Thursday, November 17, 2011

2011 NFL Pickery -- Week #11

Last Week

Joe: 8-8
Aaron: 6-10(!)

Current Standings

Joe: 94-52
Aaron: 91-55

New York Jets at Denver (Thursday Night)

Joe: I have to admit, I'm probably getting sucked into exactly the narrative that the NFL wants me to get sucked into, but Tebow's backwards style of play really does add an element of interest into his games. Two completed passes in a win will do that. Meanwhile: same old Jets. They should be able to score on the Broncos, but Mark Sanchez is going to have to not screw it up. Enjoy, Jets fans! Pick: NY Jets

Aaron: With just about three minutes left in the third quarter during last week's Broncos v. Chiefs game, Tim Tebow had an open receiver on third down and short. Tebow spotted his guy and chucked a lawn dart that would've needed to travel another yard-and-a-half just to reach his receiver's feet. It was the worst non-pressure, unobstructed pass I've ever seen. Tebow might still finish the season as the starter and the Broncos might win a few more games, but tonight…the experiment ends. Pick: NY Jets

Buffalo at Miami

Aaron: The Dolphins have been perfectly respectable in November, beating up on a pair of bad teams and giving the Giants all they could handle on the road. I'm rooting for the Bills here, though, if only to silence the "Did Buffalo jump the gun by signing QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to a lucrative contract extension?" discussion. For those keeping track, yes, that talking point IS coming from the same people who thought it was a good idea three weeks ago. Pick: Buffalo

Joe: I hate everything. Pick: Buffalo [Ed. Note: For you new readers, Joe is a Bills fan, so...yeah.]

Dallas at Washington

Aaron: These intradivision NFC East games usually provide copious amounts of "zig" to the "zag" of our collective expectations. But, thankfully, the suck that Washington brings to the table is one of the league's few guarantees. Pick: Dallas

Joe: Yeah, it's tough to believe that a Cowboys team that looks good is going to keep looking good. And there's no bigger stumbling block than a road game in the division. But these clowns in Washington! What a bunch of clowns! Pick: Dallas

Oakland at Minnesota

Aaron: Despite last week's impressive road win in San Diego, I remain unsure about my Raiders in the short term. The run defense has been creaky all season and now faces the league's best running back here. And, QB/erstwhile retiree Carson Palmer will be uneven at times, even though everyone wants to forget the loss to the Broncos two weeks ago. This feels like the final score will be: Adrian Peterson-28, Oakland-24. Pick: Minnesota

Joe: I was hoping this would end up being a point of differentiation between us this week (since, as you'll see, we agree a lot). I underestimated the inability of a fan of a middling NFL team to trust that they won't blow it. Pick: Minnesota

Tampa Bay at Green Bay

Aaron: One of the unwritten agreements from the NFC's realignment last decade should've been the abolishment of this longtime NFC Central match-up. When I was growing up, it was the Ken Patera vs. Dino Bravo of football rivalries. Don't bother looking them up. I think the analogy is even stronger if you don't know who they are. Pick: Green Bay

Joe: Aw, the Battle of the Bays! Steve DeBerg! Chris Jacke! The classic cellar-dweller rivalry! Anyway, picking Packers games continues to be boring as hell. Packers. Always. Pick: Green Bay

Carolina at Detroit

Aaron: If the Lions don't quickly find some consistency -- and if the NFL season continues on its current path -- Detroit might be remembered as the only team that defeated Tim Tebow in 2011. How did we get here, people?! Pick: Detroit

Joe: The clash for pastel-blue supremacy rages on. Detroit has gone from being the upstart darlings of the league to its frustratingly inconsistent teenager who can't run the ball. Fortunately for them, Carolina can't stop the ball. Pick: Detroit

Jacksonville at Cleveland

Aaron: I learned my lesson from picking the Browns to defeat the Rams last week. And, the lesson is "always pick against Cleveland if their opponent has the best player between the two teams". Or, just don't pick Cleveland ever. Either one works. Pick: Jacksonville

Joe: The Jags, ever my Waterloo, will probably win this one just to spite me, but I think this is one of Cleveland's unwatchable 10-6 victories. Pick: Cleveland

Cincinnati at Baltimore

Aaron: Both teams are coming off losses. The Bengals loss to the Steelers might've been expected while the Ravens losing to the Seahawks was kinda-sorta inexplicable. The teams in the AFC North are among the league leaders in unexpected outcomes (not an official stat), so I'll assume putting two of them together will cancel out the confusion. As nonsensical corollaries go, this one's absolutely airtight. Pick: Baltimore

Joe: The Ravens have thus far been able to rebound from their unacceptable losses. Cincy's defense is going to be a tougher challenge than the Rams and the Cardinals were able to muster up. Still. Pick: Baltimore

Seattle at St. Louis

Aaron: Both of these terrible teams have wins against opponents (Baltimore and New Orleans, respectively) who may go on to win their divisions. The Rams beat the better of the two teams, so let's go with them here, 'K? Pick: St. Louis

Joe: Between Steven Jackson getting healthy and Brandon Lloyd giving Sam Bradford an acceptable target for once, the Rams might finally be the mediocre team we all thought could go 8-8 and win the West when this season started. Pick: St. Louis

Arizona at San Francisco

Aaron: Five of the 49ers last seven games are against the execrable NFC West. I can't think of a better way to prepare for New Orleans or Chicago or whichever team backs into the NFC East title in January than several late season scrums with Arizona or St. Louis or Seattle. Pick: San Francisco

Joe: I really do hope the Niners go 15-1 on their creampuff schedule and then get the rudest of awakenings in the divisional playoff round. Nothing personal against their fans, but (as always) the sports media is going overboard. Jim Harbaugh is not the secular Tebow, okay? He's just not. Pick: San Francisco

San Diego at Chicago

Aaron: If the Chargers' injury-riddled offensive line repeats their sieve imitation from last week, QB Philip Rivers might not survive to see the second half. Temperatures are expected to be in the 40s, so no one would blame Rivers if he chose not to come out of the locker room after halftime. I know I wouldn't. Pick: Chicago

Joe: It might just be a huge blind spot, but I'm not able to trust the Bears yet. But if the Chargers couldn't beat the defense-less Raiders and Chiefs, I can't see them getting past Chicago. Pick: Chicago

Tennessee at Atlanta

Aaron: Titans' RB Chris Johnson piled up 174 yards from scrimmage last week with a touchdown. Easily his best performance of the season and a faint ray of hope that gives me optimism for my money league fantasy football team. I might not have to shatter my son's piggy bank to afford Christmas gifts, after all. Pick: Atlanta

Joe: I so rarely find myself agreeing with Bill "Commissioner of Shaming the Participants in the NBA Lockout" Simmons that I feel like I should give credit where it's due when our opinions do align. Because at this point, the sabermetric community defending the Falcons going for it on fourth down in their own territory in overtime last week is the craziest shit I have ever seen. Pick: Atlanta

Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants

Aaron: Giants QB Eli Manning is on a pace to throw for 4,779 yards which would be the sixth highest single-season total in history. That number would top big brother Peyton's 4,700 yards thrown in 2010. This is the most surprising sports-related development among siblings since...oh, you know all know it's coming, so let's just get on with it.
Here's a clip of Owen Hart upsetting his brother Bret at Wrestlemania X. It's like Eli passing Peyton, but with more pink. Pick: NY Giants

Joe: As a fantasy investor in the NY Giants defense this week, I'm putting my vote in for a Vince Young appearance. Pick: NY Giants

Kansas City at New England

Aaron: A Monday night blowout with the ESPN broadcast team? Pass. Fortunately,'s Bill Simmons should have another 20,000-word column on the NBA lockout for me to read by then. Pick: New England

Joe: Ugh. Fatten up on empty calories, Patriots. Fatten right up. Pick: New England

No comments: