(Winners Highlighted, Home team in CAPS)
Carolina Panthers at SAN FRANCISCO 49ers (-6)
Washington Redskins at MINNESOTA VIKINGS (-17)
Cleveland Browns at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-13.5)
Green Bay Packers (-4) at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
The 49ers absolutely destroyed me last week with that piss-poor offensive performance against the Redskins. I don’t know how a team can look so dominant offensively one week and turn in that kind of an effort. As poor as they played they still nearly covered a ten-point spread so I blame those sons of ill-reputed mothers in Vegas (They’re so good!!). The 49ers defense pitched their first shutout of the season against the ‘Skins; they’re legitimate contenders for the best defense in the NFL (SF is allowing 223.5 yards a game, New England 223.1, to break it down using one measurement.). They get the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, the surprise so far of this season at 4-2. Nick Bosa and company are licking their chops at the thought of going up against Kyle Allen Sunday. Allen has been almost perfectly average this season, his QBR 53.3 ranks 16th in the league, but in his four wins, he hasn’t yet encountered a buzzsaw defense. The 49ers are going to get after the QB, 20 sacks in 6 games, force bad passes, 7 int’s in 6 games, and get the opposing offense off the field, opposing teams have a 30% success rate on third downs. The Panthers offense is not passing the smell test for me in this matchup. I like the 49ers winning big, despite Carolina’s decent 4-2 record against the spread this season. The Vikings have been on an absolute tear in their past three games after an embarrassing 16-6 loss to the Bears. Kirk Cousins has looked like a completely different quarterback in these three games. The man has been tossing lasers all over the field! The confusing element of this team coming into the season was them insisting on building their offense around power run concepts. Cousins has one of the most elite receiving duos in the league in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen so it doesn’t come as a surprise that its a good idea to get them the ball. In the first four games, Diggs and Thielen had 41 targets combined, in the past three (one in which Thielen missed the bulk of with a hamstring injury) they’ve combined for 41. I think this offense gets out to a fast start against a defense who hasn’t been able to stop anyone consistently this season. Patriots against Browns. It doesn’t really need much explanation. The Browns have been one of the worst teams in the league offensively and the Patriots have been one of the best defensively. I think the Patriots demoralize the Browns, book it. The last game on this card comes with a huge asterisk! If Patrick Mahomes plays the calculus on this game completely switches! If not Aaron Rodgers eviscerates the Chiefs defense and Matt Moore doesn’t have a shot in hell against the Green Bay defense.