The real battle in the NFL in 2019 is which team is worse? Miami or Washington? The Redskins do have a win albeit over Miami and now face 5-2 Minnesota on the road on Thursday night. Washington can’t score. They average 12.9 points per game and were shutout last week. They aren’t very good on defense. They give up almost 26 points a game. Minnesota has one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL and QB Kirk Cousins is just starting to heat up. This one is a no-brainer… Minnesota 34, Washington 14
The Falcons beat the Seahawks the last two times the teams played, but that was before their defense took a nose dive. The Falcons are just 1-6 and the Seahawks are coming off a tough loss to Baltimore at home. The Falcons offense can put up some points, but Atlanta can’t stop anyone. The Falcons have given up a league-worst 223 points. Look for Russell Wilson and company to exact revenge this week… Seattle 32, Atlanta 28
Who would have thought the Bills would be 5-1 and the Eagles just 3-4 at this point in the 2019 season? Not many, but that is the case. The Bills are a top-5 defense. They are third in the league in points allowed (15.2) and third in total defense (292.7). The Eagles are struggling and have suffered a number of injuries. Both starting cornerbacks have missed games and now DT Fletcher Cox is questionable. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson hasn’t played in weeks. The Bills have home-field advantage… Buffalo 23, Philadelphia 17
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Neither the Bears nor the Chargers expected their 2019 seasons to start like this. With a loss to New Orleans on Sunday, Chicago is 3-3 and in serious danger. The Chargers were once again in their game with Tennessee but failed to deliver a win losing 23-20. The Bears defense got thrashed by New Orleans, but they are still a top-10 unit. The Chargers are having a tough time running the football, which is creating problems for the offense. At Soldier Field, the edge goes to the Bears… Chicago 20, LA Chargers 17
The Giants have dropped three straight including last week’s 27-21 loss to Arizona. Detroit was right in the thick of the NFC North race until back-to-back losses to Green Bay and Minnesota. The last time the Lions played the Giants at Ford Field, Detroit won big, 35-14, back in 2014. Lions QB Matthew Stafford and the offense can put up the points. The Giants may have RB Saquon Barkley back, which will put some pressure on the Lions defense. Still, the Lions are at home and need a win to get back on track… Detroit 33, NY Giants 20
Tampa Bay (2-4) had an extra week to prepare for Tennessee, which is coming off a win over the Chargers. The week off for the Bucs allowed QB Jameis Winston to not throw an interception. Winston threw five picks in the Bucs last game against Carolina. Tennessee’s defense is their strong suit. Despite being 3-4, the Titans only give up 16 points a game. And, they’re at home this week… Tennessee 20, Tampa Bay 17
The Broncos are now just 2-5 after a loss to Kansas City last Thursday night. They head to Indianapolis (4-2). which has a hold of the AFC South lead. The Colts have won two straight over the Chiefs and the Texans last week. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett is making plays and the running game with Marlon Mack is strong. Denver can’t quite seem to generate much offense. They are 29th in the league in scoring at just 16 points per game… Indianapolis 33, Denver 17
The Rams got back on track with a 37-10 win over Atlanta last week. Cincinnati runs into a brick wall week after week. Head coach Zac Taylor has yet to win an NFL game. The Bengals are 0-7, but they have been competitive in most games. The Rams are still struggling to run the football and the defense is giving up too many points. Still, the Rams roster is just better than Cincinnati’s, and they play at home… LA Rams 27, Cincinnati 20
Don’t look now, but the Arizona Cardinals have won three straight. Okay, so the combined record of the teams they beat is 3-18, but still the Cardinals have learned to win. No. 1 draft pick Kyler Murray is developing, but the Cardinals defense still has a long way to go. The Saints have now won five in a row with Teddy Bridgewater subbing for the injured Drew Brees at quarterback. New Orleans’ defense has stepped up as well. Look for one more Bridgewater win before Brees returns… New Orleans 34, Arizona 17
The Jets did get QB Sam Darnold back and he did lead the Jets to their first win, an upset of Dallas. It’s Minshew-mania in Jacksonville where backup Gardner Minshew just led the Jags to their third win of the season last week, a 27-17 defeat of Cincinnati. The running game is strong with Leonard Fournette (715 yards) and Minshew doesn’t make many mistakes. The Jets haven’t won a road game yet. Don’t see it happening this week… Jacksonville 27, NY Jets 23
Week 8’s Sunday night game lost some of its appeal with the injury to Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes. Matt Moore stepped in last week after Mahomes suffered a dislocated kneecap and calmly went 10-of-19 for 117 yards and a touchdown. He will be challenged this week by a pretty good Green Bay defense. Also, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is coming off a six-touchdown performance. The game is at Arrowhead Stadium which should help Moore, but it won’t be enough… Green Bay 30, Kansas City 27
This could be the ugliest Monday night game of the season. The Dolphins are awful. They can’t score and they can’t stop anyone from scoring. In six games this season, Miami has scored just 63 points. The Steelers aren’t much better, but they will have QB Mason Rudolph back after a concussion injury. The Steelers did beat the Bengals, also awful, on Monday night earlier this season. Plus, the game is in Pittsburgh… Pittsburgh 24, Miami 7
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2020 NFL Football Season
2015 NFL predictions:
Miami @ New England
The Miami offense exploded last week for 44 points. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill was nearly perfect going 18-of-19 for 282 yards and four touchdowns against Houston. Lamar Miller rushed for 175 yards on 14 carries. Can they do it again against the Patriots? Highly unlikely even though the Dolphins are playing much better… New England 35, Miami 21.
Detroit @ Kansas City
The Lions are absolutely abysmal. Detroit held a 17-6 lead late in the third quarter against Minnesota last week. Then, they did what the Lions do and squander that lead and lose 28-19. Detroit is now 1-6 on the season and on its way to a top five draft pick. It will only get worse this week against a Chiefs team that just beat Pittsburgh… Kansas City 23, Detroit 14.
Tampa Bay @ Atlanta
What could possibly be worse than blowing a 24-0 lead and losing 31-30? Having to play the 6-1 Atlanta Falcons the following week. Head coach Lovie Smith’s Buccaneers let Washington QB Kirk Cousins lead the Redskins to a come-from-behind victory. Tampa Bay is giving up 30 points a game and now faces Falcons QB Matt Ryan and one of the league’s top-scoring offenses… Atlanta 34, Tampa Bay 17.
San Francisco @ St. Louis
Is there an offense worse than the Rams? Yes, there is. That would be the 49ers. The league’s two most anemic offenses will square off in an NFC West Division match up. The two teams seem to be headed in opposite directions. San Francisco mustered just three points in a loss to Seattle last week, while St. Louis beat Cleveland 24-6. Look for Rams RB Todd Gurley to have a big day… St. Louis 24, San Francisco 10.
NY Giants @ New Orleans
The Saints are riding a two-game winning streak and a win over the NFC East leading would help New Orleans as they try and turn around their season. Quarterback Drew Brees is still one of the game’s elite passers and has thrown for 1,871 yards thus far. His touchdown numbers are down, but Brees just doesn’t have the type of receiving threats he has been accustomed to having. The Giants got a big win over Dallas last week but the Saints may sneak up on them… New Orleans 28, NY Giants 27.
Minnesota @ Chicago
The Vikings just keep finding ways to win games. Trailing Detroit 14-3 last week, head coach Mike Zimmer dialed up the pressure on Lions QB Matthew Stafford. The result was a 28-19 victory to move Minnesota to 4-2 on the season. The Bears aren’t much better than the Lions. In fact, Detroit’s only win of the season is over the Bears. Don’t expect any surprises in Chicago… Minnesota 27, Chicago 10.
Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh
It’s a classic AFC North battle when the Bengals head to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers. Cincinnati is unbeaten thus far this season but is only 6-17 against Pittsburgh when facing QB Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers starter will return Sunday from an injury that sidelined him the past five weeks. Cincy’s Andy Dalton is one of the hottest QBs in the league. He’ll run into the Steel Curtain Sunday… Pittsburgh 28, Cincinnati 24.
NY Jets @ Oakland
The Jets are among the early surprises this season and despite last week’s close loss to New England, are still a team with definite playoff possibilities. With the league’s third best running game (136.5 yards per game) and fourth best scoring defense (17.5 points a game), the Jets will be a tough order for the Raiders. Oakland only lost to Denver by six points and upset San Diego last week. Don’t expect the same results against the Jets… NY Jets 24, Oakland 21.
Seattle @ Dallas
The Seahawks may finally be finding their way. Or, they may just be finding their way against the league’s worst teams. Seattle’s three wins are over Detroit, Chicago, and San Francisco. None of those teams has more than two wins. Enter Dallas at 2-4 and struggling without starting QB Tony Romo. The Seahawks defense is starting to come around… Seattle 21, Dallas 17.
Green Bay @ Denver
An early Super Bowl preview? Probably not, but both teams are 6-0 on the season and the Packers get wide receiver Davante Adams back from injury. Aaron Rodgers has picked up where he left off last season with 1,491 passing yards and 15 touchdowns already. While Peyton Manning has been erratic, he has still been good enough to win games. Denver will have wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and defense end DeMarcus Ware ready to play Sunday night. At home, go with the Broncos… Denver 34, Green Bay 31.