Some interesting tidbits this week in the NFL. We’ll start, of course, with Covid. With the human-idiocy caused and continuing spike in Covid cases, the NFL is putting all teams into “intensive protocol” jail starting Saturday. It actually makes sense. Not sure it will help, but at least they’re trying.
Lots on interesting QB stuff going on too. I’m thrilled to see Alex Smith back playing QB, his recovery is a great story. Shame it has to be on a team owned by one of the largest douchebags in the NFL, but I’ll take what I can get. Russell Wilson, meanwhile, is now tied for 3rd in interception totals (with the lowly Drew Lock), and is in a huge funk. I love me some Russell Wilson (who doesn’t love an elite QB taken in the 3rd round of the draft), but it appears there may be a downside to letting him cook. Here’s hoping he can get back to being one of the best QB’s in the league (while the Seahawks still lose, though). Speaking of struggling QB’s, Lamar Jackson is having a relatively rough go of it this year. But that’s compared to an MVP season, so saying he’s struggling is a bit of an overstatement. But it seems clear the defenses in the NFL, as they are wont to do, are adjusting to his (and Greg Roman’s) style of play. Should be interesting to see as the chess match continues. Finally in the QB realm, we may have the return (sorry Drew Brees) of Jameis Winston. Last seen throwing interceptions at an incalculable rate, he now gets the keys to a efficient, ball control, yet pretty good, offense. It will be fun to see if he stays his gunslinger interception machine self or if he’ll play within the Saints offense. Either way, should be interesting.
Enough rambling. Here’s your games:
Thursday, Nov. 19, 7:20 p.m.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks (-3, 57)
Sunday, Nov. 22
Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints (-5, 50.5)
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Washington Football Team (-1, 46.5)
Detroit Lions vs. Carolina Panthers (-3)
New England Patriots vs. Houston Texans (+1.5, 49)
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Cleveland Browns (-3, 47)
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (+10, 46.5)
Tennessee Titans vs. Baltimore Ravens (-6.5, 49)
New York Jets vs. Los Angeles Chargers (-8.5, 46.5)
Miami Dolphins vs. Denver Broncos (+3.5, 45)
Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings (-7, 48.5)
Green Bay Packers vs. Indianapolis Colts (-1.5, 51.5)
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Las Vegas Raiders (+7, 56.5)
Monday, Nov. 23
Los Angeles Rams vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-4, 48.5)
In direct conflict from last week’s abysmal slate of games, there are a ton of great games I want to watch this week. I get two watchable games early Sunday. The Falcons/Saints game will be fascinating to see how the Saints play if they are without Drew Brees and with Winston. I expect a full load for Alvin Kamaara and Latavius Murray, but, for the love of Og, please stop with the Taysom Hill Project. And the Falcons are 3-1 since firing Dan Quinn. I expect the Saints defense to pick up the slack for a potentially missing Drew Brees, but it should be a good game regardless. I also get the Titans/Ravens, which is definitely be worth a watch. The Titans have struggled recently, and the Ravens defense is pretty damn good. But, for some unknowable reason, think the game will go down to the wire, where I trust Derrick Henry to eat up the clock and bring about a Titans win. The rest of the games (with the exception of the Steelers/Jags) have two comparable, if not actually good, teams playing, so keeping track of them should be fun.
Sunday afternoon all starts with the Packers game, where they are an actual underdog (they are on the road) to a very good defensive Colts team. The Packers offense vs. the Colts defense should be fascinating, but the game will likely turn on whether the Packers front 7 can counter the fantastic Colts’ O line. Jonathon Taylor, to my surprise, hasn’t been very good, but the committee of him, Hines, and Wilkins will always have a fresh pair of legs to challenge an iffy run defense. Once again, I’m lucky enough to watch it live, so it should be interesting. Whether the Vikings defense is actually improving or taking advantage of bad offensive teams will be the question on Sunday (although Dallas hasn’t been good offensively since Dak went down). That game should be fun too.
I am surprised the Raiders are 6-3, but I fully expect them to take a beating as the Chiefs make good on the revenge story from their earlier loss to the Raiders. He 56.5 over is incredibly high, but I can easily see Andy Reid (who apparently was pissed by the Raiders taking a victory lap after their win), Eric Bieniemy, and Patrick Mahomes running up the score to prove a point. Could be a fun watch.
And Monday night’s game should be fascinating too. Two good, if a bit unpredictable, teams with good defenses and potentially special offenses going head to head in primetime? Yes please. I kinda want to see Aaron Donald sitting on Tom Brady’s head a few times this game.
So there’s my thoughts. How about you? Any matchups you like? Any players you’re itching to see? Any recommendations on good recipes for Thanksgiving dressing? Let’s hear from you.