Sunday, October 9, 2011

2011 NFL Pickery -- Week #5

Last Week

Aaron: 12-4
Joe: 7-9

Current Standings

Aaron: 42-22
Joe: 37-27

Philadelphia at Buffalo

Aaron: In the immediate aftermath of the Bills loss to the Bengals last week, I reached out to Joe through Twitter. His caustic response ("Garbage. Just absolute garbage.") was equal parts passionate and "sports talk radio". Speaking of which, heaven help the airwaves of Philadelphia should the Eagles lose here in the same weekend that the Phillies' season ended. Pick: Buffalo

Joe: Well they DID play like garbage. A team that can't prevent Andy Dalton and Bernard Scott is playing like garbage. The Eagles must've also played like garbage to lose to San Francisco like they did. That gives me hope. But doesn't it seem like the Eagles wait for everybody to write them off before pulling out gaudy midseason wins that have everybody foolishly talking Super Bowl? Sigh. Pick: Philadelphia

New Orleans at Carolina

Aaron: Panthers rookie Cam Newton has gotten an awful lot of love in his first month -- and the resurrection of favorite target Steve Smith is keeping my fantasy team afloat. But, Carolina's current record is 1-3 and they've yet to beat a team that isn't Jacksonville in conditions more manageable than a monsoon. Pick: New Orleans

Joe: I am still not entirely confident in the Saints on the road, and at some point the Panthers are going to pull out one of these close games. Pick: Carolina

Oakland at Houston

Aaron: As long my Raiders continue to feed an environment -- particularly on defense -- without discipline or decorum, they'll continue to struggle against top-tier teams and/or on the road. The Texans aren't a top-tier team, but " Houston" has the makings of a loud crowd and three or four false start penalties in the first half for Oakland. Can't wait! Pick: Houston

Joe: I'd feel better if the Raiders were at home, but Houston made enough mistakes last week that what should have been a blowout against suddenly-inept Pittsburgh to make me think they'll let the Raiders hang around. And that's when the "Win It For Al!" factor kicks in! Pick: Oakland

Kansas City at Indianapolis

Aaron: The Chiefs' two road losses came against the undefeated Lions and the one-loss Chargers. Obviously, it's too early to play the "strength of schedule" caveat, so instead I'll play the always-dependable "amateur psychiatrist" card. Remember...opponents always get up for a winless team like Indianapolis, so they're NOT the first win. (Not a guarantee.) Pick: Kansas City

Joe: I can't decide whether the Colts' close loss last week at Tampa was a sign that they're going down fighting, or that the score was deceptive and Indy was mostly shut down but for two lucky bombs to Garcon. ...Whatever, somebody's gotta support Curtis Painter and his lustrous head of Farrah hair. Pick: Indianapolis

Cincinnati at Jacksonville

Aaron: Neither of these teams can score, while the Bengals own the best defense in the league and the Jaguars -- the Jaguars! -- are in the top ten. This has "13-12" as the final score written all over it. In fact, all of those sanctimonious columnists who bashed the fans of the Tampa Bay Rays for not showing up during the playoffs should write similarly critical pieces in event anyone attends this unwatchable slog. Pick: Cincinnati

Joe: Now that the Bengals punched my Bills in the mouth, I'm forced to show them respect. Prison rules -- hey, I didn't write 'em! Pick: Cincinnati

Arizona at Minnesota

Aaron: With Kevin Kolb and Donovan McNabb taking the snaps in this game, it's safe to say we're going to see the single greatest game involving two former Eagles quarterbacks who were once on Philadelphia's roster at the same time. That is unless Ty Detmer and Rodney Peete faced off against each other after spending the 1996 season together. Pick: Minnesota

Joe: I'm disappointed you didn't go with the annual Ty vs. Koy Detmer family Thanksgiving flag football game. Anyway, Arizona got royally hosed out of that game vs. the Giants and are a team ever-so-slightly better than their record. But I don't like them on the road, not when Adrian Peterson could rip off a 200-yard game at any moment (HINT!). Pick: Minnesota

Seattle at N.Y. Giants

Aaron: This will be the Seahawks second cross-country trip in three weeks. Early last month, they lost in Pittsburgh, 24-0. This time, there will be better restaurants...and that's where the differences end. Pick: NY Giants

Joe: I don't like the way Seattle has been keeping games close when they shouldn't be close. Here's hoping that cross-country juju still works. Pick: NY Giants

Tennessee at Pittsburgh

Aaron: After Titans RB Chris Johnson's touchdown-free, 101-yard fantasy football "breakout" for me last week against Cleveland, I'm ready to accept substantially less against Pittsburgh on the road. Yup...acceptance. I'm through all five stages of grief in the first five weeks of the NFL season. Pick: Pittsburgh

Joe: So maybe Tennessee is good? They've beaten bad teams and good ones, and the farther we get away from that Week 1 Jacksonville loss the easier it gets to call it a fluke. And as Cam mentioned, Chris Johnson hasn't even gone off yet. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, just looks godawful, and the farther we get away from that Week 2 blanking of Seattle the easier it gets to call it a fluke. And they're banged up. Pick: Tennessee

Tampa Bay at San Francisco

Aaron: I have no idea how the 49ers are 3-1. My favorite stat is their 107 pass attempts through the first four weeks -- the lowest number in the NFL. New head coach Jim Harbaugh will NOT let QB Alex Smith beat them. As far as I know, this strategy has never been employed by any other team in the league. Pick: San Francisco

Joe: I know beating Indianapolis is no badge of honor, but watching the Bucs win on Monday night, after being down in the second half and refusing to accept a loss to an inferior team, I was very encouraged. Maybe Josh Freeman IS worth all that oversized Bill Simmons love. Pick: Tampa Bay

San Diego at Denver

Aaron: The Chargers have beaten three mediocre teams and none by a margin of more than 10 points. These intra-division games are usually hard-fought affairs, but at some point, San Diego needs to start obliterating the teams that they're obviously better than. How else will they keep the predictive preseason narrative alive? Pick: San Diego

Joe: With Peyton Manning now fallen to injury, the most reliable presence in NFL football is now "Aaron Cameron's passive-aggressive comments about the Chargers before he picks them anyway." May it never abate. Pick: San Diego

N.Y. Jets at New England

Aaron: If I understand this correctly, Jets fans are generally Mets fans, right? So, America won't be able to double down on the Yankees ALDS loss and the Jets losing three in a row here. Whatever. I assume this is all part of the karmic balance in response to all of us enjoying the Red Sox's demise a little too much. Pick: New England

Joe: Just because you're right about Red Sox karma boomeranging back on New York doesn't mean I'd trade it for one second of my week's worth of glee. I regret nothing! Pick: New England

Green Bay at Atlanta

Aaron: I'm not ready to write off the Falcons yet. They got bullied by a formidable Bears defense and lost to the Buccaneers in a sauna on the road. Atlanta's one great performance this season came at home on a Sunday night. Never bet against a trend, kids. Pick: Atlanta

Joe: Oof. I'm not ready to write off the Falcons yet either, but I'm less ready to start betting against the Packers. Green Bay hung 48 on Atlanta in the playoffs last year, and that was on a week when Brett Favre wasn't making bitchy comments in the media about Aaron Rodgers. Pick: Green Bay

Chicago at Detroit

Aaron: The Detroit Lions are playing a meaningful game on a Monday night in October? The Detroit Tigers are, too? What is this, 1972? (Trust me, I looked it up.) Pick: Detroit

Joe: If this all leads to a new round of commercials where Eminem threatens us not to mess with Detroit, I'm out. Until that happens, I am fully enjoying the best Lions team since Wayne Fontes and Erik Kramer were around. Pick: Detroit

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