Thursday, October 29, 2015

2015 NFL Week 8 Predictions: Patriots on Thursday Night Football Edition

Nice rebound for me this past weekend (10-4). I don't have time to waste since the Patriots play tonight.

This week's picks:

New England 27, Miami 17 -- Because of the short prep week, Bill Belichick said he went so easy on the team that his mother could've finished this week's team practices. Which is good, because next weekend the Patriots' and Dolphins' moms are scheduled to play each other.

Detroit 7, Kansas City 6 -- The designated "home teams" in this year's London games: Dolphins, Jaguars, Chiefs. No wonder the Brits prefer soccer.

Atlanta 24, Tampa Bay 21 -- After blowing a 24-point-lead to lose to Washington last weekend, Lovie Smith said Buccaneers are "in a dark place." They're gonna be in an even darker place this weekend once we turn the clocks back.

Baltimore 14, San Diego 13 -- Ravens in January: cried about Patriots using eligible receivers at ineligible positions in the playoffs last year. Still lost the game. Ravens in October: get flagged vs. Cardinals for ineligible receivers not reporting to play eligible positions. Still lost the game.  Karma's a bitch, Ravens Nation.

Minnesota 25, Chicago 7 -- Hard to believe the Bears are an overtime loss two weeks ago from being 3-3.

Arizona 29, Cleveland 21 -- Last week: Cardinals beat the Ravens, i.e., the old Browns. Meet the new Browns, same as the old Browns.

Houston 28, Tennessee 22 -- Ryan Mallett cut after missing Texans' charter flight to Miami this past weekend. Texans trailed Dolphins 41-0 at halftime; obviously Mallett knew something everyone else didn't.

New Orleans 31, N.Y. Giants 3 -- Giants CB Prince Amukamara on JPP, post-surgery: "I've never seen a hand like that before." Fine. But if he develops a Velociraptor toe-claw the league has to step in.

Pittsburgh 24, Cincinnati 13 -- I'm gonna keep picking against the Bengals because someday they'll lose.

St. Louis 28, San Francisco 10 -- Seattle CB Richard Sherman this week expressed his dislike for Thursday Night Football. Judging from the way 49ers played against Seattle last week, they also hate Thursday Night Football.

N.Y. Jets 28, Oakland 19 -- Picked the Chargers to beat Oakland last week and knew I should've gone with the Raiders instead. KNEW IT! I hate myself for that.

Seattle 38, Dallas 17 -- Greg Hardy's most fearsome pass rush to date last week, vs. the Dallas special teams coach.

Green Bay 19, Denver 13 -- Just what we need: three hours of Bob Costas philosophizing about these two undefeated teams and quarterbacks playing. Almost makes me wish NBC would flex out of this game.

Carolina 31, Indianapolis 7 -- After Colts laid an egg vs. New Orleans, owner Jim Irsay and GM Ryan Grigson reportedly got into "a heated discussion" in Indianapolis locker room. Which, according to the laws of physics, raised the temperature of the footballs in the room by at least 2 psi.


2015: 62-43

2014 THROUGH WEEK 7: 67-39

Thursday, October 22, 2015

2015 NFL Week 7 Predictions: Swinging Gate Edition

Mediocre week (7-7). That said, Patriots beat the Colts, thanks partially to the Colts running that silly swinging gate fake punt play. So I'm happy:

This week's picks:

Seattle 15, San Francisco 6 -- I rarely agree with Roger Goodell, but I think the NFL commissioner made the right call when he rejected Fred Jackson's request to determine the winner of this matchup by drag racing outside Seahawks' team headquarters.

Buffalo 17, Jacksonville 16 -- Me: "Great. ANOTHER London NFL game?" Friend: "I don't think any game involving the Jaguars constitutes an NFL game."

Minnesota 20, Detroit 7 -- Megatron: "I once understood catch rule, now I don't." Matthew Stafford: "I once understood how to play quarterback, now I don't."

New Orleans 62, Indianapolis 7 -- On this week's episode of The Middle, someone says, "Someone must have a pretty good reason not to watch the Colts." That fake punt play seems like a pretty damn good reason to me.

Pittsburgh 27, Kansas City 3 -- Remember when the Chiefs were a defensive stop vs. Peyton Manning away from starting 2-0?

Houston 29, Miami 28 -- 2015 Texans preview: "WATT! WILFORK!!! CLOWNEY!!! BADASS DEFENSE!!!!!" 2015 Dolphins preview: SUH! WAKE!!!! BADASS DEFENSE!!!!!" Everyone in October 2015: Oversold?

New England 27, N.Y. Jets 25 -- Revis Island, moving from New England to New York, proving the theory of continental drift.

St. Louis 34, Cleveland 3 -- FACT: When founded in the 1930s, Rams were based in Cleveland as a franchise in a rival football league, then applied to join the NFL. FACT: Browns currently based in Cleveland, still applying to join NFL.

Atlanta 23, Tennessee 13 -- Last time these two teams played, four years ago, was Jake Locker's NFL regular-season debut with Titans. Locker is now retired. Marcus Mariota's preseason NFL debut was in August against Falcons. Ominous sign?

Washington 32, Tampa Bay 28 -- While the NFL is at it, make these two teams play in London, too.

San Diego 24, Oakland 9 -- In one of about three different scenarios to bring NFL football back to Los Angeles, these two teams would share a stadium to be built outside LA. Heck, you could merge these two teams and they'd still find a way to miss the playoffs.

N.Y. Giants 31, Dallas 21 -- Giants, struggling for consistency, promise that if they lose this game, they'll suck in all four quarters instead of blowing it at the end.

Carolina 30, Philadelphia 8 -- Big Eagles win Monday night means Chip Kelly gets a one-week reprieve from me poking fun at him.

Arizona 30, Baltimore 27 -- I don't care of the Ravens have played back-to-back games out West, John Harbaugh's excuse for Baltimore's poor play ("Yeah, but it's a dry offense.") is lame.


2015: 52-39

2014 THROUGH WEEK 6: 55-36

Thursday, October 15, 2015

NFL 2015 Week 6 Predictions: Coca-Cola Is Poison Edition

Picture it...I'm on the edge of my seat Monday night around 11:30, obsessing over two football teams I hate (Steelers and Chargers), because the result of the game's final play will determine whether I finish the week with a winning record on my picks. Sucks that my fate rested on whether the Steelers gambling on a play from the Wildcat formation with 5 seconds left would work. Luckily it did.

That said, last year I went 14-1 in Week 5, so I'm suddenly behind the curve. Hopefully I can catch up.

This week's picks:

Falcons 34, Saints 31 -- Falcons: struggled to beat mediocre Redskins team. Saints: got their asses whooped by mediocre Eagles team. This could be the first NFL game ever decided by rock-paper-scissors.

Bills 27, Bengals 24 -- LAST WEEK: Rex Ryan tried to clamp down on Buffalo's penalty problems by forcing team to wear "YES, SIR!" wristbands during game. RESULT: Bills' recovery of Tennessee fumble on opening kickoff nullified by offsides penalty. THIS WEEK: Rex Ryan clamps down on poor eating habits, orders Wendy's Triple Baconator every day at lunch.

Denver 27, Cleveland 0 -- Broncos: one of six undefeated teams, an NFL record heading into Week 6. Browns: still the Cleveland Browns.

Detroit 24, Chicago 7 -- Lions bench Matthew Stafford last week, and then Jim Caldwell says he's still the starter. Caldwell plays the martyr role well.

Jacksonville 37, Houston 17 -- You'd think that if the other team continues to eleven-team J.J. Watt on every play, at some point someone else on the Texans' defense would make a play.

Minnesota 22, Kansas City 17 -- Chiefs lose Jamaal Charles for the season just as their wide receivers finally start scoring touchdowns. I guess you could say that's good timing.

N.Y. Jets 17, Washington 16 -- Not sure what'll happen first in D.C.: DeSean Jackson returns from injury or Joe Biden announces whether he's running for president.

Arizona 17, Pittsburgh 14 -- Mike Tomlin has made some interesting decisions as Steelers' coach this year, but suing the Jacksonville Jaguars for fraudulently representing Josh Scobee as a kicker might be the most interesting.

Miami 28, Tennessee 10 -- Interim Dolphins heads coach Dan Campbell, about his debut as a head coach: "Sunday makes me want to throw up." Every Dolphins head coach this century, about coaching the team: "Sunday makes me want to throw up."

Seattle 26, Carolina 3 -- Cam Newton about playing at notoriously loud CenturyLink Field: "Loud is loud." Wrong. In Seattle, loud is accompanied by the smell of Starbucks and marijuana.

Green Bay 34, San Diego 28 -- Chargers almost caught a huge break Monday night, as an extra 18 seconds ran off the clock when it should've been stopped after the kickoff that began Steelers' game-winning drive. Chargers could run all 60 minutes off the clock this week and Aaron Rodgers would still outscore them.

Baltimore 9, Sam Francisco 7 -- When Jim Harbaugh was still coaching the 49ers, this game was called the Harbaugh Bowl and Super Bowl XLVII. Now it's called An NFL Game Between Two Shitty Teams.

New England 38, Indianapolis 17 -- Colts angrily file another complaint with the NFL, saying Tom Brady not drinking Coca-Cola or eating Frosted Flakes constitutes an unfair competitive advantage.

N.Y. Giants 27, Philadelphia 0 -- Chip Kelly says he hasn't been contacted about newly vacant USC coaching job. Fine. But why did he ask Lincoln Financial Field stadium crew to play "Tribute to Troy" after every Eagles' first down?


2015 SEASON: 45-32

2014 AFTER WEEK 5: 46-30

Thursday, October 8, 2015

2015 Week 5 NFL Predictions: Back in the Saddle Again Edition

Two solid weeks in a row. I followed up  a 12-4 Week 3 with a 12-3 Week 4.

This week's picks:

Houston 31, Indianapolis 27 -- Through four weeks, Texans giving up an average of 27 points per game, and surrendered 48 to Atlanta last week. Is JJ Watt overrated, or would the Texans' defense be historically bad without him? This week could be an interesting test, as Colts may be wheeling out a third-string quarterback in Houston.

Atlanta 24, Washington 17 -- I went back and forth over the Falcons-Texans game last week, agonized over it, finally settled on Atlanta, totally felt like I made a mistake with that pick, and Falcons win 48-21. I feel more confident about Atlanta this week, which of course means they'll lose.

Baltimore 26, Cleveland 21 -- That botched fake field goal that John Harbaugh called last Thursday night was ill-advised and should've cost Baltimore the game. But I think Harbaugh crossed the line when he sent Mike Tomlin a note thanking Tomlin for all of his bad calls.

Seattle 17, Cincinnati 10 -- Seahawks got big break at end of Lions game Monday on botched fumble call in the end zone. This Sunday, they'll get a big break when officials flag Cincinnati's Ickey Woods for doing the Ickey Shuffle 25 years after the fact.

Green Bay 23, St. Louis 20 -- Rams: beat Seattle and Arizona, lose to Washington. Go figure.

Kansas City 31, Chicago 28 -- Bears: finally won a game Sunday and prevented Oakland from starting 3-1. Now they return to being the Bears and prevent Chiefs from dropping to 1-4.

New Orleans 15, Philadelphia 10 -- Eagles coach Chip Kelly says Philadelphia is "two kicks away from being 3-1." Fine. But I think Kelly's plotting the Super Bowl champions parade route through the streets of downtown Philly was a little presumptive.

Jacksonville 24, Tampa Bay 23 -- LAST WEEK: Friend, to me: "WTF? Didn't Tampa Bay and Carolina just play a couple of weeks ago?" Me: "No, that was Carolina and Jacksonville." THIS WEEK: Friend, to me: "Wait, Tampa Bay's playing itself this week?" After awhile, all the shitty Florida NFL teams just sort of blend together, Part 2.

Buffalo 48, Tennessee 17 -- Maybe Rex Ryan should've considered kissing Tom Coughlin's rings.

Arizona 24, Detroit 7 -- Maybe I'm misremembering things, but I feel like when the Cardinals sucked they still always beat the crap out of the Lions, so why should it be any different now?

New England 48, Dallas 27 -- Conversation in August: "One of the starting quarterbacks will miss the Patriots-Cowboys game." Tom Brady? WRONG!

Denver 16, Oakland 13 -- Just think: if it wasn't for a last-second field goal by Chicago last Sunday, this game would've been for first place in the AFC West.

N.Y. Giants 20, San Francisco 6 -- Is it too early to start flexing bad games out of Sunday night?

Pittsburgh 31, San Diego 16 -- Going forward, Mike Tomlin blames all bad coaching decisions of Patriots radio broadcast pre-empting his headset feed.