When we last left NBA Countdown's own Bill Simmons, he was advising us all to take home underdogs at all costs, then immediately ignoring that very advice. Will he change his ways and actually do smart things this week? Let's find out by delving into his picks.
Before we start, it must be noted that Simmons wrote a good column blasting Roger Goodell for his handling of the Ray Rice situation. Roger Goodell is dumb and bad, and Simmons should be applauded for pointing that out while so many of his media counterparts failed to speak up. Read that good thing here. Now back to your regularly scheduled hate.
Before we make Week 2 picks, allow me to congratulate myself for writing a Week 1 picks column called "The Year of the Dog," imploring everyone to ride the underdogs all season … then finishing 9-7 even though Week 1's underdogs went 11-5 against the spread. Congratulations to me. And you thought I'd be running out of ways to be an idiot by now.
Actually, I have a feeling you're just beginning to scratch the surface in terms of ways you can be an idiot.
BILLS (PK) over Dolphins
Two of Week 1's three "Nobody Believes In Us!" teams (along with Carolina) battle in the season's first "Nobody Believes In Us!" Bowl!
Just who is Nobody in this situation? Lots of people said the Bills and Dolphins would improve this year, and only dumbass hot take artists on ESPN thought the Panthers would actually fall back with a defense as good as theirs. Can we officially rename Simmons' "Nobody Believes In Us!" teams "Straw men?" Because that's the fucking style of argument he uses when inventing them.
Falcons (+5) over BENGALS
Just a classic Falcons performance last week — Matt Ryan threw the crap out of the ball, they kept fighting back against the Saints, Mike Smith's clock management was as hideous as ever, and it ended up being one of those anyone-could-have-won games. I think that's their destiny; the Falcons are this year's RedZone Channel Ending team. Grabbing the points only because of the overwhelming Garbage Time Touchdown Potential.
Sure, Matt Ryan was really good at home against a horrible defense and Atlanta's coach is dumb as shit, but a backdoor cover looks really juicy here so why not go Atlanta. The Bengals, by the way, have neutralized some really good quarterbacks at home in recent years. Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady immediately come to mind. But Matty Ice has this in the bag.
BROWNS (+6.5) over Saints
R.I.P., every conversation about New Orleans's allegedly improved defense. Anyway, I screwed up last Sunday by going against all three home dogs in the Year of the Dog (and deservedly going 1-2). No more. From now on, I'm gravitating toward 2014's home dogs unless it's one of those "Austin Davis at home against Seattle's D"–type situations. Cleveland is just frisky enough to hang with the Outdoor Saints.
All right, enough about real football for a few paragraphs. Let's talk about Draft Day. It's time.
Was there anyone who got super amped when Simmons declared that this was the time to address Draft Day? Like, they'd been waiting for his opinion on this movie for ages and having it dropped into his NFL picks column was some kind of sad version of an extra present mom and dad hid in the closet on Christmas Day. I pray for those people.
Simmons wrote 960 words about Draft Day and its many logical errors. Almost one thousand words about a shitty NFL branding exercise starring Kevin Costner. I wish Roger Goodell would suspend Bill Simmons. He'd instantly reverse all of the bad press from his Ray Rice related failures.
TITANS (-3.5) over Cowboys
Jags (+5.5) over WASHINGTON
When in doubt, go against the NFC East. Well, unless …
GIANTS (+1.5) over Cardinals
Don't pick the NFC East, unless Peyton Manning's special brother is taking on a legitimately good defense while his defense, who gave up approximately a billion yards last week, has to defend Larry Fitzgerald on a short week. Stick to Draft Day, please.
VIKINGS (+3) over Pats
You know the reasons: The Vikes looked great last week … you gotta love a good home dog getting points … the Pats are 2-6 in their last eight road games … the Pats might not be able to block … Brady was 10-for-27 in the second half against Miami for 62 yards … the Pats don't have a single skill position guy who truly scares you, and by the way, they traded the Cordarrelle Patterson pick to Minnesota and there's no way he isn't scoring an 80-yard TD in this game … New England's allegedly improved secondary didn't look that improved last week … Vince Wilfork looks like luggage … and the Pats have a habit of playing like shit in back-to-back games in the Belichick-Brady era.
(Oh, wait, it's the opposite! Lemme change this pick.)
Pats (-3) over VIKINGS
We've been here before. That's all I am saying.
This was written before the Adrian Peterson stuff happened, so this buffoon is going to get this pick right even though the Vikings are now getting a touchdown at home. But without having known that ahead of time, props to Bill here for again going against his own home underdog edict and picking a team that made Ryan Tannehill look like Unitas last week.
PANTHERS (-2.5) over Lions
The reality is this: Seattle is better than everyone, the Raiders-Rams-Cowboys are worse than everyone, and the other 27 teams could beat anyone else on any given week. Make your picks accordingly.
Jacksonville can beat Denver, you guys. Bill Simmons told me they could.
Two enjoyable factors in play with that Panthers pick: First, you gotta love going against Matt Stafford (and the entire Lions fan base in general) in a classic "Feeling A Little Too Good After A Big Home Win Against A Bad Team" game.
You took Atlanta, who also beat a bad team at home, in the exact same situation just a few paragraphs (and a Draft Day review) ago. Bill Simmons has CTE. He has to. Guy can't remember what he wrote higher up the goddamn page.
PACKERS (-9) over Jets
One variable that I will keep forcing myself to remember this season: "Always grab the Good Team That Desperately Needs A Win over The Not-As-Good Team That Just Had A Win, no matter what the spread is."
You could have just said "hey, the Jets are bad," and that would have been fine. But shoehorning in some sentence long rule in quotes that will be ignored in another few hundred words is just annoying.
Bears (+7) over NINERS
Your textbook Week 2 overreaction line
These are all overreaction lines! Here's a list of lines based on overreactions to Week One:
- Steelers only a field goal underdog at Baltimore
- Bills only a pick 'em hosting Miami
- Seattle giving a touchdown on the road against San Diego
- Kansas City getting 12 (!) at Denver
- Houston giving a field goal at Oakland
- Carolina giving less than a field goal at home vs. Detroit
- This game
That's almost half the games where you can look and say "hey, they may be working off too small a sample size here." C'mon, son.
COLTS (-3) over Eagles
I don't see Andrew the Giant going 0-2. Sorry. Enjoy the weekend.
I will now that I'm done with this.