NFL Preview: Week 8
A spooky NFL preview with a tasty twist
Week 5 record: 3-10-1
Overall record: 44-62-2
La Cerradura De El Padre: 5-2
Well, my picks still suck (you get what you pay for), but hey, when I’m sure, I’m pretty good I guess. No more pick commentary until I get a winning week, so let’s skip all of that and go right to our Halloween special. This week, for all of you lucky fans out there, I am going to assign your team a representative Halloween candy to reveal their place in the NFL hierarchy. If you don’t celebrate Halloween for some reason, you can think of it as “late October sugar rush day” and if you don’t eat any candy fuck off.
Thursday night: Packers vs. Cardinals (-6.5)
I picked the Packers, so I guess something is finally going my way, but still.
Green Bay: Cherry Pull and Peel Twizzlers
I love Cherry Pull and Peel Twizzlers (even more than regular Twizzlers) because I have weird mental issues that make me enjoy methodically unraveling things like string cheese. Cherry is also my favorite fake flavor. As for Green Bay, they are pretty good too, but this is really here because Aaron Rodgers got in a twist this offseason about the state of the franchise. So to sum up, Cherry Pull and Peel Twizzlers are a good candy, twist pun, Green Bay Packers.
Arizona Cardinals: Skittles
Skittles are a classic candy, just like the Cardinals, who have a number of quality vets on their team. They are also a ton of fun, very colorful, and scoot around (just kidding, that last one is Kyler Murray). My favorite thing about Skittles was this game I used to play where I would open a bag, and put one on top of another, then press down. The one that broke I ate, the one that stayed whole was my gladiatorial champion. I would see how many rounds the gladiator would win before consumption. Good times.
Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons (-3)
Carolina Panthers: Peppermint Pattie
I actually kind of like Peppermint Patties, but let’s just be fair and honest here. It’s not what you are looking for on Halloween. It’s not what your kids are looking for on Halloween, and Sam Darnold is not what Panthers fans are looking for on Halloween (or any other day). I like mint, but when I go for handful of candy, I don’t need something that will freshen my breath.
Atlanta Falcons: Blow Pop
Just going to be straight with you, I googled the candy kids choke on the most, but experts are divided on whether it is hard candy or gum, so here is some gum coated in hard candy because the Falcons choke a lot. Also, they blow. Good news is, they seem to be improving, at least on offense. Unfortunately, your best defense against choking is just that, defense.
Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills -14
Miami Dolphins: Black Licorice
The Dolphins suck. Their management sucks. Their decision to string Tua Tagovailoa along like a lame duck while they get their ducks in a row to go after a sexual deviant and criminal to become the new face of their franchise sucks. This is basically how most people feel about black licorice. Black Licorice is the Deshaun Watson/Miami Dolphins of candy. The worst part of all of this? I actually like black licorice and the Dolphins. God dammit.
Buffalo Bills: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
The Bills are just good old fashioned delicious candy. The staple of the Halloween bag is the staple of the NFL. The Bills have that good old fashioned blue collar vibe. No huge stars, just hard work and winning. Sure Reese’s has some fun offshoots (my favorite is the one that has Reese’s Pieces in the cup) but the classic is always a safe bet to bring joy, kind of like this year’s Bills squad.
Bills -100 La cerradura de el padre
San Francisco 49ers vs. Chicago Bears +4
San Francisco 49ers: Just like the jolly ranchers that went west in 1849 and found gold, the San Francisco 49ers thought they had it made when they put together their team together around Jimmy Garoppolo and went to the Super Bowl. Since then, however, the gold dried up, people got sick and died (well, it’s more of the metaphorical death of Kyle Shanahan’s dreams). Now their talented coach is on the hot seat, and the future looks like California’s state debt.
Chicago Bears: Airheads
In honor of the Chicago Bears brain trust of Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace (4x4x4x4), I have given this team Airheads. However, I am more interested to discuss how I used to eat Airheads. I would try to flatten them out, and see how many times I could fold them before they went in my mouth. Like trying to fold a piece of paper in half more than 7 times (you cant).
Chicago Bears +4
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns -3.5
Pittsburgh Steelers: Candy Corn
One of the institutions of Halloween, Candy Corn has been around forever. For a long time it was viewed as a very important candy. It has it’s enthusiasts still. But if you can sit there right now and tell me it doesn’t suck compared to today’s candies, you are a liar. The thing that bothered me the absolute most, was if you start with white and bit off one color, it wasn’t a smooth line, you would still have some of the color left in the middle. It isn’t right. It should be straight across. On the plus side, I find the weird offshoot pumpkins more tolerable, so we will say their defense is those pumpkins.
Cleveland Browns: Snickers
As they say in their adds, Snickers satisfies your hunger. The Browns are sort of a meat and potatoes team that satisfies your need for winning without being too flashy. Some injuries have slowed them of late, but they are still pretty solid. Are there more flashy options out there? Yes. But Snickers is still good, and still satisfying. It’s not staying in the candy bucket beyond the first week.
Cleveland Browns -3.5
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Detroit Lions +3.5
Philadelphia Eagles: Fun Dip
The Eagles seem like they should be a lot of fun. They have a flashy mobile QB. I talkative, meat-head coach. Their defense still has some big names from that time they won the Super Bowl. They are 100 percent not fun. There is nothing enjoyable about watching them play. The play the most basic defense possible and never create big plays. That QB can’t throw, which limits their options. They don’t use their running backs. Meanwhile, even though fun dip says fun right on it, it is really just a VERY inefficient way to consume a pixy stix sugar. And why does the stick taste like talc powder? Why can’t that be flavored too? Are they worried it might be too much for the sensitive palate of my 5 year old that used to eat dirt?
Detroit Lions: Lemon heads
Probably the least fun way to experience sour candy, the Lions are a decidedly un-fun way to experience football. I’ll say this much for them. They are trying really damn hard. That’s really all I can say that’s a positive. Lemon heads are candy. And they are sour. And that’s pretty much all I can say for them too. My favorite thing about them is that someone thought the phrase “made with real lemon juice” should be a selling point for candy.
Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts -3
Tennessee Titans: Hershey’s Cookies and Creme
Cookies and Creme is my absolute favorite candy bar. First of all, there is the wrapper. The HCC wrapper is an elite wrapper that makes you feel like you won a prize, not just a candy bar. Second of all, the texture of HCC is also elite. The cookie pieces you consume as the chocolate melts away is delightful. It’s the third part that is problematic for some people. You either like white chocolate or you don’t. I love it. The Titans defense is that chocolate. It’s either the defense that almost gave up 30 to the Jets or held Patrick Mahomes to 3. It can’t be both… or is it? Derrick Henry is the wrapper, the texture, the cookies pieces, and the best part of everything he does.
Indianapolis Colts: Whoppers
Whoppers (or as my oldest son calls them “Whoopers”) are fine. They are indeed a candy you can consume following halloween. But I can tell you they will be there after a week has passed, before you give up and eat them. They just aren’t that great. But they aren’t terrible either. Sometimes you get a bad one that is awful, but most of them are normal. So are the Colts.
Cincinatti Bengals vs. New York Jets +11
Cincinatti Bengals: Heath Bar
I know what you are thinking. Heath Bar? But I thought the Bengals were good. So good they were in first place. Well guess what. Heath Bars are really fucking good. Did you know that? They are peanut brittle covered in chocolate. I think the fact that the bar says Heath, which is one letter away from Health, has been scaring people away. Try one. Just like the Bengals, the name says it sucks, but it actually doesn’t. It’s delightful.
New York Jets: Necco Wafers
How the hell is this classified as a candy? It is literally just sawdust, mealworm grindings, and a sprinkle of ground up smarties (no huge prize themselves) on top. It’s almost as bad as the Jets are at football. If you have someone in the neighborhood handing these out, it’s an actual reason to start an HOA, unlike all the stupid reasons people usually make one for (P.S. if you are an HOA president, I can already assume I don’t like you). I love how Necco announces it’s the original candy wafer, which is like saying Donald Trump is the original president to get impeached twice. Congrats on your achievement.
Los Angeles Rams vs. Houston Texans +14
Los Angles Rams: Twix
They just good. The Rams and Twix are just good. I am never disappointed when either show up. I find Matthew Stafford charming, and since he had to endure all those horrible years with the Lions, I really want him to do well. Twix is an all-timer for Halloween. Perfectly suited for miniaturization, it’s bite size qualities make it an ideal treat bag stuffer. I have nothing bad to say about either.
Houston Texans: Good and Plenty
As the team currently employing Deshaun Watson, we can safely give the Texans a black licorice candy, although there is the sheen of a candy coat shell, kind of like the religiosity the Texans president Jack Easterby coats the team in to distract from the owner’s racism. MMMM, delicious.
New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Chargers -4
New England Patriots: 3 Musketeers
It says a lot that the primary selling point of 3 Musketeers is that it is “healthy”. 3 Musketeers is a weird an confusing product. It is clearly made of two things (nougat and chocolate), it’s selling point is not having caramel (like Milky Way) or peanuts and caramel (like Snickers) and it keeps forgetting, we like peanuts and we DEFINITELY like caramel. I’m not saying it’s bad. It isn’t. The Patriots are ok. But it’s not worth trying to get one.
Los Angeles Chargers: Hershey’s Miniatures
The Chargers are a good football team, but you never quite know what you are going to get from them. In the same way, if you pull a bar from the Hershey’s miniature bag, you have about a 50 percent chance of being happy with it. I never get fired up to pull a “dark” or a “plain”. But if I get a Goodbar I’m happy, and if I get a Krackel, I’m stoked. If you know what Chargers team we are getting this weekend, I would love to know.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Seattle Seahawks -3.5
Jacksonville Jaguars: Pixy Stix
Pixy Stix are just straight sugar, a la Fun Dip, but at least it is less annoying. You just rip it open and down it. The most annoying part of pixy stix is if you don’t consume the entire thing upon opening it, the end gets wet, the sugar stix and you have a rapidly compounding blockage that looks like my arteries after a trip to Pizza Hut. It’s just not a good candy, and the Jaguars aren’t good either, but this is really here so I can formulate a joke about Urban Mayer trying to get a pixy to give some sugar to his stick. I will think of one and add it here later.
Seattle Seahawks: Starburst
Starburst are a funny candy, where everyone has one favorite flavor, but pretty much can’t stand the rest. I like cherry, and the rest can take off. I have met many pink lovers too, through the years, and even the occasional lemon lover or orange lover. But it’s usually one. The Seahawks have Russell Wilson, and not much else. If they lose at home this weekend to the Jags, they might as well pack Russ’s bags and take him to the airport because he is outta there this offseason. Why would he stick around with a group that can’t beat the Jags at home without him. He’s over thirty. He doesn’t want to wait five seasons for them to fix this roster. There are good teams out there with just good players, like those “only red” Starburst packages.
Washington Football Team vs. Denver Broncos -3.5
WTF: Dental floss/pretzels/coupons and anything else that isn’t candy
This is a team that just doesn’t get it. They keep smoothly sailing from one racist/misogynist issue to another, occasionally trying to cover that up with a jersey retirement or naming a deck. This team has been coasting on it’s “Heritage” for decades. Nobody cares though. You are missing the point. The point is to not be terrible human beings. As for people that aren’t giving out candy, c’mon man. Read the room.
Denver Broncos: Milk Duds
I always think Milk Duds will be good when I see them. It’s a little package of small things, which I like. It’s chocolate and caramel, which I like. But it is never as good as I think it will be. The chocolate isn’t that good. The caramel is a weird consistency and flavor. They always seem a little stale. They kind of look like deer scat. It tries to warn you with the word “dud”. The Broncos are Duds.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints +4.5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Butterfinger
Butterfinger is one of the most polarizing candies. Popular on the list of best and worst candies, Butterfinger enjoys a ribald reputation. Just like the Simpsons, who famously feted the bar before later insulting it after the sponsorship ended, many people have a complicated relationship with it. The Bucs were perennial losers before acquiring Tom Brady. This changed them from lovable loser to despised winners. Personally, I love a Butterfinger, and I am fine with the Bucs, although hearing every announcer gush over Tom Brady like he is their girlfriend (god help me if I am ever trapped in the same room with just him and Troy Aikman) is sort of like the football equivalent of getting that Butterfinger toffee in your teeth.
New Orleans Saints: Nestle Crunch
A staple of the candy industry for what feels like forever, Nestle Crunch (and my favorite movie candy, Buncha Crunch) is reliably good and has been good for a long time. But it just sort of feels like they were passed by other candies. It’s not a top tier candy, like back when Drew Brees was in his prime and Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister. The Jameis Winston era feels like 100 years later.
Tampa Bay -4.5
Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings -2.5
Dallas Cowboys: M and M’s
An American icon, M and M’s and the Cowboys have both long been at the top of shopping lists for the consumer and the fair-weather fan. However, M and M’s and the Cowboys have something else in common. They are both pretty good. The Cowboys have fixed some of their defensive woes, and M and M’s are pretty good, especially some of the newer options like Peanut Butter M and M’s. They took a good thing (the Cowboys offense and M and M’s) and made it a true winner.
Minnesota Vikings: Tootsie Roll Pop
Nearly as dangerous as a blow pop, the Minnesota Vikings are also a major threat to choke. Tootsie Roll Pops are better than blow pops because you don’t have to waste extra time throwing away the terrible gum or pulling it out of your child’s hair. You just get a perfectly normal hunk of Tootsie for your trouble. So the Vikings are ok, but you probably shouldn’t trust them near your kids.
New York Giants vs. Kansas City Chiefs -9.5
New York Giants: Smarties
Nobody thinks they are smarter than the Giants “brain” trust of Dave Gettleman and Joe Judge, and yet few teams are consistently dumber. From bad draft picks, to wasted free agency dollars, to big talk and little wins, the Giants are terrible and yet… they somehow aren’t the worst team in their own city which has somehow helped them stay employed. Basically, Smarties are just the best part of necco wafers (the worst candy in the world), the hint of flavor, with 30 percent less mealworm and sawdust. And so, the Giants are just the slightly less awful Jets.
Kansas City Chiefs: Kit Kat
Look, I know they have come on some rough times the last few weeks, but the Chiefs are still pretty good and a lot of fun to watch. Kit Kat is never my first choice, but it is a safe top 10 and a reliable candy you want to eat. I don’t know anyone that has ever said, “I hate Kit Kat” and I don’t know anyone who gets upset when the Chiefs come on their TV (unless their team is playing them).
Kansas City Chiefs -9.5
NFL Bye Week: I won’t forget these special teams
Baltimore Ravens: Sour Patch Kids
The Ravens are super fun, and you never have any idea whether you will leave the experience with a sour taste, a sweet taste or both. And that goes for their fans and their opponents’ fans. I just know I want them. There were few things more cherished as a kid than SPK, and my kids serve as proof it’s still true. There are few teams more fun to enjoy than the Ravens.
Las Vegas Raiders: Fireballs
When I was a kid, I always wanted fireballs, not because they were delicious, but because I cherished the opportunity to prove how tough I was by leaving it in my mouth the whole time. The thing with candy, though, is that you aren’t supposed to suffer through the experience. You are supposed to enjoy it. I feel like being a fan of the Raiders (whether in LA, Oakland, or Las Vegas) you are mostly just experiencing suffering without any flavor to show how tough you are. You don’t have to do that.