Monthly Archives: November 2019

Week Thirteen…

…in full swing right now with the three Turkey Day games.

Do I still not believe in the Buffalo Bills?  Ummmmm…kind of?  Wasn’t their win in Dallas Thursday more of a reflection of the Cowboys being run by a band of idiots?

Maybe so…but I suppose 9-3 is 9-3.  As Bill Parcells used to say, “you are what your record says you are”.

So I guess the Bills are good.

I think the only other thing I have to say before this weeks’ horrible picks is that it’s really hard for me to believe how bad kickers are in the NFL this season.  Watching the likes of Brett Maher and Younghoe Koo butcher kicks on Thanksgiving just added to that atrociousness.  Even though Koo somehow redeemed himself by executing a couple of onside kicks late in the game.  Actually had another too that was called back due to penalty.  Yes, his team helped in the recovery of the kicks.  But when the league as a whole has only converted two onside kicks the entire season, this has to be considered pretty impressive.  And the way the kicker starts the process, well, he deserves a great deal of the credit.

In any event, now we are going to look at a FOURTH kicker for the New England Patriots this season on Sunday.

Extremely hard to fathom.

The Pats employed a total of three placekickers from 1996-2018.  THREE!!

And now with Kai Forbath set to take the role against Houston, that makes him the fourth this year.

Ok, two of them, Stephen Gostkowski and Nick Folk, had physical maladies that affected their roster status.  Mike Nugent just sucked.

But still…people have been talking about how the offense needs to get better or the Pats won’t make a long playoff run.

I still do believe the offense will be fine by the end of the season, barring any other major injuries.

Shouldn’t we worry about the kicking game even more?

Folk may be back after he recovers from his appendectomy.  But will any of us trust him or Forbath to make kicks when it counts?

Kind of important in close games, no?

I hope everyone that has wanted to cut Gostkowski over the last couple of years is happy.  That’s really all I can say about that.

Tampa Bay at Jacksonville (-1.5)

Maybe we do the opposite here?  I mean, two 4-7 teams, so who knows?  Anyway, the Jags gave up 42 to the mediocre Titans offense last week.  The Bucs are more explosive.  Seems like Tampa would be the pick here, but…

Jacksonville 30, Tampa Bay 27.  

San Francisco at Baltimore (-4.5)

Both teams are rolling.  The Niners playing on the East Coast in a 1:00 pm EST start is not ideal.  Statistically, SF has the NFL’s second best defense.  But the Ravens carved up the leagues’ number one defense a few weeks back.  The opposite here?  Nah.

Baltimore 34, San Francisco 27.  

New York Jets (-3.5) at Cincinnati

ANDY DALTON IS BACK!!!  Sadly, despite the Jets three game winning streak, I actually think Dalton’s return will matter.  Call me crazy, I guess.

Cincinnati 20, New York Jets 17.

Cleveland (-1.5) at Pittsburgh

Speaking of three game winning streaks, here come the Browns!  Maybe “Duck” Hodges can get it done though?  I’m betting no.

Cleveland 24, Pittsburgh 13.  

Washington at Carolina (-9.5)

I don’t think the Panthers got a new kicker this week.  Theirs cost them the game last week against the Saints.  Once again, a common theme.  But they should be able to have a lineman kick this week if they want to.  Wouldn’t that be something?

Carolina 23, Washington 10.  

Green Bay (-6.5) at New York Giants 

Have to believe the Packers bounce back from that embarrassment of last week in a big way.  The fact that their opponent is the G-Men likely makes that an easier task.

Green Bay 37, New York Giants 20.  Lock of the week.

Philadelphia (-9.5) at Miami

Not sure I can really justify taking the favorite here, other than that the Dolphins aren’t very good.  So I am not even going to try.

Philadelphia 24, Miami 14.  

Tennessee at Indianapolis (-2.5)

The Colts won the first meeting 19-17 in Tennessee way back in Week Two.  Should be another tight one here, but apparently Ryan Tannehill is now Jesus.

Tennessee 23, Indianapolis 20.  

Los Angeles Rams (-4.5) at Arizona

It’s really hard for me to take the Rams seriously now.  Arizona is off a bye and at home.  Sounds like a Cardinal win, right?  Nothing this year in the NFL has been what it should be.

Los Angeles Rams 33, Arizona 30.

Oakland at Kansas City (-9.5)

I guess an almost double digit spread is what you deserve when you are supposedly in the playoff chase and then get smoked by the Jets.  KC is off a bye and will be looking to put the division away.  Seems like an easy one here…but of course it probably won’t be.

Kansas City 45, Oakland 27.  

Los Angeles Chargers (-2.5) at Denver

The Chargers should probably win.  But one never knows how many picks Philip Rivers will throw this weekend.  Perhaps Drew Lock gets some run this week?  Why wouldn’t he?

Los Angeles Chargers 17, Denver 10.  

New England (-3.5) at Houston

I have no idea why, but the Texans just don’t concern me.  I know I should definitely have concerns, specifically when considering Houston QB’s Deshaun Watson’s skill set.  But…not feeling it.

New England 27, Houston 17.  

Minnesota at Seattle (-3.5)

The Vikes are coming off a bye and the ‘Hawks are surprisingly only 3-2 at home.  Here’s the opposite again though.

Seattle 24, Minnesota 20.  

Week (against the spread):  2-1

Week (straight up):  2-1

Lock Of The Week (season, ATS):  5-7

Season (against the spread):  89-90

Season (straight up):  116-63

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Speaking of turkeys, one non-football note (about time?) before we dive into the New England Patriots and then the three Thanksgiving Day games.

Kyrie Irving is coming back to Boston tonight.  Oh wait, nevermind.  He’s out with a shoulder injury.  BIG surprise.

Kidding, of course.  Kyrie has actually missed several games, so it’s not like he is ducking Boston.  That would be hard to do over the course of a long NBA season.

When healthy, Kyrie is lighting up Brooklyn.  But who else do they have?  Kevin Durant?  Sure, but not this season.  Spencer Dinwiddie can apparently play.  But what else?  Joe Harris?

So, of course, he is going to have monster numbers.  I mean, he is truly a great player for sure, there has never been any debate on that.

But I think most people have noticed the turnaround (thus far) in Boston this season.  The Celtics are 12-4.  Yup, it’s early and there is a loooooong way to go.  It’s also worth noting that the Nets are 9-8…but something like 5-1 without Irving.  Nice.

Sure, Kyrie wasn’t the only player leaving Boston after last season.  But I find it hard to believe that Al Horford or Aron Baynes caused any locker room turmoil.  Marcus Morris?  Perhaps…he is kind of a hothead.  Terry Rozier too, but as a part-time player, we can’t really say he led the charge or anything.

It’s all about Kyrie.

The players seem different on the floor as well.  The whole thing is obvious.  Of course, it hasn’t hurt that Gordon Hayward seemed to get back to his previous self before missing some games with a different, and lesser, malady.  And the younger guys have taken a step up as well.

But the general feeling cannot be mistaken.

It’s just awesome to see the Nets winning without Kyrie, while the Celtics come off a West Coast trip, don’t have Kemba Walker, Hayward (and Daniel Theis, if you will), have to play dudes like Semi Ojeleye and Tremont Waters 20 minutes plus and still win their game.

We said it here at the time:  Good riddance.

And…the most laughable thing I have heard in recent days is “will Kyrie get a tribute video?”

SERIOUSLY??!  FOR WHAT??!  Two years of a bad attitude and “leading” an underachieving team?

Listen, Isaiah Thomas wasn’t here all that long either.  But he absolutely deserved a tribute video upon his return.  100 percent.

Kyrie?  Please.

Ok, back to football and the Patriots.

Though I am not sure I have anything to add on them.

I mean, it was certainly a nice win against Dallas on Sunday.  But what did we learn?

The game was played in a monsoon.  It was raining sideways.  Wind.  All that.

The defense sure played well.  The offense still needs some work.  But if this game is played in better conditions, do the Cowboys score many more points?  Wouldn’t surprise me.  That’s why I am not sure I can put much stock into this game.

What did we learn about the kid wide receivers?  Not sure there either.  Jakobi Meyers and N’Keal Harry had their moments…both good and bad.  Isn’t that to be expected though?

I am glad that they played basically the whole game, however.  How can the experience hurt?

Nice win at home against a fairly decent team in less than ideal conditions.

But that’s all I’m taking from it.

Chicago (-2.5) at Detroit

The Bears probably think they have a shot at the playoffs still, while the Lions lost to Washington last week.  ‘Nuff said.

Chicago 20, Detroit 10.  

Buffalo at Dallas (-6.5)

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is pissed off.  About time!  He should have fired coach Jason Garrett years ago.  Not sure he picked the right time to sound off a little here, after those conditions last week, but better late than never I suppose.  That being said, I expect the ‘Boys to bounce back at home on Turkey Day.  The Bills are 8-3, but I am still not buying into any of that nonsense.

Dallas 27, Buffalo 13.  

New Orleans (-6.5) at Atlanta

The Saints should have lost to Carolina last week.  They amazingly got smoked by these same Falcons three weeks ago…at home.  New Orleans is 3-1 since Drew Brees’ return, but things have been seemingly a little uneven.  The Falcons seemed to be a little resurgent after that win at the Superdome, but then got hammered last week by an extremely average Tampa Bay team.  Combine that with my track record this season, well, who the hell knows?  But I am thinking that the Saints return the favor in Atlanta.

New Orleans 38, Atlanta 24.  

Week (against the spread):  7-7

Week (straight up):  8-6

Lock Of The Week (season, ATS):  5-7 

Season (against the spread):  87-89

Season (straight up):  114-62

Week Twelve…

Ho hum first place divisional matchup Thursday night with the Texans and the Colts.  Hard to get excited about a team that ran it 255 times like Indianapolis did.  Especially when they lost.  And even though the Texans are 7-4, I just thought they would be better and certainly more explosive.  Moving on…

Looks like Tom Brady is going to have to throw to Jakobi Meyers and N’Keal Harry today after all…maybe still have to throw screens to Sony Michel as well.  Because it appears that Mohamed Sanu and Phillip Dorsett aren’t going to play.  Should be interesting in any event…

The picks have been so putrid, maybe I can put even less effort into it this week to change some fortunes.  Plus I am running out of time anyway…

Miami at Cleveland (-10.5)

Thought Miami was “rolling” at two wins in a row last week and would cover against an average Buffalo team.  Wrong again.  No idea what will be the Brown reaction to the whole Myles Garrett thing.  But…the Dolphins…

Cleveland 27, Miami 13.  

Detroit (-3.5) at Washington

I don’t love the Lions, but I like the ‘Skins even less.

Detroit 17, Washington 10.  

Denver at Buffalo (-4.5)

Maybe the Bills are for real?

Buffalo 24, Denver 13.

Tampa Bay at Atlanta (-4.5)

Falcons 9-7 and heading to the playoffs!!  Haha…

Atlanta 34, Tampa Bay 27.  

Seattle at Philadelphia (-1.5)

Seahawks are 5-0 on the road and off a bye.  Good enough for me.

Seattle 27, Philadelphia 24.  

Carolina at New Orleans (-9.5) 

That “Kyle Allen” era sure was fun, no?

New Orleans 34, Carolina 20.  

Pittsburgh (-6.5) at Cincinnati 

Can Cincy go 0-16?  I’m rooting for it!!

Pittsburgh 20, Cincinnati 9.  Lock of the week.  (At this point, I really don’t know)  

Oakland (-3.5) at New York Jets

J-E-T-S winning two in a row!!  Still…

Oakland 30, New York Jets 24.  

New York Giants at Chicago (-6.5)

Unwatchable.

New York Giants 17, Chicago 13.

Jacksonville at Tennessee (-3.5)

Titans with a big win over KC and then off a bye.  Seems like a safe bet.  But with them, you just don’t know.

Tennessee 23, Jacksonville 16.  

Dallas at New England (-6.5)

My heart says NE at home.  But…even with Amari Cooper at half strength and Leighton Vander Esch out and the stout Patriot defense…it’s hard for me to see the Pats putting up a ton of points with a horrid running game/offensive line and backup receivers and all their offensive question marks (ie:  again, Isaiah Wynn is NOT Jesus Christ).  The Patriots CAN win.  But for this, I’m going to go this way.  The way the season is going for my picks, the Pats will probably win anyway.  Reverse psychology?  Well, it is supposed to rain…

Dallas 24, New England 20.  

Green Bay at San Francisco (-3.5)

The Niners are heading for a brutal stretch.

Green Bay 27, San Francisco 24.  

Baltimore (-3.5) at Los Angeles Rams

I’d like to say Rams at home…but I cannot.

Baltimore 37, Los Angeles Rams 24.  

Week (against the spread):  0-1

Week (straight up):  1-0

Lock Of The Week (season, ATS):  5-6  

Season (against the spread):  80-83

Season (straight up):  107-56

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