We’re looking for a bounce-back bye week with picks
t’s the bye week, and we are in desperate need of some self scouting.
Why? A 3-4 week last week is certainly reason enough. A bad week for the New England Patriots was a bad week here.
What’s ahead for the Patriots, who have a foursome of potentially tough opponents beginning a week from now (at Philly, Dallas, at Houston, Kansas City)?
It’s hard to remember when they’ve gone into a bye week after a loss, especially such a grueling one like the Baltimore loss.
Now all the Patriots issues are being brought to the forefront, which happens with a loss. But now it’s even more under the microscope with a week off.
“That’s what we’ll focus on,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said earlier last week, talking about correcting mistakes. “Every player, every unit, every coach. I mean, when you look at it collectively, there aare things we could have done better in every area that would have helped us (vs. Baltimore), and we all need to address those and we all need to improve on them.”
Meanwhile, we’re doing the same thing here after several missed picks. There’s no break here, either:
BROWNS 17, BILLS 13
The Browns, even though their record doesn’t show it,can score. And as good as Buffalo’s defense is, Cleveland should be able to outscore the Bills, who are barely averaging 20 points a game. Cleveland is giving up nearly 26 a game, but Buffalo and Josh Allen won’t put up that much.
CHIEFS 23, TITANS 17
Patrick Mahomes was still a question mark for Sunday as of this writing, but the Chiefs had him participate fully in practice as early as this past Wednesday. If Mahomes doesn’t play, can Matt Moore beat a struggling Titans team on the road? The way Tennessee’s offense is playing, we say yes.
VIKINGS 27, COWBOYS 24
Great Sunday Night matchup. The Cowpokes aren’t facing a teflon defense like the one they played against (Giants) this past Monday. Minnesota lost a heartbreaker last weekend but suddenly Kurt Cousins is alive and well and poised to win a big one.
Either way, this game will tell you a lot about both teams.
PACKERS 30, PANTHERS 27
Another good one. Carolina has finally – though not officially – seemingly cut the cord with Cam Newton, whose foot injury woes began in the preseason game against the Patriots when he left Gillette in a walking boot. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers called out his team’s preparation and road behavior (gotta make those curfews) after a dud in Los Angeles against the anonymous Chargers.
NINERS 20, SEAHAWKS 17
Another close one. San Francicso’s success isn’t really due to Jimmy Garappolo, it’s the Niner defense which is allowing a stifling 12.8 points a game. Amazing. The three points difference is the value of home field in this one. This could be the best Monday Night game of the year.
RAMS 30, STEELERS 23
It’s been a nice run, Pittsburgh, after your disasterous start. But it ends even though you’re in the friendly confines of Heinze Field. It’s time for the Rams to get untracked and put together a run, because if the season were to end now, they’d be out of the playoffs.
JETS 8, GIANTS 7
And finally…two of the worst teams in the league in the New York market. Sad. Both defenses are terrible, and while the Giants may have a few more pieces on offense, their line – like the Jets’ – is abysmal. Jets win on a late two-point conversion, the ball tipped five times before landing in the hands of Sam Darnold, who runs it in. Who’s seeing ghosts now?
LAST WEEK: 3-4
Tom King may be reached at 594-1251 or email@example.com. Also, follow King on Twitter (@Telegraph_TomK).