The Raiders. Are they good? I don’t know. I know they’re on track to make the playoffs where they’ll lose in the first round, but I don’t know if they’re any good. I know Josh Jacobs is good. I think Darren Waller is good. I guess Derek Carr is dece. The rest of the roster feels solid and Jon Gruden has been a top ten coach in the league this year (mostly because there’s at least 22 awful coaches, but still). But the Raiders? Good? I don’t know. I’ll never know. They could win the Super Bowl this year (lol) and I’d still be wondering the same thing. I do know that the Chargers stink, though.
This is the third consecutive week I’ve said this, but yikes this is a terrible week. Half the interesting teams are on bye and all the games suck. You’ve gone apple picking two weeks in a row, but you might have to make it three once you take a look at the schedule. But it just means you’ve built up a lot of goodwill with the people in your life who expect you to use Sundays to do something other than watch football. Next week is better, but even if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t tell you to skip four weeks in a row. Then it’s a concrete pattern and a lifestyle you can’t escape. Maybe this is a housework weekend where you’ve got the TV on in the background. That could stop the dangerous precedent from being set.
All lines from Bovada.
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears (-2.5)
There have been a lot of coaches that have looked bad this year, but I’m not sure if anyone’s taken as big a step backward as Matt Nagy. He had the route through the labyrinth last year, but this year he STINKS. Everything he touches turns to poop, every press conference he sounds even dumber than he did last week, and he seems completely over his head and prone to lashing out because he’s realizing alongside everyone else that maybe being Andy Reid’s playcaller is a much better situation than, you know, not having Andy Reid around to do all the work, especially without last year’s cupcake schedule. That being said, I think the Bears win by a lot this week. They aren’t this bad and, as we’ve established, the Lions are dead. Bears think about salvaging the season.
Pick: Bears -2.5
New York Giants (-3) at New York Jets
Jesus. In theory, I could go to this. In fact, I know someone who is. There are going to be thousands of people at MetLife Stadium to watch this “game.” Think about that for a second. Don’t know if the black cat on the field cursed the Giants or Cowboys, but until I do if they are I can’t pick the Giants. Jets might be cursed by proxy, but that changes nothing from their usual state.
Pick: Jets +3
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-14)
What’s the safer bet: the Falcons get blown out on the road or the sun rises in the east? Vegas is undecided.
Pick: Saints -14
Baltimore Ravens (-10.5) at Cincinnati Bengals
Alright, fine, I’ll comment on what happened last week: it happened. There, happy? Now we can move on with our lives. Oh, no, the Pats aren’t going undefeated, what will I do? They’re still gonna win the Super Bowl, so get your jokes in, now. Literally only one team can do what the Ravens did on offense because they’re the only ones with Lamar Jackson. I’m not worried. What I am worried about is the fact that I’ve misspelled Cincinnati wrong on the first attempt at least three weeks in a row, which is a distressing development after I thought I overcame that weakness last season.
Pick: Ravens -10.5
Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns (-2.5)
I’ll tell you what, I’m back in on the Bud Knight ad universe. It was tired and played out, but like all great Family Guy jokes, it’s gone on long enough to be funny again. The injection of the Bud Knight Platinum has really brought new life to the franchise. Something about the way the Bud King (Prince? I have no idea what his title is) sadly asks “where are the Bud Light Platinums?” when his crew steps onto the Staring Into the Abyss Turret really tickles my funny bone. Can’t wait for another three years of these!
Pick: Bills +2.5
Kansas City Chiefs (-6) at Tennessee Titans
In a weird way, I think the Titans have a better chance of winning if Patrick Mahomes plays. Everyone will just count them out and bury them, which is the only time the Titans are any good due to Mike Vrabel’s oddly specific deal with the devil. You know what? I actually don’t care who the Chiefs QB is. We’re going Titans, and pretending we didn’t at roughly 1:08 PM on Sunday.
Pick: Titans +6
Arizona Cardinals at Tampa Bay Bucs (-4.5)
I’m unironically excited to watch this completely irrelevant game because these are two of the five most entertaining QBs in the NFL. I can’t take my eyes off Jameis. I want the Bucs to sign him to a 25-year extension because next year he’ll put it all together, and Kyler is just pure electricity. Mike Evans is completely on fire and Chris Godwin is always padding his stats. Larry Fitzgerald is still alive, but barely. There is at least one player named Zane. What else do you need? Because it’s how football works, this game will finish 12-6.
Pick: Bucs -4.5
Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts (-11.5)
I’ll be honest, despite the fact that I’ve been interacting with them most of my life, I have no idea what the dynamic is between Jets fans and Dolphins fans, but I can guarantee it’s contentious now. Once the initial comedy of last week’s win wears off, how pissed would you be if you were a Fins fan? I’d be furious. The only plan this season was to go 0-16. I’d argue they were having one of the best seasons in the league. And the dumb Jets ruin that by accident by being more inept than the team that is intentionally inept. They gave the Bengals a possibly insurmountable one-game lead in the race for Tua. Now you pretty much have to go back to Rosen to ensure they don’t win another game. What a mess.
Pick: Colts -11.5
Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers (-5.5)
Based on my research, the last time a white guy lead the league in rushing was Jim Taylor in 1962. Christian McCaffery currently leads the NFL in rushing yards per game. We could be witnessing history, folks. One thing that’s helped him is that he doesn’t get caught from behind on long runs anymore, which was such a terrible but also hilarious look for white guys in general. How has he gotten faster? Well,,, who could say? I’m worried his quest for the title might take a hit this week since the ‘Thers (that’s what the cool kids are calling the Panthers, now. Deal with it) are gonna be down all game. The rumblings over trouble in Green Bay will just make Aaron Rodgers angry enough to destroy his next opponent.
Pick: Packers -5.5
Los Angeles Rams (-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers
NFL teams usually travel on Friday or Saturday for road games, and, given the length of the flight and time difference, I’m guessing the Rams are going to Pittsburgh today. It’s currently 33 degrees in Pittsburgh. This thing is OVER.
Pick: Steelers +4
Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys (-3)
I know this game probably deserves more discussion, but just like the Giants, until I know which way the black cat directed its curse, I can’t pick the Cowboys. And I’m just sick of them on primetime.
Pick: Vikings +3
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (-6)
Remember the old Seahawks-49ers games in the mid-2010s? Those were awesome, and this game should be awesome, too. Man, that Niners D was crazy. Willis and Bowman, the Smith brothers (it was funny because they clearly weren’t brothers), some other guys. Aldon Smith was so good, and then he wasn’t. Anyway, this feels like such a sucker line. 6 points is so high that I feel like I’m being forced to take the Seahawks, which is exactly what The Man wants me to do. Which is why I’ll gladly do it.
Pick: Seahawks +6