Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pick Em Week 3

(To see Pick 'Em standings -- week-by-week and year to date, click here.)

Okay, I'm just going to get this out of the way early.  I have to pull it out at least once a season, and it's rearing its head early this year.

Seriously, how does New England lose at home to the Cardinals?  How?  (And, yes, I lost my fantasy game as well.)

But, this was hardly the only upset this week.  Dallas losing to Seattle?  Yep, that was one.  If you knew how many times I put the bird head into the pick chart and took it back out again, you might understand how pissed I was about that.  But, we're not going to dwell on those things - onwards and upwards.  I'm down one point in the standings, and it's still anyone's game.  You'll also see that Forty is going to continue with the crazy.


First thing to notice is that we can't agree on birds this week, except for the most hated of all birds.  Once again, we all took the Ravens.  Last week, they were the dogs to an arguably worse team than the Pats, and we all took them.  Not sure what to make of that.

Also, we all had our own crazy pick of the week.  I picked the Titans, Keller went it alone with the Chargers and Forty doubled-down with the Cards and Browns.  Well, crazy worked for him last week.

Lock of the Week (Keller): Chicago over St. Louis (Bears favored by only 7.5, take that in a heartbeat): My Locks of the Week are pretty well cursed, but I can't get past the fact that the Bears are talented, pissed off that they lost to the division-rival Packers, and working on ten days rest.  Jay Cutler pretty much assassinated any chance they had at winning in Week 2, but the Rams are not the Packers.  I don't think they force four turnovers and I don't think Cutler and the Chicago offense implode on Sunday.  I also think St. Louis kinda sucks choade, even if they hung on to beat the Redskins last week.  The Bears are too strong and too motivated and I think they roll.

Having said that, my locks of the week suck, so maybe go with someone else's lock.  Or pick teams out of a hat.

Lock of the Week (Weidman): KC Chiefs at NOLA (Spread is 9, take it, 53 total, take the under.) 21-14
I'm not going to advise picking out of a hat like Keller.  Instead, go with a sure thing like the fact that I haven't yet edited a logo for the Chiefs to go in the grid above.  (I figured the Browns would be the last one I do, but Forty had to go and screw that up.)

Seriously though, why am I picking a "lock" game between two 0-2 teams?  Because the Saints are better than that record and the Chiefs aren't.  Romeo Crennel is re-creating the Browns out there in KC, and NOLA is looking to regain their sea legs.  They faced some maverick offenses the first two weeks, and KC is about as straight-forward as they come.

Lock of the Week (Forty): San Francisco over Minnesota (spread is 7.5, take it, over under is 43, go over) 28-17 The San Francisco 49ers in last week's big Sunday night game proved that last year wasn't a fluke and their offense was competent enough to go with the best defense in the NFL. Kendall Hunter and Mario Manningham proved to be secret weapons as both chipped in more than 40 all purpose yards each. Frank Gore, Alex Smith and Vernon Davis were the stars, as they should be, and even Michael Crabtree is starting to show some promise. The most important element the 49er's displayed last week is that they are a team on a mission. They just don't want to win this year, they want to dominate and go to the Super Bowl. The Vikings are coming off of a tough loss to the Colts. Christian Ponder played well, but Adrian Peterson is still suspect and the running game will be needed to take pressure off Ponder against the strong San Fran defense. The Minnesota defense isn't much in the takeaway department, which plays well into the conservative 49er's offense being able to control the ball as they wish.

Meet the "Experts":

Brad "QBERT" Keller is the inventor and sole proprietor of the QBERT (Quantitative BERT jones is awesome) system for rating quarterbacks. Using this innovative approach and working tirelessly part time breaking down film and finding angles inside the angles, he has mastered the art of picking and handicapping NFL games. With an expanded playing field this season, he's anxious to defend his title against a formidable group of experts that... hey, you know what? He can beat these two jokers, right? No problem. Because he has a foolproof system.

"Arena" Weidman's prime qualification for this contest is that he's spent more than a decade watching Steelers games with Keller while drinking. Because of this, most of his picks might seem like they were done while drunk, but that's just a facet of how he gets into "recall mode." A devoted follower of the Arena Football League, Weidman's NFL world view is colored through this lens. Because of this, he possesses strong opinions on why more people should go to Power games and how the the Cardinals should really be using the Rattlers as a farm team. Mainly, he just has trouble with the field being way too big.

Leonard "Forty" Hayhurst earned his nickname for his ability to grow the facial hair of a 40-year-old man at the age of 16, not his ability to pound 40s of King Cobra, but there's that too. He owns the largest collection of Drew Bledsoe memorabilia in the world (five items would be the largest, right?). He feels for Cleveland Browns fans because when he started rooting for a 2-14 club in the New England Patriots, they eventually won three Super Bowls. Then Steelers fans brag about how they have six Super Bowl wins, to which Leonard says they would have had eight if the Patriots hadn't beaten them twice in the AFC Championship game. They then mumble something about Franco Harris and walk away.

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