Saturday, September 29, 2012

2012 NFL Pickery -- Week #4

Last Week 

Aaron: 9-7
Joe: 7-9 

Current Standings 

Joe: 27-21
Aaron: 25-23
Cleveland at Baltimore 

Aaron: I read that Time-Warner Cable and the NFL Network had reached a deal to finally bring the channel to MY television -- and presumably to anyone else who's been impacted by the two sides' long-standing impasse, as well.  We still don't have it here in San Diego and judging from this match-up...I'm in no rush.  Pick: Baltimore 

Joe: Yeah, kind of a harsh blessing that THIS will be my first taste of NFL Network football. I guess this game will be the last hurrah for the replacement refs? Maybe at halftime, the Baltimore fans can give them some nice parting gifts. You know, because the refs obviously stole last week's game from the Patriots and handed it to the Ravens. I read it on ESPN Boston! Pick: Baltimore

Minnesota at Detroit 

Aaron: No one is putting Lions QB Matt Stafford in the same category as former Detroit disappointments Scott Mitchell and Joey Harrington, but neither of those guys elevated anyone's expectations with a professional season like Stafford had last year.  So, I'll split the difference and politely implore Stafford to stop playing like perfectly serviceable former Lions QBs like Rodney Peete and Erik Kramer!  Pick: Detroit 

Joe: I'm so mad at this Lions team, I can't even tell you. I'm pretty sure I'm going to start Vikings QB Christian Ponder over banged up (and AWFUL) Lions QB Matthew Stafford, so congratulations on your first big win of the year, Detroit. Pick: Detroit

Seattle at St. Louis 

Aaron: The Seahawks spent a generation in a joint custody arrangement between irrelevance and anonymity, before playing in one of the worst-officiated Super Bowls ever, making the playoffs with a 7-9 record and, of course, last Monday night's..."incident" -- all in the past five years (or so).  They're the better team here, but I'm amused by the thought of the sad-sack St. Louis Rams playing the role of karma-dispenser.  Pick: St. Louis  

Joe: Ugh, NOTHING worse than when Cam takes my upset pick before I can. Nothing! Pick: St. Louis

San Francisco at NY Jets 

Aaron: In the aftermath, no one will care that Jets QB Mark Sanchez went up against a ferocious defense that was hellbent on taking out last week's loss on someone.  I'm not saying there's a LOT of context to consider, but it might be time to realize that Sanchez can't win by himself, Jets fans.  Pick: San Francisco  

Joe: The one good thing about this Jets team and their fans -- at least the fans KNOW they're being asshole when they start to agitate for Tim Tebow. Meanwhile, it was nice to see the Unbeatable Niners bubble burst by the unlikely Vikings, but it's probably too much to hope for two in a row. Pick: San Francisco

San Diego at Kansas City 

Aaron: The only depressing aspect of the Chargers' 27-3 loss to Atlanta last week?  The game was blacked out here in San Diego.  Kansas City has been a house o' horrors for the Chargers in recent years -- last Halloween night, QB Philip Rivers famously fumbled deep in Chiefs' territory on what would've been the game-winning drive -- but, Kansas City's one win (vs. New Orleans) is mathematically more fraudulent than the Chargers' two.  It's math!  Pick: San Diego  

Joe: I kind of love how tightly professional sports talkers cling to their narratives. Norv Turner's Chargers have started slowly so often that nobody seems at all concerned about that drubbing by the Falcons. Oh, they'll figure it out! You gotta trust me, guys: find a running game. Pick: San Diego

Tennessee at Houston 

Aaron: Part of me is hoping the Titans comically mock Houston by wearing throwbacks paying tribute to their short-lived tenure as the "Tennessee Oilers", culminating in a glorious heel turn by Houston Oilers legend Earl  Campbell who -- from his wheelchair -- will interrupt the pregame coin toss, take the microphone and blame the concrete turf of the Astrodome for the physical ruination of his legs.  He'll close with, "You didn't DESERVE the Oilers, Houston.  And, you didn't deserve ME!" [Mic drop]  Pick: Houston 

Joe: First-ever 3-0 start for the Texans! They look legitimately exciting! Isn't it about time for that season-devastating injury to strike? Pick: Houston

Carolina at Atlanta 

Aaron: So...when did we collectively agree to bash Panthers QB Cam Newton for his somber -- albeit melodramatic -- postgame comments after Carolina's loss to the Giants last week?  Sports Illustrated's Peter King even used the reaction of Ravens WR Torrey Smith (whose brother tragically past away last weekend) as a critical comparison to Newton's, holding it up as, what, deserving of a dirge?  Newton is struggling and his biggest fault is caring too much?  'K, got it.  Pick: Atlanta 

Joe: Yeah, it really seems like people were waiting for Cam to struggle a bit so they could haul out those old college grudges. It would be nice to see him really air it out against the Falcons, but Atlanta's defense really does seem much improved. Pick: Atlanta

New England at Buffalo 

Aaron: If we're to believe's most popular online personality, the ending of the Patriots' loss to the Ravens last week was on par with the Green Bay/Seattle game from this past Monday night -- even though the Baltimore field goal looked pretty damn good, after multiple replay looks.  The same guy also believes the Pats could be 3-0, if not for those meddling kids replacement referees.  I'd feel a LOT better about the Bills here if their running backs were 100%.  Pick: New England 

Joe: You and me both. I know better than to get my hopes up for a team that beat two bad teams and lost to one mediocre one, but New England looks about as beatable as they have since the Matt Cassel season. Still ... nah. Pick: New England

Cincinnati at Jacksonville

Aaron: Yeesh.  Well, I like that the Jaguars can run the ball.  And, since the Bengals' run defense has been pretty porous in the early going, let's use the ol' "pick the team who has the best player between 'em" tactic.  Pick: Jacksonville 

Joe: Am I crazy, or do the Bengals look like they could frustrate teams enough to make a run at a wild card this season too? Pick: Cincinnati

Miami at Arizona 

Aaron: Maybe we should hold off on printing playoff tickets until dueling QBs Kevin Kolb and John Skelton can consistently channel the spirits of Kurt Warner and...I can't think of another decent Cardinals QB.  But, here's a fun fact: in 1994, the Cardinals started Steve Beuerlein (7), Jay Schroeder (8) and Jim McMahon (1) at QB...and went 8-8!  Pick: Arizona  

Joe: Can NO ONE remember Neil Lomax?? Anyway, I am a definite believer in that Cardinals defense. But ... but ... 4-0? I can't. Maybe I'm just hoping for a suicide-pool-busting result here, but ... Pick: Miami

Oakland at Denver 

Aaron: I'll take credit for picking the Raiders' upset win last week, even though I missed wildly on the specifics.  RB Darren McFadden has had some huge games against the Broncos over the past few years and Carson Palmer could go off here, but the Raiders are still REALLY weak in the secondary.  Broncos in a shootout and Peyton Manning looks like Peyton Manning in the final two minutes.  Pick: Denver  

Joe: YOU try making sense of these intra-AFC West matchups. Pick: Oakland

Washington at Tampa Bay 

Aaron: The Bucs have been pretty spry in the early going.  The defense looks respectable and the offense -- at least against the Giants, two weeks ago -- looked good.  Redskins QB Robert Griffin III still has some bank from his week #1 performance in New Orleans, but at some point, he's going to have to that again.  Pick: Tampa Bay 

Joe: Tampa's not going to be an easy out for anyone this season, but the Redskins have their backs against the wall, and for the first time in forever, they have a player with the goods to harness that desperation. Pick: Washington

New Orleans at Green Bay  

Aaron: Yes, it was bad call(s) at the end of last Monday night's game. But, the officiating atrocity that was unleashed on the Packers and their fanbase's hokey small-town sense of self-worth was like watching the referees crap on every speech at the Republican National Convention.  Pick: Green Bay 

Joe: Okay, can we talk about how hilarious the State of Emergency SportCenter after last Monday's game was? Everybody adopted that pitched-but-sorrowful tone that is usually reserved for a Munich Olympics-like disaster. "Our greatest hopes and our worst fears are seldom realized," Steve Young intoned to Mike Tirico. "Our worst fears have been realized tonight. They're gone. The Packers' chances of going 15-1 with no running game and a surprisingly porous offensive line are all gone." Pick: Green Bay

NY Giants at Philadelphia 

Aaron: My friend Tom has a meticulous set of rules for seemingly every intra-division game involving NFC East teams.  I'm assuming "Mike Vick has looked like sh*t this season" is, like, rule number one.  Pick: NY Giants  

Joe: True enough! Plus the Giants look like a team that took seven quarters before they remembered that they're really good. Pick: NY Giants

Chicago at Dallas 

Aaron: Since I'm stealing the prognostication methodology of others, I might as well mention that Joe offered up an interesting "win one, lose one, win one..." idea for the Cowboys' fortunes a few weeks ago.  I mean, I was going to pick Chicago anyway, but now it's more like betrayal.  Pick: Chicago  

Joe: Damn, I thought I'd be able to pick one up here. Pick: Chicago 


CrazyCanuck said...

Hey, I remember Neil Lomax! Good quarterback who has been unfortunately overlooked when discussing 80s NFL history.

And I nearly choked on my lunch at the Jim McKay/Munich reference. Hilarious!

Kristen said...

I don't understand how in the world my Cardinals are 4-0. Maybe because Joe always picks against them? KEEP IT UP!!!

Yvonne said...

Uhh, NFL Network IS on Time Warner-San Diego. Channel 355/356. :)

I'm now going to stick pins in my Dennis Allen voodoo doll and marvel at his ability to neuter Darren McFadden all by himself.

Hoping to see J's game next weekend!