Los Angeles Rams strong safety John Johnson celebrates after an inception against the New Orleans Saints during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Los Angeles Rams strong safety John Johnson celebrates after an inception against the New Orleans Saints during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)|Associated Press

NFL: Mike Kern picks Colts vs Falcons, Cardinals vs Panthers, Bears vs Redskins, Rams vs Browns, Packers vs Broncos, Seahawks vs Saints

It's already Week 3.

Mike Kern

Mike Kern


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(Home team in CAPS)

COLTS (-1) vs. Falcons

Indianapolis was supposed to be real good this year, with Andrew Luck. Without him, they’ve still played pretty well. They could be 2-0 instead of 1-1. And this is their first home game. I’m not sure what to make of the Falcons. They didn’t play well in week one, and then barely beat the Eagles at home after the Birds lost like half their squad. I just have a feeling the Colts are going to come up with a big effort here. I know Matt Ryan can have his moments, but I see Indy winning a close one. But that would be enough for our purposes, which is the only thing that ever matters.

CARDINALS (-2.5) vs. Panthers

Even I’m surprising myself by doing this. The Cards won’t be favored much this year, on merit. But they have been playing hard for their new coach and with their rookie quarterback. And they played at Baltimore last week. I know Carolina can play some defense when it’s in the mood, but this whole Cam Newton soap opera, and the way the head coach and maybe even the players seem to be reacting to it isn’t a good sign. Now the Panthers have to fly across the country to play a team that’s going to be hungry if nothing else. In this spot that works for me.

Bears vs. REDSKINS (over 41.5)

Bears have looked offensively dysfunctional, but they sure can play defense. I don’t know quite what to make of Washington, coming off losses at Philly and to Dallas at home. So I’m just going to hope it’s another ugly game, in what has become an ugly kind of league (at least when the heavyweights aren’t matched up). Especially this early in the season. I’m looking at something along the lines of 20-17. Only bad thing is weather should be good.

Rams vs. BROWNS (over 47.5)

The Browns haven’t really opened things up yet. Sooner or later they have to start putting some points up, with all those weapons. The Rams can score with anyone. I think this could be close to covering by halftime. But I’ll settle for the final being in that 31-24 range.

I’m also going to throw a few teasers at ya.

PACKERS (-7.5) vs. Broncos and SEAHAWKS (-5) vs. Saints

I just don’t see either of these teams losing. Which of course is mostly the whole point of a teaser (unless you’re a go the other way kind of guy). You’re trying to take the spread out of it. And occasionally it even works. Green Bay, of course, does still have to win by more than one.

Hey, you could always throw the Vikings (-9 vs. the Raiders) in and move the lines 9. Or you could use any of those three teams in some combo with either the 49ers (-6.5 at home vs. Steelers) or Kansas City (-5.5 at home vs. Ravens). Again, I think those teams will win, although the 49ers are in unfamiliar territory for them, and the Steelers are the Steelers. Or are they? The others I would stay away from, even though I’m sure some of you out there (and you know why you are) would have no problem teasing the Eagles down to a just-have-to-win situation in South Philly against the Lions.

It almost seems too easy. Obviously, the reality is an entirely different animal. That’s why it’s largely for amusement purposes only, right? Thought so. Just checking.

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