By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.
As the 2020 NFL season reaches its midway point, I commend the league for putting out a great product under the most trying circumstances. The action on the field has been outstanding, especially considering there were no preseason games to help get the teams prepared. And while there have been some occasional COVID bumps on the road, for the most part the season has been unscathed. Let’s hope it stays that way.
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On to this week’s picks:
♦ GREEN BAY @ SAN FRANCISCO: The Packers and 49ers both suffered a loss this past Sunday, but the Niners’ fall to the Seattle Seahawks was far more damaging. The team lost QB Jimmy Garappolo and TE George Kittle to injury, and both players are expected to be out for an extended period of time. It’s hard to see Aaron Rodgers & Co. letting a W slip away this time. Pick: PACKERS
♦ SEATTLE @ BUFFALO: After a hot start to the season, Bill’s QB Josh Allen has begun to struggle a bit lately. The visiting Seahawks might be the perfect antidote. The Seahawks have allowed 358.7 passing yards per game so far this season – by far the league’s worst passing defense. Legion of Swoon? Still, Seattle is 6-1, with their lone blemish an OT loss to the Arizona Cardinals. The question here is, can Buffalo’s defense keep Russell Wilson in check? I think so. Pick: BILLS
♦ CHICAGO @ TENNESSEE: After starting the season 5-0, Tennessee has lost two straight. The Bears, meanwhile, are coming off a tough loss to New Orleans. It will be interesting to see if the Bears defense can contain Derrick Henry, the league’s leading rusher. Chicago has a puncher’s chance, even without suspended receiver Javon Wims. But Tennessee simply has more offensive weapons. Pick: TITANS
♦ BALTIMORE @ INDIANAPOLIS: The Ravens may still be smarting after Sunday’s close loss to Pittsburgh. It’s a game they had every chance to win. Suddenly, people are wondering whether Lamar Jackson has lost the MVP magic that was on full display in 2019. And now they play the Colts, who boast one of the NFL’s best defenses. Both teams are 5-2. The Ravens are 3-point favorites, but I smell an upset. Pick: COLTS
♦ MIAMI @ ARIZONA: Let’s be honest here: Tua’s first NFL start wasn’t exactly pretty. The former Saint Louis star showed some early jitters, and thankfully Miami’s defense and special teams allowed him the luxury of not having to do too much for most of the game. Now Tua has that game -and win – tucked under his belt, he can move on to his next challenge: a road game against the Arizona Cardinals, winners of three straight games and coming off a bye. Tua will have a better game, but he won’t be able to keep up with a well-rested Kyler Murray. Pick: CARDINALS
♦ NEW ORLEANS @ TAMPA BAY: If you read my “Picks” last week, you already know how I feel about Antonio Clown. While some observers feel the troubled receiver may be the missing piece to propel the Bucs to the Super Bowl championships, I think (hope?) he might have the opposite impact. This guy is a disruptive, me-first player who could cause problems within the team. And why is Tampa bringing in players that Raiders fans despise (Brady, Clown)? What’s next? Are they bringing Lynn Swann out of retirement? I’m still picking the Bucs to win this Battle of the South, though, because the Saints aren’t what they used to be, the Bucs are on a roll and I’m known to be a notorious jinx.
Last Week: 4-2
Season to Date: 30-18 (.625)
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