NFL Picks - Week 8

Sunday Morning

Minnesota @ Cleveland
Sadly for DeShone Kizer his return to the role of Browns starting quarterback lasted just over one half as he was benched early in the third quarter in favor of Cody Kessler during last Sunday's overtime loss. It would be natural to assume that this second benching of Kizer would stick for a while, but then again, nothing should be assumed when dealing with the Browns. And so it was that DeShone Kizer has once again been named the starter for Sunday. This is a quarterback carousel upon which every other animal is DeShone Kizer. It makes very little sense that Cleveland would keep going back to a guy who now has 3 TDs and 11 INTs on the season. Unless, of course, the Browns are trying to lose games ... Oh ok, now I get it. If it's losses Cleveland wants the Vikings will be happy to oblige.

Vikings 23-9

Atlanta @ New York Jets
The thick fog that wafted into Gillette stadium last Sunday night was the perfect manifestation of the haze that the Atlanta offense has become enveloped in o'er the course of their last three contests. In fact, one could argue that it was perhaps even too obvious a metaphor, the likes of which, if found in literature, would surely emanate from the pen of a lesser scribe. Whomever is currently authoring the tale entitled The 2017 Atlanta Falcons has many a critic in Georgia's capital city, as these latest chapters have been nothing short of maddening. Can the Falcons flip the script in the shadow of Gotham this upcoming Sunday? I dunno, probably. Jets are pretty lame. 

Falcons 21-13

Carolina @ Tampa Bay
Cam Newton stormed out of his press conference on Wednesday due in large part to the fact that he is a petulant piece of shit. But enough about that, let's talk about the real juicy storyline heading into this game, which is the Panthers' signing of disgraced ex-Buccaneer kicker Roberto Aguayo. For now he's just on the practice squad, acting as insurance in case Carolina's regular starter Graham Gano can't go, but can you imagine if Aguayo does get the call on Sunday?!? And what if the game comes down to a long Carolina field goal attempt for the win? If I had to guess it would probably involve Aguayo stepping up for the kick, tripping over his own feet, falling face first toward the turf, and literally swallowing the ball whole. At that point the Tampa special teams will pick him up and carry him back into the end zone for a touchdown. Of course, the refs will have to review it to determine how to appropriately make a ruling on the play, but at that point it will be too late for the Panthers. 

Buccaneers 26-24

San Francisco @ Philadelphia
Last week the 49ers' streak of losses by three points or less ended at 5 when the Cowboys blew them out 40-10. I'm of the belief that one of the main reasons for this discrepancy in margin is that San Francisco gave C.J. Beathard his first start over Brian Hoyer. The Niners' should know by now that Hoyer is the master of doing just enough to not get embarrassed. If the San Fran brass is reconsidering their QB1 this week I like to imagine that Hoyer will emerge from the corner of the office smoking a cigarette, and in a gruff timber say, "Ya wanna lose by 3, or 30?" Then flick his cigarette and walk out of the room. Later that day it will be announced that the 49ers will be starting C.J. Beathard in Philadelphia, because they want to see what they have in the younger option, and also because Kyle Shanahan didn't appreciate having to get one of the chairs in his office reupholstered.

Eagles 31-13 

Chicago @ New Orleans 
Let's take a look at Mitchell Trubisky's stats from the last two weeks: 
8-16, 113yds, 1 TD
4-7, 107yds, 0 TD
His record in those games? 2-0! It seems impossible, but it's true. And again, those are actual stats from an NFL starting quarterback, not Navy's starting quarterback. But hey, it's somehow (again, I just don't get this) become a winning formula for Chicago. Can it continue to be so in the SuperDome this Sunday? My first thought would be no; as would my second. Third through ninth, also no. But then when I think about it for the tenth time, it's still a no. It takes me about twenty-four thoughts before I can envision Trubisky continuing this strange, mystical run. But hey, in the city of voodoo it's not impossible, in fact I'd give it about a 4.17% chance.

Saints 24-10

Los Angeles Chargers @ New England
Ok, now that the Chargers won a game in the most demoralizing environment in the NFL, their own home stadium, we have to start taking them seriously. After an 0-4 start they've won their last three to climb within a game of .500 and into the muddled middle of the AFC. 25 years ago the San Diego Chargers (yes, they once played there) started 0-4 before finishing 11-5 and winning the AFC West. Could the anniversary of that magical team inspire This year's squad to accomplish a similar feat? Probably not. Most of these guys weren't even alive in 1992, so what do they care? Also they can only afford one more loss in that scenario, and after this Sunday that number will probably be zero. The number of losses they can afford, that is. You got it, right? I wanted the sentence to be snappy and succinct, but clear at the same time. Hopefully I accomplished that. The succinctness I mean; that's the most important thing to me, to be succinct. 

Patriots 27-24

Oakland @ Buffalo
If you haven't already done so it's time to take notice of Buffalo, because this team is the real deal. In other words, these Bills aren't counterfeit. And with that line the ceiling above your head should have opened up to reveal balloons, streamers, and a trumpeter playing a jaunty tune. At least that's what better have happened because I paid way too much money setting it up. Please contact me if it didn't, I'll have some calls to make. The Raiders snapped a four-game losing streak last Thursday with what may have been a season-saving win. But now that they've saved it, they have to keep it alive, it's right there in the hippocratic oath. But Buffalo is a tough place to play, especially for a team making a cross-country trip. As a result, Oakland may be back on life support after Sunday.

Bills 28-21

Indianapolis @ Cincinnati
Alright c'mon, what are you doing here? We can just skip this one, right? Cool. Moving on ... Seriously? You actually want me to write something about this game? It's pointless! Ugh; fine. Let's see, uhh ... Colts/Bengals, what is this a football game or a malt liquor commercial with a tiger in it? Yuck. Happy now? Told you we should have just skipped it.

Bengals 30-17 

Sunday Afternoon 

Houston @ Seattle
This is the first time the Texans have played in Seattle since 2005. That's twelve years ago to you and me. Back then Deshaun Watson was only 10 years old! And America was 229 years old! Of course now it's 241 years old, because as I said before, it's been twelve whole years. For a quick frame of reference, the last time the Texans played in Seattle the movie 12 Years a Slave was still eight years from being released. In case you forgot, 12 Years a Slave was released four years ago, in 2013. So if you simply add up the eight years and the four years before and since 12 Years a Slave was released you get 12 years since the Texans have played a game in Seattle. Hopefully that answers any questions you may have had regarding when these two teams last played each other in Seattle. I'll go with the Seahawks this week.

Seahawks 26-16

Dallas @ Washington
Folks, it's the game of the week! At least that's what you've been told relentlessly if you've seen any commercial break during the World Series. Look, I understand promoting your product, but if a match-up between two 3-3 teams is the "game of the week" then I'm a dictionary salesman. Although now that I scan through Sunday's slate again there aren't many marquee contests ... Hmm could it be true? Is this really the game of the week? What kind of world is this? What are we teaching our children?!? Well one of the teams playing in this game is called the Redskins, so I guess that question answers itself. I'm not totally sure what to make of this game, so I'll turn to my old friend ... the transitive property. These teams have two common opponents so far, the Rams and the Niners. Dallas is 1-1 with a +25 scoring differential against those two, while Washington is 2-0 but only has a +9 spread. I'm more confused now, thanks a lot TransProp. I guess I'll go with the points.

Cowboys 30-27

Sunday Night

Pittsburgh @ Detroit
It's a Rustbelt rowdy-dow as the Steelers take on the Lions. Who will come out on top? Let's find out with some hard-hitting, topical analysis from the best in the biz Cris Collinsworth:

No can do CriColl. Sorry about that, but if it's any consolation I'll side with you on the pick.

Steelers 23-20

Monday Night

Denver @ Kansas City
Just two weeks ago the Broncos and Chiefs were 3-1 and 5-0, respectively. They were on top of the world, cruising down the streets in limos popping champagne with tuxedos on. And that's not a metaphor, each team actually did that. 106 men (no practice squadders allowed) dressed to the nines and a fleet of limos. It seemed exorbitant at the time, and has proven to be hubristic since, as each team has lost their last two. But while Kansas City has suffered hard fought losses to the Steelers and Raiders, Denver has fallen by double digits to the Giants (New York's only win of the season) and been shut out by the Chargers. Taking that into account I have to believe that only Kansas City will be left in their black tie wear when this one ends. Oh did I not mention that they're actually playing this game in the tuxedos? Because that's happening.

Chiefs 24-17 


NFL Picks - Week 8 Thursday

Miami vs. Baltimore
Look I'm not one who's prone to hyperbole, but this may be the most dismal game you'll ever see in your entire life. It will be played in an offensive vacuum from which no points can escape. Wait, what's that? Jay Cutler isn't playing?!? Well then never mind! This game just got interesting. Matt Moore probably should have been the Dolphins starter all along, just like Van Halen would have been better with Hagar from the get go. Maybe that was a bad example, but don't let that distract you from the truth that Matt Moore is not terrible, which is an upgrade from Cutler, who is not not terrible. And against a lousy, injured Ravens team not terrible should be enough to get Miami to 5-2; at which point the aforementioned vacuum will open up and suck us all back to our normal dimension where these Miami Dolphins aren't 5-2. 

Dolphins 19-16


NFL Picks - Week 7

Sunday Morning

Tampa Bay @ Buffalo
Tampa and Buffalo. Hey is this a Week 7 match-up or the top of my travel bucket list? Checking the Week 7 schedule ... Checking my travel bucket list ... Whoa, it's both! Maybe I should have gone to this game. Then again perhaps some things are better left as dreams, unattainable Xanadus that could only be tainted by my physical presence. For me that's Tampa, Florida and Buffalo, New York. Speaking of tainting something with your physical presence, Jameis Winston left last week's game against the Cardinals trailing 21-0 in the 2nd quarter. Back-up Ryan Fitzpatrick entered the game and nearly brought the Bucs all the way back from what would become a 31 point deficit, eventually losing by a final of 38-33. This begs the question, does Ryan Fitzpatrick give Tampa their best chance to win? The answer is no. There are probably about 20-25 QBs in the NFL that would give the Bucs a better chance at winning. As for players actually on the Bucs' roster, which I suppose is more to the point, I'd still say probably no. Though, whichever one starts this week I still like the Bills at home. 

Bills 23-17

Baltimore @ Minnesota
The last time these teams met, in 2013, it resulted in one of the wildest finishes in recent memory, with a combined 36 points scored in the game's final 2:05. Within that time the score leapt from 12-7 Vikings to 29-26 Ravens. Also, I'm pretty sure it was snowing. Yeah actually it was definitely snowing, there was at least 15 inches on the field. In fact, the conditions were so harsh that at one point a yeti ran onto the field and devoured a Vikings linebacker, similar to the old computer game Ski Free. Don't believe me? Have you ever heard from Larry Dean since? Didn't think so. Anyway, can we expect an equal amount of zaniness this Sunday? I'd say no, but if some sort of mythical beast ends up eating C.J. Mosley don't say I didn't warn you.

Vikings 24-13

New York Jets @ Miami
Alright, I get it now Dolphins, you're just trolling us all. For long stretches you've looked like the worst team in the league and yet here you are at 3-2. It's possible that I've just been ignoring the fact that your defense is solid. But can you blame me? Your quarterback is Jay Cutler. He's an attention vacuum with that personality, and he's been sucking me right in. But enough is enough, I'm unplugging the vacuum and retracting the cord, because that's the best part of vacuum experience anyway. Also because if I left Cutler's cord dragging around behind him he'd probably trip up a number of his teammates, which is an added obstacle that the Miami offense just doesn't need right now. I'll pick the Jets just because the Dolphins can't get to 4-2 can they? That's impossible ... right

Jets 20-17

Arizona @ Los Angeles Rams
This week someone asked me if Adrian Peterson is back. I replied that I don't see color when I look at people, so I wouldn't really know, and frankly I resented the question. But, I've heard from others that yes, he is. I then realized that the person had said "back." I felt like an idiot it for about a minute, but quickly shrugged it off by reminding myself that I've read multiple books. The Cardinals have had some trouble this season and last winning games east of the Mississippi, and well, this game is being played in London, which is as far east of the Mississippi as you can get. Not geographically, I know, that's Bangladesh of course. But in terms of where a team might plan an NFL game, it don't get no easter than this. With that in mind I'll take Los Angeles, the home team.

Rams 30-24

Jacksonville @ Indianapolis
At this point if you told me Andrew Luck was never going to play football again I wouldn't be shocked. Then again, I'm one of those assholes that tries to never act shocked so that I can make the other person seem less consequential. Luck has apparently suffered a setback in his rehab and has been shut down from throwing for the time being. This is a pivotal development, because being able to throw the ball is usually integral to playing quarterback. While Jacoby Brissett has not been the worst replacement quarterback we've seen this season, and possibly not the worst QB starting in this game, he doesn't inspire a ton of confidence; especially against a solid Jags defense. I'll pick Jacksonville to win, which of course means they'll lose because they live to make me look like an ass. Joke's on them though, because I'm doing just fine with that on my own!

Jaguars 29-19

New Orleans @ Green Bay
Aaron Rodgers' collar bone has broken, and with it so too may have the Packers' spirits. But hey, chin up Green Bay, not all is lost, at least you've got your health. Well no, I suppose you don't ... that's the whole problem. You know what you do have though? A boat! Yeah, that kick ass new boat that you just bought even though your wife, friends, and children told you it would be a bad idea. Screw them; they were way off, and now they don't get to come on the boat no matter what! We'll see how bad of an idea it is when you throw that baby into auto-pilot (or auto-captain) and water ski behind it. Yeah, that'll show them. However, when you wreck it and break your collar bone you'll have to admit that it's pretty ironic. This has all the makings of a classic Saints stinker, even with Brett Hundley at QB for Green Bay.

Packers 17-16

Carolina @ Chicago
This could be a tricky game to pick since the Bears have been surprisingly feisty in most of their games this season and the Panthers are a different team without Luke Kuechly. Yes, a difficult pick indeed ... Too bad Pickler's dead. Just kidding, it's not too bad, that guy sucked. Sure his rhymes were cute or whatever, but he was a real nuisance. Besides I can make my own rhymes. How about this: Eenie meenie miney mo, I think I'll pick Chi-ca-go! Yeah, there we go. Hmm, is that even who I want to pick though or am I just doing it for the rhyme? How did I make this even harder? Ugh, I need someone to help me with this ... No! No I don't. I'll do this on my own. Carolina wins a close one,

Panthers 23-20

Tennessee @ Cleveland
The Browns have announced that DeShone Kizer will return to his role as the starting quarterback, meaning the Kevin Hogan experiment only lasted one week. I'd say that that's unfair except the truly unfair thing was probably subjecting Kevin Hogan to starting for the Browns in the first place. So for now it's back to Kizer, he of the 3 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. This is sort of like a feral child that's been taken in but still decides to sleep outside because it's the only way they know how anymore. Look I'm not saying that Kevin Hogan is a comfortable, human bed, but Kizer is a return to reckless and uncivilized behavior that will continue to be a hallmark of the Browns organization until they re-learn that they are, indeed humans, and should live inside with their family. 

Titans 31-17

Sunday Afternoon

Dallas @ San Francisco
News broke early this week that Ezekiel Elliott's 6 game suspension had been reinstated and that he'd start serving it immediately. Then on Wednesday Elliott was granted a temporary restraining order that somehow delayed the suspension yet again. It seems like the only thing that's being suspended here is the suspension itself, am I right? At this point, if I were Elliott, I'd really start to flaunt how effectively my legal team is manipulating the system by wearing suspenders to the game; then going bungee jumping on my day off; and finally, the coup de grace, I'd be wheeled into my Wednesday press conference submerged in a tank of semi-gelatinous goo in a state of suspended animation. On second thought though, the powers that be might not respond well to such elaborate provocation. Expect this to be a close one, because that's what we should always expect from the 49ers at this point. 

Cowboys 27-23

Denver @ Los Angeles Chargers
The Broncos suffered a shocking loss to an injury-depleted, winless Giants team last Sunday night. Luckily for Denver they now travel to LA for a home game. There they'll face the Chargers who have shockingly won consecutive close games. Is this a sign that they've turned a corner and put their history of heartbreaking losses behind them? Doubtful. This is like when your puppy happens to poop outside a couple times; just because the circumstances broke correctly doesn't mean he's potty-trained.

Broncos 23-20 

Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh
Something entertaining always happens when these divisional rivals clash. Then again, this season the Steelers' offense has been underachieving while the Bengals' D has been surprisingly stout. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, Pittsburgh's defense has been solid and the Cincy offense has only somewhat recovered from a putrid beginning to the season. Sooo I guess when I promised entertainment I assumed you were a big fan of ugly, low-scoring games. And if that's true, well you are one sick, sadistic son of a bitch ... and I dig it. Feel free to get weird with this one ya freak. 

Steelers 16-9

Seattle @ New York Giants
The nation is still reeling from the Giants' stunning upset of the Broncos last Sunday. It wasn't just that New York came into the game winless, but they were basically without a receiving corps. However, that ragtag crew of wide receivers shattered expectations by combining for 22 yards on 2 catches. Uhh, never mind, that's almost exactly what everybody expected. The real key was that the Giants' defense played the type of game that dummies who picked them to go far in the playoffs were expecting from them at the beginning of the season. If they play close to that level we should see a low-scoring game that will make for an enticing Afternoon for that sicko I was talking about in that last game.

Seahawks 17-10 

Sunday Night

Atlanta @ New England
It's the most anticipated rematch of the season, and the best color commentator in the biz will be in the booth to cover it. Let's turn it over to him now; whaddaya got CriColl?

Mr. Collinsworth's opinions on the MTV show "Wild N' Out" do not necessarily reflect those of Henry Cotto's Mustache. Also, I couldn't help but notice that you didn't make a pick Cris. I guess I'll have to figure it out on my own; give me Atlanta because ... revenge.

Falcons 38-34

Monday Night

Washington @ Philadelphia
It's a rematch from Week 1, a bygone age when none of us knew that the Eagles would become the best team in the NFL. That is, if you trust their record, and I for one do; records never lie. With the exception of most of the statistical records in baseball, Kim Jong Il's various sporting achievements, and "Girl You Know It's True" by Milli Vanilli. Ok maybe records do lie sometimes. And maybe it crushes little kids who believed that two braided, Europrean men could make beautiful music. And maybe other kids made fun of one of their classmates for crying when the band was exposed as frauds; but he wasn't crying, it was raining outside. It was the rain! The rain! I'll take Philly.

Eagles 27-20


NFL Picks - Week 7 Thursday

Kansas City @ Oakland
The Chiefs have finally lost. It's an inevitability for (almost) every NFL team throughout history, so it's not shocking. The real question now is how they respond to their first defeat. And I'm guessing it will be a complete and utter existential meltdown. At the first sign of trouble in this game Alex Smith will throw up his hands and sit cross-legged in the middle of the field, refusing to move, even when Kansas City goes on defense. The Chiefs will have no choice but to only send out only 10 other men, really hampering the game plan. That is, until Smith springs up at an opportune moment and picks off a pass. It will be an amazing play, but Smith will be so unfamiliar as to what to do with the ball that he'll then attempt to throw a pass back down-field. The whole thing will be such a mess that the refs won't even know what to rule on it, and eventually they'll just cancel the game. Whichever team is in the lead at that point will be declared the winner. Believe it or not this sort of thing isn't as rare as you might think, in fact, at least 3 games in each of the past 12 years have been canceled mid game due to overwhelming hijinks. 

Chiefs 23-16


NFL Picks - Week 6

Sunday Morning

Chicago @ Baltimore
Baltimore has feasted on young or subpar quarterbacks this season. Already having defeated Deshone Kizer and EJ Manuel, they'll now go up against Mitchell Trubisky in his second start. The Ravens are like sadistic kids pouring salt on slugs. And you might say, "Hey, they don't make the schedule, they just play the games." Well guess what, I have it on good authority that the Baltimore Ravens did create their own schedule. In fact, I have photographic evidence of Joe Flacco and Jim Harbaugh greedily rubbing their hands together with a rough draft of their schedule on a giant blackboard in the background. That version was 16 home games against the Browns, so obviously the league put the kibosh on that. A lesser journalist would post that picture, but being the highly esteemed writer that I am I will hold on to it for blackmailing purposes. 

Ravens 24-10

Cleveland @ Houston 
The Browns are making a change at quarterback! Full disclosure, I copy-and-pasted that sentence from one of the ten past posts that I've started with the same headline. Would it have been easier for me to have just typed it out rather than fish through the archives to find it? Sure. But don't you also think that at this point the Browns would have been able to at least stumble into a decent starting QB? The point is, sometimes we make things harder on ourselves than we have to ... I think. Look, I'll admit, that seems like a stretch, but so does Kevin Hogan as a starting quarterback in the NFL, yet here we are. The good news for the Browns is that they don't have to face JJ Watt this week whose season has once again been cut short by an injury. The bad news? They are, in fact, the Cleveland Browns. As a result they will lose.

Texans 34-17

Green Bay @ Minnesota 
Two weeks ago I made a joke that Sam Bradford's knees had passed away. It was hilarious and we all had a good laugh, but now it appears to be accurate as it was clear to anyone who watched the Vikings' Monday night win in Chicago that Bradford was walking around on a pair of ghosts; and we're still too far from Halloween for that to be cute or funny. Actually now that I think about it Bradford playing the rest of the season with sentient, wise-cracking ghost knees would be pretty entertaining. Like maybe they have a mind of their own and make him kneel during the anthem even though he doesn't want to? Or they won't let him take a knee to run out the clock at the end of the game eventually leading to a loss? This thing is writing itself. Unfortunately the Vikings seem to think they need knees that need no kneading, so they're starting Case Keenum this Sunday. Keenum vs. Rodgers, need I say more?

Packers 23-16

Detroit @ New Orleans 
This game seems like a tough one to predict, but guess what guys, I killed Pickler. That's right, I outsmarted him in some fashion or another and now he's dead. That is what happened. In a completely unrelated bit of advice, do not listen to any rhyming, goblin-like creatures who you may run into that tell you they know me and that they unleashed a swarm of hornets through the vent above my stove causing me to instantly burst into hysterical tears and attempt to run so quickly that my feet comically spun out of control resulting in me falling flat on my back and incurring an astounding amount of facial hornet stings ... because he's a liar. He also thought the Lions were going to win, but like I said, he's a liar. 

Saints 31-24

Miami @ Atlanta
Alright, just what the hell is going on with the Dolphins? Last week Jay Cutler threw for 92 yards on 26 throws, for a putrid 3.5 yards per attempt, and yet somehow they won to improve their record to 2-2. They have scored 41 points on the season, a total that has been topped by at least one team each week so far. But again, they're 2-2. I don't know how. I suppose the best way to decipher this 53-man Rubik's Cube would be to watch one of their games. That doesn't seem advisable or logical, so I'm just going to speculate that they've been lucky with their schedule. And like an inattentive rabbit's foot harvester, their luck is about to run out. 

Falcons 38-10

New England @ New York Jets
The winner of this game will be in first place in the AFC East. One of these teams is the New York Jets. I'm not sure how this is possible either. But hey, nobody told them they weren't supposed to win any games! Except for their owner and GM probably, men who seemingly designed the team to compete for the #1 pick in the 2018 draft. If that was the original goal the front office will be thrilled to see the Patriots coming to town. And while New England hasn't been their regular, dominant selves yet this season they should have enough to beat New York. That is, unless these Jets are even spunkier than I'm giving them credit for. Maybe they have so much spunk inside them that they're just waiting to unload on the Pats. Oh god what have I done? I'd delete this whole post if it wasn't against my own no deleting anything policy.

Patriots 31-20

San Francisco @ Washington 
The 49ers continued their season-long pattern of agonizing defeats, losing in overtime (again) to the Colts last week. As soul-crushing as it may seem, they should attempt to keep the trend going this week because of whom they're playing. San Francisco has long been a rumored landing spot for Kirk Cousins once his franchise-tag saga is complete in Washington. If the Niners want to convince Cousins that he'd be the missing piece that would make them into a winner what better way than to stay close in this one and have Brian Hoyer do something stupid to blow it in the end? Now you might be wondering, "If it means eventually losing his job why would Brian Hoyer purposefully do something stupid and lose the game?" But don't you see my dear boy? He's Brian Hoyer, he doesn't have to try to lose the game, he'll just do it regardless. 

Redskins 24-19

Sunday Afternoon

Tampa Bay @ Arizona
The Buccaneers' kicking woes continued last week when Nick Folk missed three field goals in a 5 point loss to New England. But is Folk really to blame? Let's a take a closer look. First of all, one of those misses was a 56-yard attempt, outdoors, on grass, which is certainly not automatic no matter who you are. So we can wipe that one out. Alright, now he only has two misses. Folk's second attempt was a 49-yarder, which is also no chip shot whatsoever. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that in that situation any given professional kicker would be about a 50/50 bet to make it. So let's cut Folk some more slack and erase that miss from his record too. As for the last one, well it was a 31-yarder, which is a must make for any and every kicker in the league. However, as he was lining up for the kick Folk could see his wife being held hostage in the stands to the left of the upright so he rocketed that ball right into her captor's head knocking him unconscious. Nick Folk saved his wife from a life or death situation and you want to give him shit?!? Of course Tampa, being the heartless bastards that they are, cut him this week and ... well they'll probably win this game on a last-second field goal. Let's face it, Nick Folk was pretty lousy.

Buccaneers 28-27

Los Angeles Rams @ Jacksonville 
After the Jaguars intercepted him 5 times in their win over the Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger wondered aloud to reporters whether or not he still has it in him to be a successful quarterback in the NFL. That's the weight that a loss to Jacksonville carries, it can make a hall of fame quarterback reconsider whether or not he wants to play football again. But Roethlisberger can take solace in the fact that these Jags are 3-2 now and might actually be good ... No! I'm not doing it, I'm not going to start believing in the Jags. I can't go back down that road. And if I end up being wrong, well then maybe I don't have it in me to keep doing this. It'll leave me with some more free time, maybe I'll hit up the bars with a newly retired Ben Roethlisberger. On second thought, that's probably not a good idea.

Jaguars 24-20

Pittsburgh @ Kansas City
It's a playoff rematch and the Chiefs have GOT to have revenge on their minds. Indeed, revenge is a dish best served cold, but Kansas City is all kinds of hot right now and ready to burn through the Steelers. Still it's also been said that living well is the best revenge, and in 2017 no one in the NFL is living as well as the Chiefs. However, Confucius himself once said, "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves." Well, two won't be enough for the Steelers, they have way more players than that, so maybe this one doesn't work as well. Unless one of the graves they dig is right behind Ben Roethlisberger, then they cover it with some turf to disguise it so that when Ben drops back right he steps right on top of it and falls in. There it is! That's what Confucius must have been talking about. 

Chiefs 29-13

Los Angeles Chargers @ Oakland 
This is a game being played between one team who just moved to a city that doesn't want them, and one team about to leave a city that desperately wishes they would stay. As for Mother Nature, apparently she doesn't want either of these teams playing in the scheduled location this Sunday. Fires in the nearby wine country have resulted in possibly dangerous levels of smoke in Oakland's air. The NFL is hopeful they will be able to safely play the game on, but are exploring their options just in case. Could one of those options be playing the game in Carson? That gasp of horror you just heard was from the Chargers players who are dreading the possibility of having to play an extra "home" date. Also, if you did indeed hear a gasp of horror that means that a Los Angeles Charger is apparently in the room with you, reading this over your shoulder; respond accordingly. And by that I mean hug them and tell them it's not their fault

Raiders 25-17

Sunday Night 

New York Giants @ Denver
On paper this looks like a lopsided game for the home team, but let's check in with SNF analyst Cris Collinsworth and find out what he thinks:

Yikes, that's heat. But I'll agree with CriColl.

Broncos 27-6

Monday Night

Indianapolis @ Tennessee 
Did you realize that the Colts are five games into the season but have already played all four NFC West teams? They now return to their home (the AFC South) with tales from the wilderness. Ripping yarns about frontiersmen, great birds of prey, and vicious, horned beasts who play in a cavernous, half-empty colosseum. I'll bet the folks back home won't even recognize this group when they return, especially since Andrew Luck looks a lot different now, and is a lot worse at football. They'll soon find out that that's actually Jacoby Brissett, and he's doing his best damn it! Speaking of backup quarterbacks, if the Titans have to go with Matt Cassell or Brandon Weeden on Monday ESPN should just air a couple World's Strongest Man episodes, preferably the Magnus ver Magnusson years.

Titans 17-16