Bill Belichick and the Patriots are clicking on all cylinders and that’s not even with Antonio Brown in the building. Although, with recent headlines, who knows if Antonio Brown will be playing for the entire season. Meanwhile, the Dolphins are as bad as we expected – or maybe the Baltimore Ravens are even better than many expected? Belichick, Brown and Baltimore. We could put together an entire list via Scattergories featuring all the story lines from Week 1. That takes us to KP’s Week 2 NFL Picks, where we focus on vintage board games.
Scattergories is only the beginning.
Just about everything in the world is cyclical. We call things “retro”, but are they really? In some cases, yes. Clothing styles come and go, then come back again. Movies are remade. Certain board games come back, as well (or simply never leave). It is the vintage stuff we covet.
There are a number of board games that exist in the world. The original Monopoly now has sports and Star Wars editions, among others. Recently, a Ms. Monopoly game was announced. If you are like me, you have vintage, old-school board game editions where the boards themselves are split in half. You have to either tape or piece them together each time you play. Pieces are missing.
I still don’t have a clue where that freaking thimble is.
NFL Teams and Vintage Games
NFL franchises can be the same way, unless you are the Patriots and piece together a current millennium of dominance. So, how can we merge the two concepts together? Don’t sweat it, I have you covered (clever betting pun intended) with my NFL Week 2 NFL Picks: Vintage Board Game Edition.
In this week’s slate, I compare each game (and spread) with a vintage board game from years past. So enjoy the nostalgia (and hopefully some correct selections, too).
Enough chit-chat, here are my Week 2 NFL Picks against the spread, based off the FanDuel Sportsbook lines posted earlier in the week, via Twitter:
NFL Week 2 👀
🏈➡️ https://t.co/3weKyiFwhh pic.twitter.com/gx8vFtueGN
— FanDuel Sportsbook (@FDSportsbook) September 9, 2019
Last week’s seven wins were nothing to write home about. But hey, this isn’t The Game of LIfe, it’s just football picks, right? Here’s hoping I pull through with this week’s prognostication.
KP’s Week 2 NFL Picks: “Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200”
Survive!: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (-6.5)
Survive! Does anyone remember that game by Parker Brothers? It was one of my favorites as a kid. Travel around an island in boats, getting your people to safety before the volcano erupts. The most points wins.
Now, to the football game, where the most points also wins. Survive! That is what Jameis Winston needs to do. The same goes for Winston’s status with the Bucs (and who knows, maybe his career in the NFL). How long before Jameis Winston is benched? Another few performances like the one he had in Week 1 (20-36, 194 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT, 8.6 QBR) and it could be sooner rather than later. Meanwhile, the Panthers charged hard against the Rams, but fell just short. Carolina has the balance both offensively and defensively, as well as the home field advantage. If Cam Newton posts even a mediocre performance, the PANTHERS cover.
Trivial Pursuit: Arizona Cardinals at Baltimore Ravens (-13.5)
How good are the Ravens? How bad are the Dolphins? Which Cardinals team is closer to the real deal? Is it the first half Cardinals of Week 1 or the second half team? This feels like an edition of Trivial Pursuit. You know, when we played as kids, but could probably only answer 4% of the actual questions (if we’re lucky). I could eat a whole pie faster than I could fill a pie (with category pieces) in Trivial Pursuit.
Back to the game, where Kliff Kingsbury admitted last week that he was “too cute” with his play-calling during the first half. I am curious to see how a very strong Ravens pass defense handles the multi-dimensional Kyler Murray and Kingsbury’s offensive scheme. There will need to be a regular spy on Murray, that much is clear. But how will Murray perform against a stronger opponent on the road? In the end, I like the Ravens, but not by two touchdowns. Arizona showed me something last week, so give me the CARDINALS and the points. Ravens win by ten at home.
Sorry!: Buffalo Bills at New York Giants (+2)
The Bills had a strong comeback at the Jets last week. Buffalo has already proven it can win in NYC and now face a team that appears to be weaker than its previous opponent. The Giants gave up 405 yards through the air last week. Do we really think a team currently short on receivers can keep up with that kind of onslaught? Sorry! See what I did there? BILLS cover on the road.
Pay Day: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (+4.5)
Remember Pay Day? Collect your wages, pay the bills and the winner is who has the most dough at the end of the month? Ezekiel Elliott got his pay day. Dak Prescott still is looking for his, but with a ridiculous week one performance, he could be on his way to getting his, too.
Next up for Dallas: one of the best rivalries in sports and a battle with the Redskins. The D.C., Cowboys-hating home crowd will be loud and ready, but will that honestly be enough? We saw how Dak and Cowboys performed in Week 1. The Redskins had a strong first half, only to flounder in Philly. Derrius Guice is injured, which means this is the Adrian Peterson show again. The Washington O-line is still a question mark without Trent Williams. The Washington defense is very solid, but how well can they perform if the offense is unable to move the ball and eat up clock? COWBOYS cover.
Connect Four: Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (-3)
The Colts have a bit of an edge in recent history, winning all but two games in the series dating back to 2012. Indianapolis played well against the Chargers last week, falling short in overtime. Despite the loss, the Marlon Mack – Jacoby Brissett – T.Y. Hilton combination was quite effective.
Meanwhile, Tennessee posted a lopsided win over the Browns. Was that the Titans playing great or the Browns playing poorly? While it could be a combination of the two, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the Colts fared well despite losing Andrew Luck. Throw in the recent history and that’s another Indianapolis advantage. Then there’s #4, the ageless wonder Adam Vinatieri, who always seems to finds the right time to connect on another game winning kick. Connect. Number four. Connect Four. That’s just what Vinatieri will do in a close divisional matchup. COLTS win on the road.
Mouse Trap: Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-8.5)
The first question is how will the Jaguars pass rush play, because the Texans have already proven through one week that they’re having a hard time protecting Deshaun Watson. With Nick Foles, Gardner Minshew now runs the Jags offense. Houston’s pass rush will try (and likely succeed) in forcing numerous mistakes. But this game stills comes down to Watson and whether he can stay healthy. He is just so talented and it’s a shame Houston allows him to get beat up every game. It is kind of like the game Mouse Trap, where Watson is scrambling all over the field to avoid the trap falling on him. In the end, Jacksonville had zero sacks in week one and the Watson-Hopkins combination will prove to be too powerful playing at home in week two. TEXANS cover and bounce back from a tough loss.
Advance to Boardwalk: Los Angeles Chargers at Detroit Lions (+3.5)
Remember Advance to Boardwalk, the 1985 spin-off to Monopoly? Like most spin-offs, we appreciate it for the effort put in to make it, but it simply doesn’t match the classic original. One could use the analogy with the Lions, an attempted spin-off of the Patriots. Matt Patricia (former Patriots coordinator) is the head coach and a number of former players have recently signed with the team. Then, there’s the performance and end result (or lack thereof). Last week’s collapse against the Cardinals is likely to make Patricia’s seat a bit on the spicy hot side. The Lions playing at home is why the line is where it is.
The Chargers are dealing with some injuries, plus the Melvin Gordon holdout. I honestly don’t even feel the need to look up how L.A. performs on the road (as in, not on the west coast). I saw enough when I saw how the Lions continue to respond with Matt Patricia as its coach. A complete implosion. Los Angeles has way more talent and therefore give me the CHARGERS on the road.
Risk: Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-3.5)
The Packers open up a significant stretch of games at Lambeau and what better way to open the home schedule with this rivalry. While it is typically hard to pick against Aaron Rodgers at home, it should be noted how well the Vikings performed last week against Atlanta. Gary Kubiak has the Minnesota offense performing at a higher level. Expect the Vikings to use its aggressive defense (four sacks in week one) to disrupt and throw numerous looks at Rodgers and Green Bay’s O-line.
That’s the real Risk. Like the board game, it is a battle – in this case for the midwest. Blitz Rodgers too much and he’ll easily burn you. Although, the Packers did allow five sacks in week one. The Vikes also threw just ten times last week, seeking to run the ball often. Keeping Rodgers off the field will be the obvious goal. In the end, in what will be a game likely won by time of possession, give me the VIKINGS and the points.
Monopoly: New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins (-17)
We witnessed what New England did to Pittsburgh in primetime last week. That was a clinic. Fans also saw the Dolphins give up 59 points to the Ravens at home. That was not a clinic.
This reminds me of the game Monopoly. The Pats have a borderline monopoly on the NFL when it comes to on-the-field performance. Miami appears to have a monopoly regarding the upcoming NFL Draft (and the top overall pick, among others). With that said, the Patriots typically underperform in Miami for whatever reason. New England has lost five times in Miami dating back to 2013! Still, consider the level these two teams are at right now. Let us also not forget New England adds Antonio Brown into its offensive mix this week, too. As high as this spread is, It is hard to pick against Tom Brady and the PATRIOTS here. Pats cover, win by three touchdowns.
Operation: San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals (+1.5)
Last week, the Bengals played well and nearly knocked off the Seahawks in Seattle, while the 49ers took care of Jameis Winston and the Bucs in Tampa Bay. This game, however, comes down to the game Operation. Don’t touch the edges or you’ll get buzzed by all the injuries! The Niners are without Tevin Coleman while Joe Mixon remains questionable with an ankle injury for the Bengals. A.J. Green remains out for Cincinnati and LT Cordy Glenn has a concussion. Nick Bosa also has an ankle injury for San Francisco. In the end, Zac Taylor had a solid coaching debut, nearly knocking off the 12th man. My gut says he rebounds and pushes the BENGALS to a victory at home.
Trap Door: Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5)
Remember the board game Trap Door? Land on an opponent’s marble and push down to see if you send them through the trap door. Sometimes, the trap door is locked. Regarding this game, it seems like a trap from the picking standpoint. The Steelers looked terrible against New England last week. Just awful. Something tells me the Pittsburgh home crowd will rejuvenate this team in its home opener. Seattle will try to establish the run and slow the game down, but Big Ben bounces back here. Give me the STEELERS to cover at home, sending Seattle to a surprising 0-2 start.
Clue: Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders (+9)
Patrick Mahomes has an ankle injury he’s dealing with. Tyreek Hill is out for multiple weeks. Despite all that, the Chiefs still have a ton of talent on offense. It’s essentially like the game of Clue. How will the Chiefs beat you? Is it with Mahomes, on the run, with the deep ball? How about McCoy, on the ground, with a spin move? Maybe it’s rookie Mecole Hardman, through the air with his blazing speed? You get the idea. The Raiders are an improved team and they do have home field. But if Patrick Mahomes runs well and is not hampered by the ankle injury, I can’t pick against Kansas City. CHIEFS cover.
Battleship: Chicago Bears at Denver Broncos (PK)
This pick ’em feels like it will be a battle in the trenches. Defenses battling and taking over the game, with each of the multi-runner ground games attempting to fight for time of possession. It’s like the game of Battleship. Take a guess and see if you can land a big hit. The big hits from the key members of the defenses are likely to be the difference, after all. My gut says the BEARS win.
Hungry Hungry Hippos: New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams (-3.5)
Get ready for a shootout (and perhaps focus your DFS lineups heavily in the direction of this game). The over/under for the game is currently at 53 1/2 points. This makes me think of Hungry Hungry Hippos, where there’s a frantic gobbling up of footballs all over the field. When I say this, I mean offenses clicking, despite the talented defenses. It just feels like that type of game. In the end, I see a similar game compared to last Monday’s thriller between the Texans and Saints. Translation: this is a high scoring close game by the final whistle. Give me the SAINTS and the points.
Yahtzee: Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons (PK)
A pick’em game, so it’s almost a game of chance, like Yahtzee. Roll the dice on this one. Atlanta has a raucous home crowd, but the Falcons were a hot mess playing the Vikings last week. The Eagles struggled in the first half, but eventually took care of the Redskins. This is a game with unique offensive minds on both coaching staffs. Roll the dice. Give me the EAGLES.
Trouble: Cleveland Browns at New York Jets (+1)
Pop-O-Matic Trouble! How did the jingle go? “I’ll give you trouble… trouble… trouble”, right? That is what the Browns and Jets are in following ugly week one performances. This is just what Monday Night Football needs after opening with an entertaining double-header.
Now, enter the Browns, a team that entered the season with so much hype, only to get blown off its home field by the Titans. The Jets, meanwhile, blew a 16 point-lead to the Bills at home. Each team can only go up from here. That is, until it was announced that Sam Darnold has mono and is out indefinitely. The Browns offensive line needs to be better after allowing five sacks to the Titans. My gut says they will be. The team that loses this game will be in… trouble. TROUBLE. That’s the Jets. BROWNS win on the road.
2019 NFL Season to Date (ATS)
Comment with your picks or more importantly, your favorite vintage board games. As always, thank you for visiting The Wife Hates Sports!
Archive: 2018 NFL Season (ATS)
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Well, yeah…. of course. :)
Do the Colts win on the road by four? ;-)