Last week we were a disappointing 7-8, although I should've been 8-7 since I would've picked Jacksonville had I known MJD was going to play, but that is the pitfalls in making your picks on Friday morning, so I'll stick with the 7-8. Although you know, and I know, what the real play was there. The lock of the week (5-5 on the year) failed but the upset special won (4-6 on the year) and we are now 74-65 for the year, 53% so far, which means we need to go on a run to hit the magic 56% number we all strive for. Hopefully this week will be better. Lets get on to the picks. As always, all lines are from TheGreek. Hot cheerleader is Linda from the New York Jets. Scroll to the bottom if you want to skip to the Upset Special and the Lock of the Week.*
Cleveland at DETROIT -3.5
Well this is just the NFL equivalent of watching a cripple fight isn't it? You feel sad for the two participants but you can't help but watch anyway because hey...cripple fight, right? Its the NFL, you really cant help but watch every game you possibly can, even if it is this game of two sad excuses of NFL teams. If you must put action on this, I like the suddenly looking somewhat stable Lions to beat the constantly in turmoil Browns and to cover the field goal and then some spread. For some reason the Browns' defense has not been playing that bad, they apparently missed the memo to suck for this season, but I just don't trust their offense to score anything here.
BUFFALO +9 at Jacksonville
Yes, there is no logic here to this pick. ITS CRRRRAAAAZY! Who on earth would think that the Bills, who just fired their head coach Dick Jauron so he can concentrate becoming the completely dead instead of just the walking dead, could actually compete with the Jaguars who just ran all over the Jets, well I do ladies and gents. Take the Bills who will be so happy to finally play to win instead of playing not to lose like the did with "not really tricky at all" Dickie Jauron.
Pittsburgh at KANSAS CITY +10
Pittsburgh is without their defensive rock Troy Polamalu yet again and they are going seriously pass crazy even though their offensive line cannot pass block to save their lives. This game is and should be a get well game for the Steelers and they should win, but I dont like laying double digits to the home dog so the plan here is to take KC and the points and pray that not having Larry Johnson will be enough to allow the Chiefs to function like a real NFL team.
INDIANAPOLIS -1 at Baltimore
The Colts are a really really good football team, meanwhile the Ravens still have people thinking their defense is the one that won them a Super Bowl in 2000. That was 9 years ago people, wake up. They are a 5-4 team right now and looked wretched against the Browns last week. They could only score 1 offensive touchdown against them. That is bad, man, like crazy bad, Beastmaster bad.
Yeah, I am actually watching Beastmaster right now, it is such a bad movie but like the sucker I am, I am still watching it because I am too lazy to find something else on tv. Well that and I find that if there is anything on TV on that I actually care about when I am writing, I get ZERO work done. Funny how that works. I did get a little nostalgic for Marc Singer watching the new V on tv the other day though. I still don't know if I actually like the new V or if I am just waiting for it to be as awesome as the old V seemed when I was like 8 years old. WTF is Marc Singer up to besides hitting the comic book conventions circuit? Also, Did you know Rip Torn is in Beastmaster? I certainly didn't know that, but I, sir, am a moron. That guy must've had it rough as an actor before the Larry Sanders show, which, by the way, is possibly one of the top 5 greatest television comedies in my life time. Such an underrated show. Or maybe its just rated. At this point, with people like me talking it up its probably making it overrated. Whatever, lets move on, shall we?
ATLANTA +6.5 at New York Giants
The Giants are coming off a bye week and have lost 4 games straight with their secondary and quarterback both injured and struggling while the Falcons are as up and down as any team in the NFL. 2nd year QB Matty Ice is not looking so good this season after his breakout rookie year but his running game has been working for him lately so they could have a chance in this game even if Turner the Burner sits this one out. I wouldn't pick the Falcons to win this game outright, but I cant see the Giants busting this one wide open. This pick here is a sharp pick if it works and it should...unless the Giants are healed in their secondary and Eli shows no ill effects from his foot thing. If that is the case, I am fucked.
SAN FRANCISCO +6.5 at Green Bay
Another road dog? What am I smoking? Well truthfully, nothing, but I am eating mozzarella sticks and pepperoni slices at the same time. Its like all the fun of pizza without the dough and sauce. You take one bite of the cheese stick and then take a couple pepperoni slices and it is meaty, cheesy tastiness. What is even better are those mozzarella/pepperoni rolls you can get in the cheese section of any grocery store. Its all done for you, you just have to cut it, or, like I do, just chomp down into that sucker and rip you off a piece of tasty meatcheese. There isnt much like snacking on meats and cheeses at 3am while you are trying to blog. You know you've entered a new stage in life when you pass on the chips or candy and use meat as your junk food. Its primal and yet refined at the same time. Its refimal.
Anyway, Green Bay is a mess right now and if you've been betting on them lately you are a braver person than I. I have no idea how they beat the Cowboys and I bet neither do they. Sure their sound bites all say the right thing, but inside, they have to be like "What the fuck just happened there? We're still in this somehow! Hot damn!" The 49ers right now look downright scary with their running game and that is helping to mask the fact that Alex Smith is not and should not be a NFL quarterback. How is he not in the UFL? I gotta think Sexy Rexy or JP Losman could do a little better here. Take the 49ers and pray that Mike Singletary can get some pressure on Aaron Rogers since his line has more holes in it than my meth-head cousin's brain.
Seattle at MINNESOTA -10.5
Big spread, biiiiiig spread. I have done pretty well betting against Seattle all year, especially on the road where they are 0-4. I like their streak of losing and my streak of winning when betting against them to continue here. Seattle's defense stinks worse than my breath after eating mozzarella sticks and pepperoni all night...Mrs. Rage is not going to be happy when she catches a whiff of this. I'm not even sure if brushing my teeth and mouthwash is going to stop this from blasting her nostrils and making her visibly gag when i see her in the morning. Also, have you ever gotten liquid smoke on your hands? I used a little liquid smoke to flavor some turkey I was cooking up tonight (I live in a condo, no balcony, which means no grill, I needed some smokey flavor and I know it isnt the same but I have to use it anyway, leave me alone) and I got some of it on my hands and it wont go away. The downside of this is, my hands stink of bottled smokey flavoring, the upside is, my hands smell like delicious smoked meats. You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have...the facts of life.
So, to sum up, my breath and my hands smell like smoked meats and cheese and take Minnesota.
Washington at DALLAS -11
Who in the hell thought the Redskins could win that game last week? Not I. My personal thanks to Kyle Orton, the Redskins MVP for the game. Their offense was lighting up the Redskins defense when he was at quarterback but once he injured his ankle, they could only muster 36 yards with the spleenless Chris Simms at the helm. Who would've thought that a spleen was an integral part of being a QB in the NFL. Lets look at his stats pre spleen removal and post spleen removal:
Pre Spleen: 19 games played, completed 59.1% of his passes, QB rating of 71.2
Post Spleen: 2 games played, 26% completions, QB rating...well it was 7.2 last week...that is bad.
After this small sample size my conclusions are that spleens are necessary for survival in the NFL. Wait I am just handed a note...Drew Bledsoe ruptured his spleen in like 2000, paving the way for Tom Brady to steal his job, and after his spleen got obliterated his stat lines were statistically better in Buffalo and Dallas than when he was with the Patriots. Ok, so maybe not having a spleen only hurts when you are Chris Simms and you suck. You have NOTHING on Major Applewhite, Simms! NOTHING!
NEW ORLEANS -11 at Tampa Bay
New Orleans has been playing it close lately with their opponents and because of that, this week, I like them to break out of their semi-slump and dominate. I say semi-slump because they still haven't lost a game, they've just been playing in some squeakers. Ronde Barber can only do so much against the offense of the Saints. All the Saints receivers should run wild in this game.
Also, am I the only won in this world rooting for a Saints/Bengals superbowl? Who Dats vs Who Deys! Why don't more teams do this? Someone needs to adopt Who 'Dis? or Who Dont! or Who Dunnit! Or something.
Arizona at ST. LOUIS +9
The Cardinals have been playing pretty well lately but I like Steven Jackson to make this game competitive. I still cannot say how sorry I feel for that man. He must really love the game to put forth such effort every game for such a God awful team. I like their chances at home here to keep this game close and even possibly steal one away from the NFC Champs.
New York Jets at NEW ENGLAND -10.5
The Jets are frauds, frauds with a running game, but frauds nonetheless. I think the Patriots here do one of those no mercy style beatdowns on the Jets to make up for their close game against the Colts last week. There shouldn't be any controversy on the final play of this game, unless its about the Patriots trying to run up the score.
TENNESSEE +4 at Houston
With Chris Johnson looking like the second coming of Walter Payton can anyone reasonably bet against the Titans right now? Their defense scored twice last week, they have the best running back in football and Vince Young is playing some very un-Vince Young like football right now. The Texans never seem to ever live up to their hype and even though they have had 2 weeks to prepare for this game, their defense will not be prepared for Chris Johnson. Little known fact (especially do all you Deadspin readers) Chris Johnson's middle name actually is Duan. How cool is that?
UPSET SPECIAL OF THE WEEK
Cincinnati at OAKLAND +9.5
I just have to think at some point again, real soon, then Bengals will look like the Bungles. This might be it. On the road, with their #1 running back injured, against a team with absolutely nothing to lose...and they just signed the ultimate locker room disaster Larry Johnson. I smell UPSET OF THE WEEK material game right here! I need to hit up a sports bar this Sunday so I can watch this game I think. Watching the Raiders is like watching a NASCAR event, you watch it for the crashes, and crashes in this case mean you watch it waiting for Tom Cable to pull a Woody Hayes or Buddy Ryan and just punch the living shit out of someone.
LOCK OF THE WEEK
PHILADELPHIA -3 at Chicago
Even the Eagles cant mess this game up. The Bears simply are a team lacking in talent right now. Their offensive line is a disaster and their vaunted defense from years past is a shell of its former self. Meanwhile, if Andy Reid could just get out of his way and stop making game planning so complicated, the Eagles could beat anyone in the league. Take the Eagles and the 3 points, this one is a gimme.
*Deuce of Davenport is only doing this column for entertainment purposes only, you'd be a fool to actually follow any of this advice and/or these picks. We accept no responsibility for anyone actually gambling with these picks.