Category Archives: Football

NFL GeekPicks: Week 11

The wreckage of last week’s picks.

Now, don’t get me wrong — there was some fantastic football happening last week. Upsets are a beautiful thing to watch. And did you see the Patriots-Giants game? I want every goddamn football game televised to have that same level of excitement and tension. It was crazy good.

But from a prognostication standpoint, well…I sucked last week. This is my third season of blogging picks, and it was my worst week ever. In my defense, I thought Peyton Manning was back, but this was a mirage; the Mirror Universe Peyton was back, throwing four picks against Kansas City at home en route to benching and defeat. The Redskins beat the Saints, the Jags beat the Ravens, even the lowly Lions beat the Packers.

Again, we had some immensely entertaining contests. but I want to be right, not entertained!

Anyway, on with the horrible picks. (Alleged winners in italics.)  Continue reading

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NFL GeekPicks: Week 10

With every team now having played at least eight games, it’s time to see how my pre-season playoff picks (alliteration!) are holding up. On the whole? Not horrible.

I picked Denver, Indianapolis and New England as AFC divisional winners and they’re all leading their divisions right. But I’m holding off on the back-patting because I picked Baltimore for its division and, well….yeah. They’re in Serenity Valley this year. Instead, the Bengals are atop the AFC North, and I didn’t pick them to go anywhere. My bad. As for my wild-card picks, I had Miami and Pittsburgh — let’s call it one out of two.

In the NFC, I had Arizona, Carolina, Dallas and Green Bay for the divisions, and Philly and Seattle for wild cards. Arizona and Carolina are indeed atop their divisions, and the Pack is tied for its lead there. As for Dallas, losing Dez Bryant and Tony Romo pretty much torched things for them. The Giants are actually leading the NFC East, which…well, OK then. Who knew? Seattle and Philly are in a tough spot, whereas Atlanta and Minnesota are very much in play for the wild card spots, if not the divisions.

So who would I pick today? I’m calling Denver, Indy, New England and Cincinnati for the AFC division winners, and the Steelers and, yes, the New York Jets for the wild cards. Crazy, I know. Buffalo and Oakland are in play as well. In the NFC, I think Arizona, Carolina, Green Bay are locks, with the Giants winning a very mediocre AFC East. Minnesota and Atlanta should be the wild cards, but I wouldn’t count Seattle out yet.

Now, on with this week’s picks. (Winners in italics.)  Continue reading

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NFL GeekPicks: Week 9

I have a theory about Peyton Manning.

I think for the past six weeks, he was trapped in an alternate dimension or an oubliette of some kind, and a body decoy/Mirror Universe version/Zygon was playing in his stead. Then, just before the Packers game, Manning somehow escaped, killed his body double, took the field and put Green Bay in it’s place.

To wit: 21 of 29 passing for 340 yards (39 yards above his average in prior games) with an average of 11.7 yards per completion — a full 4.7 yards better than he’d been doing. No TDs and one pick, but I assume that’s rust from not having thrown for six weeks while his impostor was playing.

I watched a good chunk of this game, and it was noticeable just how much more zing he put on the ball. He managed the game well, of course, and relied on his running backs to good effect. His passes were on target. He was just…good again. Combine that with a ferocious Denver defense, and I’m a lot more confident about the Broncos in the playoffs.

So the rest of you NFL quarterbacks…watch out for Zygons.

On with the picks. (Winners in italics.)  Continue reading

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NFL GeekPicks: Week 8

Peyton Manning is a lock for Canton. He has the best football mind ever seen on the field, like he’s got a Lobot on his skull or something. He knows more than some head coaches out there, and could make an excellent coach some day. He’s got a Super Bowl ring and has played at a high level for nearly two decades.

But man, it’s been tough sledding this year. Ten picks, lots of wobbly duck throws. The Denver defense has bailed him out repeatedly. I hate to say it, because he’s one of the best of all time, but I think we’re witnessing the Decline this year.

I say this not to infuriate Denver fans — far from it. Some of the best quarterbacks in the game, including Denver GM John Elway — won their final Super Bowls late in their careers thanks to a dominant defense. And winning one for Peyton may very well be motivation enough to get the Broncos over the hump.

But first they have to get past Green Bay, with another Canton lock in his prime under center….

It’s going to be a great game. Turn off the Netflix and watch. On with this week’s picks. (Winners in italics.)  Continue reading

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NFL GeekPicks: Week 7

Did anybody else have the Benny Hill song in their head as the Colts tried their fake punt against the Patriots last week? It was a masterful work of bumbling about, somehow even more pie-in-the-face than the last episode of Doctor Who, which needless to say, I didn’t like very much.

Speaking of bumbling, let’s hear it for the Seahawks and Giants, two teams with the opportunity to begin breaking out of the pack and failing worse than Stormtroopers at target practice. I’m particularly disappointed in the Seahawks, whose offensive line is letting more folks in than the crumbling walls of Helm’s Deep.

Now, on with the picks. (Winners in italics.)

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NFL GeekPicks: Week 6

Finally, a decent record! Took far too long, but then this season’s been a bit off. The usual suspects have been struggling, and formerly bad teams got good. Parity — more than just an empty word, apparently.

Still, the good teams you expected to be good remain, well, good. The Patriots are playing like a team possessed, though not Poltergeist-possessed, more like chip-on-shoulder possessed. They always have chips on their shoulders. You know, nobody’s really disrespecting you, Pats. Y’all play fine ball.

Denver also remains good, though Peyton Manning has little to do with it, surprisingly. I’m a huge Manning fan, and it’s been incredible to see his career unfold. But this year has seen a deep, depressing downturn in his play. He’s still got the mind for the game, but it’s the defense that’s carrying the team, not Manning’s arm. Honestly, it’s disconcerting — like seeing the Thing from Fantastic Four join the Guardians of the Galaxy. Which is a thing that happened, so I’ve read. Weird.

Anyway, on with the picks. (Winners in italics.)

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NFL GeekPicks: Week 5

We’re just about a quarter through the season already — how time flies! — and already Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin has been shown the door, Vader-style. Well, OK, nobody force choked him, but four games in? That’s Dark-Side cold, man.

The Dolphins are, of course, just one of many teams underperforming so far this year. I would add the New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers to that list. Seriously, if you’re sporting as good a record as the Jaguars and Bucs — or worse, if you’re the Lions — you’re pretty much in the Sarlacc’s belly, my friend.

On the upside, the Bengals are 4-0 and really primed for an epic post-season meltdown, which everyone outside of Cincinnati is looking forward to. And hey, look at Carolina and Atlanta! They can play after all. Though the next time Cam Newton does his Superman schtick in the end zone, I wanna see him fly.

On with the picks. (Winners in italics.)

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NFL GeekPicks: Week 4

There are things that some folks will never accept: Gay people in a Star Wars novel, Firefly never coming back to television, a female Thor…and the sudden, surprising competence of the Oakland Raiders. Or the Minnesota Vikings, for that matter.

But hey, what do you know — the Raiders and Vikings are decent teams. It’s taken me a few weeks to wrap my head around it, but I think I’m there. I’m also coming to accept that the New Orleans Saints are in serious trouble, and the Chicago Bears are really not a very good team right now.

But I still want more Firefly. On to this week’s picks. (Winners in italics.)

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NFL GeekPicks: Week 3

Oh, how smug I was, thinking I had everything figured out after one week. How the mighty have fallen. Just…wow.

Seriously, who thought the Colts, Eagles, Ravens and Seahawks would be 0-2, or that the freakin’ New York Jets would be 2-0? It’s just weird, man. Is Marcus Mariota for real or not, or Jameis Winston for that matter? Could the Oakland Raiders or Washington Redskins actually post a winning record at some point this season? Never thought we’d be asking these questions.

And that, I suppose, is why they play the games. On to the picks. (Winners in italics.)  Continue reading

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NFL GeekPicks: Week 2

When prognosticating as regards to the NFL, you tend to learn a lot after the first week of games. After all, your picks are based primarily on last year’s performance, leavened with a bit of training camp and preseason knowledge that may or may not be applicable. Overall, I’m pleased with last week’s record, but learned a lot. To wit:

  • Peyton Manning looks…old. Kind of like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the latest Terminator flick. Lots of balls hit the dirt. The zing on throws wasn’t there. Only a stout defense and a kicker who could likely target Boulder from Mile High saved them against the Ravens.
  • Pittsburgh’s Steel Curtain looks like it’s made of steel wool. This is a serious problem. See also: defenses in Indianapolis and Houston. Not exactly the Watchers on the Wall, you guys.
  • If Marcus Mariota can build on his impressive debut, the Titans will be contenders. He threw between defenders like bullseye-ing womp rats in his T-16 back home.

Here we go with this week’s picks. Winners in italics.  Continue reading

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