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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

Not Satisfied…

…some quick Patriot thoughts:

*Tom Brady.

Brady sounded like a broken man in his post-game press conference.

Seriously?!

The team is 9-1.  And he has to be that sour?

This has been a huge topic on talk radio this week.  And for good reason.

How can he be so upset when the team has a .900 winning percentage?  He’s always been about winning, why is he so miserable when they have won all but one of their games?

Yes, the offense has not played all that well.  Yes, there is no Antonio Brown (more on him later), or Gronk (ditto), or Josh Gordon (the “in his prime” version anyway).  Yes, the kids don’t really know what they are doing.  Yes, Sony Michel drops an easy pass per game.  Yes, the offensive line is putrid.  Etc.

BUT THEY ARE 9-1!!

I think it’s more than ok for Brady to be frustrated.  But he just has never been like this publicly.  And it doesn’t really sit well with people, including me.  That’s why he is taking some heat from the talk radio yahoos this week.  It is kind of deserved.

And yeah, I hate to bash the player that has given us so many memories over the years.  But it’s kind of disheartening for me to see.  Brady can certainly still get it done.  I suppose he can act however he wants to now based on all of the goodwill he has built up over the years.  But some of the criticism he has taken this year has been valid.  After all, he has worked with lesser pieces in the offense in the past.  I have no doubt about this.  And this point really hasn’t been brought up by anyone in recent weeks.

Brady used to build relationships with players in the offseason program.  You don’t think he would have more trust in guys like Jakobi Meyers and N’Keal Harry if they had a ton of reps over the spring and summer?

But all of a sudden he thinks the offseason isn’t that important anymore?  I guess anyway.  He used to swear by those camps to improve everyone all around.  But now they don’t matter?

I don’t know what the answer is.  We all want Brady, coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and the rest of them to figure out this offense.  But with that putrid offensive line in front of Brady, how can it be fixed?  That is the crux of the offense’s problem.  Not the young wide receivers inexperience.  My opinion anyway.

But with Mohamed Sanu and Phillip Dorsett possibly missing this Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys due to injury, Brady better start having some trust in Meyers and Harry.  He will have to.

*Brady, Part II.

The more I think of it, the more I would be intrigued if, not only Brady played until age 45 or 50.  But if he actually went somewhere else to finish his career.

Listen, I am not about to run Brady out of town.  And my thought here is actually unrelated to his attitude after Sunday’s game.

It’s just been something I’ve been thinking about for a while.  Since, after all, his contract is up and there has been a lot of chatter about what happens to Brady after this season.

He will be 43 years old.  And presumably still be a great starting quarterback in the NFL.  And he is still great, no question about it.  The circumstances around him have prevented him from really showing it, to be honest.

But…he will be 43 years old.  I’ve said it before and I will say it yet again:  There is simply no data from the past to project what he will do next season.  Or beyond.

It will be fascinating to see what happens.

But I am not going to lie.  ESPECIALLY if the Patriots win their 7th Super Bowl this season, I may be interested in seeing Brady elsewhere next year to see what he can do.  And to see what Belichick can do here, with Jarrett Stidham or someone else behind center.

The famous line is that Joe Montana finished his career outside of San Francisco.  Why can’t it happen to Brady?

I don’t know.  But I do know I will be giving it a lot more thought over the rest of the season.  And probably go back and forth at least a hundred times on it.

*Antonio Brown.

I don’t see any way he comes back to the Patriots, despite all the rumblings this week about it.  And apparently with Brady’s desire to bring him back.

Hard for me to believe owner Robert Kraft will let this happen.

Sure, the offense could use a player of his caliber.  And if he does somehow end up back on the team, I will continue to root for the team.

But do you really want him back, at all costs?  I would say I do not.

*Gronk.

Ugh.  Enough big guy.  ENOUGH!

I will forever be grateful for Rob Gronkowski’s contributions to the Patriots over the years.  And his antics here, while a little subdued because of the Patriots’ culture, were often humorous.

But now?

Annoying.

Sure, I would have taken him back in a heartbeat.  But did anyone really actually believe he was coming back this season?

No way.  And I am not sure he will come back next season.

But enough of the nonsense please dude.  And I don’t even care about his beach party, wrestling plans, acting aspirations or even about his work on Fox.

Done with it.

But what I am not done with?  Gronk following Brady to another NFL city next season?

Now, wouldn’t THAT be something?

*Isaiah Wynn.

Or…Jesus Christ?

People have been waiting for the return of Wynn and acting like it will solve ALL of the offense’s problems.

Really??

He has played, what, TWO games in the NFL?  How can we expect him to all of a sudden be an All-Pro and “stabilize the line”?

Listen, he cannot be any worse than Marshall Newhouse.  That would be seemingly impossible.

But I don’t think one guy will save the line.  The rest of the guys have been pretty wretched all year long.

Another thing:  how bad must Korey Cunningham and Jermaine Eluemunor be?  They couldn’t even beat out Newhouse.

One more thing:  I’m expecting to still see Newhouse on the field plenty Sunday.  No, not because Wynn will get hurt again, though we can never rule out that possibility.  But because should we expect Wynn to be ready for a full game after being on the shelf for most of the season?  I think not.

Anyway, on to the games, the Thursday night one anyway:

Indianapolis at Houston (-3.5)

The Texans were blasted by Baltimore Sunday, while the Colts blitzed the Jags.  I think both were aberrations.  Houston can’t be as bad as they looked and the Colts aren’t as good as they looked.  Just can’t be.  In any event, they are both 6-4 and fighting for control of the AFC South, so it should be a good game.  A close one too.  I’m looking for the roles to be reversed from four days ago though.  I know, who the hell knows on Thursday Night Football though?  Hopefully, there will not be any helmet swinging anyway.

Houston 24, Indianapolis 20.  

Week (against the spread):  6-8

Week (straight up):  10-4

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

Season (against the spread):  80-82

Season (straight up):  106-56

So Much For That Good Start…

…took it on the chin last week.  Thankfully, there is time to recover this season.

Once again, no sense in covering last week’s New England Patriots game.  Although the two turnovers for TD’s killed the sure cover and with it also killed the undefeated hopes of the “Lock Of The Week”.  In reality, the Pats should have won that game by 40-50 points, injured receivers or no injured receivers.  But that’s the way it goes sometimes.

I really don’t have much to say about the Patriots upcoming game against the undefeated Buffalo Bills either, but we will get to that with the rest of the games.

For now, let’s just get through the normal Thursday Night stinkfest…

Philadelphia at Green Bay (-4.5)

…or will it be?  The Thursday tilts have not been great thus far this season.  We’ve been through that already.  But for some reason, I have high hopes for this one.  The Eagles are banged up but hope to get wide receiver Alshon Jeffery back.  That can’t hurt.  It also wouldn’t hurt if receiver Nelson Agholor was a little more consistent as well.  I guess Nelson invited that dude that ripped him on social media…you know, the dude that was apparently catching babies from a window to help save them from a fire.  Nice work, Hakim Laws!  Laws won’t be at this game I don’t think, but maybe it will light a fire under Agholor.  See what I did there?  Ok, maybe that was somewhat in poor taste, but I couldn’t resist.  In any event, Philly is too good a team to go 1-3.  And I am not sure the Packers are that good a team to go 4-0.  The Pack has only given up 35 points this year, but haven’t exactly played stout offensive teams thus far.  Not to mention the offense has only scored 58 points.  Doesn’t seem like typical Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers fireworks, eh?  People who watch the Packers say something is missing so far as well.  New coach, new system, I suppose it is bound to happen.  Just a gut feeling with the Eagles on the road here.

Philadelphia 27, Green Bay 23.  

Week (against the spread):  6-10

Week (straight up):  10-6

Lock Of The Week (season, ATS):  2-1

Season (against the spread):  23-25

Season (straight up):  34-14

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