The good news is I’m building a lead. The bad news is that neither of us is doing very well this year.
But who really is? It’s harder than ever to figure out what’s going to happen in NFL games, especially since multiple teams are, despite being badly outplayed, pulling multiple rabbits out of their butts.
I prevailed in three of five disagreements. I went 8-8 for the week, MDS finished 7-9.
For the year, I’m 25-22-1. MDS is 21-26-1.
This week, we disagree yet again on five games. To see who we like and who we don’t, we’d like you to keep scrolling.
Dolphins (+4) at Bengals
MDS’s take: Tua Tagovailoa vs. Joe Burrow is a good quarterback matchup that we may see for many years to come. I think Burrow is the better quarterback, but right now Tagovailoa has the better team round him.
MDS’s pick: Dolphins 21, Bengals 20.
Florio’s take: The Dolphins have pulled an inside straight for two straight weeks. The Bengals know they can’t afford to fall to 1-3, and they’re good enough to find a way to beat a better-than-expected franchise that won’t catch Cincy napping.
Florio’s pick: Bengals 27, Dolphins 21.
Vikings (-2.5) vs. Saints
MDS’s take: This season’s first London game features a Saints team that has struggled on offense and a Vikings team that has struggled on defense. I like the Vikings in a low-scoring game.
MDS’s pick: Vikings 17, Saints 14.
Florio’s take: The Vikings are good enough to win the games they should, not good enough to win the games they shouldn’t. This is a game they should win.
Florio’s pick: Vikings 24, Saints 20.
Browns (-1.5) at Falcons
MDS’s take: Both offenses have played well and both defenses have played poorly this season, so look for a high-scoring game that the Browns win late.
MDS’s pick: Browns 38, Falcons 35.
Florio’s take: With a few extra days to rest and prepare, the ground-and-pound Browns should be able to suffocate the Falcons.
Florio’s pick: Browns 27, Falcons 20.
Commanders (+3) at Cowboys
MDS’s take: Cooper Rush is a solid backup quarterback, and the Cowboys were foolish to put him on waivers before the season. And a lot of other teams — including the Commanders — should have claimed Rush.
MDS’s pick: Cowboys 27, Commanders 20.
Florio’s take: Cooper Rush getting to 4-0 for his career will hurry Dak Prescott back for Week Five.
Florio’s pick: Cowboys 30, Commanders 20.
Seahawks (+4.5) at Lions
MDS’s take: Geno Smith has exceeded expectations this season and should put up good numbers against a suspect Lions defense, but the Lions’ big-play offense will put plenty of points on the board as well.
MDS’s pick: Lions 31, Seahawks 28.
Florio’s take: The Seahawks simply don’t have the horses to avoid losing their third in a row.
Florio’s pick: Lions 23, Seahawks 20.
Titans (+3.5) at Colts
MDS’s take: I don’t know what to think of either of these teams, both of which bounced back in Week Three after playing some ugly football in their first two games. I have a little more faith in the Colts to keep it going.
MDS’s pick: Colts 21, Titans 20.
Florio’s take: The Chiefs repeatedly shot themselves in the foot in Week Three. If the Titans can avoid that same fate in Week Four, they should be fine.
Florio’s pick: Titans 24, Colts 17.
Bears (+3) at Giants
MDS’s take: The Bears’ coaching staff has no faith in Justin Fields, who’s off to a historically bad start this season. The Giants will stop the Bears’ one-dimensional offense.
MDS’s pick: Giants 17, Bears 10.
Florio’s take: Both teams seem worse than 2-1. One of them will get to 3-1. Saquon Barkley makes the difference.
Florio’s pick: Giants 20, Bears 14.
Jaguars (+6.5) at Eagles
MDS’s take: It’s hard to believe these are two of the best teams in the NFL, but that’s what they look like through three games. The Eagles will move to 4-0, but the Jaguars will give them a tough fight.
MDS’s pick: Eagles 27, Jaguars 24.
Florio’s take: Eagles fans shouldn’t boo Doug Pederson. They will anyway. And he’ll come dangerously close to making them regret it.
Florio’s pick: Eagles 30, Jaguars 26.
Jets (+3.5) at Steelers
MDS’s take: I’m not expecting much from either of these teams this season, but the winner will be .500 through four games. I see Mitchell Trubisky having a decent game against a terrible Jets defense.
MDS’s pick: Steelers 27, Jets 20.
Florio’s take: With a mini-murderer’s row looming, the Steelers need to make quick work of the Jets. If they can’t, it will be Kenny Pickett time in Pittsburgh.
Florio’s pick: Steelers 24, Jets 14.
Bills (-3) at Ravens
MDS’s take: Two of the best teams in the league meeting in what could be an AFC playoff preview. I think both quarterbacks will play well, but the Ravens’ defense is going to give Josh Allen a few more big-play opportunities.
MDS’s pick: Bills 35, Ravens 30.
Florio’s take: Buffalo won’t step on a rake for a second straight week.
Florio’s pick: Bills 31, Ravens 27.
Chargers (-5) at Texans
MDS’s take: The Chargers had an ugly game last week and should have kept Justin Herbert off the field for his own good, but they’ll bounce back against a Texans team that just doesn’t have the manpower.
MDS’s pick: Chargers 28, Texans 17.
Florio’s take: Sean Payton should start looking for a place in L.A.
Florio’s pick: Texans 23, Chargers 20.
Cardinals (-1.5) at Panthers
MDS’s take: Kliff Kingsbury and Matt Rhule could both be coaching in college next year if their teams don’t turn things around. I like Kingsbury’s chances better because I like his quarterback better.
MDS’s pick: Cardinals 23, Panthers 17.
Florio’s pick: Cardinals 27, Panthers 20.
Patriots (+10) at Packers
MDS’s take: With Mac Jones injured, the Patriots’ stagnant offense will look even worse. The Packers should cruise.
MDS’s pick: Packers 28, Patriots 13.
Florio’s take: A Super Bowl matchup that never happened will be anything but super for the team that has won six of them.
Florio’s pick: Packers 28, Patriots 20.
Broncos (+2.5) at Raiders
MDS’s take: The Raiders are the only 0-3 team in the NFL, and the Broncos are the best team they’ve faced this season. They’re about to be 0-4.
MDS’s pick: Broncos 21, Raiders 20.
Florio’s take: Desperation can be the ultimate difference maker.
Florio’s pick: Raiders 24, Broncos 17.
Chiefs (-2) at Buccaneers
MDS’s take: I still see these as two of the best teams in the NFL, but one of them will be .500 after they meet on Sunday night coming off disappointing losses last week. I think the Chiefs bounce back and the Bucs lose their second straight.
MDS’s pick: Chiefs 24, Buccaneers 20.
Florio’s take: Tampa Bay lacks the offensive firepower to keep up with the Chiefs.
Florio’s pick: Chiefs 28, Bucs 24.
Rams (+2.5) at 49ers
MDS’s take: The 49ers’ defense has been excellent so far this season, but I don’t think the Rams’ offense has shown what it can really do, and that’s going to change on Monday night.
MDS’s pick: Rams 28, 49ers 24.
Florio’s take: Kyle Shanahan keeps finding a way to get the better of Sean McVay.
Florio’s pick: 49ers 28, Rams 27.