Saturday, September 12, 2009

2009 NFL Pickery – Week #1

For the fourth straight season, Low Resolution's Joe Reid and I will be picking every NFL game straight-up. You know the introductory Week #1 bit by now: Joe's white, I'm black. He lives in New York, I live in California. I play Jack Handle, a retired cop who shares an apartment with a retired criminal. We're the original Odd Couple!

Also, I've beaten Joe in every year we've done this and he's gracefully accepting said beatings. Last year, m'man Tom Daniels got a little mouthy and tasted the back of my prognosticating hand, as well. For space consideration, you can follow Tom's picks here. It's Week #1, kids. Quoth Southwest Airlines: It's ON. Here now are two quick pics of Joe Reid and Tom Daniels taken from last weekend's football pickin' caucus.

Tennessee at Pittsburgh

Joe: And so begins the Super Bowl defense of the Pittsburgh Steelers! The same team nobody thought had enough offense to even win the AFC last year! Of course, Tennessee is a team with an even sketchier offense (stronger running game, but a disaster in the making for a passing game) and who will have to struggle mightily not to regress from last season's charmed 13-3 campaign. Am I just going to shrug my shoulders, admit I have no idea, then pick the home team? No! I will also classily decline to mention the Ben Roethlisberger rape allegations! Pick: Pittsburgh

Aaron: Well, since Joe stole ALL my week #1 material (trust me, I've seen his picks) I'm forced to resort to my C-level stuff. Anyone else notice that Steelers DB Troy Polamalu is now a spokesperson for Head & Shoulders shampoo? It's a great spot, but I can't lie: Troy Polamalu is no Ironhead. Pick: Pittsburgh

Kansas City at Baltimore

Joe: Oh, hello Baltimore. Once more into the breach where I give you absolutely no respect for an entire season, followed by an ill-advised backing of a Chad Pennington-led Miami team in the wild card round, you say? Oh, not so fast. Pick: Baltimore

Aaron: I was sorry to see KC fire Herm Edwards, but ecstatic to see him immortalized as part of the Coors Light "press conference" campaign. As a Raiders fan, these are the football-related things that excite me these days. Pick: Baltimore

Philadelphia at Carolina

Joe: How exactly did the Eagles become the trendy pick for the Super Bowl team out of the NFC? Tell me this isn't due to the addition of the overrated Jason Peters at tackle. That said, the traditional yo-yo nature of the Panthers -- plus the fact that this is the healthiest you'll see Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook all year -- makes me lean Eagles here. ...Oh, right, also: Vick Vick Vick PETA dogfighting wildcat Vick. Pick: Philadelphia

Aaron: We learned two things from the Michael Vick fallout: (1) Angry white people believe dogs are 90% human ("He thinks he's one of the Models, Inc.!") and (2) most of those people still eat meat, wear leather and use shampoo that's been test-smeared into the eyes of kittens. Pick: Philadelphia

Minnesota at Cleveland

Joe: You have no idea how much I want to pick Favre's Vikings to fall in the first week, on the road in inhospitable Cleveland. So when that happens, remember who was too chicken to call it. Pick: Minnesota

Aaron: Everyone's looked at the schedule and predicted the usual Favre path: decent for a few weeks, peaks around Halloween, precipitous decline and epic December collapse. Sorry, but this year I just can't wait! Pick: Cleveland

Miami at Atlanta

Joe: Looking at the full week, I feel like I'm taking too many predictable teams. Time to do something stupid! Pick: Miami

Aaron: Last year's "innovation" will undoubtedly lead to eight Dolphins home games where the fans impatiently demand the "wildcat" offense. It'll be like fans screaming "Do 'Freebird'!" at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert. Pick: Atlanta

Detroit at New Orleans

Joe: Okay, NOW is time to do something stupid. Detroit gets their first -- and perhaps only -- win of the year, right off the bat. ...Ahhh, I can't do it. Pick: New Orleans

Aaron: Every year Joe and I have done this, I dig myself into an early hole with bad picks galore before Joe's cockiness does him in. That said, the Lions have to win at least ONE game before I pick them to win, uh…well, one game. Pick: New Orleans

Jacksonville at Indianapolis

Joe: Jacksonville, yet another team I consistently give zero respect. Last year, that really paid off for me. Think of how badly Cam beats me if the Jags were halfway decent. Pick: Indianapolis

Aaron: It never fails. Each season I foolishly buy into at least one media-created storyline that ends up biting me in the ass. This year it's "the Colts are on the decline". Sounds reasonable to me. No, no…I'm not interested in your evidence to the contrary. Pick: Jacksonville

Denver at Cincinnati

Joe: The Broncos seem to be a train wreck, while everybody seems to be calling for a Bengals offensive resurgence. Can we at least all agree that Chad Ochocinco is a delight? ...No? what's it gonna take, people? Pick: Cincinnati

Aaron: Can't say I ever remember a team and fanbase turning on a new coach as quickly as the state of Colorado has on Josh McDaniels. Brian Griese is not walking through that door. Rueben Droughns is not walking through that door. Pick: Cincinnati

Dallas at Tampa Bay

Joe: What's with all these teams who seem in such disarray entering Week 1? And shockingly, I'm NOT talking about the Cowboys. I think they're in for a mediocre year, but they can outpace this dismal Bucs offense. Pick: Dallas

Aaron: Kudos to the Bucs for setting up new head coach Raheem Morris for complete failure just so they'll have more time to find the guy they really want at the helm. Ten years after the Packers did the same to Ray Rhodes! And, what do those two guys have in common?! Yup, their first names begin with "R". Pick: Dallas

N.Y. Jets at Houston

Joe: If it wasn't Mark Sanchez's first NFL game, on the road, I'd be in for another slow Texans start. Alas. Pick: Houston

Aaron: Joe is picking the "Houston, We Have a Problem" headlines in Monday's New York tabloids. I'm going with the "Mark Sanchez is Jesus" back page from the always restrained and rational Tri-State fan base. Pick: New York

St. Louis at Seattle

Joe: I'm perhaps looking to this Hasselbeck/Houshmandzedeh pairing more than any other subplot in Week 1. If they click, Seattle immediately becomes contenders. Pick: Seattle

Aaron: You won't find insight like Joe Reid's anywhere else on the internet, dear readers. Pick: Seattle

Washington at N.Y. Giants

Joe: Stupid Jason Campbell, holding me back from picking against a Giants team in flux. Pick: NY Giants

Aaron: Racist. Pick: NY Giants

San Francisco at Arizona

Joe: I'm annoyed that everybody is bandwagoning a Super Bowl swoon for the Cardinals. That being said...this seems like a game they lose Week 1, right? Pick: San Francisco

Aaron: Even if holdout WR Michael Crabtree sits out the entire season, what's the over/under on how many fewer 2009 receptions he'll have than Raiders' WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (picked three places before Crabtree)? 5.5? Too high? Pick: San Francisco

Chicago at Green Bay

Joe: The Bears will be good, bit it'll take a few weeks. The Packers are going to win their division. Pick: Green Bay

Aaron: Cade McNown, Jim Miller, Kordell Stewart, Chad Hutchinson, Rex Grossman, Kyle Orton, Brian Griese… How will Jay Cutler escape those long shadows? Pick: Chicago

Buffalo at New England

Joe: Oh man. Okay. Only three weeks ago, I was optimistic: No-huddle offense; great depth at RB and WR. A healthy linebacking corps for the first time in ever. But the bottom has fallen out in a serious way, highlighted by shitcanning the offensive co-coordinator, RB Dominic Rhodes, and out starting left tackle (!) within five days of each other. Plus the schedule looks positively rapey, starting with the g-d Pats. This is fixing to be the ugliest season I've seen. Pick: New England

Aaron: Uglier than the 2001 Bills team that went 3-13 under the tag team tandem of Alex Van Pelt and Rob Johnson? At least that season led to the number four overall draft pick, which the Bills used to select T Mike Williams. The Sporting News called Williams the fourth biggest draft bust of the past 20 years. Uglier than that, Joe?! Pick: New England

San Diego at Oakland

Joe: In all my pre-grief over the Bills upcoming abomination, I momentarily forgot to pick the Chargers to destroy the Raiders. Oversight addressed! Pick: San Diego

Aaron: As an Oakland sports fan, I signed off on 2009 back in April. See y'all next year. Pick: San Diego


Tom said...

I hope I'm that dapper in 150 years.

Josh said...

For the fourth straight season, you're both bitches for picking NFL games straight up.

That Bootleg Guy said...

In my defense, I offered up a weekly three-game confidence pool agin' the spread to m'man Tom. Just sayin'.

Tom said...

I'm in -- my issue might be my trip to Germany. I'm not sure if the Internet has made it Europe yet. Hulse may have to guest pick for me in Week 3.

That Bootleg Guy said...

Good thing tonight's game is moot as I'd have surely taken the Steelers to cover the 5.5(?) point spread easily.

On the other hand, I couldn't access my fantasy roster in time to swap out Tennessee's defense. I will grudgingly accept their impressive performance.

SHough610 said...

"How exactly did the Eagles become the trendy pick for the Super Bowl team out of the NFC?" Gladly! Jason Peters was part of it, but they also picked up Stacy Andrews and drafted LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin. Their defense, which was pretty good last year, only lost one player (though that was a pretty damn great player and my favorite Eagle of all-time).

The Michael Vick uproar pissed me off. I actually had friends who said they were going to stop rooting for the Eagles because they signed Vick. If I'm going to stop rooting for a team it's going to be for something more egregious than signing a second string quarterback.

Also, and this is only really a subtle difference, Michael Vick didn't personally kill any dogs. The same as a mafia don doesn't deal drugs or pimp hookers he ran the operation.