Somebody needs to tell Mark Davis the meaning of the word ‘fantastic’. He turned a talented, competitive team over to the much-ballyhooed Belichick disciple, and has received a disgraceful ROI in return. His dad must be rolling over in his eternal jogging suit. I should talk….I couldn’t pick better than 5-9 this week as I got wiped out by the likes of Carolina, Detroit, Green Bay, and Washington in improbable upsets. But I do know the meaning of ‘fantastic’. Here’s the pre-Turkey Week picks.
Titans at Packers – Green Bay emerged from the frozen crypt of their own ineptitude to torch the highfalootin’ Cowboys in one of last week’s Pundit’s Paltrooneries. The Titans, however, did deliver against Hackett’s Hapless Hacks. This week is a pick-em, methinks. The Packers have underplayed all season, so maybe we are finally seeing the real team? Dunno, we’ll find out AFTER this game. Lambeau when it’s crispy-cool is unkind to visitors. The Pack sacks & smacks their way to back-to-backs.
Bears at Falcons – Another even matchup of two teams that do the same things poorly and the same things well. Neither defends the run well nor pressures the QB. Both quarterbacks rely more on their legs than arms. Of late, Fields has been rating better QB numbers as his development continues. I’m into growth stocks, so give me 100 shares of BEAR this week. This ground pound comes down to the last round, as Atlanta’s birds remain flightless at home.
Panthers at Ravens – The kitty cats from Kitty Hawk may be feeling their oats under their placeholder coach, but Baltimore is feeling playoffs. The league’s most mobile QG is about to carve up a defense that struggles with exactly that. Knowing what Lamar is going to do and stopping him are two very different things. Birds eat the cats in this episode.
Browns at Bills – Buffalo got faced last week by the Purple Pulverizers and have surrendered the division lead to Tua Takinyouovah’s Dolphins, so they ain’t ABOUT to surrender at home to Cleveland’s Stefanski Stinkers. In the Battle of Lake Erie, Bills right the ship and sink the Browns.
Commanders at Texans – What a show Washington put on last week, putting a crack in the perfection of Philly’s season. You simply have to like Taylor Heinicke’s spunk, if not his celebrations. The Expanders have a taste of a winning record in the best division in football, and there should be no letdown this week. Houston’s timing is terrible in what might have been a better matchup a month ago. Carson Wentz away and Washington found their groove. Riverboat Ron steams on deep in the heart of Texas.
Eagles at Colts – Well, let’s be honest about last week. The Eagles were due for a clunker (no disrespect to DC), and the Colts were due for a barn-burner. This is a new week, and my feel is that these two combatants will return to normal. Which means the Eagles make Matt Ryan look like Indianapolis Matt again, and Jeff will wish it was Saturday instead of Sunday. Still, should be an entertaining game. Smeagols find their Preciousss again as they make the Colts disappear.
Jets at Patriots – Really tough game to call, as both teams have stout defenses, excellent pass coverage deep, and ferocious pass rushes. The Pats struggle with mobile qb’s, but that’s not Zach the Cougarslayer’s game, so moot point. I like the fire I see in the long-slumbering Jets, and they will be a handful for the meh Pat’s offense to overcome. I imagine this being a kicker’s duel, in the end. Both leggers are terrific…but give me Folk’s music over Zuerlein’s bottom line. Patriots defend the homeland by deploying better artillery.
Rams at Saints – The Scrams continue to dig a deeper hole for themselves, as Kupp got hobbled while Stafford’s head was stuck in concussion protocol. Say what you want about the Ain’ts, but they keep hammering away despite a screwy season and their starting qb still awol. In this battle of scroungy 3-game winners, I have faith in the Christians. Rams get slammed in Whodat land.
Lions at Giants – The Improbable Gotham Gargantuans roll on, as their potent turf attack encounters the vaporous run defense of Detroit. While Saquon rips huge grabs of real estate off this week, Daniel Jones will get his share of dance steps in as well, between efficient shots downfield against a team that doesn’t defend their airspace well either. Daboll’s die-hards are no defensive powerhouse either, but since they will have the ball most of this game, it won’t matter. ‘Cats’ might still be playing on Broadway, but these feckless felines have been canceled.
Raiders at Broncos – This game is a pundit’s nightmare, as these two teams rank low in so many categories it’s a Hobson’s choice on steroids. I could analyze, but why? Denver proves that a good defense is…something to feel good about. Oranges crushes the Black Hole of underperformance. There…more words than this clunker is worth.
Cowboys at Vikings – Generational Jefferson continues to defy belief, and Capt. Kirk owes him half his salary this season. Hard to believe that a team that traded away a talent like Stefon Diggs found a better receiver to fill his old uniform. This week another Diggs will come calling, and JJ will again need to reach into his bottomless bag of highlight-film catches. Dallas will also have to keep a lid on Thielen and TJ ‘Ball Hock’ Hockenson, which is a tall order. That said, the Vikes are unlikely to smother Tony Pollard’s real estate grabs, and that Dallas D can really make a QB consider a career change, or at least a life insurance upgrade. This has all the makings of a tremendous game, the NFL Network pros are split even, and the outcome will likely be razor-thin. We all win….but give the narrowest edge to Prince’s Purple Perseverants. Purple Reign, Purple Reign…..
Bengals at Steelers – Rust-belt battle between two gritty clubs. Joe has Burrowed into the turf so much this year that he can tell you what kind of grass your stadium has by taste. Expect TJ ‘Mega’ Watt and Alex Highsmith to play ‘Plant the Passer’ a lot in this game. Joe better be Mixon it up lugging the brick, if Cincy’s vaunted receiver corps is going to find daylight. Kenny Pick-it will have his struggles keeping his passes in Steeler hands, and with Claypool gone that gets even harder. In a ‘riveting’ game, Bengals scrap the Steelers.
Chiefs at Chargers – I wish this were more difficult to call, but the Bolts have been short-circuited all season by key player injuries, and they are still running on low voltage talent-wise as a result. Herbert is heroic weekly, but he has less and less to work with, and Bosa’s absence may be the most impactful of all. The Chiefs know this game pretty much puts the division away for them, and 60 minutes of that high-octane offense is going to gas LA’s defense. Chiefs administer the coups de grace to LA’s esprit de corps. Savez?
Niners at Cardinals – I fully expect San Fran to challenge for the division as the season winds out, and this week should be a relatively easy bag for them, with Arizona’s perplexing passing personnel predicament. Whether Kingsbury trots out the Real McCoy or Murray in a Hurry, neither is at 100% against a defense where you have to be at your best. Let’s not overthink this Mexican MNF soiree, por favor. Niners enjoy the fiesta while we sleep through this siesta. Arriba!!
Enjoy the games!