by Eight Thirty Seven with assistance from Dubsism and Jason from Indiana
The fourth week of the NFL season is here, and although it’s still early on we are starting to see the true colors of a lot of the teams in the league. Some are perennial early bloomers that will fade out as the season moves closer to the new year, and some are legitimate and here to stay. Some teams that are 1-2 are still in great shape, either because they play in awful divisions or because they simply haven’t played up to their own capabilities. And in some cases such as the AFC South, we really have no idea what’s truly going on. But we sure as hell can speculate, and isn’t that what makes this so much fun? This is what we think will take place in the last week of the first full month of the NFL schedule.
Bye Weeks: Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots
Baltimore Ravens (0-3) -2.5 at Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1) (43.5)
The best 2-1 team in the league just lost their star quarterback, and it would appear that this would put a huge dent in their future plans. But all is not lost, at least not this week. The Ravens can’t put a single thought together on the field, and if there’s one team that Michael Vick can put one last solid performance over on it’s Baltimore. As much as I hope the guy gets hit by a bus driven by a dog that’s playing poker, the truth is that Vick is probably the best backup quarterback in the NFL. He should be able to easily pick apart that struggling defense, and for those of you who might say “they’re not struggling that much” look at how they’ve performed in the fourth quarter so far this year and then give me all of the money in your wallet before I stab you to death. Whoever set the line for this game is smoking crack. Steelers all the fucking way. Take the under for the point total because this could very easily end up being a 13-10 game.
Meehan’s Prediction: Steelers 20, Ravens 16
Dubsism’s pick: $25 on Baltimore to cover the spread
Jason from Indiana: Baltimore
New York Jets (2-1) EVEN at Miami Dolphins (1-2) (41.5)
The Miami Dolphins belong at the bottom of the AFC East. What an uninspiring group of clowns. The fact that this is a pick ’em is a bit of an insult, and trust me that’s precisely how the Jets defense is going to take it. Look, the Jets habve overachieved, but Miami’s only win is against Washington and they lost to the Jaguars. That’s a resume you throw right into the shredder, even if your ownership doesn’t seem to be all that concerned with everyday football operations. The Jets aren’t all that much to look at one offense, but who cares? They haven’t scored over twenty points in a game so far this year, and they might not score ten in this one. Jets all the way, and if they can lose this game after beating the Colts and holding them to a single touchdown it’s quite possible that I’ll never have the answers you’re looking for. I love the under here and the Jets win this game on the road.
837’s Prediction: Jets 19, Dolphins 12
Dubsism’s pick: $50 on NY Jets to cover the spread
Jason from Indiana: Miami
New York Giants (1-2) +5.5 at Buffalo Bills (2-1) (46.5)
Everything is okay in New York again! The Giants took out Washington at home last week, so it’s all smiles right? Well, not really. They head to Buffalo to face an angry Bills team that really believe they are one of the better teams in the AFC. They aren’t, but they’re a lot better than the Giants. This is a New York team who doesn’t have a shred of fourth quarter confidence, and have been outscored 43-24 in that frame through three games. Buffalo’s only loss was to the best team in football in a game where they scored 32 points. They’re going to bring down the house on the first defensive sequence when Sunday rolls around, but I like the Giants to keep it manageable. New York won’t win, but the Bills won’t cover the spread and I do like the over for the point total here a lot even though some of you are going to think I’m insane. LeSean McCoy doesn’t look like he’s going to be Buffalo’s number one guy, yet somehow the Bills lead the league in rushing. Go figure.
837’s Prediction: Bills 26, Giants 23
Dubsism’s pick: $25 Under
Jason from Indiana: Buffalo
Carolina Panthers (3-0) -3 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2) (40)
The Panthers beat up on New Orleans last week, and they get another gift from God on Sunday as they head to Tampa where the Bucs would be in last place if the Saints weren’t so bad. They have a perfect opportunity to begin the season 4-0 before they go to Seattle to promptly get smacked by the reality that is the Seahawks defense. Cam kind of lost some of my respect by making that shit up about what Ed Hochuli said. And even if he didn’t, can’t we just understand that happens all of the time anyway and that the younger guys who whine about it are going to get called out for trying to put somebody like Ed up against the wall? Even with that poorly concocted story, I still can’t root for Tampa because Jameis Winston is still their quarterback and their defense game up 41 points to the Titans just a couple weeks back. The only team they’ve beaten is the Saints, who should have all 53 guys on their roster filing for disability any time soon. Carolina covers easily, but they are a wolf’s in sheep’s clothing if I’ve ever seen one. After this week, their schedule gets tough and then they’ll be exposed. Don’t bet the point total in this one, because after all it’s Tampa.
837’s Prediction: Panthers 25, Buccaneers 11
Dubsism’s pick: $50 on Carolina to cover the spread
Jason from Indiana: Carolina
Oakland Raiders (2-1) -3 at Chicago Bears (0-3) (44.5)
Chicago’s roster acted as a T-shirt cannon this week starting on Monday when they pretty much dealt Jared Allen to the Carolina Panthers for a sack of chili cheese Fritos (small bag, no dip) and then later on that night they traded Jon Bostic to the Patriots because New England never seems to be off the clock and always seems to make these genius signings. In any other existence in this universe I would say that this is exactly the type of game that the Bears are so used to winning, but at the same time they are 32nd in the power rankings and even though it’s not mathematically possible they should probably be even lower than that. Oakland is going to be the first 3-1 team to end up 4-8 this year. This just happens to be a game where they are matched against a team that just auctioned off the entire junkyard, and they should win easily. Their defense is playing a lot better than most people want to give them credit for, but here again – come week 14 nobody will have to worry about giving them credit. It is good to see their fans finally get to enjoy some good times, and not shank anyone in the parking lot for a month or so. As for Chicago, you know things are bad when you’re three point dogs at home against a team that picks in the top five almost every single year. I like the Raiders by a mile and would love nothing more than to see them rack up 45 points here. It’s not going to happen, but they cover easily and from now on don’t touch the total in any Bears game.
837’s Prediction: Raiders 27, Bears 9
Dubsism’s pick: $25 Under
Jason from Indiana: Oakland
Kansas City Chiefs (1-2) +4 at Cincinnati Bengals (3-0) (44)
There’s nobody on earth who’s having a harder time accepting the fact that the Bengals are 3-0 than yours truly, but simply put it’s not out of the ordinary for them to have a hot September only to flame out when shit gets real. ESPN has them higher than the Falcons in the power rankings, and whoever decided they are better than Atlanta is probably drunk as fuck. Even though he annoys me to no end as a broadcaster, Jon Gruden brought the heat to Chiefs fans on Monday Night Football this past week with this stat: Alex Smith has played in 107 NFL games and has only thrown for 300 yards four times. How funny is that? It’s going to be hilarious to look at that one compared to Tom Brady’s 2015 stats come mid-November. This is precisely why I’ve had it with this “game manager” shit we hear about so much. You know who was a great game manager his first year in the NFL? Robert Griffin. I think I’ve made my point here. Bengals at home by four is my lock of the week. Kansas City’s morale has to be pretty low after what’s happened to them in the past couple of weeks. Take the under.
837’s Prediction: Bengals 27, Chiefs 16
Dubsism’s pick: $25 on Cincinnati to cover the spread
Jason from Indiana: Cincinnati
Houston Texans (1-2) +7 at Atlanta Falcons (3-0) (47)
The Atlanta Falcons are the truth and I’ll stand behind that without any problem stating so. But then again I said that the Texans were going to challenge the Colts for the AFC South, and it doesn’t exactly look like that boat is going to sail into that bullshit prediction harbor any time soon. We’ll see just how worthwhile the Texans defense is without JJ Watt, but here’s a spoiler alert: It probably ain’t much. I love the over here, and I also like the Falcons to cover at home. Houston is so far from having their running game figured out, so I expect about fifty passes out of Mallett. God the Texans are a mess. Avoid the point total.
837’s Prediction: Falcons 30, Texans 17
Dubsism’s pick: $25 on Atlanta to cover the spread
Jason from Indiana: Atlanta
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2) +10 at Indianapolis Colts (1-2) (48)
Colts fans are living in a world of delusion at the moment, which shouldn’t be that much of a surprise to anybody who knows a Colts fan. After losing their first two games – the second of which was an embarrassing performance against what we now know is a very poor Jets squad – everybody within the sports media landscape is now stroking the Colts like a hairless cat, ready to lift their pinky finger up to their lips and tell you about how this was all a part of their master plan. Fuck that. The Colts surrendered thirty-three points to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, and that’s hardly anything to be proud of. But that illusion of momentary early regular-season greatness is likely to continue this week, as Indianapolis will host a home game against the defensive laughingstock of the league in a Jaguars team that gave up thirty-five first downs last week in New England. I’ll take Indianapolis to win but not cover, and the under on the total here.
837’s Prediction: Colts 30, Jaguars 19
Dubsism’s pick: TRAP GAME OF THE WEEK: Betting this game is like sticking your finger in a pencil sharpener, and rather than taking your finger out of the pencil sharpener, you’re having a discussion about how many times to crank the handle
Jason from Indiana: Jacksonville
Green Bay Packers (3-0) -9.5 at San Francisco 49ers (1-2) (48.5)
The Packers have very little housecleaning to do. Aside from a few minor adjustments, right now it would crazy to think that from a long term perspective the NFC has a clearer favorite than Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers took apart that Chiefs defense on Monday night to the tune of 38 points, and their defense is playing respectable enough to counter a team like Seattle or Arizona who may struggle offensively down the stretch. The NFL is a very week-to-week and year-to-year league, and no greater place is that evident than in San Francisco where somehow the 49ers were just one play away from winning the Super Bowl thirty-four months ago. What a difference a few years make: Roster moves and offensive ineptitude have dominated San Francisco’s world since then, and the argument can be made that they’re one of the worst teams in the league. Their only win came against the Vikings, and they got trounced by the Cardinals last week in every way imaginable. They’re nearly ten point underdogs at home, but it’s very deserved. I can remember five years ago when this matchup was golden, but now it’s going to seem like a scrimmage where the defense is all blindfolded. If the Cardinals can beat the Niners by 40, yeah…I’m going to go ahead and say the Packers can cover nine and a half. I love the over on this one too.
837’s Prediction: Packers 36, 49ers 17
Dubsism’s pick: $50 on Green Bay to cover the spread
Jason from Indiana: San Francisco
Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) -3 at Washington Redskins (1-2) (47)
Yawn. If you purposely go to a bar to watch this game because they have Sunday NFL ticket, you probably still take chewable vitamins and I’m guessing your mother probably still does your laundry. If you’re a Redskins fan, I hope she can clean the blood stains off of your jersey from your failed suicide attempt after that beatdown that a bad Giants team laid on you last week. The Eagles claim that they’re “back on track”, but Sam Bradford still has a 24.4 QBR for the year and they aren’t really all that great. Get ready to hear about how they are even better than that all week after they head to DC to beat the Redskins and their All-Shit quarterback Kirk Cousins. What kind of a name is that anyway? How do you not hit the age of eight and go “You know what, fuck this…” If Dubsism’s real name was “Jonathan Uncle”, nobody would ever talk to him because they’d wonder how he got into his fifties without having his name legally changed. I would literally watch the Westminster Dog Show instead of this game, but I guess I’ll take the Eagles to cover although just barely…47 is the total that Vegas set? Good Lord…yeah…under for sure. Hopefully there’s another fight and both of these teams kill each other.
837’s Prediction: Eagles 16, Redskins 12, America 0
Dubsism’s pick: $25 Under
Jason from Indiana: Philadelphia
Cleveland Browns (1-2) +9 at San Diego Chargers (1-2) (45)
I can’t tell you how much I’d like to be able to drag Josh Hurley into this and make him pick this game. He will always be one of my best friends in the whole world, and that’s precisely why I wouldn’t dare make him pick this one. Not only is he the biggest Browns fan outside of Cal Meacham, but he is also a die hard San Diego Padres fan and I know we both secretly love the Chargers. I really sold myself on the Chargers this season. I fucking sold myself on them to the point where I believed that Peyton Manning wouldn’t get the calls he always eventually gets in order to get San Diego to finish 12-4 and have a great shot at winning that division but God has other plans. The Browns have a lot of holes in their offensive schemes, but that’s assuming they have any sort of offensive scheme to begin with and that’s some unicorn hunting shit right there. I like the Chargers to cover the spread but ignore the point total because this one could be a complete mess.
837’s Prediction: Chargers 29, Browns 16
Dubsism’s pick: DISASTER OF THE WEEK: To bet this game, you have to either have faith that the Chargers can score at least 30 points and/or the Browns can score at least 20. Say “hello” to everybody at the Plasma Center for me.
Jason from Indiana: Cleveland
Minnesota Vikings (2-1) +7 at Denver Broncos (3-0) (43)
Alright, alright…Denver is good. You got me there. I would like to point out though that Sunday Night game was boring as shit though. Their defense performed better, but they were playing the Lions who were fumbling every other down. This one shouldn’t exactly be difficult for the Broncos, but I’ve seen Peyton Manning blow games like this before – even in the regular season. Minnesota has a decent secondary, but they can’t move the ball very well and they certainly don’t match up well here. Every Vikings fan I’ve ever met can go sit on a butcher knife upright. Broncos cover here, but don’t bet this – it’s a total trap game and fuck the point total too.
837’s Prediction: Broncos 20, Vikings 10
Dubsism’s pick: DOG OF THE WEEK: Here’s the classic battle of two teams with aging, over-rated superstars whose teams aren’t nearly as good as anybody thinks they are. Bet this game at your own risk.
Jason from Indiana: Denver
St. Louis Rams (1-2) +7.5 at Arizona Cardinals (3-0) (42.5)
Okay, I was wrong about the Rams. I thought that after that huge win in week one against the clearly dominant division favorite that they would be on the right track. But then they shit the bed against the Redskins, and I slowly began to see that the St. Louis Rams might only just be the St. Louis Rams again. Speaking of teams I was wrong about, holy shit did I whiff on Arizona. They still aren’t a Super Bowl team just yet, but they’re undefeated and that defense is entertaining as hell to watch. Of course the difference has been their offensive production, with Carson Palmer and the rest of the angry birds averaging a whopping 42 points per game thus far. They won’t have the same kind of success with the Rams, but I do like them to cover here and until Nick Foles can figure out why Philadelphia traded him in the first place and fix that shit immediately they aren’t anything special. The Cardinals just might be the total package, at least for now. For some reason even though I can’t take the over on the point total because I think offensively this could be challenging for them, and they’re due for another low scoring game.
837’s Prediction: Cardinals 26, Rams 16
Dubsism’s pick: $25 on Arizona to cover the spread
Jason from Indiana: Arizona
Dallas Cowboys (2-1) NO LINE at New Orleans Saints (0-3) (X)
This game is living, breathing proof that the flex scheduling option should apply beginning week one. They should be able to flex those things as early as they need to, especially with key players pulling groin muscles and blowing portions of their hands of with M-80’s. I have absolutely no plans to watch this game, even though it’s the only one on Sunday will be on when I’m not at work. Dallas is playing well, but ran into some problems last week against a great Falcons team. I’m not sure that Tony Romo being in the driver’s seat would have gotten Dallas the W, but what I can tell you is that obviously Vegas doesn’t want you to gamble on this game because as of Wednesday there’s still no line. This would be a hard one to call anyway, but I’m saying the Cowboys take this one because that “Superdome magic” has become straight snake oil. Dallas to cover whatever it is when it finally comes down.
837’s Prediction: Cowboys 27, Saints 16
Dubsism’s pick: LOCK OF THE WEEK: $200 on Dallas straight up
Jason from Indiana: Dallas
Detroit Lions (0-3) +10 at Seattle Seahawks (1-2) (43)
The Seahawks starting 0-2 was something that I knew wouldn’t carry on for much longer, and after a brutal shutout of the Bears at home on Sunday they’ll stay in Seattle for another lay-up of a Monday night game against a team that might not win five games this year with two stud receivers. I love how everybody is expected to act like Matthew Stafford is still good. That’s super weak. Previous to this year, he was the very definition of an average NFL quarterback. Now? He’d be lucky not to land in the bottom ten. It’s not just his fault though, as the rest of the Lions seem to have a serious problem prioritizing hanging on to the ball in general. That’s going to be a huge fucking problem, because Seattle is going to be looking at tapes of how to do just that all week after having virtually perfected the art so far. You know how little faith Vegas has in the Lions of waking up Monday night and turning this shit around? Just look at that line. The over/under is forty three and they’re ten point underdogs. Even I think that’s low, and that’s why I’m taking the Seahawks to cover even though their offense coordinator Darrell Bevell is a total diapersmoker. Avoid that total.
837’s Prediction: Seahawks 29, Lions 15
Dubsism’s pick: $25 on Seattle to cover the spread
Jason from Indiana: Seattle
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Eight Thirty Seven