First, I am the worst shopper in the history of shopping, when it comes to my wife. I’m bad at buying clothes. I’m bad at buying jewelry, and I’m bad at buying just about everything else. I’m a little better when it comes to Leanna, but not much. The only one that I am comfortable buying anything for is my son, probably because I like the same type of stuff that an 11-year old does.
As if it weren’t enough that Christmas shopping is giving me panic attacks, almost as bad as Winston’s on “New Girl,” there’s a pair of freaky eyes that are watching my every move at the house. Thanks to my mother-in-law, we now have an Elf On The Shelf, and let me tell you, there’s something about him that doesn’t sit well with me. Those eyes watch you wherever you are in the house, and that smile makes me think that he’s trying to get away with something. We named him “Buddy,” because apparently you’re supposed to name these things, and Buddy makes me uneasy.
If it were still the 1980s this guy would star in his own horror movie. For the first half hour bodies would pile up, and then they’d cut to him and that face. Gives me chills.
What does any of this have to do with football picks? Nothing, I just had to get it off my chest.
Last week we both went 9-7. Weird week, a lot of strange upsets. Got out ahead. We’ll take it.
Rich: 131-59-1 (.688)
Matt: 120-70-1 (.631)
Denver at Oakland: I was trying to figure out which team I’d least like having to root for as a fan. Oakland is certainly one of the finalists, but they wouldn’t be the worst. Their uniforms are classic, and every now and then they’re competitive. Don’t get me wrong, It would be tough, but there are worse fates. Talking about bad fates, the Raiders will meet one tonight. Denver has become one of the league’s best teams over the last half of the season, and continue to run roughshod over poor competition. They’ll win another laugher on TNF.
St. Louis at Buffalo: Two of the league’s greatest conundrums face off in the not-so-great northeast this weekend, and I’m boggled over this one. The Rams play the 49ers like champs, and they’re pretty good overall in their own division, but against the rest of the league they’re below average. Still, how much faith can we put in the Fightin’ Fitzpatricks? Since I don’t pick ties, I’m going to roll with the Bills here, figuring that they’ll find a way to win a close one at Ralph Wilson. By the way, both of these teams, also teams that are tough to root for.
- Rich’s Pick: Bills
- Matt’s Pick: Rams
Atlanta at Carolina: The Panthers are just a bad football team. Atlanta, while severely over-rated and the beneficiary of one of the league’s softest schedules, are 11-1. Remember the rule, stay with the hot team.
- Rich’s Pick: Falcons
- Matt’s Pick: Falcons
KC at Cleveland: And here we have it, the showdown between the two teams that it would be hardest to root for. A veritable Crappy Franchise Bowl. The Chiefs edge out the Browns for team that’s hardest to root for right now. One, things couldn’t be worse there right now. I can’t imagine trying to go to work having to deal with the fallout of the last week in KC. Throw in that even before all that happened the big movement in town was @saveourchiefs on Twitter. This year can’t end fast enough for the Chiefs. The Browns are a decent defensive team. Offensively, well, they stink, but they can make things happen on D and I think they’ll win an ugly one, 13-6ish.
- Rich’s Pick: Browns
- Matt’s Pick: Browns
Baltimore at Washington: Nothing made me happier last week than to see Charlie Batch find a way to beat the Ravens and send them a little dose of reality. If Washington weren’t coming off of a short week I’d call this a lock, but since they won an emotional MNF game it’s going to be close. I don’t feel as confident as I’d like to on this one, but I’m rolling with RG3 and the Skins.
- Rich’s Pick: Redskins
- Matt’s Pick: Redskins
Philly at Tampa Bay: The Eagles stink.
San Diego at Pittsburgh: It’s the biggest day at Heinz Field since Bane blew the place up. The Steelers are coming off of that emotional win against the Ravens, and they’ve got Big Ben starting. To top it all off, the Chargers are playing with all of the emotion of an emo kid at a coffee house right now. Steelers in a big way.
- Rich’s Pick: Steelers
- Matt’s Pick: Steelers
Dallas at Cincinnati: Pittsburgh is in the driver’s seat for the final playoff spot in the AFC, but the Bengals are fighting to get it too. I like this Cincy team, despite the fact that the Offensive Coordinator sometimes forgets that he’s allowed to run the ball. The Cowboys are just about out of it, and the Bengals will put them out of their misery.
- Rich’s Pick: Bengals
- Matt’s Pick: Bengals
Tennessee at Indianapolis: If you didn’t already believe in Andrew Luck, last week should have put you over the top. One more win will give him the most by a No. 1 pick in his first regular season, and that win comes against the Titans.
- Rich’s Pick: Colts
- Matt’s Pick: Colts
NYJ at Jacksonville: Mark Sanchez will be starting this weekend for the Jets, and all of New York wonders how to react. Should they be happy? Should they be angry? There are no other answers to the starting QB job for NY right now, and they’re on the hook for 8 million next year to Sanchez as well. Yes, Pats fans, it’s okay to laugh. Still, the Jags are pretty beat up right now, and Chad Henne is coming back to earth. Jets win an ugly one.
- Rich’s Pick: Jets
- Matt’s Pick: Jets
Chicago at Minnesota: The Bears have to have this game. The Vikings do too to keep alive their 3.3% chance of making the playoffs (according to Football Outsiders). I have little confidence in either team’s offense, but that Chicago D is very good, even if it has regressed a little the last few weeks. Da Bears.
- Rich’s Pick: Bears
- Matt’s Pick: Bears
Miami at San Francisco: San Fran is pretty good against everyone but St. Louis. The Dolphins offense looked very boring to me last weekend, and I just don’t see them being able to move the ball very much against a San Fran team with a chip on its shoulder.
- Rich’s Pick: 49ers
- Matt’s Pick: 49ers
Arizona at Seattle: Let’s put it like this, with me at QB, my cousin Todd (a loyal reader) at fullback and Eagle One at starting tailback I think we’d put up about as good a showing as the Cardinals are likely to in Seattle. The Seahawks have the best home field advantage in the game and they’re playing with confidence.
- Rich’s Pick: Seahawks
- Matt’s Pick: Seahawks
New Orleans at NY Giants: A battle between two teams that feel like they embarrassed themselves last weekend. Drew Brees threw 1-2-3-4-5, yes 5, INTs against Atlanta. The Giants and their fearsome defense let a rookie quarterback, albeit a special one, rally from behind to upstage them on MNF. The Giants have the most to lose by losing, so I think they’ll find a way to win. I’m always saying that they show up when they have to, and this is one time that they absolutely have to.
- Rich’s Pick: Giants
- Matt’s Pick: Saints
Detroit at Green Bay: Detroit is fun to watch, and they’re really enjoyable to use as your Madden team, but in real life they’re a disappointment. The Packers are certainly more flawed than they’ve been in recent years, but they’re good enough to win a night game in front of a national audience, at home, here. Aaron Rodgers will be giving an interview at the end of the night and there will be plenty of Packers a-leapin’ at Lambeau.
- Rich’s Pick: Packers
- Matt’s Pick: Packers
Houston at New England: Here’s how I see this game playing out. The Patriots will score a bunch of points in the first half. The Texans will rally back to within a score or so, make it interesting, but fail to get over the top. Tom Brady likes Monday Night games and I think the Pats will be extra up for this one as they show the Texans what being a big time player in the AFC is all about. I think Houston’s good, but right now it’s either Pats-Broncos or Broncos-Pats at the 1-2 spots in the AFC, and Houston is third, even though they have the best record.
- Rich’s Pick: Patriots
- Matt’s Pick: Patriots
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.