Last week was a funny one. I felt really confident about a few games I got wrong, and felt silly about a few games I got right. I guess the really important thing is that I didn’t accidentally pick my Raiders.
Last Week’s Record: 9-5
Overall Record: 64-36
LOCK Record: 4-3
Ryan’s NFL Picks (2019): Week Eight
Washington Redskins @ Minnesota Vikings: Minnesota Vikings
Duh? I mean, the Vikings are starting to find their footing, meanwhile the Washington Redskins didn’t even score a point last week. This feels like an easy pick.
Denver Broncos @ Indianapolis Colts: Indianapolis Colts
The Colts are coming off wins over the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs, two of the AFC’s better teams, and the Denver Broncos were humiliated on Thursday Night Football by a Chiefs squad that didn’t even have Patrick Mahomes. At least on paper, this seems like an easy win for the younger of the two equine teams.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Tennessee Titans: Tennessee Titans
Oh look, a match-up of Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota in a “which quarterback was better” duel for the ages! Or… at least it was supposed to be. Marcus Mariota’s mediocrity finally cost him his job, and Jameis Winston is coming off a game where he threw five interceptions. Instead it’s Ryan Tannehill, who was taken behind both Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III in the 2012 draft, who will be starting, and that’s enough for me.
The Titans are a fundamentally sound squad that can hang with most teams on a good day, and Tampa Bay is just trying to survive long enough to acquire an adequate quarterback.
Arizona Cardinals @ New Orleans Saints: New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees should be back for this game, but even if he wasn’t, the Saints are red hot right now. They look like the NFC’s best team, and while the Cardinals have shown signs of life, I don’t think they’re ready to beat a team as good as the Saints just yet.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Los Angeles Rams: Los Angeles Rams
New York Jets @ Jacksonville Jaguars: Jacksonville Jaguars
After a Monday night thrashing where Sam Darnold was “seeing ghosts,” I don’t think I’ll be picking the New York Jets any time soon. The Jaguars are recovering from the departure of Jalen Ramsey, but I don’t think they’ll need him to beat down gang green.
New York Giants @ Detroit Lions: Detroit Lions
Remember when I was hating on Daniel Jones and everyone gave me hell about it?
Who looks stupid now?
Los Angeles Chargers @ Chicago Bears: Chicago Bears
In a battle of underachieving SuPeR bOwL cOnTeNdErS, you’ve gotta give the edge to the Chicago Bears here. As long as they don’t let Mitch Trubisky get too involved in the offense, they should be able to keep Los Angeles’ offense at bay.
As a Raiders fan, I personally can’t wait for this game. Either the Chargers lose, always a plus, or the Bears lose, and that draft pick gets even sweeter.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Buffalo Bills: Philadelphia Eagles
I really, really, really wanted to pick the Buffalo Bills. I’m still a big fan, I still have post-season aspirations for them, but I think the Eagles are probably a better team. Philly just got humiliated by the Cowboys on national television, making Amari Cooper look like Randy Moss, and they’ll be focused.
Seattle Seahawks @ Atlanta Falcons: Seattle Seahawks
If I thought the Atlanta Falcons were capable of upsetting a good team, I’d be tempted to pick them here. The game is in Atlanta, against a former coordinator, fresh off a loss. But I think the sands of Dan Quinn are swirling, and this team has given up. Hawks win big.
Carolina Panthers @ San Francisco 49ers: San Francisco 49ers
This could be an interesting game. I don’t think either team is as good as the record indicates, and I’m curious to see which overachieving quarterback collapses first. Really, it comes down to how the 49er defense contains Christian McCaffrey. If they can contain arguably the NFL’s most explosive offensive weapon, they’ll almost certainly win. If not, then only Jimmy Garoppolo‘s former team will remain undefeated. Speaking of which…
Cleveland Browns @ New England Patriots: New England Patriots
I don’t know what bums me out more, that this game was supposed to be the changing of the guard in the AFC, or that this is one of the bigger challenges the Patriots have had this year.
Be it Freddie Kitchens, Baker Mayfield, or the curse of “Wild Thing” Ricky Vaughn, these Browns aren’t very good, and I think the Patriots are going to roll over them.
Oakland Raiders @ Houston Texans: Houston Texans
Aaron Rodgers has struggled this year, and he put up ungodly numbers against this Raiders defense. A Raiders defense that just traded their best corner, Gareon Conley… to the Houston Texans. Maybe Conley isn’t the best corner, but sending someone who was literally just practicing with your team to their next opponent feels like a questionable move.
Green Bay Packers @ Kansas City Chiefs: Green Bay Packers (LOCK OF THE WEEK)
It’s not often that I feel pretty confident the Kansas City Chiefs are going to lose, so I figured I would cash in on a lock. It’s not like you get to pick against the Chiefs very often. The Packers defense isn’t very good, but the offense is finding a rhythm, and the Chiefs defense is equally putrid.
It’s crazy, one weekend was supposed to give us Patrick Mahomes vs. Aaron Rodgers and Baker Mayfield vs. Tom Brady in a “here’s to the future” changing of the guard… and neither is really happening.
Miami Dolphins @ Pittsburgh Steelers: Pittsburgh Steelers
I’m not gonna lie, I almost took the Dolphins here. Not because I’m high on them, because let’s be real, nobody should be high on the Miami Dolphins, but because only two teams have ever gone 0-16, and these Steelers aren’t good.
But I genuinely think the Dolphins are going winless, so I’m sticking with the Steelers. Give Mike Tomlin one last blowout win before he gets fired.