Welcome back to my favorite recliner
Hopefully none of you had too severe of damage from the howler that came through the area on Tuesday.
That’s because I’d feel bad celebrating the storm after the Armchair Quarterback Barcalounger washed up on the Lake Superior shore the next morning. I got a call from the police (don’t ask which agency) and I was able to pull it up out of the surf and haul it back to The Mining Journal office just in time to make these picks.
I keep wondering why the seat of my pants is all wet, though.
The recliner preferred by 4 out of 5 NFL prognosticators had been lost for five weeks, and my record had gotten progressively worse ever since I partied like it was 1999 right after I went 15-1 in Week 2.
Last week I employed an untrue-and-untested formula, and predictably (I can do that?) it blew up in my face. That’s when I switched about half my picks and went 2-5 in those games.
So it back to pickin’ like it’s 1999, or at least, mid-September of 2017.
Here are my REAL picks for this week, as good or bad as they might turn out:
Today, 8:30 p.m.
Miami at Baltimore — With a night off for World Series travel, this might’ve been a better baseball matchup. At least you’d have the Marlins with Giancarlo Stanton and his 59 homers vs. the Orioles who were near the top as a team in roundtrippers.
Alas, what we actually have are two offensively challenged teams with the Dolphins on their third quarterback — Matt Moore — and Baltimore’s injury-riddled and 31st-ranked offense continuing to take hits. Moore looked serviceable last weekend, so I’ll take the Dolphins, 18-13.
Sunday, 9:30 a.m.
Minnesota at Cleveland (at London) — If the Browns win, they should cancel their return flight tickets and make everyone come to them for afternoon tea. Vikings, 23-16.
Sunday, 1 p.m.
Oakland at Buffalo — One of three matchups with a West Coast team coming east to play at 10 a.m. their time. I’m not picking any of the early risers. Bills, 29-20.
Indianapolis at Cincinnati — Without Andrew Luck, Indy can play in the NFL — barely. But that’s more than I thought of them at the start of the season. Bengals, 20-17.
Los Angeles Chargers at New England — The Patriots are experts at taking a shiny new thing — in this case the improved Chargers — and re-exposing its warts. Patriots, 33-24.
Chicago at New Orleans — If the Saints could beat Brett Hundley in Green Bay last week, they certainly can take down Mitch Trubisky at home. Saints, 34-27.
Atlanta at New York Jets — A perfect antidote for what ails the Falcons — a mistake-prone Jets team highlighted by an anemic offense. Falcons, 28-20.
San Francisco at Philadelphia — Even at 0-6, the 49ers were holding it together, losing those games by a combined 33 points. Then the Cowboys bludgeoned them 40-10 on Sunday. The crack just keeps getting longer, wider and deeper. Eagles, 43-17.
Carolina at Tampa Bay — Two underachievers, but a weak Tampa defense should perk up QB Cam Newton. Panthers, 27-23.
Sunday, 4 p.m.
Houston at Seattle — I normally don’t pick against the Seahawks at home, but these are teams heading in diametrically opposed directions. Texans, 27-17.
Dallas at Washington — A trap game for the Cowboys. But I’ll step in it. Cowboys, 24-23.
Sunday, 8:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Detroit — I have a feeling distractions like Martavis Bryant’s trade requests will serve to unite the Steelers — in the short term. So unless there’s something as strange as the overtime coin-flip fiasco that helped the Lions beat Pittsburgh on Turkey Day 1998, take the Steelers, 24-19.
Monday, 8:30 p.m.
Denver at Kansas City — Between Denver not traveling well and KC getting ticked off enough to get its act back together, I’ll go Chiefs, 23-19.
Last week — 9-6, 60 percent. Season — 59-47, 56 percent.
Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.