Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Week 12 NFL Picks - Thanksgiving Edition

I''ve never been a big fan of Thanksgiving (really?  We're stunned).  I think it's because I don't like eating dinner at 2:00 in the afternoon.  I don't like eating breakfast for dinner either but I don't think the two are related.  I just think serving waffles or pancakes for dinner is a sign that someone was too lazy to make a decent meal (hi honey, really looking forward to our trip next week).  Thanksgiving also always seems to involve three of my least favorite things in life: (1) uncomfortable shoes, (2) small talk, and (3) wearing a sweater.  It's hard to enjoy a day when you know the payoff is sore feet and a sink full of disgusting dishes that you have to wash with wet wool sleeves.  And that concludes my tribute to Andy Rooney.

"I'm gonna put my nutsack
on your playbook!"
Well this year is going to be different because we are going out.  Money may not be able to buy happiness, but it can certainly be used to pay misery to stay away from your daughter.  On top of that, we've got an early game with huge playoff implications and A-list fantasy players all over the place for the first time I can remember.  Then it's a dinner I don't have to clean-up after followed by a trip to M&T Bank Stadium to watch John Harbaugh teabag his brother's playbook.              

Green Bay by 6 over Detroit:  The Pick - Packers

I have Aaron Rodgers, Calvin Johnson and Fred Jackson on a fantasy team ("Jerkstore Country") and I'm inexplicably 5-6.  Now the charts for Johnson and Jackson's points are mirroring the Dow Jones Industrial Average for 2008, Jackson's banged-up and I need two wins and some help.  (Fortunately, I also have Johnson and Jackson on another team that's 11-0 but shhhhhhh).  This frustrating season has taught me one valuable lesson.  When you have a wide receiver score 11 touchdowns in his first eight games, TRADE HIM because, unless his last name is Moss or Rice, his upside for the rest of the year is 4 more at the most.  (I wrote this right before I traded him last night in a desperate and probably futile attempt to save Jerkstore Country's season).

"Anything else you want to
get off your chest Brett?"
I see Matt Stafford getting way too amped up for this game and having a minor version of his meltdown against the Bears.  On the other side, Aaron Rodgers has been patiently waiting for this opportunity to shut the Lions up so he may take it to another level.  Where that would be I have no idea.  Maybe he'll just start throwing the ball with his mind like Chevy Chase in Modern Problems.            

Dallas by 7 over Miami:  The Pick - Dolphins

Dolphins' coach Tony Sparano coached Tony Romo for two years in Dallas so if anyone knows how to confuse Romo (and it's apparently not the league's biggest secret), it's Sparano.  Now factor in that the Cowboys have won four of their last five (which is way too much prosperity) and that the Dolphins have been rolling people lately, and I'm going to take the points with a word of caution.  I wouldn't bet more than a cup of warm turkey fat on a game where Tony Romo and a "hot"  Matt Moore are playing quarterback.   

Baltimore by 3 over San Francisco:  The Pick - Ravens

"Hey, great game J....KAPOW"
The 49er's are first in the league at stopping the run holding opponents to an average of 73.9 points per game.  If you're a Ravens' fan, that stat is hitting your plate like a double serving of Aunt Martha's nasty sweet potato's and marshmallow surprise because all you're thinking is that Cam Cameron is going to abandon the run during the National Anthem.  I'm staring at the Niners' schedule trying to find some weakness to justify my pick but I can't.  They just find a way to beat everybody.  They beat Detroit, Cincinnati and Philly on the road.  They've smoked bad teams at home and stymied what was a decent Giants team at the time.  In short, they have been taking care of business in a way the Ravens have not which is why they are 9-1 and the Ravens are 7-3.

So why Baltimore?  I just can't believe that (1) Alex Smith is going to come into Baltimore and win a night game (see Mark Sanchez) in front of an inebriated angry crowd that just spent the whole day listening to Uncle Louie blame their entire lazy generation for the closing of the mill (or plant, quarry or factory), (2) Ray Lewis is going to miss a chance to be miked up and over the top on national television, and (3) John Harbaugh is going to let his punk brother get the best of him.  Like T-Sizzle, I too am looking forward to the post-game handshake.  I just hope it's accompanied by a mildly condescending and not the least bit heart felt expression of good will by John along the lines of "great game, tell your guys they have nothing to be ashamed of because no one beats us here." And then of course I hope they drop the gloves right in the middle of the field like Carl Racki and Dean Youngblood with the players forming a perimeter and yelling, "this is their fight!"