The good news is that MDS and I both stayed on the right side of .500 last week. The bad news is that it we weren’t very far above.
With 15 Week Seven games, we each went 8-7, splitting the two games on which we disagreed. This week, we disagree on three games.
Hopefully, we’ll be more that slightly above .500.
And by the way I’m still up by two games on the season. Which is all that really matters to me.
Jaguars at Titans
MDS’s take: It’s the annual Thursday night Jaguars-Titans game. That’s sure to bolster the NFL’s ratings. The Titans are actually a better team than most people thought, and the Jaguars are worse.
MDS’s pick: Titans 28, Jaguars 13.
Florio’s take: With the Mr. Spock/Captain Kirk Color Rush debacle returning on Thursday night and in light of the growing discontent of Jacksonville’s owner, it really will be Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan.
Florio’s pick: Titans 24, Jaguars 16.
Washington at Cincinnati
MDS’s take: The Bengals’ defense and special teams have been a disappointment, but I like Andy Dalton and A.J. Green to have a big game with Josh Norman in the concussion protocol.
MDS’s pick: Bengals 31, Washington 28.
Florio’s take: Marvin Lewis just beat his most recent offensive coordinator. And now he gets a chance to beat the guy Hue Jackson replaced. The Bengals quietly are putting the pieces together after a slow start; the process continues in England.
Florio’s pick: Bengals 24, Washington 17.
Chiefs at Colts
MDS’s take: Andrew Luck is playing well, but he’s been getting very little support, and no quarterback can do it himself. The Colts’ defense is terrible, and the Chiefs should rack up plenty of points on them.
MDS’s pick: Chiefs 31, Colts 21.
Florio’s take: One of the great moments in Colts franchise history came not long ago in a playoff game against the Chiefs. Sunday will prove just how long gone those days are.
Florio’s pick: Chiefs 30, Colts 21.
Raiders at Buccaneers
MDS’s take: I don’t think the Raiders are quite as good as their 5-2 record suggests, and I think the Buccaneers showed last week that they can take advantage of a bad defense. Tampa Bay wins a close one.
MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 24, Raiders 23.
Florio’s take: The Raiders are 4-0 at 1:00 p.m. ET this year. Their biggest regret should be that, after Sunday’s game in Tampa, Oakland won’t have another.
Florio’s pick: Raiders 31, Buccaneers 28.
Seahawks at Saints
MDS’s take: The Seahawks’ offense hasn’t been playing well, but a meeting with the weak Saints’ defense could be just what the doctor ordered.
MDS’s pick: Seahawks 28, Saints 21.
Florio’s take: Seattle’s gaudy record conceals deeper concerns about the offense, which hasn’t been the same since Russell Wilson suffered a pair of injuries. The Saints have the offense to outpace Wilson and company.
Florio’s pick: Saints 27, Seahawks 20.
Lions at Texans
MDS’s take: Detroit’s defense is bad, but Brock Osweiler is worse. The Lions will manage to hold Osweiler in check and win what could be an ugly game.
MDS’s pick: Lions 17, Texans 16.
Florio’s take: The Texans win the games they’re supposed to win, and they lose the games they’re supposed to lose. It’s harder to categorize this one, but the home-field advantage gives them the edge.
Florio’s pick: Texans 27, Lions 24.
Jets at Browns
MDS’s take: These may be the two worst teams in the league right now, and if Cody Kessler or Josh McCown were completely healthy I’d pick the Browns to get their first win of the season. But with Kessler suffering from a concussion and McCown still recovering from a broken collarbone, I’ll take the Jets.
MDS’s pick: Jets 17, Browns 10.
Florio’s take: It could be the last, best chance for the Browns to win a game. But for Geno Smith’s torn ACL, maybe they would.
Florio’s pick: Jets 23, Browns 13.
Patriots at Bills
MDS’s take: The Bills dominated their first meeting, but that was with Tom Brady suspended. Now that Brady is back, I’d expect the Patriots to win this game and take total control of the AFC East.
MDS’s pick: Patriots 27, Bills 20.
Florio’s take: The Bills haven’t swept the Patriots during the Brady-Belichick era. That streak continues.
Florio’s pick: Patriots 30, Bills 20.
Cardinals at Panthers
MDS’s take: This may be the Panthers’ last chance to turn their season around, as a loss here would essentially mean there’s no hope of making the playoffs. I think they’ll rally with a big win.
MDS’s pick: Panthers 31, Cardinals 17.
Florio’s take: It’s a rematch of the NFC title game; the loser has little chance to get back there. The winner doesn’t have much more of a shot. It’s the last stand for the Panthers, who played 75 minutes less football than the Cardinals in Week Seven.
Florio’s pick: Panthers 28, Cardinals 23.
Chargers at Broncos
MDS’s take: The Chargers’ offense is playing well, but playing well in Denver is a tall order for any offense. I see a low-scoring game with the Broncos coming out on top.
MDS’s pick: Broncos 14, Chargers 13.
Florio’s take: The Chargers have an excellent opportunity to legitimize their season, shove the Broncos against the ropes, shake up the AFC West, and maybe nail down some votes for their futile stadium effort. They’ll nearly pull it off.
Florio’s pick: Broncos 24, Chargers 23.
Packers at Falcons
MDS’s take: Stopping Matt Ryan and Julio Jones is going to be too much to ask of the Packers’ secondary. The Falcons will put a lot of points on the board.
MDS’s pick: Falcons 35, Packers 28.
Florio’s take: Six years ago, the sixth-seeded Packers took down the top-seeded Falcons, 48-20. That was a long time ago, and the Falcons have new urgency to get things back on track against a still-flawed Packers team.
Florio’s pick: Falcons 27, Packers 23.
Eagles at Cowboys
MDS’s take: In one of this year’s better prime time games, the Cowboys should beat the Eagles and take control of the NFC East.
MDS’s pick: Cowboys 28, Eagles 21.
Florio’s take: Has a game this consequential ever had three rookies in such key roles? This one does, and the team with two of the key rookies has the edge.
Florio’s pick: Cowboys 27, Eagles 24.
Vikings at Bears
MDS’s take: Jay Cutler is back, and he’s about to get a rude awakening against the Vikings’ defense. This could get ugly.
MDS’s pick: Vikings 20, Bears 3.
Florio’s take: The Vikings have a tough five-game stretch coming up; if they stub their toe in Chicago, things could quickly fall apart.
Florio’s pick: Vikings 27, Bears 17.