Brady versus Bill delivered the drama but not the all-time performance The GOAT would’ve been hoping for.
In the end, all that matters is Tampa Tommy and the Bucs rolled out of Foxborough with a dub and Bill had to eat that L. With that game now in the rear view, Tampa Bay can focus on getting back to its championship level play because its past two games have been beneath that of a Super Bowl-winning squad.
They’ll host fellow Floridians, Miami at Raymond James.
Atlanta and New York – of the Jets variety – trek across the pond to London for the first of a few Europeans games after the pandemic halted those from happening last season. As is usually the case, they’ve sent two horror squads across so we’ll be skipping that one.
There are the big games I’ll be locked into…
On paper you can be excused for having a go at me for listing this as a ‘game of the week’ contender.
But, hear me out. The Bengals are 3-1 for the first time since 2018 and they finally have their new franchise quarterback. Joe Burrow is their guy and he is that dude. He’s not got a rocket arm or electrifying athleticism but he does have phenomenal composure and steel to make things happen for his squad.
The Bengals main man runs into the bad man – Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers and the Packers look like themselves after a week one abomination. They’ve handled the Lions and Steelers at home since as well as a powerful statement win in San Francisco against a team who’ve had their measure.
A win here for the home team would be major but I feel this squad is a season or two away. The offensive nucleus of Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, Joe Mixon (who is in doubt for this week), Tee Higgins (who may return this week) and Tyler Boyd gives Bengals fans much to cheer about.
The Packer D is not outstanding but it’s improved its play since giving up 38 in their opener v New Orleans.
When it’s all said and done, I’d picking the Packers to do enough, behind Rodgers, to climb past an improving Cincy squad.
TIP – Packers 27, Bengals 20.
Cleveland went in a basically shutout a potent offence in Minnesota last week. Justin Jefferson scored early but there afterward Kirk Cousins and the Vikings O was kept in check. Myles Garrett is such a weapon on the defensive side but Greedy Williams and Denzel Ward are premier defensive backs as well.
The Chubb/Hunt combo keeps churning out yards and touchdowns whilst Baker Mayfield can just keep it safe and make plays when required. It’s an excellent game style in Cleveland and one which could take them further than last season.
These Chargers are not the old Chargers. They’re 3-1 and have a franchise superstar to build around with Justin Herbert.
But they’ve had that in the past with Phil Rivers. But, Brandon Staley seems to have them humming and the late-game errors are not costing them like they once did. This Charger squad is a 54-yard FG away from being unbeaten.
Justin Herbert is simply put – the real deal. He’s a generational quarterback talent and LA’s ‘other’ team need to build around him. He’s the type of QB who can deliver championships, provided he has the right coaching staff and talent surrounding him.
Right here, right now, I like Cleveland as a more complete team but I’m rolling with J Herb until proven otherwise.
TIP – Chargers 24, Browns 21.
We get the AFC Championship game rematch here, with the in-form Bills trekking down to Missouri to face KC.
The Bills began slowly but the past few have been powerful performances, even though taking a line through the Texans is far from an ideal form line. Still, a 40-zip beating is impressive at any level.
The Chiefs got rolling last week, putting up 42 in Philly. Tyreek Hill exploded with three touchdowns whilst Travis Kelce was surprisingly held in check. Expect him to bounce back hard.
Something is telling me the Bills are the more dominant squad right now and something tells me that KC are a few percent off their very best but even so, how can you pick against Kansas City at Arrowhead on Sunday Night Football!?!
TIP – KC 26, Bills 23.
LOCK: Packers, Tennessee, Dallas.
‘DOG OF THE WEEK: Washington over the Saints.
ALL-UP: Packers to win H2H into Travis Kelce anytime TD.