Saturday, November 6, 2010

2010 NFL Pickery -- Week #9

Last Week:

Aaron: 9-4
Joe: 9-4
Tom: 7-6


Joe: 80-37
Tom: 70-47
Aaron: 66-51

Chicago at Buffalo

Aaron: The predictable narrative here has been the possibility that the Bills' first win of the season would come in Toronto -- ostensibly a home game for Buffalo and another punch in the gut for heartbroken Bills fans. The most underreported narrative? The Bears are terrible. Pick: Buffalo

Joe: The Bears may well be terrible, but the 0-7 Bills, feisty as they are, are still an 0-7 team, and one that finds ways to lose (witness last week against Kansas City, in which the world's most depressing confluence of events conspired against them). I was all set to pick the Bills here until I realized this was being played in Toronto, a venue that seems to sap the life from my hometown team. Pick: Chicago

Tampa Bay at Atlanta

The 5-2 Bucs have been needled by pundits for failing to beat any good teams this season. The 5-2 Falcons have just one win in 2010 over an opponent that could be considered a legitimate playoff contender, but lack Tampa Bay's "Cinderella" luster. Expect a low-scoring affair and a possible shanking with someone's glass slipper. Pick: Atlanta

Joe: Tampa Bay's defense comes and goes, and against an offense with weapons like the Falcons, I don't think they'll be able to score enough to make up for it. Pick: Atlanta

Miami at Baltimore

Aaron: A 4-0 road record and "could be 6-1, instead of 4-3" theme has allowed Miami to enter the discussion as a second-tier AFC contender -- despite no running game and a barely league-average defense. Miami hasn't seen such an exaggeration of talent since Chris Bosh, y'all. Pick: Baltimore

Joe: Plus, where are the Poise Police when it comes to Chad Henne's inability to lead Miami to final-drive comebacks/maintain leads over good teams? Poor Joe Flacco could use a break. Pick: Baltimore

New Orleans at Carolina

Aaron: This begins a relatively soft stretch of games for the Saints. Hopefully, a few wins can mute the next few weeks of "only X more weeks until Reggie Bush returns" reporting. I do, however, enjoy all the media-created Bush-related euphemisms for "overrated" -- like "decoy", "serviceable" and "safety valve". Pick: New Orleans

Joe: Hey, they were winning when he was around. Meanwhile, Carolina probably should have won their earlier matchup this season, and now they're home, so ... no, I can't pick them. But I wouldn't trust any kind of point spread. Pick: New Orleans

New England at Cleveland

Aaron: First in scoring...21st in points allowed...the Patriots' ESPN-celebrated "bend, don't break" style of play will be tested against any of the league's better teams, in any given week. Cleveland doesn't qualify, but with a week to prepare and a healthy Peyton Hillis, Pats fans might have to sweat out a win. Pick: New England

Joe: The Browns are lucky this isn't taking place in New England, because if the short-white-guy-loving Pats fans ever got Peyton Hillis in their house, I'm guessing they wouldn't let him go until he changed uniforms. This has been a trendy upset pick, and why build up a big picks lead if it doesn't let me take some chances. Pick: Cleveland

San Diego at Houston

The Chargers are 0-4 on the road this season and have surrendered an average of nearly 26 points/game over the past four weeks. As for the Texans, it looks increasingly likely that they peaked in their opening week win over Indianapolis. Houston's defense hasn't allowed less than 24 points in a game all season. Do I pick with my heart or attempt the ridiculous "reverse jinx"? Pick: San Diego

Joe: Antonio Gates has been an absolute BEAST for the Chargers this season. Unfortunately, his feet are about as functional as Augustus Hill's this week. ...Oh, ask someone who had HBO back in the '90s. Pick: Houston

N.Y. Jets at Detroit

Aaron: Great job by the sports media on recycling the exact same week one postgame storylines after the Jets' 9-0 loss to the Packers last week. When the Jets lost to Baltimore -- at home -- in the season opener, we heard "QB Mark Sanchez has a long way to go."; "The Jets are as undisciplined as their head coach." and "Where's the running game?" I wish I could say I expected more from...wait, this just in: the Jets' "sterile" new stadium has joined the accusatory triad of pathetic excuses! Welcome! Pick: NY Jets

Joe: Detroit continues to be a dangerous team, especially on the road, but despite the deserved praise for Ndamakung Suh, their defense does tend to allow hefty point totals. That'll be good news for the Jets' scoring drought. Pick: NY Jets

Arizona at Minnesota

Aaron: In Minnesota's first game following the infamous party boat/sex scandal in 2005, they lost to Chicago, 28-3. Now, after the most turbulent week in team history since the Love Boat set sail, there are rumblings that head coach Brad Childress was this close to termination and that he's lost nearly the entire locker room. As long as one of those players isn't RB Adrian Peterson, the Vikings will be just fine. This week. Pick: Minnesota

Joe: Arizona's putrid road record, shoddy defense, and laughable QB play really are the deciding factors here. All this "bring back Kurt Warner" talk is cute, in a pathetic way, but speaking of cute: couldn't Matt Leinart be losing these games for Arizona instead of nameless losers like Max Hall? Pick: Minnesota

N.Y. Giants at Seattle

Aaron: The Seahawks are so riddled with injuries on the offensive and defensive lines that I'm expecting old-school scribe/vampire
Frank Deford to pen one of his abbreviated back-in-MY-day "essays" on advocating the return of the two-way player in professional football. By the by, the Giants at current 12-to-1 odds to win the Super Bowl? Done and done. Pick: NY Giants

Joe: Seattle remains ever-dangerous on the road, but probably not when the talent differential is this wide. Pick: NY Giants

Kansas City at Oakland

Aaron: OK, Raiders. You've convinced me. I know this won't end well. Pick: Oakland

Joe: Sure won't. Pick: Kansas City

Indianapolis at Philadelphia

I don't want to hitch my prognostication wagon to Philadelphia until I see how QB Michael Vick looks in his return and/or until the Eagles disclose the availability of WR DeSean Jackson. But, Peyton Manning and the Pips the Dogg Pound the St. Lunatics D12 G-Unit his mediocre supporting cast are no longer automatic in hostile territory. Pick: Philadelphia

Joe: I'm gonna let Cam keep cycling through hilarious backup band names, just so long as we all agree that Anthony Gonzalez is
Spinderella. Right? Indianapolis

Dallas at Green Bay

Aaron: I undoubtedly enjoyed the World Series demise of the Texas Rangers more than the ongoing immolation of the Cowboys. Even by the trash-talking standards of sports-talk radio and internet anonymity, Rangers fans had gotten too mouthy. I openly rooted for the Giants, who at least have the history to justify the ignorant enthusiasm of their Zima-sipping, fair-weather fans. Pick: Green Bay

Joe: I usually think sports commentators are too quick to jump to the tired "that team just plain quit on their coach" observations. But give me a better explanation for Dallas getting pasted at home like they did against the Jags. Wade Phillips, you stupid turd. Pick: Green Bay

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati

Aaron: Is there some kind of sub-contract between ESPN and the AFC North that mandates at least one low-scoring, unwatchable intra-division game on Monday Night Football each season? Can we get sh*tty field conditions and two dozen punts or is that asking for too much? Pick: Pittsburgh

Joe: Well, Cam, it's the Bengals, so at least you'll be able to take in those Ocho Cinco antics of which you're so very fond! Pick: Pittsburgh


Shough610 said...

Ever notice that Wade Phillips looks like Boss Hog?

And the NFL needs to stop trying to make this Bills-to-Toronto thing happen. 1) Toronto seems to have Atlanta-levels of apathy about any sport other than hockey and more importantly 2) Buffalo is one of the great football cities in America. Move the Jags to Toronto before Buffalo

Aaron C. said...

Hey, now...stop earmarking the Jaguars for someplace other than Los Angeles, Sam.

They should have places where you can bet on this stuff.

And, I'm not entirely sure the NFL *couldn't* succeed in Toronto. That city was drawing well over 40,000 to old Exhibition Stadium in the 1970s for Toronto's CFL team - lousy venue, outdoors for playoffs.

TOR averaged 30K/game as recently as 2007. Not great, but comparable to the real attendance (not tickets sold) that NFL teams like the Jags and Raiders pull down today.

Tom said...

The Jets choosing to stay in Giants' Stadium instead of taking the Mets owner's offer to building them their own place in Queens is the worst sports' business decision since the Giants decided "The Dodgers are leaving? Eh, we'll just leave this National League city entirely to the Yankees".

Joe Reid said...

Well then, respectfully, send the Raiders to Toronto.

Aaron C. said...

Hey, now...I'm not suggesting that Toronto pilfer your Bills, Joe. Just saying that the NFL, as an entity, *could* succeed there.

CrazyCanuck said...

Hey now, as a Canadian who loves the CFL first and foremost, I say leave our half-Canadian, half-American city to the league who got there first! They've only had about a century to get the hang of that town.

Truth be told, the Skydome is a god-awful place for a football game, CFL, NFL, Pop Warner, whatever. If the Argos could have shared the smaller stadium with the MLS team, they would be in much better shape now.

Besides, Buffalo, and by extension Joe, needs some winless team to bemoan.

SHough610 said...

Tom, correct me if I'm wrong (and it probably is as it has no basis in fact, I don't even know why I think this is the way it is. My best guess is that the Jets and Mets were both newer teams than Giants and Yankees) but don't Mets fans tend to root for the Jets and Yankees fans tend to root for the Giants? Or is there no such division?

I think there needs to be a rule: you're not allowed to move a sports team from a city with any of the following: a) a rust-belt economy, b) a tortured history with a long-suffering but loyal fanbase, c) a famous sandwich identifiable with the city, or d) a hellacious winter. Buffalo qualifies for all four... And now I want a beef on weck. Hell, relocate the Falcons. Atlanta doesn't give a damn about sports

Tom said...

Jets and Mets fans tend to hang together because both teams played on Long Island. The Jets moved to Giants' Stadium in the 80s because of crazy lease restrictions at Shea. When the Jets were trying to figure out a new stadium, the Mets' ownership offered to build a football stadium next door to Citi Field that would share office space. The Jets said no and, thus, remain the Giants' tenant (in perception if not in fact) instead of moving back to the island that contains all of their fans. Because they're really, really dumb.

Most of the NY Metro area, save for the Jets, call it "New Giants Stadium".