Pressure’s off for making any good picks in NFL games

Steve Brownlee

Wow, you wouldn’t believe how easy it is to pick NFL games when you know you don’t have a clue.

I don’t have a clue after a wondrous 6-10 picking week.

You say that the planet Melmac will be playing the Australian club team Mamungkukumpurangkuntjunya (I looked the name up, it’s for real) on Sunday night?

Well, give me Melmac as I would hate to see the headline in Monday’s paper with that 26-letter name as the winner.

Let’s just say I’m trying to combine whatever team in each matchup catches my fancy with just a couple seconds considering how dumb that pick will look in a week’s time.

If this doesn’t work, I’m pulling out my lucky quarter next week.

Or maybe it would be a better idea to take my bye week next week. I do get one, don’t I? All the NFL teams do, so why shouldn’t I?

It’s off to the wild blue yonder with these non-bye-week picks:


Today, 8:15 p.m.

Miami at Cincinnati — Seems like a trap game, and with Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in question with who knows what injury issues, I’ll bite. I just hope Cincy QB Joe Burrow doesn’t get sacked eight or nine times — he seems to play well when he’s only taken down four or five times. Plus the Dolphins should be happy just to get out of south Florida as Hurricane Ian unleashes its wrath. Bengals, 30-26.


Sunday, 9:30 a.m.

Minnesota vs. New Orleans — This game to be played in jolly ol’ England (Londontown, ol’ chap) seems like a good platform for Saints quarterback Jameis Winston to show off his 30-30 form — you know, the 30-touchdown, 30-interception season he had his last year in Tampa Bay. Vikings, 27-23.


Sunday, 1 p.m.

Cleveland at Atlanta — Two likely nonplayoff teams, but Cleveland could be pretty good and still not make the playoffs being stuck in the AFC. Browns, 23-16.


Buffalo at Baltimore — It shouldn’t be 90 degrees with 90 percent humidity in Baltimore, so Buffalo shouldn’t wilt in the second half like it did in Miami last weekend. Bills, 31-24.


Washington at Dallas — Well, if the Eagles could get nine sacks on Commanders’ QB Carson Wentz, does that mean Dallas could get 18? Maybe not, but they’ll be close enough. Cowboys, 17-12.


Seattle at Detroit — The Puddy-Tat Lions may not be that anymore, but they’re still not good enough to beat upper-echelon competition with any kind of consistency just yet. But this isn’t upper-echelon competition. Lions, 29-20.


Los Angeles Chargers at Houston — This looks like the perfect setup for a Texans’ win. But I just can’t make myself do it, and the tipping point was reading that Houston hasn’t scored a point in the fourth quarter in three games. So it’s like four against three (quarters). So at six points a quarter, I’l take the Chargers 24-18.


Tennessee at Indianapolis — Seeing that the “What’s Working” category in the Associated Press’ Colts Analysis story said it’s Indy’s run defense, I’ll take that unit slowing down Derrick Henry. Colts, 19-17.


Chicago at New York Giants — With neither offense producing a whole lot, let’s take the home team. Giants, 17-13.


Jacksonville at Philadelphia — The Jags showed something in not just beating, but putting a beat-down on the Chargers last week, 38-10. But how will they do against a dynamic QB like Jalen Hurts who’s fully healthy? Eagles, 30-27.


New York Jets at Pittsburgh — The Jets reverted to form last week against Cincy after their surprising upset of Cleveland the week before. Their third straight game vs. the AFC North. Steelers, 27-21.


Sunday, 4 p.m.

Arizona at Carolina — The Panthers finally showed life last week, or did New Orleans show how bad it is? I’ll bet on the latter. Cardinals, 33-24.


New England at Green Bay — I’ll make a guess that Matt Patricia will call the offense this week for the Pats, since he got to see the Packers up close for a few years. How did that work out in Detroit? Yeah, I know. Packers, 31-21.


Denver at Las Vegas — I should probably take the team that knows how to pull wins out of thin air — Denver — but I gotta believe Vegas is getting desperate, particularly at home. Raiders, 33-28.


Sunday, 8:20 p.m.

Kansas City at Tampa Bay — Purely on a playing level, the Bucs can only hope for a direct hit from Hurricane Ian and a postponement to get some of their players healthy again. The headaches that would cause, not to mention the kind of damage in their area for that to happen can’t be worth it, however. Assuming they play, Chiefs, 36-27.


Monday, 8:15 p.m.

Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco — The Rams had San Fran’s number in the playoffs last year when Jimmy Garoppolo was at QB. Good enough for me. Rams, 27-24.


Last week — 6-10, 38 percent. Season — 21-26-1, 45 percent.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.


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