Sunday, October 12, 2014

The FGR Week 6 NFL Picks

The following scenario pretty much sums-up the current state of the NFL. At some point as last week's one o'clock games were all in the third quarter, every single FGR pick except one was either covering or, in the case of the Steelers (playing the hapless Jags), on their way to covering. The one outlier was the Browns who were getting manhandled by the Titans, arguably the worst team in football. This prompted me to say out loud, "serves me right for missing a shot at running the table because I picked the freakin' Browns." What happened next proves that the NFL has overshot parity and reached a point where we have the Seahawks at the top, the Raiders, Jaguars and Titans at the bottom and in the middle there are twenty-eight different shades of carpet stain. Let us review.
  • The Bears had a 21-7 lead over the Panthers with two minutes left in the first half and then played the last thirty-two minutes with their hands around their necks (which was not easy because their heads were up their asses at the time) and lost the game 31-24.
  • The Falcons led the Giants 20-10 halfway through the third quarter. Matty "Ice" and company would not score again and lost 30-20. (I think that nickname is actually starting to fit . . . just not the way it was originally intended).
  •  The Lions were at home and led the Bills 14-3 with two minutes left in the third quarter before losing 17-14. Oh yeah, the Bills quarterback was Kyle Orton. And oh yeah, the Lions are still a joke in the mellowed post Jim Schwartz era.
  • The Eagles led the Rams 34-7 with thirty seconds left in the third quarter. With 1:19 left in the game, the Rams had the ball at midfield down 34-28 after Austin Davis' 43 yard pass to Brian Quick. That was Davis' 97th NFL completion and Quick's 50th NFL catch so we're not exactly talking about Montana to Rice. The Eagles managed to hold-on for the win but blew the cover on the 6.5 point spread. Sons a bitches.
  • If not for the game below, the Saints-Bucs would have taken the cake as first the Saints gagged away a 13-0 first quarter lead before the Bucs gagged a 31-20 fourth quarter lead to eventually lose 37-31 in overtime. Fortunately for the FGR, the spread was 10.5 and I'm on an anti-Saints campaign until they start playing like a team that's at least half as good as they think they are. (Cut to another sideline shot of Rob Ryan playing the role of the worst coordinator in football).
  • And then we had the Browns at the Titans. Cleveland spotted the home team a 28-3 lead with 2:44 left to play in the first half. From that point forward it was 26-0 Cleveland on the strength of three Brian Hoyer touchdown passes, a safety and a Billy Cundiff field goal (and I can tell you from experience, if Billy Cundiff is beating you, it's not your day).
So that is the current NFL environment in which "experts" like myself are forced to pick games. With that being said, ground has been gained over the last few weeks and, with another Thursday night win, Mount .500 is no longer a speck in the distance . . . now it's more of a daunting summit towering over me, daring me, almost taunting me to climb it. (This is the Michael Jordan approach of convincing yourself that your opponent is disrespecting you so you'll be motivated to not just beat him but destroy him. Jordan was like a really angry Sun Tzu). One step at a time. Here we go.

Denver by 9.5 at N.Y. Jets: The Pick - Broncos

I know this is a trap game with a number that high but to cover, the Jets are going to have to score more than 14 points and I just can't see it . . . wait . . . nope, still can't see it.

Cleveland by 2 over Pittsburgh: The Pick - Browns

Forget the spread. One of these teams is going to win 13-10 and not even God knows or cares which one but what he and I do agree on is that there is no way these two teams are going to combine for 47 points. (Psssst . . . take the under). 

Tennessee by 4 over Jacksonville: The Pick - Jags

When I first wrote the lines down on Thursday, this number was 5.5 and then people started trying to concoct scenarios under which the Titans could beat anyone by almost a touchdown. Now it's down to just over a field goal and the scenarios are not much more plausible, even against the Jags. Yikes.

Atlanta by 3 over Chicago: The Pick - Falcons
This just never gets old.

I watched Top Gun for the 47th time the other night and one of my favorite underrated lines is when Viper gets chewed-out by the guy from the tower after Maverick buzzed him and made him do a spit take with his coffee. As he walks by Maverick and Goose, Viper says, "that just about covers the fly-bys" meaning that no more discussion on the topic is warranted. I think we can say the same about the Falcons and the Bears Super Bowl chances in the Matty "Ice" Ryan and "Smokin'" Jay Cutler eras. 

Green Bay by 3.5 at Miami: The Pick - Packers

I'm pretty much locked in on the Packers (and by the Packers, I mean Aaron Rodgers) unless they're more than a seven point favorite on the road against a decent team. The Dolphins' March to 8-8 begins in earnest now.

Detroit by 1.5 at Minnesota: The Pick - Vikings

I would love to make this a one word analysis but I can't figure-out a way to say, "the Lions suck" in one word. TheLionsSuck. Hey, I did it.

Cincinnati by 6.5 over Carolina: The Pick - Bengals

The Bengals probably thought they were hot shit after starting 3-0 and then they came off their bye week and got trounced by the un-killable zombies out of Boston. I still think they're pretty good and now they're pissed . . . or in Marvin Lewis' case, really darned perturbed you guys. 

New England by 3 at Buffalo: The Pick - Patriots
"Want to split some nachos or somethin'."

The Bills have had a nice run off of their new ownership's "WE'RE STAYING IN BUFFALO FOREVER" campaign. Unfortunately, the reality has now set-in for the players that, "we're staying in Buffalo forever."

Baltimore by 3 at Tampa: The Pick - Ravens

Ravens fans who've been through all of the ups and downs know that Joe Flacco and company are good for at least one manure spreading performance on the road (like last week against the Colts) but they rarely have those games back to back. It's going to be a long day for Mike Glennon. 

San Diego by 7 at Oakland: The Pick - Chargers

The Raiders are 0-4 with an average margin of defeat of 13 points per game. The Chargers are 4-1 and their four wins have come by an average of over 17 points. So I guess the number is 7 because this is a rivalry game?

Seattle by 8 over Dallas: The Pick - Seahawks

I had the Cowboys covering here until I remembered that they practically invented the art of convincing people to think that they're good before parking the car in the front lawn, traipsing through the flowerbed and then waking-up the neighbors because they went to the wrong house (not that that makes them bad people).

Arizona by 3.5 over Washington: The Pick - Redskins
"Go Jimmy from the
accounting department!"

I'm going with the Redskins here solely based on the theory that neither of the two guys the Cardinals would prefer to have at quarterback (Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton) will finish the game meaning that it's going to be close, ugly and barely watchable. 

Philadelphia by 3 over N.Y. Giants: The Pick - Giants

Always take the points in an NFC East game unless you have a very good reason not to like it involves Tony Romo trying to secure a playoff spot which is not the case here. 

San Francisco by 3.5 at St. Louis: The Pick - 49ers

So now everyone in the 49ers organization from the owner to the players can't stand Jim Harbaugh. It's funny how when you're so close to someone, it limits your ability to see who they really are, until it hits you in the face like a frying pan. The good thing for the Niners, however, is that they seem to be playing better as the hate meter rises into the red.

Last Week's Record: 8-6-1 . . . Season Record: 34-41-1. 

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