The legend of Tebow is different. His pro career has us unified, even after just seven weeks of media attention. And you don't need to look any further than a New York sports bar on an NFL Sunday. Every Sunday I gather with friends to watch the games at an Upper East Side bar. The menu of fandom is diverse, with groups cheering for Indianapolis, Kansas City, Detroit, Miami, and Green Bay. Yet last Sunday everyone was transfixed on the Broncos' game because Tebow was leading another comeback. When the local broadcast switched to the Giants game, the crowd went nuts because Tebow wasn't on any TV anymore.
Chants of “Tebow… Tebow…” started in the crowd until the manager took a tip to throw on the Red Zone channel. Everyone cheered despite not having any loyalty to Denver and the noise got even louder when the Broncos kicked the winning field goal. In a time where this country seems as divided as it’s ever been, the young man from Florida unifies us as one. Which brings us to…
Locks of the Week:
DENVER -3 over Chicago
After seeing two weeks of Caleb Haine, I want to send Bears fans a big tub of Garrett popcorn to make them feel better. It only gets worse now that Matt Forte is out at least two weeks. And what do they have on the menu for this week? Only Football Jesus and the hottest team in football outside of Wisconsin is being served as a main course. Vegas continues to disrespect Timmy. I'll just stand around and take the winnings.
San Francisco -3.5 over ARIZONA
Last week's overtime win for Arizona should never have happened. Besides the fact that Jason Garrett unintentionally iced his own kicker, he never should've been resigned to kicking that long of a field goal. Dallas should've called their second timeout with 22 seconds left and tried to advance the ball further since they had another timeout. But I digress… Things won't be as easy for Arizona this week because the Niners are a well-coached group that takes advantage of mediocre teams. Last week they didn't allow St. Louis to get farther than the opposing 35-yard line. That's some pretty f*cking good defense.
Atlanta -2.5 over CAROLINA
You might question how good the Falcons are, but one thing is clear to me: They don't lose to bad teams. Their losses this year have come to Tampa Bay, New Orleans, Houston, and Chicago. That’s two definite playoff teams, one that would’ve made the playoffs had it not suffered injuries to its two best offensive players, and a Bucs team that was playing well til it got hit with all the injuries. Carolina is not on the level of those opponents because their defense is horrific.
Trap Games of the Week:
Kansas City +12.5 over N.Y. JETS
The Chiefs' offense is terrible in the Tyler Palko era. The only points they scored last week was on a hail mary, but it held up because Caleb Haine was on the other side. This would seem to be an easy game for the Jets, but do you have the confidence that Mark Sanchez can orchestrate a two-touchdown cover? I’m not so confident.
Minnesota +11.5 over DETROIT
At the time of writing this, we don’t know who will play QB or RB for Minnesota this week. If either Ponder or Peterson play, the Vikings should be good enough to cover double digits against the shittyDetroit defense. If they don’t play, they won’t score more than 10 points and the Lions should be able to clear 24 points pretty easily.
Rest of the Picks:
Houston +3 over CINCINNATI
Backing T.J. Yates in his first road game is a little scary, but the Texans will help him by running the same game plan that worked against the Falcons last week. Houston's running game and defense will again be enough to get the job done.
New Orleans -3.5 over TENNESSEE
The Saints have played their last seven games indoors, so they may be adversely affected to natural grass. But the Titans haven’t beaten a team with a winning record in the last 10 weeks, so I’m not too concerned.
MIAMI -2.5 over Philadelphia
Here we have two teams moving in opposite directions. Things are going so well in Miami that there’s talk Matt Moore will be the starter next year unless the Dolphins can bring in Peyton Manning.
New England -8 over WASHINGTON
The Redskins should be adversely affected from the loss of Fred Davis and Trent Williams to suspension. The Redskins would’ve struggled to attack the weak Patriot secondary as it was, so now there shouldn’t be much offensive success.
JACKSONVILLE +2 over Tampa Bay
It’s no surprise that the Jaguars still have 6,000 unsold seats for this game. I wouldn’t want to watch it either. I’ll lean towards MJD in this week’s Toilet Bowl.
Indianapolis +17.5 over BALTIMORE
I’ll repeat something I said last week. Since 1978, underdogs are 19-7 in games that featured a favorite of 17 points or more. I was dumb enough to go against the Colts in this stance last week, so I’ll roll with them this week. Baltimore has their only tough remaining game next week in San Diego, so they’ll be looking ahead.
GREEN BAY -11 over OAKLAND
The Raiders have looked rather uninspired offensively since Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford went down. If the Raiders can’t score, they won’t be able to keep up with the other guys. Green Bay will pick apart Oakland’s man coverage.
Buffalo +9 over SAN DIEGO
The Chargers are giving nine points just because they beat up the Jaguars? That’s a lot for a team who hasn’t played consistently well enough this year.
N.Y. Giants +3.5 over DALLAS
Just because we all know the division crown will come down to the Week 17 rematch.
SEATTLE -6 over St. Louis
There’s a very good chance the Rams start a QB fresh off the practice squad this week.
This Week: 0-1
Last Week: 9-7
Overall Record: 92-98-4