I had a terrible week last week overall, but I guess if there is any solace to be found -- and there really isn't -- I could point to my best bets. No, I didn't kill it or even come close to it, but at least I went .500 and was smart enough to stick to two games during the week when I didn't feel that good about nearly as many games as I usually do. That brings us to 10-9 on the season, but I feel a heater coming on. This is a year of the haves and the have nots in the NFL even more than normal. We have 13 teams already that have won four games or more and nine that have one win or fewer. I'm going to start fading a lot of these bad teams until I see lines creep up over 14 points, especially when it comes to the likes of the Jets and the Jaguars, who truly look like the dregs of the league right now.
Cowboys -1 at Washington
The Cowboys have way more talent here. There is a massive imbalance, plain and simple. The Cowboys can't stop the run and they also can't stop the deep pass at all, but the Washington Football Guys can't do that either! Washington's offensive line has been a big problem and one thing the Cowboys defense can do is attack the quarterback. Ezekiel Elliott will bounce back from that horrible game. The Cowboys will grind the clock if at all possible and try to keep that defense off the field. And they will be able to do that in this game. Kyle Allen dinks and dunks won't keep up, and Dallas will win this game easily now with Andy Dalton having his feet under him a little more. I've talked to some sharps who are all over Dallas here and that has just reaffirmed my initial feeling.
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Chargers -8 vs. Jaguars
I normally wouldn't like a game like this with a rookie quarterback favored by more than a touchdown, but this is no ordinary quarterback. Justin Herbert has been nothing short of sensational, and while the Chargers defense continues to be prone to horrible breakdowns at the worst time possible, Jacksonville is a team that is already running on fumes. Gardner Minshew's status as the starter is becoming in doubt out and I don't think that will bring out the best in him. And even if it did, he doesn't have much to work with. His offensive line is a joke and the Chargers will have him under duress all day long. Jacksonville doesn't play a lick of defense and suffers horribly at all three levels.
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Bills -13 vs. Jets
Any game the Jets are involved in is generally over by halftime. If they have a discernible strength you guys let me know what it is. Another week where Joe Flacco will be out there just trying to stay alive with no one to really making plays for him. Obviously, the environment around the Jets is beyond toxic and that's not going to bring out the best in them either. Then again, I'm not sure that there is a best of them! This will be a bounce-back game for Josh Allen. The Bills have gotten a little healthier in the secondary; the problem with them has been teams running all over them, but that's not something they really have to worry about here either. Josh Allen will get chunks of yards on the ground and I see a big day here for Stefon Diggs as well. At some point, these lines involving the Jets are going to have to start looking like college lines.
In general, I think the Packers are overvalued and still have some significant flaws on the defensive side of the ball. Specifically, they can't stop the run, and if you stick with any volume in the run game and they don't get a big lead, you can keep it close. The problem for the Texans is the right side of their offensive line as a whole; they can't run the ball really on anyone, and while the Packers pass rush ain't what it looked like at this time of year ago, this will be a game where DeShaun Watson is under significant duress. As for that Texans defense, well, it's in complete disarray, and guys in that locker room were talking about who's going to be traded before the deadline. Aaron Rodgers will be out for blood after laying an egg in a nationally televised game a week ago. I can't see him throwing two interceptions again and I can't see him throwing a pick-six. I do see him lighting up this defense for over 400 yards.