Felger & Mazz

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EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - OCTOBER 30: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots makes an adjustment at the line of scrimmage during the second half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on October 30, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Take a good look at this week’s slate of games and you’ll notice a few things. Some big spreads. Some tough selections. And so, unsurprisingly, we here at Pick It and Stick It have the equivalent of a hung jury, which is to say we are more divided on this week’s selections than we have been on perhaps any other this year.

That just can’t be good.

Also, in the interest of full disclosure, we’ve been a little inconsistent of late, though we rallied in Week 8 to salvage a 7-8 performance that kept us a comfortable margin over .500 for the season. In theory, things should be getting easier as we get deeper into the schedule and have a better read on the strengths and weaknesses of every team, but the shuffling of bodies at the trading deadline coupled with some whopper point spreads make this a challenging week.

Also, just so everyone understands how we operate, let me make this clear. I email the games and lines to Felger and Murray each week. They then return their selections separately (and privately) via email. I make mine before I look at theirs and we go from there. No politicking allowed.

So how do I feel about this week’s picks?

Not great.

Just being honest.

Last week : 7-8.

Season to date: 64-56-3.

(Point spreads courtesy of DraftKings.)

  • Philadelphia (-14) at Houston (Thursday night)

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 30: Philadelphia Eagles fans hold up a sign during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field on October 30, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – OCTOBER 30: Philadelphia Eagles fans hold up a sign during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field on October 30, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

    Thursday night. Home dog. Massive spread. Now that is enticing. Felger is going with the Texans here and Murray is going with the Eagles, and I admit that I find the points to be … er … alluring. The problem is that the Philadelphia defense is very good and the Texas offense is not, and there’s such a major Philly vibe going on at the moment that it’s hard to pick against the Eagles. As such, I’m breaking the tie here and going with Philly, largely because I think the Texans are going to have trouble scoring. So I’m guessing the final is like 27-10 or 30-14. Let me also warn you that, for whatever reason, I’m decidedly undecided this week about a lot of things. Pick: Philadelphia.

  • Indianapolis (+5.5) at New England

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - OCTOBER 30: Rhamondre Stevenson #38 of the New England Patriots runs with the ball as Sauce Gardner #1 of the New York Jets defends during the first half at MetLife Stadium on October 30, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – OCTOBER 30: Rhamondre Stevenson #38 of the New England Patriots runs with the ball as Sauce Gardner #1 of the New York Jets defends during the first half at MetLife Stadium on October 30, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

    Believe it or not, the Colts aren’t out of it yet. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for an organization that has botched the quarterback position more than any team in the league recent years – including the Patriots – Indy is your club. There was a time when I thought Frank Reich was the proverbial power behind the throne in Philadelphia’s Super Bowl over the Patriots a few years back, but now I wonder. Murray likes the Pats here. Felger likes the Colts with the points. I have serious concerns about how the Colts are going to score in this game and my fear is that Indy has already gone into tanking mode. As such, I’m (foolishly?) joining Murray and taking the Patriots. But as I’ve learned from Super Tuesday, I never feel good following Murray anywhere. Pick: New England.

  • Buffalo (-12) at NY Jets

    ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 30: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills and Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers talk after their game at Highmark Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images)

    ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 30: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills and Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers talk after their game at Highmark Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images)

    The deeper we get into Week 9, something is becoming abundantly clear: this would be a good week to still be alive in your elimination pool. I mean, we all like the Bills here just like we all like the Eagles. But that spread gives pause. And truth be told, the Jets can’t be as bad as they looked last week, at least on offense … right? We are clearly developing a pattern here as Felger likes the points (again) and Murray likes the favorite (shocker). Me? I’m conflicted. But I’m starting to feel like I’m siding too much with Murray so, in the interest of balance, I’m changing my pick and going with the Jets here. If that makes me inconsistent, so be it. It’s hardly the first time. Pick: New York.

  • Miami (-5) at Chicago

    DETROIT, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 30: Tua Tagovailoa #1 of the Miami Dolphins runs against the Detroit Lions during the second half at Ford Field on October 30, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

    DETROIT, MICHIGAN – OCTOBER 30: Tua Tagovailoa #1 of the Miami Dolphins runs against the Detroit Lions during the second half at Ford Field on October 30, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

    Ladies and gentlemen, we have a unanimous decision. In case you haven’t noticed, the Bears have suddenly begun scoring, thanks largely to a rushing attack has put up big numbers – and we mean big – against the Patriots and the Cowboys over the last two weeks. Meanwhile, the Dolphins are now 5-1 with Tua Tagovailoa as their starter and have further pushed their chips into the middle of the table with the acquisition of pass rusher Bradley Chubb from the Denver Broncos. We all like the Bears here, though, as always, there should be some trepidation. Chicago traded away Roquan Smith and gave up nearly 50 points to the Cowboys last week. Pick: Chicago.

  • Minnesota (-3.5) at Washington

    MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - OCTOBER 30: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates a touchdown during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

    MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – OCTOBER 30: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates a touchdown during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

    Quick question: name the biggest fraud team in the NFL. The right answer: the Minnesota Vikings. I mean … seriously. The Vikes have played a garbage schedule and scored seven points against Philadelphia in their only loss. And while the Vikings beat Miami on the road, they did so as Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa sat out in the wake of his frightening concussion. So now the Vikes travel to face a Commanders team that is 2-0 since Taylor Heinicke took over at quarterback – and we’ve spent ample time in this space pointing out how much of a loser Kirk Cousins has been on the road during his career. Murray and Felger are split on this and I’ve sided with Felger again, though this time by chance. Pick: Washington.

  • Green Bay (-3.5) at Detroit

    ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 30: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is seen on the field during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images)

    ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 30: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is seen on the field during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images)

    Know what struck me about the above photo? The loneliness of being Aaron Rodgers. Poor fella. Rodgers seems to spend a great deal of time making sure that he is different, and he’s now getting precisely what he wanted. The overall ineptitude of the Packers has left the Green Bay quarterback on a seeming island, able to commiserate with decidedly few. (Tom Brady does come to mind.) That said, the Packers actually looked like they started to turn a corner last week with a relatively solid showing against a superior Buffalo team and it’s not too late for Green Bay to turn it around. Incredibly, we could be looking at a postseason with neither Rodgers nor Brady. That doesn’t feel right. We’re unanimous on this one. Pick: Green Bay.

  • Carolina (+7.5) at Cincinnati

    ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 30: DJ Moore #2 of the Carolina Panthers catches a touchdown pass against Dean Marlowe #21 of the Atlanta Falcons and Rashaan Evans #54 of the Atlanta Falcons during the fourth quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

    ATLANTA, GEORGIA – OCTOBER 30: DJ Moore #2 of the Carolina Panthers catches a touchdown pass against Dean Marlowe #21 of the Atlanta Falcons and Rashaan Evans #54 of the Atlanta Falcons during the fourth quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

    Was there a more memorable play from last weekend than the one pictured above? After hauling in this touchdown pass, of course, Carolina wide receiver DJ Moore removed his helmet and drew a 15-yard penalty, which resulted in his team missing the extra point. The Panthers then lost in overtime. Carolina has actually played fairly well the last two weeks since PJ Walker took over at quarterback and the Bengals are without wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, who obviously changed their offense a year ago. So, what are the Bengals without Chase? Good question. Logic suggests that Cincinnati should bounce back at home this week after a stinker at Cleveland. Murray likes the Panthers here. Felger and I go Bengals. Pick: Cincinnati.

     

  • LA Chargers (-3.5) at Atlanta

    INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 23: Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers signals a play during a 37-23 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at SoFi Stadium on October 23, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 23: Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers signals a play during a 37-23 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at SoFi Stadium on October 23, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    Upset of the week here: Murray is actually picking against Atlanta. In fact, we all are. That said, can we all come to an agreement here and admit that the Chargers are one of the more overrated teams in football? More specifically, can we stop placing Justin Herbert is some sort of elite class as a quarterback? Herbert’s numbers always look good – he has 81 touchdowns, 29 interceptions and a 96.7 rating for his career – and yet the only stat that matters leaves something to be desired. Herbert is a medicore 19-20 in his career as a starter and has still yet to win as many as 10 games in a season. Are the Chargers talented? You bet. But for whatever reason, they still don’t win as much as they should. Maybe it’s the coach. Maybe it’s the quarterback. Yes, we’re picking them this week, but this team feels hollow. Pick: Los Angeles.

  • LA Raiders (-1.5) at Jacksonville

    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - OCTOBER 30: Head coach Josh McDaniels of the Las Vegas Raiders looks on before a game against the New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome on October 30, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – OCTOBER 30: Head coach Josh McDaniels of the Las Vegas Raiders looks on before a game against the New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome on October 30, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

    Speaking of loser quarterbacks, we give you Derek Dallas Carr, who posted a quarterback rating of 50.3 last week in a shutout loss at New Orleans. That’s right, the Raiders got shut out. Josh McDaniels must have learned by now that Carr is not the man to lead his offense, though it’s fair to also wonder at this point whether McDaniels is the man to lead the Raiders. For his career, Carr is now 59-75 and has had just two winning seasons during his nine years in the NFL. McDaniels, meanwhile, is now just 13-22 in his head coaching career, including 7-22 in his last 29 games. Felger likes the Raiders this week. Murray and I like the Jaguars. By the way, Vegas is winless on the road. Pick: Jacksonville.

  • Seattle (+2) at Arizona

    SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 30: Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks and head coach Brian Daboll of the New York Giants shake hands after a game at Lumen Field on October 30, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

    SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – OCTOBER 30: Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks and head coach Brian Daboll of the New York Giants shake hands after a game at Lumen Field on October 30, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

    Anyone else detect a pattern here? We’re now onto loser quarterback No. 3, otherwise known as Kyler Murray. Know what his career record is? 25-28-1. Can he run? Sure. Is he dynamic? Kinda. But if you’ve watched Murray play – and that’s Kyler, not Jim – you know that he lacks something in the winning quotient, which is to say that he prematurely slides before the first down marker and mismanages the clock … or that he completely panics and makes a mess in his pants during the postseason. Is it too early to judge him? Perhaps. But I know this: if I’m the Arizona Cardinals, I’d feel very uneasy about that massive contract I just granted him. We’re all in agreement here: Pick: Seattle.

  • LA Rams (+2.5) at Tampa Bay

    TAMPA, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 27: Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on during pregame warm-ups prior to a game against the Baltimore Ravens at Raymond James Stadium on October 27, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

    TAMPA, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 27: Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on during pregame warm-ups prior to a game against the Baltimore Ravens at Raymond James Stadium on October 27, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

    So here we go, a rematch of last year’s divisional playoff in which the Rams defeated the Bucs before going on to win the Super Bowl. Less than a year later, quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Tom Brady are now running for their lives, both possessing losing records as the teams meet for another pivotal affair. And why is this game pivotal? Because one of these teams is going to be in deep dung come Monday, though it’s quite possible both are already standing in a pile of … um … stuff. It’s hard to feel good about either of these teams this season, so we’re split. Murray likes the Rams. Felger likes the Bucs. I’m inclined to go with even a somber Tom Brady (above) at home than Matt Stafford on the road. Pick: Tampa Bay. 

  • Tennessee (+12.5) at Kansas City (Sunday night)

    SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 23: Patrick Mahomes #15 and head coach Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs runs out of the tunnel prior to the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on October 23, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

    SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 23: Patrick Mahomes #15 and head coach Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs runs out of the tunnel prior to the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on October 23, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

    With all this talk lately of Don Shula, Bill Belichick and George Halas, we thought it important to mention that Andy Reid currently ranks fifth all-time on the NFL list of coaching victories, behind only Shula, Belichick, Halas and Tom Landry. This week, Kansas City returns from a bye to host the Titans, who are getting a whopping 12.5 points on the road. Felger likes the points again – a pattern here? – but the difference this time is that the Titans are both on the road and a shell of the team has gone into Kansas City and won in the past. I’m actually inclined to go with Murray on this one – I am nothing if not impartial – because I just don’t think the Titans are really any good. They have a negative point differential and play in a crap division. Pick: Kansas City.

  • Baltimore (-2.5) at New Orleans (Monday night)

    FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 24: Roquan Smith #58 of the Chicago Bears celebrates after sacking Bailey Zappe #4 of the New England Patriots during the third quarter at Gillette Stadium on October 24, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 24: Roquan Smith #58 of the Chicago Bears celebrates after sacking Bailey Zappe #4 of the New England Patriots during the third quarter at Gillette Stadium on October 24, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    OK, just my two cents here, but I think the acquisition of Roquan Smith could put the Ravens over the top. Seriously, is there a better linebacker in the game right now than this guy? Baltimore’s defense has been suspect and Smith is a perfect fit for the space once patrolled by Ray Lewis, the anchor to a pair of Baltimore championships. New Orleans is coming off a shutout win over the Raiders, but let’s not delude ourselves. The Ravens are the better team with the better quarterback and now, perhaps, the better defense. Felger likes the Saints here and Murray likes the Ravens. Me? I love Roquan Smith and I wonder why the Patriots are averse to trading for and paying a player like that. Pick: Baltimore.