Sunday, January 3, 2010

2009 NFL Pickery - Week #17

Last Week:

Aaron: 11-5
Joe: 10-6
Tom: 8-8

Season to Date:
Joe: 158-82
Tom: 157-83
Aaron: 154-86

Chicago at Detroit

Joe: Chicago really put a happy face on a sad, sad season by knocking the Vikings off of their already teetering perch among the top NFC teams. Thanks for that, Bears, seriously. Don't expect a parade for beating the Lions, though. Pick: Chicago

Aaron: Bears' coach Lovie Smith may end up being the fall guy, but HE didn't (1) trade for Jay Cutler; (2) knock Brian Urlacher out for the season; (3) instill Matt Forte's irrational fear of the end zone; (4) Jay Cutler and (5) Jay Cutler. Pick: Chicago

New England at Houston

Joe: Oh, great. This is the week I have to look up which teams are sitting which players and blah blah blah. New England is a strong "maybe" for benchification, but when was the last time Houston actually made good on an opportunity. Pick: New England

Aaron: A win would give the Texans a season-ending four game winning streak, their first season above .500 and a preseason top three ranking in the "too-obvious 2010 sleeper" polls. Pick: Houston

Jacksonville at Cleveland

Joe: Oh, Jacksonville. Rot in an impossible-to-predict hell. Pick: Cleveland

Aaron: I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that Mike Holmgren's $50 million deal to become Cleveland's team president includes a proviso that allows him to fire coach Eric Mangini - Vince McMahon style - right at midfield, immediately after the game ends. Pick: Jacksonville

Atlanta at Tampa Bay

Joe: Tampa got their big win last week. Now it's time to tank for position in this incredibly weak draft! Pick: Atlanta

Aaron: Shhh...they say Tim Tebow is omnipotent. Pick: Atlanta

Pittsburgh at Miami

Joe: Pittsburgh's late-season effort is probably going to be too late. Guess a third Super Bowl title off a nondescript regular season ain't happening. Pick: Pittsburgh

Aaron: This is classic two-part karma, Steelers fans. First for those cree-e-e-py Troy Polamalu shampoo commercials, then for the FOX drama "House" using the Mike Tomlin/Omar Epps thing as a punchline (and being praised for it) despite the fact that the comparison was done to death two years ago. Pick: Miami

San Francisco at St. Louis

Joe: You think if we combined these two teams they'd do better than 6-10? Because I don't. Pick: San Francisco

Aaron: Pretty sure that depends on how many games your "San Louis RamaNiners" play within the NFC West. Pick: San Francisco

Indianapolis at Buffalo

Joe: Okay, the hysteria over the Colts putting in their scrubs and losing the undefeated season is more than a little insane. It is a meaningless distinction! Let Mercury Morris have his fun. Pick: Indianapolis

Aaron: Damn it, Joe, the taxpayers in Indiana PAID for that stadium! The Colts OWE them! It's not like this team hasn't done the exact same thing just before the playoffs EVERY year! (Wait, one more.) They should've gone all out like the Pats, since 16-0 GUARANTEES a Super Bowl win! Pick: Buffalo

New Orleans at Carolina

Joe: The Saints have struggled to take it out of cruise control, and they're rapidly running out of road. Pick: Carolina

Aaron: Joe lives in New York City - the borough of Brooklyn, I believe. As such, I doubt he knows what any of the words in his own analogy means. Pick: Carolina

N.Y. Giants at Minnesota

Joe: The Giants sure are in a pickle. You want to send your season out on a high note, and pounding on St. Brett and company would sure do that. But a win means giving hated rivals the Eagles or the Cowboys a first-round bye. Oh, decisions. Pick: NY Giants

Aaron: Is it possible for an exciting, back and forth overtime game like last week's Vikings/Bears tilt to be nearly ruined by the broadcasters and their overt worship of Brett Favre? They had me rooting for Jay F****g Cutler! Pick: Minnesota

Philadelphia at Dallas

Joe: Didn't these two teams have one of these winner-take-all games last year? This time, the loser still makes the playoffs. But with a potential first-round bye on the line, I'm picking this to go how it usually does. Pick: Philadelphia

Aaron: A quick look at their schedule shows that the Eagles are woefully deficient on "inexplicable bed wettings against obviously inferior opponents" this season. It's not too late, Andy & Donovan. Pick: Dallas

Green Bay at Arizona

Joe: Lots of strategy to consider here. By the time they kick off (or shortly thereafter), both teams' could already be locked into a Wild Card rematch next week. So who's gonna be the first to open up the playbook in a largely meaningless game? Pick: Arizona

Aaron: Good point. And, when both teams' best players are pulled prior to halftime, which one has the farther talent gap between starters and back-ups? That's right, Cardinals, it's you. Pick: Green Bay

Kansas City at Denver

Joe: Despite the fact that I picked Denver last week, I was still semi-rooting for them to lose just so Bill Simmons's prediction of a 10-6 Broncos' season wouldn't come true. What happened to all that gloating?? P.S. While we're discussing him, Bill has twice now made the assertion that his beleaguered producer, Joe Mead, is "the world's only die-hard Bills and Notre Dame fan" (en route to chortling over the Bills possibly hiring Charlie Weis). It's almost hilarious how ignorant and wrong that statement is. Does he KNOW how many Catholics are in Buffalo? How many IRISH Catholics? I didn't know anybody else who DIDN'T love Notre Dame growing up. It was hard being a Florida St. reactionary. Pick: Denver

Aaron: "It's in Revelations, people!" Pick: Denver

Tennessee at Seattle

Joe: One of the most underreported stories of the second half of the season was Seattle's transformation into the worst team in the league. The last time things got this bad, they drafted Rick Mirer. Pick: Tennessee

Aaron: Mirer was drafted by Seattle in 1993. He was universally deemed a bust in 1996, released in 1997, didn't play a single down in a regular season game from 2000-2002...and, then he started eight games for my Raiders in 2003. Things could be worse in Seattle, Joe. Pick: Tennessee

Washington at San Diego

Joe: The Chargers have nothing to play for, but the Redskins may not even take the field in the second half. Pick: San Diego

Aaron: This Chargers team has me worried. Very, very worried. Pick: San Diego

Baltimore at Oakland

Joe: It's almost more fun to watch the Raiders win games, look awful, and ruin their draft position. Pick: Baltimore

Aaron: As you can see, I'm going opposite of Joe on a lot of games this week in hopes of catching him in the overall picks standings. I gave serious thought to picking Oakland here. They've had moments against good teams this year...hell, even beaten a few. But, if it came down to ONE game and I had to essentially bet the season on the first pro team I ever loved, I'd pull back my chips and walk away from the table. Hmmm...that sounded a LOT more poignant in my head. Pick: Baltimore

Cincinnati at N.Y. Jets

Joe: Wait, wait, wait. The Jets control their own destiny for a playoff spot? That is HILARIOUS. I think this is another game that could get replayed next week, so don't expect the Bengals to tip their hand. Pick: NY Jets

Aaron: I think Mark Sanchez needs to win a must-win game, before I'm picking him in a must-win game. Pick: Cincinnati

Confidence Pickin' (with current scores)

Aaron (40): Bears (-3) over LIONS; CHARGERS (-4) over Redskins; Titans (-4.5) over SEAHAWKS

Joe (39): 49ers (-7) over RAMS; Titans (-4.5) over SEAHAWKS; CARDINALS (-3.5) over Packers

Tom (35): Giants (+9) over Vikings; Bengals (+10) over Jets; Patriots (+8) over Texans


Jeff Hansen said...

"Good point. And, when both teams' best players are pulled prior to halftime, which one has the farther talent gap between starters and back-ups? That's right, Cardinals, it's you"

Matt Leinart > Matt Flynn. I'm rooting hard for Matt Hasselbeck to be the GB backup next year.

That Bootleg Guy said...

Leinart's got the name, certainly, but at this point in his career is he demonstrably better than any other back-up QB in the league? I'm not being douchey, really, I don't know.

Jeff Hansen said...

Well, I'm just comparing him to 2007 7th round pick Matt Flynn, who has 14 career attempts.

Matt Leinart has as many touchdowns as Matt Flynn has attempts.

Tom said...

The Colts thing bugged me this year because it was easily attainable and because the players and fans all seemed to be behind it this year. Besides the point, if I paid for season tickets in my publicly funded stadium last year and I had to watch my team forfeit the second half, I'd be furious.

That Bootleg Guy said...

If it was my team shooting for 16-0, I'd probably feel the same way. But, the Colts were damned if they do, damned if they don't.

An injury to Manning would've released the hounds on Indy for keeping him in a "meaningless" game. And, no Colts fan can conceivably act shocked by the scrubs coming in when that's been their December script all decade.

Also, for laughs, everyone should read Bill Simmons' ridiculous "play the starters in the 2nd half only" suggestion for the Colts.

Joe Reid said...

Oh man! Excellent deployment of Kent Brockman's signature quote. Well earned, on my part.

And sorry, I still don't buy the season ticket argument. If I care enough about the team to pay for season tickets, I'm much more interested in seeing my team strong for the playoffs. 16-0 means absolutely nothing.

Tom said...

@Cam: I think they lost the ability to play the injury card when they played Manning for 2.5 quarters. He could have gotten hurt then, too.

@Joe: If I'm a Colts fan, I want something to rub in the Patriots' face. Having a chance to do what they couldn't two years ago would be that thing. The Patriots have been slapping my team around for most of the decade save for one playoff game three years ago and, clearly, the "take three weeks off" strategy hasn't been great for the Colts in the past.

Kristen said...

When Joe stopped posting these predictions on his website (boo, Smooth Joey Apollo!), I ended up at yours....and I have spent a lot of time this week enjoying your writings. Yippee! New found blog! Even though you hate my fellow Vandy grad Cutler (I only like him cuz of Vandy [we don't have that much football stuff to cheer about]). In case you keep track, I'm a Cardinals fan! :o) (And I don't really know that much about football and I don't understand half your references, but I still love reading the pickeries).

That Bootleg Guy said...

Dude, welcome! In Joe's defense, though, formatting these picks is a bear. Between that and S. Joey Apollo's abject disdain for his readership...well, just know *I'm* glad to have you!

(When you have time, hit up the archives in mid-May 2009 or just search for "asthma". People seemed to get a kick out of my near-death experience and I aim to please.)

Joe Reid said...

I may hate my readers but for the next couple hours I looooove the Jets!

That Bootleg Guy said...

And, now I hate you. We've come full circle.

As always, though, thanks for another season of our wacky interracial prognosticating shenanigans, Joe.

Now, come onnnnnnn, Bengals!

Joe Reid said...

Hey! It's my first win since...ever! Now I won't have to hear those "2006!" chants every time I click over to this site. Get ready for me to become absolutely insufferable!!!

(...oh and I see you staged a giant comeback and won the confidence picks, good job and all...)

Tom said...

BTW: Worse idea: Simmons' "play the starters in the second half" or Simmons' "Redraft fantasy teams for the playoffs?"

Joe Reid said...

What, a fantasy championship game where my team of Dallas Clark and Neil Rackers goes up against your team of Joseph Addai and Austin Collie doesn't interest you?