Happy New Years to all of you! I hope by now youâ€™ve already made your resolutions, or just decided not to make any of them. Itâ€™s always good to either be focused, or to just give up on the unimportant things.
As perhaps the worldâ€™s only (and therefore, a top ten) sports humor writer, hereâ€™s what Iâ€™m looking for in the new year.
I resolve to remember that Dak Prescott is the exception and not the rule when it comes to rookie quarterbacks. And for the purposes of discussion, Jared Goff is the rule.
I resolve in 2017 to remember that down the stretch, bad teams give up, especially on the road.
I resolve to not get excited about the Buffalo Bills in any way, shape, or form. Theyâ€™re not good enough to make the playoffs, and not bad enough to bottom out for good draft picks. Theyâ€™ve just named a coach based on not having to pay moving expenses. Thereâ€™s no hope there.
I resolve to not watch Texans games until they change offensive philosophies and try and gain more than a yard per play.
I resolve to never underestimate Bill Belichick, no matter what. It doesnâ€™t matter if heâ€™s starting a rookie quarterback, has a team full of tiny white wide receivers, and he forgot to bring a punter, I will assume that evil mastermind will still find a way to win the game.
I resolve to buy up some Oakland Raiders gear, because itâ€™ll be collectible soon.
I resolve to not brag about winning my friends and family fantasy football league, especially since I defeated my wife Kimberly in the finals, and she was still playing Marshawn Lynch.
I resolve to petition the NFL to bring football back to Los Angeles.
I resolve to try and figure out what kind of weird accent Jon Gruden has. Iâ€™ve been listening for years and I still donâ€™t know. Itâ€™s like some kind of weird drunken hillbilly Viking thing.
I resolve to figure out whether the Carolina Panthers were overrated year, or underrated this one, or they were a mirage, or a David Blaine trick, or just what in the world happened between last season and this one to turn from a 15-1 team into the 49ers.
I resolve to still not watch the Pro Bowl, no matter what other events they add to it. Dodgeball, relay races, paint ball, dogsled race, slap fights, whatever. When the Super Bowl is over, I fall into a coma and donâ€™t wake up until the draft.
I resolve to stop picking Jacksonville to make the playoffs, San Francisco to cover the point spread, and Cleveland to ever win games.
On to the picks. Last week I went 2-4, and also 2-4 against the Las Vegas spread. The last couple of weeks of the season are an interesting mash-up of teams giving up hope, and teams playing their way out of a playoff spot and I didnâ€™t guess correctly which was which. For the season Iâ€™m now 64-37-1 straight up, and 40-58-3 against the spread. With one week left to go in the regular season, Iâ€™ve officially given up hope. Much like the New York Jets, Iâ€™m just playing out the string and waiting for next year, when the Jets will come back with four more quarterbacks in hopes one of them is actually the answer.
Hereâ€™s the picks for week seventeen, and since itâ€™s the last chance I get to guess on some of these teams, Iâ€™m picking some extra games. Remember, these are for the purposes of discussion only. As always, no wagering.
Houston (+3) at Tennessee: Where did Tom Savage go to school? If you said Rutgers, you are correct. Also if you said Arizona. Or Pittsburgh.
Pick: Texans to win it outright.
Carolina (+5.5) at Tampa Bay: All the Buccaneers need to make the playoffs is a win, five other teams to win, two teams to tie, two bus wrecks and a power outage, and theyâ€™re in.
Pick: Buccaneers to win and cover.
Buffalo (-3.5) at NY Jets: This game is brought to you by whiskey, Prozac, and the Suicide Hotline.
Pick: Jets to win it outright.
Arizona (-6.5) at Los Angeles: The best quarterback in Los Angeles Rams history is still Warren Beatty in Heaven Can Wait.
Pick: Rams to win it outright.
Cleveland (+6) at Pittsburgh: All Mike Tomlin answering Terry Bradshawâ€™s criticisms with a Hollywood Henderson reference needed was a mic drop and an audience screaming â€śOooh!â€ť behind him. Thatâ€™s the kind of line you used to get at Friarâ€™s Club roasts, back when people would show up for them who youâ€™d actually heard of.
Pick: Steelers to win and cover.
NY Giants (+7.5) at Washington: I donâ€™t know who needs this win more desperately, Washington or Kirk Cousins.
Pick: Washington to win, but Giants with the points, which means I think theyâ€™ll lose by less than eight points.
Dallas (+4) at Philadelphia: Raise your hand if last summer you thought Dez Bryant would have more touchdown passes this year than Tony Romo.
Pick: Eagles to win and cover.
Green Bay (-3.5) at Detroit: Aaron Rodgers is to predictions what Matthew Stafford is to staging comebacks against teams with losing records. That is to say, heâ€™s really good at it.
Pick: Packers to win and cover.
Iâ€™ll also take the Warriors to win the NBA title, the Penguins to win the NHL, and Tyler Morning Telegraphâ€™s Chris Parry to win his fantasy football league because the man does crazy research. Good luck, everybody, and Happy New Year.
- Reid Kerr talks a lot, as his wife always reminds him. Reidâ€™s second book, â€śI Hate It Here: A Love Story,â€ť is out now on Amazon.com. You can always tweet questions, comments, and angry messages to him at @reidaboutit.