#CheddarBay week 16, JFF.

Terry Baggett, Brendon Clements

The line for Army/Navy is Army +15.

In a surprise move even to me, the Executive Committee is waiving the ‘one college pick’ rule this week. NO MANDATORY PICK ON ARMY +15 vs. NAVY.

Instead, the all-play is:

Bengals PK at Browns.

Are we tricking you to get all the Cheddar action lined up on one side?  No, we don’t do that on purpose.

However I will point out that our group is coming off its best week in memory hitting at 64%1 thanks largely to hometown plays on OSU (45-17) and the Browns (24-5). Sometimes homer picks are less homer and more plain knowledgable. This is rarely the case but last week it was.



Mo_by_Dick's post Lobsterfest lobster with picks!

Mo_by_Dick’s post Lobsterfest lobster with picks!

Three Lobsterfests (PeteFranklin, Mo_by_dick, Iron Sheik) is also a first as far as I can remember. Poor Rolub had an Admiral’s Feast2 and did not get paid; however he did bump CLEVTA out of the first place slot he’s held for the last five weeks.

A lot of Picks of the Year left and just three weeks left.

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Hear Cheddars through your speakers!

Friend of the site and Cheddar-Bayer-on-hiatus, Jeff Rich is on pace building a new media empire from his Arizona base.  And what better programming could there be for the upcoming sports web presence than smart handicappers with documentable winning records against the spread?  And where better to find a pool of such handicappers than Cheddar Bay?

So it is that Jeff reached out to our community and we’ll have a different Cheddar joining Jeff (and me) every week to share thoughts on a handful of marquee matchups every week on his Down By Contact series.  The tentative lineup for the rest of the year is:

  • ClevTA
  • HitTheHorns
  • SqueekyCleen
  • Acto.

That’s a strong lineup.

This week’s version is up here.  Sorry to be late getting this link out because TA was pretty emphatic in saying he would take the Cards and points if forced, but he REALLY liked the under.  Bam.  Nailed it.

It’s a good listen and good fun to hear how some of our peers approach this.  Let me just say TA is an encyclopedia of handicapping knowledge because I think he came into this cold and had pretty strong insights on all the games.  (Me, not so much,,, more like “I think Bruce Arians is good coach” level of analysis.  In other words, I was the fucking Phil Simms in the booth on this pod.)

How about that Cleveland web symbiosis?

Let the record show that this marks four content generations out of 603brown in 24 hours and I had little-to-nothing to do with any of them!

  1. Cheddar — autopilot and courtesy of Frowns;
  2. Kolonich with actual writing;
  3. AtoZ pod — via Zac and Andre;
  4. Down by Contact pod — from Jeff Rich.

That is some world-class slacking by your proprietor and if this doesn’t qualify me for a gig with Northeast Ohio Media Group then I don’t know what does.  (Aww, too harsh?  Then see this hijack of ESPN original content.)

  1. As a group we’re now hitting .498 ATS for the year which also, I think, is a new high for the group this late in the year. [back]
  2. Admiral’s Feast = five wins and a push. [back]
  • cloud.

  • bupalos

    whoof. Terrible.

    Anyway. Late games. Let’s get the Saints. Dallas. San Fran.


  • shoseph

    Hey Bookkeeper Burgermeister, I know I’m not in playoff contention, but can you check my week 15 picks? I don’t think they got entered into the Google doc. Link here: http://603brown.com/2014/12/03/cheddarbay-week-15-b1g-championship/#comment-1730127835

    Anyway, I pretty much got no dog in this race, but I may as well aim high for the Lobsterfest.

    All-play: Browns
    Giants -6.5 vs. Redskins
    Patriots -7.5 vs. Miami
    Colts -6.5 vs. Texans
    Broncos -4 vs. Chargers

    • shoseph

      Essay: Saints -3 vs. Bears

      Both of these teams are awful, and what a difference does being in different conferences make. Both teams are 5-8, but the Saints lead the NFC South (or maybe they’re in second place?), while the Bears are at the bottom of the NFC North. Is this fair? No. Is this entertaining? Yes. Now, while I’d like to see a team with a losing record make it into the playoffs, I think it does indicate a problem with the current playoff system. Is there a way to fix it? Probably, but I’m too lazy to propose a solution. Instead I’m here, making some terrible football picks.

      Anyway, I think the Saints are less terrible than the Bears. Do I have evidence to back this up? Well, didn’t you already read above that I’m lazy ?

  • thatsfine

    Missed my essay, trying to get 5 points the hard way.
    Pats -7.5
    Browns PK
    Jags +13.5
    Vikings +8
    Texans +6.5

  • bupalos

    Essay me on Indy. If watt gets 3 strip sacks and returns them for TDs it could be close. If he doesn’t, it won’t. This is just a great match for an Indy team that still go points when it mattered against the best defensive backfield in the league. Yes you read that right. The Texans have a good d overall, but luck woint have a problem with it and the Texans won’t be within a score after the first quarter.

    • bupalos

      Also cmfb and ….gaaa….Pittsburgh in early business.

  • AmplifiedEsq

    1) Browns – PK (All Play)
    2) Green Bay -6 (Essay)
    3) Denver -4
    4) Giants -6.5
    5) Colts -6.5
    6) Detroit -8

    I don’t care who is running the ball for Green Bay, I just need to know who is throwing the ball and who is on the receiving end. Rodgers to Nelson and Rodgers to Cobb should be more than enough to cover this game. With Lacy banged up there has been talk of a 50/50 split running the ball today – which will likely happen, but why not just let Rodgers throw it more? I get the line is down to around -3 / -4 now and there is concern about how Green Bay plays on the road… I say forget about that stuff and watch Rodgers work his magic in a big way today.

  • oxr

    All-Play Bengals pk over Browns – don’t feel good about this one either way.
    Steelers -2.5 over Falcons
    Giants -6.5 over Redskins
    Lions -8 over Vikings
    Colts -6.5 over Texans
    Bucs +4.5 over Panthers

    There is a disgruntled baby saying that this is my week to bag the essay. Apparently Julio Jones is inactive so let’s make it the Steelers in a battle of two lousy defenses.

    • Petefranklin

      Nicely done even with Detroit.

      • oxr

        Thanks! Actually, I switched the Bucs in for the Packers after reading your essay.

  • Lucy Lawrence


    • Lucy Lawrence


  • PJD19


    Essay forthcoming……

  • RAIDERS +10. You can’t go on winning by double digits if you can’t get the ball downfield. Even at home. Even with Jamaal Charles. Even against the Raiders.

    BUCS +4.5. I’ve seen this Derek Anderson guy play and lemme tell you-not your dad’s favorite QB. Tampa keeps most of their games close, within a score. And without Cam, I think the Bucs even sneak outta Charlotte with a W.

    LIONS -8. Said it before and I’ll say it again-Matt Stafford is a Gamer. He’s quite Favre-esque, but Favre never had one of the best WRs ever to strap it up. He had tight ends and really solid pass catchers, but he didn’t have Calvin Johnson. Lions 6-1 at home, their last two games coming by way of 34-17 victories at home as well. I think today is a little more of the same.


    TEXANS +6.5. The sad part here is that I think we want Houston to go ahead and tank these last few, along with the Steelers, Ravens, Bengals, Chargers, Chiefs and Dolphins-AM I RIGHT??? Can’t all happen, but Houston can hang.

    A wise immature punk ass QB from Texas once said: “If teams are really going to play me and say I can’t sit back there and throw and they want to man-up and blitz and all these things, please-bring it on.”

    Now while I can’t stand Johnny the person-not because he’s a “bad” person, but mostly because he’s a douchebag-I can respect Johnny the Quarterback. This quote is exactly the mentality you need to have when approaching your first ever NFL start, and it’s the mentality that any good QB has to play with when shit gets weird.

    Nearly every game I ever played in high school, college or pro football had a series or two where the opposing team would try some shit because they knew lining up in a straight 4-4 cover 3 defense was only going to end with them walking home with an odd limp wearing the same clothes they had on the night before. So they would put 10 guys on the line of scrimmage and they’d bob and weave and try to be awesome while doing all kinds of “unsound” garbage that typically left someone open on a blown assignment or personnel mistake.

    Teams make plays when they blitz- sacks, tackles for loss, passes batted down all that good stuff…but they also make mistakes when they get reckless and forget that the guy with the ball is pretty fucking athletic. And with a little poise, and Josh Gordon one-on-one forty yards down the sideline, there’s opportunities for Johnny to make big things happen today. The goal of the offense when a defense is playing cover zero (man to man, no free safety) or cover one (man to man, one free safety) is to get them out of the coverage and back into a zone as quickly as possible. You do this by exploiting match-ups and getting the ball out of your hands quickly. “Reads” in man coverage aren’t really reads. It’s a pre-snap assessment of where you think the mis-match is, and where you think the blitz is coming from. If you’re right, you’ll adjust your guys’ routes at the line of scrimmage and make a throw on count as you plant your third step into the ground on your drop back. Not every play can be a busted play with Johnny staring down at the defensive line. He’s gotta be confident in his week of practice and in his study of tape, and when-not if-the Bengals decide to bring heat and man-up, he’s gotta make them pay for it by being prepared.

    Also, I expect a few turnovers from the Ginger kid as well.

  • -4 Denver @ San Diego
    +13.5 Jacksonville @ Baltimore
    + 5 Buffalo vs. Green Bay
    +9.5 San Francisco @ Seattle
    All Play: Cincinnati over Cleveland
    Essay: -3 New Orleans @ Chicago

    The teams at 5-8 face off under the lights on Monday Night Football. The Saints and Bears areknotted at 13-13 in regular season meetings. The Saints will get there high powered offense back on track this week. The ‘All-Star’ QB from Chicagowill show the fans in Chitown why they want him out of town this week. Nothing exciting in this match up Saints cover and keep fighting for the NFC South title.

  • CleveLandThatILove

    Bengals AP
    Giants -6.5
    Dolphins +7.5
    Cowboys +3.5
    Pack -5

  • HitTheHorns

    Chiefs -10
    Panthers -4.5
    Redskins +6.5
    AP Browns PK
    ***ESSAY*** Bills +5:
    75% on Packers, but line is down to the key number of 3. The Packers look unbeatable,
    and the Bills, well, they look like the Bills. The number seems rather comical.
    I mean, of course Aaron Rogers and the mighty Packers can beat Kyle Orton and
    the Bills by at least a touchdown, right? When it’s that easy, I like going the
    other way.

  • Petefranklin

    Essay: Bills +5
    Yes, Aaron Rodgers has just come off a run of probably the prettiest QBing that Mr Franklin has ever witnessed. You know what the common denominator was in that stretch? 4 of the 5 came in Wisconsin. This GB team is just not the same on the road so expect this offense to stumble back to NFL parity. Now you take a team that has just played 4 of 5 at home and expect them to cover points vs. a very solid defense with a great pass rush? A team that is 0-4 following it’s last 4 monday nights? A team that has been OUTGAINED by 57 YPG away from home this year? Vs. a team that has covered 4 of their last 5 vs. teams with winning records in Buffalo? Hell yeah pass that bowling ball right here pal, I’ll drink some of that!
    One added note …the pack gives up a lot of rushing yards today, I can’t say why, well I can but it’s crunch time and I might need the reasoning kept to myself, but expect Buffalo to hold the time of possession advantage today.

    • Petefranklin

      3) Jets -1.5 Ryan blows up the Jets next draft on the way out!
      4) Vikings +8 Been decent and haven’t quit
      5) AP Browns They can’t be any worse on offense with JFF can they?

      • Petefranklin

        6) Niners +9.5 too much line adjustment in two weeks

  • The Iron Sheik


    Soar soar to victory. That is what the Eagles are going to do this evening on the back of nasty Sanchez. He has proven his ability to control this offense while realizing he is a puppet in Chip’s system. And when you take into consideration the Cowboys are banged up the Eagles will dominate from start to finish.

  • mo_by_dick

    Browns PK
    Giants -6.5
    Broncos -4
    Colts -6.5
    Patriots -7.5

    • mo_by_dick

      This is apparently an essay arguing that Dallas Cowboys will either beat the Philadelphia Eagles or lose by less than 4 points. I just don’t see the embarrassment of Thanksgiving happening again. The Cowboys will take a page out of Seattle’s book, their o-line will show up and maul, and get back to Murray. I love that stat about teams that have played the Seahawks the previous week, word up to TA and petefranklin and whomever else is throwing that around (I still need to listen to the podcast). Cowboys learn from their failures on Thanksgiving and show up and return the favor to make the NFC East more interesting. I refuse to lose a wager where a team QBed by Mark Sanchez wins as a favorite against a good team. Let’s go Cowboys +3.5

  • trashycamaro

    1. AP: Browns PK over Bengals

    2. Giants -6.5 over Washington This is the kind of game where Eli shines!

    3. Essay: Steelers -2.5 over Falcons I am going to feel gross rooting for the Steelers here, but at least I have JFF to off set it. The Steelers really need this game to keep up with the Ravens. The Steelers are 3rd in offensive DVOA (Football Outsiders) and 3rd passing and 9th rushing, even without a QB adding to that total (ATL is 12/7/15). That said, I did not realize just how bad the PIT defense is. I knew it was not top-10, but I did not expect a 30/31/19. Of course, the Falcons are much worse 32/30/31 which means a real nice day for Le’Veon(sp?) Bell. Additionally, the Steelers pass rushing rate is near average, and closer to #3 Miami’s adjusted sack rate than #30 ATL.

    4. Vikings +8 over Detroit I don’t think Minny wins outright, I just think the Lions struggle to score. Also I need a non-chalk play, and this looks like the best dog to me.

    5. Colts -6.5 over Texans This is why JJ Watt cannot be the MVP. No matter how good he is, the players around him on defense are not good enough. Maybe he doesn’t make them better, or maybe they are so bad he does make them better, all the way to just barely below average defense by DVOA. He is amazing to watch and does amazing things – but so is Aaron Rodgers, and the things he does lead to wins. Put me in the camp of establishing a MVP award and a non-QB MVP award, or something along those lines. The gap between Watt and either Suh or Von Miller might be bigger than the gap between Rodgers and Manning or Brady, but the QB position is just far more important.

    6. Patriots -7.5 over Dolphins I would essay this if it was under 7, but 7.5 is too much to risk the bonus points on in a division game.

  • Make the Browns my pick of the week, please. JFF ride or die.

  • DQuatts

    DQuatts Week 16:

    Browns pk
    Broncos -4
    Patriots -7.5
    Jaguars +13.5
    Bills +5
    Niners +9.5***

    ***A small feeling in me thinks Seattle will make me regret this pick, but this is too many points in a division game….especially to teams that just played each other. I am not happy with what SF has done this season thus far, but I do believe they have enough talent and emotion to keep this one close, if not win the game outright. Kap is in need of a big game….actually just in need of a productive game. If the Niners get a solid game from their offense, and put up more than the 3 points they did on Thanksgiving against Seattle, this one could be tight the whole way. Give me the points and a SF team that desperately needs a respectful performance.


    Browns (all play)
    Dolphins +7.5
    Chiefs -10
    Giants -6.5
    Bucs +4.5
    Broncos -4 (Essay)
    Road game, but Donks don’t have to travel to the east coast. They know they need to keep winning to try and get home field, as they are not built to go on the road to NE and win a game in January. I look for a very dominant performance out of Denver today. They are obviously extremely balanced on offense, so if their defense just plays decent, they should win this game going away. I am not a believer in this year’s Chargers team. Should be a close game in the first half, then Peyton pulls away in the second.

  • Matt Borcas

    Browns PK over Bengals
    Steelers -2.5 over Falcons
    Giants -6.5 over Redskins
    Packers -5 over Bills
    Jets -1.5 over Titans

    • Matt Borcas

      I’ll essay the Eagles over the Cowboys. Sanchez has been solid at the helm — really, there’s been barely any dropoff from Foles — and I like them to bounce back after a tough loss to the Seahawks. While LeSean McCoy had his best game of the season against the Cowboys, DeMarco Murray had his worst game of the season against the Eagles, and the Cowboys just seem to be regressing in general, relative to where they were early on. Basically, I see this one playing out in similar fashion to the Thanksgiving matchup, which was a mere two weeks ago. Also, Chip Kelly >>> Jason Garrett.

  • squeekycleen

    Essay play: Bills. Not much for the contrarian in this card, but here’s one. This line is a farce, GB has been rolling people and this is still the Bills. I don’t care if they are at home, on the road, or on the moon, it’s still the Bills. Vegas has seen something in Buffalo all year, most notably last week, where they super shorted them at Denver in a line that was a disgrace to humanity. They did find a way to sneak in a backdoor, but certainly no one dumb enough to play them (like me) would feel great about trying the same thing again, would they?? I guess I will, Bills for the essay.

    All play: Browns. This is probably square-ish.

  • Tim Butler

    GIANTS -6.5
    SEAHWAKS -9.5
    FALCONS +2.5

    packers -5
    ESSAY on sunday or monday night game to come.

    • Tim Butler

      Take me off Falcons and put me on Broncos -4 please

      • Tim Butler

        ESSAY: EAGLES -3.5

        This is a re-match of a game that happened 2 1/2 weeks ago – a game that the Eagles won easily 33-10, and that game was in Dallas. The fact is, Dallas’ defense is bad, and although it sounds cliche to say it again and again, the Cowboys just can’t win in December. Romo has been ducking away from contact the last few weeks since he re-injured his back, and the Eagles have the 2nd most sacks in the league behind Buffalo, which is not a good recipe for a solid offensive game from the Cowboys passing attack. The only thing that kind of scares me is the fact that the COwboys haven’t lost on the road. It is perhaps possible that at home the Cowboys look to make big plays and tend to get away from the running game whereas on the road they want to control the ball and therefore play to their strengths. This is probably true, I think I just figured it out. I should probably take Cowboys. I’ll stick with Philly. Eagles, done.

  • 1. Cards (win)

    2. *Falcons http://images.covers.com/covers/emoticons/an_cheers.gif
    3. *Dolphins http://images.covers.com/covers/emoticons/Peace_5.gif
    4. Raiders http://images.covers.com/covers/emoticons/an_speak.gif
    5. ***Browns
    I listen to too much sports talk radio and you would think I’d inured to the banal stupidity by now but so help me I’m not. So it was yesterday afternoon clicking on ESPN Radio in the afternoon and hearing Browns talk! YAY! And that Browns talk was? Manziel starting demonstrates the Browns are playing for next year and –stop me if you’ve heard this before– and Johnny Manziel needs to get his head in the playbook. WTF. http://images.covers.com/covers/emoticons/an_shake.gif
    Sorry if the following doesn’t fit with the pre-written stories by the locals like MKC, Grossi, and (I’m really starting to dislike) McManamon which then turn into national talking points dummies like this radio host and every pre-game host talking head to beat to a pulp but: there is zero indication that Manziel has been anything other than an exemplary rookie who is genuinely liked by his teammates and coaches. On the contrary, given his celebrity coming into camp he seems to have fit right in as one of the guys. The better report might be the Grossi’s note that Shannahan has been uncharacteristically perky in practice this week or the involuntary smile on Pettine’s face when he talks about JFF in his pressers.

    If I had to use one word to describe the Hoyer-Gordon offense last four weeks that word would be lethargic. We saw how the huddle responded to JFF in the Bills game first drive. We also saw the downside of life with JFF on the second drive (incomplete pass? pfft.) The offense will be all kinds of fired up. If Manziel can keep the INTs+FUMs to three or less, Browns win going away. I think he can do that.
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/11485578/Peace_5.gif https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/11485578/Peace_5.gif https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/11485578/Peace_5.gif
    6. *Seahawks http://images.covers.com/covers/emoticons/an_roll_laugh.gif

  • Harbaugh Handshakes

    Browns pk essay all play
    Do I love the Browns today yes I do, here are the reasons… First Energy Stadium is going to have a playoff atmosphere and it’s going to be extremely difficult for the bungles to communicate… Our defense is finally living up to the billing and they’re going to feed off that energy… Joe Haden has owned aj green. I expect that to continue…and finally I just feel like johnny is a gamer kid is going to light first energy stadium on fire. His legs are a dimension in the red zone that will turn cundiff missed fgs into TDs. I also think you’re going to see a different josh Gordon. Guy seemed to not even try for Brian hoyer, seems to love johnny and I think you’ll see crazy effort. And if the Browns don’t play Tom cruise screaming show me the money every time they get in the red zone they’re doing it wrong… Browns roll back with the rest in a few….

    • Harbaugh Handshakes

      Dal +3.5
      GB -5
      Den -4
      Giants -6.5
      Can’t decide on last pick.

      • Harbaugh Handshakes

        Niners +9.5

  • clayII

    Denver (-4)
    Seattle (-9.5)
    New England (-7.5)
    Baltimore (-13.5)
    Detroit (-8)
    Browns (pk)
    Already worked these fools. Everyone in Berea now really knows its Johnny time, no controversy. The D is playin good (not great). Haden signs AJ Green’s check twice a year. Stadium should be super hype. It would also be the most Browns thing ever to win today and lose to D.A. at Carolina next week. Actually, the last fact makes this my ***PLAY OF THE YEAR***

    • clayII

      awaiting college bowl pool !!!

  • Jonathan MacDonald

    Bengals pk
    Bills +5
    Bears +3 (Essay)
    Buccaneers +4.5
    Broncos -4
    Seahawks -9.5

    The Saints aren’t a good team anymore. Not quite Tampa Bay bad, but bad nonetheless, their position only helped because they’re in a weak division. Last week’s beating at the hands of Carolina might be a small sample size, but is a sign of a team that’s given up on their season (despite still being very much in the hunt for a playoff spot). The 2009 Super Bowl season is a distant memory, and while Drew Brees has HOF credentials, time is not on his side. The Bears aren’t great, but they’re going to put up a fight, so getting points at home during a national TV game is a solid choice to pick.

    • Jonathan MacDonald

      Whoa Nellie, 5 for 5 on the day. This week I picked 5 teams that start with B, plus the Seahawks. All that remains is the MNF essay where Da Bears are my choice (I’m tempted to get a Jay Cutler fathead hoping it will bring luck).

      Since the spread is three, a push is possible, which begs the question: is a Lobsterfest marred only by a push on the essay still an Admiral’s Feast?

      • and none of your B teams were the Browns either!

        correct, that would be a Lobsterfest and also a weekly winner since there are two 7 pointers on the board.

        • Jonathan MacDonald

          I’m not a Browns fan but I knew enough history to know that Franchise Savior QB’s first home start with playoff hopes on life support had disaster written all over it…

          I just hope the Bears can make a game out of this and bring home the Lobsterfest.

  • FTCMikeD

    Rams loss
    @Falcons +2.5 over Steelers
    @Bills +4 over Packers
    @Seahawks -9.5 over 49ers
    @Eagles -3.5 over Cowboys
    Everything’s coming up C-town. JFF gets his first start. There-by flexing the Browns Bengals game to the majority of the nation on FOX. This will put Dalton in the Zone. The primetime zone that is. We all know how the Red Rifle does in the spotlight. Also have some great bulletin board material thanks to Marvin Lewis’s off-color comments regarding stature. There is little to no ‘tape’ on Manziel, giving us the advantage offensively. Reports say that Gordon is back to game shape. And the Bengals got exposed last week by the Steelers and I expect the Browns to follow a similar formula. The CMFB are going to win this game tomorrow.

  • zarathustra

    Cardinals (W)

    Browns (pk) over Bengals (all-play)
    The Bengals are playing with revenge and the game isn’t in prime time so Dalton should be competent enough to get them the win against a rookie qb making his first start. I picked the browns to win outright here the first time these teams played largely due to Cincinnati injuries.  They still have some injury issues but are far healthier now.
    So I should pick the Bengals, but don’t have a strong opinion on it and I really don’t want to be the turd in the punch bowl when the browns are at home for their last home game and the playoffs on the line. Pettine’s defense appears to be ascending to what most of us expected a Pettine defense to look like. As a hoyer fan it isn’t even like there can be much complaint about his benching at this point. Johnny should bring a charge to the offense.  Josh Gordon may even show up now. Sure, why the hell not. Johnny should definitely bring some excitement. He’ll likely do some stupid things too, but his fans will forget those things easily enough and if the result is a much needed browns victory we all should. So I’ll go with browns win and johnny excites.
    There will be a lot of real life cheddar out there for the enterprising among us who has the foresight to set up a laundry service outside the stadium to cater to all the johnny fanboys who will need their sticky trousers cleaned before they make the trek down to canton to eagerly await the arrival of the manziel hall of fame bust.

    Giants -6.5 over Washington***
    The giants offense has looked good the past few weeks and Washington is a blazing dumpster fire. Normally that would mean it’s time to hold your nose and take the points, but this is not just any dumpster fire. This one is a jay gruden special.  I never cared for him much with the Bengals, but thought some of the criticism he received was a bit hyperbolic. Little did I know that the criticism was subdued.
    Here he is just last week: ” …then as a staff we’ll have to talk about the future of the position — whether we’re going to build around Colt….”


    So we have team in tumoil that has lost three of their last four games by 20+ points being led by a first year coach who is entertaining the idea of colt mccoy as his franchise qb….
    I think I’ll lay the points.

    Patriots -7.5 over Dolphins
    Ugly number, but I don’t care. Pats are at home with revenge on their mind and have the scare from last week in san diego fresh on their mind against a deflated Dolphins team whose road wins this year have been at Oakland,  Chicago, Jacksonville, and a sqeaker at the Jets. The Broncos have a tough game at san diego and the pats are well aware the importance of that one seed. It’s going to be a long day for the Dolphins.

    Niners +9.5 over Seahawks
    I’ve never been much of a fan of kaeperick and he has certainly been awful this year. Moreover, he’s always struggled against this Seahawks d. I’m basing this entirely on a kaeperick’s media session this week.


    Rather than be the angry defensive guy we’ve seen all year he smiled and opened up a bit. In zara world of meditation, float tanks, and cannabis this change of attitude should not be dismissed for it indicates an opening of the heart. Anger, fear, and aggression the dark side they are. By having the courage to abandon these for openness portends well for this game in my estimation. I expect him to play well, maybe his best game of the season.

    Ravens -13.5 over Jaguars
    For as long as I’ve been a hanging around these parts I don’t think I’ve ever laid a number like this in an nfl game,  but blake bortles is just so so bad.

  • Peter Markos

    CLE- If the browns hope to win division titles they need a QB who can go toe to toe with Ben and Flacco. Tomorrow we start the process of finding out if JFF is the guy. Apologies for missing last week. Life got a little complicated and I forgot. No disrespect, just buried in the @#%.
    PITT -2.5 OVER ATL
    NYG -6.5 OVER WASH
    NE -7.5 OVER MIA
    BALT-13.5 OVER JAX

  • Rob

    AP: CLE pk
    TB +4.5
    BUF +5
    DAL +3.5
    IND -6.5
    Essay: Pittspuke -2.5
    I’m not sure there’s been a bigger Jekyll & Hyde this year than Pittsburgh this year. They’ve lost against some of the worst teams, embarrassingly mind you, but have put up 30 points 7 times this year, and tomorrow should make it 8 against an Atlanta defense that can’t stop the run or pass. Pittsburgh is more of a Sheer Curtain defense nowadays, and while their larger problem is defending the pass, the injury report is not too kind on the Falcons receivers for tomorrow. I expect this line to close above 3 or at 3 with a hefty price tag, but would play this at anything below 4.


    1) Browns Pk (all play)- Only real running QB Bengals have faced was Cam Newton and he torched them for 284 pass yds, 2tds and 107 rush yds with 1 td. Now they dont have their best defensive player in Burfict and JFF should be able to roam outside the pocket effectively. Add in the fact that Cinci is dead last in sack% and I’d be shocked if JFF doesn’t play well. The key is definitely slowing down Jeremy Hill. He’s now the starter and I have a feeling Marvin is going to ride him for 25+ carries tomorrow.

    2) KC -10

    3) Buff +5 (essay): So many reasons to love Buffalo here. 1) GB off a short week having to go on the road in a tough place to play. 2) Eddy Lacy is probably going to play but definitely not 100% and most likely splitting carries with James Starks. 3) Buffalo matches up with GB really well defensively. Buffalo is 4th in def yds/play, 9th in rush yds/carry, 6th in def yds/attempt and #1 in def sack %. The Bills are used to playing against Brady 2x a year and just harassed Peyton last week, forcing 2 ints and 0 TDs. Rodgers will not be able to toy with that secondary like he does with most others. 4) 70% of the public is on GB yet the line keeps trickling down. Opened at 6 and currently sits at 4. 5) on the road GB is very mediocre. Only 3-3 away from home and 1-5 ats. If Minnesota can keep the margin at 3 I see no reason Buffalo can’t as well.

    4) SF +9.5
    5) NO -3
    6) Dallas +3.5

  • p_forever

    and away we go –

    jets -1.5 titans
    pats -7.5 fins***
    steelers -2.5 falcons
    pack -5 bills
    colts -6.5 texans
    browns PK bengal

    ***it’s sort of a big line, but i think the pats will cover easily this weekend. brady + belichick are both super mad about the dolphins beating them early in the season. plus belichick has thus far never been swept by a division opponent – it’s a real point of emphasis for him not to let that happen. and the dolphins are giving me absolutely no reason to believe this will be the game that ends that streak for belichick. actually, i feel like i’d almost pick against the dolphins no matter who they are playing. they always fall apart in december, just like they always play great at the beginning of the season.

  • chuckycrater

    ALL PLAY: Bengals PK over Browns – not like the Bengals are good but I’ve read too many of you Browns fans complaining about coaching sabotage and do not want to back Pettine.

    Seahawks -9.5 vs. 49ers
    Panthers -4.5 vs. Bucs
    Patriots -7.5 vs. Dolphins
    Bears +3 vs. Saints

    ESSAY: Cowboys +3.5 vs. Eagles

    Cowboys undefeated on the road. Sanchez getting exposed. Cowboys with three extra days to prepare for this game. And this fun tidbit: the Eagles played Seattle last week. The Seahawks’ last seven opponents have been 0-7 ATS the following week. Those games linger and Philly got absolutely destroyed last week to boot (the score was flattering). I’ll take Dallas’s massive game-controlling OL and the points here.

    • Petefranklin

      Thanks for that tidbit about the week after for teams playing SEA! I had a feeling about it but never bothered to look it up. A sports book director (MGM I think) said that the Cowboys weren’t necessarily a public play this week as sharps were on them as well.This comment came after Dave Cokin (decent tout) said that the cowboys were the public play. Cokin is usually right with these things so I am very curious how this game plays out. BTW these sports book guys can be full of shit sometimes, not because they are misleading you, but because they are usually know not much bean counters. Just take a look at the Gaming Today book directors contest which has no spreads and you will see.

    • CLEVTA

      Looks like u listened to the podcast this week! lol

  • Concierge

    ESSAY ARMY +15
    I’m essaying this game because I’m a GD American. This is what america is all about. The pageantry of this game is un matched. I actually think that Army has a slight chance to pull the upset, thats why I’m taking the points. Both teams run a triple option attack with relatively no passing plays at all. This should be fun. Navy’s defense gives up a ton of points and yards therefore I think that Army Qb Angel Santiago will be able to get things going.

    Denver -4
    Philly -3.5
    New England -7.5
    San Fran+9.5
    Browns All Play

  • Dennis Hemingway

    Bengals E over Browns (All play)
    Bills +5 over Packers
    Cowboys +3.5 over Eagles
    Chargers +4 over Broncos
    Niners +9.5 over Seahawks
    Colts -6.5 over Texans ***

    *** How can you not love Andrew Luck at home in this position?!??! He leads the NFL in passing yards and is tied for TD passes. That offense lights it up at home on turf. I hate giving points in division games but I expect Luck & Co to roll big here. The spread has moved up to 7 from 6.5 so I like having the extra .5 here. No Andre Johnson, No Clowney, and Fitzpatrick at QB. Enough said. Oh and the Colts have won 21 of the past 25 meetings.

  • Dave Borcas

    Navy -15
    Browns pickem all play
    Broncos -4 essay, using pass
    Patriots -7.5
    Texans +6.5
    Bears +3

  • ChuckKoz

    Giants -6.5 (vs DC)
    Lions -8 (vs Vikings)
    Seahawks -9.5 (vs 49ers)
    Eagles -3.5 (vs Cowboys)
    AP: Browns pk (vs Bengals)
    Essay: Colts -6.5

    I have to believe Andrew Luck will rebound nicely from one of his worst games ever, especially being back in the comfort of his homefield. Also, we realize he already had a big game against the Texans, going for 370 yards and 3 TDs in a 33-28 victory at Houston. And we are not concerned about the Texans recent scoring surge, because that was against the Titans and Jags. I mean, seriously, when beating the Browns is your best win, you aren’t good (they have beat Raiders, DC, Browns, Titans 2x, Bills, Jags). Glad you take care of inferior business, but always lose to the better teams. Then add in a few new injuries last week, including Andre Johnson probably not playing, and no amount of JJ Watt being a douchey bro can save the Texans from a solid loss.

  • Capitalgg

    All-Play: Cleveland MF Browns pk v. Cincitucky Bungles. No idea what to expect, so I’m riding Johnny Football against Andy Dalton.
    1. Army +15 v. Navy: Because this is America dammit, this game should ALWAYS be the all-play regardless of late 1st round rookies starting their first games in Cleveland. Yes, both happen every year, but 1 of these game actually matters.

    2-4 & an essay to be posted after breakfast and tailgate prep for tomorrow. #GoBrowns

    • actovegin1armstrong

      Cincinnati is in one of the seediest parts of Kentucky, and taking to measure the rest of their state that is a labeling a shocking swill of squalor.

      • GRRustlers

        All of the times that I have referred to Cincinnati as Northern Kentucky on here and I now feel kind of bad…I just realized how completely unfair that is to the good people of Kentucky. They did not ask for Andy Dalton or Marvin Lewis or Mike Brown or whoever the hell that guy was who dropped the INT in the Super Bowl. I’m so sorry Kentucky.

        • chuckycrater

          Lewis Billups and I have NO IDEA why I know that. (RIP, by the way)

    • Capitalgg

      My perfect Cheddar Bay record in the Army-Navy (“America’s Game”) remains in tact. Onto NFL action…

      2. Broncos -4 @ Chargers: Fighting Peyton Mannings are due for another breakout game as the weather should be nice in So Cal.
      3. Lions -8 v. Vikings: Detriot has been quietly putting teams away at home. The offense isn’t what it was a couple years back, but the D is better. Still invested in Lions to win the NFCN. If they win out, they have the tie-break on the Pack.
      4. Colts -6.5 v. Texans: Home sweet Dome for Andrew Luck. Colts need this one to clinch the AFCS.

      There are many theories about gambling, some trends that should be played, but there are no iron-clad rules, right? Well, I have a proposal for 1, always bet against a team the week it is revealed the offensive coordinator is the anonymous source criticizing his quarterback. Especially play this when that team’s #1 WR is on the IR and that team plays zero defense and they are playing one of the league’s most explosive offenses. This game may be a 63-56 epic, but I think the Saints win and cover the -3 against Da Bears.

      Now a question for the commentariat:
      Is GB-5 @ BUF a trap line? Why wouldn’t you load up on GB here? Is this Vegas setting a line to get all the money on the wrong side and BUF should really be the pick to win outright?

  • jdoepke

    This is a tough week. I also hate this all play pick but here we go…

    Chargers +4
    49ers +9.5
    Vikings +8
    Eagles -3.5
    Bengals pk (AP)

    Bills +5 (Essay)
    Loved this game from the time the line came out at 6 and was immediately bet down to 4.5 and even 4 in some spots. Thanks to cheddar locking on Wednesday we get it at 5 which sounds good to me. Buffalo Defense is underrated, Packers are rolling everyone and coming off MNF win, everyone in the world has GB and Rodgers. GB wins late 26-23

  • cwonder23

    Man, this is tough, but here goes.
    All Play: Hate having to pick this game. Browns PK because…you know…I root for the Browns
    Packers -5
    Bears +3
    Seahawks -9.5
    Fins +7.5
    Essay: Bucs +4.5
    Derek Anderson starting for a sputtering offense against a division rival. I will take the Bucs here. The NFC South is where NFL teams go to die this year and I expect this to be a very unwatchable game. The Panthers are coming off a curb stomping against the Saints and I expect the emotional hangover to stalk their game. Not to mention, they lost their best player and leader on the field. This game feels like it will be too close to pick the favorite.

    • actovegin1armstrong

      wonder, I am surprised you are not worried about Derek Anderson channeling his inner Steve Young. Watch out for those retreads!

      • cwonder23

        He probably will! I hate all my picks!

  • HitTheHorns

    Has anyone been following the Pete Pricso/Peter King twitter fiasco regarding the 4th and 1 field goal last night? They keep saying “if they got stuffed on 4th and 1 with 6 minutes left, game is over.” How is that correct? If they get stuffed, Arizona would have to punt with about 3:30 left assuming no time outs are called. You have to assume a punt from the back of the end zone would put you on the edge of field goal range. So lets say it takes them to the 2 minute warning to kick a field goal. Couldn’t you still kick onside and try to win? Am I a moron for trying to make sense of a Peter King position on a football game?

    • have not been following but seems nonsense to second guess kicking a field goal with shaun hill as your qb matched up against the cards defense. it actually sets up the best chance rams had to win: a pick6 or fumble6.

    • CLEVTA

      King and Prisco are the epitome of old farts who refuse to ever consider analytics and advanced metrics as a blossoming and well accepted level of thinking based on thousands and thousands of actual game play data. It’s why football coaches still are clueless when it comes to clock management and when to go for it on 4th down. Case in point McCoy punting on 4th and 3 from mid field down 9 late in the 4th. Chargers never saw the ball again not surprisingly.

    • Rob

      Yeah, the interactions between he and @BPredict were good. I’ve broken off friendships with people for disagreeing with me on the FG/go-for-it, and the 4th-Q-go-for-2pt-conversion debates.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Have you done the math on my “Always Play Four Downs” model?
        Michael Lewis’ly speaking, the odds are staggering.

  • technivore

    Bengals PK over BROWNS (AP)
    CHARGERS +4 over Broncos
    Cowboys +3.5 over EAGLES
    LIONS -8 over Vikings
    COLTS -6.5 over Texans

    Jaguars +13.5 over RAVENS
    Too many points! In truth I think this is a fascinating game. The gap in overall Defense DVOA terms between Jacksonville and Baltimore is virtually zero, with Jacksonville being almost exactly league average and Baltimore just a hair above. To nobody’s surprise though, the Ravens absolutely suck against the pass and make up for it with good run defense, but having lost Ngata for the rest of the year I think they tail off in both phases. Jacksonville’s offense is, unfortunately, atrocious so far. But I’m banking on four key factors here:
    – The Jags offense regressing to the mean even slightly would give them a huge boost
    – The Ravens are without a doubt looking past the Jags and will be surprised by how tough their defensive front is
    – Going against a unanimous pick by ESPN’s “experts” is always a good idea (thank you HitTheHorns)
    – F*** the Ravens and their awful, hypocritical Modell-defending fans

    No way the Jags win this one outright but they can hang within two touchdowns. Come on Blake!! You’re finally facing a secondary as bad as you are! Take us home baby!

  • GRRustlers

    Week 16 Picks

    I would like to give a hearty boo to the executive committee for this egregious decision on the All Play but I don’t even know who the executive committee is. I assume it’s a group of people chiseled into granite on some mountain but it’s probably just 4 guys drinking Bud Light hiding in a walk freezer of an Akron area Red Lobster eating biscuits by the thousand. Anyways…BOOOOO. Army and Navy is a fabric of Cheddar Bay and I’m pretty sure I know who to blame when the space time continuum rips on Saturday night.

    Adam Wins is not on the committee…right?

    The Adam Wins story is like my favorite story of the year. Every single person on here has a documented track record that would put that guy to shame.

    Seattle (-9.5) over San Francisco – I like Kapernick. I am still trying to figure out why the 49ers took everything good out of his game. Is Greg Roman still alive? When did the 49ers just stop running? Let’s make him a pocket passer? Screw that…run him till he breaks and enjoy 3-5 good years. (I hope you are watching this Cleveland.)

    Kansas City (-10) over Oakland – Payback.

    Detroit (-8) over Minnesota – Rough spot for Bridgewater. Love the Lions at home.

    Jacksonville (+13.5) over Baltimore – The Ravens should not get 13+ vs anyone.

    NYG (-6.5) over Washington – The Giants are my favorite good bad team this year. I’m also hoping for a Major League 2 moment in this game where the refs have to stop the game because the Redskins are beating the shit out of each other.

    Essay and Hideous AP Pick

    Overheard at work: How nice of the Browns to give the fans a taste of the future with Manziel under center for the last home game of the year.

    Fuck that. (I swear way too much at work)

    How about a home game on January 3rd or 4th?

    I missed the part where the team was just supposed to lay down and die the final 3 games?

    You expect me to believe that Andy Dalton is going to come into Cleveland and win Sunday? Not happening. You think Derek Anderson is going to end this magic carpet ride next week? Hell no…I’ve seen that guy in Week 16. You think with the entire season on the line in Baltimore that Cundiff does not nail a FG to win the division. Cundiff should so go double bird on that fan base when it splits the uprights.

    I have no clue what the future holds with Manziel. None. Nobody does. I’ll dream big though. No need for a 3 game sample. How about a 7 game sample? How about a parade before LeBron and company in June? The whole point of being a fan is you can believe in dumb things.


    Browns (PK) over Bengals

    • Capitalgg

      It’s a shame there is I longer a CheddarBay essay writing award because, by god, this one deserves it!

  • HitTheHorns

    One Cheddar. Arizona Cardinals +4.5. Wasn’t sure about this one until I clicked on this:


    • swig

      That is fantastic.

  • Cardinals tonite.

  • zarathustra

    As penance for profiting off of last week’s bad action with the buckeyes I shall make an offering to both the old gods and the new and forego the bad action brewing for the rams and lay prostrate before ye gods and humbly submit
    Cardinals +4.5 over Rams

  • FTCMikeD

    Rams -4.5 tonight in TNF!

  • thatsfine

    Rams -4.5

    • thatsfine

      Please bump my Rams pick up to essay status. I don’t think the Cardinals are going to get their offensive and QB issues sorted out against the Rams defense, on the road, on a Thursday night. The Rams have been playing great, I like them to cover the spread. A 10-3 team getting +4.5 against a sub-.500 team sounds too good to be true, so it probably is.

  • FlyHighCharlieFrye

    Navy -15
    Buffalo Bills
    Not buying JFF. Not buying Josh Gordon and Mike Pettine and the defense to have anything left in the tank after last week actually. The Bengals have been really inconsistent, too, but this is a revenge game and one the Bengals really need and they’ve been here before. Dalton is scary bad but I think Manziel has the Bengals full attention and I expect the Bengals to run the ball effectively and put it away late. probably by a touchdown or more.

  • ***Rams -4.5 over Cardinals*** tonight for my pick of the week, please. I want to ride out the “hands up” karma, and I always like to fade teams whose existence depend on the destruction of the ecosystem and the sponsorship of a massively predatory online diploma mill. Arizona hasn’t been able to score since a little tape came out on Stanton and they’re cruising for a collapse with their final two games against the Seahawks and at SF. The Rams have been a different team since Shaun Hill got the QB job back, a young group for which avoiding a losing season and continuing this late season run will have meaning. It’s tough to lay this many points against the Cards defense, which is another reason why I like this play. Beware the public underdog.

    • You know what, please make this a one-pointer, I see a better POTW on the horizon.

      • Pick of the Week: Eagles over Cowboys. Copy/paste my essay from Thanksgiving here. The Eagles didn’t need to win against the Seahawks and had very little incentive to open the playbook against a probable playoff opponent (contra, Seahawks needed it bad). Folks are reading way too much into last week’s result. I’ll say it again, the Eagles are a bona fide Super Bowl contender.

        Will also take Browns (http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/2014/12/johnson-bademosi-is-a-great-cleveland-brown/), Bills, Chargers, and Niners.

  • Petefranklin

    Rams -4.5 for 1 please

    • actovegin1armstrong

      fade the NFL idiot. Too easy for you PeteF

      • Petefranklin

        I’m due for a loss I guess.

  • actovegin1armstrong

    AP The Rotten Bungles over Our Beloved Browns
    Cards +4.5 over St Louis NFL picks are too difficult!
    Drunken State University +42 over Altered State University Colorado Campus
    Atlanta -2.5 over Pittstink
    Jacksonville -13.5 over Art Model’s Festering Love Child (going against my pretty uniforms rule, love the black and purple)
    Tennessee -1.5 over J-E-T-S
    ****Green Bay – 5 over Buffalo**** Magic Essay
    Will Green Bay in their playoff frenzy forget to play this game? Perhaps the line is skewed because this game purportedly means nothing to either team. I do not believe that it means nothing. Athletes are always competing, and the Packers are certainly no exception. This line is skewed because the public believes that Green Bay shall not care about the outcome of this game. Those betting guys, like Super Risen From the Dead Pete Franklin know that Green Bay may put in their second team, but Green Bay’s second team trumps Buffalo’s starters and the various as sundry “lets check out this guy” players. Green Bay takes the top seed in the NFC with a win, but that is not their primary motivation, the discerning factor in this matchup is that athletes “play to win the game”. Doug Marrone is not about to Shurmurize himself, but he is a “Not Yet Ready For Prime Time Player” in the rather competitive world of NFL coaches. The Bills are trying to “Use the Schwartz” and become a major player in the NFL, but it may be difficult when a coordinator has a personality and palmeres that shadows his leader.

  • swig

    L-L-L-LEAD OFF!!!

    AP: Bengals o BROWNS, game theory
    1) Raiders +10 o CHIEFS
    2) Vikings +8 o LIONS
    3) Cardinals +4.5 o RAMS, ***ESSAY***
    4) Jaguars +13.5 o RAVENS
    5) Texans +6.5 o COLTS

    Lets put the cards on the table early this week. The Rams are playing much better, and the Cardinals have been shaky, but this line is inflated. Tough to feel confident in this pick as the Phoenix offense is riddled with injuries. However, the defense is still really good. Coupled with a solid defense in LA, err St. Louis and this should be a close game. This is overlooking the fact that the Cards have proven it all season, while the Rams have struggled. I dunno, picking underdogs feels easy, but justifying is hard, otherwise they would not be underdogs.

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