It was a very good week. In two ways.
One, I went 12-4. Two, I picked up three more games in the head-to-head competition with MDS.
I prevailed once again in three of five disagreements. I went 12-4 for the week, MDS finished 9-7.
For the year, I’m now 37-26-1. MDS is 30-33-1.
This week, we disagree on only three games. Scroll for the picks.
Colts (+3.5) at Broncos
MDS’s take: The Broncos have underachieved in Russell Wilson’s first season, but not as much as the Colts have underachieved in Matt Ryan’s first season. The Broncos will get their third win.
MDS’s pick: Broncos 20, Colts 10.
Florio’s take: The Broncos seem worse than 2-2. Then again, the Colts seem worse than 1-2-1. They also don’t have Jonathan Taylor. Which seems significant.
Florio’s pick: Broncos 17, Colts 9.
Giants (+8) vs. Packers
MDS’s take: The Giants are a surprising 3-1 and aren’t as good as that record would suggest. The Packers are perhaps better than 3-1 would suggest, and should win easily.
MDS’s pick: Packers 31, Giants 13.
Florio’s take: The Packers make their first trip to London a memorable one. For the Giants, it’s forgettable.
Florio’s pick: Packers 34, Giants 16.
Steelers (+14) at Bills
MDS’s take: The Steelers are two-touchdown underdogs in what is shaping up to be one of their worst seasons in the last half-century. They’ll keep it slightly closer than two touchdowns, but the Bills will win comfortably.
MDS’s pick: Bills 30, Steelers 20.
Florio’s take: The Steelers are the last team since the merger to be 14-point underdogs. They’re not good enough to win. But they’re good enough to cover.
Florio’s pick: Bills 27, Steeler 17.
Chargers (-2.5) at Browns
MDS’s take: The Browns’ offense has been better than expected with Jacoby Brissett, but their defense is a mess, and Justin Herbert should thrive.
MDS’s pick: Chargers 28, Browns 21.
Florio’s take: This one’s a toss up, with the edge going to the home team.
Florio’s pick: Browns 24, Chargers 21.
Bears (+7) at Vikings
MDS’s take: Justin Fields is trending increasingly toward “draft bust” territory in his second season. The Vikings’ defense isn’t very good, but I just can’t see the Bears’ offense scoring much against anyone right now.
MDS’s pick: Vikings 22, Bears 10.
Florio’s take: The Vikings have found a way to barely win, on a consistent basis. Which is better than the last two years, when they found a way to barely lose on a consistent basis.
Florio’s pick: Vikings 27, Bears 21.
Lions (+3) at Patriots
MDS’s take: We don’t know who’s playing quarterback for the Patriots, but any offense should score a lot of points against the terrible Lions defense.
MDS’s pick: Patriots 38, Lions 31.
Florio’s take: Bill Belichick will be able to slow down the Detroit offense, and the Patriots will have enough offense to outscore the Lions — especially with former Detroit coach Matt Patricia anxious to get a crack at his old team.
Florio’s pick: Patriots 34, Lions 20.
Seahawks (+5) at Saints
MDS’s take: Geno Smith is off to an excellent start this season, but he’ll come back to earth on Sunday in New Orleans.
MDS’s pick: Saints 17, Seahawks 13.
Florio’s take: The Saints are due for a win, but playing one week after the trip to London could be a factor in whether they cover the spread.
Florio’s pick: Saints 20, Seahawks 17.
Dolphins (-3.5) at Jets
MDS’s take: Even without Tua Tagovailoa, the Dolphins’ offense should cruise against a bad Jets defense.
MDS’s pick: Dolphins 28, Jets 21.
Florio’s take: Can Teddy Bridgewater keep the offense humming? Can the Jets play at home like they do on the road?
Florio’s pick: Jets 23, Dolphins 20.
Falcons (+8.5) at Buccaneers
MDS’s take: Tom Brady wants to avoid his first three-game losing streak in 20 years. He’ll do it against a Falcons team that is playing hard but just doesn’t have the roster to compete in the NFC South.
MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 27, Falcons 20.
Florio’s take: Back in their routine, the Bucs get back to playing winning football, in a convincing way.
Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 30, Falcons 13.
Titans (-2.5) at Commanders
MDS’s take: I haven’t been impressed with the Titans this season, but it’s hard for me to pick the Commanders against anyone as long as Carson Wentz is playing the way he is.
MDS’s pick: Titans 17, Commanders 13.
Florio’s take: The Titans are rolling. The Commanders are reeling. This one is easy.
Florio’s pick: Titans 21, Commanders 10.
Texans (+7) at Jaguars
MDS’s take: The Jaguars’ rebuilding effort is making good progress. The Texans’ is not.
MDS’s pick: Jaguars 21, Texans 10.
Florio’s take: The Texans have owned the Jaguars in recent years. Not this weekend.
Florio’s pick: Jaguars 27, Texans 17.
49ers (-6.5) at Panthers
MDS’s take: The Panthers look like they’ve made no progress at all in three years of Matt Rhule trying to rebuild the franchise. The 49ers win this one going away, even with a long trip on a short week.
MDS’s pick: 49ers 30, Panthers 13.
Florio’s take: The next time Baker Mayfield bets, he should consider betting on anything other than himself.
Florio’s pick: 49ers 24, Panthers 10.
Cowboys (+5.5) at Rams
MDS’s take: The Cowboys are still undefeated with Cooper Rush as their starting quarterback, but I think it comes to an end in a close loss to the Rams.
MDS’s pick: Rams 28, Cowboys 27.
Florio’s take: This is an unofficial home game for a Cowboys team with a defense that is nearly good enough to do to the LA offense what the 49ers did on Monday night.
Florio’s pick: Cowboys 17, Rams 13.
Eagles (-5) at Cardinals
MDS’s take: The Eagles are playing great football on both sides of the ball, and they should win this one easily.
MDS’s pick: Eagles 27, Cardinals 14.
Florio’s take: This is a potential trap for the Eagles, especially with the Cowboys looming.
Florio’s pick: Eagles 34, Cardinals 21.
Bengals (+3) at Ravens
MDS’s take: Lamar Jackson is playing much, much better than Joe Burrow this season, and that’s going to be the difference on Sunday night.
MDS’s pick: Ravens 31, Bengals 21.
Florio’s take: This one is all about coach John Harbaugh finding a way to end a five-game home losing streak.
Florio’s pick: Ravens 27, Bengals 23.
Raiders (+7) at Chiefs
MDS’s take: Patrick Mahomes has always played well against the Raiders, and Monday night will be no different.
MDS’s pick: Chiefs 35, Raiders 20.
Florio’s take: Sorry, Raiders. Prime time in Kansas City is not a good time to play the Chiefs.
Florio’s pick: Chiefs 34, Raiders 24.