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