Week 9: It's a Tie!

  • 5-0 in the late games last week. 8-6 overall.

  • MeUndies Backdoor Cover of the Week: Titans +6.5

  • “It could be worse” History Lesson Pick of the Week: Chargers +1.5


SAN FRANCISCO (1-7) -2.5 vs. Oakland (1-6)

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Damn you NFL for making me watch every minute of these two crappy teams. There are 3 fun college games on if you can’t make it through this crap-fest.

 

PICK: SAN FRANCISCO -2.5
2 Fireball Shots


CAROLINA (5-2) -6.5 vs. Tampa Bay (3-4)

I’ve said it many times, I’m not a fan of Cam Newton and never have been. Since his time at Auburn as the highest paid college employee in the state of Alabama though every time he has stolen the spotlight from his Panthers teammates, my dislike of Cam has never wavered.  But I respect his talent and his game.

On the other hand, I’ve never been a fan of Jameis Winston’s antics or his game. Way too many questionable decisions in life and on the field. No need to dwell on his off-field mistakes, his play on the field has been bad enough. In his 49-game career, Winston has thrown 54 INTs and has fumbled 13 times. 67 turnovers in 49 games! This all came to a head last week when the Bucs benched Winston after his 4th INT of the game.

Enter Fitz-magic! After rallying the Bucs for an improbable 4th quarter comeback, Ryan Fitzpatrick was re-inserted as the starting QB. This is great news for those of you with Mike Evans or DeSean Jackson as Fitzpatrick has been magic this year with the long TD pass. But you know what else Fitzpatrick does well, turn the ball over. In 137 career games, Fitzpatrick has thrown 141 INTs and fumbled 44 times! That’s 185 turnovers – an almost identical per game turnover ratio (1.35/game) as Winston (1.36). Don’t count on the magic lasting too long this time around. Feel comfortable giving the 6.5 and start Carolina’s D in daily fantasy with expectation of at least one Pick 6.

PICK: CAROLINA -6.5
1 Fireball Shot


 WASHINGTON (5-2) -1.5 vs. Atlanta (3-4)

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A big deal was made this week when the Redskins traded for Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix to bolster their depleted secondary. Everyone seems to forget that the only All-NFL list Clinton-Dix has sniffed in the past 5 years is best name. With Alex Smith at QB, the Redskins are one of the most boring teams in the league. Somehow, they have managed to get to 5-2. Blame the pitiful NFC East.

The Falcons are coming off their bye week, healthier and better prepared for a strong second half. Hopefully, the Falcons offensive brain trust worked on some plays to get Julio Jones in the end zone. Jones is 2nd in the league in receiving yards, but has 0 touchdowns on the season. For comparison, including all position players, 202 players have caught a TD pass this year in the NFL. But Julio still has not. This is the week he breaks out – I’m sure of it (read: I have him on my fantasy team and I need a huge game from him).

PICK: Atlanta +1.5
3 Fireball Shots


MINNESOTA (4-3-1) -4.5 vs. Detroit (3-4)

The Lions traded Golden Tate to the Eagles this week for a 3rd round pick. With Tate’s contract up at the end of the season and his ridiculous contact demands, this was a great trade for the Lions.  It’s actually a great move for the Eagles too, but I’m not writing about them this week. Some may scoff at this trade thinking the Lions are giving up on the season, but they had a glut of good receivers and Tate was expendable. If Belichick made this move it would be hailed as genius especially by Belichick’s #1 fan Mike Lombardi. But it was Matt Patricia who made the move so it was only viewed as a positive move, not a work of genius.

Detroit is coming off a bad home loss to Seattle. Russell Wilson carved up the Lion’s secondary. Given what the Seahawks did last week, image what Kirk Cousins will be able to do with the receiving weapons the Vikings have? It’s not going to be pretty for the Lions.

The Vikings get a few starters back from injury this week as well so that should help shore up their biggest weakness. In the end, the Vikings will have too much fire power and will win in a shoot-out.

PICK: MINNESOTA -4.5
1 Fireball Shot


Chicago (4-3) -9.5 @ BUFFALO (2-6)

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The Bills made a game of last week and still managed to lose 25-6. Derek Anderson left the game with a concussion leaving the Nathan Peterman as the only healthy QB on the roster. The Bills quickly made moves this week signing Matt Barkley of the scrap heap. They also signed Terrell Pryor who is the most talented QB of the three, but now plays WR.

There is no possible way I can take the Bills here. I know it’s a home dog getting a bunch of points, but have you watched the Bills. They are really, really bad. Now with Peterman back at QB, watch out. Peterman thrown 81 career passes and 9 of them have been intercepted. Unless they spent extra time this week reminding Nathan Peterman which team to throw too, the Bills have no shot here.

To add further insult to Bills fans, here’s Josh Allen flossing:

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PICK: Chicago -9.5
3 Fireball Shots


MIAMI (4-4) -2.5 @ NY Jets (3-5)

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This game is a toss-up. Tough divisional match-up with lots of history between the two teams. I’ve gone back and forth on this one a bunch of times. The game is in Miami so heat and humidity come into play. But it’s November and this time of year is usually very pleasant in Miami (the weather, not the people). I give this advantage to the Dolphins.

Ryan Tannehill is still out for the Dolphins meaning Brock “The Heist” Osweiler will again get the start. Advantage: Jets

Given it’s a total toss-up, I’m taking the short home favorite.

PICK: MIAMI -2.5
3 Fireball Shots


 Kansas City (7-1) -8.5 @ CLEVELAND (2-5-1)

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Finally, the Hue Jackson era in Cleveland is over. With a record of 3-36-1 over the past two and a half years, the Browns decided it was finally time to make a change. Interestingly, the firing comes after latest Browns loss to the Steelers. In a strange coincidence, the last five Browns⁠’ head coaches -  Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, Pat Shurmur, Rod Chudzinski, Mike Pettine - were fired after the second Steelers’ game of that season. Make that six!

But the best part of this story is that it was Hue’s horrible record or string of poor coaching decisions that got him fired. It was the power struggle between him and offensive coordinator Todd Haley that resulted in both being fired on Monday. The feud between the two played out like a messy divorce with both sides fighting for custody of their precious child – Baker Mayfield. In the end, nothing could overcome the irreconcilable differences between the two and both were let go. Leaving the “crazy uncle” with a past record that includes “Bounty-gate”, Greg Williams, to take custody of young Baker. I’m certain this will end well for Browns fans.

Given the dysfunction in Cleveland, everyone will be on the Chiefs this week. I taking the contrarian play and going with the Browns. I think the team bands together and rallies now that Jackson and Haley are out of the picture.

PICK: CLEVELAND +8.5
2 Fireball Shots


BALTIMORE (4-4)  -2.5  vs  Pittsburgh (4-2-1)

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Pittsburgh is a late bloomer. Every year it seems like they start the season in complete disarray, somehow wind up 13-3, and flame out in the playoffs. They’re undefeated since a home loss to these same Ravens in Week 4, while the Ravens are 1-3. Two teams going in the opposite directions. But in an AFC North rivalry game where the Ravens need the win to right the ship, we’re laying the points.

Ravens -2.5
2 Fireball shots


DENVER (3-5)  -2.5  vs  Houston (5-3)

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Demaryius Thomas homecoming! Broncos fans are the nicest fans in the league. They love their team and have completely realistic expectations about their performance. I’m sure DT will get a warm homecoming, even when he torches them for a few long plays down the field.

Houston is on the world’s worst 5-game win streak. Colts, Cowboys, Bills, Jags, Dolphins. They’ve been winning against the middle/bottom half teams …. And Denver is certainly one of those. The Texans have a legitimate shot at winning out. Not because they’re all that, but look at this second-half schedule: Broncos, Skins, Titans, Browns, Colts, Jets, Eagles, Jags. We could be looking at 12-4 or 13-3 come playoff time.

Texans +2.5
3 Fireball Shots!


SEATTLE (4-3)  -1.5  vs  LA Chargers (5-2)
The “It could be worse” History Lesson Pick of the Week

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A Chargers fan would handicap this game by assuming they’ll finish the season heartbroken. Since thy won’t catch the Chiefs, the most heartbreakingest way to accomplish this would be to be the league’s first 13-3 wild card team and lose in the first round. They have the Bengals, Chiefs, Ravens, and Steelers later in the year. So if they go 3-1 in those games and clean up Denver 2x, Oakland, Arizona, and Seattle, all 17 remaining Chargers fans will be perfectly positioned for what they know is coming.

So the history lesson. It may be heartbreaking to be a Chargers fan, but it could have been worse. The Chargers picked Eli Manning first in the 2004 draft. Eli famously refused to play for them, saying that he’d go to law school instead. The Chargers eventually traded him to the Giants, who picked up Rivers at #4 and shipped him off. Who knows what kind of pain Eli would have inflicted on this tortured fan base? I mean except for this classic draft day picture.

Chargers +1.5
2 Fireball shots


NEW ORLEANS (6-1)  -1.5  vs  LA Rams (8-0)

This is a bad matchup for the Rams. Despite their reputation, the Saints’ are allowing a league-low 3.2 yards per carry this year. The Rams give up a ton of points, despite their reputation. But Brees doesn’t perform nearly as well under pressure (insert joke here). It’s all up to A-aron Donald. If he gets pressure, this game isn’t going to be the shootout everyone has planned. We like under 60.  60! That’s a first half of a MAC college football game.

Saints -1.5
1 Fireball shot
Bonus Pick: Go watch you some MAC football. Unless you like defense.


NEW ENGLAND (6-2)  -5.5  vs  Green Bay (3-3-1)

It’s tempting to pick this game as our backdoor cover of the week. But we don’t think it’ll happen. Green Bay will win this one on the field. Even Belichick cant hide the fact that James White, as great as he is as a pass-catcher and in the open field, is not an every down workhorse back. Green Bay will be able to get away with dropping 8 men into coverage and daring Brady to beat them.

Packers +5.5
1 Fireball shot


DALLAS (3-4)  -6.5  vs  Tennessee (3-4)
*MeUndies Backdoor Cover of the Week*

We don’t understand this line. Two mediocre teams. The Titans every game close (except Baltimore), and were back to their old tricks last week, losing by 1 to the Chargers because they went for a last-play 2pt conversion instead of playing it safe and going to OT. They missed but were lauded for the guts to go for the win. Welcome to the new NFL. Punters are marked for extinction. Non-gunslingers need not apply.

Tennessee +6.5
3 Fireball Shots!