I think you know the trend by now. Patriots lose a game. Everyone overreacts. Patriots are done. The AFC is wide-open. Yada. Yada. Yada.
This week features several teams, not just the Patriots, in need of a bounce-back. And, oh by the way, so do I after a sluggish 4-6 start to this season. Without further ado:
Season record: 4-6 (.400)
New England (-4.5) at Philadelphia
No Jordan Howard or DeSean Jackson. Pats trying to avoid consecutive losses as they almost always do. Revenge game. Whatever the reason, this is bad news for Philly. There will be no Philly Special to save the Eagles this time. And something tells me Bill Belichick will have a trick play up his sleeve. Pick: Patriots.
Houston at Baltimore (-4.5)
After five straight wins, including an emotional clobbering of the Pats and a blowout of the winless Bengals, the Ravens are in for a close game. It’ll be fun to watch DeShaun Watson and Lamar Jackson trade punches. Pick: Texans.
Chicago at Los Angeles Rams (-6)
Two overrated teams that made the playoffs last year. The Rams can’t really score, so that’s the equalizer for the scuffling Mitch Trubisky. This one should be close regardless considering the Bears have won six of the last seven meetings with the Rams. Pick: Bears.
New Orleans (-5) at Tampa Bay
I’m tempted to go Bucs as a home dog, but New Orleans needs to bounce back here. A week after its first-ever sub-10 point performance in a Brees/Payton game, I’ll say the offense wakes back up to outscore the Bucs. Pick: Saints.
Jacksonville at Indianapolis (-2.5)
In a battle of QBs returning from injuries, give me the Colts to wash away the embarrassment of last week’s home loss to the Fins. Pick: Colts.
Atlanta at Carolina (-3.5)
The Falcons finally stopped underachieving in a big way last week, and the Panthers are sliding a bit as Kyle Allen is coming back to earth. Look for the trend to continue this week. Pick: Falcons.