NFL Picks - Week 13

Sunday Morning
Minnesota @ Atlanta
Haven’t mentioned it much this season, but it looks like we’ve got a Triple P (Possible Playoff Preview) on our hands here. Then again, who among us can tell the future (besides me of course, I’m pretty sure I’ve picked every game correctly so far this season)? Both teams enter this game lookin’ real hot. The Vikings have won 7 in a row, while the Falcons’ offense finally seems to be putting it together, resulting in three straight wins. It seems foolish to pick against Minnesota at this point, and I feel like I do it every week, but hey fool me once ... I’m a fool for the city baby! Gimme dem Falcons.

Falcons 23-17

Houston @ Tennessee
When these two met earlier this season it resulted in a 57-14 shellacking from the Texans. It was such a ferocious shellacking that the refs almost called the Shellack Rule on it. Of course, if you didn’t already know you probably surmised that Tom Savage was not the Texans’ starting quarterback that day. Instead it was Deshaun Watson, the rookie phenom whose absence seems to grow longer each and every week ... I mean, that’s exactly what is happening, such are the rules of time. Look, you know what I meant! And yes I know I should just delete it and write something more profound, but I can’t, because I Don’t Delete Anything! Tennessee should be out for blood in this one, so don’t be surprised if you see multiple Titans carrying shivs onto the field. Even with the rampant ejections that are bound to ensue I still think Tennesse will have enough depth to win convincingly. 

Titans 30-16

Kansas City @ New York Jets
What has happened to the Chiefs? It’s an honest question, I haven’t been paying attention to them. Ok fine, I guess I’ll just look it up myself; you’re becoming a real turd ya know that? Whoa! They’re 6-5?!? What has happened to the Chiefs? They’ve lost 5 of 6 and their once-electric offense has had the plug pulled on it to the tune of 17 points or less in their previous three contests. This finally answers the question I first asked when I watched One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: what would happen if Chief got lobotomized? A loss for KC would most likely result in them falling back into a tie for the lead in the AFC West, a division they seemed to have sewed up in October. Well start ripping out the seams baby, because this race is starting back at square one! Also, you made the hem way too short. I told you I’m a 34, this is 32 at most. You call yourself a tailor? Oh, your name is Taylor. Well then why did you agree to work on my pants?

Jets 20-17

Denver @ Miami
Last week Aqib Talib snatched Michael Crabtree’s chain yet again. Unfortunately for the Broncos it was only Talib’s second take-away of the season. You know your team is going down the tubes when a guy decides to go into business for himself with 57 minutes left to play in the game. It’s hard to know what will happen in this one since Denver seems to have checked out completely, however, Miami’s QB is Jay Cutler, and pound for pound nobody is more checked out than him. With all this checking out we might as well call this one the Concierge Bowl ... Don’t you guys think? Shouldn’t we call it that? Oh whatever, I liked it. Anyway, in keeping with the theme I’m going to bail on this game right now.

Dolphins 16-12

Indianapolis @ Jacksonville
Bravo Jags, just when we thought we could trust you you went and lost to a Cardinals team that was starting Blaine Gabbert and had only beaten the dregs of the league. Of course, this is probably our fault for trusting a team with Blake Bortles at quarterback. We forgot, but we’re wiser now. Fool me once and I’ll show you what a fool believes. Look for Jacksonville to come out eager for redemption and hesitant to throw the ball. 

Jaguars 27-10

Tampa Bay @ Green Bay
Bucs vs Packers ... hmm. That’s kind of funny, it sounds like it’s Bucks vs Packers; two Wisconsin pro teams doing battle. I’ll bet at least one idiot going to the game on Sunday thinks he’ll be attending some sort of inter-sport exhibition match. And that idiot is Jameis Winston. Speaking of the W-eater, he’s slated to return from injury this week, and I’m not so sure that’s a plus. Tampa went 2-1 with Ryan Fitzpatrick as starter, whereas Winston has posted a 2-6 mark. Even someone who thinks this is going to be a foosketball game can do the math on that and figure out that if he shoe Fitz you need to wear it.

Packers 24-20

Detroit @ Baltimore 
These teams are almost mirror images of one another. They’re both 6-5, they both have overpaid quarterbacks, their respective cities are not held in high esteem by, well, most people, and lastly, I can’t figure out if either of them is any good. But hey that’s ok, there’s room out there for mediocre NFL teams ... but not in the Super Bowl. That’s right, you can quote me, I think that neither of these teams will make the Super Bowl. Most prognosticators are a little trepidatious when it comes to making bold calls like that, but not me. And yes, this may cost me my fan base in both cities, but these are the risks I’m willing to take. Speaking of taking risks, I’m gonna guess there are a total of 5 interceptions thrown in this game. I don’t want to get into the breakdown but I’ll just say this Stanford will throw three of them. As for Flacco ... he’ll throw two. 

Ravens 22-16

New England @ Buffalo
The Patriots have shaken off a slow start, winning seven in a row thanks to a much improved defense that has given up an average of only 13 points per game over that streak. Compare that to their first four games, in which they surrendered an average of 32 and ... oh God, it’s happening again isn’t it? Damn it, after that first month it seemed like we were in the clear, but now we’re doomed to another New England Super Bowl. Pittsburgh is the only AFC team with a shot at stopping them, but how often have the Steelers beaten Brady/Belichick in the postseason? Never, they’re 0-3 (all in conference title games). So why watch any AFC games the rest of the season, you ask? Don’t. There’s no point. Unless ...

Patriots 31-17 

San Francisco @ Chicago
Barring anything extremely unlikely happening (like the Bears scoring a lot of points) the MVP of this game will be 49ers GM John Lynch. He fleeced Chicago on a draft night trade that only the Bears felt was necessary for them to land Mitchell Trubisky. I hope that with every bad throw from the Bears rookie Lynch flashes a thumbs up to the Chicago front office luxury suite. Another product of his Lynch's dealings Jimmy Garoppolo, will be making his debut as the Niners' QB1. How will he perform in his first start since September 2016? Their starter was C.J. Beathard, so it won’t matter. That is, as long as he doesn’t end up trading himself and a bunch of draft picks to the Bears to move up one pick in next year’s draft. But I don’t think he’s authorized to do that, so San Fran fans shouldn’t be too worried.

49ers 19-13

Sunday Afternoon 

Cleveland @ Los Angeles Chargers
The Browns have not won a game since Christmas Eve 2016 when they beat ... the Chargers. But that was a different Chargers team. Literally. They moved, remember? This year’s Los Angeles Chargers are coming off two blowout wins and are sniffing the playoffs. In fact, they’re not just sniffing them, they’re takin' a biiiig long whiff, and they like what they’re smelling. Probably too much, to the point that it’s creepy. But teams need a little edge this time of year, and the Chargers have just that. The Browns, on the other hand, resemble something more akin to an amorphous blob. Sure they exist, there’s no arguing that, but what are they? Just a big ball of goo that moves slowly across the earth making sucking noises as it goes.

Chargers 35-14

New York Giants @ Oakland
Ben “Twosythe” McAdoo made huge news this week when he decided to bench Eli Manning, ending the quarterback’s consecutive start streak at 210 games. The reasoning Twosythe gave was that the Giants want to see what they have in Geno Smith. Apparently Twosythe hasn’t watched much NFL over the past five years, because if he had he’d already know what he has in Geno Smith. What they have in Geno Smith is someone who has proven himself unqualified to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, a job title they’ve bafflingly bequeathed upon him once again. So what’s the real reason for benching Eli? They’d rather just lose out and get as high a draft pick as possible? Perhaps. Or perhaps some men just want to watch the world burn; and Ben Twosythe is one of those men. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him standing on the sideline this Sunday holding a bottle of liquor and staring blankly at the field with a maniacal twinkle in his eye. He’s basically becoming Clark Griswold at the end of the second act of a Vacation movie, except much lamer, because he’s Ben McAdoo. The Giants will lose because they deserve to, and it’s apparently what they want.

Raiders 24-10

Carolina @ New Orleans
This clash for the NFC South lead will be a knockdown, drag-out fight. No seriously, those are the rules for this one. If you get knocked down on a play a group of local jobbers drag you to the sidelines, where you must stay for at least one play. It’s a peculiar wrinkle that is also dumb and made up, so I wouldn’t worry about it much if I were you. In the first match-up between these teams the Saints blew out the Panthers in Carolina, meaning a win here would give New Orleans as commanding a one game lead that a team can have over a division foe. The Saints have only lost to division leaders this season, and technically they’re leading the South right now, so that means they can’t possibly lose this week. That trend doesn’t bode well for them in the playoffs though. 

Saints 23-18

Los Angeles Rams @ Arizona
Last week the Cardinals’ 42 year-old kicker Phil Dawson hit a 57 yard game-winning field goal. He then crumpled over and died. It was all he had left. After the game Coach Bruce Arians told the media it was “how Phil would’ve wanted to go.” Though teammates and family members would later reveal that Dawson would regularly tell them, “Don’t let me die on the field.” Either way Arizona will be without a replacement for the rest of the season seeing as how the signing deadline has passed for kickers. What’s that? There’s no signing deadline for kickers? Then how does Blair Walsh still have a job? This is a rematch from an October game in London which the Rams won 33-0. There’s a case to be made that the Cardinals will win this game based solely on their desire for vengeance. That case will then be thrown out when the plaintiff is reminded that Arizona’s starter is Blaine Gabbert.

Rams 31-14

Sunday Night
Philadelphia @ Seattle
It’s a critical match-up in the NFC, so I expect nothing but shrewd, insightful analysis from the best in the biz, Sunday Night Football color commentator Cris Collinsworth: 

I don’t know why I even bother having expectations for you anymore CriColl.

Seahawks 23-21

Monday Night
Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati
Are you as surprised as I am to see that the Bengals are back in the AFC wild card race? If you said no you’re a rotten liar. Or you’ve recently checked the standings and know that Cincinnati is only one game out of the 6th spot. That being said, there are five teams vying for one spot and looking at the Bengals’ schedule it looks like there are at least 2 losses left on there, including this game. 8-8 most likely won’t get it done. But hey, prove me wrong Cincinnati. This isn’t the first time I’ve challenged a group of bengals. Last year at the zoo I made a bunch of faces and puffed out my chest in front of the tiger cage; one of them flinched a paw and I shit pants. I don’t know why I told you that story. 

Steelers 27-17 


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