LOS ANGELES, September 20, 2017 — As Jews prepare to celebrate the holy New Year days of Rosh Hashanah, Jewish football fans can be thankful that the holiday does not fall on a Sunday this year.
Football is a lot like Judaism.
It faces a constant barrage of attacks but somehow survives. It faces tons of people threatening to boycott it due to politics. Most importantly, it gets renewed every September, a renewal of our faith itself. To Jewish football fans, may you be inscribed in the book of life for a happy and sweet New Year.
For non-Jewish football fans, may you enjoy watching grown men hit each other over this funny-looking shaped ball.
Thursday, September 21, 2017, 8:30 p.m.
Los Angeles Rams (-2.5) at San Francisco 49ers — As awful as the 49ers are, they hung tough against Seattle. The Rams are nothing special, and the 49ers always play their best games against Seattle and Los Angeles. Do not blame the Jewish New Year for low attendance. Non-Jews dislike bad football as well. Upset special, 49ers win outright.
Sunday, September 24, 9:30 a.m.
Baltimore Ravens (-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars in London — Just when people were starting to believe in the Jaguars, they get blown out at home. at least this time they will disappoint their European fans rather than their American ones. Blake Bortles will probably throw a touchdown to the Baltimore defense. Ravens cover.
Cleveland Browns (-1) at Indianapolis Colts — The Cleveland Browns are road favorites, which shows how unbelievably awful the Colts are. Indy blew a 10-point fourth quarter lead at home last week. The season could unravel if they lose this one. They will not. Upset special, Colts win outright.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-7.5) at Chicago Bears — The Steelers are very good. The Bears are very bad. Sometimes it is that simple. Ben Roethlisberger is still not Jewish. Steelers cover.
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets — The Jets initially gave Oakland a tough first half before getting blown out, Miami is an unknown at this point. The spread is too high to trust Jay Cutler when he is not getting offensive line help. Dolphins win but fail to cover.
Denver Broncos (-3) at Buffalo Bills — Every year we are told the Bills are finally ready to get back to respectability. The Broncos have Von Miller and company on defense. The Bills have Tyrod Taylor. After blasting Dallas, the Broncos have a scary look that we saw them have two years ago. Broncos cover.
Houston Texans at New England Patriots (-13) — The Texans showed heart and guts in a road win last week, but New England is not Cincinnati. After a bad opener, the Patriots returned to wrecking ball form. This could get ugly very quickly. Patriots cover.
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (-6) — Drew Brees is not getting any help. The Panthers are still an unknown commodity, but Cam Newton should be able to shred the Saints defense since everyone else does. Brees will keep it close enough. Panthers win but fail to cover.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings — Tampa Bay went on the road and blasted Chicago. Minnesota is still a question mark. In a close game, trust the Buccaneers defense to get a key turnover. Buccaneers win.
Atlanta Falcons (-3) at Detroit Lions — Both teams are 2-0, but the Lions have looked more impressive. Stafford is playing smart football. This could be a shootout, but the Lions have a vastly improved defense. Trust them at home. Upset special, Lions win outright.
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-6) — Neither of these teams is playing good football, especially on offense. The Giants looked wretched at home, but the spread is too high to trust an inconsistent Eagles team. Eagles win but fail to cover.
Seattle Seahawks at Tennessee Titans (-2.5) — Seattle barely survived woeful San Francisco at home. The Seahawks have scored only one touchdown all year. Tennessee got a big road win last week at Jacksonville and may finally be ready to turn a corner. Marcus Mariota finally has some help. Titans cover.
Kansas City Chiefs (-3) at Los Angeles Chargers — Nobody wins uglier than Alex Smith and the Chiefs, and nobody keeps squandering talent on paper like Philip Rivers and the Chargers. Stick with tradition and the team that finds ways to win rather than lose. Chiefs cover.
Cincinnati Bengals at Green Bay Packers (-9) — The Bengals have not scored a touchdown while the Packers are coming off a road loss. Green Bay will be angry, and Aaron Rodgers could light up the scoreboard. Packers
Oakland Raiders (-3) at Washington Redskins is the Sunday night game. The Raiders have a much stronger running game than last year, taking the pressure off Derek Carr. Kirk Cousins could torch the vulnerable Oakland secondary, but Carr is playing on another level. Raiders cover.
Monday, September 25, 8:30 p.m.
Dallas Cowboys (-3) at Arizona Cardinals is the Monday night game. The Cardinals looked hideous for over three quarters before possibly saving their season with a comeback win. Dallas got blasted last week. Give the Cardinals one more chance to show that they are experienced rather than just old. The Cardinals are the Jews of the NFL. They wandered around from place to place before finally finding a home in the desert and enduring decades of frustration. Upset special, Cardinals win outright.