During a typical week, I write my weekly picks column on Thursday night/early Friday morning after the Thursday Night Football game. This week, though, things were a little different.
I found myself unable to write anything on Thursday night because, well, I had to wrap my head around the fact that we once again live in a world where the Cleveland Browns are capable of winning football games. Much less than that, we live in a world where the Browns are capable of coming back from 14-point deficits to win games. I think I picked my jaw up off the floor at least half a dozen times. What a night.
I’m not complaining though. Even though I’m not the world’s biggest Baker Mayfield fan (he was incredible in Thursday’s game though), it was such a joy watching that loss happen to the Jets. It couldn’t have happened to a better team. I loved seeing all the misery on Twitter from some notable Jets fans, like ESPN’s Mike Greenberg for instance. Watching that team fail never gets old.
Meanwhile, congrats to the Browns fans on the victory. It was a long time coming. Party like you just won the Super Bowl. (OK, maybe don’t do that. But still, have some fun.)
Time to make some Week 3 picks…
(Home teams in caps, and all lines courtesy of OddsShark.com)
Bills (+16.5) over VIKINGS
Am I insane for taking the Bills against the spread over the big bad Vikings? Absolutely. One hundred percent wacko. The Bills are the worst team in the league right now. But 16.5 points????? That’s a humongous line. If any of you are ballsy enough to actually gamble on the Bills in this game, you could potentially have big money waiting for you.
That being said, I can’t in good consciousness advise you to actually gamble on the 2018 Bills. Just stay away from this team.
PANTHERS (-3) over Bengals
The 2-0 Bengals are suddenly without Joe Mixon, who has been responsible for 86 percent of their rushing attack so far this season. And I thought Cincinnati was overachieving even with Mixon. I like the Panthers at home in this game.
Broncos (+5.5) over RAVENS
This Ravens team is hard to figure out. They obliterated Buffalo in Week 1, then were essentially a no-show in Cincinnati in Week 2. And Joe Flacco looks like he’s washed up. If they are able to beat this 2-0 Denver team, I don’t think it’s by more than five points.
PS: This game doesn’t even seem worth watching. I might not even watch the highlights, and I always watch the highlights for every game.
Packers (-3) over REDSKINS
I think the Redskins peaked in Week 1 against a crappy Cardinals team. Last week, they only managed nine points against the Colts, who aren’t exactly known for their lights out defense. Adrian Peterson only managed 20 rushing yards.
Aaron Rodgers might not be 100 percent for the Pack just yet, but he’s the most gifted QB in the game, and he seems like the safer bet.
EAGLES (-7) over Colts
Four simple words: Carson Wentz is back.
Giants (+6) over TEXANS
Saquon Barkley is probably the most important player on my fantasy team, so I just need a really big game from him. He let me down last week in Dallas with only 28 rushing yards. Time for a big time bounce back game here.
FALCONS (-3) over Saints
I’m not sold on either of these teams as playoff teams this year, even though they both have playoff-caliber rosters. Nonetheless, this could be a pretty interesting game. I’m taking the home team.
DOLPHINS (-3) over Raiders
As crazy as it is to imagine the Dolphins going to 3-0 and maintaining first place in the AFC East, Jon Gruden’s Raiders are a mess.
An actual quote from Gruden this week: “It’s hard to find a good pass rusher.”
A few weeks ago, Gruden had arguably the league’s best pass rusher (Khalil Mack) ALREADY ON HIS TEAM. Then he traded him to Chicago, and the Raiders have been doomed ever since. Might as well just move them to Las Vegas right now.
49ers (+6.5) over CHIEFS
Game of the week right here. Two first-year starting QBs both with superstar potential. I’m hoping for an endless showing of offense, just a back-and-forth shootout for 60 minutes. I’m pumped.
JAGUARS (-9.5) over Titans
The Titans are without Delanie Walker for the year, and they might be without Marcus Mariota this week. One of the most important gambling rules of all time: Never bet on Blaine Gabbert. It doesn’t matter what he did last week. He won’t play two good games in a row.
RAMS (-7) over Chargers
I see some serious blowout potential here. The Rams are the best team in the league, and the Chargers are an eternally overrated team. My prediction for this battle for LA: Rams 37, Chargers 14.
Bears (-5) over CARDINALS
I’m still waiting for Mitchell Trubisky to really show me something. He seems like a good kid, but he lost major points in Green Bay two weeks ago when he straight up failed to notice a wide open Trey Burton in the end zone in the fourth quarter, which would’ve sealed the win for Chicago had he connected with him.
Trubisky played a good game against Seattle last week, but he has yet to do anything that really just makes people believe in him. The Cardinals are an easy matchup this year (they’ve scored a grand total of six points through two games), so this is a prime opportunity for Trubisky to really have a great game and get some more people on his bandwagon.
Cowboys (+1.5) over SEAHAWKS
Sorry, Russell Wilson, but you’ve been bumped from my fantasy team’s starting lineup for a first year starter (Patrick Mahomes). I hope there aren’t any hard feelings. I’ve always been a fan of yours.
Patriots (-7) over LIONS
The Pats got throttled by the Jaguars last week, and Tom Brady bounces back after tough defeats better than anybody.
I also think it greatly benefits New England that they are going against Matt Patricia’s team, which lost by 31 points to the Jets two weeks ago — the same Jets team that just lost to the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night.
(Sorry, I had to.)
BUCCANEERS (+1.5) over Steelers
Screw it, go big or go home. I’m buying into this Fitzmagic thing. And you know what? I don’t think Jameis Winston is going to see the field at all this year. In 2018 … and probably just in 2018 … the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are Ryan Fitzpatrick’s team.
Last week: 9-7
This week: 0-1