NFL Week 6: The Joker Is Really On Us Edition

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Call it immersion. Call it a cleansing. These are the interesting times the fortune cookies warned us about, my friends. Mind you, I refuse to sell you hope in any direction. As gamblers we swear off rooting interests, of course, though we also prize honestly. So tell the truth; in the past two years, did you ever once consider emigration? Since… that happened, have you ever re-calibrated the value of maintaining a genetic lineage on this planet?

Are these just the voices of paranoia? Is it foolish to believe that we are bounding, ever more rapidly, toward what was once apocryphally referred to as “the end?” I certainly hope so, but one of the soon-to-be also-rans who would be king correctly noted that Migrant Protection Protocol has a pretty Goddamned Orwellian ring to it. Then again, that guy lost an election to one of the most unpopular people on Earth and decided that meant he should take his act to the national stage. Maybe that guy sucks too. Tal vez ese tipo tambien apesta?

So if these are the last days, I must be forward. I owe it to all of you for the faith you’ve shown in me. First, the confession: since the gate I have eaten too many meals on the tired premise of ‘the guy who works here that doesn’t watch movies.’ This is not a lie in the abstract. As God is my witness, the last movie I remember seeing in a theater was Vicky Christina Barcelona. If the truth really does set one free, if what I bring forth from within will save me, let my epitaph note: I treated both man and animal as I wished to be treated. Though my faith waned, I abandoned neither hope nor belief.

Also, since I do in fact work here after all: Javier Bardem rules. The lesbian stuff was sorta hot. Girls who just up and decide they are photographers are always trouble. Coulda used more titties TBH. B+.

So I admit it. I trade on stereotypes about sports fans and scavenge jokes about my ignorance when it comes to great cinema. Maybe it’s a defense mechanism, a baldachine to protect me from a legitimate character flaw in these craterous times. At least I’m being honest about it. And with that out of the way, cometh my kairos: I don’t give a fuck about the Joker movie.

Joker

I have no interest in going to see it in the theater. I’ll probably randomly catch it when it hits premium cable, which means I will have seen The Other Guys three more times in the aggregate over the course of three months before I see *orchestra punch* JOKER! I’m not being obstinate either. No snobbery, no contrarian cool-guy bullshit. Hell, I’ve been down with Todd I’m Here for the Gang Bang Phillips since day one, having seen his Junior thesis G.G. Allin documentary Hated when it was first released on video. I can quote Road Trip and Old School at length. I am literally eating Popeye’s Fried Chicken and watching Sun Belt college football as I type this, so I’m hardly too highbrow for a late summer blockbuster.

It just doesn’t matter to me, that’s all. If anything I suppose I care more about the reaction to the movie than the movie itself, and that’s not a positive place to start. I don’t like the idea of undercover cops in theaters. I really don’t like media parasites begging some mentally ill kid to shoot people on the DL. And I don’t like the name Zazie Beetz. I know famous people have to use sobriquets but she sounds like an appetizer at a Polish restaurant.

I’ve said my piece. Kevin remains a genius, so by all means trust his word if you are so inclined. Even though Erich might roll his eyes at the reference, I think Felix Biederman made some great points in his review, specifically about how the biggest unaddressed problem in our current society is probably loneliness. But if I provide any value to you at all, it’s not gonna be my Joker take, it’s my effort to try to repeat last week’s 3-1 record. That 3-1 equates to cash, which equates to food, and clothes, and bills, Halloween costumes, even Joker tickets if you’re in the mood. Maybe that’s why I’m so serious. HEY LOOK SOMEBODY’S SHOOTING UP A THEATER!

Just kidding. Those fucking pricks. 

It’s FOOTBALL, of course. Not a minute too soon, either.

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NEW ORLEANS +1 v. JACKSONVILLE

I took no joy in predicting the fizzling of Minshew Magic. I mean that literally. Kyle Allen was a mess and Carolina must have been paid an hourly bonus, because they somehow managed to get flagged for 36 consecutive penalties in the last 20 seconds of the game. After three straight end zone Hail Mary attempts I thought the Jags were gonna let Air Bud give it a shot.

Be they sports-book proprietors or the public at large, nobody wants to give Teddy Bridgewater his due. I don’t get it. I don’t necessarily think it’s the uhh usual reason, either; I think they just reflexively compare him to Drew Brees. They are obviously different quarterbacks. For starters, only one of them is undefeated in games started, but I wouldn’t count on the average fan guessing that one correctly. They wear different numbers. One of them refuses to bald gracefully. It’s not that hard.

It’s not like the defense is saving Teddy’s ass, either. Bridgewater was 26 of 34 for 314 and a 4:1 split last week against equivalent or better coverage. If Christian McCaffrey could rack up 237 yards and 3 TDs against Jacksonville, what might Alvin Kamera do? I’m playing two units on the hot hand.

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PHILADELPHIA +3 v. MINNESOTA

I suppose all is well for the Vikings now. They beat the Giants! Kirk Cousins more than doubled his passing TD average by throwing…t says here two. Two touchdowns! For a season-high of two! Dan Bailey was the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week! Break up the Vikings!

Sarcasm doesn’t always work very well in print, hence the overuse of exclamation points. Sorry about that! In all seriousness, the Eagles are shaping up to be a playoff team and they come in as a road dog to a team that is getting too much credit for beating up on the Giants, who were coasting through a Potemkin village wearing a postiche up until that point. Danny Dimes, my ass.

Nigel Bradham, Zach “Not That Zac Brown” Brown, and Fletcher Cox are going to remind Cousins of who he is very quickly, and the league’s first-ranked rushing defense will come to defend against Delvin Cook, who is responsible for five of the eight TDs the Vikings have scored all year. Here again I question the wisdom of the books and here again I’m gonna double down.

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ATLANTA v. ARIZONA +2.5

I know, I know, I’ve been making you slog through some real scheduling slums over the past month. I can’t really help it if that’s where the money is, but I’m not necessarily thrilled to watch two one-win teams with a combined 20% winning percentage have a drunken slap fight either. Who knows, maybe something will raise the stakes between now and kickoff. Perhaps Matt Ryan’s wife can bust Kyler Murray’s significant other in some sort of low-level gossip sting.

This is what it looks like. The Cardinals are bad but the Falcons are worse. Arizona at least fought back to force the Detroit tie and hung with the not-yet-exposed Ravens. The Falcons lost to the Vikings and Titans and spent last weekend by getting smashed by 21 at home against Houston. I’ll have to check the rulebook but I think last week’s Cards road win over the 0-5 Bengals meets the barest minimal legal requirements of “momentum.”

Just wait for the line to peak, hold your nose, put down no more than a unit, and then immediately switch the channel so we can watch…

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DALLAS -7 v. NEW YORK JETS

I usually have to hide these from the wife, via italics or teeny fonts. Elsewise she’ll hit me with the frying pan again! Just kidding, there is nothing funny about domestic violence. Almost nothing anyway. Watching black guys watch Bill Burr talk about the Catherin Kieu case is kind of funny honestly. And wifebeating was the go-to punchline of the most celebrated sitcom in American television history come to think of it. You wanna wiggle? Wiggle over to the stove and get my supper! That show was awesome *ducks golf club* JESUS BABE YOU SAID YOU WANTED THE DRAFT PICK!

And why do we even have a golf club around here?

Never mind. One thing I noted during the Sunday night game was that Rayne Dakota Prescott’s line still gives him an eternity in the pocket. Even though they spent the majority of the time playing catch-up, he got off light. The three sacks accounted for 22 yards and half of the DBLs he’s taken all year; by contrast Baker Mayfied kissed the ground four times and lost 42 yards. Hell, during the second quarter I saw Rayne drop back, do that thing where you spin a quarter and try to stop it vertically with the tip of your index finger, and then he knitted a sweater. It wasn’t a particularly attractive sweater. Ladies medium. But still!

Sam Darnold is apparently worth exactly 1.5 points in Vegas, as this line was at 8.5 before he announced that his spleen was once again game ready. He is literally better than Luke Falk, given their respective -7 and -314 DYARs, but that is still a seven. With a minus sign in front of it! I’m guessing the line is a reflection of Darnold’s return and the aforementioned Cowboys loss, but the Jets have not finished within seven points of anyone save for their week one home loss against the Bills. I don’t see that changing on Sunday.

That’s all I got, jokers. We had a nice bounceback last week and I feel good about the weekend. Grab some beer, find some of those mythical $6 nachos, and call up your favorite war criminal to ride shotgun. Who cares if he sees others as less than human? Don’t worry, the suckers will eat up your non-apology like they always do. Except maybe Mark Ruffalo.

Good luck!

About J.J. Duquesne

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