Picking last week’s Upset Special — FitzMagic over SanTragic as an 8-point underdog — was as easy as Russell Wilson driving 94 yards in two minutes.
Too soon, Vikings fans?
Going 11-3 (9-5 against the spread), last week’s picks also accurately picked the Bears to upset the Bucs and the Panthers to (technically) upset the Falcons before they finally put Dan Quinn out of his misery.
Picking the Ravens to cover 13½ points against the Bengals was a layup, as was the Rams to cover 7½ against Washington and the Cardinals to cover 7 in Le’Veon Bell’s Big Apple Just Go Away Party.
As for that pick of Chiefs by 14 over the 13-point-underdog Raiders?
No comment. Next question.
The games this week are more difficult to pick.
Will Atlanta get a bump from Raheem Morris’ first week as interim coach? Is it possible to like one team less when Detroit plays Jacksonville and Washington plays the Giants? Can Good Philip complete more impactful passes to the Colts than Bad Philip does to the 9-point underdog Bengals?
At least we still have FitzMagic. He’s got the Jets.
Last week’s picks: 11-3; vs. the spread: 9-5.
Year to date: 50-26-1; 44-32-1
Vikings games: 3-2
Falcons (+3½) at Vikings: Vikings by 14
Morris probably will enjoy a bump in Atlanta’s performance this week. But it won’t be enough. The resurrection of Vince Lombardi, Bill Walsh and Tom Landry couldn’t make the Falcons a good team. The Vikings take out some early-season frustrations here, winning 31-17.
Bears (+3½) at Panthers: Panthers by 6
Underdogs again, the 4-1 Bears fall to Teddy Bridgewater, who’s been sacked only two times in Carolina’s three-game win streak.
Lions (-3½) at Jaguars: Jaguars by 7
The only excitement in this one is whether Matt Patricia or Doug Marrone will become the third head coach fired in three weeks.
Texans (off) at Titans: Titans by 10
Giving players “Victory Mondays” off is so pre-COVID. Tennessee showed that teams can take 16 days off and still be in top form.
Washington (+3) at Giants: Giants by 7
Yuck. They’re a combined 1-9 … and neither is more than two games behind the NFC East-leading Cowboys.
Browns (+3½) at Steelers: Steelers by 7
As exciting as Cleveland’s first 4-1 start since 1994 is, the reality is the Browns still have to play Pittsburgh and Baltimore four times a year.
Ravens (-7½) at Eagles: Ravens by 14
Baltimore gave up an average of 10.5 points in wins over the Browns, Texans, Washington and Bengals. Unless Philly trades for Patrick Mahomes, expect more of the same.
Bengals (+9) at Colts: Colts by 3
Frank Reich is finding out the hard way that it’s really hard to bench an aging, overpaid quarterback for whom your owner paid $25 million.
Packers (-1½) at Buccaneers: Packers by 3
Pick-sixes for Green Bay’s defense: 1. Pick-sixes thrown by Tom Brady: 2. Just sayin, Tom.
Rams (-3½) at 49ers: Rams by 10
Coming off losses to the Eagles and Dolphins, the 49ers now play, in order, the Rams, Patriots, Seahawks, Packers, Saints, Rams and Bills. Sorry, San Fran, but it’s O-V-E-R.
Broncos (off) at Patriots: Patriots by 7
The details don’t matter. COVID-19 permitting, Belichick wins whenever this game gets played.
Jets (+8) at Dolphins: Dolphins by 21
Miami is having way too much fun to stub its toe on the league’s most miserable misfits.
Chiefs (-3) at Bills: Chiefs by 7
To Kansas City’s defense on behalf of Mahomes and a whole lot of Week 5 survivor pool losers: “A little help sure would be nice, fellas.”
Cardinals (-2½) at Cowboys: Cowboys 33, Cardinals 30
Never, ever, count Andy Dalton out. Unless it’s the playoffs.
Last week’s upset special: Dolphins (+8) 28, 49ers 25.
Result: Dolphins 43, 49ers 17.
Upset special record: 2-3.