* Update: Winner of the Beat Scott Reid Challenge announced below in the comments.
Scott Feschuk Last week: 6-8-1 Season: 73-68-3
Scott Reid Last week: 6-8-1 Season: 80-61-3
There are few things more enjoyable in life than beating Scott Reid at something – just ask Stephen Harper. And now it can be your turn!
Can’t Miss NFL Picks and Other Lies is proud to present the First Annual Beat Scott Reid Challenge. How’s it work? Simply email in your picks for this week’s games to firstname.lastname@example.org (feel free to post them in the comments, too, but they MUST be emailed in to be eligible).
If you get more games right than Scott Reid, you’ll be entered into a random draw to receive something that’s NFL-related and valued in the tens of dollars (no, not Terrell Owens’ work ethic).
Deadline for entries is kickoff of Thursday night’s game – though if you miss that you can still enter by Sunday at 1 p.m. ET and just have the Thursday game count as a loss. Spreads will be as listed in our picks below. All decisions of the judges, including which of the Landers sisters was hotter, are final.
Miami (plus 3) at Carolina, Thursday night
Reid: We have now gone three weeks in a row without an interception from Jake Delhomme. That’s the football equivalent of Robert Pattinson going three weeks without appearing on the cover of a teen magazine. So colour me skeptical about Miami’s chances in this matchup. Ronnie Brown won’t play. Chad Henne can’t play. But by God and Tony Sparano, Joey Porter will play no matter what those chatty Cathys at ESPN whisper. Personally, I can’t see how Carolina will lose this game. Of course, I can’t see how Kristen Stewart can fall for that phony Pattinson when my hair is clearly better. Pick: Carolina
Feschuk: Hi there! To all the young Twilight fans reading these words thanks to a Google search of “Pattinson and Stewart,” I’d like to welcome you to Can’t Miss NFL Picks and Other Lies. Wait, don’t leave! You may be surprised to learn that our blog is a lot like your little vampire movies in that we too spend an inordinate amount of time roaming the night while casting melancholic gazes at one another to the sounds of an independent/alt rock soundtrack. Also, Scott Reid is a werewolf. So there’s that. Pick: Carolina.
Cleveland (plus 3.5) at Detroit
Feschuk: You have to hand it to Eric Mangini – a fork, I mean. You have to hand him a fork so he can jab out both his eyes and not have to endure the visual horror of even one more moment of Browns-based ineptitude. Believe me, it’s the humane thing to do. Playing against a Ravens team that looked about as excited and engaged as William Shatner at a Star Trek convention, Cleveland couldn’t even advance the ball once past the Baltimore 45-yard-line. I’m willing to go out on a limb and make the call: Brady Quinn is a bust. He is never going to make it as an NFL starter unless they allow a 12th man on the field at the position of male model. Pick: Detroit.
Reid: If you don’t take back what you said about William Shatner, I’ll fight you. He adores us members of Trek Nation (I am looking at a lovingly signed photo of him with phasers set to kill as I read this – so I’m not screwing around here). And I’ll tell you what – I believe deep down that Eric Mangini is a Jar Jar Binks fan. He has that “George Lucas is better than Gene Roddenberry” horseshit look about him. And that’s why he’s such a big loser. (Note: you’re right about Quinn). Pick: Detroit.
Pittsburgh (minus 10) at K.C.
Reid: Mike Tomlin should send some roses to Bill Belichick — but for that incredibly boneheaded/arrogant/ridiculous fourth-down call on Sunday night, intelligent football people would be barking about Tomlin’s weak coaching skills. The Steelers win with great D, a strong running game and mistake-free quarterbacking from Big Ben – with the occasional big throw lumped in there. Last week Mendenhall carried the ball 13 times. Thirteen!! Except for that bisexual hottie from House, 13 is always a bad number (BTW we’re onto you Epps/Tomlin). Meanwhile Ben threw 40 times. Does that sound like balance? Does that sound like Steeler football? Does that sound like a gameplan? Does that sound like I’m using the phrase ‘does that sound like’ in a repetitively and rhetorically annoying way? Damn straight. The Bengals’ defence was great. The Steelers’ defense sagged. But it was Tomlin that blew this game. Pick: KC
Feschuk: We get it, we get it – you’re horny for that pretty actor on House and you’re letting your obsession cloud your football judgment. Let me break it to you gently: you are never going to get to make it with Omar Epps. Just let it go, okay? The truth is the Steelers haven’t been a running team all season. Roethlisberger is averaging more than 30 tosses a game and completing almost 70 per cent of his throws. These aren’t your mother’s Pittsburgh Steelers, Scott Reid – unless your mother was Art Rooney, which, come to think of it, would explain your patrician good looks. Pick: Pittsburgh.
Buffalo (plus 9) at Jacksonville
Feschuk: You know what I’d like to see? Just once, I’d like to see a coach fired with honesty. I’d like to see a team’s moneybucks owner issue a statement in which he declares the departing coach to be a clueless jackoff of the highest calibre who couldn’t find his own ass with a GPS set to “My Ass.” But no – Ralph Wilson fired Dick Jauron and it was all “thanks for this” and “best of luck” with that. Come on – Jauron was a disaster as head coach in Buffalo. If his playcalling got any more conservative, it would have started getting buzz as Sarah Palin’s 2012 running mate. And now the change comes too late to do any good for 2009. The only question left to ask this season is whether someone can make change for Terrell Owens. He needs $1.75 in quarters so he can phone in the next seven games. Pick: Jacksonville.
Reid: You know what I’d like to see? Just once? Maybe more than once, actually. It ain’t got much to do with the words “Coach,” “Jauron” or “Ralph.”
Indianapolis (even) at Baltimore
Reid: Ok. What am I missing here? Why is this a pick ’em? On one hand you have a quarterback who has already tossed 20 TDs, nearly 3,000 yards and showed last Sunday that he can pull a Jedi Mind Trick on opposing coaches. His team hasn’t lost – and he’s got two of the best linemen in the game anchoring his D. On the other hand you’ve got a team that’s played inconsistent football at best and is quarterbacked by a guy who gives up 8 TDs, 15 QB rating points and almost 700 total yards. Is there a secret injury? Does blanking Cleveland get you that much cred? Is it just about the defence? I think Indy is overdue for a loss and it will come. But not this week. Manning loves a challenge whether it be overcoming great defences or filming more commercials than Madge, the quicker-pick-er-upper lady. Pick: Indianapolis.
Feschuk: Forget Manning – the thing that really interests me about this game is Ray Lewis and his pre-game on-field motivational speech to the Ravens defence. Do you think he writes his speech out in long hand the night before? If so, how many exclamation marks do you think he uses? Twenty? A squillion? All of them?? I like picturing Ray Lewis 40 years from now. “You ready to play canasta? You REALLY ready to play some balls-out canasta??! DON’T MATTER WHO WE’RE PLAYING??!! GET OUT THERE AND KILL THEM!!!!” Pick: Baltimore.
Seattle (plus 11) at Minnesota
Feschuk: Seahawks coach Jim Mora is optimistic about his club’s chances at making the playoffs despite a sputtering offence and a 3-6 start. Meanwhile, I’m optimistic about my chances at Charlize Theron despite this gravy stain and leprosy. Pick: Minnesota.
Reid: Recently discovered among the private letters of Charlize Theron…”Dear Diary. What to do? What to do? I am so scared of gravy. And yet, I’m drawn to this mysterious man who smells vaguely of turkey fat and hides behind sackcloth. He’s like Mr. Darcy – but with weeping sores. I would have him now. But I need a man who believes. A man with faith. A man who can see a world of possibilities – a world where love conquers all and the Hawks make the playoffs.” Pick: Minnesota.
Atlanta (plus 6.5) at New York Giants
Reid: New York enjoyed its best week in months by not playing last week (there’s a lesson in there for you somewhere, Michael Ignatieff). Atlanta was quickly becoming my team-to-watch pick until they cost me $100 last week (as if the military families fund needs it more than me). So with Dallas and Philly staggering, it’s time for Eli to get it back together. Before the break, his injury was clearly costing him. He denies it. The team denies it. Richard Heene denies it. But seriously, can you trust a group like that? I’m saying New York comes back rested and better. Pick: New York
Feschuk: The Falcons have lost three of four and Matt Ryan is no longer getting the come-hither looks and fawning adjectives from folks like Chris Berman, Terry Bradshaw and Dan Marino. Instead, he’s only getting them from hundreds upon hundreds of willing, buxom females. Poor bastard. I think New York’s problems are so big that they can’t be solved with an extra week of Tom Coughlin staring at them intently. Pick: Atlanta.
Washington (plus 11) at Dallas
Feschuk: The Redskins got a victory last week and Jim Zorn was as emotional and weepy as a Miss America winner appearing on a Barbara Walters special while undergoing a sex change to become Dick Vermeil. And who could blame him? He’d finally earned a big win – plus, after listening to his playcaller all afternoon he walked away with a full-card bingo. What a day. That said, what exactly is Zorn’s role as head coach? He himself described it this way: he “chimes in” at critical moments in the game. Chimes in? Isn’t that what John Mayer does on critical social issues facing America and the world? Pick: Dallas.
Reid: The aptly named Zorn is a virtual Don Coryell compared to that lump of cream of wheat that coaches the Cowboys. Humiliated last week in a way that even Corey Haim would find cringe-worthy, Phillips’ post-game newser was all about how the refs screwed them. Remember, this was a game in which Dallas finally scored with exactly 38 seconds left in the fourth quarter. You gotta believe that’s on the ref. Pick: Washington
San Francisco (plus 6.5) at Green Bay
Reid: The Niners came out on top in one of the best hockey games I’ve ever watched last week. Sure, the goalies gave up six and ten goals respectively, but gosh what a wrister that Smith has. In other news, Green Bay demolished a team that most people had come to believe was the NFC’s best (that’s what I get for betting on Dallas – God is punishing me for abandoning my core hatreds). I know what you’re going to say. You’re going to say that Green Bay will win this game. You’re going to say that Green Bay matches up better in every department except running back and linebackers. You’re going to say I’m a homer who picks SF each week. I’m going to say toot my horn Fatchuk! This is a big line. The defense has come together and Crabtree is turning into a star. You give me Gore, Davis and Crabtree firing on all cylinders – along with Smith’s hot arm. I like this game. I like this team. They’re going places – just like that nice young Robert Pattinson. Pick: San Francisco.
Feschuk: Wow, that’s your second Robert Pattinson reference today. You’re crushing pretty hard – kind of reminds me of your Brian Dunkleman phase. The Packers’ defence surprised many analysts last week by shutting down the Cowboys. They also surprised Wade Phillips by not joining in when he started humming Before the Next Teardrop Falls on the sideline. The problem is that Green Bay’s offence is so impotent that Aaron Rodgers is going to be used in the next Viagra ad (“I was getting sacked all the time. Getting sacked was taking over my life. Then I tried Viagra and my getting sacked just kind of… stopped.”) Pick: San Francisco.
New Orleans (minus 11.5) at Tampa Bay
Feschuk: New Orleans barely beat the Rams last week, which probably explains why this spread isn’t 107. Vegas probably figures the 9-0 Saints have put it on cruise control and they’re going to coast like 53 Dan Aykroyds. But what Las Vegas fails to understand is that lots of people bring inflatable ladies with them when they stay in hotel rooms and just because I brought Donna down with me for a quick game of roulette is no reason to ban us from ever returning. Although, to be fair, I should have changed her out of the Batman costume. Pick: New Orleans.
Reid: I’ll have you know that Dan Aykroyd is talking about a Ghostbusters III movie and has reportedly signed to play Yogi Bear on the silver screen. So you got a damn funny definition of coasting, my friend. As for having relations with a doll in a Batman costume, I’m not here to judge. The way I look at it, New Orleans is due for a blow-em-up-but-big game (hey, that’s a pun). And I got a feeling that it’s coming this week. By at least 20, I’d wager. Pick: New Orleans.
Arizona (minus 9) at St. Louis
Reid: St. Louis surprised me last week. Not in a Scarlett Johansson ‘just walked out of my shower with a hankering for some fat and wheezy’ kind of way. But still, they caught me off guard. We forget that when he’s healthy and protected, Bulger can play some real football. And Stephen Jackson is nearly at 1,000 yards already. Remember, only a couple seasons ago, qualified experts had tagged them as Super Bowl contenders. That said, the Cards are rolling. And Warner is playing like in the old days when he first signed his blood pact with Zagan, Lord Demon of Deceit. I am tempted to bet on St. Louis but every time that happens I get all JaMarcus Russelly. Pick: Arizona.
Feschuk: It’s a unique challenge to coach the Arizona Cardinals. Six of their 16 games are guaranteed to be against teams that couldn’t beat the Alabama Crimson Tide on a neutral field (and I’m talking about the Alabama girls’ field hockey team). For the second straight year, Arizona is going to easily win the NFC West and clinch a playoff berth in the next week or two. And then the real coaching begins. How do you keep the team motivated? The answer: Four straight weeks of Scattergories. That game is fun. Pick: Arizona.
New York Jets (plus 10.5) at New England
Feschuk: It’s all well and good to say Belichick blew that fourth-down call, but how come no one is bothering to investigate why he made such a bad decision? I invite you to think back to Week 1 of the NFL season: Pats vs. Bills. And there, just after the final gun sounds, you can clearly see Bill Belichick walk across the field and actually touch Dick Jauron. That’s where the disease was passed. That’s where Belichick contracted Bad Coaching. His immune system is tough and he fought it for several weeks but it was just a matter of time. Eric Mangini touched Jauron in Week 5 and on Monday night he almost killed his best player by calling a risky play with seconds left in a game he couldn’t win. Rex Ryan touched Jauron in Week 6 and barely a week later his team was on its way to losing two games in the final minute. Sadly, it’s only going to get worse as the disease progresses. By Week 13, Belichick is going to be throwing the red flag to challenge the national anthem (“New England is challenging the ruling on the field that the singer did not botch the B-flat.”) Pick: New York.
Reid: The Jets really seem to have it together. Rex Ryan broke down in tears in his post-game address. Mark Sanchez read a prepared statement that, on the official bizanarama scale rates as Sanford-esque. They’ve lost five of the last six games. And now they go up against the division leader who would be even more leadery if their coach didn’t have an ego as large as Rosie O’Donnell’s compost bin. I can’t even understand the debate over Belichick’s call. It was ridiculous. Arrogant. And downright dumb. Here’s the surest sign that, despite all the protests it was indeed the wrong thing to do: He won’t try it again this week. For that reason, the Pats will win large. Pick: New England.
San Diego (minus 3) at Denver
Reid: If Norv Turner loses this game after beating the Eagles last week, I’ll know that the world is back on its normal axis. Last week’s game was perplexing. No weak clock management. No last minute choke. No strained looks of confusion and lost-my-dog-he-must-be-around-here-somewhere-what-about-under-that-fat-lady-over-there-oh-that’s-not-a-fat-lady-that’s-andy-reid-sorry-andy. It was mind-boggling. Meanwhile the Broncos are on a streak of luck that is becoming Michael Lohan-ish in its lameosity. Three consecutive defeats, most recently at the hands of the Redskins, who couldn’t beat a drum with the raised spirit of Keith Moon. It’s hard to believe that San Diego could blow this. But I know that Norv will screw me. I know it. Pick: San Diego.
Feschuk: Here we go again – another fast start for the Denver Broncos, followed by another mid-season swoon. This team fares about as well in November as the Edmund Fitzgerald. And here we go again (again) – another lousy start for the San Diego Chargers, followed by another mid-season resurrection. They’re coming on stronger than Herb Tarlek at Jennifer’s reception desk. These teams are like two ships passing in the night – and only one is on its way to the Port of Crapulence. Pick: San Diego.
Oakland (plus 10) at Cincinnati
Feschuk: I was getting worried about the Bengals. They were winning games. They were playing as a team. They were respecting the conditions of their parole. Thankfully the club came to its senses and brought in Larry Johnson to help get everyone back on the bus to Dysfunctionville. The real challenge will be making it interesting: Can the Bengals find a way to be responsible for an after-hours incident at a trendy nightclub that involves both handgun possession and homophobic slurs? I wouldn’t bet against them – except in a trap game after an emotional win over Pittsburgh and with easy games ahead against Cleveland and Detroit. Pick: Oakland.
Reid: The implication of your observation is that Oakland is a cut above Cleveland and Detroit. Which is like saying William Baldwin is a cut above Daniel and Stephen. Who’s kidding who? They all bite. Cincy on the other hand is Alec. And the Bengals are Jack Donaghy-hot these days. They will walk all over the Raiders. Cable will be the second head coach fired this season (although Mangini will give him a fight for it) and this spread gets covered and then some. Pick: Cincinnati.
Philadelphia (minus 3) at Chicago
Reid: This entry is a no-joke zone (much like every other entry on this blog). For the love of God Brian Westbrook: retire. You’ve had two concussions in three weeks. The more you get, the easier they are to accumulate. The more you accumulate, the more likely you are to end up eating cottage cheese without a fork for the last thirty years of your life. Instead we get this doctor-shopping routine where an athlete who doesn’t want to say Stop goes from one end of the country to the other looking for a brain specialist, a neurosurgeon, a GP or, in a pinch, a guy who failed out of veterinary night school to tell him the answer he wants to hear: that he can keep playing even though that will clearly risk severe and lifelong damage. Take two examples: Mike Webster and Steve Young. Webster didn’t quit. Young did. Young is a healthy TV analyst today living a full life as a Hall of Famer. Webster is dead and the stories of his last years are heartbreaking episodes of dementia, rage, and family hardship. Don’t do it, Brian. Just walk away while you still can. And Eagles – if he can’t make the decision for himself, you should. Pick: Philadelphia
Tennessee (plus 5) at Houston, Monday night
Feschuk: First off, a quick note of thanks to the NFL for scheduling those two marquee games last week: Bears/Niners on Thursday and Ravens/Browns on Monday. We saw a total of 32 points and 14 people giving a crap. Seriously, viewers were so bored that some of them almost talked to their wives. This match-up should be at least a little better. The Titans laid a lickin’ on my Bills last week, but their performance still paled in comparison to that of their owner, Bud Adams, who at the age of 86 was spry enough to flip an energetic “double bird” at a group of Buffalo fans. He’d have mooned them, too, but he stroked off and forgot where his ass was. Still, an 86-year-old man flipping off some rival fans! And Al Davis has the nerve to call himself an embarrassment to the game of football. Pick: Tennessee.
Reid: By the time I’m 86, I hope I’m done telling everyone who needs to hear it that they can go &#%! themselves. Who knows where I’ll be at that age – maybe a millionaire. Maybe destitute. Maybe still hanging out at your house after “new groceries” day. But I hope I’m over the trash-talking stage of my life. I’d hate to imagine myself in a retirement home screaming ‘blow it out your ass, you hack’ to the man from the local church who came to play piano and lead us in a chorus of My Grandfather’s Clock. Speaking of old, the Vince Young era is about to hit a third-game bump in the road. Pick: Houston.