NFL Picks - Week 3

Sunday Morning 

Baltimore vs. Jacksonville 

The Jags are headed back across the pond for what has become and annual tradition in recent years. This begs the question: would notice if they just didn't come back? Honestly, of the Jags didn't play another game this season would it affect your life at all? The NFL wouldn't even have to acknowledge that they never returned; just give everyone remaining on their schedule a win for that week and pretend like the networks are airing the game as usual. Since nobody watches Jacksonville games anyway the league wouldn't even have to explain why CBS was just airing a static shot of the stadium with nobody in it. This sounds like a goof, but when the season's over and I ask you to recall a single Jags game we'll see if you can remember any past Week 3. They will play this one though, and they'll lose.

Ravens 23-13

Cleveland @ Indianapolis 

In a season that's already been lamented for poor play this may become the new measuring stick for ineptitude. The nadir of putrid play that has typified 2017 as of yet. Or it could be two teams that are just lousy enough to throw caution to the wind and get all sorts of weird with trick plays, deep balls, and a back and forth scoring barrage that will make your fuggin' head spin! Are you out of breath too?!? ... Sorry, I uh got a little carried away. I'm fine now. I realize it's stupid to expect anything more from this game than a rock fight, but maybe ... just maybe ... they'll have an actual rock fight. That would be interesting, right?

Colts 13-12

New York Giants @ Philadelphia

The Giants have only put up 13 points so far this season. Say what you want, but if you're trying to win games in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE you're going to have to score ... well technically you only need to put up 2 points, so long as you shut the other team out every time. I'd go so far as to say you only need 1 point, but the NFL still hasn't adapted my rule suggestion that teams have the option of waving their possession in favor of an extra point attempt. So really the question Giants fans should be asking is can their defense improve and start shutting teams out on a weekly basis? If not, I'm afraid they're in real trouble.

Eagles 19-10

Miami @ New York Jets

Upon first glance, this one looks like a win for the Dolphins, but I'm not totally sure about them yet. Being uncertain, this seemed like as good a time as any to call upon Pickler, the score-picking goblin. I waited for for almost an hour and a half before I heard splashing and gasping noises coming from my bathroom. I entered to find Pickler bathing in my toilet, with shampoo and all even though he has maybe 10 strands of hair. "Oooh hoo hoo! I'm clean as new!" he shouted as he scrubbed his body with my toilet brush. I asked if he was aware that I poop in there, but he didn't seem to mind. I then pivoted to discussing the game in question. Pickler continued to ignore me then leapt out of the toilet toward the slightly ajar bathroom window. Just before he squeezed his way through the opening he said, "When making football bets don't overthink games involving the Jets." And then ... he was gone.

Dolphins 27-16

Denver @ Buffalo 

Lookout world, these Broncos have come out of the gate hot! But then again, that's what broncos always do, the team included. Over the the last four seasons they've had starts of 6-0, 6-1, 7-0, and 4-0. However, after that 4-0 start from last year they only cobbled together 5 wins the rest of the way before missing the playoffs. So can we trust Trev Siemian and the gang? Probably not. Don't get me wrong, I think they will make the playoffs, but I specifically don't trust Trevor Siemian. It's a long story, but we were business partners once, and let's just say I never received the inheritance money he promised me. And let's also just say that when I become blood brothers with someone it means something to me. And furthermore let's just say that I take someone's word for it when they tell me they're disease free. 

Broncos 26-13

New Orleans @ Carolina 

The Panthers defense has been impressive so far, giving up only 6 points on the season. Meanwhile the Saints are staring an 0-3 start in the face. But hey, New Orleans started 0-2 last year also, and you know what they did? They lost the third game. Ok, it happens, but what about in 2015 when they started 0-2, do you know what they did in the third game then? They lost again. Wow, these guys are a bunch of cowards! Grow a spine and win a game already. Unfortunately, it takes four weeks for the neural tube in a human fetus to close, at which point a spine can begin to grow. No wonder the Saints can't win until after Week 3. 

Panthers 31-20

Pittsburgh @ Chicago 

Oh yeah! A couple rough and tumble towns duking it out on the gridiron. This is what football's all about baby! Keep your tutus at home ladies, cuz this one's gonna get real rough and real tumbley. Call this one the Dryer Bowl, because of all the tumbling that's gonna happen. And we ain't talkin' no perma-press or delicate cycle either. Noooo no, this baby is high heat and high tumbling. Except when this buzzer goes off none of us will be dry. And don't forget about the roughness! No sir, don't you dare. Call this one the Stubble Bowl because of how rough and rugged and sexy on the right guy it's gonna be. What? Naahhh! You're hearin' things! 

Steelers 24-17

Atlanta @ Detroit 

Are the Lions the real deal? If I were a captain on your Jungle Cruise ride (lifelong aspiration) I'd tell you no. But within the context of this NFL season I have to say perhaps. Of course, we'll learn more after their match-up with the reigning NFC champions. And I don't even mean just about the Lions, I think we can all learn a little about ourselves during this game? How so? Look that's your journey, I can't guide you on it. Nor could I legally guide you on a rollicking cruise through Adventureland's fictional jungle. However, if you're lucky enough to be on the ride with me I'll regularly hop up and attempt to grab the mic from the "cast member." Usually they physically best me and I return to my seat bruised and ashamed. Sometimes they're real pussies though, and once I muscle the mic away from them I unleash my wildly inappropriate routine that I've been crafting for the last 10+ years. There are A LOT of animal sex jokes.   

Falcons 28-27

Tampa Bay @ Minnesota 

You have to feel for Vikings fans who are sincerely hoping that Sam Bradford can return as soon as possible to be their starting quarterback. Really we shouldn't be surprised though, this is a classic Bradford scenario; he has a handful of good starts (or even just one in this case), briefly elevates the collective public's opinion of him, and then is lost to any of injuries. It's happened countless times ... Ok, probably like twice, but it's enough for me to be very leery of this whole situation. You wanna know how leery of this I am? Here's how leery, (takes a drag off a cigarette) so leery that I wanna sneak into Mall of American Airlines Bank building or whatever, hide under a table and whack Bradford's knees with a pipe to save us all the trouble. That's right, I'm gonna go frickin Tonya Harding on his ass, and I don't even want a frickin' gold medal for the trouble ... Whoa, sorry. I guess was more Leary about that situation, than leery. 

Buccaneers 22-16

Houston @ New England

Last January the Texans surprisingly hung with the Patriots for most of their Divisional playoff game before New England pulled away later in the second half. But let's be real, that was when Houston was starting Brock Osweiler at QB. And when you're starting Brock Osweiler at QB you have the luxury of being able to stick around in games until the other team inevitably pulls away and wins by double digits. However, the Texans no longer have that luxury. Deshaun Watson is now at the helm, so who knows what to expect. Though if I had to guess (and again, that's exactly what I have to do based on the contract I signed with this website; still kicking myself for agreeing to a 25 year deal) Houston's D will keep them in it for the first half before New England stretches their lead in the second. So, in other words, the Texans will stick around until the Patriots inevitably pull away and win by double digits. 

Patriots 27-16

Sunday Afternoon

Seattle @ Tennessee

Last week the Titans dominated the Jaguars on the road while the Seahawks' offense remained mostly stagnant in a narrow home win over the 49ers. So why, you ask, do I get the feeling that Seattle wins in Tennessee? You must be a new reader ... just kidding, there's no such thing. 

Seahawks 17-13

Cincinnati @ Green Bay

Through two games Cincinnati has put up 9 points, leading many to call for Andy Dalton's job. No literally, the Bengals have set up a hotline for people to call in to and make a case for why they would be a better starting quarterback than Andy Dalton. So far most of the calls have been from Colin Kaepernick though, so it's proven to be a pretty big waste of time. For years the debate surrounding Dalton was how high his ceiling was. In other words, what's the farthest you could go with Andy Dalton as your quarterback? Well it now appears that question was answered a couple years ago. The new debate: What's the floor? I hope for his sake that that's been answered over the last two weeks. If not, the Bengals' offense may fall into a sort of never-ending purgatorial abyss that will manifest itself as the entire group hovering in suspended animation six inches above the field.  

Packers 34-10

Kansas City @ Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers have moved and nothing has changed. They're losing games as late and as devastatingly as they ever did in San Diego. Week 1: game-tying field goal attempt blocked as time expired. Week 2: game-winning field goal attempt sailed wide right. This week I expect the ball to explode on the foot of Yunghoe Koo as he attempts the game-tying extra point. The refs will just look at each other, shrug, and call it no good. No one from the Chargers will protest either because it won't even seem strange to them. 

Chiefs 27-26

Sunday Night

Oakland @ Washington 

What will happen when the 2-0 Raiders travel to the nation's capitol, then travel a little further to get to Landover, Maryland? Don't ask me, as CriColl:

Well I for one am glad you're still alive. I'll pick Oakland until they give me a reason not to. 

Raiders 30-24

Monday Night

Dallas @ Arizona 

There's been quite the furor in the media this week after Ezekiel Elliott appeared to "quit" on a play while the Broncos' Chris Harris ran back an interception during the Cowboys' Week 2 loss in Denver. Personally though, I really can't judge him, I mean I quit football in 7th grade; Elliott stuck with it way longer than me. In fact, all of the people in the media quit football at some point too, so if you ask me they're a bunch of hypocrites. What's more, Elliott has decided to come out of retirement and return to the Cowboys this week, so we should probably all cut him some slack. Even with Elliott though, Dallas hasn't looked spectacular this season. But on Monday they're visiting the Cardinals who barely escaped Indianapolis with a win and have looked seriously lousy. So who wins? I'll take unspectacular over lousy any day of the week. Well, most days of the week. Either way, Monday is one of those days.

Cowboys 20-13


NFL Picks - Week 3 Thursday

Los Angeles @ San Francisco
This game features the highest scoring team in the NFC (Rams) against the lowest scoring team in the NFC (Niners). It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how this one is going to go. In fact, if we did ask a rocket scientist he'd probably go on about how (read in a nerd voice), "The oblong spheroid shape of the football, or 'pigskin' as enthusiasts are wont to refer to it, allows for any number of random bounces within the allotted 60 minutes of game time that any prediction made with confidence is a rather foolhardy endeavor." Then I'd say, "Can it dweeb, I know pigskin!" Then he'd probably say something like, "Please leave my doorstep." 

Rams 23-13


NFL Picks - Week 2

Sunday Morning

Cleveland @ Baltimore
The Browns didn't get blown out by the Steelers in Week 1 and the collective reaction from the nation was, "Hey, good for you!" Meanwhile the Ravens went to Cincinnati and shutout the Bengals 20-0, and the collective reaction from the nation was, "Ooh baby, don't be too nasty now!" It stands to reason that If Baltimore could go on the road and shut out the Bengals they should have no problem at home against the Browns. But as Winston Churchill once said, "Reason is the wisdom of fools. Now pass the mushy peas, because I'm on a diet, boo hoo! Merely kidding, it hasn't been that bad. Portion control is really the key." With that in mind I say Cleveland hangs around before fading late.

Ravens 20-12

Chicago @ Tampa Bay
Mike Glennon is making his return to Tampa, and I can only imagine that the reaction of Bucs fans will be something along the lines of, "Oh hey Mike. Wait are you not our back-up QB anymore? You're the Bears' starter? Oh awesome! We're definitely gonna win now." Well the joke's on you Bucs fans, because Glennon was not terrible against Atlanta in Week 1. Though, he wasn't good enough to get the win either, so I guess you were right all along. You guys are pretty smart, and cool. Want to hang after this, er ...? Yeah just let me know later.

Buccaneers 19-14

Minnesota @ Pittsburgh
Oh baby, this is an intriguing interconference match-up that has football fanatics salivating. Many were surprised and/or impressed with the Week 1 play of Sam Bradford and the Vikings' offense. I wasn't shocked, however, because they were playing at home against the Saints. If you're impressed by a team putting up stats in that scenario you'd probably also be impressed by someone bragging that they saw boobs at a strip club. Now, if they can pull off the same sort of performance in Pittsburgh I'll be impressed, and that's coming from a guy that's been to over two strip clubs in his life. So uh yeah, I guess you could say I know what I'm talking about here.

Steelers 23-16

New England @ New Orleans
Oh baby, this is an intriguing interconference match-up that has football fanatics salivating. You may or may not remember that last week I suggested to the Patriots that it would be understandable if they stopped playing football. Well it took them until the second half of their opening night game, but it seems like they finally read my post. Now the question becomes, are they really calling it quits or will they rally behind some Belichick motto, win 12 or 13 games, and make it to at least another AFC Championship game? I agree, they're definitely going to just quit. That being said, I'll go ahead and pick them to win a wild one. A wet n' wild one? Ew no. Gross. Also, they're playing in a dome, so even if that was only referring to rain it would make no sense.

Patriots 38-31

Philadelphia @ Kansas City
Oh baby, this is an intriguing interconference match-up that has football fanatics salivating. Both teams are coming off impressive road wins in Week 1, but only of them was against the defending Super Bowl champs. I think we both know which team that would be, so let's just go ahead and both say the name of that team on the count of three ... 1 ... 2 ... 3 ...
Well you didn't say anything either! Are you implying that I'm not 100% sure because I forgot to watch that game last Thursday due to the fact that I spent most of the night reading articles about how to impress your friends? Well you're wrong, they were about how to make friends. And it was only one article. I'm a slow reader! Anyway, I do know that Kansas City beat New England, and I expect them to completely replicate their offensive explosion from last week. Or maybe just come down to earth a bit while still getting a win.

Chiefs 29-21

Tennessee @ Jacksonville
For years I've been picking the Jaguars to be a sleeper playoff contender, and each time they fall spectacularly short of that. Well I finally learned my lesson this season and picked them to finish 6-10. They then promptly won their opener 29-7. Nice try Jags, you're not suckering me in. I don't care how impressive you looked, or that when I watched the game I couldn't help but feel proud, or that when it was over all I wanted to do was call you. No! I don't care about any of that. You've hurt me too many times in the past and I just can't trust you. Consequently, I have to pick Tennessee. I hope you understand Jags, we're both adults after all, I don't see any reason why this has to be contentious. But just know, I'll be watching and thinking of us.

Titans 23-20

Arizona @ Indianapolis
Both of these teams looked pretty lousy in Week 1. Well one looked lousy, while the other looked downright vomitacious. But let's get real, it's only Week 2, the shine hasn't worn off of the season to the point that you're not going to watch this game. C'mon, what else are you going to do, go out to eat with loved ones? If so, I just have to ask the question ... Can I come? I'll get one of the cheaper entrees and only order water for a drink. Unless, of course, somebody else just gets water; at that point I feel like it wouldn't be an issue if I went ahead and ordered a beer. Big deal, right? What's an extra $5? Though, now that I look at the menu the lowest price for a beer is $7, and actually the one that I want is $9.50. Ya know what? Don't definitively say yes or no yet. We'll just cross that bridge ... I said DON'T definitively say ... Why are you being like this?

Cardinals 30-13

Buffalo @ Carolina
The Bills come into this game at 1-0 after beating the Jets in Week 1. The Panthers come into this game at 1-0 after beating the 49ers in Week 1. In other words, we have no idea if either of these teams are as good as their undefeated records may suggest. My gut and eyes tell me that Buffalo is the lesser of the two, but I suppose we'll find out soon enough. Speaking of my gut, this figures be a saucy match-up, considering we're dealing with two cities famous for sauces. Why not embrace this and slather the ball with hot sauce for Bills possessions and some slippery, vinegar BBQ sauce for the Panthers? Because that's a stupid, pointless idea? Yep.

Panthers 20-16

Sunday Afternoon

New York Jets @ Raiders
Well this is finally it, the week it hits home that Chris Berman is no longer covering the NFL for ESPN. And why now? Because this Jets/Raiders game will most likely come and go without anyone making reference to the Heidi game. Are we better off? Yes. But does that mean I'm glad I don't have to hear that tired old routine once again? Also yes. The Raiders looked solid last week, while the Jets looked a little more viscous. This is a game so easy to call that a young girl in the Swiss Alps could figure it out.

Raiders 31-14

Miami @ Los Angeles Chargers
It's finally time for Jay Cutler's first start as a Dolphin and I couldn't think of a better spot for it than in front of 27,000 screaming(?) fans at the StubHub Center. He'll feel like he's back at Vanderbilt ... or at least a version in which Vanderbilt Stadium is 13,000 seats smaller. The thing is though, the ticket supply at StubHub still outweighs the demand from Los Angeles Chargers fans. People in LA do not care. There's more buzz generated by a beach ball being bounced around the bleachers in Dodger Stadium. So who will show up to these games? Here's my guess at the breakdown: 60% visitors' fans, 30% Charger fans, and 10% confused folks who don't understand why this Galaxy game costs so much. That being said, the Chargers were sometimes outnumbered in Qualcomm too, so it's nothing new for them. With a probably more bored than usual Jay Cutler at the helm for the Dolphins I expect the "home" team to get the win.

Chargers 27-20

San Francisco @ Seattle
The Seahawks only put up 9 points last week in what was a very disappointing effort. At the same time though, the 49ers only put up 3 points last week, so it could be worse. If the Seattle o-line can keep the San Fran sack rate under 25% the Hawks should have a good shot. If it's around 10% it should be a blow out. 

Seahawks 27-9

Washington @ Los Angeles Rams
The Rams absolutely thrashed the Colts in Week 1, leaving us to wonder, was that a symptom of facing weak competition or is this Los Angeles team a force to be reckoned with? Well it's the Rams, so I'll say the same thing I say to all of these climate change conspiracy theorists, with my arms crossed and a knowing smirk on my face, "I'll believe it when I see it." And if it takes me bubbling to death while I gasp for air a la the end of Total Recall, then so be it; at that point I'll admit that you were right. So yeah, that's basically how I feel about the Rams. Doesn't mean they won't win this week though. 

Rams 24-21

Dallas @ Denver
This is a bit of a tricky one to decipher, so I thought it would be a good choice for the Pickler Game of the Week. In case you don't remember from last week, Pickler is a football picking goblin who I turn to for advice on one game a week, and this is that game. When Pickler finally showed up to my home I asked him what he thought about this match-up. His response was, "Yum yum, eating garbage is fun!" He then plunged headlong into my trash bin. The whole thing shook violently as discarded paper towels and food stuffs flew in every direction. Eventually he emerged with a banana peel in his mouth, hopped out of the bin, and scampered for the door. Just as he left though, he shouted in his squeaky, shrill voice, "Take the Cowboys!" The whole incident was pretty perturbing, but at the same time I got what I asked for. The weirdest part though was that I haven't eaten a banana in months.

Cowboys 20-16

Sunday Night

Green Bay @ Atlanta
It's an NFC title game rematch and the only man worthy of breaking it down is Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth:
Thank you Cris.

Falcons 29-26

Monday Night

Detroit @ New York Giants
Astute readers will recall that I picked the Giants to make the NFC Championship game this season. So was I discouraged during their dismal performance in a 19-3 loss to the Cowboys last Sunday night? No, because I didn't watch a lot of it. But what I did see wasn't great. That being said, I'm proud of the Giants for sticking it out until the game was over. A lesser team would have simply left the field, and gone down in history as the only team to ever do that. I expect the G Men to show the same aplomb on Monday when they lose again. But wait, you say, Matthew Stanford never beats winning teams on the road! Check the standings dingus, right now the Giants aren't a winning team.

Lions 17-13


NFL Picks - Week 2 Thursday

Houston @ Cincinnati

It's the return of Thursday Night Football, which means it's also time to welcome back the Color Rush promotion. Though, at this point doesn't it seem like Color Rush has become a bit stale? We've seen every team's "wacky" alternate uni, so what's left to like? I say they spice it up and have each team wear their opponents' uniforms for the game. Can you imagine the confusion and hilarity that would ensue? Look, these teams COMBINED to score 7 points last week, we have to do something to make this watchable. So it's either the uni swap or psychedelic drugs, which one do you prefer? Oh ... I thought you we're going to say the uni swap. Well I must be sleeping in the hen house again, because there is some serious egg on my face. I'll go with the home team playing against a debuting QB.

Bengals 19-13


NFL Picks - Week 1

Sunday Morning

New York Jets @ Buffalo
The Jets have effectively gutted their roster resulting in what is arguably the most talent-depleted group in the NFL. It's become apparent that General Manager Mike Maccagnan is employing a tanking strategy more commonly seen in the NBA. As a result, the 2017 season will be nothing more than a wash for the Jets begging the question: if Maccagnan could just hit the fast forward button and jump right to the offseason would he? I think he would. And you know what's really messed up about that? It means he would miss his daughter's birthday! What kind of a sick bastard would put his job above his child like that? Shame on you. You deserve this beating that Nathan Peterman is about to lay down on you. Wait a minute, who the hell is Nathan Peterman? Oh well. 

Bills 17-9

Philadelphia @ Washington
It's only Week 1 and right out of the gates we've got a rivalry game on our hands. Yeah it feels like these two teams have been going at each other for almost as long as I've been writing about football. Oh ... huh. Well I just checked and apparently these teams first played each other in 1934, so um, much longer than I've been writing about football. But c'mon, like you remember an Eagles/Skins game from before 2009. Oh shut up, you're so full of it. Philly started hot last season so I'm tempted to pick them here. But if we're talking tempting you can't rule out Kirk Cousins' crystal blue eyes. It's a toss-up as far as I'm concerned, just like in the olden days of 2009.

Eagles 20-19

Oakland @ Tennessee
Look, we just covered the fact that it's only Week 1, but folks I think we're dealing with a 3P (Possible Playoff Preview) here. In fact, I predicted as much in my season preview. There I called for a Raiders victory in January, but something tells me that the Titans will come out strong at home and get this win. And that something is Pickler, a score-picking goblin whom I call upon once a week to assist me with a tough game. Keep an eye out for Pickler's Game of the Week all season. 

Titans 26-23

Jacksonville @ Houston
Obviously the people of Houston have been through hell over the past couple weeks, and hopefully this home game can bring them at least a small distraction from the turmoil. And heck, it would probably make them feel even better to get a win. Enter the Jacksonville Jaguars. You can almost imagine the Jags alleviating the tensions of the weary region by saying, "Take a load off folks, we got this," and then proceeding to lose 27-6. Ya know, for the good of the nation ... and because they're the Jags.

Texans 27-6

Arizona @ Detroit
Hold on to your stinky little butts because we've got ourselves an inter-divisional match-up with first place in the NFC on the line! Well what? It's true. Whoever wins this game will have the best record in the NFC and be in the conference driver's seat. Of course, they'll have to share that seat with about seven other teams, resulting in extremely dangerous driving conditions. In other words, the victor should be very careful. Alright, I think I've fully exhausted that metaphor. Speaking of exhausted, I'm already tired of the Lions new uniforms. They're Snooze City baby, and I ain't got time for 'em. If that's not a reason to pick against them I don't know what is. I guess I should do more research ...

Cardinals 31-24

Atlanta @ Chicago
Heeeeey Falcons, how ya guys doing? You look rested. It's good to see you out and about! I know I should have called, but I was trying to give you your space. Seriously though, we were all thinking of you, and we knew you'd pull through. Ok, well I just wanted to say hey, and tell you to hang in there champ. Oh my god, I'm SO sorry, it just slipped out.

Falcons 28-3

Baltimore @ Cincinnati
This game reminds me a lot of my favorite movie of the summer: Dunkirk. Two fierce rivals doing battle in America's heartland. But this is merely a football game, so don't expect any flaming blimps or Kevin Costner cameos in this one. No, we won't see anything reminiscent of Dunkirk's classic banana prank scene or the sword fight in the church, but what we should have is a very competitive division battle. Can I be honest with you guys? I never saw Dunkirk.

Ravens 23-20

Pittsburgh @ Cleveland
The brightest spot for the Browns this season is expected to be #1 overall pick Myles Garrett. However, he's suddenly sidelined with a high ankle sprain, so Clevelanders are left searching for other silver linings. Here are some suggestions: Brock Osweiler is no longer on the roster; the Indians have won 15 in a row; you'll actually be watching a live football game rather than just staring at an empty field, which is what a reported 12,000 Browns fans have been doing at FirstEnergy Stadium since last December. As for non-sliver linings (brown linings?), after Cleveland cut star CB Joe Haden last week he immediately signed with the rival Steelers, and you just KNOW he's gonna want revenge against Deshone Kizer, a guy he probably met a couple times. Look for the Browns to not win.

Steelers 31-13

Sunday Afternoon

Indianapolis @ Los Angeles Rams
When the schedule was released this looked like a possibly intriguing QB match-up of former #1 picks. Then Andrew Luck's injury continued to linger, leaving the Colts with Scott Tolzien as their starter. Meanwhile, the other #1 pick is healthy, but he's also Jared Goff. In other words, this one could be a real stinker. As if the nation's interest wasn't flagging enough, Aaron Donald won't be in action due to a contract holdout. Look, I already said it would be a stinker, you didn't have to throw any extra stank on there. But ya did, didn't ya you twisted perv?

Rams 19-13

Seattle @ Green Bay
Two of the top teams in the NFC meet at Lambeau Field. In fact, they'll do more than just meet, they'll play each other in an NFL-sanctioned football game. At least that's what we've been told, you never can know for certain until you see that first kickoff go flying. Remember that Dolphins/Ravens game years ago when all the players just hung out on the field? Man what a let down that was. And why did CBS stay with the broadcast for the full 3 hours? While these teams are plenty familiar with each other, having played four times in the last three seasons, I highly doubt we'll see a chill sesh come Sunday. In fact, we're gonna get hot, fiery action. That will result in a short delay, but once they put out said fire the game will continue and be quite entertaining.

Seahawks 24-19

Carolina @ San Francisco
This past offseason the 49ers' staff underwent an overhaul with the hiring of a new head coach and general manager in Kyle Shannahan and John Lynch, respectively. But ironically, this new era doesn't involve a Kaep. (Yes, I am happy with that one) While the early returns have been mostly positive for San Fran's new regime, the real football begins now with a visit from Cam Newton and the Panthers. It's safe to say the gravity of the situation has increased. And there's no one that knows more about gravity than Newton. (No, I'm not as happy with that one)

Panthers 27-16

Sunday Night

New York Giants @ Dallas
It's a Sunday night game, so you know what that means ... Let's turn over the reins to the man who will call the game, back with HCM for another season, Cris Collinsworth:

Alright, well that wasn't much help. I guess I'll have to handle this one myself. 

One aspect of the Ezekiel Elliott scandal that is being overlooked is the fact that the judge who heard Zeke's appeal was named Harold Henderson. Maybe this is a dumb question, but it wasn't the Harold Henderson right? Yeah you're right, that's stupid. But like, he acclimated to human culture pretty rapidly in the short time he lived with the Hendersons; it's not ludicrous to think that in the 30 years since he got educated, went to law school, and rose through the ranks of the legal world to become a judge, right? Nah, that's unbelievable. And yet I still believe it to be true. I also believe in the Giants, who had the Cowboys' number last year and will not sweat the fact that they have to face Elliott even though Bigfoot upheld his suspension.

Giants 30-24

Monday Night

New Orleans @ Minnesota
One of the league's top offenses will clash with one of the top defenses when Drew Brees and the Saints' O goes head to head with a stingy Vikings' D. As for when Minnesota has the ball? Well New Orleans can't stop much, but the Vikings do little more than attempt to nickel and dime teams to death with middling levels of success; so expect more short passes than singles' night at a jockey bar. Do jockey bars actually exist? If they don't I'm about to be a rich man. Finally, I can quit the writing biz. Speaking of which, I have noticed that a lot of your donations don't seem to be coming through on my account properly, so just e-mail me directly and I'll inform you where you can send an envelope of cash.

Vikings 23-17

Los Angeles Chargers @ Denver
The final game of week 1 is the first for the newly rechristened Los Angeles Chargers. In case you forgot, or are unaware, the Chargers played their inaugural season in LA in 1960 before moving down to San Diego after just one year. In other words, it's been 56 years since the Chargers called Los Angeles home, that's longer than Roman Polanski. They'll return to find a bustling metropolis that has nearly completed a comprehensive mass transit system. But first they have a detour in the Mile High City, and if you know anything about the Denver airport that could result in any number of Illuminati/other-worldly influences. Despite that, I think the Chargers will have enough energy to pull off a mild upset before returning home to the realization that they're borrowing a stadium from an MLS team. 

Chargers 24-22