|Cam Newton faces off against Drew Brees for NFC South supremacy on Sunday Night Football.|
The ups and downs of picking every NFL game against the spread is a lot like playing 18 holes of golf.
Let me explain: You know how a person can go out and have the worst golf rounds ever? The Informer is talking about slicing drives, “Happy Gilmoring” puts, spending more time in the sand than David Hasselhoff; the whole nine yards.
One of those rounds where you curse the balls, throw the clubs and swear that you will never again step foot on a golf course.
But then you reach the eighteenth hole and for some reason you boom a drive “John Daly style” 300-yards right down the middle of the fairway. The next thing you know you are chipping onto the green and putting for birdie. Just like that your whole day, and outlook on life, has turned completely around.
The absolute anger and joy that golf can bring a person is why the old saying goes, “It only takes one good golf-shot to make you excited to play again.”
Well . . . The emotions a person gets making NFL picks is the exact same.
Take The Informer for example; this year he has been absolutely atrocious making his picks. He is currently 19 games under the .500 mark, his "Super-Picks" contest is a bigger disaster than Amanda Bynes twitter account, his fake “alleged” bookie just bought a new car with The Informer’s money and worst of all the Lion King Lock of the Week lost six straight times at one point.
Honestly, the word atrocious does not do justice to the complete lack of competence The Informer has shown making picks this season.
But then Week 13 happened.
Not only did The Informer finish 9-6-1 ATS (Making everyone money for the second straight week) but his "Super-Picks" went 4-1 and the LKLOTW won again, bringing its overall record to 3-1-1 in the past five weeks.
Needless to say, just one week of success has The Informer excited to make picks again.
Sure it may have taken twelve weeks of misery and failure, but just like golf, all it takes is one good round of picks to get the juices flowing in the right direction.
Since The Informer has finally found his mojo, why don’t we skip the weekly rants and get right down to business with Week 14 of The Informer vs. The Question NFL Picks Challenge.
(The Informer note – The Informer was just joking about the “Alleged” bookie with a new car. Remember The Informer in no way condones any kind of illegal gambling, supper-picks contest, Caribbean gambling sites or guys named Frankie Fish. These picks are to be used strictly for recreational purposes or friendly wagers using Monopoly money. Thanks and have a great an enjoyable Sunday.)
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS @ WASHINGTON REDSKINS (+3.5)
It is hard to make heads or tails of the Kansas City Chiefs this year. I mean are they the team that won their first nine games by playing mistake free offense and smothering defense, or are they the team that became the first team in the history of the NFL to lose three straight games after starting 9-0?
Personally, I think the Chiefs just ran into the Denver Broncos to many times and will get off their slide this week against the falling apart Washington Redskins.
Pick: Chiefs -3.5
Did you know this is the fourth time this season the Chiefs have been favored by 3.5 points on the road? Did you also know the Chiefs are currently 3-0 ATS in those games?
Doesn’t that sound like a good trend to all of you?
Pick: Chiefs -3.5
MINNESOTA VIKINGS @ BALTIMORE RAVENS (-7)
This just feels like to many points. Especially considering that the Minnesota Vikings have been playing solid football the past few weeks.
Pick: Vikings +7
In December of 2012 Adrian Peterson rushed for 210, 154, 212, 86 and 199 yards in the five games he played. That is a grand total of 855 yards for the month.
In the words of Forrest Gump, “he was ruuuuning.”
Last week, in the Vikings first game of December 2013, Peterson continued his Christmas season dominance by rushing for 218 yards in the Vikings 23-20 win over the Chicago Bears.
The Informer doesn’t know about you, but it sure seems like Peterson is starting December 2013 the same way he finished December 2012.
If history is in fact repeating itself, then that means on Sunday we should all be prepared for a 154 yard 2 TD day from the Vikings great. And if Peterson is going to be dominating the game, you definitely don’t want to be picking the Baltimore Ravens.
Pick: Vikings +7
CLEVELAND BROWNS @ NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-12.5)
The New England Patriots are finally getting the Tom Brady-Bunch back and healthy. With that said, this is a lot of points for an NFL game.
Don’t ask me why, but double digit underdogs in the National Football League are usually the smart choice.
Pick: Browns +12.5
Did you all know that Bill Belichick used to coach for the Cleveland Browns? In fact, before “The Hoodie” became one of the greatest coaches of all-time, he was unceremoniously fired by the Browns.
Did you also know that since being fired Belichick has a 4-2 record against his old team with all four wins by an average of 16 points? This means when the Patriots beat the Browns under Belichick, they are handling them fairly easy.
There is no reason to think this week is going to be any different considering Cleveland currently has a quarterback competition featuring guys named Brandon Weeden (May miss game with concussion) Caleb Haine and Alex Tanney.
The Informer is going to follow the age old NFL picks rule that says always take Tom Brady at home when his competition is either a concussed Brandon Weeden, or guys named Haine and Tanney.
Pick: Patriots -12.5
OAKLAND RAIDERS @ NEW YORK JETS (-2.5)
Have you noticed how every week in the NFL there is one team that looks like a complete train wreck, only to come back the next week and play like world beaters?
Well I think this week the New York Jets are that world-beater team.
Pick: Jets -2.5
On one hand you have a really bad Jets team playing at home giving less than a field goal. On the other hand you have a really bad Oakland Raiders team playing on the road getting less than a field goal.
Sounds a lot like a stay away coin flip game.
Since The Informer has to make a pick, he is taking the Raiders under the little known rule that says if you are contemplating Matt Simms or Geno Smith as your starting quarterback then you can’t be favored over anyone.
Pick: Raiders +2.5
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS @ CINCINNATI BENGALS (-5.5)
I think we have finally gone too far with the whole Indianapolis Colts are not a good team overreaction. That is why I am joining The Informer and drinking the “Andrew Luck Kool-Aid” this weekend.
Pick: Colts +5.5
Here is The Informer’s timeline for this Sunday (FYI – The Informer is using military time):
12:00ct – Andrew Luck goes head to head against “The Sickness” A.J. Green. The Informer will be watching in his “The Sickness” jersey with his “Andrew Luck Kool-Aid” mug filled with grown up orange juice.
12:45ct – After one quarter of football, The Informer will officially mark all of his early picks as losses.
14:22ct – The Informer’s daughter wakes up from her nap and demands (Screams very loudly) Dora the Explorer gets put on one of the televisions.
14:55ct – The Informer’s friend Frankie Fish sends a text thanking him for paying his December rent.
15:25ct – Peyton Manning continues his assault on the record books and his march towards a fifth NFL MVP award against the Tennessee Titans.
15:33ct – The Informer gets his first death stare of the evening after telling his wife that yes . . . He will be watching football the entire day.
15:45ct – Dora and Boots ask “The Map” for directions over the “Grumpy Old Troll” bridge.
16:30ct – The Informer changes his Facebook status to “Russell Wilson is an overrated game manager.”
16:45ct – The Informer’s almost two year old daughter is put into time-out after she changes one of the televisions to the Arizona-St. Louis game.
17:25ct- The Informer sends his daily “you are the greatest” tweet to @randymoss.
17:50ct – Because Peyton Manning tells him to, The Informer orders two large Papa John’s pizzas.
18:30ct – All the afternoon games wrap up so The Informer turns it to ESPN to watch Chris Berman, Tom Jackson, Trent Dilfer and John Saunders talk about all the days’ games.
18:45ct – Mmm . . . Papa John’s garlic butter sauce #FAT!
19:25ct- Carrie Underwood sings The Informer a song about waiting all week for Sunday night.
19:30ct – "Who Dat" vs. "Ice Up Son"
20:30ct – The man, the myth, the legend Kobe “Black Mamba” Bryant returns to the Los Angeles Lakers for his first game since tearing his Achilles tendon.
20:39: - The Informer openly weeps after Kobe scores his first basket.
22:30ct – After watching ten hours of football, Kobe and Dora; The Informer is forced to watch an all new episode of Finding Bigfoot where believe it or not –they don’t find Bigfoot.
As you can see it is going to be a great Sunday at The Informer’s house.
Pick: Bengals -5.5
CAROLINA PANTHERS @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-3.5)
I do not believe the Carolina Panthers can beat the New Orleans Saints in the Super Dome. I know the Panthers and Cam Newton have been very impressive during their eight game win streak, but they are not about to walk into the Bayou and beat Drew Brees in prime-time.
Pick: Saints -3.5
The Informer really needs Brees to have a bad fantasy football week and for Netwon to have a really good fantasy football week; therefore, The Informer has this to say about the Sunday Night Football game on NBC: There is no way on “Tebow’s” green earth Newton can continue to play at such a great level.
Honestly, Cam has been getting lucky the past few weeks and Sunday will be the day his luck finally runs out.
Also, The Informer thinks Brees is going to have around 400 yards passing and at least five touchdowns.
All reverse jinxing aside, the Panthers will keep it close for awhile, but Brees in prime-time has The Informer thinking about Simba . . . Aka the Saints are the Lion King Lock of the Week.
Pick: Saints -3.5 LKLOTW
DETROIT LIONS @ PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (-3)
The Detroit Lions are like that person you know who has all the natural talent in the world, but for one reason or another they can't put it all together to make anything of it.
It is okay, you can all nod in agreement.
I think the Philadelphia Eagles and Nick Foles will continue their hot streak while the Lions will once again tease us with their ability before falling flat on their face.
Pick: Eagles -3
If there is one team in the NFC that The Informer would not want to play come January it would be the Lions. Seriously, would you want your team to play a single elimination game against Calvin Johnson?
The only problem with this argument is the Lions can’t stop shooting themselves in the foot (Losses to Arizona and Tampa Bay) while trying to secure their spot in the playoffs. Like “The Question” said, they can’t put all of their talent together.
With that said, The Informer thinks that scenario changed last Thursday when Detroit beat up the Green Bay Packers 40-10. The Thanksgiving Day victory is the type of momentum building win (First time in 10 years they won on John Madden’s favorite holiday) that the Lions will continue to build on all the way into January.
The Informer is going on record saying this team is going to be scary good a month from now, and they also are going to be scary good this Sunday.
Pick: Lions +3 (They will win outright)
MIAMI DOLPHINS @ PITTSBURGH STEELERS (-3)
Although taking the Miami Dolphins on the road goes against my better judgment, I think this Dolphins team has more threats and a better defense than the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Pick: Dolphins +3
The Informer thinks that RT1 and his friends are going to bully “Big Ben Roethlischickensaladberger” all over the field.
Also, keep in mind that the Dolphins are currently on a two game winning streak after the storm from their “When Texting Goes Bad” saga finally died down.
Now The Informer is not saying that the hazing brought this Dolphins team together, but he will say that the fall-out from the entire nation scrutinizing there every move has definitely brought this team together.
Watch for 60 Minutes own Mike Wallace to make some noise in his return to the “Steel City” as the “Miami Bullies” move one step closer to their first playoffs appearance since 2008.
Pick: Dolphins +3
BUFFALO BILLS @ TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (-2.5)
The Buffalo Bills are a different team on the road, and I don't mean that as a compliment.
Pick: Tampa Bay -2.5
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have won three of their last four games. Basically, other then falling apart last week against the Panthers, the Bucs have been sneakily good the past month.
Normally, despite the past month, The Informer wouldn't like the idea of Mike Glennon as a favorite, but like “The Question” said; Buffalo does not circle the wagons on the road as well as they do at home.
Pick: Tampa Bay -2.5
TENNESSEE TITANS @ DENVER BRONCOS (+12)
Well they are the Denver Broncos and the Tennessee Titans don't have the defensive secondary or the offense to stay close.
Pick: Broncos -12
Reason number 5,000 why Peyton Manning, and only Peyton Manning, is the 2013 NFL MVP: The Broncos were 3-1 without their head coach John Fox, who missed four games after having open heart surgery.
Before anyone says head coaches don’t matter in the NFL, just take a look at the Saints and Drew Brees this year with head coach Sean Payton, compared to the Saints and Brees last year without head coach Sean Payton.
Then again, according to some people winning NFL games without a head coach is nothing compared to winning NFL games with the best defense and running game in the NFL (The Informer is talking to the ludicrous people who think Russell Wilson is the MVP).
Pick: Broncos -12
ST LOUIS RAMS @ ARIZONA CARDINALS (-6.5)
The Arizona Cardinals are a really good team at home and I think they will bounce back from their 23-20 road loss last week against the Eagles.
Pick: Cardinals -6.5
Why don’t we ask the great James Van Der Beek whether or not he will be watching this game?
What about the Macho Man Randy Savage?
If you couldn’t tell The Informer has nothing constructive or creative to say about this game other then when in doubt take the points.
Pick: Rams +6.5
NEW YORK GIANTS @ SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (-3)
The San Diego Chargers are a good team and will take care of business at home against a New York Giants team that is acting like they got it figured out.
(Notice how I said acting . . . The Giants may have beaten the Redskins last week but they are still not a good team.)
Pick: Chargers -3
For those that don’t remember, or haven’t watched ESPN this week, 10 years ago Eli “Elite” Manning was actually drafted by the Chargers before demanding a trade because he didn’t want to play in San Diego.
And since this is only the second time Mannig has played in San Diego since being drafted everyone is reporting about it and trying to use the draft day fiasco as the story of this game.
Can you feel the drama?
Honestly, The Informer would rather read about Manti Te'os girlfriend showing up to watch this game then have to rehash the “Manning won’t play in San Diego” storyline.
As for the football game, the Giants are not dead in the NFC East yet.
Pick: Giants +3
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS @ SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (-3)
Pick: Seahawks - Fingers crossed (Reverse Jinx)
The Informer was trying really hard to not rant this week, but for the love of “Tebow” did anyone else read this story from ESPN.com?
For those that did not click on the link, it is a story saying that Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson should be the NFL MVP.
(Taking a deep breath . . . Trying to remain calm)
Okay The Informer fully understands that people want to make some kind of drama with the MVP, so they have to come up with these ridiculous ideas that someone not named Peyton Manning should win the award.
The Informer gets that, but can we please stop using stupid arguments like a game manager quarterback, with the best defense and running back in football, is more of a MVP over a guy who is re-writing the NFL record books on a weekly basis?
The Informer has one more question: When was the last time Peyton was not favored in a game?
Pick: Seahawks win and the Wilson arguments start getting even more annoying.
ATLANTA FALCONS @ GREEN BAY PACKERS (-3.5)
There is a simple formula for picking this game: No Arron Rodgers = No chance for the Packers.
Pick: Falcons +3.5
The Informer actually came up with a simple formula (All by himself with no help from anyone else) for picking this game: No Aaron Rodgers = No chance for the Packers.
Wait a second . . . What did “The Question” say?
Pick: Falcons +3.5
DALLAS COWBOYS @ CHICAGO BEARS (-1)
The Dallas Cowboys play to their competition like no other team in the NFL. That means this week the Cowboys will take care of the ball, play to their competition and give themselves a chance to win.
Pick: Cowboys +1
In the words of Chris Farley; “DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA BEARS . . . DA BEARS . . . DA BEARS . . . DA BEARS.
Pick: DA Bears -1
The Informer has no fancy send off this week, he just hope you all enjoy your NFL Week 14 and this video of Jimmy Fallon, Rashida Jones and Carrie Underwood singing our favorite songs.
2013 OVERALL STANDINGS
The Question: 85-104-6 (0-1 this week)
The Informer: 88-101-6 (1-0 this week)