Brees or Teddy? Whodat ya got?
Drew Brees says the plan is for him to start for the Saints (6-1) on Sunday at home against the Cardinals (3-3-1). We’ll see. He’s only six weeks removed from surgery on his throwing thumb, the Saints have a bye next week and, oh yeah, Teddy Bridgewater is 5-0 — 3-0 on the road — with nine touchdowns, two interceptions, three passer ratings of 100.9 or better and three games in which the offense has topped 30 points. It doesn’t make sense for Brees to come back the week before a bye.
C’mon, Chicago! Bear down
Perhaps the two most disappointing teams of the 2019 season to date meet in Chicago when the Bears (3-3) face the Chargers (2-5). It’s OK to hold your nose while watching Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky, but don’t overlook what’s happened to Chicago’s vaunted defense. In consecutive losses to Oakland and New Orleans, the Bears gave up a combined 822 yards, including 320 rushing.
Underdog Allen faces tough test
A year ago, Kyle Allen was undrafted out of Texas A&M. Today, the 23-year-old is the first quarterback of the Super Bowl era to win his first five starts while not throwing an interception. Now 4-0 in relief of the injured Cam Newton, Allen and the Panthers (4-2) head to San Francisco (6-0) coming off a bye. The 49ers have held three consecutive opponents to 200 or fewer yards.
100 NFL SEASONs A LOOK BACK at 1963
Sept. 22, 1963: Don Shula holds the records for most regular-season wins (328) and most wins including playoffs (347). The morning of Sept. 22, 1963, he woke up in San Francisco with an 0-1 record as a 33-year-old rookie coach with the Baltimore Colts.
Six years removed from an eight-year playing career that saw him notch 21 interceptions with Cleveland, Baltimore and Washington, Shula and the Colts beat Red Hickey and the 49ers 20-14 later that day.
The Colts trailed in the fourth quarter when Johnny Unitas did what Johnny Unitas often did: led a comeback. His 2-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Orr gave the Colts a 17-14 lead. Jim Martin added a 39-yard field goal later.
Hickey was fired a week later and never coached again.
Shula would coach the Colts and Dolphins another 33 years before retiring in 1995 at age 67. Throw in three seasons as a defensive assistant with the Lions from 1960-62, and Shula was a part of only two losing seasons (1976 and 1988) from 1960-95.
UPSET OF THE WEEK
Yeah, this prognosticator pretty much knew he’d get humbled in an ugly fashion after bragging last week about a two-week Upset Special win streak. So the Rams woke up and did their part, pounding the Falcons by 27 on the road. This week, let’s throw another gut feeling at the wall and say the Chiefs, minus Patrick Mahomes, beat the Packers, a four-point favorite on the road. Matt Moore over Aaron Rodgers?! I know, but #itsacrazyleague.
Pick: Chiefs 24, Packers 21. Last week: Falcons 34, Rams 28. Result: Rams 37, Falcons 10. Record: 3-4.