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
Arizona Cardinals vs San Francisco 49ers (49ers +2.5)
Max- 49ers: I don’t think the Cardinals, starting Drew Stanton this week, have enough to win this game. I’ve picked Arizona and been burned too many times already this season. Thursday night games are notoriously weird and I think Blaine Gabbert (I can’t believe I’m writing this) makes a big play to win the game.
Kelly – Cardinals: I know, I know – Carson Palmer is out. The Cardinals looked pretty bad at home against the Rams. However, I just can’t see this team starting the season 1-4. There’s still Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson and Patrick Peterson, right?
Sunday 1:00 p.m. ET Games
Chicago Bears vs Indianapolis Colts (Colts -4.5)
Max- Bears: The Colts are bad. The Bears are banged up and are also bad, but I think these teams have close enough levels of badness to create a close game.
Kelly- Colts: I’m still not sure why I’m betting on Andrew Luck, but I guess I’m just not ready to bet on Brian Hoyer. This is a bad game and I have 0 desire to watch this game in person, but I think Luck is good enough to sneak this one out.
New England Patriots vs Cleveland Browns (Browns +10.5)
Max- Patriots: There is a non-zero chance the Patriots come out and throw 100 times in this game. Tom Brady’s gotta make up for those lost reps!
Kelly- Patriots: Never bet against Tom Brady. Ever. I’ve learned that the hard way, and I have a feeling he has some extra ammo this time. I’m sorry the Browns have to be the one to take the hit.
Philadelphia Eagles vs Detroit Lions (Lions +2.5)
Max- Eagles: The Lions couldn’t beat Chicago last week and I don’t see how they bounce back to beat a much better, much more rested Eagles team.
Kelly- Eagles: Until Carson Wentz proves me wrong, I’m sticking with the hot hand. The Lions look bad, like really bad and this Eagles defense shut down the high-powered Steelers offense, so I don’t think Detroit has too much of a shot.
Tennessee Titans vs Miami Dolphins (Dolphins -3.5)
Max- Dolphins: Do I have to pick this game? I guess I do right? Gimme the home team.
Kelly- Titans: The Dolphins are also bad. I’m over the Ryan Tannehill project. Give me the new guys.
Houston Texans vs Minnesota Vikings (Vikings -6.5)
Max- Vikings: This is a “are we sure Brock Osweiler is good?” kind of game. If there’s even a little doubt the Vikings defense, which just shut down Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton and Eli Manning in consecutive weeks, could have a field day.
Kelly- Vikings: If J.J. Watt was here and healthy, I might have changed this pick. However, the Vikings are way better than I ever could have imagined – this defense is legit and if I were the Texans offense I would be scared.
New York Jets vs Pittsburgh Steelers (Steelers -7.5)
Max- Steelers: After the explosive performance put on by Pittsburgh’s offense last week, I don’t see how the Jets defense, which has not lived up to its reputation, has any chance.
Kelly- Steelers: This game makes me sad. However, I have 0 idea who is going to cover Antonio Brown. Or Sammie Coates. Or Le’veon Bell. Or you know Big Ben….
Washington Redskins vs Baltimore Ravens (Ravens -3.5)
Max- Ravens: I do not believe in the Ravens, but Washington’s defense has been bad in almost every area. The Ravens’ defense, on the other hand, has started to come together and will do enough to disrupt Kirk Cousins and give Joe Flacco opportunities to win the game.
Kelly- Ravens: This Redskins team has flat out disappointed in terms of living up to their expectations after taking the division last year. Baltimore was 3-0 because of their schedule, but they’re not bad and I think they can get another win here thanks to the scheduling gods once more.
4:00 p.m. ET Games
Atlanta Falcons vs Denver Broncos (Broncos -6.5)
Max- Broncos: I came away from last weekend very impressed with the Falcons offense, but I don’t trust Matt Ryan on the road against this terrifying Broncos defense. Denver will at least slow Julio Jones and I don’t believe in the Falcons’ other weapons enough to pick them.
Kelly- Falcons: Denver’s defense is scary. But so is the Atlanta offense. With the exception of Carolina, which Denver has gotten to know quite well in recent years, Denver hasn’t faced an incredibly high-powered offense. I’m also nervous about Denver’s QB situation. I’m not ready to say Paxton Lynch is ready for the bright lights.
Buffalo Bills vs Los Angeles Rams (Rams -2.5)
Max- Bills: The Bills just shut out the Patriots. They should be able, at least in theory, to be similarly effective against a significantly less impressive Rams offense.
Kelly- Rams: This is such a typical Rex Ryan let-down game it’s not even funny. The Rams defense can stop a lackluster Bills offense no problem.
Cincinnati Bengals vs Dallas Cowboys (Cowboys +.5)
Max- Bengals: This is a tough game. The Bengals have already lost a pair of these kinds of games this season. I think they slow down Ezekiel Elliot enough to win this one.
Kelly- Bengals: The Cowboys have beaten the odds all year, but I think Cincinnati wants this game and they need it a little bit more right now. I think AJ Green can dominate a not-so-great Dallas defense.
San Diego Chargers vs Oakland Raiders (Raiders -4.5)
Max- Chargers: I’m not exactly picking the Chargers to win here. But I know how much the Raiders defense has struggled and I think we see the Chargers lose approximately their 1,234th consecutive 35-34 game.
Kelly- Chargers: Literally San Diego could have started the year 4-0, instead of their current 1-3 state. Philip Rivers is going to pull off one of these games and I’m not as in love with this Oakland team as the rest of the league is.
Sunday Night Football
New York Giants vs Green Bay Packers (Packers -7.5)
Max- Packers: The Giants offense, which has three dynamic receivers and a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback, has not looked good the last two weeks. I think going to Lambeau field will only compound those struggles.
Kelly- Packers: I really liked the Giants this year and then, I don’t know what happened. Odell Beckham says he’s not having fun playing football, and let’s just say I’m not having fun watching the Giants. You know who is fun? Aaron Rodgers.
Monday Night Football
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Carolina Panthers (Panthers -3.5)
Max- Panthers: I think the Buccaneers offense will struggle against
Kelly- Panthers: I’m hoping Cam Newton plays, but even if he doesn’t, I think the Panthers might be able to sneak by the Buccaneers who seriously cannot stop anyone on defense.
Bye week: Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs