Last week, MDS and I agreed on all 16 games. We should have disagreed on at least some.
We finished the week at 9-7 each, putting me at 121-71 (63 percent) for the year and MDS at 118-74 (61.4 percent).
Before exploring this week’s picks (or after), check out our weekly best bets video. Last week, I was 2-1 against the spread. MDS was 0-3.
Jaguars at Titans
MDS’s take: This is not exactly the kind of late-season game FOX was hoping for when it broke the bank for the Thursday Night Football package, but those are the breaks. I think the Titans win this one to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
MDS’s pick: Titans 21, Jaguars 20.
Florio’s take: The schedule is favorable but can the Titans show enough consistency to nail down the No. 6 seed? Maybe not, but they should be able to find a way to win against a more-down-than-up Jaguars team.
Florio’s pick: Titans 16, Jaguars 10.
Jets at Bills
MDS’s take: Neither of these teams is going anywhere, but the Bills seem to be trending in a better direction than the Jets.
MDS’s pick: Bills 20, Jets 10.
Florio’s take: Josh Allen quietly is blossoming into a star, and the Jets are loudly falling apart.
Florio’s pick: Bills 27, Jets 17.
Giants at Washington
MDS’s take: Eli Manning could tie Brett Favre for the second-most losses for a starting quarterback in NFL history, but he’s playing Mark Sanchez.
MDS’s pick: Giants 21, Washington 14.
Florio’s take: Mark Sanchez gets thrust into the starting lineup on a short week against a Giants team that seems to be determined to squander a once-prime draft spot.
Florio’s pick: Giants 27, Washington 17.
Saints at Buccaneers
MDS’s take: The Bucs have been playing better the last couple weeks, and the Saints turned in an ugly performance in their loss to the Cowboys. But I just don’t see the Saints losing again to Tampa Bay.
MDS’s pick: Saints 30, Buccaneers 20.
Florio’s take: The Bucs surprised the Saints in Week One. The Saints will be ready for it this time.
Florio’s pick: Saints 34, Buccaneers 24.
Patriots at Dolphins
MDS’s take: Tom Brady hasn’t played well in Miami through the years, but the Patriots should pull out a close one on Sunday.
MDS’s pick: Patriots 21, Dolphins 20.
Florio’s take: The Dolphins have had New England’s number when playing in Miami in recent years, and the Patriots finally are paying attention.
Florio’s pick: Patriots 24, Dolphins 16.
Ravens at Chiefs
MDS’s take: The Ravens are 3-0 with Lamar Jackson as their starting quarterback, but they haven’t faced an opponent nearly as good as the Chiefs. The run-first offense Baltimore is employing with Jackson won’t be able to keep up with Kansas City.
MDS’s pick: Chiefs 31, Ravens 17.
Florio’s take: A sneaky great December game for which the home team won’t want a January rematch.
Florio’s pick: Chiefs 27, Ravens 24.
Colts at Texans
MDS’s take: This is a must-win for the Colts, and I don’t think they’re going to win it. The Texans’ league-best winning streak will extend to 10 games.
MDS’s pick: Texans 20, Colts 17.
Florio’s take: The Texans began their nine-game winning streak with a memorable overtime win over the Colts. Houston has an easier time of it during the rematch.
Florio’s pick: Texans 30, Colts 24.
Falcons at Packers
MDS’s take: Two teams that thought they were playoff contenders are far, far from contention. I’ll take the home team to win one in Joe Philbin’s first game as head coach.
MDS’s pick: Packers 24, Falcons 21.
Florio’s take: Less than two years after these teams met for a spot in the Super Bowl, they’re both falling apart. The Packers benefit from the interim coach bump.
Florio’s pick: Packers 30, Falcons 20.
Panthers at Browns
MDS’s take: I keep thinking the Panthers are sure to turn things around, and I keep being wrong. I guess I’m a slow learner.
MDS’s pick: Panthers 21, Browns 20.
Florio’s take: Carolina’s four-game slide began in the stadium of an AFC North team. Can it end in another one? At this point, the Browns may be the better team.
Florio’s pick: Browns 27, Panthers 23.
Broncos at 49ers
MDS’s take: The Broncos still have a great chance of winning out and making the playoffs. They should win easily in San Francisco.
MDS’s pick: Broncos 28, 49ers 13.
Florio’s take: The banged-up Broncos have an outside shot at the playoffs. The 49ers would be better off folding the tents and improving their draft stock.
Florio’s pick: Broncos 24, 49ers 13.
Bengals at Chargers
MDS’s take: The Chargers are probably not going to catch the Chiefs in the AFC West, but they might just be the second-best team in the conference.
MDS’s pick: Chargers 31, Bengals 17.
Florio’s take: The Chargers can’t look past this one, with a short-week Kansas City showdown looming.
Florio’s pick: Chargers 34, Bengals 17.
Lions at Cardinals
MDS’s take: Both of these teams stink, but the game is a “big” one for the 2019 NFL draft order. I think the Cardinals win their second in a row.
MDS’s pick: Cardinals 23, Lions 20.
Florio’s take: The win over Green Bay likely secured a second season for Steve Wilks. Which is good for Wilks, because the Lions are better than their 4-8 record suggests.
Florio’s pick: Lions 24, Cardinals 17.
Steelers at Raiders
MDS’s take: The Steelers should bounce back in a big way from a disappointing loss.
MDS’s pick: Steelers 31, Raiders 10.
Florio’s take: The Steelers can’t afford to slip, with the Patriots and Saints up next and the Ravens breathing on their necks.
Florio’s pick: Steelers 31, Raiders 17.
Eagles at Cowboys
MDS’s take: First place in the NFC East is on the line, and I like the home team to more or less wrap up the division.
MDS’s pick: Cowboys 21, Eagles 20.
Florio’s take: The Eagles have won two in a row, but the next three opponents are a combined 26-9. First up, a team that already beat the Eagles on their own field.
Florio’s pick: Cowboys 24, Eagles 20.
Rams at Bears
MDS’s take: I’m tempted to pick the Bears to pull the upset, but I just think the Rams’ defense is going to be too much for Mitchell Trubisky in his return from a shoulder injury.
MDS’s pick: Rams 21, Bears 17.
Florio’s take: The Rams managed only 23 points on a cold day in Denver. It will be a cold night in Chicago, and the Rams will have an even harder time scoring points.
Florio’s pick: Bears 24, Rams 21.
Vikings at Seahawks
MDS’s take: This is a big one in the NFC wild card race, and I’m expecting the Seahawks to win and show their “rebuilding” season is actually a playoff season, while the Vikings lose and suffer a big blow to their hopes of getting back to the playoffs.
MDS’s pick: Seahawks 30, Vikings 17.
Florio’s take: It’s desperation time for the Vikings, who may be abandoning John DeFilippo in Seattle if he abandons the run, again.
Florio’s pick: Vikings 24, Seahawks 22.