Thursday, November 24, 2011

2011 NFL Pickery -- Week #12

Last Week

Joe: 9-5
Aaron: 8-6

Current Standings

Joe: 103-57
Aaron: 99-61

Green Bay at Detroit

Aaron: The Lions – coming off a 49-point performance last Sunday and playing here in front of a raucous home crowd – will be the trendy pick to upend the undefeated Packers. And, speaking of trends: "undefeated Packers". Would you bet against Green Bay to score 50, if Detroit put up 49, again? Me neither. Pick: Green Bay

Joe: I'm just happy that the Lions are playing such a meaningful Thanksgiving game again. This is the NFL's reward for stubbornly sticking with the Lions as the Thanksgiving tradition and suffering through a decade's worth of blowouts. ...This one might still be a blowout. Pick: Green Bay

Miami at Dallas

Aaron: Remember that time when then-Panthers QB Matt Moore came off the bench to win three late-season games in 2009 (against Brett Favre's Vikings, Eli Manning's Giants and the eventual Super Bowl champion Saints)? Carolina made him the starter entering 2010, before realizing Moore wasn't that good – replacing him with Jimmy Clausen. Moore's now starting for the Dolphins and you want me to take him on the road on a short week? Nope. Pick: Dallas

Joe: I don't want to speak too soon, but DeMarco Murray's presence at RB really does seem to have filled out the Cowboys offense in a way they haven't had since Marion Barber's one great half-season. Please just someone end this infernal Miami hot streak. Pick: Dallas

San Francisco at Baltimore

Aaron: With all of the recent developments and owner concessions towards player safety, it's hard to understand why teams are still forced to play late west coast games on Sundays and then another on the east coast four days later. And, on the busiest travel weekend of the year! Pick: Baltimore

Joe: Baltimore's thus far been able to come up big against big opponents, but they've been giving up a lot of points lately. And the Niners have been charmed. Pick: San Francisco

Buffalo at NY Jets

Aaron: I assume my friend Joe has rearranged his travel plans so that he's back on the train from Buffalo and heading home to the city while his beloved Bills are playing this game. Out of sight, out of mind, yes? Pick: NY Jets

Joe: All my illusions about the Bills slump -- bad matchups against the Jets and Cowboys; bad luck; the offense needing a team it could out-gun -- were all blown away with that loss to Miami. It's over. Another mediocre (at best) season. The playoff drought continues. Oh, and the Jets are still a terrible matchup for the Bills. Pick: NY Jets

Minnesota at Atlanta

Aaron: During the Vikings v. Raiders game last Sunday, my seven-year-old son took a little too much pleasure out of seeing All-Pro RB Adrian Peterson leave with an injured ankle. I properly chastised my son, but the injury sure does make picking Vikings games a helluva lot easier. Pick: Atlanta

Joe: It's too bad because I was enjoying Christian Ponder getting his sea legs with the advantage of having AP running the ball. Hard to imagine the Vikes' offense will have the same zip. Pick: Atlanta

Arizona at St. Louis

Aaron: How soon after the season will Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald demand a trade to a team with a competent quarterback? There's no way he shows up for training camp next year, right? I haven't seen a holdout coming from this far away since Rickey Henderson turned the disgruntled late arrival into an annual event. Pick: St. Louis

Joe: I've never been more depressed to have multiple fantasy-football interests in one game. Pick: Arizona

Carolina at Indianapolis

Aaron: Now that the Colts have a two game lead in the race for worst record, there's some talk of them giving a competitive effort here. I can't imagine that an organization as smart and respected as Indianapolis would take that chance, though. The tanking continues. Pick: Carolina

Joe: I've never been one to hate on Peyton Manning and the Colts for winning dull, but honestly, even when they're tanking a season and chasing 0-16 they're boring. Pick: Carolina

Tampa Bay at Tennessee

Aaron: If the Titans really do intend to start QB Matt Hasselbeck – who injured his elbow (throwing arm) in last week's loss to the Falcons – then it's likely the team will need 2011 statistical cipher Chris Johnson to step up at running back. Trust me…I know how this story ends. Pick: Tampa Bay

Joe: Man, I just do not trust either of these teams. I guess I have to go with Tampa, who looked feisty against Green Bay and who probably are destined to be the team hanging around the bottom of that "playoff picture" graphic each network will be flogging until the season ends. Pick: Tampa Bay

Houston at Jacksonville

Aaron: The resurrection of relevancy for Texans QB Matt Leinart! I love the "even HE can't screw this up" narrative that's followed him around for two weeks since starting QB Matt Schaub was lost for the season. Sportswriters STILL seem irked that a young, handsome and available football player was more interested in being young, handsome and available than developing as a football player. Can you believe this guy?! Pick: Houston

Joe: Man, of the two of us, I was certain I'd be the first to bring up how handsome Matt Leinart is. Needless to say, I'll be rooting for Houston. Pick: Houston

Cleveland at Cincinnati

Aaron: I guess this is as good a place as any to squeeze in an overt reference to my fantasy football team. I'm in a four-way tie for first place in my money league and I have the Bengals' defense against the miserable Browns. If Cleveland QB Colt McCoy throws for five touchdowns, you'll know why. Pick: Cincinnati

Joe: Isn't this supposed to be when the hard part of the Bengals' schedule kicks in? Pick: Cincinnati

Washington at Seattle

Aaron: The week-to-week competitiveness of these two teams appears to be based on some sort of random number generator. So, which team will win here? Oh, let's say…Moe. Pick: Seattle

Joe: If Marshawn Lynch keeps running well, I'll keep liking the Seahawks as a spoiler. Meanwhile, after that hot start, the Redskins might be the worst team in football. Pick: Seattle

Chicago at Oakland

Aaron: Some troubling signs for my Raiders. RB Michael Bush – who took a tremendous pounding during his breakout game vs. the Chargers on November 10 – looked two steps slower last week vs. the Vikings (and most of his output was in garbage time). The penalty situation has reached a comical state of crisis. And, head coach Hue Jackson continues to be bailed out of indefensible play calls (running a QB keeper at the goal line with eight seconds left in the first half and NO timeouts). Even without Bears QB Jay Cutler, I'm worried here. Pick: Chicago

Joe: If Carson Palmer continues his charmed level of play, I'd say Jay Cutler's absence here makes a huge difference indeed. Pick: Oakland

New England at Philadelphia

Aaron: A Vince Young-led renaissance for the Eagles based off of the results from one game? Sure, why not? Pick: Philadelphia

Joe: Not buying it. Not buying the Eagles' defense putting together two straight strong weeks either. Pick: New England

Denver at San Diego

Aaron: Lost amid all of the Tim Tebow hullaballoo is that the Broncos' defense has been pretty terrific lately. The Chargers are essentially playing for their season here and have the talent for a gallant last stand. Curiously, I've written variations of that last sentence as it relates to the Chargers for at least the past three weeks. Pick: Denver

Joe: An excellent point about the Broncos defense. Even conceding the insane and hilarious magic of that final drive, Tebow put together ONE successful drive for Denver in the entire game. That's not nearly enough if the Denver D doesn't hold up. Not sure that magic holds up in San Diego. Pick: San Diego

Pittsburgh at Kansas City

Aaron: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is expected to play despite a fractured right thumb. It seems the only thing that can keep him off the field is a league suspension for alleged sexual assault. That's the kind of toughness that inspires us all. Pick: Pittsburgh

Joe: A rematch of the epic 1994 AFC Wild Card round matchup, when future Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Marcus Allen led the Chiefs to victory and ultimately one game short of the Super Bowl. Into this proud tradition steps ... who's quarterbacking the Chiefs again? Pick: Pittsburgh

NY Giants at New Orleans

Aaron: It's high time we all accept that the 8-7 Giants will be playing the 8-7 Cowboys for the NFC East title on the final day of the regular season and all of the breathless around-the-clock coverage that'll come with it. The winner's eventual loss to Detroit in the first round of the playoffs will get decidedly less air time. Pick: New Orleans

Joe: The Giants sure picked a rough week to test their whole "This season's not going to end with a slump like so many others" theory. Pick: NY Giants

1 comment:

Tom said...

The only thing that could save the Giants season is if Jay Cutler gets hurt and potentially opens a 9-win Wildcard spot. What's that? Oh, awesome.