It has been a downward spiral for my picks every week and it finally happened this time. After five weeks of football, my picks are exactly .500 against the spread. This means that instead of wasting 600 words a week on this column, I could have just as productively flipped a coin.
So this week, I am challenging said coin to a duel. One week. Me vs. You. If you win, you can write this weekly article, George Washington. You cannot tell a lie, but do you have the courage to take a winless Browns team that’s getting 11 points on the road? (Okay, neither do I.)
Anyways, here are the standings after five weeks:
Eagles +3.5 over PANTHERS
While I was wildly impressed with the Panthers after Cam Newton threw all over a good Lions secondary, there hasn’t been a more consistently good team (outside of the Chiefs) than the Eagles. Their only loss came to those Chiefs and that was a competitive road loss. Coin toss pick: Panthers
FALCONS -12.5 over Dolphins
Miami in 30th in passing yards, 31st in rushing yards, 32nd in overall yards and dead last in points per game. They are averaging 10.2 points per contest.
We’ve seen lazy Jay Cutler before, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him standing the wrong way on a shotgun snap in the fourth quarter here. Coin toss pick: Dolphins
Packers -3 over VIKINGS
It looks like Sam Bradford is back on the shelf after getting frozen in carbonite in the pocket last week against the Bears. That means Case Keenum is back there and the Vikings offense will be screwed again, even facing a poor Packers defense.
I imagine this will be a close game, and that could end up in a bad beat with the Packers still winning the game, but I imagine Aaron Rodgers will do just enough to hand Minnesota their second division loss at home. Coin toss pick: Packers
Saints vs. Lions
Come back later. Coin toss pick: Saints -5.5
Patriots -11 over JETS
The Jets are somehow 3-2 this year, but they still haven’t scored more than 23 points in a game. Their wins have come against the Jaguars, Dolphins and Browns, so there’s not a lot to read into those. The Patriots, on the other hand, may not be as bad as advertised. Their two losses, Panthers and Chiefs, look acceptable, and although their defense remains in tatters, their offense is still humming along with or without Gronk. Con toss pick: Jets
WASHINGTON -11 over 49ers
I absolutely hate taking this many big favorites, but there are six of 14 favorites giving up a touchdown or more this week. The 49ers aren’t just 0-5, but they’ve lost to the Cardinals, Colts, Rams and Seahawks (and Panthers). Their next three games are against the top three teams in the NFC East, which means they are staring down barrel of 0-8.
Circle November 12 in your calendars. We could be looking at the 0-9 49ers vs. the 0-8 Giants. Coin flip pick: 49ers
Bears +7 over RAVENS
Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m scared of Mitchell Trubisky. I was really hoping Mike Glennon would show something resembling quarterbacking in the first few months of the season, so the Lions could avoid the potential embarrassment of losing to a rookie quarterback with nothing to play for. But now the table is set for disappointment.
Anyways, the Bears defense is good and the Ravens are crazy inconsistent. This one stays within a touchdown the entire game. Coin flip pick: Bears
TEXANS -11 vs. Browns
This is all I need to justify this pick:
Deshaun Watson going for 5 tuddies this week. Coin flip pick: Browns
Buccaneers -1 over CARDINALS
Arizona’s offense is a mess and yet adding Adrian Peterson may still be subtraction by addition. The Cardinals haven’t scored 20 points since Week 1 against the Lions, and the Bucs’ defense is at least formidable. I think this one has blowout written all over it. Coin flip pick: Cardinals.
Rams +2.5 over JAGUARS
The Jaguars are involved, so I just went with a whatever the coin said. Coin flip pick: Rams.
CHIEFS -4.5 over Steelers
You know what’s good for the soul after throwing five picks in a game, including two pick-sixes? A bye week. You know what the worst possible thing you could do the following week is? Face the Kansas City Chiefs defense. Unfortunately, Ben Roethlisberger has to do the latter. The Chiefs only have three interceptions on the year, but the Jaguars didn’t have any before Big Ben came into town.
Plus this game is at Arrowhead? Steelers fans are going to be in full panic mode after this week. Coin flip pick: Chiefs.
RAIDERS (even) over Chargers
Derek Carr is playing this week. That’s all I need to know. The NFL has sorely missed the Raiders winning and Marshawn Lynch dancing. It all returns this week. Coin flip pick: Raiders.
Broncos -13 over Giants
Giants cornerbacks are literally quitting on the team. Their top two starting wide receivers are now both out for the year. Eli Manning doesn’t want to be traded, for some reason. So you’re left with a bad offense that can’t even sport a professional set of wide receivers against one of the best defenses in the league. Play this on Halloween because it’s going to get bloody. Coin flip pick: Broncos.
TITANS (even) over Colts
The Titans have been one of the bigger disappointments in the AFC thus far, but the Colts have proven to be nothing without Andrew Luck, as we have all expected. It’s really hard for me to pick Tennessee after they were blown out by the Texans and lost to friggin Jay Cutler, but I don’t see how the Colts are the better team in any facet of the game. Coin flip pick: Colts.