Archive for the ‘2011 NFL Picks’ Category

WEEK 17 Picks: Win or Go Home?

Posted: December 31, 2011 by Keith Stone in 2011 NFL Picks, football, NFL

WEEK 17 is always the most impossible week to make picks. The NFL did a good job making every team play a divisional rival and making sure teams are playing at the same time as other squads close to them in the standings. Still, does anyone know how much the Texans are going to bring with the 3-seed locked up? What about the Packers? Is Aaron Rodgers going to be worrying more about the Lions or photobombing the captains’ picture? Even teams like the Dream Team. They’re really playing well but a loss would ensure a decent draft pick and easier schedule. You would think these guys would have enough pride to give it all they’ve got, but I’d be thinking about hitting the links too if I was on a 5-10 team. Gamble at your own risk. Picks!

Stone: Dream Team
Finally showing their true potential.

Slumdeezy: Dream Team

Rory: Redskins

DP Animal: Redskins

Phanatic: Dream Team
Last time to show their Dream Team potential now that it’s too late.

49ERS (-10.5) AT RAMS
Stone: 49ers
The Rams are the worst team in the NFL. It would be a bummer if they didn’t get the #1 pick.

Slumdeezy: Rams

Rory: 49ers

DP Animal: 49ers

Phanatic: Rams


WEEK 16 Picks: Eve of Annihilation

Posted: December 24, 2011 by Keith Stone in 2011 NFL Picks, football, Happy Holidays, NFL

I hope nobody made any bets last week, especially using our picks. When Phanatic goes 12-4, you know it’s a weird week. The Giants, Jets, and Ravens games were especially vexing. All three teams are in prime position for a playoff spot and nobody came to play. At least the Jets and Ravens were playing contenders. The Deadskins earned their nickname for a reason. As much as you feel confident about a pick, like I did with the Giants over the Skins, you never know when you’re going to get a lump of coal in your stocking. You can only be so lucky. Let’s hope this isn’t a sign of things to come. Piiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiicks!

Stone: Chiefs
It’d only be right.

Slumdeezy: Raiders

Rory: Raiders
Who can figure out this division anymore?  I’ll just take the points.

DP Animal: Raiders

Phanatic: Raiders

Stone: Broncos
Remember when the Bills were good all those many, many days ago?

Slumdeezy: Broncos

Rory: Broncos

DP Animal: Broncos

Phanatic: Broncos


Oh, NFL Network, you were so close to having a good game tonight. At the beginning of the season, it looked like the AFC South would come down to this one. Even as of a few weeks ago, it seemed like the Texans were the team to beat in the AFC and tonight would be their coming out party. A few injuries later, and it’s Orlovsky! Yates! Thursday Night Football! Here’s our picks.

Stone: Colts
Slumdeezy: Texans
Rory: Texans
DP Animal: Texans
Phanatic: Texans

Stone: 124-94
Rory: 121-97
Slumdeezy: 113-105
DP Animal: 106-112
Phanatic: 106-112

WEEK 15 Picks: No Fantasy

Posted: December 18, 2011 by Keith Stone in 2011 NFL Picks, football, NFL

I got eliminated in the first round of my fantasy playoffs last week. Nobody likes to hear about the details so I’ll spare them. It’s kind of like not looking at the dick of the guy next to you at the urinal. I’ll deal solely with hypothetical examples.

Really, is there a more illogical concept than fantasy football? You could have a great week and beat every other team in the league except one and lose because the guy you’re playing is that one. Maybe your starting running back gets benched for the first half of a game for a vague curfew violation THAT YOU HAD NO WAY TO PREPARE FOR while the running backs on your bench went for 20 points. Maybe you pick up a new kicker because your old one got shut out the week before and then he proceeds to score 10 more points than the one you picked up. Why are kickers on a fantasy team anyway? The amount of points they score is totally dependent on the rest of their team. How is that fair? I’d rather roll a ten-sided die to get my kicker points than actually let a kicker determine it.

And don’t forget about the football fans that only root for their fantasy players. They’re the worst. Ever sit next to one of them at a bar and you think he’s rooting for your team because he’s cheering for one of your guys? Then, your team scores a touchdown but he’s pissed because his WR didn’t score it? Chill out, bro. This isn’t The Lawnmower Man. Some of us exist in the real world. Yeah, I’m bitter. Onto the picks.

Stone: Giants

Slumdeeezy: Giants

Rory: Redskins
I think the Giants still win, but it is a close one.  Sexy Rexy!

DP Animal: Giants
The rivalry game aspect gives me pause, but it’s hard to take Rex Grossman on the road.

Phanatic: Redskins

Stone: Packers
If the Chiefs score 10 points, I’ll be wildly surprised.

Slumdeeezy: Packers

Rory: Packers
Fairy Tale Football playoffs for me!  I have Rodgers & Nelson (which sounds like a play-writing duo).  Due to the advanced efforts of Julio Jones and Mo-Jo Drew, I need these two to play extremely well.

DP Animal: Packers

Phanatic: Packers


S.H.I.S.: Cowboys-Buccaneers

Posted: December 17, 2011 by Keith Stone in 2011 NFL Picks, Cowgirls, football, NFL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The NFL Network has done it again! Two underachieving teams. One that has been eliminated from the playoffs, and one where this game barely matters thanks to the NFL’s complicated tiebreaking procedures. For what it’s worth, we need more Saturday games. I’m usually hungover when I watch on Sunday. Now I can really drink. Every time I see Tony Romo smile, I’m taking a shot. I hope I can get up tomorrow. Here’s our picks for tonight’s game.

Stone: Cowboys
Slumdeezy: Buccaneers
Rory: Cowboys
DP Animal: Cowboys
Phanatic: Buccaneers

Stone: 116-87
Rory: 114-89
Slumdeezy: 109-94
DP Animal: 100-103
Phanatic: 95-108

The NFL did it again! Another Thursday night double-digit spread for all of us lucky football fans. The Jags have an interim coach while the Falcons have a coach that may have a heart attack at any minute. That’s pretty much the only storyline I can think of. Let’s just hope it’s not going to be a close game. Picks!

Stone: Jaguars
Slumdeezy: Falcons
Rory: Jaguars
Phanatic: Falcons
DP Animal: Falcons

Stone: 116-86
Rory: 114-88
Slumdeezy: 108-94
DP Animal: 99-103
Phanatic: 94-108

I’m so sick of all this Giants’ second half collapse bullshit. This team has been hit by so many injuries, the fact that they’re 6-6 right now is an accomplishment. I don’t know why but for the past three seasons, their schedule has been signifianctly harder at the end of the season. It’s not like the falling leaves make Eli Manning wistful for the South while Tom Coughlin suffers from seasonal affective disorder. If anyone needs to be fired, it’s the guy who makes the schedule. We could play a good team in the first half of the season every once in a while. The Giants have had some indefensible no shows over the years but I’m tired of the jokes and calls for bloodshed. Four years ago, they had they greatest run to end the season of ALL-TIME!!! Tom Coughlin is a World Champion coach. He can leave when he wants, not because his shorthanded team lost to the last two Super Bowl Champs. I think the Giants are better than the Cowboys. Now that the team is finally get a little healthy, they can finally start shutting up all the naysayers tonight. Onto the picks!

Stone: Colts

Slumdeezy: Ravens

Rory: Ravens

DP Animal: Colts

Phanatic: Colts
I actually kind of sort of think maybe slash want it to be their week this week.  Or if not I hope they at least beat the spread.

Stone: Texans
The Bengals haven’t had a good game in four weeks.

Slumdeezy: Texans

Rory: Bengals

DP Animal: Bengals

Phanatic: Bengals


The NFL’s Thursday night schedule is the gift that keeps on giving, especially if you like double-digit point spreads and teams that have no shot to make the playoffs. This week is no different as the Browns visit their friends from Pittsburgh in sub-zero conditions. Of course, the question on everybody’s mind is whether the Browns will score any touchdowns this week. If Peyton Hillis doesn’t pull his hamstring getting off the team bus, I don’t think it’s completely out of the question. With that said, factoring in the weather, the Steelers’ inconsistency on offense, and the fact that this is a rivalry game, it should be pretty close. And by close I mean a 12-point Steelers win and a Browns cover. Here’s the rest of the picks for tonight’s game:

Stone: Browns
Slumdeezy: Steelers
Rory: Steelers
DP Animal: Steelers
Phanatic: Steelers

Rory: 106-80
Stone: 106-80
Slumdeezy: 99-87
DP Animal: 91-95
Phanatic: 89-97

WEEK 13 Picks: Real or J-Lo?

Posted: December 4, 2011 by Keith Stone in 2011 NFL Picks, football, NFL

As I wrote earlier, there’s no chance in hell that Jennifer Lopez cruises around the hood in a Fiat. Turns out I was right. It was revealed that Jen shot her part of this commercial in a Hollywood soundstage while a body double actually did the cruising. There’s a bunch of J. Lo’s in the NFL right now: teams that look competent but have the same chance of winning the Super Bowl as an millionaire diva returning to her roots in a budget Italian car.

The Bills and Chargers have been the two biggest J. Lo’s so far, but they’re not the only ones. How about the Ravens, Falcons, Jets, or even the Patriots? I’ll guarantee you that one isn’t as good as we all think they are. The real trick is being able to sniff out which one before the reveal. Pick time, kids.

Stone: Titans

Slumdeezy: Bills

Rory: Titans
Screw the Bills.

DP Animal: Titans
A potentially resurgent CJ2K against that woeful Buffalo defense seems like a solid bet.

Phanatic: Titans
You know my new rule.

Stone: Chiefs

Slumdeezy: Bears

Rory: Bears
Hooray!  Basketball is back!

DP Animal: Bears
There are so many bad QBs in the NFL right now.

Phanatic: Bears


Expectations are a tricky thing, even if they form the lifeblood of any sports fan.  The buildup to a season is all about establishing your expectations for your team: maybe this will be THE year, maybe we’ll make the playoffs, maybe the young guys will show some promise, maybe we’ll be so bad we get a high draft pick, and so on.  Of course, expectations can (and often do) change over the course of the season.

Some of the most fun to be had as a sports fan is when your team exceeds your expectations.  I still have tremendously fond memories of the 2004-2005 Sonics, a team that came out of basically nowhere to go 52-30 and take the eventual champion Spurs to a sixth game despite being without their second-best player for the series.  Sure, there were Sonics teams that won more games, where the expectation heading into the season was higher, but they had a nasty habit of losing in the first round of the playoffs (now is the time when I tell Dikembe Mutumbo to go fuck himself).

The point is, the surprise is what makes a team memorable, at least in my eyes.  I’m sure Packers fans are enjoying this season a great deal, but I have to imagine that it’s hard to feel the same way about the team that they did last year, when everything came together at the right time.  Football of late has shown that as long as you can hang around the playoff picture, you might be able to put it together just in time to make a run to the Super Bowl, as the Steelers, Giants, Cardinals, and Packers have all done in recent years.

It’s that reason why this Seahawks team has been so unusual.  I privately harbored mild expectations coming into this year: I figured that so long as Tarvaris Jackson wasn’t terrible (and by and large he hasn’t been), the offense would improve as the season went along, and the defense would likely be good enough that the team would hang around an otherwise unimpressive NFC West race until December at least.  Well, the 49ers have somewhat ruined that idea, but the fact remains that the Seahawks are basically what I expected them to be: occasionally good, usually mediocre, and sometimes terrible.

What no one expected is that they’d come into this game arguably a better team than the Eagles.  While I wasn’t exactly handing the Lombardi Trophy over to Andy Reid before the season started, it was hard to picture a team as theoretically dynamic as the Eagles not even sniffing the playoffs.  If you’d asked me before hand to envision a scenario in which they were out of playoff contention in November, it would have involved season-ending injuries to several key players.  While obviously Vick, Jackson, Maclin, and others have all missed some time, that hasn’t been the case overall.  Instead, those guys just haven’t been very good.

So of course whenever the general projection goes awry, the immediate response on the part of most folks is to look for a simple answer: “The Eagles were too cocky,” “Reid is a terrible coach,” “Vick isn’t a winner,” and so on.  Of course, in sports as in life, there are no simple answers.  While the “Dream Team” quotes were premature and stupid, they also came from the back-up QB, meaning it’s hard to claim that everyone on the team just assumed they’d win the Super Bowl.  Similarly, while Andy Reid has his (obvious) flaws, that franchise has been one of the best in the league for his entire tenure.  He’ll probably be sent packing this offseason, if not before, and maybe that’s for the best: in the end, even great coaches wear out their welcome, but the few smart Philly fans out there would do well to remember him as the coach that had their team in the playoffs almost every year, something few others can boast.

In reality, it seems that the biggest problem with the Eagles is that many of their supposed star players were never that good to begin with.  Despite the highlights, neither DeSean Jackson nor Jeremy Maclin are a real number one receiver: both lack the size to go over the middle consistently, and they’re both extremely fragile.  LeSean McCoy may be the real deal, but the team seems hesitant to put the ball in his hands 20-25 times a game with regularity.

Defensively, the presumed dominance of Nnamdi Asomugha, Asante Samuel, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has failed to manifest, and the front four, despite big-name free agent signings, has been underwhelming.  In fact, despite perhaps 1/1000th of the hype, the Seahawks have the better defense according to most advanced metrics.  Didn’t see that one coming, did you?

So you have two teams that have arrived at tonight’s game with identical 4-7 records, but completely opposite journeys.  The Seahawks have mixed occasional exciting and tantalizing wins over teams like the Ravens and Giants with frustrating losses, like last week’s to the Redskins.  The Eagles’ losses are a bit more explicable (outside of Arizona), but outside of the beatdown applied to Dallas, they’ve never looked like the world-beaters many expected coming in to the year.  Even if they leave Seattle with a win, they’re looking at a long and difficult climb back into a playoff race that might have already lapped them.

For the Seahawks, meanwhile, this game marks an opportunity to show a national audience that some of the pieces of a future playoff team are in place here as well as a chance to heap a bit more humiliation on a team that might well be ready to quit on its season.  Oh yeah, and a chance for me to talk a bit of shit to Phanatic, and really who can’t get behind that?

Here’s are our picks for tonight’s game.

Stone: Seahawks
Slumdeezy: Dream Team
Rory: Seahawks
DP Animal: Seahawks
Phanatic: Dream Team

Rory: 96-74 (Last week: 8-7)
Stone: 96-74 (11-4)
Slumdeezy: 92-78 (8-7)
DP Animal: 84-86 (8-7)
Phanatic: 82-88 (7-8)