Thursday, December 3, 2015

NFL Picks Week Thirteen: The Giants took two weeks off, so I did too

Yes, I know only one of the past two weeks of NFL football was a bye week for the New York Giants, but honestly, if you saw their performance against Washington last Sunday, amazing catch by Odell Beckham aside, you'd be hard pressed to determine which week was which. The Giants turned in an illustriously awful day with first place in the NFC East on the line, which gives rise to the impression that was surely on no one's mind already, that maybe the Giants just aren't that good this season.

That doesn't mean the season is over, of course. The Skins hold a tiebreaker advantage over the Giants at the moment, but I'm not sure most people in America are prepared to say the words "NFC East champion Washington (expletive deleted)" any time soon. In fact, be it as a result of their play or their karma, I'm pretty sure if any team can manage to slip out of first place in this division, Washington is that team. My suspicion is still that the NFC East title will come down to the Giants' showdown with the Eagles in Week 17, but I might stop short of calling the winner of that game a "champion". Then again, if 7-9 is all it takes to get into the playoffs, I am fully confident the Giants will somehow ride that to another Super Bowl win over the Patriots.

Only time will tell.

I have no real explanation for why the Giants took last week off even though a game was scheduled, but as for me taking two weeks off from writing in this blog, we'll call it a combination of laziness and the busy schedule that comes with the Thanksgiving holiday. That laziness wasn't without cause, of course. Just after my last post I endeavored on one of my more fun, but above all more exhausting whirlwind trips as I ran around Chicago and Milwaukee to the tune of four sporting events in three days, with enough greasy food thrown in to make my college self blush.

All of it was good, even when I had to cop on my World Series bet and buy Dov lunch at Piece in Wicker Park. The highlight for the purposes of this space was crossing Team No. 68 off the list by watching a thrilling double-overtime win by the Milwaukee Bucks over the Cleveland Cavaliers on a 37-point night for LeBron James, but it, by no means, was the only one. This nutty trip to the midwest by the numbers:

-- Two nights spent in a Chicago apartment
-- One night spent in an airport
-- Four sporting events (Devils-Blackhawks, Northwestern hoops, Northwestern football, Bucks-Cavs)
-- A 3-0 record for teams I'm emotionally invested in
-- 11 friends
-- One former summer camper of mine who is now an adult tattoo artist
-- Countless calories

By all measures, that's a pretty solid mini-vacation. The last night of it, however, may have stretched me to my mental and emotional limits, as I woke up, took the L to Evanston, picked up a rental car and went to Ryan Field to see the Northwestern-Purdue game, then drove to Giordano's to get a stuffed pie with a lack of congealing that was more hurtful than helpful on my drive to Milwaukee, drove to Milwaukee to see the Bucks play the Cavaliers with my friends Jake and Kyle, went to the famous Pizza Shuttle with Jake, and then drove to O'Hare at 1 a.m. where I then sat around until my 5:45 flight to New York, and then went straight to the office to work Nine hours that Sunday.

I was in desperate need of a nap by the end, but hey, you gotta spend money to make money right? Either way, it was a more successful weekend than any the Giants' have had lately, and for that, if nothing else, I was thankful over the holiday.

Did any of that stream of consciousness make sense? I hope so. It's good to be back.

Last week: 8-8-0
Season: 84-88-3

Green Bay (-3) over DETROIT
BUFFALO (-3) over Houston
CHICAGO (-7) over San Francisco
Cincinnati (-7) over CLEVELAND
Jacksonville (+2.5) over TENNESSEE
Arizona (-5.5) over ST. LOUIS
MIAMI (-4) over Baltimore
Seattle (even) over MINNESOTA
NY GIANTS (+2) over NY Jets
TAMPA BAY (-2) over Atlanta
Kansas City (-3) over OAKLAND
Denver (-4) over SAN DIEGO
NEW ENGLAND (-10) over Philadelphia
NEW ORLEANS (+7) over Carolina
PITTSBURGH (-10) over Indianapolis
Dallas (+4.5) OVER washington

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