Thursday, September 14, 2017

2017 Week 2 NFL Picks: Old Man's Revenge

Old-school misogyny is sung
The following things happened in Week One.

> My football laundry beat the Washington Racial Slurs for the first time in five tries

> My points fantasy league team had the best week, putting me in first place in that league for the first time ever in ten years of horrific misadventures

> My team in my work head to head league Milton Berle'd my manager (look up what this means on your own, or better yet, don't, because it's all kinds of gross, and Berle really wasn't all that funny, honestly)

> The picks column went 11-4 against the spread, which puts the lifetime mark back to nearly .500.

So unprecedented happiness and beer for everyone, yes?

Well, um, no.

You see, to the rest of the world, like last week was a snooze, or much worse. People who drafted the top pick in fantasy, Arizona RB David Johnson, wanted to go into the fetal position after he got hurt. The closest game with the best comeback happened in the second MNF game, when most of America was already in bed. The SNF game was a low scoring beatdown,the Seahawks and Packers did not entertain, and so on, and so on.

Well, screw you people. Especially all you young people who are suddenly too good for football. (Note: I wish I was too good for football.) I enjoyed myself to an unseemly level, and look to keep the good times rolling, all the way to a comfortable retirement where I get to care way too much about my lawn. And whether you people are on it or not.

And with that... on to the picks!

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HOUSTON (+6.5) at Cincinnati

Both teams were utterly terrible in dispiriting Week 1 losses. The Bengal OL is just too bad to justify this big of a number, and a full week of practice as QB1 will help rookie QB Deshaun Watson appear competent for a longer period of time. Still, both of these teams are in desperation mode early.

Bengals 20, Texans 17

CLEVELAND (+8.5) at Baltimore

Regression time for both of these clubs. The Browns were closer than you might have guessed last week, especially on defense, and the Ravens defense isn't going to find life quite so easy against an offensive line that employs actual NFL players. I wouldn't be stunned if the road team actually wins this, but a last-second heartbreak is probably more in order.

Ravens 24, Browns 23

Buffalo at CAROLINA (+7.5)

The Carolina defense is for real, and QB Cam Newton looked like he was shaking off rust by the end of the Week 1 game. RB Christian McCaffrey isn't as good as his numbers suggest, but he's still reasonably good, and the Bills just aren't going to be able to run it well enough to keep it manageable.

Panthers 24, Bills 13

ARIZONA (-7) at Indianapolis

A big number for an 0-1 road favorite against anyone, but man alive, the Colts are terrible. If QB Andrew Luck doesn't come back soon and the rest of the division gets a little lucky, this could be a winless team for a really long time.

Cardinals 27, Colts 17

TENNESSEE (-2) at Jacksonville

The Jags aren't sacking the QB 10 times this week, or facing a team with QB issues and a middling run game. They also face a Titan team that needs the win more than they do, and the Jags are too young to handle prosperity well.

Titans 27, Jaguars 23

Philadelphia at KANSAS CITY (+5.5)

My laundry travels to a team with no worse than the league's second-best home-field advantage, with a coach that always does better with extra time, to visit a defense with a superior line, especially for pass rush purposes. Oh, and they do so without their CB1. I'm just hoping it doesn't get ugly.

Chiefs 31, Eagles 23

NEW ENGLAND (-6.5) at New Orleans

Both teams need a win very badly, but the Patriots have extra time to prepare (three days, or an eternity in the NFL) and a history of bouncing back hard after defeats. The Saints may put up some points in this game, but it won't be enough to cover the number.

Patriots 34, Saints 24

Minnesota at PITTSBURGH (-5.5)

Regression time for QB Sam Bradford, who leaves home sweet dome for the vagaries of Heinz Field. More importantly, QB Ben Roethlisberger is a different animal at home these days, and RB Le'Veon Bell is going to remind the world why he's great after a Week 1 hiccup.

Steelers 24, Vikings 17

Chicago at TAMPA (-7)

The Bucs may need to shake off some rust after their Irma-inspired bye week, but the Bears don't travel well, and the defense isn't ready to handle all of these weapons. I don't love Tampa's playoff chances with their bye week ripped away from them, but that won't show up until later.

Bucs 31, Bears 16

MIAMI (+5.5) at Los Angeles Chargers

The home team gets a short week, a tepid home crowd in a small and unfamiliar space, and a Dolphin team that's better on the line than advertised. I think the road team wins outright, with QB Jay Cutler the focus for way too many reclamation / redemption pieces afterwards.

Dolphins 24, Chargers 20

NY Jets at OAKLAND (-13)

A very big number, yes, but the Raiders are ready to smack around a tanking team at home, especially when they bring an offense like this to town. Look for a defensive score, the Jets folding their tents, and a shake up at the QB position for the visitors, because that's what terrible franchises do.

Raiders 38, Jets 13

DALLAS (-2.5) at Denver

The Cowboys are just better, and Denver's offense isn't good enough, especially on the ground, to make this game comfortable. The short week doesn't help them either, along with the fact that Jerry Jones secretly runs the league and games the schedule to make sure his team has advantages. It's part of the reason why they fail in the playoffs, of course.

Cowboys 24, Broncos 17

Washington at LOS ANGELES RAMS (-2.5)

DC's already shown what happens when they run into a good defensive line at home, and now they get a borderline great one on the road. I want to be the Regression Police on this one, especially because the Rams aren't as good as they looked in beating the garbage out of garbage last week, but the line play isn't letting me go that way.

Rams 23, Racial Slurs 16

SAN FRANCISCO (+14) at Seattle

I'm probably going to regret this, but the Seattle OL just doesn't look good enough to cover this number, and the Niners will score a *little*, for heaven's sake. It's a low confidence pick, but suckout covers are still covers.

Seahawks 23, Niners 13

Green Bay at ATLANTA (-3)

Should be a fun game, but the Falcons are just too good at home, and the Pack isn't going to have desperation in their hearts after the Week 1 win against Seattle. Nor will they be facing an offense that can't run the ball and keep the defense honest.

Falcons 34, Packers 30

DETROIT (+3.5) at New York Giants

A simple matter of thinking that one team is actually good, and the other team may be out and out terrible. Especially if WR Odell Beckham is still on the shelf, which it seems like he will be. Look for Detroit to run the ball better than you might expect, and for the Giant defense to show signs of mutiny after the offense doesn't do enough to keep them off the sidelines.

Lions 27, Giants 17

* * * * *

Last week: 11-4

Season: 11-4

Career: 892-893-54

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