I hate flopping. I love stupid people being stupid. I was stupid about the Raiders. Buffalo’s biggest mistake in their collapse against the Vikings hasn’t been discussed enough, if at all.
Last Week: 7 – 6 – 0
Season: 74 – 67 – 7
Thursday Night (8:20PM ET)
Titans 27 at Packers 17
Aaron Rodgers isn’t washed, at least not physically. His arm talent remains elite and he can still make throws no one else in the league can. He may be mentally washed, though. Rodgers does not have that killer instinct and confidence this season. His offense just can’t get anything done. He was the biggest culprit Thursday night. Maybe that’s a result of his age on a short week in freezing cold temperatures. I don’t know, but I bought in on the Packers after that Dallas victory. I thought the offense found something and the team would roll. Nope. The Dallas victory was their Super Bowl. They gave all they had and had nothing left for Tennessee.
Counting Votes in NV & AZ with Fingers and Toes (Bye Week)
Still don’t think they win a playoff game.
Not sure why the Seahawks didn’t ride Kenneth Walker last week. Sure, Tampa Bay’s run defense is stout, but Walker finished with only 10 carries, his lowest output by far since becoming the starter.
Uh oh. That didn’t look like a distracted Tom Brady last week.
No interceptions in four of his last five games. Trevor Lawrence may finally be settling in. I heard someone (and I forget who, sorry) say we have to treat this year as Lawrence’s rookie year because of how toxic and incompetent that environment was under Urban Meyer a year ago. That made sense to me, and if you process Lawrence through that filter, his 2022 season is far more encouraging than concerning.
Early Games (1:00PM ET)
Bears at Falcons
Justin Fields is a new puppy. He’s amazing and exciting and you love him so much. And then he uses your carpet as a toilet or destroys an expensive piece of footwear. That pick-six Sunday against the Lions was brutal, and then he sprinted for a 67 yard touchdown three plays later. Kudos to the Bears for not forcing Fields to fit their system and instead building their system to fit Fields. BEARS +3
Browns at Bills
As an adult, I get the decision to move this game to Detroit. As a red-blooded male who loves snow and football I was furious about this completely rational decision. No fan base or city in the entire country is more prepared or willing to make their way to Ralph Wilson Stadium in a white out blizzard than Buffalo. In fact, I’d argue these are the games these fans live for. I felt cheated, I felt Bills fans were cheated, and I think we all lost a wonderful experience. BROWNS +7.5
Eagles at Colts
The Eagles went out this week and signed Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh to bolster a battered and bruised run defense. I liked both moves. Unfortunately, those moves brought out all the Howie Roseman groupies again. Listen, I’m never going to forgive Howie for taking Jalen Reagor over Justin Jefferson. I don’t care if the Saints lose out and the Eagles have the top pick in the 2023 draft. Forgiveness isn’t happening. Anyway, until three days ago, the Roseman worshippers have been reeeeaaal quiet the last few weeks. All that Robert Quinn hype evaporated real quick. Giving up a late round pick isn’t a big deal but Quinn is clearly washed. He’s a non-factor and that pick isn’t coming back. And neither is Justin Jefferson. I feel awful about this game. EAGLES -7
Jets at Patriots
To a certain degree, I enjoy anarchy. Watching Twitter meltdown because Elon Musk is demanding people work and work in the manner he demands (oh the horror) is high comedy to me. Yeh, bosses tell you what to do, where to do it and when. That’s how it works. It’s called a job. Anyway, when Jeff Saturday got hired by Jim Irsay with no coaching experience outside of high school I thought it was a foolish decision. And then I went about my day without giving it another thought. So when millions of folk screamed about how this was an act of unrighteous racism, privilege, disgrace blah, blah, blah I laughed and thought, “I hope he wins.” And win he did. And all those morons… for one week at least… look absolutely stupid. I love when people look stupid. It’s my favorite look on people. Keep being stupid people. PATRIOTS -3.5
Rams at Saints
Without doing any research, I’m going to declare the Rams the worst defending champion of all time. It’s not unheard of for the loser of the Super Bowl to dramatically fall off the following season, but champions don’t often die like this in the NFL. SAINTS -3
Lions at Giants
The Giants remind me of the early Andy Reid Eagles teams that would just claw their way to 11 wins and terrorize teams despite a limited offense. Except those Eagles teams had ferocious defenses that would lead the NFL in points allowed on a consistent basis. While the Giants do rank among the top 10 in points allowed, the defense is not regarded as an elite unit. They don’t pressure the quarterback particularly well, nor do they force a bunch of turnovers. So what makes the Giants so tough? It’s just that; toughness. This Giants team won’t run away from you on the scoreboard. You’ll have a chance to win the game in the 4th quarter, but you HAVE to win the game. The Giants won’t give it to you. They’ll punish you for all four quarters and in that final quarter give you a heavy dose of Saquon Barkley. Only Nick Chubb and Kenneth Walker have more 4th quarter rushing yards this season. GIANTS -3
Panthers at Ravens
FOX’s Joe Davis is my favorite play-by-play guy at Fox. Perhaps it’s because he did so well calling the Phillies dramatic run to the World Series and I’m sentimental, but I don’t think that’s it. You can feel Davis’ energy and love for the sport he’s calling. He’s loose but definitely understands what he’s calling and what each moment deserves. Speaking of deserves… Lamar Jackson has half a season to prove he’s worth Kyler Murray money. That is a funny sentence because at this point Kyler Murray is only worth about half of Kyler Murray money. But you get the point. RAVENS -13
Commanders at Texans
Taylor Heinicke did a great job flopping Monday night and then celebrating like his flop just won his team the Super Bowl. This isn’t the World Cup or an NBA game. You looked like a moron, Taylor. Am I a salty Eagles fan? Absolutely. Did that horrendous call cost the Eagles game? Not at all. I just hate flopping, and the only thing I hate more than flopping is the celebration of flopping. TEXANS +3
Afternoon Games (4:05PM ET)
Raiders at Broncos
I preach accountability and self-awareness to my kids all the time. It’s greatly lacking in the world right now. Blaming others for our own shortcomings is a poison too many drink. On that note, I’d like to shame myself for declaring the Raiders were a juicy bet to make the postseason a few weeks back. Since that declaration, Las Vegas is 0-3 against the Saints, Jaguars and Colts. Over that stretch, the Raiders were shut out, blew a 17-0 lead, and had their QB cry about how bad things are around the team. Did I mention the Saints, Jags, and Colts were all riding multi-game losing streaks before beating the Raiders? I’m sorry I’m such an idiot. RAIDERS +2.5
Cowboys at Vikings
Last week the Vikings refused to lose and the Cowboys refused to win. It’s funny how much got lost in that Buffalo circus. Somehow, the Vikings allowed Buffalo to go 69 yards in less than 40 seconds with no timeouts to force overtime. I also don’t understand why coaches hate field goals. I also don’t understand why defensive backs almost never understand 4th down protocol. Justin Jefferson never catches that football on 4th and forever to extend the game if Buffalo’s Cam Lewis knocks the ball 10 feet out of bounds instead of trying to catch it. You’re inviting disaster there by going for the pick instead of ending the drive (and thus the game). COWBOYS -1.5
Bengals at Steelers
I thought Kenny Pickett would be better. With Pittsburgh’s receiving talent I thought they’d eventually climb to one of the league’s best passing offenses once Pickett settled in. Well it’s been five starts and the Steelers remain under 200 passing yards per game despite ranking 9th in attempts. I understand five starts is hardly enough time, but I’m not a patient person. BENGALS -4
Sunday Night (8:20PM ET)
Chiefs at Chargers
Ski season is officially here. To celebrate, allow me to give you a better idea of what Justin Herbert is going through over the last few weeks without Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. Imagine skiing with only one ski. It’s difficult. In fact, you really can’t do it at all for more than a few yards. Herbert needs his weapons back if the Chargers are going to make the playoffs. He’s kept Los Angeles’ head above water to this point, but the injuries are mounting elsewhere and even more will fall on Herbert’s shoulders. Someone needs to help. CHIEFS -5
Monday Night (8:30PM ET)
49ers at Cardinals
My hot take: Kyler Murray plays like he hates football almost as much as his teammates hate him. Maybe that’s a bit harsh but man did that Cardinal team play different without Murray on the field. Zero eye rolls, no yelling on the sideline and obviously no disgusted looks coming from the backfield after another poor throw. Also, Kliff Kingsbury is the worst motivator I’ve ever heard on Hard Knocks. When his team is struggling he never tells them how to improve or what to fix. It’s just always; “come on, let’s go do it” or “let’s get it going.” Uh, thanks coach, your wisdom is overwhelming. Despite all that, I really like the Cardinals here and I really don’t want to like them anywhere. CARDINALS +8