Hello friends, and welcome to the 2nd installment of the Fleetwood/Matt NFL picks, a horrendously named weekly NFL Picks column. We are Fleetwood Brown and Matthew Ederer, two comedians / writers / avid sports watchers / shit talkers from Canada (or as it’s known colloquially, Diet America).
Matt Ederer- Current record: 10-5-1. Dolphins fan. Gonna be a fun year for everybody but them. I do not think I have ever cheered for a team that has wanted to win less than the 2019 Miami Dolphins.
F-Dawg Johnston – Current record – 9-6-1 – Avid Browns fan roughly three quarters into the opening week of football.
But enough on failed odysseys, here’s a picnic worth of…picks for the week.
Thursday, Sep 12
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers
Matt – Here’s what I wrote about the Thursday nighter, proving right off the bat that I am an idiot who should not be listened to:
Sometimes two teams with identical records play each other, and an obvious question arises: “Which of these teams do I see going to ____, and which do I see falling to _____ “. For example: Carolina is 0-1. Tampa Bay is 0-1. Which of these two teams do you see going to 1-1, and which do you see going to 0-2?
This highly scientific testing method leads me to believe that Carolina will crank tonight. The Panthers played the Rams tough last week, Tampa Bay has a garbage offensive line and their best player (Mike Evans, WR) is banged up. Their second best player is not so much a real human as it is a purely theoretical debate, or a riddle that cannot be answered. Is it Jameis? Can your 2nd best player actually be bad at football? Why the fuck did he steal those crabs legs anyway?
Jameis Winston and the new Bruce Arians-led TB offense may end up being pretty solid in the long run — installing new schemes takes time and it’s unfair to write the whole operation off after the first day. But it’s hard to see them taking a big leap in this game, on a short week vs a better team that will not take them lightly.Sourec: Me, Wednesday
Matt’s Pick – Carolina Panthers. Wrong.
Fleet – With the forecast calling for rain, I’m worried that there might be a rain delay (which I could see slowing TNF down to a screeching halt). After a slow first half I’m predicting a score close to 10-9 for the Bucs. Second half, maybe a bucs missed field goal. Late panthers rally but the bucs hold on to win 20-14. Cameron Brate 2 rec 10 yards.
Fleet’s Pick – Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Not Wrong.
Sunday, Sep 15
Arizona Cardinals @ Baltimore Ravens
Fleet – The Cardinals tied their game last week, dafuq. I will never predict a tie…that better be a push. Real talk: Are the Cardinals a better test for the Ravens than the Green Mammal Fish?..we may never kn…Monday, we’ll know Monday.
Fleet’s Pick –
Matt – Gonna reach into the bag of cliches and pull out this gem: THESE AINT YOUR DADDY’S RAVENS~!. On the strength of their new-look, speed demon offense powered by 2nd year QB Lamar Jackson, Baltimore looks like a sneaky Superbowl contender. The traditionally defensive Baltimore team looks to be nothing short of explosive on offense in 2019. These Ravens should roflcopter the Arizona Cardinals, who after Miami might be the NFL’s worst team on paper.
This game is notable for another reason: 2018’s Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray (Cards QB) vs 2016’s Heisman winner, Lamar Jackson (Ravens QB). Two young, exciting, accomplished QBs here. This will be a fun game, if not a close one.
Matt’s Pick – Baltimore Ravens
Buffalo Bills @ New York Giants
Matt – Going with Buffalo here, although if you’re a Giants fan this might be one to circle. Buffalo didn’t exactly look great last week in a 17-16 victory over the New York Jets, and the Giants aren’t going to go win-less all season (unlike Miami, who very well may). I wouldn’t bet on this game, or watch a second of it even if you paid me, but I would take Buffalo if you put a gun to my head (which of course is a real threat in New York City).
Matt’s Pick – Buffalo Bills
Fleet – 59 Saquon Barkley touches later. The game is over. I mean they’ll probably give him the ball more this week.
Note: Pat Shurmur: ex-brown, wild individual. So who knows really.
Fleet’s Pick – New York Giants
Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Professional Football Team
Fleet – Remember the Doofus Rick Jerry Jones haircut?
Fleet’s Pick – Doofus Jerry / Dallas Cowboys
Matt – Not much to say here. Former Boise State QB Kellen Moore is now the offensive coordinator in Dallas (the youngest coach in the league at 30 years old) and through one game, he looks like a young Josh McDaniels. Dallas put up a ton of yardage against the hapless New York Giants, and while Washington has a much better defense than NYG, I wouldn’t exactly hesitate to call them “hapless”. It might not be as easy as it was last week, but Dallas should crank again this week.
Matt’s Pick – Dallas Cowboys
Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans
Matt – Indianapolis. I can already tell that Tennessee will be confounding and frustrating all year. But much like the Carolina/Tampa game (which was clearly a great call on my part), I just don’t see the Titans going to 2-0, while the Colts fall to 0-2. I think it’s far more likely that both of these teams go to 1-1. Give me the Colts in a borderline-must-win game
Matt’s Pick – Indianapolis Colts
Fleet – This. One. Is. For. The. Browns.
Note: Always show love for the horse-based team
Fleet’s Pick – Indianapolis Colts
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans
Fleet – Caution: ex-Browns HC coach battle ahead! We’ve got former Browns head coach Romeo “The Father of the Figure Four” Crennel (DC of the Houston Texans) v Former Browns interim head coach (and current running backs coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars) Terry “The Sultan of the Shooting Star Press” Robiskie. Which made this an extra tough game to pick for me; you see Robiskie used to work under Crennel. In the end I went with the Sultan and the Minshew too.
Fleet’s Pick – Jacksonville Jaguars
Matt – I feel like Gardner Memeshew II is going to swing the betting action just by himself here. It’s very easy to get swept up in the Minshew buzz: the 6th round rookie, picked 178th overall last April, rocks a massive mustache, and stretches in the locker room wearing nothing but shades and a jockstrap. He is basically a walking 1980s sports movie, and is everything the internet wants out of an athlete in 2019.
Fun fact: Minshew is the first ever NFL QB to complete his first 13 passes, completing 22-of-25 passes with two touchdowns and one interception in his debut — and the INT was a dinky little screen pass that somehow ricocheted off Leonard Fournette’s face and into a defender’s hands.
Gardner Minshew had basically the best first game that any QB has ever had, although his team was already out of it by the time he got in there. Maybe he’s the new Tom Brady and Jacksonville are going to the playoffs. But a far more likely outcome would be that Houston exploits Minshew’s lack of experience, and they at least eke out a win vs a talented Jacksonville defense that absolutely shat it’s drawers last week. I would be surprised if the Jags rolled into Houston and beat them in their home opener, and thus I am both taking and betting on Houston this week. But I am certainly weary of this Minshew character. GMII cares not for your conventions or feelings. He is the fucking Mississippi Mustache.
Matt’s Pick – Houston Texans
LA Chargers @ Detroit Lions
Matt – I sincerely hope to not watch another second of Detroit Lions football this season.
Matt’s Pick – Los Angeles Chargers
Fleet – I have to go with the upset horse-based team of last week. They really showed the Colts that an obscure horse-based team can over come the odds. (or my pickz)
Fleet’s Pick – Los Angeles Chargers
Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers
Fleet – Thought: Green Bay’s home divisional games should be played at the end of the year, for the snow factor.
Fleet’s Pick – Minnesota Vikings
Matt – Agreed with my esteemed colleague Fleetwood ^.
Possibly the hardest game to call of the week. I am all-in on the Vikings this year and think they have a chance to win the NFC, but the temptation is to simply take the home team in a divisional game this close and call it a day. The Packers played last Thursday and I think the extra time to prepare for the Minnesota offense might be the deciding factor. Green Bay wins a close game that I would not bet on.
Matt’s Pick – Green Bay Packers
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins
Matt – Dolphin Tank Scene, you say?
I mean. Miami lost 59-10 last week. There are reasons to like Miami in this matchup, historically. Tom Brady plays worse in Miami than he does in any other place. Miami coach Brian Flores comes from the Bill Belichick coaching tree, and if the Dolphins have beating hearts inside of their chests at all, you would have to think they’ll at least play hard vs the best team in football.
None of that will matter. New England will destroy this poor shitbag Miami team. They lost 59-10 to a worse team last week. This shouldn’t be close.
Matt’s Pick – Tom 27, Time 0
Fleet – Patriots win
Fleet’s Pick –
San Francisco 49ers @ Cincinnati Bengals
Fleet – In one week the 49ers had more interceptions than they did all of last year! The Andy Dalton revenge tour is a cunning piece of work though.
Fleet’s Pick – Cincinnati Bengals
Matt – You will notice a trend here if you read last week // make it through the next 15 weeks. I kinda like the Bengals this season? I just feel them to be seriously underrated. They have multiple playmakers on offense, including maybe the fastest player in football, WR John Ross III. Zac Taylor’s Cincy team more than held their own last week vs a far superior Seattle roster, in Seattle no less. Now, San Francisco has to travel across the country, to play a 1:00 game vs a coach that knows them well and a team that they cannot afford to take lightly.
Big game for the 9ers and Jimmy G. If Garoppolo comes to Cincy and beats them, that is a very good sign for the 9ers season and quite frankly, JG’s career. The once-beloved NFL babyboi has been passed as the Meme QB Champion by Gardner Minshew II, the mustachioed marvel. It feels like the bloom is fading from the Jimmy Garoppolo rose a touch, but a few strong performances in a row here would flip that right back.
Give me Cincy this week, though. Do not like this spot for the 9ers at all.
Matt’s Pick – Cincinnati Bengals
Seattle Seahawks @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Matt – Superbowl 50 revenge game! I think this might be the year the Steelers finally take a step backwards. Seattle’s offense looks pretty solid, and DK Metcalf already appears to have a great rapport with his QB Russ Wilson through one NFL game. Though the Legion of Boom days are long over, Seattle still has an above-average defense and Pittsburgh really struggled to get anything going vs New England last week.
I wouldn’t bet my money on this one. I wouldn’t even bet your money on this one. But I’m going with Hustle Wilson here in a game that I do not have much of a read on.
Matts Pick – Seattle Seahawks
Fleet – I would try to invoke memories of the “Armed and Dangeruss” disaster of a creation. But I ain’t gonna do that.
Fleet’s Pick – Seattle Seahawks
Sunday Late Slate
Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders
Fleet – Raiders fans > your girl. But they can’t win a second, non-Flacco based game in a row, can they?
Note: I forgot Flacco was on Denver while making picks last week, or so people say.
Fleet’s Pick – Kansas City Chiefs
Matt – Oakland came out strong last week, something that was pretty obviously going to happen in retrospect. After the Antonio Brown debacle, Oakland was obviously going to play with a lot of pride on Monday night. Though the Raiders team isn’t exactly terrifying on paper, they are still a collection of professional athletes who take pride in their work.
Thing is, I kind of think that was their Superbowl. It might be all downhill from here for DARAIDAHS. I am on record (last week in this space, the most official of records) saying Kansas City will win the title this year and I am not backing off that hot hot take. KC cranks this Raiders team in what might be the Chiefs’ final game ever in Oakland.
Matt’s Pick – Kansas City Chiefs
New Orleans Saints @ Los Angeles Rams
Matt – Hey did you guys hear about that missed penalty last year?
I haven’t looked this up yet, but this feels like a game Joe Buck is going to call / hammer you over the head during. Can’t you just see Joe Buck bludgeoning you over and over with that missed PI? This is the best game of the week, and the single hardest game to call so far in the NFL season. Saints will be fired up for this one, but they might be clutching the proverbial bat too hard. They really do have a great team though, including a very strong O-line and MVP candidate Alvin Kamara. If anybody can shut down Aaron Donald, it might be this Saints O-line (but they are starting a rookie centre, who may get eaten for lunch by Donald in his second NFL game)
Matt’s Pick – We hear about that fucking no-call ten thousand times during this game. LA Rams win a barnburner.
Fleet – Christmas comes early for the Saints as they get their revenge…or will it?
Fleet’s Pick – New Orleans Saints
Chicago Bears @ Denver Broncos
Fleet – Going against the horse-based team on this one. Angering the intense and vocal horse-based following I have created over the years. Hours of horse clout down the drain with this one maneuver.
Fleet’s Pick – Chicago Bears
Matt – A grotesque ugly display; a horrible, disappointing mess that will be unpleasant to look at. But enough about John Elway’s face.
Denver’s new coach used to be Chicago’s D-Coordinator. That’s a pretty big red flag. However, Denver’s QB is Joe Flacco. Also a massive red flag.
Matt’s Pick – Tie? I don’t know. Bears over Denver barely (bearly? Nope! That’s fucking stupid. Moving on.)
Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons
Matt – Was considering just copying and pasting the words “DeSean Jackson” 1000 times here. Instead, let me throw this stat at you: Philly and Atlanta played in the 2018 NFL playoffs, with Philly winning that game en route to winning their first Superbowl. Since that time, Atlanta is 7-10. 7-10! Feels like they get far more respect and love than their record deserves.
The Falcons got blowwwwed out by Minnesota last week, trailing 28-0 in the 3rd quarter and only putting up 12 points after Minny took their foot off the gas. I think this Falcons team is done. They are looking at another 7-9 year at best.
Matt’s Pick – Philadelphia Eagles
Fleet – Birds.
Fleet’s Pick –
Fleetwood Browns @ New York Jets
Fleet – If the Browns lose week 2 I will personally be breaking out some Ferlin.
Fleet’s Pick – Cleveland Browns
Matt – Cleveland. Not only because New York’s quarterback is out with Mono, the kissing disease (a thing I am not funny enough to make up). Also because New York’s coach is an insane and terrifying man who truly exhibits all the colours of the spectrum.
Matt’s Pick – Cleveland Browns
Thanks for reading! We’ll be back next week (possibly Saturday ? Still working out a concrete posting date) with yet another one of these hot NFL fuego bombs.