The writers strike has officially ended and so we are finally back at it for the 2016 installment of the NML Pickems! This season, Clyde Pickem will take on two new former celebrity contenders to his Pickem Crown. New analysts Suge Day and John Anthony(J.A). You may know Suge Day as a former Rap Music Mogul who now turns his attention to picking winners in the NML and J.A. as a former standout college QB turned football handicapper. They will go head to head, week to week to determine who really knows NML football the best.
Let's meet our experts:
They’ll pick a winner from every game each week and we’ll keep track to see who wins the coveted Pigskin Pickem Title and a handsome reward! Clyde took the title last year and is hoping to defend it just like he’d defend the good ole’ US of A!
Week 5 was another solid week for Clyde. Unfortunately for him though, Suge edged him out by a game, 13 to 12. We have a 3rd contestant in this contest, but is he really in this contest? J.A. only scored 7 this week, to finish a distant 3rd. Over the first few weeks, Clyde has a 1 point lead over Suge at the top while J.A. has a long way to go to have a chance. It's always a contest that goes down to the wire, so I think he'll be able to get back into it.
Here are the Expert's picks for Week 6
Byes: Vikings, Bucs
Broncos @ Chargers
Clyde - The Chargers have had a rough go of it so far but have been in most games. The Broncos are looking to win their division and get into their 1st ever Power Bowl, I like them here to keep rolling. Broncos 28-10
J.A. - I need to stop rooting against those Broncs, this is one of those games that I cannot bet against and I expect the Broncos to extend their winning streak to 3 games and destroy the Chargers. Broncos 38-7
Suge - The Broncos may be 2-2-1 but the two losses come by a combined 8 points. Now that the train is back on the track we expect the Chargers to keep it close for most of the game and committing a killer turnover that costs them the game. Broncos win this game 34-17 and stay undefeated vs current chargers owner.
49ers @ Bills
Clyde - These two teams are heading in opposite directions and the Bills are coming off of a big win over a good NFC West opponent. The 49ers are far from good. Bills 56-3
J.A. - The Bills just rolled up the LA Rams last week and smoked em, I expect no different result here from the Bills as they take on the lowly 49ers. Bills coach has overcome so much adversity to start the season and his record is still unblemished. Expect this one to be over early. Bills 52-7
Suge - The niners are trying to improve their team but to travel cross country for an early start is not a recipe for success. The Bills are looking to win their second straight division title. Bills are just too much at home for the niners. Bills 45-17.
Eagles @ Redskins
Clyde - This is a must win for both teams as they they both still have hopes of catching Dallas. The Eagles played the Lions tough last week but seem to have a problem getting the ball into the endzone. As of late, the ‘Skins have had a similar problem. I expect this to be close, turnover filled and low scoring. Eagles 17-14.
J.A. - Tough pick here as both teams are struggling this year. I fully expect Coach Dick Goesinya to get his team back on track and take out the Redskins on their home turf. Expect a pretty atrocious stat line from each team as neither team has a playmaker you ever heard of. Eagles 27-24
Suge - Both teams need a win if either has a chance of catching the Boys. The Eagles are hard to figure out and this could be Gates last stand. We expect 15-175 and the upset as the Skins win 24-22.
Browns @ Titans
Clyde - The Browns are known as one of the better teams in the NML and as such, they take care of business against the bad teams. They trounced the Pats last week and I don’t see this game being any different. I like the Titans to do some scoring but no chance they keep pace. Browns 44-28.
J.A. - Browns came out and dominated the Patriots last week 54-0. Rumblings after the game were that the Browns were using the Patriots of 2007 tactics and were videotaping their practice sessions. Titans have no chance in this one, expect it to be over in the first quarter with the Browns destroying the Titans 45-14 and Titans GM threatening to quit if his team doesn’t turn things around. Browns 45-14
Suge - This one could get UGLY. The Titans are a team we expect to win more games than they do. The front office works so hard all season long to not win games on the field. Browns are an elite team on mission to return to playoffs. 45-13 browns.
Ravens @ Giants
Clyde - Word on the street is that the Giants plan to have Adrian Peterson back in the lineup this week. If that’s the case, I think the Ravens have no answer. The Giants nearly beat a tough Packers team last week and Baltimore hasn’t done much to compete at all this season. Giants dominate the ground game and time of possession in this one. GMen 24-10
J.A. - Hard choice here, both teams have performed horribly but overall it comes down to mistakes and stopping the other team from scoring. Ravens take this one as the Giants D couldn’t stop a Pop Warner offense. Ravens 21-7
Suge - We have a hard time picking the Ravens. Hopefully the Giants can get their running game back on track in a week in which they are the favorite. To think this Ravens team once had the likes of Rodgers, Luck, Gronk, AJ Green, Fitz. Giants win 12-9.
Panthers @ Saints
Clyde - Are the Saints for real? In my opinion, this game will let us know once and for all. I like the Saints story and how they’ve built through the draft to become a surprise playoff contender in the NFC. I also think, however, that Carolina isn’t taking this game lightly and wants to make a statement that this division belongs to them. I picked against them last week but can’t do it again. Panthers 28-13
J.A. - This is one of those games that shouldn’t be competitive given that the Saints were 0-16 last year and the Panthers were runner-ups in the Power Bowl. The Saints have really turned it around this year and are competing for the NFC South title. I have a hard time picking against the Panthers this week given that they made me eat my words the past two weeks. However, word from the NML front office states that Panthers owner Ellis may be getting suspended/fined as he was caught on camera throwing a Dildo on the field at the Bills Patriots game a few weeks back due to his disdain for Patriots HC Jordan Belfort. This will be interesting to see what unfolds and what effects it has on the Panthers team. Panthers 38-17
Suge - The Saints look to return to the glory days when 10 plus wins were a given. They have looked really good and have some big wins. The Panthers competing against the Saints for the division brings back some great memories when this young writer was the Saints beat writer. The Saints and Panthers are more than rivals some might even call them friends. In these type of matchups anything can happen. I just don't see the Saints getting over the Carolina mountain (or Mount Everest) Panthers 27-24.
Jaguars @ Bears
Clyde - The Bears don’t have the personnel to really contend with many teams in the NML and this week’s opponent is no different. The Jags have played well so far and are in contention for a wild card spot in the AFC. With that being the case, they’ll want to win this one to keep that pace. Jags 24-10.
J.A. - Da Bears are terrible and do not seem to have any interest in winning games. Jaguars score early and often as they take this one. Jags 35-7
Suge - Being that the Bears have yet to turn into the mythical Unicorn I'm still going to take whoever they are playing. For a team that picks toward the top every year you would think there would be more talent. Jags win 17-12.
Rams @ Lions
Clyde - The Rams are coming off of a tough loss and really played below their talent level agains the Bills. They are a dangerous team on the ground and if they can get that running game going, It could be a long day for the Lions. At the same time, over the last two weeks, Russell Wilson has been nearly perfect through the air, completing 45 out of 49 passes, while the Lions defense has been forcing turnovers to get him the ball. Lions 33-21
J.A. - Russell Wilson pitched a perfect game against the Bears last week and is bragging around town about it. Word on the street is that Wilson is trying to make it two in a row against these Rams who were shellacked by the Bills last week. I see the Rams controlling the clock and the game. Rams 35-27
Suge - The Lions look much better than last year. Wilson can actually hit open wide receivers this year. The Rams rely on a run game for success. We look for the Lions to try and stay in the division race. Lions 27-17.
Steelers @ Dolphins
Clyde - The Steelers have proven again this season to be amongst the best in the league. This is a place that the Dolphins aspire to be. They will easily win their division but can they compete with the best of the best and eventually win in the playoffs? This will be a test for both them and the Steelers. Pittsburgh won’t win every game and this could easily be a trap for them. I think it’s close and goes down to the last play. Dolphins 24-23
J.A. - Steelers coach Bryan Harshin has told me that the Dolphins ain’t that good and plan to prove it this week by humiliating them on their home turf. Cris Collinsworth responded with “Joe Gibbs once told me, 'If someone is going to hand me a pink slip someday, it's not going to be because of the plays someone else called. It's because I called the plays and it didn't work,'”. No idea where Collinsworth was going there as his team gets destroyed this week. Steelers 48-14
Suge - The Dolphins have surprised so far but the Steelers are an elite team. Teams can win games vs the rest of the league but to take the next step is difficult. The fins come back to earth and Steelers win 45-17.
Bengals @ Patriots
Clyde - In this week’s “most likely to be mistaken for a Powderpuff football” game, the Bengals head to Foxborough. No games come easy to the Bengals….wait, yes, this one will because the Pats are awful. They got shutout last week and even with some upgraded weapons on offense, they still can’t seem to score. I do think that having Jarvis Landry in the fold will give them at least a little hope. Bengals 24-7.
J.A. - The Patriots look like a High School JV team out there after getting destroyed by the Browns. Bengals are coming in after a tough loss to the Boys and will take an easy one from the Patriots. Bengals 31-14
Suge - The Bengals lost last week when we picked them to upset the boys. In fact they didn't put up much of a fight. This week is different they got the Pats who are in the running for a top draft pick but seem to be making moves at the same time. I let my lucky coin do the talking. Pats with the big win 17-16.
Chiefs @ Raiders
Clyde - The Raiders have been winning ugly as of late, but winning is winning. The AFC West is arguably the most competitive in the NML and the Chiefs are not only battling the Raiders but also the Broncos at this point. A win here is huge for either team as it could have direct playoff implications. The Raiders may want this more but the Chiefs are just better, by a little…. Chiefs 28-25
J.A. - The Raiders are overachieving this year and expect the Chiefs to put them in their place with an easy win here. Raiders coach Bo Jackson needs to start worrying more about X’s and O’s and less reminiscing about his Tecmo Bowl glory days within his new Kia commercial. Chiefs 35-21
Suge - This game has big implications for the loser and in this game it's always the Raiders. Despite the Chiefs finishing third on their way to the Power Bowl they have only lost 1-2 games (my math is bad) to a division rival since Decker moved to the Chiefs. The Raiders you know want this badly. I'm picking the Raiders with the upset 27-24 on a last second 54 yard fg.
Falcons @ Seahawks
Clyde - The Seahawks and Falcons have both won some games, mostly in ugly fashion, but as I mentioned above, a win is a win. This game should be highly competitive with the Seahawks looking to play conservative and grind out a win, while the Falcons could look to raise the tempo and make it a high scoring affair. Whichever team can set the pace early should win. Seahawks 23-17
J.A. - Falcons are going to take this one and put the Hawks back in their cage. Falcons are competing for middle of the pack trophy this year while the hawks are still bottom feeders. Falcons 35-17
Suge - The Falcons have won more games this year than the last few combined. (My math is almost correct here). They just don't seem to be talented enough to compete with the elite teams. Good thing this week they play the Seahawks. Falcons with a big win on the road 17-15.
Cowboys @ Packers
Clyde - This could be a huge upset if the Packers can win this one at home. The Cowboys are looking to be amongst the favorites in the NFC and have been winning most of their games in a convincing fashion. After last weeks scare against the Giants, I know the Packers will want to get on the board early in front of their home crowd. Try as they might, I don’t think that they’ll have the firepower. Cowboys 35-18
J.A. - Not sure if the Cowboys are taking this matchup seriously as Cowboys coach Deion Sanders and owner Bill Hoyt were seen this past weekend wedding crashing in San Diego. When asked for a comment it seemed owner Bill Hoyt may have still been drunk as he avoided my questions and slurred “How bout dem cowboys”. I still like the cowboys here as this team could beat the Packers half drunk. Cowboys 44-17
Suge - The Packers have the chance to pull off the upset if motivated enough. The Boys have looked tough this season. The Boys go into Lambeau and shred cheese with a big win 37-17.
Colts @ Texans
Clyde - The Texans gave the Vikings a pretty good scare last week on the road, but ultimately fell short by one point to the best team in the NFC. This week I wonder, do the have a shot against the best team in the AFC?....Not a chance. I haven’t checked the transaction wire but I’m sure that the Texans dealt away all of the players that played well last week for far worse players this week and the Colts will punish them accordingly. Colts 86-1
J.A. - I have been off on the Texans these past few weeks as they have been super competitive against good competition losing by only 1 against the Vikings. I look for the Colts to expose the Texans this week as Colts coach Pete Carroll has Riverboat Ron’s number and tendencies down pat. Colts 37-14
Suge - This week we get to see what the Texans are made of. I'm not sure the Colts have ever lost a division game. We hear they have been blackmailing division rivals for years. There has to be some reason they keep laying the smack down like the Rock at Wrestlemania. I want to pick the Texans but how do you go against fact, Colts own the division and should clinch the playoffs this week (math might be bad again). Colts 49-12.
Jets @ Cardinals
Clyde - The Cardinals beat up on the 49ers last week, as they should have. They are a better team and they beat a lesser opponent. The Jets are very much the AFC’s version of the 49ers, another bad team that the Cardinals should have zero trouble beating. Cardinals 34-10.
J.A. - Rumblings around the league is that the Cardinals are unhappy with their signal caller Flacco and are looking for an upgrade to compete more heavily but at what price. The Jets are exactly who we know them to be a rebuilding franchise due to priors owners miscues. This one will be over before the pre-game warmups. Cardinals 42-7
Suge - Hmm let me see. One team is competing to win his division. One team has traded away talent with eyes set on 4-5 years from now. I'm going to take the team who wants to win Cards 45-17.