NFL Picks Week 13: We’re like Donovan McNabb, but with keyboards

Scott Feschuk
Last week: 8-8
Season: 86-85-4

Scott Reid
Last week: 9-7
Season: 79-92-4

Feschuk: Wow, did you see some of those games last week? There hasn’t been that much scoring by football players since Dan Fouts and Joe Theismann went to The Dry Look.

In other news, what a piss-poor batch of Thanksgiving games this year. CBS is going to need a pretty catchy slogan to get people to tune in to watch the 10-1 Tennessee Titans decimate the 0-bazillion Detroit Lions.

Time to brainstorm:

  • Titans. Lions. It’s Still Better than Three Hours of Listening to Your Fat, Nagging Mother-in-Law.
  • One Lucky Viewer, Selected at Random, Will Win Bill Cowher’s Moustache!
  • Just Close Your Eyes and Pretend the Lions are the Pats!
  • It Will Be Slightly Less Tedious Than Being Stuck Next to Whoopi Goldberg on a Trans-Oceanic Flight.

Reid: I love American Thanksgiving. It’s so fashionably late. And it gives us such a great excuse to stay home from work, school or the parole board hearing and enjoy a little mid-week football. (By football I mean the Philly-Arizona match up – I’ll be watching The Shootist on AMC for the 13th time this month while the Lions and Seahawks play their games).

And since it’s a time to give thanks, I want to express my gratitude to Alex Spanos, owner of the San Diego Chargers. Short of a Red Ryder BB gun, I can’t think of a holiday gift that could thrill me more than the continued mix of hilarity and incompetence that is Norv Turner. God bless you for not firing him.

Week 12 saw yet another impossible last minute Chargers loss to a lesser team. Alex Spanos, you’re winking at the world. You know that without Norv Turner we would be lost. Reduced to the doughy centre of Wade Phillips. Without Mr. Spano’s largess we wouldn’t be able to tell jokes like: How many Norv Turners does it take to screw in a light bulb? Answer: Two. One to handle the light bulb and one more to stand around looking stunned wondering how many time outs he has left (answer: none). God bless you Alex Spanos.

(NB: last week, I mentioned that Minnesota had the number one rushing defence in the NFL. That wasn’t true – in this reality. In this reality, the Pittsburgh Steelers have the best run defence in the NFL. Ok. Fair enough. But piss on this reality, I say. In my reality Minnesota holds that title. Also in my reality: Batman exists, they’re making a sequel to Armageddon and that dressmaker from Lipstick Jungle – the one who was on the last season of 90210 – is my sometimes-whenever-I-feel-like-it sex partner.

Tennessee (minus 11) at Detroit (Thursday, 12:30 p.m.)
For more than three decades now I’ve watched NFL football, but I still see things I’ve never seen before – and not all of them are undiscovered folds of neck fat on John Madden. Which brings me to the question: have you actually watched the Detroit Lions play football this season? I’ve endured about 10 quarters worth of their games and believe me – the entire team spends most of the time looking as dazed and befuddled as Charlton Heston when he spots the Statue of Liberty. Pick: Tennessee.
Speaking of the Planet of the Apes, I wonder what Matt Millen is doing for Thanksgiving. Drinking Woolite with Barry Melrose and warming a seat for Andy Reid? The Detroit Lions are the reason I purchased NFL Ticket. I couldn’t hack it anymore. Watching the Lions on basic cable was turning me into a NASCAR fan. I needed other viewing options. Who can bear to watch these guys? They wander around the field like they’re taking part in a fire drill at a school for the blind. Pick: Tennessee

Seattle (plus 12.5) at Dallas (Thursday, 4:15 p.m.)
I know the Seahawks defence looked pretty good last week. I know Seattle kept it close and covered. But I still say that, in terms of unwise activities, wagering on the Seahawks right now is the football equivalent of hanging out on Oprah’s kitchen table while dressed as a ham. Pick: Dallas.
Matt Hasselbeck is the worst-rated QB in the NFL and about one more bad outing from a guest stint on Celebrity Rehab. Look, I’m giving it to you straight Matt – pick up your game or it’s dinner with Gary Busey while Jeff Conaway shits himself and moans for Vicodin. (On the bright side, Tawny Kitaen’s looking for a new companion.) Pick: Dallas.

Arizona (plus 3) at Philadelphia (Thursday, 8:30 p.m.)
Donovan McNabb just keeps making the worst possible decisions in his work. He’s the black David Spade. And he finally paid the price for his dreadful play, suffering the indignity of being benched during last week’s thrashing at the hands of the Ravens. One the bright side, he managed to stand next to Andy Reid for an entire quarter and emerge uneaten. So maybe his luck is changing. Pick: Arizona.
Donovan McNabb has had a rather bleak stretch: revealing he didn’t know the rules of the game he makes his living at, throwing the ball away like it contains girl germs, continuing to fail to sprout whiskers on his chin. It’s getting hard to rationalize his position as a starting quarterback. On the other hand, it’s not his fault that Andy Reid won’t call the occasional running play. I can’t explain it exactly but I’m pretty sure that somewhere in the explanation for Reid’s bizarre game plans lurk the words “pulled pork”. However, I’m the only person on earth who believes that Philly is going to respond this week. Pick: Philadelphia.

Miami (OFF) at St. Louis
As of the time of writing (a time known at my house as ‘open bathrobe hour’), the line wasn’t set for this game. No odds? So what! You think I look at the odds for the other games I fail to predict correctly? Pick: Miami.
Barack Obama has got a lot of nerve – he campaigned like crazy in Missouri on a platform of change. And three weeks later the Rams still suck. Typical politician. Pick: Miami.

Baltimore (minus 7) at Cincinnati
What a licking the Ravens laid on Philly last week – possibly marking the end of the Andy Reid era in Philadelphia (the cheese steaks can soon come down from the hills – when he’s gone it will be safe again for your kind). Speaking of the end, Cincy and Ocho Goofo appear poised to finally bring a close to their turbulent relationship. Johnson was held out of last week’s game by the team and everyone’s talking pretty trashy about everyone else. Also, they suck. Also, he’s a boor. Also, these sentences I’m using that start with ‘also’ aren’t grammatically correct or funny. Pick: Baltimore.
Over on, they have a feature called Coach Approval Ratings – where fans across the U.S. register their degree of satisfaction with their team’s coach. Right now Atlanta’s Mike Smith and Tennessee’s Jeff Fisher score the highest approval rating. Marv Lewis ranks behind Herm Edwards and Rod Marinelli. Thanks God the bottom of the list is cushioned (literally) by Andy Reid and Romeo Crennel. Pick: Baltimore.

New Orleans (plus 3.5) at Tampa Bay
Even in a topsy-turvy NFL characterized by chronic unpredictability, a few things remain constant: Norv Turner will do something stupid, Leonard Davis will continue to lose pocket change, government documents and small children in his belly button and Drew Brees will find a way to throw for 400 yards. Pick: New Orleans.
I was talking to a stranger the other day (uninvited – but they had no escape from me on a crowded subway car) and after I finished sharing my medical history I explained that I believe Tampa Bay is emerging as the surprise NFC Super Bowl pick. Think about it. If the Giants are going to be stopped, who else looks up to the job? My preseason pick, Seattle is beginning to wobble. Tampa looks strong. Plus, as I’ve frequently remarked: Jeff Garcia is married to a Playboy model. Now that’s a winner. Pick: Tampa Bay.

Indianapolis (minus 4.5) at Cleveland
Reports say that Brady Quinn is out for the season with a broken index finger and that GM Phil Savage along with Coach Romeo Crennel will be shown the elevator shaft when the season’s over. Suddenly, Indy is good again? Come on! Don’t believe it. The Browns will surprise and win this game. Crennel will still get fired. Pick: Cleveland
So what you’re saying is that Brady Quinn is done for the year, just like Tom Brady is done for the year. And these things happen in threes so we’d better alert Peter Brady before his voice tragically changes on the eve of the big session to record Greg’s awesome new song. Pick: Indianapolis.

Atlanta (plus 5) at San Diego
Maybe Norv should turn his first name to Kathleen. Then people would think he was a washed up actress who went through that horrifying Danny DeVito spell for a while and now sits around like Norma Desmond, drinking cocktails at breakfast and remembering the good old days. Yes, it would mean a sad, pathetic existence emptied of dignity and value. But it would be such a step up. In a related item, Matt Ryan is my new boyfriend. We go everywhere together and I like to wear his jacket when my shoulders get cold. Pick: Atlanta
If Norv Turner “coached” the Union forces during the U.S. Civil War, he would have invaded Connecticut by mistake and Bo and Luke Duke would today be co-Presidents of the United Confederacy. Pick: Atlanta.

San Francisco (plus 7) at Buffalo
Nothing like a game against Herm Edwards and the Chiefs to restore a team’s confidence. But now the Bills have to play a team whose defenders don’t technically qualify as infirm and/or deceased. It all comes down to Trent Edwards and whether he has truly overcome the ailment he developed in the Cleveland game – a condition known technically among NFL scouts as “throwing like a girl.” Pick: Buffalo.
Mike Singletary is going to will his team to win or pass a kidney stone trying – possibly an entire kidney. Possibly Vernon Davis’s kidney. Trent Edwards is still in deep do-do. Beating Herm Edwards is like passing a test that you already had the answers to. Means nothing. Pick: San Francisco

Pittsburgh (plus 1) at New England
Three things I don’t believe: Jack Bauer is tougher than me. Karoke is losing its shine. The hype about Matt Cassell. Sure the guy has passed for 400 or so yards a couple times. But he’s got the best, most talented surrounding cast since Alice walked into Mel’s Diner. The Steelers are for real. They’re going to control the clock, limit Moss and win this game. Even without a fully-functional Parker. Sorry Matt. But you don’t send a boy to do a man’s job. Pick: Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh has a bunch of starters out and New England has a bunch of genius in. The black doctor from House won’t know what hit him and his Steelers. Pick: New England.

Denver (plus 8) at New York Jets
Tough times on offence for Denver, which will make this one a challenge. Remember when the Broncos used to be able to start anyone – and I mean anyone – at running back and still gain at least 100 yards on the ground? Consider his clipping from the archives of the local paper:

DENVER – Mrs. Gladys T. Ruffman, 74, a retired seamstress from Boulder,
Colo., rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns last night, leading the
Denver Broncos to a 24-13 victory over the Oakland Raiders.

Mrs. Ruffman got the call following a pre-game injury to Denver’s starting
running back, Chester T. Higgins, 82, of Aspen. The nature of Mr. Higgins’
injury was not disclosed, although a sideline microphone did catch him
informing team trainers: “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”

Mrs. Ruffman, aided by the Broncos’ legendary offensive line and a new
walker purchased by her son-in-law Glenn, took a pitch from QB Jake Plummer
and shuffling six yards for a critical touchdown. Mrs. Ruffman later
described Plummer as “a nice boy.”

Pick: New York
Can’t top that. Pick: New York

K.C. (plus 3) at Oakland
I can’t believe I’m going to say this but I’m taking the Raiders. I’m also going to see Australia because I believe Nicole Kidman has hidden a message in the film that only I can decipher. Pick: Oakland.
Mark my words: eyes are going to be glued to the broadcast of this game – because honestly, there’s no other way anyone would watch it. Pick: Oakland.

New York Giants (minus 3.5) at Washington
Signs Your Team Won’t Be Making the NFL Playoffs:

  • Inspirational “bulletin board material” consists of travel brochures for January cruises.
  • Thesaurus in press box permanently opened to page with word “sucks” on it.
  • Head coach announces he’ll be “on vacation” from weeks 14 to 16.
  • After listening to play call in his helmet, quarterback hears offensive co-ordinator mutter to self: “…as if that’s got a hope of working.”
  • You look at the sign on the door of your locker room and it reads: “Locker Room of the Washington Redskins.”

Pick: New York.
Have to agree with you there sister. In fact, I don’t like the odds of Washington or Dallas making it to the post-season. And that suits me just fine. Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder are two owners I can do without. Pick: New York

Chicago (plus 3.5) at Minnesota
Chicago is becoming one of those teams that are impossible to pick. One week they play great. The next they’re terrible. It’s like they’re the Liberal Party half of the time. At the end of the day, I have to take the points in this game – and content myself in the knowledge that even when they win, Gus Frerotte throws up one or two interceptions. Pick: Chicago
Stumped for what to get your loved one for Christmas? How about a week at Tavaris Jackson and Rex Grossman’s Fantasy Backup Quarterback Camp! (Clipboard and headset are included.) Pick: Chicago.

Carolina (plus 3) at Green Bay
Both teams are coming off tough losses. The Panthers got spanked by the upstart Falcons and Aaron Rodgers came up about 2,000 points short in his quarterback duel with Drew Brees. Carolina’s the superior team, but Green Bay is more desperate and playing at home. And I always tend to go with the desperate team – which explains why I vote Liberal. Pick: Green Bay.
Your pick blows! It just utterly blows! Carolina is going to put the nail through Ted Thompson’s head. This Green Bay team is standing in the town square of Nowheresville and it’s going to be there for a good long stretch. I’ll bet you 50 bucks on this game, you wuss. Pick: Carolina

Jacksonville (plus 3) at Houston
Jacksonville has lost four out of the past five games and their only win came against the Lions – which is a little like saying you nailed Wendy O’Williams in 1981. Get in line, buster. Meanwhile, the Houston offence appears to be getting its act together. That said, I believe in a place called Hope and a man called Scott Feschuk. I am taking his Super Bowl-bound Jags to make meat out of Houston on Monday night. Pick: Jacksonville.
Feschuk: I’m looking forward to the NFL Films’ DVD of the 2008 Jacksonville Jaguars playoff hopes, which should be available in stores as soon as the commentary track is recorded by Moe, Larry and Curly. Pick: Jacksonville.

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