NFL Picks Week 11.

"You Can Hide the Double Stuf Oreos, But They Can't Run."

Welcome, welcome everyone.  Exciting times here at NFL Pick ‘Em.  We’re going to debut a new prognosticator this week.  He was apparently inspired by the work of Mr. Kraft, who really does bring handicapping games to the masses.  I suppose it would only be appropriate to lead off with the new guy.  It is none other than JCK, who is famous for a lot of things, not the least of which is the above quote/caption.  To the Picks…

JCK:  Record 0-0  (Did correctly Pick the Pats game in the Comments section last week)

Detroit (-3.5) vs. Cleveland. – Dream Matchup.  Two teams in disarray.  One of them has a QB of the future, the other team has the following QB stats:  (JCK included a fancy graph, but for the sake of time, the Browns team QB rating is 40.4)  Wow. Wayne Fontes old stadium just was auctioned off for like 25 bucks.  Detroit takes this one by ten.
Atlanta (+6.5) @ NY Giants – Falcons are 5-4 with three “acceptable” losses.  The Giants season hangs in balance.  Atlanta covers this one for two reasons:  The Giants offensive coordinator has strayed from the grind it out running game and because I hate BK.
New Orleans (-11.5) @ Tampa   Come on.  I watched Tampa play in London.  They suck.  Really bad.
New England (-10.5) vs. Jets – It seems that Pats are using all of the naysayers and haters as the fuel for this divisional rematch.  Bruschi came out and trashed Belichick.  Mayo basically told Bruschi to stick it.  Brady throws 4 Tds.  Dirty Sanchez throws 4 picks.  Pats by 17.
Cincy (-9.5) @ Oakland – JaMarcus Russell is awful.  His rating is 47.7.  Cable decides to bench his first round bust for journeyman Bruce Gradkowski.  His rating is 44.2.  That is embarrassing.  Cincy and Ochocinco keep rolling.  Cincy by 20.

BIG DUB H:  Record 22-24 (Last Week 3-2, This Week 1-0)

**Just a note Big Dub already picked the victorious Dolphins Last night.  Unfortunately, we missed his analysis of that game, which is my fault, but he had the winner.  His other four selections:

Baltimore (+1) vs. Indianapolis
If the hooded freak punts and the Pats win then the Colts are underdogs here. Why is everyone forgetting the beat down the Colts were getting? I will fade away.  Ravens 27 – Colts 20
 Tampa Bay (+11) vs. New Orleans
The Saints are looking ahead to the Pats while the Bucs are playing their biggest game of the year. The Saints better be careful in this spot.
 Saints 30 – Bucs 24
Cleveland (+3.5) @ Detroit
The Lions are the same team that lost to the winless Rams earlier this year at home. This game is the perfect remedy for Brady Quinn. No seriously. He may actually look like a capable quarterback by game’s end.  Browns 23 – Lions 20
St. Louis (+9) vs. Arizona
The Cardinals are killing teams on the road, so why aren’t they at least a double digit favorite here? Vegas knows something and the public is falling for the trap.  Arizona 26 – St. Louis 20

GROSSY:  Record 27-21-2 (Last Week, 4-1).  I know, I know.  I’m so humble, letting these guys lead off.  Really, it’s fine. 

Batimore (+2) vs. Indy. 

Big Dub has this game at a one point spread, which is where is WAS, but I’m sorry, I wait an extra day to pick…you’re damn right I’ll take the extra point.  The fact that this line is moving in Indy’s direction is laughable.  Indy is dying to lose a game, honestly I don’t think the point will matter, it’s let down city, way bigger game for Baltimore, what more do you need?  Ravens 24-16. 

Eagles (-3) @ Chicago.

Not a doubt in my mind really.  Which, of course, scares the crap out of me.  But, this game screams offensive beat down of the Bears.  McCoy, DeSean, Maclin, Avant (best handss in the league)…whoever.  They’re punching it in for six this week.  By the way, if the Eagles don’t have ~14 points on their first three drives.  I’m probably stone wrong, and it’s time to hedge.  Eagles 31-17.

Oakland (+10) vs. Cincy. 

I’m going back to my, “He’s taking who?”  pick of the week.  This is kind of like my Bucs pick last week.  I know how bad Oakland is, but I’m not sure that Cincy is just some juggernaut that is going to roll over teams.  They have to take a road trip after the biggest win the team has had since what?  The ’89 AFC championship game?  They’re coming out flat, they let the Raiders stick around.  Cincy 23-20. 

Tennessee (+4.5) @ Houston. 

This is kind of an internal go the other way game.  First glance, I’m like, Tennessee is about due to lay an egg, Houston rolls up points at home, wins.  Wrong.  Who in their right mind is betting against Chris Johnson at this point?  Remember last week.  Well…Dear Chris Johnson, You’re still Fast.  Love, the World.  Texans defense stinks.  Titans 28-24. 

Patriots (-11) vs. Jets.  I wanted to wait and see if they were going to put a line on the Broncos, or more importantly, Chris Simms.  But, no such luck.  So, instead I’ll roll with the Patriot revenge wagon.  If JCK says the team is backed into a corner, I believe it.  He’s the one who listens to WEEI…But, really, this is about Belichick regaining his swagger.  Belichick 70, Jets 13. 

KRAFT:  Record 16-34 (Last Week 1-4)

I’m ready for my weekly beating.  I do have to say though, that the G-Rob post has inspired me.  So I will sprinkle in some gems from F&M Bball in my picks…
Indy (-1.5) over Baltimore-  My instinct says take Baltimore, because i was surprised at this line.  When you have a .300 winning %, you don’t go with your instinct. I’ll take Indy.
NY Giants (-6.5) over ATL- Coming off a bye week, and a “must win” game…The G-Men have to win this game, don’t they?  Matt Ryan has struggled this season, they are on the road…..this could be my “example of why I am a 70% loser” pick.
GB -6.5 over SF- The Pack shut down Dallas running game last week, which means that they should be able to shut down SF’s run game this week.  That means the 49ers will have to rely on Alex Smith.  Could he be the most overpaid NFL Player ever, compared to actual performance? 
Minnesota -11 over Seattle- I once heard Brad Prepon stand in front of the team at a practice and say “If we play hard, they shouldn’t score..”- for those who never spoke to Brad Prepon, his IQ is really that low.  Well, in basketball that is quite the task, but in football when you have a D end with the most aggressive mullett in the league, combined with 2 very aggressive DUI’s, Seattle should not score.  Interestingly enough, after that speech, I don’t think Brad ever got into a game in the 1st half again.
 Cincy -9.5 over OAK- One of my least fav. memories was when we had to go down to DC and play Galludet.  For those of you who ask, who is Galludet, they are a school for the deaf.  It wasn’t like we were a bad team and we needed to schedule automatic ‘W’s’, but for whatever reason my soph. year we had to play there.  Of course we won their tourney, and we beat them by 50, but watching certain guys setting back picks on deaf players doesn’t really make you feel very proud.  I still kid Dave Manzo to this day that his career high is 21 pts, and it came against….Galludet.  So, I will take Cincy because this matchup has a similar feel to it.  Is Oakland a professional football team that is comprised of deaf players?  They are starting Bruce Gradkowski this week, who will be in the running for the “Derek Anderson” award.  Just plain awful.


Breakfast Anecdote.

Not A Light Beer.

The moral of this anecdote is you should always know what you are drinking.  Well, let me revise that.  The moral of this anecdote is, if you do not know what you are drinking you should be prepared for anything.  The following anecdote took place on a glorious Wednesday evening into Thursday sometime around the ass end of 2002.  So, we’re actually coming up on its 7 year anniversary, which is incredibly scary, and maybe just a tiny bit depressing.  Regardless, we anecdote on. 

I will change the names of the stars of this anecdote you know just to save them some face.  If they want to come forward, well, that’s their prerogative.  There were four of us, and we were at a humble establishment in Malvern, PA known as the Boathouse.  The Boathouse, which has a couple other locations, is not a particularly good bar.  It doesn’t bring a lot to the table unless your passion is trying to hook up with someone who works at the Great Valley Corporate Center.  They don’t have especially good deals.  They’re famous for signs like, Miller Lite Bottles 3.50 all day/every day.  The only thing worthwhile in the whole place is a little promotion called Wing-It Wednesday.  Every pitcher of beer you take down comes with an order of wings.  And, usually in an instance like this, the wings are garbage, but Boathouse wings are pretty legit.  I can recommend them.  Just never look inside one of their fish tanks.

So, back in our youth we weren’t exactly strangers at Wing-It Wednesday.  It just made a lot of sense.  Beer, wings, you get the idea.  Now, we were all bucked up on inflated tolerances back then too, and usually our beer of choice was Sierra Nevada.  I mean, it’s a really good pairing with the wings, or something.  Now, Sierra packs a little bit of a wallop as they say, but Wing-It Wednesday wasn’t necessarily an occasion to get bombed, you just had a couple pops, ate the wings and left.  That’s not what happened on this Wednesday.  Odd stuff started happening right away. 

The assembled crowd was Myself, Hank Moody (again Moody was there), Richard Vernon, and Jimmy Chitwood.  So, the four of us walk in, grab a table, and try to order a pitcher of Sierra.  Only problem is, there isn’t any Sierra on tap.  The helpful waitress/bartender says we have Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, want to try that?  Sold.  None of us had ever had it before, but boy were we in for a treat.  It was magically delicious. 

From there the night went on normally for a while.  For some reason I think there was a Sixers game on, and this was when the Sixers still kind of mattered, and Chitwood was watching the game some (obviously), and like I said it was a regular night for a while.  But, at some point, details begin to get blurry, and I can’t tell you exactly what happened.  I know a couple things for sure, though.

One, the waitress/bartender took a shine to Hank Moody (again, no surprise).  Hank became afflicted with the hiccups at some point, at which time the bartender mixed him a special remedy (made of alca-ma-hol).  He drank it down, no questions asked.  It worked!  Also, I believe there may have been a “magic pitcher”.  I feel like the bartender brought us nearly a full pitcher, said something like, “This is the last of the keg, I’ll get you another one.”  And, then brought us another one.  We just could never quite, just couldn’t quite get that pitcher empty. 

I also know for a fact that we came VERY close to leaving at one point.  The Boathouse isn’t really a late-night destination.  I mean, midnight or so rolled around, and the stools were up on the bar, we were literally the last people in the place, finishing our last beers.  Then suddenly, there were other customers at the bar.  They came in, took the stools down, and we weren’t alone anymore.  How’s another pitcher sound?  Sold.  In the end, I think we set the record for latest Wednesday departure in the history of the Boathouse. 

Now, the next morning I woke up tentatively at 11 am.  I’m ball parking it.  I felt…awful.  Seriously, just a train wreck of a hangover.  Like pump my stomach, brain transplant, someone give me 3 gallons of water hungover.  I did not get sick, though.  Warrior.  Sometime later I checked my email, and there was a message from Chitwood I think who asked if anyone else was oddly hungover that morning. 

From that point on, the emails started trickling in from the rest of the victims.  Hank Moody said, “I think I parked on my patio when I got home last night.”  An all-time classic line.  Dick Vernon got the worst of it though.  He had to be up for work about 4 hours after we left the Boathouse.  Sometime during the day we got a report that he had left his house “without showering or brushing his teeth”.  Good decision.  Oh, did I mention he worked at a high school at the time?  I’m pretty sure a couple kids in his room got drunk off his breath that day. 

All I can say is, I wish I still had those emails that went back and forth.  Hilarious.  The thing was though, we still didn’t really know what happened.  It wasn’t until a little while later we went to a distributor, or I did and I think Moody may have been there, and we saw a case of the Celebration.  I had to take a closer look.  I tore open the box, extracted a bottle, and looked at the label.  It read 6.8% alcohol by volume.  And, there it is.