NFL 2021: Week Five Easy Pieces

There is only one undefeated team (who would’ve thought it would be the Arizona Cardinals?). And there are only two teams without a win (that one is much easier to guess: Lions and the Jags). The Super Bowl favorite KC Chiefs are 2-2 and at the bottom of their division. Meanwhile the mediocre Titans are also 2-2 and sit atop their division. Life in the NFL.

As always, there are some surprises. I thought the Washington Football Team would have a much better defense than they have so far. I didn’t think the Panthers would be 3-1 with a very good defense and a (so far) very good Sam Darnold. And I certainly didn’t think the Cards would be 4-0.

And, as always, there are some things that aren’t surprising at all. Tom Brady is pretty good. Urban Meyer is a walking pile of human excrement. And I’ve been wrong (so far) about something (fuck you Josh Allen). Par for the course.

In the news: Packers sign Jaylon Smith, who the Cowboys cut just two years after giving him a fat contract. Definitely worth a shot, especially with a weak/injured LB corp. And the Pats trade Stephon Gilmore, who they signed to a massive contract just two years ago, to the Panthers in return for a 6th round pick. Another high upside/very little risk move.

Without further ado: here’s your games:

Thursday Night Football

Los Angeles Rams @ Seattle Seahawks (+1, 51.5)

Sunday, October 10th


New York Jets vs. Atlanta Falcons (-3.5, 44) — in London


Philadelphia Eagles @ Carolina Panthers (-4.5, 46)
New Orleans Saints @ Washington Football Team (+1, 44)
Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars (+3.5, 48)
Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings (-8, 49)
Green Bay Packers @ Cincinnati Bengals (+4, 49.5)
New England Patriots @ Houston Texans (+9.5, 39.5)
Denver Broncos @ Pittsburgh Steelers (+1.5, 40.5)
Miami Dolphins @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-10.5, 49.5)


Cleveland Browns @ Los Angeles Chargers (-1.5, 49.5)
Chicago Bears @ Las Vegas Raiders (-5.5, 45.5)
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys (-7.5, 50.5)
San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals (-4.5, 53.5)


Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs (-2.5, 56.5)


Indianapolis Colts @ Baltimore Ravens (-7, 48)

A very interesting game on Thursday night, as the West Coast gets to shine. The Rams were a bit exposed last week as Matthew Stafford/Sean McVey returned to Earth (mostly due to turnovers) and the defense just got their ass handed to them. And the Seahawks are a Jeckel and Hyde team so far this year. Could be a fascinating game.

I gotta say: I love London games. With three teenagers and a hectic week, I love waking up on Sunday morning, getting a cuppa, and sitting on the coach in my jammy pants watching football. With no one else (except the doggo, who quietly hangs out with me) awake let alone bothering me to run an errand, do a household chore, or take on a home project, it’s a small slice of heaven. It is a shame that, by and large, the teams that play in London are awful. This week is no different. A bad game between shitty teams, that I’ll happily watch in peace and quiet.

Packers/Bengals seems like the best of the early games, and should be a good watch. The development of Joe Burrow looks to be continuing, and the defense looks great on paper (it’s not in real life, which I think we will find out Sunday). Losing one of, if not the, best cover CB in football in Jaire Alexander will hurt the Packers against this loaded Bengals WR corp. Should be some serious fireworks.

Browns/Chargers is the game to watch, as two very good teams with huge expectations go head to head. Baker Mayfield continues to be a better pitchman than QB, but has been game managing well enough with that run game and defense to compete. And the Chargers have looked good so far this year. I expect a hard fought, great game to watch. If you don’t want to watch two contenders duke it out, you can watch two equally matched yet much less good teams in the Raiders and the Bears play. That game should be fun.

The clear Game of the Week is Sunday Night’s Bills/Chiefs. Not much to say other than it is a must watch. And Monday night has a football game too.

Do you like Sunday morning games as much as I do? What do you think about teams cutting/trading away players hey just signed to big contracts a couple years ago? And who do you think wins this weekend. Let’s hear from you.

I’m glad teams are finally moving away from the sunk cost fallacy with big contracts and high draft picks. Everyone ragged on the Cardinals for dropping Rosen after only one year, but look where they are now (and where he is now).

God no. Sunday Mornings are when I catch up on all my lost sleep from the week prior (and usually a late Saturday night). Gone are the days of hitting the bars every weekend, but I’m not ready to start waking with the songbirds unless I’m being paid to do it. And even then, there are limits. Plus I don’t have Sunday Ticket so more often than not the morning game isn’t even on TV.

Just as a aside, I’m heading to Las Vegas this weekend for the Bears-Raiders game. Going to check out the latest mega-stadium and maybe see what the future of Bears home games could look like. Hopefully the result is better than the last Bears-Raiders game I traveled for.

To be fair, we ragged them when they drafted Rosen. That shit was self-inflicted.

Most likely the Sunday AM game will be available on an official stream, the NFL had been experimenting with this prior to Covid, I seem to think it was through Yahoo!

I’m kinda surprised that the Rams are only a one-point favorite. I know the game’s here (Seattle), but that feels like easy money. There’s a reason I don’t bet on sports, though.

ETA: That reason is that I suck at it.

If you believe 538’s analysis, they actually have Seattle as a 1-point favorite with a 54% chance of winning.

Are they using ELO to predict specific games? If so, I’d put zero stock in that.

Yeah, what the hell does Jeff Lynne know about the NFL? LOL

Sorry, I guess it’s Elo, not ELO. It’s named after a person, and is not an acronym. TIL, huh…

Thanks for reminding me. This week’s Thursday Night Game is on Amazon Prime for the first time. They’ll have the Thursday Night games on amazon for the next 12 weeks.

I also stream games live on the NFL app (the yahoo app allows you to also) for the Thursday night, Sunday morning, and Monday night games. I have to turn off my wifi and use data instead (not a problem) to watch, but that’s better than going to a bar or getting ESPN and the NFL network.

Well, he knows tacklers need to Hold on Tight, that running backs thinnk Don’t Bring Me Down, and that Tom Brady just set a New World Record for passing yards.

If I’m reading the website right it seems like it will be shown on NFLN so maybe it’s not restricted to local TV/streaming for a change. When it comes to football I’m a traditionalist. I watch games on TV and the DVR is essential. I’m not dicking around with apps or screencasting from a device.

This week it won’t matter. I’ll be in Vegas and I’m sure as hell not waking up at 6:30 AM PST for football after a Saturday night on the strip.

ONLY on Amazon Prime? That doesn’t seem right.

It’s also on regular Fox.

thanks. I hate that some of the Mariner games this year were only broadcast on something called youtubeTV

Sorry, not only. In addition.

On the topic of sunk cost, why doesn’t the NFL adopt a system where teams can cut players at any time with no dead money or guaranteed money?

Ideally if you cut a $100 million player mid-contract you ought to be able to not have to pay any more of his remaining salary (unless he got injured). Would keep players on their toes.

That kind of undermines the definition of “contract.”

What I meant was, a contract in which - that’s exactly what you could do. Cut a player at any point midway (say, 63% of the way through their term) and you owe them only the 63% of the money you’ve paid them up to that point.

Like how, if you work at a retail store and are paid $10 per hour, but they release you, they aren’t obligated to keep paying you once you’ve left. When you step out of the building, you are no longer owed anything.