NFL Week 4: The Idiot In Chief Strikes Again Edition

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Umm. Yay? I guess? Maybe? It seems our long national nightmare will continue unabated for the foreseeable future, but there appears to be a chance, perhaps slimmer than one would assume, that the pigheaded imbecile currently running this country might have to face some repercussions for his actions, seemingly for the first time in his professional life. Mind you, there is a distinction. Lots of people seem to run with the narrative that the president has never been punished for anything, that he has skated through his entire life without consequence, but I’m here to tell you that those people are wrong. Karma caught up with his personal life years ago, and punched him in the dick harder than Keith Hackney, metaphorically speaking.

By the way, if you don’t follow MMA, the guy getting whaled on in that clip is Joe Son, who played Random Task in an Austin Powers movie but is otherwise among the most vile and loathsome people alive, far worse than Trump, who deserved that pain 1000 times over and will die in the prison in which he currently rots. The More You Know or whatever, just making sure you save your pity for someone who deserves it.

As I was saying, the recompense was metered out to Trump’s personal life long ago. If, like me, you are occasionally driven mad by all of the mugging and lying and all-around dickishness he constantly presents with, you can take some comfort in the fact that he is hollow save for a cancerous soul and a heart two sizes too small. His marriage is loveless. His kids resent him. He does not laugh. He has no friends. He hates dogs. Hates dogs! Who the fuck hates dogs? [EDITOR: Burglars and Drug Dealers]

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Other than cats I suppose, but to my knowledge only three cats regularly read this NFL football gambling column. They’re always writing in and insisting that the Bengals are going to win nine consecutive Super Bowls, but their arguments are weak and mewling. On account of being cats and all.

Though his personal life has suffered as a result of own doing, specifically the chasing of artifice and all that is valuable only because someone else says it is, his professional comeuppance has never arrived. It now appears that maybe, somehow, if the wind blows just right and the moon is in the fifth house on a day that ends with “y” this could change. The toddler may be forced to stand in a corner and think about what he’s done, though senate democrats have already agreed to take washing his mouth out with soap off of the table.

Just don’t get to excited is all. Pelosi had to be dragged kicking and screaming to get to a point where she was willing to write a letter announcing an intent to cooperate with a committee that will gather facts for a strategy session to commence an investigation to blah blah blah. She is still terrified of alienating the third of the population that wouldn’t vote for a democrat if their lives literally depended on it and wouldn’t abandon Trump if he fucked their spouse in front of them, instead complementing his chiseled physique and offering to make a run to KFC in case he worked up an appetite. On account of all the spouse-fucking.

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Also bear in mind the issue at hand. It is of course an objective abuse of power to solicit a foreign government to investigate an American citizen, political rival or otherwise. But certain segments of the general public are, as my friend Edward’s mother used to say, stump dumb. And even though I would personally rank this whole Ukraine thing at about 17th on the list of impeachable acts behind the concentration camps, ICE raids, Puerto Rico, Yemen, Muslim ban, emoluments clause violations, security breaches and soforth, Pelosi gonna Pelosi so she has apparently mandated that this whole thing is going to be an isolated, one-shot Hail Mary focused solely on the Ukraine thing. Fascism apologists like this dickhead are already constructing imaginary hurdles and tossing around the phrase quid pro quo like it’s 100 A.D. I’m sure Virgil and Tacitus are rolling in their graves. Hopefully Ovid fucks his spouse and send him out for KA EF CE.

Psst! We have to root for the less evil guys here but it is worth noting that a Ukranian gas company really did pay Hunter Biden $50000 per month for uhhh his wisdom and expertise regarding the Ukranian fuel market I guess? Hunter Biden is a recovering crack addict with a pending Arkansas child support case and a dishonorable discharge from the Navy. He is, in effect, one of us, only with a pocket full of second chances and money unearned. Viewed in the abstract, he doesn’t really read as a $50000 per month kind of employee. Just saying. Don’t repeat that part!

But hey, it’s something, right? It’s not near good enough for me, who wants Trump in prison – perhaps adjacent to Joe Son – and the disenfranchisement of anyone who owns one of those stupid fucking hats, but it’s a start I guess. As is the case every Sunday, we take the yardage we can get and hope for the best. HEY LOOK FOOTBALL!

TANKING OUR TALENTS IN SOUTH BEACH

As pointed out by Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith, the 2019 Dolphins are on pace to be one of the worst teams in modern NFL history. In my lifetime, there have only been four winless seasons. That said, the 1976 Buccaneers were an expansion team, and the 82 Colts played in a strike year so their official record is listed as 0-8-1. So really, since the advent of the 16-game season, only the 2008 Lions and the 2017 Browns have held the dubious honor of going 0-16.

However, when the Browns went 0-16 in 2017, they only lost by 11 on average, the largest margin of victory being 24. The 2008 Lions allowed 32.3 points per game while being outscored by 15.6 across the season. Miami have lost their first three games by 117 points, by 49, 43 and 25 over three weeks for an average differential of 39. 39! The last time the Dolphins scored that many points was on October 25, 2015. Fetty Wap had four songs on the Billboard top 40. It was “her turn.” Hunter Biden was having an affair with his dead brother’s wife and making $50000 per month. Life was good. Well, better anyway.

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Point being, the Dolphins are on pace to be the worst team in modern NFL history. And despite what you read, this is not due to lack of effort, so forgive me for using the word tanking as part of the gag. The franchise may be tanking, inasmuch as they flipped Kenny Stills, Kiko Alonso, and Laremy Tunsil and hit opening day with 27 players on rookie contracts, 15 of whom had never played in an NFL game before. But it’s not like Brian Flores is telling them to lay down, or Josh Rosen – again being asked to do the impossible while his draft classmates ascend further up the ladder – is deliberately throwing *scare quotes* interceptions. Neither of those guys deserve this. None of them do.

The numbers don’t lie though, and ownership is apparently hellbent on making a bunch of Florida retirees learn how to pronounce Tua Tagovailoa come a year from now. So if we are forced to watch this crib snuffing, some good is going to come out of it, dammit.

Starting this week, I am putting $200 on the moneyline (at a ludicrous -1100) on the Chargers. Every week thereafter, I will put the stake, plus the profit, on Miami’s opponent straight up. At the end of the season, if they go 0-16, we are going to give it all away. If, by some chance, the Dolphins win a game at some point, we will figure out an alternative donation, dependent upon how well we do this year. Having said that, I think that if they were going to win a game this year, it would have happened last week in Dallas, when they went to halftime only down by four. As stated supra, they went on to lose by 25.

This is not mockery. This is turning lemons into lemonade, or a fabricated silver lining if you will. And though we pay no mind to rooting interests around here – favorite teams are for suckers, after all – it’s almost a victimless crime in that sense. In over 40 years on this planet I’ve been all over the country and halfway around the world and I know exactly two Dolphins fans. One is a kid I went to grade school with and the other is the father of my best friend; the guy who bought me the shirt in last week’s column, actually. Neither of them would mind, trust me. They probably don’t watch football on Sundays anyway. Not this year at least.

Oh, and our charity is Save the Hampton House. I will be the first to admit that I am not intimately familiar with Fred Hampton’s work specifically, but he was a true revolutionary who spoke truth to power until he was murdered. I did say apolitical but as my anonymous reader pointed out, this is about saving a house that people need as both a historical artifact and a place to live. So fair is fair: if you don’t like it, you should have written in sooner. Things happen. Let’s make some more money.

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NEW ENGLAND -7 v. BUFFALO

One of the annoying elements of September football is the rush to crown hot young new QBs as franchise players after they win a few games, even if those games are against tomato cans or the QB wasn’t especially crucial to the win. Somewhere out there, some homer beat guy is positing that Kyler Murray or Gardner Minshew or Jacoby Brissett or Kyle Allen is developing into a real leader of [team] or some other cliche nonsense. Around here, the tabloid guys are about three wins away from declaring Daniel Jones to be the next Phil Simms and introducing him to their daughters.

Such is the case with Josh Allen. In a way, Allen almost seems like a creation of that same media, as I can remember the 2018 QB draft as a three-way race between Mayfield, Darnold and Rosen before the punditocracy started hyping Allen, who only degenerates and Wyoming alums had ever heard of. And damned if it didn’t work! Say what you will about leeching sports agents but Allen, then the leader of the 8-5 Mountain West runner-up Cowboys, went seventh overall – even ahead of Rosen – and is currently three wins away from being the next Jim Kelly. Buffalo fans can’t wait to introduce him to their sisters, just as soon as they get off of house arrest.

Hell, maybe he is the next Jim Kelly, but even if so, Tom Brady is better than Jim Kelly, at least according to Jim Kelly. Josh Allen is 3-0 having averaged exactly 250 yards per game with three TDs and three interceptions so far this year. I get why Buffalo is crushing on him, because as Chris Rock once said, if you live in an old project a new jail ain’t that bad. That 3-0 record is over the Jets, Giants, and Bengals though, and the Pats are still benching guys over mistakes in blowouts. I see this as a freebie and am going to three units and I suggest you do the same.

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CAROLINA v. HOUSTON -4

Even in our lone loss last week, I was right about a couple of things. I was right about Cam Newton’s condition. I was right about Kyle Allen. I just didn’t realize that Allen was at that point an improvement when compared to the Newton we got in Week 2.

Beating the Cardinals to get to 1-3 isn’t exactly a major achievement, though. Save for Allen this is the same Panthers team that lost to Tampa two weeks ago. Conversely, the Texans are 2-1 with legit wins over a much-improved Jacksonville squad and the Chargers, who were favored by three and a hook.

I’m the 100th person to write that Deshaun Watson seems one step away from being great and taking Houston to the next level. He’s got a 6:1 split and 8.4 yards per attempt. He still gets sacked a lot and the team is streaky as hell, but I’m fine giving four to a 1-2 road team, backup mojo be damned.

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TAMPA BAY v. L.A. RAMS UNDER 49.5

As it remains early in the season, even the locks make you sweat. Cleveland stayed in the Sunday night game until the end and may well have gone for two had they scored on their final drive, which would have wrecked it for all of us. The number that stuck with me, however, was the 20 Goff and company put on the board.

L.A. have averaged 25.6 points per game thus far, but held opponents to 16.3. They held the Saints to nine, and only allowed 13 to the Browns, and both of those teams are better than Tampa, who’ve averaged 22.6.

This will be a terrible day for Jameis Winston, who will spend most of the afternoon running away from Aaron Donald and picking grass out of his facemask. I’m expecting a slaughter but 9.5 is too many points to give in light of the Rams’ low PPG. 49.5 is plenty of cushion for a 31-13 afternoon nap soundtrack though.

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JACKSONVILLE +3 v. DENVER

In much the same way that the Allen hype is overblown, some people could stand to cool it on Minshew as well. That won’t happen anytime soon though, as they love to put him on T.V. because he looks like Uncle Rico fucked an indie rock DJ. Then again, he’s the one with 692 yards and a 73.9% completion rate. Like he gives a damn what I think.

Over-hyped or not, all evidence indicates that the Joe Flacco retirement tour through Denver is not working. They have yet to win a game or put more than 16 points on the board, and even though some of his stats look OK, at the end of the day they’ve scored four lousy touchdowns all year. I just don’t see any evidence that a change or improvement is forthcoming; the one thing Denver has going for it is a great defensive-minded coach, but how does that help Joe Flacco? Better to take the points and take the quirky new kid everyone’s in love with. Until they get thrashed in their divisionals in Indy and H-Town of course, then we jump the fence.

That’s all I got, gang. I deleted an argument in favor of the Eagles tonight if that makes any difference to you. I also like the Colts giving seven but sometimes it seems the Raiders exist just to screw us all over every six weeks or so. But four games is plenty, 6-4 is profitable, and none of us are the ones getting impeached. Who knows, maybe we’ll help save the Hampton House.

Good luck!

About J.J. Duquesne

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