12.03.2020

NFL Picks - Week 13

LAST WEEK: 12-4

SEASON: 113-63-1

 

 

Sunday Morning

 

New Orleans at Atlanta 

Last week the Saints proved that their defense is plenty dominant enough to win without Drew Brees. They totally dismantled the Broncos’ passing offense, allowing only one completion for 13 yards. Now some of you might point out that Denver’s quarterback was a practice squad wide receiver, but I don’t think that’s a very nice thing to say about Drew Lock. Wait, the Broncos’ quarterback actually was a practice squad wide receiver?!? Oh. Well then yeah, that’s just a totally bogus win. The Saints probably would have beaten Denver even if they had a normal quarterback, but it’s not like New Orleans’ own offense looked too dynamic for large stretches of the game, so we’ll never know. It may go down as one of the great unanswered questions of our time. But we must move on to the Saints next opponent, who was also their opponent two weeks ago. Whoa, deja vu. The Falcons are hoping it’s not an exact repeat considering they only put up 9 points in their Week 11 contest. But hey, Atlanta won 43-6 last week against an actual NFL QB, so they clearly got way better all of a sudden. If they can carry that momentum into this game, and by that I literally mean score 43 points again, they should have a great shot at winning. Anything else, 42 points or fewer, and it’s anybody’s ballgame. 

 

Saints 23-20





Detroit at Chicago

Seven weeks ago I wrote the following:

“I don’t know how exactly Chicago is 4-1, I just know that I’m not buying it. Will I be saying this same thing when they’re 10-1? No. Because that timeline doesn’t exist. They’ll probably be 5-6 at that point. Mark my words!” 

Do I feel vindicated now that the Bears are 5-6? No, just sad for Chicago. Sad and vindicated. But really it just goes to show how clear it is to anyone who actually watches the Bears play that they’re not good. I mean if I could see this coming really anyone could have. I’m sure most of the Bears players themselves kind of felt like frauds. It’s like witnessing someone go into cardiac arrest and having your friend volunteer you to give CPR because you got certified at a class like 10 years ago. Sure the Bears have had practices and stuff, but it doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing, or that they’re any good at it. Is that a strained analogy? Yes. But is it an accurate one? No. But look, the more time we waste discussing my writing choices the more likely it is that that man is going to die in front of our eyes! Now did you learn CPR for your summer job at the water park when you were 17 or not?!?

 

Lions 20-18





Cleveland at Tennessee 

We’ve gotten to the point in the season when one can declare a game a triple P (possible playoff preview) with real legitimacy. And that’s exactly what I’m doing right here! That’s right folks, in five weeks we could be hunkering down for a Browns/Titans playoff game. Another possibility is that the whole season will have been canceled by then. So which one would you rather have? I saw that face you made about this being a playoff game. Would you be happier if we just call off the whole the season? No? Ok, so let’s just agree to take what we can get at this point. While I can’t say for certain if these teams will square off in the postseason, I can predict with great confidence that whoever the Browns play (should they get there) will be moving on to the next round. I just don’t have any belief that Baker Mayfield is ready to win a playoff game. He’s just good enough to lose the big one. And if I turn out to be wrong, I’ll gladly admit it while also providing an excuse for why I erred. If Baker and the Browns can get this win over an occasionally dominant Titans team then I may have to reassess my viewpoint. And by that i mean I’ll put on a pair of shades and say something like, “Dems da breaks baby!” It’s part of a whole new persona that I’ve been looking to transition to anyway, so a Cleveland win would actually be really helpful. 

 

Titans 27-17





Cincinnati at Miami 

When these teams met last season it was a laughing stock game. Oh what a difference a year makes, because now one of them is pretty good! It's like if someone only remodeled half your house would you be mad at them or just appreciate that it’s better than it was? Mad at them? Yeah me too. I mean we had a contract and everything. Of course, I should have known something was up when the contract itself abruptly ended on page 2 of 4. And yes, the company’s name was 50/50 Remodeling with a slogan of, “We knock it down, you set it up ... And by that what we mean is we will do all the demo necessary to start your remodel, but then it’s up to you to put in all the nice new stuff. Hope it turns out great, but by that point we will be long gone.” So ok, maybe I was foolish for not seeing this coming, but if I’m being honest that slogan was so long that I didn’t even read the whole thing. In fact, I stopped halfway through. Dems da breaks baby!

 

Dolphins 30-13





Jacksonville at Minnesota 

After a 1-5 start to the season and some shaky play over the last two weeks the Vikings still find themselves on the verge of the playoffs, just one game out from the final wild card spot in the NFC. It would be a pretty remarkable turnaround if they’re able to reach the postseason, but it’s also very possible that they’ll wind up in that frustrating limbo between a high draft pick and a playoff spot. Their opponent this week has found a different, yet perhaps more satisfying balance. The Jaguars are steamrolling towards one of the top 2 picks in the draft but also showing real competitiveness in the process. Three of their last four losses have been by 4 points or less. It’s a perfect level of ineptitude that gives fans hope for the future while also situating the organization to be best prepared for it. Bravo Doug Marrone! Now unfortunately, you won’t be around to reap the benefits of that high draft pick next season, but your contributions will not be forgotten. Unless the new coach is better, then no one will remember you at all. Just like very few people probably remember that this was a potential Super Bowl LI match-up. Hey, sorry to say it, but dems da breaks baby!

 

Vikings 26-20





Las Vegas at New York Jets

The Raiders were surprisingly destroyed by the Falcons last week. It makes you wonder, were the Raiders looking ahead to the Jets? Well of course not, that’s silly, and this is no place for spoofs, goofs, or gags. But truthfully, it’s possible that Vegas thought they could just take it easy for a couple weeks and cruise to wins over the Falcons and Jets. The Raiders’ strength of victory (the winning percentage of the teams they’ve beat) is .567, which is 100 points higher than any other team in the league other than Jacksonville, who has one win, so they don’t really count. Knowing that, maybe Vegas thought that if can beat good teams they should have no problem with the dregs of the league. Well guess again Raiders, cause these dregs came to play! Well at least Atlanta did; we’ll see what the Jets have to offer. And by that I mean what sort of dowry will they provide the Raiders with for beating them and getting them one step closer to the top pick in the draft. My guess is AMC Theater gift cards. The Jets wisely bought low on them back in the April, and now have so many that they don’t know what to do with them. 

 

Raiders 29-19





Indianapolis at Houston 

Going into their Week 12 match-up with the Titans, the Colts had a chance to get a stranglehold on the AFC South and let it go. In real life that’s probably the right move, but not in the NFL. After being dominated by Tennessee, Indy finds themselves in second place in the South and wallowing among the wild card flotsam. Ok, maybe that’s putting it a bit strongly. After all, they’re only one game behind the Titans with five games remaining. But you know as well as I do that once Tennessee gets a lead on you they take the air out of the ball and drain that clock. Wait, does that apply to a divisional race also? Maybe it’s best if I, and the Colts, stop worrying about the Titans. Their annual series is over with, they won’t play them again until next fall. Unless of course they meet in the playoffs ... Enough! All that Indy should be concerned with now is who's in front of them, the first of whom is the red hot(?) Houston Texans. That descriptor might sound hyperbolic, but the Texans are coming off consecutive wins over teams that aren't the Jaguars. So clearly the Colts could have their hands full this Sunday, much like they would have if they had held onto that aforementioned choke hold. Maybe this time they won’t let go. Or wait, in this case they don't want their hands full. Oof, this is getting complicated. Good luck concentrating with all this going through your head Indy. 

 

Texans 27-24





Sunday Afternoon

 

Los Angeles Rams at Arizona 

Both of these teams had head-scratching losses in Week 12. The Rams fell to the Niners for the second time this season while the Cardinals lost to a New England team that only gained 179 yards on offense. Arizona is probably in more trouble considering they’ve lost two in a row and are in danger of slipping out of playoff position a mere three weeks after being tied atop the NFC West. Though I wouldn’t feel too comfortable if I were the Rams either, considering their quarterback has a destruct button. Jared Goff is a decent enough QB, but there are certain games where he looks like one of the worst in the league. That’s not an ideal scenario when considering he’d have to avoid one of those outings in (likely) four straight games to give his team a chance at winning the Super Bowl. And if you don’t want to win the Super Bowl then you can just get the hell out of here. No, not you, you can stay. But you don’t want to win a Super Bowl? I mean I realize you’re not an NFL player, but if given the choice wouldn’t you still say yes? There’s no need to be a realist here, this is just a hypothetical. No, you wouldn’t have to leave your job. Yeesh, forget it.

 

Rams 27-20





New York Giants at Seattle 

The Giants are relatively on fire, having won three in a row to commandeer first place in the NFC East at 4-7. However, they must now turn to their backup quarterback Colt McCoy for at least one week. McCoy will be making his first start since, I don’t know 2017 for Washington? That sounds right doesn’t it? Oh what, you want me to actually look it up? Fine ... Huh, turns out he actually started a game for Washington last season and lost 33-7 against New England. So that’s not great; and neither is McCoy’s career record of 7-21 as a starter. But guess what, he’s 1-0 against the Seahawks, having beaten them 6-3 in 2011. So clearly he owns Seattle, and these Seahawks have not forgotten about it. Though I guess I shouldn’t have pluralized the team name there, because there is only 1 Seahawk still on the roster who played in that game. But you can bet that K.J. Wright has revenge on his mind! New York may need to use Wright's blind rage against him to preserve their winning streak. Things aren’t going to get much easier for the Giants after this, with their ensuing three games also against winning teams. So in actuality, maybe a quarterback who wins one out of every four starts is the most appropriate, realistic man for the job right now. 

 

Seahawks 26-13





Philadelphia at Green Bay

This is the perfect Eagles offense for the 2020 season. And by that I mean that if Philly fans had been allowed to attend games like in any other season the team would have been booed so hard that most of the players would have quit football. Luckily for them that’s not the case, and they all still have jobs ... for now. I don’t know for certain that Jalen Hurts would outperform Carson Wentz right now, but come on, just look at their QB ratings from their game on Monday: Wentz: 73.9; Hurts: 91.7. Need I say more? I hope not, because then I might have to explain that Hurts only threw one pass for 6 yards. Maybe the person who really has to explain himself is Eagles coach Doug Pederson, who brought his backup QB in for one play and immediately took him back out. And it wasn’t even a trick play or a decoy, it was just a standard pass. What’s the point? It’s like taking one bite of an appetizer at a restaurant and then leaving. And the app wasn’t even bad! Wasn’t great, could’ve used a dipping sauce maybe, and if I’m being honest it wasn’t very hot; seems like the server or the cook forgot about it for a while. But it wasn’t grounds for leaving the restaurant altogether. So Doug, next time maybe take off your coat and stay a while. I should reiterate though that this is an analogy, and no one should be eating inside a restaurant right now. 

 

Packers 27-16





New England at Los Angeles Chargers

After a lackluster performance that surprisingly yielded a victory for the Patriots, Cam Newton told reporters that he won’t apologize for winning. Even to the other team’s fans? That’s pretty messed up. Ya know a lot of us wait all week to watch our team play, and for you to just callously beat our squad without at least acknowledging our suffering is very disappointing. Speaking of disappointing, Chargers fans had to feel let down by the bewildering clock management displayed by coach Anthony Lynn and his staff last Sunday in their loss to Buffalo. Down by 10 with :24 left, a ticking clock, and no timeouts they attempted to run the ball from the Bills’ 2. When they didn’t get into the end zone their next snap didn’t come until :08 remained. That first play should have been a pass or a spike. Any play inside of :10 that wasn’t a FG attempt is pretty foolish since they still needed two scores and would theoretically need some time on the clock to actually get that second score. In the end they got what they deserved, which is no points, a loss, and a flight home on Spirit Airlines. Yep, can you imagine how much extra they were charged for all those bags of equipment too? Oof, don’t be surprised if the team has to make some roster cuts just to recoup some of that cash. Based on that coaching catastrophe I have to assume Belichick will have enough of an advantage to get his team the win. And yet again we’ll all be left waiting for an apology from Cam Newton. 

 

Patriots 23-18





Sunday Night

 

Denver at Kansas City 

A truly ridiculous quarterback situation left the Broncos with no chance of winning their Week 12 game against the Saints. Now that they have Drew Lock back are their chances any better against the Chief? I doubt it, but let's hear what Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth has to say about it.

Prayers up for Robbie.

Chiefs 31-13




Monday 

 

Washington at Pittsburgh 

After their blowout win in Dallas on Thanksgiving, Washington was leading the NFC East for 3 glorious days. Now they technically trail the Giants due to the head to head tiebreaker and face the Steelers, 49ers, and Seahawks over the next three weeks. The good news for Washington is that they could lose all three of those games and still have a decent shot at winning their division. The bad news for the league as a whole is what I just said. Thanks to the Ravens/Steelers saga, Washington gets an extra day to prepare for this game. What sort of masterful game plan will they unfurl come Monday? If I had to guess, probably a lot of check-downs and screens. After all, they’re playing against a good Pittsburgh defense, Alex Smith is their quarterback, and we all agree that Alex Smith should do everything in his power to avoid getting hit so that he can continue to walk. 

 

Steelers 20-9





Buffalo at San Francisco 

Due to the Bay Area’s ban on contact sports, the poor 49ers are now a team without a home. Though, does home field advantage even matter this season anyway? Barely. Without all of us amazing fans there to support our squads, home teams have a paltry .517 winning percentage. Pathetic really. Compare that to last season, when the stadiums were packed and pulsing with the power of fan bases uniting as one to propel their home teams to a combined winning percentage of .518! So um, yeah, we’re collectively good for .001 percentage point. Or one win in a thousand games. I am shattered to pieces. Have all my supportive screams meant nothing? So many decibels wasted. To think I spent all that money getting myself drunk enough to stand outside and yell for 3+ hours. Now it almost seems like my drinking problem was developed in vain. Where do we go from here? I’ll tell ya where, we root for every single road team to win from here on out. If the home winning percentage comes down maybe it will justify the life choices we’ve (we’re all in the same boat here, right?) made. And if the number stays the same? The end of life as we know it. 

 

Bills 24-16





Tuesday Night

 

Dallas at Baltimore 

The Cowboys were blown out 41-16 by Washington last Thursday. It was the most embarrassing performance on Thanksgiving since that year when all I ate for dinner was one roll. After my father publicly disowned me in front of the family they all threw cranberry sauce at me until I shamefully crawled into the giant turkey carcass and lay there while everyone chanted, “That’s your bed now! That’s your bed now!” You know what, now that I’m recounting all of this it’s dawning on me that that was a dream I had. Yeah, that explains why all my teeth fell out too. Well that’s a relief. Unfortunately for Dallas their Thanksgiving debacle was not a dream, and we all saw it. Well some of us saw it, some of us got so bored that we took a nap before eating. And no, that nap was not inside of a giant turkey! That was a dream! It wasn’t real! If we assume that the Ravens have Lamar Jackson and at least some of their COVID crew back I don’t see the Cowboys faring much better this week. 


Ravens 31-17

 

 

11.26.2020

NFL Picks - Week 12

Movember Link


LAST WEEK: 7-7

SEASON: 101-59-1


Sunday Morning

 

Las Vegas at Atlanta

The Raiders are 4-1 on the road so far this season, much better than their 2-3 mark at home. Maybe it just goes to show that it’s never a good idea to spend a whole week in Vegas. Clearly they’re enjoying their opportunities to get out of town, recharge their batteries, and win football games. They’re not distracted all week playing slots, watching George Wallace’s 10pm show, and downing slushie booze out of a guitar. On the flip side, the Falcons must be overwhelmed by the weight of all the political attention heaped upon their city. How else would you explain their 1-4 home record? Well, I guess you could explain it by pointing out that they’re 2-3 on the road, which also isn’t very good. Fair. This is one of those games where nothing’s gotta give, so why fight it? That’s my motto in this situation, and whenever I'm presented with the opportunity to drink out of a guitar. 

 

Raiders 31-23





Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo 

When the Chargers intentionally took a safety at the end of their Week 11 game against the Jets it was probably the right strategical move as it left them ahead by 6 with :01 left. But the fact that there was :01 left meant that it was still possible, if not likely, that LA would lose. A walk-off free kick return for a touchdown would be new even for the Chargers. At that point we would have known that there was no saving them. Their addiction to calamity would have completely taken them over, with no hope of recovery. Now, that doesn’t mean that they won’t get to that point one day, but at least they avoided rock bottom against the winless Jets. The Bills are coming off a ridiculous loss themselves, having fallen to a Hail Mary two weeks ago. To make matters worse, their bye came immediately afterwards, so they’ve had an extra week to think about it. In a way this game is something like a rehab, and the Chargers are their grizzled sponsor. They’ve been there before plenty of times and can help guide Buffalo back to health. Step one is admitting you have a problem. Step two is playing the Chargers and realizing things could be a lot worse. 

 

Bills 35-30





New York Giants at Cincinnati 

The Giants are on a roll! They’ve won 2(!) in a row, which is a monumental enough feat in its own right, but now they have a very good chance at making it 3. You see, their Week 12 opponent Cincinnati is coming off a season-ending injury. Whoops, I meant to say that the Bengals' rookie quarterback Joe Burrow suffered a season-ending injury, but in reality my Freudian slip was quite apropos (it was also bogus, because this is in writing, which means a Freudian slip is not possible). Now that Burrow is out, the Bengals may as well lose the remainder of their games and build towards 20 ... well if we’re being honest, probably 2022 based on Burrow’s injury. The good news for Cincy is that with Brandon Allen at quarterback they probably won’t have to try to lose, it’ll just come naturally. Really the best of both worlds, they don’t have to tank, and they’ll end up with a great draft pick. Well, I suppose the best of both worlds would be to win every game and still get a top 5 pick. But that's just asking too much. Unless they made a trade with the Texans that I’m not aware of, which is definitely possible.

Giants 24-16 





Tennessee at Indianapolis 

 
Wow, it feels like only two weeks ago that these teams played each other for the first time! Well guess again jocko, because it will actually be 17 days in between match-ups. “But I’m reading this on a Friday, so it’s only been ... damn it, 15 days. Still longer than two weeks. You’ve done it, you’ve bested me again. You’re so intelligent, and handsome. I can never get one over on you! And I wouldn’t have it any other way. In this life we must have role models, or even idols to look up to so that we continue to challenge ourselves to improve. I thank you sir for being just that for so many of us. And for taking on the added burden of having no such idols yourself! What a struggle it must be to propel yourself to ever greater heights, but yet you continue to do so on a weekly basis. I am humbled by your sacrifice and grateful for your sustained excellence. Bravo monsieur, bravo!” Yep, that’s right asshole, I zinged ya good!

Titans 30-27





Carolina at Minnesota 

After a 1-5 start to their season, the Vikings came into last week at 4-5 with a chance to get within one game of playoff position. Instead, they lost to the Cowboys and now find themselves in worse shape than Dallas, somehow (and again, the “somehow” is the NFC East). Meanwhile, the Panthers are coming off a shutout victory and are now ... also nowhere near the postseason. So what we’re left with is possibly Sunday’s least consequential game. And when there are no consequences you can throw caution to the wind! I’m talking, going for it on all fourth downs, trick plays, letting Kirk Cousins throw it. That’s right, it’s about to get wild in (searching for the name ...) U.S. Bank Stadium. And none of it will have any lasting effect! I wish you could say the same about that second slice of pie I had on Thursday! Or the third helping of turkey! Or the potatoes, there were a lot of potatoes. If I’m being honest, I went back for more and took the last of them before some of the kids had even had a chance to eat. I’m uh I’m not proud of it. But hey, that’s all behind us, and now we all get to move on and watch Panthers/Vikings! I think I need to make some changes.

Vikings 31-24





Arizona at New England 

The Patriots are on the edge of elimination. Not mathematically, but one more loss would bring them to 4-7 and effectively end their season. It kind of makes me think that Belichick will make a last stand here and use whatever’s up his sleeve to stay alive for another week. Then again, wouldn’t he have used everything in his arsenal already? A magician’s not going to wait to reveal the ending of their big trick until after the audience has left. Unless they appeared in each of their homes to finish the trick, and that was all a part of the show. Now that would be something! Is that what Belichick is planning on doing? I hope not. No visitors allowed Bill. Plus you seem like a COVID truther, because any sort of instruction from the CDC would infringe on the absolute power you wield in all other aspects of your life. Pfft, what a big man you are! Ya know what, I want you to lose now ... because of this narrative I made up and talked myself into!

Cardinals 24-17





Miami at New York Jets 

The Dolphins can’t seem to figure out what they want. About a month ago they were 3-3 and decided to move to their rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. He didn’t necessarily light the world on fire, but the team had won all of his starts, and was 6-3 entering last Sunday’s game in Denver. Then the offense played like garbage leading coach Brian Flores to bench Tua and reinsert Ryan Fitzpatrick. Eventually Fitz got them within striking distance before throwing a game-ending interception, which is something that could have been typed multiple times in each of the last 10 seasons. So apparently Miami, a team that seemingly had a more broad scope, is now very focused on winning as many games as possible this season. They’re trying to have their cake and eat it too. But it’s late November guys, this is a time for pie! It’s also time to choose your strategy and stick to it. Either let Tua develop while taking his licks, and maybe helping you to the playoffs. Or ride that magical Fitzpatrick train as far as it takes you, while keeping in mind that it almost certainly will not benefit your long term future. This is almost exactly how every season of the Bachelor/Bachelorette ends, and it promises to be just as entertaining. So, mildly.

Dolphins 27-13





Cleveland at Jacksonville 

In their game against the Steelers last week the Jags tried an onside kick in the first quarter. Clearly they felt their offense was over-matched and thought maybe they could steal an extra possession. It’s not that out of the ordinary for a big underdog to attempt such a move. What was surprising was that the player who kicked the ball was wide receiver Keelan Cole! See that's is the type of nothing-to-lose, aggressively reckless attitude I’m here to see! Look, Jacksonville already guaranteed that they wouldn’t suffer the ignominy of going 0-16, they took care of that in Week 1. Now they’re free to do whatever the hell they want, and I can’t wait to see what’s next ... What’s this? They’re starting Mike Glennon at quarterback?!? It just keeps getting better! If you want some sloppy fun, look no further than Mike Glennon. Hey, that’s not just my opinion, that’s a direct quote from his Tinder profile. Don’t believe me? Hold on, let me get on my catfishing account and switch my location setting to Jacksonville, I’ll get you a screenshot soon. Standby ...

Browns 20-9





Sunday Afternoon

 

New Orleans at Denver

There’s still a lot of buzz around Saints backup quarterback Taysom Hill and whether or not the team can continue to win in Drew Brees’s absence. And sure, that’s an important question. But what I want know is: can dem Bayou boys hand the thin Denver air? Their lungs are used to that thick, swampy stuff down in New Ahhhhlinz. The defense might be coughing up gumbo by the end of the first quarter. Look folks, I’m no scientist, and I very rarely claim to be one, I just know that that sort of atmospheric change can wreak havoc on a frozen pizza, let alone an NFL player. Don’t believe me? Check the cooking instructions of your next Freschetta! Now that’s not to say that the Saints can’t, or won’t adapt, but don’t be surprised if Taysom Hill looks like this at the end of the game.

Saints 23-20





San Francisco at Los Angeles Rams

The Rams lost to the 49ers in Week 6, which makes this something of a revenge game. And it’s a lot easier to get that vengeance when the other team is left with a roster that's almost entirely backups. It’s like finally finding the man who killed you father and seeing that he’s already in a coma. Do you just put a pillow over his head? That doesn’t seem very satisfying. Are we sure he can even hear the speech you prepared? I know that they say people in comas can hear, but I don’t know, there’s a lot machines humming and beeping here, and from all the intel you’ve gathered about this guy in your quest it doesn’t seem like his hearing was that great to begin with. Oof, well this just is not how you imagined it huh? Sorry Rams, even if you get your win back here you’ll just be smothering a coma victim. Hope you’re proud of yourselves. I, for one, am not impressed. Frankly a little disgusted if you want the truth.

Rams 31-13





Kansas City at Tampa Bay

After former Bucs kicker Matt Gay beat Tampa with a late field goal on Monday he said, “You can’t write it.” Totally. Though, hold on, let me give it a shot: Kicker who no one remembers plays former team and makes two field goals of modest length to help new team win. Whoa, I think I did it! Guess it wasn’t as out of this world as Matt Gay, the guy who kicked the field goals, thought it was. I hope the Bucs won’t be too preoccupied nursing their third degree burns, because they’re facing the defending Super Bowl champs this Sunday. And this isn’t like when the ‘99 Broncos were defending their title with Brian Griese and we all just thought it was cute that they still tried. No, these Chiefs are the favorite to repeat. Well, they’re the only team that can repeat, but you get what I mean. KC is looking primed for a run to Super Bowl LV after their win over LV. And hey, by beating the Raiders they got their Kings of the AFC crown back in the process! Don’t remember what that is because it’s a fake thing I came up with and am now riding out? No problem. Guess you don’t like fun, but no, it’s no problem. From what I’ve seen of Tampa this season it seems like they need a couple big turnovers for them to win a game. I did not do the research on that, so don’t at me. Anyway, I don’t see Mahomes giving those up, so I’ll go with the Chiefs here. Now, let’s see you try to write that Matt Gay. Does anybody have his e-mail address so I can forward him the link?

Chiefs 31-26





Sunday Night

 

Chicago at Green Bay

The Packers can step on the collective throat of the NFC North with a victory over the fading Bears. Will they do so, or does Chicago have a surprise waiting for them? A loss surprise! Let's find out what SNF analyst Cris Collinsworth thinks:

I, for one, think it's time for Chicago to see what they have in Gruntor. otherwise they should stop wasting his time and theirs'.

Packers 26-15





Monday Night

 

Seattle at Philadelphia 

After a dismal performance by his quarterback in Cleveland in Week 11 Doug Pederson publicly stated that Carson Wentz would remain the Eagles’ starter. And I agree with Pederson’s decision. Sure, Wentz has been among the worst full-time starters in the NFL this season, but it’s not like Philly has some sort of exciting rookie backup to plug in for a much needed jolt to ignite their dying ember of a season. Oh that’s right, they drafted Jalen Hurts in the second round. Hmm, yeah actually that would be pretty interesting to see at this point. Then again, can the Eagles afford to take that sort of risk? They’re now slightly behind in the NFC East, and if they want to regain their playoff position and prove themselves against a possible postseason opponent, maybe it’s best to stay the course. Though, the course so far is what led them to being slightly behind in the NFC EAST! So perhaps change is needed. It's a tough decision, I don’t envy you Doug Pederson. Just kidding, you’re a Super Bowl winning coach with a trophy outside your stadium, give me your life!

Seahawks 17-9





Maybe Sunday or Monday or Tuesday ...

 

Baltimore at Pittsburgh 

After the Ravens’ third loss in four games, Lamar Jackson was lamenting his team’s recent play when he added that it feels like no one is rooting for them. Unfortunately, that comes with success. When a team does well enough, there will inevitably be a backlash in which ... Wait a minute, does he just mean because the stadium isn’t full? Like is he literally saying it feels like no one is rooting for them because he can’t hear people cheering? He knows that’s how it is across the league right? If the stands had been full the Ravens may not have been the only birds on the field Sunday. I’m speaking of the boo birds, of course! Baltimore blew an 11 point lead in their loss to Tennessee and now find themselves on the outside of the AFC playoff picture. The Ravens also won’t be the only birds on the field this Sunday, since, as we all know, turkeys will be placed at the corners of each end zone since this game was originally scheduled for Thanksgiving. If these birds are disturbed in any way, the offending party must carve and consume 2lbs of meat until he is allowed to return to action. It’s a grand tradition that very few people seem to know about, or believe when I try to explain it to them. Taking that special rule into account, the Steelers should be extra careful, seeing as how a win will clinch the division for them. Oh whoops, I forgot about the Browns! Can ya blame me? So fine, either way, if Pittsburgh can steer clear of those glistening, edible pylons, they should end the evening with their hold on the AFC North as snug as all of our belts by the time this weekend is done!

 

Steelers 27-20

 

 

11.25.2020

NFL Picks - Thanksgiving

Houston at Detroit

Ah yes, it’s that time of year when America checks in with the Lions and confirms that, yep they’re lousy again. The Lions are like America’s deadbeat uncle, we only see them on Thanksgiving, it’s usually uncomfortable, and by the end of it we’re just as disappointed in them as we ever were. Also, someone is going to have to give the Lions a ride home because they had way too much to drink. Come to think of it their car isn’t even in the driveway. How did they get here? I happen to know they were in Charlotte last week, when they managed to score 0 points against the Panthers. To be fair, Carolina had just come off a five game losing streak in which they’d surrendered 31 points per game, so their D was due for a shutout. The Texans, Detroit’s Thanksgiving opponent in case you skipped the header of this blurb, have given up 27 points per game this season, so the Lions will be lucky to make it out of this one with anything on the scoreboard. They’ll also be lucky to receive an invitation to Thanksgiving next year. Look, I know they’re contractually locked into it, and they’re family, but at some point we have to draw the line. It’s not healthy for anybody, including them, if we keep enabling them like this. Now, let’s kindly ask them to leave for the evening ... aw man, they’re passed out in the closet.

Texans 26-20




Washington at Dallas

How many gruesome leg injuries will Alex Smith be forced to watch this season? He was thrust into action when his teammate Kyle Allen suffered a dislocated ankle, and last week he witnessed Bengals QB Joe Burrow’s ACL and MCL be torn in brutal fashion. Now he has to play on Thanksgiving, a day famous for snapping wishbones! Will he even want to play well enough to be presented with a postgame turkey leg from Fox? We need to stop reminding this man of his own fragility. Though, to answer that earlier question, there is real incentive for Smith to play well considering that 1st place in the NFC East is on the line. It may just be temporary, depending on Sunday and Monday’s results, but the fact remains that come Thursday evening, one of these teams will be atop the NFC East with a record of 4-7. Unless, of course, they tie, which would truly be a heartwarming, magnanimous gesture on a holiday based around togetherness and sharing. It’s also a day of gluttony though, so really these teams should try to take everything they can get. But please let’s just leave Alex Smith’s leg off the menu.

Cowboys 23-16 





11.20.2020

NFL Picks - Week 11

MOVEMBER LINK

 

LAST WEEK: 10-4

SEASON: 94-52-1

 

Sunday Morning

 

Philadelphia at Cleveland 

This is the third home game in a row for the Browns. If you watched either of the previous two you’re likely extremely discouraged by this news. For those of you that missed them, be glad you did. Both contests featured brutal winds that contributed to a total of only 39 points being scored. Though there’s probably a select few of you who really dig that sort of thing. Your idea of a perfect game is a 0-0 tie. Well leave that at the 1946 Army/Notre Dame game pal, because we don’t want your sick fetishes here in the future! It’s 2020 baby! We need our points. We have fantasy teams to feed. I’d recommend seeking that sustenance elsewhere. Regardless of the weather report for Sunday, the Eagles are involved, and one way or another most of their games have been ugly as hell. The good news for Philly, even if they lose here they won’t have fallen out of first place. That’s right, if they come out of this at 3-6-1 they’ll still be in playoff position. That helps illustrate the point I was trying to make, regardless of the weather, this is going to be a stinker. 

 

Browns 14-11





Atlanta at New Orleans 

Saints quarterback Drew Brees will be out for a few weeks after suffering some fractured ribs and a collapsed lung. While the Saints fared quite well without Brees last season, this does increase the odds of New Orleans dropping a previously assumed win such as this one against the Falcons. It makes me think about Matt Ryan’s claim from a few weeks ago that Atlanta could win out. At the time I laughed it off, but now I’m wondering what he knows that we don’t. Or perhaps, who? Am I accusing Matt Ryan of paying off 49ers players to injure Drew Brees prior to this match-up? No. Am I saying that he did just that, and that he should be tried in a court of law? Yes. Ok, so I guess I am accusing him. It’s just the most logical explanation. The only other possibility is that Matt Ryan legitimately thought the Falcons were going to win 9 in a row, including 5 against the Saints, Bucs, and Chiefs. Starting to see my point? Matt Ryan is undoubtedly pulling the strings here a la The Godfather poster. And just like in the movie itself, come to think of it. Oh my god! I finally get that poster!

 

Falcons 23-20





Cincinnati at Washington 

There are no intra-divisional games in the NFC East this week, which means that those teams can collectively go 0-3 (the Giants are on a bye). If they do, there’s a very good chance that the division as a whole will have as many wins as the Steelers. Is it hackneyed to yammer on about how lousy the NFC East is? Yeah. But I also find their ineptitude fascinating. I can’t look away, it’s like a car wreck. A car wreck that occurred on a football field and didn’t involve cars, just football players. It’s causing a lot of traffic too. There are a few teams stuck behind them that would like to get into the playoffs but can’t because they’re blocking the only road there. The Bengals are in a different conference, so they’re not affected by that gridlock, but it’s interesting to compare their situation to Washington’s. Cincy is currently 2-6-1 with no real postseason hopes, but if they were in the NFC East they’d be one game out of first. That really illustrates what a land of opportunity the East is. Truly anyone can make the playoffs, no matter how terrible they are. 

 

Bengals 27-20





Detroit at Carolina

This match-up is like looking into a mirror. Not necessarily because the teams’ styles of play are very similar, I’m merely talking about the color schemes of their uniforms. And come to think of it, they’re both named after big cats. Hmm ... Should the Lions and Panthers just join forces at this point? Doesn’t seem like either one of them is going anywhere on their own, might as well see how they’d do as a conglomerate. Just imagine it, Matthew Stafford throwing to DJ Moore! Or Romeo Okwara on the same d-line as Yetur Gross-Matos! Ok, so maybe they still wouldn’t be that good, but what do they have to lose? Their whole season and likely some draft picks because combining teams is against NFL rules, and would warrant serious discipline? Yeah, I suppose so. Ok, cancel those plans. They had a good run though, didn’t they?

 

Lions 30-24





Pittsburgh at Jacksonville 

There’s a lot of chatter about this possibly being a trap game for the Steelers. But I’m not so sure it will work out that way since the Jags played well against Green Bay last week. Meaning at this point it would be hard to surprise Pittsburgh. It’s like the Jags were setting the trap but hadn’t hidden yet, then the Steelers came around the corner and the Jags tried to scatter, but it was too late, they’d been seen. To that point Mike Tomlin explained to reporters this week that he has a “ridiculous level of respect” for Jacksonville. That sounds very flattering, but I would have followed up and asked him to specify just what that meant. One could argue that any amount of respect for the Jaguars is a ridiculous level. It’s possible that Tomlin was watching Jacksonville tape with his staff and said, “Ya know, I almost respect these guys.” When one of his assistants told him that was ridiculous he said, “Yeah, I guess so.” 

 

Steelers 32-14





Tennessee at Baltimore 

It’s a revenge game for the Ravens whose 2019 season was ended prematurely by the Titans in the Divisional round. But Baltimore can’t worry too much about last year when suddenly their 2020 campaign is dangerously close to derailing. They’re currently three games (and a tiebreaker) behind Pittsburgh in the AFC North and with a loss here would likely be on the outside of the playoff picture going into Week 12. The same can be said for the Titans, except for being three games behind the Steelers. Yes, their record is three games worse than Pittsburgh’s, but they’re not in the same division. You guys get what I’m saying, right? No? The Titans are in the AFC South, so it’s not relevant how far behind the Steelers they are. What’s the AFC South? That’s your question? It’s Tennessee’s division. What’s a division?!? What are you talking about? How did you get this far into the post without knowing that? I’m moving on. The point is, the losing team will have their work cut out for them the rest of the way, especially if it’s the Ravens. This promises to be a pivotal and entertaining football game. What’s a football game?!!!!? Aaagggghhh!

 

Ravens 20-17





New England at Houston 

Last Sunday the Patriots proved that they still have what it takes to beat a good team, as long it’s a torrential rain storm and no one can hold onto a football. Unfortunately for them, this game is being played under a roof. A “roof which no rain could possibly penetrate” according to its architect G. Francis Molehill. A bafflingly modest boast considering he was commissioned to build a very expensive roof, but hey if you keep expectations low you won’t disappoint anyone. Which is the exact opposite scenario that New England finds themselves in. If they had taken a page out of Molehill’s book they never would have won a Super Bowl and their fans wouldn’t be nearly as bummed out about the lackluster season they're currently in the midst of. However, it’s worth noting that Molehill’s own home caved in due to heavy rain. So maybe don't take a page out of his book. But did Molehill build that house? Well yes, yes he did. The more I think about there’s a decent chance this game gets rained on. If so, advantage Patriots, disadvantage Molehill. Though, as you may have guessed by now Molehill hasn’t been seen or heard from in years, so good luck bringing him to justice! 

 

Texans 24-20





Sunday Afternoon

 

Miami at Denver 

Coming into Week 11 there were nine teams with a record of 6-3. That’s over a quarter of the league! Even more surprising than that: the Dolphins are in that group! They’ve won 5 in a row, and could very logically stretch it to 8 with upcoming tilts against the Jets and Bengals after this one. I’m not saying this is an automatic win for Miami, after all, Denver is a historically tough place to play. But it’s a lot tougher when the Broncos don’t have one of the worst quarterbacks in the league. Drew Lock is only in his second season, so there’s a good chance he’ll improve, and he’s left plenty of room for improvement, so in a way that’s good. But in terms of this season and actually helping his team, that is not good. Look for an ever-improving Dolphins defense to feast on Denver’s struggling QB. But hey, don’t fill up too much guys, Thanksgiving is less than a week away! Also, Drew Lock has a family that probably loves him, so just be nice. 

 

Dolphins 26-16





New York Jets at Los Angeles Chargers

Based solely on records these are two of the worst teams in the AFC, but I don’t think they’re comparable. Yes, the Chargers are 2-7, but their losses have all been by one score. Whereas the winless Jets only have two such defeats. They’re losing games by an average of 16 points. Also the quarterback situation for each team is quite different. In New York Joe Flacco is starting in place of an injured Sam Darnold, who the Jets may move on from anyway, while the Chargers have one on of the best young quarterbacks in the league in Justin Herbert. And when I say young I mean it, he’s only 15! Don’t believe me? See for yourself. I’m not sure what Herbert was trying to accomplish with this new do, but if his goal was to look like a walking learner’s permit, then mission accomplished! Jokes aside, I have all the confidence in the world that Herbert will lead the Chargers to victory this Sunday. As long as he doesn’t get suspended for breaking curfew. And I mean his parents’ not the team’s (or the city’s for that matter). 

 

Chargers 38-20





Green Bay at Indianapolis 

We’ve got ourselves a possible Super Bowl preview right here. No, I’m not saying that I necessarily think either of these teams will make it there, I’m literally just saying that by virtue of one being from the NFC and the other from the AFC we have, quite literally, a possible Super Bowl preview. I could have said the same thing about the Cincy/Washington match-up as well. This blog would have suspended by the NSA shortly thereafter, but I could have stated it as fact. It should be noted though, that the Colts and Packers are both leading their divisions, making this a bit more likely to portend a championship match-up than your run of the mill inter-conference contest. While it may not mean as much in terms of end of the season tiebreakers, it should still be very interesting to see Aaron Rodgers go up against the top defense in the league (on a yards per game basis), and to see Philip Rivers do anything. It’s just fun to watch that guy try to look/act like a normal human. 

 

Colts 24-21





Dallas at Minnesota 

This week Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence said, “Don’t ever get this twisted, we’re a good team.” Now I’ve always thought that I have a kind of twisted take on the NFL, and this just confirms it. So thank you Demarcus Lawrence. Here I foolishly considered Dallas (2-7, last place in the NFC EAST) to be lousy, but as it turns out, I was incorrect, they’re actually good. Look out Vikings, you’ve got more to deal with this week than I initially realized. Something tells me Minnesota will be able to handle it though since lately it seems like anyone who left them for dead after a 1-5 start also had it twisted. They’ve won three in a row, and could realistically stretch that to six in the next few weeks. But that’s just my assumption, and as you know by now, I have a bit of a skewed view of the world. A real Joker-type. Not the Joaquin, Leto, or Heath Ledger versions though, those are too far out there. More of a Nicholson, Romero vibe. Yeah, that’s me. And if you ever need proof just ask Demarcus Lawrence. 

 

Vikings 31-19





Sunday Night

 

Kansas City at Las Vegas 

The Chiefs seek to avenge their only loss of the season in their first trip to Vegas. Well I'm sure most of these guys have been to Vegas before, but you get what I was saying, right? It's an exciting match-up, and I'm sure Cris Collinsworth is jut as jazzed. Let's see what he thinks about it:


Uhhhh ...

Chiefs 34-24





Monday Night

 

Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay

Hey, a good Monday night game! This is the first MNF match-up this month between winning teams, and looking ahead there might only be one such game on the slate after this for the rest of the season. So enjoy it while you can ESPN! This reminds me of old TV shows or movies when a fancy out-of-towner would come through a hum-drum burg and all the townsfolk would scramble to impress them. Ya know, punt up some bunting, shoo the drunks out of the street, finally bury all the dead bodies that have piled up outside the brothel. One could argue that that’s casting ESPN in too pathetic of a light, and maybe you’re right. But don’t be surprised if you tune in on Monday and see Steve Levy in his finest cotillion gown. 


Buccaneers 23-20