It’s been a week since the Giants’ season ended and with 11 weeks left of regular-season football and then the playoffs and Super Bowl and the cold, dark days of January and February inching closer, it’s been hard to handle. All of that coupled with the Yankees’ playoff loss to the Red Sox, who are likely going to win the World Series, and the Rangers playing for nothing this season has me looking to pick up some new hobbies. What do people who don’t like sports do for fun? That’s a question I need to answer and answer fast because the next meaningful game I will watch will be the Yankees’ first game in 2019.
When it comes to the picks, it’s been a pretty blah season. Well, it was a pretty blah season before last week’s 3-11-1 embarrassment. At least I finally got a push to create a tie column like so many teams in the NFL this season. Unfortunately, the Giants were routed, the Vikings didn’t cover by a 1/2 point, the Buccaneers blew a late chance to not only cover but win, the Browns reverted back to the Browns on the West Coast, the Panthers proved to be frauds, the Titans couldn’t score a single point in an NFL game in 2018, the Jaguars should have forfeited and saved the trip to Dallas and the Packers struggled against the C.J. Beathard. When you put together all of that, you get a 3-11-1 week. That’s going to be one big hole to climb out. Thankfully, there’s a lot of time left to do so. It’s time to starting chip away at the deficit.
Denver -1 over ARIZONA
The Cardinals are my biggest enemy this season. Why? Because they pose the biggest threat to the Giants for the No. 1 pick in the draft. I can’t believe the Giants are really going to be picking at or near the top again in the 2019 draft, but here we are. After last year’s 3-13 disaster, the team is already 1-5 this season. And even though the NFC East is as a weak as it’s ever been, the Giants would have go on either a 10-1 or 9-2 run the rest of the way to win the division. Yeah, that’s not happening.
Tennessee +7 over LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
When I first saw this line, my initial thought was “Charges in a teaser!” But then I remembered that this game is in London. The Chargers usually have enough trouble switching time zones in the United States and historically struggle when they go to the Eastern Time Zone. Now they are going past the Eastern Time Zone and across the pond to play a game that will be eight hours ahead of their internal clock. The Titans aren’t good by any means, but they are good to stay within a touchdown of a team that can’t handle jet lag.
Buffalo +7.5 over INDIANAPOLIS
If the Cardinals are the Giants’ biggest threat to the No. 1 pick in the draft, well, the Bills and Colts are their next two biggest threats.
I just had the thought that if this quarterback class turns out to be weak, the Giants could potentially use the top or near-top pick and turn it into a bunch of lower picks and try again with this same group, but slightly revamped in 2019. For those who think it’s time move on from Eli Manning (not me), this is their worst-case scenario. The second worst scenario for them would be to use the pick on a non-quarterback, which I think is what will actually happen.
New England -3 over CHICAGO
It’s crazy to see a line that has the Patriots as only a 3-point favorite over the Bears. It just looks wrong.
I bought into the Bears last week when I teased them to win in Miami. This Bears defense against Brock Osweiler just to win?!?! is what I thought. That didn’t go so well, and that’s all I need to jump off the 2018 Bears bandwagon for good.
PHILADELPHIA -5 over Carolina
Eff’n Panthers. All they had to do was go to Washington and beat the Redskins and keep the NFC East clustered together and improve to 3-0 against the division. Instead, they lost and they put a huge dent in my dream of a team winning the division at 7-9, or maybe even 6-10. The Panthers are the team everyone continues to think is good, but they aren’t. They will let you down with their inability to score and their overrated defense.
Unfortunately, Carson Wentz looks better and better each week since returning and I have a feeling the Eagles’ road rout of the Giants on Thursday Night Football will send them off on a run that returns them to the playoffs and destroys my preseason prediction that they would miss the playoffs. (Either that or that’s one great reverse jinx right there.)
MIAMI +3 over Detroit
I don’t care that the Lions are coming off their bye week and I don’t care who the Dolphins quarterback will be in this game. I will no longer pick against the Dolphins at home in what should be a close game.
Minnesota -3.5 over NEW YORK JETS
I will be in attendance with Brittni at this game, and the only thing that will keep me from going into depression over the Giants is if the Jets are the Jets. At 3-3 with a rookie quarterback, they are anything but the same old Jets right now, and that needs to change. I need a Vikings blowout on Sunday. I need it.
TAMPA BAY -4 over Cleveland
Everyone all set with the Baker Mayfield hype? OK, good. I’m not going to lie, I started to buy into the Browns as a good team in 2018, but last week proved they have a long way to go. While the Chargers are certainly better than the Buccaneers, it’s going to be a while until I can trust Mayfield to not destroy a game.
JACKSONVILLE -4.5 over Houston
That Jaguars debacle in Dallas last week? Yeah, I wagered on the Jaguars -3. The bad news is I lost. The good news is the game was over so fast I didn’t have to waste my afternoon into the early evening hoping for a miraculous cover or even a push.
The Jaguars are now 3-3 as the AFC South competes with the NFC East for the worst division in football. And the Jaguars’ loss to the Cowboys was both embarrassing for them and costly for the Giants, who lost another tiebreaker. What am I saying? Why do I even care about records and tiebreakers? The Giants season is over. O-V-E-R. They suck. It’s hard to have many tiebreakers with one win.
But back to the Jaguars. They are returning home to play the only team the Giants have beat in the Texans. The Texans haven’t lost since their loss to the Giants, but I don’t buy them getting hot at 3-3 now. They are still the Texans and they still can never be trusted. Give me the Jaguars at home coming off the humiliating loss to the very bad Cowboys.
New Orleans +2.5 over BALTIMORE
The Saints’ slow start to the season appears to have been a fluke and they look every bit like the team that should have gone to the NFC Championship Game if not for the greatest game-winning play in the history of football. Normally, I would be against picking the Saints outside against a strong defense, but if I’m right about the Saints, this game won’t be a problem.
WASHINGTON -1 Dallas
This game will be depressing to watch since it’s a reminder that the NFC East was there for the taking for the Giants and they screwed it up. Last season, they sucked, but when you look at the type of season the Eagles had, the Giants were never going to win enough games to win the division. This season though? This season the Giants could have won the division. As you can tell, I’m over the Giants throwing away another year.
Los Angeles Rams -10 over SAN FRANCISCO
I don’t know what this line would have to be for me to not take the Rams. -21? -24? -28? I think -28 might keep me away from picking the Rams, but I wouldn’t feel good about it.
KANSAS CITY -6 over Cincinnati
Everyone loves offense in every sport. Not me. I like games where points or runs or goals are hard to come by. Where field position and baserunners and power plays matter. I don’t care for these ridiculous games where both teams are in the 40s, or in the case of Sunday Night Football, the 30s. The Chiefs and Patriots couldn’t have cared less about playing defense and everyone ate it up. It was sad.
The only thing we learned from the Chiefs’ first loss is that they aren’t to be taken seriously. That game gave the Patriots the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Chiefs and because there’s no doubt in my mind that the Patriots will reach the AFC Championship Game every season until Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are gone (if they ever leave), the Chiefs won’t be going to the Super Bowl. They can continue to be the Greatest Regular-Season Show ever, but they aren’t going to win a championship because of that loss. By the time the AFC Championship Game roles around, Belichick will have turned his crappy defense around and the Chiefs will be the same Chiefs.
NEW YORK GIANTS +4.5 over Atlanta
I could see the Giants going to Atlanta coming off nearly 11 full days of rest and beating a bang-up Falcons team and everyone thinking the Giants might go on some run because they beat the Falcons on the road.
I could also see the Giants getting embarrassed by a banged-up Atlanta team that can’t beat anybody right now.
The first option would likely sucker me back into thinking maybe, just maybe the Giants could get back in the division. The second option would have me upset that the Falcons won’t clean house of the coaching staff that handed the Patriots a Super Bowl.
Nothing good can come out of this game. Either the Giants win and they ruin their place in the 2019 draft or they lose and continue to be an embarrassment and the Falcons, who have cost me so much money over the last three seasons, win. There’s no result to root for in this game.
Last week: 3-11-1