Sunday, November 18, 2018

The FGR's Week 11 NFL Picks

As I typically scrambled to get last week's picks in under the wire at about noon on Sunday because literally no one was urgently waiting on them as either a source of information or entertainment, I noticed that I had gone way overboard on favorites (11 out of 13 games) which never feels like a good thing. They all just seemed so obvious. Either I had an elite team on one side (Rams and Patriots), a JV team on the other side (Bills and Browns) or both (Chiefs v. Cardinals). So how did that work-out for me? Total. Fucking. Blood bath.

By the end of the 1:00 p.m. games I was 1-6-1 and the teams I picked had lost outright by a combined score of 235-139. In six of those eight games I picked the favorite and they lost by a combined score of 155-99 despite the fact that they were favored by a combined 30.5 which means that they failed to cover by an average of over two touchdowns per game. The meltdown slowed as the day went on with the Packers and Chargers covering but then the Rams let the Seahawks hang-around, the Eagles continued their post-Super Bowl impression of a drunk guy slowly falling-off a stool and the 49ers reminded everyone that there was a time that Eli Manning didn't play like he was made of Jell-O. The final carnage was 3-9-1. 

So this week I'm going to overreact by picking at least as many underdogs as favorites whether I want to or not. 

"I mean look at me. I wear a hat
to work and have a stupid fucking
pencil stuck behind my ear."
Carolina by 4 at Detroit: The Pick - Panthers

The Panthers got humiliated by the Steelers last week so they should be heading to Detroit seriously pissed-off. Meanwhile, Matt Patricia is barely halfway through the first year of his head coaching career and he's already doing stupid shit like having his team practice in the snow to prepare for their next four games which will be played indoors and in Arizona. This comes on the heels of him telling a reporter to "just kinda sit up" and "have a little respect for the process." Apparently the sheer act of putting on that Lions' hat makes you an imbecile.

Atlanta by 3 over Dallas: The Pick - Falcons

Last week I predicted that the Falcons would be the team that reeled-off six or seven wins down the stretch and rolled into the playoffs as the team that no one wanted to play. They promptly went to Cleveland and played like they had been told they had to live there for a year after the game. On the other hand, Dallas sucks. 

Baltimore by 4 over Cincinnati: The Pick - Bengals

Apparently it's now a given that when the season is over, the Ravens and John Harbaugh will simply shake hands and part ways amicably. Calls to mind Jack Handy's deep thought . . . "when the age of the Vikings came to a close, they must have sensed it. Probably, they gathered together one evening, slapped each other on the back and said, 'Hey, good job.'" Harbaugh's legacy in Baltimore will be that he won close to 60% of his regular season games, went 10-5 in the playoffs and won a Super Bowl with a quarterback who was never considered top ten in the league. He'll have a dozen job offers waiting for him after the press conference.  

Chicago by 2.5 over Minnesota: The Pick - Vikings

Despite their major hiccup against the Bills, the Vikings have actually weathered the first part of their schedule pretty well with their two other losses coming at the hands of the two best teams in football (Saints and Rams). Their reward is that they get to play three of the next four on the road at Chicago, Seattle and New England with the one home game coming against the Packers. The launch of the Kirk Cousins era may be on hold until next year.  

"Oh sugar. Drew can cover
any number you want."
New Orleans by 7.5 over Philly: The Pick - Saints

That 7.5 number is scary but it sure feels like the Eagles are satisfied with their one season championship streak. Not to mention, it feels like the Saints could cover just about any number at this point. Except maybe 12.5. No one ever covers 12.5. It's a fact.

Indy by 2 over Tennessee: The Pick - Titans

The Titans are allowing the fewest points per game (16.8) in the league and the Colts are averaging the sixth most (28.9) so something's got to give. Considering that the Colts just put together one of the league's least impressive three game winning streaks over the Raiders, Bills and Jags, I'm going to bet that they don't make it four.  

Houston by 3 at Washington: The Pick - Texans

I have dedicated myself to not believing in the Redskins until I'm right and apparently Vegas is of the same mind because when was the last time you saw a 6-3 division leading team giving points at home against a team that doesn't have a win over a team with a winning record? In a related story, I need to find another word for "team" . . . squad? , , , unit? . . . outfit?

Arizona by 5 over Oakland: The Pick - Raiders

Remember that much of this team that Jon Gruden is tearing-down and trying to rebuild in his own image went 12-4 in 2016 and was one late season Derek Carr injury away from potentially going to the Super Bowl. Now they're on pace to go 1-15 with the lone win coming at home against the Browns in a game the refs practically had to win for them. This feels like one where they cover but come-up short in the end. It's really one of 2018's more underrated enjoyable story lines.   

N.Y. Giants by 1.5 over Tampa Bay: The Pick: Bucs

The less said about this game the better. I just can't believe this shit sandwich isn't being served on Monday night.

L.A. Chargers by 7 over Denver: The Pick - Chargers

There is a growing consensus that Phillip Rivers is going to the Hall of Fame based on his bloated stats. Meanwhile, the Chargers are rolling towards another first round playoff appearance where they blow a second half lead and drop Rivers' playoff record to 4-6. Might want to leave that stat off the bust.   

Pittsburgh by 5 at Jacksonville: The Pick - Jags

The Steelers have been on a roll but they're always going to have that enigmatic quality and, if it's going to reveal itself (as it always does), then on the road in Jacksonville is where it will probably happen. I know the Jags have returned to pre-2017 form but now Leonard Fournette is back and they can't be six losses in a row bad can they? (Don't answer that). 

L.A. Rams by 3.5 over Kansas City: The Pick - Chiefs

Way back in week two I did some NFL power rankings and had the Rams in the top spot with a projected record of 13-3 and the Chiefs in the fifth spot with a projected record of 11-5. I took some heat for that on Reddit, especially the part about the Chiefs. (I've since been banned from posting NFL stuff on Reddit for being overly self-promotional (who me?)). Turns-out I actually undervalued both of them as 13-3 looks like the worst either could finish. Suck it Reddit. Your loss.

Last Week's Record: 3-9-1 . . . Overall Record: 24-27-2.    

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