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


NFL Picks - Week 8 Thursday

Miami @ New England

The Dolphins jumped out to a 41-0 start last week, their largest halftime lead since the Reagan administration. Is that an actual fact? Probably not, but you're not going to do the research to prove me wrong are you? Ok, so let's just agree that made up stats are both fun and real time-savers. Want a real stat that's pertinent to this game? How about this: Tom Brady has never lost on a Thursday. Ok, I didn't actually verify that one either, but it seems believable. It's not like you needed any extra encouragement to take New England anyway, so lay off.

Patriots 31-20


NFL Picks - Week 7

Before we get to the picks I'd just like to revisit something we discussed back in Week 3, and that's the use of "Sleepless in Seattle," or any derivation thereof, as a headline regarding any Seattle sports team. I vowed that day to shame anyone I saw exploiting this tired trope, and now the time has come. The NFL Network had this on their sidebar Thursday:
Shame on you NFL Network. SHAME!

Sunday Dawn in Interspace

Buffalo @ Jacksonville

Another 6:30am PT start in London, and this one is available to us all through the miracle of the worldwide web! This is the first NFL game to be broadcast exclusively on the internet. The league is envisioning this as quite the global event, promoting the game with the hash-tagline #WatchWithTheWorld. I admire their vision, but I feel like it's a bit lofty. If they want to be more realistic might I suggest: #WatchWithThePeopleofBuffaloAHandfulofPeopleinJacksonvilleFantasyOwnersontheEastCoastandRealPiecesofGarbageOutWest.
Admittedly it's not quite as catchy, but certainly more accurate. I picked Jacksonville last week and, in keeping with tradition, they lost convincingly. Well, fear not loyal Jags readers, I'm going with Buffalo this time, and I'm doing it just for you (WINK).

Bills 27-20

Sunday Morning

Tampa Bay @ Washington

The Buccaneers are coming off a bye week ... I'm pretty sure. Be honest, you wouldn't have noticed if they'd played either. In today's NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE, I tend to judge teams based solely on what they did last week. Technically Tampa put up zero points, so I can't envision them winning this game. Then again, they didn't give up any points either. Well now, this is a pickle befitting a cartoon stork. It's times like this when I ask myself What Would Jesus Do? He'd probably freak out about the laptop I'm using, but once we got over that, and the language barrier, he'd probably say, "Whoa, their name is the Redskins? Seriously? What year is this?" Good point JC, let's pick the Bucs.

Buccaneers 27-24

Atlanta @ Tennessee

Good match-up here between the Falcons and Oilers. What's that? They moved?!? When? Why didn't anybody tell me? I mean yeah, I kept hearing about the Titans, but I just assumed it was some NFL Europe team or something. What? That whole league folded?!? Even the Titans? Oh right, they were never in NFL Europe. Well I guess the existence of the Texans makes more sense now. I'm still reeling a bit here, so I won't overthink this one.

Falcons 34-23

New Orleans @ Indianapolis

At this point we've all seen the Colts' atrocious fake punt(?) attempt replayed countless times, but I can't help but bring it up, simply for the sheer hilarity of it. I like to think that Anderson and Whalen, the Colts players lining up as a makeshift QB/Center combo on the play, saw the predicament they were in and decided to ignore the wishes of the coaching staff and go for it anyway. They'd either succeed in the face of insurmountable odds or fail magnificently in a blaze of glory. In their eyes they were Butch and Sundance charging towards the Bolivian soldiers. In reality they ended up with the football equivalent of The Shockmaster's debut. I'm guessing they'll stick with standard punt formations this week.

Colts 31-22  

Minnesota @ Detroit

The Lions finally got their first win of the season last week, and it turns out the key all along was getting their best player heavily involved. Huh, go figure. Now that they've unlocked this secret to success they could be extremely dangerous. Although, even with Calvin Johnson's big day they still only managed to claw out a 3 point win in OT. Meanwhile, the Vikings have looked downright solid ever since Week 1. And I get it, whenever I'm somewhere new it takes me at least a week for things to get solid. Even after that there's no guarantee depending on what I ate the night before. Gross. I'll take Minnesota to get their first road win of the season.

Vikings 23-19

Pittsburgh @ Kansas City

The Steelers grabbed a surprise win over the Cardinals last week with the help of 3rd string quarterback Landry Jones. Yes, that Landry Jones! Wait, which Landry Jones were you talking about? Oh God no, that's not who I meant. Your guy sounds like a real creep. Why do you hang out with him? Anyway, while Jones looked good in relief at home last Sunday I'm guessing that he might not fare quite so well in Arrowhead Stadium. Then again, the Chiefs are 0-2 at home this season. So nothing's gotta give you say? Nah man, everything's gotta give!

Chiefs 17-16

Cleveland @ St. Louis

Due to an existential breakdown in the Thursday Night pick, our analysis of Not Super Bowl XVIII was terminated prematurely, so let's make up for it by taking a closer look at Not Super Bowl XXIV, which wasn't played between these two teams. On January 14, 1990 the Browns lost the AFC Championship Game to the Broncos (again) 37-21, and the Rams fell in San Francisco 30-3. Neither one of those contests were very close, so it might not be worth considering too many of the what-ifs, but can you imagine what it would be like to live in a world in which Bernie Kosar and Jim Everett had squared off in a Super Bowl? It's exciting to think about until you realize that the resulting butterfly effect probably means that this never happens. In the end we're better off with the reality we know. The Browns have shown some serious competency this season, as have the Rams, so this game will probably come down to who, or indeed, whom is the most competent.

Rams 23-20 

Houston @ Miami

Last week I acknowledged the possibility that the Dolphins would pull the classic move of winning their first game after a mid-season coaching change, but still decided to pick against them. Of course, they ended up doing exactly that, making me look like someone who almost knows what he's talking about in the process (which is pretty accurate, if not flattering, really). It also called to mind a classic move in the score-picking game, which is to acknowledge the likelihood that something will happen then pick the opposite to happen. This way, you'll look fine no matter what the result. For instance, the Texans looked strong for the first time all season last week. It certainly wouldn't surprise me if they kept their momentum going with another win this Sunday. That being said, I'm taking Miami. That's how it's done folks!

Dolphins 27-22

New York Jets @ New England

Normally when these teams meet it's an over-hyped mess, like a Floyd Mayweather fight, or your first orgy. But this time around it's actually an important match-up, with the Jets coming in at 4-1 and the Patriots unde ... blah, who cares, of course they haven't lost, whatever, it's not even impressive when you do it all the time. At this point it's more pretentious than anything. New England will undoubtedly win again, and we'll all watch as our eyes slowly glaze over.

Patriots 26-17

Sunday Afternoon

Oakland @ San Diego

Would it be in bad taste if they played this game in LA? It's clear that both teams would rather be playing there, unless, of course, they're both just trying to leverage a possible move into getting new stadiums in their current cities. If that's what is happening I don't think I'll ever be able to trust their owners again. Then again, I'm not sure I trusted Raiders owner Mark Davis to begin with. Have you seen this guy? Look at his hair! No seriously, look at it. Just stare at it for a minute and wonder how a grown man can live in these United States of America and walk the streets with that hair cut. Not to mention that he's extremely wealthy and should have access to a private barber and/or stylist. And no Mr. Davis, when I say "private" I don't mean you cutting your own hair in front of your bathroom mirror, which is what seems to be your current method.

Chargers 31-28

Dallas @ New York Giants

Matt Cassel takes over as QB1 for the Cowboys this week, and I can imagine a scenario where this leads to a stunning career renaissance for the journeyman signal-caller. In this hypothetical he does so well that he takes the permanent starting role from Tony Romo, wins a Super Bowl, and eventually his magical story reaches a crescendo when he inevitably guest stars on an episode of Castle. Either that or he flounders for a couple weeks operating an offense he's not overly familiar with and fades back into nothingness. It'll probably be one of those two.

Giants 27-20

Sunday Night

Philadelphia @ Carolina

Heeeeeere's CriColl!

Whoa, insider info from Cris Collinsworth right here on HCM! With that in mind I'll have to take the Panthers as well. I'd also like to thank Mr. Collinsworth for not bringing up the picture we're using for his sound bites anymore. Very professional of you sir. Good thing we've got this bridge, because there's a lot of water under it.

Panthers 24-17

Monday Night

Baltimore @ Arizona

Well Ravens I warned you that last week would be the final time I would give you the benefit of the doubt and you went out and lost again anyway. It's almost as if you guys didn't even read last week's post! Hopefully you're reading this time, because I'm going to provide you with some bulletin board material right now: You guys suck butt. Let that be your motivation.

Cardinals 34-20


NFL Picks - Week 7 Thursday

Seattle @ San Francisco

As you surely know by now, this season we've been taking a look at Super Bowl match-ups that weren't. Believe it or not, we have one here. This was Not Super Bowl XVIII. The Seahawks made a surprise run to the AFC Championship Game in '83, while the Ninerrrrr ....... AAAAAAAHHHHH I can't take it anymore! Whaaaaat the fuck is happening?!? Why are the Hawks losing 4th quarter leads week after week? Is Fernando Rodney on the team now? That's how bad it's gotten, we're at the point where I'm honestly wondering whether or not Fernando Rodney is somehow playing on the Seahawks and helping them blow games. Look, I don't know what needs to be done, I won't pretend to be an expert (even though that's exactly what I do on a weekly basis), all I know is that it needs to be fixed immediately. Though, I guess we won't really know if it's fixed until the 4th quarter rolls around, which is what makes this so frustrating. No matter how solid the team looks for the majority of the game it's all moot unless they close it out. You know what I'm saying, right 'Nando?
Seahawks 23-13


NFL Picks - Week 6

Sunday Morning

Washington @ New York Jets

According to research that I had to triple-check to verify, the Jets have only lost one game so far this season. How have they done it? You're not waiting for me to answer that are you? I was asking you. Look, if you're not interested in this being a reciprocal relationship then maybe we're not here for the same thing.

Jets 20-16

Arizona @ Pittsburgh

Michael "Mike" Vick led the Steelers to a stirring comeback victory over the Chargers as time expired on Monday night. And yea though the clock may have run out on that game, it appears to have done quite the opposite on Mr. Vick's career. Ponce De Leon himself would surely turn as green as field-turf, envious as he'd be of Vick's seeming discovery of a youth fountain. Salutations Michael, and glory be to you! That being said, Roethlisberger will return in a couple weeks, sending Vick back to the bench, never to start again. He's really old you guys.

Cardinals 24-15

Kansas City @ Minnesota

Last Sunday Jamaal Charles blew an ACL in a loss to the Bears. It was the roughest week for chiefs since Chief Henry died on Saved by the Bell. Ya know, the one episode where Zack is a cross-country star. That always felt like a real slap in the face from the writing team over at SBTB. Look guys, we've seen every episode, you've never mentioned Zack participating in cross-country, let alone being the best runner on the squad. Don't treat us like idiots just because we watch your show. Ok, glad I could get that off my chest in this public forum. If anybody knows the person who wrote that episode feel free to send them this link, I'd love to delve into this further, and maybe unpack the ONE EPISODE where Zack is on the basketball team. Anyway, who's in this game? Oh yeah, Vikings and the Charles-less Chiefs.

Vikings 23-16  

Cincinnati @ Buffalo

The Bills' skill players are currently suffering through an injury epidemic. LeSean McCoy, Sammy Watkins, Tyrod Taylor, and Charles Clay are all questionable to doubtful for this Sunday. With so many hurt players we might as well call this team the Medical Bills. I'm sorry. As was foretold, I have made my third Bills/bills joke. And as promised, I am now apologizing. I guarantee I won't revert to this tactic again, no matter how increasingly hilarious it has been.

Bengals 21-18

Chicago @ Detroit

Through five weeks the Bears are two games better than the Lions. Who would've thunk it? Hopefully no one, because that's not proper English. If you had thunk it then shame on you. Hmm, so I just checked an online dictionary, and it turns out that 'thunk' actually is a word. I never would have thought that. Well, looks like I can't trust dictionaries anymore. This is good though, because it will finally give me a chance to get my dictionary up and running. Most of the definitions are exactly the same except for a few key ones that are VERY different. As for this game, I'm going to guess that the Lions get their first loss of the season.

Lions 20-17

Denver @ Cleveland

It's been apparent all season that Peyton Manning is no longer the reason the Broncos are winning games. But is he the reason they're losing games? Well no, they haven't lost a game yet, but he's certainly helping keep things close. If nothing else Manning's play through five weeks should have given him plenty of ideas for Halloween costumes: ghost, zombie, or skeleton would all be fitting.

Broncos 26-20

Houston @ Jacksonville

I don't think there's a team that more consistently loses every time I pick them to win than the Jaguars. It's almost as if they're throwing games just to screw with me. While I appreciate the fact that they're reading the picks on a weekly basis, I have to question the lengths that they're willing to go to just to put one over on me. I admit it's a good goof, but it's costing them their season at this point. Let's see how they fair when I pick them to get the W at home against the Texans. A Jacksonville loss this Sunday will provide me all the proof I need.

Jaguars 16-13 

Miami @ Tennessee

And so the Dolphins embark on the post-Joe Philbin era. I for one doubt that the players will notice much of a difference on the sidelines this week considering I'm not sure I ever saw Joe Philbin say a word during a game. Fittingly, the Dolphins haven't made much noise this season. There are plenty of examples from the past of teams rising up and getting a win their first time out after a midseason coaching change, but I expect Miami to go quietly in this one.

Titans 24-13

Sunday Afternoon

Carolina @ Seattle

I caught some highlights from Ron Rivera's and Cam Newton's press conferences this week, and though the sound was off and I had to read it on closed captioning, I feel relatively comfortable loosely relaying their quotes regarding this Sunday's game against the Seahawks to you now:
"It could be a defining win for us, but at the same time it's not the end of the season if we lose." -Rivera.
"Are they a great team? Yes. But I think we're a good team." -Newton.
So in other words Panthers fans, don't get too excited, because your coach and star player certainly aren't. The Hawks need this win, and it sounds like Carolina is more than content to allow them to take it.

Seahawks 20-10  

San Diego @ Green Bay

It's time once again to celebrate Super Bowl match-ups that weren't. This was Not Super Bowl XLII. On January 20, 2008 the Chargers lost 21-12 to the undefeated Patriots, while the Packers lost at home in overtime to the eventual champion Giants. The former game is largely forgettable aside from the fact that Philip Rivers was attempting to play on one knee. The latter, however, will forever be remembered for a classic Brett Favre blunder late in the game, and Tom Coughlin's face turning a color normally reserved for taste-testers at the Wonka factory. In the end we were probably better off with the Super Bowl we got, considering it resulted in a monumental upset and perhaps the greatest play in the history of the title game. Still, one can't help but wonder just how badly Brett Favre would have screwed up if he'd been given one last chance to do it on the biggest stage of them all. As for this game, I'd say that if the Chargers couldn't get a home win over Michael Vick, they probably won't triumph over Aaron Rodgers on the road.

Packers 38-20

Baltimore @ San Francisco

Last Sunday the Ravens' defense was shredded by Josh McCown, making them the only thing in the last 10 years that McCown has shredded outside of mozzarella cheese for his weekly pizza night. The fact that the man makes a fantastic pepperoni pie only illustrates Baltimore's woeful performance. How does it illustrate that? Not sure. Look, the point is that the Ravens have been real lousy on D. Despite their struggles each of their four losses has been by 6 points or less, so I'm tempted to give them the benefit of the doubt in this game. But be warned Ravens, this is your last chance with me. Jags players, could you please relay that message to them?

Ravens 27-24

Sunday Night

New England @ Indianapolis

And now your favorite minute (or so) of the week and mine, ladies and gentleman, CriColl himself, Cris Collinsworth:

Sorry Cris, we know you're a busy man and we wouldn't dare keep you any longer. We'll just have to go with what we got. In other Collinsworth news, it's been brought to my attention that the nickname CrisCo would roll off the tongue much better than CriColl. While I can't help but agree, I'm kind of entrenched with CriColl at this point, and a change in direction would most likely be too jarring for the general public.

Patriots 41-24

Monday Night

New York Giants @ Philadelphia

I understand that the NFC East is home to some of the biggest markets in the country, and that the teams within the division have many a supporter throughout the country, but the amount that this group has been featured on prime time so far this season is ridiculous. Do you realize that we've only gone one week (Week 2) out of the first six without at least one NFC East team playing in a night game? The Giants are the most ubiquitous of the bunch, with this matchup being their fourth prime time game of the young season. This would be overkill regardless of the teams' records; but it's downright laughable when you consider that they're all mediocre! Of course, the main motivating factors for the networks are ratings and $$$ (that's money, for all the foreigners), so we should expect to see more of the same for the foreseeable future. It's unfortunate because the nation deserves to get to know some of the league's less publicized teams, like the gritty group of unsung heroes that comprise the 2015 Jacksonville Jaguars. Again Jags, thanks for reading.

Giants 31-26


NFL Pick - Week 6 Thursday

Atlanta @ New Orleans

The Falcons and Saints are kicking off Week 6 in ... checking ... New Orleans. Ok, if you say so NFL. My personal theory is that the Georgia Dome and the SuperDome are the same place and that the signage and colors get changed depending on who's playing there that week. I mean I've never been inside either, so as far as I know, that's correct. I'd love somebody to prove me wrong. If you or someone you know claims to have personally seen these domes in their purported cities, by all means e-mail me at admin@truthaboutthedomes.com.

Falcons 31-24


NFL Picks - Week 5

Sunday Morning

Seattle @ Cincinnati

A quarter of the way through the NFL season and Andy Dalton is looking like the Andy Dalton of old. Of course, when I say the "Andy Dalton of old" I'm referring to his days at TCU, because we've never seen him look this good in the pros. To beat Dalton and the undefeated Bengals at home it may take a superheroic effort. Luckily for the Seahawks they not only have the Dark Knight:

They have bat-man too:

Seahawks 23-16

Chicago @ Kansas City

Both teams come into this game at 1-3, but oh how different a 1-3 they are. The Chiefs' losses have all come against undefeated teams, including one that they absolutely blew against the Broncos. Meanwhile, the Bears have looked, and quite frankly, smelled like hot, steamy garbage for most of this young season. The forecast for Kansas City on Sunday calls for 82 degrees, which means that garbage is only going to get hotter and smellier. 

Chiefs 31-17

Washington @ Atlanta

Devonta Freeman has scored 7 touchdowns in his last three games. It's an impressive stat if you like touchdowns. Personally I don't. It's an easy way out if you ask me. Real men win by kicking field goals and playing tough defense. Touchdowns? They're for showboats. Get some class Devonta Freeman. Of course, he'll probably score two touchdowns this Sunday regardless of what I say because he clearly has no reverence for the game.

Falcons 30-20

Jacksonville @ Tampa Bay

This season the NFL is celebrating the Super Bowl's 50th anniversary by highlighting past Super Bowl match-ups whenever they occur during the regular season. That's all fine and (foppish) dandy, but I'd rather take a look at the Super Bowl pairings that never were. Technically every game this week would fit that criteria, but I'm specifically referring to match-ups between teams that both lost in their respective conference championship game in the same year. Here we have one such combo. This was Not Super Bowl XXXIV. On January 23, 2000 the Jaguars lost the AFC title game at home to the Titans 33-14, while the Bucs lost the NFC title game in St. Louis 11-6, in what will forever be remembered as the dumbest score in league history. It's a real shame that the Jags and Bucs didn't square off in the big game. Their losses deprived the nation of the Mark Brunell/Shaun King showdown that we were all clamoring for. Unfortunately, it seems that America will have to keep waiting for its first all-Florida Super Bowl as neither team looks poised to make a championship run any time soon. The good news for these squads though is that someone has to get a win this week, barring a tie of course. But that couldn't possibly happen ... could it? Perhaps in an alternate universe, with a different Super Bowl XXXIV.

Jaguars 24-20

New Orleans @ Philadelphia 

To say the Eagles have failed to impress so far this season would be an understatement. But at the same time to say their play has resulted in a death toll in the thousands would be an overstatement. So it's somewhere in between there, and when you look at it like that, things really might not be so bad. That being said, I wish I didn't have to pick a winner in this game. Neither team deserves my approval. They're a lot like my children in that respect. Yikes, this one went dark. Let's move on.

Eagles (I guess) 26-21  

Cleveland @ Baltimore

The Ravens may have saved their season last Thursday with their overtime win in Pittsburgh. But was it really worth saving? Having a season is a big responsibility, and Baltimore has to think long and hard if it's really ready for this kind of commitment. And that's before you even consider that bringing a season into such a volatile and uncertain socioeconomic climate may not have been a good idea in the first place. Look, I hope things turn out alright for Baltimore and that their season grows into a success; I just want them to take everything into account and make an educated decision before continuing on. That being said, they'll probably win this week because ... The Browns are coming to town!

Ravens 27-17

St. Louis @ Green Bay

Last week supreme lame-o Clay Matthews was caught on a microphone telling Colin Kaepernick that he "... ain't Russell Wilson bro." Seemingly everyone has taken these comments as a slight to Kaepernick, but have we considered the alternate possibility that Clay Matthews might just be a huge racist who couldn't initially differentiate between two black quarterbacks? Maybe what we heard on TV was Matthews having an epiphany and just thinking out loud. Or maybe race has nothing to do with it and Matthews is just easily confused in general. We'll know that's the case if we hear him exclaim in bewilderment, "You ain't Sam Bradford bro!" after tackling Nick Foles this Sunday.

Packers 31-16  

Buffalo @ Tennessee

Just when you think you can trust Buffalo they go and lay a stinker at home against the Giants. Now to be fair, in most situations at home is the most appropriate place to lay stinkers, but not in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE. Anyway, as I was saying before that stinker sidetrack, Buffalo is a tough team to decipher. In fact, these Bills are so hard to figure out they should change their name to the Tips. Yes, this is the second week in a row I've made a football Bills/monetary bills joke. And no, I will not apologize for it. And yes, I'm planning on doing it again on another occasion this season. And yes, I will apologize for it at that point. Let's be real, three is too many.

Titans 23-21 

Sunday Afternoon

Arizona @ Detroit

The Lions are inching ever closer to their first win. Quite literally, as they were within a foot of taking a late lead last week in Seattle. But it's like Vince Lombardi always said, "Football is a game of inches. 3,600 to be exact. I measure before each game to verify that not a single one has been missed. And believe me, I've had to have an embarrassing conversation with groundskeepers on more than one occasion as a result." Wow, such wisdom from that man. You are missed coach.

Cardinals 21-16 

New England @ Dallas

Coming into the season this looked like it would be a marquee match-up. However, the rash of injuries (and the injuries from rash) to the Cowboys have rendered this game less than. In fact, in a recent recon sweep of all marquees in the US, this game was nowhere to be found. Look for the Patriots to get up early and not look back; because if they did look back they would be faced with a history of sordid secrets and ruined lives they've left in their wake.

Patriots 28-14

Denver @ Oakland

Peyton Manning continues to look like a withered specter of his former self. He's an aging veteran that's barely hanging on, and in that way he reminds me of Dennis Quaid's character Cap from Any Given Sunday. Of course, in this scenario that would make Brock Osweiler Willie Beamen. I'm not saying I would pay money to watch Brock Osweiler recreate the "My Name is Willie" music video, but I would support other people paying for it to be created so that I could watch it for free. I'm guessing Denver will sneak away with another win this week.

Broncos 22-17

Sunday Night

San Francisco @ New York

Well it appears that Cris Collinsworth's Geek Squad appointment didn't turn out quite the way he'd anticipated, so unfortunately we have no choice but to use a picture in lieu of actual video once again. But we won't let any of this stop us from getting you the finest in football analysis. Take it away CriColl:

I couldn't agree more CC. Look for the Giants to get above .500.

Giants 20-13

Monday Night

Pittsburgh @ San Diego

Michael Vick is back! And he's exactly how we remembered him! It's nice to know that in this unpredictable NFL landscape there are still some things you can count on, like Michael Vick prematurely fleeing the pocket and scrambling out of bounds for anywhere from a two yard gain to a two yard loss. Expect him to do that just enough times to lose the game for the Steelers on Monday.

Chargers 27-19


NFL Picks - Week 5 Thursday

Indianapolis @ Houston

Apparently Matthew "Matt" Hasselbeck has been sick all week following the Colts overtime win over the Jaguars. In fact, the reports say he began to feel ill during the second half of that game. If true, that would place Hasselbeck's Week 4 performance right up there with the Jordan flu game, if not above it. Being the hero that he is, MH has decided to step aside this week and cede the spotlight back to Andrew Luck. Meanwhile, in Texans news, Bill O'Brien still can't seem to settle on a starting quarterback. His strategy of swapping Mallett and Hoyer out for one another on a game-to-game basis so as to shatter the confidence of both players is an interesting one. We'll see if it pays off at some point this season, but it certainly doesn't seem to be working as of now.

UPDATE: It appears Matthew Hasselbeck will be doing no such ceding, and he will be starting once again. My pick will stay the same, because I believe in MH. I don't care if he's 40 and was on an IV drip two days ago.

Colts 24-17


NFL Picks - Week 4

Sunday Dawn

New York Jets @ Miami

Wake up, there's a game on! Meh, never mind, it's Jets/Dolphins, you can go back to bed if you want. Um, I don't want to be nosy or anything but why are you sleeping in that? And why are there so many stains on it? Good news for the Jets, Geno Smith may be active for this game. Better news for the Jets, they don't have to let him play.

Dolphins 23-18

Sunday Morning

Jacksonville @ Indianapolis

The Colts have now won 14 straight against their divisional foes in the AFC South, including 6 game sweeps in 2013 and '14. When you take into account that they've gone 11-5 in each of those seasons, that means they're only a .500 team against the rest of the league. Fortunately for Indy the Jaguars are in the AFC South, which doubles their chances of winning.

Colts 31-20

New York Giants @ Buffalo

Giants, Bills, sounds like that fancy dinner date I had last week! Ok fine, there was no date, I was alone. Fine, it was actually a lunch. Alright, it wasn't even that fancy. That doesn't mean the bill wasn't giant though. I mean I know guacamole is extra, but that much extra?

Bills 26-16

Carolina @ Tampa Bay

The Panthers are 3-0, eh? That's cute. I don't buy it; it's cute though. Their schedule has been pretty soft so far, and while Tampa isn't necessarily the toughest match-up in the league ... Um, I don't have any way to finish that thought, Tampa's is pretty lousy too. But I just don't see the Panthers getting to 4-0, so I'll roll with the home team in a MILD UPSET.

Buccaneers 17-16

Philadelphia @ Washington

The Eagles got off to a hot start last week, then took the second half off in terms of scoring points on their way to capturing to win #1 on the season. While it's an encouraging step, it still highlights the up and down nature of the Philly offense. They've scored 58 points total through three games, but 45 of those have come in just two halves, meaning that in the other four halves they've only put up 13. They're inconsistent to say the least. Actually, if I were going to say the least I would have just written the score. Probably would have saved us all a lot of time. But we wouldn't be as knowledgeable as we are right now. We're learning together, and it feels great!

Eagles 27-20

Oakland @ Chicago

When he was thrust into the Bears' starting job I don't think any of us expected much from Jimmy Clausen. And when I say any of us I'm including Jimmy Clausen. He looked perfectly content to hand the ball off, throw it no more than five yards down the field, and punt on each and every series in his first start of the season. If the goal was to not turn the ball over, then he succeeded; however, if the goal was to score a point then he most decidedly did not succeed. Playing at home this week against a somewhat suspect Raiders' defense should result in better than a shutout. I mean it can't be worse than a shutout can it? Can it?!? Hold on, I'm checking. (Four hours later) I scoured the record books and could only find one game in the history of the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE in which a team scored negative points, and it was that time when Dan Orlovsky ran out of the back of the end zone. So if Clausen can avoid that he should have an improved performance. Certainly not a win though.

Raiders 24-17  

Houston @ Atlanta

The Falcons are 3-0, yet have trailed in the fourth quarter in each of their games so far this season. We might as well start calling these guys the Comeback Cats! I realize that Falcons are not cats, but doesn't that have a nice ring to it? As for this week, why should it be any different? The Texans will take a lead into the final fifteen minutes only to be upended late by Atlanta.

Comeback Cats (Falcons) 26-21

Kansas City @ Cincinnati

The Bengals are undefeated on the football field this season. But let's talk about a location where bengals are not undefeated, and that's their natural habitat. It's here that they are mercilessly picked off daily, not by marauding defensive backs but by ruthless poachers. You might think this issue doesn't affect you, but perhaps you should reconsider. You know that tiger skin rug in front of your fireplace? Guess what it's made out of? Tiger! Maybe a 4-0 start from Cincinnati will finally force you to look in the mirror.

Bengals 24-22

Sunday Afternoon

Cleveland @ San Diego

The Browns are coming to town! That relieved exultation isn't just for constipation sufferers anymore; it's now shouted by every team with the Cleveland football squad on their schedule. I realize that both teams come into this game with a record of 1-2, but I really don't see any chance of San Diego losing. But if they don't get the better of the Browns expect the Chargers to feel a lot of uncomfortable pressure, and not just in their lower abdomen.

Chargers 38-17

Green Bay @ San Francisco

I used to think that Colin Kaerperpick would be the best combination of the 49er quarterback's name and interceptions. However, after watching the Cardinals take a pick back to the house on each of San Fran's first possessions last week, I now think that 'Nick 6 might be more appropriate. Even if it's not I'll have fun trying it out for a few weeks. This is an interesting match-up though for Nick 6. He's dominated the Packers in the past with his running ability, which is the one thing he seems to still be able to do. I don't think the Niners will win, but I expect them to hang around until Nick 6 is forced to start throwing the ball.

Packers 37-24 

St. Louis @ Arizona

The Cardinals' hot start has some folks legitimately wondering if they're the best team in football. Personally it's left me wondering if they've had the easiest schedule in football. Their first three games were NO, @ CHI, and SF. Sure Arizona has beaten them all soundly, but it should be interesting to see what happens the competition gets a bit tougher (which it doesn't really until the second half of the season). As for the Rams, they had a hot start of their own last week ... when they set their field on fire. C'mon Rams.

Cardinals 30-22

Minnesota @ Denver

This season Peyton Manning has repeatedly redefined the term "winning ugly." On Urban Dictionary, that is. Every time he does it the editors quickly remove what he's written, but Peyton, to his credit, keeps getting on there and re-posting. It's some really tasteless stuff that the site is justified in taking down, and I wouldn't dare share it with you in this space. But be that as it may, I think this whole subplot illustrates Manning's dedication and relentlessness. It's that alone that will carry Denver this season. That and their very good defense.
Broncos 29-19

Sunday Night

Dallas @ New Orleans

It's that time of the week where I turn the reigns over to CriColl himself, Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth.

Glad to hear it CC! What a trooper. I couldn't agree more though, this game should be a stinker. I'm guessing Drew Brees will play, and even if he doesn't Luke McCown should be decent enough to get New Orleans their first home win in seven games.

Saints 20-17

Monday Night

Detroit @ Seattle

It's a night game at CenturyLink Field, which is always tough on the visitors. I'm guessing the late start and the lingering ringing in their ears from a typically noisy crowd will leave the Lions sleepless in Seattle ..... Oh my God! Wait .... NO!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Seahawks 27-13


NFL Picks - Week 4 Thursday

Baltimore @ Pittsburgh

The Ravens come into this game at 0-3, which must make anybody who picked them to go deep into the playoffs very nervous. Probably so nervous they can't even tyyyyy -fdhsajkhgfv. Just win! Win a game! You're making me look like a damn fool! Luckily Michael Vick is here to help ... me, not the Steelers.

Ravens 27-20