WEEK 5 RECORD:
DAN K: 1-2
DAN K: 6-8
GREEN BAY PACKERS -3 AT MIAMI DOLPHINS
THE PICK: DOLPHINS +3
CAROLINA PANTHERS +7 AT CINCINNATI BENGALS
THE PICK: PANTHERS +7
DALLAS COWBOYS +9 AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
THE PICK: COWBOYS +9
NEW YORK GIANTS +2.5 AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Eli and company are on a three-game winning streak and the Eagles just escaped with a win against the Rams. The Giants defense is seeming to come around and Eli’s got the offense humming, but I’m not buying them just yet. This feels like the sort of game that Chip Kelly can use to break his offense loose and rack up some points while the Giants do one of their patented space out sessions on a few critical third and long plays. It’s not like the Eagles defense is setting the world on fire, but wait, it is. They have been ball hawking and scoring touchdowns (they single-handedly kept them in the Niners game) and Darren Sproles has been pretty choice returning punts. Considering that Eli isn’t the most consistent quarterback we’ve ever seen I could easily seeing him having a three touchdown game to go along with two or three picks. Foles has looked like shit the last few weeks and is due for a good game. Sure, Eli is 6-3 at Lincoln Financial Field, but it’s a division game between a couple of relative welterweights who will be thinking they have a shot at the division after Dallas gets thumped by Seattle. I’m expecting the over (51.5) and an orgy of scoring. Philly’s got more weapons than New York, their defense is geared to rattle a guy like Eli, and they are far superior on special teams so I see them winning the field position battle. Take the Eagles and the over, people.
THE PICK: EAGLES -2.5
DETROIT LIONS -1.5 AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS
When you lose a game because your idiot kicker misses three field goals there’s going to be a fuck-the-world tendency in your next game. Especially when the loss was against less than inspiring Buffalo. So, fresh from a stint in alcohol rehab is Matt Prater to take over the kicking duties and hopefully improve their awful 3-for-12 on field goals. But, Megatron, Bell, and Bush may all be either out or playing with significant injuries leaving Matt Stafford with Golden Tate and Brandon Pettigrew as the only healthy targets he has to throw to. Oh yeah, Detroit is pretty good on defense: 6th against the pass and 3rd against the run, so even with Detroit making noise about not giving Donkey Kong Suh another contract, he’s still playing for a big free agent payday. Minnesota pulled off a nice upset against Atlanta before getting their asses handed to them on Thursday night against the highly overrated Pack, so I’m expecting a bit of a bounce back and if Bridgewater plays then their offense changes dramatically simply because Christian Ponder isn’t on the field lining up under a guard or throwing the ball at his receivers’ feet. Matt Asiata is a straight ahead runner, Adrian Peterson had his bail revoked because he “smoked a little weed” and still has to face child abuse charges and is probably going to be released any week now, and the defense can’t keep being expected to make up for the sloppy play on offense. If Bridgewater is even moderately healthy he changes things drastically for Minnesota. He’s unpredictable, poised, and makes some decent decisions. Minny is at home and there’s the nice angle of two teams looking to bounce back from diametrically opposed bad losses. Defense is going to rule the day, so if you’re thinking totals (43.5) go for the under, but for the side I’ve got Detroit bouncing back with Minny keeping it close. The line feels right, so I like Detroit winning by a field goal down the stretch. Their defense is the difference maker in this one since Minnesota really doesn’t have anyone besides Cordarrelle Patterson who can open things up. It just feels like a defensive game and if we’re going to narrow it down to quarterbacks I’ll take Stafford over Bridgewater (whom I think is going to be good) in a tight one.
THE PICK: LIONS -1.5
RACIST FUCKS +3.5 AT ARIZONA CARDINALS
At first glance this seems like a gimme. The Smallpox Blankets are gruesome. They are mistake prone, don’t protect the ball, and don’t seem resilient enough to bounce back after getting pasted by Seattle. Sure, it was “only” a 10-point win, but the refs took three scores off the board. The Cards should be a huge favorite, but Carson Palmer is probably going to be out for at least another week with a busted up shoulder and his backup Drew Stanton is going through the league’s concussion protocol so if he isn’t cleared Logan Thomas will start and Patrick Peterson is the emergency quarterback. If you’re not paying attention Thomas went 1-8 against Denver and looked terrible. Everything about the Cards’ offense goes through their passing game and their defense is missing Calais Campbell and Matt Shaughnessy has also been shelved. Also, the Cards are 31st against the pass and if Kirk Cousins gets any kind of time he could air it out. The Wagon Burners have won eight straight against Arizona, are too stupid to know that they are terrible, and are in a prime position to pull off an upset. If Palmer or Stanton don’t play take the Racist Fucks. If one of them make the start, I’d lean Cards. Pay attention to the injury report on Sunday before making your bet, but with things looking the way they are now I’ve got Washington. Also, 75 percent of the public is on Arizona, so just file that away knowing that the public isn’t really paying attention to the Cards’ QB situation.
THE PICK: RACIST FUCKS +3.5
GREEN BAY PACKERS -3 AT MIAMI DOLPHINS
First, I’d like to apologize to anyone that actually followed me last week. Yeesh! I have been scuffling pretty hard here… but I feel the tide turning. Ah feels it! 3-0 this week!
Let’s go. This week, the Packers visit sunny Miami, Florida for a tilt with the Dolphins, fresh off a bye. Many people are of the opinion that Green Bay is “back” , after Aaron Rodgers spelled out the word “R-E-L-A-X” in a press conference and they went on to have two blowouts. Rodgers probably should have thought twice before doing that, because half the people of Wisconsin had to pull out a piece of paper and write those letters down to figure out what the hell he was talking about. Ro…lex…? ohhhh Re-laaaaaax hahaha honey, gee whiz are we silly! But are they really back, like, Superb Owl contender back? I’m not so sure.
We know they have the capacity to be a Top 5 offense. Rodgers is just unreal. Jordy Nelson seems to catch everything. Randall Cobb has come around, and Eddie Lacy has looked more Lynch and less Richardson lately. But I’m still not sold on the defense. The Minny game is just a throwaway, that doesn’t even factor in my mind. Short week and Christian Ponder, I mean, fuck, CHRISTIAN PONDER? I bet some Vikings fans thought they woke up from a beautiful 7 month dream when they heard that name again. “oh no. It’s still happeningggggggg *face melts*” by the way, how shitty is it to be Ponder? Like, you’re Christian Ponder. You came into the league and it was kind of a, is-he-bad, isn’t-he-bad thing for a little while? Maybe he’s bad? He’s white and handsome, so how bad could he really be? People questioned his arm strength and he would chuckle to himself and be like “Hah, okay pal. I know how strong this thing is. *flex*. Look at you, with your little chicken arms. Do you need help holding that recorder up, dweeb? Come on Samantha, let’s blow this popsicle stand.” Samantha Ponder (neé Steele) gives the reporter a dismissive look and flicks her hair around as they saunter off. Then the whole world realizes, oh man, you’re REALLY bad at football. You make the most routine 7-step drop look like a paraplegic playing hopscotch. Finally, mercifully, you are benched. They sign Cassel and draft Bridgewater, both who at least can function as a leader of an offense. People are already forgetting about you, and then, OH SHIT! YOU’RE BACK! And you’re like, okay. This is my chance to prove those haters wrong. It’s not Teddy Time, it’s Ponder Time! Huhuh, yeah! Are you Christian Pondering what I’m Christian Pondering?! WOO YEAH! And then you go out there, and absolutely stink up the joint. 2 picks, 22 for 44, 5 YPA, just, wow, ugly. You could see it on his face. “Man. Maybe I do suck, after all…” Rough man. Rough. You know you’re the last option. The “Oh man, THAT guy’s starting?” Guy. From a starting QB to that? Ain’t easy.
Anywho. That was a long… long tangent. Miami! They’re off a bye! Moreno’s back, and Lamar Miller is ripping off 5.7 yards per carry! In fact, the Dolphins are 5th in rushing yards per game, with 142. Conversely, the Packers are yielding the most, 163 per game. OOOH EXPLOITABLE! Not enough for ya? Miami’s 7-1 in their last 8 as a home dog. And, and…. I know I threw this stat out last week in the Jets pick, which proved horribly, wildly wrong, but teams that have outrushed their opponents are 52-23 ATS this season. I think a lot of that number may come from teams that are winning the game simply running the game out more, but I’ll take a rested, frisky Miami team hosting an overly publicly valued Packer team here.
THE PICK: DOLPHINS +3
CHICAGO BEARS +3 AT ATLANTA FALCONS
Matt Ryan deserves to be thought of as two different guys at this point. Road Ryan is Matthew Thomas Ryan (seriously, THREE first names? god you’re so white), who likes Disneyland for the candied apples and missionary sex with the lights off. Home Ryan is Matty Ice, a red-faced motivator of men, and banger of prom queens. The Falcons are simply better at home, as many teams are… but few quite so completely as the Dirty Birds. This team just came off a 4-12 season, and still manages to post a 17-7 record in its last 24 home games. Pretty impressive.
The Falcons currently sport the 3rd best offense in the NFL, and it’s done largely behind the category they’re leading in – Yards Per Play. They’re tops in the league with 6.6, mainly with some guy named Julio Jones, you may have heard of him. He’s again shown how amazing he can be while healthy, making circus catches at absurd speed look easy. They’ve also gotten major contributions from role players like Devin Hester and Antone Smith, who’s taken the rock on 11 rushes for 121 yards, and 6 catches for 156 yards! What! That’s an average of 24 yards per touch. Come on! Why can’t they give this guy some more touches? Mike Smith said he would. Mike Smith is probably the least cool Mike Smith of the three famous ones (Bubbles of Trailer Park Boys and the Arizona (neé Phoenix) Coyotes goalie). So we’ll see how that goes. Steven Jackson seriously looks like he’s in slow motion sometimes. The guy is a friggin’ warrior, but damn. It takes him like 3 strides to get to top speed, where he just trucks people over. That guy’s body has taken so much punishment, it’s insane. But he really shouldn’t be getting the touches he is anymore. Jacquizz has never been more than a pretty good change-of-pace back, and Antone is actually kind of a better version of him. I guess they like him on special teams, so that cuts into his reps. We’ll see. Any way you cut it, this team can get down the field.
While Atlanta looks vastly inferior on the road, Chicago has been just as inconsistent, only spread out between all their games. They can move the ball, we know this. Forte is great, the wideouts are arguably the best duo in the league. Bennett is good. But they just can’t really put it together. The two wins were a bit flukey. SF melted down as did the Jets. The defense can make big plays, Kyle Fuller especially has been huge, but they can’t dependably stop teams. The way they defend the field sometimes is truly terrifying. Chris Conte makes big plays and then gets beaten like a mule. And at the end of the day, it’s Smokin’ Jay Cutler as well. He’s just a gunslinger and he simply has many good days and a few implosion days. Anyway, that’s all I got. I feel like this a high-scoring affair, with the Falcons pulling away at the end.
THE PICK: FALCONS -3
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS +4 AT TENNESSEE TITANS
People say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing but expecting different results. They can go fuck themselves. If I keep opening the refrigerator door, EVENTUALLY I am going to find some new food in there! It’s just science. I would submit that the definition of insanity is picking the Jacksonville Jaguars to cover the spread EVERY WEEK in my pick ’em league, like I did. Okay I lied, I took Indy to cover against them in week 3. But aside from that, every week!! Why?! I’m crazy, I think. They are 0-5 against the spread, by the way, for those not keeping up with the goings-on in the penis state.
But THIS! THIS IS THE WEEK! I can feel it in my bones. First of all: Bet on the team with the coolest names. Blake. Bortles. We’re out of Bortles license plates in the gift shop, I repeat, we are out of Bortles license plates in the gift shop. Excuse me, my quarterback is also named Bortles! Storm Johnson. STORM. JOHNSON. I can’t even. Man, imagine if there was a guy named Storm Bortles? Now that would be the coolest ever. Yeah. But I mean anyway, both these teams are absolutely putrid. The Titans went up 28-3 on Cleveland and still lost. How does that even happen!? They don’t know who’s starting for them? Will it be Jake Locker, who will probably get injured taking the first snap? Will it be Charlie “Clipboard Jesus” Whitehurst, who is the definition of the word “game-manager”? Will it be rookie Zach Mettenberger in his very first NFL start? Who knows?! You know what I do know? IT’S BORTLE TIME. Bortles has made some fuck ups, as you’d expect any rookie QB behind a porous offensive line with no running game to do. But he just looks like a quarterback, damnit! He’s got a great touch and great vision. This team was playing neck-and-neck with Pittsburgh before a late pick-6 sealed it. That’s really more of a statement to the defense, who have been horrible, but Pittsburgh was a top-5 offense before that game. Not too shabby.
I wish I took this while the line was still +6, but I don’t give a fuck. In fact, I’m thinking the Jags win outright. Take the Jags! I’m not crazy, you’re the one who’s crazy! All I wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi, and you wouldn’t give it to me!
THE PICK: JAGUARS +4
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS -3 AT BUFFALO BILLS
CHICAGO BEARS +3 AT CAROLINA PANTHERS
BALTIMORE RAVENS -3 AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS