There comes a time in every woman’s life, where half-resented, perpetually annoying obligations to friends and family, force her to pack a bag, harness her untamable, ill-gotten pet monkey and hit the open road for a short trip out of town. This can be a frustrating experience for any goddamn number of reasons; not the least of which being the requirement to remain absolutely fucking sober and attentive the entire time you’re operating a motor vehicle at high speed. Veteran degenerates and junkies have been known to advise bringing along a companion to deal with the terrifying monotony of the whole situation; but I must tell you ladies and gentlemen that this is an utterly catastrophic mistake of near-biblical proportions in my experience. Properly mastering the wild, poorly-repaired highways and bi-ways of this majestic continent requires absolute, tyrannical control over both the radio and climate settings in your car – bringing along one of your drug-addled homies is a good way to spend a couple of sweaty hours listening to someone the police can easily tie back to you, sing off key renditions of songs you used to love, before finally getting openly ripped out of their goddamn minds in your passenger seat because they don’t have to fucking drive. It is thusly that I find myself traveling this week dear reader and with a heavy heart, I must extend my deepest apologies for not providing you with a proper intro. It is a hard goddamn dollar trying to write between two and three multi-thousand word sports columns and still maintain your day job – this week, all of my “spare” time went to a personal matter and for that, I’m genuinely sorry my friends.
(Week 7 NFL Picks: home teams are in caps with my choice to win listed first. As usual, the IcePuckChic legal department is threatening to detonate my car by remote control if I don’t remind you that these picks are in fact, for entertainment purposes only and we are in no way legally responsible if the bank repossesses your house and you end up dealing smack at the local YMCA; a lonely, broken shell of the person you were before you decided to accept a lunatic’s free gambling advice on the internet.)
Seahawks (-6.5) over 49ERS:
There is no rest for the wicked this week as the Thursday Night Football match-up features two desperate teams that are precisely one loss away from a goddamn Three Mile Island-level nuclear meltdown. Of course, only a halfwit, narcissistic mental midget like Jed York can be truly surprised that the massive tire fire of a franchise in San Francisco finds itself mired in a two and four start this season – but for the defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks, sucking this badly is an entirely different kettle of rancid fish altogether. After last week’s surprisingly predictable fourth quarter implosion against the upstart Panthers, the Hawk’s collective ass sphincters are tight enough to transform coal into diamonds this week – rock star, sleazebag, wonder coach Pete Carroll is stammering his way through press conferences like a banker in front of a televised congressional action committee, the defensive coordinator is openly throwing members of his own secondary under the bus for not getting back to the huddle in time to hear the play call and the fucking running backs are so stressed out, they’re either drag racing against each other in the damn parking lot, or too paralyzed with fear to execute a simple turn on a near-empty laneway without careening head on into a fucking street sign pole. In short, the wolves are circling in Seattle and it’s time for the Seahawks to shut the fuck up and lay a holy ass whopping on inferior competition before the entire goddamn season goes over the side and people start getting dragged before the firing squad. Enter bizarro-world bootleg messiah Colin Kaepernick, and a San Francisco 49ers squad that seems to be feeling a little too damn good about a tepid-as-fuck victory over a putrid Ravens defense, and an “almost but not quite actually a win” game against a Giants team that might be complete, utter shit. Am I comfortable laying seven points on the road after the way the Hawks have played so far this season and with Russell Wilson doing his best Kobe Bryant impression behind a criminally awful offensive line? Fuck no; but would you bet on Kaepernick against a humiliated, vengeful pack of Rottweilers like the Hawks defense with their professional pride at stake and the entire damn season hanging in the balance? Right; the Hawks should win big and look to make up valuable ground in a division that nobody seems particularly fucking interested in winning so far this year.
JAGUARS (+5) over Bills:
At this point in the NFL’s awkward, longstanding attempt to convince a rightfully skeptical public on both side of the Atlantic Ocean that it might be feasible to put an NFL Franchise (cough Jaguars cough) in London, I’m beginning to wonder if some degenerate, smart-assed geek in the league’s marketing office isn’t openly trolling everyone involved. What kind of sadistic son of a bitch spends millions of goddamn dollars marketing American football to bewildered, toothless, alcoholic soccer fans – only to turn around and schedule wave after wave of absolutely terrible match-ups at nine-thirty in the fucking morning; hours before it’s socially acceptable to be shitfaced drunk in America? I knew Goodell was a sick bastard, but shouldn’t Congress get off its ass and do something about this fucking travesty; or is this no longer the land of the free and the home of the brave my friends?! As for the actual game itself, I expect both teams to be fucking terrible but the Jaguars to be slightly less terrible because Buffalo’s training room currently looks like a bloody trauma ward and Rex Ryan teams have a habit of “playing to the level of their competition” – which is a nice way of saying they shit the bed repeatedly against crappy teams because their coach is an overconfident, bloviating gasbag who relies entirely on whipping his players into a frenzy, rather than any sort of definable coaching strategy or acumen. Could the Bills win and cover in this game? Sure, the Jags specialize in failure and this wouldn’t be the first time they lost the mutherfucking plot in London; but the fact that Tyrod Taylor has been ruled out for the game and Percy Harvin is home nursing a hip injury so mysterious that he’s had to deny retirement rumors (at the age of 27), certainly won’t help the cause at all. In the final analysis, the Bills are just missing too many starters on both sides of the ball to justify laying five goddamn points on them in virtually any match-up – even against a team seemingly designed to lose football games like the damn Jacksonville Jaguars.
Browns (+6.5) over RAMS:
Folks, I think it’s time that we talk seriously for a moment about the most terrifying, unforeseen element of absurdity in this young NFL season so far – the development of Josh fucking McCown into a ravenous, cover-busting machine in the post-apocalyptic football wasteland know as Cleveland. Are the Browns actually good? Strictly speaking, no; they’re a two and four football team that couldn’t stop the run if you let them field twelve goddamn players on first and second down. This will present at least some problems on Sunday, as they face off against blossoming lycanthrope running back Todd Gurley, who is practically a mortal fucking lock for two touchdowns and roughly a hundred and twenty yards against Cleveland’s shockingly permeable front seven. With McCown under center however, the Browns have transformed into a squad capable of staggering periods of offensive competence, which somehow manages to hang around against flawed competition just long enough for the Cleveland defense to ultimately lose games in the most excruciating, heartbreaking way possible and at the absolute last fucking second. While I’m sure this is goddamn infuriating for Browns fans, it’s a massive boon for degenerate gamblers looking to stuff their fat faces on free points every fucking week until Vegas catches wise to the Josh McCown phenomenon. Yes, I just typed the words “Josh McCown phenomenon,” tell no one of our secret, budding romance my friends – keep it secret Frodo, keep it safe.
Texans (+4) over DOLPHINS:
So, let me see if I understand this correctly my fellow degenerate disciples of the blessed wager: I get to take human threshing machine JJ Watt, sublime offensive assassin DeAndre Hopkins and suddenly mediocre (in a good way) quarterback-substitute Brian Hoyer; against a petulant, scrub mutherfucker like Ryan Tannehill – because Dolphins interim coach Dan Campbell emptied out his entire bag of bush-league tricks to beat a genuinely putrid Titans squad reduced to running out Zack fucking Mettenberger at quarterback… and I get four points? Hell yeah, to quote Marshawn Lynch, ‘I’m all about that action boss.” To say that I feel pretty confident that Campbell is a neanderthal meathead in way, way over his muscle-bound cranium would be an understatement akin to suggesting January 22nd, 1987 was kind of a bad day at the office for former Pennsylvania State Treasurer Budd Dwyer. If one thing does give me pause about this match-up however, it is the thought of an absolutely jacked up Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh, sacrificing Hoyer in some kind of horrific ancient ritual designed to satisfy their dark overlord Campbell’s insatiable bloodlust. This would of course cause majestic blundering assclown Ryan Mallett to check into the game at quarterback; immediately ending all hope whatso-fucking-ever of Houston breaking the cover.
Jets (+9) over PATRIOTS:
Make no mistake here gentle reader; barring an injury to Tom Brady or a direct mutherfucking act of God, there is almost no chance in bloody hell that the Patriots actually lose this football game. Watching New England’s offense make obscene sport out of traditional NFL defensive concepts week after week, is a not-so-subtle reminder that Bill Belichick could suffer a mentally debilitating stroke and still likely out-coach most of the gormless, dog-fucking morons running NFL teams today. With that having been noted however, nine goddamn points is an awfully hard spread to cover consistently in professional football – especially when your offensive linemen are going down faster than Pickett’s brigade at Gettysburg and you’ve got to wage pigskin warfare against a raving pack of psychopathic butchers like the New York Jets defense. As hard as it is for any rational human being who actually fucking saw them play last season to fathom – New York is four and one this year for a reason and a near double-digit line here makes about as much sense as favoring the Seahawks by seven over the undefeated Panthers did last week; in other words, Vegas might legitimately be as crazy as a bag full of rabid ferrets. Again, I really don’t think the Jets are a real threat to stop Tom Brady’s official “fuck all you hating bitches” tour, but they should be able to use some combination of Chris Ivory and noted check-down maestro Ryan Fitzpatrick to keep New England’s offense from dropping a fucking fifty-burger on them; plus, in key divisional match-ups, Brandon Marshall is always good for a meaningless, garbage time touchdown that serves only to infuriate thousands of front-running gamblers.
Vikings (-2) over LIONS:
Well folks, the Lions did it again this past Sunday – turning what was a one team race for the number one overall draft pick in 2016, into a five team, free-for-all, mutherfucking slap fight of ineptitude by actually beating the equally pathetic Chicago Bears; dealing a savage blow to the hopes of the burgeoning #LayOffForJaredGoff and #BurnTheBooksForConnerCook movements in the long suffering Detroit fan base. Am I particularly surprised at this latest example of asinine, Honolulu blue self-immolation? Of fucking course not – the only thing more stereotypically “Lions” than losing all the damn time, is waiting until your season is all but officially in the shitter to rip off a string of improbable, comeback wins against hated division rivals; thereby ensuring the continued employment of all the shit for brains pinheads who are responsible for the nigh-incessant fucking losing in the first place! Naturally, this has me at least mildly fucking concerned that Detroit might once again find a way to lose by winning this contest, but the key difference in this game should be an angry, vengeful Vikings defense that nearly put fat Matty Stafford in goddamn traction during Minnesota’s week two cake-walk over the Lions. The downside here is that the Vikings defense pretty much has to open up a can of whoop ass every week because Minny’s offense has veered from exceptionally mediocre to actively fucking malignant on a quarter by quarter basis this season. Smart teams are starting to realize Teddy Bridgewater needs half a furlong worth of space to climb up in the pocket and go deep; allowing them to draw in their safeties and make Adrian Peterson’s life more uncomfortable than that one time the Minneapolis Star-Tribune discovered he’d used a company credit card to bankroll an alcohol-fuelled, hotel-room orgy attended by himself and his younger brother (a minor at the time). Fortunately for the Vikings however – Detroit is neither a particularly goddamn smart team, nor capable of stopping even an aging, disgraced shadow of the running back once known as “All Day” now that Darth Ndamukong has fled to the dark side under the tyrannical Sith Lord, Dan Campbell.
Falcons (-4.5) over TITANS:
The only thing you really need to know about this match-up is that Marcus Mariota missed Titans practice again today, which means there is a better than even chance this is an active opportunity to employ one of the few, infallible, golden rules of modern football gambling – always bet the fucking farm against Zach mutherfucking Mettenberger. How mind-blowingly goddamn awful is the Zach Metterberger experience? The Titans have literally never won a game in any one his six career starts and Zach’s commitment to raising horrible quarterbacking to the level of fucking performance art, is the primary reason they were able to draft Mariota with the second overall pick last offseason. Unfortunately, if you too wish to experience the joy of printing money by betting against Zach Metternberger, you’ll have to act quickly – the line for this game opened at -3.5 Atlanta and climbed almost immediately to -4.5 because everyone wants a piece of that sweet, sweet wagering against a talentless, hayseed, turnover machine from LSU action. Don’t delay, make sure you lock in your bet before Vegas realizes that even a double-digit spread wouldn’t be enough to make people lay money down on the absolutely putrid Titans this weekend!
Buccaneers (+3.5) over RACIAL SLURS:
As regular readers of IcePuckChic are no doubt already aware, this is the portion of the column where I bet against Washington every single week, regardless of the point spread – because rooting against racism is fundamentally more rewarding than hoping anything good happens to Dan Fucking Snyder for any goddamn reason whatsoever. Once again, we find ourselves forced to pay the “wow does it feel fucking awesome to bet against failure and bigotry” tax; thus we’re only getting three and a half points for taking a Quarterback so goddamn witless, he once endangered his unfathomably still-promising NFL prospects by telling FSU police the BB pistol he was openly carrying across the street from campus was for “shooting at squirrels.” Could the Buccaneers actually win? Absolutely, Kirk Cousins is still inexplicably starting at quarterback for Washington despite there being no evidence at all that he’ll ever be able to string together three consecutive quarters without throwing a soul destroying, loss manufacturing interception at precisely the worst fucking time possible for his team. Unfortunately, Tampa probably won’t win the game because it’s in Washington and the Racial Slurs suck significantly less at home. Enough about this horrible goddamn game of football however, let’s take a look at this week’s fun, one hundred percent true fact about why Dan Snyder is the human personification of raging genital herpes. Infuriated over a perceived lack of complexity in his defensive coordinator’s play calls, on two separate occasions Snyder had multiple, giant tubs of melting ice cream left in Mike Nolan’s office to help express his growing displeasure with the situation. While that shows a startling amount of batshit rat-fuckery on Snyder’s part in its own right, the supreme pigskin dictator also decided to make sure his young coach actually understood his withering bon mot by including notes saying Dan “did not like vanilla.” Now that my friends; is pretty damn classy.
Steelers (-2) over CHIEFS:
Alright, let’s quickly review some indisputable facts about the two teams involved in this match-up before we explore the essential question that determines who we should pick on Sunday:
- Since losing jack-of-all-trades, whirling dervish halfback Jamal Charles to a season ending knee injury, the Chiefs have scored a sum mutherfucking total of ten measly points in just over five quarters of play.
- After Charles, Kansas City’s next best offensive option is staggeringly overrated possession receiver Jeremy Maclin – who is currently entangled in the NFL’s new, byzantine concussion protocol program and seems highly fucking unlikely to be available this Sunday because the league would rather not get sued when his brain turns out to be a bruised, calcified mass of damaged SpaghettiOs years down the line from now.
- The Chiefs are currently mired in a five game losing streak during which time Kansas City has played objectively, undeniably fucking worse every single week
- Perhaps not coincidentally, the Chiefs are quarterbacked by perennial mediocrity Alex Smith and coached by perpetual heartbreaking failure machine Andy Reid.
- Since losing star quarterback, suspected rapist and certified land whale Ben Roethlesburger to a sprained, fleshy drumstick; the Pittsburgh Steelers have gone 2-1 with decaying zombie Mike Vick at quarterback most of the way and they would be 3-0 if former kicker Josh Scobee wasn’t composed entirely of fail on a goddamn molecular level.
Okay, with all that in mind and remembering that the spread is a piddly two points – does it even fucking matter who the hell Pittsburgh starts at quarterback this Sunday? Folks, the Steelers would cover a two point spread against this KC squad with FNL’s Landry mutherfucking Clarke under center – expect Pittsburgh to win big.
COLTS (-4.5) over Saints:
When does a seven point, humiliating defeat to your hated rivals on national television not equal a total loss? Absolutely never and Colts fans telling themselves otherwise after last week’s worse than it looked on paper pummeling at the hands of the New England Patriots, are just drinking the goddamn Kool-Aid. Despite a 3-3 record in a terrible division and a calm, media-friendly façade, Indianapolis is a team in total crisis mode right now – the coach hates the roster, the general manager hates the coach and the pill-popping team owner might fire both of them before the season is out because the bumbling, self-destructive Colts still can’t get past evil mastermind Bill Belichick and Tom fucking Brady. That, ladies and gentlemen is why Chuck Pagano called the single worst goddamn “swinging-gate” fake punt play in the history of professional football last Sunday night – because for a team that set its sight on the Superbowl twenty-five fucking milliseconds after losing last year’s AFC Championship game, being fundamentally inferior to the Patriots is the kiss of ignoble death. Mark my words folks, there is a non-zero percent chance Indy’s entire fucking season implodes if they can’t string together a couple of convincing wins to smooth out all the bad juju and hurt feelings involved in this season. So why am I taking them and laying almost five points? Because despite all the carnage last week’s season-defining loss wrought in Indianapolis, it did also reveal that Andrew Luck has mercilessly killed the scrub Skrull imposter who’d stolen his identity this season and reclaimed his place as the Colt’s great equalizer on offense. Frankly, the Saints are still a streaming pile of elephant dung despite a feel good win over the Falcons in which Atlanta marched up and down the field all day, but still managed to hand the game to New Orleans with asinine, backbreaking turnovers. If Andrew Luck can’t rally his team and drop a convincing win on one of the worst goddamn football teams in the NFL; then it really will be time to blow up the whole bloody franchise before Christmas in Indianapolis.
Raiders (+3.5) over CHARGERS:
Tipping off the late afternoon games this Sunday, we find the Chargers hosting the Raiders in a cross-town rivalry battle for bragging rights in the City of Lost Angels – which will oddly enough be played at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego for reasons only inscrutable league officials are aware of. The biggest story leading up to this match-up is probably the continued emergence of Philip Rivers as the best quarterback in the NFL who plays for a team that has absolutely no fucking chance whatsoever of winning a playoff game under any circumstances. Frankly folks, what Rivers is doing this season would be worthy of league MVP consideration; if it weren’t patently ridiculous to give the most valuable player of the year award to a guy who’s team sucks sweaty, throbbing elephant cock on a week to week basis that is. Hey, do y’all remember a couple weeks back when I said that the Raiders athleticism meant they were going to rack up some absolutely goddamn massive days on offense later in this season? Well, mark your calendars my fellow degenerate gamblers, because this Sunday afternoon Derek Carr is going to light up the Chargers manky as fuck defense like a window act in Amsterdam’s red light district. While I’m not completely certain the Raiders will win, I am pretty sure this game is going to be a wild, AFC West style offensive shootout – take the over my friends, no matter how goddamn high it is.
Cowboys (+3.5) over GIANTS:
Wait a minute, just wait a goddamn minute – before you all have me confined to a fucking psych ward for taking a Matt Cassell quarterbacked team, on the road, in a key divisional matchup; at least give me a chance to explain the method to my madness! The heart of the matter ladies and gentlemen, is that after a year and a half of watching the Giants alternate between slightly above average and rectal cancer expressed in the form of a professional football team; I have come to the conclusion that New York is absolutely fucking terrible, but Odell Beckham Jr. is such a merciless, demi-god of pigskin vengeance that they’re capable of looking like a playoff team when he’s on his game. Unfortunately for Giants fans however, Beckham is currently suffering through the kind of lingering hamstring injury that turns a playmaking, superhuman, football messiah into the world’s most over-hyped goddamn decoy on a week to week, or even play to play basis – sometimes for entire fucking seasons. On downs when Odell can’t risk blowing up his tightening hammy, the burden of generating plays on offense falls directly on Eli Manning’s less than capable shoulders and we all saw how that worked out when the Eagles beat the Giants like they damn well stole something in a 27-7 ass whooping on Monday Night Football. While I’m quite certain that Manning’s two Superbowl rings will someday earn Eli a wholly undeserved trip to the Hall of Fame while simultaneously causing Ken Anderson’s goddamn skull to fucking explode – I’m also pretty sure Manning’s time as an elite quarterback-like substance who can change a game without Beckham Jr. is completely fucking over. As bad as his performance on Monday night looked on paper, it was actually even more rancid when observed in real time – never in my entire life have I seen an NFL quarterback rocket more balls directly off the hands of stunned defenders standing mere goddamn feet away from him. If the Eagles had anyone who could catch a damn pass on defense, Manning might have thrown six or seven fucking interceptions in the game! Am I sure Dallas can actually get its shit together without Romo and Dez Bryant this week? Of course not, but Cassel probably couldn’t be worse than Brandon Weeden if he actively tried and even noted failure-monkey Sam Bradford was capable of moving the ball a little bit against a Giants defense down three of its top four cornerbacks. Either way, I’m done betting on the Giants for the foreseeable future until I get some assurances that OBJ isn’t running around trying to make Eli look like a competent fucking quarterback on one functioning leg.
PANTHERS (-3.5) over Eagles:
Degenerate gamblers take warning, ominous clouds and negative vibes swirl around this contest like ravenous buzzards gathering above a dying man in the Mojave Desert. After an emotional, franchise re-defining win over the hated fucking Seahawks, the Panthers host an Eagles defense that is currently playing like an angry, possessed buzz-saw in a match-up that has all the trappings of the proverbial and much-dreaded “trap game” for Carolina. If the Panthers bothered to stop singing “ding dong, the witch is dead” and making fun of Russel Wilson’s height long enough to watch a little film, they’ll know that Philadelphia’s front seven will absolutely snuff out your fucking life in a heartbeat if you let them; and with the exception of Byron Maxwell, who is basically a sixty-three million dollar dumpster fire at cornerback – the secondary ain’t half fucking bad either. This Eagles defense is goddamn mean folks, which is why it’s such a crying damn shame those poor mutherfuckers are chained to a talentless, assclown, neurotic like Sam Bradford at quarterback. Only a truly, staggeringly awful signal caller can find a way to transform an utterly dominant, twenty-point curb stomping on national television into yet another chapter in the ongoing public referendum about his mind blowing craplitude – but Bradford managed to accomplish just that feat last week by throwing two of the most singularly, goddamn awful interceptions I have ever seen at any level of football whatsoever and throwing in a third, more normal interception for shits and fucking giggles as well. It is utterly inexplicable to me how a professional athlete can be this fucking bad at his job and continue to start; if Mark Sanchez is truly worse than Bradford then there’s absolutely no goddamn reason he should be employed in the NFL either. Start Ryan Mathews, start the punter, fuck I could give a shit if Philly starts the goddamn peanut vendor; but there is no way you can continue to tell me with a straight fucking face that Sam Bradford is the best option under center for this team going forward. If Bradford coughs up the ball multiple times against a defense as good as Carolina’s, the Eagles will have no chance whatso-fucking-ever of winning this game and it simply won’t matter how long the stalwart maulers in Philly’s D can hold off a shell-shocked Cam Newton and the Panther offense.
CARDINALS (-9) over Ravens:
After four dominating wins and two befuddling losses, a clearer picture is emerging of just who exactly the Arizona Cardinals are and why they are going to continue to be completely fucking infuriating to gamble on for the rest of the bloody NFL season. Simply put – the Cardinals are a very talented football team with a stunning propensity to randomly shit the bed over and over in the red zone on offense for entire fucking games at a time. This in turn means that Arizona is a team capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, anywhere, anytime and against virtually any opponent; depending entirely on how locked in a near thirty-six year old quarterback with a multi-year track record of coughing up the football like it’s made of molten lava inside the twenty yard line is. While it’s still too early to identify a clear pattern for this utterly maddening phenomenon, it seems entirely reasonable to suggest Palmer is probably more likely to toss his fucking spaghetti against defenses playing at a high level. Fortunately for Cards fans however, under absolutely no circumstances whatsoever could a sane person imply that the Ravens are even fucking capable of playing defense at a high level – let alone currently doing so with numerous cast-offs and backups seeing significant time because the team has been utterly decimated by injuries on that side of the ball. Look for the “good” Carson Palmer to stand the fuck up on Monday Night Football and bomb Baltimore’s patchwork secondary back to the mutherfucking Mesozoic era – but don’t ever forget that “bad” Carson is still out there, lurking like a B movie horror villain; waiting to drop a nausea-inducing, Cleveland steamer on your parlays and over bets at any goddamn time my friends.
Last Week: 7 – 6 – 1
Season: 48 – 40 – 3
- Nina Illingworth