I was a whopping 12-2 in my picks last week and am now 42-23 for the season. It has to even out at some point, right?
There are a lot of storylines this week. The Chiefs lost their best offensive player for the season, and the Ravens have become downright offensive. Jay Cutler may not be playing like an All-Pro, but at least he isn't playing like Colin Kapernick -- who is playing like Dan Orlovsky, who took over when former first-overall-pick Matthew Stafford was benched.
I think someone broke the NFL.
Note: All times Eastern.
Score: 24-22 Cardinals
Objects in mirror are closer than they appear: Entering the season, two things would have been certain to generate a belly laugh: calling the Cardinals a top offense, and calling the Steelers a top defense. Five games in, the Cardinals have scored the most points in the league and are averaging a 20-point margin of victory, while the Steelers are giving up 19 points per game, good for seventh overall. If backup Steelers quarterback Mike Vick can generate any offense before the fourth quarter starts, this could be a much closer game than it looks on the surface.
Score: 37-24 Falcons
At least there will still be a party: New Orleans is about as likely to duplicate the Redskins’ near-success against Atlanta as they are to cancel Mardi Gras for moral reasons.
Score: 26-17 Bengals
The mechanic said you may have broken a Tyrod: Not that "Andy Dalton versus Tyrod Taylor" would have been a huge headline before the season began, but "Andy Dalton versus E.J. Manuel" just sounds like a punchline. Here's hoping Taylor can go, or this game will be over by the coin toss.
Score: 17-13 Browns
How the might hath fallen: Be on alert, football fans. There is a strong likelihood that Peyton Manning -- a lock for the NFL Hall of Fame unless he runs over Roger Goodell's dog, or something equally egregious -- will be outplayed by a career backup. Josh McCown has been on a tear this season, despite Cleveland's 2-3 record. Of course, it helps that he's throwing to world-renowned receivers like Travis Benjamin. Wait...who?
Score: 20-10 Bears
Who will show up?: If Jay Cutler continues his current streak of better-than-idiotic play, the Bears have a great chance of scoring a road victory. If, however, he returns to Earth before Sunday, this game will be fun to watch entirely for comedic value.
Score: 19-13 Jaguars
Folks gotta eat: It’s a good thing football games have time limits. If this was a "first to 30 points" type of game, the fans at this game would eventually die of starvation. At least they have swimming pools to distract them from the pain.
Chiefs @ Vikings (Sunday, 1:00 p.m.)
Score: 27-6 Vikings
Kansas City at least has good barbecue for all the depressed binge eating: The Chiefs just lost the only player on their offense who is actually capable of winning a game entirely on his own when Jamaal Charles was lost for the season with a torn ACL. A moment of silence, please, for any chance the Chiefs had of winning another game this season.
Redskins @ Jets (Sunday, 1:00 p.m.)
Score: 20-16 Jets
It's not a good thing that this is the hardest game to pick this weekend: Despite their record, the 3-1 Jets have been very up and down this year. The same goes for the Redskins, who are leading the NFC East by default, since no one else seems to want to take control of what is possibly the worst division in all of professional sports. Both teams here have the potential to play well, so this game is either going to look like a Jerry Bruckheimer masterpiece, or a Mel Brooks classic.
Score: 21-12 Titans
Maybe he meant Ndamukong Suh: In an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, Dolphins’ Interim Head Coach Dan Campbell said, "we’re about to wake the sleeping giant." In another six weeks or so, with the way his team has played so far, he might well be saying, "we will unleash hell in December."
Score: 24-20 Panthers
The Twelfth Man must be holding out this year: The Panthers have been gutting out wins -- nevermind that they have laergely been beating bad teams. Wins is wins. The Seahawks, meanwhile, have had the following the last two weeks: 1) a gifted win after officials missed a clear violation on a fumble in the end zone, in which a Seattle player intentionally batted the ball out of bounds; and 2) an epic meltdown in which they gave up 20 unanswered points after leading the Bengals, 24-7, in the fourth quarter. One of these teams is playing like defending NFC champions -- and it isn't the defending NFC champions.
Score: 31-21 Packers
Sisyphus was better off: Philip Rivers just lost as time expired, to a backup quarterback who completed only 50 percent of his passes and looked downright awful for 57 minutes. Now he has to face Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau Field. All that’s left is a swift kick to his nether-regions and he will have reached his own personal hell.
Ravens @ 49ers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m.)
Score: 27-20 Ravens
Gotta get Pepto: What’s the best thing that can happen to a team with limited offense and a porous defense that currently sits at 1-4? A game against Colin Kaepernick and his San Francisco 49ers. It’s like the elixir that cures all ailments.
Score: 38-13 Patriots
Soon, Tom Brady will need a vacation from all this vacation: Given the history between these two teams since Andrew Luck was drafted, this game will be slightly easier than a bye week for Tom Brady and company. In five head-to-head games so far, Brady has owned Luck.
Score: 23-21 Giants
Snark used to be simpler: You know, this game description would have been a lot more fun to write back when both of these quarterbacks were playing like hot garbage. Darn you, Eli Manning, for not continuing to blow leads in the waning minutes! Darn you, Sam Bradford, for figuring out what a football is! Darn you, Ryan Mathews!