After a lackluster MLB divisional round, the drama has picked up in the league championships.
Granted, for various reasons, I haven’t been able to watch as many innings as I’ve wanted to. I was able to catch Tuesday’s 5-hour marathon win for the Dodgers.
It’s not looking pretty for the Brewers, my preseason pick, but I’m still holding out hope. After all, that franchise started in Seattle as the Pilots in 1969. A year later the team moved to Milwaukee.
It’s possible that the Pilots will win a World Series title before the Mariners. I’m in the midst of searching for a Pilots hat to replace my Mariners hat.
Maybe I can find one in Washington, which is where I will be heading next week for an extended period of time for family reasons.
My byline will appear in the paper again, I’m just not sure when. Rest assured the KHS sports scene will still be covered.
With that said, this will be the final week of NFL picks. I’m not sure who is more distraught, Gizmo or his owner. The pup always looked forward to an abundance of treats every Wednesday.
Both human and dog ended with eight wins last week. That pushed my season mark to 51-41. Gizmo stands at 37-55.
Denver (2-4) at Arizona (1-5) — This has the potential of being the lowest-rated game in the history of Thursday Night Football. The viewers that have the stomach to watch these two teams could see history if the Broncos let David Johnson gallop for 200 yards. It has happened the past two weeks with Isiah Crowell and Todd Gurley. The Cardinals, though, are a hot mess and Case Keenum will do just enough to keep Chad Kelly on the bench.
Tennessee (3-3) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (4-2) in London — Marcus Mariota was fun to watch in an Oregon uniform. He is painful to watch in a Tennessee uniform. After getting sacked a franchise-record 11 times last week, he travels across the pond to face a Chargers defense that has brought down the quarterback 16 times this season.
Buffalo (2-4) at Indianapolis (1-5) — Buffalo quarterbacks Josh Allen and Nathan Peterman have combined to pass for 917 yards. Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck has passed for 1,792 yards. The Bills are turning to Derek Anderson this week. It does not matter who is behind center, Buffalo simply does not have any playmakers.
New England (4-2) at Chicago (3-2) — With Josh Gordon seeing more playing time, this Patriots offense is scary good. Gordon was targeted nine times in last week’s thrilling victory over Kansas City. This will be Flash Gordon’s breakout game with the Patriots.
Cleveland (2-3-1) at Tampa Bay (2-3) — Jamies Winston has lost nine of the past 10 games that he has started. Even a non-math major knows that is not a good percentage. He can sure spin the pigskin, though. Baker Mayfield also tosses the football around a lot. This game has the potential to see a combined 100 attempts by each field generals.
Detroit (2-3) at Miami (4-2) — Brock Osweiler has played for the Broncos, Texans and Dolphins. His first start for each of those teams was against Chicago. He won all three games. Too bad he can’t face the Bears every week.
Minnesota (3-2-1) at New York Jets (3-3) — Amazingly, this is only going to be the 11th meeting between these two franchises that have long histories. The Jets lead the all-time series 8-2. Brett Favre was slinging it for the Vikings the last time they visited the Jets. In that game, he tossed his 500th career touchdown.
Carolina (3-2) at Philadelphia (3-3) — Cam Newton is two rushing first downs away from becoming the NFL’s all-time quarterback leader in that category. Michael Vick holds the record with 343.
Houston (3-3) at Jacksonville (3-3) — What has happened to Sacksonville’s defense? The Jaguars have given up 70 points in the last two weeks — 40 to the Dallas Cowboys. With a hungry Jacksonville defense, this will be a tough spot for Deshaun Watson to bounce back from his worst performance as a starter.
New Orleans (4-1) at Baltimore (4-2) — Based off records, this is one of the marquee games of the week. Will the Ravens’ D slow down the high-octane Saints?
Dallas (3-3) at Washington (3-2) — Was that the Cowboys last week? Behind Dak Prescott’s arm and legs, the Boys hung a 40 burger on the Jaguars. That will most likely not happen this week against the Skins.
Los Angeles Rams (6-0) at San Francisco (1-5) — You thought Tyreke Hill was fast. What about Marquis Goodwin, a former Olympic long jumper, who displayed his skills at Lambeau Field last week. He gets loose for a long touchdown in this one, but it will not be enough to hand the Rams their first defeat.
Cincinnati (4-2) at Kansas City (5-1) — The Chiefs should play a primetime game every week. For the third time in seven weeks, Kansas City will appear on a national broadcast. The viewers want more Mahomes and Co.
New York Giants (1-5) at Atlanta (2-4) — Back-to-back weeks with the Giants in primtime. Oh, joy. At least we get to watch Odell Beckham’s sideline outbursts.