Friday, November 30, 2012

The Week 13 NFL Picks

The updated FGR Rankings are currently waiting for Nate Silver's blessing before publication as we have taken some major liberties with trends, probabilities and statistics that make people at both extremes of the global warming debate look conservative by comparison. In the meantime, let's get back to what you would expect from the Fantasy Golf Report . . . football picks. Through 12 weeks, attempting to actually analyze these games has me barely over .500 so I'm bagging all of that and going with the two things that have never failed me: (a) being a wise-ass and (b) astrology.*

Green Bay by 9 over Minnesota: The Pick - Packers

The correlation between the relative boldness of some of my predictions and the great distance by which they have missed their marks is almost uncanny. Case in point, my statement last week that "I have the Pack winning-out and taking the #2 seed in the NFC." After their 38-10 shellacking at the hands of the Giants, I need to revise that to "I have the Pack clinging to the last NFC playoff spot." When am I going to learn that you always need to apply Costanza's Theorem when betting on the Giants? Costanza's Theorem is of course - "if every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right." (Now I just need to hold that thought until I get down to the Monday night pick).

Chicago by 3.5 over Seattle: The Pick - Bears
"Hey Pete, d'you take care of that 
thing with the guy about the thing?"

The Seahawks could potentially lose their two starting quarterbacks to suspensions for the use of performance enhancing drugs which is surprising considering that coach Pete Carroll is the kind of upstanding guy you bring in when you want to run a clean program (now just replace "upstanding" with "underhanded" and "a clean program" with "the Bada Bing").

San Francisco by 7 over St. Louis: The Pick - 49ers

The 49ers average margin of victory in their eight wins has been over 19 points and it's never been less than 7 which means that they may be the best team in the league at smelling blood in the water. The last time these two teams played, it ended in a mess of a 24-24 tie as they handed a pistol back and forth and took turns shooting themselves in the foot. Jim Harbaugh had been using that game as a motivating tool at practice this week by repeatedly telling his players that "everyone is laughing at you" until a member of the defense lost his shit and mauled one of the assistant coaches. Since then, Harbaugh has gone back to motivating his players with Dora the Explorer stickers and fake Spiderman tattoos resulting in no further incidents. 

N.Y, Jets by 4 over Arizona: The Pick - Jets

Not only has the Jets' horrendous play forced Fireman Ed into retirement, but it's apparently making local food critics very salty as evidenced by this New York Times review of Guy Fieri's Times Square restaurant - Welcome to Flavor Town!** The good news for the Jets this week is that, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king and in this case, the "land of the blind" would be the passing games of these two teams and the one-eyed man is Mark Sanchez*** (which would explain a lot). 

Carolina by 2 over Kansas City: The Pick - Panthers

"Mommy, mommy, look
at me, look at me . . .
I ran for two yards."

Cam Newton is so obsessed with his own performance and drawing attention to himself that he makes guys like Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens look like the humble kids from Hoosiers. The beautiful part of that is that he will single-handedly remove the Panthers from Super Bowl contention for at least the next 7-8 years because he's just good enough and flashy enough that they won't risk the public relations hit of getting rid of him. (Not so much a "beautiful part" if you're a Panthers' fan but at least he's an upgrade from Jake Delhomme, Jimmy Clausen and Chirs Weinke which is like saying you just upgraded from a car with no brakes to a car with faulty brakes). 

Detroit by 4.5 over Indianapolis: The Pick - Lions

Cam Newton's annoying defensive counterpart may be Detroit's Ndamukong Suh who recently devoted an entire ESPN Magazine interview to denying everything from the accusations that he's a dirty player (despite the fact that he's "won" the Sporting News' title for dirtiest player the last two years) to the fact that he's at best a lousy driver (four driving incidents in the last year including a ticket for going 91 in a 55 and another incident where he crashed into a tree . . . and then blamed the tree). At the end of the interview, Suh even denied having a unique first name saying, "I had so many kids in my 9th grade class named Ndamukong that they had to give us all nick names." He then jumped into his car and backed into the side of Lions' Stadium because it was "in my blind spot."

New England by 7 over Miami: The Pick - Patriots

Everyone keeps talking about how unstoppable the Patriots are going to be once they get all of their "weapons" healthy. But over the last nine years when they haven't been winning the Super Bowl, the Patriots taught us that football is not basketball where five guys can touch the ball on the same play so it doesn't really matter how many "weapons" your quarterback has if he is on his ass or running for his life before he gets a chance to look in the direction of Weapon #2. (This theory was on display last night as the Falcons harassed Drew Brees into 5 picks in one of the greatest fantasy football season killing performances of all-time).
"Cut it out . . . CUT IT OUT . . . 
I'm only on my second read."

Buffalo by 6 over Jacksonville: The Pick - Jaguars

The Jags are proving that every team in the NFL is just one half-decent quarterback away from being competitive (which will bode well for Alex Smith in free agency next year as the Cardinals and Chiefs compete for his services). Meanwhile the Bills continue to set a standard for mediocrity unparalleled anywhere outside of the cable television service industry.

Houston by 4.5 over Tennessee: The Pick - Texans

You know it's not your day when your fantasy kicker (Jason Hanson) doinks the game winner off the upright in overtime that would have significantly improved your favorite teams' chances of getting the #1 seed in the AFC. After two very shaky wins, the Texans are starting to look like a top seed that could get throttled at home by the Broncos or the Patriots in the second round. (At least that's what I'm telling myself).

Cleveland by 1 over Oakland: The Pick - Browns

"More proof that defenses, not
perms, win championships."

If you're the Raiders, you know you've hit rock bottom when you've made the Browns an attractive proposition as a road favorite. I don't think that's happened since the relatively successful (yet still brutally painful for Cleveland) Bernie Kosar era. 

San Diego by 1 over Cincinnati: The Pick - Bengals

If there was any doubt left as to whether this would be Norv's swan song in San Diego, I'm pretty sure that 4th and 29 play erased it. Then again, considering the track record of Chargers' ownership and management, they'll find a way to pin that one on the assistant special teams coach and make him the scapegoat.

Denver by 6.5 over Tampa Bay: The Pick - Broncos

We may get the ultimate test of Greg Schiano's convictions this week because it will take some serious onions to have his boys crash into a kneeling Peyton Manning at the end of this game in Denver. I know I for one wouldn't want Schiano's thuggish tactics to impair Manning's ability two weeks before the Broncos come to Baltimore. (I just wanted to get that on the record in case I let out an inappropriate cheer related to the health of either Manning brother or RG, III, all of whom the Ravens still have to play this year. I will now go shotgun a bottle of Pepcid AC).    

Baltimore by 8 over Pittsburgh: The Pick - Ravens

The Steelers decided to back-up one of the league's most self-destructive quarterbacks (both on and off the field) with two guys who have a combined age of 70 (seriously) and are about as mobile as an arthritic donkey. Eight points is a big spread for a Ravens-Steelers game but in this case I think that number has a magical quality because it is exactly how many beers I will drink before kickoff.****

Dallas by 7.5 over Philadelphia: The Pick - Cowboys

I jumped on the Cowboys' late season push to almost make the playoffs and convince everyone that they just need a couple of tweaks here and there a week too early. I think it's about time Jerry Jones had the following conversation with Colonel James from Boogie Nights:
"Jack says you've got
a great big stadium."

Jones (sobbing): We've only won ONE playoff game since 1996!

Colonel James: Well. do you think this means that maybe you oughta think about hiring a general manager? Whaddya think?   

Jones: Yes sir.

Colonel James: Ahhh.

N.Y. Giants by 1 over Washington: The Pick - Redskins

Crap, I had a theory about betting on the Giants and now I can't remember what it was. Screw it. I'm just going to bet on RG, III or as he is now being called in D.C., "RG, Thresus" (speaking of that, what ever happened to the guy who used to kneel when he scored a touchdown? What was his name? Larry Lebow? Is he still in the league?).  

Last Week's Record: 7-7-2 . . . Season Record: 87-84-5

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* And there is no finer astrologer than Adam Sandler who once wrote -  "Virgo (Aug 23 - Sept 22) You are the logical type and hate disorder. Your shit-picking attitude is sickening to your friends and co-workers. You are cold and unemotional and often fall asleep while fucking. Virgos make good bus drivers and pimps." For the other eleven signs, check-out Sandler Astrology
Oops. Almost forgot
to take care of my
Ukrainian readers.

** The review was written by Pete Wells who is the FGR's new favorite food critic. (He's actually my first favorite food critic as this is the first restaurant review I've ever read but who's counting).

*** Tweet of the week from Letterman Show producer, Eric Stangel, "Pretty fun to watch A&M's 'Johnny Football,' as opposed to Jets' 'Mark Runintoownlinemansassfumbleandhaveitreturnedforatd.'"

**** And if that's how we're determining the line, it may be a couple points on the low side.

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