Wednesday, December 22, 2010

3 comments NFL Picks Week 16

Picks in bold, home team in caps.

(-14.5) over Carolina Panthers

Jimmy Clausen may have ruined the future of the Panthers for a very long time. Andrew Luck, without question, will be the number one pick. As of last weekend, he could have fallen into the hands of Carolina. One more loss among their 11 would not have damaged the team all that much. Yes, it may have ended Clausen's career, but I would assume his life is more important than anything football related. So Jimmy, don't show up for work again. Go into hiding where you will be safe from Panthers' fans.

Dallas Cowboys (-6.5) over ARIZONA CARDINALS

I am still undecided as to whether Jason Garrett keeps his job. On the one hand, we have Jerry Jones' continued support and the absurdly large contract he handed to Garrett as an offensive coordinator. On the other seven hands, we have Jones' ego. Garrett's no-nonsense/I'm-not-listening-to-anything-Jerry-tells-me" persona may in fact work for the Cowboys in the long term. With the way the team is playing, Tony Romo would have had them in the playoffs had he played a full season under Garrett. But since Jones is the owner/GM/behind-the-scenes-head-coach, it's hard to imagine him hiring another Parcells type that is not a big name.

Detroit Lions (+3.5) over MIAMI DOLPHINS

Miami is 1-6 on the road and Detroit seems to have moved from the "we're going to keep every game close and lose" stage to the "we're going to win a few close ones" stage. I see them next year looking like the Houston Texans. Great on paper, but ultimately no better than 8-8. But don't expect them to stay in the Texans' zone for too long (7-9 wins). They'll be an NFC playoff contender as long as Matt Stafford stops acting like 37-year-old QB and actually plays a few games.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (-14) over Minnesota Vikings

I actually feel pity for the Vikings having to choose between the corpse of Brett Favre and Joe Webb. Philadelphia, on the other hand, has entered the final phase of its normal regular season progression. They start out strong, lose a few games due to terrible Andy Reid coaching decisions (let's be honest, they should have lost last week in part due to Reid not throwing the challenge flag), but ultimately finish as the hot team no one wants to face in the playoffs.

Washington Redskins (+7) over JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

You would think the McNabb benching would have split apart the entire Redskins' locker room. But the resilience they showed against the Cowboys had "let's play well enough to keep our jobs but get our coach fired" written all over it. Expect more of the same this week because Rex Grossman simultaneously may think that this is his opportunity to start again in the NFL. He wouldn't blow that opportunity, right?

Jacksonville must be completely demoralized after watching their chance at wrapping up the division slip away last week. There's no way Peyton Manning relinquishes the lead now that he's finally in the driver's seat.

(-2.5) over San Francisco 49ers

Mike Singletary's refusal to publicly announce a starter is in no way hurting Saint Louis' preparation. The same formula applies to both QBs: blitz and wait for them to make mistakes.

I refuse to hope for San Francisco making the playoffs. No team should be allowed to start 0-5 and make the playoffs without finishing the season 11-0 or 10-1. At least Saint Louis has the rookie QB storyline that could make its first round game slightly interesting.

Seattle Seahawks (+6) over TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

I commend Pete Carroll for refusing to panic and sticking with Matt Hasselbeck. I hate coaches who submit to fan and media pressure by making drastic moves mid-season. Pick a QB, stick with him. Turning to your completely cold backup and asking him to perform better than your already named starter almost never works. Maybe for a few games, but not in the long run. There's a reason why you picked this guy as a starter in the first place. Carroll's confidence in Hasselbeck will be rewarded.

New England Patriots (-7.5) over BUFFALO BILLS

Imagine if Buffalo had actually picked a player in the first round of last year's NFL Draft that could have impacted its team this season. Maybe we'd be looking at a few more wins.

I don't expect Belichick to allow another close game for the season. The Patriots have officially entered "let's completely blow out every other team to frighten the rest of the league right before the playoffs" mode.

New York Jets (+1) over CHICAGO BEARS

Mark Sanchez loves the road (The Jets are 6-1 away from New Jersey). Here's my theory as to why: there's no pressure. Teams are expected to win home games. Road games on the other hand, always provide the excuse, "well the other team was at home." On the road, Sanchez does not have to worry about his own fans booing him, the ultimately eff you. The booing on the road is to be expected and nothing personal. It's simply a "you're not on my team" boo. On the road, Sanchez can think. He does not have to worry. Every time the media has thrown lofty expectations at him this season, he has miserably failed. So when the Jets enter the playoffs as a road team, I expect them to be a force.

Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) over CLEVELAND BROWNS

A 3.5 spread has me worried that I may be missing something. It's usually these picks that I'm so sure about that end up going in the complete opposite direction. But I can't go against reason, can't I?

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-5) over Tennessee Titans

Has any player gone from star to nothing faster than Randy Moss? I do not expect him to be in the NFL next season. The only player of a similar decline I can think of is Shaun Alexander. But even he fell off the map more slowly.

Part of me is worried that Kansas City will lose simply because San Diego does not lose this division. It's just the way it is. But Matt Cassel's performance without an appendix made me reevaluate my stance. He, and he alone, has carried this team to the possibility of a division title. In the game against San Diego in which he did not play, their offense literally could not move the ball. Their supposedly feared running game disappeared. Until further notice, I'm riding the Matt Cassel train.

Indianapolis Colts (-3) over OAKLAND RAIDERS

As I said before, Peyton Manning will not let the division slip away from his grasp. He'll carry the Colts to the playoffs until his lack of other teammates leads to a first round thrashing.

DENVER BRONCOS (+3) over Houston Texans

Tim Tebow will eat up the home-field love more than any QB ever. His first game as a starter was surprisingly effective. While there's nothing he can do about Denver's lack of a defense, it's not like Houston has much on that side of the ball either. So I'll take the home team, the points, and God-loving Tebow.

New York Giants (+3) over GREEN BAY PACKERS

I have no doubt that everyone will show up to practice an hour early this week. Matt Dodge will show three hours beforehand. If the Giants blow this one, Coughlin will have a coronary. And I'm not even kidding. Not at all.

San Diego Chargers (-7.5) over CINCINNATI BENGALS

The only way San Diego loses this division is if Kansas City wins it. Philip Rivers will win the final two games easily. We'll see if the NFC West formula completely plays itself out. (That formula would be San Diego getting off to a horrible start but ultimately turning it around once the media writes them off. Then they miraculously pull out the division when it seemed impossible. Never, and I mean never, write off San Diego.)

New Orleans Saints (+2.5) over ATLANTA FALCONS

New Orleans should have won their first meeting. It might be at Atlanta and the Falcons may have a chance to wrap up the division (they may have already I'm just too lazy to check), but New Orleans will not go down without a fight. Although part of me thinks that it may be better for the Saints to lose so they can use the underdog card in the playoffs. It's never easy to win in the NFL when you're expected to. The Saints proved that in the Super Bowl last year.


Dick said...

If the Giants lose, Coughlin should be canned!

Dylan said...


Trust me, I understand your anger. While I do not approve of Coughlin's outburst directly after the game ended, a large part of the problem is our injuries/lack of linebackers. It's hard to overcome both of those things. When the Giants can't generate pressure with the front four, it puts a lot of pressure on the secondary ssince the linebackers can't help out.

Bengoodfella said...

It's just my luck the Panthers will win another game and Clausen will play good enough to win the game...then the Panthers miss out on Andrew Luck...then Clausen plays shitty next year.

Some other thoughts on what you wrote:

-I don't think Jason Garrett keeps his job. I think Jones goes in another direction.

-I think Jacksonville bounces back strong this week. Can't trust Rex.

-I don't like the Rams but I want to see them make the playoffs. I feel like they have started building a good team and I can respect that.

-If the spread was 35 points I would choose the Patriots right now.

-I hate spreads like the 3.5 on the Browns/Ravens. It's like you are missing something but can't figure out what. The Ravens are clearly a better team, right?

-I'm afraid the Giants may lose another game. I hope not, but it's a feeling I have. Of course I may just want my Super Bowl to win more games.

-I never write off San Diego, it's because my stupid ass picked them to be in the Super Bowl.