The NFL has reached the conclusion that planet earth will stop spinning on its axis if there are no Thursday games during the regular season. So in order to keep us all alive – and watching – they have further determined that all 32 teams must participate in at least one of these games each year. I hate to give props to Tom Brady, but he was right when he said, “There’s some bad football being played.” A lot of it is on Thursdays. Each of the last 2 weeks has featured a team scoring exactly 12 points. It is much more offensive ineptitude than defensive might that is leading to the low point total. I wish they’d do away with it. And while they’re at it, they can knock off the “10 games at 1:00 and 2 games at 4:00” mess they have started to use regularly. If only I were in charge…

New Orleans at Arizona (Thur) – I think we’ll finally get a break from the 12-point final score here. Aints 27, Cards 21

Atlanta at Cincinnati – Atlanta has been about 3 different teams already. Cincy seems to have found its footing following an 0-2 start. They are better at home. That gives them the edge here. Bengals 23, Falcons 20

Cleveland at Baltimore – Forget all the QB talk. What happened to the Browns defense? They’ve been getting lit up so far. I don’t see any evidence that is going to change. Home team rolls. Ravens 34, Browns 17

Detroit at Dallas – This is an unfair way for a team to come back from a bye. Should be ugly. Cowboys 31, Lions 14

Green Bay at Washington – There are a ton of people who have Packers skill position players on their fantasy teams, otherwise this would be the Who Cares Game of the Week. Packers 24, Commanders 13

Indianapolis at Tennessee – I dropped the Browns DST completely from my fantasy squad. I picked up Tennessee’s unit. It’s a good matchup for me, as Indy has been wildly inconsistent. This is a much better way to treat a team coming off a bye. Titans 20, Colts 17

NY Giants at Jacksonville – The Giants are actually 5-1. National media has declared that Barkley is the comeback player of the year and would be elected President if he chose to run. OK, fine. They will be pushed to the limit by an improved Jags squad. Giants 23, Jags 16

Houston at Las Vegas – The other 2 teams coming off the bye get to play each other. I still don’t believe in Houston no matter how long they hang in games. Raiders 30, Texans 14

NY Jets at Denver – I’ve also picked up Zach Wilson as my QB2. The bandwagon is filling up quickly. And speaking of total disappearing acts, presenting Russell Wilson. J-E-T-S jets jets jets jets jets jets jets jets jets jets 23, Donkeys 10

Kansas City at San Francisco – This would be a fabulous matchup if San Fran wasn’t down to their 5th-string defense due to all the injuries. Chiefs 30, 49ers 17

Seattle at LA Chargers – Seattle is doing better than expected since Geno Smith only throws an incomplete pass about once every moon cycle. Gutsy performance by the LA kicker on Monday, kicking 4 field goals with a bum kicking leg. I suspect this will be yet another road team crowd, but Herbert and crew should be all right. Clippers 20, Seahawks 14

Pittsburgh at Miami – So Pittsburgh was falling off the cliff, so they turned to the rookie QB. Then the rookie QB gets a concussion, and the deposed QB leads them to a win against a better team. Now they play Miami and Tua, who is back from his league-altering concussion. That probably gives them a little edge in energy. Fish 24, Steelers 20

Chicago at New England (Mon) – The way this is going, Mac Jones my never get back in the starter slot. That story will continue building after another easy win. Patriots 28, bear cubs 10

Tampa Bay at Carolina – So we fired the Temple coach, then traded the Temple diva a week later. Despite him being a Charlotte native and making some positive changes, this is not going to end well for Steve Wilks. The pressure to trade McCaffrey will intensify after another lopsided home loss with visiting team fans dominating the stadium. Bucs 34, panther kittens 10

Last week’s record: 5-9

Season: 47-46-1

Bye: Buffalo, LA Rams, Minnesota, Philadelphia