I was all set to go on a rant against the Browns’ headhunting safeties and my pure hatred for headhunting safeties in general. There was gonna be a lot of vitriol and fury, let me tell you. I turned the game off with like a minute and a half left so I could get some shuteye and wake up early to UNLEASH (h/t Skip) on the safeties of the NFL when I got a notification that the game ended in a brawl and that Myles Garrett used Mason Rudolph’s helmet as a weapon. What the hell, man? You couldn’t have done that two minutes earlier? There’s a lot of pearl-clutching and melodramatic melancholy out there today, but when you take a step back this is so funny. Listen, Garrett’s getting suspended, most likely for the rest of the season. But how can you not see the humor in this? He grabbed another guy’s helmet and bopped him on the head with it. Rudolph ate it, so it’s okay to laugh. Look at that picture. That’s a funny picture. Plus, I guarantee Rudolph is fine with it because now no one is talking about how terrible he was. All the contrarians online are pointing to Rudolph trying to take Garrett’s helmet off first for some reason (seriously, what was his plan, there?) as reason enough to defend Garrett (if you’re a Garrett defender, like, why? He hit someone over the head with a helmet. Not a lot of moral gray area), and I’d like to think this was intentional escalation by Rudolph. He knew what he was doing. He had to take the heat off himself. Now it’s Browns being Browns, not Mason Rudolph stinks. Genius level thinking. The good news for Myles is that this will definitely blow over and no one will ever bring it up again for the rest of his career. Don’t worry, man.
All lines from Bovada.
Denver Broncos at Minnesota Vikings (-10.5)
You know who’s been playing way too well and is itching to throw a game away? Kirk Cousins. Feel like I’ve gone with this a million weeks in a row, but the point stands. Big win in primetime last week, classic, classic letdown spot here. Broncos stink, but have just enough guys to be frisky in the right situation. This is that situation. It’s about time the Vikings receivers go on another tirade against their QB.
Pick: Broncos +10.5
New Orleans Saints (-5.5) at Tampa Bay Bucs
Last week was the third time this year the Saints didn’t score a touchdown. Third! That’s not good, folks. I know they’ve had a billion injuries or whatever, but they can’t score. At all. But, umm, you know who gives up the most points per game in the NFL? It rhymes with ducks. I bet you thought I was going to say a different word, there. We keep it clean around these parts. Shoutout Mikes Thomas and Evans, number one and two in receiving yards. Also shoutout Ndamukong Suh, no longer the dirtiest player in the league.
Pick: Saints -5.5
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers (-4)
Let’s try this again: what’s a bigger lock- Falcons getting blown out on the road or that the fun will never stop once a can of Pringles is popped?
Pick: Panthers -4
Buffalo Bills (-6.5) at Miami Dolphins
I don’t like that the Dolphins have dragged themselves up into the realm of the regular old bad teams. That’s boring. Going 0-16 while losing every game by 50 is way more exciting, and smarter. Sick job getting the seventh pick in the draft, guys. That’s what you get for tapping into Fitzmagic. Your season always winds up going off the rails.
Pick: Bills -6.5
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (-3)
I’ll take the Colts because Brissett is back, but their season is one giant house of cards that will collapse at the slightest touch. The Titans have a better scoring differential. That’s the ultimate red flag. Both of these teams are so boring.
Pick: Colts -3
Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens (-4)
Let me tell you something about these two QBs- they’re good. I’m not expecting a ton of defense, which is great news. Deshaun and Lamar are gonna trade highlight-reel touchdown drives all afternoon. RedZone might as well always just run double box with Texans-Ravens on one and everything else on the other. The universal law of anti-fun maintains that either one of them will get hurt or this will be a defensive slugfest, but I spit in the face of the universal law of anti-fun. Sparks are about to fly.
Pick: Ravens -4
Dallas Cowboys (-3.5) at Detroit Lions
I’m not going to waste anyone’s time talking about two dead teams.
Pick: Cowboys -3.5
New York Jets at Washington Redskins (-2)
Folks,,,,,,,,,, Sam Darnold’s quest to get the Jets back in the playoffs is going to be the most disastrous flight since Dion Waters last passed TSA inspection. Oh! I’ll be here all week, make sure to buy your second drink and tip the wait staff. But seriously, a Jets player displaying optimism in 2019 is just asking to lose to one of the worst teams in history.
Pick: Redskins -2
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (-10.5)
Not that I’m complaining, but what was with the lack of ’72 Dolphins coverage this year? We had two teams at 8-0, and not even a mention. Maybe this means we, as a society, are finally forgetting about the ultimate “yeah, but if they played today they’d lose by a billion” team. Anyone who still calls them the best team of all time is either senile or a personal friend of Don Shula, in which case you’re probably also senile. Anyway, I think I’m just addicted to predicting Cardinals backdoor covers even though I think the success rate is like 10%.
Pick: Cardinals +10.5
New England Patriots (-4) at Philadelphia Eagles
Pats’ first game after their first loss. Not to get too dramatic, but if this team is going to do anything in the playoffs (“anything” for the Pats means going to the Super Bowl), they’ll win this game by a thousand. Have to. If they look shaky again, the rumblings and grave dancings will commence. Someone fast forward me to the Bengals game so I can enjoy a blowout win again.
Pick: Pats -4
Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raiders (-11.5)
With the release of Disney+ (Mandalorian episode one review: pretty dece), everyone is going back and discovering the shows and movies of their youths (shoutout Gargoyles). The show I need to come back is The Mystic Knights of Tir na Nog, Saban’s galaxy brain idea to put Power Rangers in Medieval Ireland. I’m pretty sure I was the only one who watched it but I had, like, five action figures from it. It was awesome, and now that I think about it it’s a good thing I can’t watch it anywhere because then I won’t ever realize that it actually sucked.
Pick: Raiders -11.5
Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams (-6)
I’m all in on this Bears turnaround. They won with the season on the line last week, and now they get to go through the soft-ass Cali Brahs and keep the train moving. I’ve determined that the Rams are the least tough team in the NFL, mostly because I know what happens to Jared Goff whenever the temperature falls below 67 degrees.
Pick: Bears +6
Kansas City Chiefs (-4) vs Los Angeles Chargers
Supongo que este juego de la Ciudad de México realmente sucederá. Aunque esto será lo más cercano a una ventaja de campo local que tienen los Chargers durante toda la temporada, esta línea es insultantemente baja. Los Jefes van a ganar por mil. Reservar.
Pick: Chiefs -4