LOS ANGELES: Football is supposed to be a respite away from politics. The game of football unifies fans in a common goal – winning. When major political events conflict with a football game, the National Football League often reschedules games. This year, several games were rescheduled because of COVID. Tonight brings the final presidential debate before the 2020 election.
It also brings Thursday Night Football.
The NFL did not reschedule the game, and there is only one reason that could possibly explain this. This Thursday night game is expected to be terrible. Two teams in the NFC East will bore us to tears. On the flip side, the first presidential debate was considered a disaster. There was too much combat and not enough substance. Yet President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden both showed more energy than all four NFC East teams. Dallas is 2-4, and they are in first place?
As most people know, South Jersey is basically Philadelphia.
Thursday night brings a new team from New York to pit against a Philadelphia team. Normally, Philadelphia fans obsess over football. Their team is so bad that they may opt to watch a Republican President and his Democrat opponent argue instead.
The Washington team does not even have a name.
However, none of the four NFC Least teams deserve to have their names mentioned until they reach .500 on the season. So as much as football is life, forgive NFL fans if they watch the debate. There will be plenty of football on Sunday and Monday. They could tape the Thursday night game and then just delete the recording.
With that, here is the NFL 2020 Week 7 Preview and Bettor’s Guide, with point spreads provided by DraftKings and all times Eastern.
Thursday, October 22, 2020, 8:20 p.m.
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5) —
This game is enough to make people watch politics instead. Each of these teams bungled their way into one victory. Nobody on either of these teams is playing well. Given that the Giants just won their game, expect them to come out flat. Carson Wentz is not playing well, but he is far better than Daniel Jones. Eagles win but fail to cover.
Sunday, October 25, 1:00 p.m.
Buffalo Bills (-13.5) at New York Jets —
No matter who wins the presidential election, New Yorkers everywhere agree that Adam Gase must be impeached. The Jets are awful at everything and the Bills will be angry coming off of a tough loss. The spread is so high that a garbage team might get a garbage touchdown. Bills win but fail to cover.
Cleveland Browns (-3) at Cincinnati Bengals —
The Bengals are experiencing growing pains. Let’s see if the Browns can rebound after getting throttled at Pittsburgh. This will tell if they can handle adversity. The Browns have a better defense and running game. Browns cover.
Green Bay Packers (-3.5) at Houston Texans —
Aaron Rodgers had a miserable game as Green Bay got throttled at Tampa Bay for their first loss of the season. Houston has only won once, but they out-played Tennessee and gave them all they could handle in a tough overtime loss. Deshaun Watson is not playing badly, but Rodgers has more weapons. Packers cover.
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Debate Moderators (-1) —
The No-Names have bad players who play badly, while the Cowboys, to jerry Jones’s consternation, has good players who play badly. Mike McCarthy’s offense is boring and stale. Expect a heavy dose of ground and pound as Ezekiel Elliott seeks to redeem himself from his worst game as a pro. Upset special, Cowboys win outright.
Detroit Lions at Atlanta Falcons (-2.5) —
Both of these teams have underachieving offenses and little to no defense. Raheem Morris got a win in his debut as Falcons coach. Matt Patricia has not been fired yet, but Matt Ryan should outduel Matt Stafford since Matty Ice has more weapons. Falcons cover.
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-7.5) —
The Saints get Michael Thomas back. The spread is high, but Pinball Wizard Drew Brees should have the Sean Payton offense clicking. Carolina saw their three-game win streak snapped last week, and the Saints have too much firepower. The spread is high, but give the Saints the benefit of the doubt with their missing piece returning. Saints cover.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans (-1) —
Both teams are unbeaten. Mike Tomlin and Mike Vrabel both love to play smash-mouth tough football. This has not been a rivalry since Bill Cowher and Jeff Fisher battled in the original AFC Central. Trust Derrick Henry. If the Titans keep feeding the beast, he will only grow stronger. Titans cover.
Sunday, October 25, 4:00 p.m.
San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots (-1.5) —
Both of these teams had high hopes entering the season, but injuries devastated the 49ers and COVID led Patriots players to opt-out. Bill Belichick is a defensive chess master who wins Super Bowls. Kyle Shanahan is an offensive mind who blows Super Bowls. Both Cam Newton and Jimmy Garoppolo have struggled. Go with Belichick. Patriots cover.
Kansas City Chiefs (-9.5) at Denver Broncos —
Denver went on the road and stunned New England, but Kansas City went into Buffalo and just pounded them. Pass-happy Walrus Andy Reid has a superhuman quarterback in Patrick Mahomes, yet he ran the ball 45 times at Buffalo. When Andy Reid is running the ball, you know the Chiefs are a complete team. Denver is playing hard for Vic Fangio, but they are overmatched in this game. Chiefs win but fail to cover.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Los Angeles Chargers (-7.5) —
The Jaguars lost at home by 18 points to a weak Detroit team. The Chargers always seem the on the verge of something special before underperforming, but Justin Herbert seems different. He is playing well, and the Jaguars cannot stop anyone. The Chargers should win this game easy, but they never win easy. Chargers win but fail to cover.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-4) at Las Vegas Raiders —
Forget the 2002 Super Bowl. The Raiders would sure like to. Try to forget the 2001 Tuck Rule debacle. The Raiders cannot. Jon Gruden lost his first Tuck rule revenge game against Belichick a few weeks ago, but now he faces his second Tuck Rule revenge game against Tom Brady. Brady’s Buccaneers destroyed the previously unbeaten Packers. However, Derek Carr has a bruising running back in Josh Jacobs and a serious deep threat in Henry Ruggs. Originally scheduled for Sunday night, this game was moved to the afternoon out of a concern the game could be postponed. Raiders offensive tackle Trent Brown tested positive for COVID. Neither team is special on defense. The players will win this one for Chucky. Upset special, Raiders win outright.
Sunday, October 25, 8:00 p.m.
Seattle Seahawks (-3.5) at Arizona Cardinals –
The Cardinals beat up bad teams and lose to good teams. Seattle is unbeaten. Kyler Murray is exciting, but Russell Wilson is playing out of this world. The Seahawks barely survived Minnesota, and the Cardinals have enough playmakers to make this exciting. Seahawks win but fail to cover.
Monday, October 26, 8:20 p.m.
Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams (-6) —
The Bears are the least respected 5-1 team in some time, and that is because their defense is making up for their anemic offense. The Rams stumbled last week at San Francisco, but their offense should return to form this week. The last time these teams met there were no touchdowns as the Bears won a 15-6 bloodbath. Yet this game is in Los Angeles, not Chicago. Aaron Donald has returned to Super Bowl form, which is not good news for Nick Foles or anyone else quarterbacking Chicago. Rams cover.