Thursday, November 29, 2012

2012 NFL Pickery -- Week #13

Last Week

Joe: 12-4
Aaron: 11-5 

Current Standings 

Joe: 113-61-1
Aaron: 112-62-1

New Orleans at Atlanta 

Aaron: The three games on Thanksgiving seemingly debunked the ol' "take the home team on a short week" credo that had been eerily accurate for most of the season.  But, like other Thanksgiving events – my wife  making/baking three pies in one night or America pretending to give a shit about nationally televised parades, let's say – I'm calling them ALL outliers.  Pick: Atlanta 

Joe: Plenty of motivation for the Falcons here, avenging their only loss of the season and trying to re-establish themselves as the Super Bowl front-runner (they are). I thought for a while last week that the Saints had the stuff to make a late run at the playoffs, but we can't expect anyone to stop Colin Kapernick, can we? Pick: Atlanta

Jacksonville at Buffalo 

Aaron: With two weeks left in the regular season of my big-money fantasy football league; I hold a tenuous grip on the fourth and final playoff spot.  If I can win out, I'm in.  Why am I boring all of you with this?  Because of the inherent hilarity that my fantasy season (and upcoming Christmas shopping) hinges on – in no small part – my NEW wide receiver combination of Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon.  Both from the 2-9 Jaguars.  Apologies in advance to my family.  Pick: Buffalo 

Joe: One of these days, fantasy football will discover a way to give points for games lost by foolish interceptions thrown when driving for the tying score. Dibs on the Bills when that happens. Pick: Buffalo

Seattle at Chicago 

Aaron: The only thing more amusing than the NFL experts' retroactive appreciation for Bears QB Jay Cutler is their retroactive derision for the Seahawks.  Wait, wait, wait…a team coached by the esteemed Pete Carroll and led by a rookie quarterback might occasionally be inconsistent in their performance from week to week?  But, they beat New England a few weeks ago!  On TV!  Pick: Chicago 

Joe: Yeah, there's a slight chance that Chicago's opportunistic defense will feast on Russell Wilson on the road. Pick: Chicago

San Francisco at St. Louis 

Aaron: The last time these two teams met, the game ended in a tie.  I'm still trying to decide which postgame storyline was more insulting: the "hey, we found a few stupid players who stupidly didn't know a regular season game can end in a tie…I mean, that's so stupid, right?" one or the "it's time to do away with those unsightly ties and play until there's a winner (or someone on the field dies)" one.  Pick: San Francisco 

Joe: I love how Colin Kapernick is already Tom Brady after two weeks. No pressure, though, guy! Meanwhile, St. Louis is dangerous at home and already has shown that they can hang with the Niners on the road. But I think San Francisco is locked in at this point. Pick: San Francisco

New England at Miami 

Aaron: Listening to this past Monday's "BS Report" podcast, it occurs to me that columnist Bill Simmons…really believes that the Patriots are the best team in the AFC?  So, you mean I have to set aside some time in mid-January for his "I should've seen the Ravens/Texans coming" mea culpa podcast?  It just so happens I'm free!  Hee!  Pick: New England 

Joe: He can't help it! It's so great. Unfortunately, I don't think the Dolphins have enough weapons to properly exploit the weak New England defense. I guess the hope is that, one by one, key Patriots players get waylaid in Miami, "Homer at the Bat"-style. Wes Welker at the Ft. Lauderdale Mystery Spot! Pick: New England

Arizona at NY Jets 

Aaron: Honestly surprised to see how consistent – albeit unspectacular – Jets QB Mark Sanchez's numbers have been during his 3 ½ seasons in the league.  He took the Jets to the AFC championship game his first two years and NOW he's terrible?!  He's the same guy he's always been!  But, if Sanchez played even an infinitesimal role in the retirement of "Fireman Ed", then…win?  Pick: NY Jets 

Joe: It's always so unseemly when the normally protective-to-the-point-of-insulting sports media picks a team and declares it open season on them. Yes, the Jets are not a very good team and they tend to lose in embarrassing, running-into-butts ways. But to act like Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez have this coming on some grand moral level ... I really have never understood it. Pick: NY Jets

Indianapolis at Detroit  

Aaron: The upstart Colts are 7-4 on the season, but just 2-3 on the road.  The Lions, meanwhile, are playing their third straight home game after losing the first two.  The city of Detroit hasn't bore witness to such an "irresistible force vs. immovable object" match-up since Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant headlined Wrestlemania III at the Pontiac Silverdome.  Pick: Detroit 

Joe: I can't believe we're talking about anything but the colossal dumbness of that "accidentally throwing the challenge flag when the play gets automatically reviewed means the play no longer gets reviewed" rule that felled the Lions and their admittedly dunderheaded head coach last week. They've finally found a way to codify passive-aggression. Pick: Indianapolis

Minnesota at Green Bay  

Aaron: After their blowout loss to the Giants last week, expect the 7-4 Packers to bounce back with the formula that's worked so well for them this season – barely beating teams they're obviously better than.    Pick: Green Bay 

Joe: With all the talk at the beginning of the season about how passing offense is making a dominant rushing attack obsolete, I have to think the Packers would really appreciate an effective running back right about now. Pick: Green Bay

Houston at Tennessee

Aaron:  I don't know what kind of numbers Texans RB Arian Foster will end up with when his career is over, but I hope any eventual discussion over his Hall of Fame credentials will include his inexplicable propensity for bow ties when he's not in uniform.  This is ALWAYS a terrible look for black guys – Nations of Islam and/or Domination, excepted.  Pick: Houston 

Joe: Can I get a ruling on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on The Critic? Anyway, Houston's near-miss against Jacksonville a few weeks ago has me nervous that they could still be due for that dreaded "trap" game, but maybe they're on guard against it now. Pick: Houston

Carolina at Kansas City 

[I don't know why, but I feel like I should mention that Joe and I completed our respective write-ups before the awful news from Kansas City broke yesterday. --Aaron]  

Aaron: For the second week in a row, the Panthers are playing in the worst game of the week.  Given the level of pressure and competition, it looks like we'll all be treated to "competent" Cam Newton.  Again!  Then, he gets to play San Diego and Oakland in back-to-back weeks later this month.  The Panthers could finish 6-10.  Again!  Pick: Carolina 

Joe: It's funny that all this is happening while Cam is on one of the least history-laden teams in one of the most media-unfriendly markets in the league. Imagine the horror show if he was in Dallas or New York? [shudder] Pick: Carolina

Tampa Bay at Denver  

Aaron: With the rest of the AFC West in their rearview mirror, a decadent array of cupcakes on their remaining schedule AND a short turnaround from this game to their next (in Oakland on Thursday night); this has all the makings of a preseason-level effort from the Broncos.  Pick: Tampa Bay 

Joe: Can I take a moment to yell at everybody who saw Doug Martin coming and didn't tell me about it? This is maddening. Meanwhile, this could be a really fun, offensive-minded game to watch. Thank God the local Fox affiliate is airing "UFC's Road to the Octagon" in its place. (Yeah, yeah, blackout rules.) Pick: Denver

Cleveland at Oakland 

Aaron: Great to see the new patient leadership in Oakland is SO committed to their long-term rebuilding plan that they're planning to give callow back-up QB Terrelle Pryor some snaps this week – all in response to the large faction of moronic Raiders fans who insist Carson Palmer is the problem.  This should go well.  Pick: Cleveland 

Joe: Tough to imagine the Browns following up their big home win against the Steelers with anything but a back-to-Earth loss in Oakland. Which would be nice as somehow my fantasy season is riding on Raiders TE Brandon Myers. Pick: Oakland

Cincinnati at San Diego  

Aaron: We've all enjoyed the Chargers recent team-wide banana peel slide.  But, save for an early loss to Atlanta, they've been competitive – for the most part – in their defeats.  The Bengals have won three in a row – against the Raiders, Chiefs and the midseason version of the Giants.  I'm not sure either of these two teams is all that good.  Pick: San Diego 

Joe: I agree that the Chargers can't just keep losing, but this Bengals team is dangerous. Not great, but dangerous. Pick: Cincinnati

Pittsburgh at Baltimore 

Aaron: Give the NFL credit...they're hell-bent on getting this matchup over as the league's new biggest rivalry.  Maybe when they meet next year, the Steelers won't be led by a back-up quarterback who's one or two decades past his prime.  Pick: Baltimore 

Joe: Do these two teams just play each other every week now? Doesn't it seem that way? Also remarkable: how the Steelers have managed to eke out a winning record without having ONE player you'd be happy to have on your fantasy team. Pick: Baltimore

Philadelphia at Dallas 

Aaron: Much-maligned Cowboys QB Tony Romo has had a surprisingly solid year.  Just so I'm clear, the plan is to forget that and unfairly blame everything on him -- as usual -- when the Cowboys fail to make the playoffs, right?  Just checking.  Pick: Dallas 

Joe: A full-on tank by the Eagles, all the way down to the top draft pick, is probably exactly what they need. Cleanse it with fire. Pick: Dallas

NY Giants at Washington

Aaron: This seems like the perfect time to pick the Redskins.  They lost in the last minutes to the Giants earlier this season and Eli Manning has been nowhere to be seen for most of November.  But, the Redskins still rank next-to-last in pass defense and don't the Giants get hot around this time every year (that they go on to win the Super Bowl)?  Pick: NY Giants

Joe: Very important caveat there, Cam. All this knowing talk about how the Giants operate makes it sound like they're in the Super Bowl every year. They haven't won playoff games in consecutive years in the entire Coughlin era. Pointless numerology neutralized pointless numerology! Pick: Washington

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