Category Archives: NFC

Patriots Schedule Released; Complete 2017 Patriots Preview

The Patriots schedule has been released for the 2017 regular season and the Super Bowl champs will take on the Kansas City Chiefs to start off the season. Let’s take a look at the rest of the schedule and see what we could prepare for from the reigning Super Bowl champs this season.


The Pats will raise banner number five against the Chiefs on Thursday Night September 7th and can fully expect the Patriots and the Gillette Stadium crowd to be as fired up as ever and come out with a win over the Chiefs. The Patriots will follow up by traveling down to New Orleans to take on Brandin Cooks now former team the Saints. As of now the Saints have only taken a step backwards with trading Cooks to New England and still has a lackluster defense that the Patriots offense should carve up. There’s still some chance that cornerback Malcolm Butler could be traded to the Saints before next week’s NFL Draft and even so I would fully expect the Patriots to come out with a win against the Saints.

Pats Chiefs LA Times

The Patriots will then travel back to Foxboro for back to back home games with the Houston Texans and Carolina Panthers. New England has had Houston’s number over the past several years and it hasn’t been close. The Patriots will come out and win this game easily. Carolina suffered a Super Bowl hangover last season following their embarrassing loss to the Denver Broncos and had a down season. Carolina struggled on both sides of the ball last season following the departure of cornerback Josh Norman and average play by quarterback Cam Newton. Carolina was fairly quiet this offseason, even trading defensive end Kony Ealy to the patriots for relatively nothing. New cornerback Stephon Gilmore’s big frame and physical style of play should be a good matchup against Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and the Patriots should come out this game with a win.

The Patriots then travel down to Tampa Bay for a Thursday Night matchup against the Buccaneers. This could be a game the Patriots struggle in for a few different reasons and one that may be overlooked by some. Thursday Night games are always tough with it being a short week, especially for the away teams who have to travel. The Buccaneers also made a big signing this offseason in wide receiver DeSean Jackson who should pair up nicely with one of the best wide receivers in the league in Mike Evans and give quarterback Jameis Winston another deep threat.  This could give New England’s defense some problems trying to cover the two wide receivers all game. Tampa Bay’s defense though still isn’t very good and shouldn’t be able to stop the Patriots high powered offense. This should be a very good, close game and give the Patriots their first real test early on in the season.

Mike Evans yahoo

The Patriots then travel to New York to take on the Jets. With how good this Patriots team should be and how bad the Jets are going to be the Pats could drop 50 on the Jets and win this game easily.

Then the matchup were all going to be waiting for, the Super Bowl rematch. The Patriots will take on the Atlanta Falcons as a rematch of the greatest Super Bowl of all-time. I don’t see the Pats losing 28-3 at one point but do expect a truly great game as both teams have only gotten better since the end of the season. This could be a potential game the Patriots could lose going up against another great team in the Falcons, but with it being at Gillette and what the atmosphere is going to be like the Patriots should win this game.

Edelman catch nydailynews

The Patriots will stay at home for a matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers. Whenever I watched the Chargers last year my respect for Phillip Rivers only got higher as he made that Chargers team average with not much around him. Should be a fairly easy win for the Patriots heading into the bye week.

Following the bye week things will get interesting as the Patriots will travel to Denver to take on the Broncos and then Mexico City to take on the Raiders. These will both be tough games for the Pats traveling to the west coast. While Denver isn’t quite the team they were a few years ago they always play the patriots well, and the Patriots always struggle in Denver. Last year Marcus Cannon was the complete opposite of what he was again Denver in the AFC Championship game from the year before when Von Miller kept blowing by him like he was a revolving door. With a new coach in Vance Joseph and no more Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator the Patriots should be able to pull out a win in Denver where they tend to struggle. The Patriots then head down to Mexico City to take on the Raiders in what could be an AFC Championship game preview. The Raiders are one of the best young teams in the league with a great young quarterback in Derek Carr, who I love as a player. The Raiders have a great offensive line and two very good receivers in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree and could be getting Marshawn Lynch to come out of retirement to handle the teams running back duties. Oakland’s defense was average last year even with the great play of Khalil Mack. The Raiders will have to look to address their secondary in the draft to get better. The Patriots offense shouldn’t have too much of a problem against this Raiders defense and should be a great game. Due to the travel and tough competition the Patriots going 1-1 in this stretch isn’t out of the question.

Brady spike proplayerinsiders

The Patriots will then head back home for a game against the Miami Dolphins, who made the playoffs last year for the first time since 2008. The Dolphins have a pretty good, young talented roster with wide receivers Davante Parker and Jarvis Landry, who said the Dolphins would sweep the Patriots, and running back Jay Ajayi who had a big emergence in the second half of the season last year. Should be a good, tough AFC East matchup that I expect the Patriots to win at home.

The Patriots then have a three game stretch of away games against Buffalo, Miami and Pittsburgh. The Patriots have tended to struggle some against Tyrod Taylor and his mobility over the past several seasons but always come out with a win. The Patriots then travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins for the second time in as many weeks. The Patriots have had a history of struggling against the Dolphins in Miami and seeing the teams in as many weeks the teams should be prepared for each other’s game plans. This game could mean more for Miami fighting for a wild card spot than it does the Patriots at this point in the season. After that the Patriots travel back up the east coast to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in an AFC Championship game rematch, where the Patriots just completely dominated the Steelers. I don’t expect the Steelers to come out as flat as they did in January and make this an actual game against the Pats. Pittsburgh has a very talented offense with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback and Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, who are some of the top guys at their positions. The past few years the Steelers have seemed to come out flat against the Pats and the Pats have gotten the better of the Steelers. Possible AFC Championship game preview in what should be a good game. The Patriots going 2-1 on a three game road stretch could definitely happen, I think that loss could come against Miami as the game could be the difference if making the playoffs or not for the Dolphins.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots

The Patriots then wrap up the regular season at home with back to back games against AFC East opponents Bills and Jets. These should both be two easy wins for the Pats to finish the season off with headed into the playoffs. It wouldn’t be a surprise to me though if the Patriots rest everyone week 17 against the Jets and the Jets win and screw up their spot in the draft in classic Jets fashion.

Overall, I think the Pats will finish the regular season at 13-3 and the number one seed in the AFC. Of course I want to say 16-0 but outside of the 2007 season it just something that doesn’t happen and I would rather be realistic. I expect the Patriots to drop one of the two tough road games on the west coast against good opponents and tough places to play. The three game road stretch at the end of the season is also tough and a lot of travel which could affect the team. There will then be one game where the patriots come out flat against a team they shouldn’t, it happens every year. Ultimately the Patriots finish up as the number one seed in the AFC and Super Bowl favorites.

My Thanks to the 2015 Patriots

Payton Manning vs Tom Brady (Photo:
Payton Manning vs Tom Brady (Photo:

Well, it’s finally settled in now. The Patriots lost a hard fought AFC Championship game in Denver last Sunday. It gives Patriots Nation a chance to look back on the season as a whole and see what helped, or hurt, leading up to the playoff loss.

The first thing that comes to my mind is the choice to rest banged up starters, and play “preventative” offense week 17 in Miami, seriously, if you aren’t going to the big dance, why rest them right? Nah, Bill was setting the team up for their best shot at a repeat SB run. Face it, we are spoiled as fans of the greatest NFL team over the better part of 2 DECADES…. ( yes decades, plural ) that is insane! In a time of parody within the league (trying to move the best to the bottom, and the worst to the top) Belichick has continued to have the Patriots in playoff position almost every year since he started as head coach.

Chew on this for a minute, have you ever noticed as a fan, whenever the Patriots lose, we catch flak from the opposing fanbases? You know why? (That’s right, they expected the Pats to win) That’s what they’ve been doing and what they will continue to do as long as Belichick’s system is run like it has been run. (In case you haven’t heard…. he’s a genius)

Belichick is on to 2016 and so am I, the Superbowl is in a couple weeks, and I don’t really care who wins. My thoughts are that Denver will get embarrassed on the biggest stage once again, but I’m really starting to be rubbed the wrong way by Cam Newton’s antics and attitude, so it wouldn’t bother me if they called the game at 0-0 after 40 over times and declared both teams losers.

Bottom line is I’ll always be a Patriots fan, I was a fan when they couldn’t play their way out of a wet paper bag, and this year’s team played their asses off, overcame most of their injuries and came up short. Hell there’s 28 teams that didn’t do as good as the Patriots did! I WANT TO THANK THE 2015 PATRIOTS  AND THE STAFF FOR A GREAT SEASON!! AND WISHING THEM ALL THE BEST IN 2016!! #GOPATS

Patriots Fans: Don’t Hit the Panic Button

Thirty-one franchises across the league are given a four game preseason to get their teams ready for a four month long grind, consisting of sixteen games a bye week somewhere in the middle. Teams battle across eight divisions looking to win a hat and t-shirt made by some six year old over in Uganda that crowns them champions of their division. Being from New England, hat and t-shirt day is basically an annual holiday. We’ve come to expect that we will see grown men wearing their hats sideways with a t-shirt draped over their shoulder pads, and Matthew Slater chanting his typical “How do we feel, about another AFC East title” when he breaks down the team. There are drastic highs and drastic lows throughout the year for every franchise. Some teams, like the Colts, said winning a week four game against the Titans is the best day of their lives. Yes, this is coming from a coach who was there for his daughters being born, oh and yeah the guy beat something called cancer as well. The Indianapolis Drug Lord, whom has blocked me on all social media, already made the move of the off-season by resigning Pagano AND Grigson until the next decade begins. Can we get a slow golf clap for the Indianapolis franchise?

The moral of the story here is that one franchise is annually gifted a twenty game preseason. They play down at 1 Patriot Place and have successfully secured a first round bye for the millionth year in a row. Football doesn’t start in New England in September. It starts when the playoffs start, and that is all that matters. Am I a bit concerned with the play of this team over the last six weeks? I’d be lying if I didn’t die and had my family start planning funeral arrangements when our hero got his ankles rolled up on by that monster Suh. Remember when Pete said, “Oh No!” when Wilson threw the ball into Butler’s arms on the final play of the Super Bowl? Well that was me hiding under a blanket seeing Brady go down on Sunday. I resembled a child watching a scary movie for the first time. You saw the pain in the post-game press conference as well. Granted he is in Miami, and Tom Brady can wear whatever he wants in Miami, but the guy forgot his belt. Unless that is some new fashion power move that I can’t wrap my brain around, he also had a stiff limp to go along with it, which concerned me. Now, if it means wearing no belt with the shirt tucked in is the way to go, I’m throwing every one of my belts in the trash the second I get home.

But as I’ve said countless times in the past, not all heroes wear capes. It has been well documented Brady has some personal trainer, Alex Guerrero, who has been compared to Mr. Miyagi. Sources have confirmed Brady was seen walking in the locker room yesterday with ZERO limp. Explain this one to me. How does arguably the most violent defender in all of football roll up on you, murders your ankle, and you’re “fresh as lettuce” two days later? If this doesn’t have Alex Guerrero’s finger prints all over it then call me crazy. Maybe Brady loaded up on avocado ice cream? Maybe he didn’t have his “trickle of tomato” that month. Those who have zero clue what I am talking about, Brady swears off fruit because it has too much sugar and tomatoes cause inflammation. Brady’s cheat day consists of a banana. I can’t begin to wrap my head around the Brady family diet, and I don’t want to. It seems like a very scary place.

The play of this team shouldn’t cause much of an alarm compared to prior Super Bowl winners. Each of the last five Super Bowl winners haven’t exactly set the world on fire going into the playoffs. Belichick had his team back to the facility yesterday, while Denver is waiting until Thursday just for meetings. Is there any merit to that? No, but I’ll take Bill’s word over The Werewolf who coaches in Denver. The Patriots will be prepared, a bit more healthy, and ready to roll. Remember the last time someone called them dead? Well I do. It was Trent Dilfer after getting shoved into a locker on Monday Night Football by Kansas City. We came back the following week, against a team we very well may be hosting here next week, and threw a forty spot up on them. Then we head to Denver, if they can get by whomever they have to play in the first round. We all know Manning is starting over the kid from Twilight, and I’d rather murder Peyton again and send him to the grave once and for all. It is going to be a great month of football regardless of which team you root for. Grab yourself a handful of lentils and treat yourself to some avocado ice cream and enjoy the ride.

Rory’s Corner: Week 17 Picks

We’ve reached the final week of the NFL regular season, and I for one am glad. I’m a fan of a lot of sports, but I’m definitely a football guy first. I love college football, and I love the NFL, but even me, the most avid football fan has been finding other things to do on my Sundays this year, because the games have been largely unwatchable. And the worst have been the primetime games. The Thursday night games are always awful, I stopped watching after about Week 2, the Sunday night games have had a lot of blowouts and bad matchups, and the Monday night games have been horrible matchups. There’s been a ton of injuries, and the quality of play has really suffered in my opinion. The Patriots, Panthers, Cardinals, and Seahawks are the only real Super Bowl contenders, and the rest of the league can be tough to watch. There’s been a lot of bad quarterback play, and fantasy football leagues are being decided by third string rookie running backs from Northern Iowa. It’s been a wonky year, let’s put the 2015 season behind us and hope for an entertaining postseason.

Jets (-2.5) over BILLS

This is probably the best game of the week. The Jets are very well coached and Fitzpatrick is playing like one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Something very interesting is the way Jet fans have reacted to their teams recently. When Rex was the coach they were either wildly confident or loudly complaining about how bad they were, kind of reflective of their Head Coach. This year they’ve been quietly confident, also reflective of their Head Coach. Teams usually take on the identity of their coach, and in this case the fan base has taken the identity of their coach as well, which is much more sustainable than the former.

Patriots (-9) over DOLPHINS

In most cases I would take the Dolphins to cover here, just because it seems like the Patriots are trying to get to the postseason as healthy as possible, but let’s face it, the Dolphins suck. Throw in the fact that the Patriots have to give a crap about this game to make sure they get the one seed and I think they win easily. And for the record, I think it’s better for teams that are getting a bye to go all out the week before the playoffs. You don’t want two straight weeks of rest, just look at how the Patriots came out against the Ravens last year.

Saints (+5.5) over FALCONS

The Falcons had their Super Bowl last week beating the Panthers, they’ll probably have a letdown this week. The Saints aren’t a bad team, but of course they’re nowhere near great. Unless you have Devonta Freeman or Julio Jones on your fantasy championship team, don’t watch this game. Seriously, if you have Tim Hightower on your team and you’re in the championship it doesn’t count.

BENGALS (-9.5) over Ravens

I’m a little surprised the line was this big with the Bengals on a short week and the Ravens coming off a big win over the Steelers. Much like the Falcons, that was the Ravens Super Bowl and I don’t expect Ryan Mallett to put together back-to-back good weeks. I don’t hate A.J. McCarron, the guy made some good throws late in the game and didn’t try to do too much. He has a great team around him and I think the Bengals will be just fine in the playoffs. Of course, they’re not winning a Super Bowl with him, but they were a longshot to do that with Andy Dalton.

Steelers (-10.5) over BROWNS

Steelers fans I have good news for you. Even though you lost to the terrible Ravens to blow your chance at the playoffs, with the way the wonky NFL has gone this year the Jets will probably blow this and the Steelers will take care of business this week and still be in the playoffs. Honestly, as a Patriots fan I don’t know who I’d rather see right now.

Jaguars (+6.5) over TEXANS

The Texans are one of the worst playoff teams I can remember, but of course you get one of these horrible division winners every few years. This year we happen to have two. I still like the Jaguars offense and feel like they should at least keep this game close. I can’t wait to pick against the Texans in round one.

COLTS (Even) over Titans

I refuse to analyze this game. Don’t watch it unless your name is Joey Bosa.

Redskins (+3.5) over COWBOYS

The Redskins will probably be resting guys, but I don’t think that really matters. I can’t see the Cowboys scoring much and the Redskins are going to want to keep the momentum they have going into the playoffs so even if they rest some starters it’s not like they’re just going to lay down and die.

GIANTS (-3.5) over Eagles

Anyone who reads this knows I’m a supporter of Chip Kelly. I think the Eagles were dumb to fire him. For all his skeptics, just know that he went 26-21 with two ten win seasons in three years. Jeff Fisher has had six winning seasons in 20 years and is considered a good coach. Kelly did that with Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez, and Sam Bradford at quarterback. The guy can coach and his fingerprints are all over the game. Good luck Philly, Andy Reid looks like he’s doing just fine without you.

Lions (-1) over BEARS

The Lions are still playing pretty well late in the year. In the words of Forrest Gump, “that’s all I have to say about that.”

Buccaneers (+10.5) over PANTHERS

I think the Panthers win this game it’ll be relatively close. The Bucs have a good young team looking to go out on a high note. The Panthers don’t have the pressure of an undefeated season anymore, so if they get an early lead I’d expect them to play it safe and not try to blow them out.

CHIEFS (-7) over Raiders

It’s a good thing the Chiefs have already clinched because I don’t know many times they’ve blown a stupid game against a non-playoff team in Week 17 to miss the playoffs in the last few years. They still have an outside chance to win the division so I’d expect them to play like it here.

Chargers (+9) over BRONCOS

The Broncos still need to win this game, but this isn’t a gimme. Philip Rivers is not afraid to go into Denver, and I can tell you that while they’ll never admit it, Bronco fans are a little scared of him no matter how bad the Chargers are. The Broncos might’ve won on Monday night but they’re inconsistent offensively and coming off of a short week. Look for a close game that the Broncos have to sweat out.

Seahawks (+6.5) over CARDINALS

I think the red-hot Cardinals win but I think it’s close. I’m not worried about Seattle’s loss last week. Just like the Patriots with the Jets, for some reason the Rams give the Seahawks a lot of trouble no matter how good or bad either team is. These are two of the four teams that can win the Super Bowl, and I hope we see this game again in the playoffs.

Rams (-3) over 49ERS

If the Rams win this game they’ll go 5-1 against the NFC West and finish 8-8 and miss the playoffs. I’d like to repeat a stat I mentioned earlier, Jeff Fisher has had six winning seasons out of 20 and is considered a good coach. Seems like an average coach to me.

PACKERS (-3) over Vikings

The Vikings had a huge win in primetime last week so there will probably be a natural letdown this week. Also, if they lose they’ll play either the Packers or Redskins in round one instead of the Seahawks. Call me crazy but I’d rather play the 8-8/9-7 Redskins than the two-time defending NFC Champions.


Jets Drop the Patriots in OT: Three Takeaways

Look, if Bill Belichick told me to light myself on fire and play Russian Roulette in the process, the first thing I’d ask if where is the match and who has the revolver? Did I scowl at the notion that he instructed Matthew (AC) Slater to kick off in overtime rather than receive? Absolutely, it is my job to question decisions like that. I love how the four letter network (ESPN) is talking more about Slater’s call than Peyton and his wife being part of some HGH drug cartel. Is Mark Brunell crying yet? Regardless, our boys dropped a close one yesterday. A few things became very apparent in yesterday’s loss to the New Jersey Jets. Before anyone jumps down my throat on this one, they play in New Jersey, not in New York.

Numero Uno – Belichick didn’t trust the Patriots offense. Plain and simple. Our hero spent more time on his back than he did on his honeymoon with Giselle. He was harassed all day and Marcus Cannon resembled a turn-style at times. Sea Bass went down with some sort of ankle injury, and it just snowballed from there. I can’t count how many tackles and offensive linemen this team has blown through, but the count is climbing by the week. You brought back the exiled Chris Harper, Brandon Lafell was virtually a non-factor, and Gronkowski was the only guy Brady really trusted throughout the day. And the running game resembled something you’d see from a Pop Warner team running east to west instead of north to south. Combine that with the defense playing fairly decent in the fourth quarter, Bill rolled the dice and lost.

Second – Malcolm Butler Gets Beat…. A lot. Look, the guy never has to buy another drink in the New England region ever again. He made the biggest play in Super Bowl history and murdered the Seahawks in the process. However, he is CONSTANTLY out of position, struggles against bigger/physical receivers, and really struggles in press coverage. Having said that, he is the best cornerback they have and will be an important cog in the defensive machine come January. He is a young player and he should grow into a top tier cornerback. But let’s not anoint him the next Deion Sanders. He is a glorified James Sanders at this stage of his career, minus the murder of the Seahawks.

Lastly – Winning The Coin Toss Means Squat – I love the kill them, go into halftime, and kill them again trick as much as the next guy. We’ve seen it more times than I can remember from Brady and the Patriots. I still can’t wrap my head around sitting on the ball at the thirty-five yard line with two time outs before the half. Isn’t the point of deferring to get an extra possession to end the half and start the second half with the ball? This is the fourth time, FOURTH, that they have done it this year. I don’t want to hear injuries are a part of this either. You have the best quarterback and best kicker on the planet, whom very rarely let you down. Put some stock in them and let them do what they do best.

But let’s bring things back to reality for a second. The number one seed is still well within reach. Indianapolis went down there and beat them with a guy who has a ponytail. Yes, he has a legit ponytail. I’m hoping Miami crawls into their off season hole by halftime and we can see Jimmy G sling it for a bit to close out the game. Pittsburgh is on the outside looking in and Kansas City all but wrapped up the five seed. More than likely they will be heading to Houston and the Jets will head to play the Bengals or the Broncos. I could care less who ends up where, because if this team gets healthy, Giselle and the other wives should just start booking wine tastings in Napa now for the first week of February.

Rory’s Corner: Week 15 NFL Picks

I have a confession to make. Last night I watched everything I could besides the football game. Sure I flipped over a few times. But I chose Cavs-Thunder over the football game. I watched the Avalanche play the Islanders in hockey over the football game. Heck, I even watched some women’s volleyball over the football game. I’m not naive, I know that the football game probably still embarrassed those others in ratings, but I’m tired of these Thursday night games. They’re horrible, they usually involve bad teams, the quality of play is wretched, and they’re largely unwatchable. On to Week 15.

Jets (-3.5) over COWBOYS

The Cowboys are horrible. I’m not going to pick them with Matt Cassel, Brandon Weeden, or whatever pedestrian quarterback they want to bring in over the Jets who are a playoff team. Fitzpatrick’s played well the last few weeks, they have some real talent on the perimeter, and their defense is going to eat the Cowboys alive. This is one of the easiest picks of the week.

VIKINGS (-6) over Bears

I don’t feel good about this, I don’t like laying this many points with the Vikings but they need to win this game. They’re trying to keep pace with the Packers, and one thing you can say about the Vikings this year is that outside of the opening game in San Francisco, they’ve taken care of teams they should take care of.

JAGUARS (-3) over Falcons

Is it crazy to say that the Jaguars have the third best offense in the AFC? With no Andy Dalton, it might not be. They just put up 51 points against the Colts who are a possible playoff team. And since Week 5, no one has thrown for more touchdowns than Blake Bortles. Forget the Brady/Cam debate, Blake Bortles for MVP!

Texans (Even) over COLTS

I’m so excited for the T.J. Yates vs. Charlie Whitehurst showdown to possibly decide the AFC South. There’s only about 498 things I would rather watch. I’ll pick the Texans because they do have J.J. Watt, a real defense, and some playmakers on offense. Plus T.J. Yates has won a playoff game, and Charlie Whitehurst looks like some annoying douche who plays guitar, smokes weed, and acts like he’s so much smarter than you because he’s “finding himself” or something. That’s not what I want in my quarterback.

GIANTS (+4.5) over Panthers

If the Panthers win this game they’re going 16-0. But they’re banged up, and their defense has proven to be vulnerable to vertical offenses like the Saints. The Giants offense is really starting to get going, Jason Pierre-Paul is getting better every play, and Odell Beckham is the best receiver in the league right now. I like the Giants at home for the upset.

PATRIOTS (-14) over Titans

Remember the last two weeks when we were freaking out about the Patriots? Now they’re in first place in the AFC, they have the best pass rush they’ve had in years, Gronk’s healthy and the only real threat in the AFC, Pittsburgh, isn’t even in the playoffs right now. It must be so frustrating to root against the Patriots, if you do I hope you enjoyed the last two weeks because it’s back to reality for you.

Bills (-1.5) over REDSKINS

This game opened as a pick ’em, then quickly moved to the Bills -1.5. The Redskins aren’t a great team. The Bills roster is much better than the Redskins, but of course they’ll keep it close by taking a bunch of stupid penalties and bad turnovers. At the end of the day, they’re just a much better team.

Chiefs (-7) over RAVENS

I keep waiting for the classic Andy Reid meltdown at the end of the season. It tried really hard to happen last week, but then Danny Woodhead dropped the game-tying touchdown and the Chargers center forgot to snap the ball. But now the Chiefs are just two games behind the Broncos who still have to play the Steelers and Bengals, and the Ravens are starting Jimmy Clausen at quarterback. I think if the Chiefs can score seven points they’ll cover.

SEAHAWKS (-15) over Browns

This line scares me a little bit, but the Seahawks are red hot right now. Their young offensive line is starting to come into their own, and Russell Wilson is living up to his contract. No one wants to see this Seattle team right now, they’re getting hot at exactly the right time just like last year.

Packers (-3) over RAIDERS

I love the Raiders. They’re primed to contend in 2016. They have an exciting young core in Carr/Cooper/Mack, they’re moving to LA pretty soon, and their about to be very attractive to free agents. All that being said, they’re young, and they’re coming off a huge win over the Broncos, so they are due for a letdown. The Packers have a lot more riding on this game, and they do have Aaron Rodgers, I’ll take them to cover easily.

Broncos (+6.5) over STEELERS

I can’t wait to watch the explosive Steelers offense match up with the Broncos lockdown secondary and relentless pass rush. The Broncos are playing for a first round bye and need to keep winning to clinch their division. I will say, the fact that people are starting to doubt Osweiler is music to Patriot fan’s ears. 100/100 would rather Peyton Manning come to Foxborough for the AFC Championship than Brock Osweiler, and the former looks a lot more likely than the latter.

Dolphins (+1.5) over CHARGERS

The Chargers have kind of thrown in the towel on the season. Their offense hasn’t looked good in weeks, and Rivers is starting to wear down as older quarterbacks do towards the end of the season. The Dolphins offense looked a lot better with Zac Taylor calling plays last week. They’ve been able to establish a running game, and Tannehill made some nice throws.

Bengals (-6) over 49ERS

I’m not ready to freak out over the Andy Dalton injury like everyone else. The Bengals have the most complete roster in the league. Dalton is of course better than A.J. McCarron, but he wasn’t carrying the team. McCarron was thrown into the game he wasn’t expecting to play in and of course struggled, but he still made a few plays and he’ll have a gameplan built around him this week. Maybe I watch to much college football, but I don’t think losing Andy Dalton is a death sentence to the Bengals.

Cardinals (-3.5) over EAGLES

The Eagles are the worst team to bet on or against. They’re the type of team that can beat anyone or lose to anyone. While they’re playing their best football right now, the Cardinals are a much better team. They have a way better quarterback and a better defense. I respect what the Panthers have done, 13-0 is impressive even with as weak as the league’s been this year, but I think the Cardinals are the best team in the NFC.

Lions (+3) over SAINTS

The NFL really has screwed ESPN for whatever reason. There have been very few good Monday night games. At no point from the time they made the schedule to today has this looked like a good game. Do yourself a favor and spend time with your family or something.

NFL Record Last Week: 7-9-0

NFL Record Overall: 99-105-6


NFL Week Fifteen Power Rankings

Remember when we literally murdered the Texans on national TV back in 2012? They were the self-proclaimed “New Kings of the AFC” and even wore those cool varsity letterman jackets into Foxboro to prove it? That is the date of death that should be carved on the Texan’s tombstone. Houston never recovered from that and probably never will. You and I both saw the owner/founder being shown prior to kick-off last night down on the sidelines. If you think that guy isn’t being kept alive by machines or isn’t an actual marionette, you aren’t living in any semblance of reality. For the fiftieth time in a row, the Patriots threw the Texans into a locker, stole their lunch money, and grabbed their girlfriend’s asses in the process. It could have turned into a good ol’ smut film if Bill wanted it to, but I think he respects the guys who helped him win four Super Bowls on the other side of the field. Even with Goodell controlling the instant replay screw jobs, this game was never really in question. The number one seed is back in grasp and Dunkin Donuts is hemorrhaging money again today due to another Patriots win. They should replicate what Jordan’s furniture did after the Sox won the World Series, and make it a little more difficult to give away free product. #PrayForDunks

1) Carolina Panthers – Regardless of how much the media is throwing Cam Newton into our faces, he is the front runner for league MVP.

2) New England Patriots – The Kill Everybody Tour is back on.

3) Arizona Cardinals – Arizona made that game a lot closer than they had to. However, they are one of the most balanced teams in the league.

4) Denver Broncos – Queue the Peyton/Brock controversy discussions.

5) Green Bay Packers – Who would have thought the running game would be the reason the Packers won a game at home?

6) Cincinnati Bengals – The Ginger has a mangled thumb and AJ McCarron has a Top 5 Wife in the NFL.

7) Seattle Seahawks – Russell Wilson may have bounced back from being murdered at the Super Bowl. It only took him about nine months.

8) Kansas City Chiefs – See my comments on Pittsburgh. These guys are for real.

9) Pittsburgh Steelers – This is the team nobody wants to play come January, myself included.

10) New Jersey Jets – The Jets control their own destiny, and the Damon Waynes voice over guy has them playing great football.

11) Minnesota Vikings – Mike Zimmer outcoached himself on the road. Minnesota is slowly losing control of its season.

12) Oakland Raiders – Khalil Mack may end up killing someone on the field before the season is up. I think he may have decapitated a lineman in Denver already.

13) Buffalo Bills – Good job, good effort Buffalo, stick to making great wings and having an embarrassing fan base.

14) Indianapolis Colts– Chuck Pagano should start packing his office up now.

15) Houston Texans – JJ Watt had his worst game since his rookie season. Nothing pleases me more to see the biggest d-bag in the league struggle against a patchwork offensive line.

16) Philadelphia Eagles – If I was Chip Kelly, I’d put that punk McCoy on blast. Football is a business and he got a raw deal. Kelly apologized and called it a day.

17) New Jersey Giants – Eli Manning played like the game actually meant something to him. That could meant trouble for the rest of the NFC East.

18) Washington Redskins – I’d throw a million on the fact Desean Jackson ended up in some Asian massage parlor for a hamstring rub down after the Skins won.

19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – You can’t lose games at home this late in the year, especially teams with a below .500 record.

20) Atlanta Falcons – Matt Ryan forcing the ball to Julio, no defense, and undisciplined football. This has been the same story for Atlanta since week seven.

21) Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins could be the most underachieving team in the league.

22) St. Louis Rams – Todd Gurley is a freak of nature, but looks very fragile. Even when I was watching him in the NFL Play 60 commercial he looked like he’d snap in half.

23) New Orleans Saints – The Saints are getting production out of a guy from Hofstra and another whom was bagging groceries in the offseason.

24) Jacksonville Jaguars – What really goes on in those pools in Jacksonville? Why don’t they show them more on TV? There is definitely some type of Floridian white-trash orgy happening.

25) Cleveland Browns – Johnny Football would be a prime candidate for the 6,12,18,24 contest.

26) San Francisco 49ers – Has there been a bigger fall from grace over the last twenty four months than the Niners?

27) Dallas Cowboys – Jerry Jones is praying the Browns cut Johnny Football. Also, what happened to the pictures of him with party girls and his pants down?

28) Chicago Bears – Leave it to the Bears to let Washington win their first road game in fifty years.

29) Detroit Lions – Twenty million dollar decoys is just another example of Detroit doing Detroit things.

30) Baltimore Ravens – Deception. I’ll continue to use that word until Baltimore wins another game.

31) Tennessee Titans – Mariota may not leave Foxboro alive next week. I’m not even joking.

32) San Diego Chargers– Think being an NFL quarterback is the best job on the planet? Look at the beating Phillip Rivers took yesterday. Oh, and he has to go home to twenty something kids and a nagging wife whom wants more.

Week 14 Picks

For some reason, the Vikings were 10 point underdogs against the Cardinals last night. The Cardinals are one of the six true Super Bowl contenders in the league, but no one should be favored by that much on Thursday night. If we’ve learned anything from these Thursday night games, it’s that teams never play their best game, and they’re usually low scoring and sloppy. So, if any one is favored by double digits against a good team like the Vikings, take the points. On to Week 14.

EAGLES (Even) over Bills

Don’t look now, but the Eagles are tied at the top of the wretched NFC East, and they’re starting to look like the team everyone expected them to be. Sam Bradford is far from perfect, but he can make some throws. Chip Kelly has realized DeMarco Murray was a mistake, and Ryan Matthews is a better fit for this offense. The Eagles are the least dysfunctional team in the division, I think they end up winning it.

49ers (+2) over BROWNS

It is unbelievable the Browns are laying points. The 49ers have played pretty well since benching Kaepernick, and are coming off of a big win over the Bears. The Browns are putting Manziel back under center, it’s clear that there’s a ton of disconnect between Mike Pettine and his bosses. My prediction: the Browns end up with the number one pick and blow it like they do with all of their draft picks.

Lions (-3) over RAMS

The Lions are coming off of that horrible loss to the Packers last Thursday. As long as they’ve revived Jim Caldwell I think they should bounce back nicely. On second thought, they might do better if they just leave Caldwell on the sideline. Seriously, how do you cover the Hail Mary as poorly as they did last week? I’m still in disbelief. Moving on.

BUCCANEERS (-4.5) over Saints

The Saints are in free fall, and meanwhile the Bucs are starting to look dangerous. They’ve won three of their last four and are right in the thick of the NFC Wild Card race. Winston is starting to come into his own, and playing the Saints defense should be huge for him. Start him in any and all fantasy leagues.

JETS (-7) over Titans

The Jets offense is quietly one of the better ones in the league. It has it’s limitations, but Ryan Fitzpatrick has been making big throws late in games, his receiving core is loaded, and the running game is strong. Right now they’re in a tight AFC Wild Card race, I expect them to take care of business here.

Steelers (+2.5) over BENGALS

I’ve been saying this all season, the Steelers have the best offense in the league when healthy. Even without Le’Veon Bell their running game is strong. Big Ben struggled against the Bengals in the first game, but that was his first game back from injury and he likely wasn’t completely healthy. While the Bengals are a more complete team, the Steelers offense is humming right now and they have the better quarterback, I think they get a big one in Cincy.

Colts (Even) over JAGUARS

Everyone’s going to freak out after watching the Colts get humiliated on national television last week, but as I’ve already explained the Steeler’s offense is humming. The Colts haven’t lost a division game since Week 15 of the 2012 season. That’s 16 straight games. I don’t see that ending this week while they’re in a tight division race with the Texans.

CHIEFS (-10) over Chargers

The Chiefs are red hot right now. They lost Jamaal Charles and their running game got better, Alex Smith is throwing downfield for the first time in his career, Jeremy Maclin’s been revived from the dead and their defense is as strong as ever. Of course, they always seem to blow one of these games down the stretch, hopefully it’s not this one.

BEARS (-3.5) over Redskins

I’d say the Redskins offense was exposed last week, but everyone already knew that they didn’t have a great offense. Cousins is fine. He’s serviceable, but he’s not going to win you games. He refuses to push the ball down the field. The Bears had a bad loss last week, I think they’ll bounce back and beat a Redskins team coming off of a short week.

Falcons (+7.5) over PANTHERS

I don’t think the Panthers lose this one, but I expect it to be close. The Falcons haven’t looked good for a long time, but they’re still a talented team, and the Panthers have looked vulnerable recently. The defense has been good, but just got torn up by the Saints. The Falcons need Matt Ryan to regain his confidence, if he does this could be the week the streak ends for the Panthers.

RAVENS (+11.5) over Seahawks

I picked against the Seahawks last week and got totally burned. While I am respecting the Seahawks as a Super Bowl dark horse, I’m expecting a bit of a letdown this week flying all the way to Baltimore to play an early game. The Ravens have been hit hard with injuries, but they’ve still been competitive, and I expect them to cover at home.

BRONCOS (-6.5) over Raiders

The Raiders offense couldn’t do a thing against Oakland the first time they played, and the only reason they stayed in the game was because of Peyton Manning’s interceptions in the end zone. Now, the Brockweiler is in at quarterback. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, he’s 6’8, incredibly handsome, and he’s a much better fit for this offense than 2015 Peyton Manning. In fact, he’s a much better fit for any offense than 2015 Peyton Manning, because 2015 Peyton Manning throws about four good passes a game.

PACKERS (-6.5) over Cowboys

The fact that the Cowboys are only one game out of a playoff spot is proof that the system needs changing. And for the record, I’d just like to say that living in Dallas and listening to Dallas radio trying to talk positively about this team and be happy that they’re 4-8 and still in the playoff picture is maddening. They should all be ashamed of themselves. Talk about the Mavericks, talk about the Stars, talk about the Rangers for all I care. These are actual good teams, but of course, the NFL is king, and it is the Cowboys. I hope they lose by 30.

Patriots (-3.5) over TEXANS

I love the Patriots only laying 3.5 against Houston. Seriously, despite giving up two special teams touchdowns and a pick six on the goal line, playing without Gronk, Edelman, or Lewis, they were still driving for a tying touchdown and probably would’ve gotten it had they not had four drops in a row. Also, apparently J.J. Watt broke his hand in practice this week. He’s still gonna play, but you know, BREAKING YOUR FREAKING HAND might hamper him a little bit. NFL guys continue to amaze me with their toughness.

Giants (-1) over DOLPHINS

This is an easy pick. The Dolphins are a horrible team. They’ve played two good games the entire season. The Giants have mismanaged the ends of games this year, but they have been a pretty good team. Had it not been for three horrible clock mismanagement fiascos, they’d be a respectable 8-4. This looks like an 8-4 team, they just can’t get out of their own way at times.

NFL Record Last Week: 12-4-0

NFL Record Overall: 93-95-6

College Football Record Last Week: 6-2-0

College Football Record Overall: 58-46-0

NFL Week Fourteen Power Rankings

I took two weeks off from writing the power rankings and coincidentally, it resulted in two Patriots losses. One of them I saw coming, the other, not so much. Brady is still one of the front runners for the league MVP, but the supporting cast around him resemble the zombies of The Walking Dead. Carolina is proving week in and week out they are the class of the league, and 16-0 is only four games away. What an amazing turnaround for a coach who was on the hot seat early in 2014. With only a handful of games left to play this year, it has the makings for a memorable regular season finish. Outside of the number one seed in the NFC, everything is up for grabs.

1) Carolina Panthers – 16-0 is a real possibility for this team.

2) Arizona Cardinals – Carson Palmer should be considered in the MVP conversation as well.

3) Cincinnati Bengals – Two huge bounce back games for the Bengals, but tougher tests loom ahead.

4) Denver Broncos – Brock resembles the dude from Twilight, but the Broncos are playing lights out defense.

5) New England Patriots – The Patriots need to get pointed in the right direction and stop with the mental mistakes.

6) Green Bay Packers – A Hail Mary finally went in favor of the Packers.

7) Seattle Seahawks – Watch out, the Seahawks are back to playing defense again.

8) Kansas City Chiefs – If the Chiefs stay healthy, they beat whichever division winner they play on wild card weekend.

9) Pittsburgh Steelers – As of today, they are my pick to win the AFC.

10) Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings being the talk of the NFC may have gone to their heads against Seattle.

11) New Jersey Jets – The Jets are winning games that would have been losses under Rex Ryan. They are playing disciplined on both sides of the ball.

12) Buffalo Bills – Rex found a way to puke on himself and pull out some late game heroics for the Bills Mafia.

13) Indianapolis Colts– Indianapolis was brought back down to reality by Pittsburgh.

14) Houston Texans – They may have the biggest d-bag in the league, but their defense is starting to live up to the preseason hype.

15) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Tampa Bay could very well win a wild card in the NFC.

16) Atlanta Falcons – Flushhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

17) Oakland Raiders – Amari Cooper may be hurt. He has regressed immensely since earlier in the season.

18) New Jersey Giants – The Giants had their chance to separate themselves in the NFC East. They didn’t.

19) Miami Dolphins – Miami will be a thorn in some teams side come the end of the year. Only if they are playing at home will this come to fruition though. Sadly they play New England week seventeen in Miami.

20) Philadelphia Eagles – Congrats to the Eagles for winning their Super Bowl in week thirteen.

21) Dallas Cowboys – I see a small, tiny sliver of hope in Dallas. Matt Cassell somehow went 11-5 in New England back in 2008. Think about that for a minute.

22) St. Louis Rams – The Rams need a quarterback and help at the safety position immediately.

23) New Orleans Saints – The Saints team isn’t packing it in, but need serious help on defense. I feel like we say that every year about that side of the ball though.

24) Washington Redskins – Sadly, the Redskins are still alive in the NFC East race.

25) San Francisco 49ers – “Hey Gabbert!” – Jon Gruden

26) Chicago Bears – Chicago should be over .500 right now.

27) Detroit Lions – Martha Ford rocking her shades in the owner’s box, being 90 years old is such a power move on her part.

28) Jacksonville Jaguars – Blake Bortles and Allen Robinson could very well be the best QB/WR tandem in the NFL right now. If not, they are definitely in the top five.

29) Baltimore Ravens – Baltimore will be healthy in 2016 with a VERY high draft pick.

30) Tennessee Titans – Tennessee is still a few years away from putting it all together. I do like what I see out of the young QB though.

31) San Diego Chargers– Maybe River should stick to impregnating his wife and rocking the bolo tie.

32) Cleveland Browns – Back by popular demand, it is Johnny Football.

Week 13 Picks

While technically I picked the Thursday night game wrong last night, I’m definitely protesting on that one. Seriously, the game is over, then the stupid Detroit defender decides to tackle Aaron Rodgers high, gets a facemask penalty, and Rodgers throws a freaking 61-yard Hail Mary where he literally had a wide-open receiver in the end zone. Seriously, how is a guy as open as Richard Rodgers was on a Hail Mary? How does that make sense? Maybe the Lions should’ve put somebody in front of him. Just a thought. I would suggest it to Jim Caldwell, but he’s still standing on the sideline at Ford Field with his arms crossed and an uninspired look on his face. On to this week’s picks.

Jets (-2) over GIANTS

Four years ago the Giants won this game and used it to springboard them on a run that eventually ended with a Super Bowl victory, but I don’t see the same thing happening in 2015. It’s a bad matchup, as the Giants have a bunch of injuries to their offensive line, and the Jets have a scary defensive front that should get pressure on Eli all day long. The Jets offense is good when they have the lead, and they need this win in a competitive AFC wild card race.

Cardinals (-6) over RAMS

I don’t know why we ever fooled ourselves into thinking the Rams were a good team. They have no quarterback, their running game has fallen off a cliff, and they’ve had a lot of injuries to their once formidable offensive line. Meanwhile, I’m not putting too much stock into the Cardinals struggling in San Francisco last week. They were coming off of two big primetime wins, and the 49ers are a little frisky. The Cardinals have one of the most consistent offenses in the league, and their defense feasts on bad quarterbacks, they should win this one easily.

BUCCANEERS (Even) over Falcons

Speaking of teams that have fallen off a cliff…The Atlanta Falcons ladies and gentleman! 8 weeks ago the Falcons put up 48 points on the Houston Texans. Since then they’ve averaged less than 17 points a game, and the Texans have morphed into the ’85 Bears on defense. That’s probably the biggest what the f*** moment of the season looking back. The Bucs meanwhile are 5-6 and have been playing well recently. They’re at home, they’ve already beaten the Falcons earlier, and I’m taking them in this one.

VIKINGS (-1) over Seahawks

I do think the Seahawks are getting better, that was a big win over Pittsburgh last week and they’re offense is finally coming around. But at the same time, this still isn’t the team that went to back-to-back Super Bowls, and this game is suddenly a lot more important to the Vikings after the Rodgers-to-Rodgers Hail Mary last night. With no Jimmy Graham, the struggling Seattle offense has something else to figure out, and I expect them to have problems against a good Vikings defense.

BILLS (-3) over Texans

I really wanted to buy into the Texans hype, but I’ve restrained myself. There is no way they’re going into Buffalo in cold weather with Brian Hoyer and beating that defense. On the flip side this Texans defense is playing lights out, but the Bills have enough offensive playmakers to put up enough points, and Tyrod Taylor’s mobility should help combat that pass rush.

Ravens (+3.5) over DOLPHINS

I don’t love this pick, but the Dolphins should not be giving points to anyone. They’ve looked good in a total of two games this year. Yes, the Ravens have been gutted by injuries and are in perfect position to throw the season away and get a high draft pick, but they’re well-coached and are an extremely well-run organization. Just do yourself a favor and don’t bet on the Dolphins for anything.

Bengals (-9.5) over BROWNS

The Browns have put themselves in great position to draft Connor Cook. If they didn’t get that field goal blocked on purpose, then they should have. They’re 2-9, about to give Johnny Manziel to Jerry Jones for way too much, and they actually have some very talented players. The Bengals seem to have found their groove again after dropping the last two games, and I expect them to win this one easily.

Jaguars (+2.5) over TITANS

I gave the Jaguars some love last week and got burned, as they let Phillip Rivers throw four touchdowns to guys that were probably working at Subway or something the week before. So let me try again this week. The Jags did beat the Titans just a couple of weeks ago, and they have a much better offense. The Titans, meanwhile, are in cahoots with Chip Kelly. They’re throwing the season away while Kelly gets himself fired so he can coach Mariota again.

49ers (+7.5) over BEARS

Who would’ve thought at the beginning of the season that the Bears would be favored by this much over anyone? They’re playing pretty well recently, but still struggled offensively in Green Bay, and the 49ers have been pretty good defensively in recent weeks, and have just been a tough out overall. Blaine Gabbert isn’t horrible, and he’s looking more and more comfortable every week. I’ll take the 49ers to cover here.

Broncos (-3.5) over CHARGERS

I’m all in on The Brockweiler. The dude’s 6’8, strikingly handsome, and he can make some big time throws too. In fact, the Broncos are a legitimate Super Bowl contender with him at quarterback. They should probably lock Peyton Manning in a small closet until the end of the season, because he will force his way onto the field if he can. Meanwhile, as a Patriots fan, I really need Osweiler to struggle, and I heard Bill Simmons this week asking if there was a Kardashian he could date. So I asked my sister, and she said that Kendall is single, Kourtney is separated from her husband, and Khloe is killing Lamar Odom. If anybody can help me set any one of them up with Brock Osweiler, please do so. I don’t have a preference, I just need Brock distracted until Denver’s eliminated.

Chiefs (-3) over RAIDERS

The emergence of Brock Osweiler came at the perfect time for the Broncos, because the Chiefs are coming on strong. They have one of the best running games in the league, no matter who’s getting the carries, their defense is stifling, and Alex Smith is finally throwing down the field every now and then. However, because the Broncos came back last week, the Chiefs remain three games out of the division with five to go. They could very well win out (they play Oakland twice, the Chargers, Browns, and Ravens), but they’ll need the Broncos to lose three games, and the Broncos play the Chargers twice, as well as the Raiders, Steelers, and Bengals.

Panthers (-7) over SAINTS

Anyone playing against Cam Newton in fantasy this week, my condolences. The Saints fired Rob Ryan but they didn’t fie any of the players on that defense, and it is probably the worst in the league. On the flip side, the Panthers defense is probably one of the best in the league, maybe the best. Panthers win this one going away.

Eagles (+9.5) over PATRIOTS

I was going to pick the Patriots, seeing as the Eagles are in free fall and Tom Brady is undefeated against the spread coming off of a loss. Then I thought about it and realized that Gronk’s out, Amendola is probably out, Blount is dead, Hightower and Jamie Collins are both questionable, and the Patriots most frequently run offensive play right now is a wheel route to Scott Chandler. I think they’ll win, but it just feels like a game where they jump out to a lead and then close the playbook, making sure Brady doesn’t get hurt. I’ll take the Pats to win, but the Eagles to cover.

STEELERS (-7) over Colts

The Steelers probably have the most explosive offense in the league, and the Colts are averaging barely over 20 points a game with Hasselbeck playing. I think the Steelers go crazy on offense after putting 30 on the Legion of Boom, and win this game going away.

Cowboys (+4) over REDSKINS

The Redskins are winning the NFC East! They control their own destiny. Tony Romo is out. The Cowboys looked horrible even when he did play last week. YOU LIKE THAT!? This is the classic Redskins game to blow. Something that has been overlooked is that the Cowboys have been in most of the games they’ve played without Romo, losing two games in overtime and three more by one score at the last second. For the Redskins, it’s a pretty simple formula. They’re 5-0 when Cousins doesn’t throw an interception, and 0-6 when he does. Take care of the ball Kirk, and you’ll be fine.

For college football fans or just degenerate gamblers who will bet on anything, I’m in a weekly college football pick ’em. Here’s my picks for this week: San Diego State (-6.5), Baylor (-21), Kansas State (+6.5), Houston (-7), Florida (+17), Stanford and Clemson straight up, Michigan State (-937.5) over Iowa.

NFL Record Last Week: 7-9-0

NFL Record Overall: 81-92-6

College Football Record Last Week: 3-5-0

College Football Record Overall: 52-44-0