Last week’s Record: Tom 10-5, Jesse 7-8
Overall Record: Jesse 93-69, Tom 99-63
NFL WEEK TWELVE: SEX PANTHERS
New Orleans at Atlanta
Jesse: Frankly, my picks have sucked the past two weeks. However, there’s one game this week that I know I’ll get right. Atlanta is an awful team getting more awful by the week, and New Orleans is peaking. I think the Saints will destroy the Falcons, thus beginning my redemptive arc, which will prove so inspiring that it will be turned into a Lifetime Television movie event starring Gerald McRaney.
Tom: I want to jump right in and say Atlanta will get destroyed by the Saints. Nothing they’ve shown me the past few weeks says otherwise. And I will pick New Orleans. Howevah…if the Falcons somehow pulled it together and shocked the world, I would not be surprised.
Pittsburgh at Cleveland
Tom: Last week, I laid out a scenario where the Steelers could not only end the season above .500, but also could make the playoffs. And that was with losing to Detroit. They did not lose to Detroit. So this is a trap game to me. The Browns really lived up to their name by shitting the bed after a great quarter to quarter and a half of play. Then the Bengals remembered they were at home and they were facing the Browns. I hope the sorrow continues this week (sorry, Jesse).
Jesse: As a Cleveland fan, I’m forced to learn the same lesson over and over: Never, EVER have expectations for the Browns. It will only lead to heartache. After the Bengals squashed the Browns last week, I will never pick them to win again in the hopes of engineering a reverse jinx that sends the Cleves to the playoffs.
Tampa Bay at Detroit
Jesse: Two weird teams face off at Ford Field. The Bucs have won two in a row, playing tough football for Lil’ Greg Schiano, while the Lions, who should be in command of the NFC North, are trying to recover from a bumbling loss at Pittsburgh that hinged on a terrible fake field goal attempt. This game shouldn’t be close, but it will be. I think Megatron’s the deciding factor.
Tom: How far did Schwartz throw his headset after last week’s game? That’s the important question here. So folks are now saying Glennon is “the guy”. Not buying it. After two games vs. shitty teams? Nah. I’ll still take Stafford and Megatron vs. Glennon and Jackson.
Minnesota at Green Bay
Tom: Wow. This game. I mean, wow. At least the Vikings still have Adrian Peterson. If this game was at Minnesota, I might have to swing towards the Vikes. But I know one thing–the Packers better stop Peterson and force Ponder to win the game. But with their passing defense, that might be a mistake too.
Jesse: The Scott Tolzien Era kicked off miserably last week, with a pitiful two-touchdown loss against the Giants. Who knew that Aaron Rodgers’ injury would affect the Pack? Oh right, everyone. With the sad-sack Vikings slumping into town, this could be a chance for Green Bay to steal one and staying afloat in the division race. Scott Tolzien vs. Christian Ponder! It’s the NFL, apparently!
San Diego at Kansas City
Jesse: The game against Denver pretty much proved that the Chiefs WERE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE, a strong defense and an okay offense. Playing this week at home, Philip Rivers and his dumb face will give the Chiefs a chance to take out their frustrations. Chiefs win handily.
Tom: Andy Reid can win’em all during the regular season, and with KC’s home stadium becoming relevant again, no Rivers flow here.
Chicago at St. Louis
Tom: Most teams coming off a bye tend to win their next game (except of course for the Jets, but they had to match a pattern. More on that later). Chicago literally weathered a storm last week to hold on and beat the Ravens in OT. The Rams are that weird team that looks terrible one week, then beats one of the top teams the next. Chicago is trying to be a top team of the NFC North (for what’s it worth).
Jesse: So which Tavon Austin will we see? The one who struggled the first half of the season, or the game-changing athlete who came alive for 310 all-purpose yards and 3 touchdowns in their blowout of the Colts? I’m thinking the latter. With the Rams coming off a bye week, I think St. Louis steals one.
Carolina at Miami
Jesse: I was all set to predict a slaughter by the Panthers, but then I looked at Miami’s record. Somehow, despite the controversy surrounding the team, the Dolphins are only 5-5 and in the thick of the playoff hunt (in part because all of the other mediocre teams are choking, but still). After seeing that, I was hesitant. Then I remembered Carolina beating the Patriots on Monday night, and go back to my original prediction of a slaughter by the Panthers.
Tom: LOL Patriots last week. Ron Rivera, don’t screw this up. Just be quiet and let Cam and friends do their work.
NY Jets at Baltimore
Tom: I questioned last week if the bye week counted as the Jets loss. Apparently it did not. So the pattern predicts a win this week.
Jesse: At 4-6, the Ravens need to win desperately, and when they need to win, they usually do. I don’t think a panic signing of Ed Reed will close the gap. Ravens in a walk.
Jacksonville at Houston
Jesse: I feel sad for anyone attending this game.
Tom: Welcome to the “He Hate Me” game this week. It’s come to this for the Texans–one of us is picking the Jags to beat them, and it’s not on a whim.
Tennessee at Oakland
Tom: My McGloin pick paid off! Woo hoo! As stated, if his first name was “Holden” he would be my most favorite player ever. I will roll with him once more this week, also because of the QB situation at Tennessee.
Jesse: Mike Munchak is like a glass of tepid water come to life, a charisma vacuum incapable of inspiring his team. The Titans’ fanbase is, to put it simply, bored. Bored with the same dull team playing the same dull way to the same dull sub-.500 record. I predict Oakland wins this battle of 4-6 juggernauts. Bonus prediction: I will fall asleep on the couch halfway through the first quarter.
Indianapolis at Arizona
Jesse: It’ll be interesting to see how Bruce Arians gameplans for his former pupil Andrew Luck, but the Colts are too good on both sides of the ball. It will be close, but Carson Palmer’s Carson Palmer-ness will sink the Cards in the end.
Tom: If the Cards have anything, it’s a good defense. And Luck has been struggling against good defenses. And being in Arizona…why not go with the underdog?
Dallas at NY Giants
Tom: If there’s one thing the Cowboys can gain out of the season, it’s to screw the Giants over and make sure they don’t make the playoffs. The defense is really what’s killing the Cowboys. Maybe Kiffin and his group have something, anything fixed after the bye week.
Jesse: Ah, the most wonderful time of the year, with the Cowboys in full “choke the season away” mode while the Giants start winning on their way to an improbable playoff push. Tony Romo and Jason Garrett were born to lose games like this.
Denver at New England
Jesse: The greatest QB of this era takes on the other greatest QB of this era on Sunday night. The Broncos are playing their second Sunday night game in a row (has that ever happened before?) while New England rebounds from a tough loss at Carolina. I predict the Patriots win, with the seeding between the Pats, Broncos and Chiefs up in the air until the final week of the regular season.
Tom: I continue my parade of “Screw you, Tom Brady.” The Panthers defense almost gave it up at the end of the game to Brady, and their defense is much much better than the Broncos. Begrudgingly, I give it to the Patsies. But I won’t be happy about it.
San Francisco at Washington
Tom: Is RGIII regressing, or does he need more help from his offense? The defense is playing better, but good lord, can the team play a whole game? The Eagles game was almost a replay of the first game they played early in 2013. CK7 is possibly not the “next gen QB” we all thought was coming along to re-write all the NFL offenses. But I think he’ll have enough against the Redskins.
Jesse: It doesn’t appear that there will be a surprise playoff berth for Washington this year, with RG3 regressing, Jim Haslett’s defense continuing to be awful, and the leathery Mike Shanahan continuing his slow transformation into a wallet. San Francisco is rebounding from a tough loss to the Saints, but I think their talent is head and shoulders above Washington right now.