NFL Picks Week 7: “The worst is the pinching. You wouldn’t expect it.”

Scott Feschuk Last week: 7-5-2 Season: 45-39-6

Scott Reid Last week: 6-6-2 Season: 40-44-6

Got a mass email from the Buffalo Bills this week headlined, “Wang tries hand at guard.” It’s about time Favre’s penis got back to work.

Let’s get picking for Week 7…



Cincinnati (plus 3.5) at Atlanta

Feschuk: Big changes in the NFL this week – including a vow to enforce fines and suspensions for head shots, devastating hits, unnecessary canoodling, wet willies and failing to promptly send the quarterback a handwritten note of thanks after an interception. These panicky reforms have led to criticism that American football has become overly pansified. But in the league’s defence, it’s still two-hand touch, right? The Falcons have underperformed of late but I’m going to pick them because this is the new NFL and no one counts steamboats quite like John Abraham. Pick: Atlanta.



Reid: My favourite part of this story is the way James Harrison declared he would retire rather than be told he couldn’t hit people in the head at excessive speeds with his helmet. He was already sore about that on-field crossbow ban and the legal talking-to he got after he tried to roofie Tom Brady. How many more humiliations is a defensive player supposed to endure? When it was pointed out to him that retiring meant not getting paid, Harrison quickly amended his view. Still, I wouldn’t set my cocktail down next to him if I was a certain long-haired New England pretty-boy quarterback. Pick: Atlanta.


Washington (plus 3) at Chicago

Reid: Chicago is the Obama of the NFL. For a while there, I thought it had cornered the market on mad skills but lately I’ve begun to doubt its ability to deliver. On the other hand, failing to deliver at key moments is how Webster’s defines Donovan McNabb (there’s also some nasty stuff on Wikipedia that references the same themes in discussing my sexual performance). Washington has proven itself to be a tough and unrelenting competitor. An opponent that never gives an inch and might be beaten but is never truly defeated. Like bedbugs or the Wahlberg boys. I am looking for Mike Martz and Jay Cutler to come through in this match-up. (Surgeon General’s Warning: Medically speaking, the previous sentence is not a prediction. It’s a cry for help). Pick: Chicago.

Feschuk: Last week, both these teams disappointed like the back of Jennifer Lopez’s legs.

And both teams are statistical nightmares. Chicago’s offence started strong but has sputtered. Meanwhile, the Redskins are 31st in the league in stopping the pass, 24th in stopping the run and they rank ahead of only Journey in stopping the believin’. This game will come down to avoiding mistakes like the one I’m probably making when I say… Pick: Washington.


Jacksonville (plus 4.5) at K.C.

Feschuk: Quarterback controversy in Jacksonville! Fans are equally divided over whether David Garrard or Trent Edwards should get taken out back and put out of his misery first. Given a rare Monday night showcase, given their largest home crowd since 2007, the Jags came out excited and pumped and then faded worse than Kirstie Alley on the second flight of stairs. They got thrashed. Did you get a glimpse of Jack Del Rio on the sideline? I haven’t seen anyone look that despondent and suicidal since 2006 when I glanced in the mirror while watching Joey. Pick: K.C.

Reid: Rumours are running rampant that Magic Johnson has moved to make himself liquid – and not in a Lindsay Lohan kinda way – so that he can lead a bid to bring the NFL back to LA. He’s raised a reported $110 million after cashing in his Lakers shares and selling off ownership stakes in dozens of Starbucks (that could also be explained by the coffee chain’s decision sell Jack Johnson CDs at the checkout – a move that must anger any self-respecting black man). And where, you might wonder, would he pick up a stray NFL franchise? Well, it would have to be one that can’t win games. That has a flagging fan base. And that is currently led by a quarterback too untalented to the command the Bills’ offence. Let’s just say with all that packing of dishes and swimming trunks, I doubt the Jags will have much time to practice this week. Pick: K.C.


Pittsburgh (minus 3) at Miami

Reid: Pittsburgh is the top ranked team in the NFL according to ESPN. In an unrelated development, the KFC Double Down is the most popular food item in North America. I predict that Miami will not only cover, they will outright thump Pittsburgh this weekend. Your heard it here first. (Unless Miami loses, in which case I’ll insist that memories are flawed and it was Feschuk who said such a stupid thing). Pick: Miami.

Feschuk: A Double Down joke? If you were any trendier, you’d be feigning lesbianism for free publicity. In actual news, Deadspin has been running excerpts from a new book called NFL Unplugged, which features “all the lawlessness [and] organized insanity that the league would prefer you not know about.” One section deals with pile-ups after a fumble. Breaking fingers, gouging eyes, squeezing man parts – apparently, these are all common pastimes in the pile. One player said, “The worst is the pinching. You wouldn’t expect it. But it really hurts. Guys are pinching guys in piles. Hurts like hell if you get the right spot. In back of the knee. Or they get the soft spot on your calf and just pinch the hell out of it.” So basically diving for a free ball in the NFL is almost as bad as being the pool boy for Tom Cruise. Got it. Pick: Pittsburgh.


Philadelphia (plus 3) at Tennessee

Feschuk: Andy Reid is basically daring the football gods to smite him. He boasted this week that having both Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick at quarterback was “a beautiful thing” – the first time he’s used that expression since 2008 when he found a half-eaten Twizzler in his moustache. How will he decide which QB to play once Vick is healthy? “That’s what I get paid to do,” Reid said dismissively. At least this clears up one mystery: if Reid gets paid to pick a starting quarterback, that must mean he throws in the inept clock management and confused looks for free. Pick: Tennessee.

Reid: This is an interesting game. Not just because of the colossal clash of wire-thick moustache hair that will take place when Andy Reid, Jeff Fisher and Andy Reid’s belly meet mid-field to shake hands. But because Tennessee has turned into the kind of team that seems capable of winning or losing against any competitor – JCVD excepted, of course. I’m not saying that Philly is now openly delaying the return of Michael Vick from injury but they did send this guy to lay down on his rib cage with special instructions to “be sure to get the cartilage.”

Pick: Philadelphia.


Cleveland (plus 13) at New Orleans

Reid: Remember the days when it was cool to be like Eric Mangini? He was coaching a winning team. He made cameos on hit TV shows. His surname was a wonderland for masculine punchlines. Today, he’s right up there with reruns of Private Practice and sightings of Rocco Rossi on the list of things it’s not fashionable to talk about anymore. You know what? Good. Pick: New Orleans.

Feschuk: Listen, it’s not completely clear to me that Cleveland couldn’t win this game outright. Colt McCoy survived his debut against the Steelers and looked pretty decent when he wasn’t buried under 1,400 pounds of man. Plus, if Patrick Swayze could cross the firmament in 1990 just to give Demi Moore a goodbye kiss, then surely God has no choice but to give Otto Graham a weekend pass to lead the Browns to glorious victory and then go haunt the crap out of Art Modell. I’m pretty sure that’s in the Bible. Pick: Cleveland.


Buffalo (plus 13.5) at Baltimore

Feschuk: How bad are things in Buffalo? After only five games, the local newspaper has started monitoring the top college quarterbacks to see whom the Bills might get at No. 1 in the draft. The only flaw in that plan is that once the top college quarterbacks find out they’re being monitored by the Bills, they’re all going to start spazzing out on purpose. Andrew Luck drops back, looks, throws – oh, he’s nailed the trombone player in the nuts yet again! I for one put the blame for Buffalo’s awfulness on Barack Obama: that guy promised to usher in an era of profound change and two years later the Bills still suck. Although to be fair to the President, Buffalo really ought to have taken advantage of that Cash for Clunkers program – getting three grand for Trent Edwards would have been a steal. Time to switch our allegiance to the Tea Party and see if comparing Joe Flacco to Hitler will work. Pick: Buffalo.


Reid: Buffalo is hard to even watch these days. I’ve haven’t seen an operation this inept since Jerry Jones’ third facelift (for those following carefully, that was the one in Summer 2003, not be confused with the later tuck that was quite skillfully executed in December of the same year). When losing Trent Edwards is something you’re forced to regret it’s pretty much time to collapse crying on the bathroom floor and gulp down a bottle of Mennen Skin Bracer (tip: the iceberg blue goes down a lot smoother than that green-flavoured witches brew). If Chan Gailey can’t turn this franchise around, who can? A coach? I dunno – maybe worth a try. Pick: Buffalo.


San Francisco (minus 3) at Carolina

Reid: According to some media reports, Carolina plans to start Courteney Cox at quarterback this weekend. Ok. That’s a joke. They don’t have anyone that experienced. Although I did hear that Jimmy Clausen has been reduced to dating David Arquette. San Francisco looks to win two games in a row. Over the next month it’s got a schedule so easy that it ought to be called Ashley Judd. They’ve got to make a run here. Pick: San Francisco.

Feschuk: This seems like a fair matchup. Both teams need this game the way Rod Stewart needs to just stop already (a fifth American Songbook album? Really? Do us all a favour and leave some songs for Phil Collins to defile.) Both coaches have brains so powerful and high-pitched that only dogs can understand the decisions they make. The important thing for both teams is that they must not panic. At one point or another, most sports teams and all bands featuring Scott Weiland succumb to suckage. The best way for a not entirely sucky team to desuckify itself is to play an even more sucky team. We’re looking at you, Panthers. Pick: San Francisco.


New England (plus 3) at San Diego

Feschuk: The Chargers are in crisis and everyone is apologizing and taking the blame. The general manager is taking the blame. The defence is taking the blame. The coach is in his third hour of struggling to open a bag of chips. I’m telling you: If Norv Turner had commanded the forces of the north in the U.S. Civil War, the White House would be in Tuscaloosa, Luke Duke would be President and Jeff Foxworthy would be Secretary of Possums. Pick: New England.

Reid: Here’s a shocking fact: The Chargers are the best-rated passing team in the NFL and the best rated passing defence in the NFL. Here’s another fact: If Philip Rivers gets sacked once more he can officially qualify as a lawn care product. BHP has hinted that if they can’t get this deal through for Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, they might just buy out Rivers contract. Even against the Pats’ so-so defensive line, I smell the sweet odour of bone meal. Pick: New England.


St. Louis (plus 3) at Tampa Bay

Reid: There’s no real reason to insert a joke about Brett Favre’s penis into a discussion of this game. However, did you notice that I just said “insert” and “Brett Favre’s penis” in the same sentence. Hyuk. Hyuk. Sometimes even the most juvenile of humour is more interesting than discussion of certain matchups. St Louis is starting to beat teams that it shouldn’t. If Tampa Bay were any less interesting it would be a new song by John Mayer. Pick: Tampa Bay.

Feschuk: The Bucs running game is an abomination unto all that is holy and sacred in this world, including all three flavours of McDonald’s shakes, yet coach Raheem Morris keeps saying things like, “Don’t worry – Cadillac is still Cadillac Williams.” That’s actually good to know because I was beginning to mistake him for Anson Williams. Cadillac gained 18 yards on 10 carries last week, and holds a 2.5 yards-per-carry average on the season. I’ve lobbed marshmallows that have generated more forward momentum. Pick: St. Louis.


Arizona (plus 5.5) at Seattle

Reid: Pete Carroll recently confirmed a long whispered rumour: Yes, he and Olivia Newton-John are actually the same person.

This is, of course, great news for fans of Australia, sparkling eyes and the long-rumoured sequel Grease III: Kenickie’s Revenge. Pick: Seattle.

Feschuk: I have no idea who to pick here. So instead I’ll tell you that one of my favourite days on the sporting calendar is U.S. Thanksgiving, which for Canadians offers the twin pleasures of sneakily watching football while getting paid to work. In your face, capitalism. But this year? This year doesn’t look so good. The Lions are 1-5. The Cowboys are 1-4. Throw in the 2-3 Bengals in the late game, and the situation grows even more dire: Unless something is done quickly, millions of American football fans will be exposed to an unprecedented risk of actually having to talk to members of their family. They’ll probably discuss politics. There will be no survivors. Pick: Arizona.


Oakland (plus 8.5) Denver

Feschuk: Poor Oakland. If a tie is like kissing your sister, then losing to the San Francisco 49ers has got to be like getting caught kissing your sister’s Cabbage Patch Kid when I thought no one was looking. I mean you. When you thought no one was looking. I’m not saying Tom Cable has checked out mentally, but I bet he makes it only to the third quarter before throwing his clipboard to the ground and yelling: “You guys finish up here. I’ll get a jump on the drive to the airport and pick us all up some Sbarro.” Pick: Denver.

Reid: Tough week for Oakland. They lost to neighbour San Francisco with Jason Campbell turning in the worst weekend performance since Kenny Chesney tried to make it with a girl. Campbell actually played the whole game and still only generated a passer rating of 10.7. That’s a shocking lack of execution. It’s like Rob Ford going to a hockey game and not managing to bad-mouth a single new Canadian. It’s just hard to imagine. Denver is perplexing. They’re good. Then bad. Then ABC sitcom-bad. Still, they’re at home, Gradkowski is still injured and Tim Tebow scored his first NFL touchdown last week. Good to see The Lord finally come through for him. Pick: Denver.


Minnesota (plus 2.5) at Green Bay, Sunday night

Reid: A marquee clash of Brett Favre’s new and old teams rendered all the more contrasting by Rodgers’ prudish habit of not sharing polaroids of his down South. Green Bay appears to be sagging. Minnesota is stiffening up. Their D line is rock hard. And Green Bay’s secondary tends to bend in the middle. Someone stop me before I make a Fatty Arbuckle joke. Pick: Minnesota.

Feschuk: Did you hear that Wrangler has stopped airing those commercials of Brett Favre chucking footballs to a variety of fit, hairless beefcakes? The decision generated more than 6,000 calls of complaint, and a few that didn’t come from John Baird’s house. Pick: Green Bay.


New York Giants (plus 3.5) at Dallas, Monday night

Feschuk: According to Roy Williams, the Dallas Cowboys are actually 5-0 right now – it’s just that four of their victories have come against… the Dallas Cowboys. “We beat ourselves for the fourth time this year,” Williams said after Sunday’s loss to the Vikings. I haven’t seen a Cowboy so badly in denial since Tony Romo convinced himself all those boos were people shouting, “Romooooooooo.” Meanwhile, Wade Phillips insists his team is pretty decent as far as lousy teams go: “I guess we think we’re a better 1-4 team than some teams that are 1-4. I mean mentally.” Got that? Not only do the Cowboys think that about themselves – they think it mentally. They’re using the power of mental thinking. Phillips continued: “This team thinks… I still think they think they’re going to win this next game.” You can see why Jerry Jones is so reluctant to get rid of this guy. Pick: New York.


Reid: You’re bang on. For weeks now the Cowboys have been saying they’re the best bad team in the NFL this year. I think they’re being modest. They could be the best bad team in history. They’re like the Rick Springfield of professional football.




As a lifelong hater, I’m having an absolute joy this season. Each game brings new delights as Romo throws up his hands in frustration, Jerry Jones rubs his face in exasperation. And Wade Phillips stares resolutely ahead making a solemn and silent promise to himself that THIS time he’ll finally summon the discipline to wait and eat the red ones last. Pick: Dallas.

Can’t Miss NFL Picks and Other Lies is written by Scott Feschuk and Scott Reid, who run the cleverly named speechwriting and communications firm Feschuk.Reid.


Week 7 Byes: Lions, Colts, Jets, Texans.

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