Welcome to another edition of DICK PICKS: the only online NFL gambling column that is read aloud in nursing homes to make the residents stop screaming for bread.
Last week the NFL delivered one of those classic games and classic moments that I said it needed for everyone to forget about that bullshit Wildcard weekend. It looked like Minnesota was going to fuck up and blow another playoff game and everyone was going to get to laugh at them and call them losers and it was going to be a lot of fun but they RUINED IT. Stefon Diggs took the last play of the game 61 yards for a touchdown and Case Keenum lived to fight another day. Maybe this is finally the year Minnesota exorcises their demons and becomes one of those boring demonless teams that everyone gets sick of almost immediately. I HAVE SEEN IT HAPPEN FIRST HAND. Either way, good on the Vikings for proving everybody wrong while also not covering the spread which was very considerate of them.
The Jaguars looked like a legitimately good team for half of the game on Sunday and then spent the other half looking like Wile E Coyote running off a cliff and trying not to look down because they knew what would happen if they looked down so they just kind of floated there until the Steelers pushed a trampoline under the spot where they were floating. Good riddance to the goddamned Steelers WHOM I HATE because they’re the worst and their QB is a rapist and their coach is a smug dickhead. I am aware that most every NFL coach is a smug dickhead but Mike Tomlin is worse than most because he will do the wrong thing and then after the game, when asked why he did the wrong thing, will say shit like “Oh, and YOU would have done the RIGHT thing in that situation?” YES MIKE TOMLIN WATCH A FUCKIN SPIKE LEE MOVIE FUCK. At least when Andy Reid completely fucks up at the end of a game he wears that shame at the press conference like a fucking bib at a Texas BBQ joint. Mike Tomlin will punt on third down and say some passive aggressive shit like “Hm, I’m supposed to believe YOU would remember there’s a FOURTH down in that situation?” I hope they never fire him.
A lot has been made about the quarterbacks in this final four and now even more is being made of it because we are in FULL ON BRIAN HOYER ALERT! ENOUGH WITH THE PROLOGUE AND ON TO THE PICKS! Last week’s picks went 3-1-0. As always, home team is in caps.
Jacksonville +8 vs. NEW ENGLAND
Ladies and gentlemen Tom Brady’s hand is fucked up. Sure, some people, even some Jaguars players, are chalking this up to Patriots MIND GAMES and TRICKERY but what those people may be overlooking is that this would be a REMARKABLY STUPID thing to do. Would the Patriots really bank on this Jaguars defense of all units to slip into a lower gear because they think they’re getting an easier matchup? Would the Pats honestly think they could trick the Jaguars into maybe preparing for Brian Hoyer instead of Tom Brady? You prepare for Brian Hoyer by hoping your players don’t keel over laughing when they watch him attempt his first pass of more than three yards. Why bring extra scrutiny onto the health of your 100 year old quarterback who thinks he can heal himself by drinking boiled water if you don’t have to? For fun? This team doesn’t like fun. This team DESPISES fun. No fair reader, what I posit, is that Tom Brady’s hand is supremely fucked up and the Patriots are in deep shit.
I feel like even with a healthy Brady the Pats would be in trouble against this defense. They can cover anybody and they can get pressure with four down linemen and the Pats offensive line has not exactly been impressive this season. Brady was going to get beat to shit in this game no matter what, and now that his hand is, I repeat, supremely fucked up, they are in an incredibly rough spot. They’re going to have to lean on a running game that has been at times adequate and at other times meh, and try to overpower a smallish defense and wear them down by beating them up. NOT EXACTLY WHAT THESE PATRIOTS ARE KNOWN FOR.
On the other side of the ball, hahahahahaha Blake Bortles what the fuck are you shitting me? This Pats defense is not very good but if the Bortles who played against Buffalo shows up this game is going to be ugly and this game is going to suck and this game will be exactly what everybody deserves for wishing for a playoff field without Brady.
PHILADELPHIA +3 vs. Minnesota
Don’t expect it to get better folks. Folks. We have two mediocre QBs going up against two excellent defenses in the late game. Mediocre is being generous in the case of Foles because he has looked legitimately awful for long stretches. He didn’t so much win that Atlanta game as Steve Sarkesian lost it by turning Atlanta’s offense into the 2004 Chicago Bears. I don’t know if he quit drinking after USC canned him but if he did that may be the problem. It’s about balance and moderation Steve. Don’t listen to your sponsor that guy is a buzzkill. It isn’t really alcoholism unless it prevents you from doing your job and if sobriety is what is preventing you from doing your job that is just as bad and nobody can prove otherwise. Matt Ryan certainly isn’t blameless but when your quarterback goes from MVP to Rex Grossman in one season and the only difference is you, maybe try some of these detergent pods that the kids are raving about.
On the other side, Keenum has been bailed out a lot by his receivers being excellent, but man does he make it difficult for them. I have definitely seen Adam Thielen lose years of his life this season, and Stefon Diggs was a couple inches away from having his knee turned inside out on that game winning catch. Not since Peyton Manning and Tom Brady were actively trying to murder Austin Collie and Wes Welker have I seen a quarterback be so reckless with the health of his receivers. Maybe that’s what you need to be elite. Maybe the real test of Keenum’s greatness is his ability to get one of his receivers knocked into Valhalla and then give them the stink eye as they wander to the wrong sideline because they couldn’t even get to the fuckin’ sticks.
As far as how I think this game ends, Minnesota hasn’t truly overcome their playoff nightmare until they have to line up for a game winning field goal on the last play. Expect that to happen this week and expect everybody in the state of Minnesota to dial the first nine digits of Minnesota’s suicide hotline and then drop their phones into a can of cream of mushroom soup because those people are disgusting and they always have that shit lying around in the event of an emergency. Casserole-ass motherfuckers.
LAST WEEK: 3-1-0
PLAYOFF TOTAL: 4-4-0