It’s not fair that it’s week 11 already. I’m not ready to be without football yet. The playoffs will start before you know it. Then it’ll be the Super Bowl and you’ll wish you enjoyed this season more even though half the teams in the league stink. Then it’ll be the middle of April and the draft hasn’t even happened yet and you’ll be craving football and you won’t have any relief until August and you’ll just fall into an unnecessary depression. Believe me, I’ve been there. We all need to cherish the second half of this season, because who knows if next season will ever come? The good news is that this week will be better than last week. It will be by default. I mean, we only need one more good game after last night to eclipse the standard set by week 10. I like our odds. After all, Oakland’s playing Arizona this week.
Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons (-3)
It’s the “They Should Probably Be Way Better” Bowl presented by Wingstop. Who will prevail? Either way, I bet it’s the lead topic on First Take, First Things First and Undisputed, because America just can’t get enough Cowboys. Fun fact: according to DVOA, the Cowboys have the 20th ranked total defense and the 26th rank pass defense, which certainly goes against the narrative that their defense is a heroic unit winning games singlehandedly. The Falcons offense? 6th overall and 5th passing. So, yeah. Seems like a pretty big advantage. Not as big of an advantage as leading by 25 points in the third quarter of the Super Bowl, but still.
Tampa Bay Bucs at New York Giants (-1)
Now that the Fitzmagic tour is long over, the Bucs aren’t all that fun anymore, which is pretty crazy considering they’re first in the league in passing yards per game. We know the Giants are trash, mostly because Eli is one of the worst quarterbacks I’ve ever seen. Wait, hold on a second, someone’s knocking on my door.
Hello, this is definitely still Brian and not a hitman hired by the NFL. Eli is still elite and if you criticize him you’re going to burn in hell for all eternity. He only under threw 20 people on Monday, guy’s still got it! Eli is a god and so is Archie and so is Peyton and people forget Cooper was the best athlete out of all of them.
Carolina Panthers (-4.5) at Detroit Lions
Things might be getting late early for my guy Matt Patricia. Looking BLEAK in the Motor City. Another blowout loss cometh. Kind of side note but not really- can you ever picture Detroit having a good defense? They’re like the anti-Ravens. Even if the Lions had a good statistical defense (they most certainly do not), I’d still think of them as being shitty. Gonna take a Warriors-type turnaround for me to ever consider taking a Lions’ defense seriously. Not sure how much that matters, but still.
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens
I’m gonna give everyone a little peek behind the curtain: I actually write these on Thursday most of the time because I don’t have the time on Friday. As I sit hit on Thursday night, there’s still no line for this game. Flacco’s probably no playing. Lamar Jackson’s probably not playing. RGIII, yes, that RGIII, is the likely starter. The Bengals have the worst defense, like, ever. First team to ever give up 500 yards three straight games. This game STINKS. I’m just gonna assume it’s Ravens -3 and go off that.
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts (-1)
This is such a classic overvaluation of a team that just beat the Patriots it almost makes me sick how easy this is. Titans still stink and they just won their Super Bowl. Remember how the Jags put absolutely everything into beating the Pats in week 2 then lost a million straight? Colts will continue their push to be the least talked about playoff team ever despite having Andrew Luck. I think the media’s trying to keep everyone off the scent that they only say Andrew Luck is good because they all said he was Elway 2.0 coming out of college by just not talking about him at all despite the fact that he’s having one of his best seasons. Or maybe it’s because the rest of the roster stinks.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars
People forget Big Ben had one of his worst games ever against the Jags last year, but they also forget that he dominated them in the playoffs and would have won if the defense could get literally one stop. Anyway, none of that matters because the Jags have completely quit and are going to lose by a thousand.
Houston Texans (-3) at Washington Redskins
This is a weird matchup. Don’t know if I’ve ever thought of the Texans and Redskins at the same time once in my entire life. It’s completely inexplicable to me that the Redskins have a good record. They’re not good at anything. Not a good offense, not a good defense, good special teams I guess but that’s not enough to win six games. I mean, just try to envision A. Smith and the Skins moving the ball against this Texans defense. It’s impossible. Deshaun will hit a few big passes and that’ll be that.
Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers (-7)
I’ve probably said they stink pretty recently, but I declaring myself the last remaining member of the “Broncos aren’t actually that bad” camp. They’ve been really unlucky and their D is still top-notch. I’m stamping this as my “Brian’s Den Official Bold Prediction of the Week Presented by Doritos.” Broncos beat the Chargers, even if it is a wildfire game.
Oakland Raiders at Arizona Car*****s (-5.5)
Just puked all over my laptop and now I need a new one. Thanks, NFL!
Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints (-9)
This game seems more important than it really is. Eagles are really on the brink and could be one bad loss away from packing it in. I think the Saints might win by 45. Legitimately. Saints are going to absolutely destroy them. Don’t let your kids watch this massacre.
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (-3)
Here we go again. Yet another NFC East division game in prime time. Oh, sorry. It’s just a reflex at this point. A Sunday night game that involves ZERO NFC East teams?????????????????? I don’t know how to react. In a weird way, this game is must-win for both teams. Vikings just need wins and the Bears need to beat a good team to kind of prove to themselves they can do it. Honestly, this has Bears written all over it. They have the better offense and the better defense and are playing in Soldier Field. Kind of seems obvious when you say it that way.
Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Rams (-3.5)
I’m kind of disappointed this was moved out of Mexico City because I was going to put everything I wrote into Google translate to get it in Spanish. It would have been funny, trust me. Now I’m just left with the fact that I think the Chiefs are going to run the Rams off the field in English. That’s no fun. I legitimately don’t think the Rams can get one stop. Need Aaron Donald to get three strip sacks to have a chance. That’s not that outlandish, but the rest of the defense might as well be practice cones (credit to me for not calling them burnt toast. Go here if you’d like to find a way to help the people of California).