Week 16: Say it ain't So-So!

We waited to post these picks as long as possible to know if Aaron Rodgers would protect his SAG eligibility, i mean health, by sitting out these last two weeks and surveying the damage that he’s done this year to this once-proud franchise. All we wanted for Christmas was to see Kizer So-So taking snaps again in the NFL, but it looks like Rodgers is ready to go. We wish you better luck than ours getting what you want. Merry Christmas!

TENNESSEE (8-6) -9.5 vs.  Washington (7-7) 

Tennessee’s resurgent defense versus Josh Johnson. Josh Johnson seems like a really good dude. He’s been on 12 different teams in his career, and hasn’t seemed to make a mark anywhere. His rallying cry for the Skins right now is “What do we really have to lose?” Which is kind of funny in a Bad News Bears, Cleveland Indians in Major League kind of way.

Hopefully for his sake he doesn’t leave a mark on the turf in Tennessee where the TItans D-line plants him into the ground.

Titans -9.5
2 fireball shots

LA CHARGERS (11-3) -4.5 vs. Baltimore (8-6) 

Its possible for the Ravens to win out and miss the playoffs at 10-6. The Chargers have clinched a playoff spot but they really want the AFC West division crown to get the 1st round bye and avoid a potential trip to Foxboro to play New England in the cold. This is going to be a good, close game. They talked to the Charger fan to make sure he was available for the Saturday kickoff. He said maybe.

Ravens +4.5
1 fireball shot

CAROLINA (6-8) -2.5 vs. Atlanta (5-9)


The Panthers are inexplicably not out of the playoff hunt. But did you watch the game last week? Cam is definitely hurt. He’s got a dead shoulder. There’s nothing you can do but rest it and do lots and lots of exercises to strengthen the little stabilizer muscles. Cam is a monster but structural issues in your throwing arm are not good for your long-term success.

Oh and by the way: Atlanta is going to troll their fans by looking good for the last 3 weeks of the season, including last week. Fun times!

Falcons +2.5
3 Fireball Shots!

Minnesota (7-6-1) -5.5 @ DETROIT (5-9) 

Our readers are smart. We know that you know that we know that you know that a wild-card loss was the inescapable result of this season for the Vikings. You start the year with Super Bowl hopes, and then you add in the Cousins discount, and you get to week 1 playoff loss.

But they’ll make it look good getting there. They need this one (and a little help) to clinch this week.

Vikings -5.5
2 fireball shots

PHILADELPHIA (7-7) -1.5 vs. Houston (10-4) 

Philly has to win out and get help from Minnesota and or Dallas to make the playoffs. Houston has moved all the way up to the 2 seed in the AFC and are riding a 10-1 streak. It’s going to be a good game, but theres a difference between playing for your season and playing for a slightly better playoff position.

Also, we want to see Nick Foles take the Eagles to the Super Bowl again. It would create an epic QB dilemma for Philly fans. Would Wentz ever recover from being the second fiddle in Philly? Sounds like another guy we know who’s a second fiddle by nobody’s fault:


Eagles -1.5
3 Fireball shots!


Green Bay (5-8-1) -0.5 @ NY JETS (4-10) 

Packer fans: You’re spared this for at least another week.

Jets +0.5
3 Fireball shots!

INDIANAPOLIS (8-6) -9.5 vs. NY Giants (5-9) 

The Colts need to win out and get just a little help to make the playoffs. The Giants need to win out to troll their fans and make sure that they finish just outside of the playoffs and pick 16th in the draft. But that’s OK. They can’t quit Eli so there’s no reason to get a high draft pick. Not for an offensive lineman or anyone like that.

It feels like we pick the Giants every week. First step is admitting you have a problem.

Colts -9.5
1 fireball shot

DALLAS (8-6) -7.5 vs. Tampa Bay (5-9) 

The Cowboys still control their playoff destiny. Win one of their next two and they win the division. It better be this week, because if they go to week 17 needing to beat the Giants to hold off the Eagles, who knows what’s going to happen.

We’re big believers in destiny. As in, “it’s Carson Wentz’ destiny to keep the Eagles’ playoff hopes alive for Nick Foles to step in and close the deal”, and “it’s the Chargers destiny to repeatedly break their fans’ hearts until there are no fans left.” When the Chargers flame out as a 13-3 wild card team, they will have fulfilled that destiny. For the Eagles to do the same the Cowboys need to win this game. So they will. But it will be close for 2 reasons: (1) Tampa Bay got humiliated last week by Atlanta and you should watch out for an emotional team that’s playing for pride, and (2) Dallas is not a very good football team.

The Jason Witten story this week was telling. The Cowboys need leadership desperately, so they had attempted to hire Witten away from his new gig on MNF to bring a grown-up presence back in the locker room. It would have been a mercy killing. Witten is as good an announcer as Dak is at making decisions in the pocket. Like the Cowboys with Dak,

MNF has decided that it’s good enough, and they’re bringing Witten back for 2019. Did the Giants help ESPN wtih that decision?

Bucs +7.5
2 fireball shots

MIAMI (7-7) -4.5 vs. Jacksonville (4-10)

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 I’m going with Miami!

MIAMI -4.5
3 Fireball Shots

NEW ENGLAND (9-5) -13.5 vs. Buffalo (5-9)

This may not be the end of the Brady/Bellichik era, but it’s drawing close. After losing a second game in a row, New England is 9-5. They will win the AFC East again, that’s a given. But the two-game losing streak will have them playing a week 1 playoff game for the first time since 2009 when they lost to Baltimore 33-14.

The Patriots will be without Josh Gordon who is facing another suspension from the NFL. It’s really unfortunate that the NFL continues to penalize Gordon who is facing the personal demons of addiction. The focus and sanctions that the NFL has placed on Gordon are comical considering the current state of the league with regards to player safety, on and off field violence and domestic battery arrests. Gordon is facing a potential lifetime ban for his latest failed test. This is a penalty that has rarely been handed down and is usually used in extreme circumstances. Given the NFL’s history of handing down suspensions of zero to 16 games for players accused of domestic violence, vehicular manslaughter, sexual assault, rape and even a double murder, it’s a travesty that Gordon has been so penalized. I will never understand the way the NFL has handled this situation and I think they should be embarrassed by their decisions on this matter.


Buffalo will be viewing this game like their Super Bowl. And we all know what Buffalo does in Super Bowls, they lose. And they will lose this game, just not by more than 10. The Buffalo defense is top 5 in the league and they should be able to get to Brady. New England struggles against mobile QBs and that is Josh Allen’s game. New England wins 20-13, but Bills cover the spread.

Buffalo +13.5
2 Fireball Shots

CLEVELAND (6-7-1) -6.5 vs. Cincinnati (6-8)

In the battle of Ohio, I’m picking against whichever team has Hue Jackson on the sidelines.


1 Fireball Shot

LA Rams (11-3) -13.5 @ ARIZONA (3-11)

Arizona is dead last this season, scoring only 13.7 points per game. The Rams are 2nd in the league scoring 32 points per game.

Arizona head coach Steve Wilks is the betting favorite to be the next coach fired and it’s justified. The Cardinals will likely go into 2019 with a new head coach and the number one pick in the draft.

LA Rams -13.5
1 Fireball Shot

Chicago (10-4) -3.5 @ SAN FRANCISCO (4-10)

The Bears clinched the NFC North division title and a playoff spot with a win over the Packers last week. This is the first division title for the Bears since 2010. 2010 is also the last time the Bears made the playoffs. As a result, I think they come out flat this week in San Francisco.  

The Bears have not exactly been tearing it up on the road this season. Bears are 3-3 on the road including loses to the Giants, Dolphins and Packers. They won by 2 in Arizona and 7 in Detroit. The only convincing road win came in week 9 at Buffalo.  

San Francisco is coming off a big win over Seattle. This team is clearly still playing hard despite the 4-11 record. Last time these two teams met was a 15-14 San Francisco victory in Dec. 2017. I’m expecting a similarly close game.

2 Fireball Shots 

NEW ORLEANS (12-2) -5.5 vs. Pittsburgh (8-5-1)

 Saints defensive lineman Cam Jordan made headlines this week when he said Ben Roethlisberger is not in the top 5 QBs of this generation. Jordan made some good points until he included Eli Manning in the Top 5. But seriously, since 2000, the NFL has enjoyed a great run of excellent quarterbacks. With all due respect to Cam Jordan, here is my top 5 QB’s of since 2000.

  1. Tom Brady

    • Entered league in 2000 and still going

    • Five Super Bowls

    • Currently 3rd all-time with 512 passing TDs and 4th all-time with 70,138 passing yards

  2. Peyton Manning

    • Played 1998 to 2015

    • One Super Bowl

    • Career leader in passing TDs with 539 and 2nd all-time with 71,940 passing yards

  3. Drew Brees

    • Entered league in 2001 and still going

    • One Super Bowl

    • Career leader in passing yards with 74,111 and 2nd all-time with 519 TDs

  4. Aaron Rodgers

    • Entered league in 2005 and still going

    • One Super Bowl

    • All-time leader in passer rating at 103.1

    • Has only thrown 80 INTs (Brady 169, Brees 233 and P. Manning 251)

    • 2nd only to Peyton Manning in most commercial appearances by a QB

  5. Brett Favre

    • Played 1991 to 2010

    • One Super Bowl

    • 4th all-time with 508 passing TDs and 3rd all-time with 71,838 passing yards

    • Career leader in INTs with 336 and getting sacked 525

So maybe Cam Jordan was right. Big Ben is not in the top 5, but I have him 6th. For 6 through 10, I would go Roethlisberger, Rivers, Eli Manning, Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan. Big Ben gets the nod at 6 over Rivers due to the 2 Super Bowls.

Back to this game. Pittsburgh had a big home win vs the Pats last week. But winning in New Orleans is a whole different ball game. I expect the Saints offense to get back on track and the New Orleans defense has been playing very well the past few games.

1 Fireball Shot

Kansas City (11-3) -2.5 @ SEATTLE (8-6)

Kansas City has been a different team since losing Kareem Hunt. They have won 2 of their last 3 games without Hunt, but all were one score games that could have gone either way. By no means is the offense struggling, it just doesn’t have the same mojo. Especially with Tyrek Hill slowed by a variety of injuries.  


Throw out last week’s OT loss in San Francisco for the Seahawks. That game was the 49ers “Super Bowl” and they played their best game of the season. The decision didn’t hurt or help Seattle’s playoff position so they were clearly looking ahead to this week’s battle with KC. I fully expect Seattle to be back on track this week.

Seattle, #1 in the league in rushing, should be able to control the game against KC’s defense, 27th in the league. If Seattle can keep Mahomes off the field as much as possible, they should be able to win easily.

3 Fireball Shots

Denver (6-8) -2.5 @ OAKLAND (3-11)

Christmas Eve in Oakland! Thanks NFL for an early lump of coal in our Christmas stocking with this terrible game.

Merry Christmas!

1 Fireball Shot