The social experiment continues for another season. Bet your mortage, your kids’ college fund or your Bahamar severance pay on our picks. This is where we’re at with the NFL in 2016, in an already saturated market, people want even more, therefore you get people like us involved in this.
Again, the column will throw a twist into the traditional picks column because what the people really want is to hear from Sannie. She knows absolutely nothing about football but somehow manages to get these games right. I know slightly more than her and I get these games wrong. There’s a cheesy 80’s sitcom to be found somewhere in there.
Let’s face it, there are about 5-6 teams in the power circle that have a pretty good shot at winning Super Bowl LI, and about 3-4 teams on the tier just below with the legit opportunity to overachieve and hoist the Lombardi trophy.
In short, I have no idea what’s going to happen.
We’ll all prognosticate, but there’s a 50-50 shot at getting this right from week to week.
Carolina Panthers at Denver Broncos
SANNIE: Really? Do I even have to say? Of course I’m going to choose my (imaginary) baby daddy Cam!
PANTHERS over Broncos
RENALDO: Better him than me. All the good will Cam Newton built up last season went out the window when he went into “protect the paycheck mode” when asked about Colin Kaepernick’s protest. Newton’s laisser-faire attitude toward chasing down that fumble in the Super Bowl is the same approach he took toward the same issues Kap is taking a stand (or seat) against. Newton made waves last year proclaiming the media’s fear of him as a black quarterback. We defended him when middle aged soccer moms in Tennessee took offence to his dancing and dabbing. I’m not defending Cam anymore, not for his stance on this and not for that new goatee. He’s lucky the Broncos have the lowest expectations of any defending Super Bowl champion and their quarterback’s name is Siemian. That’s his real name. I didn’t make that up.
PANTHERS over Broncos
Minnesota Vikings at Tennessee Titans
RENALDO: It’s not fair what happened to Teddy Bridgewater. It’s not fair it happened during a year he’s supposed to make the leap and the window has started to creep its way closed on Adrian Peterson’s career. It’s not fair that they were so panicked to appease the fanbase that they gave up a first and fourth rounder for Sam Bradford. It’s also not fair that the Titans probably have the most CTE laden backfield in the history of football, but it’ll work. Also I’ll take the over on any Mariota stat bets this season. He’s the best budding superstar franchise quarterback we haven’t talked about this offseason.
TITANS over Vikings
SANNIE: Since (even after doing this for a while) I still know nothing about these two teams, and everyone on the roster seems to be facially challenged, I will go with the Vikings. They sound tougher.
VIKINGS over Titans
Cleveland Browns at Philadelphia Eagles
SANNIE: Not a Brown anymore, even though my Byline still says it (I promise that will change soon) so Eagles it is.
EAGLES over Browns
RENALDO: I’ll really miss the Browns jokes. The Browns are like the one guy in your group of friends that knows and accepts his role as the butt of the joke. We all know that guy. When super hero movies get together, the Browns were like the Ben Affleck’s Daredevil of NFL teams. This 2016 team is more like the Netflix version of Daredevil. They’ve exorcised the Johnny Football demon, signed RGIII (who I still believe in), hired Hue Jackson at the helm as head coach and will finally welcome back Josh Gordon after what seems like an 8-year suspension for weed. I’m in on this literal Brown-out, but hey may have to get Gary Barnidge a fade and the new Fabolous mixtape. Also, I still have no idea who Carson Wentz is. Could be the new Eagles quarterback, could be a junior senator from New Hampshire, or could be an insurance salesman.
BROWNS over Eagles
San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs
RENALDO: Imagine what happens if someone tells Alex Smith that he’s allowed to throw touchdowns to his wide receivers. What if he’s been working on that all season. Without Jamaal Charles the handcuffs are off now and Alex Smith is about to be a gunslinger. By Gunslinger I mean he’ll throw 7 more three yard slants and 10 more bubble screens. As for the Chargers, I’m more intrigued with the progression of last year’s No.1 pick – Melvin Gordon, than the controversy surrounding Joey Bosa. Gordon is more integral to the team’s immediate future.
CHARGERS over Chiefs
SANNIE: Two other teams where no one is really attractive. So, let’s go with the Chiefs, no real reason, pretty much eeine meenie miney mo.
CHIEFS over Charges
Tampa Bay Bucs at Atlanta Falcons
SANNIE: My brother is a HUGE BUCS fan and since he made fun of me and my football predictions , I hope they lose.
FALCONS over Bucs
RENALDO: I was out on the Falcons. I’d weaned myself off of them as my Madden team, resigned myself to the fact that Matt Ryan just may not be that good and realized that their defence will never be good enough to contend. Then Donald Glover made “Atlanta” and gave FX another gem. I believe in Glover, Rembert Browne, Gucci Mane, Julio Jones and the entire city of Atlanta to be great this year. We just need to reshoot the Young Thug album cover.
FALCONS over Bucs
Green Bay Packers at Jacksonville Jaguars
RENALDO: Jacksonville is literally everyone’s chic pick to make the leap this year from proverbial AFC South doormats to legit contenders. The signs are there – franchise quarterback with a great nickname (I’ll make Bortles Service happen or die trying), dynamic receivers that stretch the field and incredible uniforms. They addressed the defensive issues by signing Malik Jackson, Tashaun Gipson and drafted six defensive players including Jalen Ramsey at No.5 overall. The Jags are trending up, but the last thing you want a new cast of characters is to be tasked with stopping the Aaron Rodgers/Jordy Nelson reunion tour in week one.
PACKERS over Jags
SANNIE: I don’t know much about football but I do know that Green Bay is a pretty good team, Aaron Rodgers may not be the cutest but apparently he is good despite that.
PACKERS over Jags
Chicago Bears at Houston Texans
RENALDO: We should really fear for the safety of Jay Cutler at this point. At this point, it may be in his best interest to succeed Wilford Brimley and start pitching diabetes medicine during infomercials. It seems a lot more safe than facing JJ Watt and Jadaveon Clowney on third and long all afternoon.
TEXANS over Bears
SANNIE: “My daddy Alabama, Momma LouisianaYou mix that negro with that Creole make a Texas bama” – The Queen herself
TEXAS over BEARS
Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens
RENALDO: The Ravens have one of the worst running back situations in the league. Jim Harbaugh may have the better backfield in Ann Arbor when they discuss rosters over Thanksgiving dinner. Given the current state, do you think there’s anyone, anyone in the organisation at all, from owner Steve Bisciotti to the guys take tickets at the gates…is there anyone that said the name Ray Rice over the last two weeks?
RAVENS over Bills
SANNIE: My cousin just moved to Baltimore and I know nothing about buffalo other than the wings are my favorite.
RAVENS over Bills
Oakland Raiders at New Orleans Saints
RENALDO: Lots of reasons to be done with Drew Brees this year. First – he shuns “Ballers” on an episode that would have been perfect for him as the Saints were courting Ricky Jerret in free agency; second – Bleacher Report produces some infographic claiming Bress is clearly better than Dan Marino (how dare they), third – his borderline offensive approach to Kap’s protest, joining the ranks of the “support our troops” distraction effort. The latter trumps everything else.
RAIDERS over Saints
SANNIE: Ha! Like I would ever choose the Raiders.
SAINTS over Raiders
Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets
RENALDO: Everything you need to know about the Jets offseason in a nutshell – For two months, the greatest debate “Gang Green” had – who do you move forward with Geno Smith or bring back Ryan Fitzpatrick. Eventually the signed the Fitz in July, for another one year contract. That overshadowed signing Matt Forte. The Bengals will be fine as long as someone puts a leash on Vontaze Burfict, feed him on time and clean his cage periodically.
BENGALS over Jets
SANNIE: New York has really been on my list of places to really explore forever, I have got to make that happen this year (or maybe next year).
JETS over Bengals
Miami Dolphins at Seattle Seahawks
RENALDO: Nobody thinks the Dolphins can win the AFC East. Maybe my dad, but that’s it. In my lifetime I’ve seen this team be conference contenders, playoff dark horses, division favourites and everything else. The only thing certain is that they’re sure to disappoint. So we’re expected to believe in yet another new coaching regime, a 30-year-old running back coming off a torn Achilles, a pair of defensive ends a combined 80 years old, linebackers that can’t cover, a n inept unproven defensive backfield…and Ryan Tannehill. Meanwhile in Seattle Russell Wilson finally got those goodies Ciara’s been singing about for years so even without Marshawn Lynch as his security blanket, it’s already been the best year of his life.
SEAHAWKS over Dolphins
SANNIE: Do I really have choose between Russell and Renaldo? I feel like it’s not fair to him, but I am going to be a good supportive wife (this time).
DOLPHINS over Seahawks
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
RENALDO: This may be the most intriguing matchup of the week. Cowboys fans are so nervous about talking themselves into Dak Prescott that it’s OK to overlook the powder keg building up under Ezekiel Elliot. The last rookie quarterback to start and win a game for the Cowboys was Roger Staubach in 1969. So, pretty much if he wins this game he’s on pace for the Hall of Fame.
GIANTS over Cowboys
SANNIE: I can’t pick two New York teams so, the Cowboys it is.
COWBOYS over Giants
Detroit Lions at Indianapolis Colts
RENALDO: Matthew Stafford is going to be so disappointed when he evades a pair of defenders, rolls right and lobs the ball downfield to someone not named Calvin Johnson. The only thing that can be as deflating as that….living in Detroit. Insider information on the Colts, Philip Dorsett’s beach workouts at the Dorsett family reunion in Exuma this summer have our sources convinced he’s poised for a breakout season. Stay woke.
COLTS over Lions
SANNIE: Andrew Luck is weirdly cute, weirdly , weirdly cute.
COLTS over Lions
New England Patriots at Arizona Cardinals
SANNIE: Hey Tom Brady!! (and your sexy wife)
PATS over Cards
RENALDO: Anybody that tells you they have any idea what to make of Jimmy Snuffleupagus is a liar. If the Pats are going to survive this four game stretch without Tom Terrific, it won’t be based on quarterback play. Not only is there no Tom but there are holes in the offensive line and at some point the gag of shifty short white wide receivers (you know Belichik does it on purpose) and running backs picked up off the street has to have run its course. The one redeeming quality of this team these first four games should be its defence.
CARDS over Pats
Pittsburgh Steelers at Washington Football Team
SANNIE: Is anyone going to start a petition to change the name of Washington’s team? Especially since Renaldo refuses to even acknowledge it.
STEELERS over That Team
RENALDO: Add Big Ben to the list of quarterbacks protecting the brand and using white America’s favourite diversionary tactic – literally wrapping themselves in the flag and making you believe Kap hates the armed forces because of his protest. Automatically makes it difficult for me to be rational about this. Idiocy aside, the Steelers need to address the night life in their city. If Le’Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant had more entertainment options, maybe they would have less time for all wrong “extracurricular activities.” Don’t tell me they should just focus on their jobs, because I’m pretty certain you don’t.
STEELERS over That Team
Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers
SANNIE: Colin Kapernick’s hair may be a hot mess right now but the stand (more like kneel) he is taking against racism, how could you not love him?
NINERS over Rams
RENALDO: When the only thing the 49er fans have to look forward to is whether Kap sits, kneels or stands for the national anthem, you know there’s nothing good you expect to happen for you during the game. Jeff Fisher pretty much guaranteed that the Rams won’t be mediocre this year (I’m paraphrasing but on HBO’s Hard Knocks he said this team won’t be bleepin’ go 7-9 or 8-8 or 9-7 this season), I’m really eager to see how he does that with Case Keenum as his quarterback. How are they going to get him to leav “The Max” long enough to study his playbook anyway. I just made a really really old person’s “Saved By the Bell” reference…that’s when you know the week is done.