Sunday, November 6, 2011

2011 NFL Pickery -- Week #9

Last Week

Joe: 9-4
Aaron: 7-6

Current Standings

Joe: 77-39
Aaron: 75-41

N.Y. Jets at Buffalo

Aaron: The Jets are 4-0 at home, 0-3 on the road. If that's too large of a sample, the Jets are also 0-2 after bye weeks during the Rex Ryan era. Sometimes, these games just pick themselves. Pick: Buffalo

Joe: I am once again scared sh*tless and considered abstaining from picking this game like Cris Collinsworth on Inside the NFL. If you look at the Bills' remaining schedule as often as I have, and you figure the games they should win and the games they should lose will probably even out, you see that the game against Dallas and the two games against the Jets would end up deciding their playoff fate. Objectively, there are things I like about this matchup (the home-field advantage, the fact that our defense came alive last week, Fred Jackson) and things I don't (Fitz's possible minor chest injury, the fact that our defense came alive against the terrible Redskins, Darelle Revis). Ultimately, I would feel like a puss for backing off my team now. Just ... oh God, please ... Pick: Buffalo

Seattle at Dallas

Aaron: I honestly had no idea that Cowboys QB Tony Romo is 31 years old. He's older than Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Jason Campbell -- three quarterbacks who all feel like they've been playing longer than they have. Erstwhile Eagles QB Donovan McNabb had a much more impressive resume than Romo, yet he was hustled out of Philadelphia at the age of 33. Not looking forward to the "Raiders Acquire Romo" headline three years from now. Pick: Dallas

Joe: I know nobody wants to hear about other people's fantasy football stories. The only thing more boring than someone else's fantasy football story is hearing over and over that nobody wants to hear about other people's fantasy football stories. But seriously, last week, going into Sunday night, I needed twenty points and I had THREE players remaining. Do you know how easy it is for three players to get you 20 points? You'd almost have to be in a coma NOT to get 20 points. I guess what I'm saying is, DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant, and Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey, y'all OWE ME. Pick: Dallas

Cleveland at Houston

Aaron: Remember the 2007 Browns team that won 10 games with three of the most famous flash-in-the-pan players in recent memory? QB Derek Anderson, WR Braylon Edwards and TE Kellen Winslow, Jr are all pleased, proud and privileged to welcome 2010 Peyton Hillis into their collective one-hit wonder club. Pick: Houston

Joe: It's not a perfect bit of poetic justice, but after having to put up with Peyton Manning in their division for their entire existence, I'm happy that the Texans have been handed a suddenly pitiful division and home games against teams like the Browns. Pick: Houston

Atlanta at Indianapolis

Aaron: I hadn't realized that the "Peyton Manning for 2011 NFL MVP" movement was a semi-serious thing until I read Peter King's column on earlier this week. Major League Baseball will be glad to know that they no longer have a monopoly on voters who can't define "valuable". Pick: Atlanta

Joe: Matt Ryan, this would be an excellent game to throw some touchdowns. Pick: Atlanta

Miami at Kansas City

Aaron: Last week, a banged-up Chargers team nearly beat the Chiefs in Kansas City before losing on a fluke fumble. The Dolphins, meanwhile, were on the wrong end of some shaky officiating in their three-point loss to the Giants on the road. Now, this is a trap game, kids. Pick: Miami

Joe: Not sure if the Chiefs clawing their way back to the top of the division is a testament to them or an indictment of San Diego, but I'm not sure a team that started as poorly as they did will be looking past anybody. Pick: Kansas City

Tampa Bay at New Orleans

Aaron: Now that the Saints successfully ruined every suicide pool in the universe with last week's inexplicable loss to the Rams, it's time for New Orleans to obliterate their next opponent just to f*ck with those of you who lost money on them. With my fantasy football season in shambles, schadenfreude is all I've got left. Pick: New Orleans

Joe: I'm told by Important Football Stat Folk that the Bucs are a bad team just waiting for their record to catch up with them. That may well be true. But for the record, I'm basing this pick of old-school ephemera like "bounce-back game!" and "dome team at home in a dome." Pick: New Orleans

San Francisco at Washington

Aaron: From Norv Turner (1994-2000) to Steve Spurrier (2002-03) to Mike Shanahan (2010-present)...has any NFL team generated a greater cumulative gap between "expectations set by hiring a new coach" and actual results? Discuss. Pick: San Francisco

Joe: How about every team that's hired Bill Parcells since New England in 1997? TAKE THAT, PARCELLS! Pick: San Francisco

Denver at Oakland

Aaron: Even as a Raiders fan, I can't help but find a grand amount of gallows humor in newly-acquired QB Carson Palmer being hastily inserted into his first game just days after arriving in Oakland. He reportedly only knew a fraction of the playbook and was explicitly told he would NOT be playing by the coaching staff. This week – reportedly at Palmer's behest – the team signed the remains of his former teammate TJ Houshmandzadeh. With RB Darren McFadden out, this game has the potential to bring my seven-year-old son to tears. His dad, too. Pick: Denver

Joe: I'm sorry, Raiders fans. Y'all didn't deserve this. Meanwhile, I'm actually going to do the unthinkable and recommend a Deadspin article about
the recent outrage over anti-Tebow mockery. Hey, it's our job to encourage anything that isn't AJ Daulerio writing vengeful hit-pieces about obscure ESPN sex scandals. Pick: Denver

Cincinnati at Tennessee

Aaron: Has anyone considered that the NBA's ownership might've observed what happened to holdout Titans RB Chris Johnson after getting a fat contract? Maybe that's why they've drawn such a hard line with their players. It's admittedly a stretch, but I have to believe Johnson has ruined more than just my fantasy football season. Pick: Cincinnati

Joe: I am man enough not to resort to childish reverse-jinxing when I pick my own team's games. I am, however, completely immature enough to try to juju our wild-card competitors. Pick: Cincinnati

St. Louis at Arizona

Aaron: The Rams scored 7, 3, 10 and 7 points in the four games before rolling up 31 on the Saints last week. The Cardinals, meanwhile, have allowed 30+ in their last four games. So, by applying one random pattern to would appear to be Arizona's turn to be good or something. Pick: Arizona

Joe: Ahh, yes. The two crappy teams I kept insisting weren't that crappy. Time to not lose, guys! Pick: St. Louis

N.Y. Giants at New England

Aaron: There seemed to be an awful lot of "surprised" broadcast analytical time spent on the Patriots' performance in their loss to Pittsburgh last week. Just so we're clear, is this because everyone agreed New England's loss in Buffalo never happened? Similarly, did we forget that Dolphins QB Chad Henne threw for 416 yards against the Pats on opening night or that the Chargers marched up and down the field in New England before each of their ill-timed pratfalls? The injuries on the Giants' side are all that keeps me from picking them here. Pick: New England

Joe: Yeah, kind of a bummer when you're missing your best RB, your best WR, and countless defenders. So good news, Patriots fans! Your Week 9 win in this game will totally make up for that humiliating and deflating Super Bowl loss, won't it? Pick: New England

Green Bay at San Diego

Aaron: I'm enjoying this Chargers season as much as anyone else who despises the team and their fanbase, but I'll continue to maintain they're not nearly as bad as they've looked. However, this stretch of opponents (Green Bay, Oakland (Thursday night) and at Chicago) and their end-of-season schedule (Bills, Ravens, at Detroit and at Oakland) will test my theory. I so hope I'm wrong about them. Pick: Green Bay

Joe: Pick the Packers til they actually lose. Seems like a solid plan to me. Pick: Green Bay

Baltimore at Pittsburgh

Aaron: Oh, there you are, "low-scoring AFC North intra-divisional game in prime time"! I hope you brought inclement weather and both of your punters! Pick: Pittsburgh

Joe: I know Pittsburgh has really managed to right their ship. I know the Ravens alternate between playing well and playing shockingly terrible. I know that these AFC North slugfests usually end up evening out. And yet ... I am somehow picking the Ravens here. Pick: Baltimore

Chicago at Philadelphia

Aaron: 25 years ago, the city of Chicago was a
nightmare for the Dream Team. I don't expect history to repeat itself. Pick: Philadelphia

Joe: I'm going to be bummed when all of the hoopla around the Eagles' slow start and all that "Dream Team" talk ends up crowding out the flashbacks to the Fog Bowl. Pick: Philadelphia

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