Coach Rick went a solid 2-1 last week on moneyline picks taking both the Bears and the Browns at home. Both came through, but the Jets - well let’s just say never again will Coach Rick fall for that trick.
This week features another set of interesting home dogs. Can the Cowboys and 49ers overcome some serious injuries to pull off the upsets?
The 1-3 Lions head to Jacksonville to face the 1-3 Jaguars in what could be the NFL’s Pillow Fight of the Week. The only competing either team will do this season is challenge for next year’s #1 NFL draft pick.
Detroit is somehow favored in this game despite the fact that their defense ranks 28th in total defense (405 YPG) and 29th in points allowed per game (31.8).
Jacksonville’s defense isn’t much better, but it is better. The Jags have lost four straight since beating Indianapolis to start the season. Turnovers and inconsistency on offense has done them in. Playing against a poor defense, look for Gardner Minshew to find his groove again.
The 49ers are in disarray. They were blown out at home by Miami last week and have now dropped two straight. The offense only put up 259 yards and turned the ball over three times against the Dolphins.
This week, the Niners can’t afford to turn the ball over. They also can’t make excuses for all the injuries they have had. Sure, half their defensive line is done for the season. QB Jimmy Garoppolo is playing on one ankle.
Still, San Francisco has to figure out how to win games. The Rams are doing just that sitting at 4-1 after pounding Washington in Week 5. The offense is efficient and the defense leads the NFL in sacks with 20.
San Francisco won both games with the Rams last season. It’s hard to see them losing two straight at home.
The big news in Dallas, of course, is the ankle injury of QB Dak Prescott. The Cowboys star is the NFL’s leading passer with 1,856 yards through five games. He had completed 68 percent of his passes and had nine touchdowns.
Prescott will miss the rest of the season prompting former Bengals starter Andy Dalton to take over the Dallas offense. Dalton replaced Prescott after the injury and went 9-of-11 for 111 yards as Dallas beat the New York Giants 37-34.
At 2-3 on the season, the Cowboys are actually in first place in the NFC East standings. They welcome the Cardinals to AT&T Stadium on Monday night. Arizona QB Kyler Murray is coming off a game in which he threw for 380 yards and a touchdown.
The Cardinals beat the lowly Jets 30-10 last week and suffered losses to Carolina and Detroit the previous two weeks.
The Cowboys are home underdogs for one reason – Prescott’s injury. Dalton is a proven starter in the league and is capable of leading the Cowboys to a victory on Monday night.
A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.
His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.
When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.