The NFL Week 13: How bout them transparent dangling carrots? How bout that ever-elusive kudo?
What am I thankful for this year? That regardless of all your rending of garments and gnashing of teeth, pundits, press members, epistolarians and pussies, football will not change its culture even a little bit.
Suck it. There’s a reason no ex football player, at any level, agrees with you.
Lions (6-5) over Packers (5-5)
The only thing I wasn’t thankful for over my 3-0 run on Thanksgiving Day is that I had no financial or emotional stake in the outcome of the games. Green Bay quarterback Matt Flynn was sacked seven times, once for a safety by the Detroit defense. No Packers quarterback has been harassed that much since Brett Favre started sending Aaron Rodgers snapchats.
Cowboys (6-5) over Raiders (4-7)
For the second week in a row Tony Romo leads the Cowboys back from the brink, fighting every instinct he has to blow the game in the fourth quarter. Instead, Tony has driven his team to victory in the final minutes over two teams fighting for their seasons. It’s impressive and could mean that Romo has turned the corner. It could also mean that the Cowboys have just played the Giants and the Raiders.
Ravens (5-6) over Steelers (5-6)
When I threw these picks up on Facebook and Twitter Thursday morning this was the only one that got people excited. Both these teams have surprised me in their ability to suck ass through a straw this season. Nothing in Pittsburgh has blown this hard since Kordell Stewart got arrested in Schenley Park.
As for the Ravens, I’m surprised they didn’t make a move to sign Ed Reed after the Texans cut him loose. The Ravens are a lot like the Giants, in that everybody better hope they don’t make the playoffs or they might fuck everything up. Too bad Emmanuel Sanders dropped that two-point conversion pass in the end zone Thursday night. I haven’t seen balls handled that poorly in Pittsburgh since Kordell Stewart got arrested in Schenley Park.
Colts (7-4) over Titans (5-6)
The Colts have been blown out two of the last three weeks. The only team they played in that stretch that they beat is the Titans and here they come again. Ryan Fitzpatrick has already grabbed his one big win this year. It’s almost December and it’s time for the playoff teams to separate from the pack. Andrew Luck is already grooming his Wolverine mutton chops in preparation.
Browns (4-7) over Jaguars (2-9)
The Jaguars teased us all with the prospect of an 0-16 season, only to dash our hopes by beating the Titans three weeks ago. Beating the Texans last Sunday was just rubbing it in, frankly, and I don’t appreciate it.
Panthers (8-3) over Buccaneers (3-8)
The Bucs have done even worse, winning three in a row after a tantalizing 0-8 start. As of this writing, it is mathematically possible for Tampa Bay to finish with a non-losing record. This insanity can not stand. Carolina is primed, poised and ready to deliver a let-down performance more thorough than Kordell Stewart’s lackluster fellatio in Schenley Park.
Vikings (2-8) over Bears (6-5)
See, Bucs? Jags? Browns? The Vikings are putting forth a master class on ass eating and you’re all missing it with your “victories.” When they were in danger of picking up their third win, what did they do? That’s right. They played out the clock in overtime and took a tie. They didn’t add any new crooked number to their win column. Now, here comes the Bears with Josh McCown at quarterback to screw the Vikings out of that No. 1 pick.
And, yes, since Kordell Stewart was with the Bears in 2003, this does seem like a natural place to insert another joke at his expense, especially since his ex wife recently outed him as gay and he’s been denying it to any print and broadcast outlet that will let him. But I’m not going to do it. Such a joke would be beneath me.
I mean, Kordell probably enjoyed being inside a Bear… uniform.
Cardinals (7-4) over Eagles (6-5)
Bruce Arians hurt Chip Kelley’s feelings this week, calling the read-option a “great college offense.” And that bothers me… because I’ve been trying to hurt Chip Kelley’s feelings all season.
Jets (5-6) over Dolphins (5-6)
These two teams are somehow both still in playoff contention. Geno Smith has thrown more interceptions over the last three games than Ryan Tannehill has working brain cells. Miami just found out Friday that Richie Incognito is still suspended and with no one to shit on their heads or smack their birth mothers in their faces, I don’t see how the Dolphins are going to get it together.
Texans (2-9) over Patriots (8-3)
Karma has got to step in here. Plus, if Case Keenum wants my adoption to go through, he better win this one for old dad.
Falcons (2-9) over Bills (4-7)
The Falcons, a preseason Superbowl contender, would have the No. 3 pick in the draft if it was held today. Steven Jackson must feel like Job at this point.
Rams (5-6) over 49ers (7-4)
I hate the 49ers in a good, positive way. I want them to be good, to win plenty of games, and I want the Rams, regardless of their record, to always beat them and mess up their shit. Rams, go mess up their shit.
Chiefs (9-2) over Broncos (9-2)
My faith in Peyton Manning took a major downgrade after last Sunday’s Phillip Rivers-ian performance. The Chiefs deserve to win this. They’re at home. And Peyton Manning needs to take one more spanking after shitting the bed in New England.
Plus, the best thing that could happen to the Broncos is being a Wild Card. Do any Broncos fans want to see Manning fluttering balls into the permafrost at Mile High in January? There are stranded bodies on Mt.Everest that show more life than Manning did in the New England cold last Sunday.
Bengals (7-4) over Chargers (5-6)
Remember, we’re separating the wheat from the chaff here in the final weeks of the season. And no team better exemplifies worthless, scaly mashed-up debris than the San Diego Chargers.
Giants (4-7) over Redskins (3-8)
The Robert Griffin III distraction extravaganza continued this week when Albert Breer broke the news that RG3 rushed back from his knee injury too early to keep Kirk Cousins from taking his job. Michael Silver reported that ARGEETHREE refuses to watch bad plays he’s made in film study and to top all that off, Robert Griffin the Third’s dad, whose name escapes me at the moment, caused a big stink Monday night by forcing his way into the Redskins’ locker room after their loss to the 49ers.
Meanwhile the Redskins are on their way to a 4-12 season at best and the Rams will have a top five first-round draft pick because of it. Anybody still think that was a bad deal?
Saints (9-2) over Seahawks (10-1)
The Seahawks have the best record in the NFL and could very likely lose every game remaining on their schedule including this one. Richard Sherman is about to become an important supporting player in the best-selling Jimmy Graham Fathead wall mount of all time.
Last week: 7-6-1
The NFL Week 12: Came the last night of sadness and it was clear we couldn’t go on.
Quick picks this week, as I have been nearly murdered from painting my own home (and Carson-Newman’s playoff run).
Byes: Bills, Bengals, Eagles and Seahawks
Saints (8-2) over Falcons (2-8)
Picked this one on Facebook and Twitter again. God, I have to get my life together.
Lions (6-4) over Bucs (2-8)
If the Bucs win three games in a row I think the Mayan apocalyptic prophesy has to restart.
Vikings (2-8) over Packers (5-5)
Aaron Rodgers is out, but Christian Ponder is in. This one’s a push.
Texans (2-6) over Jaguars (1-9)
Time for my son Case Keenum to win one.
Chiefs (9-1) over Chargers (4-6)
I’m going to say the same thing Phillip Rivers’ dad tells him on the phone every Monday morning and his wife tells him every Sunday night, “You can’t hold Peyton Manning’s jock.”
Steelers (4-6) over Browns (4-6)
How are both these teams still in the AFC playoff race? I would call this one of Bill Simmons’ “Loser leaves town” games, but I don’t want to give the Browns’ new owners any ideas.
Rams (4-6) over Bears (6-4)
Kellen Clemons vs Josh McCown. Set your DVRs…. for that special presentation of Heidi on the Hallmark Channel.
Ravens (4-6) over Jets (5-5)
I would put out an Amber Alert for Ray Rice, but I don’t think he meets the height requirement.
Titans (4-6) over Raiders (4-6)
The Raiders are starting rookie QB Mike McGloin today, costing him an entire week of filming on Superbad 2. Fun fact: McGloin and Titans coach Mike Munchak are both from Scranton, Pa. and the town is calling this game the “Electric City Bowl.” The winner will receive a special trophy that the city had custom made and I made absolutely none of that up.
Colts (7-3) over Cardinals (6-4)
The Cardinals have snuck into the NFC playoff race. Time for them to sneak right back out again.
Giants (4-6) over Cowboys (5-5)
Eli just woke up at the bottom of Crystal Lake and is slowly rising to the surface, unbeknownst to the partying teenage campers nearby.
Broncos (9-1) over Patriots (7-3)
If there’s any justice, Denver will score 100 points in this game.
49ers (6-4) over Redskins (3-7)
RG3 has been such a distraction this week that we’ve barely had a moment to call the Redksins racist.
Last week: 9-6
The NFL Week 11: So this is what you meant when you said that you were spent.
No time for a long preamble this week. On with the picks.
Byes: Cowboys and Rams
Colts (6-3) over Titans (4-5)
I put this one up on Twitter and Facebook about 10 minutes before kick off Thursday night. It’s been that kind of week.
Jets (5-4) over Bills (3-7)
You’d like to think this would have some kind of revenge value for Geno Smith, but I have to feel that not playing for the Bills is best revenge.
Falcons (2-7) over Buccaneers (1-8)
The Bucs and Jags both ruined our dream of another 0-16 team in our lifetime. Go ahead and pop that champagne 2008 Detroit Lions. You earned it.
Lions (6-3) over Steelers (3-6)
The only offensive coordinator worse than the Lions’ Scott Linehan is standing on the other sideline in this game looking like a homeless guy that just stumbled out of a porta john.
Eagles (5-5) over Redskins (3-6)
Nick Foles continues his meteoric rise as he faces a defense run by a guy who started Aaron Brooks at quarterback in New Orleans on purpose.
Ravens (4-5) over Bears (5-4)
A game that has playoff implications for both teams, who will both lose in the opening round of the playoffs.
Bengals (6-4) over Browns (4-5)
Nothing works like a soothing balm on two straight bad overtime losses than a visit from the Browns.
Texans (2-7) over Raiders (3-6)
Arian Foster is out for the year and that’s bad news, but it’s tempered by the fact that Matt Schaub is too. Case Keenum is my adopted son.
Cardinals (5-4) over Jaguars (1-8)
Get back into that losing column, Jaguars. You have a young rookie quarterback’s future to completely ruin.
Chargers (4-5) over Dolphins (4-5)
I don’t think the Dolphins have dealt with this many distractions since their mascot was kidnapped by their cross-dressing former kicker.
Seahawks (9-1) over Vikings (2-7)
Percy Harvin will make his 2013 debut for the Seahawks against his old team, but Seattle will have no greater scoring weapon on the field Sunday than Vikings QB Christian Ponder.
Saints (7-2) over 49ers (6-3)
Am I the only person who thought those mug shots of Aldon Smith looked like Fast Car era Tracy Chapman?
Giants (3-6) over Packers (5-4)
Aaron Rodgers is out and Eli Manning isn’t. Remember at the end of the original Halloween movie where Donald Pleasence looks out the window and Michael Myers’ body is gone? That’s your 2013 New York Giants.
Broncos (8-1) over Chiefs (9-0)
But if it was in Arrowhead I would actually go the other way. The Chiefs are loaded and can really mess up Fox’s Peyton Manning highlight package they’ve been working on for Superbowl XLVIII.
Panthers (6-3) over Patriots (7-2)
Bill Belichick, it’s going to get pretty exciting out there watching Cam Newton tear your team a new asshole in front of a national television audience. You may want to record it so you don’t miss anything… oh wait.
Last week: 10-4
The NFL Week 10: All the poets studied rules of verse and those ladies, they rolled their eyes.
Vikings (2-7) over Redskins (3-6)
A busy week forced me to toss this pick up on Facebook and Twitter right as the game was starting last night. My bold prediction of Matt Cassel starting for the Vikings has already come true, but two things should be said after the Vikings won this game. 1. Christian Ponder probably played his best game as a professional NFL quarterback up to and including the play in which he got hurt. And 2. Matt Cassel is still way better and anyone should be able to see that, especially once he got into the game and helped lead the Vikings two only their second win of the season. Two games in which Cassel either started or finished.
So why, when this is obvious to everyone watching the game, is Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier completely oblivious to this? Why do coaches surrender their seasons, let alone their careers, to stick with these shitty first/high round QBs when their backups are obviously better….sometimes significantly better?
Frazier isn’t the first to do it and he won’t be the last. But every time these coaches finally pull the trigger, sometimes only because the starter gets hurt, the team completely turns around.
Some cases in point. In 1998 Kurt Warner was the No. 3 QB on the St. Louis Rams roster behind No. 2 Steve Bono and No. 1 Tony Banks. He was, unquestionably, the best QB on the team and the entire team knew it. He was literally voted Practice Squad MVP and would routinely tear up the first-team defense in practice. Rams DT D’Marco Farr actually asked the coaches why isn’t this guy starting?
(Fun fact on that 1998 team. Bono was also way better than Tony Banks. It’s unbelievable that Banks ever saw the field that season, let alone started 15 games.)
The Rams still didn’t go with Warner in 1999. Instead, they signed Trent Green and, because Green got hurt in the preseason, Warner got his shot. All that happened after that is two Superbowl appearances, a Superbowl win, two league MVPs and the best passing season any QB has ever had in the history of the NFL.
Tom Brady was Drew Bledsoe’s No. 2. Bledsoe getting hurt is the only reason Brady got his shot and, even though he needed some significant video tape help, he’s now going to the Hall of Fame. That was the Super Genius that made that call. He saw Drew Bledsoe and Tom Brady both in practice and went with Bledsoe.
It happened to Kurt Warner again. After the Rams ran off the best QB in the history of their team, (There’s a rant that I will one day inflict upon you with on this site over this, but not today), Warner was the No. 2 QB on the Cardinals behind Matt Leinart. Leinart finally gets hurt. Warner takes over. And, lo and behold, the next year the Cardinals are in the Superbowl.
I could keep going. Kordell Stewart and Tommy Maddox for the Steelers. Brandon Weedon and Brian Hoyer with the Browns this very season. If Marc Sanchez didn’t get hurt would Geno Smith be starting for the Jets? How does Chad Henne sit behind Blaine Gabbert? Case Keenum vs Matt Schaub? A year from now that very question will seem ridiculous.
Eagles (4-5) over Packers (5-3)
Seneca Wallace is a backup quarterback STD. He sits around and you don’t notice him for months or years at a time, but when he flares up, you are definitely out of action for a while. I don’t see the Packers winning one game with him under center.
Titans (4-4) over Jaguars (0-8)
Chris Johnson is finally awake and that’s bad news for the Jaguars, but great news for my two fantasy teams. The Jaguars offense was actually rolling with Justin Blackmon back from suspension and it looked like they might actually be able to steal a game before season’s end. This one was probably it. Now Blackmon is sitting in front of a night manager at Waffle House hoping they don’t call the references on his application for 3rd shift cook.
Steelers (2-6) over Bills (3-6)
Steelers defense, you’re going to have to burn your panties after last week’s Patriots debacle. Andy Dufresne didn’t get fucked that hard in the ass in Shawshank. E.J. Manuel should be back for the Bills and that’s a good thing for them, but if Pittsburgh can’t win this game it’s time to shut it down.
Giants (2-6) over Raiders (3-5)
Three in a row for the Giants? I believe they’ve got this figured out and coming off a bye with a home game against a West Coast team? Would it surprise anyone if the Jason Vorhees Giants won out and finished 10-6 at this point? Eli is strapping on his gunbelt right now. Start your Giants receivers, people.
Colts (6-2) over Rams (3-6)
I thought this was a potential Superbowl preview back in August. Now it would just be nice if the Rams kept it close.
Seahawks (8-1) over Falcons (2-6)
These two teams are in exactly opposite positions to where I thought they would be when the season began. I’m actually prepared to admit the Seahawks are a good team now. That was surprisingly hurtful to type.
Bengals (6-3) over Ravens (3-5)
Pass that torch, Baltimore. Who would have thought letting two of your best defensive players go in free agency, one a first-ballot Hall of Famer, would turn out to be a bad idea? You should have traded away your best wideout and your AFC Divisional playoffs MVP while you were at it. Oh, you did? Awesome.
Lions (5-3) over Bears (5-3)
Jay Cutler is expected to play and I would have picked this one the same way with our without him. There’s no excuse for the Lions not to run away with the NFC North this season except that all their coaches suck more ass than Dracula with a fecal fetish. And they do.
Panthers (5-3) over 49ers (6-2)
All Cam Newton and the Panthers needed was a competent coach and for some reason no one seems to be able to explain Ron Rivera turned into one. I don’t see the 49ers doing anything against Carolina’s defense and Cam is about to create a 60-minute highlight reel.
Texans (2-6) over Cardinals (4-4)
Arian Foster won’t play by Kurt Warner 2.0, Case Keenum, will. I think the Texans might roll a little here.
Broncos (7-1) over Chargers (4-4)
But it honestly wouldn’t surprise me to see it go the other way. The Chargers can absolutely put the Colts’ gameplan against Denver to use, except the Chargers are better on defense almost across the board and have more weapons on offense. But I’m still not picking against Peyton… at least until the Playoffs at Denver in January.
Saints (6-2) over Cowboys (5-4)
The poor Cowboys’ schedule is basically an AFC/NFC Pro Bowl quarterback ballot. They’ve already faced off against Eli once, Alex Smith, Philip Rivers, Peyton and Matt Stafford. This week they have Drew Brees, then Eli again and then Aaron Rodgers once in his second week back from a broken left collar bone.
The even worse news for Dallas is even the other QBs they’ll face aren’t bums. Terrelle Pryor, Jay Cutler, RG3 and either Michael Vick or Nick Foles. If the Cowboys pick up nine wins this season they’ll have earned them.
Buccaneers (0-8) over Dolphins (4-4)
I can’t believe I’m picking the Bucs either, but new QB Mike Glennon, who looks like the lost Weasley brother, seems decent. And I don’t see how this past week could be any more of a distraction for Miami if Richie Incognito actually came in Jonathan Martin’s mouth, then tracked down and slapped Martin’s real mother. Man, though. What a way to find out you were adopted.
Last Week: 5-8
The NFL Week 9: And the night, when the moon is bright, someone cries, something ain’t right.
It’s Halloween and I have a kid to haul around asking for candy for me to later steal so this one is going to be quick.
Byes: Cardinals, Broncos, Lions, Jaguars, Giants and 49ers
Bengals (6-2) over Dolphins (3-4)
The Bengals bandwagon is so full it’s unsafe at any speed. Especially if Pacman Jones is driving.
Panthers (4-3) over Falcons (2-5)
I would say this could be a passing of the torch game if the Falcons had much of a torch to pass. Passing of the gas, maybe…
Cowboys (4-4) over Vikings (1-6)
I have picked the Cowboys more this season than I have in the last two years combined. They’re going to walk into the playoffs. Then, you know, walk right back out again.
Saints (6-1) over Jets (4-4)
Thanks Jets. You did us all a solid last week in beating the Patriots and Geno Smith compiled his fourth game-winning or come-from-behind drive of his rookie campaign. Good things are happening in New York, finally. But the Saints are going to treat you like the new good-looking guy in prison.
Rams (3-5) over Titans (3-4)
Robert Quinn nailed Russell Wilson so many times in the backfield last Monday that he’ll owe Wilson child support in nine months. This Rams team is going to have to improve at every other area fast if they’re going to recover from losing Sam Bradford, and one of those ways is putting Kellen Clemens right back on the bench. Still, I like this defense. I have a feeling RQ is going to pick out a new baby mama in Jake Locker this week.
Chiefs (8-0) over Bills (3-5)
How did the Chiefs get this schedule? This is getting ridiculous. No member of the ’72 Dolphins haven’t been on TV once this season. That should tell you everything you need to know.
Chargers (4-3) over Redskins (2-5)
I had the Redskins in this one for the last two days until I remembered that Jim Haslett is their defensive coordinator. Start your Chargers fantasy players.
Raiders (3-4) over Eagles (3-5)
The Raiders have somehow snuck into this thing. Chip Kelly is already looking for a way to sneak out of it. Hey Chip, Georgia might have an opening come December. Just putting it out there.
Seahawks (7-1) over Buccaneers (0-7)
Richard Sherman, in a game where his team was completely dominated, had the nerve to talk shit after barely beating a Rams team that started only 10 human players along with a robot pick machine. I can’t wait until Seattle plays a real team again.
Ravens (3-4) over Browns (3-5)
I’m starting Joe Flacco and Ray Rice both on one of my fantasy teams this week. All but dooming them to lose. If I’m going down with the two main Ravens, I might as well pick them too.
Steelers (2-5) over Patriots (6-2)
Steelers. It’s time to save your season. New England. I hate you.
Colts (5-2) over Texans (2-5)
The Colts continue to look like the team I picked to go to the Superbowl. The Texans continue to look like a team that would make me delete my file on Madden.
Packers (5-2) over Bears (4-3)
The Josh McCown era continues in Chicago, proving that a bad back-up quarterback is harder to get rid of than a cold sore.
Last week: 11-2
The NFL Week 8: Please allow me to introduce myself. I’m a man of wealth and taste.
Pretty much every Sunday as I fill Twitter and Facebook with my NFL-related ramblings, I almost inevitably get the question put to me, “What is the Devil’s Spread?”
The Devil’s Spread is a theory my brother Travis came up with when we were kids. I had to be around 16, so that would make Travis all of 10 years old at the time. We were watching whatever local game was on, probably the Bears, Bengals or 49ers and waiting for scores to pop up from around the league. This is how you had to track your out-of-market team before the internet and NFL Sunday Ticket.
It was the 1990-91 season, the one that will forever be remembered as the first of many Rams’ disappointing seasons for me. The Rams had only missed the playoffs three times in my entire life at that point, had played in a Superbowl (lost 31-19 to the Steelers in 1979) and had nearly made it to two more, losing in the NFC Championship to two of the best teams in NFL history, the 1985/86 Chicago Bears and the 1989/90 San Francisco 49ers.
So there’s no reason to expect what happened in 1990. The Rams completely collapsed and stayed that way for the next decade until Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce, Tory Holt and Az-Zahir Hakim created The Greatest Show on Turf.
We were looking for any ray of hope in any game that year to show the Rams were back on track. A score popped up between the Giants and Rams. The Rams trailed 17-7 in the third quarter. Travis left the room in disgust, saying, “It’s over. Everybody loses if they’re down 17-7.”
My 10-year-old brother had, through his own observations via the “scores around the league” segment over the years, come to a realization. That 17-7 score, just a 10-point lead, was almost impossible to overcome. It made no sense, but it rang true to me at the time. It became a real thing for us. If you’re down 17-7, it’s over. It doesn’t even matter if the team that is down 10 eventually takes the lead. They’ll still almost always lose.
Fast forward 21 years later. I notice a 17-7 score and post about it on Facebook and Twitter. Post about Travis, who at that same exact time, was thinking the same thing. I then coined the name “The Devil’s Spread” and it stuck. If you’ve heard of it from somebody other than me, this is where it came from.
My friends picked up on it. Broadcasters. Broadcasters. I’m not sure how far it’s spread right now and I’ve certainly done my part, but it’s out there and it’s growing.
But how does it hold up in the real world? At high school and college games people I know have attended, covered or watched this season, it’s undefeated. Including last week’s University of Tennessee victory over No. 11 South Carolina.
The Vols led 17-7 with six minutes to go in the first half. South Carolina, because they were No. 11 in the country came back, taking a 21-17 lead in the third. A quarter later Tennessee still won, 23-21, its first victory over a ranked opponent since 2009. That’s the power of the Devil’s Spread.
I’ve started tracking it in the NFL. This season the DS is 11-2 through seven weeks. The only teams that have beaten it are the Broncos, with Peyton Manning’s insane win over Tony Romo and the Cowboys and the Lions over the Browns.
It’s held up the rest of the time, even when it absolutely shouldn’t have (see the Saints-Patriots box score). It’s a real thing. And now you know all about it.
Bye week: Ravens, Bears, Texans, Colts, Chargers, Titans
Panthers (3-3) over Buccaneers (0-6)
Cam Newton is officially in the “manic” part of his manic depressive state. The Bucs just lost their best offensive player and Greg Schiano is such a douche that he’s ruined the ph and microbial level of every female stripper in Tampa.
49ers (5-2) over Jaguars (0-7)
But the Jaguars are making me nervous, with a handful of players with actual NFL talent and Blaine Gabbert hitting the bench so hard he cracked it and was named the All-Valley over 18 Karate Tournament Champion.
Chiefs (7-0) over Browns (3-4)
The Chiefs are the only undefeated team left in the NFL. They will continue that this week, but for some reason I don’t think the 72 Dolphins are nervous.
Patriots (5-2) over Dolphins (3-3)
The Dolphins are coming off a ridiculous loss to the Thad Lewis-quarterbacked Bills and the Patriots are trying to bounce back from blowing a fourth-quarter lead to the Geno Smith-quarterbacked New York Jets. Both these teams should have a bad taste in their mouths after last week, especially Tom Brady as Gisele has yet to recover from the Lovecraftian yeast infection she brought back from Fashion Week.
Saints (5-1) over Bills (3-4)
Sean Payton coached so bad against the Patriots two weeks ago his players almost put a bounty on him. Does Buffalo have Thad Lewis fever yet? No worries. It’s just a 24-hour bug.
Lions (4-3) over Cowboys (4-3)
The Lions burned me last week and the Cowboys should be able to beat them. I have no idea why I’m doing this and between typing every word here I keep thinking about deleting all this and picking Dallas. But I’m not because I’m way too lazy to start over.
Giants (1-6) over Eagles (3-4)
Win No. 2 for Eli and the Giants. Remember when everybody’s pants were uncomfortably tight over Chip Kelly’s Eagles? Poor Chip must just hide from the college scores on Saturday. He jumped ship at Oregon thinking they were about to get hammered by the NCAA and it turns out the NCAA just wanted to blow them kisses.
Add that to the open conspiracy to keep any one-loss SEC team out of the BCS title game and Chip is probably designing and overly-complicated play to kick himself in his own ass.
Steelers (2-4) over Raiders (2-4)
Time to put three of these together, Pittsburgh. The Pirates are out, winter is on the way, and Giant Eagle is offering deep discounts on rope and razor blades.
Bengals (5-2) over Jets (4-3)
It’s getting full on this Bengals bandwagon and I’m not in the kind of shape to share a seat. One of you is going to have to sit on my lap.
Falcons (2-4) over Cardinals (3-4)
Odd that the Falcons are putting together a useless winning streak on their way to a first round playoff defeat.
Broncos (6-1) over Redskins (2-4)
Remember that 28-point spread the Broncos were supposed to drop on the Jaguars. It’s about to land all over the Redskins.
Packers (4-2) over Vikings (1-5)
Here are eight words I never thought I would write or say: I wish the Rams had signed Josh Freeman.
Seahawks(6-1) over Rams (3-4)
Speaking of the Rams, I asked my wife to hide all the sharp objects last Sunday the minute Sam Bradford clutched his knee on the sideline in the loss to the Panthers. This week they discussed signing every quarterback in America, including giving Brett Favre a call…which he didn’t answer because he was in the middle of sending a photo of his mushroom dick to Anthony Weiner.
The Rams ended up re-signing Austin Davis, who will get a chance to rekindle his love affair with the Edward Jones Dome turf and Brady Quinn. Back when Marc Bulger was St. Louis’ QB I remember hoping they would draft Brady Quinn so bad. Now he’s a Ram. So, hooray, I guess.
Last week: 7-8
The NFL Week 7: Maybe I’m a different breed. Maybe I’m not listening.
Bye week: Saints and Raiders
Cardinals (3-3) over Seahawks (5-1)
Let’s go over the checklist for beating the Seahawks. Do the Cardinals have wide receivers with NFL speed? CHECK. Do the Cardinals have a quarterback who can successfully get the ball to those wide receivers? CHECK. Are the Seahawks on the road? CHECK.
Falcons (1-4) over Buccaneers (0-5)
The Falcons are in a pitched battle with the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers for the most disappointing potential playoff team award, and it’s really a race. Atlanta was a pretty solid Superbowl pick back in August and now they’re in line for a Top 10 draft pick. Playing the Bucs is a great way to get right. TampaBay is playing a quarterback who only has three more career NFL touchdown passes than I do. But, in my defense, I have three fewer interceptions and we do have the same number of wins.
Bears (4-2) over Redskins (1-4)
Every Redskins loss makes my heart soar. Not because I hate them or have any ill will against them at all, it’s solely about the value of that No. 1 pick they owe the Rams in the draft this year and its increasing value with every defeat. Fortunately for the Redskins and unfortunately for the Rams, Washington will probably finish the season strong, especially in a weak NFC East. But I do like how this whole Redskins name thing has been a distraction. It bodes well for the coming months.
Cowboys over Eagles
Tony Romo was outstanding last week and since the game was never on the line, he played magnificent for the entire game. Nick Foles hasn’t gotten this much fantasy action since he last played Skyrim on Legendary mode.
Patriots over Jets
This goes against my own bold preseason prediction, but I find it so difficult to pick these Jets to win. I would love it…America would love it… the Lizard creatures who secretly run the financial markets from the center of the Earth would love it… if the Jets could pull off the upset here. I will gladly surrender this pick in the process. I’m selfless that way.
Dolphins (3-2) over Bills (2-4)
We’re sill in the middle of the Thad Lewis era in Buffalo. Thad is the second former Rams back up quarterback currently starting in the NFL and that is all you need to know to pick against the Bills.
Rams (3-3) over Panthers (2-3)
Since I started picking the Rams game with my head instead of my heart, they’re 2-0 and rolling. This may not be good for my mental state, but I’m doing it again. I think the Rams are better than the Panthers and will have an actual winning record after this week for only the third time since 2006. …hooray?
Lions (4-2) over Bengals (4-2)
I am still all over the Bengals bandwagon, trust me. You do no want to go near the toilet in the back. Still, I have to reward the Lions for beating the nearly-impossible Devil’s Spread (I’ll explain next week for those of you who don’t know what it is) and having Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush both on the field. Cincinnati will bounce back. They’ve got the Jets and the Dolphins coming.
Chargers (3-3) over Jaguars (0-6)
This Jaguars team suddenly makes me nervous now that Justin Blackmon has run all the Marijuana out of his system and Blaine Gabbert is nowhere near the field. Will they still fight to become the worst team in NFL history? I’m not sure they have the testicular fortitude to do it.
49ers (4-2) over Titans (3-3)
The second Rams former backup shows up in Ryan Fitzpatrick, all but dooming his team to lose again this week. Jake Locker is still suffering from the same injury that put my great aunt into a nursing home and isn’t back yet, so this Titans team is on a skid worse than the one in the back of Frank Gore’s underwear.
Chiefs (6-0) over Texans (2-4)
The Chiefs freight train will blast through the Matt Schaub-less Texans this week worse than a fart through Frank Gore’s underwear.
Packers (3-2) over Browns (3-3)
It’s seems crazy at this point to not make a third consecutive Frank Gore’s underwear joke when I’m talking about two teams named the Packers and the Browns, but that’s where we’re at. Let’s make peace with it. Frank Gore has poopy pants.
Ravens (3-3) over Steelers (1-4)
This game is in Pittsburgh and there’s a lot of pride at stake against the Steelers best modern rival, so I’m not feeling great about this pick. I did just listen to a pretty great radio piece Terrell Suggs did on ESPN radio, outlining why he hates Tom Brady and the good vibes that created in the universe could be enough to propel Baltimore to victory.
Colts over Broncos
Broncos over Colts
I was all set to stick with my preseason AFC Superbowl pick to shock the NFL by beating the Broncos this week, and then Jim Irsay opened his mouth and made Peyton Manning make a face that had every Colts defensive player fill their shorts like Frank Gore before a diaper change.
Giants (0-6) over Vikings (1-4)
So Giants. Here we are again. I’m picking you. Over a Josh Freeman-led Vikings team. I already regret this.
Last week: 11-4
The NFL Week 6: They say we’ve lost our minds. We’ve just gained control.
Much like a person meeting with his therapist after betting a significant amount of money on the Dallas Cowboys, I want to talk about Tony Romo.
Late Sunday night and Monday morning there was a great rending of garments and gnashing of teeth in the sports pontificating community about how much Romo was to blame for the loss to the Denver Broncos. Specifically, as they clawed at their chests and gouged out their eyes, they all wondered how could we, the unwashed masses, blame this loss on Tony Romo when he had played so well?
It was easy, really. We watched the game.
Here’s the thing you have to understand about choking. You have to be good to choke. Did Blaine Gabbert choke against the Rams Sunday? How about Ryan Fitzpatrick for the Titans or Jeff Tuel for the Bills? Did they choke it up last week? The very idea is ridiculous.
No. You have to be good – to be capable of more than you give at a key moment – to choke. Tony Romo is an NFL quarterback, there is no question. He’s a talented quarterback who can make all the plays, again, there is no question. When given the opportunity in an important game, with it all on the line, he will almost always fuck it up. For the third time, there is no question. As my evidence I will simply point at his entire career.
Bill Barnwell over at Grantland.com took a break from massaging Tom Brady’s anal cavity to defend Tony Romo from the above observance. Tony Romo actually led the NFL fourth-quarter comebacks and game-winning drives last season with five. That does seem impressive. Until you look at the five teams – The Panthers, the Browns, the Eagles, the Steelers and the Bengals.
There’s only one playoff team there and it’s the Bengals, for God’s sake. They were the only team out of the five to even post a winning record (10-6) last season.
Here’s a fun fact. Guess which quarterback was right behind Romo with four game-winning or come from behind games in 2012? Did you guess the St. Louis Rams’ Sam Bradford? Of course you didn’t. Oh, and here’s who Bradford did it against – The Redskins, the 49ers, the 49ers again and the Bills. Only one shitty, losing team on that list and the 49ers went to, and almost won, the Superbowl.
Which list is more impressive? And here’s one more fun fact. Jets rookie QB Geno Smith already has three THIS SEASON.
It’s entirely true that if not for Romo the Cowboys wouldn’t have even been in the game against the Broncos. It’s true that Romo played the best game of his life and maybe one of the best games for a losing quarterback in the history of the NFL. It’s true that Romo made some insane, lifetime-highlight plays in that game, like that scramble where he dodged 142 sacks to hit Jason Witton for the first down.
It’s also true that, in the end, Romo served up the ball up with a side salad and loaded baked potato at a time in the game when he absolutely could not do that. We, in the sports comedy business call that, “Pulling a Romo.”
And we called it that before Sunday. For a reason.
Bye week: Falcons (And whoa did they need it) and Dolphins
Bears over Giants
I don’t get the Giants, but I don’t think they do either. This is a weird year for them, but I still don’t feel all that great in picking the Bears. But Jay Cutler isn’t due to shit himself on the field again for another few weeks.
Ravens over Packers
This one is a coin flip. I think losing Clay Matthews is a big gut punch that the Green Bay defense couldn’t afford. Last Sunday the Ravens realized that they can still use Ray Rice in their offense even though it would simultaneously benefit me and my fantasy team. Selfless of those guys.
Bengals over Bills
There’s still plenty of room on this Bengals bandwagon people. I’m up front dancing with my shirt off and there are plenty of seats around me for some reason.
Lions over Browns
Browns, what the hell is your problem? For Detroit, Calvin Johnson is still a game-time decision and I don’t like that at all in this pick. But it’s Cleveland. Somebody has to beat them eventually.
Rams over Texans
Oh God. What am I doing?
I am going to regret this. The Texans are a mess, especially at quarterback. Matt Schaub has set a new NFL record by throwing pick-sixes in four straight games. And here come the Rams just in time to fix everything for Houston.
Meanwhile the Rams “fixed” themselves by beating the worst team (maybe) in NFL history after trailing 7-0 after the first quarter. Why am I doing this?
Because I am. Because the Texans are done. And if the Rams are going to be worth even the slightest shit this season they have to win this game. So I’m in.
Vikings over Panthers
The Matt Cassel era continues. Vikings fans must be pissing themselves in excitement. I mean hopefully that’s why. At least that would explain all the pissing. Well, most of the pissing.
Chiefs over Raiders
I am so tempted to pick the Raiders here. The Chiefs are primed for a stumble and Oakland isn’t as horrible as they seemed when the season began…meaning that they’re just 75% horrible. They’ve won two games, people. TWO!
Steelers over Jets
The Steelers should have pulled Todd Haley off the bus at Heathrow and left him in London. Pittsburgh has to win sometime, right?
Eagles over Buccaneers
Time for Chip Kelly’s offense to look good again.
Broncos over Jaguars
The spread in this game, Broncos – 28, set a new NFL record. Peyton Manning is averaging 376.8 yards and five touchdowns passes a game and has the same number of rushing touchdowns as he has interceptions - 1. Last week Blaine Gabbert injured his leg throwing an incompletion where he was untouched. 28 points might be too low.
Seahawks over Titans
I know I picked the Seahawks to lose their next four, but they probably would win this game even if Jake Locker hadn’t injured his hip like he was in a Life Alert commercial. I’ll still enjoy rooting against them, though.
Saints over Patriots
It’s fun to pick against the Patriots two weeks in a row. They play the Jets next week so it won’t be three.
49ers over Cardinals
Matt Schaub undeniably sucked against the 49ers last week, but here’s a little something for you to put in your mouth and suck on, so did Colin Kaepernick. In fact, old Colin the douche has been pretty shitty all season since tearing up the Packers in Week 1. Kaepernick hasn’t passed for more than 167 yards since and has more interceptions (4) than touchdowns (3). I’m still not picking Arizona, but I want to.
Cowboys over Redskins
Time for Romo to bounce back against a shit team. Maybe pick up one of those great comeback victories Bill Barnwell wants to write about so bad.
Colts over Chargers
My AFC Superbowl pick continues to roll. I don’t hate this Chargers team, though, but does anybody want to argue that Phillip Rivers didn’t choke it up last week? Anybody? No? Weird.
Last week: 8-6
The NFL Week 5: You are someone else. I am still right here.
Fans of many teams learned a few hard lessons last week. Some of those lessons were maybe obvious before to those of you who don’t have team t-shirts and clothing make up half your wardrobe (half might be low), but after a month of football the sky is clearing a little.
The NFC West isn’t as good as we thought it would be and neither is the entire NFC. We could end up with two 0-16 teams before the season’s over and unless a snowstorm hits Denver, I wouldn’t pick the Broncos to lose again in this calendar year.
Bye weeks: Vikings, Steelers, Buccaneers, Redskins
Bills over Browns
Back 14 years or so ago I remember a TV guy, no clue who it was, wondering why the Rams sucked so hard. They had been drafting well for years – always high—didn’t reach or do anything stupid. Why did they suck? It turns out, that was specifically the year they stopped sucking and the reason, more than Marshall Faulk, more than Tory Holt or Mike Martz, was that they finally had a quarterback. I think the Bills finally have a quarterback.
And the Browns…that losing plan has to stat working sometime, right?
Bengals over Patriots
I’m doing it, baby! I am on the Bengals bandwagon. I know they lost to the Browns last week, but that was just the Universe’s way of continuing to fuck up Cleveland. This Patriots team has openly campaigned and tried to lose every single game this season and failed. It’s time to do what’s right, New England. I hate you.
Lions over Packers
This one has a lot to do with my gut… an area of my body that has consistently let me down over the last 10 years. I can’t see how the Packers defense can stop the Lions. I can’t see how Aaron Rodgers doesn’t continue proving that he’s not all that great after all, especially with the interior pass rush and sure-fire groin kicks Detroit will be brining up the middle. Packers. I kind of think you’re in trouble.
Colts over Seahawks
It’s ridiculous that the Seahawks are undefeated at this point. Ridiculous. I look at this team and I see 100 ways of beating them. No. 1 is don’t be stupid (Matt Schaub). No. 2 is run past their slow-ass corners that do not have NFL speed. No. 3 is keep doing that and blow their sorry asses out. Colts, you’ll have to figure out the other 97 ways on your own.
This should start a four-game losing streak for Seattle. Should.
Ravens over Dolphins
That Dolphins bandwagon emptied awful fast, didn’t it? Funny how playing an actual NFL-caliber team will do that.
Saints over Bears
Am I the only person that noticed that Jay Cutler shits all over the field two or three times a year? Why is this such a big deal? He probably won’t this game and it could be a good one, but I’m really liking the Saints right now. This is a big game for both teams.
Giants over Eagles
At their lowest point, right after a bye week and without a single win, the New York Football Giants see a light at the end of the tunnel. And it’s from Michael Vick setting an affenpinscher on fire.
Chiefs over Titans
I don’t think Ryan Fitzpatrick is terrible. The Titans are going to be fine, but they can’t beat this, evidently, unstoppable Chiefs juggernaut. The Bengals. The Bills. And now the Chiefs. This season is already weird.
Rams over Jaguars
I excitedly pointed by browser to StLouisRams.com Friday morning after the second-straight Rams game in which they presented their red asses to the opposing team like a horny macaque. I wanted to see Rams head coach Jeff Fisher take the podium, minus an eyebrow and waving a giant pink dildo, and hear what he had to say about his team’s lackluster, some would say yeasty vagina-like performance. He messed up immediately, coming out with two fully functioning eyebrows and completely dildoless. And this is what he said, “We’ll get it fixed.”
Whew! Glad to hear it. I was worried there for a minute.
There are only three things that could happen in this game two of them are awful. No. 1 The Rams win by at least three touchdowns - This is the only acceptable outcome showing any progress from the past two weeks of industrial strength ass-eating. No. 2. The Rams win a close game – This is a disaster. The Jaguars are the worst team in the NFL, maybe of all time. Any close win to the Jaguars is as good as a loss. And finally, No. 3. The Jaguars win – Hang it up.
Cardinals over Panthers
This one could go either way, but when you’re choosing between Bruce Arians coached team and a team that Ron Rivera is driving over a cliff into a lake of lava, you really don’t have much of a choice at all.
Broncos over Cowboys
Peyton Manning, I believe, may not throw his usual four touchdowns in this game. He may not get the chance, as Tony Romo may throw so many pick-sixes that Peyton sits out most of the second half.
Texans over 49ers
This is really the game that will show if the 49ers have “fixed their problem.” The Texans should have beaten the Seahawks by two scores last week if not for Matt Schaub actually catching sight of himself in a mirror on the sidelines. Houston, you need to treat that sideline like an old English manor house after somebody’s evil grandmother finally died. You cover those mirrors up.
Chargers over Raiders
Chargers, I don’t quite have a bead on you. Raiders, consider yourself fully beaded.
Falcons over Jets
The Falcons showed, pretty clearly, that they are not the team this season and, if it’s not going to happen this year, it’s never going to happen. Atlanta, you have been weighed, you have been measured and you have been found wanting.
Still, this is the Jets so knock yourselves out.
Last week: 8-7
The NFL Week 4: For every choice, mistake I made, is not my plan.
I can’t really say going with my gut let me down last week. Going .500 my gut did just about as good as the rest of me in picking games. My main problem has been, other than an obsessive compulsive desire to will the St. Louis Rams to win by picking them, is that I had, before this week, yet to give up on the Steelers and Giants.
We also have our first byes this week, with the Packers and Panthers getting the earliest and most useless break. So let’s see what happens.
Rams over 49ers
I will it!
In all seriousness, both these teams shit the bed so completely last week that they’ve been fined by the Department of Health and Human Services. I picked the Rams to sweep every NFC West team this year and I’m sticking with it.
Ravens over Bills
Bills fans have to be excited about this team and its future, but anything over six wins is a dream. The Ravens just beat the hell out of a decent Houston team and should still have a sore enough ass over that Broncos embarrassment that they won’t sleep on Buffalo.
Cardinals over Bucs
You know, I legitimately though the Bucs would shock everybody and beat the Patriots last week. If anything proves that I’m not qualified to write an NFL picks column, it’s probably that. TampaBay is a complete disaster. Josh Freeman is one more year away from being completely out of the NFL and they’re probably already dusting off the checkbook for Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase.
And that way Greg Schiano will finally end up where’s he’s supposed to be… living in a Samsung box and barbecuing rats over a flaming metal garbage can.
Steelers over Vikings
Steelers, what the hell? Are you going to make me pick a team quarterbacked by Christian Ponder? Are you? Shit. I’m not going to do it. This is your last chance, assholes. One of these teams has to win this game…. But how fucking funny would it be if they ended in a tie? Oh please let that happen.
Chiefs over Giants
This will, of course, be the week where the Giants pull all 53 heads out of their 53 asses. I do not get this team. If this keeps up Tom Coughlin’s red face is going to go full Ghost Rider.
Colts over Jaguars
I do not see a win on the Jaguars’ schedule this season. Cleveland may be their only chance on Dec. 1. The Raiders and Browns have already forfeited the No. 1 pick by actually winning. The Steelers and Vikings actually play this week and Redskins will win at some point. So will the Giants. The Bucs are the only team that could screw this up for the Jaguars and that may come down to a coin flip. Two 0-16 teams in one season? Can the Jaguars and Buccaneers make that dream real?
Texans over Seahawks
The NFC’s most overrated team meets its AFC counterpart. I’m going with the Texans. Ray Sherman and the Seattle defense looks great going against wideouts and tight ends that run 40s like they’re trying to make it to the bathroom with a piss boner. Houston has guys that can actually run at NFL speeds. I hope they beat the Seahawks by 50.
Bengals over Browns
I’m picking the Bengals again. This is who I’ve become. And, Cleveland, you can’t even lose right. How the hell do you win last week when you are actively trying to toss your season down the toilet? You suck even at sucking.
Lions over Bears
The Bears are due for a loss. Three wins in a row is plenty for them.
Titans over Jets
I’ve not gotten to pay a lot of attention to this Titans team yet, as they’ve played at the same time as the Rams for the last two weeks. This Sunday they’ll have my full attention. And both my fantasy teams are ready for a Chris Johnson breakout. The Jets look like the team to do it against.
Raiders over Redskins
Honestly, I’m kind of picking the Raiders because Matt Flynn will probably start. The good news for the Redskins as they struggle through this season is that they’ll have a high No. 1 pick to help them build for next year…. Oh wait…
Broncos over Eagles
Has anyone called him “Cow” Chip Kelly? Is “Cow” Chip Kelly happening yet?
Fun Fact: Peyton Manning is on pace to throw 4,782 touchdown passes this season.
Chargers over Cowboys
Am I the only person who thinks these two teams should switch quarterbacks?
Falcons over Patriots
Or just lose, Falcons, you fucking pussies. It’s time for you to prove something and if you let New England come into Atlanta and beat you, you’ll be proving plenty.
Saints over Dolphins
Time for reality to set in for Miami.
Last week: 8-8
The NFL Week 3. She said “There is no reason and the truth is plain to see.”
Some big games went against me over the weekend, but I still did alright… in fact, better than week one. All my Bold Predictions are still in play, though my Playoff Predictions have already taken a pretty significant hit.
This week I’m stepping out to the ledge. When I looked at the games I had a few gut feelings that go against what my brain is telling me. One look at me and it’s easy to see that I usually go with my gut in that situation so that’s what I’m doing this week.
Eagles over Chiefs
I’m not completely sold on the Chip Kelly offense and the Chiefs are actually decent, but I feel like they should be able to win at home. Plus, it seems ridiculous that the Chiefs would be undefeated after Week Three and it’s hard to win with your offense dodging not only defenders but every D battery in Eastern Pennsylvania.
It does seem counterintuitive in a week that I’m going with my gut to pick against Andy Reid. I may end up regretting this one.
Ravens over Texans
The Ravens are at home and the Texans still have Matt Schaub at quarterback. Joe Flacco has been eating a lot of shit lately even though Baltimore is supposed to have some pretty good restaurants. Ed Reed and Andre Johnson might not play and DeAndre Hopkins just had the game of his life, getting grabbed off the waiver wire in every fantasy league in America…and guaranteeing he’ll be all but invisible in this game (see Jared Cook and Anquan Boldin)
Giants over Panthers
This will mark the third consecutive week I’ve picked the Giants to win. Maybe it’s me?
Redskins over Lions
Much like when I enter a room, my gut makes its first appearance in the column. I would love nothing more than the Redskins to go 0-16 this season. The Rams already have that pick and the more Washington loses, the more valuable – either in a player or in trade – that pick becomes. It is specifically because of that, and because the “bench RG3” idea is really gaining some steam that my gut tells me that the Redskins are going to beat the Lions. Also the entire Lions coaching staff eats ass. There’s that too.
Saints over Cardinals
But it’ll be close. The line from this one spans New Orleans -7.5 to -9. It wouldn’t shock me to see the Cardinals outright win this game, so that line seems a little dubious. This will also mark the first time I’ve used the word “dubious” in this column and now I’ve done it twice.
Titans over Chargers
Are these two decent teams that play like shit sometimes? Are they two bad teams that can actually win a game now and then? Are they two mediocre AFC teams that will play no significant role in the story of the 2013/14 NFL season? My bet’s on No. 3.
Buccaneers over Patriots
And here it is in all its glory. My gut. Painted red and pewter with a pirate flag on it. The Patriots have looked like refried hell for two weeks and the Bucs are in complete disarray and turmoil. Still, there’s no reason to pick the Bucs here except my gut is talking to me like I’m next in line at the pizza buffet. So let’s do this, gut. I’ve let you lead me this far for the last 39 and ¾ years. Let’s walk this last mile, albeit slowly and breathing heavily, together.
Bengals over Packers
Oh, gut. This? You pick the Bengals? After just picking the Bucs? If this all goes to shit I have two words for you, pal – “laproscopic band.” You have been warned.
Rams over Cowboys
Rams. I need this. America needs this. Jerry Jones’ plastic surgeon needs this. Make it happen.
Vikings over Browns
Two wins in a row for the Vikings should get their hopes way up before being dashed over the next 14 weeks of the season.
Falcons over Dolphins
The Dolphins got a gift from the Colts last week and the Falcons, literally, got a gift from Rams running back Darryl Richardson, who batted an easy pass into the air and then Osi Umenyiora’s hands for a TD. The TD that turned out to be the winning score of the game. Atlanta, you and the Rams will meet again.
Jets over Bills
I’m as excited about the Bills as everyone else in the United States who doesn’t live right under Canada’s asshole. Which is to say, not a lot, but they’re interesting. This is another gut game, but this also seems counterintuitive as Buffalo was the place where Buffalo Wings were invented…. A significant contributor to the gut I see before me.
Colts over 49ers
I wasn’t impressed by Seattle’s defense. I was impressed by the shittiness of the 49ers offense. The Seahawks are still the most overrated team in the NFC, even if they’ll start 3-0, so that loss, and the way the 49ers looked, was pretty rough. Also the Colts are my AFC Superbowl pick and I’m sticking with them. Time to make some noise.
Seahawks over Jaguars
How do the Seahawks draw the worst team in the league this week? Can the Jags go 0-16? Could we have two 0-16 teams?
Steelers over Bears
So Todd Haley. How are you still employed? The Steelers are the team that looks like they’re already screwing up my Preseason Picks, leaving an opening for the Bengals to immediately lose in the first round like they have for the last two seasons.
Broncos over Raiders
The Raiders and Jags will be battling them down the stretch for that No. 1 draft pick and maybe the first 0-32 tandem in NFL history. The Raiders are a nightmare if your nightmares aren’t scary and are primarily about getting caught out in public with your balls hanging out.
The NFL Week 2. I Never Meant to Get Us in This Deep.
Week one was a pretty great way to start the season. So many games went down to the wire and spreads ruined/covered that I’m pretty sure we’ve added about 1,300 people to the federal witness protection program. I wasn’t great in Week One, but I was almost great if a few things had gone differently. Which is probably what will end up on my tombstone.
Patriots over Jets
The Jets got a gift from the Bucs that helped them pick up their first, and maybe only win of the season. The Patriots, though I picked them to beat the Bills, denied America’s wishes by doing just that. Buffalo show its lack of testicular fortitude and Tom Brady did just enough to keep the NFL Network’s Heath Evans from killing himself through autoerotic asphyxiation.
Rams over Falcons
People may want to talk about the Falcons showing up strong in a loss to the Saints, but I’m pretty convinced those people didn’t watch the game. Atlanta performed worse than Amanda Bynes at a sobriety checkpoint. Roddy White recorded all of one fantasy point. One. To put that into perspective that’s exactly same number of points Austin Pettis, the Rams No. 5 wide receiver. And Pettis caught one more pass.
Last week I talked about how Carson Palmer would be sacked repeatedly by the Rams D-Line and for those of you who ran with that in your picks, you are welcome. The Saints ate Atlanta’s offensive line alive and there’s no reason to believe it will be any different when facing the best pass rushing team in the league.
Eagles over Chargers
Fun fact: Chip Kelly’s name is actually short for “Chiperick.” He’s named after his paternal grandmother. Another Fun Fact: Norve Turner still secretly coaches the Chargers from an underground bunker in Cleveland. It’s underground because that’s the only place in Cleveland you can breathe without a respirator.
I take issue with USA Today’s headline in Tuesday morning’s paper that the Texan’s “stunned” the Chargers. That implies that losing after being up by three scores isn’t something that regularly happens to San Diego. A better headline would have been, “That thing that happens to the Chargers sometimes happened again.”
I’m not ready to dub Chip Kelly’s offense in Philadelphia the next big thing just yet. When making my picks last week I had forgotten that Jim Haslett was the Redskin’s defensive coordinator and really that changes everything. I’ll need to see Kelly’s team play that well against a D-Coordinator who can open a child-proof container.
Chiefs over Cowboys
The Cowboys, and Tony Romo, did not look completely horrible in a gift win over the Giants Monday night. The Chiefs actually looked pretty good, but they were playing the Jaguars. I’m picking the Chiefs because I refuse to believe the Cowboys will start the season 2-0. It seems ridiculous to even write it.
Colts over Dolphins
The Dolphins did everything they could to lose to the Browns last week and still managed to win. I blame this on Cleveland. The Colts will not let this be close. I still can’t believe anybody saw a playoff team with this Dolphins squad in the preseason.
Texans over Titans
I live in Tennessee and love football so I’m obligated to like the Titans. That being said nobody saw them dominating the Steelers like they did last week. Todd Haley won’t be calling the offensive plays on the other side this week, so I think the Texans are safe.
Packers over Redskins
The Packers stumbled last week, not only in losing to the 49ers, but for me showing that they just can’t beat a physical team. Luckily for them, they won’t be playing one this week.
Ravens over Browns
We had the rare gift this season of watching Norv Turner destroy two teams at once. The Ravens will obliterate the Browns. Brandon Weedon is more likely to throw seven picks and be sacked seven times than throw seven touchdowns…unless it’s seven pick-sixes then that could actually happen. But with Steve Spagnuolo as a Ravens defensive coach, this one could end up a shoot out.
Panthers over Bills
Two teams that would both be 1-0 right now if they didn’t lack the testicular fortitude of a 19th century castrato. I know Ron Rivera is your coach, Carolina, but you are still better than this. And Cam Newton’s life literally depends on winning this game. People are going to begin noticing those cuts up his forearms if this keeps up.
Bears over Vikings
Will the Vikings start 0-2? Is Christian Ponder still their quarterback?
Saints over Buccaneers
The Bucs already get the award for worst team in the NFC and the season is just a week old. Head Coach/Bag of Douche Greg Schiano can finally move on to the career he was born for – manually masturbating farm animals.
Cardinals over Lions
I’m really iffy on this one, but I though the Cardinals looked good and really have about the same talent level, team-wide, that the Lions do. And I’ll never trust a team with Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan on the sidelines. Spagnuolo, Haslett, Joe Vitt, Linehan and Pat Schurmer… is it any secret why the Rams sucked for so long?
Raiders over Jaguars
The Raiders win the Jaguars lottery this week. If you watched Inside the NFL this week you saw what a gentle and loving soul Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley was during his team’s absolutely pathetic performance against the Chiefs. After the game he probably gave the entire team happy ending massages. Jacksonville, you are on the clock.
Giants over Broncos
Nervous doesn’t begin to describe this pick. Peyton carved up the Ravens like Dexter Morgan last Thursday and tied the NFL record for touchdowns in a game. Eli didn’t have a bad game himself, though everyone else on the Giants sure seemed to. I just have a feeling about the Giants, still. I don’t think they’ll start 0-2 and losing last week means they win this week. That’s just science.
49ers over Seahawks
The Seahawks were pushed all over the field by the Panthers last week, who made sure to fumble their way into the loser’s column before the game ended. I don’t think this one will be close.
Bengals over Steelers
Todd Haley has done more damage to the Steelers offense than all the windshields and drunken restroom sex ever could. Before this I couldn’t imagine a world where I would pick the Bengals over the Steelers in anything other than a pie eating contest.
Last Week: 9-7
The NFL Week 1. Self-Realized and Metaphysically Redeemed
This is a fun slate of games to start the season off and it brings me a lot of joy to think of all the talking heads scratching their scalps at the results when it’s all over. There are easily five “can’t miss” games to kick off opening weekend and a few of them have the potential to turn preseason predictions upside down right off the bat.
Broncos over Ravens
This game won’t be so much of a changing of the guard than a “Peyton can beat the Ravens in September” game. The flipside of it is that if the Ravens win, especially if they walk, the tearing of betting slips across the country, let alone the rending of garments on ESPN may very well cause a rift in space-time.
Patriots over Bills
I’m not playing in a survivor pool this season as money has actual value to me. That being said, if I was in one it this would be a week rife with easy choices. I know in my 10 Bold Predictions column that you undoubtedly read, then saved to your hard drive and printed a hard copy, that the Patriots would lose once to every AFC East team and I still think that. Just not this week.
Steelers over Titans
Troy Polamalu is healthy. Ben Roethlisberger didn’t rape any women or livestock over th summer. The Bengals were on Hard Knocks. I don’t see any reason to pick against the Steelers this season.
Falcons over Saints
Two of the best teams in the NFC face off, with really only two possible results. 1 – The Falcons show they’re the class of the conference like they should or 2 – The Falcons show they aren’t there and probably never will be.
Bucs over Jets
Survivor pool gimme No. 2. The only wildcard is the Bucs, because they eat ass as well. The Geno Smith era begins with every defensive back he’ll be facing already counting up contract incentives.
Chiefs over Jaguars
The teams with the top two drafts picks play in week one in a game no one cares about. We actually put a satellite into Earth’s orbit to get the chance to not watch this game. Direct TV should switch to Heidi in the fourth quarter just to see if anyone says anything.
Panthers over Seahawks
And suddenly worlds begin to crumble. EA Sports starts rethinking its ad campaign and Russell Wilson falls to Earth harder than Michael Moore slipping on an ice patch.
Bears over Bengals
Can we get a Hard Knocks moratorium on the Bengals please?
Dolphins over Browns
But I don’t feel good about it. The Browns did not look like the pile of turds for which they were named in the preseason. Could that mean something? Beating the Dolphins, who shouldn’t be completely terrible, would say a lot.
Lions over Vikings
Adrian Peterson gets his yards, but Christian Ponder will put up negative yards. Is there a prop bet for Ponder to throw more Pick-Sixes than touchdowns this season? Because I would really think about taking it.
Colts over Raiders
The Raiders are more of a mess than usual for the Raiders. I picked them to go 4-12 because they always seem to win a few they shouldn’t, but they could conceivably go 0-16. And you already know what I think about the Colts because you couldn’t stop reading, sharing and lovingly caressing your computer screen over my 2013 NFL Predictions column. I love you too.
Packers over 49ers
Aaron Rodgers gets another shot at redemption against an overrated team that he hates. San Francisco isn’t overrated because they suck. They don’t. But they aren’t the best team in the NFC. I do think this one will be close.
Rams over Cardinals
The Rams led the NFL in sacks last season and two games against the Cardinals were a big reason for that. St. Louis had nine sacks in their first game against Arizona alone last year. Sam Bradford gets to really play with his new offensive weapons and the Rams win in a walk.
Giants over Cowboys
Tony Romo is going to be more involved with the Cowboys offense this season which is weird, because I expect him to be a lot more involved with the Giants defense in this game.
Redskins over Eagles
RG3 starts and stays healthy and Michael Vick starts and still somehow manages to kill three Pomeranians, a Bichon Frise and a rare Tibetan Mastiff.
Texans over Chargers
Hey Houston. See that quarterback on the other sideline. You should really think about making a blockbuster trade for him. Your window is closing faster than Michael Moore hitting the ground in the analogy I used nine picks ago.
2013 NFL Predictions: I’m Gonna Set it Straight, this Watergate.
Historically picking one division champion seems to be pretty easy for NFL pundits and writers. Checking last year’s predictions a lot of people, none of them me, had the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC. Fewer people, but still a significant number, picked the 49ers but not the Ravens. Mike Lombardi of the NFL Network (now the GM of the Cleveland Browns) took a break from fellating Bill Belichick to actually pick both teams right, the Ravens and the 49ers.
I was completely off. My AFC pick, the Pittsburgh Steelers, didn’t even make the playoffs. My NFC pick, the Green Bay Packers, were derailed by Aaron Rodgers pulling a Peyton Manning in the playoffs.
Twice before, once in the preseason and once before the playoffs, I’ve picked both teams right – 2001 and 2009. I’ve picked one team plenty of times, either preseason or before the playoffs. Not last year, but it has happened.
If you read my 10 Bold Predictions for the 2013 NFL Season column, then some of this won’t come as a surprise to you. If you didn’t read that article, my feelings are a little hurt. I’m stung and will probably not get over it. It’ll hang with me for a while, but all I can do is put my head down and move forward. I forgive you.
KEY = Y- Homefield, Z – Division Winner, X – Wild Card
Z - New England Patriots 11-5
I would love it if this was the year one of these pathetic loser teams in the AFC East. Is it the Dolphins, with Ryan Tannehill, the absolute dumbest starting QB in the NFL? Is it the Bills, who haven’t been a factor since Dan Patrick had his real face? Is it the Jets, who… shit, I can’t even joke about that. The Patriots have experienced enough off-season troubles to down any team that wasn’t so closely aligned with Satan. I want the Patriots to lose every football game they play this season, next season and until the sun burns out. But I’ll believe it when I see it.
Miami Dolphins 7-9
New York Jets 6-10
Buffalo Bills 3-13
Z - Baltimore Ravens 12-4
Spoiler alert. The Ravens aren’t my Superbowl pick again, which could very well mean they’ll go. They would be my back up pick and, ironically, the only AFC team I think can actually WIN the Superbowl.
X - Pittsburgh Steelers 10-6
And here we are again, Pittsburgh. Suck less this year.
Cincinnati Bengals 8-8
Bengals, you just keep sucking the right amount.
Cleveland Brown 5-11
Y – Indianapolis Colts 13-3
I like Andrew Luck and I really like this Colts team. Last year was no fluke.
X- Houston Texans 10-6
As long as Matt Schaub is the QB, Houston will remain a bridesmaid. Not even a good bridesmaid, but the round one with all the back fat hanging out of her dress wrestling for the bouquet with one hand while she holds a wedge of cake in the other.
Tennessee Titans 6-10
Jacksonville Jaguars 3-13
Z – Denver Broncos 12-4
Picking the Broncos was a mistake for Peyton Manning. He should be playing somewhere warm. My friend Jason Kumpfmiller says that if the Broncos are a road Wild Card team they’ll go to the Superbowl and he’s absolutely right. Those night playoff games in Denver in January, when he could barely ever play in the cold in his prime, will pretty much seal his fate.
Kansas City Chiefs 8-8
San Diego Chargers 7-9
Oakland Raiders 4-12
Z – New York Giants 12-4
Tom Brady’s baby’s dad returns to the playoffs to scare everybody shitless.
Dallas Cowboys 8-8
That former Carson-Newman punter Chris Jones hit the giant video screen during a game a week ago will easily be the most exciting thing that happens in Dallas this season.
Washington Redskins 6-10
Maybe after a losing season RG3 will stop letting his aunt do his hair.
Philadelphia Eagles 3-13
Remember when Steve Spurrier’s offense was supposed to work in the NFL?
Z - Green Bay Packers 11-5
Aaron Rodgers is still the best QB in the league, but I think some of the bloom fell off the rose in last year’s playoff turd. Rodgers actually has to take more on himself, change some plays at the line and grab the reins more or he’s never going to add another Superbowl ring to his hand.
Minnesota Vikings 7-9
Chicago Bears 6-10
Detroit Lions 5-11
Y – Atlanta Falcons 13-3
This should be the year the Falcons are anointed in the NFC. They’re loaded and the one weakness they had last year – running back – they fixed when they signed Steven Jackson. If they don’t win it all every Falcons fan should be heartbroken and disappointed. Falcons fans, be prepared to be heartbroken and disappointed.
X - New Orleans Saints 11-5
Nobody believes the Saints won’t return to the playoffs this season. Also, nobody believes they’ll do too much when they get there.
Carolina Panthers 9-7
The Cam Newton suicide watch begins.
TampaBay Buccaneers 5-11
Z – St. Louis Rams 12-4
Well now, who is this? The team that “won” the NFC West last year. Pretty much to a man, woman and whatever Pat Kirwan is, believes the 49ers are probably going to be the NFC Superbowl team. The 49ers can’t and won’t beat the Rams. Not only will the Rams win this division, they’ll sweep every team in it (you know, The Best Division in the NFL ™).
X – San Francisco 49ers 11-5
Colin Kaepernick’s eventual trade to the Miami Dolphins will have to wait a little while longer.
Seattle Seahawks 8-8
The only reason I don’t pick the Seahawks to finish 7-9 or 6-10 is because I said they wouldn’t in my bold predictions article. Shit’s about to get real in Seattle and there will be no joy in Mudville.
Arizona Cardinals 8-8
Larry Fitzgerald. We all miss you.
Ravens over Texans
See: Matt Schaub.
Steelers over Patriots
A healthy Steelers team, like the Ravens, will never lose to these Patriots.
Colts over Steelers
The Andrew Luck story gets it’s first significant postseason chapter.
Ravens over Broncos
You should have dropped a few more regular season games on purpose, Peyton.
Colts over Ravens
How many pun-headlines will run with “Luck” in them after this game?
WILD CARD ROUND
Giants over 49ers
Packers over Saints
Drew Brees is about to enter that 1990s Dan Marino phase of his career.
Rams over Giants
You read right.
Packers over Falcons
Uh oh. That means…
Rams over Packers
I’m doing it!
Rams over Colts
I totally did it.
10 Bold Predictions for this NFL Season
First off, before I start we need to discuss what a “Bold Prediction” is. A bold prediction is prognostication where you stick your neck out. Is it a bold prediction to say the Dallas Cowboys won’t go to the Superbowl this season? No. It’s proof you are qualified to use a fork. Is it a bold prediction to say that this is Mark Sanchez’s last season in New York? Again, no. It just shows that you’ve caught, probably by accident, at least four-to-seven minutes of a New York Jets game over the last two seasons.
Make it eight minutes and get this great complimentary headband!
A bold prediction is one that a sane person, completely rationally, can disagree with. It’s a prediction that, if you put money on it in Las Vegas, would pay back more money than you risked. It’s not stacking $100 on black at the roulette table. It’s pushing $500 bucks to the No. 13 and saying “spin it.” It’s asking for a hit when you have a king and a seven. That’s what a bold prediction is.
As of the moment my fingers are stabbing into the keyboard on my laptop we are exactly two and a half weeks away from the start of the 2013-14 NFL season. I will, once again, put forth my weekly NFL picks column and next week debut my season predictions column. But this week, to help get your mind off the Preseason of the Torn ACL we’ve been enjoying so much, here are my 10 bold predictions for this NFL season.
10. No NFC West team will finish with a losing record.
Not even the Cardinals. The NFC West is, just three seasons removed from a 7-9 division champion, now widely regarded as the best division in football. I agree with this. I think that two teams in this division will make the playoffs, but not the two teams that you probably think. Arizona is the team that can blow this prediction up, but with Bruce Arians as coach and even a competent season out of Carson Palmer they should win six games. I’m guessing they steal a couple more than that.
9. The St. Louis Rams will finish the regular season with two 1,000-yard receivers not named Tavon Austin (but he’ll get 1,000 too)
Is it going to be Chris Givens and Jared Cook? Is it Givens and Brian Quick? Is it Givens and Stedman Bailey? I don’t know. What I do know is that it’s going to be Chris Givens and somebody. My money is on Cook, but Quick could blow up, especially late in the season.
Get used to this.
8. Matt Cassel will be starting for the Vikings by the end of the season.
This is probably the weakest of my predictions, but, like a store brand tobasco sauce, it’s just bold enough. Cassel is a competent back up that managed to steal starter money for a few seasons. It happens. Mark Sanchez is doing the same thing in New York. So why do I think he’ll be starting for the Minnesota Vikings, the defending NFC North champs? Because Christian Ponder isn’t even that. The Vikings will eat ass through a straw this season and Ponder will get the hook around Week 9 or 10.
7. The Kansas City Chiefs will win more games than the Philadelphia Eagles, but still won’t finish with a winning record.
The heat on the Chiefs is out of control. Everywhere I look writers are picking them as a playoff team or a team that will contend with the Broncos for the AFC West. They’ll be better than they were last year, sure. But there is no way that team goes past 8-8. And the Eagles will be in shambles after Week 6 and probably be playing for the top pick in next year’s draft.
6. The New England Patriots will lose at least once to every AFC East team but still win the division.
Is this the year Miami catches the Patriots? Will all the offseason distractions and literal dead bodies bobbing up from the sewers under the stadium cause the Patriots to plummet? God, I wish. And by the simple act of wanting them to fall off the face of the NFL… to finish 4-12 and be blown out in every loss… That will all but guarantee a 10-6 or 11-5 New England regular season. They’ll still eat it in the playoffs, but they, unfortunately, will not go away.
It Could Actually Happen
5. The Indianapolis Colts will win the AFC South
And they will win it outright with a couple of weeks to go, probably finishing 13-3. Andrew Luck is about to break loose and all the rest of the team needs to do is keep up.
4. The Washington Redskins will not win more than six games.
And maybe not even that. The Giants will own that division this season and the rest of these scrub teams will beat up on each other. The Cowboys are probably the second best team…heading for another 8-8 year, but the Redskins are about to fall back to Earth.
Venus Williams bob to 3rd grade cornrows. Not an upgrade.
3. The Denver Broncos will win the AFC West and lose in the divisional round of the playoffs for the third consecutive season.
Peyton can’t win in the cold. He’s too old. He shouldn’t have picked Denver. He’ll light it up in the regular season, throw for a bunch of yards, make the Pro Bowl and then get to play in it because he won’t have played a game in two weeks.
2. The Seattle Seahawks will not make the playoffs.
They won’t. The Russell Wilson story is about to take an M. Knight Shyamalan-ian twist and not in a good way. I’m talking a killer trees in The Happening bad twist. I’m talking an Adrian Brody in a spiky flour sack twist. Place your bets accordingly.
1. The St. Louis Rams will win the NFC West.
Yes. Yes they will. And they’ll sweep every team in the division in the process. That’s right. I just bolded your brains out.
Pictured: My future son in law.