A coin flip.
There’s no better metaphor for the unpredictable, arbitrary results of a large percentage of The NFL’s games this season. These outcomes have been so consistently surprising that they have started to define the tenor of this season.
Consider Sunday’s results.
The 1 Win Bears go to Baltimore and beat the Favored Ravens by a Field Goal. And Baltimore was a 6½ Point Favorite!
Kansas City entered Sunday as The League’s lone unbeaten & a 4½ Point Favorite, only to be taken down by an inconsistent Pittsburgh, 19-13.
And most surprising, the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos both lost Home Games to Visiting Teams in last place! Denver’s loss was more humiliating; they fell to the Winless Giants on National TV!
Who can make sense of these scores?
If nothing else, it makes for compelling television each week (since there is so little predictability in these matchups).
As I have previously noted, I believe that we are witnessing a changing of the guard in Pro Football.
Above it all, one thing is for sure: this season’s excitement never ends!
Last Week’s Picks
I thought things were sorting themselves out. No such luck.
Boy, these results are making a Diehard look really bad! But at least I’m not the one handicapping these ballgames. (I don’t envy those guys)
I tell ya, picking four games a week is tough enough – more power to those folks that do the entire slate each week.
Alright, you get the idea. Forecasting The NFL is difficult. But you already knew that.
So let’s review some games, shall we?
Miami vs Atlanta (-12½) (o/u 46) – I honestly thought this game was a slam dunk. I’m not saying that Miami is terrible, but they honestly didn’t look very good leading up to this contest. I figured that their eventful week would leave them all outta whack (and in position to get whacked by the Falcons). But lo and behold, the Dolphins make plays down the stretch and upend the Defending Conference Champ in Atlanta! This was another of the big surprises on Sunday. And now the question must be asked of the Falcons. What’s up Atlanta? This was supposed to be a get-right game. A wounded Opponent comes into your house? That should be easy money. But in staying true to the Atlanta tradition, you guys blow it (Real Quick: did you know that this was the 5th time that Matt Ryan has lost a game when leading by 17 or more points? No joke!!)
Atlanta – you guys have earned your rep as pretenders
Atlanta 17 ✓
Green Bay (-3) vs Minnesota (o/u 46) – And in the biggest On-Field news this season, Aaron Rodgers suffers a Season Ending collarbone injury. Even if you casually follow The NFL, you already knew that. Truth is, the injury was the primary takeaway from the ballgame, because of the impact the Rodgers injury will have on the complexion of The NFC Race. Minnesota, you just became the odds-on favorite to Win the NFC North. And you didn’t screw up the opportunity: you took care of business in U.S. Bank Stadium by beating the Pack. NO ONE saw this coming! And as they say…next man up. The (unenviable) task of steadying the Packers ship is on you Brett Hundley. Good luck!
This matchup has definitely changed things.
Green Bay 10 ✓
(can I get a mulligan?)
New England (-9) vs New York(A) (o/u 47½) – I have no idea what the oddsmakers were smoking when they laid this spread. To their credit, sensible Pats fans weren’t buying it. Yes New England is the Reigning Super Bowl Champions. But so much has changed. The Pats have some serious Defensive woes. And the Jets have been playing some scrappy ball all year. These factors added up to this latest chapter being anything but a breeze for the Pats. In fact, New York gave them the dogfight I thought they would. And as what happens far too often, New England outlasts the Jets on a highly questionable call on a key play. But New York showed well (I know they don’t wanna hear that, but they did). And I believe they’ll stay in the mix all year. Stranger things have happened.
Patriots Win as expected.
New England 24
New York(A) 17 ✓
Tampa Bay (-1½) vs Arizona (o/u 45½) – What a difference Adrian Peterson makes! The former Viking (and Saint) had 26 carries for 134 Yards and 2 Touchdowns in his Arizona debut. And the Cardinals showed their Veteran mettle at Home by Beating Tampa Bay Sunday. And albeit in a losing effort, I’d like to tip my cap to Ryan Fitzpatrick – even if he is the kiss of death. In relief, he went 22 of 32 for 290 and THREE Touchdowns(!) to bring the Bucs almost back. Better luck next year Tampa.
Cards take a game they had to have.
Tampa Bay 33
Arizona 38 ✓
Buckle up, because it looks like every week is gonna be an adventure going forward.
Week 6 Results
Redskins: 1-0 (they got it done. Stop complaining!)
The Best Division outside The NFC East is: There ain’t one. The whole Division Won. Philly took down Carolina in the Thursday Night Game. The Skins slipped past the San Francisco in a squeaker, and New York finally checks in with an emphatic ass whuppin’ of the Denver Broncos. (The Hated Rival was off) That’s The NFC East that teams fear!
The worst team in The League is: Cleveland. Yeah Cleveland, it’s you. Maybe I had been giving you guys too much credit. But it’s time to face facts. You guys are the caboose. ‘Nuff said.
The Best Team in The League is: [Sigh] Philly. The Eagles are flying high right now, particularly after that Big Win in Carolina. Can they build momentum and put something together? This coming Monday’s epic showdown with The Washington Redskins will more accurately tell the tale.
Stop Overrating…The Seattle Seahawks. Folks, Seattle can’t score. In three of their games this year, they’ve scored under 17 Points. And when they put up 27, they lost to Tennessee. Sure, they blew out the Colts (scoring 46), but Indy’s atrocious! And I know you’re gonna tell me “everyone knows they’re a Defensive Team”. Okay. Only that Defense is currently ranked 15th – and they ain’t been playing Offensive Powerhouses. So let’s slow down on the Seattle stuff.
Stop Underrating…The San Francisco 49ers. Say what!? That’s right; San Francisco. Let me tell you, they may be Winless, but check this out. They’ve lost to Seattle by 3, LA by 2, Arizona by 3, Indy by 3, & The Redskins by 2. That tells me that they haven’t figured out how to close games. Yes, they’re going to struggle this year. But you mark my words – they’re gonna turn some heads with who they do beat.
And If The Super Bowl Was Today…The Philadelphia Eagles would meet the Pittsburgh Steelers, for a Keystone State Super Bowl. And of course Pittsburgh would Win and Philly would remain trophy-less.
(what? I said they’d get there, didn’t I? Sheesh.)
And that’s all folks. I know I’ll be waiting all week for Monday Night!