16 February 2024


Our NFL season officially ended with the Kansas City Chiefs crowned for the third time in the last five seasons, beating the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in overtime in Super Bowl LVIII. Patrick Mahomes won MVP and, more importantly, I nailed every single pick but the under, which I missed by half a point. I feel good about it. You are welcome.

Still, let’s talk about some stuff.


Kansas City Chiefs +500

San Francisco 49ers +600

Detroit Lions +700

Baltimore Ravens +1200

Buffalo Bills +1200

Cincinnati Bengals +1400

Green Bay Packers +1600

Dallas Cowboys +1800

Miami Dolphins +2000

Philadelphia Eagles +2000

Los Angeles Chargers +2200

New York Jets +2500

Houston Texans +2800

Atlanta Falcons +3300

Cleveland Browns +3300

Jacksonville Jaguars +3300

Los Angeles Rams +3300

Chicago Bears +4000

Indianapolis Colts +4000

Minnesota Vikings +5000

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +5000

Pittsburgh Steelers +6600

Seattle Seahawks +6600

Arizona Cardinals +7500

Las Vegas Raiders +7500

Denver Broncos +10000

New England Patriots +10000

New Orleans Saints +10000

New York Giants +10000

Tennessee Titans +10000

Washington Commanders _10000

Carolina Panthers +15000

You know who might be worth a real look here for a little bit of cash? The Browns, the Rams and the Vikings.

If Deshaun Watson could re-discover the player he was in 2019-2020 without ending up as the defendant in a court case with a unlicensed massage therapist, Cleveland (+3300) could be a real problem. The Rams (+3300), as we’ll get into later, were probably one traded out touchdown for a field goal against the Detroit Lions from battling Swiftie nation last Sunday with a team filled with rookies. They have a full compliment of draft picks now, extra compensatory picks coming and an empty salary cap. Minnesota (+5000)is a wild card because they might move on from Kirk Cousins and bring in another guy that’s already won a Super Bowl. We’ll talk about that in another article.

Honestly, if I’m picking a game today, I’m probably going rematch between the Chiefs and 49ers with a similar result. Kansas City is still Kansas City and the Niners will once again field the best roster in football until they have to cough up real quarterback money for Brock Purdy.

I do not hate the Bengals (+1400) at all and there’s a good chance the Bills (+1200) and Ravens (+1200) will finally get over the hump, if for no other reason than a three-peat has never happened before in the history of the NFL. If Kansas City doesn’t go again, somebody’s got to.

Who don’t I like out of the top half?

The Lions (+700), Packers (+1600), Cowboys (+1800), Jets (+2500) and Texans (+2800). I have an entire offseason to think about it, but I’m not sure, sitting here in February, that the Lions will even make the playoffs in 2024-25. The Pack will, but they don’t have the team to win it all unless injuries decimate every other contender. The Jets? I’m off that wagon. The Texans are a year or two away and as for the Cowboys? Come on, guys. How many times do we have to do this?


Back in the 2021 offseason, Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay made a plea to team owner Stan Kroenke and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff after running into Matthew Stafford in Cabo, where the then Detroit Lions quarterback was vacationing too with his family. 

Here is how McVay sold the trade that sent Jared Goff and a couple of first round picks to the Lions in exchange for Stafford.

“Here’s the f—ing deal, OK? We can sit here and exist, and be OK winning nine to 11 games, and losing in the f—ing divisional round and feel like, ‘Oh, everything’s OK.’ Or, we could let our motherf—ing nuts hang, and go trade for this f—ing quarterback, and give ourselves a chance to go win a f—ing world championship. You ready to f—ing do this or what?”

The rest is history, literally historic as Stafford led the Rams to a Super Bowl title in his first season with the team.

What McVay saw with Goff matches exactly what I saw with Goff back then and with Brock Purdy now. This is the top out. And as long as there are elite quarterbacks on good teams, those second to third tier guys aren’t hoisting a Vince Lombardi Trophy. And, right now, there are more elite QBs playing at once at any point maybe in the history of the NFL. To win a Super Bowl, you’re going to have to go through Stafford, Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Aaron Rodgers or Joe Burrow and probably more than one of them. Mahomes had one game against a Goff/Purdy and that was their dominating Wild Card victory over the Tua Tagovailoa, who is certainly on that same trajectory. It’s something that Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel is going to have to figure out heading forward.

After Tua, it was Allen and then Jackson, who was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player for the second time. If you toss in Tom Brady, who just retired last offseason, one of those quarterbacks has been in every Super Bowl for the last near decade. The era of a Nick Foles winning a Super Bowl appears to be over, regardless of the team he has around him.

For the 49ers, it’s only getting more difficult. Purdy will need to be paid in the next offseason and they’ll have to cough up $40 million, which means other great players will be tossed off the side of the boat. The window is open now for San Fran, but they don’t have a quarterback that can push them through it. At the same time, Purdy is legitimately good. He’s above average at worst and not bad enough to replace. They’ve gone from Jimmy Garoppolo to Jimmy Garoppolo 2.0. And you can keep all your Drew Brees comparisons, regardless of whatever smoke Steve Spagnuolo wants to blow to emphasize the great job he did calling Kansas City’s defense last Sunday. I have eyes and I do not see that.

So, who are those guys right now? The men that, when your team is down by four with 1:45 to go and no time outs, ball on your own 25, you feel confident can get it in the endzone? Who are the guys you don’t want your team facing, up by four, in that same scenario?

1. Patrick Mahomes

2. Matthew Stafford

3. Lamar Jackson

4. Josh Allen

5. Aaron Rodgers

6. Joe Burrow

And that’s the list. That’s not saying Dak Prescott or Justin Herbert can’t get on it, but it’s obvious who even has the potential. Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson used to be on it, and maybe will be again, but they’re not currently allowed beyond that velvet rope. We’re not talking about Trevor Lawrence in that breath yet and Jalen Hurt certainly hurt his case this season. The Rams probably were one redzone touchdown away from playing in their third Super Bowlin five years too this offseason.

It’s tough out there. The Goffs, the Purdys, the Baker Mayfields, they’re not going to get it done.


No NFL team has ever won three Super Bowls in a row. Nine teams have won it back-to-back. That shows exactly how tough it is and, in spite of the Chiefs being currently atop the 2024-25 Super Bowl Champion odds, it’s probably not the best bet. In winning three Super Bowls in the last five seasons and playing in four, they’ve certainly secured the monicker of “dynasty.” That cannot be in dispute. And as long as Patrick Mahomes is healthy and Andy Reid and Travis Kelce hold off retirement, they’ll remain in the mix regardless of whatever record they take with them into the playoffs.

They’ll be better next season, probably targeting some wide receiver help in the free agency and the draft. For their sake, let’s hope they can figure out how to keep Chris Jones on the defensive line, because that will certainly affect their 2024-25 title defense.


Wednesday the 49ers announced that they were parting ways with defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, a guy that held the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes to 19 total points in 60 minutes of football. The Niners gave up something like 25 points a game in the playoffs and less than 20 per game in the regular season, finishing ranked No. 3 in the NFL.

I don’t think he was the problem, whether Wilks was coaching from the booth or the sideline.

Meanwhile, Shanahan’s team had no clue how the playoff overtime worked. In both Super Bowls against the Chiefs and the NFC Championship loss to the Rams, his team managed just two offensive touchdowns in all those games. He’s the offensive genius. You can strike the NFC Championship in 2022-23 because Brock Purdy got hurt early. The rest? They have to be on him.

There’s comparisons to Andy Reid and how his teams in Philadelphia all came up short and that’s not bad. Reid was saddled with a non-elite QB, Donovan McNabb, a guy literally vomiting on the field due to nerves in his lone Super Bowl.

But Shanahan, in these big games, is most definitely blowing it. He held a double-digit lead in both Super Bowls and in the Rams NFC Championship and went home a loser. He was the offensive coordinator behind the biggest choke job in Super Bowl history, the Atlanta Falcons 28-3 collapse to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.

Did any of us have any doubt that Mahomes was going to put the ball in the endzone on his first possession the second Shanahan elected to kick a field goal in overtime? If you did, hello Swifties. This was your first real NFL season and you have an excuse. The rest of you, don’t be ridiculous.

Shanahan must now wear all those as an albatross. At least for Reid, at any of those moments in Philly, you could easily argue he never had the better team. He was going against the Greatest Show on Turf St. Louis Rams and a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team loaded with first ballot Hall of Fame defensive players. He lost playoff games to Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees in their primes. Oh, and Kurt Warner got him again with the Arizona Cardinals.

Shanahan, with the roster the Niners currently boast, does not have that excuse. He can switch out defensive coordinators all he wants, but maybe it’s the offensive coordinator, in the big games, that’s the ultimate problem.


Well, I hope you all are sitting down because you have just witnessed the finest picks performance from your humble narrator in his entire picking life. How long have I been picking NFL games, you might ask?

Since I was probably 14. I just turned 50.

My final marks?

Straight up: 195-90

Against the spread: 180-105

Picking games is how I got into this business in the first place. Back on the old 1980s/early 1990s version of Inside the NFL, Len Dawson, Nick Buoniconti and the butt slider himself, Cris Collinsworth, save their game picks to the end of the show (which is exactly how to do it) and I was so into that segment I decided to play along. They competed all season and announced a winner at the end of the year. Around the same time, Norm Chad was writing a humorous picks against the spread article for Sports Illustrated and that was it. I was hooked.

There’s a direct line between me picking NFL games with a notepad and laughing at Norm Chad 1m 1989 to today, the best picks season of my life. If you’re a regular or just sometimes reader, I hope I entertained you and made you some cash along the way. It was a lot of fun for me.

Follow Adam Greene on Twitter @TheFirstMan and Threads at @Adam.Greene

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