Reid Kerr

Reid Kerr

Math is very important.

And yes, this is still theoretically a sports column. But in some ways everything comes down to math, and that definitely includes football. Statistics, percentages, play-calling tendencies, point spreads, the lack of appeal of Chris Collinsworth…they’re all matters of simple math.

I was actually a math minor in college. Well, for a while. I took a class that didn’t have a book, and it involved a lot more of the old “pay attention and write stuff down” skillset than 19-year-old Reid was prepared to do. But that’s a story for another day. Remember kids, if you can’t be a shining example, you can always be a cautionary tale.

Anyway, in spite of my love of math, I’ll freely admit I can’t use the “greater than/less than” symbols without pausing for a second to figure out which side the little alligator is eating. But the absoluteness of the distinction appeals to me. No matter what the current evidence may show, some things are better or worse than they appear.

Greater Than: The Chiefs, and that unfortunate 2-3 record. They’ve already played the three best teams in the AFC. And the Chiefs defense is giving up more than seven yards a play. The last time I saw stats that bad was in a Pop Warner game where one team had a kid who had already gone through puberty. Mahomes is still Mahomes, and that record will get better.

Less Than: The Bears, and their 3-2 record. Even Bears fans don’t know they’ve won three games already this season.

Greater Than: The Lions. They’re winless but they’re in every game, and they fight hard. Those crushing last-minute losses will swing back the other way this season. They’re not going to go 0-17.

Less Than: The Seahawks. That slamming sound you hear is the window closing on their playoff run, and probably Russell Wilson’s Hawks career.

Greater Than: The Chargers. That’s a fun team to watch, and they’re already set for the future.

Less Than: Everyone’s kicking game. Last week was absolutely painful for fans, coaches, and especially kickers’ agents.

Greater Than: Lamar Jackson. As dangerous as you think he is, he’s even better than that.

Less Than: The rest of the Ravens. You subtract Jackson’s 3-4 miracle plays a game, and that’s a very average team.

Less Than: Giants,

Even Lesser Than: The Jets. New York’s teams are a combined 2-8 this season. By next week I expect to see MetLife Stadium closed with a big “Spirit Halloween Store” banner across it.

Now on to the picks. In week four I went 5-1, and 4-2 against the Vegas spread. In my defense, I invoked the old “sun and a dog’s behind” analogy to pick the Lions, against all processes of logic. Lesson learned there. I’m now 16-14 on the season and 13-16-1 against Vegas, which means I’m only slightly less embarrassing than usual. As always, these are for the purposes of comedic discussion only. No wagering.

Dallas (minus 3.5) at New England: The big stat this week was Trevon Diggs already having more interceptions this season than Deion Sanders had in any of his with Dallas. Slow down, Cowboys fans. Prime Time would line up sometimes in flip-flops carrying a bag of groceries just to try and bait quarterbacks into throwing at him, and they never did. Deion could go months and never even need to wash his jersey.

Pick: Cowboys to win and cover, winning by four points or more.

Arizona (plus 3) at Cleveland: This is the only time in the history of the NFL, and mankind in general, that this matchup would be worth watching by anyone outside of their respective locker rooms. But I’ll be glued to this one.

Pick: Browns to win but not cover, winning by two or fewer points.

Miami (minus 2.5) vs. Jacksonville in London: Again, why are we exporting our worst to Great Britain? We take their Idris Elba and their Downton Abbey, and we send them a bad Fins team and the swan song for Urban Meyer. They should send these teams back to us by garbage scow.

Pick: Dolphins to win and cover, winning by three or more.

Green Bay (minus 6) at Chicago: Aaron Rodgers made headlines this week when he laughed off the possibility of ever playing for the Bears. That kind of underscores Chicago’s difficulties in getting their quarterback position settled since, oh, the days of Sid Luckman.

Pick: Packers to win but not cover, winning by five or fewer points.

Kansas City (minus 6.5) at Washington: Washington has stated the sudden announcement of a jersey retirement ceremony this week for Sean Taylor is a long overdue honor, and not just a cheap ploy to distract from the release of all those emails. They’ve also announced that every fan who attends the game this Sunday will get $158 and a pony.

Pick: Chiefs to win and cover, winning by a touchdown or more.

Seattle (plus 5.5) at Pittsburgh: The Seahawks have put Russell Wilson and Chris Carson on Injured Reserve. And suddenly this game feels like an early season Thursday Night matchup.

Pick: Steelers to win and cover, winning by six or more.

I’ll also take the Broncos over the Raiders, the Chargers over the Ravens, and a bag of dirt over candy corn. Good luck, everybody.

Reid Kerr thinks Michael Myers is the scariest horror movie villain, because he can drive. You can always tweet questions, comments, and angry messages to him at @reidaboutit.


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