Thursday, November 25, 2010

2010 NFL Pickery -- Week #12 (Now with More Sunday!)

Last Week:

Tom: 13-3
Aaron: 11-5
Joe: 10-6


Joe: 105-55
Aaron: 98-62
Tom: 97-63

New England at Detroit (Thursday)

Joe: One of my top podcast-related pleasures this week (aside from
gabbing about G.I. Joe for 45 minutes) was hearing my friend and yours Bill Simmons get shouted down by one of the Football Outsiders eggheads about whether or not the concept of a "trap game" truly exists. Aaron Schatz, the FO guy, cited evidence and studies and statistics that stated that good teams facing a bad team in between two good opponents don't lose any more often than in other circumstances. Simmons, I believe, cited the evidence of "Nuh-uh!" and "Because it's a better story that way." I'm a man of reason, through and through. Still. I hope to god this is a trap game. Pick: Detroit

Aaron: I read reports that Patriots QB Tom Brady is listed as "questionable" for this game and nursing an injured foot. I can't help but think the NFL is actually in cahoots with the bookies they so publically abhor. "Trap game overtones plus a short week for the road team coming off an incredibly emotional game not enough for you, casual NFL gambler? What if I told you Brady's foot is sore? I mean, I can't say HOW sore it is, but check back at or the sportsbook at the Wynn for more information." Thankfully, I'm still suffering from first and second degree burns after my seat on the Lions' September bandwagon went through the windshield in mid-September. Pick: New England

New Orleans at Dallas (Thursday)

Joe: I guess here's where we see if the Jason Garrett rejuvenation project has really taken hold or not. The Saints certainly seem to have righted a seriously shaky ship, and Dallas's offense let Detroit eat up large chunks of yardage before pulling away last week. I'm betting Drew Brees is even more efficient at that task than Shaun Hill. I know, right? Pick: New Orleans

Aaron: To paraphrase a certain
skirt-wearing thespian, "Just when you think you know the answers, the NFL changes the questions." I don't know if the Saints' three consecutive wins over a terrible Panthers team, a slightly less terrible Seahawks team and a Steelers team that has looked beatable against decent competition constitutes "righting the ship". In fact, this game could be the proverbial coconut to the dome for New Orleans. Pick: Dallas

Cincinnati at N.Y. Jets (Thursday)

Joe: Lost in all the TO/Ocho/colossal choke-job against the Bills talk was that the one receiver on the field who was doing anything for Cincy in the second half was Jordan Shipley. Tiny, white, slot receiver that he is, I'll be shocked if he doesn't become the Wayne Chrebet to TOcho's Keyshawn Johnson as the season wears on. This offseason, remind me to create a pact with NFL GMs to keep the Patriots from signing him for next year. Pick: NY Jets

Joe: Aaron: I, for one, welcome the white man's renaissance amongst the NFL's non-QB offensive skill positions. And, I'd be saying that even IF the Browns' Peyton Hillis wasn't single-handedly keeping my money-league fantasy team on life support. Hillis isn't involved in this game, obviously, but for those of you who don't follow football, perhaps you remember him from
his role in a recent summer blockbuster. Pick: NY Jets

Carolina at Cleveland

Aaron: Panthers' QB Jimmy Clausen will be the starter after missing a week with an injury. This franchise should just exhume the corpse of Kerry Collins and hand him the playbook. Fine...YOU try making one of those obscure references to a long-forgotten player when the franchise has only been around for 15 years. It's hard! Pick: Carolina

Joe: While we're on the subject of the short and brutal history of the quarterback position in Carolina, it should be noted that Jake Delhomme assumes the reins in Cleveland this week, with Colt McCoy injured and all other options having been exhausted. I know, I know, it's reminiscent of how attrition in the Oswald State Correctional facility left Morales in charge of the Latinos after the defection of Alvarez and the death of El Cid. I thought so too. Pick: Cleveland

Jacksonville at N.Y. Giants

Aaron: Back in week #17 of the 2001 NFL season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Chicago Bears 15-0 at Soldier Field and broke a 21-game losing streak in games when the temperature was below 40 degrees at kickoff. Yes, this is/was a legitimate statistic. Let's see what the forecast is for East Rutherford, New Jersey on Sunday...sunny and 48 degrees?! And, the sun will be out? Pick: NY Giants

Joe: I hate you, Jacksonville Jaguars, and I hate your bullshit 6-4 record. Pick: NY Giants

Philadelphia at Chicago

Aaron: Eagles QB Michael Vick got roughed up pretty good in last week's win over the Giants. The Bears don't have the same ferocity on defense as The New New York Sack Exchange, but since Vick appeared on this week's cover of Sports Illustrated, he's sure to fall victim to the 53% infamous/47% irrelevant SI cover jinx. It's science. Pick: Chicago

Joe: Also science is that fact that Andy Reid-coached Eagles teams never seem to hold onto their "King of the Mountain" position for very long. But I'm betting on them stretching this goodwill out for one more week. Pick: Philadelphia

Pittsburgh at Buffalo

Aaron: Shout out to the New England Patriots for pissing off Pittsburgh two weeks ago. Last week, they bullied my Raiders for 75 consecutive minutes. (Yes, halftime included.) This week, the Bills are at home and I'm hoping they can be the proverbial big brother who gets Oakland's proverbial bike back. I...think I know
how this story ends. Pick: Pittsburgh

Joe: Hey, I'm as happy as anyone that the Bills saved their most entertaining game and one real triumph of the year for when I was home for the holiday. But I'm not fool enough to think they can either penetrate Pittsburgh's defense or stop their offense. Pick: Pittsburgh

Green Bay at Atlanta

Aaron: The Packers have seemingly assumed the unofficial midseason title of "best team in the NFC". Did we agree to collectively ignore the fact that if the playoffs started today, the Falcons would be NFC's top seed? There's only
one way to settle this. Pick: Green Bay

Joe: Trust me, I know I've made too much of the whole "good team at home, sketchy team on the road" thing with teams like Seattle and Arizona and Kansas City. But Atlanta plays in a DOME! Dome teams! Have vague benefits when playing within those domes! I'm sure of it! Pick: Atlanta

Tampa Bay at Baltimore

Aaron: Credit to the Bucs for playing well enough this season to give their fans hope for the future. Before 2010, the most newsworthy event in recent team memory was the obliteration of Chris Simms' spleen. But, Tampa Bay ain't ready to beat a top-tier defense on the road just yet. Pick: Baltimore

Joe: Can't say as I disagree with that, Cam. And kudos for expressing that thought without making it sound like the Bucs are committing an affront to the league by beating bad teams and losing to good teams. They're in the 65th percentile, ESPN's Trey Wingo, get off their ass about it. Pick: Baltimore

Tennessee at Houston

Aaron: The Titans are starting their third-string quarterback. On the road. Against the worst defense in the NFL. And, Titans' RB Chris Johnson -- near as I can tell -- hasn't been hit by a bus. Did I just talk myself into picking Tennessee? Nope. Pick: Houston

Joe: Yeah, for as bad as their defense has been, their offense has been good (great, even) enough to keep pace with teams with much better quarterbacks than Rod Rust or whoever the Titans are trotting out. Pick: Houston

Minnesota at Washington

Aaron: The Vikings haven't won a road game all season and we're approaching the part of the schedule where Brett Favre's assortment of arthritic appendages are exposed to the elements. Oh, stop. An "appendage" could be ANY body part or organ that is joined to the axis, or trunk, of a body. But, yes, I meant his d*ck. Pick: Washington

Joe: And are "The Elements" the Vikings' sideline dance squad? Finish your jokes, Cam! Pick: Washington

Kansas City at Seattle

Aaron: A fresh batch of "the NFC West is a bad division" storylines were written this week. All four teams lost by a combined score of 120-49, so that didn't help. But, Seattle remains one of the most underrated home field advantages in the NFL. And, hey, the Seahawks are at home! Pick: Seattle

Joe: I believe I renounced my "hot home team" shtick earlier in this column. It'd be hypocritical of me to go back on that now. It's a little thing I like to call "integrity." Pick: Kansas City

Miami at Oakland

Yes, the Dolphins had 10 days to prepare, but the Raiders are equally well-rested after taking the last two weeks off. "But, didn't they play Pittsburgh last week?", you ask. "Yes", I answer. "Oh. [Pause.] OHHHH.", you say. Pick: Oakland

Joe: Both of these teams seem to have hit the wall on once-promising seasons. And now, as a callback to several paragraphs earlier, I will note that either one of these teams would take the NFC West title in a walk. Pick: Oakland

St. Louis at Denver

Aaron: The Broncos aren't just 3-7...they're a listless, disinterested 3-7 team. Still, I'll take them at home over a rookie quarterback who has yet to win on the road this season. This has the look of a pick that's gonna bite me in the ass, doesn't it? Pick: Denver

Joe: This has the uncomfortable feel of Cam baiting me into picking a shaky road team. But that road team is still my pick to win the NFC West. Pick: St. Louis

San Diego at Indianapolis

My pick could change depending on the status of Chargers TE Antonio Gates, but for now, it appears that San Diego is making their annual sprint to the AFC West championship. They've played the Colts better than any opponent in recent years and those Indianapolis teams had Marvin Harrison, Dallas Clark and/or...ummm...wait, who the hell else has Peyton Manning been throwing to all these years? Pick: San Diego

Joe: That'd be Reggie Wayne, who actually is still there catching passes. The Colts are having a beleaguered letdown of a season, but they haven't slid enough to make me pick against them at home. Pick: Indianapolis

San Francisco at Arizona

Aaron: Have I made my annual, tired "looks like I'll be WILLINGLY working late" Monday Night Football dig this season? No? Well, here you go. Pick: San Francisco

Joe: Uch. Brutal. Can't Frank Gore and Larry Fitzgerald devise some kind of one-on-one skills competition so that the outcome will be decided by the only good players on the field? Pick: San Francisco


CrazyCanuck said...

So, Joe, er, Aaron. Editing mistakes on your NFL picks feature two weeks in a row?

Either someone's having fun with nomenclature, or they're starting to slip in their old age. Not enough hair to keep it all in?

Aaron C. said...

Ugh. For my next trick, watch my sleight of hand when I post the current standings on Sunday!

Jeff Hansen said...

"Back in week #17 of the 2001 NFL season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Chicago Bears 15-0 at Soldier Field and broke a 21-game losing streak in games when the temperature was below 40 degrees at kickoff. Yes, this is/was a legitimate statistic."

I need to chime in with the fact that the QB for the Bears in that game was Henry Burris, who is my most hated football player (possibly ever). Sadly, I wasn't able to enjoy the game to its fullest as Burris was actually between gigs with the Riders, so we were all hoping he would do well. He, uh, did not do well.