The NFL 2013/14 Season Wrap-Up: Start tearing the old man down, run past the heather and down to the old road.
It’s taken two weeks for me to wrap up this Super Bowl and 2013-14 NFL season for no other reason than I’ve been marathoning Breaking Bad like I’m on its product. If you’ve been checking in on the site since the Super Bowl, excited to watch me eat shit over the Seahawks’ domination of the Broncos, I’ve been very disappointing. And I’ll continue to disappoint you.
The problem with that is, of course, the Seattle Seahawks. They are, unquestionably, a team I did not believe in at all since the season began. If I had picked every regular season Seahawks game right, they would have probably finished 4-12. Instead, they’re Super Bowl Champions and stand as a perfect symbol of the shittiness of my NFL Picks season.
Hating the Seahawks is tough, in spite of Richard Sherman’s best efforts. I don’t dislike Pete Carroll, I love the city and Russell Wilson seems like such a good kid, even getting mentioned in an Eminem song doesn’t make me hate him. Something that, a year ago, would have been almost impossible.
I’m still shocked the Broncos lost as bad as they did. As wrong as I’ve been on my actual picks this season, I’ve had the Seahawks’ defense pegged. Protect the QB. Throw deep. Repeat. You do that and you win. All you need is a QB and wide receivers with NFL speed. Because Seattle’s defensive backs can’t run with them. It’s how the Cardinals and the Colts beat them. It’s how the Bucs, Texans and Rams almost beat them with QBs that should be working the grill at Fudruckers.
It’s why the Saints would have beaten them in the playoffs if they hadn’t tried 7,482 screen passes. You can run on Seattle up the middle and you can throw on them deep. That’s how you beat them. When the Broncos came out and started those little pissant crossing routes and, unbelievably, screens? That’s how you get beaten 43-8.
As a native of Tennessee, I’ve missed out on the unrealistic Peyton Manning expectations my neighbors seem to have. Manning is still the most popular University of Tennessee player of all time. There’s a generation of kids, boys and girls, named “Peyton” here.
"That I know about…"
And I don’t get it. Because all the “choking” stuff that’s dogged him in the pros was evident when he was under center for the Vols too.
So is this game going to put a hit on Peyton’s legacy? Sure. But it wasn’t all on him this time like the loss to the Saints was a few years ago. This game was won in the coaches’ meeting rooms before it even started. Manning wasn’t the whole problem this time. Just a part of it. A lot of people wanted to compare him with Eli on Twitter and Facebook after that performance, creating memes like it was really Eli out there in Peyton’s uniform, but that’s just not fair. If Eli was out there the Broncos would have won. Eli Manning does not lose Super Bowls.
Though I lost the actual game pick, I kicked ass in the prop bets and, if I had actually wagered any money, I would have been a whole $200 richer come Feb. 3. My biggest win was that Renee Fleming wouldn’t wear gloves. She didn’t. My most confounding loss was “Beast Mode” being said more than twice in the game. It wasn’t said once.
THE 2014 NFL DRAFT
We’re a little over a week away from the NFL Combine and three months away from the draft. I’m putting together my own mock draft and will run it toward the end of April. Of course, there are already enough mock drafts out there they can’t be counted with conventional math, so let me give you a quick rule of thumb so that you can know how serious to take the draft projection you’re looking at.
Does it have the St. Louis Rams taking a wide receiver with their first first-round pick? If yes, then just move your pointer up to the top of your browser window and close out that page immediately. If the mock has the Rams taking a QB with either of their first round picks, never go back to that website again. It’s obviously part of some terrorist or mafia money-laundering operation.
What are the Rams going to do with that No. 2 pick? Trade it, probably. Hopefully to the Browns for two firsts, this year’s and next year’s (which could likely be a No. 1) unless the new Browns’ regime wants to open the NFL season without a quarterback for the 12th season in a row. I don’t see the Rams dropping lower than No. 5 and there’s only two ways they don’t draft Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews is if he’s gone when they pick or if Jadaveon Clowney turns in such a beastly performance at the combine it becomes impossible not to pick him.
It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Rams take two tackles with those first round picks, frankly. It’d probably be smart. They will draft a QB in this draft, probably in the third or fourth round. My pick would be Georgia’s Aaron Murray, but who knows who’ll be there when they decide to pull the trigger?
The biggest draft news right now was Missouri Defensive End, All-American and SEC Defensive Player of the Year Michael Sam stepping out of the closet and immediately sacking intolerance. Sam was supposed to be a mid-round pick before he announced his butt preference and that shouldn’t change. He’s probably a 3-4 OLB and would fit in great with the Steelers, Ravens or even, God forbid, the Patriots.
This kid was already going to be a good player. But to draft him now, when he’ll come in fired up wanting to prove every idiot wrong and make up for every time he heard “faggot” from the stands from a piece of shit he could crush against his head like a beer can? He’ll work hard not only because he’s good, because he is, but because of what he represents in the world. If that’s not the kind of guy you want on your team then fuck you. You don’t deserve a team.
And as for players like Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma who don’t know how they’ll react if a gay teammate looks at them naked? Hopefully flattered if he likes what he sees.
Before I list everything, I want to thank Jason Kumpfmiller, who saves you from reading a page full of typos every time I post these.
If you’re in a panic over what you’ll do without reading my NFL musings every week (and really, why wouldn’t you?) none to fear. I’m planning on a Weekend Update-style column to run on Fridays at some point and, if you can’t live another minute without me, you can always follow me on Twitter and friend/follow me on Facebook.
Sabotage – Beastie Boys
Mind Your Manners – Pearl Jam
One that Got Away – The Civil Wars
Whiter Shade of Pale – Procol Harum
Sirens – Pearl Jam
Hurt – Nine Inch Nails
Carry On – Avenged Sevenfold
Sail – Awolnation
Sympathy for the Devil – Rolling Stones
Pet Cemetery – The Ramones
Sweet Jane – Velvet Underground
It’s Time – Imagine Dragons
Don’t Fear the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult
Thank You – Alanis Morrisette
Long Road – Pearl Jam
We’ve Got Tonight – Bob Seger
Do The Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid
Dammit – Blink 182
Same Old Trip – Chevelle
Nightmare – Avenged Sevenfold
Losing My Religion – R.E.M.
Operator – Jim Croce
The Touch – Stan Bush
Omaha – Counting Crows
Last Week: 0-1
Pro Bowl: 1-0
Overall: 150-116-1 (20 games under last year)
All-Time Super Bowl Record: 22-7
The SUPER BOWL: You’re at your best when the going gets rough. You’ve been put to the test, but it’s never enough.
If you’ve been to this site more than once, even by accident while searching for Bigfoot erotica, you already know who I’ll pick to win the Super Bowl this Sunday. So let’s put that off for a minute and talk about something more important – money, specifically betting.
A “Prop Bet,” in football terms, is a side bet to the actual contest in question in which you wager on a specific event, outcome or statistic that has no bearing on the winner or loser of the game. If you still don’t get it, you will as I talk about, and predict the outcome of, my favorite Super Bowl Prop Bets for Sunday.
The Bet: Will Renee Fleming wear gloves when she sings the national anthem? Yes (-300) No (+200)
Me: I have no idea who Renee Fleming is and have avoided Googling her to keep that personal streak going. Unless she has a sex tape or flashes a nipple Sunday, that’s not going to change. Her glove preference is a complete mystery to me. But that money line up there is pretty tempting on the “no” side. That’s so high for a lady I’m relatively sure will have sat for a manicure that day before the game. Plus, it’s going to be like 44 degrees at kickoff, so I’d take that action all day. Pick: NO GLOVES
The Bet: Will Renee Fleming mess up at least one word of the national anthem? Yes (+250) No (-400).
Me: This is a suckers’ bet across the board. Sure, the payout of +250 looks good if she pulls an Enrico Palazzo like Christina Aguilera did in 2011, but that’s the only time I remember it happening in my life. And risk $400 for the chance to win $100 if she doesn’t mess up, just seems like the perfect time for God to teach you a lesson about how shitty gambling is. Stay away from this bet, but I say Renee makes NO MISTAKES
The Bet: How many field goals will be made in the game? 4.5 (o/u +250/-325), 2.5 (-220/+180), 1.5 (-150/+250).
Me: The answer to this one is simple. There will probably be three field goals in this game, maybe four. It’s very unlikely there’ll be more than four and it’s almost ridiculous, considering the two teams that are playing, that there will only be one. So knowing that, and looking at those money lines, what you need to do is clear. Stay the hell away from this prop. But if you had to take it because you have major self control issues, take the OVER 2.5 and take the piddling money you win and send it to your ex-wife to catch up on your child support.
The Bet: How many times will “Beast Mode” be said during the game? 2 (o/u +110/-150)
Me: Oh my God. This is a license to print money. TWO? Vegas? You are proposing that “Beast Mode” will only be said twice during the Super Bowl contest in which Joe Buck, the most cliché, boring, lazy and hackneyed announcer in sports will be speaking his dull, monotone voice into a microphone device? That’s your best guess. Two. Verily I say to thee IT WILL BE OVER TWO.
The Bet: How many times will Peyton Manning say “Omaha” during the game? 27.5 (o/u -135/-105)
Me: If you look up “sucker bet” on Wikipedia, it needs to be this money line. Stay clear, but I SAY OVER.
The Bet: What will the temperature be at kickoff? 32 degrees (o/u -140/Even)
Me: I know it’s -140, but this is another easy money opportunity for the degenerate gambler in your life. Take the chance that every weather predicting site and meteorologist is probably right and buy your stripper girlfriend something pretty. I SAY OVER.
The Bet: How many total touchdowns in the game? 5.5 (o/u Even/-130)
Me: Have you watched a football game this season? Have you seen these two teams? Can Seattle score at least two touchdowns in this game? Somebody’s nephew is going to have a fishing accident over this money line. I SAY OVER.
More sucker bets: Will Seattle Score a defensive or special teams touchdown? Yes (+225) No (-285) I SAY NO. Will it snow during the game? Yes (+200) No (-300) I SAY NO. Total turnovers in the game? 3 (o/u Even/-130). I SAY UNDER. Which team will score first? Seattle (-105) or Denver (-125) I DON’T KNOW and if you place a bet on that one, you need to call a hotline and go cry in your wife’s lap for an hour.
Broncos -2 ½ (15-3) vs Seahawks (15-3)
The line on this one opened as Seattle – 1 ½ which defies all reason. Yes, it’s outside and Seattle had the best defense in the league this season, but the Broncos have what is probably the best, most loaded, offense of all time. Plus the guy that’s probably the best quarterback of all time behind center. So, of course, every early bettor in America loaded up on the Broncos when that came out and then started lighting their farts with $100 bills.
I thought the line would move up to around -5.5 by the end of the week, but it’s stayed below three because apparently some people think a blizzard is going to hit New Jersey or that Peyton Manning can’t play in 44-degree weather that I routinely wear flip-flops in.
Is it the Richard Sherman hype? Because I promise you the only Broncos wideout he can run with is Wes Welker, a guy he will never be asked to cover in the game.
My pick: Broncos 38, Seahawks 24
Last Week: 1-0 (but it was the Pro Bowl so it didn’t count)
All-Time Super Bowl Record: 22-6
The NFL Pro Bowl Week: I’ve learned to take it well. I only wish my words could just convince myself that it just wasn’t real. But that’s not the way it feels.
Since it’s Pro Bowl Week I considered taking a day off just as the NFL players in the Pro Bowl game surely will Sunday. But then I made that sweet Tom Brady Crying header and had to use it.
We’re going to talk about what we learned last week and then waste some time with the Pro Bowl, again, just like the players will be doing Sunday.
The game: Seahawks 23, 49ers 17
My prediction: 49ers 27, Seahawks 16
Result: What you get when you come at Richard Sherman with a sorry-ass receiver like Michael Crabtree.
There are maybe a handful of times I’ve been happier to be wrong on a pick than I was when Colin Kaepernick coughed up his nuts at CenturyLink Field. Yes, I hate the Seahawks, but my 49er hatred is pure and goes back to the days of Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and Ronnie Lott, the man that coined the phrase “Same Old Sorry Ass Rams.” So screw them, they lost.
A lot has been made of Richard Sherman’s call out to Ric Flair and the rest of the Four Horsemen during his postgame rant next to Erin Andrews, who asked him “Who was talking about you?” like a concerned aunt. It was funny. It was ridiculous. But ultimately it was all it was. If anything, he was wrong to call out 49ers wideout Michael Crabtree. Kaepernick tossed such a dumb, shitty pass that it could only have been completed if Sherman and Malcolm Smith had both been taken out by Vulcan nerve pinches before he threw it.
I would pay upwards of $10,000 for a vial of those sweet, succulent tears.
It was the third turnover for Kaepernick, who his coach calls “clutch” in the game. It should have been the fourth as his TD pass to Anquan Boldin would have been picked off by Earl Thomas if he hadn’t forgotten to refill his Adderall prescription the day before.
So let’s dissect Sherman’s assertions –
1. Richard Sherman is playing at a superior level than any of his contemporaries at the cornerback position.
2. Michael Crabtree is an inferior receiver of the football and when someone of his lesser ability throws down the gauntlet at Sherman’s feet, surely this final, consistent and regrettable consequence must be expected.
Is Sherman the best corner? I don’t think so, but he’s probably in the top three. I’d find it very difficult to pick anybody over Arizona’s Patrick Peterson. Sherman doesn’t have top-level NFL speed and guys like T.Y. Hilton, for instance, can burn him alive (and did this year). Rams wideout Chris Givens’ rookie year highlight tape was filled with shots of Sherman flailing in the background. Sherman’s bio says he’s a high 4.5, but that’s crazy. He’s a mid 4.6 on his best day and 4.3/4.4 guys like Givens, Hilton and, say, Demaryius Thomas can just run by him and have. Consistently.
Is Michael Crabtree a sorry receiver? No. Is he a great receiver (as Jim Harbaugh suggests)? No. He’s right in the middle of the pack. Crabtree, like Sherman, is capable of putting a mid 4.5 time down, but he doesn’t play that fast. He plays at about 4.6/4.7 and uses his body size and Mr. Fantastic arms to make plays. He’s good. He’s a legitimate NFL starter, but with his size and play-speed he’s an ideal match up for Sherman. And Sherman can shut him down. Which he did.
"Who was talking about you?"
Can Sherman be both right and wrong at the same time? Michael Crabtree is a good wide receiver who is (actually less than) mediocre when facing Sherman. Sherman has no fear of Crabtree because he knows he can blanket him all day. And while Sherman may not be the “best corner in the game,” he probably does have the best cover skills. And when matched up against a guy that can’t run away from him, he can make him completely disappear. The only reason any of us are talking about Crabtree this week is because Sherman magically made him visible again by making fun of him on the TV.
My dislike of the Seahawks obviously comes from them playing the NFC West and beating the fake Rams a lot during the Marc Bulger debacle. It’s an earned hate, but it’s not that strong. Not like the hate I have for the 49ers. And nothing like the soul-rending animosity and disgust I have for the New England Patriots. It’s not even in the same time zone.
Is it going to kill me if the Seahawks somehow beat the Broncos in the Super Bowl? No. And it all comes down to one guy – Russell Wilson. Dammit.
He’s a good dude. He’s super respectful of all the other teams in the NFC West when he talks about them. And the thing that really got me was during this week’s Inside the NFL, the cameras caught him asking Terry Bradshaw on the podium what he needed to do to win the Super Bowl. Just like a sweet little kid and Bradshaw responded in kind, giving Wilson advice and then following it with an “I’m proud of you.”
I am not made of stone.
The Game: Broncos 26, Patriots 16
My Prediction: Broncos 31, Patriots 24
Result: A 4-hour erection that forced me to seek immediate medical attention.
I don’t care about Peyton Manning’s stats and how they compare with other games he’s played. He’s thrown for more yards. He’s thrown for more touchdowns. But last Sunday Peyton Williams Manning played the finest game of his career and he rubbed it in Tom Brady’s face like a dog turd. I’m still giddy.
Expect a lengthy, inappropriate and overly-long hug if we ever run into each other.
Peyton so emphatically took the “best QB” belt in this game that it’s weird to even think it was up for debate a week ago. Instead of Tom Brady solidifying his legacy by beating Manning after Spygate, it showed exactly how different all those past games between the two men would have been if the Patriots hadn’t cheated their asses off. This was Peyton Manning righting a wrong with a fucking Hattori Hanzo sword. He figuratively Killed Bill. If I keep writing about it I’ll have to see my doctor again…
Monday, Bill Belichick, with no sense of irony whatsoever, actually had the gall to accuse the Broncos, specifically wideout Wes Welker, of cheating on a pick play that resulted in an injury to New England cornerback Aqib Talib. The NFL, in a rare moment of clarity, answered him back with a “Pbfffft.” The entire incident made the post-Patriots defeat all that much sweeter and, dammit, I’m really going to need to put on a looser pair of pants.
Boo hoo, you piece of shit.
And now the Broncos and the Seahawks, only the second No.1 seeds in the last 21 seasons to advance to the Super Bowl, will play for it all next week in New York on Sunday. Hopefully. If the NFL doesn’t have to move gameday because of the weather. God, Roger Goodell. You suck so, so hard.
The reason that you’re cool is ‘cuz you’re from the old school and they know it.
My pick that will in no way surprise you comes next week.
The Pro Bowl
Team Rice over Team Sanders
And I’m not counting this pick, even if I win it. The NFL, in an attempt to “save” the Pro Bowl completely destroyed it with a new player draft system. Each team, one led by Jerry Rice and the other by Deion Sanders, was filled by players picked out of a common All-Star pool. Whatever. I’m going with Team Rice because Robert Quinn and Johnny Hekker are on it and that will encompass my entire rooting interest in the game…which I’m sure I’ll still watch every minute of.
Because it’s football and it’s precious.
Last Week: 1-1
The NFL Championship Weekend: Consider this, the slip that brought me to my knees, failed.
Here we are. This sucks. We now will face at least one nightmare scenario in the Super Bowl: Either the Patriots, 49ers or the Seahawks will play for the Vince Lombardi Trophy and there’s only one man who can stop all of them. This guy –
Let’s just go ahead and get these picks out of the way because I’m talking about them all together.
Early Game - Broncos (14-3) over Patriots (13-4)
Late Game – 49ers (14-4) over Seahawks (14-3)
Believe it or not, and you shouldn’t if you’ve been reading this picks column all year, I know a lot about football. If you’re shocked you should be. In my defense, last season I went 170-95-1, which was better than 90 percent of the talking heads on TV. I have picked exactly two Super Bowls wrong in the last 11 years (Packers over Steelers in 2011 and Steelers over Cardinals in 2009). I’ve picked exactly three wrong in the last 14 years (Patriots over Rams in 2002).
On Super Bowl Sunday I will turn 40. I began paying attention to NFL Football in 1985. Since then I have been wrong in my Super Bowl pick six times. (Bengals in 1989, Bills in 1991 and Packers in 1997). I’m 22-6 in the big dance. I have picked at least one of the Super Bowl teams correctly in the preseason 10 times and picked the Cardinals vs Steelers match-up outright in August of 2008 when nobody had either team even in their conference title games. I’ve done alright.
Bill Simmons writes about his gambling manifestos every year around this time and how they change over the years. And while I don’t gamble, it’s safe to say I’ve picked up a few truths along the way in my NFL game-picking life.
1. The Super Bowl is rarely ever the match up between the two best regular season teams. Especially in the modern salary cap/free agency era.
The last time the two No. 1 seeds met in the Super Bowl was 2010 (Saints over Colts). Before that you’ve got to go back to 1993 for the next No. 1 seeds meeting in the Super Bowl (Cowboys over Bills I). And again, that’s before our current era.
Every seed has gone to the Super Bowl and (I’m not looking this up), I’m pretty sure every seed has won it since they’ve gone to a 12-team bracket. Only once have two No. 1 seeds met it the Super Bowl.
2. Two teams that played home games, regardless of seeds, on Championship Weekend meeting up has happened only four times in the last 10 years.
So the odds of a Broncos-Seahawks Super Bowl, the best possible match-up for my sanity, seem astronomical.
3. Two teams that played road games, regardless of seeds, on Championship Weekend meeting up has happened only once in the last 10 years.
And that was last year with the Ravens and 49ers. A Patriots-49ers match-up is just as unlikely as two No. 1 seeds meeting up. The odds are against it based purely on how shit seems to work.
Up there, I’ve picked the Broncos and the 49ers to win based on this pattern. If the Patriots win in the early game, I have no doubt that the Seahawks will win in the second. I may have just blown your mind, but come back here Sunday night after the games and read this over. I will be 2-0 for the week or 0-2. I would almost bet a finger on it. The pinky finger on my left hand, but still.
Completely ruining my Mirror Universe Dr. Evil impersonation.
Let’s talk about the quarterback match-ups, because, regardless of how the pundits want to rend their garments and talk about defense and coaching, it’s going to come down to this.
4. The team with the better quarterback almost always wins.
49ers at Seahawks (-3)
Colin Kaepernick is a complete and total piece of shit who I do not catch sight of without wanting to cobra kick him in the pie hole. He’s selfish. He’s an asshole. And all of his endzone celebrations and just the way he wears flat-billed caps and fucking headphones around his neck in postgame press conferences piss me off. He is a tool and I will enjoy actively rooting against him for the next three or four years until his career fizzles out and he falls away into obscurity, spending his last two seasons as Nick Foles’ back up in Philadelphia before being tossed away by the NFL for good.
Russell Wilson is a good person. He is a leader of men that excels on the field despite his physical and talent limitations. He has maxed out his capabilities as a quarterback and as a person. This makes it very hard to root against him, but I still somehow manage to do it.
Wilson is a high-end back-up QB like Andy Dalton, who is good enough to win when his defense and running game play at a high level. Unlike Dalton, Wilson will rarely cost you the game. I have no faith at all in his ability to defeat the 49ers Sunday or the Patriots in the Super Bowl on a neutral site in three weeks. I hate the Seahawks. But I hate New England so, so, so very much more.
Kaepernick is a better QB than Wilson and the 49ers are the better all-around team. Unless they turn the ball over early (which has been a killer in these playoff games), they’ll win. Not huge, but San Francisco is going to the Super Bowl. It’s time we all face it. (Fun fact: I hate the 49ers much, much more than I do the Seahawks).
49ers 27, Seahawks 16
Patriots at Broncos (-5.5)
Thank God this is the early game. As of this writing, one man has, indisputably, had the best quarterbacking season of all time. That man is not playing in this football game. Yet.
The guy that currently holds that title is Kurt Warner, who in 1999 tossed 41 touchdown passes (then the third-highest total ever) and, here’s the important part, WON THE SUPER BOWL. Oh shit. Wait a minute while I pick up this microphone I just dropped.
Kurt Warner’s total is now tied for ninth all-time with 2011 Matt Stafford. Including Stafford and all eight spots above Warner and the five men that hold those spots, exactly none of them as of right now won a Super Bowl the same year. Dammit. I just dropped that pesky microphone again.
Peyton Manning, two years removed from maybe never playing another NFL down has thrown more touchdown passes than any other QB in history, again, with 55 TD passes. Peyton Manning has the chance to own the best season of any NFL QB in history right now. And I don’t know if anyone else will ever come close to it. (55, for God’s sake!).
So history. That’s what’s on the line in this game. And, again, it doesn’t matter how much Phil Simms doesn’t like it, the legacies of both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are tied up in what happens over the next three Sundays. The winner of this game will be known as the best quarterback that has ever played the game. That’s all that’s at stake. You know, everything.
Peyton Manning has the reputation of a guy that chokes in the big games, in the playoffs. He didn’t help himself in that regard when, in the Broncos’ first game against these same Patriots this season, he absolutely gagged himself blue-faced in the second half, allowing the Patriots to come back from 24-points down. But if Peyton wins Sunday? If he wins the Super Bowl, none of that matters. This era is his. He is the best QB of it and probably of all time, putting down a single-season mark that may take 30 years even to match.
Tom Brady’s legacy is much more complicated. The New England Patriots cheated their way to three Super Bowl titles early in the last decade. There’s just no disputing that. They admitted it and were punished for it. The only thing that is in dispute is the exact nature and heinousness of the cheating and that we will never know because the NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, destroyed the evidence against them like the good dog that he is.
I picture Goodell covered in way more dog shit.
If you question the extent of what Goodell could have destroyed and why he destroyed it, I can only point you to the New Orleans Saints Bountygate scandal. A scandal in which no evidence was destroyed, even to this day. Where names were named and people received season and potential lifetime bans from the NFL. A scandal where the commissioner himself leaked audio tapes to the media to back up his ruling.
None of that happened in Spygate. And there’s a reason for that. But there’s no reason to get into it. The main point is this: Tom Brady and the Patriots “Won*” three Super Bowls in the cheating era. They haven’t won one since, though they’ve had two chances to do it.
So there’s a pall on Tom Brady’s career. There’s a stink. A man with three Super Bowl rings and a Supermodel wife shouldn’t have to worry about asterisks and fans wearing camera hats and shirts covered in every spy camera available from the Skymall catalog when he’s inducted in the NFL Hall of Fame. But that’s going to happen.
Karma has strapped on a spiked dildo and it has been reaming the New England Patriots’ assholes out since 2007. And I would be lying if I said that hasn’t made me incredibly happy.
Tom Brady has grown his hair out. He’s cut it off. He’s worn multiple colors of Ugg boots and more scarves than a Project Runway designer. His cardigans and turtlenecks have done no good. This is a hole inside him, this 0-2 record when not cheating in the Super Bowl and it’s killing him. God, I am smiling so hard right now.
Just look at that handsome bastard.
Everybody… EVERYBODY hates the Patriots. It’s near universal at this point. Maybe they aren’t your most hated team, but unless you grew up in Boston or Vermont or anywhere up there in Syrup Country, you fucking hate the Patriots. And the fact that they were caught cheating and haven’t won a Super Bowl since is such sweet nectar that we’re never going to let it go.
If string theory is right there’s another universe out there where the Patriots didn’t cheat their way to three Super Bowl wins. That New England team either didn’t go to the Super Bowl in 2001 and 2003 or they lost both those games. That non-cheating Patriots team probably got vindication in their third appearance, beating the Eagles to avoid being only the fourth team to lose four Super Bowls. Then, in 2007 they went undefeated and won another Super Bowl. Two seasons later they won it again, beating the Giants for a second time. That non cheating Patriots team is still 3-2 in Super Bowls, but they’re beloved. They’re the guys that didn’t give up or get down after heartache. Tom Brady’s 2007 where he threw 50 TD passes, that’s the best QB season in NFL history.
That Tom Brady is facing his greatest rival in the AFC Championship game this week too, that universe’s Peyton Manning, who probably also has tossed 55 TDs. But alternate universe Tom is set. He’s the best. He’s had an undefeated season. He has three rings already and could end up with a fourth. No matter what happens in this game, that U’s Peyton Manning will forever be second-best.
But we’re in this universe and our Tom Brady and his Patriots are the bad guys. They’re the villains and it will simply be an injustice if they win this game and then the Super Bowl. It won’t shut us up on the cheating, but it will certainly take the sting out of the allegation. It would be like Barry Bonds hitting 71 home runs without steroids, proving he never needed them in the first place. That’d be good for him. But fuck him. And fuck Tom Brady. Fuck the Patriots.
Ugh. Fucking prick.
Tom Brady has to have this to stake a claim at being the best, to make the argument that the cheating, regardless of the extent, didn’t really matter. He’ll have four rings, only the third QB to do that in NFL history and he will have beaten Peyton Manning 55 to get them.
That just can’t happen.
Broncos 31, Patriots 24.
Last Week: 1-3
The NFL Divisional Round: You should have known the price of evil. And it hurts to know that you belong here.
I could celebrate going 2-2 last week in my playoff picks right now. Not because going .500 is good, but because everybody else did so very bad. Right now that 2-2 has me right at the top of the heap. My archnemesis Keyshawn Johnson went 0-4 and even the Skynet Terminator computer over at CBS Sports managed to do no better than to tie me. I should feel pretty good.
But I don’t. Because all nightmare Super Bowl scenarios are still in play. Not only has that hindered my enjoyment of this NFL Playoff season, but it’s affected my picks this week, I’m sure of it. I’ve picked the following games based on my real perception of who will win. I’ve also picked them with my heart, based on who I hope will lose. Each of these has produced the exact same pick. That can’t be good.
I’m too emotionally involved. This was supposed to be a heartless transaction and now I’m in a montage while these picks try on various formal dresses to the tune of a Roy Orbison song. This is bad.
The worst nightmare scenario should be obvious to anyone who’s read my column more than once – A Patriots vs. 49ers Super Bowl. Other than a DC Comics Supervillian showing up and caving the stadium in, such a match-up would force me to do the unthinkable – root for the 49ers.
The other worst nightmare scenario would be a Patriots vs Seahawks Super Bowl. Not only would I then have to root for the Seahawks, a ridiculous notion on its face, but I would have no doubt whatsoever that the Seahawks would lose, since the Super Bowl isn’t being held within a restraining order’s distance from Pete Carroll’s house.
I hate the 49ers and I hate the Seahawks, but even combined I do not hate those teams anywhere close to as much as I hate the New England Patriots. So which of these scenarios is worse? My two most hated teams (Pats and 49ers) facing off for the title or my most and third-most hated teams (Pats and Seahawks) facing off when I’d bet a finger that the Seahawks would lose. I can’t even bear to think about it.
Third worst is the Patriots even going to the Super Bowl at all. Fourth is the 49ers going (which happened last year, dammit) and fifth is the Seahawks going. All five are still a possibility as of today.
It’s up to you, other NFL playoff teams, to make sure none of those things happen. We all, each and every one of us across the country and spanning the globe, are counting on you. Don’t let us down. But if two of you have to, please just make sure it isn’t the Colts.
Fuck the Patriots.
Saints (12-5) over Seahawks (13-3)
And so we begin. There are a lot of reasons to like the Saints in this game, other than the fact that they aren’t the Seahawks. First off, the Saints come in with a tough road win already under their belt in a much shittier stadium. Seattle is 1-2 against the last three decent teams they played, with that lone win coming against the Saints. That usually doesn’t bode well in the second match up. (Spoiler alert: I’ll be going against this logic exactly two picks from now).
The Saints have all the tools needed to beat Seattle: An actual quarterback and NFL-caliber wide receivers. End this farce, New Orleans. Oh, and since I’m the only person on Earth picking the Saints to win in this game, they might as well grab that “nobody believes in us” tag too.
Colts (12-5) over Patriots (12-4)
Not only did the Colts complete one of the best comebacks in NFL history last week and not only are they going against my most hated sports franchise on the planet, but the Colts are also my preseason AFC Super Bowl pick. And they’re still in it.
Andrew Luck, Tom Brady and Gisele’s kid needs a new dad since Eli Manning isn’t in the playoffs this year. Can you step up and be the man Benjamin Brady needs as a father? I believe in you.
Panthers (12-4) over 49ers (13-4)
Remember two picks ago when I said the Saints had the upper hand over the Seahawks because they lost a few weeks ago? Forget all that.
The Panthers have been in playoff mode for the entire last part of the season and have lost all of one game since Oct. 6. In that span, they’ve beaten the 49ers, the Patriots, the Dolphins and the Saints. Before that stretch they beat the Steelers, the Ravens and the Bears. All teams either in the playoffs or in the playoff hunt on the last day of the regular season. That sounds like a Super Bowl team to me.
Fun little piece of trivia – in the 1998/99 playoffs the 49ers scored a dramatic, last-second victory over the Packers in the Wild Card round. Afterwards, everybody was crazy excited and then 49er QB Steve Young told his teammates something like, “If we don’t win next week, all this means nothing.” They then went out and promptly lost to the Falcons in the divisional round.
Broncos (13-3) over Chargers (10-7)
And now I’m back to my original logic. The Chargers beat the Broncos not too long ago. This time the Broncos should get them. The good news for Peyton Manning is all the hellish Hoth-like cold has already swept through the country and by Sunday night it should be in the mid 40s in Denver. So maybe the stars have aligned for Peyton to get that second ring this season. And if the Broncos win this week… watch out.
Last week: 2-2
The NFL Wild Card Week: It’s the usefulness of letting go. Your perfect plan has come and gone.
So it’s come to this. I have been beaten. My mediocre picks regular season comes to an end. And while I managed to wrap it up with consecutive 10-win weeks, it just wasn’t enough. Though I am still confident I could beat Keyshawn Johnson in a foot-race, he has defeated me in NFL football picks this season and there’s nothing I can do about it. I am, presently, the worst NFL games picker on the internet.
But it’s not over yet. While everybody online except for CBS’s Jason La Canfora is out of reach, I can still put down a playoff run for the ages. We’re all 0-0 now, right? Right?
Colts (11-5) over Chiefs (11-5)
The thing about making fun of playoff teams is, it’s tough. Here you have the Chiefs, a team that finished 2-14 last season is now 11-5 and has no reason to think they can’t beat this Colts team that I picked to go to the Super Bowl back in August. And they should. I don’t feel confident about this pick at all.
The Chiefs play for a good coach in front of good fans in a good city that deserved to have a good team. So they’re screwing me already.
Saints (11-5) over Eagles (10-6)
By beating the Cowboys last week all the Eagles did was guarantee the Saints would win in the Wild Card round in a much shittier stadium. Of all the funny characters he plays, I think Nick Foles is some of Pete Holmes’ best work.
Bengals (11-5) over Chargers (9-7)
A.J. Green missed practice for the Bengals Wednesday, so needless to say this pick is scary. The Chargers are only in the playoffs because the refs missed a huge call in last week’s overtime win over the Chiefs, meaning this should be a game that the Pittsburgh Steelers would find a way to lose. I would expect a shootout, but with Pacman Jones on the field for Cincinnati, that might be a poor choice of words.
Packers (8-7-1) over 49ers (12-4)
Aaron Rodgers, fresh from his public pronouncement of his butt hole preference, gets another shot to best the team that passed him up in the draft a decade ago. Rodgers’ hasn’t made the most of his Biblical grudge, losing two straight against the 49ers. But this game is in the brutal nightmarish hellscape of Green Bay, Wisconsin, in conditions not fit for man, beast or even Packers fans apparently as they had about 8,500 tickets for this one still available as of Thursday.
How bad does it have to be for the cheese heads to stay in the house? This is the best evidence against Global Warming I’ve ever seen.
Last week: 10-6
THE NFL WEEK 17: The season is calling and your pictures are falling down.
After weeks of floundering, flopping and generally picking games like Tim Tebow throws out routes, I finally got my shit together last week. It’s probably too late.
As you know two weeks ago I made it my mission to overtake as many of the ESPN NFL stooges as I could before the season’s end. Like a Kamikaze pilot I knew I wouldn’t survive this, the worst NFL picks season of my pretend career. To compound my error, I checked my horrific season against the NFL pundits at Sports Illustrated, Fox, CBS and NBC, after I already knew that Cris Collinsworth and Phil Simms at Inside the NFL had practically lapped me. That was a mistake.
First off, you’ve got to understand that I’m not the only guy having a shitty picks season. I knew that coming in. Just the law of averages told me that some of these guys would also be struggling. What I couldn’t suspect… couldn’t let myself predict… is how historically bad my picks have been.
For instance, of the 30 guys at the networks making NFL picks, one trails the entire bunch. Jason La Canfora from CBS Sports is having nightmare years. He is 136-103-1.
My current record is 136-103-1. Yes. I am tied with the worst of the worst. And that’s only because he had shitty picks last week. So before last Sunday I was the worst NFL Games picker on the internet. And one of the CBS pickers is a fucking computer. Hey, thanks for reading!
Here we go. I’m after everybody now. I have this week and the playoffs to cut down as many of these guys as I can, not just the ESPN turds.
And by the way, that fucking computer is kicking all our asses (it’s 159-80-1!). This is how Terminator started.
Panthers (11-4) over Falcons (4-11)
The Falcons’s season comes to a merciful end, win or lose. The Panthers have it all in their hands with a win - a first-round bye, a home playoff game – an NFC South Championship, so there’s no reason to stumble now. And since Cam Newton seems to have deleted all his Morrissey mp3s I think we’re good.
Titans (6-9) over Texans (2-13)
Every coach on both sidelines will be unemployed come Monday, so no one is coaching for his job in this one. If anything, a Texans’ win will show that the members of that staff have no concept of what’s best for their team and could actually cost them a job next season.
Steelers (7-8) over Browns (4-11)
Ravens (8-7) over Bengals (10-5)
Dolphins (8-7) over Jets (7-8)
Chiefs (11-4) over Chargers (8-7)
The math involved in the AFC sixth seed is bizarre. From what I can tell not a single one of these teams (Steelers, Ravens, Dolphins and Chargers) controls its own destiny, but they’re the only teams that could grab that sixth seed, so I don’t understand how that is. Not a single team can just “win and get in.” No one controls its destiny.
Here’s what has to happen. I am making none of this up.
- If the Ravens win and either the Chargers lose/tie or the Dolphins lose/tie, they’re in.
- If the Ravens tie and the Chargers lose and Dolphins lose/tie, they’re in.
- If the Ravens lose and the Chargers and Steelers lose, they’re in.
- If the Steelers win and the Ravens, Dolphins and Chargers all lose, they’re in.
- If the Dolphins win and the Ravens lose/tie, they’re in.
- If the Dolphins win and the Chargers win, the Dolphins are in.
- If the Dolphins tie and the Ravens lose and the Chargers lose/tie, they’re in.
- If the Dolphins tie and both the Ravens and Chargers tie, then the Dolphins are in.
- If the Chargers win and the Dolphins lose/tie and the Ravens lose/tie, they’re in.
- If the Chargers tie and the Ravens and Dolphins lose, they’re in.
- If all four teams win, the Dolphins are in.
- If all four teams lose, the Ravens are in.
- If all four teams tie, the Dolphins are in.
You might want to read through that a few times.
Giants (6-9) over Redskins (3-12)
The beauty of a loss for the Redskins here is that the Rams have their first-round pick as I have reminded you every week since the Redksins started to tank. Right now it’s a No. 2 pick, the exact same pick and position that the Rams traded to the Redskins two years ago.
This is what the Rams got in that trade so far:
DT Michael Brokers
RB Isaiah Pead
CB Janoris Jenkins
OLB Alec Ogletree
WR Stedman Bailey
RB Zac Stacy
Four starters, one guy – Stacy – who will be a 1,000-yard rusher with just 42 yards Sunday. Ogletree is a candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year with 109 tackles, 1.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, one pick and one defensive TD. Only six DTs in the NFL had a better season than Brokers, Jenkins set a rookie record for defensive TDs last season and in case you missed it, Stedman Bailey just broke out last week all over the Buccaneers.
If the Rams keep the pick, they’ll probably take Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews, son of former Houston Oiler/Tennessee Titan and Jeff Fisher bestie Bruce Matthews and that would be pretty great. Or, and here’s where the diabolical laughter comes in, the Rams could trade the pick to another team fighting for one of the overrated quarterbacks of this class, netting them even more first-round picks and as long as they don’t go any lower than sixth, they’ll still most likely end up with Jake Matthews. My nipples are going to be rock-hard for months.
Colts (10-5) over Jaguars (4-11)
A win for the Jaguars could knock them all the way down the draft board from fourth (prime QB pick – A shot at Manziel of Bridgewater) to eighth (the Blake Bortles Consolation Prize). Jags, your fans, all three of them, have suffered enough. Do the right thing.
Vikings (4-10-1) over Lions (7-8)
This is another game that should have coaches lined up at the unemployment office at 8 a.m. Monday. As December opened the Lions controlled their own playoff destiny. With even a chance at first-round bye. Well, Detroit has proven it was a team of destiny before, making NFL history by going 0-16 in the modern free agency era - something that no one thought was possible (and the Jaguars and Bucs proved this season is maybe the hardest thing to do in sports).
Detroit seized the day and promptly lost three straight games to knock themselves out of the playoffs. Never has a team more exemplified the city for which it was named.
Packers (7-7-1) over Bears (8-7)
I made this pick before Aaron Rodgers was slated to return. That’s how fantastic the Bears are this season, regardless of who plays QB. Nobody in the NFC wants the Packers in the playoffs. Which is exactly why they need to make it.
Patriots (11-4) over Bills (6-9)
The Bills lacked the testicular fortitude to take out the Patriots back in Week 1 and I don’t see it happening this week, not with Bill Belichick getting that Best Buy gift card for Christmas.
Saints (10-5) over Buccaneers (4-11)
Cardinals (10-5) over 49ers (11-4)
Two straight losses for the Saints have put them in the precarious position of not making the playoffs. If they win, they’re in. But if they lose and the Cardinals win, then Arizona goes. Simple American math like God wants. Stupid AFC.
Broncos (12-3) over Raiders (4-11)
We all hurt Peyton Manning’s feelings a few weeks ago when we said he had trouble playing in cold weather. He then proved us wrong by beating a shitty Tennessee team, then sucking it up again in cold weather. Against a team from San Diego, for God’s sake. If the Broncos lose, they lose homefield advantage, which isn’t really an advantage since it’ll be colder than a norwhal’s nutsack in Denver, New England or Cincinnati most likely come the second week of the playoffs. You might as well get the week off, Peyton.
Rams (7-8) over Seahawks (12-3)
This is my last chance this season to pick the Rams so I’m going to take it. Few things could make me happier than to see the Seahawks get knocked out of the division title and home field advantage all in the span of three hours.
The last time the Rams finished 8-8 was 2006. Back then Pluto was still a planet. Saddam Hussien was still alive. There were 111 elements on the periodic table. Liquid water was discovered on Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons and Dick Cheney had just shot his best friend in the face, mistaking him for a bird.
Cowboys (8-7) over Eagles (9-6)
With Tony Romo out for this game, I could not pick the Cowboys hard enough. This Dallas team writes all the comedy itself.
Last week: 10-6
THE NFL WEEK 16: And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom.
Last week I heroically announced my intention to target and take down as many ESPN idiots as I could before the end of the season. Then, to prove it, I promptly shit myself so hard it actually got into my hair.
The only ESPN guy I gained any ground on was Tom Jackson, who, as far as I can tell, is a pile of rocks and old Jack in the Box wrappers that the studio janitor crew has never tossed in the dumpster.
So great start for me. I’ve got two more weeks and the playoffs to make up some ground. And since I’ve already seen my picks before you have, let me tell you, it doesn’t look good.
Dolphins (8-6) over Bills (5-9)
This is a dumb pick. I am an idiot. The Dolphins have to win this game to stay in the playoff pack, sure, you say. But this game is in Buffalo. According to Weather.com it’s going to be 41 degrees and rainy, which shouldn’t be horrible, but the Dolphins are notorious cold-weather pussies. So why am I still picking them to win? Because I don’t know what I’m doing.
Also, according to that site, the moonphase will be “Waning Gibbous” so… you know… factor that in.
Panthers (10-4) over Saints (10-4)
It always hurts my feelings to pick against the Rams and then they come out and win the game. I am not mentally well. I said two weeks ago I’d pick the Panthers in this game and have no reason to change it now.
The loser of this game will probably go to Chicago to play the Bears in the opening round of the playoffs, so there really won’t be a “loser” in the strictest sense.
Redskins (3-11) over Cowboys (7-7)
The minute I pull in behind Tony Romo and hit the cruise control, he immediately slams on the breaks and now there’s a 48-car pile up on the highway. Right now the Rams have the No. 2 pick in the NFL draft thanks to the shittiness of RG3 and the Redskins this season, so there’s no reason to believe Kirk Cousins won’t come in and win these last two games by about 1,000 points or so to knock the Rams down to No. 4.
Rams (6-8) over Buccaneers (4-10)
The Bucs have calmed down over the last few weeks, content to take Greg Schiano down by the river to tell him about the rabbits. The Rams have played their ass off this year, even though their season ended when Sam Bradford’s knee turned in its resignation back in October. Just finishing without a losing record for the first time since Pluto was still a planet would be nice.
Browns (4-10) over Jets (6-8)
Finding a good seat real close to the field for this probably won’t be a problem.
Colts (9-5) over Chiefs (11-3)
Both of these two teams have locked up playoff spots, but are still have something to play for. The Colts have a shot at a second seed and as long as Peyton Manning might have to play a game slightly below room temperature, the Chiefs could still win the AFC West. I picked the Colts to go to the Super Bowl in the preseason and considering my 2013 track record, I have to ride that one for as long as I can.
Bengals (9-5) over Vikings (4-9)
The Bengals have made a habit of losing winnable games late and Adrian Peterson has forced himself to return early from injury to make a run at the rushing title over the last two games. I am making a bad choice.
Broncos (11-3) over Texans (2-12)
Time to pad some stats, Peyton, so we can still use that to argue how great you are. There’s never been a weirder sports figure than Peyton Manning. How can you simultaneously be one of the best players in NFL history at your position while at the same time have been overrated in every single year of your career?
Titans (5-9) over Jaguars (4-10)
There are rumors floating around that Tennessee is having a fire sale at the end of the year, dumping their coach, quarterback and running back and whoever else will fit on the railway car with them.
If the Jaguars don’t win any more games, they should be in perfect shape to pick any quarterback it wants out of this class (save Johnny Manziel, who the Texans would be fools not to take for fan support and ticket sales alone). With nothing good coming from winning, the Jags will probably dominate this game, handing me another loss in the process. I am bad at this.
Seahawks (12-2) over Cardinals (9-5)
Carson Palmer and the Arizona Cardinals are the only hope we have of knocking the Seahawks out of the NFC top seed. So congratulations Seattle.
Lions (7-7) over Giants (5-9)
The Giants have lost three of their last four and the Lions have lost four of their last five. The Lions have to win out to have any chance at the playoffs, but in doing that will save Jim Schwartz’s job, along with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan’s. The Giants have to lose out to have any chance to finally get rid of Tom Coughlin.
Like many big football games, it’s all going to come down to who wants it more… specifically a new head coach.
Chargers (7-7) over Raiders (4-10)
Teddy Bridgewater? Johnny Manziel? Blake Bortles? Derek Carr? The Raiders are about to help somebody lose the worst game of Russian Roulette since The Deer Hunter.
Steelers (6-8) over Packers (7-6)
The Steelers are one of the few teams that shouldn’t have trouble playing in Green Bay this time of year, especially since Aaron Rodgers still selfishly refuses to recover from a broken collarbone, even though he has full access to Ray Lewis’ stash of deer antler velvet, orca anus and platypus nipples.
Ravens (8-6) over Patriots (10-4)
The Ravens should never lose to the Patriots as long as Bill Belichick is still alive. If Giselle isn’t sending Danny Amendola a harshly-worded voicemail after this game, I’ll be disappointed.
Eagles (8-6) over Bears (8-6)
The Nick Foles story continues to its inevitable conclusion: where Michael Vick is found dead hanging from a hotel ceiling fan dressed as McGruff the Crime Dog.
49ers (10-4) over Falcons (4-10)
Tony Gonzalez is two weeks away from throwing away his cell phone like a drug dealer who just butt-dialed 911.
Last week: 8-8
THE NFL Week 15: I know it’s late. I know you’re weary. I know your plans don’t include me.
I’ve built a pretty steady readership here since I first started doing this weekly football picks column last season and I appreciate it. So it’s given me no pleasure to inflict upon all you, dear readers, the horrific picks that I have delivered, like so many accidental toilet babies, this year. It hurts me as much as it hurts you. Really. Just look at this first pick –
Broncos (11-2) over Chargers (6-7)
I started out the week wrong. Dropping a game already, after having my first losing slate of an already mediocre season last week. I’m 0-1 and hadn’t written a word, except to pick this game on Facebook and Twitter.
Is it my fault that for the second time in a month Peyton Manning looked more like Phillip Rivers than even Phillip Rivers? Is it my fault that Peyton smugly thought he had put all his “cold weather criticisms” to bed after a win over a shitty Titans team, when just four days later he would again auto-erotically asphyxiate himself on national television in the icy, oxygen-free Hellscape that he himself picked on purpose?
Obviously yes. Nothing else makes any sense.
My shame is this. I am last. Last year I finished the NFL season with a record of 170-95-1. As of right now I’m 118-87-1. I’ve almost matched my loss total from last season and there’s still three weeks to go, not counting the playoffs. I am last in my own picks league that I run, trailing the leader, my buddy Joe Fello, by 27 games. TWENTY. SEVEN.
Against the Inside the NFL team, I’m behind Phil Simms by 21 games and Cris Collinsworth by 22. Worse than that, even the ESPN shitheads, each and every one, are eating my lunch. Merril Hoge, who suffered so many concussions he thinks that dead Goliath Bird-Eating Tarantula on the top of his head is real hair, is beating me by 12 games. Mark Schlereth, who used to piss himself during football games, has 10 games on me. And worst of all, Keyshawn Johnson, one of the all-time shittiest NFL players I have ever watched…the one NFL wide receiver I’m convinced I could still outrun in his prime… the TV pundit with a head shaped like a peanut M&M… is beating me by 11 games. Unforgivable.
I mean, Bob Golic is up on me by eight games and I’m pretty sure he’s just a trained and shaved gorilla pointing at team logos so Ron Jaworski will toss him a sugar cube.
My thoughts are no longer about winning…or about proving I know more than everyone else because that ship has just passed over the horizon. No, my quest now will be to overtake as many of these ESPN turd-knockers as I can by the Superbowl. It’s all I have left.
(Disclaimer- I actually like Jaworski, Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. The rest comprise the absolute worst grouping of former athletes, reporters and anchors in the history of TV).
Falcons (3-10) over Redskins (3-10)
I, and the Rams, need the Redksins to keep losing so I don’t feel confident about this pick at all. The fact that Kirk Cousins is starting also makes me nervous, but if the Falcons have any pride left under their jerseys they’ll win this one. Oh shit… now I’m really worried about this pick.
49ers (9-4) over Buccaneers (4-9)
The 49ers just got a big win over Seattle that pleased me to the point where I started scouring the internet to find a store in Washington state that would sell me delicious fresh Richard Sherman tears. I cannot believe this Bucs team hasn’t packed it in. They’ve won four of their last five, but it’s time to close up shop now, Tampa Bay. Greg Schiano needs to start his career as head jizz mopper at the Mons Venus before somebody with an associates degree in Food and Nutrition Management swoops in and grabs it.
Giants (5-8) over Seahawks (11-2)
Since the Superbowl is going to be in New York this year, this should be the first game the Seahawks won’t win there.
Bears (7-6) over Browns (4-9)
I’ve just talked myself into changing this pick because Jay Cutler is starting for Chicago. I am off this year. I really am.
Colts (8-5) over Texans (2-11)
Turns out there just wasn’t room in my family to adopt Case Keenum. I’d like to say it wasn’t him, it was me. But I try my best not to lie on the internet.
Jaguars (4-9) over Bills (4-9)
Again, just like the Bucs, the Jags have won four of their last five. After this game, they host the titans so there’s a chance Jacksonville will finish the season with six wins… when two months ago we all thought 0-16 was a real possibility. Really, this is why the NFL is just so damn fun to watch… not this game, specifically, but just the sport in general.
Dolphins (7-6) over Patriots (10-3)
This is the perfect time for a couple of losses to knock the Patriots into a wild card game and the Dolphins nearly got them back in October. With Gronk up on blocks for the rest of the year and Danny Amendola having already beaten the over on the number of snaps he’d play this season before tearing his arm off, this is the perfect time for an upset.
Don’t let me down, Miami. Or I’ll shit on your face, punch your mom in the tits, cram a cricket bat up your dad’s asshole. You know, camaraderie-building type stuff.
Eagles (8-5) over Vikings (3-9)
The Eagles are going to win this division. Unreal. Some NFC Wild Card team is already buying plane tickets and hotel reservations for its second-round playoff game.
Chiefs (10-3) over Raiders (4-9)
The Chiefs have fallen back to Earth a little over the last month, but they should rise back up here, then immediately fall back over the next two weeks against the Colts and the Chargers.
Panthers (9-4) over Jets (6-7)
Geno Smith has thown nine touchdowns this season. Nine. That’s a number you can’t even write as a number in AP Style. He balances that out with 20 interceptions. Last week against the Raiders Geno threw his first TD pass in five games. And still threw a pick. Of his 13 starts this season, Smith has tossed no interceptions once, one pick four times and two or more seven times. Geno has posted a single-digit QB rating six times, including a fucking decimal, 0.7, against the Bills a few weeks ago.
Don’t throw away that Mark Sanchez jersey yet, is what I’m saying.
Cardinals (8-5) over Titans (5-8)
Arizona is fighting for a wild card spot that they probably have no serious shot at. The Titans are still alive for the playoffs too, much in the way a sea anemone is technically alive. Or, like, a sprig of unpicked parsley.
Saints (10-3) over Rams (5-8)
Looking over this season there was real reason to be excited as a Rams fan. If Sam Bradford hadn’t gone down, St. Louis would be right in the hunt, probably 9-4 and holding onto that final Wildcard spot, which as we previously discussed, is a trip to Philadelphia to embarrass Chip Kelly in January like he’s used to. Instead, the Cardinals or 49ers will have that honor.
Cowboys (7-6) over Packers (6-6)
The minute I start rooting for Tony Romo he goes all Tony Romo again. Still, with Green Bay starting Subway Sandwich Artists and TGiFRIDAY’s Grillmasters at quarterback, this one will be hard to lose. Hard to count out Tony, though.
Bengals (9-4) over Steelers (5-8)
The Bengals are a year away and maybe a player or two from making a serious run, but they’ve been exciting this year, whereas the Steelers have played like they’ve all accidentally ingested Ben Roethlisberger’s Rohypnol stash.
Lions (7-6) over Ravens (7-6)
I’m picking the Lions because I don’t see any way the Ravens’ defense can hang with them, unless Calvin Johnson somehow gets stabbed in a nightclub the night before. And since he doesn’t seem to be the type that goes out a lot, I think Baltimore’s best defensive strategy won’t work this time.
Last week: 6-10
The NFL Week 14: And the wind keeps roaring and the sky keeps turning grey.
Texans (2-10) over Jaguars (3-9)
I came in late, after the Jags were already up 14-7 and still picked the Texans in this game Thursday night. Case Keenum, I’m sad to say I can’t seem to find your adoption paperwork anywhere.
Colts (8-4) over Bengals (8-4)
My preseason AFC Superbowl pick takes on my favorite bandwagon team and this one could really go either way. The Bengals look like a team that needs another year to get everybody back healthy to really make a run. It probably wouldn’t hurt to buy Andy Dalton some cleats with lifts and pencil in some human eyebrows while you’re at it.
Patriots (9-3) over Browns (4-8)
This is just the type of game the Patriots lose and nothing would make me happier. I’m not sure how many times I’ve picked the Browns, but it’s safe to say the over-under is “1.” For a team synonymous with a toilet full of turds Cleveland has actually made a decent run this season and (I’m not checking) may be mathematically alive for a playoff spot still. It’s December, for God’s sake. Did I fall into a wormhole into another universe?
Raiders (4-8) over Jets (5-7)
Like the Browns, the Raiders have decided to play NFL football this season, effectively stomping all over their hard-won team traditions. I’ve nearly thrown as many NFL touchdowns over the last month as Geno Smith, who has done the unthinkable this season – make people wish Mark Sanchez wasn’t hurt.
Lions (7-5) over Eagles (7-5)
This is the kind of game you love to see pop up on the schedule. Two teams on legitimate playoff runs meeting this late to determine who will travel to Seattle and lose in round two.
Steelers (5-7) over Dolphins (6-6)
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was fined $100,000 for interfering with a kick return in last week’s game with the Ravens. Tomlin is really going to have to pay up this week when he horsecollars Miami QB Ryan Tannehill on a corner blitz.
Buccaneers (3-9) over Bills (4-8)
I didn’t think I would pick the Bucs to win this many games over the next two seasons. The worst thing is happening for the TampaBay franchise right now. Not only are they screwing up their draft position for nothing, they seem to be actively saving Greg Schiano’s job, when I wouldn’t hire him to dig out a busted septic tank by hand.
Chiefs (9-3) over Redskins (3-9)
The Chiefs have experienced a rough month since cutting defensive tackle (and former Carson-Newman star) Anthony Toribio. I don’t think it’s a coincidence.
Ravens (6-6) over Vikings (3-8)
The Ravens are back in the playoff race like an AFC nightmare and suddenly the Vikings, who I knew would suck, but, damn, are inexplicably on the clock. How are you in position to land the No. 1 pick in a league with Jaguars, Raiders, Browns and Bucs? Minnesota needs to give their whole football organization a colonic.
Falcons (3-9) over Packers (5-6)
Back in August this looked like the marquee match-up of the week. Now it looks like a game that could pre-empted by a live stage show of Heidi performed only on didgeridoos.
Broncos (10-2) over Titans (5-7)
We’ve all really hurt Peyton Manning’s feelings by bringing up that, in cold weather, maybe he doesn’t seem to play as well. And while Manning disagrees with our assessment, he would be more convincing to me, at least, if he didn’t eat a full bag of uncircumcised dicks every time the temperature drops to iced tea level. This isn’t Hoth, for God’s sake. Pull it together, Peyton.
Rams (5-7) over Cardinals (7-5)
The Rams failed to screw up San Francisco’s playoff positioning last week, so I feel pretty good that they’ll make up for it against the Cardinals. And while Carson Palmer has improved since the season opener, I see no reason to believe Robert Quinn and Chris Long won’t owe him substantial child support payments nine months from Sunday.
Giants (5-7) over Chargers (5-7)
Eli, having his worst season as a pro since his rookie year, will still take Phillip Rivers’ lunch out of his hands, eat it and pop the bag.
Seahawks (11-1) over 49ers (8-4)
It hurts to pick either of these teams, but I do hate the 49ers a little more so that means they’ll probably win. The Seahawks have already clinched a playoff spot and their “12th man” fanbase is savoring the smell of their own farts to the point the entire city is suffering from a pandemic of pink eye.
Saints (9-3) over Panthers (9-3)
Saints, you are dead to me after laying that ostrich egg against Seattle last week. Pitiful. You should be ashamed. You get the Panthers this time, but I’m picking them to win in two weeks.
Cowboys (7-5) over Bears (6-6)
Tony Romo is going to be three games above .500 after this game. If there’s any karmic justice in the world, Romo should go on a tear and finish out this season with a 10-game winning streak including a last-minute game-winning drive to beat the Broncos in the Superbowl. You know what? I’m rooting for this.
Last week: 9-7
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