By Hamish Girvan
The AFC East – yes the one that has a winner before the season has even started- yes the division that has the New England Patriots and the rest. This season seems no different. Like death and taxes one this is certain.
New York Jets at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Monday 7am NZ time
The Jets are a bit of a surprise and with a 4-5 record they are actually doing better than most thought. Quarterback John McCown at 38 is only the second oldest in his position in the division. This week they head to Tampa to face a Buccaneers team without their starting quarterback, so the Jets have a very good shot at claiming another W. The Jets have a 2.5 point start away from home. That would have been unheard of month ago. Take the Jets to keep on flying
New Orleans Saints at Buffalo Bills – Monday 7am NZ time
This game is boom or bust for the Buffalo Bills. Lose this and any chance of the post season possibly goes looking at their forward schedule and the ever improving Saints head to the Bills to further cement their NFC title aspirations. Bills under new head coach Sean McDermott are there or there about however last week’s loss to the Jets will be stinging still. Here they have a chance to get back on track. The Saints perform at their best in warmer weather and play their home games in an inside arena so they get Buffalo in the low single figures temperature wise. The Bills are getting +3 points here – not home favourites. Take them to spoil the Saints game plan.
New England Patriots at Denver Broncos – Monday 2.30pm NZ time
Da’ja’vu? The last time the Patriots travelled to Denver in the regular season they faced a backup quarterback who won the game for them. Here the same scenario occurs facing the same backup quarterback. Somehow the probability of this occurring are slightly slimmer. The Patriots predictably written off after their opening home loss as usual got back on track and have been cruising really – and Tom Brady is still one of the best at 40 years of age. The Patriots are coming off a by head to Denver whose team really are struggling. No offense and a defence that are starting to tire with all the work they have been expected to do. This could be a blowout and with the Patriots being given a 7.5 point start – in Denver they should do it comfortably
Miami Dolphins at Carolina Panthers – Tuesday 2.30pm NZ time
The Miami Dolphins are struggling. Losing quarterback Ryan Tannehill before the season started has not helped. They then go and sign recently retired “Smokin’ Jay Cutler on a one year deal. Help not really forthcoming there either. With a 4-4 record chances of any postseason is slim and heading to Charlotte to face the Panthers, who are starting to kick into gear will not be easy. The Dolphins still hold the record and being the only team ever to go through season unbeaten. That was in 1972. The Panthers are a 9 point start home favourites. That should tell you all about the Dolphins chances and the upcoming chances over the next number of years of ever repeating that feat
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