Sunday, October 2, 2011

2011 NFL Pickery -- Week #4

Last Week

Joe: 9-7
Aaron: 8-8

Current Standings

Joe: 30-18
Aaron: 30-18

Carolina at Chicago

Aaron: I was all ready to be like, "Cam Newton and the Panthers get their first real test of the season -- an opponent that plays defense. From the mouth of last week's monsoon to the 'Monsters of the Midway' this week." Then, I saw that the Bears have allowed the eighth most yards from scrimmage and my alliterative quip was ruined. Pick: Chicago

Joe: Ohhhh, how much do I want to pick the Panthers in this one. But on the road against a Bears team that isn't terrible, just not great? Not quite, Carolina. Pick: Chicago

Buffalo at Cincinnati

Aaron: Here's hoping Buffalo plays well enough -- long enough -- to land a Sunday night "flex game" on NBC. I will set my DVR for the players' self-introductions, holding out hope that the Bills quarterback looks right into the camera and says with a dismissive, condescending sneer, "Ryan Joseph Fitzpatrick. Harvard University. Wonderlic score: 49." Pick: Buffalo

Joe: This kind of game scares me a billion times more than the Patriots. Now the pressure is all on the Bills to take care of a "bad" team even though this bad team has shown unexpected signs of life. Buffalo has played well in Cincinnati over the last few years, even in potential trap-game scenarios like these, which is encouraging. It would be great to watch the Bills just handle this game like a good team is supposed to handle a not-so-good team. I'll be quaking in my boots until that happens. Pick: Buffalo

Washington at St. Louis

Aaron: Weeks from now, we'll all look back to early September when I picked the Rams to beat the Eagles and laugh. That is, unless most of you already got it out of your systems back in early September. Last week, the Redskins lost to a quarterback who was one hit away from complete organ failure. This week, they face an entire team with a similarly fitting description. Pick: Washington

Joe: I'm willing to stick with the Rams until their schedule gets a little less crazy (i.e. until they get into the cushiony marshmallow fluff of the NFC West). And hey, Steven Jackson's back this week! Yeah! Pick: St. Louis

San Francisco at Philadelphia

Aaron: The 49ers are one overtime loss away from being 3-0 to start the season. This despite ranking 28th in passing yards and 30th in rushing yards. The enigmatic Eagles are clearly the better team, but at some point they're going to need to beat someone who's not in the NFC West. Pick: Philadelphia

Joe: Getting a paper tiger like the Niners at home on a week when you're ailing is the closest thing to chicken soup the NFL can possibly serve up. Pick: Philadelphia

Minnesota at Kansas City

Aaron: Last week, the 0-3 Vikings blew a double-digit halftime lead for the third straight game and the 0-3 Chiefs lost on a last-second interception immediately after stopping Chargers on 4th and 1. When the participants are this pathetic, it's best to play the "which team has the best player" prognostication justification and move on. Pick: Minnesota

Joe: Shame about that choke-job last week, Vikes. Maybe somehow find a way to get the ball to Adrian goddamn Peterson in the second half this time? Pick: Minnesota

New Orleans at Jacksonville

Aaron: How close are we to seeing erstwhile Jaguars QB David Garrard sue his former team? His release last month was clearly not performance based (at least, based on the performance of his replacements). Oh, if only there were a collection of Garrard's peers who were united for their rank and file. This mythical entity would most assuredly protect one of their own, no? Pick: New Orleans

Joe: Between Darren Sproles and Lance Moore, the Saints are becoming that most wonderful of NFL archetypes: the team full of tiny, speedy spitfires. At some point, just for fun, I wonder if New Orleans could just pull a Chinese fire drill around the Jags' defense. ...Oh, like it's out of the question that Sean Payton's playbook would include that. Pick: New Orleans

Pittsburgh at Houston

Aaron: You say, "This'll be a good test for Houston." I say it'll be a good test for Pittsburgh. Their two wins were against the execrable Seahawks and the Colts -- who Houston beat by 27 versus the Steelers' three-point squeaker in Indianapolis last Sunday night. So, based on that bastardization of the transitive property... Pick: Houston

Joe: Damn you for taking my exact reasoning. Something's rotten in Pittsburgh this season, and since I have no qualitative analysis of the players or offensive/defensive schemes available, I'm just going to go ahead and blame it on Troy Polomalu's Head-n-Shoulders commercials. Pick: Houston

Detroit at Dallas

Aaron: The Lions have a top ten offense (10th) and defense (6th)? Against a squad with a national following, this could be Detroit's official coming out party. They haven't been this relevant since Michael Keaton wore a Lions hat in several scenes of the 1983 comedy Mr. Mom. It was set in Detroit, you see. The suburbs, I presume. Pick: Detroit

Joe: I don't think the Cowboys have gotten any less schizophrenic (or banged-up), but I think they end up doing to Detroit what Minnesota did, except for the back-breaking second-half comeback part. Pick: Dallas

Tennessee at Cleveland

Aaron: I'm taking the week off from bitching about Titans RB Chris Johnson and his negligible impact on my fantasy football team. Instead, I'll mention that Browns RB Peyton Hillis -- also on my fantasy team -- missed last week due to strep throat. The only upshot is that Hillis' absence gave back-up Montario Hardesty some playing time. I love that name. It sounds like something from A Charles Dickens Joint. Pick: Tennessee

Joe: Both of these teams are tied for first place in their respective divisions. Both of THESE teams. BOTH of these teams. I can keep finding new words to capitalize or you can all agree with me that that's ridiculous. Pick: Cleveland

Atlanta at Seattle

Aaron: I'm going to go ahead and blindly pick against Seattle all season. They won't finish 1-15, but I'm confident my method will work a lot more than it won't. Pick: Atlanta

Joe: I love all media pouncing on Atlanta for losing a bad-weather divisional road game against a good team, just a week after they were lauding them for beating the Eagles. I'm convinced this is all coming from people who have owned Matt Ryan on their fantasy teams and are furious at him for not being a big-stat guy. (I, um, might know how they feel.) Pick: Atlanta

N.Y. Giants at Arizona

Aaron: Looking ahead at the Giants' upcoming schedule, there's a possibility they could be 5-2 through October. And, with a November slate that includes at New England, Philadelphia, at New Orleans and Green Bay, they could be 6-6 after the first week of December. Bet accordingly, kids. Pick: NY Giants

Joe: Oh, kids, I've seen this movie before. Pick: Arizona

Miami at San Diego

Aaron: It was announced this week that the Chargers fell 6,500 tickets short of a sell out, so this game will be blacked out here in San Diego. Oh, glorious schadenfreude! But, all is not lost, citizens of my adopted hometown. We'll now get a game that we otherwise wouldn't have if the Chargers were on TV. I think you know where I'm going with this. Pick: San Diego

Joe: See, that will never happen to me here in New York, Cam. That concrete prison block in East Rutherford will sell out no matter how many blowout losses the Jets suffer. ...Wait, the Chargers didn't get blown out last week? They actually won their game. Strong showing, San Diego fans. Strong showing. Pick: San Diego

New England at Oakland

Aaron: Yes! San Diego gets a 1:00 PM Raiders game and I don't have any obligations as a father, husband or employee! I think! At this point, I'm conceding that my season-long picks against the Raiders were targeted towards this specific game. No way am I allowing myself to believe the Raiders are disciplined enough on defense to stop Tom Brady. Still, this has "turning point" potential for Oakland -- win or lose -- so, expect my drinking to start early. Pick: New England

Joe: I'm just going to pat myself on the back right now for calling that Raiders win last week. I'd love to do so again, but I worry that back-to-back Brady upset losses would be too much to hope for. But I will sure be watching this one with interest. Pick: New England

Denver at Green Bay

Aaron: You know the drill -- I make the "Super Bowl XXXII rematch" reference by mentioning a few long-retired players from that game like, say, John Elway or Terrell Davis and fold them into a jab at the Broncos current roster. From there, I drop a random bit of trivia (Did you know Boyz II Men, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations and The Four Tops performed at the halftime show?) And, then I end with a polarizing punchline (There were more black people on the stage than on the field!) Fin. Pick: Green Bay

Joe: It really bothers me that this week has been all "three undefeated teams, two of them total Gomers in Buffalo and Detroit, and then the legitimate Green Bay Packers." I mean, what have they accomplished recently that the Bills and Lions haven't? I ask you! Pick: Green Bay

N.Y. Jets at Baltimore

Aaron: When Joe picked the Raiders to beat the Jets last week, he called it New York's "OMG the Jets are soooooo overrated" scare of the season. What'll it be when it happens again? Pick: Baltimore

Joe: Stick with me on this, but I actually thought the Jets gave me some reasons to be encouraged last week. The defense has not been good thus far this season, but the offense looked really solid on the road. And that Week 2 loss to the Titans really made me wonder what the hell is Baltimore's deal. Pick: NY Jets

Indianapolis at Tampa Bay

Aaron: The only thing worse than this game will be the inevitable annual dialogue about television ratings, regular season football and playoff baseball. Pick: Tampa Bay

Joe: All I will say to the Bucs is don't fill up on empty calories in this game. You want to be hungry later on when you face actual NFL competition. Pick: Tampa Bay

1 comment:

Kristen said...

Unrelated to football picks... Ricky Henderson was at the D-backs game last night (as was I). When they showed him on the Jumbotron, I said to my boyfriend, "You know that guy I stalk at museums and follow online? That's his favorite player!". He is new to baseball, so he was unimpressed (he doesn't like football, and wasn't excited by Larry Fitzgerald on the Jumbotron either). I'm glad you and your buddies were wrong about Brewers in three!