It’s been a long year, dear readers. As usual, it was full of highs and lows, and then lows that made the previous lows look like highs. Some of my picks this year were so bad, I’ve had casino bosses offering to pick me up in their own cars just to get me on site so I can lose money in their establishments.
So I’m turning over a new leaf in 2023, which is another one of those expressions that we always say without having any idea what it means. Here’s my NFL resolutions for the new year.
In 2023, I resolve to remember when I make my predictions that defenses win championships, bad offensive lines get even worse on the road, and everybody gets lucky sometimes but almost never two weeks in a row.
I resolve to be thankful that Jerry Jones is showing a rare bit of foresight by not pursuing Odell Beckham Jr. this season.
I also resolve to start talking about the “Sean Payton to Dallas” rumors literally the moment the Cowboys season ends. Fair warning, before the handshakes after the final loss begin, I’m going to be banging that drum.
I resolve to give all good faith to the Texans in this offseason, and ignore what feels like fifty years of awful contracts and personnel decisions.
I resolve to do the same with the Saints, as long as they go into the next season with one quarterback. Not three, one.
I resolve to not be so angry at my fantasy football team, especially since with the exception of Patrick Mahomes, I fielded an entire team of players who couldn’t find the end zone with Google Maps.
I resolve to continue my longstanding policy of ignoring the Pro Bowl, and anything related to it including whatever form the game takes now, the events, the snubs, and literally every single other thing about that meaningless weekend.
I resolve to remember this season for Zach Wilson when draft time rolls around and we get excited and optimistic about all the new “can’t miss” quarterback prospects. And also Sam Darnold. And Dwayne Haskins. And the entire 2016 draft except for Dak. And Josh Rosen. And then Josh Rosen again.
I resolve to put more work into my picks this year, and stop basing them around the teams I like to play in Madden.
I resolve to stop holding my breath every time a player hurdles someone because one of these days, they’re going to take a helmet to the groin and we’ll never see that move again.
And finally, I resolve to do more NFL research in the offseason, and stop spending hours searching YouTube for “Waffle House fights.”
On to the picks. Last week I went 3-5 straight up, and 5-3 against the Vegas spread. In my defense, I didn’t expect the Eagles to turn the ball over like it was buttered, and I thought Denver could get within at least thirty-seven points of a four-win team. Lesson learned there. I’m now 60-42-1, and 48-54-2 against Vegas. Since the Cowboys have already played, I’m going to go deep again in hopes of getting even by the end of the season. As always, my picks are for the purposes of comedic discussion only. No wagering.
Jacksonville (-4) at Houston: This is a game that the Jags don’t need, and with a one-game lead for the top draft pick, a game the Texans definitely should not be winning. Which could only lead me to one prediction.
Pick: Texans to win it outright.
Minnesota (+3.5) at Green Bay: The point spreads on Vikings games this season mean Vegas believes Minnesota is more lucky than good.
Pick: Packers to win but not cover, winning by three or fewer.
San Francisco (-5.5) at Las Vegas: Derek Carr is done in Las Vegas. Just like I am, on day three of every trip I’ve ever made there.
Pick: 49ers to win and cover, winning by six or more.
Arizona (+3) at Atlanta: J.J. Watt’s Hall of Fame credentials include being a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, being the Walter Payton Man of the Year, and being hilarious on The League.
Pick: Falcons to win and cover, winning by four or more.
Denver (+12.5) at Kansas City: Even with a new coach, right now I trust the Broncos about as much as I trust Southwest Airlines.
Pick: Chiefs to win and cover, winning by thirteen or more.
Cleveland (+2) at Washington: Somehow the Commanders haven’t won a game in a month, but are still a playoff team. It’s like whatever the opposite of a fairy-tale story would be.
Pick: Commanders to win and cover, winning by three or more.
Carolina (+3) at Tampa Bay: The Panthers are proving my point that you can run the ball most of the time and win NFL games, albeit very boring ones.
Pick: Panthers to win it outright.
LA Rams (+6.5) at LA Chargers: New rule, if you’re out for the season, your replacement gets your commercial endorsements. Matthew Stafford has been gone a month, Baker Mayfield deserves to be shilling those pizzas at this point.
Pick: Chargers to win but not cover, winning by six or fewer.
Pittsburgh (+2.5) at Baltimore: Ravens backup quarterback Tyler Huntley being named a Pro Bowl alternate was such a surprise, I actually looked over the full list to make sure I wasn’t on there.
Pick: Steelers to win it outright.
NY Jets (-1.5) at Seattle: The NFL suspended Jets assistant coach Miles Austin for a year for gambling on a mobile app, while mobile gambling apps seem to make up about half of all NFL commercials these days. That is All-Pro levels of irony there.
Pick: Jets to win and cover, winning by two or more.
I’ll also take the Bills over the Bengals, the Eagles over the Saints, and New Year’s Day over New Year’s Eve. Good luck, everybody.
— Reid Kerr forgot to send out Christmas cards again, so he asks that you just hang this column up on your fridge for a few days and then throw it away. You can always tweet questions, comments, and angry messages to him at @reidaboutit.