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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Week 15 Picks

I’m throwing up 11-5 weeks now like Brady throws up 300 yards passing…seriously three straight 11-5 weeks. With such a challenging slate of games upcoming I’m afraid I might break the streak, yet probably for the worse. Here’s to hoping Rex Grossman doesn’t confuse himself for Dan Marino, the Jet’s offense doesn’t resurrect itself from utter mediocrity, or the Pat’s lose their incredible mojo. Without further ado, your week 15 picks:

Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals (23-17)

Several things I have learned recently: don’t go for a walk in 25 degree weather in merely a hoodie, don’t wear boat shoes in the snow, never trust a fart, don’t talk about the fight club, and bank on Carson Palmer throwing at least one pick six per game. That’s why I’m taking the Browns…no really, that’s it-the only reason.

Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys (34-10)

Just as I was set to write this up I thought I would take one last look on ESPN to see if anything’s up with the Redskins. What do I find? Donovan McNabb has been benched for Rex Grossman…and not just benched, but relegated to the third spot (and thus, inactive) behind John Beck. Jesus, Mike Shanahan…everyone with two eyeballs can see that McNabb is washed up but benched for Grossman and Beck? What would you rather have, Donovan throwing balls at the feet of his receivers, or Rex throwing balls nowhere in the vicinity of his receivers? Oh, and was Shanahan that quick to forget what happened the last time he pulled McNabb for Grossman (

Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans (31-13)

Houston’s defense came alive last week against Baltimore and set the offense up in a position to win it. I doubt the Texans D is capable of doing that two weeks in a row, but luckily they won’t have to facing a 37 year old quarterback, a deceased Randy Moss, and CJ2k who may have to be renamed CJ1.25K after the season.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts (37-35)

I can’t believe I’m taking the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road, against the Indianapolis Colts…but I am. At some point I have to surrender all my doubts and start believing in this Jags team. And you know what, today’s the day! You have won me over David Garrard; you’re leading a team of destiny! Now go out there, kick em’ in the mouth, execute, and lead my fantasy football team to victory! (Yes, I was forced to pick up Garrard in one of my leagues because Rodgers is out, and Kyle Orton has reverted back to the Kyle Orton we all thought he was…there goes my championship aspirations)

Kansas City Chiefs @ St. Louis Rams (20-10)

Could there be a more inopportune time for one’s appendix to rupture? Why the hell do we have those things anyway? If I was a star quarterback in the league I would have mine removed immediately, just so I wouldn’t miss the two most important games of the season with our playoff hopes on the line. Sam Bradford, appendix and all, has taken the league by storm, and is on pace to throw for the second most yards ever by a rookie quarterback (currently held by Matt Ryan). If he has a couple big games down the road (not unlikely with the 49ers and Seahawks upcoming) he could pass (pass-get it?) Peyton Manning’s record of 3,739 yards. And one further question that needs to be asked: What would Brett Favre have done if his appendix ruptured? Chew on that for a few minutes…

Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins (17-13)

Miami may have just dethroned the Panthers has the least exciting team to watch in the NFL. If a punter ever dominates a game and is the best player on the field you know things are bad. Here’s your dictionary word of the day: Chad Henne has been opprobrious as of late. He might not have reached a Carson Palmer or Derek Anderson-like level of suckage but he is close…very, very close. So that’s 70-odd words of Dolphin-bashing…why did I pick them? Simple: they may be ugly, but their defense was outstanding against the Jets and they should be able to run on the Bills. My last piece of advice, if you can at all help it, DO NOT watch this game; lest you risk looking like this guy:

Detroit Lions @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (21-14)

Because I can’t pick a team being quarterbacked by Drew Stanton. Seriously, that’s all.

Arizona Cardinals @ Carolina Panthers (17-10)

This game:

(Word to the wise: never find yourself in a position where you need a picture of poop…you will get some horrifying Google image results.)

Simple reasoning: Jimmy Clausen knows what’s up if Carolina gets the number one pick. If that happens he may have just run out of “Luck”. Reason No. 482 I want Andrew Luck to be in the league a long time: a solid decade and a half of obnoxious, cliché luck jokes.

New Orleans Saints @ Baltimore Ravens (27-20)

New Orleans may just be the best team in the NFC. And that’s not good for a Ravens team that is alarmingly similar to the 2009 New England Patriots. Check it out: offense that disappears at the most critical points of games, a once dominant defense showing flashes but ultimately failing against great offenses, and a running game going nowhere. Only difference is the Raven’s offense is worse, but they have a better playmaking defense. Plus, New Orleans can smell blood…this game is standing in the way of a huge battle against the Falcons for NFC supremacy.

Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants (30-23)

Possible revenge game for New York—and they certainly have the D-line to harass Vick—but they’re just not fast enough on the back end. In their November 21st meeting New York did a good job of limiting DeSean Jackson to five catches for 50 yards and no touchdowns…yet they allowed number two wideout Jeremy Maclin to explode for 120 yards on nine catches. The Giants were also burned by HB LeSean McCoy for 111 yards on 14 catches. So it may be a case of pick your poison: stop Jackson and Maclin goes off and vice-versa.

Simply, this all comes down to how much pressure the G-men can generate on Vick, and how well they are able to contain him. They nearly did it in the first meeting; I like them to fail again.

And I can’t leave you without talking about this: Vick’s sudden desire to own a dog has sparked some debate over it’s, err, appropriateness. According to Fox sports writer Jason Whitlock, someone even told him Vick owning a dog was akin to a child molester having a child. People need to realize that Vick’s dog-abusing days are behind him…if the man has suddenly taken a liking to dogs and believes it will be good for his image (which it will be in the long run) then he deserves one. He committed a despicable act, paid the punishment, has shown remorse, and wants to prove to everyone that he is capable of coexisting with man’s best friend. Congratulations are in order for how Michael Vick has reshaped his life over the past 18 months.

Atlanta Falcons @ Seattle Seahawks (38-10)

You know that saying when it rains it pours? Same applies to Seattle: when they lose, they lose. The point differential of all Seattle’s losses: 17,17,30,34,15,18,19. So we know this, either they play their best game of the season and win a close one or get thoroughly walloped by the Falcons. Unfortunately for the Seahawks, I don’t know if they have the talent to eke out a close one against surging Atlanta. Falcons are due to drop one at some point-and it’s a possible trap with the mighty clash against New Orleans upcoming-let’s hope they understand the importance of taking care of this contest. I think they do…

New York Jets @ Pittsburgh Steelers (13-7)

I’ve thought about this one a lot. Probably too much. In fact, as I write this sentence I still don’t know which team I’m going to pick…and I can guarantee that I’ll change my mind at least 38 times between now and the end of this paragraph.

What to make of the Jets? Their glorified offense of big-time pickups such as Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, and LaDainian Tomlinson have led them to a resounding 9 points over the past two weeks. It’s been so awful that Rex Ryan considered benching Mark Sanchez for 73 year old Mark Brunel. Benching a 6th overall pick for a 73 year old Mark Brunel is not a good sign. So, do the Jets have the ability/heart/canolies/balls to bounce back? I thought sure they would against a fast-drowning Dolphins team but was horrified to witness the carnage that was the Jet’s offense. And now they get the Pittsburgh Steelers-the best defense in the NFL (according to the football outsiders). I think part of the offensive struggles last week came down to the weather; it should be rain free Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh (but freezing) which could be an elixir for the struggling passing attack.

On the other side of the ball, Big Ben is being ravished thanks to a mediocre offensive line that has lost its two starting tackles. That’s hard to recover from. For all the criticisms Rex Ryan (deservedly faces) you can’t doubt his turkey neck and defensive acumen. He’ll find a way to harass Big Ben and stymie the Steeler’s offense all game.

Gotta’ go with the Steelers. Here’s why: Both defenses are great (excluding games against the Patriots) so they cancel each other out (even with the likelihood that Polamalu is out). It comes down to which offense you trust more to make the big plays down the stretch. In that respect I give the edge to the Steelers, and thus, the game.

Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders (28-9)

Can someone tell me how Studesville and company allowed John Skelton to put up a 40-burger? Before that game I thought an engagement between Ben Roethlisberger and Gloria Steinem was more likely than the Arizona Cardinals ever putting up 40+ points again. My theory: Derek Anderson sucked so bad, and was so despised throughout the locker room that once he was benched the whole team rallied around Skelton. That clogged toilet of a game was a testament to the horrid play of Denver’s defense. And has anyone watched Bronco’s safety Brian Dawkins play lately? You would think he’s 67…

Green Bay Packers @ New England Patriots (38-7)

MATT FLYNN IS STARTING. MATT FLYNN IS STARTING. MATT FLYNN IS STARTING. MATT FLYNN IS STARTING. MATT FLYNN IS STARTING. I watched a little bit of Flynn last Sunday against Detroit, and I watched a whole lot of the Pats against the Bears. My expert analysis: If Flynn could muster 3 points against Detroit, how many points can he possibly put on New England?

Oh, and it might snow....

Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings (16-3)

Sad state of Brett Favre report: Favre getting the nod may actually negatively affect the line. Seriously, who do you want: a 40 year old quarterback who needs 10 ounces of cortisone launched into his decaying body to have a prayer of being able to move, or a guy named Joe Webb who is 24 and may actually have some promise? Never the less, the most interesting aspect of this game may be how the Bears perform. Will this be the second seemingly playoff bound team the New England Patriots have sent into a tail-spin—and the second coach who looked like he suffered a shower rape after facing the Pats?

I think everyone is tired of hearing about Brett Favre. I know it kills me every time I write about him. But the thing is, it’s so easy to use him as the butt of jokes. Thus, I have decided I will never write about him again. Brett Favre, we’re done! (One last tidbit I learned from reading Bill Simmons’s recent mailbag: Sterger spelled backwards is regrets. Yes, yes it is.) I even wrote up a contract to make it official:

On my honor as a writer, I swear to never, ever speaketh of Brett Favre again. Signed, Blitzswish.

There you go; this may just be the most intriguing subplot of my young blogging career. Will I honor the contract? Stay tuned.

Last Week: 11-5

Overall: 118-74

Lock of the Week: Pittsburgh Steelers OVER New York Jets

Upset of the Week: Jacksonville Jaguars OVER Indianapolis Colts

Pounding of the Week: New England Patriots OVER Green Bay Packers

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