Raise your hand if you had Ron Rivera getting fired before Dan Quinn in your “which coaches get fired” office pool. Yeah, me neither. The move makes sense, considering the owner had already decided a coaching change was coming, and doing so now means nothing has to be done behind Rivera’s back. I just hope Rivera ends up in Jacksonville so we don’t have to play against him until 2023. Certainly don’t want him in Atlanta where we have to play him twice a year, or with the Giants or Washington where we have to play him in 2020 and pretty much twice every 3 years. We’ll see. On to this week’s games.

Dallas at Chicago (Thu) – I loved listening to Nantz & Romo whining about the Cowboys not getting their usual 10-day rest after Thanksgiving, having to play Thursday this week. Uh, guys, 7 days is a normal spread between games. And they get 10 days after this to get ready for the Rams. And they get a Chicago team that can’t beat anybody but Detroit. Much ado about nothing. Cowboys 26, bear cubs 10 

Washington at Green Bay – Easy, ‘Skins fans. That was a rotten team you beat last week. This one is not. Packers 30, Dead-skins 13 

Cincinnati at Cleveland – No more hopes for 0-16. But they’re still terrible. They won’t be able to topple the league’s biggest under-achievers. Brownie Troop 27, Bangles 17 

Miami at NY Jets – They had 1 win between them when they first met, now it’s 7. So it’s not the worst matchup on Earth anymore. J-E-T-S jets jets jets jets jets jets jets jets jets jets 28, Fish Carcasses 23 

San Francisco at New Orleans – This is the matchup of the day. The 49ers suddenly look beatable. I sense a track meet afoot. Aints 34, 49ers 31 

Detroit at Minnesota – Coming of that wild & disappointing MNF game, Minny gets to play a JV squad. Cue the dadgum horn again. Norwegians 34, lion cubs 10 

Denver at Houston – Does Denver finally have their franchise QB? It’s early yet, but Lock has promise. On the other hand, Houston DOES have its franchise QB. Texans 34, Donkeys 17 

Indianapolis at Tampa Bay – There is suddenly a 3-team race for last place in the NFC South. Tampa does its part this week. Horses 24, Yuck-aneers 21 

Baltimore at Buffalo – Both teams are on a major roll. Only the best defense in the world can slow Lamar Jackson down, and Buffalo isn’t quite to that level yet. Ravens 23, Buffalo, NC 20 

LA Chargers at Jacksonville – Despite the presence of still-beloved Thomas Davis, it’s the Who Cares Game of the Week. Clippers 19, Jags 13 

Kansas City at New England – With NE coming back to Earth a little, this is a juicier matchup. Should be a ton of points. Patriots 37, Chiefs 31 

Pittsburgh at Arizona – Gotta be impressed by a winning record when you’re on your 13th-string QB. Steelers 27, Cards 13 

Tennessee at Oakland – Remember when Oakland was tied for first? Neither do I, but apparently they were a few weeks ago. Titans 21, Fakers 10 

Seattle at LA Rams – This should be fun. Despite last week’s numbers, LA’s defense won’t keep the score low. Seahawks 33, Rams 30 

NY Giants at Philadelphia (Mon) – After gagging a golden opportunity to take NFC East control by losing to a crummy Miami team on a trick play, Philly gets the dregs of the NFL outside of Cincinnati. Surely they won’t screw this up, right? Eagles 27, Little People 20  

Carolina at Atlanta – Best case scenario is the Panthers pull a Falcons and rally around their coach and beat a team they probably shouldn’t. Worst case scenario is a repeat of the first time these teams played. It will probably be somewhere in between. I don’t think the rotten offensive line can hold up. Falcons 26, panthers 17    

Last week’s record: 8-8

Season: 121-71

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