My Giants disappointed again on Thanksgiving, losing to the Cowboys 7-4. It was predictable given their lengthy injury report, but a letdown nonetheless. In other news, the Ravens lost again, the Raiders upset the Seahawks to win their second consecutive OT game, and Aaron Rodgers may be done for the season. Let’s recap.
How I fared in my picks
Overall, I had a great week at 10-5 ATS. We lost the Eagles (-7.5) because Jake Elliott missed an extra point, and I whiffed on the Saints (+6.5) against San Francisco.
- Underdogs won the week at 7-8.
- No huge upsets this weekend. The Browns (+3.5) defeated the Bucs, the Raiders (+3.5) edged out the Seahawks, and the Jaguars (+4.5) upset the Ravens.
Three things that surprised me the most
The Commanders continue to find ways to win
It was another ugly game, but Washington managed to pull off a victory by intercepting Marcus Mariota at the goal line, which should have been a go-ahead TD drive. The Falcons had another shot to go in for the win, but a running-into-the-kicker penalty ended their opportunity before it started. Taylor Heinicke has been a godsend for the Commanders, but he turned in another less-than-impressive outing, going 14-for-23 for 138 yards, two TDs and an INT. Still, Washington is managing to win, so give props where they are due. They will play the Giants in their next two matchups and that could very well determine if either team will make the playoffs.
The Bills nearly lost again
This is why I never back the team with the most hype leading into the season. Buffalo squandered multiple leads to almost throw away the game. Had the Bills lost, it would have been Buffalo’s third loss in four games – hardly impressive for a team many pegged to be shoe-ins to reach the Super Bowl. Josh Allen’s turnovers continued to haunt him as he tossed another red zone pick in the contest. If Buffalo can’t get their act together, a quick playoff exit is in their future.
The Eagles defense looked vulnerable again
In the past three games, the Eagles are 2-1, but could easily be 0-3. A close call against Indy led to another less-than-dominant game against the Packers last night. With Aaron Rodgers playing through a noticeably painful injury, the Eagles allowed Green Bay to play competitively and nearly pull off the upset. Even when Rodgers exited, Jordan Love engineered a TD drive the enabled the Packers to stay in the game. With Dallas surging and a matchup looming on Christmas Eve, the Eagles may not have this division wrapped up yet.
Three things that did not surprise me
The Bucs lost again
This definitely was least surprising. I not only picked the Browns to cover, but to win outright which they did. Fresh off a bye week, Tom Brady’s offense still struggled to score against a Browns’ defense that has been less-than-mediocre for weeks. Luckily for Tampa Bay, the NFC South is so terrible that they will somehow manage to win the division with a sub-.500 record – at least they hope.
Mike White is the savior for the Jets
I thought the Jets would definitely beat the Bears, especially with Justin Fields on the sideline. However, while I expected Mike White to be an improvement, he was spectacular, going 22-for-28 for 315 yards and 3 TDs. Elijah Moore’s post game comments proved that beleaguered QB Zach Wilson alienated the locker room after his entitled reaction to the Jets’ Week 11 loss to the Patriots. It’s safe to say that we will not be seeing Wilson making another start this season for New York – and maybe ever.
The Rams need to blow up their roster
I wasn’t high on the Rams last season and thought their Super Bowl win was a series of fortunate events. Still, I didn’t expect LA to be this terrible this season. When all is said and done, they will be the first team since the ‘03 Bucs to finish the year with a losing record as defending Super Bowl champions. After trading away the majority of their future draft picks for aging veterans, the Rams are in trouble when it comes to rebuilding their roster with young talent. Don’t be surprised if they decide to mortgage away stars like Cooper Kupp or Matt Stafford for multiple draft picks.
Three overreactions I’m hearing
- The Commanders will make the playoffs – Not so fast. With back-to-back games against the Giants followed by matchups against the 49ers, the Browns (with DeShaun Watson) and the Cowboys, the Commanders could easily find themselves the odd team out of the NFC East.
- Daniel Jones is not the future for the Giants – Do I think Daniel Jones is Eli Manning? No, but I also think he has yet to be given a fair shot. A loss that wasn’t nearly his fault against the Cowboys should not sway any opinions. He still has led the Giants to a 7-4 record without any type of receiving corps or an effective offensive line. Despite the outcome this season, Jones deserves at least another year with a competent line and a recognizable receiver.
- Lamar Jackson’s struggles are not his fault – It’s a fact that Jackson has struggled in the 4th quarter as of late, throwing multiple picks that cost the Ravens several games. His talent speaks for itself, but Jackson is ineffective completing deep passes and still relies too heavily on his legs. The Ravens will give him a long-term contract without a doubt, but will we see a Russell Wilson-like regression?
Three reactions that are not overreactions I’m hearing
- The Seahawks won’t make the playoffs – A loss against the Bucs in Germany is one thing, but an OT defeat at the hands of the flailing Raiders is another. Now the Seahawks find themselves with an uphill battle to secure a Wild Card spot. The next two games against the lowly Rams and the resurging Panthers are no locks and things don’t get easier against the 49ers, Chiefs and Jets after that. The magic may be over in Seattle.
- Russell Wilson won’t play out his contract in Denver – It is evident Wilson has lost the locker room after NT Mike Purcell had words with the beleaguered QB on the sideline in another embarrassing loss yesterday. Nathaniel Hackett will most definitely be this season’s casualty/scapegoat for the Broncos, but Wilson’s time is running out to prove he is deserving of the massive contract he signed in the offseason with Denver. The Broncos won’t be patient after this season.
- Jordan Love will be a starter next season – Hey, if Aaron Rodgers is severely injured, retirement may be in his future. Could this signal the beginning of the Jordan Love era? Stranger things have happened.