Well my fellow disciples of the everlasting wager, I have some unfortunate news for those of you who don’t give a flying fuck about football and only come here for the snappy intros – I am currently writing the column wrapped up in three separate goddamn blankets and a mere sixteen inches from a portable space heater set on “obliterate Alderaan.” At some point during this past week, I came down with a monstrous fucking sinus infection that even now feels like some malicious torturer has shoved a bloody regulation-sized baseball up my nostrils far enough to the touch the front side of my fucking brain pain. As a result, there will be no amusing little story this week about my life as a semi-independent writer working for a violent, sadistic editor or the unhappy wanderings of a sad little Lions fan – frankly, I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to finish a picks column at all, but apparently you can paste a fairly reasonable band-aid over the symptoms of a god awful respiratory ailment by remaining completely shitfaced drunk at all waking moments; who knew – aside from Dudley Moore of course, and he clearly took that little gem to the goddamn grave didn’t he? Astute readers will notice that a number of this columns individual pick entries are longer than normal – this is in part because I feel pretty shitty about having to skip the intro and in part because, even for a league as batshit insane as the NFL, this past week has provided an extraordinary amount of staggering bullshit to discuss in the hell-spawned carnival of moral turpitude that is the National Football League. Unfortunately, this means my scathing and “entirely theoretical at this exact moment” think piece on why firing Martin Mayhew wasn’t enough if the Lions also lacked the testicular fortitude to execute him for his heinous crimes against football in the State of Michigan, will have to wait for another time. Until then, good luck with all your wagers this week my friends and remember that I am in no way legally responsible for your inability to properly budget around your growing gambling habit and subsequent incarceration for turning tricks outside the local Walmart.
BENGALS (-11) over Browns:
After a week of blood, carnage and deep, psychological scars earned by trying to get a little too cute with large point spreads; it would genuinely be nice to start off with an easy layup and a reasonable line this time – nope, we’re immediately faced with the prospect of choosing between laying eleven, yes, fucking eleven points on an Andy Dalton-led football team or actively counting on “Johnny Football” Manziel to avoid shitting the goddamn bed on national television. To describe this situation as horrifying would be to fail to properly express the sheer, mind-blowing levels of self-loathing choosing either one of these two damn outcomes will entail, and for that I have to tip my non-existent hat to the number-crunching, point pushers in Vegas; it sure as fuck wouldn’t be called “gambling” if it were easy now would it folks? At the end of the day however, the Bengals are just a much, much better football team than the Browns and that’s not even factoring in that Cleveland will be starting a belligerent, alcoholic midget at quarterback against the very same fucking team that almost put his NFL career in a bloody pine box at the end of last season. Actually, can we seriously talk about why the fuck Johnny Football hasn’t been put on the Commissioner’s Exempt list yet? I’m having more than a little bit of fucking trouble buying Johnny’s story about a crazy girlfriend trying to jump out of his car while they’re tooling along the freeway at 90 with no provocation whatsoever. Furthermore, I am not particularly surprised that after what I am sure was a very, very thorough goddamn investigation, a police department in the notoriously football-loving, backwater shithole that is Ohio decided that we should all move along now because there was nothing to see here when the case involved a Cleveland Browns quarterback. What I’d like to know however, is how the fuck a guy who spent a massive damn portion of his offseason in rehab because he has a serious fucking drinking problem is involved in a domestic violence case, while speeding along the freeway, with alcohol on his breath? Are you fucking kidding me Johnny? Let me also remind you that the entire Cleveland Browns organization has literally spent and somehow, bizarrely, continues to spend, goddamn hours talking about how much Manziel has changed and his renewed commitment to leadership, football and bloody sobriety. Finally, in what is perhaps the most damning revelation of all from this entire freeway assault, clusterfucking nightmare; the Huffinton Post reports that the Browns solution to the problem has been to encourage Johnny Football to break up with his “crazy” girlfriend because let’s be fucking honest folks – the NFL talks a pretty good game about domestic violence but actually expecting them to read the literature and realize that their callous, tone-deaf response to the situation put the victim in perhaps even greater danger, is a little too fucking much to ask of a thirty-two team, multi-billion dollar, tax-exempt corporation that wants you to buy a purple ribbon and shut the fuck up please. If there is any justice in this universe at all, Cleveland will lose this game by at least eleven points.
Raiders (+4) over STEELERS:
Whelp, it took all of two fucking picks, but we’re already at the point in this week’s column where I can see shame, embarrassment and buyer’s remorse coming ahead on Sunday – there are a lot of good reasons to believe the Steelers will win this game; not the least of which are that it’s in Pittsburgh and whomever loses this match-up will immediately end up behind the fucking eight ball in an AFC Wildcard playoff picture that might be the only way into the postseason for both of these squads. Roethlisberger is back, safety Will Allen is back and emerging, pass-rushing mauler Stephen Tuitt is back – which has prompted pretty much everyone, including Vegas, to assume the Steelers are going to lay an ass whopping on the upstart Raiders. So what’s the fucking problem? Well for starters, Oakland is probably much, much better on offense than Pittsburgh is now that superhuman assassin and offensive centerpiece Le’Veon Bell is laid up in traction for the rest of the goddamn season. Yes, the Steelers were able to compensate for Bell’s absence with DeAngelo Williams during his two game suspension for driving while shitfaced and stupid; but Williams is both literally older than dirt and has managed to cobble together precisely one healthy season as his team’s undisputed number one running back in a fucking ten year career. Do you know what happens to thirty-two year old, part-time backs with an injury history several miles long, when you suddenly press them into the starting role for a halfback-centric offense in one of the coldest mutherfucking climates in the NFL? Keep the cart warmed up folks; there is almost no fucking way Williams finishes the year without shredding something and ending up on the injured list eventually. Furthermore, let’s just come right out and admit that Big Ben is a fat, lazy fucking bastard who just shit the bed harder than a Cincinnati team that actively specializes in shitting the bed on both a long and short term basis. At this point, I’m inclined to think that Roethlisberger’s rehab schedule consists entirely of waddling to the corner store and back twice a day in pursuit of cheap alcohol and supply cases of fucking Twinkies. I honestly cannot believe that greasy, corpulent shithead is a professional goddamn athlete and that’s not even considering the fact that he should (probably) be in jail for sexual assault instead. The last time I saw a quarterback that fucking obese getting gang-tackled behind a garbage offensive line, Scott Mitchell was shitting-up the Pontiac Silverdome and even he had Barry Sanders to fall back on. Ben was slow, confused and sloppy last week and while Steelers fans are counting on another week back on the field curing all that ails Roethlisberger, I’m almost certain it is impossible for a dude that out of bloody shape to hit the ground running after a long layoff in the NFL. This week, Charles Woodsoon will be waiting for the first time Ben chucks a wild, wounded duck up for grabs across the middle of the field and the Raiders will leave Heinz field with back to back victories against the two teams most likely to challenge them for a wild card spot this season. Or, Pittsburgh will be up by twenty before halftime and I’ll be openly wondering why in the name of christ I bet money on David Carr’s goddamn kid brother to win a 1PM, November game in Pittsburgh; your mileage may vary my friends.
JETS (-7.5) over Jaguars:
Honesty time – am I completely comfortable laying seven and a half points on a New York Jets team that just threw up all over itself and passed out drunk in the fucking middle of the Raiders game last week? No, no I’m not. Furthermore, I’m not entirely sure that Ryan Fitzpatrick’s jacked up thumb isn’t going to lead to a least one turnover for New York this week; either on a strip-sack or the kind of bobbled exchange you get when your QB is wearing what amounts to a customized splint on his non-throwing hand. Finally, the Jets aren’t exactly what you’d call a dynamic fucking offense to begin with, so if Fitzpatrick can’t finish the game, it’s reasonable to suggest they have almost no chance of covering this bet whatsoever with Geno Smith under center. I say almost, because at times last week Smith certainly looked like a reasonable facsimile of a starting NFL quarterback before himself having to leave the game late with a shoulder injury. Unfortunately, the problem with betting against the Jets and thereby stuffing our fat little cheeks with delicious points, is that such a wager would involve relying on an absolutely putrid Jags team to perform well on the road – where they have lost twelve consecutive goddamn games by a fucking average of just under fifteen points; including nine double-digit losses. In other words, Jacksonville travels about as fucking well as your gouty, asthmatic aunt Helga – who frankly could probably start at left guard this week for the Jaguars and provide better protection than Blake Bortles has been getting all season. Have I mentioned that Bortles gets the (dis)pleasure of throwing against an angry, all-universe corner in Darrell Revis and his partner in crimes against the passing game, Antonio Cromartie yet? Or that despite getting absolutely carved the fuck up last week by Latavius Murray, New York still leads the league in rushing defense; so unless they want to be punting all day the Jags are absolutely going to have to fucking pass the ball a bunch? How about the fact that Jacksonville’s kicker is currently struggling with the inscrutable mysteries of “successfully kicking an extra point in the National Football League” as we speak? Right, so New York it is then and may god have mercy on my degenerate soul for laying seven and a half points on a wounded Ryan Fitzpatrick.
VIKINGS (-2) over Rams:
In another match-up between two teams with legitimate wildcard aspirations, the Los Angeles Rams travel to the least exciting city in the entire country to take on the Minnesota Vikings this Sunday, and every two-bit, hack reporter in the known universe is talking about the similarities between noted child-behavior modification specialist Adrian Peterson and the inaptly named apple of the Madden-playing world’s eye, Todd Gurley. Most pundits have predicted a low scoring contest, with the newer, shinier, sexier running back coming out on top in the end, but I’m not really sure these predictions have any goddamn basis in reality whatsoever. The Vikings are 3-0 at home, the Rams are 1-2 on the road and despite tepid performances in the middle of games and a mutherfucking limp noodle for an arm – Teddy Bridgewater has been absolutely fucking lethal late in the fourth quarter of low scoring contests this year. I think everyone and their fucking mother knows that Gurley is going to eat the Viking’s front seven alive, but under what magical fantasy land scenario can you see Nick Foles making the kind of throws you need to win a road game against a 5-2 team that just keeps finding ways to grind out tight victories? Folks, Foles has gone six, yes, six consecutive games without breaking even two hundred yards and that includes blowout losses to Washington and the Packers were it probably would have been helpful if the Rams could complete a goddamn pass downfield. In other words; there is an absolutely massive difference between beating up on the likes of Cleveland/San Francisco and winning on the road against a team that will almost assuredly make the playoffs this season – unfortunately for Foles and the Rams, that difference usually involves having a quarterback who doesn’t look and play like a fucking roadie on the Death Cab for Cutie world tour.
Dolphins (+3) over BILLS:
Sweet merciful god, after last week’s embarrassing debacle in London against the Jaguars, how on earth are the Buffalo Bills three point favorites over another professional football team – let alone a Miami squad who’s only misplay since firing Joe Philbin has been bothering to show the fuck up for a road game against a Patriots juggernaut that could legitimately go fucking undefeated this year? Look, don’t get me wrong – the Miami Dolphins aren’t particularly good at winning football games; no matter who’s coaching them frankly. The Bills however, are a raging goddamn dumpster fire wallowing in every negative aspect of the Rex Ryan coaching experience. They can’t score, they take too many stupid fucking penalties to take advantage of what should be, at least on paper, a pretty good defense and now, they’re starting special teamers at wide receiver because celebrated head case Percy Harvin is on injured reserve and Sammy Watkins took time out of his busy “insulting the idiot fans who pay his salary” schedule to determine that he couldn’t practice on Friday. Will Watkins play? He says he will and frankly the Bills are so goddamn desperate for playmakers that they’ll probably let him; astute readers will however remember that the last time Watkins played hurt, he was basically useless until he hauled in a twenty-two yard touchdown catch at the end of the first half against Cincy – rolling his bloody ankle in the process and putting him out of the lineup until this week. In the final analysis, neither one of these teams has a snowball’s chance in hell of even sniffing the NFL playoffs, but in the here and now, I just think Miami is a significantly better football squad than Buffalo; who’re roughly one more bewildering press conference about the fucking Patriots away from completely quitting on Rex Ryan and effectively ending his goddamn career as an NFL head coach.
SAINTS (-7.5) over Titans:
Another game, another soul destroying opportunity to guess wrong between two wholly unpalatable options and feel like a complete idiot before halftime when it turns out you chose poorly. Do I particularly like the idea of laying seven and a half points on a Saints squad that has won precisely one fucking game all season by more than six? Nope. Does that mean I’m prepared to bet on a Titans team in full goddamn meltdown mode after the sudden firing of head coach Ken Whisenhunt and starting a gimpy Marcus Mariota behind a shit offensive line and with no goddamn rushing attack to speak of? Not fucking likely folks. Speaking of Whisenhunt, can we talk for a moment about the curious timing of his very public execution this week? The Titans are past their bye week, have lost six consecutive fucking games in which they’ve arguably looked worse every single bloody time and by virtually every objective means of measurement known to mankind, are an absolutely goddamn terrible football team. Furthermore, this is not particularly new fucking development – the Titans finished two and fourteen last season; which afforded them to right to select quarterback Marcus Mariota with the second overall pick in the draft. In other words, when Titan’s ownership says they “expected more progress on the field” out of this team, this season – they’re either lying through their goddamn teeth or more delusional than Doctor Ben Carson tripping balls on high quality acid. So why fire Wisenhunt now, after two completely predictable losses with the single worst damn backup quarterback in the NFL? Because Wisenhunt is a stubborn, cantankerous bastard who’s married for life to a complicated, five and seven step drop offense that precisely six living humans on earth are fucking capable of operating at a high enough level to win football games. The simple truth my friends is that drop back, pocket passing offenses with five reads on every play are slowly becoming a thing of the past in an NFL flooded with quarterbacks raised on read-option and spread passing concepts in college. By trying to shove Mariota into a system completely ill-suited to his considerable talents, Wisenhunt was actively risking the single most important asset in the entire goddamn Titans franchise every fucking time they dropped back to pass. This wasn’t about wins and losses, this was about an old man refusing to accept that the health and development of his franchise quarterback is more important than proving his offense works without Kurt fucking Warner at the helm. Wisenhunt didn’t “get it” and Amy Adams Strunk made the objectively wise decision to fire his ass before he exposed the team’s young quarterback to any more unnecessary abuse while trying to impersonate John Elway. When you factor in that this is essentially the exact same thing that happened to Wisenhunt in Arizona with Matt Leinart, both before and after Warner took the Cardinals to the Superbowl; the only really shocking thing about Ken’s termination is that it didn’t come the precise fucking moment the Titans decided they were going to draft Mariota in the first place. As for the game itself, my best advice is to avoid betting on it at all fucking costs – but since that’s not an option for a degenerate gambler writing a weekly picks column like myself, I’ll take the team that didn’t just have its ass handed to it by the Houston goddamn Texans thank you very much.
PATRIOTS (-14) over Racial Slurs:
Do you hear that cackling sound folks? That’s Bill Bellichick, master goddamn troll, laughing his fucking ass off at the idea of financially ruining thousands of morally bankrupt gamblers this Sunday. Our entire season long vow to bet against Washington has come down to this; the moment of truth where we have to decide if taking a moral stand against racism, diabolical litigism and the pure lump of shitty little evil that is Dan Snyder, is worth laying a completely unreasonable fourteen goddamn points on a team that actively delights in breaking out the prevent defense at the precise moment you’re finally sure that your bet is safe. The answer of course is, yes, it’s abso-fucking-lutely worth it, because any opportunity a reasonable, compassionate human being can take to enjoy and potentially profit from the misery of an obnoxious little shitheel like Danny Synder, is an experience that simply cannot be passed up at this point. With that out of the way, let’s take a moment to look at this week’s Indisputable Fun Fact about Washington’s racist, pinhead team owner shall we? This time, our Fact comes to us from the US Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia where, in an effort to fight the cancellation of their trademark by a federal judge this past July, the franchise as adopted the completely fucking bizarre legal tactic of listing dozens, if not hundreds of other businesses that have potentially offensive names but still received a trademark from the US Patent office – names like “Take Yo Panties Off,” “Contemporary Negro,” and “Anal Fantasy Collection.” Folks, let me be one hundred fucking percent clear here; this is the kind of legal argument only a complete fucking moron would believe and only a staggering, self-absorbed narcissist would even attempt to float by an appeals court – which is sadly why it has at least a small chance of actually working. For starters, the entire reason Washington’s trademark is under review is because the team is an extremely high profile corporation against whom numerous complaints have been raised by legitimately offended parties – namely Native Americans. I am not, as of yet aware of a powerful lobby representing rednecks, gringos and whores who’ve registered complaints against specific corporations at a federal level; but you can be sure as fucking shit that if such a lobby were to come along “Whores from Hell,” “Gringo BBQ” and “Redneck Army” would be facing precisely the same legal scrutiny the Washington Football franchise now finds itself laboring under. Furthermore, that’s not even the biggest fucking problem with Snyder’s legal dip-shittery here folks; the really screwed up goddamn part of all this is that just by submitting the argument, the “Skins” are openly admitting that their nickname is a crude slur on the same bloody level as “Cracka Azz Skateboards,” “MILF Weed,” and “Party With Sluts”; which is sure as fucking shit going to make the next time Washington has to explain to the NFL itself how it’s team name is actually an honorable homage to the proud Native American tradition, preeety damn interesting to say the least. Ladies and gentlemen; it takes a special kind of egotistical, crass, mutherfucker to openly argue that using a disgusting slur not only honors an entire race of people, but is also, simultaneously, no more or less offensive than “Big Titty Blend Coffee.” Dan Synder; not the mutherfucker anyone needs, but clearly, the mutherfucker the American legal system deserves.
PANTHERS (+2.5) over Packers:
Do you remember a couple of weeks back, when I talked about the importance of sticking to your well-researched gambling principles and not letting one random game, or quarter, of goddamn awful football cause you to completely toss your mutherfucking spaghetti the very next week? Good, I bring this up because last week the Carolina Panthers played arguably the worst seven minutes of professional football I have seen in my entire bloody life and almost let Indianapolis in through the back door to snatch away a thoroughly undeserved win. After holding celebrated interception-machine Andrew Luck to just forty fucking yards passing through three quarters and building up a seventeen point lead; the Panthers promptly let Luck march down the field for two touchdown strikes and a field goal while sprinkling in a dropped interception and a dropped touchdown bomb for good measure – either of which would have ended the match immediately. As a result of all this carnage, this week sees Carolina somehow a two and a half point underdog, at home, against a Green Bay Packers squad that was finally exposed as completely fucking fraudulent last week against Denver. The simple truth, is that Green Bay has been winning games for weeks now with a sometimes elite defense and more than just a little fucking luck; their highly-touted, but shockingly goddamn mediocre offense is actually ranked twenty-eighth overall in the league and it’s fair to say they’ve put together precisely one legitimately impressive performance on that side of the ball all year – a 38-28 pummeling of Alex Smith and the sad sack Chiefs; aided immeasurably by Andy Reid’s penchant for going into a glucose coma during the final two minutes of any given bloody half of football. Yes, the Packers ferocious (but currently slumping) defense is going to give Cam Newton fits this weekend and yes, it’s fair to say that Carolina is easily the least complete team amongst the remaining unbeatens – but the Packers are down two corners (including top coverage assassin Sam Shields), starting linebacker and demi-god of defensive destruction Clay Mathews is hopping around on a fucked up ankle, and at this point in the season the team has done virtually nothing to justify making them two and a half point road favorites over a fucking 7-0 squad with a bloodthirsty, homicidal front seven and arguably the best lockdown corner in the goddamn NFL to take care of Randall Cobb. In a game that has a very, very good chance of deciding home-field advantage in a rapidly decaying NFC; I’ll take the team that has been rising to the occasion all season until a fourth quarter hiccup last week, over the team that’s secretly playing like absolute, steaming dogshit and not getting called on it by anyone because they’re starting Aaron Rodgers at quarterback.
Falcons (-7) over 49ERS:
Before I attempt to explain why I am, yet again, laying a full mutherfucking touchdown on the least fucking impressive 6-2 team in league history – who by the way, haven’t played a good game of football in an entire bloody month; please let me start by saying that I would absolutely not bet this game if I weren’t a deplorable junkie writing a weekly NFL picks column. This is basically the fucking Titans game all over again and if you’re taking the Falcons this week, you’re probably betting against the quarterback-like substance known as Blaine Gabbert and the massive trainwreck that is the 2015 San Francisco 49ers, more so than betting for an Atlanta squad best described as extremely fucking disinterested in putting away objectively inferior football teams until very late in the fourth quarter. I’ve had the (mis)fortune of watching the better part of four games involving San Francisco this season and the honest to god truth is that they’d probably be a .500 team with simply “bad” quarterback play instead of Colin Kaepernick’s ongoing attempt to turn backbreaking interceptions and a complete inability to read even the most rudimentary fucking defensive coverages into some form of goddamn performance art. Is Gabbert that merely bad quarterback? Obviously, I don’t think so or there’s no fucking way on god’s green earth I’d be prepared to lay another damn touchdown on the fucking Atlanta Falcons here, but it’s also important to remember that Blaine Gabbert is a former top ten NFL draft pick and has attempted a grand sum total of seven regular season passes for the 49ers – one of which, somehow went for a touchdown. He wouldn’t be the first signal caller who looked like feculent, biochemical waste in the quarterback graveyard that is Jacksonville and while he’s almost certainly still a complete fucking bust – there’s still a small, but not inconsequential chance he’s a better quarterback than Colin Kaepernick. Frankly, there’s a small, but not inconsequential fucking chance I’m a better quarterback than that self-absorbed, tunnel-visioned pinhead, so the rule of the day here is definitely “caveat emptor – let the buyer beware.” With all that having been noted however, the 49ers injury room is starting to look like the fucking trauma ward from M.A.S.H. and they’ll be starting multiple running backs they literally signed off the goddamn street this week; Carlos Hyde is out with a fucked up foot, Mike Davis broke his hand and Reggie Bush is done for the season with shredded knee ligaments – because whoever runs the Edward Jones Dome is too pissy about the Rams potentially leaving for Los Angeles to cover up random strips of fucking concrete on the sidelines. Throw in the recent jettisoning of veteran, but highly overrated tight end Vernon Davis (who they basically gave to the Broncos for absolutely nothing might I add) and the fact that it somehow leaked to the Falcons that San Francisco purposely waited until now to switch to Gabbert so he could face a “weak defense,” and you have all the makings of a humiliating, three or four score goddamn beat down that causes the whole 49er’s organization to implode and heralds the dumping of the entire coaching staff and half the roster this offseason – a result that at this point, I’m not entirely sure 9ers fans would object to all that much, as the team has basically been a putrid fucking mess since the start of Week 2; this after suffering a near-fatal, self-inflicted stupidity wound this offseason when in-way-over-his-fat-little-head team CEO Jed York, initiated a messy power struggle to terminate popular (and successful) coach Jim Harbaugh, after the later reportedly told York to leave a football related meeting because it was for “men only.”
Gaints (-2.5) over BUCCANEERS:
This week also sees the triumphant Tampa Bay Buccaneers return home after surviving a late, “punched directly in the fucking mouth” rally to snag a gigantic, franchise-defining win, against a hated 6-1 division rival – albeit, that rival was the absurdly schizophrenic and entirely overrated goddamn Atlanta Falcons, but at the end of the day, a division win is still pretty fucking huge when you’re coming off a 2-14 season and starting a rookie quarterback you hope will finally turn the engine on what has now become an eight year rebuilding process in Tampa. The point here, is that for the first time, in a very long damn time the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are feeling pretty fucking good about themselves and that’s absolutely going to be a recipe for mass carnage and disaster as they face off against an angry Giants offense that scored 49 fucking points in a loss last week, and finally has Odell Beckham Jr back up to full speed. I’ve said before in this very column that OBJ is the kind of monstrous goddamn serial killer who can turn a fetid, pustulent Giants offense into a legitimate goddamn point scoring machine, capable of dragging Eli Manning’s now moldering corpse right into the NFL playoffs – well, Beckham is fucking back folks; last week he racked up 8 receptions, 130 yards and a mind-blowing three touchdowns, including a 50 yard bomb that made it abso-fucking-lutely clear his formerly fucked up hamstring is just fine now. Furthermore, the Giants will also likely welcome former star pass rusher and current nine-fingered wonder Jason Paul-Pierre back to help New York’s ailing front seven get after noted Rhodes Scholar, Jameis Winston on Sunday. While the jury is still very much out on how many downs JPP can actually play, the consensus opinion seems to be that the only thing his missing index finger will prevent him from doing on a football field is celebrating big sacks with invisible six-shooters. When you factor that in with Paul-Pierre’s new found ability to accurately cosplay Frodo Baggins; it becomes entirely possible to see some merit in JPP’s bizarre claim that the fireworks/stupidity accident actually somehow made him a better football player. In the final analysis, this game simply means more to the first place G Men than it does to the rebuilding Bucs and since the only way to actually fucking stop Beckham is to simply never let New York have the ball; Tampa and its hooked-on-phonics quarterback are pretty much fucked this week.
Broncos (-5) over COLTS:
Hello NFL fan between the ages of twenty-five and forty-five, of either gender and with sweet, sweet glorious gobs of disposable goddamn income – are you aware that veteran Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning used to play for the Colts and now, he’s back in Indianapolis to face off against the star signal caller who replaced him, Andrew Luck? Don’t worry, we’re only going to remind you about this roughly seventy bajillion times between now and the conclusion of this matchup, so if you missed anything important just wait for the network television announcers to repeat everything I just said, again, at the very next available opportunity! Look, you tell me which goddamn Broncos team shows up on Sunday afternoon and I’ll tell you whether this is a good bet or not – if the team that just played the Packers waltzes into Lucas Oil Stadium, rapidly-regressing megabucks quarterback Andrew Luck might actually fucking die on the field and the Colts don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of breaking this cover. If the Denver team that needed two goddamn huge overtime sacks and some questionable officiating to overcome an ancient Manning’s three brutal interceptions and beat the fucking Cleveland Browns shows up instead? All mutherfucking bets are off; at least figuratively anyways – no bookie worth his salt is going to give you your money back just because Denver is disinterested in covering a five point spread. No seriously, don’t even ask; they’ll just beat you with night sticks before robbing your dork ass and dumping you off in a random alley somewhere – I heard about it, from a friend. As a random aside, despite the overall craplitude of the AFC South; at some point the Colts do actually have to fucking start winning a few games outside of the division to capture a playoff spot don’t they? I mean, the NFL can’t seriously let an objectively putrid 6-10 team in the playoffs just because the rest of the division could combine their rosters together into one mega-team and still struggle to hit .500 – in the Sun Belt Conference; can they?
Eagles (-2.5) over COWBOYS:
Ah yes, Greg Hardy, the gift to raging, progressive hot take writers that simply keeps on delivering – specifically, delivering savage goddamn beatings to women half his size; graphically documented in dozens of horrifying, heartbreaking police photos released by Deadspin in what might have been a blatant attempt to force tone-deaf, fossilized enabler Jerry Jones to kick Hardy off the roster. Did it work? Of fucking course not, Dallas promptly denied having ever seen the photos in a public statement from Jones himself that also reiterated the team’s support for their psychopathic, “wife-beating” pass rusher as he peruses the “opportunity he has been given to move forward with his life and his career” by the truly goddamn maniacal Cowboys. Am I surprised? Not on your fucking life Sparky; the Cowboys and Jones have made it clear time and time again over the years that production on the field is literally the only goddamn thing they care about and that any excess, any indiscretion will be overlooked in Dallas so long as a player continues to “bring it” for the Boys on Sundays. That’s not even funny, it’s just fucking sick and someone close to Jones needs to knock his damn dick in the dirt until he realizes that he’s actively pissing away his legacy as an NFL owner while simultaneously making the word a shittier place than it would be if he’d never been fucking born; Roger “all I do is lose in federal court” Goodell sure as fucking shit isn’t going to do for Dallas so it might as well be someone with a pretty good reason to hate Jerry already – like say, knowing him personally or perhaps being an immediate member of his fucking family. Oh, there’s also a game happening here that theoretically might factor into the NFC East playoff race, but the Cowboys are also going to fuck that up completely by starting Matt Cassel again because he’s marginally better than sublime check-down artist and professional gecko-looking mutherfucker, Brandon Weeden. While it’s technically always possible for Sam Bradford to choke away any given football game regardless of competition; the presence of one of the few goddamn quarterbacks in the entire league whose actually worse than Bradford should make it extremely difficult for the Eagles to fail to win and cover such a manageable spread – although you can certainly bet Chip Kelly and his chosen field marshal will sure as fuck try to do just that before the day is out.
Bears (+4) over CHARGERS:
I’m sure that when this game was originally schedule for Monday Night Football, back before the season started, TV executives were hoping for a big, bounce-back year from both of these squads after each of them missed the playoffs in 2014. What they got instead, is a devastated, smoking crater of pain, disappointment and mind-destroyingly horrible pigskin purgatory. Actually, the eerie similarities between these two teams don’t end with their playoff woes; they’re both 2-6, they both recently lost the single most important non-quarterback in their offense to a season ending injury (WR Keenan Allen for the Chargers and RB Matt Forte for the Bears) and they’re both comprised primarily of star quarterbacks plus fify-two guys who’ll be working at car washes or on construction sites by this time next season. On the plus side, two great quarterbacks and no goddamn defenses to speak of usually means an absolute shit storm of points and an exciting, offensive game overall. The downside here for gamblers of course is that those games are exceptionally hard to predict and often come down to which team turns the ball over in the fourth fucking quarter or even which quarterback gets the ball last before time runs out on a largely meaningless contest that will have no playoff implications whatsoever and will yet, nonetheless, be played on national television before millions of unsuspecting innocents who think they’re tuning into actual professional football game. In other words – I’m taking the Bears here because I honestly have no goddamn clue who’s going to win and I don’t feel even slightly fucking comfortable laying four bloody points on a Chargers team that just lost by a field goal to the undeniably shitty Baltimore Ravens.
Last Week: 6 – 7 – 1
Season: 61 – 54 – 4
- Nina Illingworth