Here in the Carolinas, we all heaved a sigh of relief when Matt Rhule was fired. Getting fired from your job is traumatic and awful for any person, but at the same time, he certainly earned it. He was such a great program-builder in college that he should draw major interest from Nebraska, Wisconsin, Arizona State, and any of the other schools in the 5 big conferences that have already fired their coaches. Interim coach Steve Wilks has already made significant changes. Is it too late? We’ll see. At any rate, let’s see if last week’s success picking games can continue.

Washington at Chicago (Thur) – It’s the return of the “Who Cares Game of the Week.” Bears 19, Commanders 13

Cincinnati at New Orleans – It’s another “QB vs his old team” revenge setups. It’s probably more important that the game is in New Orleans, where the team is a different animal most years. Should go down to the last minute. Aints 24, Bengals 21

Baltimore at NY Giants – There’s no way NY is this good. Is there? At any rate, I have to stop calling them “Little People” as long as they have a winning record. Ravens 20, Giants 17

Jacksonville at Indianapolis – It’s too early for these teams to be playing their second game. Trevor Lawrence made a couple of decisions last week that were so bad, everyone who watched them is down 9 IQ points. Home team gets a measure of revenge. Colts 27, Jags 17

Minnesota at Miami – I darn near lost my fantasy matchup when Tyreek Hill never showed up last week. I was safe because Dalvin Cook actually did show up for the first time all year. Without that horn propping him up, I expect Cook will go back into hiding. Fish 23, Norwegians 21

New England at Cleveland – Is New England a defensive juggernaut? Highly unlikely; that was probably more a function of how big a step backward Detroit has taken. Cleveland’s defense also appears to be in full retreat. A track meet may break out. Patriots 27, Browns 20

NY Jets at Green Bay – I dropped Baker Mayfield in favor of Zach Wilson as fantasy backup QB. He’s on such a roll that I might start him in a flex spot. Rodgers has been good but not great as he continues to work in a bunch of new receivers. This should be entertaining, even if the quality is just a tad bit off. Packers 23, J-E-T-S jets jets jets jets jets jets jets jets jets jets 16

San Francisco at Atlanta – San Fran gets a second straight not-NFL-quality opponent on the road. The stands will be full of Niner red again this week. 49ers 31, Falcons 17

Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh – What an important game! Both coaches are BLACK! OK woke people, now you can shut up. The home team is in trouble. Is the coach in his 17th season also in trouble? I doubt it, but I don’t doubt that they will go to 1-5. Bucs 34, Steelers 21

Arizona at Seattle – Arizona has defensive issues despite having JJ Watt’s jump-started heart going full speed. Someone actually had to write, “Who will give Geno Smith a big contract next year?” No one had that on their 2022 NFL bingo card. He gets 1 step closer to that actually happening this week. Seahawks 30, Cards 24.

Buffalo at Kansas City – Should be the game of the week and should produce the closest thing to a basketball score. Buffalo has too many injured defenders to keep KC close enough for Josh Allen to outscore them. Chiefs 42, Buffalo, NC 31

Dallas at Philadelphia – It isn’t widely reported, but “Thou shalt never lose a game if thy name is Cooper Rush” was one of the 11th – 15th commandments on the tablet that Moses dropped (“History of the World Part I” reference). Can the Dallas D slow down Philly? Something tells me they will do just enough. Cowboys 23, Eagles 20

Denver at LA Chargers (Mon) – How did Denver get darn near every game on national TV? They do have a good defense, but they’re very overmatched here. Clippers 28, Donkeys 10

Carolina at LA Rams – Steve Wilks is a far better pro coach than Rhule, so I expect us to be better prepared. But there are still several key players out with injuries and behind the starters, there’s absolutely no depth. LA has been very underwhelming this year, but they haven’t sunk to the point where they will lose to a rudderless ship. Rams 23, panther kittens 10

Last week’s record: 12-4

Season: 42-37-1

Bye: Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Tennessee