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!
One thing is for sure when it comes to the Pickem' this season... J.A. loves his "upset specials"! The problem is that while he picks a lot of upsets each week, he almost always get them wrong. For example, last week he picked the Saints, 'Skins, Patriots and Texans to all win. They all lost, badly. On the other hand, Clyde took a gamble on a few upsets and it paid off as he picked the Giants, Dolphins and Seahawks who all came out with victories. Suge has been a bit more "by the book" although he was right on his lone upset pick last week by picking the 49ers over the Bucs. I say every week that this is still anyone's game but that's starting to slip a bit as J.A. only got 4 games right this week so he remains in last place overall with just 29 wins, while Suge and Clyde continue to pull ahead. Clyde was able to win the week by 1 pick as he had 10 correct and Suge had 9. He also leads the season contest 46-41 at this point. As these two pull away, I can see it being neck and neck with the winner decided in Week 17.
Here are the Expert's picks for Week 8
Byes: Ravens, Rams, Dolphins, Giants, Steelers, 49ers
Jags @ Titans
Clyde - Both of these teams are coming off of pretty sizeable defeats, however each has a different endgame in mind. The Jags are a hopeful wild card contender, while the Titans are a hopeful #1 overall pick contender. I don’t think the Jags could lose this game if they tried...because the Titans are trying harder…. Jags win 38-7
J.A. - I am wondering if I can just perform an auto-correct formula to always select whoever the Titans are facing. Titans have actually been performing better as of late with only losing to the Colts 31-0 last week. I am going Jags on this one. Jags 34-13
Suge - The Jags have started well this season even though we barely pick them to win. This week we have to pick them to win. The Titans are struggling. The struggle continues 24-17 Jags.
Redskins @ Bengals
Clyde - We saw last Week against the Lions that the Redskins have a ton of firepower and aren’t shy about using it. They gained almost 500 yards of offense before ultimately falling short. The Bengals are improving but lack the talent that it will take to keep pase
J.A. - Bengals put up a pretty good fight with the dominant Brownies last week but ultimately fell short. The Redskins couldn’t seem to figure out the Lions offense last week and were outgunned. Redskins 27-21
Suge - This is a fairly even matchup and you would think the tiebreaker would go to the home team. The Bengals have showed resolve and dissolve in their short season. If they want to be taken seriously or have a chance at the playoffs it's a must win. That being said I got the Redskins 32-30.
Chiefs @ Colts
Clyde - This very well could be a preview of the AFC Championship game and I expect both squads to treat the game with that sort of intensity. The Chiefs are always ready for the big game and will look to hand the Colts their 1st loss on the season. I wonder if the Colts will open up the whole playbook this week or play their cards close to their vests in case they do meet again in the playoffs? Colts 28-17.
J.A. - This is my guaranteed pick in this week's pick’em as the Colts are looking to avenge last year's loss and exact some type of revenge. The Chiefs have trouble putting points on the board and this is the week it will hurt them. Colts 34-10
Suge - This is rematch of last year's playoffs in which the Chiefs went to Indy and upset the Colts in their own building. I would think the Colts remember that game. The Chiefs need this game to remain in first in the highly contested west. I've got Chiefs 34-33.
Cardinals @ Panthers
Clyde - Well, the Panthers pretty much have their division wrapped up already and should win more than they lose moving forward. This game is a must win though for the Cardinals as they are in a brutal race with the Seahawks and to a lesser extent the Rams for the NFC West title. They took a bad loss to Seattle this week and will have to bounce back this week if they hope to keep pace. Cardinals 31-27
J.A. - Panthers have been dominating their cupcake division but this week they will be tested with a team that has a QB with a big arm and two dynamic receivers. If the Cards figure out a scheme to stop the slants and drags this could be lopsided. Cards 27-24
Suge - The Cards have a chance to prove they are more than just the best of one of the weakest divisions. The Panthers tend to dominate in these sort of games. I expect the Panthers to dominate 48-13.
Raiders @ Bucs
Clyde - Well…. If I want an easy win here, I’ll take the Raiders. They beat up the Jags last week and blah, blah, blah…. Doesn’t matter. Bucs want to lose and after taking an “L” against the 49ers last week, they appear willing to do anything to tally the losses. Raiders 56-14
J.A. - I am going on a limb here and saying that Bucs get a W this week, the Raiders have no marquee wins and will falter in the face of competition. Bucs 37-28
Suge - This was a game I would pay to see. Now you just wonder what Bucs team you are about to get. Raiders have something to play for. Would be nice to see the Bucs give effort as they are the more talented team. Bucs should win but Raiders will win 49-35.
Seahawks @ Saints
Clyde - When looking at the schedule in the pre season, I would have never thought that this game would have playoff implications but alas, it does and potentially for both teams. The Seahawks beat their division rival last week and the Saints got beat up by the defending Power Bowl champs but on any given Sunday anything can happen! The Saints need to get a win this week to keep their Wild Card hopes alive and I think they respond favorably. Saints 20-17.
J.A. - Seahawks have been a surprise team thus far in the season and I just cannot picture the Saints derailing the ‘Hawks progress. The Saints are still the same team that went 0-16 last year and will show it by letting the Hawks dominate. Hawks 31-13
Suge - The Saints have had a good season compared to last year. The Saints have a shot to return to the playoffs. I don't see the Hawks flying to NO for a win. Saints 23-21.
Lions @ Texans
Clyde - As of late both of these teams have played very well. The results have been different as Detroit has won 4 in a row while the Texans have lost 3 straight, but to 3 of the best teams in the NML. This could be a signature win for the Texans as they’d finally beat a potential playoff contender. At the same time, I think a loss here by Detroit could derail their season. This is a team that they should beat if they hope to truly contend for a playoff spot this season. Lions 42-40
J.A. - Texans have been fired up lately as they have been losing heartbreakers week in and week out. The Texans have dwindled down their trading and I am not sure if it is the effect of building a contender or a strange effect from the supermoon last night. I like the Texans in this one as too much has been placed on the shoulders of QB Russell Wilson and he is no Chuck Norris to shoulder that load. Texans 37-31
Suge - The Texans have had a week to break in their new mobile QB. The Lions have just as talented of a team as the Broncos who were too much for the Texans to handle. Texans do a better job vs Pass than the Run. The Lions are a better Pass than a Run team, this could lead to upset city. Lions still pull out the win 35-34.
Patriots @ Bills
Clyde - The Bills are good, the Pats are not. No need for details here. Bills 88-3
J.A. - Pats get blown out every week and this organization is starting to look like Jimmy Haslam owns the team. They field a team but it is almost like sandlot football and nobody cares. I expect the Bills to bounce back after their first defeat to the Phins this week. Bills 34-7
Suge - The Bills look to wrap up the division early. The Pats are clearly playing for next season. Here is hoping when next season comes they don't say the same thing. Bills win 49-14.
Jets @ Browns
Clyde - The Jets got a win last week thanks the Ravens not being interested in winning despite the fact they dominated the entire game. The Jets are under new ownership and are still getting their feet wet so I don’t expect them to win this game. I just hope the Browns are gentle…. Browns 35-6
J.A. - This one could get ugly and early. Browns actually gave up some points to the Bengals last week after an impressive shutout streak. The firepower and play calling will be too much for the Jets to handle. Browns 47-7
Suge - The Jets are in next year mode just like the Bucs and Pats. The Browns may play their backups just to keep them fresh. Browns dominate 55-3.
Chargers @ Broncos
Clyde - News out of San Diego is that the franchise is up for sale and may change hands as early as today. Long term it may be good for them, but having to face the high powered Broncos during that transition week could be a very bad welcome for new ownership. Broncos 45-0
J.A. - I smell an upset here as the Chargers have nothing to lose and will come out gunning. I expect another huge offensive performance from both teams but the Chargers eek this one out. Chargers 37-34
Suge - Brady threw for over 500 yards a couple weeks ago against this team. Gronk was unstoppable. The Chargers look to slow NML leading rusher David Johnson again. The Chargers always play the Broncos tough but no way they win this one. Broncos have too many weapons for the Chargers secondary to cover.
Packers @ Falcons
Clyde - Who are these Packers? 2 weeks ago, they pound the Cowboys. Last week though, they score 6 points and lose to the last place Bears. Up until that loss, I liked the Packers to challenge the Vikings for the NFC North but a loss like that on your record could be a killer. The Falcons have played much better than I anticipated they would as I made my preseason predictions. They have beaten a handful of teams that I thought would blow them out and so I just don’t know how to pick this one. The Pack should win, but the Falcons are confident and playing well. Screw it.. Falcons 24-23
J.A. - The Packers looked legitimate a few weeks back with a dominant victory over the Cowboys only to lose to Da Bears the following week. The Packers truly need to win this one and I expect the Packers to have too much firepower for the Falcons to handle. Packers 27-18
Suge - The Pack look to stay in the race for the division which looks more and more like the Vikings each week. Two spots open for a group of teams. Could it be the Pack and the Lions. I would think only one team gets in. Falcons could pull this one out but we say Packers 34-30.
Eagles @ Cowboys
Clyde - Well, the Cowboys went into last week’s bye on a low note, having gotten battered by the Packers earlier in the week. If I know owner Bill Hoyt, he didn’t allow the usual bye week hijinx for his squad and instead had them working on 3 a days to get ready for this division game against Philly. The Eagles, meanwhile, dropped a tough one to the Vikings this past week but have shown that they can put points on the board. I don’t think it matters, the Cowboys are hungry and looking to bounce back. Cowboys 34-17
J.A. - Cowboys look to bounce back after getting BLOWN out by the Packers before their bye week. Maybe Big Ben was already dreaming of sipping Mai Tais on the beach prior the pack game. The Eagles were my pick to possibly supplant the Cowboys this year but have been utterly awful. Things won’t change on this night. Cowboys 45-17
Suge - The past few years this might have determined the East. Now it's just a matter of which draft pick the Eagles will have and which playoff spot the Cowboys have. Cowboys 49-13.
Vikings @ Bears
Clyde - The Bears are coming into this one having just upset the Packers and wouldn’t it be crazy to see them take out the Vikings next? Chicago has played well in a number of games and have seemed to compete the best with other NFC North teams as they also played the Lions very tough. Perhaps the Vikes will get caught looking ahead to their Week 9 game with the Lions and the Bears will take advantage. I like that scenario. Bears 24-21.
J.A. - Da Bears caught the Packers off guard last week after the Pack was still riding high on their previous week's huge upset. Problem is that Vikings hunt Bears and open season just begun. Vikings 47-10
Suge - Did I read that right the Bears won a game? Apparently there was a Unicorn sighting last week at the Bears/Packers game. Each time the Bears scored that mythical creature ran onto the field. It's too bad there was a stadium blackout and no cameras allowed in the stadium. Problem this week is Vikings slay mythical creatures for fun. 56-9 Vikings.