Pigskin Pick ‘Em: So you’re telling me there’s a chance?

Pigskin Pick ‘Em: So you’re telling me there’s a chance?

After another middling, but positive, performance in the NFL’s 14th week, the column received a much-needed week off. The NFL season can be a grind and the accumulation of close losses and heartbreaking bad beats had taken their toll. Going into the penultimate weekend the column sits at 90-108, a disappointing mark to be sure. The possibility exists to still end the season on the plus side of the ledger, but it would take a pair of incredibly fortunate performances as we near the end of December. To quote Jim Carrey in his infamous film Dumb and Dumber, a title that would be fitting for this column, “so you’re telling me there’s a chance!”

TEXANS @ Bucs +3

Houston needs a win to stay ahead of the Tennessee Titans in the AFC South race. The Texans recently dropped a game against the Denver Broncos, a disappointing performance that should serve as a reminder that they can’t overlook bad football teams. The Bucs have done well to reach 7-7 and have a chance to finish the year above .500. Unfortunately for pirate faithful, Tampa has lost star wideout Mike Evans for the season and QB Jameis Winston is battling injuries to his throwing hand. It feels like the stars are aligning in the Texans favor. Texans win 30-23

BILLS @ Patriots -6

What happened to the Clam Chowda!? The Patriots dynasty finally, unbelievably, appears to be reaching it’s end. The offense, led by the greatest QB’s of all-time, has sputtered miserably. Even the defense, which started the year in historic fashion, thanks in large part to the easiest schedule in the NFL, has slowed in recent weeks. It’s been a long time since an AFC East rival has had a realistic chance to unseat the Pats, but Buffalo finds themselves in that position. Can Bills QB Josh Allen get the job done? Patriots win 17-13

Rams @ 49ERS -6.5

The 49ers and Seattle Seahawks are on a collision course for a week 17 winner take all showdown. It seems the football gods are determined to have these teams at 12-3 heading into that critical matchup. The Rams are merely a pawn that must be disposed of in route to more glorious contests. If the Rams organization had any class, they would simply forfeit. 49ers win 30-14

Jaguars @ FALCONS -7

It’s hard to believe a bad Falcons team could be a touchdown favorite over anyone but that line highlights just how incredibly bad the Jaguars have been in recent weeks. The “sacksonville” defense, the envy of the NFL just two seasons ago, has completely dissolved and a damning statement issued by the NFLPA noted just how corrupt and unethical this franchise has become. Falcons win 28-13

Ravens @ BROWNS +10

The Browns bizarrely defeated this incredible Ravens team early in the season and I’m guessing history will oddly repeat itself in a shocking upset. The Browns are that team that does just enough to stay relevant. They’re bad at football, don’t get me wrong, but they always seem to conjure up an impressive victory right about the time you’re ready to write them off. This feels like one of those times. Browns win 27-24

Saints @ TITANS +2.5

Let’s connect the cosmic football dots. Saints QB broke a pair of Peyton Manning passing records in New Orleans in a resounding win over the Colts last week. Manning played college football for the Tennessee Volunteers. Manning is football in Tennessee. The Titans are also in Tennessee. Do the football gods exact revenge on Brees for breaking Manning’s mark with a critical loss on Sunday? It’s obvious. Titans win 26-21

PANTHERS @ Colts -7

Rolling the dice on the Panthers and new starting QB Will Grier. The rookie passer is getting a chance to show that he can the Panthers QB of the future after Cam Newton’s original replacement, Kyle Allen, proved not to be. The Colts, ravaged by injuries, are sputtering mightily down the stretch. You get the feeling Indy just wants the season to end. Panthers win 21-20

Bengals @ DOLPHINS -1

My mother once told me if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. Dolphins win 30-28

STEELERS @ Jets +3

The long anticipated LeVeon Bell revenge game! Be sure to DVR this slugfest. The Steelers have been winning games by preventing points. The Steelers are very bad at scoring points. Pittsburgh is an OK football team, but they’re just painful to watch. The Jets? Everything about the Jets is painful. Steelers win 23-16

GIANTS @ Redskins -2.5

This is a game the United States military should consider forcing detained terrorists to watch. Name a better interrogation tactic. Any villain would give up the dirt by the middle of the second quarter just to make this degradation of American football stop. Giants win 21-14

Lions @ BRONCOS -7

I don’t have the exact numbers in front of me, but it seems like every time I side with Denver this season they lose. When I fade the Broncos, they win. This leaves me with no choice but to back the Donkeys for the remainder of the year, ensuring a miserable finish for Donkey faithful. The Seahawks are no longer in the AFC West, but old rivalries are hard to kill. Broncos win easily, without doubt, 24-3

RAIDERS @ Chargers -7

The Raiders are another team I’ve been wrong about all season long. The AFC West as a whole has been difficult to predict. I don’t have any logic for siding with the Raiders. Seven points does seem like a big number to give for Chargers backers. San Diego QB Philip Rivers is older than me. That’s bad. Raiders win 24-21

COWBOYS @ Eagles +2.5

This feels like a game the Cowboys have to win for a number of reasons. One, to make the playoffs a win in Philly would be crucial. Two, the Cowboys are America’s average team. A win here almost secures Jason Garrett returning to coach the team again next season, continuing Dallas’ embrace with mediocrity for another 16 wonderfully painful games. The football gods decree it so. Cowboys win 21-17

Cardinals @ Seahawks -9.5

I will not be making a pick in this matchup. With the Seahawks at 11-3 and in a three-way tie for the number one seed in the NFC I can’t afford to jinx this game in any way. I have no thoughts about this game whatsoever. I am not overconfident. I respect all opponents regardless of their record. Cardinals fans are wonderful people and I have nothing but love for the entire state of Arizona.

CHIEFS @ Bears +6

The Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes throwing pristine passes (and he is getting healthier). The Bears have Mitchell Trubisky airmailing wounded ducks. That’s the pick. Mahomes is the pick. Chiefs win and send the Bears to an early hibernation 28-17

Packers @ VIKINGS -5.5

I think the Packers are a worse 11-3 team than the Seahawks. The Cheese Heads barely squeak by NFL bottom feeders and get pummeled by any team with a decent record. It’s hard to forget the beatdown the Packers took from the 49ers a few weeks ago. The Vikings are the better team and they’re at home. A Vikings win ties these teams atop the NFC North standing at 11-4. It feels like it’s destined to play out that way. Vikings win 33-24

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