by Eight Thirty Seven with assistance from J-Dub of Dubsism and Jason From Indiana
In last week’s game against the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys defensive end and domestic violence enthusiast Greg Hardy caused all kinds of problems on the sidelines when he attacked players on the special teams unit after giving up an 100 yard touchdown run for a TD. After the game, owner Jerry Jones refrained from saying anything negative about Hardy and commended his leadership qualities. So I get up on Monday and turn on sports talk radio and everybody and their grandmother are talking about how it was a bad look for Jones to not say something publicly about Hardy’s lack of composure. Every single host I listened to discussed how “surprising” it was that Jones failed to call Hardy out, but why? Why the fuck would anybody be surprised that a Texas oil billionaire who drinks like it’s the end of the world give a free pass to a guy who was convicted of beating the shit out of his girlfriend and lost his shit on his own teammates on national television? That’s your hot take? Is that all it takes to do radio now? Plus, it was Jerry who took a gamble on his stupid ass to begin with…Do you really think he’s willing to admit he fucked that one up? Of course not, he’s Jerry Jones.
The rest of the league did a much better job at controlling their temper, and in my opinion Carolina was the real winner this week after toppling the Eagles on the Oh My God I Can’t Believe Cris Collinsworth Still Hosts The Highest Rated Program On Television show. The Patriots are still good, and Denver, Green Bay and Cincinnati didn’t play so there wasn’t any chance they wouldn’t remain undefeated. We’ve got a few stinkers as usual coming up on Sunday, but there are also some great ones here so let’s take a look at some of the things you might see go down in week eight of the 2015 NFL season.
Bye Weeks: Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars
For the Bills, losing to the Jaguars is one thing. Losing to the Jaguars in a different country in the waning minutes of a game in which you let them score 27 points in one quarter when you’re supposed to have this “mad science” defensive mastermind must be enough to make you want to kill yourself by banging your head against a metal pole. I would say “So much for the Rexperiment”, but at 3-3 did we really expect anybody other than New England to finish that far over .500 anyway? I refuse to speak on the Redskins.
J-Dub: Well, we are still above water, but the margin of victory at this point is thinner than a supermodel with a tapeworm. The J-Dub Gambling Challenge finished ahead last week with a net profit of $85, bringing the season’s bankroll to $2,603.00. That not a great total, but like I said, we still have more money than we started with. The question is how long does that last? Let’s see what this week brings.
Miami Dolphins (3-3) +8 at New England Patriots (6-0) (51)
The Dolphins had 35 points on the board before the Texans gained a single yard from scrimmage this past Sunday. They are two and 0 after dumping former head coach Joe Philbin, and they would appear to be on a mission. But you could easily argue that there aren’t any two teams in the league more different than the Texans and the Patriots. New England snuck out of their own building with a W in a game they could have very well lost, but I’d be willing to be bet they’ll have something heinous up their sleeves heading into this one. The Patriots might be perfect in the standings, but their defense is far from it on the field. And with the Dolphins being able to put up real scoreboard fodder over the past two weeks, I love the over on this game even at 51. If the Jets and the Patriots combined for 53 points last week, I’d say it’s almost a lock that they hit 51 total. I know Dubs said be cautious with New England’s spreads from here on out, but I like them to make this work at home by at least ten.
837’s Prediction: Patriots 34, Dolphins 24
J-Dub: Under – $25.00
Jason from Indiana: New England
Detroit Lions (1-6) +5.5 at Kansas City Chiefs (2-5) (45)
Tally ho! Fancy ye olde matchup of shiite? Thou shalt look no further than ye Chiefs-Lions game…It’s time for another contest in London, one that starts at 8:30 AM Central Time on a Sunday morning on a website that probably won’t get the streaming thing figured out. In this case it won’t matter, because neither of these teams won’t have daily tee times somewhere in the Carribean come the second week of January. Even after beating the Steelers on a weird week for both teams, you have to be playing some pretty atrocious football in order for you to have the lines open up for you at +5 against Kansas City. That’s a reality check right there, and Detroit has to be thinking that they have let the Matthew Stafford thing drag out a little bit longer than they probably should have. It’s one thing to have a bad year, but Stafford has had a couple sprinkled throughout his short career and I’m getting this feeling that nobody’s considering him a leader up there anymore. Kansas City should win this game, but I don’t like them to cover because I am still very suspect of that offense. Point total is spot on so don’t go anywhere near it.
837’s Prediction: Chiefs 24, Lions 20
J-Dub: Dog of the Week – Remember this: You are considering betting on a game between teams coached by by Andy Reid and Jim Caldwell.
Jason from Indiana: Kansas City
San Diego Chargers (2-5) +3 at Baltimore Ravens (1-6) (50)
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Underachievement Bowl. Swirling news of the Chargers leaving San Diego for Los Angeles would typically be motivation to get this team moving in the right direction, but they haven’t put together a respectable four solid quarters together all fucking year long. Remind you of anybody? We’re going to have to cut this segment and switch to John Harbaugh at the podium…Actually, check that…our producer is telling us that he’s sitting at the microphone crying, questioning why such a loving and forgiving God would do this to him, and mumbling something about why he sympathizes with Budd Dwyer…whatever that means. Just look at that line…look at it. giving three points to a home team and throwing out an even 50 as a point total shows you that oddsmakers couldn’t possibly care less about going out of their way to handicap what should be easily one of the worst games of the season. I’ll take Baltimore to win and barely cover, but if they lose and Harbaugh pulls out a manila envelope during that press conference you’d better make sure that somebody’s got their cell phone video rolling. I feel coach’s pain if that happens, because after all I picked the team of clowns they’re facing to win the AFC West. Now I can’t even talk about them without becoming nauseous.
837’s Prediction: Ravens 24, Chargers 20
J-Dub: $50 on the Over
Jason from Indiana: Baltimore
Arizona Cardinals (5-2) -4.5 at Cleveland Browns (2-5) (46)
Look, I love Arizona but there was no reason that game against Baltimore should have been close at the end. They seriously have issues not only with closing games, but putting games that are still competitive out of reach. They do lack that killer instinct that they so desperately need in a conference where everybody is fucking beating the shit out of each other week in and week out. But the Cardinals only tend to take drives and quarters off, whereas Cleveland takes entire halves and games off…to the point where you almost wonder if travelling to some away games is a waste of fuel. They’ll be at home for this one, but they’ve only won one game there this year and it’s been against an AFC Slouch opponent. If Arizona can’t cover four and a half in the dawg pound, they aren’t any different than the team who eventually caved in to the series of injuries that effectively ended their season last year before that Carolina game even started. I still have a good feeling and a solid belief in the fact they might be doing a better job of pacing themselves this time around, but then again it could be a trap game. I’m going to put my balls in the slap chop here and say that it won’t be and they’ll come out of Cleveland smelling like something other than Cleveland. Point total seems like a useless bet upon first glance, but let’s go ahead and say under because the Browns offense is so bad.
837’s Prediction: Cardinals 23, Browns 11
J-Dub: $50 on Arizona
Jason from Indiana: Arizona
Minnesota Vikings (4-2) EVEN at Chicago Bears (2-4) (42)
If the NFC East gets its shit together, the Vikings may very well be the best team that doesn’t make this year’s postseason. At 4-2, they’ve certainly exceeded expectations despite having an opening road weekend loss to the abysmal 49ers. The only other team they’ve lost to is undefeated Denver, and Bridgewater looks nothing like the guy who trudged out onto that field back in that dreaded Monday night game. Peterson is starting to get back into the swing of things quite nicely, and if they can keep rolling in the never-ending dick joke that is the NFC North they might have a chance if their schedule wasn’t so daunting after this one. But the Bears are sloppy on just about ever front, and that’s why expecting the point total to top 42 seems like a bit much here. Vikings win, but this game will be over very quickly because Minnesota is likely going to run the ball a lot given the Bears’ run defense is so terrible. Take the under.
837’s Prediction: Vikings 20, Bears 13
J-Dub: $40 on Minnesota
Jason from Indiana: Minnesota
Cincinnati Bengals (6-0) EVEN at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) (48)
I can’t be inside the heads of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but I can only imagine that they are going to be pretty dead set on getting revenge for that awful loss against the Chiefs last week. LeVeon Bell can’t do everything, and Landry Jones is clearly not the answer they are looking for until Roethlisberger comes back. The Steelers hope this game will see his return, but I’d be dialing back rushing him back and risking re-injury for a game that Pittsburgh is probably going to lose anyway. As much as it pains me to say it, right now the Bengals are one of the best teams in the NFL. But hold the phone and check out this weird stat: Andy Dalton is 7-9 with a 32.9 Total QBR against his next two opponents – the Steelers and the Browns. I have to believe that this year is different, at least in the regular season anyways. Even if Big Ben plays, I just think that right now the Bengals are too good to lose to a team that just got ran by Alex Smith. The only way I think Cincinnati loses is if they come out so rusty from having the previous week that they can’t make any sense of anything Tomlin throws their way. I don’t foresee that being the case. Point total depends on whether or not Roethlisberger plays so I wouldn’t bet on this early. I like Cincinnati here though either way, Pittsburgh is going to struggle a lot in the red zone against that D-line.
837’s Prediction: Bengals 23, Steelers 19
J-Dub: $50 on Cincinnati
Jason from Indiana: Cincinnati
Tennessee Titans (1-5) EVEN at Houston Texans (2-5) (N/A)
The Houston Texans are officially the laughingstock of the entire league. After giving up 41 points in the first quarter against the Miami Tuna Chickens, the sad truth about the other ten players on that defense has finally become unavoidable. They are the third world version of an NFL squad on any side of the ball. I’m about to say something that may come off as being completely insane, but you won’t read it on any other sports blog outside of Nashville: At 1-5 and in last place, the argument could very easily be made that the Tennessee Titans are the best team in the league’s worst division. I’m dead serious about this. The Texans are putting a horrid product on the field week after week, the Jaguars are always going to be the Jaguars unless they give Jack Del Rio a second chance after the Raiders stupidly get rid of him, and we all know how the three of us who do this article feel about the Colts. Whisenhunt has been to a Super Bowl, and aside from the fact that he needs to let his offensive coordinator have more of a say in calling the plays he’s not experiencing any more growing pains than any other second year head coach with that joke of a roster would be suffering through. They might not be anywhere near a playoff caliber team, but they aren’t the Texans and that is going to help them to a tremendous degree in this matchup. Holy fuck Houston is bad. There are no words. I’m taking Tennessee but it makes no sense for Vegas to ever construct a point total here, because both of those defenses are so bad it would be a waste of their time.
837’s Prediction: Titans 20, Texans 9
J-Dub: Disaster of the Week: The fact there was no line on this game as late as Wednesday afternoon tells you all you need to know.
Jason from Indiana: Houston
New York Giants (4-3) +3 at New Orleans Saints (3-4) (49)
I hate this matchup for two reasons: First off, the Giants are going to lose. Second, the Saints are going to win so that means that the illusion that they can finish strong is going to go on for yet another agonizing week. Even worse, they have the Titans, Texans, and Redskins, and a bye week after that so there’s a very real possibility that they could be 7-4 going into that December 6th “showdown” well rested against the Panthers. Although the Giants seem to be getting these gifts from random teams around the league – as well as being in a division where at 4-3 they’re a full game ahead of the Eagles – they have been playing well and at times have looked every bit as solid as any other team over .500. So much so that you know what? Fuck it, I’m changing my mind. The Saints still have a lot of defensive issues and seem to get gassed quick on long drives, so not only am I taking them to win but I’m also saying New Orleans comes out and drops another stinkbomb in the Superdome. Call it a homer pick, call it whatever you want to call it, but the Saints really aren’t that good. Giants win big here in a game where NO gets a late touchdown just to make it look competitive.
837’s Prediction: Giants 34, Saints 20
J-Dub: Trap game of the Week – I’ve lost on the Saints four weeks in a row. I’ve got to stop that streak somehow.
Jason from Indiana: New Orleans
San Francisco 49ers (2-5) +9.5 at St. Louis Rams (3-3) (39.5)
I can’t even begin to fathom how you would take something positive out of the Niners’ 20-3 home loss to the Seahawks last Thursday. They did just about everything imaginable wrong in that game, and their offense heading forward is about eight quarters from overhauling that entire side of the football. When Reggie Bush is your go-to back in 2015 and you have a coach who gets more press coverage when he farts at a press conference than when he wins professional football games, you’d better have one hell of a plan for the second half of you’re season and we all know that’s not the case with San Francisco. Meanwhile, the Rams are the best .500 team in the league and have found a killer back in Todd Gurlee. They really need to figure out what’s going on in the air – and that kid’s not going to be able to carry the ball thirty times a game – but they can definitely take the Niners at home. I’ll take the points here though even though I think the Rams will win a bad game. What else am I supposed to call it when this matchup has been given a total point line lower than 40? Under.
837’s Prediction: Rams 17, Niners 12
J-Dub: $50 on St. Louis
Jason from Indiana: San Francisco
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4) +7.5 at Atlanta Falcons (6-1) (48.5)
The Falcons get another free one in their series of non-threatening games within the biggest gimme schedule in the history of the NFL. Tampa will have to come to the Georgia Dome and try and dismantle a team that is light years ahead of them in just about every facet of football operations. Lovie Smith and the gang will likely have no answer for what Atlanta will throw at them here, and that’s why the spread is over a touchdown. But given the fact that the Falcons were only able to put up ten points against Tennessee last week and that they’re 6-1 and facing a garbage squad, it seems a little suspect to me that they aren’t at least a double digit favorite. I mean, the Bucs just blew a last minute lead to the Redskins and Atlanta might win 13 games this year so what’s with the lack of faith in the Atlanta at home? I don’t like this spread one bit…way too chancy. Falcons barely win this one, and we spend a lot of time listening to comparisons between them and last year’s Arizona team on sports talk radio all week. Take the under too…something just doesn’t seem right here. Take the under as well, this game won’t be the blowout a lot of people are suspecting it will be.
837’s Prediction: Falcons 21, Bucs 16
J-Dub: $100 on Atlanta
Jason from Indiana: Atlanta
New York Jets (4-2) -1 at Oakland Raiders (3-3) (44)
Are the Jets and the Raiders two teams that started the season with low expectations, but we’re starting to realize they might actually be the truth? Probably not, but entertain my simple mind for a minute and hear me out. The Jets actually gave the best team in the league a run for their money recently, and their only other loss was to Philadelphia by a touchdown right when the Eagles started to hit their brief stride. The Raiders won in San Diego last week, which might not be impressive given the mess the Chargers are in at the moment but when you think about it rarely does Oakland beat that team on the road. Ryan Fitzpatrick is the best thing to happen to the Jets since Rex Ryan got excommunicated to Buffalo, and New York is 3rd in the league running the football. And if that’s not enough alternate universe shit to make your head spin, the Raiders are averaging 24 points a game. Man, I must have been asleep for a long, long time. in all seriousness, I’d like to see Oakland win this one to see some of the gas get sucked out of the Jets. I don’t think it will happen, but it would be good for a laugh. I like New York by a lot -by gambling standards at least – but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the Raiders pulled it off. Point total seems to be pretty accurate here so don’t bother.
837’s Prediction: Jets 27, Raiders 17
J-Dub: $25 on NY Jets
Jason from Indiana: Oakland
Seattle Seahawks (3-4) -7 at Dallas Cowboys (2-4) (41)
As discussed earlier, the Cowboys are having some problems and at 2-4 are very much waiting for Tony Romo to return to the team to help them out of this God-awful mess. However, in the NFC Least they are very much still in this one. I don’t think that they will be able to tame the Seahawks, who are sort of maybe kind of starting to recover from their early season slump which is slowly becoming an annual thing. As much as I’m probably going to regret doing this, I’m taking Seattle to cover here because if they can’t cover a little over two field goals against a team that just lost to the Giants that doesn’t have Tony Romo…as far as I’m concerned they’re in just as much trouble as they were a month ago. Real talk. Right now the Cowboys are sort of a mess no matter where they play, so they won’t be able to use much of a “home field” advantage or bring up Seattle’s poor road tendencies to translate to success on the field. Go ahead and cop the under too, wouldn’t be a bad bet at all.
837’s Prediction: Seahawks 21, Cowboys 13
J-Dub: $50 on Seattle
Jason from Indiana: Dallas
Green Bay Packers (6-0) -3 at Denver Broncos (6-0) (45.5)
This is going to be a total gem. I can’t wait to see the Aaron Rodgers take on the defense that ESPN has been ball-piping to no end since the preseason began. The other way around? Not so much…I understand that Peyton Manning is an absolute monster when it comes to regular season career numbers, but something about him is very different and while the man who he will be associated with until the second they put the both of them in the ground is killing the other 31 teams in the NFL PM seems to be stuck in a rut that we haven’t ever seen out of him. He’s throwing way too many picks, and although that defense isn’t nearly as amazing as the media is suggesting it is they have been saving his ass on what could very easily be a 2-4 football team. This would be a dumb game to bet on either way, so although I like Green Bay I think the spread will be right one and I’d avoid the point total as well.
837’s Prediction: Packers 24, Broncos 21
J-Dub: $50 on Green Bay
Jason from Indiana: Green Bay
Indianapolis Colts (3-4) +7.5 at Carolina Panthers (6-0) (46.5)
In the Monday night game, I’m guessing we won’t learn much. We already know that the Colts struggle to produce offense in situations that are critical, and we’d be lying to ourselves if we didn’t cement the fact that the Panthers are far and away a better football team. But at 7 and a half, this spread is very tricky. Carolina is a lot like New England in the sense that they don’t give a shit about spread bets, and will likely let Indianapolis get away with some late points that won’t matter. It’s hard not to give credit to the Panthers’ defense as they are playing lights out right now, and it’s almost impossible to ignore the fact that if the Colts are one and done – once they undeservedly slither their way into the postseason – that Chuck Pagano is unbuttered toast. People are slowly coming to realize that it was Bruce Arians who really built that team into the playoff contender they’ve become after Peyton Manning left, and that offense is become less and less salvageable with every passing week. I’ll take the Panthers to cover, but a lot of this could end up being an ugly football game that you probably wouldn’t watch if it wasn’t on in prime time. I am in love with the point total as a solid under in this one, but don’t tell anybody I’m matched with on Tinder that’s the case…
837’s Prediction: Panthers 25, Colts 16
J-Dub: $250 on Carolina – Lock of the Week: This is the first in a series of games bound to be known as the one that finally gets Chuck Pagano fired.
Jason from Indiana: Indianapolis
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Eight Thirty Seven