by Eight Thirty Seven
We’ve certainly become a nation of participation trophies at the grade-school baseball level, but I expect more out of the NFL. After all, this is the league that has made us realize that the concept of “moral victories” is total bullshit. Or at least it was, until some bonehead Kansas City Chiefs beat writer did a piece on how the Chiefs “succeeded” in Sunday’s game against the Vikings. This of course was a game that they lost, but they had said that their objective in this game was to contain Adrian Peterson…which for the most part they did. Now I do understand that this was a writer and not a direct representative for the team, but it was on the Chiefs’ website and I can’t imagine that Andy Reid feels like a winner at 1-5.
The only place where you’d see a sorrier expression of the whole “participation trophy” ethos would be inside Lucas Oil field on Sunday night, where Colts fans spend most of the night wearing deflated footballs on their heads and making some of the stupidest signs known to man. The butthurt is strong with this crew, so much that they still haven’t taken down that ridiculous “AFC Finalist” banner from the rafters of that stadium. Maybe if their special teams coach had spent more time cutting that stupid fake punt (which for the record, wasn’t even legal the way they lined up) than he did listening to the cheering masses who spent a majority of their week eating cookies that were made in the shape of destroyed iPhones and deflated footballs then we’d actually be willing to hear their argument even though it should be over and done with by now.
But that’s neither here nor there…We’ve got some great games on tap this week and a lot of interesting spreads to boot. Some teams are turning the corner, while others are one or two games from totally packing this season in. No matter who wins or loses this week, we’re still going to have undefeated teams left in the league because two of them are off this Sunday. But let’s not look too far ahead, and instead crack this bottle open and do a double shot of what’s in store in week seven of the NFL season.
Bye Weeks: Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Denver Broncos
I can not even begin to explain how delighted I am to not have to hear about Cincinnati or Denver for an entire weekend.
Dubsism: Throughout this challenge, I’ve been using a theme to describe the past week’s action. There’s so many choices for last week that I can’t pick one. I have two options, go with whichever you like.
- The Seahawks as a Super Bowl quality team is an illusion. The loss of defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and offensive lineman James Carpenter and Max Unger seem to be proving more significant than anybody knew. Not to mention, offensive coordinator Darell Bevell is still an idiot. The red flag for a gambler: A 2-4 team still being favored on the road.
- The Broncos are undefeated, but they are easily the worst 6-0 team I’ve ever seen. Peyton Manning is playing like he belongs on an embalming table, and their schedule will start to get harder than 3-day old bread after their bye week. The red flag for a gambler: The best spread-killer imaginable is a quarterback who has turned into a pick-six vending machine.
- Everybody thinks the Patriots are an unstoppable juggernaut. They aren’t. Yeah, I get they are also undefeated, but that isn’t going to last much longer. What’s is getting lost in all this “Deflate-gate” horse shit is the fact the Pats offensive line is thinner than an Ethiopian swimsuit model, which is why they couldn’t get first downs when they needed them at the end of that Colts game. While everybody is wondering what the hell Chuck Pagano was thinking about with that idiotic fake punt, nobody is noticing that the Colts had a shot to win that game late. With three minutes to go, the Pats had to give the ball back to the Colts after a three-and-out in which Indianapolis had to burn all it’s time-outs. The Colts scored quickly, and were only the bounces of an on-side kick from having a shot to send a game into overtime that was supposed to be THE statement game for the Patriots. The red flag for a gambler: the Patriots are going to get huge spreads all year long, and they won’t cover most of them.
Seattle Seahawks (2-4) -6.5 at San Francisco 49ers (2-4) (42)
There’s been a lot of talk this past week about how there are questions as to whether or not the Seahawks players are responding to Pete Carroll and buying to his thoughts about what constitutes a successful football team. And that’s a very touchy subject, because at 2-4 you think “Well, they’ll get this turned around at some point” but then you look at their schedule and realize their only wins have come against Detroit and Chicago, who are arguably two of the worst teams in the league…and it’s not even really close. That schedule’s about to get a lot harder, and that team is one Richard Sherman meltdown away from missing the playoffs a year after they threw the Super Bowl away at the last minute. San Francisco beat Baltimore last week in a game that I can’t tell you how glad I am that I didn’t watch after an embarrassing loss against the Giants, and I apologize for just typing out all of those team names that won’t have any effect on the playoff race whatsoever. Seattle has a lot of problems – particularly on offense – but I just can’t see any way that they end up blowing this one. The 49ers are so bad at the moment I’m not sure that franchise is ever going anywhere as long as Colin Kaepernick is their quarterback. I don’t think the Seahawks will cover the spread, but they will win and as low as it is I do like the under here.
837’s Prediction: Seahawks 17, 49ers 13
Dubsism: Disaster of the Week: Does anybody really know what either of these teams are? (cricket noise)
Jason from Indiana: San Francisco
Buffalo Bills (3-3) -4.5 at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5) (42)
This game is in London, and if you live in the Central Time Zone like I do, it actually starts at 8:30 in the fucking morning. Not that would be up watching anything streaming on Yahoo! Sports anyway, but this is just another stinker in a long line of games that for some reason we can’t stop shipping to the nation who has given us Piers Morgan, the Spice Girls, and some of the shittiest food on a planet where half of the people on third world continents eat dirt. This endless barrage of Raiders and Jaguars games make me glad the colonists couldn’t have seen two hundred and fifty years in the future. If they had those abilities, maybe then they wouldn’t have started with all of that “no taxation without representation” nonsense. Buffalo should have a field day for once, it’s just too bad they won’t be able to take that field home with them. Bills cover, 42 is a suspect total so don’t go anywhere near it. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
837’s Prediction: Bills 23, Jaguars 15
Dubsism: $75 on Buffalo
Jason from Indiana: Buffalo
Cleveland Browns (2-4) +7 at St. Louis Rams (2-3) (41.5)
Both of these teams actually have a lot in common with each other: They aren’t currently good enough to have winning records, they both lost the last time they stepped onto the field, and they both had high expectations heading into the 2015 NFL season. I can’t imagine why the latter was the case with the Browns, but the Rams actually have the tools to be a good team. They haven’t shown it very often though, so that’s why I think the line on this game is a little silly. St. Louis wins, but they don’t cover – no way in hell – and no matter who wins you can bank on the under here. You have a better chance at getting Johnny Manzeil to blow less than a .1 than this game going over forty-one and a half points. Rams have no offense (they’ve already scored under 13 points three times so far this year, and this is only their sixth game) and the Browns aren’t making any sense on the defensive side of the ball. So to recap, half of this game will be boring, half of it will be sloppy, and all of it will be shit. Thanks for coming.
837’s Prediction: Rams 20, Browns 16
Dubsism: $25 on the over
Jason from Indiana: St. Louis
Minnesota Vikings (3-2) -2.5 at Detroit Lions (1-5) (44.5)
Detroit shouldn’t feel too good about last week – after all, it was just the Bears and they needed overtime to beat them at home. There’s probably a domestic violence joke in there somewhere, but it’s not nearly as funny as Matthew Stafford being mentioned in any sort of conversation where great quarterbacks are being discussed. The Lions are rightfully at the bottom of just about every category in the league for good reason – they aren’t even good enough to hang with teams like Minnesota, who probably aren’t nearly as good as their record would indicate. If the Vikings can get Peterson back up to speed against that defensive line (which shouldn’t be much of a chore at all) then they cover this easily. I think even if they don’t they can win by at least four points. And what the hell, I’ll take the over here for good measure as well. However this game comes with a warning: If you thought the Monday Night game between the Eagles and the Giants was bad, wait until you see the turnovers that are about to take place here. Might as well play this one on a Slip N’ Slide, but Minnesota still covers here.
837’s Prediction: Vikings 27, Lions 22
Dubsism: $50 on Minnesota
Jason from Indiana: Minnesota
Houston Texans (2-4) +4 at Miami Dolphins (2-3) (44.5)
The Texans got a little bit of their dignity back by beating Jacksonville last week, and the Dolphins gained a little of theirs back by whooping up on the Titans. But when you think about it, neither of those two things are really earth-shattering so maybe that dignity needs to be returned at NFL.com customer service. Houston should be the better team, but at 2-3 Miami is prime due for their triumphant rise to mediocrity. That team plays so well under .500, but when they get there they immediately turn into dumpster juice. And that’s not a smoothie you want to gulp down, but if there’s anybody that will fall for the taste test it’s the Texans for certain. That’s the only reason this game isn’t a pick ’em, and as much as I’m going to hate myself for this in the morning – I got to go with the Dolphins to cover. I might not type that sentence for the remainder of the year, so enjoy it Dolphins fans! Oh yeah, all of them are at the wine tasting going on just outside section 108 with their backs to the TVs which are playing the game they just dropped two hundred bucks to get into. Total might be a good solid bet for the under, but put up small money if you must throw down anything. You don’t want to explain to your wife that Brian Hoyer fucked up your mortgage payment.
837’s Prediction: Dolphins 20, Texans 13
Dubsism: Trap of the Week: The Miami Dolphins are favored. Let that sink in for a moment.
Jason from Indiana: Miami
New Orleans Saints (2-4) +4.5 at Indianapolis Colts (3-3) (52)
The Colts proved last week that their fans are the biggest whiners in the league, as I explained earlier in the intro. Perhaps the only team in the league whose fanbase is worse is the Saints, who are all still trying to convince us that Hurricane Katrina was all our fault. Well, guess what? It wasn’t and their win over Atlanta was a fluke. They aren’t on the rebound, and they won’t be making the playoffs. Other than Brandon Browner and Drew Brees, that roster is full of zeroes and those two guys aren’t even on the same unit. Andrew Luck is starting to look a lot like Andy Dalton of years past in a blue jersey and minus the ginger pubes. Oh, he’ll be there come playoff time but he’s not going anywhere that’s hosting a Super Bowl unless he’s in a Hawaiian shirt and drunk off of his ass. I can’t even begin to tell you how fucking incredibly irritating this game looks on paper, so it’s very hard for me to pick it as well. Colts should cover four and a half at home and I’ll go ahead and give them the benefit of the doubt even though after that fake punt where they dug their own grave…they did still score 27 points against New England. Just tell the center to keep his head up during that extra point. This one has a really high over which is always a red flag, so I’d steer clear of the trap that is that bet. That and there’s always the possibility that it’s right back to the drawing board for Drew Brees. Cue that clip, because that day’s comin…
837’s Prediction: Colts 28, Saints 20
Dubsism: $25 on Indianapolis
Jason from Indiana: New Orleans
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2) -2 at Kansas City Chiefs (1-5) ( )
If you think the Chiefs are a disappointment, I have to ask you this: Why did you ever decide to put so much stock into that shit in the first place? A team that can only ring up ten points against the Minnesota Vikings? Why are we still being sold that Alex Smith has any idea what the hell is going on? Hopefully you won’t have to answer any of these questions and the Steelers will end up beating the piss out of Kansas City so bad that somebody might actually start getting fired down there. It’s high time. That entire thing has gone downhill fast, and it was already at the bottom of the hill to begin with. That’s not going to bode too well against the fifth-ranked defense in the league, unless their own linebacking corps can manufacture touchdowns out of thin air…which won’t happen. They can cover two on the road no problem. I would make a bet for the point total but as of Wednesday afternoon, there isn’t one. I think Jason just hates the Steelers.
837’s Prediction: Steelers 23, Chiefs 13
Dubsism: $100 on Pittsburgh
Jason from Indiana: Kansas City
New York Jets (4-1) +10 at New England Patriots (5-0) (48)
The Jets are in need of a serious reality check after beating up on the Redskins last week, and oh boy are they going to get one when they head up to Massachusetts for what plans to be an epic beatdown. Revis Island isn’t going to seem so secluded when Tommy Touchdown throws for 350 yards again, like he does every week. You’d think that after all of the times New England has gone out and proved themselves that there would be no question as to who is first in the power rankings. But for some reason, I’ve read several rags outside of Wisconsin that actually have the Packers as number one and that’s ludicrous. The Patriots are clearly the best team in the league and (once again) it’s not even close. They have shown time and time again that there is nobody better when it comes to getting the job done. The Pats may not cover – as the defense did surrender a good number to Indianapolis this past week – but either way take the over or you’ll be sorry for sure.
837’s Prediction: Patriots 28, Jets 24
Dubsism: $25 on NY Jets
Jason from Indiana: New England
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) +3 at Washington Redskins (2-4) (43)
Yawn. I feel sorry for anybody who would put money on this game. I know we say that a lot, but I really do. Neither of these two teams are going anywhere at all, and to be honest I’m not going to waste my time discussing them. I will say this though…it’s sort of funny how history has almost completely erased Robert Griffin III from the NFL. I haven’t heard his name in over a month, and I love it. Funny thing is, the only thing in the NFL you hear about less than the artist formerly known as RGIII would be the Buccaneers offense. This would be an even line on a neutral site, which is pretty fitting because nobody really cares who wins this game anyway. I’m going to take Washington because they are the better team, but this is no payout on both bets. Check the numbers.
837’s Prediction: Redskins 23, Buccaneers 20
Dubsism: Dog of the Week: If you bet this game, you deserve a steady diet of Alpo.
Jason from Indiana: Tampa Bay
Atlanta Falcons (5-1) -4 at Tennessee Titans (1-4) (48)
The Falcons lost some serious street cred last Thursday when they got handled by the Saints, who are arguably a very bad football team. But the good news is that they are still averaging over 30 points a game, and they are fourth in the league in rushing as a result of the Devonta Freeman Ground Explosion. Mariota is listed as questionable here, but I don’t think it’s going to matter much. Atlanta is going to be fuming about the fact that there is really no reason they shouldn’t be undefeated right now, and no Titans running back has been given the ball 13 times this year…so it’s obvious what their game plan is. You set ’em back in that nickel formation and you’re out of there with 37, maybe 38 minutes of time of possession by the time you’re out of there. I usually don’t take a team to cover that fucked me so hard last week I was walking funny up until late Tuesday night, but I just can’t see how Atlanta blows two easy games like this in a row. Point total is simply too close to call so pull a Paul McCartney and “Let it be”.
837’s Prediction: Falcons 29, Titans 20
Dubsism: $50 on Atlanta
Jason from Indiana: Atlanta
Oakland Raiders (2-3) +4 at San Diego Chargers (2-4) (46.5)
I’m not going to dance around this: The Chargers are in trouble. A team I thought was easily capable of winning eleven games now finds themselves a game away from it being mathematically impossible for them to be anything better than that. Philip Rivers threw for 503 yards and threw the ball sixty-five times, and they still lost. That shows us two things: 1) Melvin Gordon is not any sort of long-term solution for a stable backfield, and 2) maybe it’s not so surprising they couldn’t pull of a goal line stand at home the week before after they let a backup QB who electrocuted house pets walk all the way down the field when it counted the most. There’s almost nobody who does this every week who thinks the Raiders had any chance at having a higher winning percentage than the Chargers by the time of this match-up, and that’s even with the bye week that San Diego knew the Raiders were going to have. I’m not looking forward to this one at all, and the only way this could be made interesting is if all of the players knock each other out at the same time and they all wake up in Los Angeles. I mean, they might as well because at the rate it’s going that’s where these two franchises are going to wind up anyway. I’m going balls out here and taking the Raiders on the road. No bullshit and I like the under here too. Chargers can’t produce dick squat.
837’s Prediction: Raiders 20, Chargers 12 (Yeah, I said it…)
Dubsism: $75 on the over
Jason from Indiana: San Diego
Dallas Cowboys (2-3) +4 at New York Giants (3-3) (45.5)
The New York Giants are a fucking joke. What else am I supposed to say about a team that put together one of the best drives in recent memory to start off the Monday Night game against the Eagles, then promptly became useless for the next fifty-five minutes? That first drive was honestly mind-blowing. Eli looked unstoppable, yet after that drive they became invisible on third down. They did everything short of handing the ball to the Eagles in that one, but they may be in good shape to have a slight chance in this game because it looks like Matt Cassel will be starting. If Dallas even thinks about starting Dez Bryant, that would be the stupidest move ever. But then again, it would be so Cowboys if you think about it. I see no reason to do this and risk further serious injury when you’re only a half game out of first place, and the two teams ahead of you are the Eagles and the team you can probably beat without starting that guy. The other two writers are going to take my team here, but I just can’t do it. In the years that we haven’t won the Super Bowl, I’ve seen this movie a million times over. Eli is going to make several decent throws that will result in undeserved interceptions, and Tom Coughlin is going to stand there with his hands on his hips looking like he just got back from his face painting final at clown college. Dallas by a fucking mile, don’t touch the point total but this spread is nuts and I don’t really see where it’s coming from. Beckham and Randle might be good to go now, but seriously this +4 shit is crazy talk.
837’s Prediction: Cowboys 31, Giants 10 Cassel has a fantastic game and from this point on the Giants go on to lose five straight.
Dubsism: $50 on NY Giants
Jason from Indiana: New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) +3 at Carolina Panthers (5-0) (46.5)
The Panthers took out Seattle, but as the truth slowly starts to rear its ugly head about the Hawks these days that achievement isn’t looking nearly as impressive as it once did. The Eagles will be a really good test for that defense, even though when you think about it this game should be an easy W for Carolina. Sam Bradford tore through the New York Giants on Monday night, but they were hardly an undefeated team and that’s exactly the one word that’s being associated with the Panthers right now. If Carolina wins this game, they are for real. They’re in great shape because that have virtually that same cake ass schedule the Falcons do, so while we watch two teams race to 13-3 to win a division that was captured by a sub-.500 team last year really the only thing they need to focus on is each other. Those two teams don’t play each other until December 13th, and then they play again two weeks later, proving that sometimes the NFL really does nail it with these things. The Eagles have finally figured out how to utilize DeMarco Murray over the past two weeks, but he could struggle in this one. I like Carolina to cover an easy line, partially because Sam Bradford still hasn’t sold me yet and I’d say take the under here as there likely won’t be a lot of offense in this game.
837’s Prediction: Panthers 21, Eagles 17
Dubsism: Lock of the Week – $150 on Carolina
Jason from Indiana: Carolina
Baltimore Ravens (1-5) +9 at Arizona Cardinals (4-2) (48)
After some recent offensive struggles, Arizona is hardly in resale condition. They’re looking a lot like the team from last December after they were making more trips to the hospital than the end zone, and the fire power was really missing in those two losses. They have a lay-up here though…The Ravens have lost two straight, and they look awful. It’s hard to believe that Joe Flacco is a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, getting beaten by teams like the Browns, the Raiders and the 49ers. That’s the super-shit trifecta right there, and they are going to have a problem getting that offense going against an Arizona secondary that has been brutal at times so far this year. The Cardinals have Cleveland again after this, but then reality sets in as they have to play Seattle and the Bengals back-to-back after taking a week off and could easily find themselves at .500 over that four game stretch. Here’s a fun game for you: Drink after every single time Jon Gruden mention that any of the players on the field are the greatest active players at that particular position. And leave a note for the EMTs that come to pump your stomach that you read that advice on some other website. Cardinals cover easily, this is a home game for them and Baltimore might not win four games this season. I would say take the under, but it’s not really safe to do here as the Ravens are really struggling offense.
837’s Prediction: Cardinals 27, Ravens 16
Dubsism: $50 on the Under
Jason from Indiana: Arizona
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Eight Thirty Seven