Before we get to football, I just have to get some baseball #takes out there. I feel bad for Clayton Kershaw and I actually wanted the Dodgers to win the World Series this year. It’s absurd that every year, without fail, he completely dominates the regular season only to have everything fall apart in October. This is like ten straight years he’s got ridiculous stats only to wind up as the postseason goat. And every year he gets sadder about it. Each successive picture of him alone in the dugout just bums me out even more. I don’t know, I love older Kershaw. He’s got a bit of dad thiccness, love his beard-salad combo, and he’s just so embattled. Everything’s a grind, everything’s a battle that he usually loses. He’s straight out of Shakespeare. Faust 2.0. And he went to high school with Matt Stafford. Now he has to wait for next season to try and push the rock up the hill one more time. I’m kind of in on the Nats, but more than anything just need the Astros to make the World Series. Don’t need a world with a happy Aaron Judge in it.
Believe me, this is the last thing I want to do, but there’s a tough conversation we need to have about the Patriots: I think the defense and special teams (kicker notwithstanding) are too good. It’s ruining the suspense of these games! The games are over before they even start. I mean Daniel Jones (who’s looked as advertised the last two weeks, and not in a good way) had no shot last night. Just no shot. Why do you think Brady keeps throwing these terrible picks? He’s bored and wants to spice up the game a little bit. The defense is so good it’s ruining TB12’s stats, and that’s unforgivable if you ask me. Of course, there’s a huge groundswell of people online talking about how they haven’t played anybody yet and that means they shouldn’t get any credit for being good, but if you’re one of those people, why do you think that? Are you convinced the Pats are just a 20-year flash-in-the-pan? It’s been all smoke and mirrors since ’01 and it’ll all collapse at a moment’s notice? Like, how stupid can you be? The Pats are the best team because they’re the Pats and will beat your team’s brains out when it hurts you the most, causing your fanatical hatred to grow even stronger and more reckless. Welcome to the NFL, it’s kind of how things work around here.
This week… let me tell you something about this week. It’s not good. Actually, check that: it’s great because there’s a once-in-a-lifetime game happening this week. A real planetary alignment kind of moment. But we’ll get to that. The rest of it is kind of stinky. All lines from Bovada.
Carolina Panthers (-2.5) vs Tampa Bay Bucs
A real London game that starts at 9:30, not that wishy-washy crap from last week. Cam’s gonna need to keep a stiff upper lip when Kyle Allen and CMC rally the lads to claim an away result. I’ve got nothing when it comes to the Bucs, man. It’s almost like having a super up-and-down QB is bad, or something.
Pick: Panthers -2.5
Seattle Seahawks (-2) at Cleveland Browns
You know what? I kind of love the Browns this week. Seahawks are the obvious pick. So obvious, in fact, that not picking them sounds really stupid when you say it out loud. After all, they were just completely eviscerated on national television and emasculated in every possible way. Baker looked like the worst QB of all time, which is actually an insult to other terrible QBs. Everything went wrong, and everything’s been going right for Seattle lately. We know the Seahawks will be there at the end, but the true Seattle experience includes losing weird games they should win. This is one of those weeks. Listen, the Browns aren’t that bad.
Pick: Browns +2
Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings (-3)
This formula’s easy: if Kirk Cousins is playing against a good team, pick against him. If he’s playing a bad team, bet the house. Eagles are good (I think).
Pick: Eagles +3
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-10.5)
I think I do a pretty good job of keeping my fantasy teams out of things because I know no one cares. But I do have Lamar Jackson in one of my leagues (also hate being “in my other league” guy) and let’s just say I’m excited.
Pick: Ravens -10.5
New Orleans Saints at Jacksonville Jaguars (-1)
What do you do when a guy you criticized the week before has his best game as a pro and sticks it to the h8rs? Double down, of course! You think Teddy Two Gloves is coming into Duval and beating Gardner? Please. Jags win.
Pick: Jags -1
Washington Redskins (-3) at Miami Dolphins
Every day I’ve ever lived has been leading up to this. This is the most excited I’ve ever been for a non-Patriots regular-season game. Forget the fact that these are the two worst teams in the league. Those games happen frequently enough. These might be two of the five worst teams ever. In the 100 year history of the NFL, there aren’t more than three teams these two could beat consistently. I think the 2017 Browns crush both these teams. I firmly believe the 2008 Lions were unlucky to go 0-16 and cruise to victory. 74 Bucs and 09 Rams are the only teams I can think of that could possibly be worse than both these teams. It’s amazing. This game is Halley’s Comet come early. This is a 100-year storm, and I would be perfectly happy if they folded the league after this. And the really, truly sick thing about this? I LOVE the Dolphins.
Pick: Dolphins +3
Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs (-4.5)
Never seen a more obvious bounce-back spot. Gonna great seeing Deshaun’s postgame breakdown of his own defense after this one. “Well, usually we like to run a lot of cover 1 with some stunts on the line when the guards’ splits are smaller than normal, but this week we decided to all go to Buffalo Wild Wings to catch some exciting NFL action, instead. That Chiefs offense sure is fun to watch.”
Pick: Chiefs -4.5
San Fransisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams (-3)
I’m addicted to this Niners team and am ready to declare that these current 49ers jerseys (and obviously the similar iterations throughout time) are the best in NFL history. I feel like no one wants to say the Rams defense is terrible, but it’s terrible. Jimmy G is going to have his pick of the many adult film stars that will be within the five-mile radius of the Coliseum.
Pick: 49ers +3
Atlanta Falcons (-2.5) at Arizona Cardinals
Yuck. I’ll tell you this, I’ll die before I pick the Falcons on the road.
Pick: Cardinals +2.5
Dallas Cowboys (-7.5) at New York Jets
I’ve been pretty happy with my new computer so far, but I’ve got to go off on the touchpad if you’ll allow me. Who designed this functionality? Macbooks aren’t perfect, but the touchpads are. One finger click is regular click, two-finger click is right-click, scroll with two fingers, pinch to zoom, two finger swipe goes back or forward a page, three finger swipe goes to the dashboard. I had to customize my touchpad to do this. The factory setting is that tapping- not clicking, tapping- is a click. This is infuriating. If you take your finger off the pad and put it back on, it registered it as a click. Every time I put my finger on the touchpad I would wind up dragging the mouse and selecting everything in sight. I want whoever designed that dead. It also had clicking in the bottom right corner of the pad as right-click. All I ever click is the bottom right corner. I was staring at my fingers like an idiot thinking I had two on the pad every time the right-click menu popped up. It took me three days to figure out these asinine settings were why I was feeling like a 90-year-old who couldn’t figure out the new-fangled tech. This isn’t rocket science. Just steal Apple’s touchpad and stop wasting my time.
Pick: Cowboys -7.5
Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos (-2)
The Titans follow the same general formula as Kirk Cousins: if they’re favored, stay away. If they’re underdogs, hammer.
Pick: Titans +2
Pittsburgh Steelers at Los Angeles Chargers (-7)
Get this game off my television screen.
Pick: Steelers +7
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (-4)
Hell yeah, we’re pumped up about the Lions. Almost beat the Chiefs, won two games, great defense, former Clayton Kershaw teammate Matt Stafford going on the road against a good team on primetime… maybe not. Remember the Aaron Rodgers belt/discount double-check celly? That thing had some legs. It’d be kind of funny if he brought it back.
Pick: Packers -4