Last week’s Record: Tom 12-4, Jesse 12-4
Overall Record: Jesse 124-83-1, Tom 128-79-1
THUD NFL PICKS WEEK FIFTEEN: WINTER WONDERLAND
San Diego at Denver
Tom: At Denver, and no Welker, but Peyton wants to remind Rivers he can stick it where the sun don’t shine.
Jesse: San Diego has continued to hang around in the weak AFC, currently at #8 in the race to the six-team playoff. The Chargers now embody the traits of their veteran QB Philip Rivers: they’re pesky, irritating,and they probably all make that goofy face. (I think this is the 3rd time I’ve linked to that picture this season. I don’t care. The Chargers will play the Broncos close, but in the end, the snow and the Peyton will be too much to overcome.
Washington at Atlanta
Jesse: The Falcons’ nightmare of a season seems comparatively serene compared to the Shanahan-Snyder shitfest. With RGIII benched the rest of the season, the funniest possible outcome would be if Kirk Cousins comes out and leads Washington to 3 straight wins. Against my better judgement, I’m hoping for the funny scenario.
Tom: “This team is a train wreck” is something I would say to start this pick, and you would have no idea which team I was referring to. The Falcons have the edge in “at least we still like our head coach”, it seems. That’s enough for me.
Chicago at Cleveland
Tom: The Bears destroyed the Cowboys last week, and now there’s a full blown QB controversy in Chi-town. Will the Bears pull the trigger and trade Cutler, thinking that McCown is a cheaper, almost as good replacement (without an awesome mustache, though). They’ve done worse. But for this week, they don’t play a push-over defense. And Weeden isn’t starting for the Browns, who by all accounts should have won last week until Tom Brady’s voodoo spirits pulled the game out.
A little aside–whatever your belief in Spygate…it find it really strange and unusual that the Pats have been getting blown out the first half of games, only to come back and literally win at the last minute of the second half. Doesn’t anyone else find that weird? I have no idea why that’s been happening, only that it has been. Frequently. Hmm.
Jesse: The pass interference call at the end of the New England game last week was bullshit. Terrible. Awful. Atrocious. Embarrassing. Garbage. I didn’t like it. This game will be close, especially with Chicago’s lousy defense. Brandon Weeden isn’t starting, so I have to go with the Browns.
Houston at Indianapolis
Jesse: With the Colts having backed into the #4 seed, it’s possible that no one playing in this game will care. The people watching the game won’t care. Anyone reading this column has probably already scrolled past this section, because THEY don’t care. Let’s move on.
Colts I guess. Who cares?
Tom: I watched the “This Football Life: ‘93 Oilers” this week. What are the possibilities that Wade Phillips would punch someone on the sidelines this week? That I would watch.
New England at Miami
Tom: My prediction–New England gets down by a lot in the first half, then somehow pulls the game out at the end. Just a gut feeling.
Jesse: This is going to be a great game Miami’s fighing for the #6 seed and the Pats are still hoping against hope for the #1. Dolphins beat the Pats in my upset of the week.
Philadelphia at Minnesota
Jesse: The Eagles are getting better every week. Minnesota’s doomed.
Tom: Minnesota is starting Matt Cassel again, and AD hates Baltimore. Neither of those things will win this game for the Vikings.
Seattle at NY Giants
Tom: For once, a game away from the home the Seahawks can win. Is it possible for Eli to throw as many picks as his jersey number?
Jesse: With Seattle making a trip across the country, and away from their unbeatable home-field advantage, it’s possible that HAHAHAHA no. No.
San Francisco at Tampa Bay
Jesse: Tampa Bay’s tough, but San Francisco’s too good. Mike Glennon vs. the Niners’ D? I can’t look.
Tom: It’s weird–this is the type of game that the 49ers would lose the way they’ve played this season. But I’ll stick with them here, because I just can’t pick the Bucs unless they’re playing the Jags. And maybe not even then.
Buffalo at Jacksonville
Tom: I said when the Bills drafted Manuel, I hope he gets past the maddening inconsistencies he had in college. That has continued in the NFL. Meanwhile, the Jags are screwing themselves out of Teddy Bridgewater, but they don’t care. Nobody circles the wagons better than the Buffalo Bills. Except now.
Jesse: E.J. Manuel’s regressing,and any hope that Bills fans had earlier in the season is gone. Meanwhile, BREAK UP THE JAGS! They’ve now won 4 of 5, and with games left against Buffalo, Tennessee and a Colts team that will likely be benching its starters ,the Jags have a great chance to go 7-9 and be every hacky columnist’s sleeper pick next preseason.
Kansas City at Oakland
Jesse: Chiefs in a romp, as Raiders fans dream of getting Jadeveon Clowney in next year’s draft.
Tom: Luckily for the Chiefs, the other two teams they get to play in their division are San Diego and Oakland. Twice.
NY Jets at Carolina
Tom: The Jets have green in their colors and that’s a Christmas color. That’s all I got.
Jesse: The Panthers are good. The Jets are not. I think these two factors will decide the game.
Green Bay at Dallas
Jesse: ‘Tis the season! Yes,it’s that time of year, where the Cowboys trip over their own shoes and fall over a cliff. However, Tony Romo isn’t to blame this time. In fact, the offense has been stellar, while the defense, led by Jerry Jones’ handpicked defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, have been atrocious. As someone who’s been forced to start this defense in his fantasy league, allow me to say: I hate you, Monte Kiffin.
Still, I have no faith in a Rodger’s-less Packers team. So, against my better judgement yet again:
Tom: Dammit, if Rodgers was playing I would pick them in a heartbeat. If there’s any team you want your QB to come back from injury from, it’s the Cowboys’ defense. Otherwise, I can’t do it.
Arizona at Tennessee
Tom: Alluding back to “This Football Life: ‘93 Oilers”, Buddy Ryan of the then Houston Oilers, now Tennessee Titans, left the team to become the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. Both teams have been to a Super Bowl since then, each coming achingly close to winning just before it was snatched away at the very last second. And now one team’s coach is a player from that Oilers team. I don’t know if that’s progress.
Jesse: In an article this week, Bud Adams’ son-in-law, who took over the team after Adams died, openly agonized about whether or not he needed to fire Mike Munchak after this season. I’m confident the next few weeks will make his decision easier.
Cardinals in a blowout
New Orleans at St. Louis
Jesse: You know your team’s season is over when you see headlines that use the phrase “Basic Improvement.”
Tom: St. Louis has been pretty good at home. But New Orleans is also pretty good in a dome. This might be closer than you think. But probably not.
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
Tom: The Steelers almost did the improbable and pulled off a crazy comeback win against the Dolphins. They needed Mike Tomlin cruising the sideline again to make sure Antonio Brown stayed inbounds (COME ON COACH). I will continue to pick against the Steelers, assuring me either of a victory here, or an unexpected victory by Pittsburgh. Either way, I win, and it’s one game closer to Todd Haley never being heard from again.
Jesse: I think the Steelers are done with this season. Bengals win with ease, and Big Ben chokes out Todd Haley at midfield after the game.
Baltimore at Detroit
Jesse: I feel it in my bones: The Lions are about to blow it. Megatron will do amazing Megatron things, and the Lions will lose, as the Ravens continue to improve with the playoffs on the horizon.
Tom: The Ravens are trying to do what they did last year and play their best football at the end of the season. The problem is, their best football still kinda sucks. The Lions have squandered endless opportunities to take over the NFC North. They won’t play in a snow storm this time, so no worries there. I have a feeling they will do just enough to give them hope, then miss the playoffs in the end.