Thursday, December 2, 2010

2010 NFL Pickery -- Week #13

Last Week:

Joe: 11-5
Tom: 10-6
Aaron: 9-7


Joe: 116-60
Aaron: 107-69
Tom: 107-69

Houston at Philadelphia (Thursday)

Aaron: We have a new nominee for least convincing sports conspiracy theory of the year. In the past few days, there has been a simmering media narrative that would lead us to believe the NFL did not suspend Houston WR Andre Johnson for his role in an unseemly on-field fight last Sunday because he is a marquee player who'll be featured in a nationally televised prime time NFL Network game this week. THE Andre Johnson. Can't bring in the casual NFL fans without him. Pick: Philadelphia

Joe: Also WHAT casual viewer? I don't know if I mentioned this before, but half the football fans in America don't get NFL network. Anyway, everybody expects Philly to rebound against Houston, and on the merits I guess I do too (Michael Vick versus the awful Houston D after all). But Andy Reid Eagles teams are streaky. They lose when they're on top of the world and they only start winning again when they're being counted out. That'd take at least another loss. But ... I can't do it. Home game, short week, bad defense -- too much tips in Philly's favor. Pick: Philadelphia

Chicago at Detroit

Despite decades and decades of evidence to the contrary, there are still several widely-read, highly-paid sports "experts" who believe professional athletes never evolve. A-Rod will always be a postseason choker. Peyton Manning and John Elway will never win the big one. Pfft…idiots. There is only ONE absolute among pro athletes: Jay Cutler. And I, for one, cannot wait to bet against him when/if the Bears are 7+ point home favorites in the playoffs. Pick: Chicago

Joe: Why wait till then? I know, I'm back to my foolish faith in the Lions, but they ARE better this year, and they ARE at home, and they essentially won this game in Week 1 and ... ugh, I can't feel good about this one with Drew Stanton at QB. Pick: Chicago

New Orleans at Cincinnati

Aaron: Less relevant -- the Bengals' Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco wide receiving corps or Drew Brees' "Sportsman of the Year" award...from Sports Illustrated? Pick: New Orleans

Joe: You have to like the Saints' position right now: steadily getting healthier and looking better while nestled comfortably behind the Falcons where nobody is talking about them. Pick: New Orleans

Jacksonville at Tennessee

Aaron: Yes, yes, we've all heard the "…when Kerry Collins is an upgrade…" derisiveness that's been making the rounds in the sports media this week. The Jaguars are the chic pick, but even if you don't believe Jacksonville's due for another December collapse, believe this: Titans RB Chris Johnson won't finish an entire game with just five yards rushing, again. Pick: Tennessee

Joe: Ah, the bland, uninspiring middle of the AFC. These games have become increasingly impossible to predict, but all the marginal advantages (home field, best player, best defense) go to the Titans. Perversely, they could end up tied for first place after this week. Pick: Tennessee

Washington at N.Y. Giants

Aaron: So confused. The Giants are clearly the better team, but does talent always win out in these NFC East intra-division battles? The Giants are at home, but the Redskins have won two or three road games that no one expected them to win this season. My "Chris Berman Caricature Kit" suggests I end with…"that's why they play the games". Pick: NY Giants

Joe: Yeah, much as I enjoy the Giants, I'm not sure that 2nd-half salvage job against the Jags last week signals that the Giants have halted another downward spiral. The Redskins tend to stick around to be a gnat at the ass of the NFC East even when you'd like to count them out. Pick: Washington

Buffalo at Minnesota

Aaron: The desperate, seven-loss Vikings should pull one out against a feisty Bills team. Call it "Favre's Last Stand" because next week Minnesota plays the Giants. In seven days, we could witness the most welcome death scene since Tyra Banks delighted audiences with her hackneyed demise at the end of Higher Learning. Pick: Minnesota

Joe: So on the subject of Steve Johnson's angry tweet against God: 1) It's about time that, after years of getting thanked for every Grammy award, stolen base, and found pair of car keys in the universe, God's getting his share of the blame as well; however, 2) Wide receivers are mercurial, maddening, ego monsters whose psyches rest on a fragile thread, and my worry, as a Bills fan, is that last week turned Stevie from an up-and-coming monster WR, emblematic of a feisty bunch of can-do losers in Buffalo, to a drop-prone head case. Prove me wrong, Stevie! Prove me wrong! Pick: Minnesota

San Francisco at Green Bay

Aaron: I've already been eliminated from playoff contention in my non-money fantasy league. Consequently, I've angered the remaining contenders by spitefully cherry-picking the waiver wire and purposely stashing away the few reasonably productive players who weren't yet on a roster. Welcome to my fantasy scout team, Brian Westbrook. Pick: Green Bay

Joe: Oh man, can I bore you with my story of Frank Gore's season-ending injury threatening to ruin my best fantasy season in history? I managed to leap all over Westbrook, at least, but between Gore and Hakeem Nicks, this is shaping up to be the greatest tragedy in the history of professional sports. Call me, ESPN's 30 for 30! Pick: Green Bay

Denver at Kansas City

Are the Chiefs for real? I can't say I'm swayed by back-to-back wins over NFC West teams. But, it's the thirteenth week; Kansas City sits in first place at 7-4 and they're 5-0 at home. And, let's not forget: the Broncos are terrible. Pick: Kansas City

Joe: Yeah, the boomerang effect off of that 50-something point blowout a few weeks ago will probably be severe. The Chiefs can't lose here! They're got to win long enough to lose to the Chargers and just miss the playoffs by the skin of their teeth! Pick: Kansas City

Cleveland at Miami

Last week, the Browns needed a last-second missed field goal to beat the hapless Panthers, while the Dolphins exploited injuries and inexperience in the Raiders secondary to win in Oakland. Sour grapes from a Raiders fan and the one idiot in America who picked the Panthers? Probably. Pick: Cleveland

Joe: You guys, I have to apologize. I'd been so busy focusing on the novelty of Peyton Hillis as that rare beast, the white NFL running back that I had totally neglected to mention how he's also a wicked hot no-necked piece of tail! I know, I know, save the homoeroticism for the "Oz" references. Pick: Cleveland

Oakland at San Diego

I don't get the national shock n' awe at the Chargers impressive win in Indianapolis last week. San Diego has owned the Colts in recent years and, this season, Peyton Manning hasn't exactly been Peyton Manning. Enjoy your personal Super Bowl this week, Chargers fans. Meanwhile, I'll be rooting for Magic Johnson to make the
finest steal of his career. Pick: San Diego

Joe: ...So am I an idiot for actually drinking the San Diego Kool-Aid? Like, the Steelers can shut them down, but I can't see any of the other AFC defenses stopping them. Yes, Cam, add me to your personal "Told You So" Card list. Pick: San Diego

Atlanta at Tampa Bay

Aaron: The Falcons own the NFC's best record, but they haven't exactly steamrolled over teams who can play some defense and run the ball a little. Besides, the NFC's "best team, right now" title seems to change hands every 1-2 weeks. Pick: Tampa Bay

Joe: Tampa beats bad teams. Tampa doesn't beat good teams. Pick: Atlanta

St. Louis at Arizona

Aaron: Before everyone writes off the Cardinals after last week's in-game evisceration and
postgame embarrassment, keep in mind that Arizona beat the Rams -- in St. Louis -- back in week one. Everyone keeping that in mind? OK, now write 'em off. Pick: St. Louis

Joe: I have to thank Derek Anderson, because he brought out my "favorite" passive-aggressive complaint from sportswriters: the "I guess I'm foolish for thinking the athletes care as much as we do" lament. Always a crowd-pleaser. Pick: St. Louis

Carolina at Seattle

Much like those "players only" meetings that always seem to work, from now on I'm saving my "Seattle is the most underrated home field advantage in the NFL" nonsense until the Seahawks' are playing one of the worst teams in the league. Why, hello there, Panthers! Pick: Seattle

Joe: Carolina's been sneaky-crafty for the past few weeks, and the running game has suddenly come alive. Seattle, meanwhile, seems to have deflated despite the fact that the NFL is seemingly forcing a playoff berth upon them. Pick: Carolina

Dallas at Indianapolis

Aaron: I can't remember the last time Peyton Manning played with desperation in the regular season, but here we are. The national justification for picking Indy seems to be "Manning CAN'T lose three straight games". Really? Against an extra-rested, energetic Dallas team that should've beat the Saints on Thanksgiving Day and is playing with nothing to lose? Oh, yes he can. Pick: Dallas

Joe: Come on, Peyton. You're making an idiot out of me. Pick: Indianapolis

Pittsburgh at Baltimore

Aaron: Four of the last five regular season meetings between these two teams has been decided by a field goal (and the other was a four point margin). With the Steelers offensive line in shambles, I'm thinking hobbled QB Ben Roethlisberger will be intimately familiar with what the Ravens defense will do to him. Pick: Baltimore

Joe: This one feels like it should be played in a rainstorm, right? No touchdowns, fumbles galore, football the way it should be played! Ugh. Pick: Baltimore

N.Y. Jets at New England

It's all on you, Patriots fans. Your team needs you. Boo the Jets as often as you can, as it's been
regionally proven to make professional athletes crack in pressure situations. No, seriously, booing! I'll be looking into the eyes of Mark Sanchez and LaDanian Tomlinson -- beneath facemasks and black visors -- for that telltale sign of...something. You've done it before, New England. Now, do it again. Pick: New England

Joe: Mark Sanchez? Get ready to throw that powder up into the air. Pick: NY Jets


Tom said...

can I bore you with my story of Frank Gore's season-ending injury threatening to ruin my best fantasy season in history?

Yep, my 10-2 season has just been de-railed by the same situation. Welcome to the big time, Jonathan Stewart! :(

CrazyCanuck said...

Joe, I think I would pay money to the television commentator who made that observation about Peyton Hillis on the air. The NFL needs some shaking up, and that would qualify to an awesome degree!

Carrie said...

Uh oh, Joe reclaimed his Joementum* last week! ...He found his mo-Joe? Ok, I'll stop now. *TM J. Lieberman

Elena said...

An open letter to Mr. Rex Ryan, Coach of the New York Jets

Dear Sir,

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Looks good on ya, Fat Boy.

Ever yours,