The Ruthless NFL Pick-Off is back!

Our NFL picks have been on hiatus for a few years, owing to nobody wanting to do them anymore except for one guy who couldn’t type because a bookie cut off his fingers. Luckily, Dick now has voice recognition software and two more of our fold have developed terrible gambling addictions. If you want more picks and some hockey talk, follow Espo on twitter. If you enjoy seeing Sean Hannity ridiculed, follow Dan K.


New England Patriots +2 @ Cincinnati Bengals

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DAN K: Being a Steelers fan *draws a hot bath and plugs in toaster* I follow the AFC North pretty closely and wasn’t sold on Cincy at first. After a few games though, I can grudgingly admit that they are (mostly) legitimate. Their defense looks solid, AJ Green is one of the best receivers in the league, and Giovanni Bernard will likely be offensive rookie of the year. The only weak link is Dalton. He’s maddeningly inconsistent and it’s hard to tell how he’ll play even from series to series or when his Children of the Corn looking ass isn’t in the shade. They have had a relatively tough schedule to date – even losing to Cleveland and their surprisingly good defense isn’t as damming a proposition as it would be in recent years. Meanwhile, the Pats have had to deal with one star tight end being Wee-Bey from the Wire, and the other having gangrenous limbs. They’ve pulled out narrow victories over average-to-crappy Bills and Jets teams, and almost allowed a ridiculous comeback on Sunday night against the Falcons. I’m worried about how the loss of Wilfork affects the Pats defense, but I have to think that they’ll be able to hold it together enough for the offense to overcome, at least for a couple of games. Betting Brady and his inferiority complex as an underdog is almost an auto-pick. THE PICK: NE +2

DICK: Betting against Brady is more or less a fool’s errand especially since he’s probably made me well over a grand over the last four years. Yeah, I know, the Pats are only 2-2 ATS this year and the public is all over this one, but I don’t care. My only hedge is that Cincy is coming off a loss in Cleveland because they had their eyes on this game since the schedule came out. I expect Cincy to come out strong, but if Gronk is healthy and performs as well as he has in the past, it won’t matter. The big wild card is Wilfork tearing up his Achilles leaving a huge gap in the middle for Bernard and the the Law Firm to run through on short yardage situations. Won’t matter. Brady’s entered the time of the year where he makes his teammates look better and Cincy has some pretty undisciplined guys in the defensive backfield. I see a close one, but this feels like classic Brady smacking down an upstart. It’s not like Cincy has shown us much. Why trust them in a close one now? THE PICK: NE +2

ESPO: As a Patriots fan, this game puts me in a tough spot. On one hand, there’s not too many times I can lay a bet on my team getting points. It’s usually more about weighing the pros and cons of winning money versus being pissed if the Patriots win, but not by like, 17. (Hello, Weeks 1 and 2.) On the other hand, the Patriots are blatantly lucky to be 4-0. To make matters worse, they just lost Vince Wilfork, their most important player not named Tom, for the year. The Bengals are better than the Patriots at basically every position except the most important one. Whereas Brady always finds a way to make something out of nothing, Andy Firecrotch sometimes makes you wonder if he could hit the side of Gio Bernard’s minivan. This Bengals defense, and specifically their front line, is a fucking force that gives me all types of complex feels. Watching them knock the piss out of the Packers offense in week 2 was god damn awesome. Vontaze Burfict just absolutely caving in halfbacks trying to shoot a gap gives me primal pleasure. Geno Atkins is probably the best DT in the game. Three starting DBs in Hall, Nelson and Kirkpatrick questionable to play, but they should still be able to get after Tom. On the Pats side, I have no idea how Belichick plans to patch the tractor-sized hole that Wilfork leaves in that defense. They still have playmakers back there, and the secondary is the most solid it’s been in years. I give Aqib Talib a solid chance at successfully shadowing AJ Green, and since Belichick’s gameplan is generally to take away the opposition’s best player, he’ll probably have constant safety help over the top.

I won’t be at all surprised if the Bengals sneak out a win here. But I just… can’t do it. FUCK YOU, GO PATS! THE PICK: Patriots +2


Philadelphia Eagles +1 @ New York Giants

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DAN K: This offseason I think it took about 18 seconds for me to get tired of analysts pontificating about whether or not the CHIP KELLY COLLEGE OFFENSE would work in the NFL. After 4 games, it appears that while fun to watch, it has some serious deficiencies. They seem to either score quickly or go three and out, leaving their defense tired and ready to get lit up by whichever offense they happen to play. A team can beat them by controlling the time of possession by getting first downs or just in a straight shootout. Also, Vick has been getting levelled on every play, as per usual. However, the Giants are, to put it lightly, looking rough. Some blame the secondary, some blame the o-line, but my theory is that Eli Manning is in a kind of Flowers for Algernon situation where his Football IQ is steadily declining. By week 14 or so he will be even less knowledgeable about football than the average commenter on an ESPN story, which is a fucking scary proposition. While Philly has problems, they’ve lost to good teams and the Giants defense has allowed the most points in the league. Their offense is 30th in points scored as well, so I’d rather dress up like a minuteman and go to a Tea Party rally than pick New York as a favorite. THE PICK: Philly +1

DICK: Antrelle Rolle thinks the Giants can run the table and I think the Giants are fucking terrible, but if they have a chance at pulling one out and saving Coughlin for another week, it’s this one. I have no faith in Philly, Eli can’t be THIS bad (can he?), and Vick is one big hit from being sidelined for six weeks. Under normal circumstances I pass, but because Espo and the Armenian Degenerate DanK insist on this game, I’ll take the GIants at home and hope they get a field goal at the gun. THE PICK: Giants +1

ESPO: Holy fuck, is the NFC East an absolute clusterfuck. This division is crazy because it’s loaded with good players, and yet each week, a new flavor of suck arises. The Giants are in an absolute tailspin, with a wretched -9 turnover ratio, and dead last in points allowed with 36.5 a game. Lucky for them, the Eagles are right behind them at 34.5, and they’re giving up the most yards per game with 446.8. The Giants are actually several spots better than them in that category, giving up “only” 384.3, which again speaks to their comical turnover problems. The over/under for this game is currently sitting at 53, and I think I’d be more likely to take that than trying to figure out which one of this teams will fuck up less. The best thing that either one of these teams has accomplished this year is Chip Kelly getting Shady McCoy is space, allowing him to tune up the league for 468 yards. This dude is just a complete joy to watch, as probably the best start-and-stop, lateral runner in the NFL. I don’t see anyone on the Giants being able to match up with him. On the other side, David Wilson has a similar skillset and should be able to find lots of room to run, he just has to stop confusing the Crisco and Stick’em tubs in the locker room. Both teams have proven NFL quarterbacks, obviously, and receivers that can stretch the field and make plays. This line has been bouncing around a bit, and is currently sitting at NYG -1. This means Vegas likes Philly a little more on a neutral field, and I tend to agree with them. I don’t really rate the Giants home field advantage much, so I’m going with Philly in a sloppy, turnover-filled, entertaining shootout. But like I said… take the over. THE PICK: Eagles +1


 Seattle Seahawks -3 @ Indianapolis Colts

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DAN K: This is an interesting game. Seattle has looked oddly sluggish at times this season, likely the result of the front office telling them to lay off the steroids and adderall until they can find some better masking agents. They did completely shut down a good Niners team and destroyed Jacksonville, but needed a hilariously bad pick 6 and overtime field goal to beat an average Houston team. Indy’s defense has been shaky at times, but by and large they have looked like they can hang with any team. Andrew Luck may resemble a blockheaded doofus but has proven that he can keep his team in any game and battle back from a deficit. Cleveland trading them one of the best young running backs in the league so their owner could save money for his impending criminal trial was icing on the cake. I’m going to go with the Colts because of Luck, and also because in Indiana you can actually buy a fifth of liquor at a bar to take home. THE PICK: Indy +3

DICK: Indy all the way. They’re at home, on a nice little run, building their confidence, and fairly healthy. Seattle was gifted the game in Houston and they are still missing three starters on the offensive line. The line on this game should drop to one, if not an outright pick ’em. There’s just no way Seattle is the juggernaut everyone thinks they are when they have to count on Matt Schaub throwing a pick six and then fumbling at the end of the game. I know every good team needs a couple of lucky wins, but come the fuck on.THE PICK: Indy +3

ESPO: You! John Q. Public! You’re a stupid dick with a dumb face! You all love Denver, and you all love Seattle. You make me sick! You don’t know your ass from a hole in the wall and you’re getting lucky picking preseason Super Bowl favorites to cover huge spreads! Seattle was GIFTED a comeback win and cover last week in Houston, with Matt Schaub throwing one of the most inexcusable pick-6’s by a veteran QB you’ll ever see, and a absurd unnecessary roughness penalty to put the Seahawks in field goal range in overtime. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love, LOVE Seattle this year. With the 12th man behind them, they are one of the most complete teams in the league with a truly suffocating defense. Lynch and Sherman are two of my favorite players. But on the road, it’s not quite the same story. Week 1 they went to Carolina and only won because of a DeAngelo Williams fumble in the redzone. They blew out the Niners and Jags at home, and then the Houston game. So yeah, if there’s any home dog I like this week, it’s the Colts here. They don’t do anything amazing, but they run a smart offense, keep Andrew Luck’s questionable facial hair unscathed with a consistent running game, play smart defense, and just overall have their gaht-damn shit together. This is the week Seattle comes up just short. THE PICK: Colts +3 vs. Seahawks


Jacksonville Jaguars +11.5 @ Saint Louis Rams

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DAN K: Is there any spread so big that I would actually pick Jacksonville? It’s looking like they’ll be favored by almost 4 touchdowns at Denver next week. All indications are that Jacksonville is historically bad. To say that Blaine Gabbert does not handle pressure well is an understatement – his method of dealing with an oncoming pass rush could charitably be described as “The Buster Bluth.” Jacksonville has also just traded his starting left tackle to Baltimore, which leads me to believe they are hoping that Gabbert will be rendered a vegetable and the franchise can cut ties and draft a franchise QB for their impending move to LA. St. Louis has looked mediocre, but are at least a functioning football team, which is more than you can say for Jacksonville. Maybe if the spread were 14 I’d pick them, but at 11.5 I want to bet on Jacksonville even less than I want to go there. THE PICK: Rams – 11.5

DICK: Fucking putrid. This is going to be like watching old people fuck. Neither team seems capable of running the ball, the Jaguars are trading away starters for mid-round draft picks, and the Rams rebuilding project has already begun to collapse. Vegas is basically saying that no sharp will take Jacksonville action the rest of the year even when they are a two or three score dog. That being said, I see the Rams looking sort of competent and cover at home while Jacksonville more or less minimizes MJD to increase his trade value. THE PICK: Rams – 11.5

ESPO: Oh god. This has to be the least desirable matchup of the week. The Rams are just not a good team. They are undersized on defense, unoriginal on offense, and don’t wear their awesome royal blue and yellow throwbacks anymore, because of the No Fun League’s stupid helmet rule. Meanwhile, the Jags appear to just be blatantly tanking for the 1st pick. This is a real life quote from an NFL head coach, about his starting quarterback who had just thrown for 179 yards, three interceptions (including a pick 6) and zero touchdowns: “I would say (my opinion of Gabbert is) stronger now after watching the tape. I saw him scramble around and make a play to Clay Harbor. I saw him scramble around and throw it to Ace (Sanders) on an explosive play. I saw him do some things.” I saw him do some things. Guys, Gus Bradley saw Blaine Gabbert do some things. Some things like a career 53.4 completion percentage and a 21:22 TD:INT ratio. Is this guy only a QB because of his name and his flowing blonde locks? But really, it’s not totally his fault. Now all that being said… the Rams are spotting the Jags ELEVEN AND A HALF FUCKING POINTS IN THIS GAME! Hey, you John Q. Public! Yeah, get back here! The only thing you like as much as your fucking favorites is fading the Jags no matter how big the spread is. I mean, after watching the Rams get absolutely shamed by the Cowboys and Niners, who are obviously significantly better teams, I just can’t back them winning this game by 12 points. I still think they win, but I think it’s closer to a 7-10 point final. I mean, I know Jacksonville is just horrible, but this is still an NFL team. They have some semblance of pride. They don’t want to go out on the field looking like total doormats every week. They still have Maurice Jones-Drew, one of the best backs of the last several years, who’s produced on equally bad Jags teams. He’s had brutal matchups this year, but he should be able to get going against the Rams 30th ranked run defense. Justin Blackmon comes off suspension, who can make plays in the slot. Blah blah. I may regret this, but fuck it. THE PICK: Jaguars +11.5 @ Rams



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