Posts Tagged ‘2011 NFL Picks’

It’s like Bill Parcells said, “If you can’t get ready to play this game, you oughta take a hike.” The Giants and Pats are ready. These are two great teams about to play for perhaps the highest stakes there’s ever been. It’s the Rematch of the Century for a reason. A Patriots win eases the pain of Super Bowl XLII, while a Giants win vindicates the 2007 World Title. Brady and Belichick enter the Greatest of All-Time discussion with a fourth Championship, while another Lombardi Trophy make Eli and Coughlin Hall of Famers and the best quarterback and coach in New York football history. Hell, Eli would even have to be mentioned when you’re talking about Ruth, Messier, Mantle, Reed, DiMaggio, Clyde, and Gehrig. Past, present, future. Nothing will be the same after February 5th.


Stone’s Take: I am going to have a heart attack. There’s no way this game doesn’t come down to the final minutes. Both teams are flawed but both teams are also excellent at certain facets of the game. The Giants went into Foxboro in WEEK 9 and closed out the Pats twice without Ahmad Bradshaw and Hakeem Nicks. In my eyes, it was their best game of the year. The Giants have played their best all season when they are challenged. While they may have strayed a bit from their “Talk is cheap, play the game” mantra and exerted supreme confidence, I don’t get the feeling that they think this is a done deal. Led by Eli Manning, the entire team appears extremely focused. If they play with the confidence they’ve been speaking of, the NYPD better start barricading the Canyon of Heroes. Prediction: Giants 28, Patriots 21

Rory’s Take:

I’m going with Plaxico on this.  I feel stupid confident about this game.  And, to be fair, the games this season I’ve felt stupid confident about were the Seahawks game, the home game against the Eagles, and the home game against the Redskins.  So my confidence is making me nervous.  Go figure.  What I love about this game is that, even if the Giants lose, the “series” is still 1-1.  And you know what that means?  Giants-Patriots, 2014, in the new Giants stadium.  Awesomeness.  Prediction: Giants 21, Patriots 17

(Speaking of the Super Bowl, read my awesome review of Bruce Springsteen’s halftime performance at Super Bowl XLIII).

Stone: 7-3 (Last week: 2-0)
Rory: 6-4 (1-1)

Last week’s picks

ROUND 3 Picks: Almost There

Posted: January 22, 2012 by Keith Stone in NFL
Tags: , , ,

There’s no time to fool around anymore. The stakes are too high. A trip to Super Bowl XLVI is on the line now. One bounce, one slip, one drop, one fumble, and your entire season is done. All four teams left have something to prove. The Patriots and Giants are out to show that the glory days of the past aren’t done, while the Ravens and Niners want the entire world to know that they’re for real. All four teams are truly great. Some have been more consistent than others. Some have had harder schedules. Some have battled injuries. None of that matters now. It’s 60 minutes for the right to play for the World Title. It’s all will and determination. Whoever wants it more is going to get it. Pick time.

Stone’s Take:
Despite their utter domination of the Broncos last week, I still can’t put my finger on the Pats. While all signs would point to a blowout, I can’t shake the fact that they played so poorly at the beginning of games towards the end of the season. The Broncos were happy to make it to the second round, but the Ravens have been here before and aren’t satisfied. Sure, they looked awful against Houston but they grinded out the win and that does count for something. However, I just can’t see the Ravens’ defense shutting down the Patriots or Joe Flacco putting up a ton of points. If Ray Rice can get a long touchdown run, they might have a chance, but New England just looks really focused right now. Prediction: Patriots 28, Ravens 24

Rory’s Take: It’s happening people.  It’s happening!  Giants-Pats.  Eli-Brady.  Yankees-Red Sox.  Clam Chowder-Clam Chowda.  I’m not sure I can handle this.  Oh yeah, there’s games to play this weekend.  Whatever.  Prediction: Patriots 38, Ravens 20

GIANTS AT 49ERS (-2.5)
Stone’s Take: Under perfect conditions, you’d have to take the Giants in this game. The 49ers may have beaten them in the regular season, but that was a depleted Giants team that was a Mario Manningham drop away from forcing overtime. There’s only one problem. There’s a 95% chance of rain. If the Giants can’t get their passing game going, it could be trouble because the Niners’ rush defense is so tough. Unlike other playoff newbies that might be happy with a big win like their game against the Saints last week, I think San Fran has their eyes on the big prize. Harbaugh isn’t going to let them forget about it. With that said, the Giants are finally healthy and confident and are as explosive as anyone out there. If Alex Smith can pass on the Hydra, then he deserves to be in the Super Bowl. But if Aaron Rodgers couldn’t, why should Alex Smith? Prediction: Giants 28, 49ers 10

Rory’s Take:

Prediction: Giants 27, 49ers 21

Stone: 5-3 (Last week: 2-2)
Rory: 5-3 (2-2)

Last week’s picks

ROUND 2 Picks: Under the Radar

Posted: January 14, 2012 by Keith Stone in NFL
Tags: , ,

After Tebowmania ran wild on ROUND 1, it seems like the only thing people want to talk about is whether he can lead the Broncos over the Patriots and to the Super Bowl, now that he’s tantalizingly close and there are no juggernauts in the AFC. It’s an interesting thought and I’m looking forward to watching the Pats-Broncos game but the amount of attention it’s gotten this week is insane, especially considering the fact that the two NFC matchups are actually more fascinating. You have two gunslinging Super Bowl MVP’s battling it out at Lambeau, and the hottest offense in the league going against the hottest defense. I can hardly wait. Last week’s matchups were boring random. It’s time to put your big boy pants on, kids, and let’s make some picks.

SAINTS (-3.5) AT 49ERS
Stone’s Pick: Honestly, I think the Saints are the best team in the NFL. I’d take them over the Packers on a neutral field. Unfortunately, they lost at Lambeau to start the season so now they have to travel to San Francisco. Like Houston last week, I think the crowd is going to play a tremendous factor considering this is the first home playoff game for the Niners in nine years. The fans are going to be ready. The weather looks like it’s holding up but playing on grass is still a huge disadvantage for the Saints. I’ll take the 49ers as long as Alex Smith doesn’t get any playoff jitters, which is certainly possible. Prediction: 49ers 23, Saints 19

Rory’s Pick: This totally has a “Nobody believes in us!” feel for the 49ers, but the Saints are just too good.  I expect it to be close and low scoring early, but the Saints pull out the victory.  Prediction: Saints 28, 49ers 17

Stone’s Pick: The Patriots confuse me. In their last two games in the regular season, they got off to horrible starts against mediocre teams, then came back to take control. They did the same thing when they played Denver in the regular season. The key is going to be playing a consistent game. If the Broncos get an early lead, they can play one of their solid, take-no-chances game like they did last week. If Tim Tebow is forced to lead them back from more than two touchdowns, it could get messy. Then again… Prediction: Patriots 27, Broncos 17

Rory’s Pick: If you’ve followed my picks, you know I hitched my wagon to the Tebows early.  However, I think God only helps out Tebow on Sundays, not Saturdays.  The gravy train ends here.  Prediction: Patriots 31, Broncos 6 (Tebow 316!)

Stone’s Pick: I think the Texans got their one win and will be content to ride out into the sunset. I can’t imagine T.J. Yates going to Baltimore against the Ravens’ defense and pulling out a win. Baltimore may be inconsistent, but they have played well at home and in big games. It’s a shame the Texans got hit by so many injuries or they would have a legit shot to make the Super Bowl. Prediction: Ravens 27, Texans 10

Rory’s Pick: The game nobody cares about!  And neither do I.  I’m doing solid on my picks, but my actually picking the score is nuts.  Will I come close this week?  Imagine if I hit one on the head?  Prediction: Ravens 24, Houston 13

Stone’s Pick: When these teams played in the regular season, it was about as even as it gets. The Pack may have marched down the field to win at the end, but people forget that Greg Jennings scored a touchdown that should have been called off on the review. The Giants were also missing several key players, including Osi Umanyiora. The Packers were banged up too but Osi will play a major role in limiting the amount of time Aaron Rodgers has to throw. Yes, Green Bay is explosive but with the lack of a running game, there’s a decent chance they will fall victim to the reconstituted Hydra. Eli and the Giants have been nearly as good but if they get anything out of Bradshaw and Jacobs, they’ll have the edge. Remember, this team won the Super Bowl four years ago. They won’t be intimidated. Prediction: Giants 27, Packers 17

Rory’s Pick: But I’m not picking my G-Men to win.  The Giants have exceeded my expectations this season, and I can’t be greedy as a fan.  A well fought game against the Pack would be all I need to leave this season satisfied.  Prediction: Packers 33, Giants 32

Stone: 3-1
Rory: 3-1

Last Week’s Picks

ROUND 1 Picks: We Meet Again

Posted: January 7, 2012 by Keith Stone in NFL
Tags: , , ,

At the end of 17 weeks and 250 games, the standings of our little picks competition look like this:

Stone: 142-108 (56.8%)
Rory: 136-114 (54.4%)
Slumdeezy: 128-122 (51.2%)
Phanatic: 122-128 (48.8%)
DP Animal: 119-131 (47.6%)

With 52.38% representing the percentage of games a gambler needs to pick correctly in order to turn a profit, only Rory and myself have metaphorical money in our pockets. In fact, if you bet $100 on each of my picks, you would have made about $2,000. Hope you did, kids. On the other hand, if you bet $100 on each of Phanatic’s picks, then you took betting advice from a chick and I laugh in your face. With that said, I gratefully accepted the Title Belt. However, Rory demanded another shot at the crown, and fighting champion that I am, I’ve decided to give it to him. So now it’s a mano-a-mano, winner takes all, every cliche in the book, NY-NJ no holds barred, sudden death, playoff picks showdown. As Judge Mills Lane would say, “Let’s get it on!”

Stone’s Take: I feel like these teams have had completely opposite seasons. The Texans started out hot and everyone had them as the top team in the AFC until Matt Schaub went out. Now they’re being written off when T.J. Yates hasn’t been awful and the Texans haven’t had anything to play for for a couple weeks. The Bengals, meanwhile, were given less of a chance than Danny DeVito winning the Boston Marathon. They proved the haters wrong with a strong D and a surprisingly competent Andy Dalton at QB, but still haven’t beaten anyone of note. Now, they’re barely underdogs for a road playoff game? Did I mention this is the first playoff game in the Texans’ history? I’m sure everyone and their mom is going to show up in Houston. Prediction: Texans 21, Bengals 9

Rory’s Take: Can you think of a more benign match-up?  It’s like a Wizards-Jazz game.  Does anybody have any particularly strong feelings about either of these franchises?  I hate to take the Texans here, but the line is just low enough for me.  Over 3 points, and it would’ve been the Bengals. Prediction: Texans 16, Bengals 13

Stone’s Take: The Saints have been blowing everybody out like they’re Jenna Haze. If the Lions, who haven’t been to the playoffs since 1999, get off to a slow start like the playoff neophytes they are, this game might get out of hand with a loud New Orleans crowd and a veteran Saints team that has lofty goals. The Lions’ secondary also doesn’t stop anybody from getting into the end zone, again like Jenna Haze. Prediction: Saints 41, Lions 20

Rory’s Take: I think all the games are going to be close this weekend.  This should be a fun, high scoring ordeal, but the Saints win. Prediction: Saints 38, Lions 32

Stone’s Take: I could see this game going either way. I could see the Giants putting in a strong, dominant performance like they did against Tampa Bay in the Wild Card Round in 2007 or a weak, confused performance like they did against Carolina in the Wild Card Round in 2005. Why do the Giants love playing teams from the NFC South in the Wild Card Round? You know what the Falcons are bringing to the table. If the Giants can get one big play from Cruz, Nicks, or the running game, and the Three-Headed Hydra of Tuck, Osi, and JPP keep the heat on Matty Ice, the G-Men will pull it out. Prediction: Giants 24, Falcons 17

Rory’s Take: Like the Texans game, this line is just low enough for me to feel comfortable taking the Giants.  The only thing consistent about these two teams is their inconsistency. Prediction: Giants 28, Falcons 24

Stone’s Take: I would love to take Tebow. I really would. If he was going up against the Texans or the Bengals or even the Ravens, I probably would. But the Steelers are a battle-tested team. They’re not going to be intimidated by the crowd, by Tebow, or even God. In fact, Big Ben laughs in the face of God whether he’s riding his motorcycle at high speeds without a helmet or raping college girls. For an actual football reason, the Broncos defense has been banged up as well. Then again, if this game is close at the end… Prediction: Steelers 19, Broncos 10

Rory’s Take: Tebow?  Tebow.  He’s been on hiatus, but I have a feeling he’s got one more in him. Prediction: Broncos 17, Steelers 13