Wow. I mean…WOW!
First of all, I want to apologize to the Pittsburgh Steelers. I want to apologize to my team because after week 4 this season, I thought they were done. I thought they were not going to make the playoffs because their defense especially was SO BAD. Their defense was arguably one of the worst in the NFL for the first few weeks of the season.
But then things started to turn around.
Week 5, they went out and obliterated the Falcons. The defense came alive, and this was the point when we determined that James Conner was for real.
Week 6 rolls along, and the defense showed up again against the Bengals, holding them to 21 points and getting after Andy Dalton, creating a lot of pressure and sacking him three times. The big-time playmakers were doing what they do best. Antonio Brown was back to being…well…Antonio Brown. James Conner was (and still is) a train on fire, and JuJu Smith-Schuster has been sensational. Most other teams in the league – JuJu would be a #1 receiver. No question, I don’t want to hear it…fight me on it if you want, there’s a comments box. Be my guest.
The Steelers proceeded to post a five-game winning streak, beating down the Browns, getting revenge on the Ravens, and embarrassing the Carolina Panthers, who I still believe are actually a pretty good team with a solid defense. The fact that the Steelers came out and poured 52 on them is SCARY. That game was amazing, you can imagine I was quite happy. The Steelers are back baby!
But I’ll be honest…trouble awaits.
The Steelers are on a hot streak, but they are now just breaking into the toughest part of their schedule. They get the Jaguars on the road next week, and even though the Jaguars have not been good this year so far, they still have the Steelers’ number until further notice. Then they have Denver on the road the very next week and, again, even though Denver hasn’t been all that great, Broncos are a completely different beast when they are at home. Oh yeah, and then there’s Von Miller.
Even after those back-to-back road games, the Steelers still have the Saints, Patriots, Chargers, and Bengals again. BRUTAL.
So while the Steelers are riding high right now, they will really be put to the test for the rest of their season…except for maybe that Raiders game on Week 14…I feel pretty good about that one. But all other games left on the Steelers schedule, it would not be bizarre to think they could lose most, if not, all of those games. I’m serious…the rest of their schedule f***ing sucks. But I have to admit, the Steelers are in a much better position right now than I thought they were going to be at this point, so I cannot complain too much.
Last week there were some great games, and then there were some dogs.
The best game of the week was probably that Saints-Rams game though. It wouldn’t surprise me if this match-up ended up being the future NFC Championship game. I’d like to believe this won’t be the last time these two teams meet (I hope it won’t be!). It was highly entertaining with a ton of offense. That’s what you’ll get when you have Drew Brees, Jared Goff, Alvin Kamara, Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp, and Michael Thomas all on in the same game. All the stars and studs were on this field; it was like the NFL version of the Battle of the Black Gate (for all of you Lord of the Rings fans). Everyone came to the party and boy it was a party. And the Rams aren’t undefeated anymore! What a game.
The Bills are so bad, that I am at least curious to see what would happen if Alabama played them with Nathan Peterman at quarterback. I mean, how much money would I pay to see that?! Even Vegas came out with hypothetical odds for a Bills vs. Alabama game. The Vice President of Risk Management at Super Book USA actually has the Bills as a 28.5-point favorite. If the game allowed Nathan Peterman to play at least one quarter of that game, I would so take Alabama given that spread. Bills would probably still win, that’s ok, and I know usually even the worst NFL team could take down the best college team, but this Bills team really has me thinking here. Also, that Jets and Dolphins game was putrid. All the AFC East teams suck, except for the Patriots of course. Welcome to the AFC East…
The Browns surprisingly stuck around against the Chiefs. Could the Falcons be on upset alert? Perhaps the coaching change was certainly the right move? Yes? Yeah, I think so. I know one guy who is pretty happy with the changes that were made! Duke Johnson Jr., anyone?
Some quick hits…
I still wouldn’t sleep on the Vikings, Redskins are not as good as you think, Chargers may be better than we think, Houston is on fire and seems to NOT have a problem, Dallas does have a problem…or two, or three, or four…and Tom Brady reminded us all who the real #1 is in this league.
By the way I missed the Thursday Night game last week, but I still went 8-4 with my picks and I got the Steelers win right; which brings me to 51-31 on the season. Pretty good! Pretty…good.
Ok let’s get right to it, shall we?
Last Week: 8-4 (no pick for the Thursday Night game)
Season Record: 51-31
Bye Week: Broncos, Vikings, Ravens, Texans
Lions at Bears (Sunday @ 1PM ET)
The Lions’ offensive line gave up TEN sacks in an ugly loss against the Vikings. Khalil Mack must be licking his chops.
I think Detroit’s offensive line gets manhandled again, and while Mitch Trubisky may struggle throwing against the Detroit secondary, Detroit is so bad against the rush, that Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen will have no problem carrying the load…and the football!
Stafford will be in for a tough game too and so the two quarterbacks may crap the bed, but I like the Bears to run the ball effectively, control the clock and kill time of possession. The Bears defense will cause fits, and Detroit has not played well on the road at all. Give me Chicago in a low-scoring affair to stay on top of the NFC North Division. Bears win 17-13.
Saints at Bengals (Sunday @ 1PMET)
The Saints ended the Rams’ undefeated streak this past Sunday taking Sean McVay’s squad down 45-35. The Bengals are coming off a bye week, but I don’t think that even matters. Also, AJ Green is likely out for this game, so that certainly won’t help.
Cincinnati’s defense has actually given up a lot of points this season. The past six games, the Bengals defense has given up 31.8 points per game. Not a good sign when you’re about to face a Saints offense that hangs nearly 35 points per game. Just two games this season the Saints offense scored less than 30 points. Bengals will simply not be able to keep up. Saints win 32-23.
Falcons at Browns (Sunday @ 1PMET)
The Browns surprisingly nagged Kansas City and stuck with them for a bit last Sunday. What I thought was going to be a huge blowout loss for the Browns, was actually just a 16-point loss. I know, 16 points is still bad, but this was Patrick Mahomes and arguably the best offense in the NFL against the Browns. Browns fought hard. Can they carry that effort forward and upset the Falcons at home? I don’t think so.
The Falcons haven’t played particularly well on the road. But they do know that A). they probably won’t catch the Saints in the Division, but B). they still could catch the Panthers. If the Falcons take down the Browns, all of a sudden the Falcons are above .500 and would still be in the mix for the Wild Card.
Cleveland will pester the Falcons and keep it close, but this is a much bigger game for Atlanta. They need this one. Falcons win 27-23.
Patriots at Titans (Sunday @ 1PMET)
I still can’t figure out the Titans, and we all know what the Patriots are capable of. So, with that, I think I know who I’m taking here. It will actually be closer than you think because you draw New England away from Gillette, but I have to roll with the Patriots here. Patriots win 30-24.
Jaguars at Colts (Sunday @ 1PM ET)
The Jaguars look completely lost on offense right now. Both teams are coming off a bye week. Jacksonville is on a four-game losing streak and their offense has posted just 11.5 points per game during that streak. I’ve said this since the beginning of the season but I will go ahead and say it again: The Jaguars don’t have a good offense. And quite frankly, they are not that good of a team.
I said before the season even started that the Jaguars were not going to make the playoffs this year, and that their best chance at a Super Bowl was last year. They literally were the only team in the AFC South who did not move their needle forward. In fact, their needle moved backwards. The Colts, Texans, and Titans all got better. The Jaguars did not, and it has shown so far this season.
The Colts are on a mini two-game winning streak and Marlon Mack has looked like Kareem Hunt lately. Andrew Luck is also back to being healthy, and in the past five games, the Colts offense has put up 34.2 points per game.
Yes I know, three of those five games were against the Jets, Bills, and Raiders, so it may not be much to write home about for the Indy offense. But do you think the Jaguars are head and shoulders above those three teams right now? Are the Jaguars really much different than the Jets, Bills, and Raiders right now? I’m not so sure to be honest.
Leonard Fournette could be back for this game, but I am not sure if he’s really fully back to speed. He’s on one of my fantasy teams so I will keep a close eye and ear on that one.
Jacksonville’s defense is still a good defense, but the Colts offensive line is no joke, and I think they have enough to keep the Jaguars defense in check and give Andrew Luck just enough to pull out this victory and sink the Jaguars to the bottom of the division. Colts win 26-20.
Cardinals at Chiefs (Sunday @ 1PM ET)
Cardinals are coming off a bye week, but I just don’t like the idea of Josh Rosen heading into Arrowhead Stadium and pulling off a major upset. I just don’t see it, and the Cardinals CERTAINLY do not have the offense to keep up with Mahomes and the Chiefs. Chiefs win 36-20.
Bills at Jets (Sunday @ 1PM ET)
Yuck, this will be the crap game of the day. It’s games like these that make me rather go shovel snow or go apple picking. Both teams most likely won’t even have their starting quarterbacks. Then again, I don’t know what “starting quarterback” means for either of these teams.
I’m not even sure who’s going to win this game, so here is what I’ll do:
I’m going to take a coin…and I will declare heads to be the Jets, and tails to be the Bills. I’m not even kidding by way, I am actually doing this as I write this. I’m going to go ahead and flip this coin, and whichever side it lands after the flip, I’m picking that team to win this game – that’s how much I care about this match-up. Ok, here we go (coin is now flipping)…
Bills win 17-13.
Redskins at Buccaneers (Sunday @ 1PM ET)
The Buccaneers got smoked by Carolina last week, but the Bucs did some good things in that game on offense; especially in the second half. Fitzpatrick gets another shot under center here, and he goes up against a banged-up Redskins squad who looked absolutely pitiful last week against the Falcons.
Redskins are at the top of the NFC East Division, but I don’t think theywill be for long. A close one, but Tampa will pull off the upset. Buccaneerswin 26-24.
Enjoy the games!
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