Organized Sports is a recurring sports column named for a seminal DC avant-hardcore song by the equally stupid and brilliant (to me, “equally stupid and brilliant” pretty much just means “brilliant”) band Void. Take from that what you will.
The less said about week one of this year’s NFL picks, the better. 6-10 would be less depressing if I were at least a person who were that tall. Let’s try and do better this time, shall we? Nick Cannon just walked away with your school clothes money.
(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.)
Last Week: 6-10
My Record So Far: 6-10
Thursday Night Game (9/13 8:20PM ET)
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-6)
The Bears put a hurtin’ on the Colts, welcoming Andrew Luck into the league and giving him the first bad day he’s ever likely had in his quarterbackin’, Stanford-attendin’ life. Luck’s old coach Harbaugh beat the Packers in Lambeau. Now, these long-standing rivals face off on the first game of week two, a game which is necessitating me posting these picks now, instead of doing so on Saturday. The Bears admittedly looked good, and the Packers pretty much didn’t, but I don’t see the Packers losing two in a row in Lambeau, or, to be more pithy, two in a Lamrow.
My Pick: Packers (-6)
Sunday Early Games (9/16 1PM ET)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants (-7.5)
The Bucs played tough defense in their first game, holding Cam Newton to next to nothing and winning while only scoring 16 points. The Giants managed to be the first defending champ to lose in an early opener. Once again going against last week, I will pick the team that lost instead of the one that won, because the Giants really can’t open this season with two losses in a row.
My Pick: Giants (-7.5)
Oakland Raiders (-2.5) at Miami Dolphins
One of my few successes last week was picking the Dolphins to get stomped. I will stick with this strategy until it fails me.
My Pick: Raiders (-2.5)
Houston Texans (-7.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Blaine Gabbert may be looking better than he did last year, but the Texans look just as good: tough defense and solid offense will have them taking this game from the Jags on the road.
My Pick: Texans (-7.5)
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-7)
The Browns just barely lost to the Eagles in week one, and therefore I lost that pick. I had also picked the Bengals to win, and they did not, getting stomped by a Ravens team that suddenly looks like a Super Bowl favorite. Lots of people have been arguing over whether or not Joe Flacco is “elite,” which is a stupid word to call someone. The Bengals will not have to worry that Brandon Weeden or Colt McCoy or whoever is elite. I should also note that I had to Google to make sure I was spelling Brandon Weeden’s name right, and one of the Google auto-fills was “Brandon Weeden wife”. Men are awful.
My Pick: Bengals (-7)
Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills (-3)
The Bills looked pretty awful in their loss to the Jets last week, but the Chiefs didn’t look much better getting lit up by Matt Ryan and the Falcons. Because I’ve only picked favorites thus far, I will choose the Chiefs, because this is an exact science.
My Pick: Chiefs (+3)
Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5)
Michael Vick changed his name to Michael Pick (zing!) after barely escaping with a win in Cleveland on Sunday. The Ravens, on the other hand, ran a no-huddle offense that blew the Bengals off the field. Joe “Elite” Flacco and the gang in purple will take this one too.
My Pick: Ravens (+2.5)
New Orleans Saints (-2.5) at Carolina Panthers
The Saints and the Panthers both looked pretty bad in week one, but Brees will bring the boys back, and other bold, beautiful balliterations.
My Pick: Saints (-2.5)
Arizona Cardinals at New England Patriots (-13.5)
The Patriots are really good, and with the improved defense brought on by their rookie acquisitions (hey, the Patriots actually drafted people instead of stocking future picks!) they may be even better than last year, when they lost in the Super Bowl. But I can’t justify those points, not this early in the season against a team in the Cardinals that actually won its first game.
My Pick: Cardinals (+13.5)
Minnesota Vikings (-1.5) at Indianapolis Colts
No one will watch this game!
My Pick: Vikings (-1.5)
Sunday Late Games (9/16 4:05PM ET)
St. Louis Rams at Washington Redskins (-3)
It feels like the Rams and Redskins play each other every year, because they are always both mediocre. The Skins definitely did not look mediocre in week one, with Robert Griffin III putting up a monster day. The Rams also didn’t look nearly as bad as I would have imagined, the secondary making Matthew Stafford look mediocre, right up until a game-ending drive that put the Lions barely over the hump. This is really an even matchup, but I actually think the Rams will take this one against a rookie passer.
My Pick: Rams (+3)
Dallas Cowboys (-3) at Seattle Seahawks
Tony Romo managed not to bone his way out of a primetime win against the Giants, and Seahawks QB Russell Wilson didn’t look too confident in his regular season debut. The Cowboys take this one on the road, and also on the road to massive hype that will lead to disappointment later in the season when they go from 9-2 to 9-7 and miss the playoffs.
My Pick: Cowboys (-3)
New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers (-6) (4:25 start)
I can’t believe the line is at 6 after the Jets put a hurtin’ on the Bills and the Steelers looked, well, old and defenseless against the rebirth of Peyton Manning. Consider this my lock of the week, which means it will be wrong.
My Pick: Jets (+6)
Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers (-6) (4:25 start)
The best thing about this game will be the fact that Chris Berman is not announcing it. Oh, and the fact that I won’t have to watch it, because I no longer live in Southern California, where those who Charge San Diego are considered a local team, even though everyone there roots for some team from the East Coast where they moved away from because it’s cold.
My Pick: Titans (+6)
Sunday Night Game (9/16 8:20PM ET)
Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers (-6.5)
The handshake game! Jim Schwartz is gonna have to endure another insulting bro-shake from Harbaugh after this one, though I’d rather he didn’t, because apparently Schwartz is a big Slayer fan.
My Pick: 49ers (-6.5)
Monday Night Football (9/17 8:30PM ET)
Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons (-3)
I gotta say, I was really happy to see Peyton Manning doing all the Peyton Manning things that people either really love or really hate about him. It doesn’t feel like a football season without Pey-Pey rolling his eyes at offensive coordinators, then taking over and calling all the plays himself. It’s cause he’s a Field General!
My Pick: Broncos (+3)
Hope to be seein’ all y’all back here next week back over .500. Daddy needs a new pair of loafers.