NFL Week 12 Picks

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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. It’s a time to celebrate family, food, football, and fake stories about awkward conversations during dinner. What a wonderful time! I like Thanksgiving, but it’s not my number one (I know for a fact I’ve gone into this before, but it’s Christmas. Obvi). Give me the meal, but I’ll skip the explanations to countless family members of how I’m still kind of a loser. But that’s not what this is about. This is about football. For the first time this season, you’ll get some Thursday picks, so be thankful for that. Hmmm. Thankful. That sounds like a decent gimmick. I think I’ll go through every game and say what they make me thankful for. No one’s done that, right?

Chicago Bears (-3.5) at Detroit Lions

I’m thankful for the Lions’ early Thanksgiving game, which has eased me into countless Thanksgivings by giving everyone something to talk about. I’m thankful for my uncle from Australia (yeah, I’m pretty worldly, NBD) who, without fail, would watch the majority of every game with me once he got a taste for it. I’m thankful for Matt Stafford because it’s nice to have guys with huge stats that don’t actually win anything. I’m thankful for Khalil Mack because it’s fun to watch future Hall of Famers in their primes. I’m thankful for Mitchell Trubisky not playing, because it makes this a lot easier.

Pick: Lions

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys (-7.5)

I’m thankful that, eventually, this game will end.

Pick: Redskins

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-13)

I’m thankful for the invention of the forward pass, which will be on full display during this game. I’m thankful for Drew Brees, who was indirectly related to one of my crowning achievements (eating 13 cupcakes during the 2009 Super Bowl). I’m thankful for Matt Ryan for being a major character in the greatest night of my life (when the Falcons lost the Super Bowl despite being up 28-3. Don’t know if I’ve mentioned it). I’m thankful I don’t really have to do any research, because my gut tells me there’s no way a division game in the Thanksgiving prime time spot ends in a blowout. That only happens when the Jets are involved.

Pick: Falcons

Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers (-3)

I’m thankful for all the random receivers the Seahawks have who seem to decide before every game who’s going to have a 50 yard play. I’m thankful for Cam Newton because he makes me question how I share 99% of my DNA with someone like him. I’m thankful for Russell Wilson because he’s one of the most fun QBs to watch of all time and one of the weirdest people in world history. I’m thankful that this game exists to appease all the sticks in the mud who complained about too much offense on Monday night.

Pick: Panthers

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-6)

I’m thankful for the future where society crumbles under the apocalyptic heat of the collapsing sun and the NFL is left behind, because that means there won’t be any more NFC East games.

Pick: Giants

New England Patriots (-9.5) at New York Jets

I’m thankful for Tom Brady (obviously) for being the driving force behind the, like, five happiest moments of my life (yes, I’m a loser). I’m thankful for this exact matchup for giving us the Butt Fumble massacre on Thanksgiving night six years ago. I’m thankful that the Jets have provided so much comedy over the years and are the perfect slump-busters. I’m thankful for whichever QB starts for the Jets because they’re going to be very bad.

Pick: Patriots

San Francisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Bucs (-3)

I’m thankful for every quarterback involved with this game. The definition of electric. That’s it, though. Not much else to look forward to.

Pick: Niners

Oakland Raiders at Baltimore Ravens (-11)

I’m thankful for season 3 of Ballers, because the storyline that Spencer Strasmore was spearheading the Raiders move to Las Vegas is still the most preposterous thing I’ve ever seen. I’m thankful for Lamar Jackson because he’s really fun to watch, even if he’s on my least favorite team. I’m thankful for crab and crabcakes, some of America’s most underrated cuisine. I’m thankful for the Mark Davis-Jon Gruden-Reggie McKenzie triumvirate, because it gives me hope that, no matter how bad I am at a given task, there’s always the chance that someone out there will pay me handsomely to do it.

Pick: Ravens

Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-3)

I’m thankful my family is from New England and not Ohio. I’m thankful for the 2007 version of this game where Derek Anderson and Braylon Edwards looked like the future of the league. I’m thankful for the Browns’ jerseys and brown jerseys, in general, because it separates the sartorial men from the boys. I’m thankful Andy Dalton went to a team with orange helmets. I’m thankful for those same Bengals helmets for being one of the best in the league since the moment they were introduced in 1981. I’m thankful that both these franchises have selflessly decided to be perennial losers so other teams don’t have to be. I’m thankful for Baker Mayfield and every promising young QB cursed by where they were drafted.

Pick: Browns

Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) at Buffalo Bills

I’m thankful football games are only 60 minutes long.

Pick: Bills

Arizona C*******s at Los Angeles Chargers (-12)

I’m thankful for turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, bread, apple pie, pumpkin pie (even though I’m a bit of a h8tr), and everything else that you, yes you reading this now, like eating on Thanksgiving. I’m thankful for those of us who don’t follow society’s pressure to trash food online because it makes us feel cool and liked. I’m thankful for cranberry sauce even though I don’t really like it, because I know plenty of people do and that’s reason enough for it to be on the table. I’m thankful for leftovers. Mostly leftover turkey, but most Thanksgiving leftovers fall under the umbrella. I’m thankful for that America is the land of the free and I will never face persecution or prosecution for eating way too many appetizers and snacks before the actual meal. I’m thankful that I’ve never been (and hopefully never will be) the drunkest person at a Thanksgiving dinner. I’m thankful that one day, the C*******s will be watchable again.

Pick: Chargers

Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) at Denver Broncos

I’m thankful that the Steelers refuse to beat the Patriots in the playoffs. I’m thankful that the Broncos won’t make the playoffs so the Pats can’t lose to them.

Pick: Steelers

Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts (-8)

I’m thankful that the Dolphins have been the Pats’ chief competition in the AFC East. I’m thankful that they win the offseason Super Bowl every year and still never win more than nine games. I’m thankful that the Colts are still the ultimate “you can just bludgeon them in the playoffs” team after all these years. I’m thankful for Parks and Rec, because it gave us some of the greatest athlete cameos in TV history. I’m thankful that the Dolphins quit a couple months ago.

Pick: Colts

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (-3)

I’m thankful for Al Michaels, who’s still one of the best in the business. I’m thankful for Kirk Cousins because he gives the worst pre-game speeches of all time. I’m thankful for Aaron Rodgers because he’s really good. I’m thankful one of these teams will be effectively eliminated after this, because I’m sick of the “will they, won’t they” dance both of them are doing.

Pick: Vikings

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans (-6.5)

I’m thankful that I’m going to see Creed II in one of the new Dolby Theaters on Monday night, because it means I don’t have to watch this.

Pick: Texans

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Monday Thoughts Week 11

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Week 11. Monday Thoughts™. My entire life has been leading up to this moment. Yours has, too. This is the most important moment in the history of the world. To waste it would be an insult to the football gods.

  • Since the Pats were on bye I had to pay closer attention to the rest of the league, and, I have to say, I have no idea how the rest of the country deals with watching non-Patriots football every week.
  • Lamar Jackson got the start with Flacco out, and, you’ll never believe this, the offense was good with him in. Crazy, I know.
  • Someone named Gus Edwards had 115 rushing yards and a TD. That’s as sure a sign as any that the Bengals are toast.
  • It’s kind of weird, but I think the Ravens are better with Lamar but scarier as a potential playoff team with Flacco. I still wake up with cold sweats thinking about his miraculous Super Bowl run from time to time. I know he’s garbage and all, but I would loooooooooove to play against rookie Lamar Jackson in the playoffs.
  • I actually feel bad for Andy Dalton because he’s been pretty decent this year but the rest of the team is just awful. Such is life.
  • I’m addicted to Bucs’ QB play
  • Fitzpatrick and Winston have completely broken the Bucs’ coaches’ brains. They’re essentially the same player and they just can’t figure out which one has the hot hand on any given week. I suggest swapping them every half.
  • Are the Giants back?
  • Saquon never left
  • Odell never left, either.
  • I can already hear the sarcastic-but-hopeful cries from Giants’ fans that the league should watch out once the Giants get rolling. And I agree. Please don’t let them get hot. I beg you. I’ve seen this movie too many times. Someone beat them, like, one more time. That’s all it takes to kill this before it gets out of hand.
  • I’m going to say something nice about the Cowboys: they’re really good at making exciting teams play in really boring games.
  • I’m going to add another nice thing: their jerseys looked good in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium lighting.
  • I might be in the minority here, but I really like the MBS lighting. It’s a little harsh, but it’s unique. You know you’re watching a game in The Big Asshole.
  • Impromptu lighting/camera angle power ranking: 1. L.A. Coliseum when the sun is about to set (applies to the Rose Bowl, too, but this is NFL only) 2. Superdome 3. MBS 4. Soldier Field day and night 5. Hard Rock Stadium
  • Panthers-Lions was pretty boring but it was an especially bad jersey matchup. The camo accessories for the Salute to Service month looked absolutely atrocious with the Panthers’ all black.
  • Imagine having an 82 yard gain and not scoring
  • Has to be demoralizing.
  • It’s easy to bash Matt Stafford but I’ll be damned if he doesn’t throw some pornographic passes sometimes
  • Pretty inexplicable loss, honestly. Panthers might be playing with fire if they keep this up.
  • Steelers-Jaguars was an exact replica of every time a lesser team had the Patriots on the ropes and couldn’t seal the deal over the last fifteen years. All that was missing was the losing team and everyone on Twitter complaining about how unfair it all was.
  • This is perhaps the saltiest, most bitter article ever written. And his team won! Steelers people are wild, man.
  • Nice defense, fellas!
  • One of the ugliest touchdowns these eyes have ever seen
  • Allow me to speak for everyone invested in the AFC when I thank the Jaguars from the first three quarters of this game for just not bothering to show up for half the season.
  • No idea where the Jags really go from here. Last year it seemed like the world was their oyster and it was merely a matter of how many consecutive Super Bowls they would win. Now they’re probably facing yet another rebuild and have no answer at QB. But at least they like to talk trash, right?
  • Sucks for Alex Smith. Yeah, the Redskins are one of the three most boring teams in the NFL (along with the Cowboys and Eagles) and he’s not always great to watch, but seeing someone get that kind of injury just sucks.
  • Texas might be officially back, though. Colt McCoy never dies.
  • Also not to be that guy but, like, it wouldn’t be the worst thing ever if this meant we don’t have to watch a Redskins playoff game.
  • Texans are good in the most non-threatening way possible. Defense is nails.
  • This tuddy just looks cool
  • Absolutely brutal Titans performance. If only someone could have seen this coming.
  • I will say that Andrew Luck needs to finish in the top 3 in MVP this year. He’ll still have a 3 interception playoff loss, though.
  • T.Y. Hilton is back
  • Maybe the funniest interception ever
  • Don’t look now, but the Colts are the team no one wants to play (please let the Pats play them in the first round. Pleeeeeeeeeaaaaassseeeee).
  • If only there was a fearless blogger who declared that the Broncos weren’t that bad and that they’d beat the Chargers. What a crazy thing that would be.
  • Antonio Gates is still alive, at least
  • The Wildcat is Back
  • Somehow Von Miller has become underrated. Aaron Donald and the Watt Boyz and Khalil Mack get all the headlines, but Von is still one of the five best defensive players in the NFL and should be a lock for the Hall of Fame. He’s a machine.
  • Why I hate Twitter in a nutshell:
  • The Raiders won! Who needs Khalil Mack?
  • C*******s just lost letter privileges.
  • Did anyone in the world know Chandler Jones has 10.5 sacks already?
  • Derek Carr and Jon Gruden are ready to fight to the death and they don’t care who knows it
  • Eagles are doooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnneeeeeeeee. Good job, good effort, guys. At least everyone’s having fun out there.
  • Carson Wentz is complete ass.
  • Drew Brees was already the third best quarterback ever and now he’s having his best season
  • Saints are looking like an all time team right now. If they make a deep run this will be considered one of the best and most efficient offenses in league history.
  • Mitchell Trubisky was put on this Earth to dominate the first quarter and a half of prime time football games.
  • Everything after that is anyone’s guess.
  • Like, come on, man
  • One of these days he’ll put together a complete game against a good team and the league will be in trouble. Adding “Mr. T” as an audible call is going to help.
  • Khalil Mack: good
  • Got to check in
  • Suppose there’s not much room for interpretation with the Vikings.
  • I have a problem with this:
  • While it’s appropriate for an NFC North team to co-opt the North’s battlecry from Game of Thrones, to put this out there when you’re facing one of the few teams that’s farther north than you is stupid. The whole point of the slogan is that the unified North won’t let the southern fancy boys walk all over them. To say “the North Remembers” to a fellow North team (and one that’s even more North than you) is a slap in the face to everything the Starks and Mormonts and Reeds and Umbers (book version, not snake show version) and all the rest stand for. This is officially #bad content, Bears. I’m disappointed in you.

Get hyped for tonight. Everyone’s pre-week 10 Super Bowl preview Chiefs-Rams should be a doozy. And by doozy I mean Chief will win by at least 24.

NFL Week 11 Picks

It’s not fair that it’s week 11 already. I’m not ready to be without football yet. The playoffs will start before you know it. Then it’ll be the Super Bowl and you’ll wish you enjoyed this season more even though half the teams in the league stink. Then it’ll be the middle of April and the draft hasn’t even happened yet and you’ll be craving football and you won’t have any relief until August and you’ll just fall into an unnecessary depression. Believe me, I’ve been there. We all need to cherish the second half of this season, because who knows if next season will ever come? The good news is that this week will be better than last week. It will be by default. I mean, we only need one more good game after last night to eclipse the standard set by week 10. I like our odds. After all, Oakland’s playing Arizona this week.

Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons (-3)

It’s the “They Should Probably Be Way Better” Bowl presented by Wingstop. Who will prevail? Either way, I bet it’s the lead topic on First TakeFirst Things First and Undisputed, because America just can’t get enough Cowboys. Fun fact: according to DVOA, the Cowboys have the 20th ranked total defense and the 26th rank pass defense, which certainly goes against the narrative that their defense is a heroic unit winning games singlehandedly. The Falcons offense? 6th overall and 5th passing. So, yeah. Seems like a pretty big advantage. Not as big of an advantage as leading by 25 points in the third quarter of the Super Bowl, but still.

Pick: Falcons

Tampa Bay Bucs at New York Giants (-1)

Now that the Fitzmagic tour is long over, the Bucs aren’t all that fun anymore, which is pretty crazy considering they’re first in the league in passing yards per game. We know the Giants are trash, mostly because Eli is one of the worst quarterbacks I’ve ever seen. Wait, hold on a second, someone’s knocking on my door.

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Hello, this is definitely still Brian and not a hitman hired by the NFL. Eli is still elite and if you criticize him you’re going to burn in hell for all eternity. He only under threw 20 people on Monday, guy’s still got it! Eli is a god and so is Archie and so is Peyton and people forget Cooper was the best athlete out of all of them.

Pick: Giants

Carolina Panthers (-4.5) at Detroit Lions

Things might be getting late early for my guy Matt Patricia. Looking BLEAK in the Motor City. Another blowout loss cometh. Kind of side note but not really- can you ever picture Detroit having a good defense? They’re like the anti-Ravens. Even if the Lions had a good statistical defense (they most certainly do not), I’d still think of them as being shitty. Gonna take a Warriors-type turnaround for me to ever consider taking a Lions’ defense seriously. Not sure how much that matters, but still.

Pick: Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens

I’m gonna give everyone a little peek behind the curtain: I actually write these on Thursday most of the time because I don’t have the time on Friday. As I sit hit on Thursday night, there’s still no line for this game. Flacco’s probably no playing. Lamar Jackson’s probably not playing. RGIII, yes, that RGIII, is the likely starter. The Bengals have the worst defense, like, ever. First team to ever give up 500 yards three straight games. This game STINKS. I’m just gonna assume it’s Ravens -3 and go off that.

Pick: Bengals

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts (-1)

This is such a classic overvaluation of a team that just beat the Patriots it almost makes me sick how easy this is. Titans still stink and they just won their Super Bowl. Remember how the Jags put absolutely everything into beating the Pats in week 2 then lost a million straight? Colts will continue their push to be the least talked about playoff team ever despite having Andrew Luck. I think the media’s trying to keep everyone off the scent that they only say Andrew Luck is good because they all said he was Elway 2.0 coming out of college by just not talking about him at all despite the fact that he’s having one of his best seasons. Or maybe it’s because the rest of the roster stinks.

Pick: Colts

Pittsburgh Steelers (-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars

People forget Big Ben had one of his worst games ever against the Jags last year, but they also forget that he dominated them in the playoffs and would have won if the defense could get literally one stop. Anyway, none of that matters because the Jags have completely quit and are going to lose by a thousand.

Pick: Steelers

Houston Texans (-3) at Washington Redskins

This is a weird matchup. Don’t know if I’ve ever thought of the Texans and Redskins at the same time once in my entire life. It’s completely inexplicable to me that the Redskins have a good record. They’re not good at anything. Not a good offense, not a good defense, good special teams I guess but that’s not enough to win six games. I mean, just try to envision A. Smith and the Skins moving the ball against this Texans defense. It’s impossible. Deshaun will hit a few big passes and that’ll be that.

Pick: Texans

Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers (-7)

I’ve probably said they stink pretty recently, but I declaring myself the last remaining member of the “Broncos aren’t actually that bad” camp. They’ve been really unlucky and their D is still top-notch. I’m stamping this as my “Brian’s Den Official Bold Prediction of the Week Presented by Doritos.” Broncos beat the Chargers, even if it is a wildfire game.

Pick: Broncos

Oakland Raiders at Arizona Car*****s (-5.5)

Just puked all over my laptop and now I need a new one. Thanks, NFL!

Pick: Car*****s

Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints (-9)

This game seems more important than it really is. Eagles are really on the brink and could be one bad loss away from packing it in. I think the Saints might win by 45. Legitimately. Saints are going to absolutely destroy them. Don’t let your kids watch this massacre.

Pick: Saints

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (-3)

Here we go again. Yet another NFC East division game in prime time. Oh, sorry. It’s just a reflex at this point. A Sunday night game that involves ZERO NFC East teams?????????????????? I don’t know how to react. In a weird way, this game is must-win for both teams. Vikings just need wins and the Bears need to beat a good team to kind of prove to themselves they can do it. Honestly, this has Bears written all over it. They have the better offense and the better defense and are playing in Soldier Field. Kind of seems obvious when you say it that way.

Pick: Bears

Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Rams (-3.5)

I’m kind of disappointed this was moved out of Mexico City because I was going to put everything I wrote into Google translate to get it in Spanish. It would have been funny, trust me. Now I’m just left with the fact that I think the Chiefs are going to run the Rams off the field in English. That’s no fun. I legitimately don’t think the Rams can get one stop. Need Aaron Donald to get three strip sacks to have a chance. That’s not that outlandish, but the rest of the defense might as well be practice cones (credit to me for not calling them burnt toast. Go here if you’d like to find a way to help the people of California).

Pick: Chiefs

Monday Thoughts Week 10

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It’s rare that a week of games lives up to expectation. Meets all the hype. Leaves you totally satisfied. This was one of those weeks. On Friday I said this was the worst schedule of games of all time. It was exactly that. A week that would make most fans question why they cared about this sport, this only deepened my love for the NFL because it proved that my finger was firmly on the pulse of the league. Stupid, I know. This is a very, very subpar edition of Monday Thoughts™.

  • Have to start with the absurd cancellation of the game in Nashville today. The weather wasn’t even that bad! Can’t believe they just decided to call the game off. This is the third time the league’s cancelled a Patriots game this year, have to think there’s a larger conspiracy at work.
  • Listen, I’m not being hyperbolic, here. This week was complete ass. There was one (1) compelling game all day, and only three games with a one-score final margin. The most exciting thing that happened all day was when I got my hands on some McDonald’s. So, yeah, forgive if I don’t devote a lot of time to this one.
  • Allow me to be the 100th person to make a Josh McCown-No Nut November joke. I know these witticisms are what you all come for (oh!).
  • Such a weird Bills season. How do they have three wins?
  • Free tip- don’t give yourself the nickname Showman if no one knows who you are
  • Covering the week’s biggest spread just unlocked another letter. Congrats to the Car*****s.
  • I respect Arizona for not even trying to guard Tyreek Hill
  • I should have moved to Kansas City
  • This might not even be one of the ten worst throws of the day
  • Falcons are dead again and Baker Mayfield is good again.
  • Nice defense, fellas!
  • The haters will say brown jerseys with orange pants and brown socks is a tough look. True aficionados know that this bold, avant garde combination takes a level of panache and aplomb to reach its full potential, and Baker has that in spades.
  • I, for one, am thoroughly enjoying this Jags free fall.
  • Leonard Fournette got 53 yards on 24 carries and I’m pretty sure that drastically improved his career YPC.
  • Sick TD, though
  • Thought Eric Ebron would redefine the tight end position when he was drafted, but at least he got a highlight TD!
  • Lions are deader than dead.
  • Your boy Mitchy T loves to shred bad defenses.
  • Every time I think I’m out on him he plays really well against a bad team and makes me forget he kind of sucks.
  • Even in a week where I’m not really trying, you know we had to check in:
  • Mad Max Lion because Detroit is just a post-apocalyptic wasteland? They said it, not me (I also don’t think they understand what the phrase “secure the bag” means).
  • Did Redskins-Bucs actually happen? I don’t think it did.
  • Saints are good.
  • I could post all 100 of the Saints’ touchdowns today, but instead I’ll just post this relevant clip:
  • Many people are saying the Saints are now the best team in the league, and I might be more inclined to agree if their defense was a skosh sturdier. Still, I think they have to be the current favorites to come out of the NFC. I’m thinking there might be a random champion this year, though. Some 9-7 horseshit Super Bowl winner or something.
  • This isn’t even schtick or laziness but I honestly think I blacked out and missed the entirety of Chargers-Raiders and Dolphins-Packers. Just preposterously boring games.
  • Although on closer inspection of the box score it appears that Frank Gore is still pretty decent? How???
  • Seahawks and Rams are destined to always have the one that isn’t good give the one that is good trouble for eternity. I swear the crappy Jeff Fisher Rams were the only teams that could consistently beat the Legion of Boom.
  • Rams honestly should have scored 70. They were doing whatever they wanted the entire game.
  • Floyd legitimately looks like a little boy
  • Aaron Donald already has a career high in sacks
  • Imagine getting hit by Donald and Suh at the same time
  • I’m just guessing but I’m assuming the Rams are undefeated when using these jerseys as throwbacks.
  • Alright, I admit it: Cowboys-Eagles was better than I thought it would be. That’s all you’ll get from me, though.
  • Just an awful pass
  • Time for Foles?
  • I’ve decided I hate Leighton Vander Esch. I hate his name, I hate his neckroll, I hate his farmboy hick backstory, I hate his face and steroid neck
  • Hey, Leighton, I know you think you’re cool, but you’re just an 80s bully with a stupid name, I’m not afraid of you. You went to a school that only had two girls ever enter it, what does it think it is, my room? Let me know when you figure out what 2+2 equals, bro. Loser.
  • Next week will be better by default. Worry not.

NFL Week 10 Picks

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Remember waking up yesterday morning thinking you would get a good game between two of the hottest teams in the league? A back-and-forth slugfest that served as a possible (but very unlikely) Super Bowl preview? Yeah, that didn’t happen. Game sucked. Steelers are officially Back Until The Play the Patriots, which is where this era of Steelers’ football tops out. So, good for them.

I’ll be honest with you guys, this is the worst week of games I can ever remember. Legitimately. Not one good game on paper. Actually, there was one but it ended 52-21. Three of the thirteen games have spreads lower than six, and all three of those game are between equally terrible teams. If you’ve got a life or a significant other (I have neither, sweet!) maybe think about taking your special someone out apple picking or something on Sunday. Because you do NOT want to watch these absolute abominations. Pray for anyone who chooses to watch all of these “games” (me).

Buffalo Bills at New York Jets (-7)

Puke city, but this is where the Jets score 49 points and buy Todd Bowles another season.

Pick: Jets

New England Patriots (-7) at Tennessee Titans

The fact that the Pats and Jets are both favored by the same amount of points is insulting. Pats are going to MURDER the Titans. They might repeat the 59-0 game from 2009. Titans just book a stay at the Blowout Hotel, checkout time is 4:30pm on Sunday.

Pick: Pats

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears (-6.5)

Last week was…less than encouraging for the Lions. It seems like they’re ready to quit big time. A bad start on the road against Mitchell Vick could spell doom for the Lions’ entire season. One problem? The Bears have only allowed five first half touchdowns all season. Could get late early in Detroit.

Pick: Bears

New Orleans Saints (-6) at Cincinnati Bengals

This has Letdown Game written all over it. Saints are flying high, won seven straight, just beat the Rams, going to the ‘Nati to play the Bengals who no one takes seriously without A.J. Green. What could go wrong? Sure seems like nothing. Bengals D isn’t all that good, Bengals O isn’t all that good. Actually, you know what? Even if the Saints do have a letdown, they’ll still beat the Bengals. Picking the Bengals as an underdog is a brutal experience, mostly because you know within two seconds if they’re going to cover or not. I’m not about to hop on that roller coaster willingly.

Pick: Saints

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (-3)

Seven of the sixteen teams in the AFC have a positive scoring differential. Did you know the Colts were one of them? I bet you didn’t. They’ve won two in a row and, by virtue of being in the AFC South, are approaching “Don’t Look Now” territory. I’m obviously the chief anti-Andrew Luck guy, but he dominates the division, historically. Jags are in complete free fall. Lost four straight, everyone hates each other, guys randomly deciding they aren’t playing. Things are bad in northern Florida, right now, and it’s a shame. They’re such a good, likable group of dudes.

Pick: Colts

Atlanta Falcons (-6) at Cleveland Browns

Remember when the Browns were hot and the Falcons were dead? Feels like a lifetime ago. I keep saying it, but the Falcons are kind of back. The offense is slinging the ball around, Julio Jones is scoring TDs, won three in a row. Meanwhile, the Browns have been outscored 134-76 since their last win during the Second Peloponnesian War. That’s 14.5 points per game, for those not keeping track. That’s bad, folks. Not quite as bad as losing a 28-3 lead with 2:12 left in the third quarter of the Super Bowl, but still bad.

Pick: Falcons

Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Bucs (-3)

Yikes, this week STINKS.

Pick: Bucs

Arizona Ca******s at Kansas City Chiefs (-17)

Alright, someone should get fired for scheduling this game. I realize there are rules and it’s all formulaic, but have a heart. These guys have families and people that care about them. They don’t deserve to get publicly humiliated and have the score run up on them. Arizona’s a big retirement spot, how many people will die because of this game? 10? 20? And the NFL can live with that? Shameful.

Pick: Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers (-10) at Oakland Raiders

There’s a play-by-play guy that’s been training his whole life to make the big time. Studies the tape, practices his craft, strengthens his voice and knowledge of the game daily, is the hardest working person in the room at all times. Went to Syracuse or Northwestern or something. Got a fellowship or whatever with the right people and started working right away. Just been grinding for years. And he has to call this game. Think about that.

Pick: Chargers

Miami Dolphins at Green Bay Packers (-10)

What the hell? Guess I’ve got to find something real to do on Sunday afternoon.

Pick: Packers

Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams (-10)

Four double digit favorites this week. Four! And they aren’t even close to being the four worst games of the week. I would like to file an official injunction against the NFL schedule makers for abusing my blind loyalty to this awful, awful league.

Pick: Seahawks

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (-7)

An NFC East divisional game on Sunday night. I mean, I don’t even know what to say anymore. I feel like a principal in an early 2000’s middle school movie who’s just given up and let that one shithead kid and his crazy shenanigans take control of the entire school. Someone just put me out of my misery.

Pick: The sweet release of death

New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers (-3)

I’m officially back to being excited for this week. This is such an absurdly bad end to an absurdly bad week that I bet it’s gonna wind up being the most exciting game of the year. I mean, Nick Mullens is about to light the field on fire with the fastballs he’ll be zinging. Eli Manning will let his offensive line down by turtling at the first sign of pressure, causing Odell Beckham to finally commit the nation’s first justified and unpunished strangulation on the sidelines. Saquon Barkley will retire mid-game like Vontae Davis. Remember him? That was a fun story no one talks about anymore. Maybe it’s because the Bills are so depressing. The NFL season is so short but so long at the same time, which is a crazy paradox. Feels like a thousand years ago that Tyrod Taylor was the Browns starting QB and that people thought they had the best receiving corps in the league. Remember when Tyrod didn’t tell people they were pronouncing his name wrong for 50 years? Like, at that point your name is what everyone says it is, man. Sorry. If you want it pronounced right maybe, like, say something before you’ve been in the league forever. Tyrod saying we’ve been saying his name wrong is the polar opposite of Kesha dropping the $. Complete nomenclatural sabotage. Speaking of Kesha, her version of “This is Me” from the new Greatest Showman album is fire. Absolute heat. Panic! at the Disco’s “Greatest Show,” too. Do people actually like them again or is it just an ironic like because of the re-emergence of “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” as a meme? And how the hell is “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” buried on the third page of Panic! at the Disco’s video tab on Google search? Who the hell’s looking them up because they couldn’t get enough “Death of a Bachelor?” They have a decent “Bohemian Rhapsody” cover, though. Suicide Squad STUNK but it had a pretty solid soundtrack, honestly. Love me a self-serious Twenty One Pilots song. Sorry, Twenty Øne Piløts. I blame Prince (R.I.P.) for every musician and band needlessly inserting accent or weird characters into their names. Like, we get it guys. You’re really artsy and creative and we could never fully understand the complexities of your sound. Anyone with weird characters would always talk about their “sound.” Whatever, man, your second album was your best, anyway. Before you sold out like a coward. Nick Mullens would never sell out. That’s why he’s the GOAT.

Pick: 49ers

Monday Thoughts Week 9

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Huge week of games in the NFL. Divisions possibly decided, number one seeds on the line, legacies at stake, the whole thing. That means only one thing: time for another rote, meaningless edition of Monday Thoughts™. The best of both worlds.

  • This was arguably the best start of Nathan Peterman’s career. Only 3 picks on 49 attempts.
  • What did the Bears think up for the Bills?
  • Pretty strong showing by the AFC East in the Bears’ Twitter feed this year. Dolphins notwithstanding.
  • Bears have played four straight games against the AFC East. Why isn’t this a huge deal? This is such an absurd scheduling oddity. This never happens. I want to know the last time any team played four straight games against teams from the same division, even if they’re also in the division. It’s crazy that this happened. And no one cares.
  • This is just bad luck
  • But I guess it’s more unlucky being born Nathan Peterman.
  • Fitzmagic is dead for this season, but still a pretty electric game all around.
  • Panthers are addicted to running reverses because that’s the only trick play that existed when Norv Turner started his coaching career
  • Curtis Samuel might just be really good
  • Kind of weak this week, Cam.
  • Gregg Williams proved the h8trs wrong when, after being challenged on his “I’ve had 11 job offers,” quote he picked up shifts at Jo-Ann Fabrics and Five Guys during the week.
  • Kareem Hunt might be physically unstoppable.
  • Let’s keep it rolling, KC
  • Crazy that the Browns might wind up competing for the number one pick. They were off to their best start in years!
  • Assuming the Falcons haven’t already been eliminated from playoff contention, I think my big midseason prediction is that the Falcons will make at least the second round.
  • Redskins are so boring. So, so boring.
  • When Julio Jones scores a touchdown and breaks the greatest streak in sports history:
  • This is some Noel Divine speed:
  • Why hasn’t every human in history been named Ito Smith?
  • Just did the math and Sam Darnold and Brock Osweiler put up a combined QB rating of 47.6. This is very bad. This is the only time I’ll mention Jets-Dolphins.
  • I like that the Vikings add trees to their team GIFs
  • It’s a nice aesthetic.
  • When Adam Thielen doesn’t get 100 yards
  • Danielle Hunter is such a freak
  • This game was boring as hell, too. Maybe this week wasn’t really that huge.
  • I have sources on the ground confirming that no love was lost when the Steelers beat the Ravens.
  • I known I’ve gone on record about this before, but I hate huge beard guys. Get a real personality.
  • Eric Weddle shaved, if you didn’t know
  • Nothing like a good quick-kick-
  • James Conner is actually just one of the best backs in the league, now. Huh.
  • Jesse James’s life passed before his eyes when he almost dropped this-
  • Steelers have won four in a row. They still won’t beat the Pats in the playoffs, but they might not be as done as I proclaimed them to be earlier. Oh, well.
  • I don’t like Nick Vannett on the Seahawks. Every time I hear his name I assume it’s going to be Nick Van Exel and I’m disappointed every time.
  • I’ll be honest, I’m stunned the Seahawks lost their “first home game since the owner died” game. Don’t think it’s ever happened before.
  • People forget the Chargers’ owner died, too, though. Might have counteracted it.
  • Good celly, though
  • Might be the second worst interception of Russell Wilson’s career
  • Mike Williams has like, six catches this year and they’re all TDs
  • Wait, I’ve got a good one: When your pizza rolls are done
  • Texans-Broncos sucked.
  • I’m sick of the “In-com-plete” chant in Denver. It’s so dumb. You know Broncos fans think it’s so effective, too. Probably think that’s the sole reason they ever win any games. I mean, read this thread (I’ll never say that again, I promise). People actually think chanting incomplete gets under Tom Brady’s skin. Tom Brady! The most unflappable person in history gets upset when a bunch of dudes in John Elway jerseys yell incomplete. Suuuuuure. You got it, guys.
  • R.I.P. people of Houston, pt. 12948572345
  • The Rams-Saints game was technically the same sport as Jets-Dolphins.
  • Todd Gurley vs. Alvin Kamara was good

point attempt pats

  • Jack in the Box is just giving away food left and right
  • Crazy footwork
  • Cooper Kupp- Gritty. Sneaky athletic. Coach’s son
  • This two point conversion play will be Josh McDaniels’s lasting legacy in the NFL. Everyone’s running it
  • Michael Thomas is still good and back to getting over ten catches a game
  • Shoutout Joe Horn.
  • Also, this forever ruined the name Mike Thomas for me:
  • Also shoutout Mike Sims-Walker. Thought that guy would be in the Hall of Fame by now.
  • Yet another shoutout to the old white referee pants. Look so weird now that we have the modern black pants.
  • I think the last time the Patriots lost at home to an out of conference opponent as a six-point favorite the Delian League was just being formed.
  • Did you know Jimmy Graham played basketball in college?
  • Red Sox won the World Series
  • Love a good mid-range flea flicker
  • Trick plays that are completed but aren’t touchdowns are some of my favorite plays in football. Just kind of funnier than the ones that score.
  • Julian Edelman played QB in college. People forget that.
  • If Edelman goes backwards when the ball is snapped, maybe a double pass is coming? They’ve only run it a thousand times by now. NFL coaches are so stupid.
  • I’ll tell you what, the three headed running back collective of James White, Sony Michel, and Cordarrelle Patterson is going to cause a lot of problems for hapless AFC opponents.
  • I would die for James White. The list of athletes I would die for is reaching critical mass. The active list, for those curious, is now Tom Brady, James White, Danilo Gallinari, Joe Kelly, David Price, Dirk Nowitzki, Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, and maybe Josh Gordon.
  • Speaking of Gordon-
  • Patriots are going to the Super Bowl again. Sorry, everyone.
  • Can’t wait for Titans-Cowboys!!!!

NFL Picks Week 9

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Hope everyone had a good Halloween. I know I did. Just the thought of Nick Mullens taking on the Oakland Raiders in prime time gave me more nightmares than any movie I’ve seen in the last ten years. Raiders are bad, Niners are bad, this game was bad. That’s my take on it. Although, I have to ask: does Nick Mullens make Jimmy G expendable? Makes you think. On to the real games.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-3)

Time to throw out those record books you’ve been keeping, because my sources are saying these two teams don’t like each other. It’s too early for the second Steelers-Ravens game, both in the year and in the day. You can’t have Steelers-Ravens in Baltimore at 1 o’clock. You just can’t, especially when we had Raiders-49ers last night and Titans-Cowboys on Monday night. This is a Ravens win, I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life. They’re coming off back-to-back losses and have looked bad doing so. As we all know, the Ravens are making at least the AFC Championship Game this year. That means they’ve got to win just enough big games to actually make the playoffs. They might win by 14+.

Pick: Ravens

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (-4.5)

Lions just traded Golden Tate and are probably thinking about waving the white flag. Vikings just got crushed at home by the Saints are entering a crucial part of their schedule that could effectively eliminate them from playoff contention if it goes poorly. This one could be blowout city.

Pick: Vikings

Atlanta Falcons at Washington Redskins (-1.5)

I just can’t do it. I can’t convince myself the Falcons are bad and the Redskins are good. It’s impossible for my brain to comprehend. Even if the Falcons blew their only shot at ever winning a Super Bowl by blowing a 25 point second half lead against the Patriots and the Redskins have a legitimately good defense, I can’t accept this reality. I’m sorry.

Pick: Falcons

Tampa Bay Bucs at Carolina Panthers (-6.5)

Fitzmagic round 2, baby! I’m worried we might be on the backside of the roller coaster this time around, but if anything, that’s when things become even more entertaining. I can smell at least one pick six coming, possibly two. Panthers might also just put up 700 yards this game and win by a thousand. Bucs STINK.

Pick: Panthers

Kanas City Chiefs (-9) at Cleveland Browns

Folks, it’s officially Gregg Williams time in Cleveland, and you know what that means. Oh, yeah, that’s right. You know. It’s Gregg Williams time, anything can happen. Yeah. You know what I kind of hate? Spelling Greg with two Gs at the end. Last time I checked, one G sufficed. Why do we need superfluous Gs? Who’s impressed by a Greg who spells it Gregg? I’m not. I don’t see someone with a second G and think he’s twice the man, or anything. Just seems unnecessary. Like Geoff. Just spell it Jeff like everyone else, dude. Tell me you don’t like my firm, tell me you don’t like my idea, tell me you don’t like my fuckin neck tie, but don’t tell me you need a second G at the end of Greg.

Pick: Chiefs

New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (-3)

Like, these teams are the Pats’ main competition in the AFC East. That’s easily the funniest part of the entire dynasty.

Pick: Jets

Chicago Bears (-10) at Buffalo Bills

If, for some reason, the Bills’ collective spirit wasn’t already broken, allowing the Patriots to cover a 14 point spread while the Pats played like dogshit and the Bills played a perfect game/first five plays probably did it. But hey, things are looking up! Nate Peterman’s dusting off his arm and getting ready to sling it around the yard. Nothing inspires the boys quite like the most important player on the field being one of the worst in history at the position. I feel bad for the good people of Orchard Park, but this is what you get when your team spends its entire budget on folding tables and RVs. Don’t come to me with buyer’s remorse when there’s more money put into the Lowe’s account than the offensive line.

Pick: Bears

Los Angeles Chargers at Seattle Seahawks (-1)

It’s impossible to do anything quietly in the NFL, but I feel like it’s under the radar that the Seahawks are….pretty good? They were left for dead after a clunky start, but they’re right back in the thick of the playoff hunt and have the number two defense in the league by DVOA. Russell Wilson has a career high in yards per attempt and passer rating, and isn’t even top three on the team in rushing. If you’ve been following the Seahawks for the last few years, that last stat is probably the best sign of all. Chargers are red hot, too, but I think I’m in on a post-Legion of Boom Seahawks resurgence. Chargers are L.A. soft, Seahawks by a million.

Pick: Seahawks

Houston Texans at Denver Broncos (Pick)

No one’s gone from totally dead to virtual playoff lock faster than the 2018 Houston Texans. That’s what five straight wins does for you when you’re in the AFC South. Broncos, on the other hand, are just dead. They stink. Denver’s always a tough place to play, especially if you’ve never gone there before, but still. Big time Demaryius Thomas revenge game incoming.

Pick: Texans

Los Angeles Rams (-1.5) at New Orleans Saints

I’ve got a gut feeling this is when the Rams pick up their first loss. Everyone is already looking forward to the Mexico City game against the Chiefs in a few weeks, but I like the Saints, here. It’s very rare, but I think this is a matchup of the two best teams in their respective franchises’ history (don’t @ me Marshall Faulk), and it’s the likely NFC Championship Game matchup. Big games in the Superdome just feel different. It’s the lighting, it’s the fans, it’s when the Saints score on their opening drive in four plays, it’s all of it. Might be close, but the Saints win.

Pick: Saints

Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots (-6)

You know what? I’m not scared of Aaron Rodgers. Not even a little bit. You know how not scared I am? This is my best bet of the week. Pats by a thousand. (This is a double reverse jinx attempt, let’s see how it goes!)

Pick: Pats

Tennessee Titans at Dallas Cowboys (-5.5)

There are people who are excited for this game. Someone out there considers attending this insult of a Monday Night game to be the highlight of their entire year. Think about that. Think about that while you’re watching the worst football game ever played.

Pick: Cowboys