This past weekend embodied pretty much everything I love about watching football. The two games I watched during the day were Denver’s last-minute victory over the Vikings, and Green Bay’s last-minute win over the Giants. Though the games were different as can be in terms of style of play, both had high-scoring outcomes in doubt until the final seconds, both had exciting plays, and both had both heroic moments and colossal blunders. I’ll put the snark aside for at least one paragraph and just say that I like watching sports and Sunday was why.
Now that that’s taken care of, on to the bad puns, the picks, the stupid nicknames, and the jokes about Tim Tebow’s white steed of Warrior-Christian Justice.
I went 8-8 this week, which reminded me of this band. Mediocre 90s skate-punk!
(Note: All point spreads listed here are the lines at the time bets were made. Be sure to consult your very legitimate and legal sports book [cough] before making a bet of your own; lines move constantly due to the action on particular games. Also, gambling is illegal in many states. And watch out for those offshore betting sites, lest you end up like an online poker professional. Okay? Okay. Onward and upward.)
Week 13 Record: 8-8
My Record So Far: 97-88-7
Thursday Night Game (12/8 8:25PM ET)
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-14)
The Ravens ran all over the Browns in Week 13, and the Steelers will likely pass all over them in Week 14. Football games are 60 Minutes and the Steelers have a wide receiver named Mike Wallace. Coincidence? I think not.
My Pick: Steelers (-14)
Sunday Early Games (12/11 1PM ET)
Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals (-3)
Things did not fall apart for Texans third-string-to-starting-in-two-weeks quarterback TJ Yates, who I will continue to insist on calling WB Yeats and making related jokes. This week will not be the “Second Coming” of Yeats as a winning quarterback, as the Bengals will fight back from being embarrassed by Morley Safer, Leslie Stahl, and the rest of the Steelers team last weekend.
My Pick: Bengals (-3)
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (-8)
The Lions have been pretty much an embarrassment since putting a hurting on Tim Tebow. Since then, the Lions have lost three and won one, and that win came against a Carolina Panthers team that fields the kids from the NFL Play 60 commercial on defense. The Vikings aren’t good either, though, and the Lions are playing at home, and maybe playing another rookie QB will get them back on track.
My Pick: Lions (-8)
New Orleans Saints at Tennessee Titans (+3.5)
It’s feeling like a week for favorites. The Saints are rolling, and even though they’re not playing in their friendly Superdome confines (much friendlier now, anyway) they should be able to handle a Titans team that is thoroughly average in nearly every respect. Seriously, thoroughly average. Can you think of a more average QB than Matt Hasselbeck? He is neither good nor bad. If you can think of a QB who more thoroughly defines average than he does, contribute in the comments. The winner will receive a prize.
My Pick: Saints (-3)
Philadelphia Eagles at Miami Dolphins (-3)
The Eagles have no reason to even try for the rest of the season, and the Dolphins seem to really enjoy ruining people’s day. I’ll go with Coach Sunglasses at home after picking against them completely backfired on me last week.
My Pick: Dolphins (-3)
Kansas City Chiefs at New York Jets (-9)
Kyle Orton got in the game this past weekend for the Chiefs and proceeded to leave just as quickly with a dislocated finger. While the Chiefs did beat the injury-depleted Bears this past weekend, the Jets won the battle of the Rexes (Ryan vs. Grossmember) in Washington last week, putting them back in the AFC Wild Card hunt. A spread of nine means an offensive burst of some kind, though, so while I think the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets will win the game, I think the Chiefs will lose by fewer than nine.
My Pick: Chiefs (+9)
New England Patriots at Washington Redskins (+7.5)
The Patriots showed mercy on the Colts last week and did not cover the ridiculous spread, though they led at one point 31-3. The Redskins, who I picked to beat the spread last week against the Jets, failed to do so. Since I got both of these teams’ games wrong last week, I will have to redeem myself by once again betting on the Patriots, but going against the Redskins. There’s no way they’re in this game.
My Pick: Patriots (-7.5)
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers (+2.5)
The Falcons are sort of like the Titans of the NFC, not bad but not that good either, and thoroughly unexciting. The Panthers are exciting, with Cam Newton scoring rushing TDs left and right and reviving the career of wide receiver Steve Smith, who many had left for dead years ago. This week, as in most weeks, boring will beat exciting.
My Pick: Falcons (-2.5)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars (+1)
These teams are both terrible, and no one will watch this game, including me.
My Pick: Jaguars (+1)
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens (-16.5)
The Colts managed to beat a massive spread last week with Dan Orlovsky at QB instead of One Who Paints Curtis. Since the Ravens get up more for good teams than bad, I think the Colts will beat the spread again.
My Pick: Colts (+16.5)
Sunday Late Games (12/11 4:05/4:15PM ET)
Chicago Bears at Denver Broncos (-3.5)
The Bears only managed three points last week against the lowly Chiefs. The spread of three-and-a-half is throwing me because of the trend of Win by Threebow, but I’m taking the magical white person, his team’s fantastic defense and running game at home against a team that has not only lost its quarterback, but its fantastic running back Matt Forte as well.
My Pick: Broncos (-3.5)
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (+3.5)
This is another game no one will watch, because it won’t be televised nationally, and everyone in the Bay Area will be attending gay pride parades and vegan bake sales while everyone in Arizona will be persecuting immigrants and golfing in the middle of a desert.
My Pick: 49ers (-3.5 broad stereotypes)
Buffalo Bills at San Diego Chargers (-6)
This game will be shown in Los Angeles, and therefore I may end up watching it, which will be gross. Will the Chargers turn it on to end the season on a hot streak like they tend to do every year, and save worthless Norv Turner’s job in the process? Probably not, but they might hint at it by beating the Williams and Ryan Fitzharvardbeard.
My Pick: Chargers (-6)
Oakland Raiders at Green Bay Packers (-11)
Unless the Packers meet the Giants in the playoffs and the Giants spoil their perfect season they way they did to the Pats after losing to them 38-35, the Pack will go undie-feeted.
My Pick: Packers (-11)
Sunday Night Game (12/11 8:25PM ET)
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-3.5)
The Giants will make it more likely they will have a chance to play spoiler to the Packers (see above) by beating the Cowboys, if the Cowboys’ head coach Jason Garrett doesn’t beat the Cowboys first.
My Pick: Giants (+3.5 kickers iced by their own coach)
Monday Night Football (12/12 8:35PM ET)
St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-6.5)
Seattle has good coffee?
My Pick: Seahawks (-6.5)
We’re closing in on the end of the season, and I’m enjoying every bit of it.