Sure didn’t see those three Mitchell Trubisky fourth-quarter touchdown passes coming last week. But, hey, give a guy a break. Last week’s Star Tribune Upset Special: Cardinals 24, 49ers 21. Final: Cardinals 24, 49ers 20. And, yes, shameless boasting like that has now jinxed this week’s Upset Special.
Last week’s picks: 9-7. Vs. the spread: 9-6-1
Vikings (+3) at Colts: Colts by 7
Philip Rivers’ gambling nature leads to enough head-scratching turnovers to give the Vikings’ embattled 32nd-ranked (as in last) defense hope. A year ago, Rivers turned the ball over four times in a 39-10 Chargers loss to the Vikings. But Indy’s offensive line is far superior. And, right now, the Vikings defense is a far cry from the one that destroyed Rivers in Los Angeles nine months ago. Colts 31, Vikings 24.
Rams (+1½) at Eagles: Rams by 3
It doesn’t get any easier for Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, who was sacked eight times and turned the ball over three times in an upset loss to Washington in Week 1.
Panthers (+9) at Buccaneers: Bucs by 7
Tom Brady made a bad decision and a bad throw on his pick-6 last week. Bruce Arians gave the honest, obvious answer when asked about it. And the sports media has been aghast ever since. What have we become?
Broncos (+7 ½) at Steelers: Steelers by 10
A person doesn’t need to borrow one of Vic Fangio’s unused timeouts to decide who’s better in this one.
Falcons (+5) at Cowboys: Cowboys by 7
Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense will put up some points. But not as many as Dak and the ’Boys.
49ers (-7) at Jets: 49ers by 14
What soothes the sting of a season-opening upset loss? A game against the J-E-T-S!
Lions (+6) at Packers: Packers by 14
What soothes the sting of giving up three Mitchell Trubisky TD passes in the fourth quarter? Not Aaron Rodgers.
Giants (+4½) at Bears: Bears by 6
The Bears won’t need Air Trubisky to win this one.
Jaguars +9 at Titans: Titans by 10
Stephen Gostkowski’s four missed kicks in Week 1 tied the number of misses he had in all of 2018 with the Patriots. This one won’t come down to kicks as the Jags return to reality.
Washington (+7) at Cardinals: Cardinals by 10
Arizona is 1-0 and won’t return to reality. Kyler Murray won’t be sacked eight times like Wentz was.
Ravens (-7) at Texans: Ravens by 10
The Texans are not loving the schedule-maker that made them open with back-to-back games against Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson.
Chiefs (-8½) at Chargers: Chiefs by 10
L.A. goes from a last-second escape against rookie Joe Burrow and the Bengals to Mahomes and the reigning champs.
Bills (-5½) at Dolphins: Dolphins by 7
High 80s in South Beach in September can do funny things to better visiting teams.
Patriots (+3½) at Seahawks: Patriots 30, Seahawks 27
Well, well, well. Look who starts 2-0 with a prime-time message for the rest of the league.
Last week’s upset special: Cardinals (+7) 24, 49ers 21.
Result: Cardinals 24, 49ers 20.