Saturday, December 22, 2018

The FGR's Week 16 NFL Picks

I have a few pet peeves (no really I do) but maybe the biggest one is when I park my car on the far side of a mostly empty parking lot to avoid even the slightest interaction with other people and their cars and then return to find that some dickhead has parked in the spot adjacent to mine. There are like a hundred wide-open fucking spots with no other cars around them. Why must they park next to me? What is the rationale? I need to know. Do these people not see the other spots? Were they not hugged as children? Is this yet another deep state conspiracy designed solely to piss me off? 

Well yesterday when I came-out of the gym and saw that some asshole had backed his Ram 1500 pick-up into the spot next to mine and about 18 inches from my door, I'd had enough so I left him a friendly note that read "Nice Parking Job Asshole . . . Merry Christmas and Go Fuck Yourself." (Note that I used a period at the end instead of an exclamation point because the subtle "Go Fuck Yourself" is so much more effective). I was going to take a picture of it but then I noticed the dog tags hanging from the rear-view mirror so I got the hell out of there. I know it's my destiny in life to get shot or stabbed while taking a meaningless moral stand but not on that day my friend. Not on that day. Let's pick some games.        

Tennessee by 9.5 over Washington: The Pick - Titans

I really don't want to touch this game because the Redskins are that impossible team to figure-out due to injuries and the Titans are just an impossible team to figure-out. The numbers say to take the Skins but I just can't do it. There's no way they score points on the road against a good defense which, unlike Jacksonville, still gives a shit. Oh by the way, if the Redskins win-out and the Vikings lose a game, I'm pretty sure Washington makes the playoffs. Ladies and gentlemen your flabby NFC midsection. 

L.A. Chargers by 4.5 over Baltimore: The Pick - Chargers 

It just never gets old.
And it never will.
It's pretty clear at this point that the Patriots and the Steelers conspired to fuck over the Ravens last week. Now the Steelers can lose to the Saints and still win the division because the Ravens can't protect a 4th quarter lead against a quality quarterback and, even if they can this week, it's all going to come crumbling down against the Browns in week 17 (and I'll be there to watch it happen because I revel in agony). That would allow Tom Brady to avoid another playoff bludgeoning at the hands of the Ravens defense. Which is a shame.

Cleveland by 8.5 over Cincinnati: The Pick - Bengals 

The Browns are 4-2 since they fired Hue Jackson as head coach and they've won four out of their last five. The Bengals are 1-4 since they hired Hue Jackson as an assistant coach. I don't even have a joke here. I don't even need one.  

Dallas by 7 over Tampa Bay: The Pick - Bucs 

Man this week is going to be one big leap of faith because the numbers are saying that almost all of the really shitty teams are undervalued so yeah, take the Bucs here. They actually played the Ravens reasonably tough on the road last week and at this point they need to start impressing potential head coaches or they're going to get stuck with Hue Jackson next year.    

Minnesota by 4 at Detroit: The Pick - Lions 

The Vikings control their own playoff destiny but that takes on a whole different meaning when Kirk Cousins is your quarterback. They'll probably be fine this week because the Lions don't have one of those pesky .500 or better records that Cousins is something like 4-24 against but he's still going to make it interesting because this game matters. Also this is garbage time so look for Matthew Stafford to really raise his game.   

Indy by 9.5 over N.Y. Giants: The Pick - Giants 

"Can you believe they still pay me
like $20M a year to do this shit?"
The FGR System says that 9.5 is too many points but damn it's hard to pick the Giants because it feels like they've literally had nothing to play for since they got blown-out by the Packers in their 2016 Wild Card game. Since then they're 8-22 and that's probably better than you thought it was because you can't escape the picture in your head of a mildly annoyed and miffed Eli Manning wondering how he just overthrew another receiver on third down.

Miami by 3.5 over Jacksonville: The Pick - Dolphins 

Hey remember when the Dolphins were a playoff contender like eight days ago? Yeah me neither. But they've still got to be more than four points better than a Jags team that just lost at home to an already crappy Redskins team starting a 4th string quarterback. I'm not exactly sure when Doug Marrone lost his team but it was probably somewhere between the 40-7 blowout in Dallas and the time his players got arrested for trying to walk-out on a $64,000 London nightclub tab two nights before they lost to the Eagles. Apparently it was all just a big misunderstanding. Kind of like the whole Jaguars organization.      

New England by 13.5 over Buffalo: The Pick - Bills 

This number is absurd. The Patriots have lost two in a row and three of their last five as Gronk now looks like a lumbering giant who has taken one too many pygmy arrows to the hamstring. He's clearly about to collapse on the village to roaring pygmy applause. Meanwhile, the Bills have settled into upstate New York football mode (ugly it up . . . keep it close) and their last four games have been decided by four points or less. Sure those four games were against the Dolphins, Jags, Jets and Lions but they're still technically NFL teams . . . right? 

Green Bay by 3 at the N.Y. Jets: The Pick - Jets 

I was so tempted to override the System on this one because you know . . . the Jets . . . but the following three things deterred me: (1) By my numbers, the Jets should actually be favored in this game which is supported by the fact that the Packers haven't beaten a remotely good team since the Bears in the first week of the season; (2) the Packers no longer have anything to play for which means we might see a reversion back to the utterly disinterested Aaron Rodgers who was clearly playing out the string of the Mike McCarthy regime; and (3) when interim Packers head coach Joe Philbin was with the Dolphins, the Hard Knocks crew filmed him picking-up a tiny piece of trash on the way to the practice field as the narrator praised his "commitment to detail." Of all the ways that coaches and general managers have looked incompetent on Hard Knocks (and there have been plenty of them), I always found that moment to be the most comical. He went 7-9, 8-8, 8-8 and 1-3 before finally getting fired but clearly it was not for a lack of attention to detail. We have proof of that.        

Philadelphia by 1.5 over Houston: The Pick - Texans 

Despite all of their fucking around the Eagles now find themselves just a half game behind the Vikings for the final NFC wild card. They should win at the Redskins next week and you know that Kirk Cousins and the Vikings are going to barf-up a hairball against the Bears in their last game so that means that this is effectively a playoff qualifier for them. But does that along with a win over the stumbling Rams really mean that they should be favored over the 10-4 Texans? Are we buying that? No. We most certainly are not.  

Atlanta by 3.5 at Carolina: The Pick - Falcons

"Did you say Heinicke?
He still owes me money!"
This line literally flipped from Carolina by 3.5 to Atlanta by 3.5 based on the news that Cam Newton was taking the rest of the season off. So is Cam Newton really worth 7 points? I guess that depends on who is starting in his place. Let's see that would be one Taylor Heinicke who has been bouncing around the league for three years while amassing a career stat line of 3-5 for 56 yards. I'm going to tentatively assume that even the torpid Falcons can handle this situation.

L.A. Rams by 14 at Arizona: The Pick - Cardinals 

There is clearly trouble in Los Angeles and it isn't just the fact that Hollywood appears to have completely given-up on new ideas (though I'm really looking forward to that Kylo Ren-Wonder Woman crossover RomCom next year). Jared Goff has thrown six picks in his last two games and Todd Gurley just ain't right. Fortunately for the Rams they end the season in what should be low stress fashion with a trip to Arizona followed by a home game against the 49ers. If they take care of business, it means a first round bye and, more importantly, that their playoff road will not go through Chicago. But, if they stumble, they're fucked on both fronts.

Chicago by 4 at San Francisco: The Pick - Bears 

This line befuddles me. The Bears just mauled the Rams and Packers (see what I did there?) and might be the best team in football right now. I know that the 49ers have been plucky at home with a 4-3 record but three of those wins were against the Raiders, Lions and Broncos. The Bears are starting to develop that look of the Super Bowl team that just brutalizes their first round opponent at home and then rides that right through the pretty boy offenses of the Rams and Saints.      

New Orleans by 5.5 over Pittsburgh: The Pick - Saints 

This line befuddles me even more. The last two times the Steelers played on the road they lost to the Broncos and the freakin' Raiders. Just because they got-up for a must win home game against a sketchy Patriots team doesn't mean they've turned it around. Meanwhile, the Saints are coming-off a three game road trip and have won five in a row at home by an average of 18.4 points per game. In my totally unbiased objective opinion, the Steelers are going to get run out of the gym.

Kansas City by 2.5 at Seattle: The Pick - Chiefs 

Good litmus configuration test for the Chiefs before they head into the playoffs. Also kind of a big deal because if they lose, the Chargers will probably blow by them for the #1 seed. That would drop the Chiefs into the wild card meaning that they'd have to spend a long January weekend in either Baltimore or Pittsburgh. Man just thinking about that gives me the shakes. (You live here). Shit. 


Denver by 2.5 at Oakland: The Pick - Broncos 

And then there's this steaming turd that someone left on the Monday night porch. Because there is no Monday night game next week, this decision to apparently throw former MNF announcer Jon Gruden a bone will serve as the finale to a season of drek that fittingly started with the Jets at the Lions and was only salvaged by the Chiefs-Rams game. I don't know what the methodology was for picking the Monday night games this year but I'm pretty sure it involved putting the names of every team on a different turtle in a pen and then seeing which ones started humping each other. I can think of no other explanation.     

Last Week's Record: 5-8 . . . Season Record: 54-52-3.

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