I owe anyone reading this a huge mea culpa. Each week, I cherry pick five games and for week 16 I managed to go 0-4-1. No idea where I went wrong, maybe it was the large point spreads and the picks of lifeless teams like San Francisco that done me in. When I was 8 years old, I was allowed to pick games against the spread for the 1987/88 college bowl season for the teachers pool in the city where both my parents worked. Never did that bad then, although they gave a prize for last place so maybe it would have worked out. Anyway, how about some bonus picks as a make good that you can go the opposite on?
Atlanta (-4) vs New Orleans: Why is Drew Brees continuing to play with the Saints at 6-9? Not that he’s been terrible, but they need to make sure he doesn’t get hurt worse going into 2016 when they get a fresh start. Brees isn’t what he was but is a helluva lot better than many QB situations around the league. Atlanta will fulfill their destiny: that being one of the worst 9-7 teams in history.
Chicago (Pick) vs Detroit: Talk about an all time “who cares” game. The loser gets the last place schedule in 2016 and gets a team like San Francisco instead of the [Fill in the blank later] Rams.
Buffalo (+3) vs NY Jets: It’s a money on the wall game for Rex Ryan. He’s gonna pull everything out here in an effort to keep the Jets out of the playoffs because you know he’s like that.
New England (-10) at Miami: But I don’t feel good about this. Miami has been a house of horrors for years like Denver.
Cincinnati (-9) vs Baltimore: Sweeping the Steelers in this nightmare season is enough for the Ravens, who I have been off on for the last several weeks. Cincinnati is playing for a bye here and need a Denver loss so they’ll go all out.
Pittsburgh (-11) at Cleveland: The Steelers seem to lose a ton of games to bad teams, but it won’t be this one. Especially when they see that Jets-Bills score they will be amped up.
Dallas (-3.5) vs Washington: The NFC East champs are locked into a 4 seed, so they need to just not get hurt.
Jacksonville (+6) at Houston: I’ll probably regret this when the Texans score twice on defense. But Blake Bortles has actually proven to be a nice slice of alright. If he cuts down on turnovers, he’s a top 5 QB in the AFC. Laying that many points with this inconsistent Houston offense makes me queasy.
Indianapolis vs Tennessee has no line to speak of, but who gives a crap. I listen to some SiriusXM NFL broadcasts and the Colts radio guys are so whiny. Though not as bad as the usual trope: the meathead color guy yelling stuff AS THE PLAY IS GOING ON. The Cincinnati guy yells YES or NO as the poor PBP guy probably dreams of putting a shiv in the guy’s back.
Philadelphia (+3.5) at NY Giants: It is a personal policy to pick teams that fire their head coach that people seemed to hate. Though I don’t understand what the big deal was there as they were fine in 2013-14. If the players underperform, why would they be allowed to dictate things? For all I know though, Chip Kelly was a total prick.
Tampa Bay (+10) at Carolina: Again, I don’t like laying 10 when one team might not have much incentive to go for it here. Tampa Bay has been so off and on you never know what you’re getting anyway. Nice comeback year for Doug Martin with 1,356 yards and almost 5 yards per carry. When I hear his name on RedZone I always hear it as “Doc Marten”.
Arizona (-6.5) vs Seattle: The Cards are legit and my probable Super Bowl pick. They excel in all areas of the game and I still can’t get used to it being the ARIZONA CARDINALS, a perennial doormat of my youth. Then again the Patriots went 14-50 between 1989 and 1992. Time marches on.
Oakland (+7) at Kansas City: The Silver and Black are going to make this close for Charles Woodson in his final game. Wouldn’t be shocked to see him get a pick 6, in fact I would love it.
San Diego (for now) (+9) at Denver: It’s AFC West madness! Seems like fait accompli that the Chargers are moving to Los Angeles. I like the Bolts as a road team and Denver’s offensive situation with Osweiler possibly hurt and all this Manning business seems pretty chaotic.
St. Louis (-3.5) at San Francisco: The mother of all Who Cares? games.
Green Bay (-3) vs Minnesota: According to my metrics, the winner gets the 3 seed and probably Seattle at home while the loser goes to Washington. Always take the home game in the playoffs is my opinion even if Seattle seems tougher because Washington has proven to be quite good at home this season. Unless Teddy Bridgewater can actually get the ball downfield to spread the defense and give Adrian Peterson more of a chance, I don’t see why this game is so different from when the Vikes got blown out by the Pack at home.
Last week: 0-4-1
Happy New Year everyone! Coming up this weekend: a look at the 2016 NHL Winter Classic from my perspective at Gillette Stadium, the 1997 WWF Royal Rumble match, and possibly a Saturday Night’s Main Event thrown in the mix.