Felger & Mazz

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FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - NOVEMBER 06: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots and Sam Ehlinger #4 of the Indianapolis Colts meet at midfield after the Patriots beat the Colts 26-3 at Gillette Stadium on November 06, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

Off the air, during commercial breaks, Jimmy Murray has been saying this all year – and he’s basically right: the NFL kinda stinks this year.  I mean, we’re all watching, as usual. But the number of quality teams feels decidedly thin, which is what prompted this week’s selection for a cover photo.

Mac Jones and Sam Ellinger.

Not exactly Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, are they?

Seriously. That photo above? It might be the subject of a trivia question someday. For example: In 2022, the Patriots and Colts played one of the worst offensive football games in history. The starting quarterbacks are pictured here. Who are they? A day after the game, of course, the Colts fired head coach Frank Reich in favor of former Indianapolis center Jeff Saturday, who has never coached beyond high school. Reich was the second coach fired during this season, joining Matt Ruhle of the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers and the Colts have now combined for five wins this season – and four head coaches. Other coaches – like Denver’s Nathaniel (Buddy) Hackett – remain on the hot seat.

The most successful team in the NFL this year?

That was would be us, the Pick It and Stick It crew at Felger and Mazz. We rumbled to a 9-4 record last week. The good teams win in November and December.

Last week: 9-4.

Season to date: 73-60-3.

(All odds courtesy of DraftKings.)

  • Atlanta (-3) at Carolina (Thursday night)

    CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 26: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers amps up the crowd before the opening kick before the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Bank of America Stadium on December 26, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

    CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – DECEMBER 26: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers amps up the crowd before the opening kick before the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Bank of America Stadium on December 26, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

    Serious question: if you’re talking about a game like this, who do you highlight in the photo? I settled on Cam Newton because he’s still better fodder than anyone else in this game, from quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and PJ Walker to coaches Arthur Smith and Steve Wilks. The Falcons are actually in the race to win the NFC South, but are there two bigger, nothing franchises facing each other this week? Murray, of course, likes the Falcons because he worked in Atlanta. (What if worked in Carolina?) Felger and I both like the Panthers getting points at home on Thursday night. Pick: Carolina.

  • Seattle (+2.5) at Tampa Bay (Germany)

    TAMPA, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 06:Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on after beating the Los Angeles Rams 16-13 at Raymond James Stadium on November 06, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

    TAMPA, FLORIDA – NOVEMBER 06:Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on after beating the Los Angeles Rams 16-13 at Raymond James Stadium on November 06, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

    Now that Tom Brady is all smiles again, it occurred to me: he’s facing Pete Carroll this week. Know what those two have in common? Bill Belichick owes his New England career to both of them. Carroll’s ineptitude opened the door for Belichick to get hired. Brady’s greatness opened the door for Belichick to achieve historic success. Now the two are meeting and Brady actually needs the win more than Carroll does. Felger has become a little bit of a Bucs honk here and is going with Brady. Murray, against all odds, is picking in Seattle and going against Brady, his woobie. If this game were in the United States, I’d agree with Felger. But because it ‘s Germany, I’m agreeing with Murray. (This kind of reminds me of a famous John Candy scene from Stripes.) Pick: Seattle.

  • Minnesota (+5.5) at Buffalo

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 06: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills looks on from the bench in the final two minutes of the game a at MetLife Stadium on November 06, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 06: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills looks on from the bench in the final two minutes of the game a at MetLife Stadium on November 06, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    Will Josh Allen be on the bench this Sunday? The guess here is yes, further opening the door for a Minnesota squad that might be the most deceiving 7-1 team in history. Starting in Week 3, the Vikes have played six straight one-score games – and won them all. With Kirk Cousins at quarterback. You want shocking realities. The Patriots have a better point differential than the Vikings do. Think about that for a minute. Felger likes the Vikings here and Murray likes the Bills. I can’t stand Kirk Cousins, especially after that video on the plane last week that cemented his place as a serving-sized spoon . Pick: Buffalo.

  • Jacksonville (+9.5) at Kansas City

    KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - NOVEMBER 06: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs passes the ball against the Tennessee Titans in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium on November 06, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)

    KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – NOVEMBER 06: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs passes the ball against the Tennessee Titans in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium on November 06, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)

    We hear at Felger and Mazz take great pride in admitting our (many) mistakes. so here’s another: I was wrong about the Chiefs this year. I thought they might struggle. And they’re not. In the meantime – and this is hardly knew – I’d like to note that Patrick Mahomes has that tongue thing going on (see above) the same way that Michael Jordan did. The comparison ends there for now, but lets see how Mahomes’ career plays out because we might someday again mention Mahomes and Jordan in the same breath. Ya Mazz, that’s an insult to the GOAT. Please shut up. We’re unanimous. Pick: Kansas City.

  • Cleveland (+3.5) at Miami

    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 06: Head coach Mike McDaniel of the Miami Dolphins speaks with Tua Tagovailoa #1 prior to the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on November 06, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – NOVEMBER 06: Head coach Mike McDaniel of the Miami Dolphins speaks with Tua Tagovailoa #1 prior to the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on November 06, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

    We’re still a few weeks away from the return of Deshaun Watson, so now feels like a good time to point out that at least one team in the AFC East understood the importance of giving a young quarterback a good offensive coach: Miami. While Mac Jones has dropped into the netherworld under the guidance of Matt Patricia, Tua Tagovailoa is the No. 1-rated passer in the league under Mike McDaniel. That’s right. No. 1. The Dolphins are 6-1 with him as a starter, the only loss coming in the game at Cincinnati when Tua suffered a concussion. Not sure what got into Felger this week, but it feels like he’s pick all the losers. Murray and I like the Fish. Pick: Miami.

  • Denver (+3) at Tennessee

    KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - NOVEMBER 06: Derrick Henry #22 of the Tennessee Titans runs the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first at Arrowhead Stadium on November 06, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)

    KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – NOVEMBER 06: Derrick Henry #22 of the Tennessee Titans runs the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first at Arrowhead Stadium on November 06, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)

    I should probably ask who’s playing quarterback for the Titans this week but I honestly don’t think it matters. In the interim, have you caught up on this thing between Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson and Wilson’s apparent unwillingness to wear a wristband (with Seattle’s plays on it) during his time with the Seahawks? Apparently, Wilson likes to just wing it – and it shows. But the Broncos won their final game before last week’s bye and this game feels like a low-scoring defensive struggle throughout. The Titans are 5-1 since getting blasted by the Bills in Week 2, but every game has been close. Felger and I are taking the points. In this case, Murray is the idiot. Pick: Denver.

  • Detroit (+2.5) at Chicago

    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 06: Justin Fields #1 of the Chicago Bears scores a touchdown during the second half in the game against the Miami Dolphins at Soldier Field on November 06, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – NOVEMBER 06: Justin Fields #1 of the Chicago Bears scores a touchdown during the second half in the game against the Miami Dolphins at Soldier Field on November 06, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

    Roughly a month ago, Justin Fields looked a like a bust – and a bum. Now, he looks like – and I’ve said this before – a modern version of Steve McNair, with more speed. In the last three weeks, Fields has a 104.7 passer rating while rushing for 320 yards, accounting for nine touchdowns through the air (six) and on the ground (three). Almost overnight, he and the Bears have become extremely competitive and entertaining, holding their own against both the Dolphins and Cowboys. (They also walloped the Patriots.) Felger likes the Bears. Murray likes the Bears. I like the Bears. Bartender, Bears for everyone. Pick: Chicago.

  • Houston (+6.5) at NY Giants

    SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 30: Head coach Brian Daboll of the New York Giants looks on during the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on October 30, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

    SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – OCTOBER 30: Head coach Brian Daboll of the New York Giants looks on during the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on October 30, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

    Seattle coach Pete Carroll is getting some love this week as a coach of the year candidate – boy, we’re mentioning Carroll a lot this week – but let’s not forget about that bucky little beaver, Giants coach Brian Daboll. Like the Vikings, the Giants have basically played nothing but one-score games this year, winning the large majority of them. Logic suggests the Giants will bounce back after last week’s loss to Seattle, but I actually like the Texas with the points in this game. Felger and Murray both like the Giants, which makes me the moron wearing the dunce cap. But I wear it proudly. Pick: New York.

  • New Orleans (-2.5) at Pittsburgh

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 30: Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers walks off the field after a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 30, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – OCTOBER 30: Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers walks off the field after a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 30, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

    Know what occurred to me this week? Early in the year, Mike Tomlin likened the Steelers to the Patriots and called a team in “transition.” So take solace in this: you’re transitioning better than the Steelers and Tomlin, who is almost certain to finish this season with a losing record for the first time in his career. Pittsburgh had a bye last week and is at home on Sunday, which feels like a good spot. The bad news is that the Sainte are coming off a loss and have a good defense while the Steelers offense smells like the Monongahela. Incredibly, Felger and Murray both like Pittsburgh, which suggests to me that Murray shared a bad stash. I’m sticking with New Orleans but I’m obviously overruled. Pick: Pittsburgh.

  • Indianapolis (+6.5) at Las Vegas

    HENDERSON, NEVADA - JULY 24: Wide receiver Davante Adams #17, head coach Josh McDaniels and quarterback Derek Carr #4 of the Las Vegas Raiders talk during training camp at the Las Vegas Raiders Headquarters/Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center on July 24, 2022 in Henderson, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    HENDERSON, NEVADA – JULY 24: Wide receiver Davante Adams #17, head coach Josh McDaniels and quarterback Derek Carr #4 of the Las Vegas Raiders talk during training camp at the Las Vegas Raiders Headquarters/Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center on July 24, 2022 in Henderson, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    OK, so this is a cheap shot, but if were to write a caption for the photo above, it would probably go something like: Raiders coach Josh McDaniels instructs quarterbacks to walk to the far end of the field and exit out the gate behind the far end zone, never to return to Las Vegas. Of course, McDaniels knew exactly what he was getting into when he took the Raiders job in the first place, so let’s not put all the blame in one place. The good news for Las Vegas this week is that the Raiders are playing the clown show known as the Colts, who have Sam Ehlinger at quarterback and Jeff Saturday in his first game as coach. If the Raiders lose this week, McDaniels should watch his back. We’re unanimous: Pick: Las Vegas.

  • Dallas (-5) at Green Bay

    ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 23: Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones interacts with fans during warmups before the Cowboys take on the Detroit Lions at AT&T Stadium on October 23, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

    ARLINGTON, TEXAS – OCTOBER 23: Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones interacts with fans during warmups before the Cowboys take on the Detroit Lions at AT&T Stadium on October 23, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

    In retrospect, what we should have done here is have Murray pick this game via video doing his imitation of Jerry Jones, who is now flapping his gums about bringing Odell Beckham to the Cowboys. Dallas’ only loss in the last seven weeks came at unbeaten Philadelphia with Cooper Rush at quarterback and the Dallas defense has been good all year. The Packers are in an absolute freefall, but I’ll be honest: I smell a rat with this line and I’m leaning Green Bay. Fortunately, Felger and Murray appear to have dipped into Murray’s good stash this time and are going with the Cowboys. I’ve been overruled, potentially saving me from myself. Pick: Dallas.

  • Arizona (+3) at LA Rams

    TAMPA, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 06: Head coach Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams looks on in the fourth quarter of a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on November 06, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

    TAMPA, FLORIDA – NOVEMBER 06: Head coach Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams looks on in the fourth quarter of a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on November 06, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

    Sean McVay promised changes after last week’s loss at Tampa Bay, but here’s the real question: can he change the results? We don’t think so. When you have the kind of offensive line something the Rams have – something both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Patriots know well – it is what it is. So that means we’re picking the Cardinals, right? Wrong. Kyler Murray doesn’t know to win. Neither does Kliff Kingsbury. This feels like two teams headed toward to the bottom of the NFC West, so we’re all picking the home team and sacrificing the three points. When in doubt, go with the coach and the quarterback – and we’re unanimous in agreeing that Los Angeles has the better pair. Pick: Los Angeles.

  • LA Chargers (+7) at San Francisco (Sunday night)

    INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 30: Christian McCaffrey #23 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 30: Christian McCaffrey #23 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    Quick, name the biggest enigma in the NFL. The right answer? Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers. For a guy with eye-popping numbers – a good touchdown-to-interception ration, a good quarterback rating – Herbert is just 20-20 in his career. The Chargers were one of the trendy pre-season picks by many entering 2022, but they’ve disappointed tremendously, especially on defense. That said, let’s not let the offense off the hook, either. Again, quarterbacks – like coaches – are paid to win, and Herbert doesn’t win enough. Felger likes Los Angeles in this game, but Murray and I are willing to give up the seven points to go with the Niners and new Swiss Army tool Christian McCaffrey. Pick: San Francisco.

  • Washington (+11) at Philadelphia (Monday night)

    HOUSTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 03: A.J. Brown #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates a touchdown against the Houston Texans in the third quarter at NRG Stadium on November 03, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

    HOUSTON, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 03: A.J. Brown #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates a touchdown against the Houston Texans in the third quarter at NRG Stadium on November 03, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

    For all of the offseason maneuvering that took place at wide receiver, know what the biggest move may have been? A.J. Brown  from Tennessee to Philadelphia. Talk about impact. Think about how much better the Titans might be if they still had Brown to validate their invisible passing game. And think of how much Brown has helped the Eagles and quarterback Jalen Hurts. Murray somehow likes the Commanders to cover here – ok, it’s a big spread – but this one feels like a bloodbath to me. (Felger agrees.) Philly is unbeaten, coming off a somewhat lackluster performance, at home, on Monday night. The Commanders are due to get blasted. Pick: Philadelphia.