All season long, the Power Couple will predict each week of the NFL season. Picks will be made against the spread, using the same lines posted over at ESPN’s Pigskin Pick’em game.
Thursday Night Football
Miami Dolphins vs. Cincinnati Bengals (Bengals -6.5)
Max- Bengals: Even watching Red Zone, I saw way too much of the Dolphins-Browns game last weekend. What an ugly game that was. The Bengals have a chance to get back to .500 against a crappy Dolphins team and I think they take full advantage of it at home.
Kelly- Bengals: Cincinnati gets a break here after three tough games to open up the season and I think that they take capitalize on this opportunity. This Dolphins team just doesn’t look that good, and I can’t imagine them looking any better on a short week.
Sunday London 9:30 a.m. ET Game
Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (Jaguars +2.5)
Max- Colts: We got confirmation last week: the Jaguars are bad. The Colts win this game and I think there’s a decent chance we get our second consecutive year where a coach gets fired after losing in London. Sorry Gus Bradley.
Kelly- Colts: Speaking of ugly games…seriously if we want to get London involved with the NFL we should send them some better teams. Anyways. If it’s going to get ugly, then the edge goes to the best quarterback and that’s clearly Andrew Luck. This Jacksonville season is spiraling quickly.
Sunday 1:00 p.m. ET Games
Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons (Falcons +2.5)
Max- Panthers: The Panthers need to get their offense back on track and this matchup with a bad Atlanta defense offers a great chance to do just that. Look for Kelvin Benjamin, who somehow didn’t catch a pass last week, to have a big game.
Kelly- Panthers: This team is too good to lose back to back games and the Falcons’ defense is nowhere near as talented as the Vikings. Minnesota made Kelvin Benjamin a non-factor last week, but I just don’t think that Atlanta has the talent to shut him down for a second week in a row. Also, when Cam isn’t running for his life, he’s a damn good quarterback.
Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots (Patriots -6.5)
Max- Patriots: I don’t see how the Bills can win this game. Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett- hell even Julian Edelman could start for the Patriots and Chancellor Palpatine Bill Belichick would find a way to win.
Kelly- Patriots: I can’t pick against them, and especially not when they’re hosting the Bills. Sure Tyrod, and the Bills offense looked competent against the Cardinals and their defense forced 4 interceptions from Carson Palmer. However, this is Bill Belichick and I’m not betting against him.
Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears (Bears +2.5)
Max- Lions: The Bears are simply too banged up to field a competitive team at this point. They weren’t very good to begin with and it has only gotten harder through three games.
Kelly- Lions: The Bears are basically trotting out a JV team at this point, now that half of the team is injured. I see Matthew Stafford having a field day against this beleaguered defense.
Cleveland Browns vs. Washington Redskins (Redskins -8.5)
Max- Washington: Kirk Cousins wasn’t great last week in their win against the Giants, but he did enough to get Washington back on track. Look for him to keep that going at home against a bad Browns team.
Kelly- Browns: Oi. Neither of these teams are good. The Redskins got lucky with a grind-it-out win over the Giants last week, but that game was incredibly close. Even though the Browns are running a two-QB system, I just can’t see Washington winning by 9 points.
Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans (Texans -6.5)
Max- Texans: I’m throwing out that loss to New England last Thursday. The Texans completely laid an egg in every area of the game. They have too many talented players, on both sides of the ball, to play that poorly again. Even without J.J. Watt they should be firmly in the playoff picture.
Kelly- Texans: I’m really sad that J.J. Watt will probably miss most of the season and that’s a huge blow to this Texans defense. That being said, the Titans just haven’t put it all together yet this season. Their offense works in spurts and their defense isn’t bad, but it isn’t great. I think the Texans rally to play this one for Watt and that leads them to victory.
Oakland Raiders vs. Baltimore Ravens (Ravens -3.5)
Max- Raiders: I do not believe in the Ravens. Their matchup with the Jaguars last Sunday was way too close and you’d have to work very hard to convince me they are not the worst 3-0 team ever. The Raiders’ offense is legit and I think they win this game.
Kelly- Ravens: I still can’t believe the Ravens are 3-0 and here I am picking them to go 4-0. I have way too many questions about Oakland’s ability to stop a competent offense. Baltimore isn’t flashy, but Flacco can launch it deep when he has to and I don’t know who is going to keep up with Mike Wallace.
Seattle Seahawks vs. New York Jets (Jets +3.5)
Max- Jets: I’m definitely trapped in the New York bubble a bit, but this might be the second must-win game for the Jets in three weeks. They need to be at .500 through these first four games to remain in the playoff picture. Fortunately for them, and sadly, for Seattle, Russell Wilson is banged up and could very seriously struggle against that dynamic Jets pass rush. I said it last week and I’ll say it again- Wilson should sit this week and attempt to get healthy for a postseason run.
Kelly- Jets: Seattle is coming East for a nice early 1 p.m. game and their starting quarterback – if he plays – is a bit banged up. The last time the Jets were home the defense sacked Andy Dalton seven times. Also, we got the annual Fitzpatrick disaster game, so I’m predicting he’ll bounce back this week.
4:00 p.m. ET Games
Denver Broncos vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Bucs +3.5)
Max- Broncos: This line is too low. The Broncos defense is way too good and Trevor Siemian has proven capable of running this offense just as well if not better than Peyton Manning did a year ago.
Kelly- Broncos: Denver has been surprisingly good this year and even when guys like C.J. Anderson don’t have their best days, the team finds a way to win. The Buccaneers have surrendered over 30 points a game in their last two and I don’t think it will be a pleasant day for Jameis Winston facing off against this defense.
Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers (49ers +2.5)
Max- Cowboys: Dallas will likely struggle to find big plays without Dez Bryant, but I think they punish the 49ers on the ground and do just enough on defense to win this game.
Kelly- 49ers: Dez Bryant supposedly has a hairline fracture in his knee, which sounds incredibly painful. This offense lit up a terrible Bears defense and I think that the 49ers are a little better. I think that Blaine Gabbert might surprise us with an upset here.
Los Angeles Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals (Cardinals -8.5)
Max- Cardinals: Outside of Patrick Peterson’s inhuman interception, the Cardinals were god-awful last week. I don’t think they play that poorly in two straight. Back at home, look for them to run up the score on the Rams.
Kelly- Cardinals: The Cardinals need a bounce back game. Carson Palmer needs a bounce back game. (Side note – I need Carson Palmer to have a bounce back game.) Two weeks ago, when Arizona needed to bounce back after a bad loss to the Patriots they dropped 40 on the Bucs. Not saying they’ll do that here, but I think the offense will pull it together.
New Orleans Saints vs. San Diego Chargers (Chargers -4.5)
Max- Saints: I’ve no idea what to make of this game. Both defenses are very bad and both teams have great quarterbacks. If this is a shootout, and I think it will be, give me the team with more offensive weapons.
Kelly- Chargers: Drew Brees returns to San Diego, after the team shipped him off in favor of their 2004 first round pick Philip Rivers. Since then, Brees has gone to win a Super Bowl for the city of New Orleans, while Rivers is still chasing that dream. However, I think he gets the best of Brees at least for one night.
Sunday Night Football
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (Steelers -5.5)
Max- Steelers: The Steelers definitely took a step back last week. The Chiefs got a decisive win, but Big Ben isn’t going to give them the ball they way Ryan Fitzpatrick did. I think the Chiefs struggle and Pittsburgh’s offense regains its form.
Kelly- Steelers: Le’veon Bell makes his triumphant return to the Pittsburgh Steelers, just the jolt this team needed after laying an egg in Philadelphia. I think that Pittsburgh has way too talented of an offense to be held down for long, especially with one of their top two weapons returning. I think the Steelers get right back on track with a win here.
Monday Night Football
Philadelphia Eagles vs Chicago Bears (-2.5)
New York Giants vs. Minnesota Vikings (Vikings -4.5)
Max- Vikings: I’m nearly all the way in on this Vikings team. That defense is terrifying and Sam Bradford has proven capable of making enough throws to win games.
Kelly- Giants: I know this pick surprised Max, but I still believe in Big Blue even if they had a stinker last week against Washington. The Vikings impressed me a lot in Carolina, but I think the Giants have a lot more talent at the wide receiver position. Minnesota was successful because they took away the main target of the Carolina offense, but if you take away Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard are still there. And for that reason, I’m rolling with the Giants.
Bye week: Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers