Thursday, December 1, 2011

2011 NFL Pickery -- Week #13

Last Week

Joe: 11-5
Aaron: 11-5

Current Standings

Joe: 114-62
Aaron: 110-66

Philadelphia at Seattle

Aaron: The last two Thursday night games featured a road team that traveled across the country after playing the previous Sunday. The only thing crazier than the continuation of this ridiculously unfair travel practice is my pick. Pick: Seattle

Joe: I guess it all depends on how badly the Eagles are going to turtle the rest of this season. Seattle has played almost everyone tough this season. But I can also see Philly taking out their frustrations over a lost season out on a lesser ("lesser"?) team. Pick: Philadelphia

NY Jets at Washington

Aaron: It's just about time for the Jets to make their annual late-season push for that coveted backdoor invitation to the NFL's "Wildcard Weekend" in early January. From now until the end of the season, the Jets play just one team that currently has a winning record. (And, that could change by the time they play the Giants (6-5) on Christmas Eve. Sorry, Tom.) Pick: NY Jets

Joe: Did anybody really doubt the Jets would once again make the playoffs? This is how they do. And before anybody starts complaining, they'll be a hell of a lot more of an intriguing matchup than the Bengals, the Titans, or whoever else the AFC might cough up. Pick: NY Jets

Kansas City at Chicago

Aaron: Thankfully for the beat-up Bears, they don't have to face anyone on the Chiefs who's capable of dominating them like Raiders placekicker Sebastian Janikowski and punter Shane Lechler did last week. Pick: Chicago

Joe: I'm genuinely heartened by how the Bears have become the wounded bird that otherwise unaligned NFL fans are hoping make the playoffs despite their injuries. This is still Jay Cutler's team, right? Pick: Chicago

Tennessee at Buffalo

Aaron: Since Joe's beloved Bills earned their own Bob Costas soliloquy during halftime of last Sunday night's nationally televised game, I'll focus on the less publicized Titans. Specifically, RB Chris Johnson and his season-long slog that caused me to bench him in my fantasy football money league last week. He then ran for 190 yards and I lost by four points. Why isn't Bob Costas covering this?! Pick: Buffalo

Joe: Bob Costas can eat it, and for so many more reasons than just that. He knows what audience he's playing to when he goes off on what is, at base, virile (mostly black) twentysomethings getting exuberant about the game they're playing. Anyway, I can't trust the Bills for the rest of the season. If Chris Johnson's looking to make it up to his fantasy owners, this is the week to do it. Pick: Tennessee

Oakland at Miami

Aaron: The Dolphins are 3-3 over the past six games and in those losses they were defeated by 3, 3 and 1 point. My Raiders, meanwhile, continue to play just well enough to win with an equally consistent inability to put teams away. All of these close games are going to bite Oakland in the ass at some point and Miami seems equipped to win an 18-17 snoozer. Pick: Miami

Joe: I'm content to continue making money off of Cam's denial that his Raiders are making the playoffs. Pick: Oakland

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh

Aaron: After this week, the Bengals are home to Houston, at St. Louis, home to Arizona and home to Baltimore. With the Ravens likely resting their starters in anticipation of the postseason, the Bengals could conceivably finish 11-5. They're 7-4 at the moment, which means… Pick: Pittsburgh

Joe: You have to figure Pittsburgh's going to be primed to stomp on their rivals' playoff chances. They'll get up for this one in a way they didn't for KC last week. Pick: Pittsburgh

Atlanta at Houston

Aaron: Rookie quarterback T.J. Yates will make his first NFL start for Houston after the Texans lost both Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart for the season. This is playing out like another installment of Final Destination. I'd anticipate Yates being impaled on the first down marker, if I thought he'd get within the vicinity of a first down this Sunday. Pick: Atlanta

Joe: Good thing for Houston they've got enough of a cushion in the AFC South. Though I'm not 100% ruling out Atlanta blowing this game. They've had that tendency this season, and Houston's defense has been playing well enough to keep it close. And then there's Arian Foster, who might be good enough to beat a stacked defensive line anyway, and ... oh, hell, why not? Pick: Houston

Denver at Minnesota

Aaron: I can't remember ever seeing a quarterback have more time to throw than Tim Tebow this past Sunday against the Chargers. Obvious irony aside, I'm not sure if that's to the credit of the Broncos offensive line or indicative of the state of the Chargers' pass rush. The Vikings front four can get to the quarterback, but without RB Adrian Peterson, it'll be low-scoring affair. I'm looking forward to more sideline shots of Broncos executive and Hall of Fame QB John Elway pretending to enjoy his sandlot offense. Pick: Denver

Joe: Right now, it's looking like the Broncos have more weapons at their disposal than the Vikings do. And that is HILARIOUS. Pick: Denver

Carolina at Tampa Bay

Aaron: I've been staring at this matchup for five minutes and all I got is "Panthers' defense is bad" and "Buccaneers are playing at home". Every individual game write-up can't be a winner, kids. Pick: Tampa Bay

Joe: Tampa's defense is pretty bad too, is the thing. And I think Cam Newton has one more "WOW, Cam Newton!" game in him before the season's out. Pick: Carolina

Indianapolis at New England

Aaron: Depending on where you look, the Patriots are favored here by about 21 points. And, from a gambling perspective, it might be the game of the week. What would be too many points for New England to give? This is a Patriots team (and coach) that (1) hates the Colts; (2) has established a precedent for running up the score against demonstrably weaker opponents; (3) is playing a team that appears to be actively trying to lose. Honestly, I'd start to get a little skittish at 38-39 points, but I'd feel comfortable laying at least 35. Someone talk me out of reopening my online betting account! Hurry! Pick: New England

Joe: That's basically all I had to say. At this point, it might be more of an a-hole move for Belichick to refuse to run up the score on Indy. Not that I expect he'll be able to resist the temptation. Good thing those points carry over into the playoffs, right? Pick: New England

Baltimore at Cleveland

Aaron: I'm racking my brain, trying to think of a more mediocre quarterback with a better "quarterback name" than Cleveland's Colt McCoy. Chuck Long? Shane Falco? I think Colt pretty clearly wins here. Pick: Baltimore

Joe: Here's where Baltimore beats down on the Browns for failing to pull off an upset over Cincy that would have helped a lot of teams. Pick: Baltimore

Green Bay at NY Giants

Aaron: I might've taken the Giants here if I hadn't watched the disappearing act by their defense last Monday night against the Saints. And, how have none of the usual snarky sports outlets jumped on the comedic gold mine that is Eli Manning's abominable beard? Deadspin? Bill Simmons? Anyone?! Pick: Green Bay

Joe: Oh, Giants. It's happening again. Pick: Green Bay

Dallas at Arizona

Aaron: Didn't these two teams play, like, ten times a year when they were both in the old NFC East? And, weren't half of those games played in Mexico for some reason? Man, I miss the 1990s…with all its pogs and Zubaz and superfluous "Doggy" in between "Snoop" and "Dogg". Pick: Dallas

Joe: If the Cardinals could bring Jake Plummer back to get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald, I think they would. And yet I STILL would not be shocked if the Cowboys coughed one up to the Cards, because that's what they do. I can't make that pick with any confidence, but I'm not ruling it out. Pick: Dallas

St. Louis at San Francisco

Aaron: Question -- Will the 49ers loss to the Ravens last week have any impact on the team going forward? Answer – Have you seen who they're playing this week? Have you?! Pick: San Francisco

Joe: Battle-tested Niners! Pick: San Francisco

Detroit at New Orleans

Aaron: With the help of head coach Jim Schwartz and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, the Lions went from "inspirational" to "pro wrestling villains" in a little over six weeks. After a childhood spent watching this exact same angle play out on Saturday Night's Main Event, I'll assume the Sunday night version will also end with the overwhelming fan favorites victorious and "Real American" playing over the PA system. Pick: New Orleans

Joe: We're one more Saints win from the speculative pieces about how their offense might be the one thing that could keep the Packers out of the Super Bowl. (They'll be wrong. The Cowboys defense is the one thing.) Pick: New Orleans

San Diego at Jacksonville

Aaron: I wish everyone could've watched Chargers head coach Norv Turner's postgame press conference in the aftermath of last Sunday's home loss to the Broncos. It played like the greatest exit interview ever. It had everything: indifference, dismissive responses and an impenetrable "I don't give a sh*t" smirk. I'm expecting something less than maximum effort from his team come Monday night. Pick: Jacksonville

Joe: Dead-cat bounce for interim Jags head coach Mel Tucker? Well ... A) I had to look up Mel Tucker's name just now, and B) I learned my lesson on over-relying on dead-cat-bounce theory when the Broncos blew my knockout pool in Week 14 last year. Pick: San Diego

1 comment:

NY Jon said...

Very late to the party on this and I'll admit to not being much of a football fan, but I finally looked up Matt Leinart. Disappointed that after I finally learn about his face...he's out for the season.