Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans, 1 p.m., CBS
Line: Texans -6 | Total: 54.5
On Oct. 4, it was reported that Bill O’Brien, the coach and general manager of the Texans (0-4) would add play-calling to his duties. On Oct. 5, it was announced that O’Brien would no longer have any duties at all. It seems as if the team finally noticed that quarterback Deshaun Watson’s prime years were being entirely wasted, though that realization happened after O’Brien, in his G.M. role, had largely gutted the team. The good news for Romeo Crennel, who will take over the team on an interim basis, is that his team has an excellent chance to start off a new era with a win thanks to the visiting Jaguars (1-3) being the type of team that Watson should absolutely shred. Pick: Texans -6
Denver Broncos at New England Patriots, 4:25 p.m., CBS
Line: Off | Total: Off
One might have envisioned this as a game to watch when the schedule was made. Drew Lock, a plucky sophomore quarterback for the Broncos (1-3), going into Foxborough, Mass., for the first time to face the hard-charging Patriots (1-3), who had been remade by Cam Newton.
Instead, Lock is working his way back from a shoulder injury and may not play this week. He was initially replaced by Jeff Driskel, who was replaced by Brett Rypien — who honestly was extremely fun to watch in a bad game last week! Whether it is Lock or Rypien on Sunday will be determined based on how Lock progresses this week.
The Patriots (2-2), meanwhile, are still waiting for Newton to come back from the Covid-19 list, and last week they started Brian Hoyer (who was terrible) before turning to Jarrett Stidham (also terrible). Adding to the mess is New England’s best defensive player, Stephon Gilmore, reportedly joining Newton on the Covid-19 list.
More positive tests could theoretically delay this game, but if they are able to play it’s a tossup, with the advantage going to the home team with the better coach. Pick: Patriots
Arizona Cardinals at Jets, 1 p.m., Fox
Line: Cardinals -7 | Total: 47
The Cardinals (2-2) are suddenly reeling, having followed up a 2-0 start with consecutive losses, the second of which involved quarterback Kyler Murray averaging a meager 4.3 yards per passing attempt — a statistic that was quite likely heavily influenced by an ankle injury to wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. It certainly isn’t where Coach Kliff Kingsbury wants the Cardinals to be, but the Jets (0-4) have done an excellent job making other teams feel good about themselves this season, and even as a full touchdown underdog at home, it’s hard to believe they’ll be competitive. But hey, last week LeBron James tweeted about Sam Darnold (who is not expected to play in this game because of a shoulder strain). So they have that going for them. Pick: Cardinals -7