Sunday, October 23, 2011

NFL Pickery -- Week #7

Last Week

Joe: 11-2
Aaron: 8-5

Current Standings

Aaron: 60-30
Joe: 56-34

Washington at Carolina

Aaron: In the same week that Vikings QB Donovan McNabb lost his starting job, the man who infamously replaced him (Rex Grossman) during last year's turbulent Redskins season has now been benched by Washington. How long before head coach Mike Shanahan publicly calls out the team's director of player personnel? Wait...what? They're the same person? Oh, Washington. Pick: Carolina

Joe: This isn't a slam on Cam Newton, but after three straight weeks of the Panthers being everybody's upset darling pick (at least one of those weeks I was part of the problem) and getting beat, this is the week they actually need to win and not just look good losing. "Or else?" you ask? SHUT UP, I say! Pick: Carolina

Seattle at Cleveland

Aaron: At some point, the Seahawks will play a road game that doesn't require them to traverse five time zones. Until then, this is a team coming off a bye week that hung 28 and 36 points, respectively, against the Falcons and Giants. Good defenses? No, but look who they're playing this week. Pick: Seattle

Joe: Seattle has looked like a feisty team against better competition, this is true. But they're still not good. And not-good teams end up playing to the level of their competition a lot of times. And the Browns seem to grind so many of their games to a 13-10 halt. That's the kind of game Cleveland's equipped to win. Pick: Cleveland

Atlanta at Detroit

Aaron: None of the Falcons' three wins have come against a team that currently sports a winning record. Surprisingly, only one of the Lions' five wins meets that criteria. Detroit didn't look good in last week's loss to the 49ers -- particularly QB Matthew Stafford -- and now they're without leading rusher Jahvid Best. Let's not fall all over ourselves making tired "chariot ---> pumpkin" clich├ęs. That's what ESPN: First Take is for. Pick: Atlanta

Joe: Remember before the media began inventing random predictive stats like "Matt Ryan can't play in humidity" and "West Coast teams don't win when traveling east," there was the chestnut that said dome teams couldn't win Super Bowls? The Rams and Saints ended up disproving that one, but can dome teams from Atlanta or Detroit with quarterbacks named "Matt" win Super Bowls? History argues that they NEVER can. Pick: Atlanta

Denver at Miami

Aaron: New Broncos starting quarterback Tim Tebow...back in Florida...on the Lord's Day? From the perspective of biblical home field advantage, this will be the antithesis of that whole "Battle of Jericho" kerfuffle (Joshua 6: 1-27). Pick: Denver

Joe: I admit, my crappy fantasy football season has mirrored Denver's in that we're both turning to Tim Tebow for salvation. Lucky for me, I can win even if the Broncos lose. Which hopefully they won't do at dreadful Miami. Pick: Denver

San Diego at N.Y. Jets

Aaron: The Jets' 3-3 record is an eerily accurate reflection of their talent. They've defeated three mediocre teams (Dallas, Jacksonville, Miami) and lost to three good-to-very good teams (Oakland, New England, Baltimore). The 4-1 Chargers, meanwhile, haven't played a good game -- from start to finish -- all season. It would appear to be "clobberin' time". Pick: San Diego

Joe: It feels weird, after two seasons of being a de facto Jets fan (to spite the Patriots and the Boston-dominated sports media, mostly), to have to root against the Jets, so they stay behind the Bills in the standings. Still feels too early in the season for the Chargers to start whomping ass, unfortunately. Pick: NY Jets

Chicago at Tampa Bay

Aaron: The NFL's annual London game is usually played on sod flown in from the Dagobah System and won by the team that controls the time of possession with a superior ground game. That would seem to favor the healthier Bears and RB Matt Forte. Don't, however, underestimate Jay Cutler's ability to ruin any narrative -- here or abroad. Pick: Chicago

Joe: Ugh, the London game. Almost as terrible and joyless as the annual Toronto game, with London only getting a break because their "football" is another sport entirely and confusion over team names like "Buccaneers" sounding more like an awful-tasting English dinner than something to be cheered. Chicago just seems more at home in ugly, dire conditions, right? Pick: Chicago

Houston at Tennessee

Aaron: More fun with small sample sizes -- the Texans averaged 30 points per game against their first three opponents (Indianapolis, Miami, New Orleans) of the 2011 season. Over their next three games, including a pair against the tough defense of Pittsburgh and Baltimore, the Texans averaged just 17 points. Their opponent this week plays pretty good defense, so...spoiler alert! Pick: Tennessee

Joe: This will be a better barometer of how Houston looks without Andre Johnson and Mario Williams than that Ravens game was. They'd have lost that game anyway. It's probably dumb to pick the hobbled team against the home team with a good defense, put counter-picking Cam worked out well last week, so ... Pick: Houston

Pittsburgh at Arizona

Aaron: I am grudgingly ready to accept that Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb might not be as good as everyone thought he'd be during that one week in August 2010 when 10,000 articles were written about him. He would appear to be the NFL equivalent to pogs and Zubaz. Pick: Pittsburgh

Joe: The Cardinals are tough little bastards at home, and Pittsburgh did exactly what I thought they'd do last week as they looked bad while beating the Jags. Arizona at home is tempting as hell, but they're a team Roethlisberger can throw on. Be prepared for me to smugly have my cake and eat it too if the Cards do win, though. Pick: Pittsburgh

Kansas City at Oakland

Aaron: So, my Raiders went out and acquired disgruntled quarterback Carson Palmer from Cincinnati. While I'm of the belief that back-up QB Kyle Boller could hand the ball to RB Darren McFadden 30 times and dump wobbly loaves of bread 10 yards into the flat -- just like Raiders QB Jason Campbell has done for the past two seasons -- I'm fine with the acquisition...but, not the cost. With the not-so-surprising rumors that Palmer has looked really rusty this past week and may not start, this one could be closer than a lot of people think. Pick: Oakland

Joe: Despite the fact that they're one of Buffalo's main rivals for the AFC Wild Card (he says, thinking waaay too far ahead), I'm going to end up rooting for the Raiders if only to shut down the smug Carson Palmer media pile-on. That said, while reverse-psychology is the worst method for picking games, has there ever been a Chiefs-Raiders game that has gone the way it was expected to? Pick: Kansas City

St. Louis at Dallas

Aaron: Hey, it's the regular season NFL equivalent to baseball's World Series! Currently! In football, however, it's the team from Texas with the blowhard leader who's in front of every camera and it's the team from St. Louis that no one knows about outside of their home state. Pick: Dallas

Joe: Credit to the Cowboys for playing the Patriots way closer than I expected them to. I doubt they'll have to settle for a moral victory this time. Pick: Dallas

Green Bay at Minnesota

Aaron: At what point is it OK for the media to ignore Brett Favre? His comments regarding current Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and how he "...fell into a good situation..." were akin to your grandfather commenting on "these kids today" or sharing his outdated appellations for African-Americans. Pick: Green Bay

Joe: You have to feel for the media a little bit. This twice-annual matchup used to feature Favre's relentless self-regard and at least one ready-made Randy Moss controversy. Now, what? Aaron Rodgers's unflashy excellence? Christian Ponder, the boringest of the rookie QBs? Poor Tony Siragusa is going to have to start literally tap-dancing on the sidelines. Pick: Green Bay

Indianapolis at New Orleans

Aaron: The upshot of yet another Peyton Manning-free prime time appearance for Indianapolis is getting to hear eternal back-up quarterback Curtis Painter say his name and college when NBC goes through the player-introduced starting lineups. No, I'm serious. That's the only reason to watch. Pick: New Orleans

Joe: So the media has turned on (or at least tired of) the Saints now that they're not scoring 50 points a game anymore and the Katrina narrative has grown tired. I'm sure Bob Costas will trump up something ridiculous for his weekly soft-focus tone-poetry. Perhaps the current state of the po' boy? Pick: New Orleans

Baltimore at Jacksonville

Aaron: "Alright, Joe hate me and I hate you even more. But without my beloved Tom Brady, you're all I've got in fantasy football this week. So I want you to remember some inspiring words that...someone else might have told you over the course of your life and go out there and win!" Pick: Baltimore

Joe: HA HA HA HA. Oh, Monday Night Football. You once-proud old grizzly bear. Pick: Baltimore


SHough610 said...

Cam, you should have seen the text/email barrage about the fact that the Raiders could have traded two first round picks to the Eagles for Vince Young that I had with my brother. We were... Slightly disappointed.

SHough610 said...

"In the same week that Vikings QB Donovan McNabb lost his starting job, the man who infamously replaced him (Rex Grossman) during last year's turbulent Redskins season has now been benched by Washington. How long before head coach Mike Shanahan publicly calls out the team's director of player personnel? Wait...what? They're the same person? Oh, Washington"

Growing up in Richmond the Redskins were the football team that received the most coverage (and local fandom was split about 85% for the Redskins, 10% Cowboys, and 5% various other teams). Starting with my sophomore year of high school and extending into my freshman year of college the Eagles won four divisional titles, went to four NFC title games, and generally were dominant. EVERY YEAR my friends Doug and Kieran would assure me that THIS WAS THE YEAR the Redskins would knock the Eagles off their pedestal.