A Rivalry Renewed – Chiefs & Bills do Battle in KC.
Parsons & The Boys Attempt to Take Down Undefeated Eagles in Philly. While Gang Green Chase the Cheese in Green Bay
Dallas Cowboys (4-1) @ Philadelphia Eagles (5-0) (Cowboys +6.5)
This is a mouth-watering clash in the NFC East. The Eagles – undefeated and perhaps the most complete team in football – against the Cowboys. Riding a 4 game winning streak – not only without starting QB Dak Prescott but also left tackle, Tyron Smith.
Philadelphia come into the matchup with the number 2 ranked offense and number 4 ranked defense. They run the ball at will, averaging 160 yards per game and have the dual threat of receivers, AJ Brown and Devonta Smooth through the air.
However, they haven’t faced a pass rush like that of the Cowboys yet this season. They already have 20 sacks as a team through 5 games – second only behind the 49ers. No team has scored more than 19 points against them in a game; moreover, no team has scored more than a single touchdown against this group in a game! Then there’s Micah Parsons. He leads the NFL in sacks this season (6), he leads the league in QB hurries (24), he already has 3 multiple sack games AND the attention he’s now getting is making this entire group better.
On the flip side, the Dallas offense has been largely anaemic with Cooper Rush under centre (they had a little more than 100 passing yards against the Rams last weekend.) He hasn’t lit up the opposition but then he hasn’t had to. What he has done, is not turn the ball over. If Dallas are to cause an upset here, Cooper Rush will need to make some plays. However, on home turf, defending an unbeaten record, it’s hard to go against the Eagles in this game but equally giving up 6.5 points to a Cowboys defense which ranks 3rd in scoring this season is too much!
PICK: Dallas Cowboys +6.5
Buffalo Bills (4-1) @ Kansas City Chiefs (4-1) (Bills Total Points +27.5)
When these two meet, fireworks happen! Buffalo is arguably the best team in the AFC right now but only a fool would overlook a team with Patrick Mahomes at QB.
Arrowhead stadium is going to be loud. The atmosphere is going to be electric for this one – fuelled, in part, by the stirring comeback win over Las Vegas on Monday night. Remember, when these two met in last season’s playoffs, neither defense could make a stop and it was only as a result of taking the opening possession in overtime for a touchdown that the Chiefs prevailed.
Entering this game, the Chiefs have the 6th ranked offense. Buffalo’s is ranked number 1! The Bills have the number 2 ranked scoring offense (30.4 points per game). The only team more potent……the Kansas City Chiefs (31.8 points per game)
However, what was noticeable on Monday night – and won’t have been missed by Buffalo – is the ability of Devante Adams to beat the Chiefs secondary deep. That is exactly what the Bills did to the Steelers’ secondary with Gabe Davis hauling in 98 and 62 yard TD passes from Josh Allen. The two also connected for FOUR touchdowns against the Chiefs in last season’s playoff game.
I’m not bold enough to call which team comes out on top in this match-up (although I’m leaning towards the Bills) however, I have no hesitation in taking Buffalo to put at least 28 points on the scoreboard. They’ve done so in 3 of their 5 games so far this season and they’ll do it again on Sunday
PICK: Buffalo Bills Total Points +27.5
New York Jets (3-2) @ Green Bay Packers (3-2) (Packers Total Points -27.5)
Don’t look now but the New York Jets have a winning record and head into Green Bay, riding a 2 game win streak. In contrast the Packers return home after a hugely disappointing loss to the Giants. Surely, they couldn’t lose to both New York football teams in back to back weeks. Could they?!
The Packers’ problem this season is putting points on the board. Only twice have they reached 27 points in a game. Meanwhile, the Jets have only given up more than 24, once.
Green Bay have to find a way of putting 2 halves of football together in the same game if they are going to be successful – and the frustration for Aaron Rodgers was clear for all to see last weekend.
Contrast that with the wave of optimism around the Jets right now. Wins over Miami and Pittsburgh are the catalyst for that, and they may have just found themselves a potential star at running back. Rookie Breece Hall totalled 197 scrimmage yards and a touchdown against Miami. This could be where Sunday’s game is won and lost. Green Bay’s defense had no answer for Saquon Barkley last weekend, and they’ve struggled against the run all season, giving up 126.4 yards per game – that puts them in the bottom half of the NFL.
It’s still tough to see the Jets coming out on top in Lambeau Field but they are a much improved team. Their defense is ranked in the top 10 through 5 games and it’s not so difficult to see them frustrating Aaron Rodgers and co once again.
PICK: Green Bay Packers Total Points -27.5