Welcome back for another edition of Dick Picks, the only internet NFL gambling column written by a renegade ex-cop with unfinished business and nothing to lose! (Or maybe it’s just written by some asshole. Really there’s no way of knowing.)
We’ve officially got ¼ of the season down (unless you’re an idiot jerk from Wisconsin or Carolina) and the waters of the NFL have gotten slightly less murky. Some teams are good! Other teams are bad! Matt Cassel is still alive for some reason!
The biggest surprise has been the atrocious play in the NFC, which was supposed to be as top-heavy a conference as we’ve seen, but has become a slapstick comedy of inept game management and laughable ball protection (“Laughable Ball Protection” is the name of my improv troupe. Just kidding! Fuck improv!) This is nowhere more apparent than the NFC East, where teams are doing everything in their power to actively give games away to their opponents. Dallas will have to make a legitimate effort to not win this division, and if any duo is up for that task it is Jason Garrett and Tony Romo. But don’t worry, we’ll still be getting plenty of primetime NFC East match-ups because fuck you America. Last week’s picks went 8-6-1 which is not terrible, but nothing to be particularly proud of. On to this week’s picks, home team in caps.
CLEVELAND -4 vs. Buffalo
Brian Hoyer has led Cleveland to back to back victories for the first time since probably like 1950-something. I don’t know because I’m too lazy to check but that estimate seems pretty accurate. This is going to be another ugly, miserable Thursday night game, and Cleveland’s defense is actually pretty solid so I’m taking the Browns. This may be the least relevant NFL game of all time, and could result in Cleveland actually leading the AFC North, which really speaks towards the quality of play/life in the Rust Belt these days.
Kansas City -3 vs. TENNESSEE
Just when the Titans looked like they might be able to parlay a weak schedule and a strong start into a Wild Card berth, they are forced to put their season into the hands of Ryan Fitzpatrick. For those of you who think Fitzpatrick isn’t that much of a downgrade from Jake Locker, just wait until you see him forcing bad passes into double coverage and generally treating the football like it’s a live grenade. I expect the Chiefs to have a pretty easy time with this one, which should allow Andy Reid some extra time in the second half to work on his memoir: “I Wish Calories Were Timeouts So I Knew How to Burn Them, and Hey Remember That Time My Son Died?: The Andy Reid Story.”
Baltimore -3 vs. MIAMI
I think we saw the real Miami Dolphins on Monday night, and those Miami Dolphins are bad Miami Dolphins. Joe Flacco was hilariously pathetic against Buffalo, but I don’t expect him to have the same problems with a Dolphins team who struggled to rush the passer without Cameron Wake in the lineup. Wake will most likely miss this game as well, so maybe Flacco can limit himself to two interceptions with that extra time in the pocket. That would be nice, since he’s only making a billion dollars to do the opposite of what he did last week.
ST. LOUIS -11.5 vs. Jacksonville
How does a team lose by 24 points at home, and then wind up favored by double digits the very next week? *queue montage of Blaine Gabbert throwing the ball with his eyes closed or his head turned, wait 45 minutes for montage to end* I cannot accurately describe in words just how bad this Jaguars team is, which is annoying because I have to try every week to do exactly that. If you can, imagine the final night in Chris Benoit’s house, and then imagine that that was a football team. That’s pretty close, I think.
New England +1.5 vs. CINCINNATI
That ginger fuck Andy Dalton shit all over himself on Sunday and successfully eliminated me from all of my knockout pools, so fuck you very much Andy Dalton you soulless noodle-armed piece of shit. Due to Dalton’s overall lack of being good at football, and his “heave it up to AJ Green and hope that AJ Green is magic” offensive strategy, Cincinnati has had to rely on their defense to generate turnovers to win games. If Aqib Talib can handle AJ Green as well as he handled Roddy White and Julio Jones, and New England protects this football, this game should not even be close. One thing that I feel doesn’t get enough attention is how big of a fucking nerd Tom Brady is. He’s like a real life version of Phil Dunphy from “Modern Family.” He is desperately trying to be cool, but in reality he’s way too big of a fucking goof to pull it off. It only makes me love him that much more.
Seattle -3 vs. INDIANAPOLIS
I probably shouldn’t take Seattle on the road until they get a convincing win away from their magical loud-ass stadium, but Andrew Luck has been getting hit a lot no matter where he goes, and he’s shown a knack for being a little loose with the football. I’ll take Seattle’s defense to make him pay for those mistakes. This will be the game where we finally figure out if the Colts are any good. They’re probably the best team in their division just by virtue of having the only quarterback who doesn’t provoke their fans to literally set things on fire. So that’s about as ringing an endorsement as I’m willing to give the Colts so far: “Probably the Best Team in the AFC South” which at this point is essentially an insult.
Detroit +7 vs. GREEN BAY
Just go ahead and take the over in this game, because these teams hate defense and for some reason Dom Capers is still employed. This is probably the game this week that’s most likely to push, as I expect both teams to match each other score for score until a turnover makes the difference. One thing I’ve been keeping an eye on for a few years is Matthew Stafford: Secret Fat Guy. He looks like an obese man struggling to keep himself in good enough shape to play professional football. He’s a sprained ankle away from 350lbs, and I can’t wait to see how fat he’s going to get once his NFL career comes to an end. 400lbs? 500lbs? The sky is the limit for Fat Stafford.
New Orleans PK vs. CHICAGO
Last week reminded me of how fun it can be to gamble against Jay Cutler. When he’s good, he’s good, but when he’s bad he is the absolute worst and there is nothing more fun to watch than Bad Jay Cutler. Heaving up lame ducks to the defense, acting like a petulant little girl, pretending none of it is his fault. It’s a joy to behold. New Orleans looks like they’re in a groove, and if they get this win they might be able to coast the rest of the way with their division looking as sad as it currently does. That would be great, because then by week ten we could expect to see Rob Ryan drinking margaritas and taking his shirt off on the sidelines. If I could think of two words to most accurately describe Rob Ryan’s look and general demeanor, they would probably be “resisting arrest.”
Philadelphia +2 vs. NY GIANTS
KILL IT WITH FIRE!!! Ugh… just… I can’t even. I’m taking the points in every game between NFC East teams this year until one of them decides it might be fun to host a playoff game with a 6-10 record. The saddest thing will be that one of these fan bases will consider a win in this game a huge boost to their team’s playoff chances, and they will be correct.
Carolina -1.5 vs ARIZONA
Carolina is coming off of a big win, and then a bye, and Arizona looked ready to lose to Tampa Bay until double agent Mike Glennon literally threw the game away. I thought he was going to run over to the sidelines and hit Greg Schiano with a chair after he threw that second pick. Which he really should have taken the opportunity to do. Greg Schiano should forever be hit with chairs. Oh, you wanted insight into this game? Well, fuck off because I have none.
San Diego -4.5 vs. OAKLAND
When you lose a quarterback to a concussion a good thing to do is allow his backup to be sacked seven times because then you can tell if his head is sturdier than the last guy’s. It’s like how you’re supposed to drop a baby at least a couple of times to make sure it is a good and solid baby and not some shitty defective baby that needs to go back to the pound. Regardless of who starts for Oakland, San Diego has a better offense than the Raiders have faced this season and will probably win this one pretty handily.
Denver -7 vs. DALLAS
Well looks like I can’t pick against the Broncos until somebody shows proof that they can stop them. Dallas couldn’t stop the Giants or Chargers from scoring 30+ points, so it seems hopeless to think they’ll be able to stop the Broncos. Unless Peyton Manning gets dropped on his neck and doesn’t have enough stem cells to fix it, expect Denver to keep rolling. I just hope I get to see a bunch of those Papa John’s commercials with his big ugly head taking up the entire screen while that lunatic Papa John is discreetly fucking a pizza in the background. I bet Peyton and Papa John pick up teenage runaways and take them to a secret ranch to hunt them. *cut to Peyton and Papa John pushing the Meatlover’s pizza and exchanging knowing smiles*
SAN FRANCISCO -6 vs. Houston
Oh Matt Schaub you saucy little bitch. You made it look like you were going to cover a spread, but we knew better, didn’t we? You fucking tease. Texans fans were so mad about the pick six that essentially cost Houston the game, that they were burning Schaub jerseys out of anger in the parking lot. At least I assume it was out of anger. They are from Texas, so it could be that they just discovered fire and thought it was pretty neat. Anyway, no thank you to Matt Schaub on the road.
ATLANTA -9.5 vs. NY Jets
Atlanta is a team in minor crisis mode, and they need a sacrificial lamb to beat up on to give them back the confidence they had last year as the NFC’s number one seed. Enter the New York Jets. Atlanta cannot be content with merely winning this game. They need to put on a complete and dominant performance if they want to show the rest of the league that they can still be that team from last year. They will throw the kitchen sink at the Jets, and the Jets will drop that sink. Then they will pick the sink up and promptly fumble it. Then they will anonymously leak to the media the fact that nobody in the locker room respects the sink. I expect this to be a bloodbath, which will finally start pulling at the thread that unravels the Jets’ season, and I for one couldn’t be more excited.
LAST WEEK: 8-6-1 *golf clap*
SEASON TOTAL: 25-20-2