By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — This isn’t supposed to be about me. The weekly picks column is supposed to provide some thoughts on a significant (or insignificant) story in the NFL, followed up by some reliably accurate NFL picks to prep you for a weekend of sitting on your couch like a baked potato. That’s it. And this week, with Colin Kaepernick’s sham workout scheduled, with Adam Gase inexplicably being given multiple years worth of job security, and with a juicy MVP debate, there was no shortage of possible topics.

Alas, when those reliably accurate picks begin to look more like soiled, rotting, sopping wet heaps of garbage, the elephant in the room has to be addressed.

The elephant in this case is an abysmal record of 7-19-1 over the past two weeks. Seven. Nineteen. And one. That’s a .259 winning percentage during a two-week stretch where the previously winless Miami Dolphins have won two real, live football games.

I’ve been worse than the Dolphins. Crikey.

We could explore the how and the why of this issue until the four-legged bovine creatures come home, but it would all be a bunch of hot air. The fact is, bottom line, I have been an extreme failure for the past two weeks.

Having hit a speed bump or two over the past decade writing these picks, I’ve turned to a variety of different areas when facing such a crossroads. I once competed against a coin flip, and barely won. I once made picks but then reversed all of them to the opposite of my picks. That plan backfired. And once, back in September of 2016, I went head-to-head making picks against my not-quite-2-year-old daughter.

Back then, I thought things were bad. I had gone 5-11 in late September, and it dropped me to 18-29-1 on the year. By contrast, this year, I am … 62-84-1. Yeesh!

So, perhaps it was arrogance, or denial, or maybe some temporary blindness that forced me to avoid resorting to gimmicks for so long this year.

But I’m hoping for a similar result. I narrowly edged my dearest Penelope that week, and I ended up finishing the season just six games under .500. That’s … an OK recovery. Considering I currently sit a disgusting 22 games under .500, I think I’d take that kind of finish to the year.

That can’t come, though, without first accepting a heaping dose of humility, in the form of potentially getting outpicked by my now-5-year-old daughter. Here’s how she sees this week playing out.

She’s probably right.

PENNY’S PICKS
CLEVELAND (-2.5) over Pittsburgh

DETROIT (+4) over Dallas
TAMPA BAY (+5.5) over New Orleans
Atlanta (+5.5) over CAROLINA
INDIANAPOLIS (-3) over Jacksonville
MINNESOTA (-10.5) over Denver
WASHINGTON (-1) over New York Jets
MIAMI (+6) over Buffalo
BALTIMORE (-4) over Houston
SAN FRANCISCO (-11.5) over Arizona
PHILADELPHIA (+3.5) over New England
OAKLAND (-10.5) over Cincinnati
LOS ANGELES RAMS (-6.5) over Chicago
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (+4) over Kansas City

Now, it’s time for my best guess. If I end up losing to her, then, well, I’m not sure what comes next. But it won’t be good for me.

(Wednesday lines; Home team in CAPS.)

CLEVELAND (-2.5) over Pittsburgh
I think it’s just as simple as this: The Steelers are not going to win five straight games. Their head coach is simply too determined to waste challenges and timeouts, it’s overdue to catch up with them in a harsh, harsh way.

Dallas (-4) over DETROIT
Find me two teams with blue logos that are more mediocre than Dallas and Detroit. It can’t be done. They are simply the mediocrest.

New Orleans (-5.5) over TAMPA BAY
CAROLINA (-5.5) over Atlanta
Look at all that sweet, sweet NFC South action. Behold it, in all its glory. That is some sweet, SWEET NFC South action.

Jacksonville (+3) over INDIANAPOLIS
The Colts had a nice run. Sadly, much like Mr. Vinatieri’s career, it is over.

(Watching Adam kick field goals onto the highway is painful. Can networks agree to just not broadcast his kicks anymore? Please.)

I opened this column lamenting what life is like now that I’m worse than the 2019 Miami Dolphins. The Colts are in that same predicament this week. Last week, the Jets tried to rebound from dealing with the reality that they are worse than the Jets, and they went out and lost to the Giants. Clearly, whether you win or lose, playing against the Dolphins just saps a team of all of its life.

MINNESOTA (-10.5) over Denver
It’s weird, to me, that the Denver Broncos have three wins this season.

Winning a game with a QB named Brad Allen, who’s allegedly been in the NFL for four years? Even weirder.

WASHINGTON (-1) over New York Jets
For many years I have argued that for games this late in the season featuring teams that are this bad, the players should all partake in some sort of skills competition instead of a football game. Give us a throwback to those quarterback competitions from the ’90s. Bust out some of those old Madden mini games maybe. Build a Super Mega Aggro Crag and see who can fight through the flying glitter and make it to the top first. Jeez, just get Mike O’Malley (and Mo!) to show up and do a full-on “Guts” remake.

Do literally anything that doesn’t involve 60 minutes of tackle football between the Redskin and Jets.

Buffalo (-6) over MIAMI
The Bills have had the easiest schedule in the NFL. Their opponents have a combined winning percentage of .337. That list of opponents includes the 8-1 Patriots, which tells you how bad the rest of those opponents have been. Pretty bad! And yet, they’re only 6-3. That’s almost as bad as me.

For that reason, I regret to report that the Buffalo football Bills will not be winning the Super Bowl this season. Darn!

But they will still beat the Dolphins.

Houston (+4) over BALTIMORE
Gosh, I hope this game rules. It looks like it should rule. It could rule. It better rule.

That this game is on at 1 p.m., while the Chicago Bears will clog our TVs with football dregs in prime time? That is a sin, folks.

Arizona (+11.5) over SAN FRANCISCO
There’s a chance that the more-experienced NFL coach absolutely steamrolls the rookie NFL head coach when these two teams meet for the second time in three weeks. (Who scheduled that?) I recognize that it is a chance.

But there may be an emotional letdown factor here, and maybe even some creeping doubt into the head of Jimmy Garoppolo, who looked like he was determined to throw a game-losing pick at the end of regulation on Monday night. Good, bad or otherwise, we’ll find out a lot about San Francisco’s makeup in this one. (Not having George Kittles, and potentially not having Emmanuel Sanders figures to be a problem, too.)

New England (-3.5) over PHILADELPHIA
It’s really hard to beat the Patriots without a receiving corps.

OAKLAND (-10.5) over Cincinnati
Congratulations really are in order for the Cincinnati Bengals. In a year where so many teams seemed determined to go 0-16, the striped team from Cincinnati is the only team still in the running.

The fact that this is something they’re pulling off after firing Marvin Lewis? I never saw that one coming. I figured 0-16 was the only way that they’d ever actually give the ax to Lewis.

LOS ANGELES RAMS (-6.5) over Chicago
Man. Sometimes I watch Jared Goff play football and I just think, I go, I say, “Gah. Jared Goff stinks.” Has that ever happened to you?

Fortunately he’s not Mitchell Trubisky though. Imagine throwing away a boatload of draft capital just to move up one spot to select … Mitchell Trubisky? Out of … North Carolina? In a real, live NFL draft?

That would be bad!

Kansas City (-4) over LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
The Chiefs’ defense is a prrrrroblem. I don’t care who’s playing quarterback — with that defense, that team won’t be winning any Super Bowl any time soon.

That defense just allowed Ryan Tannehill to engineer a 61-yard game-winning touchdown drive and stuff a two-point conversion right in their face last week. Ryan Tannehill!

Chiefs defense? Bad.

(Probably good enough to beat the Chargers on a Monday night. But still. Bad.)

You can email Michael Hurley or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.

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