NFL Week 8: National Astronaut Baseball Edition

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*lights go down*

*awkward silence*

*chubby bald man kicks door open* HIT MY MOTHER FUCKING MUSIC!

That’s right, gang. First clean sweep of the year, and not a minute too soon. Obviously, cometh the fire, cometh the siren; this won’t happen every week. However, for the time being, or at least the length of this paragraph, we are allowed to have a little fun with last Sunday’s performance. There was syrup on the biscuits, too: we said KC would cover twice over, forecast the Dolphins backdoor cover, and all but said the Saints were a lock. Fair play to Cincinnati, they at least made me watch to the gun, but for once the good guys made out okay. I sincerely hope you all followed the map and collected all five units. Your mirth outweighs the satisfaction of being right, and that’s the truth.

So before you ask, as if there was any doubt, you’re damn right I spent last Saturday in Queensbridge Park with 25,000 of my besties to go see Ruthless favorite Michael Moore. This is corny as fuck, but during the part that everyone is still Tweeting about – the willing to fight for someone who doesn’t look like you part – I even shared a knowing nod with a girl standing next to me who was basically my cultural opposite: young, black, thin, attractive, not ravaged by the consequences of decades of drug and alcohol abuse, etc. I was tempted to strike up one of those hey-it-is-cool-I-am-woke conversations to ratchet down the beauty of the moment a bit. You know what I mean, maybe bring up Kaepernick or Killer Mike or something, but astonishingly I managed not to fuck it up. Maybe next time.

If you are wondering, the ball and chain was there too, but she was busy taking pictures and hyper-engaged in trying too hard to see the podium, as she was shorter than the average attendee and the whole park is on level ground. It was sort of amusing to see her stop and focus every once in a while, because she was trying to look at sound. So her gaze was like 20 degrees off from where it should have been, likely leading taller onlookers to wonder why she was taking such an interest in and periodically applauding the guy operating a camera boom.

Yet a good time was had by all. My congresswoman killed, as one would expect, though not as hard as when she tore Mark Facerberk a new asshole four days later. “Well, Congresswoman, I think lying is bad.” Gimme a fucking break. Nice Caesar cut, you knob. I am now also 100% on Team Nina Turner, and as far as I know the wife and I are the first two people in America who think she should be Sanders’ pick for VP. If you are going to point out that she never rose above the level of state senator and last held elected office in 2014, I’m going to quote one of Erich’s favorite songs: And what if I told you to fuck off?

The current President was more successful as a reality-based game show host than he ever was as an executive. Mike Pence was a rural Indiana dime-a-dozen radio talk show dickhead. Joe Biden was a career horsetrader who clearly had other things on his mind. Beyond pissing standing up, there is no task I would not entrust to Nina Turner before letting those three anywhere near it.

Please note that my passive endorsement of Nina Turner does not void, alter, or otherwise modify my longstanding dislike for the vast majority of Tina Turner’s catalog. Like, River Deep Mountain High is objectively and absolutely genius, and we don’t take kindly to Ike Turner types around here (see Greg Hardy discussion infra). But her quality of output dropped at a pace paralleled only by Kevin Briggs, and later-period Tina Turner is just the worst. Private Dancer sucks. The lyrics to the Mad Max 3 song are hilariously awful. The idea of her and Mick Jagger having sex at a combined age of 88 was disgusting.

But no matter what the corporate rock world and pop culture media types would just line up to out-superlative one another and saturate the airwaves. So if you happened to mention that the dumbass boogie woogie harmonica solo in What’s Love Got To Do With It sounded a bit out of place in 1984, they would shush you and say “her husband used to beat her, you monster!” and put you in jail. My friend Paula once said that her wig looked like someone beat a lion about the head with a snow shovel and they gave her the death penalty!

In closing, that is why I am endorsing Nina Turner as Bernie Sanders’ vice presidential running mate HEY LOOK FOOTBALL!

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WASHINGTON v. MINNESOTA OVER 42

…is what the column would have said if I would have managed to finish on Thursday. Tell your elementary school teacher I said to suck it; sometimes procrastination really does pay off!


SEATTLE -3.5 v. ATLANTA

This has been one of our blue plate Avis de Ruthless specials this year, laying heavy on mediocrity in the face of outright incompetence, though given their 5-2 record I’m sure some of you Emerald City residents might dispute the word choice. Those wins weren’t exactly the felling of Goliath though, and while there was no shame in the week three loss to the Saints, Sunday’s 14-point thumping from Baltimore at home will be a little harder to explain at your performance review.

Looks pretty gorgeous right about now, though, because a 3.5 line in this game is a drastic overreaction. The Falcons are still a miserable 1-6, and I have heard speculation about Dan Quinn’s job security for about a month now. Matt Ryan did not practice this week due to an ankle thing, and though he is expected to play, the team’s own website says he is questionable, meaning we could see the long-awaited return of the wrong-kind-of-legendary Matt Schaub.

Seattle’s loss to the Ravens was largely their own doing. Russell Wilson threw his INT of the year which was one of two Ravens defensive touchdowns. They unsuccessfully tried a 53-yard field goal instead of trying to convert a midfield 4th and 3, which is borderline criminal in 2019. Pete Carroll’s clock management was also inexcusable, as a dumb PI challenge left them with no timeouts with over 7 minutes left to play in the first half, because they had book-ended an earlier play with timeouts due to miscommunication. Perhaps because of this, they later let Lamar Jackson eat half of a quarter in the course of an 86-yard drive without calling any timeouts.

I seriously doubt that Seattle is going to show up in Atlanta and amble around stepping on rakes for the second week in a row. One of the best QBs in the game only needs to cover four against a 1-6 team, one which may be lead by Matt Schaub at some point. Last week was sweet enough that we can triple down on Seattle, so that’s exactly what I’m doing.

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N.Y. JETS +7 v. JACKSONVILLE

Please note that this is entirely conditional upon the line. This game opened at Jags -4 and has crept up accordingly ever since. It is currently at 6.5 on the Vegas Insider consensus line, but it’s already up to 7 at Westgate and 5Dimes will sell you 7 at -120. I’m guessing the weekend warrior will drive it up even higher. So I would advise you to wait until 12:50 p.m. on Sunday and take whatever you can get so long as it is 7 or above. I’m not accepting a loss if you take the Jets for less.

Why 7? Beyond the obvious of course? Well, the Jets aren’t nearly as bad as they looked last week – the Pats did absolutely manhandle them, after all – and Jacksonville shouldn’t be a touchdown favorite against anybody. As previously discussed, they had to sweat to beat the Bengals last week, and such was the case with their previous win, when they beat the stumbling Broncos by 2. Since then they’ve lost to Carolina and New Orleans, only putting up 6 against the latter.

The Jets have a tendency to compete in games like this, and it bears repeating that we don’t need them to win. Truth be told, I think the Jags will probably take the game, but I think it will stay close enough to justify taking the Jets and 7. Unlike me, you don’t even have to actually watch the damn thing. Lucky dogs.

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CAROLINA v. SAN FRANCISCO -5.5

Everybody remembers Greg Hardy’s last NFL season with the Cowboys, if for no other reason than the media shitshow that surrounded it. If you’ll recall, Good Old Jerry just couldn’t for the life of him understand why people second guessed his signing of a wifebeater to shore up his pass rush. But Hardy’s best NFL years were the five he spent in Carolina, which is why I can shoehorn this link into the column to inform you that Hardy is still an asshole, even following his reinvention as a middling MMA fighter with no gas tank.

So this is a proceed-with-caution bet to be sure, but I like it. The 49ers are finally getting the attention they deserve, but I suppose an undefeated streak will do that sometimes. The wildcard is the Panthers. Having all but cemented the certainty of Cam Newton’s departure from Carolina at the end of this season, Kyle Allen has quietly gone undefeated as a starter since taking over. The thing is, those wins have come against the Cards, Texans, Jags, and Bucs, only one of whom has a winning record. However, Houston’s 4-3 is markedly different than San Francisco’s 6-0.

Many 49ers players are California residents, so hopefully they won’t be too distracted by the whole Katie Hill mess. Yes indeed, America, give yourself a pat on the back for reaching our first congressional revenge porn scandal. Honest to God, if you Google her name right now, the first two recommended videos are titled “Rep. Katie Hill Admits to Relationship with Campaign Staffer” and “Rep. Hill Denies Sexual Affair with Staffer.”

You kids out there, I am not a prude. 81% of my content is about drugs or porn or people-doing-drugs porn. But do not take nude photos that show your face! No visible tattoos either. I’m not victim blaming and people who upload and/or circulate revenge porn are garbage, but there is a very easy way to prevent it. Fucking knock it off. If you absolutely must take nudes or take video with your phone, put on a ski mask or something. I know we all have to say the right thing and not judge anyone, but that woman is in her 30s. The photos involve a staffer, so she was quite obviously a Congressperson when they took the pictures, so she knew what was on the line. I feel bad for her but jesus, Katie, if you want to risk losing everything I write this column every week HEYOOOOO! *rimshot*

Wait where was I? Oh yeah, lay the Niners, duh.

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GREEN BAY -4 v. KANSAS CITY

How about those Chiefs, eh? We have to look forward, not backward, but we also must give it up when it’s due, specifically for Matt Moore, ladies and gentlemen. Number one among centerfolds for trapped-in-mediocrity Army Wives, number one in our hearts. Good job, buddy!

There’s just one problem. Two, actually. Aaron Rodgers appears to be hitting his annual stride, having won three in a row with an average score of 33. Perhaps more importantly, the Chiefs do not need this game. While they sit at 5-2, the .500 Raiders are in second place and Denver comes next, and KC already has wins over both. This has led to the somewhat credible PFF Forecast theory that the Mahomes’ injury is the best thing that could have happened to them, at least in terms of timing. Matt Moore can do two jobs to NFC teams while the captain’s kneecap slides back into place, and they can pick up where they left off, since there is no immediate pressure to pile up non-divisional wins. That’s why I love this line.

Granted, we are all being denied the State Farm pitchman showdown the League was obviously counting on when they booked this for Joan Jett’s Sunday Night Game of the Week brought to you by USAA. USAA: Uhh… I’m still not sure. Maybe it’s a bank that is also a Navy? But profitable football is more entertaining than entertaining football. Yes, it makes sense, and no, you can’t ask me why. Let’s go two units since I sort of built a fence around that Jets pick, just to be sure we make use of all of last week’s momentum.

That’s probably enough Tina Turner bashing and amateur home porno scolding for one week. I don’t want to turn into [insert celebrity name that would be funny if they spent all their time insulting Tina Turner and tut-tutting nude selfies – I dunno, Frankie Muniz maybe?]. I know our policy usually requires us to stick with hot teams who win for us, but the New Orleans line went from 7.5 to 10.5 in the blink of an eye, and the Cards have won three straight, so I’m steering clear. We’ve got plenty to watch as it is. For me and you and Bernie too:

Good luck! 

About J.J. Duquesne

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