Well we officially had a bad week in Week 5. Yes, we should have been 2-1 if the Patriots can just hold on to the football and avoid some of the many bizarre mistakes they made, but alas they didn't do enough to cover against the Texans and we went 1-2. That brings us to 8-5 on the season.
Aspire to be better this week and we are going back to just focusing on a couple of games. Maybe I got a little too cute last week. But in this case we're going with one favorite and one underdog and we're kicking it old school by leaning hard into teams that can run the ball very effectively.
Sunday, 9:30 a.m. ET
TV: CBS. Streaming: Paramount+
If you pay attention to this column with any regularity you would be pretty good if you took my advice and faded the Jaguars. But they do have a few things going for them and this is the week that they overcome their head coach and finally win a game. No team has more experience and is accustomed to going abroad for a week than the Jaguars as they play in London every year. It's an inherent advantage for them and there are things that look familiar and feel like creature comforts to them that don't for other teams. It also gets them away from their normal surroundings, where they've done nothing but lose to this point.
The Jaguars can run the football like few teams can and if Urban Meyer just rides James Robinson, he'd have his first win. In fact, if they just fed Robinson as much as they should, they probably already would have a win. Regardless, this plays to the strength of the offensive line and when Lawrence has had time to think, he's been pretty darn good. Miami doesn't bring much pass rush but is good against the run. This is a tough spot for Tua Tagovailoa to return to in a weird week without the normal practices and all that travel. Miami isn't showing many signs of life and I think Jacksonville gets the win here outright in front of their quasi-home crowd. Meyer will find a way to screw this up but the same can be said for Brian Flores. Give me the points.
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Cowboys -3.5 at Patriots
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
TV: CBS. Streaming: Paramount+
Not a whole lot that I like about the Patriots these days, and I especially don't like them at home. The bloom is off that rose and there are major questions to be asked about New England's offensive and defensive lines right now. I don't see them getting much push against this stout Dallas offensive line and Matt Judon is really the only guy you have to worry about.
On the other side of the ball I expect Mac Jones to be under a little bit of pressure and I just don't see him being able to push the ball downfield enough to keep pace with what the Cowboys can do offensively. I really feel like this game could get particularly out of hand, especially if Dallas gets off to a quick start. The Patriots have to run the ball to have a chance of winning against an opponent like this. The Cowboys' two-back approach will wear this defense out and Prescott will also find joy deep downfield against the Patriots' secondary that looks undermanned.