NFL Picks: Week Eleven
Look into this man's eyes. There's pure determination in those things. Minus the fact that he's wearing a milk mustache, Wes Welker is ready to dominate that Jets' defense. The question is, is he more ready to dominate the Jets defense than Lee Evans is ready to dominate the Browns' defense?
This is the question I've been wrestling with all week, and I just can't seem to make the decision of which to start. Welker is the possession guy. Evans is the big-play threat, more likely to score. I play in a reception league, and being 5-5 with three weeks to go until the playoffs, I need every point I can get. Oh fantasy, how you frustrate me.
One point - New England over New York Jets
Just like I can't make the Wes Welker decision, I'm also having a hard time making a decision about this game. To be honest though, there are a lot of seemingly easy games to pick on the schedule this week, which is always a recipe for disaster. Especially when I am picking.
However, there are 16 games this week, as bye weeks are officially over for the 2008 NFL season. That means there are an extra 31 points to play with every given week, and judging how I am down 100 points in my pick 'em league standings, I need every point I can get.
Kind of like in fantasy!
As for the game, I've been pretty hard on Brett Favre this season, that's no secret. Yet his team sits in pretty good position to either make the playoffs or win the AFC East, and there's something to be said for that.
And even though I also get mad about how Jets games are always on TV and how annoying that is, I'm having a mini-party tonight to watch the game. And it's not because we're interested in the Patriots.
I hate that I hate you, Brett Favre.
Two points - Tennessee over Jacksonville
I'm not really sure how to describe what got into Jacksonville this year, but then again, I'm not really sure how to describe what got into Tennessee. The Titans have had two close games in a row that they were lucky to win.
First against the Packers, last week against the Bears. I'm going to pick them to win, because that's all they've been doing all year. But the bubble has to burst sometime, so I'm not placing too much confidence on them.
And say what you what about Jevon Kearse, but I thought this was a pretty clever way to brag about your current record:
Three points - Washington over Dallas
I'm not really sure how Dallas in the favorite in this game, but then again, people have been hard for them all year. The game is in Washington, and Washington is the better team. That's enough for me. Yeah, Tony Romo is coming back, but he's slowly become exposed as the overrated quarterback that is he is this season. Unless I'm forgetting about him being clutch in the playoffs? Nope, I'm not.
Four points - Atlanta over Denver
The Welker/Evans decision is one I've been wrestling with all week, but the Romo/Ryan decision is one I haven't been. I can't believe how good this Matt Ryan kid is, and I'm going to try to make it a rule that he's automatically on my team every season. He's a big reason why the Falcons are 6-3, and I'm pretty convinced this team is making the playoffs (which makes the Packers loss to the Falcons a little easier).
I'm also pretty convinced that Denver is pretty bad and won't make the playoffs.
Five points - San Diego over Pittsburgh
I just keep picking San Diego week after week, even though Pittsburgh may very well be the AFC's Super Bowl representative. Still, San Diego is the horse I rode in on, and I'm not getting off until the last possible moment.
Six points - Green Bay over Chicago
I honestly would have put whatever little life savings I had left (+/- $600) on the Packers to beat the Vikings last week, but they couldn't pull through. Thank God I didn't. As much as I have been complaining about the safety calls or the Adrian Peterson helmet removal (though not nearly as much as PFT), the Packers offense couldn't have played worse last week.
Don't expect that trend to continue this week, as the Packers will beat the Bears to get back into a three-way tie for the NFC North.
But as you can see, I'm not nearly as confident about a victory as I was last week.
Seven points - New Orleans over Kansas City
Another year, another disappointment in New Orleans. Even though they won the game, I still can't believe they were chosen as the "home" team in the NFL's now annual London game. It was bad enough when they had to play a home game against the Giants in the Meadowlands, but apparently the NFL has a short memory.
I wonder if this is going to become an annual tradition in the NFL, with the league rotating who loses a home game. Could you imagine what the uproar would be in Green Bay if the Packers were forced to play a home game in London? It's bad enough that there's a season ticket split between fans by the Bay and fans in Milwaukee. Although Packers fans do travel pretty well...
Eight points - Tampa Bay over Minnesota
You wouldn't hire a clown to fix a leak in the john, would you? So why hire a hooligan to tear down the biz? (Translation: I hate the Vikings, so why find a reason to root for them this week?)
Nine points - San Francisco over St. Louis
I kind of put a lot of points on a team that really butchered the final seconds of their game last week. I'm not sure what Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz was thinking with his clock delay and run up the gut from two-and-a-half yards out strategy, but to each his own. By the way, is Mike Singletary on some kind of mission to destroy his reputation as quickly as possible?
10 points - Buffalo over Cleveland
When I have a tough decision to make in fantasy, I usually resort to the most surefire tiebreaker: Which of my guys play on national television? Unfortunately, it's Welker on the NFL Network, and Lee Evans on ESPN. Welker? Evans? Welker? Evans? WELKER? EVANS?
11 points - New York Giants over Baltimore
Can we just have the Giants and Titans meet in the Super Bowl and get this over with already?
12 points - Arizona over Seattle
Can't think of anything to write for this game, mainly because I've been distracted by both Home Improvement and Just Shoot Me on TBS. Why is it that there is no way I would watch comedies like this in prime-time anymore, yet I'll spend my whole day watching them five days a week? Oh, multi-camera sitcoms.
13 points - Indianapolis over Houston
Alright, NFL. The Houston Texans experiment was cute for awhile, but now it's growing a little tired. Any chance we can move these guys to L.A.?
14 points - Philadelphia over Cincinnati
Remember when Marvin Lewis, Romeo Crennel, and Charlie Weis were the hottest assistant coaches in the game? Good times.
15 points - Miami over Oakland
Bill Parcells is going to go down as one of the smartest minds in football history, if not the smartest. Likewise, Tony Sparano is going to become known as the "next Bill Parcells."
As you can see, I'm sort of running out of things to write about this week, so let me plug a little Thursday night soccer. The Chicago Fire are taking on the Columbus Crew tonight in the Eastern Conference Finals. Kick-off is set for 6:30 CT on ESPN2.
If you can't watch that game, be sure to check out the Western Conference Finals this Saturday on... (wait, what's that? The Western Conference Final isn't even on television?)... Oh, nevermind.
16 points - Carolina over Detroit
The Lions' remaining schedule: at Carolina, vs. Tampa, vs. Tennessee, vs. Minnesota, at Indy, vs. New Orleans, and at Green Bay. Everyone is predicting an 0-16 season for the Lions, and that scares the hell out of me. I don't want an 0-15 Lions team coming into Green Bay, with a possible playoff berth on the line.
Who am I kidding, the Lions are terrible.
16 games, 16 easy decisions, yet the decision of Welker vs. Evans remains. But I've made up my mind, and I'm going with Lee Evans. He plays against a worse defense, and I could use those points come Monday night.
Then again, I am the commissioner of the league. So if Welker does well tonight, I can always change it!
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