Familiar Matchups Headline NFL Week 11
Here we are, NFL Week 11 and before we move on to the rest of this column, let’s address the elephant in the room.
Yes, after starting off a stellar 3-0 ATS, in the last seven weeks your Grumpiness has gone 1-8 on his picks. One and eight, could that possibly be right?
Harry Doyle’s call pretty much sums up my record the last 7 weeks. Good news is no one is reading this column anyway, so the only one who has lost money is me. Yet another reason to be grumpy. Or is that two reasons.
Anyway, the cream of the crop for NFL covers so far this season are the Green Bay Packers at 9-1 ATS, the Dallas Cowboys at 8-1 ATS and the Arizona Cardinals at 7-3 ATS. Every other team is worse. Take my word for it.
Before we move on, I want to get a little deep here. Think about it, when it comes to football, does it always have to be about gambling? Can’t we just watch the games without betting?
Well just like when Pam ponders in the classic film Let it Ride why can’t you just watch the horses without betting to which Trotter responds with an eye roll that there is no racing without betting, the NFL wouldn’t be what it is without betting either.
But considering my record is shite lately I’m going to write about Week 11 matchup history and forget betting for at least a minute or two.
First Up, Saints vs Eagles
Whenever I see a matchup of the Philadelphia Eagles and the New Orleans Saints, I always think of that Wild Card Playoff Game from 1993 at the Louisiana Superdome.
The Saints were favored by -3.5 to win, and they led 17-7 at the half, spurred on by a TD pass from George Costanza’s favorite QB, Bobby Hebert.
The Saints would extend the lead to 20-7 and then in classic Saints fashion proceed to blow it, with Hebert throwing three second half picks on their way to a 36-20 loss. Maybe Herbert would have been a better QB.
The Hebert meltdown would hand a playoff win to inept Eagles Head Coach Rich Kotite in the process. Not surprisingly it would be his one and only.
The Saints playoff loss would keep them as the only team of the 28 NFL teams – yes there used to be only 28 teams – to never win a playoff game. Four first round appearances, four losses.
Oh, and this guy was the Head Coach
That never gets old.
Next Up, Dolphins vs Jets
I know these teams have played 111 times, but whenever I think of this rivalry, I see Dan Marino’s clock play in 1994 where he ran to the line yelling “Clock! Clock!,” motioned as if he were going to spike the ball and instead, when the Jets defense fell asleep, threw the winning TD to Mark Ingram for the 28-24 win.
Jets HC Pete Carroll (more on him later) referred to the loss as “staggering” and the Jets who were 6-5 wouldn’t win another game for the rest of the season.
Crazily enough the Dolphins Jets series sits at 55-55-1. Someone will take the lead this weekend. I have a mention of this matchup down below in Grumpy’s picks.
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Finally, Packers vs Vikings
This is the granddaddy of this column as the Packers and Vikings have matched up 121 times. The current score is Pack 63, Vikings 55 with 3 kiss your sisters.
2021 marks the 60th year these two teams have played each other, with the Packers taking the first game on October 22, 1961, by a score of 33-7 and the Vikings taking the most recent game on November 1, 2020 by a score of 28-22.
During those sixty years we’ve seen Randy Moss’ Monday Night Football debut in 1998 when he lit up the Packers on five catches for 190 yards.
Then there was the 2009 game where Packers’ legend Brett Favre returned to Green Bay as the QB of the Vikings? Oh yeah that’s right and Favre would get the better of his old team, throwing four TD’s and leading the Vikes to a 38-26 win and the season sweep of the Pack.
And of course, there was the playoff game in 2005 where after scoring a touchdown Randy Moss mock pulled down his pants to moon the Green Bay faithful.
When it comes to TD celebrations in the history of the NFL it’s right up there with Terrell Owens’ Sharpie TD and Joe Horn’s cell phone call TD when it comes to creativity.
Jackass of the Week
Before I get to this week’s pick, it’s time for “Jackass of the Week,” and this week it has to be Pete Carroll. Yes, the same Pete Carroll who was fired by the Jets after the season of Marino’s Clock Play. The same Pete Carroll who was also fired by the Patriots. The same Pete Carroll who decided to throw the ball on the one-yard line instead of giving it to Marshawn Lynch, to gift wrap another Super Bowl title to Tom Terrific. Yes, that Pete Carroll.
Well in Week 10 Pete Carroll showed one more time how he thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room. After losing 17-0 to the Green Bay Packers, he went off about how officiating cost the Seahawks the game.
Okay I can understand if you lose by 3 or 7 or even 10, maybe you can gripe over how some calls could have swung the game your way. But dude, you lost 17-0. Your QB was 20-40 for 161 yards and TWO interceptions, both in the freaking end zone. But the refs cost you the game. Get a life Pete, you’re this week’s jackass. At least you won something. Congratulations.
Grumpy’s Picks of the Week
Ok so we all know my picks over the past several weeks have sucked, but I have a long history of losing so it’s not going to deter me from continuing to make picks. If there’s anything I’m not it’s a quitter. So, this week I’m doing something new and rolling out a three-pack of picks.
I went against the Dolphins in week 9 when they played the Texans and Tyrod Taylor had like 12 interceptions and a fumble to force your Grumpiness to label himself Jackass of the Week. In hindsight maybe I should have given the award to Tyrod Taylor.
Well, I’m going back to the well because as much as people think the Miami Dolphins are a good team, the Miami Dolphins are not a good team and they should absolutely not be favored against anyone on the road, not even as my dad used to say Little Sisters of the Poor, let alone be a favorite of more than three points. The Jets suck, I’m not debating that, but after being crushed at home last week I think they rebound. I’ll back the Jets +3-.
Pick #2 is going the other way and fading a terrible team. I’ll take the Cleveland Browns -12 to beat the ever-loving shit out of the Detroit Lions. The Lions were all out last Sunday and had a chance to finally win a game and they didn’t. I just don’t see how they get up for this one.
Add in the 40-degree, rainy Cleveland weather, the 15 mph winds and the Browns running Nick Chubb down the Lions throats, and you have all the ingredients for a Brownies win and cover. The only thing I don’t love is that Tim Boyle is starting at QB for the Lions instead of Jared Goff who would surely fold in these conditions, but I still think the Browns get the job done.
And pick #3 is the New Orleans Saints to get sweet revenge twenty-eight years later against the Philadelphia Eagles. I’ll take the +2- with the Saints all day. The Eagles hype is overinflated. Yes, they looked good the last three weeks, but they faced three of the ten worst rush defenses in the NFL. The Saints have been #1 against the rush for the last 70 games. And there’s no HC contest where Nick Sirianni outcoaches Sean Payton. Who Dat? Give Grumpy the Saints.
Enjoy week 11 and I hope you are fortunate.