By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Life moves fast. Some would say too fast. As it relates to football season, we are most certainly moving too quickly.
We’re through nine weeks of the season. We’re past the halfway point. To borrow a term from Mike Gundy, that’s GARBAGE.
The Atlanta Super Bowl website has a countdown that’s ticking away the seconds until The Big Game on Feb. 4. That too, is garbage.
Don’t get me wrong, the Super Bowl rules. But it would be nice to tap the brakes a little bit here before the season careens to an abrupt end. The cadence of football season — from Thursday, through Sunday, with the cherry on Monday — provides a nice pacing for this crazy, mixed-up world.
But then again, given the way these picks have gone over the past two weeks, maybe an abrupt ending to the season wouldn’t be so bad.
Nevertheless, we trudge on.
(Home team in CAPS; Wednesday lines)
PITTSBURGH (-4) over Carolina
I’ve been ignoring my gut too much these past two weeks, and I have a 10-17 record to show for it. That’s disgusting.
Well, no more ignoring the gut. And my gut tells me that the very second that I start believing in the Carolina Panthers will be the precise second that they let me down. It’s happened too many times before, and I won’t let it happen again.
NEW YORK JETS (-7) over Buffalo
The Buffalo Bills are so bad that the Jets lost their starting quarterback this week and are still a touchdown favorite. That would be the 3-6 New York Jets, by the way.
Man, the Bills are a disaster.
(Also, side note: Losing Sam Darnold is an upgrade for the Jets, right? Young fella’s got seven picks, two touchdowns and a mammoth 43.3 passer rating over the last three weeks. My guy may want to rest that foot for a few weeks or months or years.)
New England (-7) over TENNESSEE
Did you know that the Tennessee Titans are 12-3 in their last 15 home games? Did ya? Bet ya didn’t.
That gives me pause here, as does the fact that this game is sandwiched right after a prime-time Packers showdown and a bye week for the Patriots. If ever the most disciplined and focused team were to let their eyes stray from the goal a bit, it would be this week.
But the Titans just aren’t very good. They are not.
(I’m only 5-4 in Patriots picks this year. That’s also not good.)
Jacksonville (+3) over INDIANAPOLIS
The Jags are back, baby!
(I am prepared to say this for as long as takes for the Jaguars to actually be back. Don’t care if that’s years from now. This is no time to jump ship.)
Arizona (+17) over KANSAS CITY
I feel like the Chiefs are getting a little bored. The dead Cardinals won’t do much to stoke any excitement. The Chiefs will sleepwalk their way to a 14-point victory.
Detroit (+7) over CHICAGO
New Orleans (-5.5) over CINCINNATI
CLEVELAND (+4.5) over Atlanta
Washington (+3) over TAMPA BAY
Hey, unrelated, maybe I actually wouldn’t mind the football season ending soon.
Los Angeles Chargers (-10.5) over OAKLAND
Hey, I think it’s time we all humbly admit that Jon Gruden has managed to not embarrass the Raiders organization for a full week. A whole week!
It may not seem like much, but to climb out of one of the most dreadful NFL seasons in recent memory, it begins with baby steps.
LOS ANGELES RAMS (-10) over Seattle
I still believe in the Rams. I think they have the head coach that will get them to respond well to a gut punch of a loss.
GREEN BAY (-10) over Miami
From Brady-Rodgers one minute, to Rodgers-Osweiler the next. As I’ve said, life in the NFL moves fast.
PHILADELPHIA (-7) over Dallas
With the whole football world watching, the Cowboys led 7-0 and had the ball inside the Titans’ 5-yard line late in the first quarter on Monday night. They somehow managed to get outscored 14-7 from that point forward in the half, and then 14-0 in the second half, against a mediocre Tennessee team. In Dallas.
It was so bad, it was almost impressive. Almost.
Anyway. I’m sure Jason Garrett is doing all he can to clap his way out of it, but I’m not sure he’s got enough claps loaded up in the clap chamber to fix all that needs fixing.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ers (-3) over New York Giants
It’s funny how in one lone week we can go from saying “LOL who in the worrrrrld is Nick Mullens???” to saying “yeah Nicky Mullens will probably beat Hall of Famer Eli Manning on Monday Night Football.”
Life in the NFL moves fast. Had I mentioned that yet?
Last week: 6-7