Thursday, December 16, 2010

2010 NFL Pickery -- Week #15

Last Week:

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


Joe: 136-72
Tom: 129-79
Aaron: 128-80

San Francisco at San Diego (Thursday)

Aaron: It's raining here in San Diego and by game time, the field at Qualcomm Stadium could be a marshy bog. I'd write more, but the half-inch of precipitation we've already received has me thinking I should leave work early to beat the traffic, y'all. Pick: San Diego

Joe: I hadn't actually looked at the Niners' schedule before predicting last week that they'd charge to an 8-8 division championship. Um. That's not going to happen. Pick: San Diego

Washington at Dallas

At week's end, the disproven rumors of Morgan Freeman's death are still more believable than the news that Rex Grossman will start for the Redskins at quarterback on Sunday. Pick: Dallas

Joe: So nice of Mike Shanahan and the Redskins to have thrown in the towel on the season just as I need them to beat the Redskins for Legitimate Reasons. Pick: Dallas

Buffalo at Miami

Aaron: The Dolphins' abysmal 1-5 home record is due in no small part to the number of good teams they've played in Miami this season. The Bills aren't good, but this is their second look at the Dolphins. And, using the "fool me once, shame on you..." rule... Pick: Buffalo

Joe: You'd think I would have much reason for optimism, but this is smelling like one of those "250 combined rushing yards from Williams and Brown" kind of laughers that remind you that the Bills are still pretty far away from being truly competitive. Pick: Miami

New Orleans at Baltimore

Aaron: WAY too much is being made of the Ravens' second half collapse against a strong Texans offense... in Houston and under a roof. The Saints haven't played well on the road in cold climates and -- unless I'm misreading the match-up --- this game is both of those things. Pick: Baltimore

Joe: This will be a good barometer of where the Saints are after sneakily sliding their way into the second-best record in the league. The Ravens have not looked especially impressive against the better teams in the league -- though it's worth noting that while they're 3-3 against teams in playoff contention, they've won all three by a combined 11 points AND lost the other three by a combined 11 point. Not sure what that means, but: statistics! Pick: Baltimore

Arizona at Carolina

Aaron: If the 1-12 Panthers were instead 0-13 everyone would be picking them to upset a mediocre Cardinals team here. Thankfully, the Panthers have their one face-saving win and "pride" left this franchise three or four quarterback changes ago. Pick: Arizona

Joe: Actually, the Panthers have quietly established a pretty successful running game over the last month or so, with Jonathan Stewart finally waking up and Mike Goodson proving to be a nice surprise. It was never going to be enough against teams like Atlanta and Baltimore, but at home against the Cards? It'll do. Pick: Carolina

Jacksonville at Indianapolis

Aaron: If the Colts lose, they could miss the playoffs for the first time since 2001. The Jaguars would then be in a position to win the AFC South and host a sure-to-be locally blacked out playoff game. The most prevalent position for picking the Colts is "Peyton Manning WON'T lose a must-win game at home in December". Keep right on believing that. Pick: Jacksonville

Joe: Look, at this point I've picked my horse. Plus, have the Jags beaten any good teams on the road this season? Answer: no. No they haven't. Pick: Indianapolis

Cleveland at Cincinnati

It's becoming increasingly apparent that, like a horror movie monster, Bengals QB Carson Palmer cannot be killed. The current narrative is that he just needs a" change of scenery". When did the equivalent of "I just need some space" become an acceptable sports excuse? Pick: Cleveland

Joe: Ah, the annual Ugly Orange Battle for Ohio. Cleveland is legitimately the better team, but they certainly manage to play down (or up) to the level of their opponent. Not much further down than Cincinnati. Pick: Cleveland

Houston at Tennessee

Aaron: I've learned a valuable lesson from this NFL season -- that whole "pick the team that fields the best player" rationale is a load of hooey when Chris Johnson and the 2010 Tennessee Titans are involved. Bet accordingly, kids. Pick: Houston

Joe: As last week's game against the Ravens proved conclusively, the Texans will play just well enough to barely lose. Also, speaking as someone who rode Arian Foster to a regular season fantasy championship followed by a first-round playoff exit, I can say that if Houston had actually given him the ball to start off that drive in overtime, they may or may not have won, but they wouldn't have thrown that damned pick-six to lose it, that's for sure. Jerks. Pick: Tennessee

Detroit at Tampa Bay

The Bucs beat bad teams. The Lions are bad. Got it. After this, though, Tampa Bay is home to Seattle and on the road against a Saints team that'll almost certainly be resting several starters.
Is an 11-win season within reason? Or, might this week be a trap game for the young Buccaneers? Maybe! Pick: Tampa Bay

Joe: Oh, no fair baiting me with that trap game nonsense. If you're in the mood for fantastical hooey, how about noting that just when it seemed like the Redskins were going to flout the "Bucs beat bad teams" wisdom, the football gods botched their extra point. Not THAT's some magical realism I can get behind! Pick: Tampa Bay

Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants

Aaron: Remember that scene in The Empire Strikes Back when C-3PO is blown apart and Chewbacca spends the next several scenes carrying the droid's assorted robotic body parts in a backpack? Welcome to your nightmarish cinematic analogy, Michael Vick. Pick: NY Giants

Joe: So when do Giants fans get to legitimately complain about being the overlooked Best Football Team in New York (That Plays in New Jersey)? It's now, right? Pick: NY Giants

Kansas City at St. Louis

Yes, the Chiefs' quarterback situation is a choice between one guy who underwent a recent appendectomy and another whose incompetence is well-established. But, the Rams have beaten just one respectable team this year (San Diego in week six) and haven't faced anyone as desperate for a win as this Kansas City squad. Pick: Kansas City

Joe: Bizarrely enough, Cassel's random injury seems to have taken all the wind out of the Chiefs' sails. Meanwhile, St. Louis is still in prime position to win the Division 1-AA championship. Pick: St. Louis

Atlanta at Seattle

Aaron: The Falcons have held on to the NFC's unofficial "best team" title for longer than most others this season. If they were putting that title on the line here, the Seahawks would be...oh, let's see. They're better than Glass Joe of Mike Tyson's Punch-Out fame, but not nearly as imposing as Piston Honda. Let's split the difference and call 'em Von Kaiser. Cool? Pick: Atlanta

Joe: As a fan of Don Flamenco, I find your snub sickening. Pick: Atlanta

Denver at Oakland

The news out of Oakland is that this game won't be on local TV since it's not a sellout. Not surprisingly, Raiders fans are getting bashed by the usual suspects: (1) media personalities who haven't paid to see a sporting event in years and (2) real football fans from all across the country who also aren't paying to see the Raiders on Sunday. Pick: Oakland

Joe: Well, really. Who is going to brave the sub-zero temperatures and the constant snowfall just so ... oh, 55 degrees? Well it's not like they've got anything to ... oh, two games out of first place in the division and they hold all the tie-breakers? Well, it's not like Raiders fans had all that great of a reputation to begin with. Pick: Oakland

N.Y. Jets at Pittsburgh

Aaron: While the recent play of the Jets has been breathlessly over-reported, has anyone noticed that the Steelers offense hasn't exactly been blowin' up scoreboards? They couldn't crack 20 against the Bills, they struggled against a tough Ravens defense and the godawful Bengals kept Pittsburgh out of the end zone all game. Prove America wrong, Mark Sanchez. Pick: NY Jets

Joe: I'd love for the Jets to pull it together as much as anybody (Rex Ryan is awful, but I've become attuned to petty, knee-jerk anti-New York sentiment when I hear it), but on the road in Pittsburgh has never been anybody's get-well prescription. Pick: Pittsburgh

Green Bay at New England

Aaron: The Packers defense will be up for the nationally-televised challenge, but without QB Aaron Rodgers at 100%, there's no way the Patriots lose at home. Knowing this, I won't have to waste my late Sunday afternoon/early evening rooting for a result that can't possibly happen. Pick: New England

Joe: Yeah, much like the rest of the NFL, I have decided to cede the rest of the regular season to the Patriots. They can't be beat! It's foolishness to even try! Best team of the millennium! Pick: New England

Chicago at Minnesota

Well, the visual of an NFL game outdoors in Minnesota -- in December! -- should make for some novelty viewing. Kind of like those wintry nature videos. And, then BAM! Sarah Palin kills the caribou. Sorry, Vikings. Pick: Chicago

Joe: Let's everybody pause for a moment and think about how fortunate we are that the Favre injury has kept the sports media from trotting out Minnesota's weather-mandated displacement as yet another excuse for the Gunslinger's shortcomings. There's a cold-weather/tiny-penis joke in there somewhere, but we all know he's not worth it. Pick: Chicago


Yvonne said...

I can't crush my fellow Raiders fans for not showing up. It's a terrible stadium in a sketchy part of a city that's been as hard hit by the economy as anywhere. You're just NOT going to draw the casual fan who might be interested in the "new car smell" of a place like Detroit's new stadium or the recent championship vibe in New Orleans. Throw in the overall pro football ambivalence in the Bay Area and you get late season blackouts of a fringe contender in a fringe division.

Aaron C. said...

Awww...that's why you're my "ride or die girl"! Also, they're calling for high winds and heavy rain in Oaktown today.

Let be real here: people who pay to sit thru TV timeouts and rest of the live football experience when the weather sucks aren't "real fans", they're insane.

Tom said...

So when do Giants fans get to legitimately complain about being the overlooked Best Football Team in New York (That Plays in New Jersey)? It's now, right?

All year. People just may listen now.