Thursday, December 15, 2011

2011 NFL Pickery -- Week #15

Last Week

Aaron: 14-2
Joe: 12-4

Current Standings

Joe: 138-70
Aaron: 134-74

Jacksonville at Atlanta (Thursday Night)

Aaron: With the Jaguars victory against the Buccaneers last week, they've successfully completed the traditional "win one for the interim head coach" clich̩ Рa mid-season treat, every year. And, now that Mel Tucker can join Eric Studesville (Broncos) and Jim Tomsula (49ers) in making recent interim history, the Falcons can commence with eviscerating Jacksonville's good vibes. Pick: Atlanta

Joe: If I'm Atlanta, I'm really happy that this game is at home and not on the unpredictable and muddy grass of whatever backwoods swamp the Jags play on, because Jacksonville is just the kind of annoying team who could trip the Falcons up. But this one's safely indoors, where Matt Ryan does his thing well. Also, if I'm Atlanta, that means I'm a giant city with not one consciousness but the combined psyche of hundreds of thousands of diverse people, two of whom are Nene Leakes and Phaedra Parks, so that would be weird. Pick: Atlanta

Dallas at Tampa Bay (Saturday Night)

Aaron: I was genuinely struck by the final few seconds of last Sunday night's Cowboys game. With the clock ticking down, cameras caught Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in his private box pleading with his head coach to call a timeout – an image that reminded me of a frantic Captain James T. Kirk helplessly screaming to Spock (who was dying on the other side of an impenetrable glass barrier) at the end of Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan. Fun! Pick: Dallas

Joe: So here we are. Fantasy semifinals (yes, I'm just going to keep doing this). I managed to not only dodge the Big Ben and Larry Fitz bullets, I actually thrived with them. This week, I'm faced with the sad fact that my mid-season pickup MVP Demarco Murray is done for the year, and I've been forced to come crawling back to Felix Jones. Felix who treated me so poorly. Felix who never seemed to care. Felix who is facing a legendarily soft Bucs run defense, so he'd better sack up for once in his life and produce a decent stat line and also probably help his team win so they can make the playoffs. Pick: Dallas

Carolina at Houston

Aaron: Third-string QB T.J. Yates helped the Texans earn their first-ever playoff berth last week, but I can't shake the thought of a possible hangover in front of their home fans and the likelihood that they'll take their foot off the pedal at some point in the second half. Remember, kids: drinking and driving is bad, so make your references subliminal and contrived like mine. Pick: Houston

Joe: Well, we do this about once a year. My annual Too Late and Too Drunk to Make Extended Observations Week. Let's do this. I could not be more ready to support Favorite Nobody T.J. Yates. Pick: Houston

Tennessee at Indianapolis

Aaron: You've got a big enough lead over me, Joe. Be the contrarian. Pick: Tennessee

Joe: HA! Here's the thing: I have been saying to myself ALL season that I will not pick the Colts to break their streak until they are at home against division-rival Tennessee. Standing by my heretofore unspoken promise. Pick: Indianapolis

Green Bay at Kansas City

Aaron: With apologies to my favorite Canadian Packers fan, why does no one talk about Packers CB Charles Woodson in the same tone as noted effort-absent professional Oakland athletes like Randy Moss and Matt Holliday? He was burned on his first play from scrimmage as a Raider and routinely loafed in coverage and tackling while in Oakland. Sour grapes? Probably. But, still! Pick: Green Bay

Joe: Picking with Green Bay. A holiday tradition as well as smart strategy. Pick: Green Bay

Seattle at Chicago

Aaron: You know what's worse than someone else's fantasy football anecdotes? Someone else's gambling anecdotes. I've told this one a million times, though, so what's one more? Five years ago, these two teams met in the second round of the playoffs. The Bears were favored by 8 ½ points. I bet the Seahawks to cover – and paired them with two other bets in one of those three-team gambling dealies – and hit on each one. That's my one gambling story. See you all in four years when these teams meet again. Pick: Chicago

Joe: Speaking of holiday traditions! That story! Pick: Seattle

Miami at Buffalo

Aaron: I originally had "4-0 seemed so long ago, Buffalo" as my witty quip-as-analysis for this game, but then I realized the Bills actually lost their fourth game of the season after starting out 3-0. I don't know…it just doesn't read as well with "3-0", instead of "4-0", but I stand by my basic point. Pick: Miami

Joe: 5-2, my friend. And yes, it seems like several lifetimes and 37 points surrendered to Miami ago. Pick: Miami

New Orleans at Minnesota

Aaron: The Vikings have been able to find the end zone with regularity in recent weeks and against better defenses than New Orleans'. Boy, it didn't take long at all to talk myself into such a ridiculous pick. Pick: Minnesota

Joe: Two of the most fun teams to watch in the NFL. My prediction: POINTS! Pick: New Orleans

Cincinnati at St. Louis

Aaron: After investing north of $40 million in franchise quarterback Sam Bradford, the Rams haven't ruled him out for this week's game despite a high-ankle sprain that was re-aggravated last week against the Seahawks. The Rams offensive line remains an apocalyptic wasteland, so whoever is taking the snaps on Sunday will likely get splattered. Pick: Cincinnati

Joe: St. Louis. We're going to have a loooong talk when this season is over. Pick: Cincinnati

Washington at N.Y. Giants

Aaron: My favorite Giants fan, Tom, swears by an intricate set of rules to determine the outcome whenever two NFC East teams meet each other. I'm not sure what his tea leaves read this week, but I imagine it's something like "Giants at home, Redskins terrible…" Pick: NY Giants

Joe: Works for me. Pick: NY Giants

Detroit at Oakland

Aaron: During a week when my Raiders are preparing for their most important game of the season, the big news out of Oakland was the "mani/pedi" photo spread of head coach Hue Jackson in ESPN The Magazine. I cannot wait until this self-aggrandizing, narcissistic snake-oil salesman is thrown out on his ass and, inevitably, ricochets into the ESPN studios. Pick: Detroit

Joe: Not sure how self-aggrandizing a guy can be when I couldn't pick him out of a police lineup. Pick: Detroit

Cleveland at Arizona

Aaron: If you'd told me neckless wrecking ball Peyton Hillis would go from budding star to enigmatic bust from last season to this…I wouldn't have believed you. Hell, even "Ogre" from the Revenge of the Nerds movies in the 1980s is still working as an unwashed Nordic warrior in those credit card commercials. Man up, Peyton! Pick: Arizona

Joe: I am VERY much enjoying this kamikaze Arizona winning streak, even though it will ultimately mean nothing. Pick: Arizona

New England at Denver

Aaron: I, for one, am grateful for the measured and restrained media coverage this game has received all week. I'm looking forward to the focus finally shifting towards Denver's underrated defense and the hellacious right leg of their placekicker. Some day. Pick: New England

Joe: Dear God: good luck. We're all counting on you. Pick: Denver

N.Y. Jets at Philadelphia

Aaron: Could you see the Eagles running the table and finishing the season 8-8? It would give us the ready-made "they were just starting to gel" storyline heading into the offseason with everyone betting heavy on the overly-optimistic 12-1 odds for Philadelphia to win the 2013 Super Bowl. I could see it. Pick: Philadelphia

Joe: I can't. Pick: NY Jets

Baltimore at San Diego

Aaron: The Chargers' much-maligned offensive line has played better in recent weeks against mediocre competition while several of their skill players have returned to good health. Historically, this is a game that a 2-0 San Diego team would lose in September. Kudos to the schedule makers for mixing things up. Pick: Baltimore

Joe: This is the game that tells us whether San Diddy has just been beating up on weak teams, or if their annual December "charge" (BOO!) is happening again. Pick: Baltimore

Pittsburgh at San Francisco

Aaron: Everyone knows Ben Roethlisberger is going to play in this game, right? Since he injured his ankle, there have been 10 days of real-time reporting tinged with mock uncertainty. All that's missing is 1986 Vince McMahon staring into the camera and declaring Roethlisberger out...right up until he comes limping down the aisle. Pick: Pittsburgh

Joe: So long as SOMEBODY feels like throwing to Antonio Brown. Pick: Pittsburgh


Jeff Hansen said...

I agree with all statements about jerkwad only-hope Felix Jones.

Jeff Hansen said...

My favorite Canadian Bears fan/brother likes to give me a hard time about Woodson's laziness in Oakland. Naturally, Oakland franchised him not once but twice.

I have terrified visions of Tebow going out there and being behind throwing 40 times against a terrible New England pass defense, and winding up with a respectable line that will be thrown in our face devoid of context for the rest of the season. (See also: when he started playing this year, analysts kept bring up the 300 yard performance against Houston last year, the worse pass defense of the last 10 years.)

My more terrified visions are the above except Denver also wins.

Aaron C. said...

Along with my Helu/Bush conundrum for my fantasy football playoffs this week, I went back and forth on playing New England's defense vs. Denver or Cincinnati's vs. St. Louis.

The Pats have stop playing D midway through their last few games, so I'm going with Cincy. And, if Kellen Clemens throws for 400 yards, you'll know why.

SHough610 said...

Could you see the Eagles running the table and finishing the season 8-8? It would give us the ready-made "they were just starting to gel" storyline heading into the offseason with everyone betting heavy on the overly-optimistic 12-1 odds for Philadelphia to win the 2013 Super Bowl. I could see it.

Yeah, but for darker reasons: I see it leading to both Andy Reid and Juan Castillo keeping their jobs and us getting a shitty pick. I still want Andy Reid to be the Eagles GM, just not their coach.