If you take a look at the slate of games this weekend, you’ll notice that — save for Jets vs. Patriots — the lineup for week 7 is about as exciting as the fifth hour of Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi hearing.
For the second time this season, fans in London get to enjoy some tantalizingly awful football, this time in the form of the Jaguars versus the Bills. Gus Bradley might become the second coach this season to be fired in London, which would really be something!
Elsewhere, you’ve got the Bucs vs. the ‘Skins, or the Browns vs the Rams, or, if you’re really crazy, the Raiders vs. the Chargers.
This is one of those weeks that is probably as good a week as any to turn off the TV, uninstall your various fantasy football apps, layer up and go enjoy that crisp fall air. Maybe go apple picking! Carve a pumpkin! Try some semi-nauseating novelty pumpkin spice candy!
Not interested? Me neither.
Here’s the thing about the weeks in the NFL where practically all of the games are — on paper — utter, unforgivable garbage. Almost always, these are the weeks that are also by far the most fun.
There’s something great about a weekend of games in which the quarterbacks throw a combined 8 interceptions and 3 touchdowns, and the coaches forget how timeouts work, and the linemen get called for holding on literally every other play. It’s garbage, sure, but it’s the most entertaining garbage you’ll ever watch.
Not always, of course. Normally we want high levels of competition, and dazzling displays of athleticism, and grit. But trust me here, some weeks the worst that football can offer is just the best entertainment. That’s this weekend. I can’t wait.
I guess I should also say something about my record picking games against the spread, since that is, loosely speaking, the point of this weekly column. After a lacklustre 5-9 performance last week, I dropped to 39-39-3 on the year. Decidedly meh, I know, but I’m sensing a big week here.
Seattle Seahawks (-6.5) at San Francisco 49ers
I’m not an NFL head coach (believe it or not), but I have to imagine that a story about your running backs crashing their cars while drag racing home from practice isn’t exactly what you want during a short week of practice, especially when you’re 2-4 and have caught the Tom Coughlin fourth quarter choking bug.
So I think they bounce back tonight!
The pick: Seahawks -6.5
Buffalo Bills (-5.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars (in London)
Poor, poor London.
The pick: Bills -5.5
Cleveland Browns (+5.5) at St. Louis Rams
I’m starting Josh McCown in my fantasy league, which tells you a lot about how my fantasy league is going. So I’m gonna roll with him here, too!
The pick: Browns +5.5
Pittsburgh Steelers (-2) at Kansas City Chiefs
Honestly at this point I think Landry Jones is straight-up better than Alex Smith.
The pick: Steelers -2
Houston Texans (+4.5) at Miami Dolphins
Shout out to Ryan Mallett, who is being benched, but has a higher QBR than Peyton Manning!
The pick: Dolphins -4.5
New York Jets (+9) at New England Patriots
Ten more years of Tom Brady! Just what every NFL fan wants!
The pick: Jets +9
Minnesota Vikings (-2.5) at Detroit Lions
The Vikings are coming off a bye, and I like their defence.
The pick: Vikings -2.5
Atlanta Falcons (-4.5) at Tennessee Titans
Even if Mariota plays, the Falcons win this one pretty comfortably.
The pick: Falcons -4.5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.5) at Washington Redskins
The Interception Bowl!
The pick: Redskins +3.5
New Orleans Saints (+4.5) at Indianapolis Colts
The Colts looked decent against the Pats, and the Saints are most certainly not the Pats.
The pick: Colts -4.5
Oakland Raiders (+4) at San Diego Chargers
Chargers win in a shootout.
The pick: Chargers -4
Dallas Cowboys (+3.5) at New York Giants
I’ll leave this one to our National Poet Laureate, Eli Manning:
Eli Manning on NFC East: “Everybody’s kinda going through some stuff.”
— Paul Schwartz (@NYPost_Schwartz) October 20, 2015
The pick: Giants -3.5
Philadelphia Eagles (+3) at Carolina Panthers
This line is too low — Panthers win easily.
The pick: Panthers -3
Baltimore Ravens (+7.5) at Arizona Cardinals
Baltimore hasn’t lost a game by more than a touchdown, but whenever the Cardinals win, they win big. I’ll take the Cards, since the Ravens haven’t covered the spread this season.
The pick: Cardinals +7.5
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