Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pick Em Week 7

(For Pick Em Standings -- week-by-week and YTD -- click here.)
Ugh.  On behalf of all of us here at Steelers N At, I apologize for last week's picks.  You know we screwed the pooch when I was the big winner with five.  You also know it's a crazy, crazy world when the Texans and Ravens have tied records, the Cards are doing better than the Pats and I actually have to say, "Damnit, I knew I should have picked the Browns!"

On the bright side, Forty's only a point in the lead right now.  Silver linings and n'at.

This week, I think we did a little compensating.  There's some silly and/or crazy picks in there - I'm just as guilty as the others - but hopefully it will be a more cut-and-dried week.

Lock of the Week (Keller): New York Football Giants over Washington Redskins: 31-24 (take the over and the point spread at 6.5): Still can't trust the Pats after they burned me at home against the Cardinals, Seattle is a fluky, unpredictable team, and the 49ers are still suspect and unreliable in my opinion.  It's true that RGIII scares the every-living bejeebus out of me and he could win this game all by himself (like he did against the Vikings).  I just don't see the Giants defensive line giving him the edge.  I think they're going to keep him in the pocket and beat on him... and he's already a little groggy from the Falcons game.  Washington can't play defense and New York has been solid in the running game and passing game the last few weeks.  

But, really, this is just the lesser of three evils.  If last week is anything to shout about, the NFL and its stupid, stupid concept of parity has made things really difficult on us "expert" handicappers.

Lock of the Week (Weidman): New England Patriots over New York Jets. 48-21. (Take the over and the spread.)  I'd love to be witty and original, but you really only need to look at Forty's post below.  He makes all the points that I would.  Short preview: Pats + Loss last week + home this week + Jets = Slaughter of the Jets.

Lock of the Week (Forty): New England Patriots over New York Jets. 45-17. (Take the over and the point spread, even though it's 10.5. Look for this to turn out like the Pats last home game against Denver.)

Pete Rozelle's dream of total parity in the NFL has been achieved. Looking over this week, no team really has a clear advantage. There were so many coin flip games this coming week, I usually just went with home field advantage for the slight edge.

Last week, the Jets whipped up on the Colts and the Patriots were edged by Seattle at home. However, there are certain truths I know about the Patriots. Namely, that Bill Belichick hates to lose two in a row, he hates to lose to the Jets, he hates to lose at home and he'll slit his wrists before he loses to the Jets at home to go under .500, especially with Tim Tebow on the roster whether he plays or not. Belichik is hating all the crap being talked about the Pats and the AFC East at this time. He wants this to be a statement game and the game where the Patriots become the Patriots. The Jets are still a mess, despite last week's performance. I think they go into this game mentally knowing the Patriots are going to own them and that will get them owned. Maybe I'm a homer coming on too strong here, but history, my gut and the oddsmakers in Vegas are with me. 

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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