Folks, the Bears are back. Sure, they’re only back when they play below .500 teams, but they’re back nonetheless. I don’t know, man, I think I see it with Mitch. You do the draft over again and taking him over Mahomes and Watson seems like a no-brainer. Guy can run and only has five abominable throws a game. You can win with that. Combine it with a revolutionary mind like Matt Nagy and you’ve got a recipe for success. Bears could make some noise in the playoffs. All they need is to win out and hope that the Vikings, Packers, Niners, and Seahawks all forget to show up for all their games. Not too much to ask. Side note on the Cowboys- yikes. Is that Dak contract set in stone yet? Because, umm, yeah.
Special edition this week, I’m writing the picks while watching The Irishman. As someone who is both a man and Irish, this movie was made specifically for me. It’s in the title. As a challenge, I’m going to see if I can finish this before the three-and-a-half-hour run time expires (micro-rant: if you complain about the movie being too long because your brain had been transformed into 2019 phone brain and you can’t focus on anything for more than ten seconds, I hope you die. It’s a long movie, deal with it). Forgive any mob puns.
All lines from Bovada.
Washington Redskins at Green Bay Packers (-13)
Me, watch this game? Fuggedaboutit! No, we have fun here.
Pick: Packers -13
San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints (-2)
I don’t know how the Niners got stuck with all these east coast gauntlet games at the same time, but they really pissed someone off in the league office. Don’t feel super confident about Jimmy G going into the Dome, if we’re being honest. Relevant Irishman tie-in: the de-aging technology on RDN looks fine, but he still moves like an old man. It’s weird. This applies to Drew Brees this season (and NOT to another old QB who will remain anonymous).
Pick: Saints -2
Denver Broncos at Houston Texans (-9)
Broncos stink. And I think can all agree that the Texans are a juggernaut, right? Easily one of the best teams in history.
Pick: Texans -9
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (-12.5)
Hate to say it, but it’s about time someone iced Matty Patricia. He’s about to get blown out by Kirk Cousins, and you just can’t let that happen.
Pick: Vikings -12.5
Indianapolis Colts at Tampa Bay Bucs (-3)
Pretty sure the Colts died last week. Jacboy’s not even close to healthy and Vinatieri’s cost them like five games at this point. They’re down on the mat. You can’t go into Tampa with a broken spirit and expect to contain Jameis. Just not gonna happen. He’ll hang 387 yards, 4 TDs, and 3 INTS on your head before you can blink.
Pick: Bucs -3
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-3)
I will give this game the same amount of undivided attention I’m currently giving The Irishman. Which I think I’m like halfway through.
Pick: Panthers +3
Baltimore Ravens (-6.5) at Buffalo Bills
Improbable at the beginning of the season, this game is actually crucial for the AFC East race. I’m really not used to having to sweat the division out, and I really don’t expect to, but the fact that the Bills are still hanging around is a testament to them. But the Ravens are gonna win, and I prefer it that way. Not getting the one seed sucks, but not winning the division would be humiliating. Another team can’t win the AFC East until two years after Brady retires.
Pick: Ravens -6.5
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns (-7)
Bengals are the hottest team in the league, and the pushover crybaby Browns won’t be able to stand in their way. Shoutout to Baker’s army of imaginary haters, haven’t heard from them in a while.
Pick: Bengals +7
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets (-5.5)
Speaking of hot teams. Fitzmagic is officially in full effect, and there’s nothing the Jets can do to stop it. It was sad to see the Jets’ miracle run come to such an ignominious end, but it just opens the door for the Dolphins, who haven’t technically been eliminated from the playoffs, yet.
Pick: Dolphins +5.5
Los Angeles Chargers (-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars
I’ll tell you what, Big Bob De Niro is Back, although he’s decidedly not Irish. I think old guys are back, in general. De Niro, Pacino, Pesci, LeBron, definitely some others. Makes me optimistic about the Super Bowl this year. Unless 2020 is the year of not-old-guys, in which case I’m very nervous.
Pick: Jags +3
Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots (-3)
I know it’s nonsensical, but the garbage time offense from last week really has me buying back in. Every pass is either to Edelman or James White, as it should be. Keep playing good D and you never know, right? Just have to get down just enough where teams stop really trying and they’re golden. God, just let me fast forward to a week after the inevitable playoff loss so I can avoid the molten-hot takes and grave dancing.
Pick: Pats -3
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) at Arizona Cardinals
The Irishman just ended. Forgive me, it was very distracting. I couldn’t beat the clock, and for that, I apologize. I give it nine old man emojis. This game gets two old man emojis.
Pick: Steelers -3
Tennessee Titans (-3) at Oakland Raiders
Derrick Henry has only started 28 of 59 games in his career. Imagine starting another running back over him. I couldn’t. The Raiders are out on their feet, and one long TD run from Tractorcito will completely end their season. Scientists will be trying to figure out if the Titans are actually good for generations.
Pick: Titans -3
Seattle Seahawks (-1) at Los Angeles Rams
In the Legion of Boom’s heyday, they would always lose one game to the Rams. It was random and inexplicable and easy to predict. It was always the week Johnny Hekker would break out the fake punts and the score would be like 11-6. Even though the Rams are better than they were then, they have less chance to win. They’re just too soft and the Seahawks are too good. Someone lure Sean McVay into a meeting in an empty house before putting a bullet in his head and cleaning up the evidence already.
Pick: Seahawks -1
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-9.5)
Eli’s back, probably. Hooray.
Pick: Eagles -9.5