NFL Wildcard Round Picks

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Welcome to the first part of one of the best two-weekend stretches of the entire year. It may seem like a waste to use it up this early into 2019, but trust me: the NFL playoffs come at a perfect time. Coming off the bizarro-world that is Holiday SZN, the playoffs help ease the transition back into real life. The first two weekends are an extra four days of eating, drinking, watching football, and generally doing nothing, but there’s a full work week in between them. It’s like weening a baby off the bottle. Slowly take away the holiday revelry and sloth and gently nudge everyone back to actual life.

This is Wildcard Weekend, where the fat gets culled a little before the big boys start playing next week. This week features all your favorite Wildcard tropes: the Texans on Saturday afternoon, multiple way-too-obvious candidates for “darkhorse team that makes a run,” a good old fashion rest vs. rust debate, a game being hosted by the NFC East champ that no one really wants to watch, and, of course, teams licking their chops to play against Andy Reid in the next round. Let’s dive right in. All lines from Bovada.

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (-1)

This is the best quarterback matchup of the opening round, which feels like a weird thing to say about a game involving the Texans, but here we are. This is a far more intriguing game than what’s usually thrown at us on Wildcard Saturday afternoon, mostly because these two are so evenly matched. Since they’re division foes, we can draw a lot of conclusions from their two regular-season meetings where… they split the games and both scored exactly 58 cumulative points. The Texans scoring differential on the season was +86. The Colts? +89. The Texans rank 11th overall in DVOA, the Colts 8th (although the Colts were one of two teams to rank in the top 10 in both offense and defense. They were number 10 in both, but it still counts). Both teams are great at stopping the run and soft against the pass. By the numbers, they’re practically the same team. But, as they say, the game isn’t played on paper. The Colts have the advantage in two huge areas: quarterback and head coach. Andrew Luck is a better player than Deshaun Watson, but this isn’t Tom Brady vs. Matt Schaub. Either one is capable of winning a game singlehandedly, but Luck is just more advanced at this stage of his career. Frank Reich was hugely impressive in his first season as head coach. Bill O’Brien might as well be a trained chimpanzee. It’s a total mismatch. And I was about to say that the Texans have more top-end talent, but I actually don’t think that’s true. The Colts have some STUDS on the line and on D. DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt are great, Hall of Fame talents. Deshaun is a beast. But the Colts just have the better team. They’re too hot, too well coached, too deep. I would love to see the Texans win because it’ll mean they have to play the Pats, but I see the Colts coming out on top.

Pick: Colts

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Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys (-2)

The Seahawks should win this game. They have the better quarterback. They have a better coach. They have the better offense and, top to bottom, probably have the better defense. They have better special teams. They have seemingly every advantage. Except one: the game’s in Dallas and the Cowboys were 7-1 at home this year. And rank in the top five in fewest yards per carry allowed and are in the top five in run defense DVOA. The running game sets up everything Seattle does offensively. Yes, Russell Wilson can easily win this game by himself, but it’s hard to win playoff games if you’re one-dimensional (unless you’re the Pats). The Cowboys have shown that, at the very least, they can frustrate good offenses. On the flip side, the Boyz have a very similar offense to the Seahawks, just with kind of wonky personnel. Everything flows through Zeke. Guess which team ranks 30th out of 32 in yards per carry allowed? Seattle (ignore the 29th ranked team). That’s not good. If Dallas slows this game down, makes it a grind, reduces the number of possessions, and avoids turnovers, I like their chances. I know I’m going to hate this halfway through the first, but I’m rolling with the Cowboys. Puke City. If the Seahawks win, look for Jason Garrett to get blamed for playing everyone in a meaningless week 17 game.

Pick: Cowboys

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Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens (-2.5)

God this makes me nervous. This is the classic playoff game that’s so easy to get wrong. The Chargers are the better team. Flat out, they are. They might have the most complete roster in the NFL. They should win. But they’re the Chargers. Going east. For a 1 o’clock playoff game. Against the Ravens, who are perennially one of the most mentally tough teams in the NFL, which is the opposite of any Southern California football team. There’s no point pulling stats out for this game, they don’t matter. All that matters here is grit and balls and having the mental fortitude and experience to recognize this game for what it is. Try to envision the Chargers winning three road playoff games. This is shaping up to be my doomsday scenario, but the Ravens are coming to Foxborough next week.

Pick: Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens

Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears (-6)

There’s a lot of reasons to like the Bears. They’re at home, they have the best defense in the league, they have the likely coach of the year, and they just have the healthier roster. There are a few reasons to like the Eagles. Nick Foles is touched by God and they might have the best defensive line in the league. Seems like the Bears are rightfully six point favorites, right? Well, logic says yes. But when it comes to Andy Reid disciples, young (kind of crappy) QBs in their first playoff games, and Nick Foles, logic need not apply. The Eagles aren’t going to go back-to-back. I’m comfortable saying that. I’m not comfortable saying Nick Foles won’t win another playoff game against a classic first round loser. The Foles experience is all feel. All gut. My gut tells me Big Dick Nick is going to strike again.

Pick: Eagles

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NFL Week 17 Picks

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Here we are, folks. Week 17. Last week of the regular season. I can’t believe it. I don’t want to believe it. That’s why this is a day late. I hoped that maybe, just maybe, if I waited one more day they’d add another four weeks to the season. Alas, they didn’t. Now we’re left with a typically dramatic season finale. Win-and-in scenarios, rivalries, Hail Mary playoff dreams that may actually happen, this week has it all. Well, everything besides a large number of compelling games, that is. Most of these are relatively meaningless, at least in the grand scheme of things. But you can’t pick and chose which games you pick here in the Brian’s Den. You get them all or you get nothing. But, as a wise man once said, when all the games are meaningless, that’s when I’m at my best. On to the games.

Also short PSA: there will be no Monday Thoughts™ this week. It’s being replaced by the Countdown of Countdowns and I’m not about to do multiple things at once. Sry.

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants (-6)

This game is utterly meaningless. Even more so than your typical Cowboys-Giants game. The Boys’ playoff seeding cannot change and the Giants’ draft position can only change significantly if like, ten other teams all lose. There is no point to this game. I don’t know why they’re playing it, and I don’t know why the Giants are favored by six. The Cowboys are playing their starters (at least for a little while). I can’t wrap my mind around this. I think Vegas made a mistake or something. But they never make mistakes. Now I’m thinking they know something I don’t. Now I feel like I’m being mocked. I refuse to be the butt of anyone’s joke! You think I won’t take Giants -6? Ha! Jokes on you, losers.

Pick: Giants

Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (-8)

This game just shouldn’t be played. No one should risk injury just so both teams get to play 16 games. What can be gained from this? Aaron Rodgers could set a career high in passing yards, which is something, I guess. I suppose there’s a chance Matt Stafford has his Matt Flynn game to stave off his first ever 16 game sub-4,000 yard season. Other than that I don’t really know what we’re doing here.

Pick: Packers

New York Jets at New England Patriots (-13.5)

I’m glad this is the Jets, not the Dolphins. Pats need this win to secure a vital bye (and a very outside shot at the 1 seed). I know the Jets would love nothing more than to spoil the party, but they’re still the Jets. The still stink. They could still get the number one overall pick. They’ll roll over. If they know what’s good for them, at least.

Pick: Pats

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-7.5)

Oh, Panthers. What might have been? Nothing at stake here besides stats, and I really hope Christian McCaffery gets fewer than 155 receiving yards. I’m sure most people are rooting for the third ever 1,000-1,000 season, but I’m rooting for the fifth-ever 100-plus catch, sub-1,000 yard season. I just think that’s a lot funnier. Teddy Bridgewater is starting for the Saints, which means the streak is over: for the first time since he arrived in New Orleans in 2006, Drew Brees won’t throw for 4,000 yards. He’ll finish with 3,992, which would make me absolutely livid.

Pick: Saints

Atlanta Falcons (-1) at Tampa Bay Bucs

Do we really need to do this one? Maybe just add a running clock or something. Let’s get the fellas on vacation, already.

Pick: Falcons

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-7)

The first legitimately interesting game, but it’s only interesting because of the possible result. The game itself is going to STINK. Texans can finish as the 2, 3, or 6 seed depending on how things shake out, and them getting a wild card spot would be very funny considering they won nine straight and were a virtual lock for the division. Listen, I know Deshaun Watson isn’t Matt Schaub, but teams can only run away from their DNA for so long. Do you trust the Texans in a must-win game that’s happening after Christmas? I don’t.

Pick: Jags

Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (-5)

I’m really not sure what anyone is going to get out of this game.

Pick: Bills

Arizona C*******s at Seattle Seahawks (-13.5)

Seahawks could theoretically fall to the 6 seed if they lose and the Vikings win, but let’s be honest- neither of those things is going to happen. Seattle already got its weird late-season loss out of the way a few weeks ago.

Pick: Seahawks

Los Angeles Chargers (-6.5) at Denver Broncos

A win combined with a Chiefs loss gives the Chargers the 1 seed, while a loss secures the 5. Pretty simple. I hope the Chargers get it because going to the StubHub Center isn’t quite as intimidating as going to Arrowhead. Although I suppose it’s time to ask if I really want another Pats Super Bowl run…

Pick: Chargers

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-4.5)

I don’t understand this line whatsoever. The Bears are good and the Vikings stink. Bears still have something to play for, too. This isn’t gonna be Kirk Cousins lighting up the second and third stringers. This is the best D in the league against Cousins in a must-win game. And the Vikings are favored more than the standard home-field advantage? Excuse me?

Pick: Bears

San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams (-10)

All the Rams have to do is not blow it and I don’t know if I trust them enough to say they won’t.

Pick: 49ers

Philadelphia Eagles (-7) at Washington Redskins

I’m all in on another Nick Foles Super Bowl. I think it’s just because of the complete chaos it would create. Like, if the Pats can’t win (they won’t), then I want the Eagles to repeat for the pure absurdity of it. Nick Foles was a second away from being out of the league! He stunk! And now he’s the perfect QB. What a world.

Pick: Eagles

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (-14.5)

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (-5.5)

Gonna combine these two because I feel like I can’t talk about one without the other. Ravens win the division with a win, Steelers win the division with a win and a Ravens loss. This is seemingly the easiest “win-and-get-help” scenario in recent memory because I actually think the Browns are going to win. The problem is in the other game. Mark it down, lock it up- the Bengals are beating the Steelers, thus completing one of the most disappointing seasons of the 21st century in professional sports. There are people who said this was finally the year for the Steelers. I laugh in their faces.

Picks: Bengals, Browns

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (-14)

You know what, why not?

Pick: Raiders

Indianapolis Colts (-3.5) at Tennessee Titans

The big one. This is for all the marbles. It’s Luck vs. Gabbert on Sunday Night Football! Marcus Mariota might play. I don’t think it really matters. Colts are better at pretty much everything. Titans are the NFL’s ultimate cockroach, but barring a Derrick Henry explosion, they’ll finally die this week. Expect a lot of “well why can’t Andrew Luck win MVP?” debates on Monday morning.

Pick: Colts

Monday Thoughts Week 16

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Folks, I have a confession to make on this Christmas Eve: I didn’t really get to watch any of the games. Sorry. I’m most disappointed in myself, really. I was traveling back to Mother Vermont for Christmas and was shocked to discover that my Amtrak train’s WiFi was actually the worst thing of all time. Believe me, it caught me off guard. As such, I don’t really have a lot of Monday Thoughts™. I’m not in the business of coming up with takes after-the-fact once I look at the boxscore and highlights. The Monday Thoughts™ you’ve come to know and love are baked fresh during the games. I’d feel disingenuous putting out a full version in this state. I won’t abandon you completely, however. Here is a very, very truncated edition of Monday Thoughts™.

  • I’m back in on the Pats. Got the bye back, could theoretically get the 1 seed, the rest of the AFC looks like trash. Who wants to play the Pats in the playoffs? Nobody. The Pats are everyone’s boogeyman, and they don’t die until they’re 1,000,000% dead. Super Bowl back on.
  • Christian McCaffrey is having the year I was hoping Alvin Kamara was going to have at the beginning of the year. Over 1,000 yards rushing and up to 106 catches, a new record for a running back. Barring a huge game he’s also going to join one of my favorite clubs- guys with over 100 receptions and less than 1,000 receiving yards. Surprisingly, he’ll be the first white member.
  • I admit that I didn’t really have a full grasp of the playoff picture when I wrote my picks this week. I said there probably wasn’t a way both the Colts and Ravens made the playoffs, but not only is it entirely possible, they might both go in as division winners.
  • Can’t wrap my mind around the fact that the Titans not only could make the playoffs, but could win the division. How did we allow this?
  • I thinking I’m starting to like Sam Darnold.
  • Don’t know why the Jags would consider winning another game.
  • Nick Foles is real, man. Like, I have no idea what the Eagles do if they make the playoffs. Or if they make another run? They have to keep him. It’s a complete absurdity that the team is better with Foles than Carson Wentz (who I think everyone would agree is the better individual player), but they are. It’s just the magic of having a huge penis, I guess.
  • Texans are officially dead as a title contender.
  • I don’t want the Vikings in the playoffs and nothing you say will change my mind.
  • Got to check in regardless of the cicustances
  • Looks like a Scooby-Doo villain.
  • I know everyone’s wondering and I went 0-2 in my fantasy finals. All I’m going to say is that the Rams as an organization are totally dead to me forever.
  • Steelers…ummm, yikes.
  • I can’t decide if it’d be funnier if the Steelers made the playoffs and lost to the Pats again or if they missed the playoffs. I think missed.
  • Like, you call this with the game on the line?
  • AB and JuJu became the fifth 100 catch duo in league history, at least.
  • Michael Thomas has a chance to put up one of the five highest single season reception totals this year and it feels like no one’s talking about it.
  • I love dropkicks
  • Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson are the Spider-Man pointing meme
  • Only a few more chances to capitalize on this deal
  • Chiefs are now 0-4 in their four biggest games. Not saying, but just saying.
  • If the Raiders somehow win in KC and the Chargers blow it against the Broncos, guess who’s back on top in the AFC? I’ll give you one guess…

That’s all you get today. It’s Christmas Eve and I don’t want to do any work. At least we’ve got Raiders-Broncos tonight. A true early Christmas gift if I’ve ever seen one.

NFL Week 16 Picks

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Dear Santa,

It’s me, Brian. You know, your favorite blogger and NFL expert. I know it’s been a while since I’ve written to you, but I know you’ve been keeping tabs on me. You see me when I’m sleeping and know when I’m awake, right? Anyway, I’m sure you can guess why I’m writing you. I’ve got a list of stuff I want. Nothing major. Nothing too crazy. Nothing that’s gonna make the elves have to work overtime, or anything. How did the elves get licensing rights for everything, by the way? I find it hard to believe Apple and Disney and Microsoft are cool with independent third parties manufacturing their goods. Are you independent? But I guess that’s not what’s really important, here.

The first wish I have is that the Washington Redskins disappear from my life forever. If you give me Titans -10 that should go a long way to achieving that.

I want the Ravens +4.5 (vs. Chargers) to keep winning because I enjoy their wacky, 1920s gameplan (I’m 75% sure the Chargers win, though). But more than that, I would like some existential clarity. The Ravens have been my least favorite team for nigh a decade; their team populated with such despicable characters and legitimately awful people that it was easy to hate them when they beat the Pats. If you could just make Terrell Suggs go away I could easily turn the page on this hatred. After all, purple is my favorite color.

I also kind of like the Colts -9 against the Giants, so I wish there was a miracle way the Colts and Ravens could both make the playoffs. I know there isn’t, so I’d be fine if it was just the Ravens. I’d rather the Pats lose to Baltimore. I know it’s the Christmas season, and all, but I can’t have the QB I’ve bashed more than anyone be the guy to put the nail in the 2018 Patriots.

I want everyone who considers Aaron Rodgers the GOAT to feel stupid. And I want Jets +3 because it’s funny when they screw themselves out of good draft picks.

I want this Pats season to be over ASAP so I don’t have to sit through a million heart-attack inducing playoff games for the thousandth straight year. I know they won’t lose to the Bills, but maybe don’t cover the 13.5 and give me hope in this rudderless, now Josh Gordon-less team? Ah, who am I kidding? I haven’t picked against them in this websites history, why start now? I’ll take Pats -13.5.

I want the Vikings to die. Please give me Lions +6.

I want this impending Cowboys collapse to happen because it’d be the funniest thing to happen in the NFL in years. Bucs +7.

I really want the Pats to get a bye week. That’s really it. Just don’t be eliminated in the first weekend. For that to happen, I would need the Eagles -1.5 to beat the Texans.

I kind of want Michael Bolton Greatest Hits 1985-1995. Need some more sultriness in my life.

I want a time machine so I can go back to the night the Falcons -3 blew a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl. Never felt such legitimate joy. I also want Christian McCaffrey to get six more catches so he becomes the third running back with 100 catches in a season and completes the first ever father-son 100 catches in a season duo.

I want the Browns -9 to keep winning because why not? Bengals might currently be the second worst team in the league, anyway.

I want JagsDolphins -4 to be over.

I want to borrow your all-knowing insight to find out why the Bears -4.5 are favored by so low a number against an awful 49ers team. Picking the Bears is making me feel like a sucker and I know that’s not what Christmas is all about.

To boost my Nice stats, I will temporarily lift the ban and proclaim that the Cardinals +14.5 will cover. In return, I want to be Aaron Donald for a day.

I’d really love it if you gave me a miracle spray or something that prevented dust from forming. I’m too lazy to clean 99.9999% of the time but I don’t like looking at it.

I’d also like a new waffle iron.

I want the Saints -6 to show some signs of life because the NFL is more fun when Drew Brees is slinging the ball around and putting up 35 a game. I don’t need any more of these 12-9 games out of them. I’m not totally confident in this pick, though, because there’s a small part of me that sees the Steelers hanging 40 plus.

I want the Seahawks +3 to win at home against the Chiefs, because seeing everyone who proclaimed Kansas City the team to beat scrambling to deal with the fact that they would be the 5 seed would be funny to me.

I want a better Christmas Eve game than BroncosRaiders +3.

More than anything, Santa, I just want to be right. That’s really all it comes down to. I just want my NFL takes to be correct. I’d fine with with getting a bunch of coal if I was always right about the NFL. Not that I’m not already, but you know what I mean.

Anyway, I hope Mrs. Claus is doing well. Don’t forget to care for the reindeer and give the elves breaks and time off. Wouldn’t want the Department of Labor to “randomly” investigate the workshop if I don’t get what I’m asking for.

Merry Christmas,

Brian

Monday Thoughts Week 15

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This week stunk. The NFL is stupid. No, I’m not bitter the Pats lost to the Steelers for the first time since Napoleon invaded Russia. I’m bitter that the Pats STINK and I have to live life like all you peasants that have to watch awful football week after week after week. It’s almost Christmas and I have to deal with this. Life sucks. At least there’s two fewer games for Monday Thoughts™ since I’m very lazy only concerned with Sunday games.

  • Some time in the last month the Bucs became the most boring team in the league and I don’t like it.
  • Mike Evans is still good, though
  • Once T-Sizzle retires I can really start enjoying this Lamar Jackson-Gus Edward centric offense
  • Ravens are tightening their grip on the final Wild Card spot and are close to being The Team No One Wants To Play in the AFC. I know the Pats don’t want to play them. Really wouldn’t mind if the Dolphins just won the division.
  • Good lord the C*******s are depressing. To lose by a million to the 2018 Atlanta Falcons? No bueno.
  • Few things more demoralizing than throwing a pick on a throw to the flat
  • Julio Jones is one of the ten best receivers of all time and this is the first time he’s been definitively the best receiver in the league. Weird.
  • Nice defense, fellas!
  • Glad the early season Cowboys are back. They were starting to get too fun to watch.
  • Colts D is legit good now, which is always an odd thing. Darius Leonard is a beast.
  • This was the worst camera work this man has ever seen
  • Dolphins with the classic Super Bowl hangover.
  • Screen pass pick 6s are always funny
  • Who the hell is Kalen Ballage?
  • I’m ready to admit Dalvin Cook is faster than I am
  • Don’t care what old haterz might say, I’m a fan of throwing up the peace sign when you know you’ve got a TD. Let ’em know they can’t touch you, king!
  • Bills have won 3 of 5 and I don’t really know what they’re thinking.
  • All things considered, the Lions might be the most irrelevant team in the league this year. Bad but not the worst and no memorable or funny moments. Only four more years of Stafford, though.
  • When did Robert Foster become Randy Moss?
  • Hell yes
  • Perhaps the most shocking result of all on Sunday: Bears beat the Packers in Chicago with the Packers’ season on the line.
  • Khalil Mack with the ol’ Ass Sack
  • Rodgers threw a pick, guy’s done
  • Haven’t seen the cheese monster since week 1
  • I don’t even want the Pats to make the Super Bowl because I know they’ll lose again and I don’t need that in my life, so I want it to be Bears-Chargers/Chiefs. Think that’d be the most fun.
  • We don’t really need to talk Raiders-Bengals, do we? Okay good.
  • Derek Carr hasn’t thrown a pick in forever though, which doesn’t feel right.
  • I flat out refuse to discuss Redskins-Jags or Titans-Giants.
  • Derrick Henry is absolutely superhuman
  • I hate going into my fantasy teams because I know no one cares and it’s so dumb to complain about something neither my opponent nor I have literally any control over, but these last couple weeks have really irked me. I’m in three leagues (yes, I’m that guy), and in every single one I was either the top seed, the highest scoring team in the league, or both. It was as dominant a fantasy season as I’ve ever had. Unless Christian McCaffrey has, like, 40 points tonight I’ll have one team alive. Three great teams and only one with a chance for hardware. All because the bum-ass Cowboys can’t get Amari Cooper the ball and bum-ass Austin Hooper is the worst tight end in the league and bum-ass Todd Gurley STINKS when anything is on the line and bum-ass my lord and savior Tom Brady refuses to get the ball to Josh Gordon and my bum ass picked up Damien Williams then didn’t play him and every single player I have had their worst game of the season when I needed them most. I hate fantasy and don’t know why I still play.
  • Seahawks will always inexplicably lose at least one division game every year. That’s a Pete Carroll guarantee.
  • Seahawks have a habit of playing “exciting” games that go down to the wire where nothing actually happens. This was one such game. Nothing happened. Niners jerseys were looking particularly good, though.
  • Yeah, Pats lost, whatever. Their D is finally looking decent, though.
  • Can’t lose to the Steelers. Just can’t.
  • I think it’s safe to say that the Rams are officially the Team Everyone Wants to Play. My god, are they soft (don’t tell Aaron Donald I said that).
  • Like, Jared, what are you doing, man?
  • Rams are totally done. Completely. If anyone still takes them seriously as a title contender I’d like to meet them so I can tell them how stupid they are.
  • Eagles….still alive? Nick Foles, man. He’s just got that feel for the game. Forget that he’s only had two seasons with a QB rating of over 82 and one of those he only threw 55 passes. Just has that feel for the game.
  • The Eagles are doing the impossible and making me care about the NFC East somewhat. A possible Cowboys collapse is too tantalizing to ignore.

That’s it. Only one week until Christmas. Will I repeat last year’s inspired The Picks Before Christmas? Time will tell. I just want this season to be over, at this point TBH.

NFL Week 15 Picks

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Folks, we have a problem on our hands: the Thursday Night games have been too good this year. Thursday Night games are supposed to be terrible matchups between terrible teams that get everyone questioning why they like this sport. It’s not meant to be exciting. It’s not meant to have real playoff ramifications. Some of these Thursday Games have spat in the face of Color Rush’s legacy, and frankly, I’m sick of it. Give me Titans-Jags 6-3. Give me Bills-Jets where color blind people can’t tell which team is which. Thrilling Chargers comeback against the number one seed Chiefs that has put the AFC West in doubt for the first time all season? You can leave that at the door. I don’t want it. I do want these games, though.

Houston Texans (-7) at New York Jets

I can understand why the NFL wanted to put this game on Saturday at 4:30 before everyone realizes we’re into “Saturday NFL SZN.”

Pick: Texans

Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos (-3)

Browns making a nearly impossible playoff run would be the most fun thing to happen all season. That means they’ll lose this game by 100 and eliminate themselves.

Pick: Broncos

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (-6)

Aaron Rodgers typically prolongs his death as long as possible. Aaron Rodgers typically destroys the Bears in Chicago. If I know anything about the NFL I know this- Packers will win this game and every result will go their way to keep them alive.

Pick: Packers

Dallas Cowboys at Indianapolis Colts (-3)

This line is really odd to me. Vegas is saying that the Cowboys and Colts are totally even with the built-in homefield advantage. I disagree with this. I think the Cowboys are superior and could win by multiple scores. Or they won’t. You never know.

Pick: Cowboys

Miami Dolphins at Minnesota Vikings (-7.5)

Two teams that absolutely refuse to die no matter how bad they are. The Cockroach Bowl, if you will. I’m going Dolphins because I refuse to believe 2018 Kirk Cousins is beating any team by more than 7 points.

Pick: Dolphins

Tampa Bay Bucs at Baltimore Ravens (-7.5)

The Bucs have the 30th ranked rush defense in DVOA. That does not bode well for our friends in Tampa. At least the strip club-steakhouse combos are still open during the holidays.

Pick: Ravens

Arizona C*******s at Atlanta Falcons (-9.5)

People forget the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead with 2:12 left in the third quarter of the Super Bowl.

Pick: C*******s

Oakland Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals (-3)

The struggle continues for my Christmas list. We’re getting down into the thick of things and I’ve got nothing. Everything I want I just buy myself. Instant gratification has ruined Christmas for me as an adult. Why would I wait for someone to maybe buy me something I want when I can just buy it myself the second I want it? Why is it so hard to come up with something I want? I know there’s got to be something. Smh. Pray for me in these trying times.

Pick: Raiders

Washington Redskins at Jacksonville Jaguars (-7.5)

You kept the receipt for this gift, right?

Pick: Redskins

Detroit Lions at Buffalo Bills (-2)

Alright, this week sucks.

Pick: Lions

Tennessee Titans at New York Giants (-1)

What’s worse: this slate of games or the “Is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?” crowd?

Pick: Giants

Seattle Seahawks (-4) at San Francisco 49ers

Yet another gross game. Could finish 43-11 or something wacky. Seahawks big, though.

Pick: Seahawks

New England Patriots (-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers

It’s hard to describe to people who aren’t Patriots fans (or any other team that has a “rival” they haven’t lost too since before the first multicellular organism evolved) what the games against the Steelers are like. The Steelers are always, always, the talented team no one wants to play. Always the trendy pick. Always the team everyone wants to dethrone the Pats. But me they’re nothing. A fly that lands on my skin for a millisecond. I move my arm and it’s gone. That’s how little effort it takes to beat the Steelers. They are a complete non-factor. They’re losers and will always be losers. I have a better chance of winning the lottery, going on a date with Emma Watson, and actually advancing my career all in the same day than the Steelers have of winning any game that involves the Patriots until the planet we live on becomes a cold, decrepit husk floating aimlessly through space.

Pick: Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams (-12)

Carson Wentz has a fractured vertebra and the team DIDN’T TELL HIM RIGHT AWAY AND ARE CONSIDERING PLAYING HIM THIS WEEK. The locker room is on the verge of rioting. If this line was Rams -293475 I’d think it was way too low.

Pick: Rams.

New Orleans Saints (-6.5) at Carolina Panthers

Saints obviously, but if I have to sit through another “Drew Brees only has 178 yards midway through the fourth” game I’m out on the Saints.

Pick: Saints

Tuesday Thoughts Week 14

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Awesome week of games. That’s said sarcastically almost 90% of the time, but this week it’s genuine. Some crazy finishes, some randomly exciting games, countless God Friended Me promos, it had it all. And I barely paid attention because my life is now consumed by Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. I will not apologize. I know you’re wondering and Lucina is my main. If I were someone who didn’t care what others thought of me I would confess that Ike is actually my main, but I fear Internet judgement like a medieval peasant fears the wrath of God (think this is the first paragraph in briansden69.com history that included two capital G “Gods”). If you feel like getting decimated (jk I stink) my friend code is SW-6579-4695-6190Add me if you dare (I swear this isn’t a shameless plea for more friends. I have tons of friends. I have so many friends, in fact, that I never know which ones to hang out with so I just spend most of my time alone). Anyway, what were we talking about? NFL games? Right. As you can tell, life got in the way so it’s a day late. This is the first ever Tuesday Thoughts™.

  • Yeah, the Pats lost on a crazy play when All Pro safety Rob Gronkowski couldn’t make the game-saving tackle. Whatever. Don’t let that distract you from the biggest development from this game: Gronk is back
  • Pats are still going to the Super Bowl don’t @ me.
  • I’m glad the Texans lost. Can’t have a Bill O’Brien coached team win 10 straight.
  • T.Y. Hilton with his biannual massive game
  • Eric Ebron is just Prime Antonio Gates now. This is our new reality
  • This game was boring as shit. I’m sick of the AFC South.
  • At this point I feel bad for Houston. They’ve been through enough lately without having to deal with this:
  • In declaring that Joe Philbin wouldn’t rally the troops, I failed to take the Falcons’ overwhelming badness into account. That’s on me.
  • This Rodgers stat actually caught me off guard. Felt like he’s thrown a ton of picks this year. Guess not.
  • I don’t know why but this picture is killing me
  • It’s like if you took three guys from the 1700s and told them to pose for a photo.
  • Just preposterous
  • Next time someone questions the importance of having someone Belichick or McVay or Harbaugh show them the first 83 seconds of this game.
  • Thanks for showing up, Redskins. Good lord.
  • For one brief moment in time, the Sanchize was Back
  • Nice D, fellas!
  • Glad the Redskins are officially dead finished. Now if we could just get the Giants up outta here…
  • Was Jets-Bills kind of electric or was it just me?
  • You can’t tell me Josh Allen isn’t exciting
  • Hell yes
  • Until ten seconds ago I thought the Bills won. They did not.
  • Panthers STINK. Can’t believe they were ever good.
  • Every Baker completion was an unreal highlight
  • How about Breshad Perriman? Catching passes. In an NFL game, no less.
  • Campfire celly gets a B+.
  • Love a good underneath reverse handoff. Apparently the Browns do, too
  • Christian McCaffrey can keep dominating all he likes, it won’t change the fact that he had an 80 yard run he didn’t score on and submarined the White Skill Guy cause.
  • I’m obsessed with this new Ravens offense. Every single play is a run and no one can really stop it.
  • Shoutout Cyrus Jones for fumbling every time he touched the ball in New England
  • If I’m the Ravens, I’m not sure how I’d feel about losing to a superior team on the road in overtime. Ravens dominated the game and had them right where they wanted them. But not much you can do when this happens
  • It’d be awesome to be Pat Mahomes for a day. Just a day. I’d throw a football through so many solid objects.
  • Justin Houston: still good
  • Chiefs defense is trash for the most part, but do people realize how good Chris “Oops, my huge dick fell out at the combine hope no one sees” Jones is? Guy’s a beast.
  • This pretty much clinched the number one seed for the Chiefs. Oh, well. I’m still betting the AFC Championship is played somewhere other than Kansas City (hint: it’ll be in New England).
  • Saints, like, what the hell are you doing? You forget how to play offense or something?
  • I’m confident this is the worst thing that’s ever happened to 26
  • This game stunk. Jameis finally threw a pick again but it wasn’t even funny. Get the Bucs out of my face.
  • Bengals-Chargers, I mean, did it even happen?
  • Why are all of John Ross’s touchdowns from less than 10 yards out? Where are the bombs?
  • Chargers win 10 games for the first time in a while. This is the ultimate post-hype season (shoutout to everyone old enough to remember when the Chargers were the preseason Super Bowl pick 25 years in a row).
  • George Kittle is good
  • Broncos laid an absolute egg and are dead. Game sucked.
  • The only thing that really caught my attention was play-by-play guy Andrew Catalon being forced to read a promo for God Friended Me, which has to be the second worst show in CBS history after Young Sheldon. There’s just something funny to me about the super serious commentators having to hype up absolutely terrible shows. Like you worked your whole life for this opportunity, the only catch is you have to remind the audience to watch Rules of Engangement in the third quarter.
  • Alright, I admit it- Eagles-Cowboys was an entertaining game.
  • I didn’t know Dak was allowed to get 455 yards passing in one game.
  • Am I crazy or should Amari Cooper finish in the top 10 in MVP voting?
  • Guess the Raiders really really stink, huh?
  • But if the Raiders really really stink, what does that say about the Steelers?
  • If your name is Antonio Brown, please don’t watch this:
  • Big story of this game was Big Ben leaving the game at halftime for…..reasons, being healthy enough to play, then not being put in until late in the fourth, and leading a dramatic touchdown drive. Surely that lead to a Steelers win, no?
  • No.
  • Steelers are in some real trouble. Rough, rough ending schedule and the Ravens are right on their heels. Could the Steelers miss the playoffs? Say it ain’t so!
  • I will not be discussing Lions-C*******s.
  • Sunday night game STUNK, but it proved me right that the Rams are Hollywood soft.
  • Man, Mitch throws some AWFUL passes sometimes
  • You know we’ve gotta check with the graphics department
  • Fitting. Nothing makes me think Corporate America like the the glitzy, high-flying, high-octane team from Los Angeles.
  • Special bonus for everyone: since this is going up on Tuesday, we get to discuss the Monday night game, too!
  • Thus ends the discussion of the Monday night game.

What a week. I’ve got a feeling it’s only going to get better from here. Isn’t the NFL great (sometimes)?