• Wagers & Lagers 2015 Week 13: You want some cheese with that whine?

    Lions fans can be so petty. Our guys lost. Get over it. They had a 20-0 lead at home and were kicking the packing peanuts out of Green Bay. Then Jim Caldwell remembered he was, well, Jim Freaking Caldwell and started coaching not to lose. No excuses. No bullsnot. And, most of all, none of this:

    The Lions let Aaron Rodgers get within striking distance. Like Icarus - flying too close to the sun - they got burned.

    It was a helluva game, though, and a great way to open up the weekend. On to the picks.

    Texans @ Bills (-3.5)

    PS: Brian Hoyer is having a quietly nice season. It's nothing spectacular (Passer Rating 94.4, 15 TDs, 5 INTs). Oh, and J.J. Watt is playing like a man possessed. Who is the Bills' QB these days? I honestly don't think it much matters. He's probably a dead man walking. PICK: Texans

    RG: I want the Bills to win this game. I am always rooting for the downtrodden teams of the league. I want Buffalo to be in the playoff race and would love for them to actually make it. Unfortunately, Vegas is giving me an extra half point on the road with a hot team who is also fighting for a playoff spot. I fear for Tyrod Taylor's health. PICK: Texans

    MK: So, here's a prophecy for you guys: Bill O'Brien is the new Jeff Fisher. He just needs to grow a mustache, but he's going to be around for like twenty seasons, and he's be somewhere in the 8-8 range in about fifteen of them. Like Rich, I like the Bills. No one from Buffalo I've met has ever seemed crazy about Cleveland, but whatever, that's their problem. The Texans are winners in four of their last five, while the Bills are 2-4-2 in their last half season. Still, Brian Hoyer was a gigantic mess at Buffalo last year. PICK: Bills

    Seahawks @ Vikings (PK, o/u 41.5)

    PS: The Seahawks are good in close road ATS matchups the last three years (8-2-1 since 2013). While Minny's wins have been somewhat unimpressive, the Vikings are the best UNDER team in the league his season. They play really solid defense. Teams do not score much against them. Opponents may move it between the 20s, but scoring against MIN is no picnic. I hate 'em, but I will roll with the Fightin' Zimmers. PICK: Vikings, Under

    RG: Well, if I don't trust any of these teams, I go with the up-and-comer, right? While Thomas Rawls is making the off-season for the team and Marshawn Lynch more interesting, I wonder exactly what happens here. How can I trust the receiving corps for Minnesota? Should I really trust Bridgewater? I just don't think I can. PICK: Seahawks, Over

    MK: I know we're all down on the Seahawks, but somehow they have the fifth-ranked rushing defense and the ninth-ranked passing defense in the league this year. Seattle's season makes more sense if you divide it into three intervals:

    --Two games without Kam Chancellor, in which they went 0-2.
    --Six consecutive one-score games, in which they went 3-3.
    --Two 400+ yard performances on offense, in which they've gone 2-0.

    Oh, they also played the Bears. I'm not sure how that fits. My point is, I'm not sure we've seen the same team every week of this season.

    To Patrick's point, a great equalizer against a good red zone defense is a quarterback who can run. Considering we have the two best rushing offenses in the league, smart money is on the clock moving pretty fast in this game, though. PICK: Seahawks, Under

    Panthers (-7.5) @ Saints

    PS: That hook was put there to scare me. It doesn't. PICK: Panthers

    RG: The Panthers, despite all the talk about how it is all their defense, is still 3rd in the league in scoring. Someone has to be cashing in those drives. This is Cam Newton's chance to pump up his numbers an silence some non-believers during his MVP push. I think he can do it, though that half point is a bit scary in the Superdome. PICK: Panthers

    MK: Once upon a time, we would have just written 'Saints at home' here and called it a day. PICK: Panthers

    Eagles @ Patriots (-9.5)

    PS: I will not bother mincing words, here. I watched the Eagles get absolutely demolished Thanksgiving Day at Ford Field. That team is terrible in all phases right now. They are, however coming off a mini-bye and may be getting back Sam Bradford. Philly's defense, at times, has been pretty solid. Maybe some rest will do them good. The Patriots are quite banged up at the moment and I am not just talking about their ridiculously decimated offense. Jamie Collins (Q, illness) and Dont'a Hightower (D, knee) may not be on the field. I guess the question is this: will the Pats - now that they have dropped one - come with fire & brimstone? Or do they soundly thump Philly with a no frills, methodical, "the game was nowhere near as close at the score" performance on their way to a 23-17 win? There is a first time for everything, fellas. PICK: Eagles

    RG: Truthfully, the Patriots shouldn't be favored by over 7 against any more than a few teams. It just so happens that the Eagles are one of those teams. PICK: Patriots

    MK: How did all the late games become kind of terrible this week? To be fair, it's not like there's an embarrassment of riches in the one o'clock window, either, but Jesus. I think we remember the blowouts, but the Patriots have actually had seven of their eleven games decided by one score this season. The successes and the struggles of any team on the East Coast will always be amplified in the press, so I like this one to look fairly normal. PICK: Eagles

    Colts @ Steelers (-7.5, o/u 48.5)

    PS: With Matt Hasselbebeck still playing "game manager" against a quietly rising Steelers defense, I do not expect the total to get toppled in this game. I do expect the Steelers and Big Ben to dominate. This hook is a tad scary. I'll risk it. PICK: Steelers, Under

    RG: The Steelers should win this game, but I don't see them winning going away without the recently turnover-prone Andrew Luck under center. The extra half point here makes me think this game is the easiest pick on our docket this weekend. PICK: Colts, Under

    MK: You guys are nuts. Both of these defenses are terrible, and the last time Ben Roethlisberger got to face the Colts, Pittsburgh beat this total by themselves. That was last year. Check, please. PICK: Steelers, Over

    Cowboys @ Redskins (-4.5)

    PS: I will almost always unabashedly root for Kirk Cousins. How many NFL teams would trade for him right now? 8? 10? PICK: Redskins

    RG: I can't believe I am doing this, but I think I am saying that the Skins will cement their spot in the playoffs with a win that checks off another division win. Plus, it is another conference, meaning that they probably win any of the conference tie-breakers, too. Holy crap, Kirk Cousins is having a great finish to his contract year. If Snyder ends up paying him $16M a season and he is out of the league by 2018, I'll just laugh. PICK: Redskins

    MK: Are we just throwing out that three turnover game against the Panthers when we talk about Kirk Cousins? Or that he tuned up the New Orleans Saints, which, I mean, who hasn't done that this year? They are 1-6-0 ATS without Tony Romo. They were dogs in all of those games, and their only cover came +4.5 against Seattle. In this feud, I side with Dallas, but the Cowboys are the worst team in the league at forcing turnovers and have only eight takeaways on the season. This is a way for Dallas to beat Cousins, but they can hardly be relied upon to do it. PICK: Redskins

    Beer of the Week

    RG: This is not your typical Christmas Ale that can be overdone with the spices and what not. There is some fruit flavors and ginger in the taste, but the drink finishes as the solid red ale that it is. Coming in at 6.1% alochol and 31 IBU, this is truly a fun winter beer.


    PS: This time of year we all get dialed in on bird & swine. Here is something a bit off that beaten path.

    The Perfect Omelette

    - One nine inch saute pan preheated at medium low (about 3 1/2 on an electric stove)
    - Pan lid or other kitchen widget to cover (plate, cookie sheet, whatever, but you need to cover this for it to work)
    - Whisk
    - Heat resistant rubber spatula
    - Two (yes, two, not three) large eggs at room temperature
    - Butter, salt & pepper
    - Smoked Provolone cheese

    - Crack eggs into a bowl
    - Add 1 TBSP warm water (yes, water, not milk or cream)
    - Whisk very well
    - Put two pinches of salt and one of pepper into your pan
    - Put a generous pat of butter into your pan, roll it around to coat entire cooking surface. Do not let it burn.
    - Once the butter is melted, add the egg & water mix to the pan
    - Using your rubber spatula, coax the eggs about 1/3" up the sides of the pan and into the center
    - Cover for about a minute or two until eggs are about 75% cooked. (the water will help your mix cook quickly without leaving behind the protein solids of dairy products, making your omelette 'foldable' instead of fluffy & stiff)
    - Uncover & lay on two slices provolone
    - Cover again for 30-45 seconds to melt cheese
    - Loosen edges of omelette with spatula and slide and fold onto a plate



    RG: 6-4-0, 48-45-2 overall
    MK: 3-7-0, 44-49-2 overall
    PS: 5-5-0, 42-51-2 overall

    Comments 12 Comments
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      All these good NFC games today and what do I get from my local FOX affiliate?

      The Bengals blowing out the Browns. THIS game should be on CBS (all AFC matchup)

      What is my local CBS affiliate showing?

      Jets @ Giants.

      Yeah. You're right, NFL. We ALL want to see the battle of New Jersey.

      {You know, because they are SOOOOO important}
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      2-1 for me and Matt. Biggie needs a win.

      Bears deserved that for the convervative coaching. Teams have to go for it on fourth and short when team is dominating. The Bears controlled Denver and San Fran, yet lost both. In both, they passed up several 4th and short plays.

      Field goals are never sure in Soldier Field from Thanksgiving on. Players deserved better today.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      So, it's me and my dad in Chicago next week for the first place Skins and seasons over Bears. Technically they are in race, but Seattle still plays Cleveland, soooooo.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      Also, Cutler got suplexed on play that wasn't called. Player gets thrown out and blackballed from league if that is Brees, Rodgers or Brady.
    1. Brian Williams's Avatar
      Bears should have won by a couple of TDs. That was a painfully conservative gameplan. And what's happened to Robbie Gould? He doesn't shank 36 yarders like that.
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Rich Gapinski View Post
      2-1 for me and Matt. Biggie needs a win.

      Bears deserved that for the convervative coaching. Teams have to go for it on fourth and short when team is dominating. The Bears controlled Denver and San Fran, yet lost both. In both, they passed up several 4th and short plays.

      Field goals are never sure in Soldier Field from Thanksgiving on. Players deserved better today.
      Nah. I'm good in my new role as the Mayor of Bad Read City.

      I can't pick'em to save my life this year.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      And... then, I didn't get another one right. I'm so bad this week that I was watching the Steelers decimate the Colts and thought to myself, "Well, I at least picked them." Nope, I didn't. In fact, I called the Colts pick an easy one. Egads.

      MK: 5-2
      RG: 2-5
      PS: 2-5
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      If we just stuck to picking the easy games...
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
    1. Nancy's Avatar
      Speaking of whine, if I were Sean Payton's mama, I'd snatch him baldheaded for his behavior on the sideline yesterday. I've never seen such a display of whining, face-pulling, yelling, kvetching and general asshat-ery. It was constant. About everything.

      Not the Panthers' best performance of the season, but a W is a W. At this point, my concern is not so much that they will lose a game as that they will lose a game and tank the remainder of the season. We don't know how this team will respond to a loss, and during the Rivera Era, they have shown a tendency to be streaky.
    1. Patrick Sullivan's Avatar
      The Browns have taken the mantle from the Lions as the NFL's worst rushing team. Still, in the "stats that blow your mind" category, I'll drop you this little nugget.

      -Joique Bell - 168 yds (2.6 ypc).
      -Matthew Stafford - 134 yds (5.0 ypc)

    1. Amy's Avatar
      Back in week 1, the Steelers had helmet issues in New England, as did the Pats. Even though the NFL controls all of that, for the next week, ESPN hammered the story into the ground, implying that we had done it, and done it deliberately, while barely mentioning not only the NFL control of all that, but the immediate clearing, by the NFL of any wrongdoing by the Pats.

      Last night, on ESPN's own broadcast, the Cowboys had no ability to use the tablets and, in addition, even the printers for photos were offline. For over half the game, Dallas lacked the ability to review photos. This was not one sided. Washington's devices worked, but they were correctly denied access. I want to emphasized that Washington was not, in any way, responsible for this. It was some sort of power issue.

      Yet, today, ESPN.com has totally ignored this. Not mentioning it at all. This was much more severe, happened during a game that they were doing, and it was totally brushed aside.

      Way to be unbiased ESPN.

      To be fair, I want to point out that the MNF team, especially Mike Tirico, did mention it often, and kept the viewers up to date. My criticism is the network, not the MNF crew.