Happy Holidays everyone! This year I’m thankful for the following: Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler and all the other kid Cubs on their way, Joakim Noah’s pride, Jimmy Butler’s contract year, Mel Tucker not being in Chicago very soon, the Cavs early struggles, Anthony Davis, Theo Epstein a second time, Alshon Jeffrey on a rookie deal, Rex Ryan following in his Dads footsteps to become the Bears next defensive coordinator, all the pretty women God has led into my life, and the health of all my loved ones.
Winners in bold and without further adieu…..
Bears @ Detroit (-7)
What a year to be a Bears fan. Last year we had our first competent offense since 1502, and yet the defense and special teams couldn’t be worse. It was bizarro world, but we were all about it. High scoring! Alshon Jeffrey! We just gave up 49 points? Yeah but, Alshon Jeffrey! So we drafted Kyle Fuller, Will Sutten, Ego Ferguson, signed Lamarr Houston to stop the run and Jared Allen rush the passer. Yeah well, none of that happened and literally every single unit got worse. We’re even at the point where we have a white punt returner. There’s maybe been one contender in NFL history with a white punt returner. Games like this one are too often an occurrence for this city. I may have been the last Bear fan outside of Kristin Cavalarri with one foot on the Cutler bandwagon, but I’m off now and lemme tell ya, solid ground feels great.
Eagles @ Cowboys (-3)
Mark Sanchez is exactly what we think Mark Sanchez is. Only now he’s got Chip Kelly. When Chip Kelly watches the Sanchise run his offense, he turns into a black guy with an afro, gold chains, wearing a red leather suit with the top three buttons unbuttoned on his loud undershirt from the 1970s strutting down the street, with neck movements like D-Lo Brown saying “Look what I can do”
Seahawks @ 49ers (-1)
Last week in this spot I claimed “Seattle’s finished”. This week they’re eating delicious turkey cooked by John Madden on the 50 yard line in beautiful San Francisco, California. Yeah, they’re totally finished…
Washington @ Indianapolis (-10)
As Andrew Khaleesi Luck lightly jogs off the field, after throwing his 4th dragon of the day, he smiles and looks over at a dejected Robert Griffin fresh off of losing his job to a 5’8” white guy named Colt, sitting on the bench adjusting his matching Spiderman socks, and softly chuckles to himself. Andrew knows he is now the breaker of chains, the mother of dragons, and it’s futile for anyone to think Bobby Griffin once had a shot at his throne. The Iron Throne is his by right, and he will let no man stop him from achieving it.
Tennessee @ Houston (Even)
Cleveland @ Buffalo (-3)
This line feels like it’s swung the wrong direction doesn’t it? The Browns are red-hot right now going into Buffalo to play a team coming off a 38-3 drubbing of the hapless Jets. Like I predicted before it happened, when you re-locate a game to a city like Detroit and move it to a Monday, all bets are off. There’s so much that goes into a situation like that for a player; travel, tickets, family, extra day of rest, so on a so forth, that you can’t expect anything normal. The Jets quit playing that game fifteen minutes after it stepped onto the turf. Their heads just weren’t in it. I know Buffalo is sitting at 6-5 and kind of but not really in the playoff picture, but it’s a false 6-5 led by the ultimate false QB Kyle Orton. Last week Josh Gordon got his feet wet, and this week is the cannonball. Last week Josh Gordon was the freshman college girl who never really partied in high school and tried vodka for the first time during syllabus week. “What a blast that was! I want to try that again” she says to herself before she Absolut’s her way to being the most reckless party girl on her dorm floor. This week, Josh Gordon will be the most reckless party girl on his dorm floor. 200 plus yards, three touchdowns, and one “holy shit that guys unstoppable” play in-coming.
San Diego @ Baltimore (-6)
This one’s for slips. I don’t see either team making the playoffs with a loss here. I hate picking the Ravens to win anything, as there is only a small list of teams ahead of them on the “Jesus Red Zone, why’d you have to switch over to these guys” list. But I don’t think the Chargers have much chance. What started off so promising for my guy Phil Rivers has turned into a cluster of offensive line problems and gigantic human being trying to annihilate his very being suddenly a constant problem. At one point I think he met his center when he went to jam his hands under his ass before the first play from scrimmage four weeks ago.
NY Giants (-3) @ Jacksonville
I know we shouldn’t judge a rookie QB playing behind a group of guys that would make all matadors around the world proud. I understand that it’s virtually impossible for a guy to build proper footwork and positive habits when he’s running for his life constantly. I wholly and fully comprehend that. But has Blake Bortles shown you anything, anything at all, that says “future NFL star” during his time starting this season?
9 Starts, 62.6 Completion %, 2,067 yards, 8 TDs to 15 INTs, 6.8 YPA, 27 sacks,
What was that you were saying about Buzz’s girlfriend?
Cincinnati (-4) @ Tampa Bay
In the two games since that Thursday Night Nightmare against the Browns, Andy Dalton is 40/57 for 453 yards with a 4/1 TD/INT ratio. While those numbers aren’t mind blowing or at all worth 96 million, they’re not a bad bounce back for a QB who lost all fans and supporters in possibly the worst QB performance ever. Was there a worse accessory for a kid in Cincinnati to wear to school that next Friday than a number 10 Dalton jersey? Maybe the Browns are just better than we all thought? You know who isn’t better than we all thought? Tampa Bay. They’re worse. They’re the worst of them all.
Oakland @ St. Louis (-7)
Going through the Rams game log is an exercise in insanity. If you found the one person in the world who’s knowledgeable about football, but has no preconceived notion of Jeff Fisher or the Rams as a franchise, and show them their game log, they would say “Wow, they’re actually pretty good”
They beat Tampa (but who doesn’t), lost pretty bad to Minnesota in week one, lost to San Fran, and got smoked by Kansas City
Besides that Minnesota game, there really isn’t a dud in there. What exactly is holding the Rams back. Their stacked division? Their brutal out of division schedule? Jeff Fishers getting-larger-by-the-day-beer gut? It can’t possibly be Stone Cold Steve Austin Davis, because he’s awesome…oh wait they benched him for Shaun Hill already because…..yeah I don’t really know the reasons behind that one.. Maybe it’s using first round speedster wide receiver in the I-formation. Somebody’s gotta explain to whomever made that call that just because it’s never been done before, doesn’t mean it’s creative. And yes this actually happened
New Orleans @ Pittsburgh (-4.5)
Nobody was scarier on Monday Night Football at home than Drew Brees. He seemed bulletproof. There were times when I would watch Marques Colston run passed an already overwhelmed corner who didn’t know what he was getting in to, to snag Brees’ 4th touchdown of the night and think to myself, I’m frightened right now. Not just frightened in a “scared for my own team way”. I was frightened in a “Holy shit, Michael Myers is slowly walking towards me with an obnoxiously large knife and there are just things to trip over all over my house so I’m screwed” way. Clearly after last Monday, that stigma is gone. It’s like when you see your ex, and there’s still that attraction there, until you notice they’re pregnant and it’s not yours. It’s gone. I don’t fear you anymore Drew.
Carolina @ Minnesota (-3)
My reaction on Sunday when Red Zone forces me to watch Cam Newton look like a rich 10th grade girl who didn’t get her way for the 850th time this year
Arizona @ Atlanta (Even)
“I’m Joe Buck here with Troy Aikman as two division leading juggernauts battle it out in the Dirty South! The 9-2 Cardinals led by star quarterback Drew Stanton, faced off against Matt Ryan and the 4-7 Falcons! This should be a shootout with two of the league’s best teams trading touchdowns all afternoon. Stay right here on Fox, there’s nothing interesting going on on CBS right now!”
“That’s right Joe, there definitely isn’t a potential Super Bowl matchup between two of the greatest quarterbacks to ever live happening on CBS. All the action is here on Fox!”
New England @ Green Bay (-3)
The big one. One of the first destination TV NFL games of the season. Both teams are literally on fire right now. Tom Brady re-found that chip on his shoulder after that Monday Night debacle in Kansas City. Aaron Rodgers is probably the most talented quarterback to ever play a down in the NFL. I mean seriously, I don’t care about stats, records, Super Bowls, any of that. Aaron Rodgers is THE best quarterback I’ve ever seen play. I don’t even think it’s close really. Granted I never saw prime Montana/Marino or really anyone whose prime was before 1995. But man, some of the things Rodgers does on a football field are mind blowing. Only three picks this season, two of them off his receivers hands, and the other one hit his tight end in the facemask. All perfect throws by the way. On defense last week against the Lions the Pats (God damnit Belichick is so smart) covered Golden Tate with Revis, and put PED monster Brandon Browner on Calvin Johnson, with safety help over the top. It worked to perfection and because they’re the Patriots there’s no way they do the same thing twice in a row. On the podcast this week Chris predicted the same strategy for this week with Revis on Randall Cobb and Browner on Jordy Nelson. As I said, then I think Nelson can just run circles around Browner. That’s back shoulder all damn day. Belichick’s too smart for that. So what they’ll most likely end up doing is have each corner play a side. It’s better to give Rodger’s a bunch of different looks then just let him sit on the same one all game. Before you know it he figures that out, and TOUCHDOWN PACKERS FOR THE 10,000th TIME IN MY NIGHTMARES. Sorry I just freaked out for a second. Just imagine playing that guy two times a year for seemingly your entire life before you judge me.
This game will go one of two ways, blowout win, or down to the wire shootout. There’s no middle ground when two monsters like this collide. Every Pats fan is secretly terrified of the scenario where Brady starts slow, Rodgers scores on his first three possessions, and Belichick just packs it in not wanting to show anything for the potential rematch in the Super Bowl. He does the same thing when he’s the one up 21 early. He doesn’t show his cards until he has no choice. He’s playing poker, and everyone else is playing chess. Unfortunately for all us cheesehead-hating-green-and-yellow-despising Bear fans, that’s how I see it going down. Packers win big.
Denver @ Kansas City (Even)
Last time these two teams played, in Denver, Kansas City deployed the San Diego “hold on the the ball as long as you possibly can. Let every play clock go down to 5 seconds before snapping the ball. Run. Run. Run.” strategy, and it worked, kind of. They gained more than the Broncos 380 to 325 and won the time of possession battle 36:14 to 23:46. The difference was Alex Smith’s legendary inability to ever make a play down the field. I imagine if KC came out in a three wide receiver set, you could cover them with my two roommates and I, he would absolutely check down to Jamaal Charles. Two quick facts: The Chiefs are 1-12 all time against Peyton Manning (including 0-5 since he became a Bronco) and Denver’s record in Arrowhead after Thanksgiving is 4-14. I understand that second fact is completely arbitrary, but I felt it was necessary. Does the first fact fall under the “due theory”? Or will the trend continue? My money’s on Kansas City. Jamaal Charles gets more than the two carries he got the first time around and KC brings itself into the drivers seat for the AFC West crown.
Miami (-7) @ NY Jets
The Jets are the ultimate “just take em out back and shoot em” team. Keep Sheldon Richardson and just cut everyone else. Start over. I mean what’s the point of keeping anyone on that roster. They all have the Idzik/Ryan/green stank all over them. None of them can get better while there. Clearly there’s just something toxic in the water supply there. Best part of it all, there’s no team like the Dolphins to come into town on Monday Night Football and just lay a complete stinker just in time for Dolphins fans to second guess their team in time for the holiday season.