision in the protocol for a “pick ‘em game”. Therefore, I will make this purely a venue pick and take the Jags to win the game.
There is a trend that supports that pick – if you like trends. In the last time these teams have played, the home team is 5-2-1 against the spread. Since there is no spread here, the way for the home team to extend the trend would be to win outright.
Cleveland at Miami – 10.5 (42): This is the Dog-Breath Game of the Week. One of these teams will get their first win of the season here only because the odds against a tie in the NFL are incredibly high. The drama level for this game is about the same as the drama level for watching bread dough rise; you know it is going to happen and all you care about is the end result. In addition to the fact that the Browns have started a jillion QBs since returning to the NFL in 1999, here are the starting QBs in their last four games plus the guy who will start this week
Johnny Manziel – Week 16 2015
Austin Davis – Week 17 2015
RG3 – Week 1 2016
Josh McCown – Week 2 2016
Cody Kessler – Week 3 2017
That represents a level of stability approximately that of a walrus riding a unicycle. Meanwhile, the Dolphins rallied to get within a TD of the Pats last week – but that was only after Jimmy Garoppolo left the game in the 2nd quarter. I hate laying double-digits in the NFL but if I were to do it, I would want the underdog to be awful – which it is here. I hate laying double-digits in the NFL and when I think about doing it, I want the favorite to be one of the better teams – which is not the case here. Only because I said I would make a pick in every game and because these are Mythical Picks not real ones, I will take the Browns plus the points.
Now if you will excuse me, I need to go and wash my hands after typing those words…
Washington at Giants – 4.5 (46.5): This is a desperation game for the Skins. A loss here would put them at 0-3 but in addition it would be their second loss in the NFC East. The narrative in DC for the time in training camp was that the Skins had put the franchise’s typical drama scenarios behind them; this was a squad that was focused on doing its business and getting wins. Well, the team is 0-2 and there are reports of dissention in the locker room (see above). Meanwhile the Giants are playing solid if unspectacular football. Their record is 2-0; they have scored only 36 points in those 2 wins but they have only allowed 32 points in those 2 games. Even if Josh Norman can make good on his pronouncements that he can dominate Odell Beckham, Jr., that does not mean that Eli Manning will be without receivers to catch the ball for him. Here are two interesting trends:
Skins/Giants have gone UNDER in 13 of the last 16 games in NY
Skins/Giants have gone UNDER in 7 of their last 9 games anywhere.
I like the Giants at home to win and cover here.
Detroit at Green Bay – 7.5 (47.5): Aaron Rodgers played a very “un-Rodgers-like” game last week against a Vikings’ defense that may indeed be one of the best in the league. He will not face such a challenge this week. The Lions rallied in the second half of last season and saved Jim Caldwell’s job; then they came out in Week 1 and scored 39 points; then they laid an egg last week against the Titans. After 2 games, the Lions’ offense is averaging 411.5 yards per game; after 2 games the Lions’ defense is allowing an average of 406.5 yards per game. I smell a shoot-out here; I’ll take the game to go OVER.
Minnesota at Carolina – 7 (43): Here are two good defensive teams each having a week to prepare for the other. Here are two trends for the game; one of them will see a reversal this week:
Vikes are 10-1 against the spread in their last 11 road games.
Panthers are 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 games on grass.
This game is on grass and the Vikes are on the road.
With the announcement that Adrian Peterson needs surgery and will be out for much of the rest of the season, the Vikings will need to rely more heavily on Sam Bradford and their passing attack. That may be a positive thing somewhere down the road, but it may take time for it to develop. I like the Panthers to win and cover at home.
SF at Seattle – 9 (40): Channeling Bud Collyer from the old TV game show, To Tell the Truth:
Will the real Seattle Seahawks please stand up…?
When Chip Kelly arrived in SF, the idea was that the Niners’ offense which had been moribund under Jim Tomsula would take a great leap forward while the Niners’ defense would suffer from over-exposure. Well, after 2 weeks, the Niners’ offense has been nothing to write home about averaging a mediocre 311 yards per game. The Niners’ defense has not cratered from overwork – yet – but the lack of offensive fireworks should be a bit disturbing for Niners’ fans. Lack of offense is the hallmark of the Seahawks’ season to date. They have scored 15 points (1 TD) in their 2 games. They have to wake up one of these weeks, no? I think this is the week so I’ll take the Seahawks at home and lay the points.
LA at Tampa Bay – 5 (42): How bad is the Rams’ offense? They are averaging only 234 yards per game total offense. That is dead last in the NFL by more than 35 yards per game. The Bucs’ defense has given up 395 yards per game over the first two contests. Is that sufficient to get the Rams out of their stupor? I might believe that were it not for the fact that the Rams will be making a 3 time zone trip to play this game. I’ll take the Bucs at home to win and cover.
Pittsburgh – 3.5 at Philly (46.5): Is this the best game of the week? It matches two teams that are 2-0; by the time they kick off here, one of the undefeated teams in the Texans/Pats game will not enjoy that status. The Eagles have scored 29 points in each of their first two games this year; I do not think they can score that much against the Steelers. The Eagles have allowed an average of only 12 points per game to their opponents in the first two games this year; I do not think they can hold the Steelers to anything near that number. I think Pittsburgh is one of the top teams in the AFC; the Eagles are not one of the top teams in the NFC. I know this is an old rivalry game and I know it is in Philly. Nonetheless, I’ll take the Steelers and lay the points.
Jets at KC – 3 (43): Short and sweet here… The Chiefs had trouble scoring against a tough Texans defense last week. The Jets’ defense is also tough. I’ll take the Jets on the road plus the points.
San Diego at Indy – 2.5 (52): I cannot believe the dominance shown by the Chargers last week; this is not a dominating team. I cannot believe how bad the Colts line play has been so far this year on both offense and defense; it actually takes more than a really good QB to be a winning team in the NFL. Make this a venue call; I’ll take the Colts at home to win and cover.
(Sun Nite) Chicago at Dallas – 7 (44.5): Given what I saw of the Bears on Monday night last week, this team needs to regroup very quickly. I am not ready to proclaim that the Eagles have a dominant NFL defense but they definitely dominated the Bears last Monday. If the Bears’ offense is going to play like that for the rest of the year, Chicago fans need to be prepared for double-digit losses sometime proximal to Thanksgiving. The only team in the NFL producing less offense than the Bears is the Rams; that does not say much for the Bears chances to score. Can Jay Cutler play this week with his injured thumb? If not the Bears’ offense will not get any better. Cutler may not be the most popular player in the NFL, but he is the starting QB in Chicago for the simple reason he is the best option on the roster. I do not love the Cowboys this year but I think they are the better team here. I’ll take the Cowboys at home and lay the points.
(Mon Nite) Atlanta at New Orleans – 3 (53): I know this is a division game and a rivalry game. However, let me say to the movers and shakers at ESPN and at the NFL:
I have not cared about match-ups between these teams for at least the last 5 years and will probably not care much for the next 5 years.
These teams rank #29 and #31 on defense so far this year; so people tuning into the game are likely to see fireworks. I ‘ll just go along with that sort of thinking here and take the game to go OVER. Why not? These are only Mythical Picks.
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………