Since deciding to only root for the Giants to lose this season, the season has become much more enjoyable. There’s no getting upset or frustrated because there’s no expectation to win, just lose, and the Giants are as good at losing as any team in the league. Now with seven straight losses, the Giants currently hold the No. 3 pick in the 2020 draft. It’s about as good of a scenario as you can ask for for your team to be in when you know they aren’t going to the playoffs anyway and when they stopped playing meaningful games six weeks ago.
(Home team in caps)
Chicago -3.5 over DETROIT
The Bears did everything they could to lose to the Giants and they still won. That’s how bad these Giants are. The networks keep including the Bears in the “In the Hunt” graphic when displaying the current playoff picture, but they couldn’t be less in the hunt at three games out with five games to play. They might be able to pick up a game this week with a win over the Lions, who have lost seven of eight, and the Vikings in Seattle, but picking up another two over the last month is going to be nearly impossible. The Bears are finished. Now they have to figure out who is going to play quarterback for them in 2020.
DALLAS -6.5 over Buffalo
The Cowboys had a chance to upset the Patriots in Week 12 and take a 1 1/2-game lead in the NFC East. Instead, they lost because they’re the Cowboys and the Patriots are the Patriots and now they are more than likely going to lose the NFC East given their schedule and the Eagles’ schedule. If the Giants have to suck, the next-best thing is the Cowboys sucking, and they do. They will get their Thanksgiving win, but then the downward spiral will begin.
ATLANTA -7 over New Orleans
Last week, the Saints blew a two-touchdown lead to the Panthers and needed a missed chip shot to have a chance to win the game in the final seconds. Two weeks before that, they were blown out by a one-win Falcons team in the Superdome. The Saints are trending in the wrong direction like they were at this time last season. The Falcons might be awful and battling for draft position, but I’m sure they would also like to take away New Orleans’ first-round bye as one last hurrah before the entire Falcons’ coaching staff is fired.
BALTIMORE -6 over San Francisco
I normally like to pick against the team that has to make the cross-country flight, but I don’t like to give six points in a game between two of the league’s top teams. In this game, I have to given how much the 49ers rely on their defense for offensive support and how little the Ravens’ offense cares about the opposing defense.
CAROLINA -10 over Washington
Had the Panthers moved away from Cam Newton prior to the start of the season, they would still be in the playoff picture and battling for a wild-card berth. Instead, they will have to settle for a .500-ish season and experience and growth for their young quarterback.
New York Jets -3.5 over CINCINNATI
The Bengals have a two-game lead on the No. 1 pick with five weeks to go. It would be a major upset if they were to pick anywhere other than first this spring and the only way that upset could happen is if they were to win a few games. The Jets, on the other hand, are in the middle of putting together an unnecessary winning streak which will only give their fans the idea that they can somehow win out and sneak into the playoffs at the No. 6 seed. All the Jets are doing is moving themselves down in the draft yet again. Mediocrity at its finest.
INDIANAPOLIS -2.5 over Tennessee
The Texans will lose to the Patriots this week and that will be their fifth loss. The Colts and Titans both have five losses, so whichever teams win this game will be tied record-wise with the Texans for the division lead with four games to play.
JACKSONVILLE -1 over Tampa Bay
Two 4-7 teams playing a meaningless game. Give me the home team and the better defense. The much better defense.
Philadelphia -9 over MIAMI
The Cowboys’ expected loss to the Patriots kept the Eagles within one game of the Cowboys with five games to play. The Cowboys have the Bills, Bears, Rams, Eagles and Redskins remaining while the Eagles have the Dolphins, Giants, Redskins, Cowboys and Giants again. The Eagles are going to win the division if they can beat the Cowboys at home in Week 16 and they might win it anyway with this cupcake schedule. Then Jason Garrett will be fired, and I will have to spend the early days of 2020 worrying about the Giants hiring him.
Green Bay -6.5 over NEW YORK GIANTS
This line is surprisingly low because of the Week 12 scores. But don’t let those scores fool you. The Packers are still a good team and the Giants are a joke.
Cleveland -2 over PITTSBURGH
A three-game winning streak has the Browns back in the playoff picture, sitting one game out of the No. 6 seed. That 6-seed? The Steelers. Neither of these teams are any good and whichever AFC team wins the 6-seed and has to go to Arrowhead is going to get blown out anyway. But what I’m rooting for here is for the Browns to continue to their run and then fall short of the playoffs in the final week or two of the season.
Los Angeles Rams -3 over ARIZONA
A year after the Rams went to the Super Bowl thanks to a non-pass interference call and then proved they didn’t belong in the Super Bowl once there, they are going to miss the playoffs completely unless they’re able to run the table over the last five weeks or at worst go 4-1. Their schedule: at Arizona, Seattle, at Dallas, at San Francisco, Arizona. It’s going to be a difficult task, but it’s doable.
KANSAS CITY -10 over Oakland
The Chiefs aren’t going to have home-field advantage in the second round of the playoffs or the AFC Championship Game, so they’re once again not going to the Super Bowl. Last season, they couldn’t win the AFC with home-field advantage in the AFC Championship Game and they had a much better team. But the Chiefs still have to win to hold on to their one-game division lead over the Raiders and at least keep their home game for Wild-Card Weekend.
Los Angeles Chargers -2.5 over DENVER
All season I waited for the Chargers from last season to emerge and all season they just kept losing. Now with seven losses, it would take an absolute miracle for them to reach the postseason. Instead of the “Chargers are a contender” storyline from this time last season, the new narrative is “What should the Chargers do with Philip Rivers?”
New England -3 over HOUSTON
The Patriots always beat the Texans. That’s not going to change anytime soon.
SEATTLE -3 over Minnesota
I made the mistake last season of picking Kirk Cousins to lead the Vikings to a win in Seattle. I’m not going to make that same mistake again.