Last week, MDS and I agreed on all six games. We got four of them right. Agains the spread, MDS went 3-3. I was a pathetic 2-2.
This week, we disagree on one of the four games. For the only three, we have the same winner, both straight up and against the spread.
Check out all picks below, and chime in with your own in the comments.
Rams (+6.5) at Packers
MDS’s take: Aaron Rodgers is playing his best football, and the Rams will be going with either an injured Jared Goff or an injured John Wolford. There are other lenses from which to view this game, and some of them favor the Rams, namely that the Rams have the superior defense. But even if that defense plays well against Rodgers, in the end I think Rodgers and Davante Adams make enough big plays to win this game.
MDS’s pick: Packers 30, Rams 20.
Florio’s take: The Packers need running back Aaron Jones to have a solid performance as he moves toward free agency. They also need quarterback Aaron Rodgers to find slivers and creases into which the ball can be thrown to receiver Davante Adams, even if he’s blanketed by Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey. On defense, Green Bay needs to sell out to stop the run and force the Rams to beat them by throwing the ball through the cold Lambeau air.
Florio’s pick: Packers 31, Rams 21.
Ravens (+2.5) at Bills
MDS’s take: Over the last several weeks, the Bills may be playing better than any team in the NFL. The Ravens are playing good football at the right time, too, but I don’t think I’d pick anyone to go to Buffalo and beat the Bills right now.
MDS’s pick: Bills 27, Ravens 20.
Florio’s take: The Ravens continue to be the hottest team in the NFL, and the Bills had a near miss against the Colts. Baltimore can run the ball very well, and the Bills can’t. That could be the difference, especially if it snows.
Florio’s pick: Ravens 24, Bills 21.
Browns (+10) at Chiefs
MDS’s take: The Browns poured it on early and never looked back against the Steelers, but the well-rested Chiefs are simply the better team. Patrick Mahomes will outplay Baker Mayfield and I expect the Chiefs to get at least one big play on special teams.
MDS’s pick: Chiefs 35, Browns 21.
Florio’s take: The best-case for the Browns includes slowing things down, shortening the game, and limiting the number of possessions that Kansas City will have. Even then, can Cleveland outscore a Kansas City team that always finds a way? It’s doubtful.
Florio’s pick: Chiefs 35, Browns 24.
Buccaneers (+3) at Saints
MDS’s take: Tom Brady vs. Drew Brees should be an NFL playoff classic, and it’s a game that could easily go either way. The Saints are favored and won both regular-season meetings handily, but I just have a feeling that the Bucs are peaking at the right time, while the Saints are slowing down as the season wears on.
MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 28, Saints 27.
Florio’s take: Throw out the first two installments of this series; the Buccaneers have improved dramatically since Week One and Week Nine. Tom Brady has played 17 games with his new team, and the offense is peaking. In what likely will be the last career game for Drew Brees, it quite possibly will be yet another heartbreaking exit from the postseason for the Saints.
Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 24, Saints 23.