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    Published on: September 17, 2018

    by Kevin Coupe

    I’ve read - and written - a lot of stories about Amazon over the years. It never occurred to me - ever - that it could or would be described as a “reincarnation of ancient evil.”

    That’s a new one.

    I read it in the Washington Post, which ironically, is owned by Jeff Bezos, the founder-CEO of Amazon. (Then again, there are some politicians out there who think that the Post is the “reincarnation of ancient evil,” so maybe it is not so ironic after all.) The Post had a story about how the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, targeted Amazon the other day “in a denunciation of corporate greed and gaping inequality - themes that have become the stock in trade of the leader of the Church of England and former oil executive who has warned that the country is facing a ‘crisis of capitalism’ fueling extremism and ethnic tensions.”

    The Post wrote that in a speech at the annual conference of the Trades Union Congress in Manchester, England, Welby said that the so-called gig economy, defined by temporary and independent work, as a modern manifestation of industrial-era oppression of workers.”

    “The gig economy’s zero-hours contract is nothing new,” he said. “It is simply the reincarnation of an ancient evil.” And, Welby said that “Amazon’s business practices demonstrated the perils of lax economic rules justified in the name of flexibility and innovation.”

    In some ways, Welby was using religious rhetoric to make the same case as Tennessee Ernie Ford - that it is tough to get ahead “when you owe your soul to the company store.”

    The Post wrote that “the jeremiad by the leader of the Anglican Communion amounted to a stinging indictment of Amazon. His warnings were also more forceful than those offered by British lawmakers, who have long expressed concern about tax evasion and the harm done to U.K.-based businesses but have not enlisted the searing language used by the archbishop, who couched his critique in religious terms … Laden with religious imagery, the archbishop’s speech Wednesday - a celebration of the role of trade unions in seeking economic justice - was not narrowly focused on Amazon. But he used the company as the foremost example of a new sort of concentration of corporate power, characteristic of a bygone industrial age.”

    In addition to being surprised by the intensity of the rhetoric, I was intrigued.

    Now, I don’t think it would be considered disrespectful to suggest that Welby was, to say the least, preaching to the choir. If you’re going to make this case, best to do it front of an audience made up of organized labor.

    The interesting thing about the story is that it ran around the same time that Bezos, in a session at the Economic Club in Washington, DC, suggested that “while big companies deserve to be scrutinized, politicians shouldn’t ‘vilify’ them.”

    Good timing … since what Welby was doing strikes me as a first-class vilification.

    Bezos made the argument that big business should not be reflexively vilified for being big, because they also have the ability to create big value. “All big institutions of any kind will be and should be scrutinized,” he said. “It’s not personal. It’s kind of what we want to have as a society happen.”

    (No doubt thinking of his role as owner of the Post, Bezos also argued that US presidents also deserve to be scrutinized. He didn’t name anyone in particular.)

    “There are certain things that only big companies can do,” Bezos told the Economic Club. “Nobody in their garage is going to build an all-fiber fuel-efficient Boeing 787.”

    Or fund a space program, like Bezos has done. Or commit $2 billion as a starting investment to deal with the issue of homelessness and the challenge of early childhood education, as he did last week.

    It’s complicated. It is a situation that resists oversimplification.

    I think that to suggest that Amazon is simply a “reincarnation of ancient evil” is as wrong-headed as it would be to suggest that all clerics in all religions are corrupt because of the actions of a few; it may be that the behavior of some religious leaders creates questions about them exercising any sort of moral authority, but I suspect Welby would want us not to paint with too broad a brush.

    To be fair, Amazon has created an enormous amount of value. For consumers, who now access to far more products than ever before, and who can take advantage of its convenience to spend time doing other things rather than shopping. For stakeholders, who have seen - rightly or wrongly - their stakes in the company multiply many times over. And for many employees, for whom Amazon has served as a place where (admittedly through crushingly hard work) they can realize their ideas, often moving on to create their own businesses, which in turn can create value for customers, stakeholders and employees.

    Is Amazon perfect? Not by a long shot. I’ve argued here in the past, for example, that it would be refreshing if Bezos and Amazon would apply their disruptive tendencies to how their people are compensated and valued; Bezos, of course, has stated a preference for algorithms over human beings because “people are variable,” and it’d be nice to see him adjust that point of view and then back it up operationally.

    But I find it laughable that some folks are arguing that $2 billion isn’t very much money when you’re the richest person on the planet - ever - with an estimated net worth of more than $160 billion. That’s easy to say, but come on - $2 billion is still two freakin’ billion dollars, and this is just seed money to get things started.

    (Let me digress for a moment here. What Bezos is committing to philanthropy is about two percent of the total budget of the US Department of Education. Which is to say, hardly chump change. After all, Bezos also is running his own space program, spending about $1 billion a year on that. And, to put this in context, NASA has an annual budget of about $20 billion. Could he spend this money on other stuff, like higher wages? Sure. We all might make different decisions if we had that much money. But we don’t, he does, and it isn’t like he’s spending it on hookers and cocaine. Besides, there are plenty of so-called rich folks out there who suffer from callousness of the soul and poverty of imagination, and who have never spent dime one, much less $2 billion, on these kinds of pursuits … and they still don’t pay their people well, if at all. So can we give a little credit where credit is due?)

    (Oh, and one other thing. Not only has Bezos given to other causes over the years - GeekWire notes that they include cancer research, a University of Washington computer science building, clear energy technology, children’s television and scholarships for the Dreamers, but he also spent $250 of his own money to buy the Washington Post. Speaking as a former newspaperman, I’m thrilled by his priorities…and the fact that he se seems to have started a trend. Steve Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, recently acquired a majority stake in The Atlantic, and just this weekend Time magazine was purchased from Meredith Corp. for $190 million by Marc Benioff, co-founder of

    The gig economy that Welby so glibly refers to as a “reincarnation of ancient evil” is, to be sure, a work in progress. For many leaders in this segment of the economy - people like Bezos and Tim Cook and Bill Gates - leadership that goes beyond their companies’ concerns has been a matter of evolution, of a dawning awareness about responsibility. In essence, time, for them, as been an Eye-Opener.

    I’m trying not to be naïve about this. But, I choose to be optimistic about what all this means. I choose to see the possibilities in what a $2 billion philanthropic gift can build and create. In the end, I must admit, this is at least in part because I know Jeff Bezos is a Star Trek guy … and he sees the world and beyond in terms of frontiers to be boldly explored. It can be a place, as Jean-Luc Picard once said, where eventually “acquisition of wealth” no longer will be “the driving force of our lives,” and where the species’ goal will be to “work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity.”

    It happens in small steps and even missteps.

    But a “reincarnation of ancient evil?” Don’t think so.
    KC's View:

    Published on: September 17, 2018

    The Wall Street Journal has a story about how some retailers - Nordstrom and Nike are among the more prominently mentioned - are using greater rewards as a way of keeping the luring customers and “wooing their biggest spenders with special services and access to private events.”

    Some examples cited in the story:

    • “Nordstrom’s revamped loyalty program, which will launch this fall and includes more than 10 million active members, has a new category to fete top spenders: invitation-only “icon” status that includes private dinners with designers and other exclusive events.
    • “On Saturday, J.Crew Group Inc. stores will open an hour early for loyalty members, who will be treated to a light breakfast while they shop.”

    • “Macy’s platinum cardholders will get special access to its Thanksgiving Day Parade, including an invitation to rehearsals and free grandstand seats.”

    • “Nike Inc.’s new Manhattan flagship, slated to open early next year, will have a members-only floor with exclusive products and services such as personal shoppers.”

    The Journal writes that “companies on average spend between 1% to 3% of their revenue on loyalty programs, according to Caroline Papadatos, who oversees the consulting practice of LoyaltyOne Co., which manages loyalty programs for retailers. But she said the overall investment can be much higher when experiences are layered on top of traditional monetary rewards.”

    At the same time, “Retailers say it is worth the extra expense since loyalty members tend to spend more.”
    KC's View:
    This shouldn’t be such a big stretch for retailers, but it remains one for most. There are very few that look at their numbers and figure out how to best cater to these customers, to nurture their relationships, to be more relevant and resonant to them … and you’d think that now, more than ever since there is so much competition from so many places, they’d be focused relentlessly on this issue.

    The examples cited in the Journal story are more lonely scenarios than they should be.

    Published on: September 17, 2018

    Amazon is opening a new checkout-free Amazon Go store in Chicago this morning, at 113 S. Franklin St., about a block north of Willis Tower in the Loop.

    It is the fourth Amazon Go store to be opened, and the fourth overall. The other three are in Amazon’s home city of Seattle, with the second and third being opened in fairly quick succession during the past few weeks.

    In the Chicago Sun Times story about the opening, Gianna Puerini, vice president of Amazon Go, emphasizes that while a checkout-free store obviously does not have cashier jobs, “there will be new jobs created to make up for those lost. Associates will assist customers with the scanning process, restock product, and prepare and deliver food … ‘People are a super important part of this experience; we just think they can be doing higher value things for customers,’ she said. ’It’s less about job elimination and more about putting people on things that add more value to customers’.”

    The Sun Times also quotes Puerini as saying that “all employees will have competitive wages and benefits, and that ‘store leaders on the front lines’ are given the responsibility to shape the store to best meet the needs of customers.”
    KC's View:
    I said this last week, and I’ll say it again. There seems to be a certain checkout-free momentum picking up …

    Published on: September 17, 2018

    In Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports that Target has “announced plans to hire about 120,000 seasonal workers for the upcoming holiday season — 20 percent more than last year … It plans to double the number of workers dedicated to handling in-store pickup and curbside service and boost its workforce at distribution warehouses by about two-thirds from last year.”

    The announcement comes, the story says, as the company looks to “rev up thousands of employees who are visiting the Twin Cities this week from stores and distribution centers across the nation. On the heels of a motivational speech by tennis great Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, the retailer said Thursday it will be the exclusive seller of a new line of cookware from supermodel Chrissy Teigen.”

    The Star Tribune notes that as Target looks to hire all these people, it is “competing for workers willing to sign on for a few months to help shoppers find items in stores and handle online orders. Target said it would offer existing workers additional hours and would pay temporary hires $12 an hour along with store discounts, up from $11 an hour last year.”
    KC's View:

    Published on: September 17, 2018

    The Nasdaq news site reports that Starbucks has plans to build 10,000 “greener stores” around the world by 2025, saying that the “greener stores will emphasize on installing technologies and practices that will help in both water and energy savings. These stores will also focus on waste reduction, healthy environment and usage of renewable energy. Further, Starbucks has been working with the U.S. Green Building Council for developing the LEED for the Retail Program. In 2005, the company opened its first LEED-certified store and now runs over 1,500 such stores worldwide in 20 countries.”

    Here’s the kicker: “These new and renovated eco-friendly stores should result in utility cost savings worth $50 million over the next 10 years … Starbucks' green practices are already helping it to save nearly $30 million in operating costs annually.”
    KC's View:
    Demonstrating vividly, I think, that “green” can mean a lot of things, and that sustainability can be an enormously profitable way to approach business. It is a long-term play, to be sure, but people and organizations that do not approach relevant issues by trying to conserve and nurture, but rather prefer to exploit and get short-term advantages even at the risk of long-term survival, are foolish and small-minded.

    Published on: September 17, 2018

    As Sears Holdings reported yet another quarter of disappointing results last week, CNN reports, company CEO Edward Lampert decided to use the moment to blame company retirees and the pension plans the company funds. Lampert said that if the company had been able to put that money into operations, “we would have been in a better position to compete with other large retail companies, many of which don't have large pension plans.”

    Lampert said, according to the story, that “Sears has paid almost $2 billion into pension plans in the past five years, and $4.5 billion since Sears and Kmart merged in 2005 to form Sears Holdings (SHLD). The company pays retirees about $300 million a year, filings show.”

    CNN makes the point that “Lampert is right that the company is at a disadvantage because it once had traditional pension plans, which pay a fixed monthly benefit to retirees as long as they live … Sears ended its pension plans in 2006, but longtime employees and retirees are still entitled to benefits they accrued while the plans were in effect.” In fact, the story points out that Sears has about 100,000 retirees still collecting pensions … and had only 89,000 store employees as of last February. (It has fewer now because of hundreds of store closings.)

    However, the story also notes that Sears hasn’t made a profit since 2012, and that many analysts blame Lampert for bad decision-making and missing the online opportunity.
    KC's View:
    I’ll say something here that I’ve rarely said … yes, Lampert does have a point. But…

    He knew about these pension obligations before he bought the company. If he’d run the company in a halfway competent fashion, he might have a little maneuvering room, but he didn’t, so he doesn’t.

    I feel worse for the retirees than for Lampert. Whatever happens to Sears, Lampert will be fine. He’ll find ways to come out of the thing whole. People like him always do. But the retirees are facing a world in which when Sears dies, I’m sure their pensions go away as well.

    Who dies first? Sears or the retirees?

    Published on: September 17, 2018

    Bloomberg reports that Amazon “is conducting an investigation into employees that are said to offer sellers on its e-commerce program with an advantage by providing confidential internal data and other services in exchange for a fee.”

    Which is another way to say that they are suspected of taking bribes.

    The story says that the internal probe - being conducted in China, where the practice is said to be most prevalent - is looking at actions that may give certain products higher positions in search results than they deserve and, in some cases, delete uncomplimentary user reviews.

    • Amazon this morning announced the launch of what it is calling “Amazon Storefronts,” described as “a new store for customers to shop exclusively from U.S. small and medium-sized businesses selling on Amazon.

    “With Storefronts, customers can shop a curated collection of over one million products, and deals from nearly 20,000 U.S. small and medium-sized businesses, and learn more about profiled businesses through featured videos and stories. Amazon launched the new store to offer customers an easy way to buy from small and medium-sized businesses in all 50 states through the convenient and trusted Amazon experience.”

    Among the offerings on the new Storefronts site will be “Curated American Collections,” “Storefront of the Week,” and a “Meet the Business Owner” feature that profiles the business people selling via the site.

    The Associated Press story notes that “the new site is … a way for Amazon to try to boost its image at a time when it's facing scrutiny for its growing power, as well as continued criticism that it is taking business from small shops.”
    KC's View:

    Published on: September 17, 2018

    Business Chief reports that Walmart Canada has struck a deal with Instacart to provide same-day delivery services in Toronto and Winnipeg.

    The story notes that Walmart does not work with Instacart in the US, but “instead partners with various services, including DoorDash and Postmates, and previously held deals with Uber and Lyft.”

    Instacart does work with Loblaw in Toronto, and Vancouver.
    KC's View:

    Published on: September 17, 2018

    • In Georgia, the East Cobb News reports that Publix plans to build a new 25,000 square foot GreenWise Market in East Cobb, an affluent suburb about 20 miles north of Atlanta. The opening could be as soon as next year.

    The story notes that GreenWise will be “a competitor to Whole Foods and Sprouts, which have East Cobb locations in the Roswell-Johnson Ferry corridor.”

    The News makes the point that this is part of a “slate” of new GreenWise openings that Publix has announced, with stores planned for Tallahassee … Mt. Pleasant, S.C. … Lakeland, Fla. … and Boca Raton.

    CNN has a story about startup companies that are looking to provide faster and more actionable data to small manufacturers that cannot afford to work with major data insight providers and/or cannot wait the amount of time that it takes to get their data about how pricing and performance.

    For example, “Grocery data startup Basket is among the companies trying to help traditional brick-and-mortar grocery stores succeed against alternative players such as Amazon and Walmart … For the past four years, Basket built up a database of grocery store product pricing by tasking shoppers with capturing that information. The information was available via its iOS and Android app for users to comparison shop and determine if they should go to one store over another to save on, say, milk.”

    The story quotes Pamela Caffrey, a 27-year veteran of Nielsen who joined Basket last week as its data solutions vice president, as saying that “the ability to have data faster is going to be really important.”
    KC's View:

    Published on: September 17, 2018

    • The Chicago Tribune reports that Kroger-owned Mariano’s leadership is being absorbed into the company’s Roundy’s division, led by “Michael Marx, a longtime Kroger executive who took the reins of the Roundy’s division shortly after it was acquired by Kroger.”

    According to the story, “Several executives who worked closely with Bob Mariano in launching the grocery chain in the Chicago area, including Don Rosanova, Mariano’s president, and Don Fitzgerald, vice president of merchandising, will leave the company as part of the consolidation. Rosanova is retiring effective Sept. 29, the company said. Fitzgerald will work as a strategic adviser until January, as will John Boyle, vice president of operations for Roundy’s.”

    Jim Hyland, a Roundy’s spokesman, tells the Tribune that “Mariano’s will continue to be operated as a unique brand and experience. … In summary, what is changing is in the back office and in places customers can’t see and won’t experience, in order to continue to provide the experience our customers know and love.”
    KC's View:

    Published on: September 17, 2018

    Content Guy’s Note: Stories in this section are, in my estimation, important and relevant to business. However, they are relegated to this slot because some MNB readers have made clear that they prefer a politics-free MNB; I can't do that because sometimes the news calls out for coverage and commentary, but at least I can make it easy for folks to skip it if they so desire.

    • The New York Times reports that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) says that she believes that “the government needed tougher rules to counteract the size and scale of tech giants like Amazon.”

    “If you’re getting a huge competitive advantage from being a platform provider because of all this information you’ve been scraping, then we no longer have competition going on,” she tells the Times.
    KC's View:

    Published on: September 17, 2018

    MNB took note the other day of a New York Times report about how the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that “teenage use of electronic cigarettes has reached ‘an epidemic proportion,’ and it put makers of the most popular devices on notice that they have just 60 days to prove they can keep their devices away from minors.” If they don’t comply, the FDA said, these products could be pulled from the marketplace.

    Companies like Juul, as well as tobacco companies that see e-cigarettes as a sales opportunity in a declining tobacco market, have promised cooperation.

    I commented, in part:

    These manufacturers, as far as I am concerned, have no credibility, and believing that they will give this subject anything more than lip service - and maybe, if they have to, some token move to demonstrate minimal cooperation with regulators - is foolish.

    We’re going to trust tobacco companies - which historically have proven that they only thing they do better than manufacture poisonous, addictive products is lie to legislators, regulators and customers - to cut off young customers who they hope will buy their products for the rest of their lives? I don’t think so. We’re going to trust the manufacturer of mango e-tobacco products when they say they are committed to keeping their products out of the hands and lungs of young people? Nope.

    This is all a crock. And retailers should be careful about doing business in this segment, which is populated by the craven and the mercenary.

    I’ve always been upfront about my opinion of these people. I hate them. I cannot imagine that there are adults working at these companies who would want their children using their products. And I believe that a special circle of hell is reserved for them.

    One MNB reader had a different perspective:

    I totally understand your position on big tobacco, and most people feel the same way.  Would recommend looking a little deeper on this story though.  Big tobacco would benefit from the elimination of flavors with the vape industry.  In fact their stock had their highest one day growth in 3 years yesterday after this announcement was delivered.  What does that tell you?  Even though they have vape products themselves it represents less than 2% of their profits compared to combustible  cigarettes.  They would gladly sacrifice their vape brands in favor of taking down the company that is disrupting their world, JUUL.  

    JUUL is only a vape company with a mission to convert combustible smokers to a better alternative.  You like to talk about companies that disrupt older incumbent companies in categories, and that is happening here.  JUUL is now larger than Winston, American Spirit, L&M, and about to pass Pall Mall in total US sales.  That is not completed by primary teen use.  That terrifies big tobacco.  By restricting flavors as a way for adult smokers to have an alternative you are helping big tobacco.  Do adults not like flavor alternatives?  Have we not proven that we support larger assortment choices in multiple categories? 

    Totally support initiatives to keep these products out of teens hands, but vape usage is no larger than alcohol by teenagers.  A heavy majority of vape use is done by someone who has smoked combustible cigarettes and it has a 35% quit rate after first use.  It also greatly reduces cigarette use by those who try and do consume both.  This is coming from a 10 year smoker who quit after starting to vape, and it was not tobacco or mint flavors that helped me.  I needed something as far away on that cigarette reminder to keep me off.  It was multiple types of flavors, and today 2 year without cigarette and down to a zero nicotine juice that I vape.  

    Not saying that vape is 100% healthy, but both Canadian and UK health ministries have come out saying it is healthier than combustible cigarettes. Think about those countries have a major horse in the race too as they are public health care systems, so to convert smokers to vape will help their overall health care costs in long run.  Something very different than our FDA.

    I am just saying this is not a black and white situation, and it is one where understanding and education is lacking.  Totally agree to stop the vape flavors that call out candy brands, energy drinks, or look like kid products.  That is not the case with all companies out here.  Many do produce mint, fruit, or mango as a flavor, but that is no different than flavored alcohol beverages or highly caffeinated drinks.  Research the energy drink Bang with 300mg of caffeine (almost double Monster) infused with creatine (same stuff that baseball was plagued with) and their flavors like Cotton Candy.  Any 12 year old can walk into a c-store tomorrow and purchase this without issue.  How many teens are on two Starbucks a day?  

    The FDA needs to look to their neighbors to the North on Canada’s guidelines on flavors.  It somewhat amazes me that we have less scrutiny with an industry blowing up using gummies, cookies, and brownies as main growth drivers in cannabis as states legalize left and right but are restricting another due its stimulant (nicotine) being tied to a horrible past with big tobacco.  

    I am a parent myself, and I of course want to keep my children safe, and I would not want them vaping at this point in their lives.  I also don’t want them drinking or using cannabis.  I am pushing them not to drink energy drinks or even Starbucks to be honest.  But they will come to an age where that could happen, and when it is legal for them to do so.  I have to respect that choice at that time, but I am not calling for the ban of major portions of these industries that adults use every day.  Where is the FDA on Monster and Red Bull and their long term effects?  

    Just asking people look at the bigger picture on this one.  Something seems very odd when big tobacco gains from an action by the FDA like this.

    Your point about big tobacco wanting to inhibit companies like Juul is well taken.

    As far as I’m concerned, though, I can only hope for a plague on all their houses. And I see no moral equivalence between tobacco companies and Starbucks.

    From another reader, on the same subject:

    Recently we found out our 15 yr old son had purchased a vaporizer from a friend and had been joining his friends in learning new tricks, such as smoke rings.  There are videos all over the place depicting this, romancing the idea of vaping.  Nothing wrong with it right? They are using liquid without nicotine, but I know that is the next step.  Now I smoked as a teen and am not naïve but this is hard to combat as a parent since it’s the “safe” alternative.  I’d lump marijuana in the same category of struggle.  The pot of today is not “80s pot” as my son says and with it becoming legal across the country, it’s seen as ok, not bad like cigarettes, hasn’t killed anyone and you don’t get lung cancer. 

    Awesome, because I needed more things to be concerned about as a parent.  I apologize to my mother almost weekly, it’s a tough job.

    Regarding the shortage of truckers, which is creating enormous problems, MNB reader Gary Loehr wrote:

    This seems like a tailor made opportunity for unemployed veterans.  Truckers make a living wage and most veterans could be trained in a matter of a few months.  It would seem that Walmart and the Vets Administration could get together and find a win-win here.

    One MNB reader had a thought about Jeff Bezos’ $2 billion commitment to philanthropy:

    I appreciate what Jeff Bezos is doing for children's education and homeless.  Just maybe Jeff was not opposed to the Seattle homeless project but instead opposed to the government running the project.  I think we need to more individuals and business to take on and offer solution and money to fix our problems instead of asking our government to fix them for us.  In most cases the results are better and longer lasting for a lot less money.

    We recounted a Wall Street Journal story the other day about how United Parcel Service (UPS) plans to address the problem of “lower-margin packages it carries for large shippers like Amazon.” It is going to cater more to small business, and the health care segment “because small and midsize businesses may not have the bargaining power in achieving lower rates that large shippers get, while companies shipping medicine and health products have more time-sensitive commitments that cost more.”

    Prompting MNB reader Tim Heyman to write:

    So basically UPS is screwing the little guy, to subsidize Amazon and other large companies…..Nice they let everyone know!
    KC's View:

    Published on: September 17, 2018

    It was Week Two in the National Football League (NFL) …

    Kansas City 42
    Pittsburgh 37

    Miami 20
    NY Jets 12

    Philadelphia 21
    Tampa Bay 27

    Cleveland 18
    New Orleans 21

    Indianapolis 21
    Washington 9

    San Diego 31
    Buffalo 20

    Minnesota 29
    Green Bay 29

    Carolina 24
    Atlanta 31

    Houston 17
    Tennessee 20

    Arizona 0
    Los Angeles Rams 34

    Detroit 27
    San Francisco 30

    Oakland 19
    Denver 20

    New England 20
    Jacksonville 31

    NY Giants 13
    Dallas 20
    KC's View: