Good not great.
That pretty much summarizes our performance to date in picking 2019 games. Last week, with no disagreements, MDS and I were 10-6 each.
For the year, he’s 28-20 and I’m 27-21.
For this week’s picks, which feature five disagreements, scroll on.
Eagles at Packers
MDS’s take: Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers have won their first three games together, but what people don’t seem to be noticing is it’s the Packers’ defense that’s leading them this season, and the offense hasn’t been great. I look for the defense to keep rolling as the Packers win a close one.
MDS’s pick: Packers 13, Eagles 10.
Florio’s take: Correction Sunday happens on a Thursday. The Eagles are getting desperate, and Doug Pederson is 3-0 on a short week. Alshon Jeffery is back, Carson Wentz is healthy, and the Packers are due to take a step back after an unexpectedly hot start.
Florio’s pick: Eagles 28, Packers 24.
Titans at Falcons
MDS’s take: The Falcons’ offense has really not played well at all this year, but I think there’s too much talent there for them not to turn it around. Sunday is win that happens.
MDS’s pick: Falcons 28, Titans 21.
Florio’s pick: Titans 23, Falcons 20.
Browns at Ravens
MDS’s take: The Browns’ early schedule isn’t doing them any favors. For all the offseason hype, they’re not the best team in the AFC North, and they’ll fall to 1-3 as the Ravens take early control of the division.
MDS’s pick: Ravens 27, Browns 17.
Florio’s take: The old Browns are still better than the new Browns, especially since the coach of the old Browns is anything but a self-admitted newbie.
Florio’s pick: Ravens 27, Browns 20.
Patriots at Bills
MDS’s take: It’s not often that an undefeated team is a touchdown underdog at home, but the Bills are — and they should be even bigger underdogs.
MDS’s pick: Patriots 30, Bills 14.
Florio’s take: This victory will have Tom Brady’s named printed on it, along with the other things that will be thrown on the field with his name printed on them.
Florio’s pick: Patriots 30, Bills 21.
Chiefs at Lions
MDS’s take: It’s not often that an undefeated team is a touchdown underdog at home, but the Lions are — and they should be even bigger underdogs.
MDS’s pick: Chiefs 35, Lions 16.
Florio’s take: If the Lions can pull this one off, we need to dramatically change how we view the Lions. For now, though, it’s hard to imagine any team not located in New England outpacing Patrick Mahomes and company.
Florio’s pick: Chiefs 34, Lions 24.
Panthers at Texans
MDS’s take: Kyle Allen gave the Panthers some hope that they can win without Cam Newton, but they’ve got a tougher opponent this week in Houston, where Deshaun Watson should have a big game in a Texans win.
MDS’s pick: Texans 24, Panthers 17.
Florio’s take: Don’t look now, but the team without a General Manager is managing generally well.
Florio’s pick: Texans 23, Panthers 17.
Raiders at Colts
MDS’s take: The Raiders’ Week One win is looking like a mirage after seeing how they’ve played the last two weeks. They’re still one of the worst teams in the league.
MDS’s pick: Colts 20, Raiders 10.
Florio’s take: Dave Casper isn’t walking through that door for the Raiders. Put simply, the Colts are a very good team, and the Raiders are not.
Florio’s pick: Colts 34, Raiders 20.
Chargers at Dolphins
MDS’s take: At this point picking against the Dolphins is automatic, and the only question is how big the point spread will be. The Chargers are favored by 16, and I think they’ll cover.
MDS’s pick: Chargers 35, Dolphins 14.
Florio’s take: Kellen Winslow wouldn’t need to be helped off the field after this one.
Florio’s pick: Chargers 42, Dolphins 10.
Washington at Giants
MDS’s pick: Giants 23, Washington 13.
Florio’s take: It would be great to witness the first chapter in the looming Daniel Jones/Dwayne Haskins rivalry. But dysfunctional teams continue to do dysfunctional things.
Florio’s pick: Giants 30, Washington 21.
Seahawks at Cardinals
MDS’s take: The Seahawks were a major disappointment last week, losing at home to a depleted Saints team. This week they should get back on track against a Cardinals team that still has a lot of rebuilding to do.
MDS’s pick: Seahawks 28, Cardinals 21.
Florio’s take: The rest of the NFL is quickly figuring out the Kliff Kingsbury offense.
Florio’s pick: Seahawks 34, Cardinals 17.
Buccaneers at Rams
MDS’s pick: Rams 20, Buccaneers 10.
Florio’s take: This one has potential upset written all over it, because the Bucs aren’t as bad as their record suggests. But the Rams seem intent on proving the doubters wrong. And they are.
Florio’s pick: Rams 27, Buccaneers 20.
Vikings at Bears
MDS’s take: This may be the biggest game of the season so far, two 2-1 teams needing to keep pace in the competitive NFC North. I see the Bears’ defense clamping down on the Vikings’ offense.
MDS’s pick: Bears 14, Vikings 10.
Florio’s take: A run-based offense and a competent defense should outscore a Chicago team that is still searching for its offensive identity.
Florio’s pick: Vikings 20, Bears 14.
Jaguars at Broncos
MDS’s take: As a nation prays for Jalen Ramsey that he recovers from his flu and hamstring and back injuries, the Jaguars show that they’ve got a good enough team to win in Denver whether they have their star cornerback or not.
MDS’s pick: Jaguars 20, Broncos 17.
Florio’s take: The Broncos aren’t as bad as 0-3 would suggest, and desperation may be enough to push them past a Jaguars team that has spent too much time dealing with the Jalen Ramsey situation.
Florio’s pick: Broncos 23, Jaguars 20.
Cowboys at Saints
MDS’s pick: Cowboys 30, Saints 20.
Florio’s take: The planets aligned perfectly for the Saints to beat the Seahawks last Sunday in Seattle. That likely won’t be happening for a second straight Sunday, especially against the best team in the NFC.
Florio’s pick: Cowboys 31, Saints 21.
Bengals at Steelers
MDS’s take: An 0-3 vs. 0-3 matchup was not what the NFL was envisioning when it put this game in prime time. These may be the two worst teams in the league outside Miami right now. I’ll take the home team in what should be an ugly matchup.
MDS’s pick: Steelers 16, Bengals 13.
Florio’s take: The Steelers seem to be in denial about the current state of the team, running in mud and repeatedly falling flat. This should be the game they win, but the Bengals have the better team — and they’ll relish the chance to grease the skids toward a very rare bad year in the ‘Burgh.
Florio’s pick: Bengals 23, Steelers 17.