What’s up family! It’s Week 3 of the 2020 NFL season, and I’m back! I’m looking forward to telling you each week which team will win, and which team will lose. I’ll also tell you my prediction for the score of each game (if you care about that type of stuff, wink, wink).
Before I share my absolutely correct picks for the week, I want to discuss the current state of our country and world. We are living in unprecedented times. No one back in February thought we’d spend almost all of 2020 in our homes, working online, and meeting on Zoom, because of the very contagious Covid-19. This pandemic has taken so much from us. We’ve lost jobs, weddings, graduations, vacations, and the ability to watch our favorite teams in person! But none of that compares to the human loss. 200,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus.
These aren’t just numbers. These are lives. These are our mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers. These are our friends. I pray for everyone who has lost a loved one to this ugly disease. I also can’t help but think of what could have been. Donald Trump knew back in January and February, that this virus was highly contagious, and would negatively impact the health of people of all ages, not just the elderly. He knew it was more deadly than the flu, while lying to the American people on a daily basis. He knew that it was airborne, and yet he still holds indoor campaign rallies where masks are not required.
He knew. He lied. He didn’t care. Donald Trump failed the American people. His entire presidency has been an abject failure. Donald Trump is an existential threat to the health and well-being of your family and mine. Voting is not the cure that will eradicate all that is wrong with this country. Voting is not the epitome of civic engagement. Voting is a bare minimum action that allows us to have a say in who will lead us through this pandemic, steer us out of this recession, decide if we will finally act on climate change, protect the healthcare of millions of Americans, and choose Supreme Court justices.
Covid-19 is not the only disease that has ravaged our country. For the last 400 years on this land, African Americans have been oppressed, abused, and victimized by the virus of systemic racism. Donald Trump was not the creator of racism in America, but rather America’s racism created Donald Trump’s presidency. This summer, we saw with our own eyes, a police officer kill an unarmed black man by kneeling on his neck for 8 minutes. We saw another black young man shot and killed for jogging. We saw police go into the home of Breonna Taylor and take her life. We even saw that the coronavirus disproportionately impacted black and brown communities.
I was encouraged by the many people who used their feet and voices to speak out against racism and injustice. I am also proud of the pro-athletes who decided not to simply “stick to sports”, but rather chose to use their platform to speak up.
Black lives matter.
Still, there are many white sports fans in this country who believe that black lives only matter when they’re scoring touchdowns or tackling running backs. This was made clear during the opening night of the NFL season when the Kansas City Chiefs faced the Houston Texans. Both teams decided to participate in a joint demonstration of unity before kickoff. Fans in Kansas City decided that this symbolic gesture was unacceptable, and greeted the players with boos. Growing up an Eagles fan, I’ve been reminded over and over by commentators during national broadcasts that 50 years ago, fans in Philly booed Santa Clause. Well I’d rather be known for booing a mythological white guy in a red suit, than booing my Super Bowl winning MVP Quarterback Patrick Mahomes for having the nerve to lock arms with other players as a sign that they are united against hate and racism. White supremacists don’t deserve our genius. They never have, and never will.
They have an issue when we kneel.
They have an issue when we sit.
They have an issue when we hold up a fist.
They have an issue when we lock arms.
Maybe, it was never about the flag or the anthem in the first place.
One more thing. It’s interesting that the NFL has decided to seemingly fully embrace demonstrations by players designed to bring awareness to systemic racism and police brutality. The names of victims on the back of helmets, and “End Racism” painted in the back of the end zones ring hollow. Consider that a certain QB who played for the San Francisco 49ers has been banned from the league for kneeling during the national anthem four years ago in an attempt to bring awareness to systemic racism and police brutality. Let’s not pretend that Roger Goodell and the rest of the NFL owners had an awakening this summer. They thought Colin Kaepernick was bad for business four years ago. Social justice simply became good for business. And the NFL worships at the altar of good business.
Here are my Week 3 picks!
Dolphins 34 Jaguars 31
I expect both teams to score points. Minshew Mania vs Fitzmagic won’t disappoint.
Steelers 24 Texans 17
I like the Steelers defense and young weapons. The Texans may be headed for a really bad season with their rather pedestrian collections of weapons around Deshaun Watson.
Titans 27 Vikings 23
For whatever reason, Ryan Tannehill works in Tennessee. I don’t love the Vikings remade defense. They are a real work in progress.
Bears 28 Falcons 27
It feels like Dan Quinn is on borrowed time, and has been for about 3 years now. Are the Bears as good as their potentially 3-0 start would suggest? We’ll see.
Patriots 32 Raiders 22
This is the game I’m most interested in this weekend. It seems like the Patriots realize they have a chance to be special offensively this year with Cam. If the Raiders win, we have to take them seriously right?
Giants 23 Niners 20
The Giants compete. I think they get their first win of the season against the Niners practice squad.
Eagles 28 Bengals 24
Carson Wentz plays just well enough to keep Jalen Hurts on the bench for one more week. The Eagles can’t lose to the Bengals. They won’t lose to the Bengals. It will be close though.
Browns 30 WFT 17
I expect a to see a big game from Odell Beckham Jr. against Ronald Darby and the rest if the Washington secondary.
Bills 29 Rams 27
Sean McVay seems to be in a play-calling groove. Josh Allen is the leading passer in the NFL. Expect points.
Colts 26 Jets 15
Adam Gase should not be a head coach in the NFL.
Chargers 29 Panthers 21
You have to feel bad for Tyrod Taylor. You have to get ready to see Trevor Lawrence in Charlotte next season.
Cardinals 31 Lions 28
Kyler Murray for MVP?
Seahawks 37 Cowboys 28
A fun matchup between two of the best offenses in the NFL. If Carroll continues to let Russ cook, Dallas’ secondary will have no shot.
Bucs 27 Broncos 19
I don’t love Tampa, but they get the win here. It seems like injuries ended the Broncos season before it could even get started.
Packers 30 Saints 27
Drew Brees didn’t look good in Vegas on Monday night. He’ll need to be at peak performance with Rodgers coming to town. No home crowd advantage in NO helps GB.
Chiefs 27 Ravens 23
I like the Chiefs in what I believe will be the AFC Championship Game preview.
Those are my picks! Enjoy the games, enjoy your weekend, and please remember to wear a mask.
You can follow Corey on Twitter and Instagram: @coreymaurice