Last week, I wrote about how Washington Nationals’ pitcher Sean Doolittle, had publicly stated that he wouldn’t be visiting the White House with his team, due to a severe case of good sense and morals. Although Doolittle, as well as a few other Nats did not attend, most of the team did, and the crowd in attendance was treated to this nauseating spectacle courtesy of Nats player Kurt Suzuki:
Is it just me, or does anyone else think that President Bay Orange has used this move before, coincidentally after the object of his gross affection has had something put over their head? At any rate, hopefully this brings to a conclusion any more mentions of baseball in my column for the foreseeable future.
Enough with the preliminaries. Let’s get to the picks.
Winners in Bold:
Baltimore at Cincinnati
The Cincinnati franchise has wasted the prime years of a lot of really good players, three of whom still toil for the team: AJ Green, Geno Atkins, and Andy Dalton. Dalton, it appears, is on his last legs in Cincy, and in typical fashion, the team has done Dalton dirty. Dalton, a very good QB, and by all accounts a great team player and all-around good guy, has been benched by new, terrible Head Coach Zac Taylor, apparently for the crime of not playing particularly well in Taylor’s shitty offence. And to make matters worse, the team waited until after the trade deadline to bench Dalton, instead of giving him a chance to seek a trade to a team that actually wanted him and might actually benefit from his services. Too bad, Andy. You deserve better, in my book.
Buffalo at Cleveland
Watching Cleveland, on the field and off, it’s pretty plain to see that there’s no sense of logic or cohesion to anything that’s going on with the team. The talent is obviously there, but the team looks, not just like an underachieving team, but utterly hopeless. That’s an organizational problem, and a coaching problem. I’m sure many of you saw the pictures of Baker Mayfield last week, showing up to the game with his facial hair looking a certain way, then different on the field, then different again after the game. This young player is so screwed-up in his head that he’s playing terribly, the team stinks on ice, and he legitimately seems to think that his facial hair matters. Those are some pretty whacked-out priorities. If someone, whether it’s the coaching staff or a veteran player doesn’t straighten that kid out, he’ll be another in a long line of busts for the mistake by the lake. A date with Buffalo’s punishing defence could make for another long afternoon for Mayfield and the rest of his offence.
Detroit at Chicago
It’s no secret that Detroit has been one of the teams hardest-hit by injuries this season, and they’ve had a particularly hard time on the defensive side of the ball. The big news this week is that Matt Stafford is hurt, and there are serious questions as to his availability and effectiveness. Stafford’s as tough as they come, but against Chicago’s defence, if he’s not 100%, Detroit is in for a rough afternoon, and even Chicago’s pitiful offence should be able to muster enough points against Detroit’s banged-up defence for the home squad to pull this one out.
NYG at NYJ
Is it just me, or does anyone else find it funny the this is considered a home game for Gangrene? Big Blue will be down Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard, and they’re pretty thin along the OL as well, so they’re going to need Barkley and Jones to be in tip-top form. Fortunately for them, Gangrene is looking pretty banged-up on defence. Look for the real home team to win a close one.
KC at Tennessee
Patrick Mahomes should be back under Center for this one, and I expect KC’s offence to roll over fading Tennessee.
Arizona at Tampa
Arizona has been surprisingly good this year, and have proven that they’re not a team to be taken lightly. Last week, after falling behind to undefeated San Fran, they mounted a furious 4th quarter comeback, falling just a field goal away from tying the game. I think their offence can hang with Tampa’s, and with Chandler Jones forcing Jameis Winston into some of his typical mistakes, Arizona can definitely take this one.
Atlanta at New Orleans
With the way these two teams have been playing, I fully expect this one to be decided by half-time.
Miami at Indianapolis
Even without Jacoby Brissett and TY Hilton, Indy should be able to win this one comfortably to stay in the AFC South hunt.
LAR at Pittsburgh
LA is coming off a bye, and is looking to keep pace in the tough NFC playoff chase, while Pittsburgh is coming off a win against Indy in what was one of the worst-officiated games of the season (and that’s saying something). LA may not be playing at the level they were last year, but with an extra week’s rest they should be able to handle Pittsburgh.
Carolina at Green Bay
This should be a good game. Green Bay is coming off a humbling loss to the Bolts, and will be looking to bounce back with a lineup that is as healthy as it’s been in weeks. Carolina is a good team that is capable of giving Green Bay all it can handle, but in the end, I see Aaron Rodgers spreading the ball around and having a big day.
Minnesota at Dallas
Minnesota did Minnesota things last week, losing to KC in a game they should have won as the offence once again disappeared during crunch time. I’d have a hard time picking them to beat Dallas anyway, but without Adam Thielen, I’ll definitely take a hard pass on Minny.
Seattle at San Francisco
I’m hearing that there’s a good chance that George Kittle might not be able to go in this one. That would be a huge blow to San Fran’s offence, as Kittle is the team’s leading receiver, as well as a big part of its running game. Seattle will be the best team San Fran has faced thus far. The key for Seattle will be to get off to a good start and not fall too far behind early, because mounting a comeback against San Fran’s defence would be a heck of a lot tougher than coming back to beat Tampa, Cleveland, or Cincy, which Seattle has had to do this season.