NFL Week 11: Yes, Christmas Is Almost Here Edition

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Yeah, I know. I’m right there with you *hears music, faces same*. One and three sucks balls. I’m especially salty because the Pats and Jets were favorites who not only failed to cover, but lost outright. But truth be told – and this may get a little sappy, I know – but the DMs and emails were all encouraging. Pretty much everyone pointed out that Matt Barkley shocked the world with his competency and that were still comfortably ahead as we come upon week eleven. I know the other gambling hacks don’t get that sort of encouragement, and come Thursday you best believe Im thankful. I got the def readers, they got a bunch of dudes, they’re broke cold cryin’ bout the gambling blues!

Seriously though, thanks, kids. I hope your week got better after the Rams laid down and let Seattle skip their way to a backdoor cover. As infuriating as that was, I was already blind with rage because of the fucking Dan Crenshaw apology tour, broadcast directly into my face right after I turned in last weeks column on Saturday night. As you may recall, the war hero and racist Facebook Group Administrator used surrogates to cry his way onto SNL and the WaPo op-ed page, and then used that to get on The Today Show, CNN, and Fox Business to talk about what a swell guy he is, not to mention segments on other vapid daytime shows like the View.

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I’m sure this goes without saying. This is Ruthless after all. We published American Sniper Sniper. We danced on Reagan’s grave. But you NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR A JOKE. Especially not to them. They don’t even want the apology. They’re not even really offended. They just want the capital that comes with holding the Bring It On spirit stick for five seconds in a culture where being offended somehow became an accomplishment. Obviously, Crenshaw’s eye wasn’t the punchline – it was trite porn tropes, technically – but it wouldn’t have mattered even if he was. Dan Crenshaw is a war hero. He’s also an asshole. They’re not mutually exclusive. Awarding disingenuous pouting by allowing an anti-choice charter school oil profiteer puppet NRA posterboy to masquerade as the all-new-new-this-time-we-really-mean -it reasonable face of the Republican party has been done to death. Literally.

Then on Wednesday, my mayor and my governor gave the richest man in the world over $1.7 billion dollars to drop Thunderdome (now featuring a helipad!) in my backyard. That isnt a colloquialism, either; I could throw a rock from my roof and it would land on what is slated to become Amaz*n property. As a homeowner, I am substantially likely to reap a totally undeserved benefit in terms of property value. As a human being who is less than enthused about the world actually becoming a George Miller movie, I am considerably less enthused.

Yes, there will allegedly be jobs. Supposedly 25,000 of them, at the low low cost of $68,000 per job I guess. If this was just a case of everyone in the Queensbridge Houses getting an opportunity to work, that would be one thing. But Jeff Bezos doesn’t exactly have a sterling reputation as a boss, and there has been no definitive statement regarding unionization, or whether these theoretically prospective new hires would be able to collectively bargain. I mean, Ruthless isn’t perfect, and my back hurts from lugging in Goat’s new pile of Christmas movies in from the cold, but at least he lets us use the bathroom.

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I’ll spare you my kvetching about the stress this will put on the subway, because people who don’t live here don’t give a damn about the subway, and hearing about it feeds into their (somewhat understandable) general dislike of New Yorkers. Many of those same people are already mad because I made them Google kvetch. I’m also not delusional enough to make a futile ex post facto argument for dropping this monstrosity in the middle of nowhere, where it really could literally change lives. While imagining the impact that 25,000 theoretical jobs might have in heroin-riddled towns in the plains states or Appalachia, logic does dictate that they need to be near an airport. Then again, logic would dictate that a private heliport in western Queens is a colossally unsafe and stupid idea, but nobody asked me. Or anyone else who actually lives here.

I’m also sick of hearing that this is somehow an Atlantic foray into the tech industry, or an East Coast answer to Silicon Valley. Its a Goddamn warehouse. Most people who have worked in warehouses will tell you its not exactly a tech job. As correctly stated by Bruce McCulloch, warehouses are generally staffed by linear thinking racist pigs who will teach you only one thing: how to steal. Granted, I can’t imagine racists being too eager to shoot their mouths off in front of coworkers who live in the Queensbridge Houses, but the point stands. Thomas Middleditch ain’t walking through that door, folks. My next column may well originate from TryPrimeFreeFor30Days, New York. My fully-greased goombah governor can change his name to Cockatoo Heating Lamp for all I care. Just call a grift a grift for Christs sake.

By the way, I do feel guilty as I harangue you with my relatively minor personal issues as the Camp Fire in California rages on. As of press time there are 76 dead and 1276 unaccounted for. The whole thing, from the air quality issues, to the slave wages paid to the CCC firemen, to the predictably awful federal response is heartbreaking. Pick any charity you want – there are many – and give what you can. We did VCA Animal Hospitals, who are offering free boarding for pets. Matter of fact, anything we hit this week, I’ll give them half if some of you promise to consider doing the same if you can. In that spirit, HEY LOOK FOOTBALL!

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DALLAS v. ATLANTA -3

There are no certainties in this racket, but this may be an opportunity to take advantage of the casuals. The books actually started off giving Dallas 4.5, and thankfully the money keeps coming in on the other side. This line was obviously set with Atlanta’s 28-16 loss to Cleveland fresh in everyone’s mind, and Dallas touchdown win over Philly helped as well.

The thing is, I think both of those games were outliers. To use a mark term, the Browns were due, having been kicked around by the elites (Chargers, Steelers, Chiefs) over the previous month and losing a heart-breaker to the Bucs in overtime. Parallely, Dallas snuck one past an Eagles defense that was playing without Darren Sproles, Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby, Derek Barnett, and seven other starters.

If you toss out last weeks outlier, the Cowboys hadn’t won a game on the road all year, and they only average 16 points outside of Dallas. Atlanta has a winning record in Megatrons Asshole where they average 32. Wait and see if the lay gets better and bet on the rebound around 12:55.

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OAKLAND v. ARIZONA UNDER 41

Those of you with clitorides may not be familiar with the phrase go ugly early but that’s essentially what were doing here. This is an absolute garbage match-up and I certainly wouldn’t recommend watching it, but there’s probably a chance to make some money. Hell, there’s a nonzero chance that this game won’t even be on T.V.

Separate and apart from the fact that these two teams have three wins between them, Oakland also has the distinction of being beat up. Of the 13 names listed on the IR list, the names you’ll recognize are Mike Nugent and Marshawn Lynch. Another seven are questionable, including Jordy Nelson, who has a bone bruise on his knee, and Marcus Gilchrist, who was taken off of the field last week with a rib injury. These are, of course, the marquee players that remain after Jon Gruden traded Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper, both of whom probably thank the God of their choice every night for being lucky enough to get booted off of what is now, as of last weeks Bills win, the demonstrably worst team in football.

The Cardinals are not as bad, and not as injured, but their relatively healthy starters average 13.7 points per game. Even that stat is skewed by their October 7 win against the 49ers, as they haven’t scored more than 18 points in any other game this season. Hence, were just playing the stats here. You might look like a crazy person when your friends and loved ones see you watching this – or listening on the radio, if the NFL blacks this out as a matter of pride – but consider it an investment in incompetence.

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DENVER v. L.A. CHARGERS -7

Yes, the Broncos have burned us on backdoor covers earlier in the season. But I don’t care, because that legendary home field advantage can be counted on to assure another victory for the vaunted L.A. Galaxy. No wait

Look, the Chargers have won six in a row, and now Joey Bosa is back. Ill happily give you some analysis if you want: Royce Freeman only averages 30 yards per game in the month before he got hurt, the Broncos are coming off of a bye, Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler have been piling up rushing yards the past two games and the Broncos rank 22nd in rushing defense. Pick whatever rationale you like, but play the hot, healthier hand here.

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PHILADELPHIA v. NEW ORLEANS -7.5

I’m pretty sure about half of the Saints went to Ohio State. Eli Apple, Marshon Lattimore, Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn Jr., Vonn Bell, and Kurt Coleman are all starters and they all came out of Columbus. So I figure they spent their Saturday like a lot of us did, glued to the overtime thriller between Ohio State and Maryland and utterly baffled by the color commentary of Greg McElroy. I honestly wasn’t aware that McElroy had even washed out of the league, though it may be an injury thing. If Matt Barkley can get a paying gig in November of 2018, someone probably called McElroy at some point, right?

Anyway, the mans color commentary was just bizarre. He was sharply critical of both Dwayne Haskins Jr. and Tyrrell Pigrome and its like, dude, you were a quarterback at Alabama. My dog could do your job. That’s not just (another) cheap Air Bud gag by the way. I’m certain that, if given time, I could train my dog to pick up a football upon a verbal command and hand it to Eddie Lacy. So here’s hoping Puppy Duquesne lands a sweet color gig with ABC in the near future.

As for this game, I’m in the unenviable position of not reusing the hot hand analysis I just used to discuss the Chargers. So can you believe how the… warm feet of the Saints oh fuck it never mind.

Yes, this has become a must-win game for the Eagles, having split their only divisionals and dropped below .500 thus far. The Saints are capable of the same pass-heavy offense that accounts for every loss this year, those being to the Fitzmagic Bucs, Colts, Titans, and Panthers. Drew Brees continues to put up amazing numbers, racking up 509 yards of total offense in last weeks annihilation of the Bengals and thankfully dabbing some of the egg off of my face.

The Oddsshark sim has the Saints winning by 19 and I think even that is being generous in light of the Saints home field 37 PPG average and the injured nature of the Philly defense discussed supra. Play the warm feet and set yourself up for a nice, quiet evening of watching what might be the best game of the year, even if it will no longer be played in a mud pit in front of a crowd of 87,000.

Alright then. Lets hit it big so we can help California and start to plan our Christmas shopping. Youll want to start early since weve all agreed to no longer buy anything from Amaz*n, right? Right? Fine, be that way. Im still going ahead with my boycott. Im sure theyll miss my biannual order of obscure paperbacks and hand sanitizer. Dont laugh, I need it for the subway that will now become unusable. Okay, fine, that’s enough yawping for one week.

Good luck!

About J.J. Duquesne

J.J. is an attorney in New York City. He loves NFL Football...a LOT.