Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2010 NFL Pickery -- Week #16 (Now with More Xmas!)

Last Week:

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


Joe: 146-78
Aaron: 138-86
Tom: 137-87

Carolina at Pittsburgh (Thursday)

Joe: In this long, crazy season of multiple concussions and sub-.500 division champions and cell-phone wieners, we can at least count on the Steelers to beat the Panthers at home, right? Pick: Pittsburgh

Aaron: Other things we can count on this Thursday night include a large, loud segment of the league's fanbase bitching about the unavailability of the NFL Network; a larger, louder segment of fans over-criticizing color commentators Matt Millen and Joe Theismann and one of said color commentators looking out over the snow-strewn 22-degree field before proudly shouting, "This is FOOTBALL weather!" Pick: Pittsburgh

Dallas at Arizona (Saturday)

Joe: I'm not sure what the objectives are for the rest of the Cowboys' season (help Jason Garrett keep his job? Try out players for next year?), but if they want to win out the rest of the season, they shouldn't look past Arizona, a terrible team who can be maddeningly fortunate at home. Or maybe it's just that the only team bad enough to lose to the Cards anymore is Denver. Pick: Dallas

Aaron: So, you're going to leave ME to make the obligatory Jerry Maguire reference? Mainstream cinema is now beneath you,
Jay Sherman? Fine. Fun fact -- the NFL footage used in the final scenes of Jerry Maguire were from a Cowboys vs. Cardinals contest that took place on December 25, 1995. In real life, Dallas won the game, but in the movie, Rod Tidwell led the Cards to victory. Y'know, people don't read us for incisive football analysis, Joe. Pick: Dallas

Baltimore at Cleveland

The Ravens only won by a touchdown -- at home -- when these two teams met earlier in the season. Baltimore RB Ray Rice was returned to the Ravens last week, after spending a few months with...umm... Damn. I really wish I knew enough about HBO's The Wire to make a hilarious reference before the show turns into a pop culture security blanket for lazy sportswriters. Pick: Baltimore

Joe: This game's personal Christmas carol: "White Christmas," because of our favorite quasi-racist talking point on the Browns: whitey RB Peyton Hillis. With Cleveland in perpetual "play up/down to the quality of our opponent" mode, I'd take the point spread in this game, but picking straight up, I say Baltimore holds tight. Pick: Baltimore

N.Y. Jets at Chicago

Aaron: The Bears will be motivated by a possible NFC second seed in the playoffs, which means at least one postseason home game and a first round bye. The Jets, on the other hand, need to win every game from now through the Super Bowl if they have any hopes of quashing the national media narrative on their head coach's personal life. (Honestly, I'd have been a LOT more surprised at that sentence on the Bears, if you showed it to me at the beginning of this season.) Pick: Chicago

Joe:"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" -- Cam makes a really good point about the Bears -- a first round bye followed by a home game in the wintry confines of Is It Still Called Soldier Field(?) might give them decent (but still not great) Super Bowl odds. This game comes down to Mark Sanchez in cold weather (speaking of narratives the Jets would like to quash) versus the lingering image of how the AFC's finest treated the Bears. Pick: NY Jets

New England at Buffalo

Aaron: I can't think of a better belated Christmas gift for Joe than his beloved Bills upsetting the Patriots in his hometown of Buffalo. Of course, that's because I didn't get Joe sh*t for Christmas, except my annual family Christmas card. A Bills win can't be better than a picture of my family's festive faces. Pick: New England

Joe: "All I Want for Christmas Is You" -- In this case, "you" is "the Bills wiping that smug look off of Pats fans' faces." Alas, much like Mariah, my own pleas are doomed to go unanswered. (What? You seriously think she was thinking about Nick Cannon when she recorded that song? He was, like, eleven! Sick.) Pick: New England

San Francisco at St. Louis

49ers head coach Mike Singletary spent most of this week refusing to name his starting quarterback and insisting the tactic had nothing to do with gamesmanship. I know that words like "uppity" and "truculent" are, to an extent, Jim Crow archetypes, but damned if I can find more appropriate adjectives, y'all. Pick: St. Louis

Joe: "Hard Candy Christmas" -- The Rams aren't asking for much. Just to not be the first sub-.500 team to make the NFL playoffs. Pick: St. Louis

Detroit at Miami

Aaron: In his first year as a starter, Dolphins QB Chad Henne was a .500 quarterback in 2009. And, Miami fans are disappointed he didn't turn into Dan Marino in year two? All those Florida Marlins championships really spoiled the fanbase, no? Pick: Detroit

Joe: "Jingle Bell Rock" -- A Christmas song that always feels like it SHOULD be better than it actually is goes out to the Lions, a sleeper favorite of pretty much everyone's this year, even though they hadn't really been winning up until recently. Three in a row seems like a bit much, right? Pick: Miami

Tennessee at Kansas City

Aaron: My Raiders need a Chiefs loss here to keep their comatose playoff hopes alive. Kansas City is 6-0 at home and Tennessee is starting Kerry Collins, 60, at quarterback. Thanks, Titans. Pick: Kansas City

Joe: "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" -- The Chiefs, and head coach Todd Haley, have decided to quit playing their bullshit reindeer games with Jamaal Charles and actually let him lead the way for a change. This is a smart decision. Don't think either the Jets or the Ravens are at all happy at the thought of having to travel to Arrowhead for the playoffs. Pick: Kansas City

Washington at Jacksonville

Way too much is being made of Redskins QB Rex Grossman and his team's near-win in Dallas last week. The Jags aren't an intra-divisional foe playing with nothing to lose (or gain). Look it up, if you don't believe me. Pick: Jacksonville

Joe: "O Little Town of Bethlehem" -- Just like Bethlehem lost out to Jerusalem in the great Christ-worshipping sweepstakes, so Jacksonville may end up losing their NFL team to Los Angeles. But at least they'll also have choked the division away to the Colts too! Pick: Jacksonville

Indianapolis at Oakland

Aaron: Yes, the Colts STILL have Peyton Manning -- which is the way his name appears in every predictive broadcast or write-up. But, reputation and resume only get you so far. The Raiders have been living on theirs for the last 25 years. I can recognize the end when I see it. Pick: Oakland

Joe: "Silver Bells" -- It could be a very silver-and-black kind of a day if the Raiders decide to play spoiler. But are they truly ready to destroy anyone's season but San Diego's (and, okay, my own suicide pool, tangentially)? Pick: Indianapolis

Houston at Denver

Aaron: I caught a lot of Tim Tebow's performance against Oakland last week. He wasn't nearly the "unfixable" and rigid work-in-progress that I expected. I don't know what his ceiling is, but "beating a Texans team that's quit on its coach and is fighting on the field during games" is a reachable goal for the week. Pick: Denver

Joe: "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" -- Really, any of the Christmas songs about celebrating the birth of the savior would apply to Tim Tebow. But I know the Evolutionary Doug Flutie when I see him! Pick: Houston

San Diego at Cincinnati

Here in San Diego, the fans and media are collectively looking past the 3-11 Bengals. But, the Chargers have unexpectedly stubbed their toes on a few of their scheduled cupcakes and snow is in the forecast with predicted temperatures in the 20s. I'm picking with my heart. Pick: Cincinnati

Joe: "Do You Hear What I Hear?" -- It's Cam, picking with his heart bile against the Chargers. I can't respect the Bengals after watching the Bills carve up their secondary a month ago. Pick: San Diego

Seattle at Tampa Bay

By the lazy, alliterative standards of the sports media, this "Baby Bucs" nickname ranks second in annoyance only to that "Baby Bombers" Little League team from the Bronx several years ago. This blogger suggested "The Tampa Boy Buccaneers", but was shouted down at the press club. Pick: Seattle

Joe: "Do They Know It's Christmas?" -- Both because the Bucs are already playing for next year, and also because no, I still don't understand how Christmas feels like Christmas when it's all temperate and shit. Pick: Tampa Bay

N.Y. Giants at Green Bay

A pissed off and embarrassed Giants team is playing for their playoff lives. The recently concussed Aaron Rodgers has been cleared to play. Let's hope he and his family celebrated Christmas on December 25 and aren't doing one of those "why don't we wait until after the game" against the New York defense. Pick: NY Giants

Joe: "Frosty the Snowman" -- Frosty was fragile too, and it never sat well with me how rough the town's children played with him. He was made of snow! He had no bone or muscle structure! Anyway, godspeed Aaron Rodgers. Pick: NY Giants

Minnesota at Philadelphia

Aaron: I literally turned on last Monday night's game just as the chalk outline of Brett Favre was being drawn around his frozen corpse on the field. His motionless husk still looked more competent at quarterback than his back-up, Joe Webb. Pick: Philadelphia

Joe: "Jingle Bells" (
this version). Oh, come on. If Michael Vick gets to actually own a dog again (for the kids!), I at least get to keep needling him ever so gently for having callously maimed and murdered so many of them, right? Pick: Philadelphia

New Orleans at Atlanta

Aaron: The Falcons beat the Saints in overtime earlier this season in New Orleans. So, in this season of gift exchange... Pick: New Orleans

Joe: "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" -- If the Falcons can get past this one and wrap up the NFC, they're free to rest their starters next week. I'm not sure if that's still something we're supposed to get worked up about or not. Just in case, a pre-emptive "cram it" to anyone making the "obligation to your fans" argument. Pick: Atlanta


SHough610 said...

1) Joe, I'm in Tonawanda for the holiday. Can you tell me what's the deal with the dude who bought out the tickets in Buffalo so the game won't be blacked out here?
2) I hate Soldier Field, it's one of the worst surfaces in sports (up there with Heinz Field). I hope they don't get a game against the Eagles
3) There's no proof Mike Vick killed the dogs himself. And I've heard rumors he took the fall for Marcus (Mike bankrolled it and Marcus ran it)

SHough610 said...

Manning is in the "Dan-Marino-in-the-mid-to-late-'90's" phase of his career, only without the desperation for a ring. Speaking of Miami, they have fans? That destroys my media construction of their fans as LA East

Joe Reid said...

1) Some local restaurateur/eccentric millionaire. Monty Burns must be furious.

2) That seems to be where things are headed.

3) I believe the dogs barking "Jingle Bells" speak for themselves.