Thursday, October 25, 2018

The FGR's Week 8 NFL Picks

I got off to a bit of a bumpy start last week going 6-7 but I'm taking solace in the fact that I would've had a winning record if: (1) I had stuck with the Texans over the Jags instead of switching at the last minute so that my pick fit my Bill O'Brien getting fired theory, (2) the freakin' Falcons still weren't the most charitable fourth quarter team in the league, and (3) any number of kicks had found their way through the uprights. I expect that from a kicker Cowboys or Browns kicker but et tu Justin Tucker? You have led me to question everything I once believed. Seriously, as if I wasn't already doubting the very desire of the human race to survive past the year 2023, then Justin Tucker misses a critical extra point. Now I'm incredulous about whether we actually exist at all. On that note, LET'S PICK SOME GAMES!!!

Houston by 7 over Miami: The Pick - Texans

Thanks to a four game winning streak over the JV line-up of the Colts, Jags, Cowboys and Bills, the Texans are at the top of a division, the entirety of which would be on the verge of contraction if this were European soccer. The Colts, Jags and Titans are a combined 1-8 in their last nine games and that lone win was over the Bills. If these teams didn't get to play each other six times a year, we could be looking at our first 6-10 divisional winner. And even with all of that being said, I still think that the Texans will cover tonight because Brock Osweiler is going to be so pumped to prove them wrong that he's going to play like Brock Osweiler. 

Philadelphia by 3 over Jacksonville (in London): The Pick - Eagles

This is the exchange between Tom Hanks and Tom Everett Scott from the end of That Thing You Do when everything had turned to shit for The Wonders:

Mr. White: Jimmy just quit. Your band is falling apart, Guy. Where's Lenny?

Guy: I have no idea.

Now let's have fun with metaphors and put Jaguars owner Shahid Khan and head coach Doug Marrone in those roles:

Mr. Khan: Bortles just got benched. Your team is falling apart, Doug. Where's Leonard Fournette?

Doug: I have no idea.

You get the picture.

Chicago by 7.5 over N.Y. Jets: The Pick - Jets

Despite last week's misstep against the Vikings, I still think the Jets are going to cover some spreads this year though it would such a typical Long Island move to not cover spreads just to prove me wrong. "Yo I gotcha spread right heeya" (grabs crotch through front of two sizes too small sweatpants).    

Cincinnati by 4.5 over Tampa Bay: The Pick - Bengals

Tampa Bay might be the worst three win team in NFL history not currently playing in the AFC South and everytime they win another game this year they will then become the worst team in NFL history that has won that many games. At least I got a solid fantasy football contribution from Jameis Winston before he flames-out and opens a doomed Tallahassee nightclub with Johnny Manziel and Christian Ponder called Crab Legs and Dreams

And speaking of fantasy football (smooth segue brah), I'm going back to the well on the Dan Le Batard "Looks Like" game and pointing-out that ESPN's Matthew Berry looks like a former clown who now owns a balloon shop. That one knocks Tim Kurkjian for a loop at about the 0:50 mark of this clip (never not funny):

Detroit by 3 over Seattle: The Pick - Seahawks

I know the Lions have won three of their last four including wins over the Patriots and the Packers while the team formerly known as the Seattle Seahawks is only 3-3 thanks to wins over teams with a combined record of 5-15 but this just feels like the spot where the Lions step on a rake in the form of a few sloppy Matthew Stafford picks and questionable roughing the passer penalty. By the way, has anyone actually seen Matt Patricia write with that fucking pencil? Are we sure that's not just a bizarre birth defect or the product of a gruesome second grade slip and fall followed by a case of medical malpractice on the part of a drunk plastic surgeon ("I'M FINE GODDAMMIT. . . NOW GET THE HELL OUT OF MY OPERATING ROOM AND LET ME REATTACH THIS BOY'S PENCIL BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!!).  

Kansas City by 10 over Denver: The Pick - Broncos

Every year there's at least one team that convinces itself that they're just a game managing quarterback away from making a Super Bowl run. It often comes on the heels of a botched first round pick (Paxton Lynch) which then leads to a three year case of draft jitters and potential missed opportunities (Josh Allen and Josh Rosen). Ravens fans call this the "Kyle Boller Effect." 

Don't worry Denver. The symptoms should start to subside by 2020 at which point you'll barely remember that the Chiefs traded-up from behind the Broncos in 2017 to take Patrick Mahomes while John Elway took Chad Kelly with the last pick of the same draft. This week Kelly become the first reported case of a player getting kicked-off his high school, college and pro football teams after he mysteriously wandered into a random house Monday night and sat on the couch next to the wife and child before getting whacked on the head with a vacuum cleaner attachment. In his defense, the same thing happened to me recently. Twice. Seems like a good spot for TWEET OF THE WEEK . . . 

 Washington by 1 at N.Y. Giants: The Pick - Giants

You know Vegas thinks the world of you when you're 4-2 playing a 1-6 team and they only favor you by a point. Say all of the shitty things you want about the Redskins (please) but their defense is only allowing 20.7 points per game due in large part to the fact that they're only allowing 87.3 yards per game rushing. Of course their own offense is only averaging 21 points per game but that's what you get when you settle for the Alex Smith model. Says so right there on the warning label: Alex Smith has been known to cause low scoring, blown leads, excessive dump-downs and settling for field goals. Alex Smith is not recommended for protecting a lead. Side effects of using Alex Smith in the playoffs include agitation, sleeplessness and rectal bleeding. 

Pittsburgh by 8 over Cleveland: The Pick - Steelers

The Steelers have now strung together two quality wins in a row and their only losses this year are to the Ravens and the Chiefs so these rumors of their demise are just the annual early season smokescreen. They're 48-21-1 since the start of the 2014 season which I'm pretty sure makes them the second best team in the league over that period (the fucking Patriots are 58-15). Meanwhile, the Browns suck.  

Baltimore by 2 at Carolina: The Pick - Ravens

On Saturday night I had to borrow my wife's reading glasses at dinner and my "friend" took a picture of me and posted it on Facebook with a comment that he was having dinner with Paul Shaffer (the comment was accurate and this will all kind of make sense in a minute). In my preview of the Ravens-Saints game last week I wrote that the Ravens would contain Drew Brees long enough "to give Justin Tucker a shot at the game winning field goal which he will make . . . because he always does." So I'm not asking I'm telling with this . . . kick my ass! 


Indianapolis by 3 at Oakland: The Pick - Colts

With the trade of Amari Cooper and the seemingly impending departure of Derek Carr, Jon Gruden appears hell-bent on tearing down this team and rebuilding it in his own image. The question is, what in the hell will that look like? His main claim to fame other than being a quarterback guru with no real track record of successfully identifying or coaching good quarterbacks is that he won a Super Bowl on the back of a Tony Dungy/Monte Kiffin defense. We're only seven weeks into this Jon Gruden debacle and we already have a clock devoted to counting down the years, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds until his contract expires along with a running tally of how much he is still due to be paid and how much he has made since you arrived at this website.  

L.A. Rams by 9.5 over Green Bay: The Pick - Packers

I would never wish injury on Aaron Rodgers because (a) that would be wrong and (b) he's one of the few players left in the league who single-handedly makes a game worth watching. However, on those occasions where he does have to come-out of the game because one of his legs has stopped functioning, I am always thankful because it means a DeShone Kizer appearance which in turn reminds me of the new best nickname in sports . . . "Kizer So So". You're welcome.    

San Francisco by 1 at Arizona: The Pick - 49ers

Cheerleader of the week!
(Arizona Cardinals)**
This game between two 1-6 teams is utterly pointless so I'm going to use this opportunity to brag about driving the green of a 310 yard par 4 yesterday. Yes it was downwind and the fairway was harder than Ikea directions but I fucking annihilated that ball with a little cut, found the slot in front of the green and rolled it up to about twenty feet. The eagle putt never really had a chance primarily because I had already three-putted twice through the first seven holes and I wasn't going to ruin the moment by wet-farting this one four feet past the hole and then missing the come backer. Frankly the whole experience was a bit anticlimactic. Kind of like this season's final episode of Ozark.* (Spoiler alert on the footnote). 

Minnesota by 1 over New Orleans: The Pick - Vikings

Hey look it's a rematch from the game that produced one of the five greatest finishes in NFL history (here's the Diggs catch as called by the hometown radio guys if you want to feel happy for ten seconds). The Ravens defense proved last week that you can slow down Drew Brees on the road and hold his completion percentage under 75% (he only completed 73.3%). Combine that with the fact that there is no way you can win consecutive road games in this league against teams who wear purple jerseys and play in cities where people speak with cringeworthy accents and I like the Vikings.  

New England by 14 at Buffalo: The Pick - Patriots

The Monday Night Football schedule makers strike again and this time they've gone the extra yard and found a game with almost no fantasy intrigue other than who will get all of the garbage time carries for the Patriots now that Sony Michel is out. I have no idea how this process works but I assume that ESPN at least gets to choose from a pool of scheduled games after NBC has taken the best one for Sunday night and Fox picks their afternoon marquee game. That would mean that every game other than New Orleans at Minnesota and Green Bay at the L.A. Rams was available. So then it had to go something like this:

NFL: So you want Washington at the Giants right?

ESPN: No we want Tom Brady against the Bills.

NFL: Ha. Good one. How about the Jets at Chicago? Big TV markets.

ESPN: No we like Brady.

NFL: Broncos at the Chiefs?

ESPN: Brady.     

NFL: Ravens at the Panthers . . . 

ESPN: (In a singing voice) Tom Braaaaaady . . . 

Fuck-off ESPN (that was me talking) 

Last Week's Record . . . 6-7.


Let me guess. There's a big
misunderstanding and Mr.
Furley makes a face.
* I'm not going to give away any specific details on Ozark but let's just say that killing-off characters to resolve complicated storylines is like 1990's network television level weak. I thought that was beneath a show potentially headed for the Sopranos, Wire, Mad Men, Game of Thrones pantheon. Apparently I was wrong as the final episode of Ozark cleaned-up more loose ends with murders of victims who didn't see it coming (despite the murderer basically holding the murder weapon and saying "I'm about to kill you so you might want to walk away") than a Quentin Tarantino movie and was more predictable than an episode of Three's Company

** As something of a moral compromise to offset the questionably legal way that cheerleaders are treated by the teams they work for and the league in general (and the Redskins in particular), I'm going with modelling shots that I assume they got paid for on the side even though the league probably has some shitty clause that entitles them to all of the proceeds from their modeling gigs. I assume that this new approach will be acceptable to everyone (you know who you are).   

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