There was an NFL game on Thursday night. Honestly that’s more of a question than a statement. I watched exactly zero seconds of the Brocos-Colts game. I was braving the elements waiting outside in the bitter cold to get a good seat for The Last Jedi. Then, lost in my own Jedi training on the remote planet of Ahch-To, I ran out of time to make my picks on Friday. And there are games today, too! I feel as if I’ve failed you, my football padawans. A shame, I know.
I wouldn’t have watched the event the NFL is calling a football game, anyway, but at least I found a legitimate reason to avoid permanently scarring my retinas with Brock Osweiler coming in in relief. My only takeaway: the Broncos have good Color Rush helmets. They should go to those full time. That analysis is free, folks, but I may start charging for the juicier bits of NFL insight. On to the games.
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions (-5)
This is the perfect Saturday afternoon NFL game. It’s two bad teams no one really cares about, it’s going to be cagey and un-exciting, no one will enjoy it, and no one will turn away. It’s gonna be great!
Pick: Lions -5
Los Angeles Chargers (-1) at Kansas City Chiefs
This is a rare meeting of the Week 1 Super Bowl Champions and the mid-season Under-the-Radar Super Bowl Champions. Savor it; these kind of heavy-hitting games don’t come around to often. Chargers are way better and are building so much obvious “No One Wants to Play These Guys in the Playoffs” buzz that it’s surely going to backfire on them in the first round.
Pick: Chargers -1
Green Bay Packers at Carolina Panthers (-3)
It’s not too late to get on the Packers train. I warned everyone about what was happening weeks ago, so you’ve had ample time to realize the Packers were going to make the playoffs. Panthers are a good team, but this is just a case of wrong place, wrong time. Rodgers end-of-the-regular-season magic cannot be contained.
Pick: Packers +3
Philadelphia Eagles (-7.5) at New York Giants
R.I.P. Carson Wentz. Hate to see a good player go down, but it only opens the door for the best kind of playoff run: one lead by a backup QB. Nick Foles has proven himself to be competent when he has good coaching, so I don’t think the Eagles will have a giant drop-off, but it’ll probably start off pretty ugly. Still don’t know if the Giants are trying again or not.
Pick: Giants +7.5
New York Jets at New Orleans Saints (-16)
Bryce Petty. On the road. In the SuperDome. Yikes.
Pick: Saints -16
Cincinnati Bengals at Minnesota Vikings (-11)
I’m calling it right now: Teddy Bridgewater stars week 17. I think this is when the pixie dust finally washes off Case Keenum and he turns back into a pumpkin, then next week he’ll get yanked. Search your heart. You know it’s true.
Pick: Bengals +11
Baltimore Ravens (-7) at Cleveland Browns
Embarrassing thing that happened to me last night- Since I was standing outside from 4-7pm waiting to get into the theater, I didn’t have time to eat. So, as I’ve done plenty of times before for similar showtimes, I decided to just get a large popcorn. Popcorn’s pretty much just air, right? No calories. Anyway, when I order, the cashier asks me if I want a drink. I said no because I have a very small bladder and I was not leaving the theater to pee in the middle of Star Wars. She gave me a mocking look and said “Okay” in the smuggest way possible. I thought nothing of it. That is until I had eaten about a pound of the saltiest popcorn ever produced by man. I was dying. I felt like I had been walking in the Sahara for three days with no water. So, I tucked my tail between my legs and went back to get a drink. Not wanting to trigger an “I told you so,” I went to a different cashier. Because I have no self-control, I finished the drink despite telling myself not to, and, by the end credits, I was ready to burst. I would rather do that exact scenario every day for the rest of my life than be a Browns fan.
Pick: Ravens -7
Arizona Cardinals at Washington Redskins (-4)
Can we just skip games where both teams have been eliminated from playoff contention and no one is chasing single-season records? I think it would help the state of the league a lot.
Pick: Redskins -4
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (-11)
Imagine if Deshaun Watson didn’t get hurt? Then this wouldn’t be a terrible game.
Pick: Jags -11
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (-3)
Unfortunately, it appears as though we may have seen the end of Nathan Peterman. A sad day, indeed. Adequate quarterback play wins yet again. Such a biased system. Let the bad QBs succeed for once! Hard to imagine the Dolphins will show up after they won the Super Bowl last week.
Pick: Bills -3
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-2)
I still think the Rams are good, but don’t be surprised to hear some rumblings that they’re a fake news contender after this week. They’re in a really rough stretch of games that’s almost impossible to come out of unscathed, and you know getting in huge brawls and getting (rightly) called out for being the biggest bunch of babies in the league only fires up the Seahawks even more.
Pick: Seahawks -2
Tennessee Titans at San Francisco 49ers (-1.5)
Don’t look now, but the Niners are the hottest team in the league ever since Jimmy G took over. Might be time to sit him, coach! Don’t want to rack up too many wins before the draft. Titans continue to be really bad at playing football.
Pick: 49ers -1.5
New England Patriots (-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers
Let’s all say it together: Tom Brady’s clearly washed up. Bill Belichick has lost control of the locker room. Pats are done. The Steelers have so much more talent. It’d be an upset if they didn’t win the Super Bowl. This is finally the year the Steelers get over the hump.
Pick: Pats -3
Dallas Cowboys (-3) at Oakland Raiders
I just went to an alternate timeline where everything is 40 years behind, and 70s me is really pumped up for this game.
Pick: Cowboys -3
Atlanta Falcons (-6) at Tampa Bay Bucs
Pick: Falcons -6
Bonus Bowl Picks
- North Texas +7 vs Troy
- Oregon vs Boise State +7
- Marshall vs Colorado State -4
- Middle Tennessee State +3.5 vs Arkansas State
- Akron +23 vs Florida Atlantic