Friday, December 30, 2011

NFL Picks - Week 17: Because the same people who are in charge of the BCS also get to pick players for the Pro Bowl

Week 16 NFL Picks: 6-9-1
NFL results season to date: 111-114-11

College Football results season to date: 29-27-2

Week 17 NFL Picks (winners in parentheses):

Lions vs. Packers (Lions, road, -3) Is there a team that got disrespected more than Detroit in the Pro Bowl vote? In spite of having the highest scoring defense and one of the most prolific offenses in the league, Calvin Johnson was the only player on their roster named to the Pro Bowl. Even though Mathew Stafford is one of the top five quarterbacks in the NFL, he was sixth in the pecking order of NFC Pro Bowl quarterbacks behind Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Cam Newton and Tony Romo. While nobody will argue that Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees aren't the two best quarterbacks in football right now, let's look at how Stafford matches up with the others:

-Eli Manning: Stafford leads Manning in wins (10 to 8), QB rating (96.6 to 90.3), touchdowns (36 to 26) and interceptions (14 to16). The only significant category that Manning leads Stafford in is yards, and that lead is only by 87 yards;
-Cam Newton: Stafford has Newton in wins (10 to 5), head to head, QB rating (96.6 to 85), touchdowns (36 to 20), interceptions (14 to 16) and passing yards (4518 to 3893). Newton leads Stafford in rushing TD's (14 to 0) and rushing yards (674 to 78). 
-Tony Romo: Stafford leads Romo in wins (10 to 8), head to head, touchdowns (36 to 29). Romo leads in passer rating (102.2 to 96.6) and interceptions (9 to 14). It should be noted that Romo has single handedly cost the Cowboys wins against the Jets and Lions due to inexplicable interceptions.
I guess the same people who are in charge of the BCS also get to pick players for the Pro Bowl. Look for the Lions to roll in order to preserve the top Wildcard seed while Green Bay rests their key players heading into the Playoffs.
Colts vs. Jaguars (Jaguars, home, +4) Indianapolis desperately needs to lose this game to have a shot at drafting Andrew Luck. Throw in third string QB (and current Colts starter) Dan Orlovsky's wife giving birth to triplets this week, and I think we have as done of a deal for Jacksonville as you can get with Blaine Gabbert as their starting quarterback.
Jets vs. Dolphins (Jets, road, +1.5) This game is the equivalent of a technical foul shot at the end of regulation and the game on the line for Marc Sanchez and New York. With Miami's season already over, there should be little opposition from the Dolphins for the Jets. It's just a matter of whether or not Sanchez can overcome the pressure and make a wide open shot their season on the line.
Bears vs. Vikings (Bears, road, +1) God, which quarterback is worse, Christian Ponder or Josh McCown? Unless Minnesota does the smart thing and plays Joe Webb, I'm going to take the Bears and the point since they have a much stronger defense than the Vikings do.
Pigskins vs. Eagles (Pigskins, road, +9) Would you give up 9 points with the Eagles this season in a meaningless game? 
Panthers vs. Saints (Saints, home, -8) Carolina has done well getting points this year, while New Orleans should not be bet against at home. Since this game means more to the Saints than it does to the Panthers in terms of their playoff seed, I'll go with New Orleans giving up the points at home.
49ers vs. Rams (49ers, road, -11) The Rams only option at this point on offense is running the ball, and stopping the run is what San Francisco specializes in. The 49ers are in the hunt for a first round bye, so expect little mercy for the Rams in this game.
Titans vs. Texans (Titans, road, -3) Aside from momentum, Houston has noting to play for with their playoff seed already set, while Tennessee still has an outside shot of making it in.
Bills vs. Patriots (Patriots, home, -11) With New England playing for home field advantage in the Playoffs, a talent deficient and injury ravaged Buffalo team stands very little chance in this game. 
Buccaneers vs. Falcons (Falcons, home, -11.5) Raheem Morris says he won't fire himself, but his Tampa Bay team has long since quit on him. Atlanta couldn't get a better match-up...assuming that Detroit loses to Green Bay and the 5th NFC Playoff seed is still up for grabs.
Ravens vs. Bengals (Ravens, road, -3) Cincinnati has exceeded all expectations this year. In fact, it's a disgrace that their fans have not embraced them in their Playoff run. Unfortunately, I just don't think they have it in them this season to defeat Baltimore in a game that is also meaningful for the Ravens in terms of Playoff position.  
Seahawks vs. Cardinals (Seahawks, road, +3) As the Playoff picture unfolded, this game means absolutely nothing. With all else equal, I'll take the points.
Chiefs vs. Broncos (Broncos, home, -3.5) While I want to pick Kyle Orton to derail Denver's Playoff hopes, the Chiefs have struggled recently when playing in Denver. And aside from Orton, nobody on Kansas City has anything to play for.
Chargers vs. Raiders (Raiders, home, -3) While Oakland remains in the Playoff hunt, I can't see San Diego showing up for this game as their front office and coaching staff gets ready to roll. On the other hand, how much is one player worth for the Raiders? Al Davis inexplicably failed to match the $12 million a season that Nnamdi Asomugha received from the Eagles. In their game against Detroit the Raiders let the Lions come back from a 13 point deficit on their final two drives of the game, in large part due to poor coverage where Calvin Johnson was inexplicably allowed to get behind their secondary. Now they are tie-breaker behind the Broncos for the AFC West division title heading into the final game of the season. I'm thinking that they are second guessing re-signing Stanford Routt for almost $11 million a year and letting Asomugha walk.
Steelers vs. Browns (Steelers, road, -7) As it stands, Pittsburgh has to play this game to win. That's bad news for the Browns and Colt McCoy's brain.  
Cowboys vs. Giants (Giants, home, -3) I'm not sure which quarterback is going to give this game away first, but my money is on Tony Romo.

College Football's Top Bowl Games:

OUTBACK BOWL: Georgia vs. Michigan State (Michigan State, +3.5) This is one of the better match-ups on paper of the bowl season. Both have top 5 defenses in the nation. Both run pro-style offenses with quarterbacks that will play in the NFL. Both finished second in a power conference with identical records. Common perception about the B1G be damned, the Spartans are just a little bit more athletic and explosive offensively than the Bulldogs. The Spartans win this one.

Whether you're an environmentalist or not, I'm pretty sure this Michigan State Cheerleader could convince you to "Go Green!"

CAPITAL ONE BOWL: Nebraska vs. South Carolina (South Carolina, -3) The Cornhuskers are just a little too one dimensional on offense to score against the Gamecock defense. While Nebraska's "black-shirt" defense has had a few shutdown games this season, the more likely scenario has them giving up a butt-load of points.

What girl wouldn't be happy to have big "Cocks" in her hands like this South Carolina Cheerleader?

COTTON BOWL: Arkansas vs. Kansas State (Kansas State, +8) This should be a good game. Kansas State only lost the the Oklahoma's, while Arkansas only lost to LSU and Alabama. Kansas State has the offense to keep up with the Razorbacks and keep this game close.

Arkansas Cheerleader: Apparently this is socially acceptable in Arkansas. However, if he was a black guy...

ORANGE BOWL: West Virginia vs. Clemson (West Virginia, +3) If there was a game to serve as a poster child for the Big East and the ACC to lose their automatic bids for the BCS, this would be it.

West Virginia Cheerleader: Some things in West Virginia never hairstyles.

FIESTA BOWL: Oklahoma State vs. Stanford (Oklahoma State, -4) To me, this game is much more compelling than the LSU-Alabama National Championship Game. With only one loss to a national power, Stanford definitely deserved the right to lose to LSU on the road, and while Oklahoma State blew their chance for a National Championship by losing to Iowa State, they just might be the best team in the country this year.

Oklahoma State Cheerleader: Honestly, this duo is only slightly less disturbing than Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson.

ROSE BOWL: Wisconsin vs. Oregon (Wisconsin, +6) These two teams are going to score some points. If either one is capable of stopping the other, I think it will be the Badgers stopping the Ducks. Wisconsin running back Montee Ball was all but left out of the Heisman Trophy consideration in spite of being on the verge of breaking Barry Sanders' single season touchdown record and having one of the best three seasons in NCAA history along with Sanders and Tim Tebow.

These two Oregon Cheerleaders have it all wrong, he's supposed to be pushing down on her head...then again, he's gay.

SUGAR BOWL: Virginia Tech vs. Michigan I refuse to acknowledge that this loose stool of a bowl game even exists. The Hokies couldn't win a brutal ACC that didn't even have a single good team in it this year, while the Wolverines finished a distant second - not the Big Ten - but in the Big Ten Leaders Division. Somehow having the same overall regular season record as Michigan State and getting their asses kicked by Sparty in their head-to-head match-up propelled the Wolverines to a BCS bid when the Spartans missed out on the Rose Bowl because of a questionable roughing the kicker call that cost them the ball on the 1-yard line for the go-ahead score with less than a minute left in the B1G Championship Game. Not only is the football going to be bad at the Sugar Bowl, but one of the great things about having sporting events in New Orleans are the college co-eds showing off their boobs on Bourbon Street, and the BCS is even wasting that on fat chicks from the University of Michigan and bullet bait from Virginia Tech.

University of Michigan girls: I'm fine with naked girls crying, but not when they're ugly.

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