Last week, MDS and yours truly disagreed on none of the 14 games played. Maybe we should have.
We both went 7-7, continuing a not-so-stellar showing when it comes to prognosticating outcomes in 2016.
The only good news? I managed to accomplish a rare hole-in-one, accurately predicting the final score of the Jets-Steelers game, which Pittsburgh won, 31-13.
Beyond that, we both stunk. To see how badly we’ll stink this week, scroll on.
Broncos at Chargers
MDS’s take: The Chargers are a better team than their 1-4 record suggests, having been outscored by a total of just five points this season. So I wouldn’t be shocked if they beat the Broncos. But I think Denver’s defense will rebound from a subpar game last week and the Broncos will win a low-scoring game.
MDS’s pick: Broncos 13, Chargers 10.
Florio’s take: The short week and the absence of Gary Kubiak could be just the kick the Chargers need to build a lead and, for a change, to hold a lead.
Florio’s pick: Chargers 27, Broncos 21.
49ers at Bills
MDS’s take: Colin Kaepernick returns as the 49ers’ starting quarterback on Sunday against a Bills defense that will be ready to pressure him. I think it’s going to be a long day for the 49ers’ offense.
MDS’s pick: Bills 20, 49ers 7.
Florio’s take: Chris Beman’s annual Super Bowl prediction that never was arrives again, with the Bills the better team and Colin Kaepernick getting a chance to resurrect his career. It’s likely time for a correction by an overachieving Bills team, but the 49ers don’t have the horses to pull it off.
Florio’s pick: Bills 31, 49ers 21.
Eagles at Washington
MDS’s take: The Eagles started slowly and had two late turnovers in Sunday’s loss at Detroit, but I still like the way they’re playing, on both sides of the ball. This looks like a playoff team to me.
MDS’s pick: Eagles 31, Washington 20.
Florio’s take: How will the Eagles deal with adversity? We’re about to find out.
Florio’s pick: Eagles 24, Washington 21.
Browns at Titans
MDS’s take: I think Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is starting to come on after a slow start to the season, and I love the way DeMarco Murray is playing. The Titans should put a lot of points on the board against the Browns.
MDS’s pick: Titans 31, Browns 17.
Florio’s take: When the dust settles in the AFC South, the team with the three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust offense could be hanging a banner.
Florio’s pick: Titans 23, Browns 17.
Ravens at Giants
MDS’s take: These two teams are about evenly matched, so I’m taking the home team. And that’s what we call “analysis.”
MDS’s pick: Giants 20, Ravens 17.
Florio’s take: Two teams that started the season a combined 5-0 are now a combined 0-5. Give the edge to the team that: (1) is playing at home; and (2) didn’t just make Marty Mornhinweg its offensive coordinator.
Florio’s pick: Giants 27, Ravens 20.
Panthers at Saints
MDS’s take: As ugly as the start to the season has been for the Panthers, I’m still not ready to say they can’t turn things around and make a late-season push for the playoffs. I think they’re going to get that push started on Sunday.
MDS’s pick: Panthers 28, Saints 24.
Florio’s take: The Saints are rested, the Panthers are reeling. The Panthers need to put 2015 behind them, and that won’t happen until after the bye. At the earliest.
Florio’s pick: Saints 31, Panthers 27.
Jaguars at Bears
MDS’s take: These are two of the worst teams in the league, but the way Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer is playing, I figure Chicago should put some points on the board.
MDS’s pick: Bears 30, Jaguars 20.
Florio’s take: The Jaguars typically get better after playing in England, and the Bears are one of the best teams for launching a post-London bump.
Florio’s pick: Jaguars 27, Bears 24.
Rams at Lions
MDS’s take: The Lions have been one of the hardest teams for me to pick this year: I thought they’d lose to the Colts and Eagles, but they won. I thought they’d beat the Titans and Bears, but they lost. So it’s probably bad news for Lions fans that I think they’re going to beat the Rams.
MDS’s pick: Lions 21, Rams 14.
Florio’s pick: Rams 24, Lions 21.
Steelers at Dolphins
MDS’s take: After an ugly performance last week, the Dolphins cut a couple offensive linemen this week. The problem is, cutting guys in the middle of the season only helps if you have better players ready to replace them. I think the Dolphins’ offense will remain ugly.
MDS’s pick: Steelers 28, Dolphins 10.
Florio’s take: Hopefully, the upgrades at Hard Rock Stadium included a third digit for the scoreboard.
Florio’s pick: Steelers 42, Dolphins 24.
Bengals at Patriots
MDS’s take: Tom Brady had no trouble shaking off the rust last week and should turn in a big performance this week as well. The Bengals are falling into a deep hole in the AFC playoff race.
MDS’s pick: Patriots 27, Bengals 20.
Florio’s take: The Patriots once again are on to Cincinnati. Once again, they’ll be all over Cincinnati.
Florio’s pick: Patriots 41, Bengals 26.
Chiefs at Raiders
MDS’s take: I don’t think the Raiders are quite as good as their 4-1 record suggests, but I don’t know if Kansas City has the weapons to take advantage of Oakland’s problems on defense. I’ll take Oakland in a close one.
MDS’s pick: Raiders 21, Chiefs 20.
Florio’s take: One of the best rivalries in the NFL resumes, and the problem for the Raiders is that Chiefs coach Andy Reid typically does very well after a bye week.
Florio’s pick: Chiefs 30, Raiders 27.
Falcons at Seahawks
MDS’s take: The Falcons have played some great football this season, but I love the way the Seahawks’ defense matches up with Matt Ryan, who I’m expecting will have his worst game of the season on Sunday.
MDS’s pick: Seahawks 17, Falcons 14.
Florio’s take: Few expected the Falcons to beat the Panthers. Fewer expected the Falcons to beat the Broncos. No one expects the Falcons to beat the Seahawks. If they do, pencil them in for Houston in February.
Florio’s pick: Seahawks 27, Falcons 24.
Cowboys at Packers
MDS’s take: Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott are playing outstanding football behind the Cowboys’ stellar offensive line. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, their defense isn’t going to keep up with Aaron Rodgers & Co.
MDS’s pick: Packers 34, Cowboys 28.
Florio’s take: The good news for Dallas is that the Dak-versus-Tony debate is about to be suspended. Green Bay’ offense has plenty of lapses, but the defense is better.
Florio’s pick: Packers 27, Cowboys 20.
Colts at Texans
MDS’s take: The AFC South is a mess, but if the Texans can win this game they’ll be the favorites to win the division. I think they’ll do just that.
MDS’s pick: Texans 20, Colts 17.
Florio’s take: The Texans continue to be good enough to lose in one of the first two rounds of the playoffs and, before that, to get there by winning the games they should.
Florio’s pick: Texans 24, Colts 20.
Jets at Cardinals
MDS’s take: It’s another bad Monday night game. We’ve had a lot of those this year. I think Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald will have a big game against a Jets secondary that has given up a lot of big plays this season.
MDS’s pick: Cardinals 34, Jets 20.
Florio’s take: Todd Bowles is back in Arizona. He possibly is starting to wish he’d never left.
Florio’s pick: Cardinals 27, Jets 17.