#CheddarBay Week 16, Army-Navy.


Army won’t be wearing the best uniforms ever. Click to see Nike’s work for Saturday.

This week’s lines linked here.
All-play is Army +12.5 vs. Navy at Philly, 3pm, Saturday, CBS.

Late lines:
Bears/Browns, PK;
Packers +6.5 at Cowboys.


In stock for Xmas!

We’re coming down the homestretch. Three weeks left. There’s nice bunching forming around the red line but still, everyone still playing is alive mathematically. And even if it’s a longshot for the playoffs, there’s still the weekly payout and chance to get your entry fee with enough left over to put a down payment on the Brandon Weeden jersey.

Lobsterfest/weekly to USFCollin.

Good work last week by one of our USF stalwarts.  Having watched his team all year, he was able to profit from year one of the Taggert plan by going against them on his essay.  Fear not Bulls fans.  Willie Taggert was 2-10 in his first year at WKU; in his second year he won every game not played against the #1 team down the stretch.

PS Collin:  the Cheddar Bay biscuit coma story didn’t check out.

Go see my NHSPCA Vines page.

Quiet Cheddar weeks so hows about a quick advert for the local animal shelter?  We’ve got a great batch of dogs right now and I know that does none of you any good.  But I bet your local shelter is also awesome if probably has some kind of store attached to it for any pets or pet owners on your Christmas list.

And if you haven’t checked out the vines of our dogs you’re simply missing out some satisfying web browsing.


Good luck this week!

108 Responses

  1. clayII says:

    Ravens (+5)
    Sorry for lateness. Going w/ the Ravens here as I think they are still a bit undervalued. Balt is one of them teams that ramps it up in December every year. They are not effected by the pressure of meaningful games down the stretch, as for the Lions, I don’t know. Also, Pitta being back really helps open up the offense, not only for Flacco, but for Rice. Even if Balt cant win, I don’t think they lose by more than 3 or 4

  2. CLEinMPLS says:

    Lions -5 Essay

    Completely forgot to do an essay this week, but what the hell. I am not one to quit even though I have had a bad year on the Bay. I still don’t think the Ravens are very good this year. I am not sure about Reggie’s health for tonight, but I still think Stafford and company will move the ball fairly easily with all of his weapons in the dome on the turf. I am hoping for a shootout game where the ravens can’t keep up. Plus it’s easy to root against them anyhow.

  3. bupalos says:

    I’m also retroactively boycotting the army navy thing.

  4. p_forever says:

    so i boycotted the army/navy deal – see the prohibitive favorite for details.

    my remaining picks:

    ravens +6 lions

    steelers +3 cincy (it’ll be a bad week for felines of all stripes; see above)

    saints -5.5 rams****

    raiders +3.5 chiefs

    packers +6.5 cowboys

    ***amongst other lessons learned from the brownie/brady showdown last weekend was that no matter what anyone says (and especially no matter what acto says) quarterback play (and calls made to protect quarterbacks) wins nfl football games. so this week i’m picking the saints, even if it seems like low-hanging fruit, because it’s going to be a match-up between a great qb – drew brees – and a decidedly not great qb – whoever sam bradford’s back up is. and sam bradford’s backup (even assisted by a good running game and even playing reasonably well) just isn’t going to be able to put up enough points to keep brees from storming back from any deficit in which the saints might find themselves (see, e.g., what happened to campbell when he played brady). so the rams can play for pride or whatever, but at best they come away with a moral victory when they don’t lose by double digits.

  5. Matt Borcas says:

    Chiefs -3.5 over Raiders
    Cards -2.5 over Titans
    Saints -5.5 over Rams
    Steelers +3 over Bengals

  6. Concierge says:


  7. jimkanicki says:

    for THATSFINE:

    Finishing things up:
    Previous: Chargers (win) Army (lose)
    Washington +6 / Atlanta
    Pittsburgh +3 / Bengals
    Seahawks -6 / Giants
    Jags +2

  8. Petefranklin says:

    #3 hawks-7
    #4 skins +6.5

    • Petefranklin says:

      #5 dolphins

      • Petefranklin says:

        If you already didn’t bet this game, don’t do it now. Dolphins up to a 3 point fav in some places and a 5 point move is death to tickets that get the late #.

    • Petefranklin says:

      Essay Squeelers +3 over Cincy The home road dichotomy of cincy is incredible. The Browns beat them handily. The only impressive game on the road came at SD and the fast turf that is like the field turf that they play on @ Paul Brown Stadium. This wont be a fast track tonight. The Steelers lost at home last week and I like playing teams in the 2nd game of B2B home games after a loss. The Steelers are rarely HDogs(1-1TY). If the Steeler D can keep Cincy away from the big play, they should win outright.

  9. bupalos says:

    Well with the army loss I figure I get maybe 2 more chances to get one wrong. And surely I can’t miss on any essays. So what is week after week the most iron clad lock in all of sports, the team that NEVER disappoints? The team you can always count on? The team that the exceeds expectations at every turn? That’s right! The Cleveland browns! And they are such a lock they don’t even need points this week. You dont need anything but jason campell and whatever combination of weeden and throwalicious comes in after jc’s head falls off. Throw in the fact that a good half of the fans (the dumb ones) will be rooting for cleveland’s May superbowl and I can’t think of anything more likely than a bone crushing of da bearse. That’s 3 points closer to a shocking bupalos comeback.

    • bupalos says:

      Let’s grab the 49ers here too. Couple more picks I’ll figure out for the late stuff.

      • bupalos says:

        Ugh. This whole thing is a filthy sham. Let’s play for May: Bengals over Steeler’s and their juicy 2014 third round pick.

  10. CleveLandThatILove says:

    Seahawks -7
    Bears PK
    Eagles -4.5
    Saints -5.5
    ***Colts -6

    Maybe this is the week that the offensive game planners in Indy accept the reality that Trent R isn’t going to help them win ball games, and start over next year with a new plan. Give the ball to Brown or one their other backs on first or second down, and just let Andrew Luck work his way through and out of whatever stall he has been in lately. He’s got to get past missing his baby blanket Reggie Wayne and just air it out. I suppose they’re saving some good stuff for the post season, but he needs to get some kind of chemistry going with the rest of the receiving corps. He’s going to be the one to carry the team for the long haul ahead, he’s certainly equipped to do it and do it well, so load up the plan with all kinds of passing plays and let the chips fall.

    • CleveLandThatILove says:

      Oops, forgot I had 2 picks in already this week, less than memorable ones I guess. Take off the Seahawks, thanks.

  11. CLEinMPLS says:

    Raiders +3.5
    Colts -6
    9ers -5
    Eagles -4.5

  12. squeekycleen says:

    Essay play: Cleveland: Monday night football was exciting wasn’t it! Bears offense went wild against the inept Cowboy defense. And now they are back in the hunt! What’s not to like. The best receivers in the league, hands down. Cutler back in the fold. Trestman’s genius system. Forte running wild! Enter the Clowns, a complete disaster the last two months, punctuated by last week’s disaster. No one who knows anything about football would expect them to win this game. It’s practically impossible. I figure they would have to score 30 and hold bears under 30, neither of which is going to happen. Simple math says its a Bears blowout. And math is always right. Clowns for me.

    Tampa Bay

  13. Here are (almost all of) the Prohibited Favorite’s week of horribawful week 15 football picks:

    Army/Navy: BOYCOTT — NO PICK;

    ESSAY: Browns PK over Bears: After ESPN Cleveland’s incredible (at best) response to the domestic violence charges brought this week against their top morning show host Tony Rizzo, it’s nice to see the Browns get it right by keeping him off of their game day programming at least for one week (Hopefully this continues until the charges clear up … background here for those unfamiliar with the story — http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/2013/12/how-does-espn-cleveland-know-that-tony-rizzos-wife-is-lying/ ). I wouldn’t have played them today had Rizzo been on, but since he’s not, I’m free to be optimistic about what Chud and Norv can dial up with Josh OMFGordon and Co. and a non-Weeden quarterback (#elite) against a horrendous Bears defense. As much as Brandon Marshall is one of those guys I hate having on a team that I’m wagering against, the Browns should have enough of an advantage in the trenches on defense to slow the Bears down. All the pressure is on Chicago here and I’m looking for them to start slow and tighten up once they start to feel that advantage in the trenches and that the Browns are still trying to win games. Nick and KTO’s game day party is a cherry on top here. This should be one of those games that will keep the Browns from drafting the guy they really need next spring.

    As for the rest, unleashing a pack of wild 4:00 dogs seems like a sensible thing to do this week:

    Raiders +3.5 over Chiefs, Titans +2.5 over Cards, Packers +6.5 over Cowboys. Would have essayed the Raiders had Rizz been on the air today. A 3-point Chiefs win seems inevitable here. Also, wish I had the stomach for the Vikings today but I’ll save one for tomorrow night.

    Happy Sunday, erbody. Go Brownies woof woof.

    • It is like I’ve been saying about this week. Browns. Woof. Since unleashing the dogs didn’t work yesterday I will move to the food family. Give me the Baltimore Raisins +6 tonight, please, for my last pick.

  14. HitTheHorns says:

    Redskins +6. ***ESSAY*** Shanahan needs to show the league that his son Kyle runs an offense that works. Three game audition for Kyle to get another job. I think Skins will score 40 if they can. Any time you can pick a team whose coach is trying to get fired and is starting a backup, you have to do it, right?

    NyGiants +7. Seahawks played Monday night two weeks ago and the most physical game of the year last week. Now east coast travel. Can’t imagine they will be prepared here.

    Bucs +5. See above. Seahawks hangover.

    Bills -2. Line is backwards. Jax has won 4 of 5! Buffalo was embarrassed last week and ej Manuel has been terrible since he came back. This one seems too obvious.

    Steelers +2. Pit has lost two heartbreakers in a row. I will never not take them when getting points at home in prime time.

  15. Collin says:

    All play: Army +13 over Navy. Whoops.


    Niners -5 over Tampa Bay. Jim Leavitt back in Tampa… they’ll bring it for him.

    Seahawks -7 over Giants. The Giants are dead, right? I mean we can officially write them off? OK finally… now they can start mailing it in.

    Kansas City -3.5 over Oakland. I’m betting on Andy Reid… I thought this day would never, ever come you guys

    New Orleans -5.5 over St. Louis. Saint Breesus, play for us.

    Essay: Eagles -4.5 over Minnesota. Regular readers of my essays know I basically ignore the NFL as much as possible here since I watch way more college football than NFL. I write a blog about a college team, I travel to see games where I can, and I love the insanity and student-athlete exploitation by mostly public institutions that only the NCAA can provide.

    But I do watch my Eagles every week with gut wrenching aplomb. I was born and raised in Philly, and have lived and died with the Birds since birth. And this is my favorite Eagles team to watch since Buddy Ryan left. They score in bunches, they play hard, and they seem to like each other (even Riley Cooper!!). You never know what you’re going to see each week: a crazy gadget play, some sort of zone read wrinkle, or just Desean Jackson literally running by everyone for a TD. They’re incredibly interesting, which I think is all you can ask from a first year head coach.

    Lesean McCoy is a Hall of Fame running back that can make people miss or run over them equally effectively, and this Nick Foles 20 TD’s only-1-INT-and-that-was-in-a-snow-globe season is ridiculous. I loved Foles at Arizona, where he lost a ton of games 52-49 type games because the Wildcats defense was abysmal. If the Eagles can find a way to keep all these guys under the cap, it’s a Super Bowl contender for several years into the future. If only the secondary could cover…

    Sidenote: I LOVE the dog Vines. If any of you have girlfriends or women you want to melt in front of you, just show them that page. It should also be required viewing for anyone that thinks a breeder is ever a good idea. Great work Jim, you’re a gentlemen and according to your placement in this contest, a scholar as well.

  16. oxr says:

    All-Play Army over Navy (L)

    Eagles -4.5 over Vikings
    Bears PK over Browns
    Cardinals -2.5 over Titans
    Saints -5.5 over Rams

    Essay Chiefs -3.5 over Raiders – It’s another road game and another road favorite and a divisional road favorite at that, but there is a case to be made here. The Raiders are pretty bad and will remain so until they can dig their way out of salary cap hell (next year?); their QB situation is – to put it kindly – muddled, and we may once more see the dreaded McGloin/Pryor platoon. Ordinarily I’d say the Raiders need some special teams magic to pick up an early lead and then somehow hang onto it, so it’s relevant that (as I mentioned last week before the Washington game) the Chiefs have the best special teams in the league by DVOA and Oakland is ranked 30th (overall this is the #5-#31 matchup). All my picks this week are teams that need a win for playoff positioning versus teams that could mostly just give up and give the rookies some run, but Denver’s loss on Thursday suddenly means that if the Chiefs win out and Denver drops another they can go from the 5th seed to the 2nd (or, less likely, 1st). The bet is that this potential reward offsets the natural propensity for weird stuff to happen in late-season divisional games.

  17. harbaugh handshakes says:

    Niners -5 over Tampa Bay
    Bills -2 over the Jags
    Eagles -4,5 over the Vikes
    Chiefs -3.5 over the raiders***

    Saints -5.5 over the Rams
    AP: Navy (W)
    Well the chiefs have everything to play for with the surprising home loss the Broncos suffered to the Chargers Thursday night. Alex Smith has really been playing well the past two weeks and I’m looking for that trend to continue over the lowly Raiders. The chiefs defense is legit and will be fired up to play their “rival” but really fired up because they still have a shot at the division and Home field in the playoffs. While writing this essay I realize how much the Raiders franchise is like the Browns and now understand how the rest of the nfl looks at the Browns. Sobering really…pathetic absolutely.

  18. Rich Swerbinsky says:

    One of these weeks I will remember to get my picks posted in time.

    Bengals -3
    Saints -5.5
    Jets +11
    Bears p
    ***Cowboys -6.5

    Team dysfunctional rebounds and blows away a Packer team that just flat out sucks without Aaron Rodgers. (note, I am starting Tony Romo in the final four of two different fantasy leagues today, thus am not qualified to make a rational call on this game)

  19. pateslvrblk says:

    Niners-5 over Tampa Bay
    Seattle-7 over Giants
    Eagles-4.5 over Vikings
    Bengals-3 over Steelers
    *** Chiefs-3.5 over Raiders

    I was reminded that the rivalry of old between Raiders and Chiefs no longer applies to the current teams. Time has shown the Chiefs know how to reorganize and produce success where the Raiders are failing miserably at any attempt to gain credibility within the NFL. Fans, myself included, come out and show loyalty at the beginning of every season hoping we will see a glimpse of the Raiders of old only to be disappointed again. So I will continue to use my Raiders to get wins here and believe that next year will be different.

  20. jimkanicki says:

    1. ***Chiefs -3.5 at Raiders
    2. AP Army +12.5 Navy (loss)
    3. at Jags +2 Bills too many injuries: MJD, Shorts, and Cyprien.
    3. at Colts -6 Texans
    4. Cards -2.5 at Titans
    5. Eagles -4.5 Vikes
    6. at Dolphins +2.5 Pats

    Damn. Cmon bowl season.
    No essay week.

  21. CLEVTA says:

    Bills -2 (essay change) Please change my essay pick off of Rams and instead I want Bills -2 as my essay. Still want to keep Rams pick as one point tho. Mainly switching bc Tavon is out for the Rams and that dampers a little bit of my hope. Why I like the Bills -2. Way way too many people are jumping on the Jags bandwagon. Credit for the tough play of late but now they are missing Shorts and may not have MJD. Buffalo is coming off a poor performance v Tampa and I think they get a W here.

  22. Katie O. says:

    In second to last place, I can only take solace in the fact those in the lead do not have double to points I do…yet.

    I’m feeling encouraged though – I’m one for one with the Navy. With this experience will come more frustration. Just kidding. Will come better choices; I hope.

    Panthers -11 vs. Jets

    Rams +5.5 vs. Saints

    Eagles -4.5 vs. Vikings

    Steelers +3 vs. Bengals

    Essay: Browns over Da Bears

    Because why the heck not? This weekend, Nick and I are hosting six people (three couples) from Chicago. We have had cucumber margaritas at El Carnicero, bought cheese at the West Side Market, imbibed with Christmas Ale at GLBC, dined heartily at Lolita, and sipped Stoli Dolis at the Treehouse. Our last stop with them will be them witnessing the promise within the Browns that they really will be a better team next year. I truly don’t even attempt to say it out loud because the words, “no seriously, next year we’re going to be good, the pieces are in place” is like hearing an addict who continually lapses despite claiming to want to get clean, again and again and again.

    I’m going to freeze my butt off in hopes of seeing Josh Gordon break records. I want to see Cameron catch the ball, straight up the middle, with no one on him. I want to see Phil Taylor get pissed. I want Kruger to welcome Cutler back with the same courtesy he gave Brady last Sunday. I want to not even consider leaving at half time to return to the warmth of the Map Room. I take no comfort in a better draft pick today. The value of the draft pick isn’t as much when in my mind as it is who and how you develop them. But that’s an essay for another time. It’s time for me to go put on every layer of clothing I can possibly find and get the hand warmers shaken up because this Browns town, baby.

  23. trashycamaro says:

    #1 AP: Navy over Army (via twitter)

    #2 Essay: NYJ +11 over @CAR 11 points is an awful lot for a game with an over/under set at 40. Jets run defense is really good, you guys. Geno is aptly carrying on the traditionof the Sanchize, but he has not brought down the play of Wilkerson, Richardson et al. Look for a Panthers win in a 7 point or less win and for Geno to keep a lid on it with only two turnovers. I cannot believe the Rex Ryan hot seat rumors have started up again (unless he controls personnel, in which case they need someone else to pick the QBs, and have Rex just run the team on the field). These are the kind of Jets lines you should ride hard. And hopefully this will break my 7? 8? week essay winless streak (2 of which were JETS).

    #3 BAL +6 over @DET

    #4 KC -3.5 over @OAK

    #5 @TEN +2.5 over ARI

    #6 @PIT +3 over CIN

  24. TheKardiacKid says:

    Dolphins =2.5
    San Fran -4.5
    Saints -5.5
    Oakland +3.5
    Essay: Bears PK
    I know the Browns played good last week and probably should have won. But anytime I can get the opposing team not giving up points against the Browns I have to do it. Plus losing gets us one step closer to the Money Manziel. #BearDown

  25. Peter Markos says:

    Bears plus1
    Bucs plus 5
    Pats minus 1
    Carlolina -11
    KC -5 Essay game
    I am boycotting the Army Navy game it always just sucks. These teams run the option. Really. Our best and brightest run high school offenses. I disagree with Frowns. Our military was extremely just during the invasion of Grenada. The amazing wagging of the dog to take our attention off of Lebanon should make us proud to be Americans. Lebanon makes Benghazi look like a stolen box of Girl Scout cookies

  26. clayII says:

    Giants (+7)
    Bengals (-3)
    Raiders (+3.5)
    Panthers (-11)
    essay to follow

  27. jimkanicki says:

    Hope all is well! Below is my slate for this weekend. Thanks!

    Army +12.5
    Browns pk
    Bucs +5
    Vikings +6
    Giants +7
    Dolphins +2.5 $$

    There is no hiding it now…New England struggles in battle without their weapons. Going down to Miami for a battle is going to be a challenge for the Pats. Just when Brady and Co. was getting comfortable with Big Gronk back in the lineup, he goes down and out. They will need to score points against a tough Dolphins team and exciting defense. I see this one being controlled by Miami, with Ryan Tannehill getting his first major statement win on their way to moving one step closer to the playoffs. Should be a good one in South Beach on Sunday!!


  28. Petefranklin says:

    Army for the single AP point today please.Look for Thomas Holliday to have a huge game in the not as bad as thought weather, which kind of favors the small Black Knight team today. There is an amazing hole in the sky over Philly an hour before kickoff, so the field should be playable. I think the sloppy field would favor Navy and their short passing game.

  29. jimkanicki says:

    Army for me today.

  30. Since WW2 it’s hard to think of an institution on planet earth that’s been put to worse use than the U.S. military. Thus, I am boycotting the Army/Navy game and expressing my deepest regrets that I ever made this anachronism an All Play in the first place. Back tomorrow with 5 NFL picks.

  31. TheKardiacKid says:

    Army +12.5

  32. Bevilacqua says:

    Navy (-12.5) over Army
    Not scared of the sloppy weather. The superior talent will win out by the end.

    NFL picks coming tomorrow.

    • Bevilacqua says:

      49ers (-5) over Tampa Bay
      I know this is probably a bad idea, with the whole West-Coast-team-playing-an-early-game-on-the-East-Coast thing, but the 49ers should pull away late, if not dominate from the beginning.

      Giants (+7) over Seahawks
      You know that West-Coast-team-playing-an-early-game-on-the-East-Coast thing? I say it keeps the Giants close in this one.

      Chiefs (-3.5) over Oakland
      Man, the Chiefs still aren’t getting any respect. The Raiders seem to be using some sort of two-QB system, which has always never worked well
      on the NFL level.

      Arizona (-2.5) over Titans
      This has Carson-Palmer-choke-job written all over it. However, since I’ve sucked so bad this year, I’m going against my instincts.

      ESSAY: Bears (PK) over Browns
      I guess this is just the result of the typical pessimism that I associate with life as a Browns fan during Week 16 of the season, but there is no way this should be a pick ‘em game. So the Bears have a quarterback controversy? Who cares, both of them are way better than what the Browns have. And they also have these other guys, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett—maybe you’ve heard of them. Aside from Josh
      Gordon (and maybe Jordan Cameron, but he’s really come back to earth after that quick start), their skill players make the Browns’ look like, well, Browns players. The only chance the Browns have is if T.J. Ward takes out all of their knees, Rob Gronkowski-style.

  33. bupalos says:

    Oh hail to army
    Fight on, fight on
    The brave and trusty soldiers
    Marching for the win
    Hail hail to army
    West point’s shining sons
    Braving might and main
    Til victory is won.

    Who can resist those timeless immortal words I just made up. Army plus 12.5 because guns>boats

  34. Petefranklin says:

    How long before the game starts do non essay picks have to be in Jim?

  35. Its Only Money says:

    All Play I’ll take Navy -12.5
    I will be back for the rest of my picks. I have been pretty dreadful with the NFL this year so this won’t be too much fun.

    • Its Only Money says:

      San Fran -4.5 @ Tampa
      Seattle -4.5 @ NYG
      @ Miami +2.5 New England
      @ Pittsburgh +3 Cincinnati

      Essay Philadelphia -4.5 @ Minnesota
      The Eagles are really turning it on. They are playing with confidence and are taking care of things o both sides of the ball. The Vikings on the other hand are continuing to fall apart. With Peterson a little dinged up Minnesota may have problems moving the ball. After the ending to last week’s game the Vikings might have left it all out there and it is going to be hard for them to get back up this week. The Eagles are getting closer to clinching their division and need this game to do it. This is the NFL though, so anything can happen.

  36. oxr says:

    All-Play Army +12.5 over Navy because… snow?

  37. Jeff Rich says:

    Army (+12.5) vs Navy

    Not my essay, but the Marine in me is still saying “Go Navy, Beat Army”. However, I just can’t see this as a boat race for the middies. The Black Knights hung with Stanford long enough at Michie, so one has to believe the Shurr and company will come close to ending the streak today, if they don’t outright end the decade-long losing streak. The Cadets will do whatever they have to so to purge the memories every enlisted soldier will have of the player crying in front of the Joint Chief of Staff last year. The best part will be listening to the CBS crew beaming with pride over each and every correct pronunciation of Niumatalolo.

    • Jeff Rich says:

      Essay to come, but bullet points include a shaky return for Cutler, an inspired Browns team and coach that believe they should have won a big game last week, Bears coming off a short week that’s has too many holes on defense, Bears need a win they won’t get, Browns inspired in home finale, Campbell angry for bad impression he made with Bears, and of course Browns playing themselves one pick below their targeted player in May.

      Wait, is that 100 words? Will that suffice?

  38. HitTheHorns says:

    Navy -12.5

  39. Concierge says:

    Army +12.5 Essay

    The only logical pick in this game is to take Navy right? Well can’t do it! This is a rivalry game which means throw the records out. Last years game was very competitve and I expect this one to be as well. One thing we know for sure the team with the best rushing attack will win this game especially in the Snow in Philly today. Army has rushed for over 500 yards this season and they will be able to run again today against NAVY. Remember Army was able to run for almost 300 yards against Stanford earlier this season and that is a top 5 RUN D. Go Cadets!

  40. munasrevenge says:

    Rams (+5.5) vs Saints
    Bills (-2) @ Jaguars

    Bears (PK) @ Browns
    Cardinals (-2.5) @ Titans

    -Army +12.5 @ Navy

    — Eagles (-4.5) @ Vikings

    I hate to essay what’s looking to be a popular pick, but I need points desperately and this feels like the safest bet (the kiss of death for my essay picks the last 3 weeks actually, now that I think about it). Eagles are playing well, and even though the Vikings have looked frisky of late, that’s been against much worse Packers and Ravens squads. Eagles will be able to score, and without AP (I don’t see why the Vikings throw him out there if he isn’t 100%, and he’s not even close) it will be hard for the Vikings to keep up over the entire game. But don’t ask me, I’m doing drunken Christmas shopping while trying to ignore my Cheddar Bay freefall, so what do I know?

  41. harbaugh handshakes says:

    Navy -12.5 for a cheddar point rest tomorrow.

  42. pateslvrblk says:

    I’ll take Army+12.5 over Navy for the all-play

  43. squeekycleen says:

    I couldn’t have less of an idea in this one but will go with:

    Army for the all-play.

  44. architectartvandelay says:

    AP Navy -12.5 – Not only do I have many fond memories of going to Navy vs ND games in Baltimore but my good friend graduated from the Naval Academy. There is no way I could pick anyone but Navy in this game. Anchors Aweigh http://fightmusic.com/mp3/ind/Naval_Academy__Anchors_Aweigh.mp3

    Go Navy, Beat Army!

    Dolphins +2.5 vs Pats – A team in aqua pants went into Pittsburgh in the snow & won.

    Bears PK @ Browns – Browns cannot take advantage of the Bears inability to stop the run. Additionally, whichever of the two stud Bears receivers not covered by Haden should be targeted every snap.

    Saints -5.5 @ Rams

    Ravens +6 @ Lions

    Essay: Eagles -4.5 @ Vikings – The back to back OT games plus the Ravens loss has to kill any motivation & focus of the Vikings. Both AP & his backup Toby Gerhardt are banged up and may not play leaving Matt Asiata as the starter. I guess the good thing is he will have fresh legs as he has zero carries this year & 3 all of last. Eagles QB Nick Foles has been playing very well and should have success against the Vikings secondary. In short, I see a Vikings team who is ready for the off season showing up.

  45. Navy -12.5 vs. Army: Dad is a Navy vet, would not be happy if I picked Army
    San Francisco -5 @ Tampa Bay
    Chicago PK @ Cleveland: Hate this pick
    Cincinnati -3 @ Pittsburgh: Backing Andy Dalton on the road? What’s going on around here?
    Baltimore +6 @ Detroit
    Essay: New Orleans -5.5 @ St. Louis

  46. chuckycrater says:

    Well, I got my 7-point week last week to get back into the race. Not off to a good start this week, though, after whiffing on the Broncos pick last night.

    All Play: Navy -12.5. (Flip-flopped right after I originally posted it, like within 2 minutes.) Because of the snow and the rivalry, I ordinarily wouldn’t touch this game with a 100-foot pole, except that I’m being forced to. Neither team airs it out which hopefully mutes the weather as a factor (unless it comes down to fumble luck). Also Army is terrible. But they did beat up on Skip Holtz this year, so good on them for that.

    Dolphins +2.5 vs. Patriots
    Falcons -6 vs. Redskins
    Jaguars +2 vs. Bills

    ESSAY: Bears pick over Browns

    This is something I only know because I maneuvered into having the Jay Cutler-Josh McCown tandem on my fantasy team, but if you combine the two Bears QB together this year, you would have a passer who’s thrown for 3717 yards, 26 TDs, and nine INTs. I don’t think it’s a particularly good idea for them to be going back to Cutler when McCown is in such a groove, but their offense has clicked almost every week and they pretty much have to win out and hope the Lions drop a game to make the playoffs, so I’m going with them. Cleveland is playing respectably despite the losses piling up, but I wonder if getting swindled out of a win last week is going to finally take the piss out of them.

    SIDE NOTE: Odd how the public and the sharps are all over the Bengals against the Steelers, yet the line actually dropped in some places from 3 to 2.5.

    ANOTHER SIDE NOTE: Every two-team teaser in the world is going to include the Colts as a pick over Houston. Watch them lose and screw everybody.

  47. clayII says:

    Navy (-12.5)

  48. Jonathan MacDonald says:

    Army +12.5 over Navy. Weather is a great equalizer. And last weekend’s snow wrecked my fantasy season.

    • Jonathan MacDonald says:

      Professional Football picks:

      Falcons -6 over Redskins

      Jaguars +2 over Bills

      Saints -5.5 over Rams

      Cowboys -6.5 over Packers

      Lions -6 over Ravens (Essay)

      Sure, the Ravens have a three game winning streak going. And they’re in the playoff picture at 7-6. But their pass defense is average against a very strong passing offense. I’m just happy the forward pass was legalized back in 1906 allowing me to use this tidbit to my advantage. Their recent wins have come against subpar teams (Jets, Steelers, Vikes sans AP), and I’d consider the Ravens a very weak 7-6.

  49. jdoepke says:

    This week sucks to make picks. If anyone has paid any attention to my picks (and I don’t blame you if not) NFL is not my strength so this week poses a challenge for yours truly. Hopefully we can keep some momentum going through this weekend and bowls start next weekend. Here goes…

    Navy -12.5 (AP)
    Bucs +5
    Panthers -11
    Dolphins +1
    Bears pickem

    Raiders +4.5 (Essay)
    This is the classic line makes little to no sense combined with 81% of public on KC so I will go the other way play. Worries me with Denver loss that KC might have extra motivation but I’m going to say Oakland plays one of those games that doesn’t make sense and keeps it close all the way to the end. KC 21 OAK 20.

  50. thatsfine says:

    Army +12.5 / Navy – FBS #2 run offense (Army) and FBS #3 run offense (Navy) + 90% chance of snow = Sounds like a great game to watch.

    • thatsfine says:

      Make it my essay – I haven’t essayed an NFL game
      since Brian Hoyer’s ACL was intact – let’s keep it that way. Navy is
      obviously a much better team, but they have been scored on quite a bit
      this year. Army has dropped four straight but overall they’ve been
      competitive. Really, what it comes down to in my eyes is both teams
      running, running, running, which keeps the clock moving and makes Navy
      running up the score less likely and an Army cover more likely. I think
      the team that completes 15 passes wins this game.

      • thatsfine says:

        Emailed earlier to JK
        Finishing things up
        Previous: Chargers (win) Army (lose)
        Washington +6 / Atlanta
        Pittsburgh +3 / Bengals
        Seahawks -6 / Giants
        Jags +2 / Bills

  51. FTCMikeD says:

    FTCMikeD Week 16 picks:

    AP: Navy -12.5 over Army

    49ers -5 over @Bucs
    *****Eagles -4.5 over @Vikes
    @Panthers -11 over Jets
    Cards -2.5 over @Titans
    Ravens +6 over @Lions

    *****AP is out for the VIkes and the Eagles have been one of the hottest teams around the NFL lately. Foles threw his first INT of the season last week which I’m willing to forgive based on that snow globe they were playing in. The Vikes are giving up 30 pts/game. The Eagles are scoring 25. I expect them to surpass that this week.

    The Eagles D last 9 games is only allowing 18 pts/game, after the torching by Denver, who have pretty much torched everyone save last night. Minny’s offense will struggle without their number 1 player. Eagles should be thrilled not having to play in the elements this Sunday, I figure they cover the 4.5.

  52. FlyHighCharlieFrye says:

    Navy -12.5

    Houston Texans +6 at Indy
    Dolphins +2.5 vs. New England
    Redskins +6 at Falcons
    Tampa Bay + 5 vs. SF

    Bears pk at Cleveland

    I hate that the Bears are changing QBs, but they need the game. And why would the Browns want to win? Yes the Browns have played well enough to win a couple more than they actually have but there’s a fine line in this league and they consistently end up on the wrong side. The Bears should be able to throw, and though they can’t stop the run the Browns can’t run. It’s almost vacation time and if the Bears are worth anything they’ll win this game. I guess we’ll find out.

  53. CLEVTA says:

    1. Navy -12.5 (All play)

    • CLEVTA says:

      2. Rams +5.5 (Essay): Tremendous public side on Saints. No surprise as they get public backing most weeks. The misconception is that New Orleans is a bad road team. That’s not necessarily true. It’s that compared to their home results, they are just not nearly as good on the road. So vegas sets these lines with the public wagering on the Saints as if they play the same at home or on the road. New Orleans is 1-5 ATS on the road this season. Their biggest weakness on defense is against the run. The Rams run it very well with Stacy and his numbers at home are dominant as compared to his road numbers. At home he has run it 79 times for 426 yds (5.4 ypc). He should have a field day vs the 29th ranked run defense. Also that STL d-line w/ Long and Quinn will be able to harass Brees enough.

      3. Bills -2
      4. Oakland +3.5

      5. Tampa +5
      6. Texans +6

  54. Dennis Hemingway says:

    Navy -12.5 over Army (All play)
    Giants +7 over Seahawks
    Dolphins +2.5 over Patriots ***
    Vikings +4.5 over Eagles
    Lions -6 over Ravens
    Falcons -6 over Redskins

    *** No Gronk, No Dice. A tight usually shouldn’t affect an offense but Gronk isn’t any ordinary tight end. I saw some stats on Brady’s completion % this year alone when he didn’t have his star tight end and they are considerably lower. And even though the Broncos loss on Thursday night could help vault the Pats into the #1 seed if they win out, I’m still not convinced this Pats team is great. They historically have not played well in Miami who also is coming off a huge win in the Burgh and has a lot to play for
    coming down the stretch.

  55. GRRustlers says:

    Week 16 Picks

    AP – Navy (-12.5) over Army – Last year was one of the best games of the year that I watched. Hell of an effort by Army. Navy is just too much this year and just too good. The QB spot matters and Navy has one and that kid from Army has moved on.

    Jaguars (+2) over Bills – The Jaguars are one good draft and some FA money away from being pretty decent. Great coaching job there because they never quit.

    Colts (-6) over Texans – The opposite of the Jaguars not quitting is Houston.

    Saints (-5.5) over Rams – Quick. Take the dome off St. Louis. Ask both your fans. They won’t mind.

    Panthers (-11) over Jets – Angry Panthers team gets to take out some frustrations.

    Essay Pick

    This is an actual quote. Not joking.

    “Cold or snowy is one thing, but if it’s a blizzard it could be bad. It could change the game. You can kick in snow. You just have to get a good plant foot down and be comfortable with the shoes you’re wearing. But a blizzard, something we saw the other day in Philly? That would change things. That would make things crazy. I’m not sure how that would work.”


    Phil Dawson vs Buffalo a few years ago is the single most impressive bad weather performance by a kicker. Ever.

    The 49ers are slowly getting healthy. They are slowly figuring things out and are a team built for all weather and all situations. It will be a challenge for them to find a way to get it done in Seattle in the playoffs but that’s still looking a little ahead. I think they stay focused and pound the Bucs on Sunday.

    49ers (-5) over Tampa Bay

  56. bupalos says:

    let me get in on the chargers tonight.

  57. Petefranklin says:

    Chargers tonight for a single. Thanks.

  58. thatsfine says:

    Well, watching the game… might as well make a pick.

  59. chuckycrater says:

    I’ll take the Broncos -10 tonight for one point. More picks later.

  60. Concierge says:

    Gimme San Diego +10 tonight

  61. Capitalgg says:

    Week 16:

    This is by far the worst week of the year. There is the ONE CFB game (only 1!). And of course I’m under .500 with my essays this late in the season for the first time ever in this contest. And I’m staring at a red line that I can’t catch probably because I can’t pick an essay to save my life.

    Desperate times call for desperate measures or is it a more measured approach? I don’t even know, so here are some picks anyway.

    All-play & Essay: Navy -12.5 v. Army: Hit Army this week last year, it’s the only thing that kept me from a Virgin Lobsterita. That was based almost entirely on the fact that Army had a 4th year starter senior QB. Thought they would win outright. Came close, but it didn’t happen. But the cover was there.

    I know this is a rivalry game and that you throw out the records in a game like this. Especially one as important and played as hard as Army-Navy. But I just don’t see how Army can hang with this year’s Navy team. Not this year, Navy is too much better than Army this year and should bury them.

    If you base on common opponent (Hawaii), Navy is 21 points better. I tend to look at recent body of work. Army lost to dregs like Temple, Air Force and Hawaii (though losing close on the big island is not a terrible loss, giving up 49 points is). Navy on the other hand has beaten decent teams like Pitt, S. Alabama (see last week v. ULL), and San Jose St. And probably as impressively they took Notre Dame to the limit and lost a close game to Toledo.

    Just think Navy is at least 2 to 3 TDs better than this year’s Army team. Though I will say I’ll be watching this game. It’s always fun because the game means nothing, yet at the same time it means everything.

    So for my dad (Navy) and my best friend (Marines – or as he calls it, A Department of the Navy… The Men’s Department). GO NAVY. BEAT ARMY.

    NFL Picks go here….

    • 1. This *IS* the worst week of the year by far and it is miserable.

      2. One never forgets the game that saved him from tasting the V. ‘rita.

    • Capitalgg says:

      NFL Picks. Have I mentioned I hate this week?

      1) Bills -2 @ Jaguars: Countering the recency bias in the line here. The line is begging you to take the Jags considering their recent run of competitiveness, so I’ll fade it.
      2) Eagles -4.5 @ Vikings: Good offense against week defense. No AD means the Vikings can’t keep pace.
      3) Dolphins +2.5 v. Patriots: Did T.J. Ward end the Patriots season last Sunday? I think so. That offense is not even average without Gronk. Though Shane Vareen has been a stud since his return from injury, he is Brady’s only real weapon now.
      4) Chiefs -3.5 @ Raiders: Raiders should keep this close most of the way, but Chiefs pull away late and win by 7-10.
      5) Cardinals -2.5 @ Titans: Playing the Cards on the road makes me nervous, but I don’t like another game better.

    • clayII says:

      I have a sentimental here too. My gf grandpa died two weeks ago Saturday, WWII Navy vet. Coolest dude I ever met. No brainer

  62. ChuckKoz says:

    Broncos -10 (vs Chargers)

    more to follow

    • ChuckKoz says:

      ALL PLAY:
      Navy -12.5 (vs Army)

    • ChuckKoz says:


      Broncos -10 (vs Chargers)
      Texans +6 (vs Colts)
      Jets +11 (at Panthers)
      Ravens +6 (at Lions)
      AP: Navy -12.5 (vs Army)
      Essay: 49ers -5 (at Buccaneers)

      San Francisco is hitting its stride, looking like the team that was a favorite in last year’s Super Bowl. With playoff seeding (and a spot itself) still up on the air, I like the 49ers to be focused. And they have traveled very well this year, so I don’t fear the long travel very much. Meanwhile, the Bucs recent success (4 of 5) is not as impressive as it seems. Beating the Bills, Falcons and Dolphins (on the immediate heels of that Jonathan Martin stuff) is something, but its not comparable to playing the 49ers (who are 9-4 with their 4 losses coming against teams with a combined record of 38-14). 49ers by at least a TD.

  63. CleveLandThatILove says:

    Broncos -10 Chargers

    Because the old man can still groove when it’s above 40 degrees. It’s science.

  64. Nick says:

    Nothing like a Virgin Lobsterita to bring me back to reality and realize that maybe I was caring a little too much about Cheddar. TY Universe, I will try to be less consumed from here on out.

    I got 6 friends in from Chi city to see the game this weekend, so getting my picks out of the way. I think the Brownies pull it out in their last home game, but I am not interested in making it a cheddar play.

    Question: Which downtown bar has the best bloody marys Sunday morning? Chances are good we’ll be at the Map eating pizza and staying warm prior to the game.

    PICK #1 ESSAY PLAY: Chargers +10 vs Broncos

    Chargers haven’t lost by a margin of 10 all year and they are coming off a strong game against the G-men. Peyton had his F-u game last week putting up 51 against the Titans and successfully jedi-mind tricked himself that the cold weather doesn’t bother him. Even though it totally does, which is why he got so pissed off it was a story to begin with. Really I’m just hoping here that Petyon doesn’t go nuclear and has an average game. Welker is out so that helps a little. I had a lot of success last year playing Thursday night NFL games, haven’t this year, they are usually shit shows, which is exactly what i’m looking for.

    PICK #2: Army over Navy
    PICK #3: Cards over Titans
    PICK #4: Lions over Ravens – Zara, I agree the Lions are a tough team to like and I’m usually with you, but what you said about Flacco makes me want to throw up. F the ratbirds. Detroit bounces back here in a big way at home after a freaky game in Phily.

    PICK #5: Niners over Bucs
    PICK #6: Bills over Jags –Squeeky’s essay was awesome last week. I am implying that strategy here.

    • zarathustra says:

      I recommend you steel your stomach young gent because the ratbirds are coming! You must forgive me for I am only the messenger. Just as the colonists didn’t blame paul revere for his warnings of the british I pray you don’t blame me, the paul revere of cheddar bay, when I exclaim that the ravens are indeed coming. And joe cool is leading the way.
      Normally, I would be with you here as the lions are due for a bounce back and have been good at home. But the ravens are coming!

    • Nick says:

      For record keeping purposes, I did make a late change on twitter moving from Arizona to KC. Since both covered, it doesn’t matter, but just wanted to note this here to assure consistency. Thank you.

  65. zarathustra says:

    Army +12.5 over Navy (all-play)

    Giants +7 over Seahawks
    My heart flutters for this meditating Seahawks team, but a home team getting 7 is certainly attractive. Everyone knows how great the Seahawks are at home, but the narrative for a while was that they were terrible on the road. Last year’s 1-5 start on the road certainly validated this position. Things changed on the road for this team in Chicago last year and since then they have been tremendous(7-2 in regular season with playoff win and almost win as well.) Nobody is talking anymore about the Seahawks road struggles. Time to fade. And that is before we consider west coast team playing 1pm edt.

    Not a lot to like about this giants team, but they can be dangerous and are typically pretty solid at home. They haven’t won less than four at home in forever and are 3-3 this year. They have not been home in a few weeks and I think will give the hawks a game.

    Steelers +3 over Bengals
    The Bengals have been pretty damn solid on the road in the andy dalton era(5-3 in ’11; 6-2 in ’12.) This year they have regressed a bit, but to be fair they have faced some tough teams. Regardless, 3 of their 7 road games have gone to OT and they only would have covered this number once–at san diego.
    This is the time of year when you really have to consider the “quit” variable, but the Steelers have a lot of veteran free agents and a coach who for whatever his faults isn’t lacking in his ability to motivate.

    Patriots -2.5 over Dolphins
    I was very anti-tannehill when he came out and he is definitely better than I anticipated. I still have enough doubt about him that I will wager there is a low probability that we see a third straight good performance in December while chasing a playoff spot.
    Patriots have yet to cover on the road this year and this looks like a nice opportunity for that trend to reverse.

    Ravens +6 over Lions
    This lions team is impossible to like. Oh how I have tried. Back in 2011 I liked them quite a bit and would get frustrated by the criticism they would take. Last year I chalked up their shittiness to injuries and some tough early losses. This year’s team is better, but still the same. A quarter or two where they look like a true contender married with another quarter or two where they are one of the sloppiest, most undisciplined teams in the league. They are in the middle of a battle for their division and I don’t see them responding well to that pressure.
    But do you know who does respond well to pressure? Joseph Vincent Flacco. The best clutch qb in the league is in another playoff push. My only concern is that the ravens can probably survive a loss here so the moment might not be big enough for joe cool. Either way, I will take points.

    Saints -5.5 over Rams***
    Hmmm. Saints laying points on the road has not been a winning endeavor. Maybe I should stay away. But saints on the road and still alive for the one seed….in a dome….against an at best mediocre team….with tavon austin questionabe with an ankle.

    • zarathustra says:

      I still like both the pats and steelers, but am going to take them off and replace with:
      Eagles -4.5 over Vikings
      Cowboys -6.5 over Packers

  66. cwonder23 says:

    AP: Navy -12.5 vs Army
    Chargers +10 @ Broncos
    Ravens +6 @ Lions
    Giants +7 vs Seahawks
    Jaguars +2 vs Bills
    Essay: Titans +2.5
    The Titans are coming off a blowout loss to Denver but people fail to realize that the Tennessee was up at halftime. The Broncos have the best QB in the game and he clearly made a halftime adjustment. Carson Palmer ain’t Peyton Manning. I think the game will be close and I will take the points at home. Arizona has a good team but I feel like they are ready for a letdown traveling east. The lines are tough this week!

    • cwonder23 says:

      Hate to make last minute changes but with the news of MJD and Shorts, I’m going to pull the Jags and replace it with Eagles -4.5 @ Vikings

  67. actovegin1armstrong says:

    AP Navy -12.5

    Falcons -6

    Browns + 705

    ML’s from the Pitt + 3 over Bungles

    Ratbirds +6 over the kittens

    ****Jaguars +2**** Essay to follow

    • actovegin1armstrong says:

      Cousins is going to start! He is much better as a leader and a QB in general than that other guy.
      jk, will you please change my pick to
      Saints -5.5 and ditch the Washington game?

      • actovegin1armstrong says:

        Jags +2

        ****Super Terrific Happy Fun Time Essay****

        Chad Henne is coming into his own, (holding to my theory about quarterbacks getting better with age). Henne is channeling his inner McCown and that should be more than enough for the hottest team in the NFL to beat up on the Bills.

        Henne has really good rapport with our Collinwood homie who attended that football powerhouse Mount Union College, Cecil Shorts. Growing up in the slightly dicey hood with the name Cecil Shorts has to be a testament to his toughness.

        The Henne to Shorts combination and the Bills defense should both be a shot in the arm for the ailing Jaguars offense. I would be much more confident if Maurice Jones Drew was as healthy as a (please pick your own catchy saying), but the Bills week front seven will have problems with virtually anyone Henne hands the ball to, (well, except perhaps for the Head Linesman). That was not sarcasm, the Bills have some big names up front, but they have been weaker than the Ukraine.

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