Well, we have now completed the first quarter and it has not been a vintage one for the NFC East who have so far mustered an astonishingly bad 3 wins total. Yes, that’s not a typo. However, the good news is that barring a tie in the Giants-Cowboys game the division will at least move on to four wins. Things to watch include a clash of two still unbeaten teams and a couple of intriguing interconference matchups. The current pandemic has impacted the scheduling again this week with the Denver New England game now moved to Monday and that big unbeaten clash now scheduled for Tuesday night. Anyway here are a few of our thoughts…
The 10 teams with a Zero – will be a few less by Tuesday
Currently, we still have 6 teams with 100% records and 4 still looking for that first win. Two 100% records will definitely remain as the Packers are on a bye and two play each other, so at best it will be 5 and at worst 2. Our money is on it being closer to 5 than 2.
Four teams are still looking to get a one in the win column, with it being a particularly sad time for the New York pair who could both easily be o-5 by Sunday night. The Jets have a pretty tough schedule ahead of them and they might view Sunday’s game against the Cardinals as their best chance of avoiding becoming the 3rd ever team to go 0-16. The one bright spot for them was that Sam Darnold looked just bad and not awful last week, so who knows. Their City compatriots, The Giants have looked a little better than their record and if they can get their OL fixed then they could get a win before long. Daniel Jones might actually be quite good, more so if he didn’t have to spend most of his downs running for his life as his blockers appear to watch on. Can they beat the Cowboys on Sunday? Probably not but given how bad the NFC East is it’s possible.
Of the other zero winners, we think the Falcons are the most likely to get off the board. They have blown a few leads and played ok against the Packers last week, despite never looking likely to win. After last nights game that blown lead against the Bears suddenly doesn’t look too bad and they have had four pretty tough games so far. They play the Panthers who have hit a bit of form, however, we expect Matt Ryan to score enough points to sneak it.
Houston will have a new head coach in charge following the sacking of Bill O’Brien, who went along with the GM. Sadly we feel that had the Texans not continually traded away their best players they would have been a threat in the South, so getting a few wins now looks like the best they can hope for. Interim Head Coach Romeo Crennel is a decent guy and should get off to a winning start against the inconsistent Jags. We have this game on our watch list though as we love seeing what Gardner Minshew comes up with.
The Weekends Big Games…
The standouts for us on Sunday are Minnesota @ Seattle features a couple of near perennial postseason teams of late, and Philadelphia at unbeaten Pittsburgh, who are looking strong this season thanks to the return of Ben Roethlisberger. Last seasons QB play was nothing short of a train wreck but with Big Ben back in charge and a typical Steelers defense they should be a threat again in the AFC in 2020. We expect them to win this one easy.
We will also be keeping a close eye on the Colts & Browns game, both are 3-1 and although neither are really clicking yet they are both showing positive signs. We are pleased for the Browns fans especially as even getting to 50-50 during the season has been a struggle in recent years.
Has one of the weeks most intriguing games with the Chargers travelling to New Orleans in a classic new v old QB match up. It will be interesting to see how Justin Herbert fares against what is a pretty solid Saints defense. They may have dropped their last three however they have all been by a TD or less. They have a few injury worries, however, we predict that this might be closer than the oddsmakers think (the Saints are -7.5)
Can Buffalo continue to scrape wins? Their last three have been close games and this one should be too, however winning on the road against the Titans looks a tall order.
Our picks for the weekend are in Bold
Sunday Night Match Ups
Carolina @ Atlanta
LV Raiders @ Kansas City
Arizona @ NY Jets
Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh
LA Rams @ Washington
Cincinnati @ Baltimore
Jacksonville @ Houston
Miami @ San Francisco
Indianapolis @ Cleveland
NY Giants @ Dallas
Minnesota @ Seattle
LA Chargers @ New Orleans
Tuesday 13 October
Buffalo @ Tennessee
Detroit & Green Bay
Denver @ New England