NFL Picks - Week 16

Thursday Night

San Diego @ Oakland

There's a chance that this could be the last Raiders home game in Oakland, so it's pretty coincidental that their opponent will the Chargers, a team who may have just played their last home game in San Diego. Adding to the parallels between these teams is the fact that they may, indeed, be sharing a stadium in the future. So, in essence, the Chargers are like a recent divorcee visiting their friend who is having marital troubles as well. After a long talk and a few drinks they decide that their best years are still ahead of them and that they should move to LA, get an apartment together, and just go wild. Good for them, they deserve this after what they've been through.

Raiders 27-20

Saturday Night

Washington @ Philadelphia

Washington can win the NFC East with a victory here and ensure an at least .500 record for that division's champion. Then again, if they lose it opens the door for a 7-9 champ, with the Eagles and Giants back in play. So in other words, the country needs the Eagles to win, strictly for comedy's sake. It's time for America to laugh again.

Eagles 30-27

Sunday Morning

New England @ New York Jets

The Jets won last week yet fell out of playoff position. They did everything that was asked of them yet they still aren't good enough. They're like the lame, original boyfriend in the romantic comedy who seems nice enough, but just doesn't have the spark that the main characters share. This game is the equivalent of the scene in which they tell their girlfriend that they should follow their heart, and that they just want them to be happy, and that they'll find something else to do in the postseason.

Patriots 31-20

Houston @ Tennessee

After their first ever(!) win in Indianapolis last Sunday, the Texans have the AFC South in their grasp. However, they may have the human equivalent of KY jelly starting at quarterback this week. In other words, that grasp of theirs just got slippery due to one Brandon Weeden. Luckily for them the Titans are next on the schedule, which should allow them to hold on for at least this week.

Texans 13-12

Cleveland @ Kansas City

With the tight race for the AFC wild cards the Chiefs need to keep winning. No problem! Said their schedule. As mentioned last week their slate is super easy and they could clinch a playoff berth this Sunday with a win and a Jets loss. And as we already discussed, the Jets aren't going to try to stop KC from going after their postseason dreams. In fact, they'll even drive them to the airport. If they leave right now they can probably still catch the Broncos!

Chiefs 27-10

Indianapolis @ Miami

The Colts are in a lot of trouble, and I'm not just talking about their playoff chances. They threw a party at the stadium after the game last Sunday and made a real mess of things. Now owner Jim Irsay is coming back and they have to get the whole place cleaned up in an hour! Good thing they have a whole staff of people at the stadium to do that for them. Meanwhile the team will be practicing. Hard to know what to expect from this game, but since Indy has more to play for I'll go with them. Plus, if they flunk this road test Irsay is gonna kill them.

Colts 23-20

San Francisco @ Detroit

It's a battle for draft supremacy! Or inferiocy? It doesn't appear that that's a word, but maybe it should be. Why does Webster get the final say? Who made him boss? It's a question I would also ask regarding Jim Tomsula, except we know the answer, and it's the reason the 49ers are sitting at 4-10. A win here would vault San Francisco out of the top 5 in draft order, so it would behoove them to lose, which shouldn't be a problem.

Lions 24-13

Dallas @ Buffalo

And now for the last in our season-long series of would-be Super Bowls. This was NOT Super Bowl I. After the 1966 season the Bills lost the AFL championship game to the Chiefs and the Cowboys fell to the Packers in the NFL championship game. Of course, Buffalo and Dallas did meet in Super Bowls XXVII and XXVIII, and judging by those contests we should probably be grateful that this wasn't the match-up for the inaugural game. The Cowboys will be starting Kellen Moore at quarterback this week. That's the end of this analysis.

Bills 20-13

Chicago @ Tampa Bay

A few weeks ago it seemed like this could be a game with playoff imps, now it looks like a match-up for playoff wimps ... which almost makes it seem as if these teams are in the playoffs, but wimps, which is simply not true. Ok the wimps part is true, but not the playoffs part. Jeez, that pun almost doesn't feel worth it now. Almost.

Buccaneers 27-23

Carolina @ Atlanta

These teams played two weeks ago, and Carolina won 38-0. I'll bet they wish they could have saved some of those points for this game. In fact, 1-0 would've sufficed. You're probably thinking that a 1-0 score isn't possible, but remember, they changed the PAT distance this year ...

Panthers 35-16

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore

Why did the Ravens decide to go with gold pants last week? Even if they wanted to go gold, why that shade? It was disgusting. An affront to the hardworking Joe six-packs who just want to sit down and watch some football every Sunday and Monday and Thursday and sometimes Saturday. It's getting kind of exhausting actually, which makes these hideous pants even more offensive. Look, we're all working through injuries at this point in the season, and some of us are just playing out the string, the least you could do is dress like you still give a damn.

Steelers 38-17

Sunday Afternoon

Jacksonville @ New Orleans

The Jaguars managed to do something last Sunday that no NFL team has done since October, lose to the Falcons. It's an ignominious achievement, one that leaves Jacksonville with only the slimmest hopes of making the playoffs. But at 5-9, they're lucky to even be sniffing the postseason. As we all know though, jaguars have the strongest smelling power in all of the animal kingdom, so it makes sense that they'd pick up the playoff scent regardless of their record. And no, that fact about jaguars is not true, but it fits my narrative, so I don't care. Drew Brees is hurt, and the Saints' D is on their way to giving up a record number of passing touchdowns. Jacksonville should get the W.

Jaguars 35-30

Green Bay @ Arizona

Sound the alarms it's another 3P (PossiblePlayoffPreview). There's a good chance that these two teams will meet in this same location three weeks from now in the Divisional round. Then again, if the Packers get the win here they'll have a shot at stealing the #2 seed from the Cardinals and having that aforementioned Divisional round game be in Green Bay. Of course, if both teams decide during this game that football is too hard and that they'd no longer like to do it as a profession then neither team will make the playoffs at all. Everything's in play.

Cardinals 29-21

St. Louis @ Seattle

The Seahawks have officially made the playoffs for the fourth straight season. However, they'll be a wild card this time around after being the NFC's #1 seed each of the last two seasons. But do you think these guys give an eff? Well maybe, it's much easier to win two home games than three road games ... But for the most part, no! They give no effs. That being said, they should really try to get the #5 spot, because it would be a big help.

Seahawks 27-9

Sunday Night

New York Giants @ Minnesota

As you know, it's been weeks since we've seen Cris Collinsworth. I had searched high and low, and even pretended to be Tony Romo when leaving him a desperate voicemail, but I heard nothing back. Then this mysterious clip arrived in my inbox. When I traced the IP address from the sender, the location of the computer simply came back as "The cliffs overlooking Cincinnati." I haven't watched it yet, let's take a look now:

CRIIIIIIIICOLLLLLLLL!!! He's back! God bless us, everyone!

Vikings 26-20 

Monday Night

Cincinnati @ Denver

Peyton Manning is still leading the NFL in interceptions. Peyton Manning hasn't played in the last five weeks. That's pretty astonishing, and as good an argument as any that Brock Osweiler should remain the Broncos' starting QB regardless of Manning's health status. Unless, of course, Manning's health status is reported as "superhuman." Then Denver should definitely play him as long as it isn't a violation of NFL rules. In this battle of backup signal callers I'll give the one playing at home with the better defense the edge.

Broncos 17-13


NFL Picks - Week 15

Saturday Night

New York Jets @ Dallas

At this point in the season we hear all about hot teams that other teams don't want to see in the playoffs. For instance, if you've been watching any sort of NFL related programming in the last couple weeks you've no doubt heard numerous pundits say that the Steelers are the team that no one wants to see in the playoffs. Well, the Jets are the team that no fans want to see in the playoffs. Fortunately they'd be bumped out in a three-way tie scenario with the Chiefs and Steelers. And that's what the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE was founded on, three-way tie scenarios. Also, this was NOT Super Bowl XVII. But that was after the strike-shortened 1982 season, in which a kicker was named MVP, so there's not much point in discussing it.

Jets 20-16

Sunday Morning

Chicago @ Minnesota

Robbie Gould has missed a game winning and game tying field goal for the Bears in consecutive weeks. Meanwhile, Teddy Bridgewater simply sat in the pocket and took a strip-sack while in field goal range down 3 with :10 left. Do these guys even want to win?!? I called both teams' headquarters to ask them that very question. The response I got? "Piss off loser." It's weird that both of them would say the exact same thing.

Vikings 23-20

Atlanta @ Jacksonville

The Jags are only a game back in the AFC South, could they actually make the playoffs? The odds are pretty slim due to the fact that someone has to win the Texans/Colts match-up listed below. Then again, there's always the possibility of a tie, and I'm not just talking about that new 50 Shades of Grey movie, am I right ladies?!? What's that? It came out a year ago? And that reference would have been hacky even if it were topical? And you hate my hair? Hmm, well thanks for the input, even though that last one seemed unrelated, and frankly a little mean-spirited. Anyway, I'll take Gus Bradley's squad over Dan Quinn's in this battle of former Seattle defensive coordinators.

Jaguars 30-20

Houston @ Indianapolis

With Matthew Hasselbeck's injury, and Andrew Luck still sidelined, it appears that Charlie Whitehurst may be called upon to start for the Colts. Clipboard Jesus has risen! And he's five days early. Yes, I realize that Jesus rose on Easter, not Christmas, but c'mon, it sounded cool. You know what doesn't sound cool to Indianapolis fans? "Charlie Whitehurst may be called upon to start for the Colts."

Texans 10-6

Carolina @ New York Giants

As I mentioned last week the Panthers will be expected to win all of their remaining games, but I believe they'll slip up somewhere, and that somewhere is here. I don't need to tell you that the Giants have a history of knocking off undefeated teams. And if I do need to tell you about it, then call me on my cell and we'll discuss it. New York gave the then unbeaten Patriots a spirited contest last month, and I expect them to do the same this Sunday against Carolina. Except this time they'll hold on to the game-clinching interception during the opposition's final drive.

Giants 24-23

Tennessee @ New England

Only a crazy person would pick the lowly Titans to go into Foxborough and defeat the mighty Patriots, right? Right. And since I'm not crazy, I won't do it. I don't care what those so-called "world renowned psychologists" say. Look, if Gerald isn't real, then who smeared feces all over my apartment? It certainly wasn't me ... I'm sure of it ... Only a crazy a person would do such a thing.

Patriots 35-20

Buffalo @ Washington

I don't like to mention the nickname of the Washington football team too much, because I don't want to draw attention to racism. That being said, I feel like I have to acknowledge it this week because of the match-up we have here. It's a tale as old as time, Native Americans vs. buffaloes. I'll pick the Redskins to win this battle, just like in real life. And, of course, after slaying their opposition they will use every part of the Bills, unlike the greedy white man who desecrate the carcasses of every buffalo they fell. I just made it much worse, didn't I?

Redskins 27-24

Kansas City @ Baltimore

The Chiefs' late season schedule reminds me of a wide receiver that's been left alone downfield and is just running into the end zone looking around in disbelief for defenders. Right now Kansas City is streaking unabated thinking, really? No good teams left? Awesome! I guess this will just be an easy score. And they're right, those smug pricks. They remind me of John Schnatter.

Chiefs 27-10

Sunday Afternoon

Cleveland @ Seattle

Much has been made of Browns coach Mike Pettine's comments about Russell Wilson not being a top tier NFL quarterback. I'm not sure that his comments are too inflammatory. Does it really matter what Mike Pettine says anyway? Is he on the lowest tier of NFL coaches? Probably not, but he's certainly been performing like it lately. Squash match.

Seahawks 38-8

Green Bay @ Oakland

Kahlil Mack? More like Kahlil Sack! Am I right? You're not laughing. That's fine. I can sit here as long as it takes, but so help me God, you will laugh. ...  Whoops! ... Got ya! A laugh is a laugh, doesn't matter what the cause was. I'm sure the Packers would tell you the same thing, replacing "laugh" with "win." But they'd keep the fart noise, for obvious reasons.

Packers 28-25

Denver @ Pittsburgh

It's another 3P! Possible ... Playoff ... Preview! And as you know, any game with playoff implications is a prime candidate for an appearance by the playoff imps. What sort of pranks, trickery, and twisted merriment will they have in store for this contest? It's anyone's guess. But if I had to prognosticate, I would imagine that they will tamper with Mike Tomlin's 2 point conversion cheat sheet resulting in the coach going for two in ridiculous scenarios that make little to no sense. Come to think of it, they may have already performed that prank at the beginning of the season.

Steelers 24-17

Miami @ San Diego

This could very well be the last Chargers game in San Diego; a possibility that I have to believe is fresh in the players' minds. I have to believe this because otherwise I wouldn't know who to pick in this game. This way I have an easy angle that allows me to feel good about my prediction. Please reward my laziness Chargers, and good luck in your future endeavors.

Chargers 26-21

Cincinnati @ San Francisco

While explaining his admiration for Brett Favre, the Bengals' new starting quarterback A.J. McCarron said the following during a press conference this week "He always reminded me of that four year old kid that won the starting job by raising his right arm and raising his left arm and being the only one that got it right. And it's what I love about the game is that it's a game." When you hear a quote like that it really makes you take a step back and ask, what the fuck are you talking about?!? What four year old has to win a starting job? And when and where was this arm raising test ever conducted? After hearing McCarron talk I have no choice but to pick San Francisco.

49ers 17-16

Sunday Night

Arizona @ Philadelphia

Well, the news is not great. I've reached out to Cris Collinsworth numerous times in the past week, pleading with him to return, but there has been no response. He's nowhere to be found. As a result I was forced to approach other luminaries of the NFL analyst field with the opportunity to provide their insight to this blog. After all of them turned me down, I received an unsolicited message from the following individual expressing his interest, but more importantly, claiming to have knowledge of CriColl's whereabouts. While it's against my better judgment, I feel like we should hear him out. So without further ado, (SIGH) here's Phil Simms:

I'm so sorry. Just like you, I feel sick to my stomach after hearing that man babble unintelligibly. CriColl, if you're reading this, please come back! Look what we've been subjected to. We can't listen to another clip from Phil Simms. Save us from this monster! Save us CriColl!!! 

Cardinals 27-20

Monday Night

Detroit @ New Orleans
On paper this game might not look like much. But you're not reading this on paper, so what does it look like on a screen? Sill lame, huh? I suppose it wouldn't make much sense for me to waste any more time dissecting this match-up then ... or would it? Nope, it wouldn't. See ya next week gang!

Saints 35-32


NFL Picks - Week 15 Thursday

Tampa Bay @ St. Louis

Color Rush is back! And it's the Bucs in all red vs. the Rams in all yellow. As you may know, red and yellow have been proven by psychologists to be the two colors that most evoke feelings of hunger in humans, which explains why most major fast food chains use that combo in their logos. If you ask me this whole game is a conspiracy by the NFL and Papa John's. After laying eyes on the uniforms the viewing audience will become voracious with hunger by the first commercial break. When the inevitable Peyton Manning/JJ Watt Papa John's ad comes on, salivating fans across the country will lunge for their phones and order a record amount of PJ's. And this smug prick will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Buccaneers 23-21


NFL Picks - Week 14

Sunday Morning

Seattle @ Baltimore

Some variation of the following phrase gets thrown around quite a bit in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE: "When we're on our game, we feel like no one can beat us." But does that really mean anything? Is there any team in the league that feels like when they're playing at their best that they're still going to lose? If you're playing at your best doesn't it imply that you're beating the other team? That being said, the Seahawks seemed to be "on their game" last week, and it sure didn't look like anybody could beat that team that day. Seattle's offense especially has looked nearly unstoppable recently. They've scored 19 touchdowns over the last four games after only scoring 16 touchdowns over their first eight games. Clearly something has clicked offensively. Look for it to keep clicking on Sunday, but not like an annoying click, a really cool, badass click.

Seahawks 31-3

Buffalo @ Philadelphia

In his return to Philadelphia LeSean McCoy will go head to head with the man he was traded for, Eagles' MLB Kiko Alonso. Their careers are now inexorably intertwined. With that in mind. what if they collide in the hole on Sunday and swap bodies like countless movies before them. How long would it take for us to realize what had happened? Come to think of it we'd probably catch on before the next play when they each ran back to the wrong huddle. Philly is coming off a big victory over New England, but one win does not totally de-lousy a team. I'll go with Buffalo.

Bills 23-20

San Francisco @ Cleveland

Johnny Manziel is back as the Browns' starter, and apparently on a short leash according to head coach Mike Pettine, who said that repercussions would be severe if Manziel errs off the field again. Is it me or does it seem like Pettine would rather Johnny screw up so that he would have an excuse to get rid of him? What I'm getting at is that we may be headed toward a Son-in-Law style blackmail scenario in which a drugged Manziel ends up naked in a barn with a buxom vixen. If Tiffani Amber Thiessen is seen in Cleveland at any point in the next few weeks, we'll have our answer.

49ers 20-16

Detroit @ St. Louis

There are 11 morning games this week, meaning we'll have to ignore a few come Sunday. This one is a prime candidate. It would have been a bit more interesting if the Lions had won last week, but apparently they weren't interested in stopping a Hail Mary. In case you hadn't heard, they were defending the sideline on an un-timed down. Even more egregious, however, is the fact that they didn't put Golden Tate in on defense; we know he's good at catching Hail Marys, seems like a no-brainer. Despite Detroit coming off a devastating loss I can't in good conscience pick the Rams, a phrase I'm almost certain I've typed before.

Lions 22-17

New Orleans @ Tampa Bay

At this point no result would surprise me with the Bucs' remaining schedule. They could go 0-4, 4-0, or anywhere in between and I wouldn't be shocked. Now, if they managed to go 5-0? That would be something else.

Buccaneers 28-23

Tennessee @ New York Jets

Did you know that when these teams met last season it resulted in the only 16-11 final score in the history of the NFL? Well that's a fact. And I can only assume that they'll make history again this Sunday. After scouring the record books for never-before-seen final scores I've settled on the following ...

Jets 26-25

Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati

The Steelers' offense has been putting up some huge offensive numbers, totaling 143 points in their last 4 games. As impressive as they've looked, I have to believe that Antonio Brown hurt his balls when he jumped into the goalpost stanchion after a punt return touchdown on Sunday night. Most wide receivers don't wear cups, because it limits their mobility, so there's no way Brown made it out of that unscathed. I suppose I understand where the WRs are coming from, but I know if I were on the field I would wear all the protection I could get. Hell, I wear a cup in everyday life, just in case. Doesn't hurt the bulge either. This one's a 3P (Possible Playoff Preview), so watch closely. I think Pittsburgh's hot streak continues.

Steelers 34-31

Indianapolis @ Jacksonville

Tis a somber day, for Matthew Hasselbeck hath finally lost. However, I didn't get a chance to see much of the game, so if I didn't see it, did it really happen? It's like that old saying, if a tree falls in a forest and millions of people hear it, but I don't, did it make a sound? I say no. MH will make plenty of noise this Sunday as Indy gets back above .500.

Colts 26-23

San Diego @ Kansas City

After a 1-5 start the Chiefs have won 6 games in a row. Looking ahead at their remaining schedule it seems more than feasible that they'll extend that streak to 10 games and finish at 11-5. Of course, any discussion of such a hot stretch brings to mind that famous Vince Lombardi quote, "10 game winning streaks are a thing of beauty. If I had my choice I'd win 'em all. That might sound greedy, but I say greed is good. And you can quote me on that one baby!" That was from an interview with a young Oliver Stone, and guess what? He did quote him on that!

Chiefs 28-10

Washington @ Chicago

Both teams are 5-7, yet one is currently sitting in playoff position while the other has only a very slim chance at playing in the postseason. This doesn't seem fair until you consider that it's based solely on geography, then it makes total sense.

Bears 27-24

Atlanta @ Carolina

If you look at the Panthers' four remaining games it's not unlikely that they would win each of them in a vacuum. But, as I've said in years past, games aren't played in vacuums; nobody would be able to pass. I still think they'll slip up at least once, but not in this one.

Panthers 30-20

Sunday Afternoon

Oakland @ Denver

Brock Osweiler is now 3-0 as a starter, but let's be honest, he's not exactly setting the world on fire. If he were he would surely be arrested, or at the very least pursued, for arson. Denver's defense is good enough that he really just has to limit his mistakes and hope for the best. But hey, isn't that what we all do in our everyday life? Is Brock Osweiler that different from you or I? He's just a man trying his best, and damn it, I can't fault the MFer for that.

Broncos 20-13

Dallas @ Green Bay

The Packers are a competent Hail Mary defense away from having lost 5 of 6. Instead they're now leading the NFC North and have a good shot at extending that lead to one game with Matt Cassel and the Cowboys coming to town. Though, the last two teams that visited Lambeau came out on top, so a Dallas upset wouldn't be out of the question. It also wouldn't be out of the question for Dez Bryant to get called for a facemask penalty against Aaron Rodgers while making a potentially game-winning catch. I'm not sure how exactly it would happen, but I wouldn't be surprised.

Packers 23-13

Sunday Night

New England @ Houston

If you saw last week's video, you'll know that Cris Collinsworth's return seemed questionable due to his emotional devastation following Tony Romo's season-ending collarbone injury. But good news everyone, CriColl is back, and he hasn't missed a beat:

Ok, I'll admit it, that was merely me attempting to do a Cris Collinsworth impression. I don't know what to say, he's been unreachable for the past week. I'll do my best to find him, but if I don't I may have to explore other options ...

Texans 21-19

Monday Night

New York Giants @ Miami

A few weeks ago, I suggested that the Giants may have another run in them akin to their championship seasons of '07 & '11. They haven't won since. In other words, they're sucking us all in again! Clever girls.

Giants 29-21


NFL Picks - Week 14 Thursday

Minnesota @ Arizona

After watching the Vikings get decimated on Sunday, I have to wonder, are they broken now? If you have a solid run D, and can force Teddy Bridgewater to beat you, you have a great shot at topping Minnesota. Not you specifically. I've seen you play, your run D isn't that great, no offense. Seriously though, Bridgewater has only thrown 8 touchdowns this year. 8! What, does he play for Navy? Arizona should be able to exploit that the same way the Seahawks did last Sunday.

Cardinals 27-13


NFL Picks - Week 13

Sunday Morning

Seattle @ Minnesota

It's that time of year again when we start to hear about the Triple P ... Possible ... Playoff ... Preview! And we have one right here. In fact, if the playoffs started today this would be a first round match-up. Of course, the playoffs do not start today, and I won't even go into just how absurd it would be for that to happen. Last Sunday the Seahawks put up 39 points, their highest total since Super Bowl XLVIII, and scored 6 touchdowns, their most since Week 3 of 2013. The offense will face a much tougher test on the road this week against a solid Vikings defense. Will the Hawks be able to get the job done? You don't read this blog much do you? A note on the uniforms: this will be the first time since Week 5 that Seattle has worn their white road jerseys, but what pants will they go with? My guess is they'll double up and go all white. That being said, they still have one gray on gray combo available left this season, so that's the wild card ... which the Hawks currently are.

Seahawks 23-16

New York Jets @ New York Giants

Here's a little known fact: these two teams play in the same city. Look again at their names. Did you catch it this time? To celebrate the meeting of the two squads who play in MetLife Stadium the Peanuts theme will be played over the PA system on a loop throughout the game. Will it delightful at times? Yes. Will it be ultimately maddening? Absolutely. In other words it will be just like Eli Manning.

Giants 27-26

Arizona @ St. Louis

It feels like ages ago, but the Rams actually have a victory over the Cardinals this season. Of course, that was before Nick Foles apparently ate the fish from Airplane! and lost all ability to function. There's clearly a huge problem in St. Louis right now ... It's a major U.S. city on the Mississippi River with an arch, but that's not important right now. What does matter is that opposing defenses can gear up solely to stop Todd Gurley and not have to worry about much else from the Rams' paltry attack. It's a completely ineffective offensive game plan, altogether ... (please tell me you said it?)

Cardinals 24-17

Atlanta @ Tampa Bay

I'm not saying I'm upset that Atlanta has fallen flat on their face, but it's been pretty jarring. They're now technically on the outside of the NFC playoff picture looking in. It seems clear now that they were just photobombing that whole time, and that they were never supposed to be in said NFC playoff picture. Don't worry, everybody's lining up to take the NFC playoff picture again, and the Falcons have been shooed away; it will be difficult for them to get back in it.

Buccaneers 30-20

Houston @ Buffalo

The Texans are in wild card position? How did this happen? I'll tell ya how: defense. They've only given up 35 points in their last four games. As I understand it there are rarely wild cards in Texas Hold 'em, but the wild card may go to Houston if the Texans hold 'em (their opponents) to more low point totals in the weeks to come.

Texans 16-13

Baltimore @ Miami

Matt Schaub returned to action on Monday and did not disappoint, throwing a pick six and another interception that could very well have cost the Ravens the game, had they not been playing the Browns. He's like a ticking time bomb. It's as if he has nor regard for protecting the ball, and perhaps, to a larger extent himself. Have you ever stood at the edge of a cliff and had the briefest masochistic thought of what it might be like to jump? I get the feeling that Schaub would just jump. Not because he a thrill-seeker, because he's an idiot.

Dolphins 30-27

Cincinnati @ Cleveland

With Josh McCown out for the season the Browns now turn to Austin Davis instead of Johnny Manziel. This has to be a sobering experience for Johnny. In fact, any sort of sobering experience would be a step in the right direction.

Bengals 34-20

Jacksonville @ Tennessee

We just saw this game! In fact, I can't un-see it, the Jags' unis are etched into my hippocampus. They will never leave me. I just hope they aren't the last thing I think about before I die. What do I expect to be the last thing to cross my mind before I die you may be wondering? Probably this:

Jaguars 27-23

San Francisco @ Chicago

The Bears are in the hunt for a playoff spot. The Niners are in the hunt for a draft spot. To me it makes the most sense for the team captains to have a pregame meeting at midfield and agree to award the victory to Chicago. I've never seen it explicitly stated in the rule book that this illegal. Of course, I've never read the rule book, so I haven't ever actually seen anything explicitly stated in there.

Bears 28-14

Sunday Afternoon

Denver @ San Diego

The Chargers probably didn't do themselves any favors in terms of draft positioning by winning at Jacksonville last week. Then again, you can't tell Philip Rivers to stop trying, it's just going to make him go harder. His wife suggested he not try so hard a few years back, and look now: 8 kids! That being said, the Broncos, and most likely hoards of their fans will invade Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday, which should make Rivers' efforts futile. Just to be clear I'm talking about his efforts on the field, not in terms of procreation. He'll probably impregnate his wife before the weekend is over.

Broncos 24-17

Kansas City @ Oakland

Last season I shortened the term 'playoff implications' to 'playoff imps,' leading to a fantastical idea that mischievous playoff imps would wreak havoc on games with postseason consequences. Well keep an eye out for the imps in this contest, because there are certainly future ramifications riding on it. The Chiefs have scored 160 points in their five game win streak, while the Raiders stemmed the tide last week with their first win in four games. In other words, this is a must win for Oakland. But as you may know, it's hard to count on Oakland for a must win in anything other than the award for 'Team with the second most B-Roll shots of San Francisco during their national sports broadcasts.'

Chiefs 30-24

Carolina @ New Orleans

This past week I had a bit of a cough for a couple days. Usually when I cough in public I'll employ the so called "Dracula" method. In case you're unfamiliar with that term, it's when you raise the crux of your elbow to your mouth to muffle the cough. However, this time around I was reluctant to do it because I didn't want people to think I was "dabbing." That's how much I don't want to be associated with Cam Newton.

Panthers 24-17

Philadelphia @ New England

Don't you think Sam Bradford felt at least a little bit gratified by the Eagles' consecutive blowout losses in his absence? It reminds me of the scene in Varsity Blues when Coach Kilmer claims that injured QB Lance Harbor was "praying we'd lose, so he could be the missing link!" Of course, those two weeks did more for Bradford than he ever could if he were actually on the field because, well, he's not very good. Tom Brady (he's the Patriots' quarterback) is still dealing with a skeleton crew of offensive weapons, but the aforementioned Bradford is basically a skeleton waiting to be broken, so I'll take New England.

Patriots 30-17

Sunday Night

Indianapolis @ Pittsburgh

Cue the fanfare, sound the trumpets, release the confetti, and call your friends! It's time once again for everybody's favorite moment of the week ... Cris Collinsworth!

Oh my goodness. I've never seen CriColl so inconsolable. I think Romo's injury is still just a bit too fresh in his mind. I refuse to believe he would actually leave us hanging for the rest of the season ... As for this game, Matthew Hasselbeck has been doing the Seahawks favors this month by beating their NFC wild card competition. Well the Hawks sent him a thank you note in the form of last week's game tape of the Pittsburgh D getting shredded. Hasselbeck will take notes, then take advantage.

Colts 27-25

Monday Night

Dallas @ Washington

Did you know that Washington is 5-1 at home this season? Making matters worse for the visiting Cowboys, they now have to turn, once again, to their back-up quarterback Matt Cassel, because, as I was told by a good friend (see above), Tony Romo is done for the season. Cassel is 0-2 on the road this season, so things aren't looking too promising for Dallas. Then again, Cassel is also 0-2 at home, so it might not matter where this game is played.

Redskins 26-16


NFL Picks - Week 13 Thursday

Green Bay @ Detroit

The Packers are cruising as per usual, winning three straight games coming into this match-up with the hapless Lions, who have lost four of their last five ... Wait a minute, what? It's the opposite?!? Well now I don't know what to think. Is it really possible that Detroit's turnaround can be attributed to a guy named Jim Bob Cooter? There are too many questions and not enough answers, like a trivial pursuit card with a grease stain on the back (initial reports indicate that the grease was from a Hot Pocket, but I've also heard rumblings of Totino's pizza rolls, and I'm not just talking about my stomach! But seriously folks, let's get back to the game ... Or not. Who says we have to? I don't want to talk about this game anymore anyway! I guess I should though, that was kind of the point of this whole thing. Ugh, fine.). I have to imagine that the Packers will get the win here despite their recent struggles. And if not, well then I'll be a Jim Bob Cooter.

Packers 24-20


NFL Picks - Week 12

Sunday Morning

Oakland @ Tennessee 

After starting the season 4-3 and tricking us all into believing they were good, or at least decent, the Raiders have dropped three straight. Congratulations, you fooled us, do you feel good about yourselves?!? You do, don't you? I see that smirk on your eye-patched face, don't think you can hide it. Oh, and I suppose those swords behind your head are supposed to be threatening? Ok, well granted, I don't have any swords of my own, so yes I'm a bit intimidated. Look, if I pick you to win this week will you agree to not physically harm me? Fine, I'll throw in a sack of pirate's booty to sweeten the pot.

Raiders 26-21

Buffalo @ Kansas City

Talk about wild card implications! Go ahead, I'll wait. (Hours later) Wow, a lot of great points from everybody, including some fascinating stuff I hadn't even considered. Though, I thought we veered off course for a bit there. I never like to bring politics into it, and the death threats lobbed by some of you seemed way out of line. The Chiefs are on a roll of late, especially their defense which has given up less than 10ppg during their four game winning streak. I don't see Buffalo being able to do much better.

Chiefs 20-12

Tampa Bay @ Indianapolis 

When does the Matthew Hasselbeck MVP talk start? Look I'm not crazy; I am in no way saying he should be the leading candidate, but he's certainly in the top 2. Surprisingly the Bucs come into this game with a 5-5 record and a legitimate chance to be a playoff team. Unfortunately for them they've just stumbled upon a bee's nest, and MH is the queen. I mean, he's not a queen ... not that I would think any less of him if he chose to dress in female clothing ... and no, I wouldn't even attempt to define what female clothing even is ... I, uh ... Taking Indy.

Colts 26-23

New York Giants @ Washington 

Washington has a chance to pull even with the Giants atop the NFC East. Of course, to do that they'd have to win this game, and I don't know about you, but I don't think it's going to happen. Now that I said that, I guess I don't know much about you at all. What are your hobbies? 

Giants 30-27

New Orleans @ Houston 

As I'm sure you've heard, the Saints fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan after consistently atrocious play from the D. While I don't have too much sympathy for Ryan, I do feel extremely sorry for whoever has to direct this game for Fox. What camera will he constantly cut to now that Rob Ryan's gigantic frame and flowing gray hair isn't available for a juicy reaction? The production crew will have to restructure 80% of their originally planned broadcast. Unless, of course, the Saints' new d coordinator is even more slovenly and hairy than his predecessor. So basically it will have to be ALF.

Texans 31-16

Minnesota @ Atlanta 

These are currently both playoff teams in the NFC, but most likely not for long, for it seems that the Falcons are on borrowed time. Whom did they borrow this time from? We may never know. The point is that they're playing like garbage and after this week they play three straight losable games on the road. In fact, looking ahead I think it's very possible that they'll finish the season 7-9 after starting 5-0. If so, it will go down as one of the worst finishes to a season in NFL history. Almost as bad as that time the Lions started and finished 0-16. 

Vikings 23-18

St. Louis @ Cincinnati 

A clearly concussed Case Keenum was allowed to stay in the game last Sunday further illustrating the lengths that the Rams will go to to keep Nick Foles off the field. It makes one wonder just how out of it Keenum would have had to look before Foles was sent in. I'm thinking they would have stopped just short of a Weekend at Bernie's scenario with two running backs holding him up and mimicking pre-snap hand motions. Neither quarterback option for St. Louis will make a difference this week, conscious or not.

Bengals 29-17

San Diego @ Jacksonville

Chargers vs. Jaguars, is this a car race or a football game?!? It would be an interesting idea to hold a race between a Dodge Charger and a Jaguar on the field at halftime to really chew up the turf and make for some quirky divots and trenches that would provide added intrigue to the second half action. They probably won't do that though, so feel free to avoid watching this game.

Jaguars 33-23

Miami @ New York Jets

The Jets' season has really come off the rails in recent weeks. But coming off the rails isn't the worst thing for a jet, in fact, they really don't need rails at all. It's logic like this that leads me to pick New York in this one.

Jets 23-16

Sunday Afternoon

Arizona @ San Francisco 

The 49ers have placed Colin Kaepernick on the IR with a torn labrum, but we all know he's really out for the season with a broken heart. All the poor guy wanted to do was inaccurately throw the football and be a douche, but you just couldn't let him do that could ya, Jed York?!? Shame on you! It wouldn't make much sense for San Francisco to win this game, as it appears they are in full blown draft positioning mode now. I mean, it wouldn't have made much sense if they'd won no matter what, but now it would be really strange.

Cardinals 34-14

Pittsburgh @ Seattle

Seahawks fans have been waiting since Super Bowl XL to get the Steelers in Seattle. And now, ten years later, after a Super Bowl triumph and greater heartbreak, the animosity has been considerably dampened. I wouldn't be opposed to the Hawks paying Hines Ward to lead Pittsburgh out of the tunnel waving a terrible towel and flashing his (insufferable) smile to rile the crowd into a pre-game frenzy. Then, in an unthinkable move, bring out Bill Leavy to raise the 12th man flag. Just as he's about to pull the rope, an out of nowhere Mack Strong block will send him flying off the Toyota platform, never to be seen again. After that the game would take care of itself.

Seahawks 27-17

Sunday Night

New England @ Denver

And now it's time for a special holiday chat with NBC Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth:

Festive stuff CriColl. As per uje, I'm inclined to agree with you. I think the Denver D will be good enough to carry them to the upset. Then again, Brock Osweiler may just turn in a horrendous performance that costs his team the game. Should be a lot of fun either way, right?

Broncos 20-17

Monday Night

Baltimore @ Cleveland

Questions about Johnny Manziel's dedication to being the Browns' starting quarterback arose earlier this week when a video surfaced of Manziel partying, presumably during the team's bye week. Johnny's explanation/excuse? "Videos can be old." This all but guarantees that he was out partying within the last week. If that weren't the case he could have flatly denied that it happened. Saying that maybe the video is out of date is like being on trial for murder and saying, "I realize there were stains on my clothes, but who's to say that that was fresh blood?" In other words, what Johnny Manziel did was just as bad murder. In related news, Matt Schaub is now the Ravens' starting quarterback, which will most likely lead to a violent crime spike in Baltimore.

Browns 20-13


NFL Picks - Thanksgiving


Philadelphia @ Detroit

In recent weeks the Detroit Lions have promoted Jim Bob Cooter to offensive coordinator and named Rod Wood team president. It's now become clear that Lions owner Martha Ford is taking personnel advice from her great grandson, and that his criteria is based solely on who has the funniest name. Obviously this kid hasn't heard of Dick Butkus yet, otherwise he'd be on the staff. Whatever the motivation behind these moves truly is, they seem to be working. Look for the Lions to get a third straight win over an increasingly lousy Eagles team. 

Lions 22-17

Main Course

Carolina @ Dallas

Tony Romo returned last Sunday and instantly halted the Cowboys 7 game losing streak. Dallas is now 3-0 this season with Romo as their starter, meaning he has the same winning percentage as Cam Newton and the Panthers. So what we actually have here, if you squint really hard, is a clash of undefeated teams. And how ironic that they should meet on Thanksgiving: two unbeatens, nothing left uneaten (Please keep reading, I'm sorry, the next one is good I swear). Anyway, I think the Return of Romo Redemption Tour continues for the Cowboys as they hand Carolina their first loss of the year. 

Cowboys 24-20


Chicago @ Green Bay

Here's my proposal for this Thanksgiving night match-up: pre-game eating contest, winner gets spotted 10 points. Hold it in the two hours prior to kickoff and keep both teams secluded in their locker rooms so that they don't have any knowledge of where they stand in respect to the other team. Will one team decide it's not worth it and simply cede the 10 points in hopes that they'll be much more spry during the actual game? Will both squads go all out, resulting in a torrent of on-field vomiting? The possibilities are too intriguing to pass up. It's not too late Goodell, you can make this happen. That is unless you're chicken ... And there's nothing lamer than chicken on Thanksgiving.

Packers 27-17


NFL Picks - Week 11

Sunday Morning

Oakland @ Detroit

I know what you were thinking when you saw these two teams pitted against each other on the schedule: it's a classic Horizon League basketball match-up! Not so fast buddy. While Oakland and Detroit are Horizon rivals, don't tune in to this one expecting to see star Oakland guard Kahlil Felder or Detroit's Freshman sensation Josh McFolley. Instead you'll be treated to Derek Carr and the Raiders attempting to right the ship (because they're pirates!) against against a Lions squad that's riding a one game winning streak. Can the Lions stay hot, or rather, warm? No, they live in Detroit and it's November.

Raiders 35-28

Indianapolis @ Atlanta

With Andrew Luck down and out for at least a few games most experts believe their chances have taken a hit. Of course, with Matthew Hasselbeck taking the reins, we know better. If anything, MH at the helm means the Colts are now guaranteed to win the AFC South. This man still wants the ball, and he still wants to score. Whether or not he will remains to be seen, but his leadership alone should carry Indy.

Colts 23-20

New York Jets @ Houston

After the Texans' Monday night victory over the Bengals J.J. Watt used a post game interview as a platform to take a jab at Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton, saying the Houston D made the Red Rifle look like a Red Ryder BB gun. It was a decent, seemingly harmless ride, but Andy Dalton took it very seriously, responding with this:
"I'm disappointed in him because of the integrity of this game. I have a lot of respect for him. He's a really good player. There are a lot of kids and people who look up to him, and for him to make comments like that, he's just showing that's acceptable to say that kind of stuff."
Wow Andy, that was not the way to handle that. You know those kids you were referring to? They think you're totally lame now. And they're right. You need to set a better example for them by showing them how to correctly handle getting shit from someone.

Jets 20-17

Tampa Bay @ Philadelphia

Shockingly it took Sam Bradford 10 weeks to leave a game due to injury. But he made up for (not) lost time by exiting last Sunday with a separated shoulder and a concussion. The Eagles now turn to Mark Sanchez for at least one start. While it may look like an easy match-up for Philly on the surface I'm actually starting to believe in the Bucs. I mean they put up a whole 10 points in their win over Dallas ... No matter that their lone touchdown came after they were bailed out on a fourth down defensive holding call near the goal line. I think Tampa gets the win on the road and goes to .500 ... Wait what?!? A win gets them to .500? How the hell did this happen? Maybe I should rethink a pick that would result in that. Hmm ...

Buccaneers 27-26

Denver @ Chicago

The Broncos have now lost back-to-back games, the last one coming courtesy of Peyton Manning's worst game as a pro, which was punctuated by an injury. Now, they travel with their backup QB Brock Osweiler to face a Bears team that is suddenly competent. Denver needs a turn around to say the least, and I think I've got just the thing. Head coach Gary Kubiak should put even more gel in his hair, tuck a cigarette behind his ear, toss on a leather jacket and start going by the name Gary KOOL-biak. Can you imagine how inspiring that would be for the players? They don't want to play for some lame nerd who drives a Lexus, they want to play for the bad boy who cruises to the stadium on his hog, even if it's an away game. This would 100% work. He probably won't do it though, so I'll take Chicago.

Bears 20-17

St. Louis @ Baltimore

This is getting ridiculously redundant, but here's another game in which a team is starting a different quarterback than they did last week. Go ahead and look back at the previous picks, this is the fifth such game in a row! Not to mention that the next one qualifies as well, but we'll (and I do mean we'll) get to that in a minute. The new QB that seems to be getting the least pub is Case Keenum, who is filling in for the benched Nick Foles. The Rams had high hopes for Foles, but I have to believe that they curbed their enthusiasm when he showed up to the building for the first time and they finally saw what he looked like without his helmet. A season-long e-mail thread titled "Our QB's a Total Goober" finally led to action, with the team moving to their backup ahead of this Sunday. While I normally wouldn't trust a 2nd string quarterback on the road the sheer lousiness of the Ravens is pointing me toward St. Louis. I just hope I don't get pointed slightly askew and end up in East St. Louis.

Rams 24-22

Dallas @ Miami

Here is yet another new quarterback starting for a team, and one that the Cowboys have been waiting for for quite some time. But I happen to know one man who is even more eager to witness the return of Tony Romo. Ladies and gentleman, I present to you Bonus CriColl!!!

I'm elated for ya buddy, and consequently I'll side with Romo and the Cowboys.

Cowboys 26-19

Washington @ Carolina

Cam Newton is catching a lot of flack lately for his dancing after first downs and in the end zone. If I were opposing teams I wouldn't be mad that he's doing it, I'd be disappointed that his moves are so lame. I'm sure he's doing a specific move, but whatever, it looks dumb. In fact, that's kind of how I feel about Newton, and the Panthers as a whole: whatever, they look dumb.

Panthers 24-16

Sunday Afternoon

Kansas City @ San Diego

After winning three straight to get to 4-5, the Chiefs are now legit wild card contenders in the AFC. But will their newfound legitimacy prevent them from giving up on the season? I guess what I'm asking is, are they too legit to quit? Hey? Hey? I think they'll keep it up and get to .500 on the season.

Chiefs 23-18

Green Bay @ Minnesota

Like a fourth grader who's studied hard for a math test, the Vikings can establish divisional dominance with a win over the Packers this week. At the same time, like a fourth grader who drank a whole two-liter of soda the night before, there's a decent chance that the Vikings might shit the bed on Sunday. Which fourth grader will show up in Minnesota? I'm going to guess the one that studied ... but what if they stayed up late to do said studying by drinking a heavily caffeinated two liter of Jolt Cola? Probably best not to even consider that option.

Vikings 24-21

San Francisco @ Seattle

If there's one way for your team to get back on track it's to invite Blaine Gabbert to town for a friendly game of tackle football. Of course, this is a newfangled theory. It used to be very easy to get a team back on track because they all traveled by train. In a related story, Blaine Gabbert has just been named the new face of Amtrak. The Hawks need this one ... and all of the rest of the ones really, but it's gotta start somewhere.

Seahawks 30-0

Sunday Night

Cincinnati @ Arizona

And now in his normal Sunday Night Football duty for HCM here's the esteemed Cris Collinsworth:

Dynamite stuff CriColl. But AOL, really? It's not dial-up is it? ... Is it?

Cardinals 31-21

Monday Night

Buffalo @ New England

After the Patriots barely sneaked by the Giants it's now apparent what's happening here. You see it, right? It wouldn't be the first time. It wouldn't be the second time. C'mon, it's staring us right in the face: we're heading toward another Giants/Patriots Super Bowl. Unlikely you say? You probably said that in '07 and '11. Just look at that pattern; it happens every four years! They're on the same cycle as the Women's World Cup. Even the Giants' path to the Super Bowl looks eerily similar. Hypothetically, the Giants would get into the postseason with a mediocre record as NFC East champs again. Let's say, for the sake of this argument, that the playoffs began today with the standings currently as they are (which would be strange since some teams have played 10 games, but cut me some slack), first up for NYG would be the wild card Falcons; sounds familiar. They'd then, most likely, travel to Carolina to play a top-seeded Panthers team. The Giants beat the NFC's top seed in the divisional round in both '07 and '11. In the title game would be the Cardinals, who seem comparable to past foils the '07 Packers and the '11 49ers. Then, of course, a heavily favored Patriots fan would be waiting in the Super Bowl. So beware New England, because I know you've seen this movie before, and it really seems like a trilogy has been green-lighted. But if I actually thought this was going to happen it would mean that I don't believe the Seahawks will win the Super Bowl, or even make the playoffs. And does this look like the face of someone who doesn't believe to you?

I didn't think so! While the Giants/Patriots narrative is an interesting one, it simply can't happen.

Patriots 28-20


NFL Picks - Week 11 Thursday

Tennessee @ Jacksonville

If you'll recall I was super jazzed about the beginning of Color Rush last Thursday, however, it turned out to be a bit of a fiasco with color blind viewers being unable to distinguish between the bright red and bright green uniforms of the Bills and Jets. I can empathize with those folks because I'm racially color blind. I guess it's just a reflection of my lack of prejudice and deep yearning for equality, but who knows. What I do know is that it makes it very confusing for me to watch games. For instance when the announcers shout, "Look at that black guy!" or "Look at that white guy!" I'm totally perplexed. Also, what's going on with all these racist announcers? Hopefully the Jags' uniforms can be seen by each and every fan this week, regardless of sight affliction, because they will be gloriously disgusting.

Jaguars 27-17 


NFL Picks - Week 10

Sunday Morning

Detroit @ Green Bay

After missing an open Randall Cobb for a would-be (possibly) game-tying touchdown near the end of last Sunday's game in Carolina a visibly upset Aaron Rodgers was seen on the sidelines tossing down a Microsoft tablet in frustration. The natural assumption would be that he was looking at a clip of the play in question, but as it turns out the coach was actually just showing him this. After consecutive tough losses expect Rodgers' and the Packers' frustration to manifest itself on the field against the Lions. And by that I mean they're going to beat them by a lot; you got that, right?

Packers 38-17

Dallas @ Tampa Bay

This Cowboys season is starting to remind me of the movie Armageddon. If you'll remember, in that film there was a ticking clock until the asteroid reached the zero barrier, at which point even if that ragtag group of offshore drillers did manage to blow up the asteroid the two resulting halves would still collide with Earth in an apocalyptic fashion. Well, I think Dallas is about to reach the zero barrier. If they lose this game to drop to 2-7, it will probably be too late even though Tony Romo will return the following week. Despite the fact that they should improve with Romo back their season will still collide with Earth in an apocalyptic fashion. Add in the direct corollary between key Dallas players and characters in the movie ... Dez Bryant and Ben Affleck's character AJ, young hotheads who think they should be running the show; Jason Garrett and Billy Bob Thornton's character Truman, men who try to do their job even though they are constantly usurped by superiors who render them powerless; Greg Hardy and the asteroid, both giant, destructive forces devoid of humanity ... and the similarities become too obvious to ignore. Unfortunately for the Cowboys they don't have a Harry Stamper on their team and I think they'll cross zero barrier this Sunday.

Buccaneers 24-20

Carolina @ Tennessee

Even though they are 8-0 many, including myself, are still wondering if the Panthers are for real or if talk of them going to the Super Bowl is a bunch of malarkey. Coincidentally, this week they travel to Tennessee to face a Titans team that has a bunch of Mularkey.  Or more accurately one Mularkey, but you get it. Tennessee won last week in interim coach Mike Mularkey's debut, further elucidating that I should pick the team who just fired their coach regardless of the circumstances. I doubt that they'll make it two in a row though. Carolina will win, but by just the right amount to make us all still suspicious.

Panthers 26-21

Chicago @ St. Louis

I'm not sure if you watched this past week's Monday Night Football game between the Bears and Chargers, frankly I wouldn't blame you if you didn't, and if that's the case you didn't get a chance to see and hear that Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego was seemingly half-filled with Bears fans. The same thing happened when the Raiders visited SD a few weeks back. It would be understandable for the Charger fans to be disenchanted with not only the team's current season but also the looming likelihood that the team won't be playing there at all come 2016. That's one way to explain the influx of opposing fans, but I suspect a more dastardly cause. I posit to you the theory that the Spanos family (owners of the Chargers) are buying up any and all tickets available on various resale markets, then paying a group of extras, outfitting them in the other team's gear, supplying them with copious amounts of booze, and sending them in to Qualcomm to fuck shit up in an attempt to sandbag the homefield advantage in San Diego and further prove to the rest of the owners in the league that a move is necessary. Provide me with a more sensible explanation. Go ahead, I'll wait. Wait this is the Bears/Rams game, why was I talking about the Chargers? Whoops!

Rams 24-17

New Orleans @ Washington

I've been writing this picks column for just over 6 years now, resulting in a grand total of 194 posts (including Thursday night games). Thanks to the statistical metrics offered by blogger.com I was able to track down the one fan who's read each and every one of those posts. The following is the email correspondence I exchanged with him:

Erik: Let me just begin by saying thank you for your unwavering support. How did you find out about the site?

Kryzak943a&67: Local single girls who want to date you!

Erik: I'll admit I'm intrigued, but I guess what I was really trying to get at is what the circumstances were that led you to this blog.

Kryzak943a&67: Live girls on webcams waiting for requests. Click here!

Erik: I see. So you came here via a link from another site?

Kryzak943a&67: Increase your penis size in 6 weeks!

Erik: Thank you for your time.

In retrospect it seems clear that the "reader" in question was just a spambot. The fact that the IP address was from Russia makes a bit more sense now. Well, here's to 194 more, hope you're there for every one of them Big K! I'll take Washington in a bit of an upset.

Redskins 29-28

Miami @ Philadelphia

Despite all the consternation about how lousy the Eagles have been they are sitting at 4-4, which is good enough to be a mere half game out of first in the NFC East. So why does it seem like they've done much worse? Perhaps it's because our rush to judgement of these young men was swifter than the pace Chip Kelly's offense. Have we no patience?!? Shame on us. I'm willing to give Philadelphia another shot, meaning the Eagles, not the actual city. I drove past it once and it seemed boring.

Eagles 30-24

Cleveland @ Pittsburgh

There's a small child in Pittsburgh whose family is not of exceptional means. Before the season his father set aside some money to treat him to his first professional football game. They've had it planned for months now and this is the Sunday that they chose so many days ago. It was supposed to be a major milestone in the boy's life, and now, for the rest of his days, when he recounts his first NFL game he'll have to tell people that the starting quarterbacks were Josh McCown and Landry Jones. The league must take even greater steps to protect quarterbacks, if not for the players themselves then for this small boy in Pittsburgh.

Steelers 20-17

Jacksonville @ Baltimore

I'm starting to think I can't trust Blake Bortles to win on the road, mainly because Blake Bortles has never won on the road. He's now 0-10 in his short career. I don't mean to rub it in or anything since I know that Bortles, like all of the Jaguars, read this blog religiously, I'm merely expressing my disappointment because I expect more from you guys. Unfortunately I don't think you'll quite get there this week. But hey, if you were playing horseshoes or throwing grenades you'd be in good shape. I know you're not doing those things, you're playing football, I'm just saying. Look guys, don't be jerks.

Ravens 31-28

Sunday Afternoon

Minnesota @ Oakland

Sure these teams met in Super Bowl XI, and that's all well and good, but they also didn't meet in the title game after the 1977 and 2000 seasons. That's right, this was Not Super Bowl XII and Not Super Bowl XXXV. If the teams had met in SB XII it would have been the first back to back rematch in the title game's history. And if they had squared off in SB XXXV we would have seen a possible shootout with Culpepper, Moss, and Carter going up against Gannon, Rice, and Brown. Of course, those teams only combined for 3 points in their conference title game losses, so maybe that expectation of a barn-burner is misplaced. The current Raiders offense, and defense for that matter, has shootout capability as we saw last week in their high scoring loss to the Steelers. However, the Vikings are more of a fistfight group, which could cause problems for them this week, because, as I just mentioned, the Raiders might be bringing guns.

Raiders 27-23

New England @ New York Giants

The above meme really embodies how I see the juxtaposition of Eli and Brady. Just when Tom Terrific thinks he's conquered the world and he's the greatest of all time Eli shows up with a dumb look on his face to shatter his universe. While 8-0 isn't quite 18-0 it would certainly get Brady's hackles up if Eli bested him again this Sunday. Arise hackles!

Giants 23-21

Kansas City @ Denver

Aqib Talib argued that he did not intend to poke Dwayne Allen in the eye during a skirmish in last Sunday's Broncos/Colts game. Judge for yourself. My question to Talib would be what his intention actually was? Did he notice a loose eyebrow and felt he should take it upon himself to pluck it for Allen? Was he asking how to do the Scout's Honor hand signal because he forgot and assumed Allen had spent time in the Scouts? Was he trying to poke him in the other eye? Those are the most believable explanations I could think of. Either way, the NFL wasn't buying it and they upheld their one game suspension of Talib. Without him and DeMarcus Ware the Denver D could be a bit less formidable than usual, but that's still pretty formidable. The Chiefs offense? Not quite as formidable. And as Vince Lombardi always said, "I'll take the team who's got the most formidable unit. It's a good thing my wife doesn't feel the same way." That was from Lombardi's famous live album back in '68. He was a big influence on Dangerfield.

Broncos 22-16

Sunday Night

Arizona @ Seattle

Time to check in once again with Sunday Night Football analyst himself Cris Collinsworth:

Much appreciated CriColl, and I will check my e-mail just as soon as I get a chance. As for the game, I agree Russell Wilson will find a way to get the job done. The Hawks will need him to seeing as how a big second half of the season is necessary for a serious playoff push. If it's anything like their last three seasons, in which they've gone a combined 20-4 in the second halves, they should be in good shape.

Seahawks 23-16

Monday Night

Houston @ Cincinnati

The Texans' return from their bye week a half game back of first place in the AFC South with Andrew Luck's injury leaving the door to the division title wide open. Of course, you and I both know that Matthew Hasselbeck will soon emphatically slam that door shut, but Houston shouldn't let that stop them from trying. Speaking of trying, the Bengals have been trying really hard to win games this season, and it shows! Like every game, whoever gives the best effort in this one will win. That's an incontrovertible fact folks.

Bengals 26-17


NFL Picks - Week 10 Thursday

Buffalo @ New York Jets

There are a lot of story lines going into this one; both teams are fighting for a wild card, Rex Ryan returning to New York, but the most enticing one to me is COLOR RUSH! For the next handful of Thursday night games both teams will be wearing colored uniforms, with the away squads sporting new alternates. For a league that is painfully anal (watch it) about uniforms, this is a stunning and welcome departure. Of course, it will also result in some stunning and welcome ugliness from these new unis, and I can't wait. Neither of these teams have had a really impressive win, so I'm not sure we'll learn too much from this game, especially if you have the sound on, because Phil Simms is in the booth.

Jets 22-19 


NFL Picks - Week 9

Sunday Morning

Green Bay @ Carolina

Aaron Rodgers only threw for 77 yards in last week's loss to the Broncos, an unimaginably small amount for him. Hell, I had more passing yards than that last week. Don't believe me? Well you didn't watch the end of the Tennessee/Houston game did you? Ok, more accurately, you didn't watch any of the Tennessee/Houston game did you? Yeah well, I got some run. Sure, it was mostly garbage time and the Texans were playing a soft prevent zone, but I took what the defense gave me and I'll make no apologies for that. As for Rodgers, I did expect him to struggle against Denver, just not quite to that extent. This week he's going up against what appears to be another tough defense on the road. However, if Rodgers watched the end of Carolina's Monday night game against the Colts he probably saw the problems that the Panthers' D had against the no huddle offense that Indy had to run to get back in the game. I'd expect the Packers to employ that kind of hurry-up O from the get go in an attempt to keep the Panthers on their heels. But hey, what do I know? Don't answer that.

Packers 23-20

Washington @ New England

Before I delve into this game I just wanted to allow Kirk Cousins to explain what you should do to the Facebook link that led you to this page

If you've come here via Twitter, well unfortunately Cousins hasn't shouted anything about favoriting lately. What's that? Twitter just switched from "favorites" to "likes"? Well then ...

  If we take a more in depth look at that clip though, was anybody else really frightened by it? No? Yeah, that's weird, because he seemed just as loud and animated as Richard Sherman in his famous post-NFC Championship Game rant. Yet the former was just lighthearted fun, whereas the latter was a scary moment for Erin Andrews and a polarizing topic for the nation. Sure Cousins wasn't trash-talking his opponents, but it still feels like at least a bit of a double-standard. I expect New England to build another large lead in this game, followed by a late TD or two for Washington. If I were a reporter at Kirk Cousins' postgame press conference Sunday after what will most likely be a loss I'd be compelled to ask, "Did you like that?"

Patriots 34-21

Tennessee @ New Orleans

The Titans fired head coach Ken Whisenhunt this week after he amassed a paltry 3-20 record over a season and a half with the team. While it would be easy to ridicule Whisenhunt, I'm convinced that the man is a genius. He was signed to a five year contract, which means he has three and a half seasons worth of money still coming his way. He's going to get paid millions of dollars to not be the Titans coach. Good work if you can get it. I don't coach the Titans either, but they aren't paying me any money not to do it. I can only deduce from this that Ken Whisenhunt is much smarter than I am. Could Tennessee rally together and get a win in their first game post coaching change like Miami did earlier this season? No. It's an absolute impossibility. New Orleans will win.

Saints 30-17

Miami @ Buffalo

Alas, here are two teams who entered the season with high hopes of making the playoffs, yet now they sit at 3-4 ... one game out of a wild card spot?!? Oh yeah, this year's AFC is top heavy, and once you get past the undefeated teams there's a lot decent/mediocre/crummy squads fighting it out for our enjoyment (we really are disgusting). So while Miami and Buffalo may not be thrilled with the start of their respective seasons, they still have a solid chance at playing in January. Actually, after a quick check of the schedule I'm going to go ahead and guarantee that BOTH of these teams will be playing in January! Hey what are doing? No don't go check the schedule yourself ... Baaaahh! Ok, yes, the last week of the regular season is in January, so that's really not a bold prediction at all. Why must you be so inquisitive? Can't you just let me have one of these once? Anyway, the original point still stands: whoever wins this game is still in good shape to contend for a playoff spot in the AFC.

Bills 24-20

St. Louis @ Minnesota

Here we have two NFC wild card (and still possibly divisional) contenders with top notch running backs, electric receivers, and quarterbacks who aren't normally asked to do too much. This game is the football equivalent of the Summerslam '94 match in which the Undertaker fought himself. The only question now is, which one is the Undertaker and which one is the Underfaker? I think the Rams' superior defense gives them the advantage. Then again, my pick will ultimately be determined by whichever team is led out of the tunnel by Paul Bearer.

Rams 20-17

Jacksonville @ New York Jets

You may not know this, but this website allows me to track not only how many views the blog gets, but also where they come from on a global scale. A couple weeks ago I couldn't help but notice I had 53 hits from the UK. I see ya Jags! Again guys, I can't express enough how much I appreciate the support. But you know me, and you know that I always come correct (at least I think so; I'll be honest, I'm not 100% sure what that means; if it means that I always get my picks correct then I'll have to redact that statement), so I'm going to have to pick the Jets to bounce back from consecutive losses in this one. There ya go Jags, do a CTRL+P, stick it on the bulletin board, and thank me later.

Jets 27-19

Oakland @ Pittsburgh

The Steelers have the most potent "Big 3" in the league, however, due to a combination of injuries and suspension they've only been able to field two of the three for most of the season. Now Meatloaf would have us believe that two out of three ain't bad, but can we really trust Meatloaf in this situation? Sure he's in like 45 fantasy leagues, but what does he know about real football? In this case though, he just may be right, mostly due to the fact that DeAngelo Williams was a more than adequate replacement for LeVeon Bell earlier this season, much in the same way that meatloaf the food is a decent substitute for a real dinner.

Steelers 31-24

Sunday Afternoon

New York Giants @ Tampa Bay

It felt like last week's Giants/Saints game should have been announced by Chris Hardwick. Come to think of it, they might want to call him in for this one as well. The Bucs tried their best to blow another big lead last week against Atlanta, but apparently the Falcons didn't want their help. The Giants could use a little boost, so a comeback victory for New York is in order.

Giants 34-31

Atlanta @ San Francisco

In my opinion there is no greater insult to anybody in America, regardless of their job, than hearing the statement "We're replacing you with Blaine Gabbert." Unfortunately for Colin Kaepernick he's now living this nightmare. This has to be rock bottom for him. And when you think about it also has to be rock bottom for Blaine Gabbert. When everybody is talking about how crazy it is that a very lousy Kaepernick's been benched in favor of you it really says a lot about your career as well. Basically they're pulling each other down in a sinkhole of ineptitude. Coincidentally that's exactly the surface that Levi's Stadium was built upon, which helps to explain the godawful turf quality.

Falcons 20-10

Denver @ Indianapolis

After seeing them dismantle the Packers last Sunday night I think it's safe to say that the Denver Broncos are back! And they're 7-0?!? It's hard to know if that stellar SNF performance is an anomaly or a sign of things to come, but it's important to note that, they're 7-0! They've only had one impressive outing this season and somehow they're undefeated. Of course, it's mostly due to their defense, who seems to as if they will feast on Andrew Luck and his new offensive coordinator this week. Add to that the fact that the Colts are 0-5 outside of their division and this one is like a self-cleaning nose, it picks itself.

Broncos 23-19

Sunday Night

Philadelphia @ Dallas

And now here he is folks, Cris Collinsworth! As per his wish, we are using a brand new picture to accompany his audio file:

Hmm, sorry CriColl, I should have mentioned that we never actually received your picture attachment on that e-mail, so we just used our best judgment in selecting a new pic. Hope you like it!

Eagles 19-16

Monday Night

Chicago @ San Diego

Do you think Hank Williams, Jr. (AKA Bocephus) still has all his rowdy friends over to watch Monday Night Football every week? I know he hasn't done the intro song in years, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's stopped having his famed Monday night parties. If so, I'm left to wonder whether this game would make his friends more or less rowdy than they normally are. On the one hand, this match-up is so lame that it could subdue even the rowdiest of crowds. Then again, the sheer lousiness of this match-up could infuriate the bunch, making them even rowdier. If that's the case, then look out! You don't want to run into Bocephus and the boys when they got their rowdy up. This is a game in which I'd really like to pick no one, and every time I think I know who's worse something new presents itself to the contrary. I'll just pick the home team and check the score on Tuesday.

Chargers 27-24


NFL Picks - Week 9 Thursday

Cleveland @ Cincinnati

Last week the NFL Network started promoting this game with with a side-by-side commercial featuring a retired judge from Cleveland and a hot dog vendor from Cincinnati. I suppose it's a cute concept, and for the most part I don't really have a problem with it, except for the fact that this lady is a retired judge:

So why is she dressed like that?!? She's retired. I saw Kareem Abdul-Jabbar do an interview on TV yesterday; he was not wearing a Lakers uniform. This lady is officially just a crazy person now. Speaking of crazy, I'd have to be insane to pick the Browns in a game in which Johnny Manziel will be their starting quarterback.

Bengals 31-14 


NFL Picks - Week 8

Sunday Dawn

Detroit @ Kansas City

At this point the Londoners are probably getting tired of the NFL, right? It's like having a friend crash at your place and it's totally cool at first, but by the following afternoon you're ready for him to leave. Then if he's still around for a third day you just stop talking to him altogether in hopes that he'll get the hint. At this point the folks in London are sitting with their arms folded just staring at us. Don't worry, we'll leave soon ... but could you spare a couple hundred bucks? We need to buy plane tickets and we kind of blew all of our cash on shepherd's pie and Boddington's. As for what might happen in this game, the Lions have a new offensive coordinator named Jim Bob Cooter. Nothing more needs to be said.

Chiefs 23-16

Sunday Morning

Tampa Bay @ Atlanta

Last week Tampa blew a 24-0 lead to Washington, which was a franchise record comeback for the 'Skins. In 2013 Tampa relinquished a 21-0 lead to Seattle, also a franchise record for the Hawks. The Buccaneers are like a benevolent traveler in the vain of Scott Bakula in Quantum Leap or David Carradine in Kung Fu. They wander from city to city helping teams reach new levels of confidence by allowing them to overcome insurmountable odds, galvanizing the group and propelling them to further success for the remainder of their seasons. The game (episode) always ends with Tampa slipping away into a crowd after the game while the other team celebrates; they make eye contact one last time as the other team mouths "Thank you." Tampa merely nods once and moves on to its next destination, wherever that may be. Of course, Atlanta, having successfully come back in the fourth quarter in four of their six wins, is the perfect team to face the Bucs. No lead will be safe, and men will be inspired.

Falcons 38-31

Arizona @ Cleveland

Cardinals' running back Chris Johnson has experienced a career renaissance this season. He's shown flashes of his old self and currently has the second most rushing yards in the league. Of course, it does help a bit when you're gifted an extra 57 yards by the refs incorrectly allowing a play to continue as Johnson was on Monday. In fact, without those bogus yards, Johnson would be fifth in the league in rushing, which is still pretty ... TERRIBLE. Renaissance my ass! This is an enlightenment at best. Call me when you're leading the league buddy, then we can talk renaissance. Arizona is playing an early road game after a Monday nighter, which could make them vulnerable. But after watching the Browns do nothing last week against a Rams defense that the Cards' is on par with, I'm forced to take Arizona.

Cardinals 24-19

San Francisco @ St. Louis

Colin Kaepernick seems to really be losing it. 'It' meaning his mind, not his talent. The main indicator to me isn't his skittish play on the field, it's the fact that he's ceased to care about personal grooming. For a guy who used to take his look very seriously it's pretty telling that he's now gone into full Summer of George mode. I'm not sure there's any coming back from this. Don't be surprised to see Kaepernick working at Kruger Industrial Smoothing before too long.

Rams 27-10

New York Giants @ New Orleans

Jason Pierre-Paul has officially returned to the Giants following his fireworks mishap in the offseason that took 1.3 of his fingers. With that in mind, the main question going into this game has to be: will the Saints use pyrotechnics at the SuperDome? It may be in poor taste, but it would almost certainly get into JPP's head, if for no other reason than that it's clear that the guy loves fireworks. A pregame display may leave him distracted for the rest of the day. Sure, he might not even be playing this Sunday, but I'm guessing that the awkward energy that situation will create on the sideline will be enough to help New Orleans move, all of a sudden, to 4-4.

Saints 26-23

Minnesota @ Chicago

(Please read the following out loud in a spooky, yet effeminate voice no matter where you are) Surely there's no match-up more befitting the week of All Hallow's Eve than this one between teams once known as the Purple People Eaters and the Monsters of the Midway! One can only hazard a guess as to what spooktacular mayhem may occur. Perhaps Teddy Bridgeslaughter will murder Chicago while Stefon Diggs their graves. But I have a premonition that Matt Gore-slay and Alshaunt Jeffery will have more tricks than treats in store for the Vikings. Muwwahhaha! (If you liked those terrible Halloween name puns, or hated them, or hated how much you liked them, head over to twitter, I'll be tweeting more over the weekend from the handle @erikandersen_ Feel free to join in using #NFLoween)

Bears 24-23

San Diego @ Baltimore

It's no secret that the Ravens have had a rough start to the 2015 season, with their current record sitting at 1-6. But what you may not know if you haven't looked at their schedule is that the Ravens have only played two of their first seven games at home. As of about 9:45am PT this Sunday there will have been more NFL games played in London than in Baltimore this season. This cannot be the future! Luckily for the Ravens their next three games are all at home; unluckily for the Ravens they might have to go 9-0 the rest of the way to make the playoffs. So take solace gang, your season can probably no longer be salvaged, but at least you'll get some valuable preparation for the offseason by spending the next month at home.

Ravens 30-24

Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh

It must be tough to be Andy Dalton right now. Sure, you're having a career year and your team is 6-0, but none of it is going to matter unless you finally win a playoff game. It's like having to re-take a class over and over again because every year you fail the final that's 70% of the grade. But on the bright side, you get to keep scoping the fly honeys on campus and be the totally chill older guy who comes to class in a Hawaiian shirt and shades that everyone looks up to and no one ridicules behind his back. So Andy, just sit back, kick your feet up, put your hands behind your head, and cruise through to January, because that's when the real work starts. As for this week, Roethlisberger should be back, so Pittsburgh has a solid chance to give the Bengals their first loss of the season.

Steelers 31-27

Tennessee @ Houston

As you probably know Ryan Mallett has been cut by the Texans for missing the team's flight to last week's game Miami, his second instance of tardiness this season. Brace yourself ... This was alarming behavior from Mallett. If you look at Mallett's TD/INT ratio it's apparent that dealing with traffic has never been his strong suit. It's a shame that he couldn't hang around for another week, because nobody would have benefited more from the extra hour this Saturday night. If Mallett ever makes it back onto an NFL field opposing defenses should beware of him utilizing the fake spike, because clearly he doesn't believe in clocking it. Maybe you think it's time for me to stop, and if you do think that then you're definitely not Ryan Mallett, because he has no concept of time.

Texans 20-17

Sunday Afternoon

New York Jets @ Oakland

This game is being held in Oakland one day after Halloween, which means that a good 50-60% of the Black Hole patrons will show up with untreated, still bleeding wounds from the preceding night of debauchery. The Jets should be able to control the clock with long, sustained drives, accelerating the aforementioned fans' blood loss while they repeatedly scream for their defense. This will take the hometown crowd literally out of the game by halftime, because most of them will be unconscious. It's a sound formula for a win.

Jets 30-23

Seattle @ Dallas

This may be the most important game of the year for Russell Wilson, and I'm not even talking about the fact that a win would get the Seahawks back to .500 before their bye week. The real reason this one matters so much for him is that Seattle is facing Greg Hardy and the Cowboys. As you may know, Wilson launched the Pass the Peace campaign last year to support victims of domestic violence. As you may also know, Greg Hardy launched a personal campaign last year in support of domestic violence. And don't think that Hardy was just some celebrity figurehead of this organization, he was extremely hands-on in his efforts. Taking that into account, along with his recent on-field outbursts, including physical contact with teammates and coaches, it's clear that Hardy let's his anger get the better of him. If Russ can Pass the Peace to Hardy, and in turn, get him to pass it to others, it will truly be his greatest success. Of course, if that doesn't seem to be working out come Sunday he could also just pass the ball directly into Greg Hardy's testicles repeatedly, because, in case you haven't gathered it yet, Greg Hardy is a gigantic piece of shit.

Seahawks 20-9

Sunday Night

Green Bay @ Denver

Let's all take a trip to KnowledgeTown, located at the corner of Insight Blvd. and Analysis Dr., and visit again with our esteemed guest Mr. Cris Collinsworth:

Hmm, I'm not totally sure what you're referring to CriColl. If I recall correctly I played your audio clip in its entirety last week. But now that you've made your feelings known, rather forcefully I might add, I will gladly use a new picture to accompany your audio clips starting next week. All you had to do was ask sir!

Broncos 20-17

Monday Night

Indianapolis @ Carolina

It's time to face facts, the Colts have been downright lousy this season. The offense has looked mostly disjointed and Andrew Luck is only 1-4 in his starts. To make matters worse they're headed to Carolina to play the 6-0 Panthers on Monday night. Yes, all signs point to a Panthers win. But I don't adhere to what signs say. Any signs. It's led to numerous traffic violations resulting in a barrage of tickets and fines, so maybe it would be wise to start obeying at least some signs. I'll start right after this game.

Colts 24-20