NFL Picks - Week 12

Movember Link


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




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 


NFL Picks - Week 11




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




NFL Picks - Week 11 Thursday



Arizona at Seattle

After the Cardinals beat the Seahawks in Week 7 much was made of the fact that Seattle didn’t register one official hit on Kyler Murray. That seems like defensive futility, but as far as I’m concerned it’s just being polite. The Cardinals we’re hosting the Seahawks that week. It’s simply poor form to be invited to someone’s house and then hit them repeatedly. Now, if you welcome someone into your home, feel free to wail on them without mercy. That’s my own personal policy. It arose out of a situation in which I suspected a guest of being a Dracula and eventually grew to encompass any and all visitors. Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic, no outsiders have been in my home for months. It’s just me and my wrestling buddies in here. And let’s just say, my record is pretty good. Not undefeated, I won’t lie. I’ve taken them lightly some days and paid the price. But I still come out on top quite regularly. Speaking of, did you know that Seattle hasn’t lost on a Thursday since 2012? 8 wins in a row. That’s a record that I haven’t bothered to verify. Knowing that, it probably won’t matter if the Seahawks employ my visitors policy. Couldn’t hurt though.
Seahawks 31-26 


NFL Picks - Week 10




SEASON: 84-48-1


Sunday Morning


Houston at Cleveland 

The Browns are coming off their bye week, and if you consider that they barely showed up against the Raiders in Week 8, that means Cleveland hasn’t really played a game in three weeks. These guys are going to be well rested, and they’re ... well they’re not really going to need that energy when they go up against the Texans on Sunday. If we’re being honest, probably about a 65% effort will get the job done. I’m not saying the Browns are that great, but just that they aren’t the Jaguars. You see, that’s the only team that Houston has actually beaten this season. The Texans are 2-6 with two wins over Jacksonville. Unfortunately for Houston, they have run out of Jags games on their schedule. I hear they’re currently petitioning the league to add more, but I’ve read the documents, and they don’t really have a leg to stand on. It’s a shame though, because I could watch Texans/Jags games until I’m blue in the face. And, of course, by that I mean that once the game kicks off I would start holding my breath in an effort to pass out, eventually rendering my face blue. In the twilight before I lose consciousness I would suddenly remember that I have a remote control and change the channel. Phew, that was a hypothetical close one. 


Browns 30-27 



Washington at Detroit 

Three NFC teams haven’t made the conference championship game this century. Two of them are playing right here. The other one is the Cowboys, which is just hilarious. In fact, the last time Washington and the Lions played in the NFC title game was January of ‘92 against each other. Now that I think about it, when these teams played a regular season game back in 2016 I touched upon their previous postseason match-up then as well. But that sort of reinforces the point, year after year these squads get no closer to making a deep playoff run. There’s a good chance I’ll be rehashing the same material when they play in 2024. I hope I can count on you being here to read it. I realize that by telling you I’m just going to trot out my stale take yet again it’s not the best sales pitch to entice you to keep reading for the next 4 years, but I promise you that all the other games between now and then will feature completely fresh takes. Can I count on you as part of my readership? Haha, I get it, you’re not ready to commit for 4 years. But hey, how about I just see ya here next week and we take it from there, eh? Not ready to commit to next week either?!? What the hell?!?


Lions 23-16

Jacksonville at Green Bay

On paper this looks like a blowout. And by “on paper” I mean a headline in Monday’s paper that says “Packers blowout Jaguars.” Is there a chance the Jags could upset the Packers? I suppose. Green Bay did recently lose to a then one-win Vikings team, so it’s not impossible. Furthermore, Jacksonville did almost go to overtime with Houston last week, which counts for ... not much. Alas, it does appear that we’re headed towards a snoozer here. But that’s fine. It’s been a long couple weeks, you deserve a nap. Or better yet, a 3-4 month hibernation. Can I come with you? Just wake up at the end of February like, “Whaddaya got for me Pfizer?!?” I’m sure the Jags wouldn’t mind fast-forwarding even a couple months past that to draft day. Though that would likely be extremely detrimental to their scouting process. They’d probably end up taking Trevor Lawrence even though we all know that in December he decides to quit football because he no longer has a taste for it, or a literal taste for anything due to his bout with COVID. Whoops! Another blunder from Jacksonville. 


Packers 38-14

Philadelphia at New York Giants

Philly is on fire! They’re coming off wins over three of their biggest rivals: the Giants, Cowboys, and Donald Trump. Many would tell you that that last one is the most important, and while I agree it was a big deal, I would argue that with any and every win in the NFC East this season being so magnified, beating a divisional foe trumps them all. Ohp, wha, I didn’t even mean to ... Isn’t that just a hoot? Anyhoo, these intradivisonal tilts are just about the only way NFC East teams get wins. No really, the record of the division versus the rest of the league is 2-17-1. Just ask the Giants, their two wins on the season have both been over Washington by a total of 4 points. But as Philly would tell ya, whether you take down Washington by 20 points or just .8, it still counts. Look for this one to be close too, because well, neither team is good enough to beat each other by very much. 


Giants 22-19

Tampa Bay at Carolina 

What has happened to the Bucs the last couple weeks? After looking like they might be developing into the most complete team in the NFC, they eked out a win over the Giants in Week 8, then were absolutely obliterated by the Saints last Sunday. But hey, it’s the NFL, every week you’re playing against professionals, these things happen. Ya know, sometimes you just don’t show up for the biggest game of your season. I’m not exaggerating, last Sunday was the most important game on the schedule for Tampa. They needed a win even the score with New Orleans and maintain their lead in the NFC South. Unfortunately for them they went out and laid an egg. To some it was a befuddling performance, but I think I’ve diagnosed the issue. They signed Antonio Brown. Yes, he’s such a team cancer now that he showed up and Tampa immediately went into a nosedive. Even the news that they’d signed him almost caused them to lose to the lowly Giants the week before. What’s worse is that Tom Brady can’t even escape Brown in his downtime since the wide receiver lives at his house right now. I wouldn’t be surprised if Brown replaced Brady’s avocado ice cream with actual ice cream. It would help explain Tom’s sluggish performance last Sunday. This week will be the true test of how far Brown has dragged Tampa down with him. A loss to the Panthers and we’ll know that the situation is terminal. 


Buccaneers 27-20

Sunday Afternoon


Denver at Las Vegas 

This is the first instance I can ever remember in which there are more games in the morning than the afternoon on a Sunday. I have to assume it’s a result of The Masters’ final round taking place on the same day. With the proceedings in Augusta scheduled to wrap up around 12pm PT the NFL (and CBS in particular) clearly decided to backload its schedule, and not just in terms of volume. Go back and take a look at that early slate. It’s like a Bugs Bunny marathon ... stinkers galore! Did the PGA pay off the NFL to just clear the way? Whatever the possibly sketchy details are, this scheduling “strategy” leaves us with a killer slate of late games, starting off with none other than ... Broncos at Raiders. Hmm. Maybe there just aren’t any good games this week. Sure, the Raiders are doing well, and are still the reigning Kings of the AFC, but I just have trouble getting hyped up for a Broncos game. It’s like when you get home from running errands, ya turn on the TV, and the Broncos are on. Oh sorry, that turned out to not be an analogy, it was just another example of Denver-related ennui. Ok, how about this: watching a Broncos game is like when your spouse surprises you for your birthday with tickets to a Broadway play, including a flight to New York and a reservation in a nice hotel. The whole nine yards! Except when you sit down at the theater you realize you’re actually outdoors in Denver, Colorado at a Broncos game! What a let down! Uh oh, also not an analogy huh? 


Raiders 31-23

Los Angeles Chargers at Miami 

The Dolphins defense has scored touchdowns in consecutive weeks. That’s more than we can say for the offenses of the Bucs, Browns, Jets, or Cowboys. What are the chances they make it three weeks in a row? Well they’re playing the Chargers, so not only are the odds high, but it’s likely that it will be a game-winning pick six with no time left on the clock. It’s one of the only new ways I can come up with for the Chargers to lose. Last week LA quarterback Justin Herbert threw what appeared to be a game-winning touchdown pass with no time left on the clock. Though, for anyone who has watched a Chargers game over the last 10 years they know that appearances can be deceiving and that wins are nearly impossible to hold onto. Likewise, upon replay the call was overturned. No touchdown; Chargers lose. Coming into the game LA had blown 16 point leads in four consecutive games, but last week they somehow gained and relinquished a lead all with zero seconds left. That’s seemingly impossible. But as we all should know by now, when it comes to the Chargers, anything is possible! Except for them actually winning one of these ridiculous games.


Dolphins 28-21

Buffalo at Arizona

Twelve teams in the NFL have never won a Super Bowl. Of all the potential match-ups between those teams, this one seems most likely to come to fruition this February (Titans/Cardinals would be another realistic candidate). The last time two such franchises met in the Super Bowl was twenty years ago when the Rams beat the Titans. Compare that to the first 10 years of the championship game when it happened an astounding 7 times! It even happened in the very first Super Bowl! So as you can see, it has become increasingly rare as the history of the game has rolled on. But what are the odds that the Bills and Cardinals actually end up going head to head in the "big game at the end" as we all like to call it? Pretty slim considering Buffalo would likely have to beat some combination of Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City to get there; while Arizona is just one of about six intriguing, yet flawed contenders in the NFC. Also, any team’s odds of making the Super Bowl will be diminished once the NFL decides to allow the entire league into the playoffs due to inevitable COVID cancellations on the horizon. But if we do see these squads squaring off in Super Bowl LV, don’t say I didn’t warn ya. Or I guess you could say that since this isn’t technically a warning, but you get what I mean. 


Bills 35-30

Seattle at Los Angeles Rams

Last Sunday the Bills killed the Seahawks’ defense by not even bothering to run. I mean that almost literally; Buffalo only called 2 designed rushes in the first half. It worked like a charm as they put up 44 points (aided by four turnovers). The question now is whether or not Seattle’s future opponents will employ a similarly unbalanced strategy. It reminds me of the end of Independence Day when President Bill Pullman directs his generals to “contact the rest of the world, tell ‘em we know how to beat these guys.” Except, if you’ve been paying attention to their games at all this season, as I imagine an upcoming opponent would, you’d already know that Seattle’s pass D has been atrocious. However, if teams take a page out of Buffalo’s book and don’t waste time trying to run, the Hawks could be in for a long second half of the season. That is, unless this is a grand hustle from Seattle. Maybe they chose an out of conference game to reach their pass-defending nadir, knowing that the loss would cost them less in terms of playoff positioning, while also convincing every remaining team on their schedule to adopt an exclusively aerial attack. At that point they’ll finally unleash the dominant pass D they’ve been capable of all along and their opponents will be left with no recourse. That’s gotta be it, right? RIGHT?!? Sigh. 


Seahawks 31-28

San Francisco at New Orleans 

I thought I had the Saints pegged as merely an above average team that would beat inferior competition, yet not seriously contend for a Super Bowl berth. However, after their dismantling of the Bucs last week I suppose I have to take them seriously again. Though, if you’re a Saints fan can you even be excited about the possibility of entering the postseason with high expectations? The previous three playoff runs have ended with two overtime losses (including dubious PI no calls on decisive plays, one more so than the other) and the Minneapolis Miracle. New Orleans could win out to go 14-2 and their supporters would still likely be wondering what horrid fate is about to befall them. My personal guess is that the Saints will get to the Super Bowl and have possession and a 5 point lead with under 2:00 to play. They’ll have the opportunity to run out the clock, but Drew Brees will catch a glimpse of an American flag in the stands and refuse to kneel. He’ll end up being sacked, fumble, and the opposing defense will run it in for a touchdown. I ran through all the possible permutations in my head and that one made the most sense.

Saints 34-13

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh 

Man the Steelers suck. They barely squeaked by the depleted Cowboys last week to “improve” to 8-0 on the season. Congrats losers! It’s clear that they’re not a great team, they’re merely good enough to win every game they play. Ha, good luck winning with that strategy. Now Pittsburgh faces the Bengals, a below .500 team who’s been competitive in all but one game this season. Sounds like a recipe for another tightly contested Steelers victory. You can’t see me right now, but just know that I’m clapping sarcastically. Look, I get it, you’re “undefeated.” Not impressed. Call me when you do something substantial, like beat the Ravens. They did?!? Whoa! These guys are gonna go 16-0! 


Steelers 32-27

Sunday Night


Baltimore at New England 

It's a lackluster AFC match-up that should feature lots of ... running. Let's see if Cris Collinsworth can sell it to us

I guess the answer to my above question would be no. Well you heard the man, no sense in wasting any more time.

Ravens 27-13

Monday Night


Minnesota at Chicago

It’s rare that a team above .500 hosts a team below .500 and the latter is favored. Yet that’s exactly where we find ourselves as the 5-4 Bears welcome the 3-5 Vikings. For most of the season I, and many others, have considered Chicago’s record to be a mirage. Somehow they started 5-1, but it was clear that they just weren’t at that level. Watching their season inevitably slip out of their hands is like watching someone struggle in quicksand. The more they fight, the harder it gets. The Bears’ only hope is for someone like Kirk Cousins to come along and throw them a rope in the form of a few interceptions. But even that is unlikely now that the Vikings have wisely restricted Cousins’ attempts (34 over the last two games). And just to be clear, I’ve never watched someone drown in quicksand. I know that’s sort of what it sounded like earlier, but that’s simply not what I meant. For one thing, I left while his head was still above the surface, so who’s to say he officially drowned? Also, there was really nothing I could do to help, I didn’t have a rope or any interceptions to toss him. What’s more is, I’m pretty sure he escaped anyway, because over the past couple months someone has been leaving little piles of sand at my doorstep and sending me elements of a kitchen sink in the mail. And while I’ll admit that the whole “sink” double meaning is pretty clever, the return address is always “Bottom of a quicksand pit,” which really undermines the subtlety of it all.


Vikings 26-19