Matt: We are just abusing the honour system this week. We picked the favourites, and went 3-4 in the pre-Sunday slate. I swear on all that is Christmas, this is true. Merry holidays to you and yours.
Fleet: Confirmed. Go Browns.
Sunday, Dec 27 2020
Cleveland (10-4, 5th in AFC) @ NY Jets (1-13, dead-ass last)
Line: CLE -7
Fleet: Oooof no WRs. Still, why would I pick the Jets? Looks like Chubb will finally get a chance to line up out wide and prove to the NFL once and for all that he is in fact the man.
Fleet’s Pick: Cleveland
Matt: Having not read my esteemed colleague Fleetwood’s pick, I am going to no doubt side with my esteemed colleague Fleetwood
Matt’s Pick: Cleveland
Carolina (4-10, 16th in NFC) @ Washington (6-8, 4th in NFC)
Line: WSH -1
Matt: Carolina might be a good look as a sleeper next year. With a healthy C McC and a few good draft picks, this team could be right back in contention for a playoff spot in 2021. Unfortunately, it is 2020. Washington wins a close on en route to a .500 record.
Matt’s Pick: Washington
Fleet: Booo football team! Meh not really, I have no particular reason I think the Panthers are going to win this game. I have been wrong before though.
Fleet’s Pick: Carolina
Indianapolis (10-4, 6th in AFC) @ Pittsburgh (11-3, 3rd in AFC)
Line: PIT -1
Fleet: Another one of my wild the Browns can still win the division idea-ums. If the Steelers lose today and next week to the Browns. Provided the Browns win today as well they would win the division. So I am basing this pick entirely on the hope of that scenario occurring. I have been wrong before though.
Fleet’s Pick: Indianapolis
Matt: Roethlisberger vs Rivers, the most exciting game possible 2011. The temptation is to say that Pittsburgh gets off the schnide with a huge win over these Colts, but the Steelers’ most recent loss to the hapless Bengals really puts a damper on that enthusiasm. Having said that, I still cannot bring myself to pick Phil Rivers in an important game vs a good team. I think we see a Steelers’ team closer to those guys that were undefeated a month ago. Pit wins a close one.
Matt’s Pick: Pittsburgh
Atlanta (4-10, 15th in NFC) @ Kansas City (13-1, 1st in AFC)
Line: KC -11
Matt’s Pick: Kansas City by six thousand points
Fleet: Have you heard about this Andy Reid guy and someone named Patrick Mahomes? I mean I just last week for the first time ever heard some analysts absolutely going off about this high flying offense. Where did these guys come from? Oh yeah I am pretty sure they won the Super Bowl last year. I have been wrong before though.
Fleet’s Pick: Kansas City
Chicago (7-7, 8th in NFC) @ Jacksonville (1-13, 15th in AFC)
Line: CHI -7.5
Fleet: Laurence on my mind so much Laurence on my mind. What a sneaking move by the Jags, they win their first game of the year while secretly being worse than the Jets. Only for the Jets to become the punching bag of the league all year and then they (Jags) get Laurence. Sneaky, sneaky Jags. I think Laurence Fishburne will be a great addition to the team! They need to draft him first though, and I have been wrong before.
Fleet’s Pick: Chicago
Matt: Jacksonville is on the verge of one of the most genius tank jobs in sports history. By winning in week 1, they totally threw the tanking narrative off of them, and firmly onto Adam Gase and the Jets. They’ve had their feet up and been on cruise control since week 1. Their job was done. Chicago wins an important game by a lot of points.
Matt’s Pick: Chicago
Cincinnati (3-10-1, 14th in AFC) @ Houston (4-10, 13th in AFC)
Line: HOU -7
Matt: Cincy showed some signs of life last week vs. Pittsburgh, but I think that’s the last we’ll be seeing of the Bengals in 2020. As much as the Fins fan in me wants to pick against Houston, I can’t bring myself to take the Burrow-less Bengals on the road here.
Matt’s Pick: Houston
Fleet: Everyone’s second favourite segment:
Fleet’s Pick: Houston
NY Giants (5-9, 12th in NFC) @ Baltimore (9-5, 8th in AFC)
Line: BAL -10.5
Fleet: The Ravens are playing well and trying to get the final AFC spot. The Giants, although still fighting for the playoffs, are the worse team here. If you thought I only picked the favoured teams at the beginning of the year, well it has only gotten worse.
Fleet’s Pick: Baltimore
Matt: Two teams fighting for their lives here. Only thing is, the Giants are terrible, they were terrible all year and they will be terrible for at least the next two games. Baltimore has struggled yes, but they’re still 9-5. This game is set at a -10.5 spread for a reason.
Matt’s Pick: Baltimore
Denver (5-9, 11th in AFC) @ LA Chargers (5-9, 12th in AFC)
Line: LAC -3.5
Matt: The Chargers have quietly won two in a row, and might be going on that classic late-season push to save a coach’s job. Herbert has been a clear ROTY frontrunner, currently sitting at 3781 yards, 27 TD and 10 INT. I like Denver more as a team, but with their littany of injuries, this is a godo spot for the Chargers. LA goes to three in a row!
Matt’s Pick: LA Chargers
Fleet: I kinda wish I still had everyone’s second favourite segment in the quiver to use here. Since I am at a complete loss for words to describe this thrilling matchup. I guess if you were a fan of all things AFC west this game might appeal to some sixth sense you had. I am not a fan of anything AFC west related. You will not find me watching this game.
Fleet’s Pick: LA Chargers
Philadelphia (4-9-1, 14th in NFC) @ Dallas (5-9, 11th in NFC)
Line: PHI -3
Fleet: Ex-Browns Coaching Tree Battle of the Week! Or: six degrees of Browns-eperation
A trio from the Eagles this week. Jim Schwartz current defensive coordinator for Philly and former Browns scout (1993-95). Ken Flajole, Eagles linebacker coach, former Browns inside linebackers coach (2013-15). Finally Tim Hauck, Eagles safeties coach and former Browns defensive backs coach (2012).
Only one man stands in the ring for the Cowboys George Edwards. Current senior defensive assistant and former Browns linebackers coach (2004).
George gets absolutely obliterated. Poor George.
Fleet’s Pick: Philadelphia
Matt: I’m picking Dallas strictly because I was bullish on them to start the year and I want them to get to at least 6-10. It’s a terrible reason to make a pick, but then again this is a terrible fucking game.
Matt’s Pick: Dallas
LA Rams (9-5, 6th in NFC) @ Seattle (10-4, 3rd in NFC)
Line: SEA -1.5
Matt: This is not a terrible fucking game! Quite the opposite in fact, this is the game of the week and probably the hardest one to call. The Rams are 5-2 against the Seahawks since head coach Sean McVay took over in 2017, including wins in four of the last five meetings. They’ve already played this season, a game that the Rams won 23-16. Going with LA to keep those trends going in a close game that they need slightly more than their opponents this evening. Should be a great one that comes down to the wire.
Matt’s Pick: LA Rams
Fleet: Ex-Browns Coaching Tree Battle of the Week! Or: six degrees of Browns-eperation
By God, two in one week! Oh wait, I said last week I was doing two teams this week. Surprise ruined, everyone go home.
The Rams have Kevin O’Connell, former Browns QB coach (2015) and current Rams offensive coordinator.
For Seattle we have my biggest stretch of the year this segment wise. I could have used Nick Sorensen or Austin Davis, both ex-Browns players but not coaches. Instead I am going with Jamie Yanchar, current Seahawks strength and conditioning assistant. According to his bio on the seahawks coaching page, “he first broke into the NFL as a volunteer with the Browns during his time as a graduate assistant at Louisville…” So ex-Browns volunteer?
Hard one to call. From both the actual game and this ex-Brown matchup perspective. Guess I am going Rams. Only because O’Connell has a more natural ex-Brown connection.
Fleet’s Pick: LA Rams
Tennessee (10-4, 4th in AFC) @ Green Bay (11-3, 1st in NFC)
Line: GB -3
Fleet: Anybody else sick of hearing about Derrick Henry’s stiff arm? Yes, it was dope. But how many times do we have to see it this yea? This isn’t suplex city. Derrick Henry can’t just rely on one move to get himself over. Green Bay wins by distraction finish.
Fleet’s Pick: Green Bay
Matt: Wellp, the key to beating Green Bay appears to be running the shit out of the ball against them. In GB’s three 2020 losses, they gave up 90 yards to Indy’s Jonathan Taylor, 113 yards to TB’s Ronald Jones (ugh), and a whopping 163 to Dalvin Cook of the Vikings. I think the Titans use that formula to get a big win over these Packers.
Matt’s Pick: Tennessee
Monday, Dec 28
Buffalo (11-3, 2nd in AFC) @ New England (5-9, 10th in AFC)
Line: BUF -7
Matt’s Pick: Buffalo
Fleet: The Bills would probably like to win this game so they can maybe rest some people next week.
Fleet’s Pick: Buffalo