Hi, hello & welcome to Week 3 of the National Football League! I’m Steve Cook, and there’s little doubt that the NFL is as popular & viable as its ever been. It’s amazing to think it gets bigger & better every year, but we’re all along for the ride and having good times together.
Most years, it feels like Week 3 is when you really get a good look at what your team is. Especially this season, when we’ve seen several teams have Jeckyl/Hydesque showings in their first two games. Some teams looked great in Week 1, not so much in Week 2. A lot of teams that stumbled in Week 1 showed more of what we thought they were in Week 2. Weeks 3, 4 & 5 is when I think we start to separate the wheat from the chaff.
As for my picks, I’ve been right in the middle so far. Considering I took a few years off from picking against the spread and feel a bit rusty, I think things are going ok. We’re having fun, and that’s what counts. Especially since I live in a state where this sort of thing is frowned upon. Lawmakers here don’t like money unless it goes directly into their pockets.
So let’s get those of you in more forward-thinking parts of the world some money, shall we? As usual, odds are provided by Vegas Insider.
Thursday, September 23
Carolina (-8) vs. Houston
Baker Mayfield replaced an injured Tyrod Taylor, never looked back, and broke the rookie QB TD passing record.
Justin Herbert replaced an injured Tyrod Taylor, never looked back, and broke the rookie QB TD passing record.
Davis Mills has replaced an injured Tyrod Taylor 👀
— Jonas Clark (@jarkclonas) September 19, 2021
Who is Davis Mills? He grew up in Atlanta before going to college at Stanford, where he served as starting quarterback for two seasons. The Texans picked him in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, making him the eighth quarterback drafted. He went into action Week 2 against Cleveland, completing 8 of 18 passes for 102 yards, a touchdown & an interception. Now that Tyrod Taylor is out with a hamstring, he’ll be leading the Texans into NRG Stadium to take on the Panthers on THURSDAY NIGHT IS FOOTBALL NIGHT.
Yeah, I don’t see it going well either. The Panthers defense has looked stout the first two weeks of the season, and should be able to hold Mills and the Texans to a low number. Get ready for some serious Sam Darnold hype now that he’s got that Jet stink off of him.
Sunday, September 26
Arizona (-7) vs. Jacksonville
Kyler Murray said his TD celebration was not Baby Yoda. Saw everyone talking about it on social media.
“I’ve never seen Star Wars.”
— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) September 20, 2021
The fact Kyler Murray hasn’t seen Star Wars shouldn’t come as a surprise, as we all know that only geeks & nerds watch Star Wars. Kyler has too busy balling out on the field and talking to girls for most of his life. He doesn’t have time to watch the Star Wars movies, sequels, prequels & spinoffs like we do. Murray did a meditation pose, and people were meditating before Baby Yoda was a thing. Just saying.
More of note to this matchup: Murray & the Cardinals have been balling out. He’s in the top 5 of most passing categories. Meanwhile, Chandler Jones leads the league in sacks. The Jags haven’t done anything of usefulness yet and I don’t see that trend ending this week. The Cardinals take care of business quite easily here. The one thing making me pause is the fact that Gus Johnson will be there. Betting against a Gus game being close is dangerous, but I’ve heard him call some college clunkers.
Indianapolis vs. Tennessee (-5.5)
Quenton Nelson on Carson Wentz: "His toughness, shoot — all the times he’s gotten hit, all the times he’s gotten up? It’s on a different level. He hasn’t complained once. We need to be better up front … if we give him more time, he can play even better."
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) September 19, 2021
Carson Wentz managed to sprain both of his ankles last week against the Rams, leaving his status for Week 3 up in the air at the time I write this. He’s not practicing, but says he feels better. My gut tells me he ends up playing, and comes close to his usual level of effectiveness but hurts another body part unaffiliated with his ankles.
In case that doesn’t happen, and we end up seeing Jacob Eason out there, play it safe and roll with the home favorite. Tennessee worried us in Week 1, but had a strong bounceback in Week 2. Moral of the story: As long as Derrick Henry can run (and run, and run), the Titans have a chance.
Baltimore (-8) vs. Detroit
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 20, 2021
Speaking of teams that worried us in Week 1 & had a strong bounceback in Week 2, here are the Ravens! Lamar Jackson put on his usual show & led the team to a comeback late in the game to stun the Chiefs. The Ravens are BACK in the conversation for best team in the AFC, and they’ll win in Detroit.
Ah, but here’s the question: Will they cover? I thought the Lions had a chance to get somewhat close against Green Bay, but that sure didn’t happen. Since they’re back in Detroit & the Ravens are coming off of one of those emotional wins, I’m going to say the Lions keep it close.
Washington vs. Buffalo (-7.5)
Stefon Diggs and Josh Allen are the BFFalo Bills leading off our friendship issue! pic.twitter.com/itedpRCfLf
— SI KIDS (@SIKids) September 16, 2021
OK, so we’re doing another team that disappointed in Week 1 & came back strong in Week 2. Sup, Bills? You ran over the Dolphins like they owed you money & did your best to reassure us that you belong in that “Best team in the AFC” conversation. (It’s a big conversation.) You looked like the team people thought you were, not the team that struggled against Pittsburgh.
As for Washington, they did manage to get a win somehow on Thursday night. It was more a Giants loss than a Washington win, but you take wins where you can get them. Especially since you’re not winning in Buffalo. Your Football Team defense is supposed to be strong, but hasn’t exactly set the world on fire yet. I don’t like the chances of it happening here, so I’m riding with the Bills & their mafia.
New Orleans vs. New England (-3)
We will give you the view from Tampa tonight on The Gameplan at 6 and Early Edition at 630. Yes, we got an early jump. pic.twitter.com/kzaoTY3Asx
— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) September 22, 2021
The Boston media might be over-looking this game & getting ready for Tampa Bay, but you know darn well that a Bill Belichick-coached team won’t fall into that kind of a trap. All of their focus will be on a Saints team that’s looking ahead…to get back to New Orleans. I assume the Superdome is ok even though the roof was on fire the other day. Given all the stuff that building has been through over the years, a little fire is no big deal.
What will be a big deal for the Saints: Bill Belichick’s defense. Against Sean Payton’s offense. An interesting matchup for sure, but I sure would like Payton’s chances more if he still had a Hall of Fame quarterback. I’ll take the Patriots by a touchdown.
LA Chargers vs. Kansas City (-6.5)
Iowa assistant coach Jay Niemann on Sunday's Chargers vs. Chiefs game. Son Nick is a linebacker for L.A.; son Ben is a linebacker for K.C.
"We're cheering for the defense."
— Chad Leistikow (@ChadLeistikow) September 22, 2021
Well, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for Mr. & Mrs. Niemann. The Charger & Chief defenses have been getting carved up by running backs early this season. Also, Charger QB Justin Herbert has the second-most passing yards after seventeen starts in NFL history. It probably won’t surprise you to know that #1 is Patrick Mahomes. Gonna be a bad day for the defense in Arrowhead Stadium.
I do feel like the Chiefs are due for a bounceback after their loss to the Ravens on Sunday night. Great teams get PISSED OFF and take it out on their next competition, and that seems like the Chargers’ fate here. Chiefs by 10 or so.
Atlanta vs. NY Giants (-3)
The Falcons are making Pitts block and the Giants are having Toney play outside. These two organizations deserve nothing.
— Steven Rodriguez (@_stevenrod) September 17, 2021
Talk about two teams going absolutely nowhere. The Falcons appear to be much worse than the Giants though, so let’s go with the home team.
Chicago vs. Cleveland (-7)
February. LA. The Bears have just won their first Super Bowl in 35 years. Justin Fields admires the Lombardi & his MVP trophy. As the confetti falls, a reporter asks Matt Nagy how they did it. "First of all," he says, "I want to be clear that Andy's our starter if he's not hurt"
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) September 22, 2021
It’s Justin Fields Time in Chicago! We knew it was only a matter of time before Andy Dalton either got hurt or proved to be too ineffective for the Bears to do much of anything. Fields came in during the second half, and while he wasn’t terribly impressive, he didn’t do anything to dampen Bears fans’ expectations for him. As you know if you read our feature on best quarterbacks of each franchise, the Bears haven’t had an elite QB in a very, very, very long time. Fans hope that Fields can end that drought.
If he can…it won’t be this week. The Browns have too much talent on defense that can just eat the kid alive. The Bears will need to ride David Montgomery in order to keep this one close, which I think they’re smart enough to do. Add some injury issues at WR for Cleveland to the mix, and the Bears can make things close.
Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh (-3)
Sam Wyche says, “F*** you!” to Greg Lloyd in 1989
— Steel City Star (@steelcitystar) September 20, 2021
I don’t know what some of these media types are smoking. I was watching Colin Cowherd’s show for a few minutes on Wednesday because Joy Taylor was looking nice, and he mentioned that he was picking the Bengals outright. Like, I know Cowherd’s had some pretty awful takes over the years, but he should really know better about this one. I don’t care if Ben Roethlisberger’s pec has fallen off of his body, he’s going to go out there and light it up against the Bengals. I don’t care what the Steelers injury report says, everybody affiliated with the Bengals knows its a bunch of horseshit.
So of course we’re rolling with Pittsburgh here. Three points is way too easy a cover. The Bengals have had some intermittent displays of competence in their first two games, but nothing that tells me they’re ready to roll into Heinz Field and dispatch of the mighty Steelers.
Miami vs. Las Vegas (-4)
This is awesome: @Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson made 4 field goals in Week 2 and won AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
The bad news? He was playing against himself in fantasy and contributed to his own loss 🤣pic.twitter.com/IcSBFc9k79
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 22, 2021
It’ll be Jacoby Brissett starting for the Dolphins this week due to Tua Tagovailoa’s bruised ribs. I’m not really sure how much that matters, as the jury’s definitely still out on Tua & Miami’s offense in general isn’t exactly setting the world on fire. Brissett probably won’t add much, and the Raiders have looked very impressive their first two outings. Derek Carr’s leading the league in passing yards, and could extend that lead this week as the Raiders win big.
Miami & Las Vegas are also the two cities I’ve never been to that I really wish I had when I was still a young man. Here in 2021, this old chunk of coal can’t bear the thought.
NY Jets vs. Denver (-10.5)
Teddy Bridgewater on playing in Mile High in 2015 against the Broncos: “I remember getting sacked 7 times. It was loud. Third downs. You just had to buckle down and block out the noise”
“Hopefully we can make the Jets feel the way I felt”
— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) September 22, 2021
I’m not sure the Broncos could have asked for a better way to start this season. Three games against teams that appear to be among the worst in the league. An easy way to get to 3-0 and start feeling good about yourself. Don’t know how long it will last, but Denver fans should feel good. Definitely better than Jets fans are feeling. On the bright side, the NYC area has so many sports teams that it’s easy for them to get distracted by something else. The Yankees are in playoff position. The Knicks start play relatively soon, as do the Nets.
10.5 is a lot of points, but it’s the Jets. I have to roll with Teddy & the Broncos.
Tampa Bay (-1) vs. LA Rams
— Rob Gronkowski (@RobGronkowski) September 21, 2021
I guess people got mad, so Gronk had to tell the media later on that he spends so much time watching film that his girlfriend gets upset with him. Seriously though, does anybody think that Rob Gronkowski needs to spend time watching film to do what he does? And even if he does, isn’t it better if everybody believes he doesn’t? I sure think so.
This one should be a barnburner. The Bucs have pretty much picked up where they left off, and the Rams have been as advertised with the addition of Matthew Stafford. It’s basically a pick ’em, so I’m sticking with my “don’t bet against Tom Brady” policy & taking the Bucs.
Seattle (-1.5) vs. Minnesota
10 years ago, Kirk Cousins’ Hail Mary beat Russell Wilson and the Badgers 🚀
This Sunday, they face off again…
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 22, 2021
Expect a high-scoring game here, as Seattle’s defense isn’t exactly the Legion of Boom, and Minnesota’s defense isn’t exactly the Purple People Eaters. This will come down to which side can exploit the other side’s defense more, and I think Russell Wilson & the talented receivers of the Seahawks can do that.
Green Bay vs. San Francisco (-3.5)
Aaron Rodgers is unbothered. pic.twitter.com/gvHxBfvpjq
— 𝐽𝐸𝑁 𝑀𝐴𝐶𝐾 🧀 (@BigMack_4) September 21, 2021
It was only the Lions, but it was still an important win for the Packers. Had they somehow lost to Detroit, or even had a less impressive showing, they’d be stumbling & bumbling into San Francisco looking for answers. Now, they have a little pep in their step.
Enough pep to beat the 49ers? Not so sure about that, but I really like the Packers at +3.5. Should be a high scoring game with a lot of action, and hopefully the 49ers get some of their exciting young players involved. He says as a Brandon Aiyuk fantasy owner.
Philadelphia vs. Dallas (-4)
Of course Ben Simmons had to make Eagles-Cowboys week about him. He is a Kardashian at heart
— Anthony Gargano (@AnthonyLGargano) September 22, 2021
Seriously though, why are we spending all this time talking about Ben Simmons? ESPN giving him all this TV time like he’s LeBron or MJ or somebody that actually did something in the NBA. I know people want the NBA to be a year long thing like the NFL is, but I find year long things to be a bit of a drag. I like the idea of moving from baseball to football to basketball/hockey, with car racing & whatever else mixed in here & there, based off of what’s actually having games & whatnot. I don’t care if Ben Simmons wants to get traded, don’t care if he’s traded, don’t care where he gets traded to. We got a baseball playoff chase & the beginning of the football season going on. I don’t need this lame NBA drama right now.
Not when we got that NFC East drama going on with a couple of teams that always inspire discussion. The Cowboys have actually looked pretty good to start the season and should be hyped up for a Monday night home opener. I’m torn on what exactly the Eagles are, but I have a feeling they can keep things close here.
Week 2 Record: 9-7
Overall Record: 16-15-1
Cook’s 2021 NFL Gambling Picks: Week 7
Cook’s pick record is looking as bad as Romeo Crennel’s NFL head coaching record. Maybe he gets the ball rolling? Take a look for the gambling picks!
Hi, hello & welcome to Week 7 of the National Football League! I’m Steve Cook, and last week’s football couldn’t have gone worse for my picks and my fantasy teams if I tried. I had the worst pick week that I can remember, and most my fantasy teams ended up in high scoring matchups that ended in defeat. Those are always the worst, when you’re looking at your league standings and seeing your high point total next to a crappy record because you get everybody else’s best week somehow.
It’s funny, I started doing all this stuff back in the day because the Bengals were completely useless and stuff like fantasy football was the only way to really keep interested. Now the Bengals look like they might be good and it’s all the ancillary nonsense I do that’s making those grey hairs pop up. Strange how life works out, isn’t it? All we can do is move on to the next one and not dwell on the past. So we try once again, hoping that we’ve already hit rock bottom and there’s nowhere to go but up.
Thursday, October 21
Denver at Cleveland (-3)
— ESPN Cleveland (@ESPNCleveland) October 18, 2021
Say what you will about Baker Mayfield’s playing ability and whether or not he deserves to get the fat payday that every NFL starting quarterback gets at some point or another. What we know for sure is that the guy will go out there and play through any injury. It might not be the most intelligent thing in the world, but Mayfield has earned the respect of Browns fans with the fortitude he’s shown since donning the uniform. Granted, it’s a shared characteristic with most football players, but many of them haven’t been injured as often as Mayfield has been.
As it turns out, Case Keenum will be playing this week, as Sunday-Thursday wasn’t enough time for the Browns to justify running an injured Baker out there. Most of the Browns are fighting off some type of injury at this point, and this is one of those weeks where you really don’t want a Thursday night game right after your Sunday offering. The Broncos have issues of their own, but not quite as many.
Sunday, October 24
Cincinnati at Baltimore (-6)
Lamar Jackson vs the Bengals in his career…#RavensFlock
💥902 pass yds
💥437 rush yds
💥8 pass tds
💥1 rush td
We play them again this Sunday😈 pic.twitter.com/g3VxWz0BDQ
— 𝙕𝙖𝙘𝙝🦦 (@NewEraZach_) October 18, 2021
OK, so even I have to admit that the Bengals are looking different this season. After Zac Taylor’s first two seasons ended with two & four wins respectively, year three sees the Bengals sitting at four wins after six games. Last week’s showing was impressive even if it was against the awful Lions, as that’s the type of game in previous years where the Bengals would screw around and either lose or win very narrowly. The connection between Joe Burrow & Ja’Marr Chase has been tremendous. Chase is making better blocks than Penei Sewell. Joe Mixon is on point. The defense has been tremendous. There’s a lot to like.
There’s one thing I don’t like for the Bengals this week: They’re going to Baltimore. Up to this point in his career, Lamar Jackson has proven unstoppable against these guys. I know I’m supposed to dislike Lamar Jackson for exactly that reason, but he went to my alma mater and was the most exciting college football player I’ve ever seen. This goes against many of my fellow football fans’ belief that you have to hate everybody that plays against your favorite team, but that’s not how I roll. Lamar’s a good kid that’s very fun to watch, and I’m happy that Louisville is retiring his number. (I just hope things stay that way, and we don’t have a Jon Gruden/Tampa Ring of Honor situation in the future. Jackson is a solid character & a credit to Louisville & the Ravens’ organization, but if any school would have something like that happen it would be Louisville.)
The Ravens are on a roll right now and I see it continuing against Cincinnati.
Carolina (-3) at NY Giants
How amazing would it be for Panthers fans and Giants fans to unite in a chant to Fire Gettleman on Sunday? It’s destiny
— Will (@twentee7) October 19, 2021
Sam Darnold returns to Metlife Stadium! Woop Woop! This is me trying to gin up some excitement for a game featuring a team falling off a cliff against a team that’s already at the bottom of the cliff. The Giants are obviously not very good, but I don’t have much faith in Carolina as a road favorite.
Washington at Green Bay (-9.5)
The road was re-dedicated in front of porta-potties.
The sideline number tribute was in the area where VIPs stand.
The half-time ceremony involved no speeches or recognition.
The owner wore a hoodie to the pre-game meeting with family. pic.twitter.com/HeroBghuK8
— Chad Ryan (@ChadwikoTWW) October 18, 2021
I’m pretty sure that fans of the Washington Football Team would rather have Aaron Rodgers as the team’s owner than Dan Snyder. It’s gotta be tough to defend that guy, even tougher than playing defense against NFL teams has been for the WFT in recent weeks. Washington has gotten trucked in three of their last four games, and I suspect the Packers will continue that trend this week.
Kansas City (-5.5) at Tennessee
Rushing yards leaders after Week 6:
1) Derrick Henry: 783
2) Derrick Henry after contact: 587
3) Nick Chubb: 523
4) Ezekiel Elliott: 521
5) Joe Mixon: 480
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 19, 2021
The Chiefs’ offense got back on track in Week 6 against Washington, and if Tennessee’s defensive performance against Buffalo was any indication, they should be fine this week as well. The main problem facing KC: their defense is awful and they’re going against Derrick Henry. Not a great combination for success! Whether the Titans win or not, I think they can hang in there with the Chiefs in a shootout.
Atlanta (-2.5) at Miami
— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) October 19, 2021
To say things have gone poorly for the Dolphins so far would be quite the understatement. They might have hit rock bottom by losing to the Jaguars in England…or perhaps they have even lower points to reach. Time will tell. I do see this being a high scoring game, as neither defense has shown much of an ability to stop opposing offenses. I also see the Falcons scoring more points.
NY Jets at New England (-7)
Week 4: Jets beat Titans
Week 5: Bills beat Chiefs
Week 6: Titans beat Bills
Jets new kings of the AFC? 🙃 pic.twitter.com/kt6RfLCRNu
— Pickswise (@Pickswise) October 19, 2021
Eh…methinks Bill Belichick is going to have something to say about that. The Patriots won 25-6 back in Week 2, and I haven’t seen anything since then that tells me it’ll be much different. We can talk about Bill’s conservative play calling in later weeks, as I don’t think it’ll be much of an issue this week.
Detroit at LA Rams (-15)
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) October 18, 2021
Uh huh. Quarterbacks always have to say it’s just like every other game, but we all know the truth. Matt Stafford is looking forward to completely decimating the franchise that squandered the early portion of his career. The Lions are looking forward to the season ending. You couldn’t make this line too high for me, the Rams will take this in a laugher.
Philadelphia at Las Vegas (-3)
The Eagles organization watching the Sixers steal the headlines away from them pic.twitter.com/VZTAmdq857
— shamus (@shamus_clancy) October 19, 2021
After six weeks I don’t really know what to make of either of these teams. Philly has had a bunch of close losses against good teams while the Raiders have resembled a yoyo, changed head coaches and somehow sit at 4-2. They seem to be on an upswing now, so I’m going to suggest rolling with the Raiders. Wouldn’t be shocked if this one ended up as a push though.
Chicago at Tampa Bay (-12.5)
In Sunday's Buccaneers-Bears game, Tom Brady vs. Justin Fields will set a new NFL record for the largest age gap between starting quarterbacks.
The previous record was Tom Brady vs. Mac Jones three weeks ago.
Before that it was Tom Brady vs. Justin Herbert last year.
— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) October 20, 2021
One wonders just how many times Tom Brady is going to break that record. After six weeks he’s leading the NFL in passing yards, is second in touchdowns and fourth in QBR. Just accept the fact he’s playing until he’s 50. Bears fans are hopeful that they’ll have finally found an acceptable quarterback by then, and that it’ll be Justin Fields. Maybe it will be, but right now the Bucs are a pretty wide favorite and have done a good job of taking care of business at home against inferior opposition. It might not be the highest scoring game of the weekend, but I think the Buccaneers win by enough points here.
Houston at Arizona (-18.5)
"Maybe we're just better."pic.twitter.com/kmdN13S8fJ
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 19, 2021
Yes, the Cardinals are better than previously thought. Certainly better than the Texans here in 2021. But man…that spread is huge and we’re already riding some pretty heavy favorites this week. When you add in the fact that the Cardinals will surely be looking ahead to a Thursday night matchup with the Packers, this thing has “letdown” written all over it. Not saying that I see Tyrod Taylor rising from the ashes and magically leading the Texans to victory. I am saying that he can get the Texans within 18.5 against a team with bigger fish to fry.
Indianapolis at San Francisco (-4)
— #Random49ers (@Random49ers) October 19, 2021
Sure enough, people are buying into the Colts again after a decisive victory over those Texans. To me, it’s like Matt Sydal piling up wins on AEW Dark & Dark: Elevation before returning to Dynamite or Rampage to lose against an actual wrestler. But then on the other side of things there’s a 49ers team that has lost three straight and are looking for answers coming off of a bye week. Pretty much a must-win game for San Fran if they’re going to contend in the NFC West like people thought they were.
Jimmy G will be back in the saddle and lead the 49ers to a win keeping them in the hunt. I know it seems early to use the phrase “keeping them in the hunt”, but those Cardinals & Rams are off to fast starts. Plus, any excuse to talk about Playoffs & play that Jim Mora video is acceptable.
Monday, October 25
New Orleans (-5) at Seattle
manningcast returning for saints/seahawks mnf and the geno vs jameis qb matchup. i need it.
— Michael Scoop (@trichesfaucons) October 18, 2021
It’s tough to imagine a somewhat mediocre team heading into Seattle as a five point favorite, but that’s where we’re at. It’s also tough to imagine the Saints having a better defense than the Seahawks, but again, that’s where we’re at here in 2021. The Saints are well-rested and have the better defense, but something tells me the Seahawks will keep it close. Mostly because it’s a primetime game and that’s what’s been going on lately.
Week 6 Results: 4-10
Overall Results: 40-52-2
Cook’s 2021 NFL Gambling Picks: Week 6
The only thing worse than Cook’s string of picks, would be certain head coaches life choices. Some people will never change, but will Cook’s luck?
Hi, hello & welcome to Week 6 of the National Football League! It’s definitely been an up & down season over here. We narrowly had a winning record last week, but still sit below .500 overall. If previous years are any indication, we’ll be under .500 for awhile, make a classic comeback in the second half of the season, go up & down like a yo-yo and finish just over .500. What I’m saying is that y’all better stick around, because things are about to get interesting.
Speaking of things getting interesting, we have to talk about Jon Gruden, don’t we? I would have put a lot of money on Urban Meyer being the first head coach to get replaced this season, turns out he’s going to out-last at least one guy. Gruden joins an ever-growing list of people ruined by their e-mails, as messages he sent to Bruce Allen were uncovered as part of an investigation into misconduct by Allen while he was president of the Washington Football Team. Gruden being the first domino to fall as a result of an investigation into Washington seems a bit odd, though it’s hard for me to argue he doesn’t deserve the backlash he’s getting. Can’t feel bad for the guy, but the whole situation feels kinda weird. The fact that the first e-mail made public was a racist insult about NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, and the fact it got released just prior to a vote on Smith’s future with the NFLPA, seemed awfully fishy.
It makes one wonder how deep this thing is going to go. Who else in the NFL was exchanging e-mails containing opinions best kept out of the public eye with Bruce Allen or other people in the WFT front office? How many people employed by NFL teams are deleting all of their e-mails? Something tells me we’ll never know the answer to any of these questions, but we’ll find out what somebody wants us to find out about.
I’m not sure I’d call Gruden’s second stint with the Raiders a disappointment, since most of us expected it to not go particularly well. He ended up going 22-31 during his 3.25 season stint with the Raiders, and early returns seemed to show that this season’s Raiders team wasn’t going to improve that winning percentage too much. Especially if their showing against the Bears on Sunday was any indication. Looking back, it seems like a sign that the team had given up on him. Whether that’s true or not is irrelevant at this point. Gruden’s out of Las Vegas, and I wouldn’t count on him being back anywhere too soon.
Heck, Tampa Bay booted him out of their Ring of Honor! I wonder if they’ll have a ceremony for that on Thursday night…
Thursday, October 14
Tampa Bay (-7) at Philadelphia
The new leader in quarterback DYAR, the quarterback with the most value by our numbers and thus theoretically the leading candidate for MVP?
It's not Allen, or Herbert. Or Mahomes, or Stafford, or Prescott, or Murray.
44-year-old Tom Brady.
— Aaron Schatz 🏈 (@FO_ASchatz) October 11, 2021
Tom Brady allegedly has some kind of hand injury. Does anybody really think it’s going to hamper him in this game? Even on a Thursday night? Come on, that’d be betting against greatness, and you know darn well we don’t do that around here. Seven points is a tricky number, especially in Philadelphia, but the Eagles have yet to win a home game this season and the slimmest margin is six.
Sure, they’ve only played at home twice, but doesn’t that sound like a good stat? We riding with the Buccaneers, it’s not like anyone there has any reason to be distracted with this Gruden stuff. Unless they sent some sketchy e-mails to Bruce Allen…
Sunday, October 17
Miami (-3.5) vs. Jacksonville
The NFL sending the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars to London should be considered an act of war.
— Mike (@mikeyj2208) October 10, 2021
I mean…Jets vs. Falcons was at least somewhat entertaining when the Jets tried to make it a game in the second half. The Falcons also had some real nice looking uniforms. I’m struggling to find anything positive to say about this one. You got a sorry, no account Dolphin team that have gotten their doors blown off most of the season after somehow winning in Foxboro by a point, then there’s a sorry, no account Jaguar team with a coach that is bound to either quit or get fired or have a mutual parting of ways during the bye week after this game. I’d be shocked if Urban Meyer is still coaching the Jags when they go to Seattle on Halloween. Tony Khan & the rest of the Jags brass better hope the Dolphins cover here, it’ll make their job much easier.
Houston at Indianapolis (-10)
The AFC South is 5-15 through the first 5 weeks of the season.
The Texans, Colts and Jaguars are a combined 2-13. pic.twitter.com/4wTaMXPjOG
— Zach Gelb (@ZachGelb) October 12, 2021
I mean, we knew the AFC South was going to be pathetic, but this is somewhat ridiculous. People will want to sell me on the Titans, and they probably end up “winning” this division, but it’s a pretty sorry collection of teams. The Texans are absolutely brutal, and the Colts aren’t a whole lot better. My honest recommendation to you would be to avoid watching this game or having any kind of association with it.
If you insist on involving yourself in this type of filth…well, you probably need to call one of those hotlines for people with gambling problems. I do have the feeling the Texans will come within 10, but it’s a disgusting situation all around that I would want no part of.
Green Bay (-4.5) at Chicago
Probably bring this up every year before the 1st Packers-Bears game, but …
Justin Fields will be 20th different starting QB that CHI has used against Packers since 1992.
GB has used 3 different starters vs. Bears during that span: Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Brett Hundley.
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) October 13, 2021
This is certainly the most historical rivalry in the NFL. It isn’t the most competitive. The Packers have had a 44-15 edge since 1992, when Brett Favre became the team’s QB1. And, to be honest, it wasn’t really competitive for most decades. The Bears dominated from the 1920s-1950s. The Packers dominated during the 1960s when Vince Lombardi came along. Then the Bears dominated from Lombardi’s leaving the Packers until Favre’s emergence. It’s been a rare occasion where both of these teams are good at the same time, and this isn’t one of those occasions.
That all being said, I’m leaning Bears based off that spread. The Packers have some defensive weaknesses that can be exploited.
Kansas City (-7) at Washington
He misspelled “the Kansas City Chiefs defense” but I’ll forgive him
— Dustin James (@dustinjames) October 12, 2021
I’ve been giving the Chiefs the benefit of the doubt so far, and they’ve been doing all they can to convince me they don’t deserve it. Then they go to Washington to face a Football Team that just lost to the Saints by 11. What am I supposed to do with this? By all rights, the Chiefs should be able to take care of this, and that’ll be my pick. Will I be shocked if it doesn’t work out? Absolutely not, even if a team QBed by Patrick Mahomes should easily take care of a team QBed by Taylor…good lord, I can’t even remember. Hendrix? She used to be around. Was nice for a second.
Minnesota (-1) at Carolina
Panthers' Rhule: McCaffrey '50-50' for Sunday vs. Vikings https://t.co/QBjyGlh7an
— AP NFL (@AP_NFL) October 14, 2021
I’ve arrived at this conclusion about the Panthers: If Christian McCaffrey can play, the Panthers can win. If McCaffrey can’t play, they can’t win. I mean, if Panthers fans want to correct me on this they can, but I’m pretty certain this is the deal. Assuming he actually plays, I have to roll with the Panthers, especially if Dalvin Cook’s status is also up in the air. This game could either feature two of the best RBs in the league or be absolutely not worth watching.
LA Chargers at Baltimore (-3)
Can @SNFonNBC flex Chargers Ravens to prime time? No one wants to see Geno Smith vs Big Ben
— Cut Vizcaino Now ⚡️ (@randallchargers) October 11, 2021
That’s what I was thinking. This seems like a perfect fit for SUNDAY NIGHT IS FOOTBALL NIGHT, doesn’t it? The Chargers have charged their way to the top of power rankings while the Ravens have kept doing their thing. They had one of the craziest comebacks in recent memory while we were all figuring out that Jon Gruden nonsense. While that whole news story was happening, we assumed the Colts had somehow blown out the Ravens in Baltimore. That didn’t happen, thanks to Lamar Jackson being an absolute freak of nature. Some people forgot. Lamar wasn’t MVP for a season, and some people forgot. That man gonna be a problem for people for at least the next few years. Probably longer.
Winning here would be a big deal for the Chargers. That would be their official coronation as the top AFC team for this 2021 season. I realize that betting against Justin Herbert might be betting against greatness one of these days…but so would betting against Lamar Jackson. I’m taking the Ravens, though this feels like a push kinda game. Especially when Justin Tucker is kicking for the favorite.
Cincinnati (-3.5) at Detroit
#LionsWeek #BengalsRecordBook : The longest rushing TD in #bengals history. 96 yarder by Corey Dillon vs #lions in 2001. Cincy wins 31-27 (CD with 184 yards rushing). #RuleTheJungle #CincinnatiFootballHistory
— Bengal Jim’s BTR (@bengaljims_BTR) October 11, 2021
I’d like to tell y’all to predict the Bengals running over the Lions like in that clip up above, but things have me a bit concerned. Like the whole Joe Burrow throat contusion thing. If the guy can’t talk to much leading up to the game, he’s going to have problems screaming. Which he’ll need to do whilst running the Bengals offense in a loud Ford Field. I’ve been under-selling the Bengals all season, and people say I’m over-selling the Lions…but that team tends to keep things close. If the Bengals actually do win this game, it’ll be one of those field goal differential games.
LA Rams (-10.5) at NY Giants
So the Giants might have to face the Rams on Sunday without QB Daniel Jones, WR Kenny Golladay, RB Saquon Barkley, WR Kadarius Toney and maybe LT Andrew Thomas, WR Sterling Shepard and WR Darius Slayton.
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) October 11, 2021
Well, reports say that Daniel Jones is working out, and that’s reason for Giants fans to be optimistic. No, there’s actually no earthly reason I’ve seen to not take the Rams, as everybody involved with their passing game & defense appear to be healthy. Sometimes these things aren’t hard.
Arizona at Cleveland (-2.5)
The Arizona Cardinals are going to need more of these run stuffing plays from JJ Watt in Week 6 against the Browns beast RBs. pic.twitter.com/b7oQSok5AZ
— Bo Brack (@BoBrack) October 13, 2021
I’m a big fan of what Arizona has been doing early. Not so much of Cleveland. So that means the Browns are the team to pick here. I know that sounds strange, but trust me.
Jake Roberts voice: Trust me.
I know how these things work. You’ll see the Browns blow the Cardinals out here…it doesn’t mean Arizona is screwed going forward, it just means they got woke up.
Las Vegas at Denver (-3.5)
NFL referee Ron Torbert assigned to #Raiders vs Broncos game.
The #Raiders have a 1-5 record when he refereed.
* Solely for the purpose of information. pic.twitter.com/2cxc9et2bN
— AFL Godfather🏴☠️👓🏈 (@NFLMAVERICK) October 12, 2021
Raiders fans already reaching for explanations when they lose…I mean, as much as I’d love for that team to be good due to a historical fetish I have, they really haven’t been in a long time, and we can’t blame referees for it. The Broncos have gotten owned the last two weeks like I figured they would, but now they have an inferior team to feast on at home again.
Dallas (-4) at New England
— Sohe Coop (4-1) (@SoheCoop) October 13, 2021
America’s Team vs. The Team That Wants To Be America’s Team So Badly They Called Themselves “Patriots”. If the Patriots are looking for a silver lining, it’s that all the asskickings the Cowboys have dished out lately took place in JerryWorld. Their two road games were much closer affairs. That being said, we’re talking about a team that barely beat the Texans after the national media told us how great they were since Tom Brady took mercy on them. The Cowboys take no mercy. Just ask-you know what, I better calm down right now before people start asking questions.
Seattle at Pittsburgh (-5)
LMFAOOOOO SEAHAWKS STEELERS IS SNF THE WHOLE WORLD IS GONNA BE FORCED TO WATCH BIG BEN VS GENO SMITH IM CRYING
— AlexATM44 (@AlexATM44) October 11, 2021
Yeah, this thing won’t be worth staying up for. Alls I’m saying is that y’all shouldn’t keep under-selling the Steelers. That’s when they’re at their most dangerous. You let them slide under the radar while the national media goes gaga over Lamar, the Browns and even the Bengals for some reason…Pittsburgh loves that shit. They thrive off of it. They want you to keep doing it. I don’t, so I give the Steelers their proper respect and say they’ll win this game easily.
Monday, October 18
Buffalo (-5.5) at Tennessee
Out of the three losses last season, the Titans game was the only one where the #Bills got absolutely embarrassed. As with KC, new season, different team, etc, etc… but I'm sure they'd love to return the favor.
— Bradley Gelber (@BradleyGelber) October 13, 2021
Last week we had a lot of people telling us how the Bills would get exposed in Kansas City. Pretty sure some FS1 geek staked his career on it. His reasoning was how the Chiefs had embarrassed the Bills in previous meetings. Well, that didn’t hold up. This week, the reasoning for picking the Titans would be that they embarrassed the Bills last season. Pretty sure the Bills remember that, and that’ll be a reason they don’t sleep on an AFC South team.
The Titans do have Derrick Henry…but not much else. I lean towards the Bills handling their business.
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