There have been some truly remarkable shocks in world sport to this point – the Undertaker losing to Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 30, the Arsenal invincibles’ 49-game unbeaten run and Phil Mickelson falling out of the Top 50 for the first time in his career.
But nothing compared to the beatdown taken by the then 8-0 New England Patriots in Baltimore last week. My goodness.
Brady, with Mohamed Sanu in tow, rocked up to Maryland, expecting to steamroll yet another inexperienced quarterback – but they were sent back to Foxboro with their legs between their tails in despair.
It’s going to take an absolute masterstroke on defence to slow down Jackson and co. Perhaps Week 10 can give us some insight into just who that might be.
Los Angeles Chargers (-1) @ Oakland Raiders: -117
Thursday 7th November 8:20PM
I’m not sure the Fox network are quite getting the game they anticipated on Thursday Night Football.
When the games were being picked, I can imagine that they believed this would be a soon-to-be 12-4 Chargers unit up against an absolute car crash led by Jon Gruden.
But it’s not exactly gone like that. In reality, a loss for either team would result in them dropping out of playoff contention. Probably not the narrative they had ready on their pre-production graphics, but hey – it’s now more meaningful than they thought.
The Chargers are a changed unit. Now, they have a run game because they ditched Ken Whisenhunt. They have Melvin Ingram back; Melvin Gordon is looking himself again – and Russell Okung is back from a major health scare.
This team may not drop another game all season, as Rivers says goodbye to his favourite stomping ground for one last time.
New York Giants (-2.5) @ New York Jets: -110
Sunday 10th November 1PM
Always take the underdogs here unless there’s crazy context.
In all seriousness, this is now a clash of Le’Veon Bell and Saquon Barkley – a much bigger deal at this point last year – but it will also double as a reminder that New York City has a long way to go before being competitive again, unless you want to go upstate to Buffalo.
I don’t believe the Giants to be anything other than a one-trick pony, but it’s all they need to be, especially after the Jets traded away some big bodies on that D-line.
If Daniel Jones doesn’t throw the ball to Jamal Adams, the G-Men will win this, and they’ll win it quite well, too.
Seattle Seahawks (+6) @ San Francisco 49ers: -107
Monday 11th November 8:15PM
Russell Wilson is the NFL MVP now.
I can hear your Christian McCaffrey shouts. I can hear you screaming for Lamar Jackson. But those bellows are falling on deaf ears. Wilson has thrown 22 touchdown and given just one takeaway. I cannot stress how difficult that is to do.
He may be the most valuable quarterback in the game, and he is not losing by more than a touchdown against a divisional rival.
Pete Carroll knows Robert Saleh very well and those disguises are only workable the first time you see them. The Hawks could hand the Niners their first loss of the entire season. But if not, they’ll run them fine and close.