NFL Picks - Week 17

As the season winds to a close I thought it might be fun and humiliating to look back at the record I predicted for each team at the start of the year. And if you don't think it's going to be fun then you're definitely much cooler than I am, meaning you should be out skateboarding or high fiving, not reading this. So now who's lame? I feel like we got sidetracked, let's get started.

Sunday Morning

Carolina @ Atlanta

Carolina: 7-9
Looks like I underestimated the Panthers. I don't blame myself (a phrase I'll only use once), it was hard to imagine Ron Rivera leading a team to a division championship and a first round bye. Yet here we are in a world where that is a possibility, and it scares the hell out of me.

Atlanta: 11-5
I was way off on this one too. I don't blame myself.

Panthers 24-16

Baltimore @ Cincinnati

Baltimore: 8-8
With a Ravens loss I'll be right on the nose. If it happens I'll certainly be putting it on my resume. I'm not being facetious, "Correctly predicted the Baltimore Ravens 2013 record" will go right below my three Summers at Staples.

Cincinnati: 11-5
Looks like a Bengals win makes me two for two here. You probably think that means that I'll pick Cincy, don't you? Well you're pretty smart (and attractive).

Bengals 27-17

Houston @ Tennessee

Houston: 10-6
How was I supposed to know that Matt Schaub would decline so sharply? What do I look like, a guy who watches a bunch of football and should see these things coming?

Tennessee: 6-10
Pretty close. I can spot lousiness like nobody's biz!

Titans 22-19

Jacksonville @ Indianapolis

Jacksonville: 3-13
They've already reached 4 wins, making their season a success. Expectations will be higher next season for Gus Bradley & co. Better put up at least 6 wins or the Jaguars fan(s) will start to grumble.

Indianapolis: 8-8
I can't blame myself here. Their erratic play from last season has only continued in 2013, but somehow they find ways to win more often than not. Usually it involves outscoring the opponent in the time allotted for a regulation football game.

Colts 31-17

New York Jets @ Miami

New York: 3-13
Boy I really thought these guys would stink, and I'm not so sure they don't. I know they say they're 7-8 right now, but has anybody delved a little deeper to see if it's true? I certainly can't remember watching them win seven games. I'm going to pull the loose thread on this one and see how far it unravels. Stay tuned gang.

Miami: 8-8
Close, but I think the Dolphins will get the win this Sunday to go 9-7 and grab the #6 seed in the AFC. Which is impressive, because you wouldn't think that Dolphins would be able to grab anything.

Dolphins 19-13

Detroit @ Minnesota

Detroit: 7-9
Bingo! The late season collapse of the Lions has me within striking distance. I have only Turbo Redface (Jim Schwartz) to thank. You're the real hero.

Minnesota: 5-11
Regardless of whether or not the Vikings win this Sunday I'll miss by a half game. If that isn't the best argument for abolishing ties in the NFL than I don't know what is.

Vikings 30-27

Washington @ New York Giants

Washington: 8-8
Not gonna blame myself on this one. While I did think that RG3 would struggle to stay healthy I had no idea that he would miss the final three games of the season due to ... well, I'm still not sure. Maybe because he's a Republican.

New York: 10-6
I had the Giants winning the division, and knowing this group, I wouldn't count them out just yet. Take your "mathematics" and shove it. These guys never say die!

Giants 38-31

Cleveland @ Pittsburgh

Cleveland: 9-7
Can't blame myself. Who in their right mind would have predicted that the Browns, the Cleveland Browns, with Brandon Weeden at quarterback, would have a losing record? Boggles the mind.

Pittsburgh: 10-6
They still have an outside chance of making my playoffs prediction correct, but they'll need a lot of help. That's so typical of our society today, everybody's looking for handouts. Show me a team that pulls itself up by its bootstraps and I'll show you a winner.

Steelers 23-13

Sunday Afternoon

St. Louis @ Seattle

St. Louis: 8-8
Well they're 7-8 right now. I've never wanted to be wrong about anything more in my life. Ok, maybe that time I thought I had the plague. But even with that it's a toss-up.

Seattle: 16-0
Still not sure how I didn't nail this one.

Seahawks 21-7

Green Bay @ Chicago

Green Bay: 11-5
I blame the discrepancy here on Aaron Rodgers' left cllllavicle. If he hadn't suffered that injury I would have been exactly right. Let's just take that comment at face value and not examine that any further.

Chicago: 8-8
A loss on Sunday and that will be their record. Unfortunately for the Bears, and really the rest of the NFC, I think that's exactly what will happen. Time to hibernate gents, sleep well.

Packers 31-24

Denver @ Oakland

Denver: 12-4
Close, but no cigar. Well guess what hot shots, I don't smoke cigars. So now who's laughing? Hmm, actually it doesn't seem like anybody is. I mean, I know I'm not, and I doubt you are. Hey, how about this. There, now we're all laughing.

Oakland: 2-14
I went too low on this squad, and I apologize. Congrats Raiders, you got 4 wins and you proved me wrong. Mission accomplished!

Broncos 38-20

Buffalo @ New England

Buffalo: 5-11
The Bills got their sixth win last week, so it looks like I'll be one shy. SHIT!

New England: 11-5
They'll likely win this week and get to 12-4, which should really just be my default prediction for them as long as Bill Belichick is alive. No, not as long as he's coach, as long as he's alive.

Patriots 35-17

Tampa Bay @ New Orleans

Tampa Bay: 7-9
I think you and I both know that if they had started this sicko in Week 1 they'd have at least 7 wins.

New Orleans: 10-6
They'd have to lose to Tampa to make this record a reality. At home, with a playoff spot on the line, I just don't see it happening. And if it starts to happen I'll close my eyes so that I don't have to see it happening.

Saints 27-14

San Francisco @ Arizona

San Francisco: 10-6
I stand by this prediction. I think they lose this week and the NFL eventually strips them of a previous victory. It could be years down the road, so my accuracy on this one may be TBD for quite some time.

Arizona: 6-10
I've made a terrible mistake.

Cardinals 20-17

Kansas City @ San Diego

Kansas City: 7-9
I thought they'd improve, but I didn't see this coming. But if somebody had predicted 11 or 12 wins for the Chiefs prior to the season we would have called them an asshole. Or at least I would have, you probably would have wimped out and been like, "Yeah I could see that."

San Diego: 6-10
Lesson learned: underestimate Philip Rivers and live to regret it. How has it taken me this long to realize that?

Chargers 34-24

Sunday Night

Philadelphia @ Dallas

Philadelphia: 6-10
Can you blame me? I know I can't.

Dallas: 7-9
Missed it by that much. I knew the Cowboys would be pretty mediocre, for some reason I didn't predict them to be exactly mediocre.

Eagles 29-21


NFL Picks - Week 16

Sunday Morning

Miami @ Buffalo

You have to admire that the Dolphins haven't allowed their season to be derailed by a big, fat scumbag. Of course I'm referring to Santa, who publicly announced that he would not be visiting Miami this year. As of right now they're still on the outside of the AFC playoffs due to being on the wrong end of a tie-breaker, but if they win their final two they have a good shot at making it over the Ravens who have a tougher schedule. But traveling to Buffalo to play a football game is never easy. In fact, this time of year traveling anywhere to do anything isn't easy. It's like are you kidding me with these delays? And I don't care what TSA recommends, I ain't showing up three hours before my flight.

Bills 24-21

Minnesota @ Cincinnati

It's MIN vs. CIN and I'm not mincin' words when I proclaim that this will not be the game of the day. Is that statement controversial? Maybe. But guess what, I'm bold as I wanna be; deal with it. The Bengals could actually miss the playoffs if they stumble in their final two games, but with both of them being at home they should be safe. As safe as anyone can be in this barbaric bloodsport.

Bengals 30-22

Indianapolis @ Kansas City

It's a triple P y'all: Possible Playoff Preview. And you know that nothing gets me more jazzed. The Chiefs have exploded offensively over the past four weeks to the tune of 40.5 points per game. What does that tune sound like? Probably similar to this. The Colts have proven more than capable of giving up large amounts of points and I expect nothing less here.

Chiefs 35-27

Tampa Bay @ St. Louis

With their win over the Saints last week the Rams proved that there's still fight in them. Of course, that doesn't do them much good now that they're 6-8, but at least they can hold their head high. Granted, not as high as many of the other teams in the NFL, but they haven't given up. True, it would actually help their draft position if they did give up, but that just isn't the Jeff Fisher way. The Jeff Fisher way seems to be all about getting as close to .500 as possible. Here's one more step in the right direction.

Rams 23-16

Cleveland @ New York Jets

A lot of folks would tell you that this game means nothing.

Jets 20-17

Dallas @ Washington

With the chill of another December comes the inevitable weekly collapse of Tony Romo. Honestly though, isn't it time that we all stop blaming him for these game ruining interceptions? If it weren't for the defense allowing the other team back into the game Romo wouldn't even have to blow it at the end. A lost at Washington could doom Dallas's season and cause many a TV analyst's head to cave in. Fortunately for their brains, I think the Cowboys will manage to get a win.

Cowboys 31-26

New Orleans @ Carolina

Do you like playoff implications? If you don't then why don't you just get the hell out of here right now. I don't have room for lame-o's. If New Orleans wins they will clinch the NFC South title and a first round bye. If the Panthers beat the Saints they only need to win in Atlanta in Week 17 to clinch those aforementioned accolades. The loser of this game will most likely start the playoffs on the road as a wild card. So we're dealing with a lot of shit. We all know that the Saints struggle on the road, and this game happens to be scheduled to be played in Carolina (Charlotte, North Carolina specifically).

Panthers 23-20

Tennessee @ Jacksonville

Ohhhhhh baby. Hold onto your butts! Pump up the volume and raise da roof! This is gonna be a wild ride! Everybody dance now! It's getting hot in here! Footballllll!

Jaguars 27-23

Denver @ Houston

Whatever happened to the Broncos offense last week? Not to mention the milkman, the paper boy, or evening TV. They had to scratch and claw just to get to 20 points and on their final drive Peyton Manning was checking down at a Jason Campbellian pace. Now they have to visit Houston who somehow boasts the second best passing defense in the league. Of course, they also boast a 12 game losing streak. Though, I'm not sure that a 12 game losing streak is something that can be boasted. The Texans won't have to worry about that for long though, because after Sunday it will be 13.

Broncos 35-17

Sunday Afternoon

Arizona @ Seattle

One more win and the Hawks will clinch home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. I'm not sure about the team, but I don't see any reason to wait until next week to get that win. And just to prove I mean business I've decided to board a plane and personally stand in the Hawks' Nest to make sure the job gets done.

Seahawks 27-10

New York Giants @ Detroit

The Lions lost control of their destiny last week with a home loss to the Ravens. Now they are subject to the same chaotic happenstance as the rest of us. Their fate is at the mercy of the random machinations of the universe. Good luck guys, if there even is such a thing.

Lions 34-20

Pittsburgh @ Green Bay

Don't look now ... Don't look ... Don't look ... Ok, look look look! The Packers have a winning record again and they only need to win their final two games to become NFC North champs. There's also a chance that Aaron Rodgers will return from his broken clllllavicle injury for one or both of those games. Either way I think Green Bay gets the win this week.

Packers 24-20

Oakland @ San Diego

Even though the Chargers got a big win last Thursday over the Broncos they'll still need a lot of help to make the playoffs. But nobody's going to help you unless you help yourself, and once you do that, you've truly won. That being said, it would really help if the Ravens and Dolphins both lost their last two games.

Chargers 38-24

New England @ Baltimore

The end of the Ravens' 2013 regular season is following the exact opposite trajectory of their 2012 regular season. After starting 9-2 in '12 they stumbled to a 10-6 finish. This season they started 4-6 and have now won four in a row to sit at 8-6 with a legitimate shot at returning to the playoffs to defend their title. They'll most likely get the win this week over a Patriots team that is 3-4 on the road this season.

Ravens 26-23

Sunday Night

Chicago @ Philadelphia

CHI vs. PHI? It's all Greek to me. Thank you everybody, goodnight!

Eagles 30-27

Monday Night

Atlanta @ San Francisco

Whoops, forgot there was one more game. Can ya blame me? I hope this game moves swiftly, I hope it goes quick so we can finally say goodbye to that dump called Candlestick.

49ers 35-10


NFL Picks - Week 15

Sunday Morning

Seattle @ New York Giants

Seahawks 31-14

Washington @ Atlanta

This battle of NFC foes is going to come down to who wants it more. And by it, I mean the #1 pick in the draft. The winner of this game will take themselves out of the running. Oh wait, that's right, the Redskins have already taken themselves out of the running by trading away their 2014 1st round pick to the Rams. That gives Washington no incentive to lose, yet to their credit they just keep on doing it, and in more embarrassing fashion each week. Last week I picked the Falcons and predicted that I'd live to regret it; this proved to be prophetic as they lost late to the Packers. Fool me once, shame on me. I hate being shamed, so I'll stubbornly stick with Atlanta this week.

Falcons 27-20

Chicago @ Cleveland

It looks like Jay Cutler will be healthy enough to start Sunday, but at this point Josh McCown might give Chicago the best chance to win. Aaaaand, there it is, the statement that was foretold eons ago to cause the ground to open and the Earth to be swallowed whole. We had a good run folks, but now we're all screwed thanks to Josh McCown and his relative success. The Browns will most likely be demoralized after blowing their game against New England last week, I expect a flat effort.

Bears 24-19

Houston @ Indianapolis

It's impressive that the Texans have managed to lose so many in a row without getting blown out. They've dropped their last seven by seven points or less. Meanwhile, the Colts have somehow becomes the first team in the league to clinch their division despite an 8-5 record. I really hope that they were presented with AFC South Champions hats and shirts in the locker room after their loss in Cincinnati last week; furthermore, it would be even better if they really embraced it and started celebrating with champagne. Luck's probably a teetotaler though, so that most likely didn't happen. Indy should get back on track (at least temporarily) against this Houston team already looking towards next season. In other words, look for Luck to lick the lacking Texans looking to lock down the #1 pick.

Colts 26-20

New England @ Miami

The Dolphins avoided a near catastrophe last week in Pittsburgh when Antonio Brown barely stepped out of bounds on the last play of the game after a series of "laterals." The play was kind of a metaphor for their season in that halfway through Richie Incognito showed up and called someone the N word. The Patriots' chances for the remainder of the season took a big hit when Rob Gronkowski's knee blew up last Sunday. Without him, New England is considerably weaker, however, their average IQ is considerably higher.

Dolphins 24-21

Philadelphia @ Minnesota

Adrian Peterson almost broke his ankle last week, which means he probably would have been ready to play a Thursday game. However, with his team out of the playoff race and his future to worry about, er some bull shit, it might be wise to shut him down. Then again, "wise" isn't in the Vikings vocabulary. That's because they speak Scandinavian languages, so really no English is in their vocabulary.

Eagles 28-17

San Francisco @ Tampa Bay

Can Mike Glennon do this? I've learned to stop saying "no" in response to that question. Of course, if the this in question were a back flip I'd probably say no. I mean, c'mon, there's no way this guy's doing a back flip. Can he beat the Niners though? Why the hell not? Don't answer that.

Buccaneers 21-20

Buffalo @ Jacksonville

You're going to call me crazy, which is pretty insensitive considering my history of mental illness, but the Jags could win out and finish 7-9. After this they have a home game against Tennessee, then a Week 17 trip to Indianapolis, who could have nothing to play for at that point. It would be a stunning turn around for a team that looked to be historically bad earlier in the season. So kudos to you Jacksonville, you're now merely mediocre. And that is a testament to what determination and heart can accomplish in today's National Football League.

Jaguars 22-17

Sunday Afternoon

Kansas City @ Oakland

The Chiefs got back on the right track last week with a throttling of the Redskins that sounds more like a hate crime than I'd realized. Meanwhile, Matt McGloin couldn't quite get the job done for the Raiders. Of course, no one has quite got the job done for the Raiders for over 10 years now, so we should probably cut him some slack. And if you're not into cutting slacks then why'd you become a tailor? (Note: the last sentence only applies to those readers who are tailors, or Taylors if you're hearing this being read aloud I suppose, though it wouldn't be nearly as funny)

Chiefs 33-21

New York Jets @ Carolina

Last week I declared that I wouldn't pick the Jets as long as Geno Smith was their starting QB. They proceeded to put up 37 points in a win over Oakland and Geno played pretty well. Of course, that was a much easier match-up than he'll have this week when they travel to Carolina. Specifically North Carolina. If they just get in the plane and say, "Carolina please!" the pilot will probably be more than a little confused and they risk being late to the game. I don't give New York much of a chance even if they do arrive on time.

Panthers 23-9

Green Bay @ Dallas

It looks like Aaron Rodgers will miss yet another game with his broken clllllavicle. That's the bad news for the Packers; the good news is that they're going against a Cowboys' defense that was just embarrassed by Josh McCown (Flames bursting forth from beneath the ground! Run!). Despite that, Jerry Jones stood by his D coordinator Monte Kiffin saying that he is "the right man for the job." Though I suppose he could have been talking about an entirely different job, like creamed corn eater or scariest grandpa. All things considered though, I just don't think Matt Flynn has it in him to get this win on the road against a quality? team.

Cowboys 31-24 

Arizona @ Tennessee

The Cardinals are only 2-4 on the road this season, but the Titans are only 2-4 at home. So in this situation it would make sense to just take the better team. But when have you known me to make sense? The answer is always, I am nothing if not logical. Anyway, I predict that on a pivotal play Ryan Fitzpatrick will slip on a banana peel and fall (kerplunk!) into a puddle making him all wet and ruining his new pants.

Cardinals 27-17

New Orleans @ St. Louis

As if trying to exemplify that they're much better at home, the Saints dominated the Panthers in the Superdome six days after being throttled in Seattle. This game is being played outside of New Orleans, so it figures to at least be competitive. And if there's one team that you can count on to at least be competitive (and nothing more) then it's the Rams (as long as you ignore their recent double digit losses ... damn it Rams).

Saints 24-17

Sunday Night

Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh

The Steelers haven't officially been eliminated from the playoffs, but I think we can all agree that they should just go away now. Go on! No one wants you here! Can't you see that!? Of course, they'll probably ruin their poetic exit and win this game, just to be dicks.

Steelers 20-17

Monday Night

Baltimore @ Detroit

What a storied rivalry. I can remember my great grandpeppy settin' me down on his knee and telling me about the first ever match-up between these two squads way back in '98. Just to be clear, that was 1998, and one of only three times they've played each other. Not sure why great grandpeppy enjoyed those games so much, or if he could even see the screen clearly, but I'll be damned if I won't think of him when I'm watching this game. Probably because I'll once again be viewing it from atop his knee. We have an uncomfortably odd relationship. Did I mention we're not actually related?

Lions 30-23


NFL Picks - Week 15 Thursday

San Diego @ Denver

The Broncos' passing game cannot be stopped, and I think that's due in large part to Peyton Manning, though I'm not going to rule out the possibility that things would be going just as well with Brock Osweiler behind center. I learned long ago to never doubt the Bross-man. Expect to see yards a plenty through the air, or don't and see if I care. Spoiler alert: I do; why are being this way?

Broncos 41-28


NFL Picks - Week 14

Sunday Morning

Indianapolis @ Cincinnati

Both teams come into this game at 8-4 and the winner will have the inside track for the coveted #3 seed in the AFC. Coveted only due to the fact that they get to play whichever team wafts to the top of the stinky heap that is the battlefield upon which the AFC's second wild card battle is presently being fought. The Colts have been stumbling as of late but have managed to keep moving somewhat forward, like a drunk man headed to the bathroom. Meanwhile, the Bengals seem to have overcome their struggles on the road, like a drunk man driving home. Cincinnati should win what promises to be a sobering contest.

Bengals 24-21 

Atlanta @ Green Bay

This is a tough one to pick, mainly because neither option is very appealing. It's like choosing between a two and a half men marathon, or watching multiple episodes of the show with the same name. The Falcons have yet to win a true road game, with their lone win coming in Toronto against the Bills. The Packers haven't won a game since Aaron Rodgers got injured, going 0-4-1 and hitting their nadir last week in a blowout loss to Detroit. Both defenses have been awful, but without their QB1 Green Bay's offense has been poor as well. I'm ever so reluctantly taking Atlanta. I'll live to regret this.

Falcons 30-27

Cleveland @ New England

This week the Browns signed Caleb Hanie. On purpose. That should tell you all you need to know about how the 2013 season is going for Cleveland. The Patriots nearly faltered at Houston but they escaped with a win and Tom Brady got two security guards fired in the process, so all's well that ends well.

Patriots 31-10

Oakland @ New York Jets

I've really enjoyed watching Matt McGloin play for the Raiders, if only for the opportunity to tag all of his negative plays by grunt shouting "McGloin!" a la George C. Scott when he got hit in the groin by that football. I've also enjoyed Geno Smith's recent performance because it's a reminder that not all rookie quarterbacks can come into the league and dominate. His QB ratings over the last three weeks (all losses) have been 10.1, 22.3, and 8.3, respectively. If he remains the Jets starter I have no choice but to pick against him.

Raiders 16-14

Detroit @ Philadelphia

This one could be a barn burner, and Pennsylvania's Amish country has plenty of barns. It would be lame and disrespectful of these teams to go burn down Amish folks' barns though, so hopefully they stick to the football field in this one. Obviously Nick Foles has been exceptional as of late, but the Eagles' defense is what has really been carrying them. Philly hasn't given up more than 21 points in their last eight games, going 6-2 in the process. The Lions' offense is certainly capable of topping that mark, but I think they will be contained just enough.

Eagles 27-24

Miami @ Pittsburgh

The Steelers lost on Thanksgiving despite Mike Tomlin's best efforts. You have to admire a coach that's willing to do anything to win. Whether that be countless hours in the film room devising the perfect scheme or standing on the field as an opposing player is streaking for a touchdown. It's about dedication, and this guy's got it. Kudos to you coach Tomlin; hopefully you continue to not allow common sense, integrity, or the rules hold you back in the future.

Steelers 23-16

Buffalo @ Tampa Bay

I've got bad news for ya Bills, you don't just walk into Raymond James Stadium and beat Mike Glennon. He's 2-3 at home, that's almost .500, so good luck. Tampa took a step back last week in a blowout loss, but for every step backward that Mike Glennon takes, he takes two giant, gangly strides forward. 

Buccaneers 28-21

Kansas City @ Washington

After they've dropped three straight, I have serious reservations about picking the Chiefs over the Redskins. Then again, Washington has lost four in a row and have perhaps the most toxic locker room in the league. Not literally, of course, entering Tampa's requires a haz-mat suit. Kansas City's once vaunted defense has given up 103 points over the last three weeks after only surrendering 109 in the first nine. I think they'll be strong enough to get the win here though. Also, shame on anybody who buys entry into this game from someone who's re-selling tickets at a marked-up price. Really insensitive.

Chiefs 26-20

Minnesota @ Baltimore

These Vikings just love playing football. Over the past two weeks they've been on the field for an extra 28 minutes of game time, managing a win and a tie in those prolonged tilts. It's not going to get them to the playoffs, and it isn't helping their draft position, but don't tell this team that they should just roll over and die. Seriously, don't say that to them, you'd probably face legal action if you called up the Vikings' headquarters and told them to "roll over and die." Unfortunately for Minnesota, this game is being played on the road, a scenario in which they haven't won this season. So they'll lose, and they probably won't be too happy about it happening in regulation.

Ravens 27-13

Sunday Afternoon

Tennessee @ Denver

If you can only watch one game this Sunday, don't make this one it. This mediocre mismatch is definitely one to be missed. However, if you are forced to watch just this one game I would recommend asking your captor why he (or she) is inflicting such an odd form of punishment upon you. It's just flat out weird. They kidnap you and this is what they choose to do? And it's like, really, they have Sunday Ticket too? Who is this person? Anyway, the Broncos will struggle to put up their normal gaudy point total due to the weather, but it would take a cold day in Hell, not Denver to get the Titans the win.

Broncos 27-17

St. Louis @ Arizona

The Cardinals fell just short last week at Philadelphia but now return home where they have played very well, going 5-1 overall so far, including 3-1 against likely playoff teams. The Rams are not a likely playoff team, in fact, this will be the ninth straight time they've failed to reach the postseason and the tenth consecutive season that they haven't topped .500 (most likely). I bring this up because it means that Arizona is going to win, and it's fun to laugh at the Rams.

Cardinals 26-18

New York Giants @ San Diego

Eli Manning says he "can't remember" why he refused to play for the Chargers prior to the '04 draft. Really? That's all you've got? You can't remember? I mean at the time it sort of seemed like the move was meticulously calculated by him, his father, and a number of other people in his camp. But hey, the guy just can't recall what the real reasoning was behind the most pivotal decision of his life. We should cut him some slack. Or he's just full of shit. That's more likely, and for that you lose.

Chargers 28-24

Seattle @ San Francisco

The Seahawks have dominated the 49ers in their last two meetings, but it can't be said that they're dominating the rivalry until they go into San Francisco and beat them in their building. On Sunday at Candlestick: commence dominance.

Seahawks 24-6

Sunday Night

Carolina @ New Orleans

These are two of the best teams in the NFC when they're allowed to score more than 7 points; or so I hear. The Panthers have a dominant D that will most likely have some success against the Saints dynamic (home) offense. On the flip side, I would expect New Orleans' supposedly improved defense to perform better than last week, because it'd be hard not to. Carolina's eight game win streak has been very impressive, and handing New Orleans their first home loss of the year would qualify as the biggest feather in their cap to date. However, I think they'll fall just short against what should be a Saints team looking to regain some dignity.

Saints 23-21 

Monday Night

Dallas @ Chicago

It's a risky proposition to pick the Cowboys to win on the road since they only have two wins away from home this year. If you'd like some added perspective to that number, consider that that's less than the Jags (they have three). But with McCown still under center for the Bears, and the team looking downright crummy lately I may not have a choice. One thing working in Chicago's favor is a kickoff temperature that is expected to be in the single digits. Romo may find it hard to get the passing game going in those conditions, but with the Bears' rushing D as porous as it's been, moving the ball probably won't be too much of an issue.

Cowboys 24-20 


NFL Picks - Week 14 Thursday

Houston @ Jacksonville

Do I have to? That was my response when tasked with picking this game, and also the response of every Texans player when they found out they had to play it. I'm quite certain that if presented with the offer to take losses in the four remaining games without having to play them right now and just call it a season Houston would jump at the opportunity. But the league hasn't allowed that since '76 when the expansion Bucs decided that they weren't quite ready for football yet and opted for 0-14. So all indications are that this game will be played. Look for the Jags to get their fourth win in five games because they seem to care more.

Jaguars 20-16


NFL Picks - Week 13

Sunday Morning

Jacksonville @ Cleveland

Don't look now, actually ya know what, look right now: the Jags have won two out of their last three. And if you still think that's bad then maybe you should talk to Meatloaf, because he would almost certainly tell you otherwise. Meanwhile, the Browns are struggling. That marks the 900,000th time that the previous sentence has been written. While it's near torture to have to pick a winner here, I'll force myself to go with Cleveland.

Browns 16-13

Tennessee @ Indianapolis

If the playoffs started today this would be a first round match-up. It would be a peculiar occurrence, not necessarily because of the teams involved but because the playoffs would be starting on a weekday between Weeks 12 and 13. The Colts have been very shaky since their big win over the Broncos in Week 7, inspiring very little confidence. However, even with their uneven performance they were still able to top the Titans in Nashville only a couple weeks ago. With this game being played in Indy, I have no choice but to pick the Colts. I'm serious you guys, I wish I had the guts to pick the other way, but I'm just too much of a coward. I'm sorry ... I'm sorry! (Uncontrollable sobbing (Wait a minute, why did I even type that? There was really no need))

Colts 24-17

Chicago @ Minnesota

I just can't trust the Bears anymore. Though, it's really never a good idea to trust bears, they're greedy and usually just interested in honey. Chicago looked less than impressive in their loss to St. Louis, and while Josh McCown's stats seemed fine in the process, there's just something missing. That "something" is probably the presence of a run defense; the Bears are last in the league and are traveling to Minnesota to go against Adrian Peterson. Good luck assholes.

Vikings 23-21

Miami @ New York Jets

The Jets are 4-1 at home, which should be a good omen for this Sunday. A bad omen for this Sunday is that Geno Smith is starting for New York, and in the last four games he's thrown 0 TDs and 8 Ints. But maybe Smith won't have to do anything to get a W. The Jets are the best in the league against the run, and the Dolphins are among the worst at running it. Also, New York runs well, while Miami is just as bad at defending the run as they are running it themselves. That adds up to a win for the Jets, even win you subtract appropriately for Geno Smith.

Jets 17-13

Arizona @ Philadelphia

These teams come into this game hot hot hot! This match-up is for the birds! Let's get ready to take flight in an NFC showdown! Hey, here's a football game! Ok, I couldn't figure out how to start things off, so I just threw everything out there to see what stuck. It seems like this game could go either way, but when I look at the stats I have to side with the Cards. They're good against the run, which is what the Eagles do best, and Philly is awful against the pass, which is what Arizona does best. When you factor in the Eagles' struggles at home it's really a no brainer, meaning my pick is "Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh." However, if I do use my brain ...

Cardinals 31-27

Tampa Bay @ Carolina

Mike Glennon is on fire! And not just because he's spent more than 20 minutes in the sun. The Bucs have won three in a row, and are seemingly unstoppable. Unfortunately, they are running into a buzz saw, and that buzz saw's name is the Carolina Panther buzz saws. I think the Panthers get their eighth win in a row, but look for Tampa to put up a fight. Mike Glennon don't know no other way.

Panthers 23-16

New England @ Houston

The Texans have now lost nine in a row and are in the running for the #1 pick in next year's draft. They should have no motivation to win another game this year, which won't be a problem judging by the effort they put forth in a home loss to Jacksonville. Houston has been within a touchdown in their last five, look for that to change Sunday. But first look for a better game to watch, because this one probably won't be worth it.

Patriots 27-17

Sunday Afternoon

Atlanta @ Buffalo

After weeks of getting blown out, the Falcons managed to hang with the Saints and lose by only 4. Essentially that was their death rattle. They will now be put on an ice floe and sent off into the great unknown ... Canada! That's right, it's the annual game north of the border and here's hoping that the Molson's are flowin', because you'd have to be drunk to give two pucks about this one. I think Buffalo will have more fight in them and get the win.

Bills 28-20

St. Louis @ San Francisco

What has gotten into these Rams? They've won two in a row, putting up a total of 80 points and a +7 turnover differential in the process. All of which begs the question, what has gotten into these Rams? Oh, I already asked that, didn't I? Aww screw it, too late to go back and delete it now. I don't look behind me, only forward. Yes, it creates problems when typing; I've butchered countless e-mails at work, and am this close to getting fired as a result. Can the Rams keep it going in San Francisco this Sunday? I expect it to be competitive, but Kellen Clemens will ultimately be their undoing.

49ers 20-13

Denver @ Kansas City

Ladies and gentlemen, your Game of the Week ... runner-up. Both teams are coming off disappointing losses; games that they had in their back pocket. The Chiefs' dominant defense suddenly looks vulnerable while Peyton Manning reminded everyone that he is not to be trusted in cold weather (some of us didn't have to be reminded, in fact, some of us predicted exactly what would happen, but whatever). This Sunday's forecast calls for it to be 43 degrees and raining, raining footballs. But also, actual rain too. Even if Kansas City does get Tamba Hali back I expect Denver to get the job done.

Broncos 24-20

Cincinnati @ San Diego

Just when you think you can give up on the Chargers they pull out a late win in Kansas City, and put up 41 points doing it. As a result, they're right in the middle of the race for the AFC's now infamous second wild card spot. Can they make it two in a row with the Bengals coming to town? I don't see why not. As I've mentioned before, I have very little confidence in the Bengals' ability to win on the road. I know that in this situation Fred Durst would tell me that I gotta have faith, but I'm not sure I can roll with ol' Dursty on this one.

Chargers 23-20

Sunday Night

New York Giants @ Washington

Isn't this why the flex option was invented? This is an awful match-up. I can count four other games on Sunday that I am more interested in seeing. I suppose I'm failing to take into account the fact that these teams play in the NFC East, the most exciting division in football. Play on studs.

Giants 31-23

Monday Night

New Orleans @ Seattle

It's a Monday night game in Seattle and the Hawks have the best record in the NFL. With a win, they will have a stranglehold on the top spot in the NFC. Factor all of this in and the CLink might explode. And Rob Ryan will poop his pants, and his face will look like this.

Seahawks 27-17


NFL Picks - Week 13 Thanksgiving

Green Bay @ Detroit

Ever since Aaron Rodgers cracked a wing, the Packers have hardly been on a roll. In fact, beating them has been easy as pie. While some Packers fans may be giving thanks that Matt Flynn is back behind center, I still expect the Lions to beat the stuffing out of these turkeys.

Lions 30-20

Oakland @ Dallas

The Raiders had a chance to be tied for the final spot in the AFC playoffs but blew a late lead at home against Tennessee; what a bunch of turkeys! While Matt McGloin has been passable so far for Oakland I expect him to get gobbled up on the big stage. But I suppose that's what you get when your quarterback options are a bunch of leftovers.

Cowboys 31-16

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore

Up until recently these teams were playing like real turkeys. The mere fact that they're back in the playoff race has to be considered gravy. Expect these two squads to mash each other until the final buzzard sounds. The good news for whoever loses is that with the AFC wild card picture in such a fowl state, a 5-7 record doesn't necessarily mean your goose is cooked. Nor does it mean your turkey's cooked. Also, yams. It's Thanksgiving!

Ravens 23-20


NFL Picks - Week 12

Sunday Morning

Pittsburgh @ Cleveland

With both of these teams entering the game at 4-6, the loser can most likely kiss their playoff hopes goodbye, while the winner can kiss their playoff hopes hello, right on the mouth with just the right amount of tongue. After last week's wacky game against Detroit the Steelers have now given up 27 or more points in a quarter twice, a stat made less troubling by the fact that the Browns have only scored more than 27 in two full games this season. So while Pittsburgh's D is shaky, the Cleveland offense probably won't be good enough to fully exploit it.

Steelers 20-17

Tampa Bay @ Detroit

The Buccaneers have won two games in a row after losing their fist eight, and this man has led them there; a fact that should give even the biggest goobers and doofiest spazzes hope that they can accomplish great things. Unfortunately it looks like that magical streak may come to an end as Tampa travels to Detroit to face a Lions team who will need a win to avoid a loss.

Lions 31-20

Minnesota @ Green Bay

The Vikings have yet to win a road game, while the Packers haven't had a W since Aaron Rodgers broke his clllllavicle. With Rodgers out again this Sunday, you know what that means. I think in this one it will be Minnesota doing most of the giving, while Green Bay takes it ... that didn't come out like I wanted it to ... neither did that. In a statistical anomaly of sorts, the Packers have given up exactly 27 points in three straight games. Why do I bring that up? Because I was able to find that out with minimal research, which can describe pretty much everything you'll read here.

Packers 23-16

San Diego @ Kansas City

The Chargers have lost three games in a row in which they've had the ball late in the game with an opportunity to win or tie the game, resulting in a 4-6 record. Perhaps there's another world in which Philip Rivers was successful on those drives and the Chargers are 7-3. But that world is called Crondar, and nobody there really cares about football. Also, the Zirnian Conference is having a really strong year, so it's no guarantee that they'd be in playoff position anyway. Look for San Diego to stumble late once again.

Chiefs 20-13

Chicago @ St. Louis

The Bears experienced some severe weather at home last week and now travel to play in an even more hellish environment, the Edward Jones Dome. It's not where dreams go to die, it's where you go when your dreams are already dead.

Rams 27-24

Carolina @ Miami

The Panthers are on fire. Seriously, I just watched an Animal Planet documentary about it, it's pretty messed up. Aside from that though, Carolina is hot, and Miami is no place to cool down. Though, I wouldn't write the Dolphins off completely, another AP doc informed me that their recent population numbers are very encouraging.

Panthers 20-16

New York Jets @ Baltimore

This one promises to be a knockdown drag-out fight, and if it is, it will be totally against the rules resulting in many, many ejections. The Jets are currently one game ahead of the Ravens in the race for the AFC's second wild card spot meaning that this game carries a lot of weight. At times like these I'm greatly disappointed that Rex Ryan isn't as fat as he used to be, I really had a nice set-up there that's gone to waste.

Ravens 16-13

Jacksonville @ Houston

These teams come into this game with a combined record of 3-17, making this the league's worst possible match-up. Did someone say worst possible match-up? The Texans have declared that Case Keenum is still their starting quarterback. With Houston playing Jacksonville it's likely that Case Keenum thinks that getting the start in this particular occasion is neat, um ... that's all I got.

Texans 28-18

Sunday Afternoon

Tennessee @ Oakland

Another match-up of 4-6 teams that are still within a game of the playoffs. But I'll be honest with you guys, I wouldn't give either of them much of a chance. Now that I was honest with you, I think it's time you were honest with me. I mean, we've been doing this for over four seasons now, it's the least you could do. I want to trust you, I just don't know if I can. It's a lot like how I feel about Matt McGloin. But as is the case with both, I'm willing to take a leap of faith.

Raiders 24-19

Indianapolis @ Arizona

In my opinion this is the most interesting game of the day. The Cardinals are out to prove that they belong in the discussion for one of the NFC's wild card spots. The Colts hold a three game lead in the AFC South and are looking to stay in position for a first round bye. Fun fact, that three game divisional lead is the second largest in the whole NFL! Anybody want to guess who has the biggest lead? As for this contest, Arizona comes in to it 4-1 at home, while Indy is 4-1 on the road. The deciding factor for me is Carson Palmer, whichever team he doesn't play for on Sunday should get the win.

Colts 30-24

Dallas @ New York Giants

So here we are, the Giants are on the verge of being one game out of first place in the NFC East. With a win over the Cowboys, New York will trail only the idle Eagles. If that happens, may God have mercy on our souls. It would be pretty cliche at this point if the Giants snuck into the playoffs and won the Super Bowl again. And if I know these guys they like to do the unexpected, which at this point would mean no playoffs. It's a paradox of sorts. No surprise, coming from Eli Manning, master of the paradox.

Giants 34-31

Sunday Night

Denver @ New England

It seems the key to beating Peyton Manning is a lot like stopping a wound from bleeding, apply pressure. Manning's quick release makes that easier said than done. Though, when you think about it isn't everything easier said than done? Why is that even a saying? Anyway, the Patriots have 32 sacks, good for sixth most in the league, so clearly they can get after the QB. They also have Tom Brady, who is more than capable of exploiting the Broncos' defense, which is 28th against the pass. Add to that the sub-freezing temperatures expected for game time and Manning's struggle in past cold weather games and I think you have the recipe for a New England victory, Of course, getting all of that to work in your favor is easier said than done.

Patriots 31-28

Monday Night

San Francisco @ Washington

This game features probably the two most athletic quarterbacks that currently rank in the bottom half of the league in terms of passer rating. So in other words, get your popcorn ready! As we all know, the 49ers have lost consecutive games. Nothing much to add to that, but it bears pointing out. Luckily for San Francisco the Redskins are crummy, and should prove very beatable.

49ers 34-20


NFL Picks - Week 12 Thursday

New Orleans @ Atlanta

I don't want to say that the Falcons have quit on their season. I'd rather say that they've completely given up, I think that's more evocative. Whatever vocabulary you use, the fact is that they're playing worse with each new game. If Atlanta wants to end this one early all they'll have to do is touch Drew Brees in the neck, the refs will most likely call it for the Saints after that.

Saints 35-17


NFL Picks - Week 11

Sunday Morning

New York Jets @ Buffalo

The Jets have been up and down all year. You might go so far as to say that their season has been one big amusement park ride of some sort. Meanwhile, the Bills haven't been having nearly as much fun, and it has nothing to do with the fact that they have to play in Buffalo. Well ok, that probably has something to do with it, but I was mostly referring to their myriad injuries. But with rookie quarterback EJ Manuel playing in his second game back from injury and the Jets on track for a letdown after a big win in their last game I'll roll with the Bills. Wait a minute, roll ... roller coaster! There it is!

Bills 20-16

Baltimore @ Chicago

Starting with Week 4, neither of these teams has played in a game decided by more than one score. So obviously this one figures to be close, with the margin being eight points at the most. Luke McCown has played well for the Bears in relief, in fact, his playing time last week was probably too brief. The Ravens' latest win was a bit scary after nearly blowing it following a last-second Hail Mary. The allure of this rhyme gimmick is fading, and I've got to be doing some grading. Did I tell you guys that I've been teaching? Yeah it's hard work and the pay leaves plenty to be desired, but when I see those smiling faces looking back at me it makes it all worth it. Sure, some people say that teaching a full class on swear words to children is unnecessary and downright irresponsible, but I can't help but disagree.

Bears 23-20 

Cleveland @ Cincinnati

The Bengals have posted a 2-4 record on the road while going 4-0 in Cincinnati. They must be happier to come home than a kid returning from camp, a kid who pooed his pants on one of the hikes and then tried to play it off as if nothing had happened until the girl he liked came up and asked him what that smell was and before he could answer he pooed his pants again ... Look let's just stop talking about camp already, ok!? The bottom line is that the Bengals play much better at home.

Bengals 24-14

Washington @ Philadelphia

Despite the fact that Nick Foles has thrown 16 TDs and 0 INTs this season Chip Kelly has refused to name him the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. I'm not sure why I felt the need to specify there, it would be highly bizarre if he were to name Foles the starter of some other team. I don't know what more Foles could do to earn the job, but I suppose winning the Eagles first home game in eleven tries would be a start.

Eagles 38-28

Detroit @ Pittsburgh

While the Steelers defense has been maligned at times this season, they've actually given up only 201 yards passing yards per game, good enough for 4th best in the NFL. A stingy pass D is key if Pittsburgh plans on knocking off the Lions. And if they don't plan on knocking off the Lions, then that would make it a lot easier for everyone, no game necessary! Everybody can go home and do something else; maybe watch TV. Adam Sandler's The Longest Yard will be on TNT at that time. However, I do expect the Steelers to put up a fight, and I see them getting the win.

Steelers 27-24

Atlanta @ Tampa Bay

These are the last two teams to have played the Seahawks, so I've gotten a close look at each of them recently. Only one of them looked like they had some fight left in them. And their quarterback knows what it's like to win in this league now. Who needs pigment?

Buccaneers 21-16

Arizona @ Jacksonville

Don't look now, but the Cardinals have a winning record and are within ... did you just look? I told you not to! Do you have any idea what you've done!? No, no this just won't do. Call off the game. And just in case the game isn't cancelled by Sunday, I'll take Arizona.

Cardinals 20-10

Oakland @ Houston

The Raiders have the 31st passing offense in the league, the Texans have the best passing defense in the league. This isn't going to be pretty. For so many reasons other than just that statistical mismatch, I mean it's the Texans and Raiders so expect a first rate uggo.

Texans 28-20

Sunday Afternoon

San Diego @ Miami

Thanks to a wacky voicemail mix-up the Dolphins are missing two key starters on their offensive line. The result has been Ryan Tannehill facing probably more pressure than anybody involved with the Dolphins organization has ever faced. With the team in disarray even the scuffling Chargers seem likely to come to Miami and get a win. Now, if Dolphins players can just remember to use *67 in the future they might get their ship pointed back in the right direction.

Chargers 26-21 

San Francisco @ New Orleans

It was tough sledding for the 49ers in their loss to Carolina, but that makes sense, because there was no snow on the ground and the game was being played on a very flat surface. This week they're playing inside the Superdome, so it would seem that sledding is completely out of the question. The Saints have been dominant at home, beating teams by an average of 20 points. While I don't expect this one to be quite so one-sided, New Orleans should still get the win.

Saints 24-13

Green Bay @ New York Giants

The Giants have throttled the Packers the last two times they've played (37-20 & 38-10), and that's with Aaron Rodgers. Well now it's Scott Tolzien's show and I'm guessing that the reviews will not be rave. I mean, not Dads bad, but then again nothing is. With a win this Sunday the Giants can get to 4-6, which would put them right in the thick of things with a big divisional match-up against Dallas on the horizon in Week 12. Oh God, it's happening again isn't it? Please somebody just beat them and let this be over. 

Giants 22-16

Minnesota @ Seattle

It's been a long wait for Hawks fans, but the missing piece may finally make his debut soon. That's right Tharold Simon is returning to practice this week! And he can't come back soon enough now that it appears Brandon Browner may miss the remainder of the season with a groin injury. In other news, Percy Harvin could play his first game for the Hawks this Sunday, and if he doesn't get a touchdown the first time he touches the ball I think we can all agree that the trade was a mistake. Alright, enough goofing, I doubt that Harvin will play a big role until after the bye week, but judging by the receiving corps' performance last Sunday, another game on their own seems doable.

Seahawks 30-10

Sunday Night

Kansas City @ Denver

A lot of folks are touting this match-up as a Game of the Year candidate. Personally I've got Miami @ Buffalo in Week 16 circled on my calendar; I'm just a big fan of that rivalry, such a culture clash. But I have to admit that this contest carries a lot of weight with the AFC West lead and the conference's top spot on the line. The Chiefs have surrendered no more than 17 points in a game this season while the Broncos have scored at least 28 every time they've taken the field. This means something's gotta give ... or both team's just kind of even each other out and Denver scores about 23. Yeah, that seems more likely.

Broncos 23-20

Monday Night

New England @ Carolina

Somewhere in a dimly lit room in Connecticut the tied up ESPN employee who scheduled this season's Monday Night games has been given an extra bowl of porridge to eat, because lo and behold one of his selections has finally proven to be a quality match-up. The Panthers have won five in a row and are coming off their biggest conquest yet. Meanwhile, The Patriots have seemed mediocre all season but somehow find themselves at 7-2. In the end, I think Carolina stays as hot as a steaming bowl of porridge. Now, just imagine how much that guy's going to have to eat come Week 13.

Panthers 19-17


NFL Picks - Week 11 Thursday

Indianapolis @ Tennessee

Boy did this game look a lot better last week. Ya know what though, so did the burrito in my fridge and I'm sure as hell gonna eat that. The Colts were surprisingly thrashed by the Rams at home last week. But their big L was not nearly as damaging as the Titans', who, after their loss to the Jaguars will now be without starting quarterback Jake Locker and their dignity for the remainder of the season. The mere fact that Tavon Austin does not play for Tennessee will be enough of a boost, even if only a psychological one, for Indy, who should win comfortably.

Colts 27-13


NFL Picks - Week 10

Sunday Morning

Seattle @ Atlanta

The Seahawks have now dominated the Falcons for 30 consecutive minutes of game time, why should that change come Sunday? In all honesty, the Hawks have been sub-par the last couple of weeks, but hopefully the prospect of vengeance against a banged up Atlanta squad will be enough to bring out their best, or at least something resembling it. The Beast is hungry. Feed him the ball. Seriously. Do it.

Seahawks 28-18

Detroit @ Chicago

Jay Cutler is telling anyone who will listen that he wants to play this Sunday despite his injury. Obviously that's just lip-service though, because as we all know he thinks football is for nerds. If he does play it will help, but the Bears' defense will have a much tougher time containing Stafford to Johnson than they did containing Wallace to Nelson. And that's what I call groundbreaking, insightful analysis!

Lions 31-27

Philadelphia @ Green Bay

Aaron Rodgers suffered a broken collar bone early Monday night, and will now not have the structural support to don a collared shirt for over a month, which, as you can see is a real shame. It turns out he also won't be able to play football for some time, a development that will surely alter the fate of the Green Bay Packers, and perhaps the entire known universe. You think I'm exaggerating? Have you ever seen a little movie called The Butterfly Effect? I haven't, but I have a pretty good idea what it's about, and if I'm right it means that this broken collar bone will result in Ashton Kutcher growing a beard and Amy Smart gettin' real slutty. The logic-defying Eagles come to Green Bay this Sunday with a 4-1 record away from home and a quarterback that just threw 7 touchdowns in one game. Look for them to get another road win, unless that makes too much sense ...

Eagles 30-23

Jacksonville @ Tennessee

The Jaguars were on their bye last week, leaving the whole league angry that there wasn't a free win out there somewhere. The NFL has heard the cries of outrage and has decided that Jacksonville must play every week from now until the end of the season. While that's bad news for the Jags it's a real coup for the teams remaining on their schedule. First to reap the benefits are the Titans, who have a legitimate shot at the AFC's second wild card. After this Sunday, that shot promises to be even legitmater.

Titans 31-14

St. Louis @ Indianapolis

While the Rams have lost their last two games, one very positive revelation has revealed itself, Zac Stacy is a heckuva running back. Wait a minute, Zac Stacy, there's something very familiar about that name, or at least the combination of those two names ... that's it! Wow, if this guy weren't on the Rams I might like him. But he is, so I don't. Anyway, the Colts have been on a rampage through the NFC West this season, and I don't expect the Rams to stop it.

Colts 26-16

Oakland @ New York Giants

Well Raiders, you just gave up 7 TD passes to Nick Foles, what are you going to do now? And no, you can't just quit. Actually, I suppose you could, but what kind of message would that send to all the young fans in the Black Hole? With role models like that they might grow up to be real scumbags. The Giants are riding back to back wins, giving up only 7 points in each game. If they can replicate that number in this game I would give them a great chance to win, and I will stand by that statement, I don't care what fat cats in Washington disagree with it. It's like, this is a democracy, I'll say what I want when I want. And what I want to say is that if Oakland only scores 7 points, they won't win. Deal with it Obamacare.

Giants 23-17

Buffalo @ Pittsburgh

The Steelers were actually only down by 3 points heading into the 4th quarter last week at New England before their defense completely took a dump. Lesson learned: no more dumps. If the D hasn't made shirts with that saying yet, then it's already too late. EJ Manuel is returning this week for the Bills, and he couldn't come back soon enough. In fact, this isn't soon enough. Buffalo is 3-6 and more or less out of the playoff picture. I think these teams are just about even, but with Manuel likely having some rust and this game being played in Pittsburgh (at the Steelers' own stadium no less!), I'll have to go against the Bills.

Steelers 24-20

Cincinnati @ Baltimore

The Ravens seem to be suffering from a Super Bowl hangover, and boy do I know how they feel. Although, I recovered from my Super Bowl hangover by the following Tuesday (or maybe, Wednesday), so what's taking these wimps so long? Just grab yourself a Slurpee and a large 'za and get back out there already. Meanwhile, the Bengals bucked their two game road winning streak on Thursday in Miami to re-affirm that they are, in fact, a lousy team away from home. Will that trend continue? You bet, or my name's not Carl Shipley (haha, now I'm not held accountable for this pick; what a bunch of suckers).

Ravens 20-17

Sunday Afternoon

Carolina @ San Francisco

Over the last month both of these teams have been steamrolling everybody in their path. This Sunday we finally get an answer to the age old question: what happens when two steamrollers collide? My guess is that the spinning mechanisms will hit each other, causing the rest of the vehicles to stand up on end, at which point it's anybody's guess. I imagine that this game will be quite similar, with each team wanting to run often against a stout defensive front. The home team gets the nod in this one because, well, they're the home team. Side prediction: at one point Steve Smith and Donte Whitner start talking so much trash to each other after a play that they forget about the game and walk off the field and through the tunnel, jawing at each other the whole way. They will never return to an NFL field, and speculation as to their whereabouts will run rampant. Years later they will re-surface and reveal that they're happily married to each other. Pretty nice story if you ask me.

49ers 23-16

Houston @ Arizona

The Cardinals are playing their third straight game at home where they've been downright competent. This week they welcome the Texans, who can't seem to buy a win. Seriously, they can't do it, it's against the rules; though somebody should tell that to Jerry Jones, am I right? (Please let me know if I am right in the comments section) Houston's new QB1 Case Keenum certainly has some fire and could come away with his first win Sunday. However, Arizona still has something to play for (I guess), and they'll give the Cards' fans their money's worth. By the way, you can get a ticket to this game for $8 online.

Cardinals 19-17

Denver @ San Diego

Is it possible that the Broncos will get caught looking past the Chargers to their Sunday night tilt against the Chiefs and lose this game? Yes, and not having their head coach won't help. However, it should be noted that Peyton Manning doesn't really need a head coach, in fact, he probably prefers it this way. Also, San Diego's pass D has been among the worst in the league this season, which should allow Manning to fling it like nobody's biz. On the other hand, Denver's pass D has been even worse, and Philip Rivers has been flingin' it something fierce this season. You know what that means, we got ourselves a good ol' fashioned flingfest. I never bet against Peyton in a flingfest. Never have, never will.

Broncos 45-38

Sunday Night

Dallas @ New Orleans

Can someone say flingfest? I can, and I hope you can too, otherwise that last pick was probably a nightmare for you. Anyway, it looks like we have another double F on our hands in this Sunday night match-up. Neither team played very well last week, meaning they'll come out firing. Or they'll shrink in upon themselves due to a crippling lack of confidence. Either it way it should be a blast to watch.

Saints 38-27

Monday Night

Miami @ Tampa Bay

It's too bad that Richie Incognito won't be with the Dolphins when they travel to Tampa. I'm guessing that he would have loved to meet the whitest man on earth. The Bucs most likely expended all of their remaining energy and interest in a spirited, but ultimately futile effort in Seattle last week.

Dolphins 24-21


NFL Picks - Week 10 Thursday

Washington @ Minnesota

The Vikings may have found their quarterback of the future, and it's the quarterback of their past. Whoa, heavy. Sorry if this just happened after you read that sentence. While Christian Ponder hasn't actually won either of his last two starts, he hasn't been uncomfortably bad like Josh Freeman was when he got the nod. The Redskins defense has been anything but good, giving up the second most points per game in the league. I'll give you one guess which team has given up the most points; hint: their name starts with a J and ends with shitty. I like Ponder to get his first win of the year. I don't like like him, but maybe someday.

Vikings 28-24


NFL Picks - Week 9

Sunday Morning

Kansas City @ Buffalo

Upset alert! This isn't a drill folks, please proceed to take appropriate action. Hopefully you have an upset kit ready at all times for just such situations. If not, here's a list of things I have in mine that could help you get one assembled: rubber-soled shoes, booze, non-perishable canned goods, party poppers, a flashlight, and one of these hats. That's right, I'm calling it, Thad Lewis and the Buffalo Bills will hand the Chiefs their first loss of the year. Wait a minute, Thad Lewis isn't playing? Alright, call off the alert. Still though, you should make sure you have an upset kit prepped.

Chiefs 16-9

Minnesota @ Dallas

The quarterback battle wages on in Minnesota. Who will come out on top in this epic contest between Christian Ponder and Josh Freeman? The nation looks on with one singular thought: "We don't give a shit." Meanwhile, the Cowboys are reeling following a catastrophic loss in Detroit. Of course, if you go to Detroit and don't expect a catastrophe then that's probably your fault. Look for Dallas to rebound in a big way, Michael Cage style.

Cowboys 38-17

Tennessee @ St. Louis

Ram Rule #7: Go away, we're watching baseball. Luckily for the people of St. Louis they will have no scheduling conflicts this Sunday. Does that mean the stadium will be full? Probably not. But it could be three-quarters full, and that's what I like to call progress. If Kellen Clemens can give the Rams merely efficient play they should have a chance, but that may be asking too much.

Titans 17-12

New Orleans @ New York Jets

The Jets have been wildly inconsistent this season. Wet and wildly? No. That's gross. Grow up. New York has put up over 26 points per game in their four wins and only 9.5 points per game in their four losses. So which team will show up this Sunday? Well they've alternated wins and losses so far, which means that after their blowout defeat last week the Jets should feasibly get the win. But they won't, because that pattern doesn't mean anything.

Saints 27-20

San Diego @ Washington

The Redskins put together three quality quarters last week against the Broncos. But you know what they say, three quarters only count in certain laundry machines. If you ask me though that saying is a bit antiquated, I mean, where can you find a laundromat or an apartment building that only charges 75 cents for a load? Not at my place, I'll tell ya that much. It's like, $1.50 for a wash? Who do I look like, F. Scott Fitzgerald? (He was rich, right?). Look, the point is that three quarters just doesn't cut it in the National Football League.

Chargers 31-26

Atlanta @ Carolina

After another loss last week dropped them to 2-5, the Atlanta Falcons are now in
more danger than the Perregrin Falcon was in the mid 20th century before a ban on DDTs and other pesticides and an increased captive breeding effort contributed to a rebound in their population. As for the Panthers, they've recently been displaying an increased captive beating effort. I expect their success to continue.

Panthers 30-23

Sunday Afternoon

Tampa Bay @ Seattle

If the Hawks' win on Monday taught us anything it's that playing offensive line is super hard. The lack of protection eventually made me wonder if it was actually malicious on the linemen's part. But willfully allowing your quarterback to be sacked wouldn't make sense unless this was your quarterback.

Seahawks 27-3

Philadelphia @ Oakland

What has happened to the Eagles' offense? They've scored a total of 10 points over the last two weeks. Fortunately for them they get to go back on the road after their 10th straight home loss. Philly's lost more at home than I used to with my ex-wife. Also a boost to the Eagles' chances will be the simple fact that they don't have to start Matt Barkley this week. That alone is reason enough for me to pick them to beat a Raiders team that has shown that they can both win and lose games. The only thing left for them to prove is that they're capable of tying; but I just don't see it happening this week.

Eagles 24-21

Baltimore @ Cleveland

Baltimore's last four games have been decided by 3 points or less, so clearly they like to stay close with teams. Which makes sense with all of the players they lost in the offseason. It's an obvious case of abandonment issues. The Ravens now fear that everybody will leave them, and if they let a team get too far away they'll never get them back. It's a flawed strategy that's led to a 1-3 record over the last month, but until they learn to trust again the tight games promise to continue.

Ravens 19-17

Pittsburgh @ New England

Tom Brady is off his game. And not just on the field either, from what I've heard he's only slept with one woman all season. Home boy's what we call double-slumping. I haven't seen it this bad since Bret Boone's '05 season when he only hit 7 HRs and had to start hooking up with dudes. The good news for Brady is that the Patriots are 6-2 anyway. The even better news is that Ben Roethlisberger thinks he's the best QB in the league, and if there's one man's judgment that you can always trust it's Ben Roethlisberger's.

Patriots 26-19

Sunday Night

Indianapolis @ Houston

Both of these teams had byes last week, which should leave them well-rested for this contest. Hopefully they didn't rest too long though, like one of those naps where you wake up more tired than when you started. I mean, what's the deal with that? Those shouldn't be called naps, they should be called nopes (and in case you're wondering, yes I did write that last gag while spot-lit in front of a brick wall wearing a sports coat, jeans, and sneakers). Case Keenum is getting the start again for the Texans, and one could make the case that in this case, Case gives Houston a legit chance to win. However, I think the Colts will be just too good. Case closed.

Colts 24-16

Monday Night

Chicago @ Green Bay

This one has all the makings of a squash match. No not a squash match, a squash match. Hopefully that clears that up.

Packers 38-14


NFL Picks - Week 9 Thursday

Cincinnati @ Miami

It's a Halloween foooooooootball spooktacular for ghosts and ghouls alike. I'm sure that the NFL Network will take full advantage of the occasion by showing highlights of former Bengals linebacker Carl Wolfman and Dolphins legend Darnell Dracula. Cincinnati looked scaaaaary good against the Jets last week, but Miami should provide a few more bumps in this night.

Dolphins 23-20


NFL Picks - Week 8

Sunday Morning

Dallas @ Detroit

As of last week it appears that Matthew Stafford has officially crossed the line to where he'll blindly throw the ball to Calvin Johnson in triple coverage. While some would call this a reckless strategy I'd call it devil-may-care. Similar meanings, yes, but I just decided that I didn't feel like using the word 'reckless.' And though this manner of play may come back to bite him some weeks it may actually serve him well against the Cowboys and their 30th ranked pass D. Tony Romo should throw for yards aplenty as well, but in this game they won't be aplenty enough.

Lions 37-34

Cleveland @ Kansas City

It's official, the Chiefs are the NFL's last undefeated team, and I have to admit that I'm impressed. But now Brandon Weeden is coming to town and as a starting quarterback this season he is also undefeated. Oh, wait a minute, no he actually hasn't won any games yet, That's right, I meant to say opposite of undefeated, my mistake. So right, Weeden is total crap, which seems wholly appropriate based on the name of his team. Luckily, for the Browns they announced that ol' B Weeds has a concussion and Jason Cambpell will be getting the start. Still, he's facing a top-notch defense on the road, this doesn't look good.

Chiefs 23-9

Miami @ New England

In last week's loss to the Jets, Tom Brady had what many have called an uncharacteristic performance. But what DO we really know about this character Tom Brady? Has anybody ever heard anything about his past, i.e. when he got drafted or where he went to college? I've done some digging and I have to say that the facts just aren't there, at least not where I've looked. So where's the truth? We're all waiting to hear it. The ball's in your court Mr. Brady.

Patriots 27-20

Buffalo @ New Orleans

Well Thad Lewis did it, he got a win over the Dolphins last week and the Bills are now 3-4. With EJ Manuel most likely returning to his role as starter within the next couple weeks it seems that Thad is merely a fad, though he still gets to play for a tad. Case in point he'll be the starter this Sunday when the Bills travel to New Orleans to take on a Saints team coming off their bye week. This is a tough match-up that doesn't look like it will turn out well for Buffalo, but then again, when does it ever?

Saints 31-19

New York Giants @ Philadelphia

The Eagles have now lost nine straight home games. I've heard of a home-field advantage, but this Sir, is decidedly a home-field disadvantage ... (pause for laughter) ... (still paused? Wow, you guys really liked that one.) ... (Ok, now I'm worried that this laughter is really just being done in a mocking fashion, almost as if you're laughing at me instead of with me, which I now feel obligated to say was not the intended effect. Perhaps if I explained my snide barb more clearly you'd appreciate it. You see, most teams win more often at home for any number of reasons, some of which I'll list right now ... You stopped reading didn't you? Alright, fine! I'll be honest, it wasn't my best material. You want me to admit that I'm running out of things to say? Is that what you want? Ok, fine! It's true! Are you happy now!? Ugh, you are, I can see that smug little smile on your face, What an ass.)

Giants 24-23

San Francisco @ Jacksonville

We're going back to London! Jaguars fans must be thrilled that this is considered one of their home games, meaning that the folks in Jacksonville will only be subjected to watching them in person seven times. And they said these international games are good for nothing. Despite the long flight, things shouldn't be too difficult for the Niners in this one. Also, Jaw Sweatshirt will most likely be a big hit in London, because they love assholes.

49ers 38-10

Sunday Afternoon

New York Jets @ Cincinnati

With their win last week the Jets are 4-3, meaning they've already surpassed the win total that I predicted for them in the preseason. Of course, I didn't know that the refs would heavily aide them with game-changing personal foul penalties at the very end of two separate games. If I had known that I'd be some sort of super-prescient mega-picker who's always right; and as my ex-wife would tell you, that's certainly not the case. The Bengals escaped from Detroit with a win last week, managing to beat a quality team on the road in the process. Seeing as how they're much better at home, beating the Jets shouldn't present too much of a problem.

Bengals 20-16

Pittsburgh @ Oakland

After starting the season 0-4 the Steelers have consecutive wins and find themselves only 1.5 games behind the 2nd wild card spot in the AFC. Their turnaround has been the result of dramatically improved defensive play and probably cheating, if I had to take a guess. Look, I'm not saying that they're definitely doing it, but it's at least something to consider. Will they find a way to win against the Raiders this Sunday, nefarious or otherwise? You can bet on it. No seriously you can if you want. I know that gambling is supposed to be illegal, but trust me, there are certain avenues through which to do it if you look hard enough.

Steelers 22-17

Washington @ Denver

The Broncos are no longer undefeated after Peyton Manning's return to Indianapolis. This just goes to show that no one, under any circumstances should ever return to Indiana, there's just no way for it to end well. The Redskins bring a strong running attack to Denver to face the Broncos' #1 rush D. Of course, that number is skewed because teams are usually trailing Denver by a couple of scores, leading them to abandon their run game. Case in point, the Broncos are dead last against the pass. While Washington should be able to put up points it probably won't matter when you consider that their inept defense will be going against the league's best offense.    

Broncos 45-28

Atlanta @ Arizona

This is the easiest game to pick of the week. The Cardinals played the Seahawks last Thursday, which means they'll lose this Sunday. As I'm sure you all know by now, teams are 0-6 the week after they play the Hawks. Sorry Cards, don't blame yourself ... though you should be ashamed of your whining coach who wears a Kangol cap at all times when not on the field.

Falcons 24-17

Sunday Night

Green Bay @ Minnesota

I watched pretty much all of last week's Monday Night Football game between the Vikings and the Giants. There, I admit it. I'm not proud of myself. What I saw was not pretty. Josh Freeman was clearly in over his head, going 20-53 in his first start with Minnesota. The only thing worse would be having to watch this team play another primetime game this week .... Oh shit. I really hope I don't end up watching the whole thing again.

Packers 28-13

Monday Night

Seattle @ St. Louis

The Seahawks' defense will be more than happy to see Kellen Clemens line up opposite them. And as if this team needed any further boost to their spirits, this guy is back. Ram Rule #6: Bend over.

Seahawks 31-6 

NFL Picks - Week 8 Thursday

Carolina @ Tampa Bay

I realize I've been pretty hard on Mike Glennon ever since he became the Buccaneers' starting quarterback, indeed maybe too hard. I'm not even sure he's playing that poorly, hold on let me check his stats ... Oh man. Why did they have to put his picture on the page? Now it's all I can look at. Ok, forget it, I'm definitely picking the Panthers who have won handily in consecutive games behind outstanding play from Cam Newton.

Panthers 24-17


NFL Picks - Week 7

Sunday Morning

Tampa Bay @ Atlanta

When I wrote that the Falcons would be desperate for a win back in Week 4 I had no idea just how desperate things would get. They're one more loss away from going to a prostitute and just paying for a W. I mean, they need a win bad. If only there were a team in the NFL that had the guy who made the "Aicha" video as their starting quarterback. Wait a minute ... that team exists! And they're coming to town! Atlanta will surely get back on the right track this week. But they should probably keep in touch with that prostitute just in case.

Falcons 28-13

Cincinnati @ Detroit

I hesitantly picked the Bengals to win on the road last week for the sole reason that they were going against Thad Lewis. And wouldn't ya know it, they almost went ahead and lost anyway, making Thad look thenthational in the protheth. The Lions went on the road and beat the Browns 31-17 last week, the same team that Cincy lost to 17-6 two weeks earlier meaning I have no choice but to pick against the Bengals here. It's just math guys. I didn't do this to you Cincinnati, you did this to you.

Lions 24-20

Buffalo @ Miami

I'd like to publicly apologize to Thad Lewis for my disparaging remarks last week. The guy is clearly a competitor. And the good news is that now the Bills have signed Matt Flynn to be his back-up, meaning that his job is totally secure. Until EJ Manuel comes back, that is. But that won't be this week, and while Thad may give another valiant effort it most likely won't be enough to take out the Dolphins in their hornet's nest of a home stadium. I refer to it as that because much of the upper deck has been so bereft of human contact that it is now rife with hornet's nests. We're talking a Grade 3 infestation.

Dolphins 26-16 

New England @ New York Jets

Tom Brady orchestrated a heart-stopping drive in the final minute to beat the Saints last week. Forget TNT, this guy knows drama. Seriously though, forget about TNT. We all know it's gone down hill ever since Nitro got cancelled. And I mean, if you own your own copy of Shawshank Redemption what's the point? Unless they agree to produce (or at least consider) my script for the crossover mini-series Rizzoli & Franklin & Isles & Bash I really have no interest in supporting that network. The Jets suffered a big letdown last week in giving Pittsburgh their first win, I don't expect things to improve against New England.

Patriots 31-17 

Dallas @ Philadelphia

It's a heavyweight battle for 1st place in the NFC East. And these heavyweights each happen to be 3-3! The Cowboys are 0-2 on the road while the Eagles are 0-2 at home, so something's gotta give! The bottom line is that at the end of the day one of these teams will have an inside track to capture their division title.

Cowboys 41-35

Chicago @ Washington

If you watched the Bears game closely last week you may have seen Jay Cutler smiling on the field. At first I was bewildered, but then I realized that he was probably thinking about the extra days off he'd get before he had to play another football game. Must've been so stoked. Unfortunately for Jay his Fall break is over and now he has to wake up early and go to work. Bummer. I have a strange feeling that Chicago will come out flat, allowing the Skins to get an early lead and hang on for the win. Why? Because sometimes things don't make sense. Like Jay Cutler smiling, or him taking on a second job as a high-priced LA realtor.

Redskins 28-25

St. Louis @ Carolina

Both of these teams exploded for 25 point road wins in Week 6. Where did that come from? How 'bout from yer butt? Ever consider that dorko? Haha, sorry pal, you've been busted. Anyhow, the Panthers have a very solid defense, and while I'm not sure playing at home is too much of an advantage, it's probably not a disadvantage.

Panthers 17-10 

San Diego @ Jacksonville

While I picked the Chargers to upset the Colts last week I didn't think they'd do it the way they did, with a powerful running game and an impressive defensive performance. Philip Rivers didn't have to do it all himself, and he was clearly thrilled that he could count on his teammates. Oh boy. What a sad display that was. Why was he all alone? Does it reveal something about the team chemistry in San Diego that their starting quarterback would be sitting by himself on the bench at the end of a big win? It's quite possible. Does this potential lack of chemistry mean that they'll lose to the Jags? Not quite as possible.

Chargers 31-21

Sunday Afternoon

San Francisco @ Tennessee

The Titans really like to hang around when they have no business doing so, like nerds at a babefest. You gotta hand it to these lame-os, they're mildly persistent. I mean, they'll probably just go away if you ask nicely, but if you don't say anything or don't even notice that they're there they could eventually present a problem. I expect that Tennessee will be asked to leave sometime around the start of the 4th quarter this week.

49ers 27-17

Cleveland @ Green Bay

Brandon Weeden threw a pivotal interception last week when he tried to pitch the ball diagonally up field about 15 yards. To complete that pass would have required an awfully powerful shovel. Who does this guy think he is? The Browns' improbable playoff run has hit a major speed bump with a murderous four game stretch starting this week. And with Weeden at the driver's seat they might not have enough gas to get over it. To be fair though, it's one of those really thin, steep speed bumps that are a total pain in the ass. It's like, are they trying to blow out my tires?

Packers 26-12

Houston @ Kansas City

Outrage ensued after a number of Texans fans cheered an injured Matt Schaub while he laid on the Reliant Stadium turf last week. But to be fair, up until that point Schaub probably wasn't aware that the fans were upset with his poor play, now there's no doubting that he knows exactly how they feel. So kudos to the Houston fans, you got your point across very clearly to that pussy. Thumbs up!

Chiefs 20-16

Baltimore @ Pittsburgh

This once classic rivalry has fallen on hard times. These teams come into this match-up with a combined 4-7 record and only 3 Super Bowl titles in the last 8 years between them. Pretty pathetic you two. If anybody chooses to actually watch this game they'll probably see a competitive contest in which the Ravens win late. But again, who cares at this point? TNT is airing Total Recall at the same time, I suggest you watch that instead. Wait a minute, forget I said that!

Ravens 24-22

Sunday Night

Denver @ Indianapolis

Colts owner Jim Irsay provided a bizarre sound bite this week in which he made a veiled attack on Peyton Manning, pretty much saying that he put up "Star Wars numbers," but didn't win enough in the playoffs. Um, what? I don't have a problem with the criticism, just the phrase, "Star Wars numbers." What is that supposed to mean? There are numbers mentioned at times during the Star Wars movies, is that what he's talking about? Or maybe the episode numbers themselves, but those only go up to 6, so that wouldn't make much sense. Someone needs to hold Mr. Irsay accountable for his words and if he won't offer an explanation he should be sternly chastised for being confusing. Enter Manning, exactly the type of QB that can provide such a whooping. I expect Peyton to have another big day, putting up Back to the Future numbers in the process. At the same time, I believe that Andrew Luck will take advantage of the woeful Denver pass D on the way to some impressive stats of his own. I mean, I don't necessarily want to say Jurassic Park numbers, but certainly close. And with that in mind I'm picking Indy to hand Denver their first loss.

Colts 34-31 

Monday Night

Minnesota @ New York Giants

43 years ago a man named Roone Arledge had a funny notion: football games on Mondays. While many scoffed at the seemingly crazy idea, ABC took a chance, and in 1970 they launched Monday Night Football to rave reviews. After decades of success in which the weekly game became widely regarded as the best production in sports we now know that it was all a mistake, because of this game.

Giants 27-20