NFL Picks - Week 11 Thursday

Green Bay @ Seattle
The Packers are undefeated at home (4-0-1) and winless on the road (0-4). No team in NFL history has ever done this for an entire season (feel free to fact-check that for me, because I didn’t actually look into it; but we can just assume that’s true). So can Green Bay be the first to do it? Let’s look at their remaining schedule. They’re playing at Seattle, Minnesota, Chicago, and the Jets. Their last three home games are against Arizona, Atlanta, and Detroit. I’d say it’s very doable, and even likely that they could make history (still waiting on you to verify that for me), if not for that Jets game. Not only will the Jets be incapable of beating the Packers in New York, they’ll most likely not even want to win come Week 16 for draft purposes. These Jets won’t merely be ruining their own season, they’ll be messing with an unprecedented achievement (probably). But I would encourage Green Bay to not be deterred by the Jets’ lousiness, and attempt to make history nonetheless. Next order of biz: losing in Seattle.

Seahawks 27-19


NFL Picks - Week 10

Sunday Morning

Detroit @ Chicago
This is the first matchup of the season between these division rivals, but they’ll be playing again on Thanksgiving. Isn’t Thanksgiving a time for reunions? To get together with family members you maybe haven’t seen all year? What’s the point if you just saw each other 12 days ago? These teams will have nothing to trash talk about. They’ll already have used up their best material. It’s just going to be awkward. Also uncomfortable for the Lions is that they could currently be in the middle of a 6 game losing streak. This would be their third L in a row, and with the Panthers, Bears (again), and Rams upcoming, Detroit could be sitting at 3-9 a month from now. Which will make it really unpleasant at holiday functions when their family asks, “So how’s work going?”

Bears 31-13

New Orleans @ Cincinnati
After a big win over the Rams last Sunday the Saints have cemented themselves as a major Super Bowl contender. At this point I’m not sure what, if anything, could derail them. What’s that? They’ve signed Dez Bryant? Aaaaand season derailed. Look, I’m not saying that Bryant is a locker room cancer; he’s more of an infection that causes inflammation and spews pus. I assumed that New Orleans learned their lesson last season when they tried to shoe horn a temperamental veteran into their offense and the Adrian Peterson signing turned into a disaster. But now I guess it’s time to get the shoe horn out again ... but where did they leave it? Hope the kids didn’t use it as an ice cream scoop again, Sean Payton wound up with a rare case of mouth gout. Ah, look at that, it was in the shoes the whole time! Dez probably won't yet be integrated into the offense enough to screw things up this week against a Bengals team missing A.J. Green.

Saints 27-23

Atlanta @ Cleveland
Atlanta has hit the cushy part of their schedule and they are taking advantage of it. Like probably too much so. Pretty gross Falcons. And now they’re going to march into Cleveland and convince these sweet little Browns that they just want to play a friendly game of football only to blow them out and leave the Browns in the dust; a single parent left to raise this kid on their own. This is just what Cleveland’s mother told them would happen if they let themselves be coerced by smooth-talkers like Matt Ryan and his cohorts. But do the Falcons care? Nah, the Browns’ problems aren’t theres after Sunday. For Atlanta this is just a fling before they go back home to play the Cowboys. But for the Browns the consequences will last a lifetime.

Falcons 30-20

New England @ Tennessee
There’s reason for the Titans to be somewhat optimistic heading into this game. The last time a defensive disciple of Bill Belichick faced the Patriots Matt Patricia led the Lions to a 26-10 win in which New England only totaled 209 yards. Unfortunately for Tennessee Matt Patricia was actually Belichick’s defensive coordinator, whereas Titans coach Mike Vrabel only played for him. So on second thought maybe Tennessee doesn’t have much of an advantage. If the Patriots insert any of their linebackers at tight end Vrabel will be all over it; other than that though the Titans might be screwed.

Patriots 28-18

Jacksonville @ Indianapolis
This basically amounts to an elimination game in the AFC South. Both teams enter the contest at 3-5, with Houston, the division leader, on their bye week at 6-3. Whoever loses here might as well pack it in, whereas the winner might as well start winning a majority of their remaining games, otherwise they’ll be packing it in soon as well. The Colts are trending upwards, having won two in a row, and with five games within their division left on the schedule. So the opportunity, and perhaps the ability, is there. But I didn’t pick Indy to make the Super Bowl, I picked the Jags to make the Super Bowl. I doubt you remembered that, so I probably shouldn’t have brought it up, but it haunts me on a weekly basis, and I fear that I won’t be able to move past it until I address it in public (not that this blog that reaches a dozen people should count as public, but hey, it’s all I got). So I’ll pick Jacksonville, because they wouldn’t want to make me look like an idiot again would they?

Jaguars 23-20

Arizona @ Kansas City
The Cardinals have only won two games this season. Both of those were against the San Francisco 49ers (and without wunderkind Nick Mullens at quarterback for SF). Their opponent this Sunday is the Kansas City Chiefs, a team that, by all indications, appears to be far superior to the 49ers. Basically the only way the Chiefs will lose this game is if they sleepwalk through it. And I don’t mean unfocused and just going through the motions, they’ll still win if that’s the case. I’m saying they’d literally have to be sleepwalking to lose this game. Every last player on the roster stumbling around, going all different directions, and peeing in the equipment chest. Even then I’d only say Cards by 3.

Chiefs 31-14

Buffalo @ New York Jets
Last Sunday the Bills started Nathan Peterman again in a move that can only be described as irresponsible. Peterman threw for 189 yards on 49(!) passes. Sure the 3.9 yards per attempt is astonishing, but even more worrisome is that the Buffalo coaching staff allowed Peterman to throw the ball 49 times in an NFL game. And yet even more shocking was that of those 49 passes only 3 were intercepted. That’s gotta be considered a win for Peterman. It definitely wasn’t a win for his team though, they lost badly. The Bills are now 2-7 and have only scored 96 points on the season. They’d be the prime candidate for the top pick in the 2019 draft if not for the existence of the Raiders, whose 1 win currently has Buffalo boxed out. But if Josh Allen remains sidelined and the Bills continue to start Peterman there’s no end to the possibilities! Well I guess 2-14 would be the end, but they’d get there in spectacular fashion.

Jets 19-10

Washington @ Tampa Bay
It’s your favorite moment of the week (and I’m not talking about when your Boboli comes out of the oven every Friday night), it’s time for the Ryan Fitzpatrick MVP watch. Last week Fitz fell behind by 28 points in Carolina only to rally his team to within a touchdown and end up with a 42-28 loss. So you know what, I’d say he is the MVP of the league right now, most volatile player! He’s down by 30 one second, he’s tied the next, he’s all over the place, what an asshole! And I can’t get enough of it. This one could be a challenge for Fitz, Washington skews towards a more conservative, run-based offense that often lends itself to low-scoring games, but if there’s one man that can rope them into a shootout it’s the MVP of the NFL Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Buccaneers 30-27

Sunday Afternoon

Los Angeles Chargers @ Oakland
The Raiders’ 34-3 loss in San Francisco last Thursday solidified them as the worst team in the NFL. But isn’t this exactly what Jon Gruden wants? If you’re doing a rebuild you might as well burn it all down before you start, right? That’s what I’ve done with multiple businesses. The problem I ran into was that I didn’t own those businesses. That isn’t an issue for Gruden, he has total autonomy and can drive his team into the ground for as long as he pleases. Eventually, once they deploy their many high draft picks and cap space the results will need to change, but for the time being Gruden will be more than content to watch his team lose out while pretending to be flabbergasted on the sidelines.

Chargers 38-10

Miami @ Green Bay
As we discussed a few weeks ago, the Packers are in the midst of a torturous stretch of their schedule, and with this being the easiest of the bunch they really need a win here. The Dolphins would probably counter by saying, “Oh and we don’t?!?” To which I would respond, "Wow thanks for reading! That’s so cool that your whole team follows this blog! But no Dolphins, you don’t need to win this game. You still get to play the Bills twice. Also, shut up, you’re the Dolphins, do you really think you should be in the playoffs? Again though, thank you so much for reading, I am truly honored. But seriously, shut up."

Packers 27-17

Seattle @ Los Angeles Rams
The Rams do not appear as unbeatable as they once did. I’m basing this on the fact that they were beaten in New Orleans last week. But even before LA suffered their first loss of the season four of their previous five wins were by a margin of 7 or less. Of course they were still winning those games, so it wasn’t necessarily a cause for concern at the time. But now that they’ve lost? You guessed it, the Rams are in full-blown panic mode. The sky is falling and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them simply punt on the rest of the season and start regrouping for 2019. The Seahawks, on the other hand, are still in the playoff hunt in the NFC and need a win here to keep pace. Look for them to do just that.

Seahawks 28-26

Sunday Night

Dallas @ Philadelphia
After a dismal showing on Monday Night Football the Cowboys are right back where they belong on prime time. Can they overcome their own misfortunes and a short week to beat a well-rested Eagles team? Probably not, but let's hear what NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth has to say:
Crazy like a fox CC.

Eagles 23-16

Monday Night

New York Giants @ San Francisco
This is the second straight week the 49ers have played in a prime time game against a 1 win team. And in case you were caught up in the Nick Mullens hysteria and forgot, San Francisco’s record is 2-7. In other words we could really use another no name quarterback having an historically great debut to add some juice to this game. And I’ve got just the guy: Alex Tanney. He’s currently number two on the Giants’ depth chart, he’s never started an NFL game, he hasn’t even played in one since 2015, and he went to Monmouth. He’s the perfect candidate! I’m not saying I want Eli Manning to suffer an injury in practice this week, but if he eats some suspect seafood Sunday night in San Francisco and comes down with a case of the runs (ironic for such an immobile QB) on game day we could have a heck of a story on our hands.

49ers 24-21



NFL Picks - Week 10 Thursday

Carolina @ Pittsburgh
The Panthers have quietly gone 6-2 so far this season. And by "quietly" I mean I really haven’t watched them much. But rest assured I did a ton of research on them ahead of this game and discovered that they’ve only played 3 road games so far with a 1-2 record. To be fair, they’ve all been tough match-ups (Atlanta, Washington, and Philadelphia), and this one is no different. If you take an even closer look at the Panthers ... well you’d be doing more work than I did. 1-2 on the road people! What more information do you need?!? I assumed none, that’s why I simply wiped my hands and walked away. Come on, it's a Thursday night game, I had to write this on a short week, cut me some slack.

Steelers 27-20


NFL Picks - Week 9

Sunday Morning
Chicago @ Buffalo
At this point we’ve all seen videos of Bills fans jumping onto, or throwing each other through, flaming tables at their tailgate parties. This week the Bills have apparently decided to recreate those feats on the field. Or at least I assume that that’s their plan. It’s the only explanation for why they would start Nathan Peterman. I understand that injuries have left them with no other choice, but my point is that your only choice should never be Nathan Peterman. He’s simply not an NFL-level quarterback. Yet here we are, headed towards another public shaming of who I assume is just a nice guy that happens to be stuck with a job he’s not suited for. If I were Bills coach Sean McDermott I wouldn’t call for a pass in this game at all. I’m assuming he will though, and that will predictably end in disaster.  

Bears 24-9


Kansas City @ Cleveland 
Normally teams are energized by the firing of their head coach. The old guy was lousy, and now you have a chance to start fresh and finish the season strong with the interim boss. Unfortunately for Browns players, their coach for the remainder of the season is Gregg Williams, the dirty bastard who helped orchestrate the Saints’ bounty program and who looks like he should be getting over-served at a golf course bar. When you think about it, Williams becoming Browns head coach was meant to be. He’s bounced around and failed up so many times in his career that it was inevitable he’d make it to Cleveland some day, and that he’d have to fill a power vacuum. My guess is that the Browns will lose the remainder of their games, at which point the Raiders will sign Williams to a 10 year contract to be their defensive coordinator. 

Chiefs 34-20 

New York Jets @ Miami 
Six teams are on bye this week, unfortunately none of them are the Jets or Dolphins, which means we’re left with this lackluster game. New York has lost five of their last seven and Miami has dropped four of five. Obviously both teams need a win, but it appears they’re also incapable of doing so. A tie may be the safest bet here, but I know that you guys demand a winner. Or at least I assume you do, you never text back. I double-checked and my texts do still work, so I’m not really sure what the problem is. Is it the memes? Ok, I’ll stop sending them. I happen to think that Madea is funny, but whatever, I’ll cut it out. Anyway, I’m picking a winner for you, please just text me to let me know what you think of it. And if you want to include a gif or something, then great, no pressure though. 

Dolphins 22-19 

Detroit @ Minnesota 
The NFC North is tightly packed, with all four teams within one game of each other. It’s anybody’s division, except for the Lions. Sure they’re in the mix, but they’re also pretty lousy, and I’d be surprised if they ended up any better than 7-9. And I’m a man who’s never been surprised by a lion, Detroit or otherwise. No sir, I have never, not once been surprised by a liAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHH!!! ...
Help me. A lion just mauled me for the last five minutes. He pawed me around in a manner that made it clear he was really enjoying himself. At one point, in an attempt to make it stop I presented myself sexually to him but he wasn’t interested, and he proceeded to claw at me even harder. He just stopped to urinate, so I only have a little bit of time. Send help, here’s my address 4 ... oh God, he’s back, and he’s still urinating. AAAAAGGGHHHHH!

Vikings 31-17

Atlanta @ Washington 
Without looking, which of these teams would you say has the better record? Nope, it’s actually Wa ... oh, you said Washington? So you’ve been paying pretty close attention to the NFL this season, huh? Well would it surprise you to learn that Julio Jones has ... yeah, 0 touchdowns on the year. Ya knew that one too. Ok, how about the fact that Washington is currently #1 in the NFL in the Shipley efficiency rankings, did you know that? Well I made it up! They’re not #1! And there’s no such thing as the Shipley efficiency rankings! I’ve bested you! Sorry, I just had to do it. I’m not quite ready to give up on Atlanta, which means they’ll probably give me good reason to this Sunday. 

Falcons 26-24  

Tampa Bay @ Carolina
Last week the Bucs fell behind the Bengals 34-16 thanks in large part to Jameis Winston throwing 4 interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Just when hope was all but lost Tampa turned to the most dynamic weapon in the NFL, Ryan Fitzpatrick. Of course he brought them all the way back to tie the game in the final minutes only for Cincinnati to escape with the win after a last second field goal. It was an undeniable performance that compelled Tampa coach Dirk Koetter to name Fitzpatrick the starter for this game. This is great news for all football fans, but especially you readers, because it means that the Ryan Fitzpatrick MVP watch (not sure if that was always the name, but it is now) is back! Right now I’d say he’s hovering outside he top 10, hovering like a drone waiting to strike. Another stellar, season-saving performance on Sunday in Carolina would make Fitzpatrick the undisputed leader in the MVP race. Some would argue Patrick Mahomes or Todd Gurley are better choices, but those people lack imagination (the ones making the argument, not Mahomes and Gurley, I’m sure they’d give their vote to Fitzpatrick as well).

Panthers 30-28 

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore 
A month ago the Ravens shellacked the Steelers in Pittsburgh. That game proved to be a sign of things that weren’t to come. Since then Baltimore has gone 1-3 and the Steelers haven’t lost. Now they meet again, one smelling like roses and the other weathered by an arduous road, beaten down by the harsh realities of life. These Ravens have seen things the Steelers couldn’t even dream of. Dark, twisted things. The kind of visions that churn men’s stomachs and try their souls. For them football is no longer a game, or a job, it’s an escape. An escape from the past month of horrors. The only moment in their lives when they can forget about football. Wait football is an escape from football? Whoops. This metaphor went up its own ass and came out the other side ... kind of like the Ravens’ last month!

Steelers 27-24 

Sunday Afternoon

Houston @ Denver
It’s the rarely seen immediate revenge game. Demaryius Thomas was traded from the Broncos to the Texans on Tuesday, and now he takes on his former team this Sunday. Will Thomas really be able to make Denver pay right away though? Odds are he’s not going to have a great grasp of the Houston playbook after only being with the team for four days. So in reality this revenge movie is like if Liam Neeson finally tracked down his daughter’s killer but when it came time to unload on the guy we found out that Neeson only had like a purple belt in martial arts. Sure he still beats him up, but it’s pretty sloppy and unimpressive. He’ll look better in the sequel. 

Broncos 20-17 

Los Angeles Chargers @ Seattle 
This is a tough road game for the Chargers seeing as how the Seahawks have only lost once in Seattle this year. Wait a minute they’ve only had two home games all season. It’s Week 9, what’s going on here? These guys have been home less than Kevin McCallister’s family, which, if you’ll remember from the Home Alone films, is not very often. Both these squads have winning records, but neither have beat a winning team. Something’s gotta give! Unless the Chargers win and drop the Seahawks to 4-4, then we'll be in the same situation we're in now. I, for one, can not and will not accept such a world.

Seahawks 27-20 

Los Angeles Rams @ New Orleans 
This looks like a big time match-up on paper. These teams are 8-0 and 6-1, respectively, they’re in the catbird seats for the playoff byes in the NFC, and they’re each in the top 5 of the Shipley efficiency rankings. When you look at the remaining schedules though it sure seems like the Rams could afford to lose on Sunday and still be in good shape to end up with the top seed come January. So really, this supposed BIG game doesn’t really mean anything. It may cause a shake-up in the Shipleys, but that’s about it.

Saints 28-25 

Sunday Night

Green Bay @ New England
It's a marquee match-up in Massachusetts. Ugh, alliteration is very overrated. Let's check in with the man who will be in the booth for it, Cris Collinsworth:
Agreed CriColl, he seems like he's pretty great.

Patriots 38-27

Monday Night

Tennessee @ Dallas 
It’s been almost a month since the Cowboys have been in a prime time game. Unacceptable! Sure they had a bye week in there, but I don’t care. Have a TV crew follow the players during their vacations and air it as a two hour special across all the major networks. Actually, now that I think about it, Jason Garrett did pop up during the World Series, sitting in the front row of a game he clearly didn’t care about. Dallas fans may argue that that’s not much different than the scenario most Sundays. The Titans are also coming off a bye, meaning they’ve had a couple weeks to ruminate on their failed 2 point try at the end of their game against the Chargers. In my experience the more you fret over a failed 2 the harder it makes it to successfully push through your next attempt. Having to wait two weeks between 2s must be intensely painful, and Tennessee may want to seek outside assistance. So anyway, that was a poop joke.

Titans 16-13 



NFL Picks - Week 9 Thursday

Oakland @ San Francisco
Normally the quality of play is a little diminished in Thursday night games, and so one must reach into the far corners of their mind to imagine what level of competition we’ll see on this Thursday night. I say “we’ll see” as if any of us are actually going to watch this game. But come on, we’ve got much better things to do than ogle at two last place teams jostling for draft positioning. For instance, you could volunteer somewhere ... that’s something people do. Or you could spend these 3+ hours educating yourself on the midterm elections. As for me, I’m finally going to crack open that book that’s been gathering dust on my shelf and settle in for a nice, long read. I mean, I’ll have the game on in the background, but it will be muted. Sure, I’ll turn on the volume every now and then if something confusing is happening ... and if I leave it unmuted for a while, it’s only because it slipped my mind ... and if I happen to put the book down it’s only because my eyes are tired ... Oh God, I’m going to watch this game aren’t I? Help me!

49ers 27-20


NFL Picks - Week 8

Sunday Morning

Philadelphia vs. Jacksonville 
I took Week 7 off, but I’m back and ready to expertly dissect this league again. Alright, what did I miss? Last time I checked in with Jacksonville them they were 3-2, and looked like a contender in the AFC. So what’s new with the Jags? Ohhhhh Bortles. Ah jeez. Blake and the gang have been outscored 60-14 in consecutive losses. And one of the members of that aforementioned gang is Cody Kessler, who came in for Bortles and actually led Jacksonville to their only TD in last week’s loss to Houston. Doug Marrone has confirmed that Bortles will be the starter going forward, but the mere fact that that had to be stated when the other option is Cody Kessler means the wheels have really come off. But it’s a good thing you don’t need wheels to cross the pond, because this game’s in London, the Jags’ second home. On second thought, you do need wheels, otherwise you won’t be able to land the plane. You gotta admit though it sounded cool in the moment. Ok fine, you don’t have to admit it; you’re lying to yourself, but whatever. I know that the trip to London has been fortuitous for Bortles in the past, but against a desperate Eagles team I’m not sure we should expect the same this time around. In fact it’s probably a good idea to relinquish all expectations regarding this year’s Jaguars.

Eagles 24-13 

New York Jets @ Chicago
The Bears came agonizingly close to converting a game-tying Hail Mary at the end of last week’s game against New England. Kevin White caught the ball but could not extend his arms to get it across the goal line. It must have been heartbreaking for Chicago, but what more could they have done? I’ll tell you what, ensure that it never happens again. And how do they guarantee that? Simple ... the Bears need to sign Gheorghe Muresan. He’s 7’7”, with a 7’10” wingspan. He’d easily be able to outreach a crowd of players and reach the ball over the goal line. He’d be unstoppable. This isn’t just some tall schlub we’re talking about here, he’s a former professional (dare I say world class) athlete. Now, some critics may argue that Mitchell Trubisky would be sacked 5-6 times in the amount of time it would take Muresan to lumber down to the end zone. I would counter that argument by asking those naysayers to imagine Gheorghe Muresan wearing a football uniform. 

Bears 31-20 

Tampa Bay @ Cincinnati 
Buccaneers vs Bengals may seem like an innocuous matchup to you, however it’s anything but on a certain intersection in Las Vegas. Every four years this game is the physical manifestation of a longstanding rivalry between Strip neighbors the Treasure Island and Mirage hotels. Obviously the T.I. folks side with the Bucs, while the Mirage staff favors the Bengals due to the hotel’s famed Siegfried & Roy show featuring white bengal tigers. Sure it may seem silly, and possibly even made up for the sake of a gag on a lightly-trafficked blog, but don’t tell that to the good folks that operate those two hotels. They pin their hopes, pride, and, if the rumors are true, a good chunk of their paychecks on this quadrennial clash. Keep that in mind when you hunker down to watch this one on Sunday; but definitely don’t bet on it, because it will definitely be fixed by one of the sports books involved.

Bengals 34-27 

Seattle @ Detroit
Both of these teams are 3-3 and on the fringes of wild card contention in the NFC. Odds are there won’t be room for both though, so it’s safe to consider this a playoff elimination game. One could argue that that isn’t true since both teams will still have more than half the season to play afterwards. To me that’s a bunch of new age, sabermetric nonsense though. We’re dealing with sudden death in Detroit! Coincidentally that was also the Chamber of Commerce’s slogan last year. 

Seahawks 24-19 

Denver @ Kansas City 
The Chiefs’ offense is on pace to score the second most points in NFL history. The top scoring team in NFL history? These Denver Broncos. Well no, not these Denver Broncos, the 2013 version. These Broncos are coming off a 45 point effort in Arizona though, so they’ve at least proven that they could possibly keep pace with Kansas City. That is, as long as Kansas City plays a lot like the Cardinals. Based on what we’ve seen so far this season I don’t think that’s a reasonable expectation. And that’s coming from a man who’s renowned for his reasonable expectations ... Look, all I’m saying is who’s getting above Muresan for that ball? He has experience boxing out!

Chiefs 35-23 

Washington @ New York Giants 
The Giants have started the season 1-6 and have begun to unload their assets. They’ve sent Eli Apple to the Saints and Snacks Harrison to the Lions. Geez, I knew a lot of trading happened in New York, but I thought that was on the floor of the stock exchange! But seriously, what’s going on with these stock brokers? Buy! Sell! Buy! Sell! It’s like, uh guys, have you ever thought about just buying something to keep? I bought a TV years ago and I’ve had it for years now. It’s worked out great! Maybe you ought to try it ya wacky brokers! ... Um look, I’m 32 years old and I don’t understand how the stock market works. I uh, I guess I make these jokes so that I don’t have face reality or accept any responsibility ... So yeah, I think the Giants will get the upset. 

Giants 23-20 

Cleveland @ Pittsburgh 
It’s Week 8, and as promised LeVeon Bell has reported to the Steelers. And by “reported” I don’t so much mean that he’s shown up for work, but that his continued absence is basically Bell reporting to the Steelers that they can go fugg themselves. If I were him I would have made it a point to be back for this game, because with October 31st only a few days away it’s the perfect Halloween matchup. Orange vs. black, what a combo! You just know that the NFL schedule maker had a wry smile on his or her face when they concocted this. Oh wait, the schedule is created by a computer now. So did the computer do this on purpose? If so that’s pretty clever. TOO clever. This is the first warning sign. We have to destroy the NFL’s scheduling computer. 

Steelers 26-23 

Baltimore @ Carolina 
The Ravens lost in stunning fashion last week when Justin Tucker’s game-tying PAT hooked wide in the final minute. A turn of events that was unthinkable considering it was the first PAT Tucker has missed in his NFL career. In other words, before Sunday it seemed like it would have taken an act of God for Tucker to miss that kick. And I think it’s possible that that’s exactly what happened. Have you seen the kick? Look at the video.  The trajectory of the ball looks perfectly straight off of the foot, until it suddenly takes a hard right turn and narrowly misses the upright. If I didn’t know any better I’d say there was some type of Angels in the Outfield shenanigans at play. And guess what, I don’t know any better, so as far as I’m concerned that’s precisely what’s going on. Think about it, Baltimore was playing the SAINTS. It makes too much sense. The Ravens likely won’t have to worry about supernatural interference this week, but the fact that they’re on the road probably means they’ll lose anyway. 

Panthers 27-24 

Sunday Afternoon 

Indianapolis @ Oakland
Jon Gruden continues to insist that the Raiders aren’t tanking. Some might find that hard to swallow after Oakland traded away Amari Cooper this week, but I finally think Gruden’s telling the truth. Cooper was average at best, and the Raiders simply don’t accept average. They’ll take above or below, but not average. Unfortunately they have more below than above at the moment, but Oakland now possesses 5 first round picks over the next two drafts. With that kind of capital they can either rebuild from the ground up with young talent or trade for a marquee player. For instance, Khalil Mack cost the Bears two first rounders earlier this season; Oakland has the stockpile to make a similar move. Can you imagine if the Raiders could get a player like Khalil Mack?!? Oh. Oh boy.

Colts 33-21 

Green Bay @ Los Angeles Rams
The Packers are in the NFC mix as usual. They come into this game at 3-2-1, but that record might as well be a countdown to what’s about to happen. Four of Green Bay’s next five games are on the road against the Rams, Patriots, Seahawks, and Vikings. The Packers have not yet won a game away from Lambeau this season. My advice to them would be to brace themselves. Yet now I hear that Aaron Rodgers is hoping to shed his knee brace that he’s been playing with since Week 1 prior to that upcoming gauntlet. What are you doing Rodgers?!? I just told you to brace yourself, not de-brace! God you’re such a maverick Rodgers. Don’t you ever get tired of having more guts than brains? Which is saying a lot by the way, because you are an extremely intelligent individual. Alas, some heroes are just too brave for their own good. 

Rams 36-28 

San Francisco @ Arizona
It’s a rematch of a game you don’t remember happening! Shame on you, it was only 3 weeks ago. Also it was Rosen/Beathard I, you should really try to recall where you were so that you’ll be able to accurately pass the story down to future generations. I know where I’ll be for RB II, and that’s in front of the TV, with my butt glued to the seat. At least I imagine it will be glued, otherwise I’ll just get up and walk away, because I have to imagine I’ll have better things to do than watch two 1-6 teams go at it. I can’t think of any specific better things at the moment, but if I were a more serious, adult man I probably could.

49ers 24-20 

Sunday Night 

New Orleans @ Minnesota
It's the playoff rematch that Saints fans have been waiting for and simultaneously dreading because of the ad nauseam replays they'll be forced to watch in the lead up to it. What sort of unimaginable drama can we expect this Sunday night? Let's ask the best color commentator in the game, Cris Collinsworth:
Looking good brother.

Vikings 26-23

Monday Night

New England @ Buffalo
Wait a minute, Derek Anderson is starting for Buffalo? How long was I gone? Did I travel back in time on that plane? What year is it? Who’s the president? Oh. Shit. Ok, I guess it’s still 2018. Apparently Anderson started last week as well, throwing for 175 yards and 3 interceptions in a 37-5 loss to the Colts. Bills coaches and fans alike agreed that it was a marked improvement over the other option, which would have been starting Nathan Peterman. Is there any chance Buffalo can win this game? In reality even if I had traveled back in time, it’s still Derek Anderson vs. Tom Brady, the year is inconsequential. 

Patriots 27-13