A rant to start off with this week. I feverishly despise the NFL’s scheduling of bye weeks. They are punching themselves in the face. They make billions off of fantasy football, then do everything they can to ruin fantasy football with these insane bye week schedules. This week there are SIX teams on bye. There are NINE weeks with teams on byes, including Thanksgiving weekend. Hey, NFL, let’s make this very simple. Take 8 weeks for byes, weeks 4-11. Each week is a bye week for an entire division. So the Saints, Panthers, Falcons and Bucs all get the same week off. That makes for schedule equity. It really isn’t that hard.
What also isn’t hard is seeing the NFL continuing to move toward relocating a team to London, with the Jags continuing to be the most obvious candidate. This week, we found out we’re going back to 4 London games again in 2019, and only 3 teams have never made the trip. One would think those 3 teams, one of which is my Panthers, are going to get sent next year. Oh, goody. Now, about this week’s games…
Oakland at San Francisco – The late Pete Axthem used to call the Bucs-Packers games “the Bay of Pigs” because at the time, both teams were terrible. With both of the SF Bay Area teams being bad this year, we can resurrect that nickname. This would be the Who Cares Game of the Week if it were on Sunday with other games to watch. Fakers 23, 49ers 20
Atlanta at Washington – The Falcons come off their bye and visit a tough, gritty ‘Skins team that plays good defense. Good news for Panthers and Saints fans. Dead-skins 26, Falcons 21
Chicago at Buffalo – The Who Cares Game of the Week. Bears 31, Buffalo, NC 17
Detroit at Minnesota – The lions have been wildly inconsistent, and bolstered their defense by acquiring “Snacks” Harrison from the NY Little People. Minnesota is smarting from their beat-down on Sunday night. The motivated home team bests the inconsistent visitors. Norwegians 31, Lions 20
Kansas City at Cleveland – The GM welcomes the team he left, and hopes to emulate in the future. Getting rid of the hapless, clueless HC helps things a little, and there are bright, young defensive studs to build with. But facing this offense will be like drinking from a fire hose for them. Chiefs 43, Brownie Troop 24
NY Jets at Miami – Sort of like a train wreck – you watch for no other reason than morbid curiosity. Fish 23, J-E-T-S jets jets jets jets jets jets jets jets jets jets 17
Pittsburgh at Baltimore – The Black Birds have another running back. That sound you hear is my fantasy team groaning. Everyone is now ready to anoint Pittsburgh, just because they whipped Cleveland and Baltimore just got whipped by Carolina. It’s not that simple. And of course there’s that great hatred these teams have for each other. I see a defensive struggle decided on the last play. Ravens 19, Steelers 16
Houston at Denver – Elway just shipped out Thomas to make room for a rookie. The Texans defense is on a major roll. It’s hard to imagine them 6-3, but… Texans 24, Donkeys 21
LA Chargers at Seattle – Very intriguing matchup. Both offenses are rolling. I sense a pinball game where one defense rises up and makes one play to pull out a win. Seahawks 37, Clippers 34
LA Rams at New Orleans – How long can this unbeaten thing last? Certainly not forever. A lot of people think it ends this week. It should be a shootout. I’m going to make a desperate attempt to buy a win – a win meaning a New Orleans loss, because I hate them and them losing would be a win. I just don’t think I’m going to get that lucky. Aints 41, Rams 38
Green Bay at New England – Oh, Lord, the media is going to be so syrup-ey and slobber-ey over this matchup that Aunt Jemima should sign on with NBC to sponsor the game. Yeah, the QBs are good, but they’re still human beings like the rest of us. The Pack were sellers at the deadline, and as much as the national media wants them to be contenders, they simply aren’t. The other Fair-Haired Wonder-boy QB will have a field day. Patriots 40, Packers 23
Tennessee at Dallas – See the description of the Oakland-San Francisco game above. I’m sure I’ll be fast asleep before halftime. Cowgirls 19, Titans 10
Tampa Bay at Carolina – The home team should be favored by 20. And last week was an aberration – they never close out a team that early, no matter how much better they are. I see a huge early lead, then a furious comeback by the 1,000-year-old QB, then superior talent closing things out late. PANTHERS 37, Yuck-aneers 28
Last week’s record: 10-4
Season: 74-47
Bye: Arizona, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, N.Y. Giants, Philadelphia