Hey, it’s Moneyline Mo, the man in the know, coming off a week where I ate some crow. Mark it down, Week 6 is the first time that I haven’t had a winning set of predictions for you. Both the Sunday night and Monday night games were close contests that ultimately didn’t go my way. And if I’m being honest, I got lucky with Dallas coming back against New England and winning that game in overtime. So, it’s the first time that I feel betrayed by the outcomes of games, but don’t give up on old Moneyline Mo yet.
Let the record show that I didn’t have a losing week, I just went .500 with a 7-7 record. In my heart I knew that not every week would find me on the winning side of things, but you hope that maybe you can avoid it. In the grand scheme though, I can’t beat myself up over a .500 week, that’s a solid C. However, this week I won’t have the opportunity to go .500, because with six teams off, there are only 13 games. Wait, Week SEVEN only has THIRTEEN games? That seems intentional. Let’s hope luck is back on my side. Here are my predictions for Week 7:
CLEVELAND OVER DENVER
While my week-to-week winning streak came to an end, I’m still undefeated on Thursday nights! See, I still have something to cling onto for now! Both Cleveland and Denver had such promising starts, but have fallen back to 3-3. The undefeated start for Denver feels more like fool’s gold. For Cleveland, it feels like everyone on their team is hurt, and as I write this, Baker Mayfield will either play on Thursday or he might have season-ending surgery. We’ll see if my Thursday night record will stand with all this uncertainty surrounding the game.
ATLANTA OVER MIAMI
How is this fair for Miami that they had to return from London and play a game this week? Jacksonville gets to have a bye week, but Miami isn’t afforded the same kindness. In fact, Atlanta just played New York (A) in London two weeks ago and both of those teams got bye weeks immediately after. The current bye system makes no sense. I know that eventually the league will expand beyond 32 teams, and while I’m not looking forward to that happening, I’ve come to accept the reality of London having its own team. Once London gets its own franchise, that team will instantly be hated by every football fan in America. It will serve as a unifier of even the fiercest rivals that the common ground they’ll share is a hatred of the London team. It’s basically the plot of Watchmen, but the league is going to create a villain for all U.S. football fans to rally against.
CAROLINA OVER NEW YORK (N)
If I was Matt Rhule, I would say “darn it, Darnold!” anytime my quarterback screwed up. I would have too much fun saying it, so then I’d call plays that would undermine the actual goal of winning the game so I could instead have a reason to say my fun little catchphrase. I also would probably have tried to force a “darn it, Dan Arnold!” but immediately not like the way that sounded coming out of my mouth and have no choice but to remove him from the team. I’m not saying that’s what happened, I’m just saying that would have been enough motivation for me to trade my starting tight end away after a 3-0 start when the offense was clicking. And if I’m coaching this team, I would at least cherish the three-game losing streak to increase my output of “darn it, Darnold!”
TENNESSEE OVER KANSAS CITY
I had some real conflicting emotions on Monday night as Tennessee defeated Buffalo. On the one hand, I saw my pick of Buffalo lose, which meant that I didn’t have a winning week for the first time ever in my history of writing these columns for Milwaukee Record. On the other hand, longtime Moneyline Mo readers would know that Tennessee has been my pick since the start of the season to win it all this year. So, was it worth it to be wrong in the short-term to potentially have been right in the long-term about Tennessee? Circle back with me once the playoffs are over to see if I’ve figured out how I’m supposed to feel about that game.
WASHINGTON OVER GREEN BAY
That’s right! I’m back to picking against my favorite team. In fact, while I try to not look too far ahead, I might be picking against them the next few weeks. The win over Chicago was fun, but in my eyes, there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. A trap for Green Bay over the years has been when they’ve leaned in to the later, which is where I think they are at right now. I think when you start acting arrogant, you overlook your faults and don’t work as hard, which opens the door for your weaknesses to get exploited.
Looking beyond just this upcoming game, I think the next month we’re going to have a lot of frustrated Green Bay fans asking what’s going on with this team. As always, the fan in me wants to be wrong when picking against Green Bay, but I think this is going to be a stunning double-digit loss for the Green and Gold. Even if my prediction holds true, you know what’s always a great time? Watching the game at the Cactus Club for the Milwaukee Record Halftime Show. This week features a performance by BLOOD.
BALTIMORE OVER CINCINNATI
Whoever wins this game will be in first place in the division! I’ve been impressed by Cincinnati’s run so far, but it still hasn’t assisted me in learning how to spell the city correctly. I still think there’s supposed to be consecutive Ts instead of the Ns. Is there an easy way to remember it? Should I resort to paying a hypnotist to assist me with this? If so, how much should I make correctly spelling “Cincinnati” a priority compared to all the other habits I would love to correct about myself?
One thing I want to point out is that I am grateful for the division these teams play in because every single team plays in an outdoor stadium in a city that has cold weather during the winter. So, as football fans, we are guaranteed at least one cold playoff game to watch every year. Other divisions will likely provide you with a cold weather playoff game, but this is the only one that makes sure of it.
NEW ENGLAND OVER NEW YORK (A)
We really needed to have these two teams face off again so soon after their Week 2 matchup. New England still hasn’t played Buffalo in the division, while New York hasn’t played Buffalo OR Miami! That’s right, New York is finishing its divisional series with New England before it plays any other divisional opponents. This is absurd! What is the scheduling process and how is this allowed to happen? I’m a commissioner of a fantasy football league and I make sure everyone plays each other once before rematches start. I would think that would be a simple rule for the league to follow, but apparently not. New England won 25-6 in their last showdown and not much has changed over five weeks, so I expect to see New England win again.
LAS VEGAS OVER PHILADELPHIA
Did you see that Wisconsin native Phill Hellmuth just won his 16th bracelet playing poker in Las Vegas? One time at a previous job, I helped his father over the phone, and he sounded exactly like his son. In fact, he has the same name. So for a second, I thought I was on the phone with the legendary poker player. A dream of mine is going out to Vegas and getting absolutely destroyed in a championship poker tournament. I wouldn’t invest too much money in since I fully expect to lose, but it’s an experience I want to have. I’ve played in circuit events, and it is really satisfying to eliminate players far more talented and experienced than you. I want to be the amateur that ruins a professional’s day in the limited time I play before getting knocked out. Some dream of winning thousands of dollars, my aspiration is to have Phil Hellmuth fuming because I got lucky on the river. Heck, I’d settle for eliminating his dad in a poker game.
LOS ANGELES (N) OVER DETROIT
Matthew Stafford vs. Detroit! Jared Goff vs. Los Angeles! This is the matchup we should have had on Monday night to open Week 1 of the season. Instead, we have it in Week 7 where one team is a contender and the other is a dud as usual. The league has to know the shelf life they have with Detroit, right? This could have been an early season marquee matchup and allowed them to save a better game for the later weeks. Worst case scenario, this should have been a game on Thursday night instead getting buried on a Sunday afternoon.
ARIZONA OVER HOUSTON
To all members of the undefeated 1972 Miami team, PUT THE CHAMPAGNE BACK ON ICE! Actually, it’s PROBABLY MORE PRACTICAL TO PUT THE CHAMPAGNE BACK IN THE REFRIGERATOR! Last week, I predicted that Arizona would have their first loss of the season and instead they had a dominating win over Cleveland. As it currently stands, I think this run could continue for at least another month.
TAMPA BAY OVER CHICAGO
Quick 670 update for you, Olin Kreutz said on the postgame show that he would have punched Aaron Rodgers and on Monday, the usually mild-mannered Hub Arkush lost control of himself and called Rodgers a douchebag while on-air. They’re not handling the loss well. I still can’t understand how Chicago beat Tampa Bay last year. I know Tampa Bay took half a season to really get going, but that is a mystifying loss on their championship run. That won’t happen again, and you know what, THAT’S A MONEYLINE MO PROMISE (trademark pending).
INDIANAPOLIS OVER SAN FRANCISCO
San Francisco is a team I’m having a really hard time getting a read on. My heart wants to treat them like the team that almost won a championship two seasons ago, but my head is telling me that the inconsistent play of the past season is who they are. Wait, is this the central theme of Trolley’s 1999 album Head Vs. Heart. How did they know?!
NEW ORLEANS OVER SEATTLE
I still am happy to root for Geno Smith’s personal success, but I’m not weeping about the possibility of Seattle missing the playoffs this year. Every year, there’s a longtime contender that misses out on the playoffs. Last year it was New England, and this year, I think it is going to be Seattle’s turn to stay at home. Currently, they might not be alone when it comes to longstanding playoff institutions missing it this year. Obviously, there’s still a bunch of games left, but I think this season is starting to slip away. I’d feel bad about it, but I still haven’t gotten over the Fail Mary.
And that’s it for the 13-game slate in Week 7. Fun fact: this is actually the fewest number of games that there will be in any single week during the regular season. Every other bye week has 14 or 15 games scheduled. The more you know, the more you learn. The more you Moneyline Mo, the more you earn (except last week).
LAST WEEK: 7-7