NFL Picks - Week 17

As we enter the final week of the season I thought it might be fun to take a look back at my preseason predictions for each team and see how accurate they were. And if you disagree and think that wouldn't be fun at all well then I guess you can just stop reading now. You really left didn't you? Well that backfired. I'll go ahead with the plan anyway for my own gratification.

Sunday Morning

Cleveland @ Baltimore

Cleveland Preseason Guess: 6-10
Baltimore Preseason Guess: 9-7
I'm in the ballpark on this one, which is more than I can say for Tim Couch, because he doesn't play for the Browns anymore, so of course he wouldn't be there. Ravens need the win to stay alive, while the Browns have unsurprisingly already died.

Ravens 26-13

Dallas @ Washington

Dallas: 5-11
Washington: 6-10
Whoops! Oh come on, like you thought the Cowboys were going to be good? Pfff, liar. Dallas can still improve their playoff standing, while Washington can only hurt their draft position with a win. Kind of makes you wonder why they'd even bother playing this game. Though I get the feeling that that's been the 'Skins mindset for most of the season.

Cowboys 31-20

Indianapolis @ Tennessee

Indianapolis: 10-6
Tennessee: 4-12
Pretty accurate here, although I somehow gave the Titans too much credit. The Colts now have no shot of getting a first round bye and will be playing on Wild Card weekend for the third straight season. There's a chance they'll be resting some starters, but even still they'll be playing the Titans, so ...

Colts 17-13

Jacksonville @ Houston

Jacksonville: 7-9
Houston: 6-10
I had confidence that Gus Bradley would start to turn things around in his second year in Jacksonville. Unfortunately they were approaching one of those no U-turn stop lights so they had to keep going in the same direction. The Texans immediately turned things around after a 2-14 season, and even without a legitimate quarterback still have an outside chance of making the playoffs.

Texans 23-16 

San Diego @ Kansas City

San Diego: 10-6
Kansas City: 7-9
A win for the Chargers would put them right at 10-6 and mean a return trip to the playoffs. So it would only make sense for me to pick them to win this game. But a true prognosticator doesn't stubbornly stand by a pick just because that's what they said originally. If new information presents itself then that must be taken into account and the situation reevaluated. That being said, the Chiefs have looked pretty lame lately, so old and new information really gels nicely for me on this one.

Chargers 21-19

New York Jets @ Miami

New York Jets: 7-9
Miami: 8-8
In future years I plan on having another person sit in the room with me when I make my preseason predictions so that when I broach the idea of the Jets being 7-9 they will stop me, with physical restraint if necessary.

Dolphins 24-16

Chicago @ Minnesota

Chicago: 9-7
Minnesota: 4-12
I thought the Bears would be a playoff team. There, I said it. I'm not proud of it, but I must embrace my failings so that I can learn from them. I guess I didn't anticipate a non-injury scenario in which Jimmy Clausen would be starting a game this season. Let's be honest, Jimmy Clausen didn't anticipate that either.

Vikings 23-20

Buffalo @ New England

Buffalo: 7-9
New England: 12-4
Picking the Patriots record isn't difficult, just go with 12-4 and you'll be within a game at worst. Er wait, no, I actually used a lot of advanced metrics and stuff. They'll probably be resting starters this week, and the Bills defense should help them grind out a win.

Bills 20-17

Philadelphia @ New York Giants

Philadelphia: 11-5
New York Giants: 6-10
Less than a month ago the Eagles looked like they would cruise to the playoffs with at least the 11-5 mark I originally predicted. Then their will and entire offensive philosophy was crushed by the Seahawks. I really should have seen that coming.

Giants 31-27

New Orleans @ Tampa Bay

New Orleans: 12-4
Tampa Bay: 7-9
Ummmm, I uhhhhhh, I'll be right back ... (HURRIED FOOTSTEPS; CAR DOOR SLAM; TIRE SCREECH) Look, when I made this prediction the Saints still had a home field advantage. Now they've lost five in a row in the Superdome and really made me look like a fool in the process. The only person that gets to make me look like a fool is me.

Saints 30-23

Sunday Afternoon

Carolina @ Atlanta

Carolina: 6-10
Atlanta: 7-9
If the Falcons win this game those records will be spot on, with the exception of that pesky tie from the Panthers. An NFL tie hasn't loomed this large since Michael Irvin's.

Falcons 24-17  

Detroit @ Green Bay

Detroit: 7-9
Green Bay: 11-5
Looks like I underestimated the Lions here, and if I'm being honest I still think their 11-4 record is a bit better than they are. In fact, their current expected record according to Pro Football Reference is 9-6. And they're using math, so you know it's legit. What's not legit is their chances of winning this week in Green Bay.

Packers 30-17

Oakland @ Denver

Oakland: 3-13
Denver: 12-4
Boom baby! A Broncos win makes each of these predictions spot on and makes me look like a genius in the process. Don't go back and tally up how many other others I'm going to get right, just remember this game and the word "genius." Surprisingly Denver hasn't reached 30 points in their last four games. Should change here.

Broncos 35-13

Arizona @ San Francisco

Arizona: 7-9
San Francisco: 11-5
I've never been happier to have missed on a guess. My 11-5 prediction gave the Niners waaaaay too much credit. And I'll admit that I was off on the Cardinals, I thought they would backslide after having a winning record in 2013. Now they're 11-4 and forced to start Ryan Lindley again, so let my trend of not believing in Arizona continue.

49ers 16-13

St. Louis @ Seattle

St. Louis: 6-10
Seattle: 16-0
A bit off with the Hawks pick, but if I had woken up from a coma in late November and watched this team since you'd have a hard time making me believe that they weren't undefeated on the year. Now it's time to wrap up the regular season and stomp the Rams in the process. A perfect end to what I'm still convinced should have been a perfect season.

Seahawks 27-3

Sunday Night

Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh
Cincinnati: 8-8
Pittsburgh: 9-7
Looks like I underestimated these two squads, whereas NBC overestimated the importance of this match-up. While it will decide the winner of the AFC North, it's not a win or go home situation like that battle for all the NFC South marbles taking place in Atlanta. Of course, those marbles are all chipped and scuffed up, and does anybody even play with marbles anymore for that matter? Anyway, I think Pittsburgh wins at home, taking the division and a hefty sack of marbles with them into the playoffs.

Steelers 34-26


NFL Picks - Week 16


Philadelphia @ Washington

A mere two weeks ago the Eagles were in control of the NFC East with a legitimate shot at a first round bye in the playoffs. Now they sit on the outside of the NFC playoff picture with only two games remaining. The lesson to be learned here is that a lot can change in two weeks, especially when your quarterback is Mark Sanchez. Luckily for Philly their final games are against the Skins and the Giants. Unluckily, I wasn't lying in the previous sentence, Mark Sanchez is their quarterback. In other words, things could get shaky.

Eagles 27-16

San Diego @ San Francisco

It's officially over for the 49ers. Their struggles have been well documented, so there really isn't much left to say; except maybe this, this, or this. Now the Hawk hangover will claim another victim and further establish Seattle's dominance over San Francisco, sending the Niners spiraling into a losing record. See ya in April at the draft guys! You'll have a better pick, so jelly!

Chargers 19-16

Sunday Morning

Minnesota @ Miami

It's this time of the season when completely meaningless games become more prevalent. While I'm sure there is a scenario in which the Dolphins can make it into the playoffs I just don't have the time to research that properly. So we'll go ahead and just assume this game is pointless. Can we assume the same about existence as a whole? That's for you to decide. I can't provide the answers for everything.

Dolphins 23-20

Baltimore @ Houston

The Texans' quarterbacks are dropping like Cardinals' quarterbacks. It looks like rookie Tom Savage or the newly signed Case Keenum will get the start for Houston on Sunday, which could make for some entertaining wackiness, but wouldn't it be much more interesting if they started J.J. Watt at QB and ran the wishbone? Any sort of success the offense had would put Watt's MVP candidacy over the top. Of course, if he failed miserably that would be a heck of a watch too.

Ravens 20-12

Detroit @ Chicago

The Lions seem like they're masquerading as contenders in the NFC, and I keep waiting for the bottom to drop out. It hasn't yet, and I don't expect it to this Sunday because they're facing a team that appears to have absolutely no fight left in them. Jay Cutler took his level of not caring to new heights (or lows?) on Monday. In fact, I'm pretty sure I saw him watching Guardians of the Galaxy on his phone during one of his dropbacks. Now it's Jimmy Clausen's turn. So um, that oughta work out. The weird thing is that Cutler almost seemed relieved at his Thursday press conference following the news of his benching. Oh wait, that's not surprising, Jay Cutler hates playing football.

Lions 27-17 

Cleveland @ Carolina

Games in which I have zero confidence in either quarterback are the toughest to pick, and boy is that the case here. The Panthers will either be starting Derek Anderson or Cam Newton coming off of a car wreck. The Browns will be starting Johnny Manziel coming off of a car wreck. Of course, only one of those accidents was metaphorical, but I'm not sure which was more painful.

Panthers 13-10

Atlanta @ New Orleans

The Saints have climbed back atop the NFC South mountain and planted their flag on the peak. It should be mentioned that the mountain in question is a pile of used diapers at a dump just outside of New Orleans. The Saints can't clinch the division with a win here due to the Panthers' presence, but they can eliminate the Falcons from contention. And there's nothing these sick bastards would like more than to end another team's season.

Saints 37-30

Green Bay @ Tampa Bay

The Packers took a step back in Buffalo last week and are now fighting for their playoff lives. It's possible with a loss in Week 17 that Green Bay could miss the postseason at 11-5. Of course, that's assuming that the Packers will win in Tampa this Sunday, which I think we can safely assume without making an ass out of you or me. And if the Bucs do win, and we turn out to be asses, well then I apologize for shaming you and your family. If it takes me a lifetime to rectify this wrongdoing then so be it. Yikes, I just really raised the stakes on this game.

Packers 27-20  

Kansas City @ Pittsburgh

Here's another contest with serious playoff implications. I feel like the term "playoff implications" is coming up so much nowadays that we should just abbreviate it to "playoff imps." Though now that I think about it that makes it sound like we're talking about little goblins that exist only to wreak havoc upon the playoffs, which I actually like better. Anything odd that happens can just be blamed on the playoff imps.

Steelers 24-19

New England @ New York Jets

This game just seems too obvious. Of course the Patriots would come into New York and dominate the lowly Jets, right? Right. Did you think I was setting you up for some surprise pick? No, the Jets blow. They can't even lose right, as they proved last week in Tennessee. They'll get back on the losing track this Sunday, but it will be too late for them to contend for the #1 pick.

Patriots 31-13

Sunday Afternoon

New York Giants @ St. Louis

The Rams reminded us all who they were last week with their listless performance in a 12-6 home loss to the Cardinals. This just proves my long standing edict: Never trust the Rams. Though I guess you can trust them to never have a winning season, something that they ensured will not be happening again after losing their 8th game last Thursday. By contrast, the Giants have been very trustworthy this year, you can trust them to lose games they're expected to.

Rams 20-16

Buffalo @ Oakland

With last week's stellar performance against Green Bay the Bills defense has verified that they are, in fact, a formidable group. While it's not likely that they'll make the playoffs, one more victory will result in a winning season for the first time in 10 years and only the second time in 15. That victory will come this Sunday, and the Bills will return home to a parade in the streets of Buffalo, because damn it, they need this. In future news, the Bills parade was snowed out.

Bills 17-10

Indianapolis @ Dallas

You thinking what I'm thinking? Playoff imps! The Colts have already wrapped up their third straight AFC South title and still have an outside chance at a first round bye. Meanwhile, any and every playoff scenario is open for the Cowboys. They could finish with any of the six seeds in the NFC (except for #4, because of the NFC South) or miss the postseason, altogether (really hoping you all said that out loud Airplane! style). So clearly Dallas has much more to play for, which leads me to believe that they'll get the win. But both of these teams have been so erratic that it makes it hard to confidently predict anything, other than that we're all gonna have a blast! Right everybody?!?

Cowboys 34-31

Sunday Night

Seattle @ Arizona

Word on the street is that Bruce Arians has told Ryan Lindley to "go out there and sling it" this Sunday. "Thanks!" said the Seahawks defenders. Though a more open offensive game plan is most likely the best chance the Cardinals have of winning, because we saw what happened when Arizona went conservative in Seattle last month. Wait, did they even go conservative or did it just look like that because they were being dominated? Either way it doesn't portend well for the Cardinals in this contest. If the Hawks can establish a two score lead in the first half I like their chances. Like 'em A LOT!

Seahawks 16-6

Monday Night

Denver @ Cincinnati

What is that which I hear? The chattering of playoff imps inside my ear? The Broncos look to maintain their position as the AFC's #2 seed and keep themselves in the running for #1 while the Bengals have a realistic shot of finishing anywhere from #3 to #outta there. According to the aforementioned prediction theorem that the team who needs it more is the team to pick, the Bengals would be the likely winner here. Of course that theorem runs into a wall when you believe that one team is much better than the other. With that in mind I'm taking Denver.

Broncos 31-24

NFL Picks - Week 16 Thursday

Tennessee @ Jacksonville

As we all know marquee games can be "flexed" into prime time for Sunday Night Football, so why can't the opposite happen? Shouldn't the league be able to "sag" a match-up out of prime time. I'm not even saying it needs to be replaced with another game, just eliminate the Thursday game altogether this week. Why subject the players and fans to embarrassment like this? In the end this will probably come down to who wants the top draft pick more, because the winner will be eliminated from contention for #1 in April.

Jaguars 17-13 


NFL Picks - Week 15

Sunday Morning

Pittsburgh @ Atlanta

There is no way to confidently predict what will happen in this game. Both teams have enjoyed surprising victories but also suffered terrible losses, and the state of their seasons seem to fluctuate on a weekly basis. The one thing that wouldn't surprise me is points and lots of 'em. Each squad put up three touchdowns in the fourth quarter of their last game, which would signify that we're in for a wild one. I keep going back and forth on what the actual outcome will be. In fact, I've been sitting at the computer for the last seven hours contemplating it. The conclusion that I've come to? All predictions are pointless. Life was not meant to be spent asking "what's next," instead we must focus on the here and now. With that being said, as of right now Julio Jones is a game time decision, so I'll go with Pittsburgh.

Steelers 38-31

Washington @ New York Giants

A bit surprising that this late season NFC East match-up wasn't flexed into the Sunday Night Football slot, I mean, just look at the size of these markets! I suppose the fact they have a combined 7 wins doesn't help much. Washington has never looked worse, and no, I'm not talking about those bozos in Congress, but seriously folks. And if we are being serious there's no way the 'Skins win this game, right? Right. Right?

Giants 24-13

Miami @ New England

Tom Brady sure has been fist-pumping and screaming curse words a lot lately. Is he really that jazzed about this season or is he just trying to prove that he still cares? Like a cheating husband who buys his wife expensive jewelry. No matter what the motive is he has the Pats playing well, so either way it doesn't matter ... yet.

Patriots 27-17 

Oakland @ Kansas City

Did you notice that the Hawk Hangover is back? Seattle's last 7 opponents have lost their next game. The Raiders have certainly noticed, their two wins have come against hangover victims. They're feeding off the Seahawks' scraps; Banya to Seattle's Seinfeld. This is a revenge game for the Chiefs after they were embarrassed three weeks ago by the then winless Raiders. But as the old saying goes, when a team goes on a quest for revenge they should dig two graves. Though if they're being humane about it they would dig 53 graves, because trying to pile the entire Oakland roster into two holes is pretty barbaric. Maybe I'm missing the point of that adage, but the point is that Kansas City should get the win.

Chiefs 23-16

Houston @ Indianapolis

After another comeback win by his Colts it's never been clearer that Andrew Luck is most comfortable with his back against the wall. In fact, this comfortability transcends the field; I've heard his favorite pose is that super cool back against the wall, one leg up, thumbs in the pockets look. That's how much he loves having his back against the wall. Accordingly, look for the Colts to get behind early this Sunday only to rally for another victory, clinching the AFC South title in the process.

Colts 27-23

Jacksonville @ Baltimore

It's clear that Blake Bortles is having a tough season, throwing 10 TDs and 16 INTs through his first 11 starts. But hopefully the rookie and the Jacksonville fans (assuming there are any) aren't too discouraged, because even though he's currently going through growing pains, there's a chance he'll be saving Christmas in no time.

Ravens 31-14

Green Bay @ Buffalo

The Packers have reeled off 9 wins in 10 games, mostly by steamrolling inferior opponents at home. There's no argument that their offense has been all but unstoppable at Lambeau, but if we look closer at this stretch some interesting trends start to arise. Only four of those ten games were on the road. The Packers were 3-1 in those games, one win was a 21 point blowout of the Bears; the other two were 3 point victories over the Dolphins and Vikings. Their loss was a 21 point drubbing at the hands of the Saints in the Superdome. The Saints have now lost their last four games in that building. My point is that the Packers are mere mortals away from Green Bay. While the cold weather in Buffalo shouldn't bother them, the hostile crowd might, not to mention the Bills' stingy defense.

Bills 21-20

Tampa Bay @ Carolina

A relieved Cam Newton remarked at a post car wreck press conference on Thursday, "I'm on somebody's fantasy team, and I think it's the man upstairs." Sounds like God missed the playoffs. Due to that crash back-up QB Derek Anderson will get the start for Carolina, which puts them on even footing at the position with Tampa who continues to insist Josh McCown is a starting quarterback. Seeing as how Anderson already got the job done against the Bucs in Week 1 there shouldn't be any issue with him doing it again. That's how it goes in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE, everything always works out exactly as it did the last time.

Panthers 20-14

Cincinnati @ Cleveland

Johnny Football .... Manziel .... money sign .... future Proactiv endorsement ... Look, we all know the story by now, it basically writes itself. Johnny Manziel's first start is a pivotal one, with any hopes the Browns have for keeping their season alive requiring three straight wins to close it out. When Cleveland went to Cincinnati last month they creamed them 24-3, which would suggest that the Browns should have no problem this week. Well not so fast, just because something happened once does not mean it will happen again in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE. Expect Football, John to make a lot of crazy throws; some will be crazy good, but most will just be crazy.

Bengals 24-21

Sunday Afternoon

New York Jets @ Tennessee

Are we sure Zack Mettenberger is actually injured? My guess is that he just brought a note from his mom into the coach's office to get out of playing in this game. Unfortunately they went overboard on the severity of the fake injury and now he has to miss the rest of the season. Fool me once shame on you and your enabling mother. All things considered though it was probably the right move, now he can just watch movies on his Microsoft Surface on the sidelines instead of looking at this game. Will either team want to win? They shouldn't, it will just hurt their draft position. Is it possible for teams to have negative points?

Jets 20-17

Denver @ San Diego

The Chargers appear to be pretty good, just not good enough to get over the hump. And yes, this is a metaphorical hump, although I wouldn't be surprised if there was some weird hill on the field in Qualcomm leftover from the old pitcher's mound.

Broncos 27-20

Minnesota @ Detroit

With two road games to close out the season ahead of them this becomes a must win for the Lions. Though, if you're not treating every game as must win at this point in the season then you don't deserve to make it into the playoffs. You come strong or you don't come at all. That's a motto I live by. A lot of days I show up to work and feel like I haven't come strong so I simply pack it in and head back home minutes after I arrive. I think the Vikings can hang tough, but ultimately fall short. In other words they'll come strong but not strong enough.

Lions 23-18

San Francisco @ Seattle

It's time to take the Harbaugh era out back, tie it to a tree, and put it out of its misery.

Seahawks 27-0

Sunday Night

Dallas @ Philadelphia

The Eagles are Sony and the Seahawks are the Guardians of Peace. All of Philly's secrets have been made public and their weaknesses have been exposed. Of course, the big secret to disrupting the Eagles' offense is having superior talent and being able to line up up and play your game regardless of their scheme. As we've seen, not every team can do that, and from the look of that Thanksgiving day game in Dallas, the Cowboys certainly can't. But I just get the feeling that the Eagles', and especially Mark Sanchez's, confidence is shaken, and we'll see that to a certain extent on Sunday night.

Cowboys 26-23

Monday Night

New Orleans @ Chicago

Well it appears that I went overboard last week when I proclaimed that the Saints would make it to 8-8. I just assumed that they would be able to handle a home game against the Panthers, a team that hadn't won a game in two months. I'm taking Chicago more as a result of my disgust with the Saints than my confidence in the Bears.

Bears 31-28 

NFL Picks - Week 15 Thursday

Arizona @ St. Louis

Just who do these Rams think they are? They've shutout consecutive opponents by a combined score of 76-0. And these weren't just any opponents, they were two of the worst teams in the league. Oh, so I guess that actually devalues St. Louis's accomplishment a bit, but regardless of who they're playing they can't do better than a shutout. Now the Rams return home with a chance to get to .500 (hold on, checking to make sure ... yes, that's actually possible). Standing in their way are the division leading Cardinals, or what's left of them at least. The Arizona O has put up an average of only 13 points per game over their last four and now must face a suddenly dominant unit. And this time of year there's nothing more fearsome than a dominant unit.

Rams 13-10


NFL Picks - Week 14

Sunday Morning

Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati

This is the first meeting of the season for these divisional foes, and it comes with Cincinnati all of a sudden holding a 1.5 game lead in the AFC North. But can we trust the Bengals? Thousands of years of human intuition would tell us to never trust a tiger, and four years of football intuition would tell us to never trust Andy Dalton. However, the Steelers have been equally shaky this season and according to my spell check "Steeler" isn't even a word. Pretty shady bros.

Bengals 31-28

St. Louis @ Washington

According to ESPN there are tickets available for this game for $8. C'mon D.C., if you have an opportunity to see a Shaun Hill/Colt McCoy showdown in person for under $10 you really shouldn't pass it up. That's a good rule of thumb to live by: if you're ever offered something for less than $10 accept it with a smile.

Rams 21-17

New York Giants @ Tennessee

Somewhere Kerry Collins will be watching this game with his son and say, "Ya know, I used to be quarterback for both these teams." To which his son will reply, "I don't care Dad, this game blows, turn it off," because he's an ungrateful little prick! That being said, he's totally right about this game, it's a stinker. Neither team has won since October 12th. Barf. No, not Barf, barf.

Giants 27-23

Carolina @ New Orleans

We've all had plenty of fun with the NFC South this season, ridiculing their collective patheticness. And for quite a while it's been assumed that the division champion would have a losing record, but I'll venture to say that that won't actually happen. The Saints' remaining schedule after this game is as follows: @ CHI, ATL, @ TB. All of those games are winnable, and I predict they'll prevail in at least three (spoiler alert!). If so, they'll soar into the playoffs at 8-8 and the nation will be bummed out by their exact mediocrity. We pretended that we didn't want a losing team in the playoffs, but now that it might not happen we kind of miss it, like the mosquito bite we liked to scratch or the bruise we enjoyed thumbing.

Saints 33-19

New York Jets @ Minnesota

Before the Jets' final drive on Monday, when they were forced to throw due to a deficit and a dwindling clock, Geno Smith was 4-8 with 42 yds.. And they were only down 3! Maybe Rex Ryan has figured out how to make Geno into a starting quarterback: don't let him throw. Meanwhile, Teddy Bridgewater hasn't been setting records (to my knowledge) but the Vikings are at least letting him throw more than 8 times a game, which is the ultimate sign of confidence. As I said last week, I'm no longer going to even think when making a Jets pick, just going to close my eyes and drop the hammer. While we're here, don't close your eyes and drop a hammer. The best result is a loud noise, the worst is death following a prolonged battle with gangrene.

Vikings 20-13

Baltimore @ Miami

The Ravens have to be thrilled that Ray Rice's suspension is over and that he can now return to action. Baltimore could certainly use the boost after their devastating loss to the Chargers. How quickly Rice can re-assimilate into the offense remains to be seen, but his mere presence should be inspiring to his teammates. What's that? So he's not going back there? Good, they don't need that scumbag.

Ravens 26-23

Indianapolis @ Cleveland

The Browns have decided to give Brian Hoyer another chance as their starting quarterback despite the widespread clamoring for Johnny Manziel to take over the job. Maybe it's because they were turned off by the way Manziel laid on the turf like a corpse after losing the football near his own goal line. The call of a fumble was later overturned to an incomplete pass, but it doesn't take away from the fact that he appeared dead for a few fleeting moments. Any time you have to double-check your QB's pulse after a big hit it has to shake your confidence.

Colts 30-24

Tampa Bay @ Detroit

The Bucs come into this game winners of one of their last three. Sadly that constitutes a hot streak for Tampa. And yes, I'm referring to the entire city. This is the first of two very winnable home games for the Lions, a team that could really use two wins. So bully for them.

Lions 23-13

Houston @ Jacksonville

J.J. Watt is getting a lot of MVP buzz because of his dominant play on defense and his 3 receiving TDs. Just for the record those 3 TDs have been for a total of 3 yards. Also, is it crazy to think that any other tight end on the roster could have caught those 1 yard passes? All I'm saying is that we probably shouldn't overreact to Watt's offensive stats. Now, if he ever gets a yard after catch, then I'll be impressed.

Texans 27-17

Sunday Afternoon

Buffalo @ Denver

Poor Bills. Just when it looked like they had reignited their playoff hopes they get bombarded with this impossible match-up in Denver. It's like the '87 Survivor Series when Bam Bam Bigelow was left all alone and took out King Kong Bundy and the One Man Gang before the dominant Andre the Giant came in to extinguish his hot streak. Go ahead, watch it back, it's the exact same thing. Of all the analogies possible in this universe, that was the perfect one. By the way, the Bills currently have the #2 scoring defense in the league; they won't after this Sunday.

Broncos 31-17

Kansas City @ Arizona

Two weeks ago these teams were a combined 16-4. Since then they've doubled their collective loss total with an 0-4 stretch. Two squads once marching confidently toward the playoffs are now trudging timidly toward God knows where. The good news is that one of them has to win. Of course, that's bad news for the other team as they'll continue their downward spiral into playoff purgatory. Kind of makes you wish we lived in a world where nobody ever had to lose doesn't it? Man that would really piss off the '72 Dolphins. The NFL should change the rules accordingly if for no other reason than that.

Cardinals 17-13

San Francisco @ Oakland

On the one hand the 49ers have won three of their last four. On the other hand they were just the victim of a live snuff film in front of a national audience on Thanksgiving. So a short trip across the Bay could go a long way to repairing their damaged psyche. This will be good for them, they need this; poor guys.

49ers 23-10

Seattle @ Philadelphia

What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? Based on past experience it results in The Joker going to Arkham Asylum or Andre the Giant getting bodyslammed. The Eagles' offense has indeed looked close to unstoppable at times this year, yet when their rhythm gets disrupted they seem quite ordinary. And who better to disrupt their rhythm than the most disruptive defense in years. After surrendering only 6 points over the last two games the Hawks' D has a chance to make another statement on Sunday. One of the only things they haven't done in that span is score a touchdown themselves. My guess is they'll add points of their own on the way to another victory.

Seahawks 26-17 

Sunday Night

New England @ San Diego

The Patriots are only one game better than the Chargers but it feels like much more. And that's how I operate, by feel. It's the most important sense folks, or at least in the top five. This feels like a win for New England. But not only that, it also looks, smells, tastes, and touches(?) like a win for the AFC leaders. Then again, Philip Rivers could always prove me wrong, because sometimes he makes no sense.

Patriots 34-27

Monday Night

Atlanta @ Green Bay

Here come the Atlanta Falcons! They've won three of four, they're at 5-7, and they currently hold the tiebreaker for first place in the NFC South. And now they have games @GB, PIT, @NO. There go the Atlanta Falcons! That could be a three game losing streak waiting to happen. Then again if you're a pessimist, or if this guy is your head coach, everything is a three game losing streak waiting to happen.

Packers 38-24


NFL Picks - Week 14 Thursday

Dallas @ Chicago

Despite their recent struggles the Cowboys are still 5-0 on the road. The Bears, meanwhile, are 2-3 at home. Sometimes this job is just too easy. Actually, most of the time. There are like three games a week that are tough to pick, and when an upset happens you can just fall back on "Well who saw that coming?" So if you like to make excuses as much as I do there's really nothing to it.

Cowboys 30-23


NFL Picks - Week 13

Sunday Morning

Washington @ Indianapolis

This was supposed to be the long-anticipated clash between the top picks of the 2012 draft, RG3 and Andrew Luck. And now that we're here we're left to wonder what happened. Oh never mind, we know what happened, Griffin actively attempts to get injured on every scramble rendering him a shell of his former self. It's a real bummer to watch, unless you're Colt McCoy and you're greedily rubbing your hands together on the sidelines awaiting your return to the spotlight. There's no video evidence of that happening, but I have to believe that's the case.

Colts 27-13

Tennessee @ Houston

Just when I thought the Texans might make a playoff push they dropped a home game to the Bengals and lost their new starting quarterback Ryan Mallett for the remainder of the season. Now Ryan Fitzpatrick returns to the huddle bringing quite a bit of awkward energy with him I'd imagine. It's never fun to win back your job by default. Luckily for them the Titans are coming to town. They're super lousy.

Texans 23-16

Cleveland @ Buffalo

What tricks will Mother Nature have up her sleeve for this contest? Well the very fact that she's wearing sleeves should be some indication that the weather will be on the frigid side, because as we all know Mother Nature prefers to show some skin. Let's be honest though, it's usually too much; she's getting up there in years, and her husband Father Time has not been kind to her. So let's be glad she's covering up a bit. Oh also a loss here would basically end the Bills' season, so they'll be more motivated and get the win.

Bills 16-13

San Diego @ Baltimore

A clash between two of the five wild card contenders clustered at 7-4. The funny thing is that even with the high number of playoff hopefuls in the AFC, if the playoffs started today the same six teams from last year would be there this year, and in the same exact seeds, except for New England and Denver being flipped at the top. Funny, right? Well you're not laughing. Don't be like this. Anyway, another team that's not laughing at that scenario is the Ravens, because that would leave them out of the postseason. A win here will be a step toward changing that.

Ravens 30-23

New York Giants @ Jacksonville

I was going to make a joke about how the Jaguars are coming off their bye week and how you don't want to have to play them with an extra week of preparation. Then I checked and found out they actually played last Sunday. If that's not the most telling depiction of the Jacksonville Jaguars then I don't know what is; I assume every week is their bye week.

Giants 24-21

Cincinnati @ Tampa Bay

Shockingly the Bengals come into this game with a chance to win a third road game in three weeks. Standing in their way are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Congratulations Cincinnati on your third road win in three weeks.

Bengals 23-17

Oakland @ St. Louis

The Raiders, winners of one in a row storm into St. Louis with a taste of victory and a hunger for more. Unfortunately, their long layoff may have caused any hope they had of leftovers to go bad, like so many pounds of uneaten yams in refrigerators across the nation.

Rams 26-19

New Orleans @ Pittsburgh

These two squads are each embroiled in a heated divisional race. Well, Pittsburgh's is heated, the Saints' is more tepid, and probably becoming infested with bacteria the longer it's left out. So in other words the NFC South is like that piece of pizza that nobody put in the fridge and has been sitting on the counter overnight. You see it the next day and think, "Well, somebody's gotta eat it ..." No! Nobody has to eat it. Just throw it away.

Steelers 38-28

Carolina @ Minnesota

These scrappy Panthers are a half game out of first place at ... 3-7-1?!? Stop it NFC South! I'm throwing away the pizza!

Vikings 20-17

Sunday Afternoon

Arizona @ Atlanta

The leaders of the NFC West against the leaders of the ... NFC South. Noooooo! Ok, the leader of the division can't be 4-8 can they? If Mike Smith can manage to just stay out of the way the Falcons might have a shot in this game based on what I saw out of the Cardinals' offense last week. Granted, it was a much tougher match-up, but I'm guessing their confidence will be shaken to the core resulting in a tailspin. And no, I'm not referring to the cartoon spin-off featuring Baloo from The Jungle Book. Was that a serious question? Although I just realized that the show was called TaleSpin and it was a spin-off. That's meta shit Disney, I see ya.

Falcons 24-20

New England @ Green Bay

If you're a regular reader of these posts you know that I love to use the term "possible playoff preview." That's why Week 1 is my favorite week of the season, because every match-up is a possible playoff preview. Well with this game we have a legitimate possible playoff preview. And if you're as astute as I believe you to be you'll have figured out that a playoff game between these two could only be the Super Bowl. Of course, I'm not predicting that the Packers will make it there, but it's obvious that they're playing at a high level. However, their main weakness is against the run, an area in which they rank 30th in the league. The Patriots will most likely exploit this because they simply adapt their game plan based on whoever they're facing that weak and usually do so with dominant results. For instance, last week they played the Lions who are 1st against the run so they threw the ball 53 times, ran on only 20 occasions, and won 34-9. That came one week after they ran 44 times against the Colts en route to a 42-20 win. I guess these guys know what they're doing.

Patriots 31-27

Sunday Night

Denver @ Kansas City

This is a very enticing match-up. Man I'm so enticed. The Broncos come into the game slumping a bit over their last four going 2-2 while almost falling to the Dolphins last week as well. But even with the Chiefs' resurgence over the past two seasons Denver seems to have their number. Until I see differently I'll stick with the Broncos, a statement that is also known as the most cowardly in all of score predicting. It's one of those classic caveats that basically implies that even if I get the pick wrong I'll be able to justify it based on past results instead of actually trying to decipher what might happen in this particular game. So like I said before, I'm taking Denver.

Broncos 27-20

Monday Night

Miami @ New York Jets

I picked the Jets last week after over-thinking their match-up with the under-practiced Bills. Lesson learned. When picking Jets games don't over-think it. In fact, probably don't think at all, just go with the other team and move on.

Dolphins 31-13


NFL Picks - Thanksgiving

Chicago @ Detroit

Ah, a tradition unlike any other, the Lions playing on Thanksgiving morning. Though few know why Detroit actually plays this game annually. The real reason is that normally their play causes most of America to vomit, clearing out their gut for the gluttonous day ahead. That's right, it's a conspiracy by Big Turkey. This year, however, the Lions are 7-4 and fighting for a playoff spot, meaning the folks at home will have to look elsewhere for help with their stomach evacuation. Enter Jay Cutler, a barf catalyst if there ever was one. Count on him to do us all a favor by making us sick.

Lions 24-14

Philadelphia @ Dallas

This will be the moment when your family member who rarely watches football spits out their hors d'oeuvres and shouts, "Mark Sanchez?!?" The last time we saw him on Thanksgiving he was running directly into his offensive lineman and embarrassing everyone involved; and yes, I'm including the viewing audience. Sanchez comes into Turkey Day with a superior offensive scheme this time, however it does get a bit complicated with a lot of moving parts, meaning Butt Fumble 2 isn't necessarily out of the question. The key for the Cowboys will be keeping the Eagles' scoring in the low 20s because the Philly D usually gives up at least that much. I'm guessing both teams will exceed that amount with Dallas getting the edge because a few key calls will go their way. Let's just say they'll benefit from home cooking ... WINK.

Cowboys 30-27

Seattle @ San Francisco

Thanksgiving is a time to be surrounded by loved ones. It's also a time to contact your fiercest rival and schedule a fight. Don't look at me like I'm weird, you're the weird one for not doing that every year. Clearly these teams understand. While their records are a bit below what may have been expected this is still a pivotal match-up that will have big implications, unless the losing team wins the rematch two weeks later, then it will just be kind of a wash. But right now this is the only game that matters and I expect the Hawks to come out and play it as such.

Seahawks 20-16


NFL Picks - Week 12

Sunday Morning

Cleveland @ Atlanta

The Falcons are soaring in first place while the lowly Browns are wallowing in last. Sure Atlanta is 4-6, two games worse than Cleveland, but sometimes that doesn't matter in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE. All that matters is that the Falcons play in the south, an area long known for its barren football landscape from which no talent can escape. Interesting tidbit: the Falcons have only played one game in Atlanta since September 19th. Will the home crowd welcome them back with open arms or feel scorned and constantly ask the team where they've been and why they didn't call? Probably the former, but beware the latter.

Falcons 23-20

Tennessee @ Philadelphia

Those spunky little Titans almost pulled off a win on Monday night, which is pretty impressive when you consider the fact that they suck. Don't expect too much from Tennessee, that puts undue pressure on them. They're just a ragtag group trying to sort their way through big time football and maybe learn something about themselves along the way. Can we really ask anything more of them?

Eagles 41-21

Detroit @ New England

Superpowers collide when the Lions' defense (15.6 ppg) takes on the Patriots' offense (32.3 ppg). This will be the biggest test yet for Detroit's D, but surprisingly every game is a test for their O. Sure Calvin Johnson was out for a few weeks, but you'd still expect this team to put up more than 18.8 ppg. And no, I didn't just choose an arbitrary number, that's actually what they're averaging this season. They'll need to far exceed that to have a chance this week, which I don't think they do.

Patriots 27-17

Green Bay @ Minnesota

What a match-up. The Packers are on fire and the Vikings aren't terrible. Really all you could hope for from Minnesota. As for Green Bay, I've discovered their formula for winning: score a shitload of points. Seems obvious but if you look at their results it's downright glaring. In their wins they've scored 27 or more, while in their losses they've put up 23 or less. So if they're in field goal position down 23-21 with a few seconds left they'll have to go for a TD regardless. 27+ points equal a win, it's just that simple. Probably won't be an issue this Sunday though.

Packers 38-21

Jacksonville @ Indianapolis

You can throw the records out when these two get together. At least that's what the Jaguars have petitioned the league to do. The Colts were embarrassed at home last week, while the Jags have been embarrassed so much that they no longer know shame, they're numb to it. They no longer fear losing, which makes them potentially dangerous. Or not.

Colts 33-17

Cincinnati @ Houston

The Bengals return to their house of horrors, Reliant Stadium, a venue in which they lost wild card games following the 2011 and '12 seasons. Will Andy Dalton be able to conquer his demons? Has he ever been able to? The Texans are currently on the fringes of the AFC playoff picture, but if they can get the win here they have a favorable schedule down the stretch and could feasibly get to 10-6. This is their fork in the road game. Luckily for them, they're pretty good and sticking a fork in Andy Dalton.

Texans 24-20

New York Jets @ Buffalo

Speaking of forks and fringes, the Bills' path was determined last week when they laid a stinker in Miami. And when you lay a stinker in Miami that means it's hot, humid, and extra offensive. Buffalo is technically still in the race for a wild card spot, but they still have to face Cleveland, Denver, Green Bay, and New England over the last five weeks. Let's bring back Shooter for that. Throw in the fact that they haven't been able to practice all week and that they have to play a home game in Detroit, it becomes a recipe for disaster.

Jets 20-18

Tampa Bay @ Chicago

After hiring Lovie Smith, signing Luke McCown and drafting Mike Evans to pair with equally large receiver Vincent Jackson, many theorized that the Bucs were building themselves in Chicago's image. Just to recap, that's a Chicago team that had made the playoffs once in the last seven seasons. Time to get a new role model Tampa.

Bears 26-24

Sunday Afternoon

Arizona @ Seattle

How much pride does this Seahawks team have? We'll see this week as they host the team that now sits atop the NFC West with their season (more or less) on the line. The Hawks should have a much higher level of desperation, which should lead to a victory. Though that might require a down-field pass completion (or even attempt) at some point, which has proven rare over the last few weeks. If the Hawks can sprinkle in a couple big pass plays a win will follow. And if not, they'll just get it done with field goals.

Seahawks 19-14 

St. Louis @ San Diego

What's your deal Rams? Three of their four wins have come against conference title game participants from last season, while their six losses have come against ... actually mostly good teams too. Wow, they've had a tough schedule. This will be their ninth straight game against a winning team. But hey, don't start feeling bad for the Rams because of their schedule, feel bad for them because their fans need a video to teach them how to cheer (why not?). The Chargers crawled by the Raiders 13-6 last week for their first win since the last time they played the Raiders. Unfortunately Oakland isn't on their schedule again so they'll have to string together a couple of real victories to make a playoff push. I'm guessing this will be one.

Chargers 16-10

Miami @ Denver

It's crazy to think that the Dolphins are only one game worse than the Broncos right now. Literally insane. It's time to question everything. Like why do they call it football? That's not a ball, its an oblong spheroid at best! Anyway, the Broncos need to hope for a major slip-up from the Patriots now, because if they have to travel to Foxborough for the AFC championship game I don't see it turning out well. Not the traveling aspect, though there may be some turbulence on the flight, really just some light chop; I was more referring to the game itself.

Broncos 31-20

Washington @ San Francisco

RG3 is not good at talking. I don't mean that he has trouble forming words or that his syntax is poor, I just mean that whenever he talks he makes the situation worse. That was on full display over the last week and now he's put himself in a situation in which folks are wondering if he'll be the quarterback of the future in D.C.. If you ask me, the fervor is much ado about nothing, and pretty unfair to Griffin. So few times have we actually seen a quarterback of the future in this league. The last one was probably Zax Brongdor, who became the LA Rams signal caller in 1984 after mysteriously appearing at the team's facility naked and covered in a gelatinous substance. And even he only had a couple of productive seasons before being benched in favor of Jim Everett. So let's cut RG3 some slack.

49ers 24-13 

Sunday Night

Dallas @ New York Giants

Thank God! Did you realize that it's been six weeks since we've had an NFC East match-up on Sunday Night Football?!? I was beginning to wonder what we had done to upset our NBC overlords. Thankfully they had mercy on our pathetic souls and didn't flex out this contest featuring the 3-7 Giants who play in New York and are therefore always relevant. Praise be to you NBC.

Cowboys 27-20

Monday Night

Baltimore @ New Orleans

The Saints lost 27-10 to the Bengals last Sunday and are now in danger of dropping three home games in three weeks. To be fair, their division requires them to have zero sense of urgency, and the city they play in requires them to have zero self-respect, so we can forgive them for taking it (big) easy. I think they'll show some fight this week and send the FlacMan home unhappy. Though, when you think about it, that man has such inner peace that he's never really discontent.

Saints 27-24


NFL Picks - Week 12 Thursday

Kansas City @ Oakland

It seems like the Raiders are inching ever closer to getting their first win; and that's good because football is a game of inches. But Raiders fans have to be wondering, how many more inches? 3? 4? 5? 6? It can't be 6 can it? 5? It's probably 4. 3? No, that's pushing it, we'll settle at 4.

Chiefs 24-17


NFL Picks - Week 11

Sunday Morning

Seattle @ Kansas City

The Seahawks exploded for 350 yards rushing last week and it resulted in their largest victory margin this season. If I know wily ol' Pete Carroll like I think I do, that game gave him an idea so crazy that it just might work: run for 300+ yards every game. Look, I'm not saying it will be easy, but it's worth a shot. The Chiefs have been hot since stumbling to an 0-2 start, but ya know what cools off even the hottest of teams? The aforementioned 300+ yards rushing, of course.

Seahawks 20-17

Minnesota @ Chicago

When the season started this is not where the Bears thought they would be come Week 11. I'm not sure why though, the schedule clearly stated that this game would be in Chicago. I mean half of their games take place there, so even if they didn't look at the schedule they could have made an educated guess. To be fair they have had a quirky schedule, playing six of their first nine on the road, which they will now follow with five of six at home. They've yet to win at Soldier Field, which is an insult to their fans and the troops alike. Win #1 has to happen sooner or later, and I say much sooner.

Bears 30-24

Houston @ Cleveland

It's November and the Browns are in first place. Believe it or not. Though, if you don't believe it you're just being ignorant and not looking at the standings, I mean the information is readily available, all you have to do is look for God's sake, quit living with your head in the sand! I have a feeling that the Browns will suffer a let down this week, but even still they should have enough to get by the Texans with Ryan Mallett making his first start.

Browns 16-13

Atlanta @ Carolina

These teams are flat out lousy, and yet they're still in contention in an NFC South division that's headed ... well, not north. The Falcons three wins have all come within the division, so they actually have the inside track to win this thing if they can get hot. Of course, that's easier said than done for this Atlanta team. Now that I think about it though, isn't almost everything easier said than done? Stupid saying. Let's snuff it out here and now. I think the Falcons will have enough to get by a Panthers team that appears to have absolutely given up. Which way to the offseason? Thanks Cam!

Falcons 24-20

Cincinnati @ New Orleans

Look, I'm not afraid to say it, that performance by Andy Dalton last Thursday was not good. Maybe the Bengals are satisfied with 10-33, 86 yds., and 3 INTs, but I sir am not. Those numbers just aren't going to cut it in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE. Now Cincinnati starts a stretch of three straight road games, a scenario that does not portend success for them. I say the Saints get the win and maintain their NFC South stranglehold at 5-5.

Saints 31-24 

Tampa Bay @ Washington

The Buccaneers have been a very consistent team this year scoring 13-17 points in seven of their eight losses. I didn't say that consistency is always a good thing. I don't expect RG3 to set the world, or even FedEx Field and the surrounding area, on fire this week, but as I pointed out he'll only need to put up 18 points.

Redskins 21-16

Denver @ St. Louis

The Rams have decided to switch back to Shaun Hill as their starting quarterback, a move that should result in them winning out through the Super Bowl.

Broncos 31-17

San Francisco @ New York Giants

San Francisco against the Giants? That's going to confuse the casual fan. Well, probably less than the casual fan, maybe the lazy fan, the ignorant fan, or the really dumb fan. Yeah, let's stick with that, this game will confuse the really dumb fans out there. Then again, most games probably confuse the really dumb fans. Though, I'd forgive anyone if they got a bit miffed watching Eli Manning. It's only a matter of time before he makes a foolish, potentially game-costing mistake. Look for it to happen early on in this one as he'll be very confused as to why San Francisco is playing against the Giants.

49ers 27-20 

Sunday Afternoon

Oakland @ San Diego

These teams come into the week on a combined 18 game losing streak. The Raiders have contributed 15 of those 18, which could mean it's time for the Chargers to start pulling their own weight in this losing duo. It could also just mean that Oakland will lose again, because well, they've lost 15 in a row. It's not that hard to figure out folks, I mean pretty much anybody could pick these games and do just as well as me, if not betterrrrImeannotheycouldn'tdon'tevenbothertrying.

Chargers 34-21

Philadelphia @ Green Bay

Before the 2013 season I submitted that the Packers' running back duo of Jonathan Franklin and Eddie Lacy should be known as Franklin & Bash. Well before this season Jonathan Franklin retired from football, an omen that we should not have ignored, because now TNT has canceled the show Franklin & Bash. Damn it TNT! What's next, Rizzoli & Isles? So help me God, if it's Rizzoli & Isles ... In other news, this is a really big game in the NFC and ... I'm sorry, I can't do it, I'm just too distraught. F & B is canceled and I never even got to see an episode.

Packers 38-31

Detroit @ Arizona

When the Lions let Drew Stanton go a few years back they had to know that they would one day face him again with the best record in the NFC on the line; it was inevitable. Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean that Detroit was worried about it. In fact, they could have been downright hoping for it. But they shouldn't be too giddy because, as we saw earlier this season, Stanton is capable of getting the job done. The story of this game should be dictated by the defenses, and with the contest taking place in Arizona I'll give them the edge.

Cardinals 19-17

Sunday Night

New England @ Indianapolis

These teams have met in each of the last two seasons with the Patriots winning by an average score of 51-23. Both of those games were in played in Foxborough though, so this one figures to be closer. I suppose I'm not going out on much of a limb though, considering most games are closer than 28 points. We all know that both squads have two of the top passing attacks in the league, so it could come down to who can defend the air better. New England is 14th against the pass, while the Colts are 27th. So there ya go, it's just that easyyyywhydoIkeeptrvializingmycraft?

Patriots 34-30

Monday Night

Pittsburgh @ Tennessee

Finally the Titans get the stage they deserve. Well actually, the stage they deserve is more like a middle school auditorium/cafeteria.

Steelers 27-13

NFL Picks - Week 11 Thursday

Buffalo @ Miami

A playoff game in November? What is this ...um ... Ok, I guess there aren't any sports that have playoffs in November. Hmm, that didn't work out. Look, the point is this, whoever loses this game is most likely out of the AFC playoff picture. They're both fading away like Marty McFly's brother in that Mickey Mouse shirt. With a win, one team will start to reappear as if one of their key players is performing Johnny B Good to an unsuspecting crowd.

Dolphins 23-16


NFL Picks - Week 10

Sunday Morning

Kansas City @ Buffalo

This is a pivotal match-up between 5-3 teams in the thick of the crowded AFC playoff race. It's like a packed restaurant that doesn't take reservations and doesn't have a waiting list. You have two options, either stay alert and scramble to get a table when it opens up, or decide that it's not worth it and bail. Of course, there's also the third option of standing conspicuously close to someone's table and staring at them while they eat until they get so uncomfortable that they leave. The Chiefs seem like a team that's willing to scramble and perhaps even shove their way to a table when the opportunity presents itself. The Bills, on the other hand, are pretty beat from a long work week and they'd rather just go somewhere familiar where they know they can get seated immediately (read: home in January).

Chiefs 20-16

Miami @ Detroit

Both of these teams have won three in a row, though the Lions' last two victories have come by a combined two points. That would indicate to me that they're hanging on by a thread. Even though Detroit's most likely getting Calvin Johnson back on Sunday it seems like the point in the season in which the wheels start to come off for the Lions. Over the last two seasons Detroit has gone 9-7 in the first half of their schedule, and 3-13 in the latter half. This is their ninth game, so they're officially into the second half. GULP.

Dolphins 23-20

Dallas @ Jacksonville

Is there any way to really know what will happen in this game? The mere chance of Brandon Weeden participating tells us that no, there is no way to accurately predict the outcome. He's like a wild card that somehow ruins your entire hand. You know it's bad when they're not sure whether to play you or a guy with a semi-broken back who just took an overseas flight. I think that the lack of a quality defense on the other side of the ball will allow the Cowboys to get the win either way. But don't be surprised if the Jags take this one, because you shouldn't let anything surprise you at this point, you must always be prepared, just like Brandon Weeden.

Cowboys 24-17

San Francisco @ New Orleans

The Forty-Niners are on a troubling slide due to consecutive losses, or so it would seem. Back-to-back losses are nothing new for San Francisco, having already gone through it once this season. In fact, they lost consecutive games on two separate occasions last season as well. So the lesson to be learned is that if the Niners lose a game you can assume they'll lose a second. But a third? That would be unheard of. Though when you think about it, isn't everything unheard of until you hear it for the first time? Is that a stupid statement? Yes. But is it a poignant one? No. I just think they're going to lose.

Saints 27-23

Tennessee @ Baltimore

The Ravens usually don't lose at home and the Titans usually don't win. Anywhere. Seems like a pretty simple recipe for a Baltimore W. Add Zack Mettenberger and stir.

Ravens 34-17

Pittsburgh @ New York Jets

Ben Roethlisberger has thrown for 12 touchdown passes over the last two games. The Jets have thrown 8 touchdown passes this whole season. That's a ridiculous stat, but hey, the Jets are a ridiculous team. They have to be salivating looking at this match-up though, because once they finish losing they get to have their bye week; a magical seven day stretch in which they don't have to embarrass themselves in front of friends, family, and the nation as a whole.

Steelers 31-16

Atlanta @ Tampa Bay

Remember the last time these teams met? Josh McCown imploded, literally. He caved in upon himself and was never heard from again. Until this week! He's back and better(?) than ever. McCown will be getting the start this week, a piece of news that was revealed to us by Mike Glennon himself, the man that is being benched in favor of McCown. Professional move by the Bucs, letting the benched QB make the announcement of his benching. It's like those public shaming punishments in which people have to wear signs in public explaining their crimes. Unfortunately for Tampa it's because of their new starting QB that I'm picking Atlanta. You didn't honestly think you could embarrass Mike Glennon and get away with it did you? Not in my house.

Falcons 30-23

Sunday Afternoon

Denver @ Oakland

The Raiders are getting closer and closer to winning their first game. They're making progress and could soon get over the hump. If this were a sports movie the montage would be starting right about now. Of course, even with a very successful montage over the last half of the year the most they could hope for is 6 or 7 wins, which would make for a pretty shitty movie. But hey, if you're an Oakland fan wouldn't you take pretty shitty at this point?

Broncos 35-20

St. Louis @ Arizona

Boy these Rams are frisky. Frisky like an annoying cat that won't listen to humans who know better. We're trying to keep you alive you stupid cat, just help us help you! Much in the same way that a cat has nine lives, the Rams have at least nine losses every season. This game should provide them with their sixth and send them well on their way to another losing season. And sooner or later we'll have a dead cat on our hands.

Cardinals 24-13

New York Giants @ Seattle

The Seahawks continued their trend of playing one solid half per game in last week's win over the Raiders. This time, however, they started out hot and held on as opposed to previous weeks when they scrambled to score at the end of the game. At this point it would be foolish to ask for them to string together an entire four quarters of excellence, but if they could manage three out of four that should be good enough and would be a step in the right direction before the schedule becomes a gauntlet.

Seahawks 27-17

Sunday Night

Chicago @ Green Bay

Ah, Bears/Packers, a tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme. In fact, this game is played so often that I'm pretty sure I've used that same exact opening line before. Luckily this site has no one to hold me accountable ever since Bobby Bateman went missing years ago. While the Packers suffered a setback their last time out, the Bears seem to be in a free fall with their season and, in turn, their lives spiraling out of control, completely untethered to society. After another loss this week Jay Cutler will most likely decide that it's not worth, call it quits, and go completely off the grid. After that, my guess is you'll never hear from him again.

Packers 34-24

Monday Night

Carolina @ Philadelphia

Rejoice! Mark Sanchez is back! What sort of boner plays and wacky hijinx will he have in store for us this time around? The nation will have a front row seat as he takes on another lousy top 5 draft pick: Cam Newton. Bad news for all the Panthers fans out there, Monday is Sanchez's birthday, and from what I've heard he's only got one wish ... an iPhone 6. And if he gets it his spirits should be riding high enough to carry him and his team to victory. Side note: Monday is also Cam Newton's half birthday, but as we all know half birthdays don't count. Shut up Cam.

Eagles 26-19


NFL Picks - Week 10 Thursday

Cleveland @ Cincinnati

We're halfway through the season and it's time to separate the men from the boys in the highly competitive AFC North. And seriously, why are they continuing to allow boys to play in the NFL? It's a violent sport even for full grown men, so just imagine the toll that it must take on a child. Kudos to these two teams for finally addressing the issue and removing the boys from competition with the men. The Bengals haven't lost yet at home; they've tied, but that's not a loss wise guy. And while they've been far from dominant in their last two wins I think they'll have the edge here.

Bengals 31-20


NFL Picks - Week 9

Sunday Morning

Tampa Bay @ Cleveland

It pains me to say this, but I'm starting to lose faith in Mike Glennon. The 1-6 Bucs rank last in the league in offense and defense. That's actually pretty impressive. Pathetic and sad, but impressive. This week look for Tampa to continue to courageously defy the odds and play terribly in every facet of the game. Godspeed gents, you're the real heroes.

Browns 24-12

Arizona @ Dallas

This game is resting on Tony Romo's back. Quite literally. Jerry Jones told the media this week that Romo's status will come down to pain tolerance, effectively throwing his quarterback under the bus if he's unable to play. Unfortunately, being under a bus is a terrible spot for a man with a back injury. Even if Romo does go he could be one hit away from leaving the game or being ineffective, leading me to begrudgingly take Arizona.

Cardinals 22-21

Philadelphia @ Houston

Last week J.J. Watt mockingly feigned a selfie after sacking Titans QB Zach Mettenberger tweeted a picture of himself prior to the game. This week he'll take on Nick Foles, who I'm told likes to sell off his game used equipment on eBay. Seeing as how Watt likes to mock online activity, if he brings down the Eagles' QB he'll have no choice but to remove something from his person and auction it off in the stands during the game. Depending on his deadline and whether or not he has a "buy it now" option this process could take J.J. some time and cause him to miss considerable game action. The Eagles have had trouble pulling out games late on the road, so it would behoove them to allow Watt to get a sack right around the start of the fourth quarter, getting him off the field and neutralizing the Texans' pass rush.

Eagles 27-23

New York Jets @ Kansas City

The Chiefs are starting to come on, while the Jets continue to make fans shout, "Come on!" The Geno Smith experiment appears to be over, with the initial hypothesis of "Geno Smith is a starting quarterback in the NFL" failing to have been proved. To be fair, the scientist behind the whole thing was a bit insane.

Chiefs 26-10

Jacksonville @ Cincinnati

The Bengals won last week on the strength of what many are calling a dubious offensive pass interference call. But those folks are overlooking the fact that the penalty was called against Steve Smith (Sr.), and any call against him is believable and justified, just like Michael Madsen's performance in Sin City. You'll notice that I haven't written much about this actual game yet; there's a reason for that. If the Jags would like me to pay attention to them they'll need to put together a couple of respectable performances. Same goes for you Michael Madsen.

Bengals 34-17

San Diego @ Miami

The Chargers have not won in Miami since their playoff classic in January of 1982. A shocking stat until you consider that that's only 7 games, and that very few of the players on either rosters had anything to do with more than one of those contests. So what was the point of even bringing it up? Don't ask me, I just scour the 'net for hot takes and then cobble them together in this space. In case you couldn't tell I've spent a lot of time on Michael Madsen's IMDB page the past few days.

Chargers 24-21

Washington @ Minnesota

Both of these teams are coming off road wins ... I know, it doesn't seem right, but I double checked it and it's accurate. So which squad will capitalize off of their unfamiliar momentum? Washington is foolishly starting Robert Griffin III over folk hero Colt McCoy, more or less squandering whatever chance they might have had. If you have Paul Bunyan on the roster, you don't sit him down. And I know what you're thinking, Bunyan was way more suited to the college game and his throwing style can't work in the pros. Well answer me this, who's tackling the guy? I don't care what his release point is, just let him run the ball 40 times a game. Washington's hubris and RG3's rust will result in a loss.

Vikings 17-13

Sunday Afternoon

St. Louis @ San Francisco

These teams met less than a month ago, and in between their cities' baseball teams played an NLCS against each other. San Francisco got the upper-hand on both occasions, and now they greedily seek another feather in their cap. When will enough be enough? How many feathers can one cap possibly hold? You already have multiple NFC Championship game feathers, though I guess there's only one NFC Champion feather in there, and even that feather doesn't take up nearly as much space as a Super Bowl champion feather. So, I suppose the Niners aren't being as greedy as I thought. Have another feather, there's still plenty of room on that cap.

49ers 27-13

Denver @ New England

Manning/Brady! Eeeeeeeee! I can hardly contain myself. I'm literally bursting at the seams. Seriously, someone call a doctor for me; I can't operate a phone due to burst finger seams. I knew I shouldn't have gotten that elective surgery to have my skin removed and then sewn back on. The surgeons even told me there was a 60% chance of my seams bursting, if I got too excited about something. Well, live and learn, and then spend the rest of your life without any skin. It's hard to pick against the Broncos at this point, but I'm brave enough to do just that. Who's with me? Up top! Give me some skin! Seriously, I'll need multiple grafts, if you could spare some it would be a big help.

Patriots 31-28

Oakland @ Seattle

The Seahawks have been a bit drowsy in the first half the last two weeks, being outscored 27-9. While they've rallied in the second half to outscore their opponents 30-10 in those games just imagine the success they would have had if they'd come out sharp from the opening whistle. Well guess what, daylight savings time ends early Sunday morning. We get our hour back baby! All of that extra rest, plus the fact that this kickoff is at 1:25 anyway and taking place inside the CLink should add up to a solid Hawks performance. As long as Derek Carr doesn't pull a Mike Glennon.

Seahawks 30-10

Sunday Night

Baltimore @ Pittsburgh

With what we've seen so far from these two teams this game promises to be as entertaining as it is wacky; just like Weird Al. If he has any semblance of availability they need to get him to play halftime. And just in case everyone in attendance didn't read these picks they could simply make an announcement over the PA system explaining the entertaining/wacky correlation between W. Al Yankovic and the teams. Missed opportunity if it doesn't happen. I'll assume it does and that W.A.Y. provides a morale boost for the home team.

Steelers 33-30

Monday Night

Indianapolis @ New York Giants

The Colts' defense gave up 0 and 51 points in consecutive weeks. That's the first time in the history of the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE that a team has given up 50+ points following a shutout. In case you're wondering, no, I did not research that, but it has to be true, right? And if I'm wrong may God strike me dead at this very ...........................

Oh wow guys, look at this, he was writing some sort of rudimentary picks column for young kids. I mean, I don't watch any football, I'm too busy trying to save lives as an EMT, but even I can tell that there is practically zero insight here. What does Michael Madsen have to do with anything? And why is he so obsessed with Mike Glennon? What's that? You resuscitated him? Oh, nice work .........................

 Haha, nice try God! I'm going with Indy, and a feeling of invincibility.

Colts 31-24 


NFL Picks - Week 9 Thursday

New Orleans @ Carolina

A lot of people will ridicule this battle for first place in the NFC South between two sub .500 teams, but I, for one, think it's fantastic. It's a division full of underdogs, so you can root for them all! The Saints have yet to win on the road and the Panthers have one win in their last six games, so somebody will have to get things straightened out. Or they'll both play poorly and we'll foolishly praise whoever wins. I say the Saints get their first win away from home because Cam Newton is a pretty lousy quarterback who cares more about rehearsed celebrations than anything.

Saints 23-20


NFL Picks - Week 8

Sunday Dawn

Detroit @ Atlanta

Rise and shine, and then reevaluate your life because you woke up at 6:30am to watch the Lions and Falcons. This is technically a home game for Atlanta, which means they at least have a shot at winning. But their chances basically vanish when you take into account that they're still fielding the Falcons' defense, a unit that has been abysmal outside of their game against a Bucs team that had yet to hand the keys over to Mike Glennon. Given the chance Glennon would have shredded these guys too. The Lions have one of the worst rushing offenses in the league, and it could catch up to them down the road, but seeing as how nothing could catch up to them on a road when they're overseas they'll probably be fine this week.

Lions 27-17

Sunday Morning

Seattle @ Carolina

I remember when this season was fun. That's over; now it's a fight. A fight for every inch. If only the Hawks would have heeded the words of former Miami Sharks coach Tony D'Amato sooner they might not be in this situation. There's still plenty of time to get things on track, so why not start now? The main area in need of improvement is pass rush, where the D line has pressured opposing QBs on a fewer percentage of drop backs than any team in the league. That's a troubling stat. Find a way to fix that and the dominoes should fall into place. Wait, is it bad when dominoes fall? Look, the point is: find a way to create pressure.

Seahawks 27-20

St. Louis @ Kansas City

Oh, what tricks will those impish pranksters from St. Louis have up their sleeves this week? Perhaps a disappearing ball, or the classic headless quarterback play. Whatever the case, I'm sure we're all in for a fanciful show full of merriment and whimsy.

Chiefs 30-16

Houston @ Tennessee

The Texans have lost three of their last four, and are in serious need of a win. Good news gang, you're heading to Nashville! The Titans aren't the worst team in the league in terms of actual record, but they're probably the least watchable squad. That could actually cause this to be a close game. Houston will get so bored watching their opponent that they'll actually zone out for a few plays here and there, resulting in some points for the Titans. In the end though, some smelling salts and amphetamine-laced Gatorade should keep the Texans attentive enough to get the win.

Texans 23-13

Minnesota @ Tampa Bay

Every so often a game comes along that makes the nation stop in their tracks, sit down in front of the TV and watch in awe. Then there are games that make the nation go have picnics. Vikings/Bucs ... see you at the park.

Buccaneers 19-17

Baltimore @ Cincinnati

The Ravens have a solid game and a half lead over the Bengals in the AFC North, but Cincinnati already bested them in Baltimore in Week 1, so this contest looms large. The Bengals' defense, once imposing is now decomposing. In the first three weeks they gave up an average of 11 points per game. In the three weeks after their bye they have allowed more than 35 points per game. The most logical explanation is that all of the defensive players made the most of their bye week and contracted debilitating STDs. I'm guessing they'll be in remission come Sunday, and the home crowd will will (not a typo) them to victory.

Bengals 30-27

Miami @ Jacksonville

After three straight solid performances these Dolphins seem legit. But are they so legit that when presented with a tough situation they will choose not to quit? That remains to be seen. Meanwhile, the Jags have also put together three consecutive decent performances. I'm not so sure I'd call them solid though, maybe gelatinous. And as we all know, jell-o can be delicious, especially when it's thrown in for free as part of a Skippers value meal, but it's no substitute for solids. Unless, of course, you've just had a tonsillectomy. And if that's the case you can just stop reading now. If you don't have tonsils get the hell out.

Dolphins 24-20

Chicago @ New England

One team's trending up, the other is trending down. And in this internet world where clicks are king that's the only thing that matters. Speaking of, I think I'm going to start posting more throughout the week. Nothing to do with football though, mainly just videos involving animals in which you won't believe what happens next.

Patriots 30-21

Buffalo @ New York Jets

The Jets have acquired Percy Harvin, which should give their offense more punch. However, it remains to be seen if he'll quickly be able to assimilate to a new squad. Tough to say. Could take him a couple weeks, could take him 18 months. The key is patience and giving him whatever he wants.

Jets 20-17

Sunday Afternoon

Philadelphia @ Arizona

I know what you think. You think I'm going to say "this match-up is for the birds!" Well forget it. I'm giving this game the reverence that it deserves. This is a clash between two 5-1 teams that could prove pivotal in the NFC's pecking order. Ok yes, I realize that even using the word "pecking" is going in a direction that I said I wouldn't. But give me a break, alright? Don't ruffle my feathers. Uggh. That's it I'm done.

Cardinals 23-20

Oakland @ Cleveland

The Browns suffered an embarrassing loss to the Jags last week. No better way to get back on track than to have the Raiders come to town. In fact, they should just start doing that as a service. Instead of actually trying to field a competitive football team, which obviously isn't working, they can just be hired out on a weekly basis to come to your stadium and help your team work through their problems. Something like a football therapist or prostitute. Wait, are we sure this isn't what's already happening?

Browns 26-13

Indianapolis @ Pittsburgh

The Steelers have been up and down all season, losing one week and winning the next, literally, on their way to a 4-3 record. Expect a game with huge swings in momentum when they play the Colts, another team known to vacillate wildly. In their last five games though, Indy has managed to come out on top and I see them making it six in a row. Otherwise it will disrupt Pittsburgh's perfectly predictable pattern, which, in turn, would disrupt my picks, and probably the delicate ecosystem that we currently take for granted. Ball's in your court Indy, don't blow this.

Colts 31-26

Sunday Night

Green Bay @ New Orleans

What has happened to the Saints? Oh, they've lost 4 games? Thanks for the update, I haven't watched much of them this year. See, you're not so useless after all. After doing some quick research I noticed that those 4 losses all came on the road and that this particular game is being played in New Orleans. Is it possible that the Saints rise to the occasion at home to knock off a hot Green Bay team? Sure, why not. Will I regret that pick? Sure, why not. Would I like a burrito for lunch? Sure, why not. Are velcro shoes better than lace-ups? Sure, why knot. Aaaand scene.

Saints 27-24

Monday Night

Washington @ Dallas

Colt McCoy is getting the start for Washington. He's returning home to Texas to show everybody what he's made of himself in the big, bad, real world. Hopefully those folks are easily impressed. By the way, I'm not sure why I wrote anything beyond the first sentence; that was the pick in a nutshell.

Cowboys 28-14