Buffalo Bills 33, New York Jets 10
I’m not that worried about Josh Allen. He’s played better than the numbers show the last two weeks, with his QB20 ranking from Pro Football Focus in those games sounding about right. I am that worried about the Bills’ defense, which is soft up front and tentative in the back, like a nightmare mullet. To be clear: I’m not they could struggle with the Jets worried, because I’ve watched every Jets snap this season, just so you don’t have to.
Bills at Jets (+12)
A feeling of shame swept over me late Sunday afternoon after realizing I had actually gone on record to an audience of thousands and picked an Adam Gase/Joe Flacco-led team to beat the spread. Please find it in your hearts to forgive me. The Jets are one of two teams that have not covered a single game this year. The Bills, meanwhile, are coming off of back-to-back losses and suddenly have a minus-12 point differential. The conversation around Buffalo always centers around Josh Allen, but the defense has dropped all the way down to 29th in efficiency. The Jets’ minus-110 point differential is the eighth-worst margin for a team after six games in the last 20 years. I wouldn’t be able to look myself in the mirror if I took the Jets again and lost. Neither would you.
The pick: Bills (-12)
From: The Athletic
New England Patriots 22, San Francisco 49ers 20
If I don’t trust a team’s passing game, I don’t trust that team at all in the year 2020. I don’t trust either of these teams’ passing games. Cam Newton was hesitant to throw to open receivers last week, while 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is hesitant to call plays that require Jimmy Garoppolo to throw beyond the line of scrimmage. In a battle of running games and defense, the slight edge goes to the team with the running quarterback, the superior secondary and Bill Belichick. But Kyle’s dad often brought out the worst in Belichick, and a 2-4 start would be the worst in Foxborough since 2000, Belichick’s first season there.
49ers at Patriots (-1.5)
The Patriots’ offense took over with 3:14 last week needing a touchdown to beat the Broncos. On that critical drive, they called two separate trick plays that involved Julian Edelman throwing the ball. To their credit, both plays worked: One was a 22-yard gain, and the other was a 16-yard gain. But what did that say about their faith (or lack thereof) in their standard passing game? New England is definitely a team that could add a pass-catcher in the next two weeks. Meanwhile, the 49ers are in a tough spot. They’ll be without Raheem Mostert, and it was clear last week that Jimmy Garoppolo was not close to 100 percent. Kyle Shanahan will give them a chance, but this feels like a game where New England wins it with a big play on defense or special teams.
The pick: Patriots (-1.5)