Welcome to Fleetwood / Matt NFL Picks series, a barely-named weekly NFL picks column.
We are Matthew Ederer and Fleetwood Brown, two young and scrappy (Matt’s Note: I am 32 years old) comedians / writers / sports nerds / idiots from the northern socialist paradise known as Canada. Every Thursday, we’re gonna pick the winners of every single NFL game of the week for you. While we have no particular expertise in football (Fleet did play Canadian high school ball! He says with a straight face) what we do have is a whole cap full of moxie.
About Matt: Dolphins fan, owner & curator of this here Sportsfap website. I used to write for TheScore up in Canada. Now I write here. We all make poor decisions.
About F-Dawg Johnston: avid Browns fan with a heart of coal. Looking into a crystal ball which allows me to know who wins games before the future. Big time baller, small time jokester. DISCLAIMER: If you stick with me you will make literally no money.
All Lines & O/U totals are according to The Score as of 2:00pm, Thu Sep 5 2019.
THURSDAY, SEP 5
8:20pm EST – Green Bay Packers (0-0) @ Chicago Bears (0-0)
Line: Bears -3. O/U: 46.0
Matt: Aaron Rodgers is 16-5 lifetime in starts vs the Bears. It’s very tough to pick against that. However, Green Bay is throwing a new-look, supposedly-run-heavy offense at a Chicago defense that might be the best in the league. I don’t like the idea of a brand new offense vs this incredibly stout defense (anytime you can describe a defense as “stout”, you know that team is serious). While the Bears lost two starters on defense (S Adrian Amos & CB Bryce Callahan) they added a safety in Ha-Ha Clintox Dix who is familiar with Rodgers’ tendencies, if not his new offense.
Bears were 12-4 last year, and I don’t see them falling too far off of that this year.
Matt’s Pick: Chicago Bearce
Fleet: Mike Pettine (ex Brown) runs the Packers’ defense so easy call, but it turns out Chuck Pagano also worked for the Browns (DB coach 2001-2004). Head coach > DB coach, so Pettine > Pagano. There are also football players on both teams (might add more ex-brown coaches to the debate).
Fleet’s Pick: Green Bay Packers
SUNDAY, SEP 8
1:00pm EST: Atlanta Falcons (0-0) @ Minnesota Vikings (0-0)
Line: Vikings -4. O/U: 47.5
Fleet: I often forget Kirk Cousins and Matt Ryan are different people.
Fleet’s Pick: Minnesota Vikings
Matt: I actually like both of these teams this year, tough game to pick. Minnesota has been a sexy pre-season Superbowl pick for so long that people are now over them, and have forgotten the Vikings are actually really good. While last season was a down year, Minny is talented on both sides of the ball, which might be more than you can say for the offensively-inclined Falcons.
I see two fairly similar offenses, and one far superior defense. Give me Minnesota here.
Matt’s Pick: Minnesota Vikings, Over 47.5
1:00pm EST – Baltimore Ravens (0-0) @ Miami Dolphins (0-0)
Line: Ravens -7. O/U: 37.5
Matt: I am a Miami Dolphins fan. The Jason Taylor jersey is staying in the closet this season.
To be totally fair to my favourite team, Miami just traded Laremy Tunsil — an offensive lineman who was caught smoking bongs out of a gas mask on his draft night — for two future 1st round NFL draft picks. There’s a universe where Laremy Tunsil was kicked out of the league and is getting ready to start for the XFL’s St. Louis BattleHawks. It’s really hard to be mad about that value. Shout out // sincere, heartfelt thank you to Tunsil, the most important Miami Dolphin since Dan Marino (Kidding, sort of).
While the Tunsil trade is an absolute no-brainer value wise, it is 100% the type of deal that benefits every season but the one we’re in. Baltimore is going to torch these poor Dolphins. Ravens by double digits. This is my gold pick. Big shoe of the week.
Matt’s Pick: Ravens, Ravens -7. Ravens – 27, GOLD PICK
Fleet: RAVENS win.
Fleet’s Pick: RAVENS win.
1:00pm EST – Buffalo Bills (0-0) @ New York Jets (0-0)
Line: Jets -3. O/U: 41.0
Fleet: Kaare Vedvik goes 22/29 on the year (might change this one).
Fleet’s Pick: New York Jets
Matt: Quick aside: in Week 1 and 2, the O/U totals can be really skewed. You can find some bargains in there. This is one of those times: the O/U number is just daring you to take the over at 41 total pts. I would actually probably take the under on this game still, as it’s highly possible both teams score less than 20 points. But if you like either of these teams’ offenses at all, that’s one to circle.
For the thought process behind my pick, please consult this blurb about the game, written by Buffalobills.com:
It’s been 16 years since Gregg Williams was dismissed as Bills head coach. And he’s now at his ninth NFL stop since then as the new Defensive Coordinator of the New York Jets. Williams has spent 20 seasons in the league as either a head coach or defensive coordinator.
And in every stop, he’s always been regarded as a defensive mastermind with a knack for finding a way to pressure opposing quarterbacks. Expect most of the same this week as Williams game plans to stop Josh Allen.
Two of Williams’ key pieces are missing this week, however. Linebacker Avery Williamson is out all season with a torn ACL and linebacker Brandon Copeland is serving a four-game suspension for using PEDs.https://www.buffalobills.com/news/top-7-storylines-for-the-bills-at-jets-kickoff-weekend
The loss of those big pieces does scare me, but Gregg Williams has had a full off-season to prepare for Josh Allen’s brand of QB scramblin’. While I wouldn’t put any money on any facet of this one, the Jets are going to make Allen beat them through the air, and I like the Jets’ chances to stop Allen more than I like Allen’s chances to stop the Jets. It’s also possible that Le’Veon Bell’s goes off for 100 yards rushing & 100 yards receiving.
Both of these teams could be solid this year. 8-8 / 9-7 ish. The Bills may end up better than the Jets by December, but give me New York this week.
Matt’s Pick : New York Jets
1:00pm EST – Kansas City Chiefs (0-0) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0)
Line: Chiefs -4. O/U: 52.5
Matt: Short and sweet: Kansas City is going to win the Superbowl this year. I think they take this one. Much like the last game, the over-under might be a little wonky here. I like this to go under 52 total pts.
Fuck Tyreek Hill though. In case that was unclear.
Matt’s Pick: Kansas City Chiefs, Under
Fleet: Fuck Tyreek Hill, Go Jalen.
Fleet’s Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars
1:00pm EST – Los Angeles Rams (0-0) @ Carolina Panthers (0-0)
Line: Rams -3. O/U: 50.5
I am singing at the party,
I am singing it’s my turn to sing, at the party.
Everyone is dancing, happy, party,
But Ramsey’s is not dancing, he does not dance at the party.
Ramsey’s number one, he knows the secrets of desire,
Ramsey’s number one, he put the people all on fire,
Ramsey’s (splashes gatorade in face)
Aaron Donald gives one of his knees to Gurley and is still better than most at the DT position.
Fleet’s Pick: Los Angeles Rams
Matt: The young and scrappy Los Angeles Rams made the Superbowl last year, before getting thoroughly shit-housed by the New England Patriots. It’s really hard to know if they’ve been exposed, or if that was that a one-time situation that the Rams will bounce back from. The Superbowl loss a few years ago appeared to slightly derail the Falcons in 2016, but losing to the Eagles the year after really didn’t hurt New England, who went right back to the bowl and won it in 2018. With this being Week 1, it’s really hard to tell how St. Lou-..os angeles (as everyone called them for two years) will respond.
Before Cam got hurt last season, the Panthers were looking really good under new O-Coordinator Norv Turner. The problem is, Cam’s always hurt. The hipster in me wants to take the underdog Carolina here, but the Rams are a talented team with the best defensive player in football in Aaron Donald ready to potentially end Cam Newton’s career at any moment.
Matt’s Pick: Los Angeles Rams
1:00pm EST – Tennessee Titans (0-0) @ Cleveland Browns (0-0)
Line: Browns -5.5. O/U: 45.5
Matt: The Browns are like the 2002-03 LA Clippers: everybody’s second favourite team. Having said that, they may also be as successful as the 02 Clippers, we don’t know. I do think they crank the Titans this week.
Matt’s Pick : Cleveland Browns
Fleet: Ghosts of Charlie Frye, Ken Dorsey, Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn…(you can see where this is going) look on as jedi-based force ghosts. They are all happy and shit for the Browns.
Fleet’s Pick: Cleveland Browns
1:00pm EST – Washington Redskins (0-0) @ Philadelphia Eagles (0-0)
Line: Eagles -9.5. O/U: 45.5
Fleet: Redskins. Just change your name and logo already.
Fleet’s Pick: Philadelphia Eagles
Matt: The Eagles have the deepest roster in football and if Carson Wentz plays to 50% of his potential in his career, they should be competitive for at least the next 5 years. Washington is a garbage team with a racist nickname that has terrible karma and generally shouldn’t exist in their current form.
While Washington does have an above-average defense, they have nothing to speak of on offense. Give me the Eagles // avoid the point spread.
Matt’s Pick: Philadelphia Eagles
4:05pm EST – Cincinnati Bengals (0-0) @ Seattle Seahawks (0-0)
Line: Seahawks -9.5. O/U: 44
Matt: There are a few reasons to like Cincinnati. New Bengals coach Zac Taylor knows the Seattle Seahawks well, having been with the Los Angeles Rams previously, and ….OK there’s one reason to like Cincinnati.
Seattle is going to likely win this game at home, but something in my gut is telling me to take Cincy +9.5 on the point spread. Seattle is being overrated in my humble opinion, and Cincinnati’s offense is friskier than people realize with a top-5 running back in Joe Mixon // a good young WR corps. Plus, Cincy is finally free from the clutches of Marvin Lewis. I like Seattle to win a much closer game than people are expecting.
Matt’s Pick: Seattle Seahawks (Cincy +9.5)
Fleet: The Andy Dalton revenge tour. 16 weeks. 9 Cities. 1 week one loss.
Fleet’s Pick: Seattle Seahawks
4:05pm EST – Indianapolis Colts (0-0) @ Los Angeles Chargers (0-0)
Line: Chargers -7. O/U: 44.5
Fleet: The Colts one of the three horse-based teams up against…another horse-based team!?!
The more obvious horse-based team takes this one.
Fleet’s Pick: Indianapolis Colts
Don’t hate the Colts this year, they still may be above .500, but I think the Chargers will come out strong. Phillip Rivers is historically a hot starter.
Matt’s Pick: Los Angeles Chargers
4:25pm EST – Detroit Lions (0-0) @ Arizona Cardinals (0-0)
Line: Lions -2.5. O/U: 47.5
Matt: Almost made the Lions my gold pick. While Arizona will be decent offensively, Detroit is going to roflstomp them. Also, pound the over in this game. I’m thinking we’re getting a final in the range of 38-28 ish. The Lions might score 48 points themselves.
Matt’s Pick: Detroit Lions
Fleet: Almost forgot to predict with 100% accuracy the outcome of this game. Which lead me to pick the team with the rookie QB, bad o-line and no defence.
Fleet’s Pick: Arizona Cardinals
4:25pm EST – New York Giants (0-0) @ Dallas Cowboys (0-0)
Line: Cowboys -7. O/U: 45
Fleet: Do Eli’s dream of electric Jones? Imagine you’re a quarterback. Your team drafts a doppleganger at the same position. Possibly a clone. You’re asked to pull a keenan thompson style mighty duck switch-a-roo. He wears your jersey to get off his famous knuckle-puck, and everyone looks on none the wiser. You never see the field again. Androids are real. Eli’s have feelings too.
Fleet’s Pick: Dallas Cowboys
Matt’s Pick: Dallas Cowboys
4:25pm EST – San Francisco 49ers (0-0) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-0)
Line: 49ers -1. O/U: 50
Matt: The 49ers are coming off a 2018 season in which they recorded an NFL record low two interceptions, as you may have heard literally every single time that team was brought up all summer. While San Francicso does have a stellar pass-rush (2018 Pro Bowlers Dee Ford & Deforest Buckner along with 2nd overall draft pick Nick Bosa), their secondary leavs a lot to be desired.
Having said that, Jameis Winston is a good bet to throw the most interceptions this season. All accounts and reports suggest that Winston is going to air the ball out under the Bruce Arians offense. I think we are looking at a shootout here. Give me the 49ers in one of the hardest games of the week to call. The thing I like the most in this game is the over. These two teams might blow past total 50 points.
Matt’s Pick: San Francisco 49ers, Over 50pts
Fleet: Counterpoint: Yar!
Fleet’s Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8:20pm EST – Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0) @ New England Patriots (0-0)
Line: Patriots -6. O/U: 51
Fleet: The Father Time of the QB position vs the man nicknamed after a clock? Interesting.
Fleet’s Pick: New England Patriots
(I mean Brady is 42 years old he’s liable to fall off a cliff at any time, but the infrastructure is still there, they won the Superbowl last year, and I really love New England’s D this year. Pats keep rollin rollin rollin rollin, unlike the band Limp Bizkit who ironically were popular in Brady’s rookie season and have all since died).
MONDAY, SEP 9
7:10pm EST – Houston Texans (0-0) @ New Orleans Saints (0-0)
Line: Saints -7. O/U: 53
Matt: This is the first ever official Sportsfap Game of the Week. I will stop what I am doing to watch every snap of this football game next Monday night.
The New Orleans Saints should have won the Superbowl last year, as has been covered an insane and unnecessary amount of times by every person, place or thing who has ever seen professional football. After being robbed in the NFC title game by the LA Rams, a young Rams team was patted on the head and turned aside by New England. Count me among the many who think the Saints would have beaten the Pats in that Superbowl, something New Orleans fans loudly and frenchly agree with.
For their part, the Houston Texans have gone all-in on this season in a way that most NFL teams rarely do. Houston (very recently) traded two first round picks to Miami for LT Laremy Tunsil and WR Kenny Stills, to finally give their young stud QB DeShaun Watson some protection/more weaponry. Houston has added two new running backs, some passing targets and a new stud left tackle, which will hopefully help to offset the loss of Jadeveon Clowney on defense by keeping the defense off of the field.
My head is leaning with the Saints but I think my heart wants Laremy Tunsil to lead Deshaun Watson to the MVP this season. This will be a close game either way, and I love Houston + the 7 points.
As an aside, Houston vs New Orleans is a battle between two of the fattest cities in America. Truly this is what football is about.
Matt’s Pick: New Orleans Saints
Fleet: I’m a big fan of my neck. Been holding up my head for 25 years now. Sometimes I remember:
disclaimer: video is not for the faint of heart
Fleet’s Pick: New Orleans Saints
10:20pm EST – Denver Broncos (0-0) @ Oakland Raiders (0-0)
Line: Raiders -1. O/U: 43.5
Fleet: Finally, the last horse-based team. Closing out the week with a win.
Fleet’s Pick: Denver Broncos
Matt: Fun thing: at 12:00 pm EST when I started writing this article / compiled all the betting data, Antonio Brown’s suspension had yet to break. Before we could even finish this and post it, Antonio Brown had another incident and the line has been taken off. Lunacy.
So Antonio Brown isn’t playing, but it doesn’t matter. Even if he were playing, I would like Denver here. The Raiders are moving to Las Vegas next season. They don’t even have a home field advantage. I know it’s Joe Flacco leading the way in Denver, but the Broncos are going to smash Oakland.
Matt’s Pick: Denver Broncos
If you made it to the end of this piece, thanks for reading! We’ll be back embarrassing ourselves and LAYING OUR NECKS ON THE LINE every Thursday evening for the entire NFL Season.