The Dolphins got their first win under new head coach Adam Gase last week but it was a gift from the lowly Browns. The Bengals are much better on both sides of the ball. Cincinnati’s schedule is brutal. They started with a win over the Jets and lost to the Steelers and Broncos. They get another win on Thursday… Cincinnati 28, Miami 14.
Blake Bortles is averaging over 300 yards passing a game, but the Jags offense is scoring just 18.5 points per game. The defense isn’t very good either and the schedule just keeps getting harder. The Colts have not played well thus far this season, but did squeeze out a win over San Diego at home last week. The Colts have won six of the last seven in the series. The last loss though came at the end of last season, a 51-17 Jacksonville blowout. Let’s say they do it again… Jacksonville 33, Indianapolis 24.
There is no doubt that Houston is a very good football team. What they cannot do is what they did last Thursday against New England. The Texans turned the ball over three times in a 27-0 loss to the Patriots. QB Brock Osweiler has been solid. Lamar Miller leads the running game and DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller V are as talented a tandem of receivers as there is in the league. Tennessee is shaping up to resemble the Texans. Their problem? They can’t score. The Titans are 31st in the league in scoring. They will have trouble against a very good Texans D… Houston 23, Tennessee 17.
The Browns are just not good. They had a chance to beat the Dolphins last week but missed a field goal at the end of regulation and lost in overtime. One plus is that they will start the same quarterback – Cody Kessler – against the Redskins. Washington broke out of their funk last week with a win over the previously unbeaten Giants. Don’t expect the Browns to win on the road… Washington 27, Cleveland 20.
The Seahawks may have to play without QB Russell Wilson. If so, rookie Trevone Boykin, who threw his first NFL touchdown last week, would start. The Jets are very good defensively but QB Ryan Fitzpatrick threw six interceptions last week. The Chiefs scored two defensive TDs in a 24-3 win. Still, if Wilson doesn’t play, it will be tough to beat the Jets at home… NY Jets 18, Seattle 14.
Rex Ryan has said he doesn’t care who the Patriots quarterback is. Apparently, New England doesn’t either. They won last week with rookie Jacoby Brissett. Both Jimmy Garoppolo and Brissett have injuries that may keep them out this week. Who plays quarterback for the Patriots probably still won’t matter. The Bills defense has been shredded due to injuries… New England 23, Buffalo 7.
Surprisingly, or not surprisingly, the Panthers are 1-2. Their losses are to Denver and Minnesota, both of which are 3-0. Cam Newton needs Kelvin Benjamin not to be shutout like he was against the Vikings. The Falcons have the NFL’s best passing game with QB Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones. The Falcons just aren’t good enough yet defensively… Carolina 34, Atlanta 28.
The Raiders are off to a 2-1 start but still need to address their defense. After giving up over 500 yards in each of their first two games they held Tennessee to 400 and just 10 points. The Ravens have one of the best defenses in the league and will force QB Derek Carr to beat them. Baltimore is 3-0 and winning at M&T Bank Stadium is easier said than done… Baltimore 17, Oakland 13.
The only thing that rivals the Browns’ inadequacies are the Bears’. Chicago is 0-3 and QB Jay Cutler is hurt as are a number of other Bears. Brian Hoyer filled in for Cutler last week but the offense is just not good and starting RB Jeremy Langford sprained an ankle. The Lions, while not world-beaters, definitely have some offensive weapons. QB Matthew Stafford and WR Marvin Jones have been tearing it up. Jones caught six passes for 206 yards and two TDs last week as Detroit tried to rally against Green Bay. Soldier Field is no longer an advantage… Detroit 33, Chicago 20.
Who would have thought that the Trevor Siemian-led Broncos would be 3-0? And without DE DeMarcus Ware? The defending champs are solid all the way around. They will face a pretty good young quarterback in Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston who has nearly 1,000 yards in three games. The Bucs problems are on defense. They are dead last in scoring defense giving up 33.7 points a game. That won’t cut it in this league… Denver 38, Tampa Bay 24.
So, it’s the Rams sitting atop the NFC West at 2-1 even after getting blown out in Week 1. The defense is making plays and QB Case Keenum is just good enough. The question now is can Keenum continue? Cardinals QB Carson Palmer threw an uncharacteristic three interceptions last week and Arizona lost to Buffalo, 33-18. It’s hard to imagine the Cards 1-4 especially after they have beaten the Rams in four of the last five meetings… Arizona 35, Los Angeles 21.
Neither the Saints nor the Chargers play very good defense. What both teams have are future Hall of Fame quarterbacks that can sling the ball all over the place. New Orleans QB Drew Brees is averaging over 340 passing yards per game. The Chargers have two losses each by six points or less. The Chargers defense is going to have to come up with stops against a very good Saints offense. The Chargers have lost the last two meetings between the two teams, but won that last time they played in San Diego… San Diego 39, New Orleans 37.
Rookie QB Dak Prescott has yet to throw an interception and the Cowboys are 2-1. They will head to San Francisco where the 1-2 49ers are still having quarterback issues. Niners head coach Chip Kelly will not make a change at quarterback yet since backup Colin Kaepernick is not 100 percent yet. The 49ers have played well at home. If the defense can come up with a big game, the 49ers have the running game to win… San Francisco 21, Dallas 20.
The Chiefs travel to Pittsburgh on Sunday night. The Steelers are fresh off a blowout loss. The Chiefs are coming off a blowout win where they recorded eight takeaways against the Jets. Pittsburgh will play better at home. Running back Le’Veon Bell makes his debut returning after suspension… Pittsburgh 31, Kansas City 17.
The Giants are surprisingly very good on defense, a zillion times better than last year. The Vikings are even better though and, with Sam Bradford at quarterback, the offense is efficient enough to beat anybody. At home on Monday night, Minnesota all the way… Minnesota 28, NY Giants 24.
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2018 NFL Football Season