Micah Parsons is allowed to be “wrong,” Brady is winning the Brady/Belichick debate, and Brock Purdy should be fine.
Last Week: 5 – 10 – 0
Season: 93 – 91 – 9
Thursday (8:20PM ET)
Raiders 16 at Rams 17
For the Raiders, that’s a tough way to see your season go down in flames. Good for Baker Mayfield. Been a rough two years for the former top pick so it’s nice to see him get a win. He better stop with the head butting because at some point the concussion spotter is going to make him sit down. Also, Amazon is definitely doing something to the noise on Thursday night. I hate it. Amazon is the worst.
Not Bringing Weed to Russia (Bye Week)
Notice there’s not a single playoff team on a bye this week? Furthermore, if you remove the Raiders/Rams and Patriots/Cardinals that leaves 22 teams left to play Sunday. Included within those 22 are all 14 playoff teams and somehow we only have three matchups of playoff teams this Sunday. How does that happen?
As highly regarded as the crop of quarterbacks in the 2023 draft is, I don’t think there’s an Andrew Luck or Trevor Lawrence level prospect. But if there were, I wonder what the Bears would do.
Don’t throw dirt on Green Bay just yet. The Giants and Seahawks both have tough roads ahead and Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have done this before.
You can throw the dirt here. Credit to the Colts for hanging tough Monday night, but those final 14 minutes were so bad we all forgot about the first 46.
My wife was so confused Monday night. “I didn’t know you liked Tom Brady this much.” “Please stop yelling so loud.” “Oh man I hate it when you clap.” Draft pick, baby!
Taylor Heinicke threw like 14 interceptions last week and the Giants refused to catch them. He’s still the worst.
Early Games (1:00PM ET)
Jets at Bills
This is a crucial two-month stretch for Buffalo. I don’t know if that roster survives another crushing postseason. Stefon Diggs is on the verge of George Pickens-ing every week and you can almost feel the tightness of the team through the TV. Maybe I’m projecting all this but the Bills haven’t seemed like the explosive, loose Bills since mid-October. JETS +10
Browns at Bengals
I’d trade Jalen Hurts and both 2023 1st round picks for Joe Burrow tomorrow without a second thought. I doubt this is a controversial opinion, but Burrow is better than Josh Allen. The Patrick Mahomes/Allen/Burrow battle for AFC supremacy is going to be even better than the Tom Brady/Peyton Manning saga. If Justin Herbert and the Chargers stop spinning their wheels it could be an annual four-way dogfight. I’m glad my team is in the NFC. BENGALS -5.5
Texans at Cowboys
I don’t know about what negotiations were made with Russia any more than Micah Parsons does. But did you notice how quickly he was attacked for his “uniformed” opinion? NBA players make wildly uniformed opinions about China, politics, and whatever else on a regular basis and we just shrug, but Parsons criticizes a clearly lopsided negotiation and he’s an idiot? Come on. The United States just traded a foolish basketball player for a global menace who deals in violence and killing. I’m happy Brittney Griner is no longer in a Russian prison, but that deal is atrocious. The guy that gave Kyler Murray $230 mil was like, “whoa, Biden is a terrible negotiator.” COWBOYS -17
Vikings at Lions
Minnesota is not nearly as good as their record but being an underdog to a team with half as many wins as you this late in the season is way beyond disrespect. It’s insulting. And kind of deserved. VIKINGS +2
Jaguars at Titans
Doug Pederson’s Jaguars make the Las Vegas Raiders look like a model of consistency. I can’t even pretend to know what Jacksonville will look like from week to week. No need to panic, Jacksonville. The Eagles lost seven of eight after a 4-2 start in Pederson’s first season and then won the Super Bowl the following season. I know it doesn’t always feel like it, but the Jags are on the right path. Probably. Maybe. After last week, maybe not. Who knows. JAGUARS +3.5
Eagles at Giants
I just want all you Eagles fans to appreciate what I’ve done this season. I’ve given away an easy W in the picks each week for the good of us all. I’m happy to do it but the closer I get to .500 the more I wish I didn’t put myself in this box. I’m a little nervous about the Giants here. This is could be a kitchen sink game for New York. Dallas is getting a win this week so I would love it if the Eagles could keep that two game cushion in place. GIANTS +7
Ravens at Steelers
I appreciated Mike Tomlin’s response to George Pickens going off last week about not getting the ball. With that said, does Tomlin forget Antonio Brown was on his roster for some time before Tomlin got so sick of him and told him to get lost? Pickens isn’t anywhere close to that level yet, but there’s a line between wanting the ball and crazy. Very few have effectively toed that line. Also, this game is a bummer. These matchups are supposed to mean something. The Steelers are all but dead in the playoff chase and the Ravens offense is so bad Russell Wilson almost outscored them. RAVENS +2
Afternoon Games (4:05PM ET)
Chiefs at Broncos
My desire to always watch the Chiefs will be tested by an almost equally fierce desire to shield my eyes from whatever it is the Broncos do on Sundays. Last week’s late slate was killer. This week’s could be walking dead before halftime. Plan accordingly. CHIEFS -9
Buccaneers at 49ers
I can’t decide which side of the fence I fall on in regards to the 49ers. Jimmy Garoppolo is a fine quarterback with extensive playoff experience. Replacing him isn’t as easy as plugging in any quarterback you find on the street. On the other hand, Garoppolo is a glorified game manager. It hurts, but it’s true. If Brock Purdy can protect the football, I don’t think the 49ers offense is going to drop off that much. Kyle Shanahan’s offense wants the football in Deebo Samuel and Christian McCaffrey’s hands in space. That won’t change. Run the football, quick throws, bubble screens and the occasional George Kittle over the middle. San Francisco should be fine. BUCCANEERS +3.5
Panthers at Seahawks
Seattle really missed Kenneth Walker in the red zone last week, and unlike when Rashaad Penny went down, I don’t think the Seahawks have a stop-gap on the roster. Geno Smith has been stellar all season but without a running game I’m not convinced Seattle will hold on to that playoff spot. PANTHERS +4
Sunday Night (8:20PM ET)
Dolphins at Chargers
Brandon Staley can smell Sean Payton coming for his job and it has Staley spooked. The normally aggressive Staley attempted three consecutive field goals and two of them were on 4th and less than 5. Be you, Brandon. You’re a defensive coach and your defense stinks. You’re already toast. Go out swinging! With the Dallas job unlikely to open up, Payton is open for business and the Chargers have an appealing roster and an intriguing young quarterback in Justin Herbert. Best of luck finding work, Mr. Staley. CHARGERS +3
Monday Night (8:30PM ET)
Patriots at Cardinals
It’s almost as if having two offensive coordinators that don’t know what they’re doing is way worse than only having one. Who could have seen this coming? Can we call the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick debate yet? I know I’m ready. It’s Brady. While I don’t think he could have had that much success and won all those Super Bowls without Belichick, I’m certain Belichick couldn’t have accomplished close to what he has without Brady. The Patriots have been sloppy, ill prepared and outcoached more in the last three years than the 18 prior to them combined. Thankfully for New England, the Cardinals are even sloppier, ill prepared and poorly coached. PATRIOTS -1.5