2016 Pigskin Picks of Profundity…..Week 18

football5Greetings friends. I hope you had a Merry Christmas and will be ringing in the New Year in a most pleasant way. I’ll actually be working on New Year’s Eve, but that’s okay. I have access to a TV and should be able to watch the ball drop, which is exactly what I’d be doing at home anyway. Atleast now I’ll be getting paid for it. This is our final week of picks. I went 3-2 last week, which means I’ve got to make some solid choices to finish the year above the .500 mark. There is no getting around the fact that Zach has had an abysmal season. He went 2-3 last week, and though it won’t really affect the final tally one way or another I know he’d love to finish strong. The NFL playoff picture is mostly clear, but there are a few final dominoes that will fall into place during this last weekend of the season. Those games that matter…in one way or another…will be our focus. Stay safe out there Saturday night, or better yet, there is nothing wrong with staying home & remaining sober. God bless.

My Season:  50-48

Z’s Season:   35-63

 

 

 

 

 

Seattle (-9.5)          at        San Francisco

The Cleveland Browns are probably going to have the #1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. However, IF Cleveland beats my Steelers this weekend (stranger things seattle-seahawks1have happened) and the Niners beat Seattle the two would be tied for the worst record in the league. I believe the Browns would still get the top draft choice based on tiebreakers, but I could be wrong. There’s also the matter of the Jacksonville Jaguars & Chicago Bears, who could both tie ‘Frisco if they lose and the Niners win. In that scenario I’m not sure how the draft order would shake out and I am far too lazy to research it. Conversely, the Seahawks have already clinched their division title but are playing for a possible first round bye in the playoffs. Seattle has something to play for, which makes them dangerous. San Francisco would be better off to lose. Aside from all that though I think it’s clear which team is far superior. Zach concurs.

My Pick:        Seattle

Z’s Pick:         Seattle

 

 

 

Oakland                    at        Denver (-2)

denverA couple of things are at play here. The Raiders are already in the playoffs, but a win would secure a division crown. A win coupled with a loss by raidersthe New England Patriots to the Miami Dolphins (not out of the realm of possibility) would get Oakland the #1 seed and home field thru the playoffs. Of course the elephant in the room is the fact that talented QB Derek Carr has been lost to a broken leg, so the Raiders’ hopes rest on the shoulders of fourth year signal caller Matt McGloin, who was an undrafted free agent back in 2012. The Broncos have certainly fallen off this season, but I don’t think they are a terrible team at all. Their defense remains stout, and I think an offseason dedicated to focusing on developing the quarterback of their choice…Trevor Siemien, Paxton Lynch, or possibly trading for Tony Romo…could have them back in the playoff hunt in 2017. Unfortunately for Oakland I think such a tremendous loss at this point in the season is too much to overcome. Zach doesn’t think the quarterback change will be an issue for the Raiders, atleast not in this game.

My Pick:        Denver

Z’s Pick:         Oakland

 

 

 

Kansas City (-5.5)              at        San Diego

It’s pretty simple for the Chiefs…win & pray for an Oakland loss (more than possible) and the AFC West is theirs. If Oakland wins or KC loses then the Chiefs are a kc-chiefs-logowildcard team. That’s a pretty significant difference. There’s nothing they can do about the Raiders, although confidence in a loss there has to be pretty high considering the quarterback situation. But the Chiefs can control the outcome of this game, and considering the awful season the Chargers have had the outcome shouldn’t be in question. Zach agrees.

My Pick:        Kansas City

Z’s Pick:         Kansas City

 

 

 

Carolina                    at        Tampa Bay (-6)

Okay this is going to be confusing. To make the playoffs the Bucs have to win. Also, they need Green Bay & Washington to lose (well okay…actually a Redskins tie would carolina_panthers_logo-14336do the trick). If all three of those things occur that still only puts them in a tie with the Packers, with the tiebreaker being strength of schedule. The only way they win the tiebreaker is if Tennessee, Indianapolis, Dallas & San Francisco all win. Got all that?? It’s unlikely at best, but hey, atleast Tampa has some hope going into this weekend, which is more than many teams have. Unfortunately I don’t think any of that will matter. The Panthers have undoubtedly had a horrendous season after losing Super Bowl 50, but I believe they’ll be motivated to play spoiler. Zach is looking for a big game from Cam Newton and is also predicting the upset.

My Pick:        Carolina

Z’s Pick:         Carolina

 

 

Green Bay (-3.5)                at        Detroit

The folks at NBC have to be pleased with how things worked out. The NFC North title is on the line Sunday night, and the loser could be left out of the playoffsGreen_Bay_Packers_Helmet altogether. Let’s just say that if the Washington Redskins win earlier in the day this game becomes a whole new level of pressure cooker. The Packers have won five in a row, while the Lions are on a two game losing streak. These feel like two teams heading in opposite directions, with Green Bay peaking at the right time while Detroit may have played its best football in October & November. Zach has some concerns about Green Bay’s defense, but feels like Aaron Rodgers & the offense are more than good enough to carry the team to a big win.

My Pick:        Green Bay

Z’s Pick:         Green Bay

2016 Pigskin Picks of Profundity…..Week 15

football-introducing-the-science_1The only college games remaining are this weekend’s Army-Navy contest and all of the bowl games. We’ll be doing our bowl picks soon, but as far as this weekly deal goes it’s all NFL all the time from now on. Last week’s NCAA conference title games worked out a little better for me than Zach, as I was 4-1 while he was 0-5. I have a lot of thoughts about the college playoff and related matters, but this isn’t the time. Stay tuned. For now the NFL has its own playoff race heating up, so let’s focus on that.

My Season:        44-39

Z’s Season:        30-53

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oakland              at      Kansas City (-3.5)

I pretty much nailed the AFC West in my season preview, and as predicted these are the two teams battling it out for the division lead. The Raiders are riding a 6 game raiderswinning streak and I look like a genius in my dynasty fantasy league for snagging QB Derek Carr. The Chiefs get the home field bump, but a close examination of their schedule reflects the fact that six of their nine victories have been by less than a touchdown. I’m not sure that’s meaningful since a win is a win and they’d only need to win this game by four points, but if Oakland’s offense is firing on all cylinders it’ll be a tough trick for KC to pull off. Zach has concerns about the Raider defense but agrees that their offense will be the deciding factor in pulling out a close game.

My Pick:     Oakland

Z’s Pick:     Oakland

 

 

Houston             at      Indianapolis (-6.5)

The AFC South is even more mediocre than most expected. 8-8 might win the division. Indy has the advantage as long as QB Andrew Luck stays healthy. Conversely, Indianapolis_Colts_HelmetBrock Osweiler has been a $72 million disappointment for the Texans, although I think he’ll be alright in the long run. At this point I think the Colts have the better team and certainly the better signal caller, which should be enough to get them into the postseason. Zach believes Luck is good enough to lead his team to a two touchdown victory.

My Pick:     Indianapolis

Z’s Pick:     Indianapolis

 

 

Seattle (-2.5)      at      Green Bay

A few months ago this would have looked like a great matchup on paper, but with the Packers losing 5 out of the last 8 games and after Seattle’s decimation of the seattle-seahawks1Carolina Panthers last weekend it is difficult to get too excited about it now. I am far too lethargic to do any research, but I have to believe it is rare for Green Bay to be underdogs at home on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field, especially in December. I’d love to pick the upset, but I just can’t pull the trigger. Zach concurs.

My Pick:     Seattle

Z’s Pick:     Seattle

 

 

Dallas (-3)           at      NY Giants

dallas-cowboys-logo2The Cowboys are running away with the NFC East, but the Giants are in excellent position to grab a wildcard spot. This is the Sunday night Giants Logogame on NBC, and as such fans would obviously love to see a great battle. Personally I’ve never been all that impressed by QB Eli Manning…I think he’s more lucky than good. With defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul out with a groin injury it’ll be that much tougher for the G-Men to slow down Dallas’ dynamic rookie duo of Zeke Elliott & Dak Prescott. Zach has nothing to lose and thinks this could be a trap game for the Cowboys.

My Pick:     Dallas

Z’s Pick:     NY Giants

 

 

Baltimore           at      New England (-7.5)

I’d love to see both of these teams lose. It’d certainly help my Steelers if the hated Ravens were to go down. The Patriots’ offense will be hindered a bit for the remainder New_England_Patriots_Helmetof the season with tight end Rob Gronkowski on IR, but how much?? This is the Monday night game, so I’ll be watching pro wrestling. I suppose I’ll go the smart route and pick New England. Zach agrees.

My Pick:     New England

Z’s Pick:     New England

2016 Pigskin Picks of Profundity…..Week 9

pfootIt wasn’t my intention to do bonus picks again so soon, but both the college & NFL schedules are chockful of intriguing matchups and I just can’t resist. Last week was a rough one for yours truly, as I could only muster a record of 1-4, while Zach fared a little better at 2-3. Obviously neither of us have a bright future in the prognostication arts, but we’ll have fun trying.

My Season:        22-24

Z’s Season:        16-31

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

California                     at                USC (-15.5)

The Bears come into this game 4-3, but it must be noted that two of those losses were by 5 points or less, and they’ve split the last two games in overtime. Meanwhile,cal the Trojans have an identical 4-3 record but are riding a three game winning streak. This is a Thursday night contest, and while it is a home game for Southern Cal the 2 TD+ spread seems a bit much. I think it’ll be closer and Zach agrees.

My Pick:     California

Z’s Pick:     California

 

 

Michigan (-24)             at                Michigan St.

A year ago the Spartans escaped with a thrilling last second victory after a touchdown on a fumbled punt. But that team was undefeated and would go on to play in the national Michigan_State_Spartansplayoff semifinal. In 2016 the tables have been turned. The Wolverines are undefeated and ranked #2 in the country while State has lost five straight to stand at 2-5. I am not quite sure what has happened in East Lansing outside of the normal ebb & flow of players graduating & new ones stepping up take those spots, but obviously things have taken a bad turn. Conversely, Jim Harbaugh has coached his alma mater back to relevancy much quicker than I anticipated, although few are really shocked that they have been successful. I’d be surprised if the favorites lost, but I’d be almost as surprised if Sparty didn’t show some pride in defending their home field. Zach is a big Michigan fan but he agrees.

My Pick:     Michigan St.

Z’s Pick:     Michigan St.

 

 

Baylor (-3)          at                Texas

I thought that it’d be Baylor having a rough year given their…eventful…offseason, while Texas would show some life with Charlie Strong’s job on the line. However the bayloropposite has happened thus far. The Bears are 6-0 and have barely been tested. The Longhorns are 3-4 and probably already have a list of candidates to replace Strong. I’d LOVE to pick the upset…but I just can’t pull the trigger, even with the game being played in Austin. Zach concurs.

My Pick:     Baylor

Z’s Pick:     Baylor

 

 

Washington (-10)       at                Utah

utah2The Huskies are a very quiet 7-0, ranked 4th in the polls, & look like a solid playoff team unless they stumble down the stretch. Could that washington2misstep come against the 7-1 Utes in Salt Lake City?? I think it is possible. At the very least I am uncomfortable with a double digit point spread.  Zach has no issues with the spread. He thinks it’ll be close for three quarters but Washington will take over in the end.

My Pick:     Utah

Z’s Pick:     Washington

 

 

Nebraska           at                Wisconsin (-8.5)

nebraskaThis is the prime time game on ESPN Saturday night. The Huskers have rather quietly amassed a perfect 7-0 record, while the Badgers have lost WisconsinBadgerstwice…to Michigan & Ohio St….nothing to be ashamed about. Wisconsin gets the home field bump, which is understandable. But are the points too much?? I think they might be. Zach thinks Nebraska is overrated and he likes Wisconsin’s defense.

My Pick:     Nebraska

Z’s Pick:     Wisconsin

 

 

Clemson (-4.5)            at                Florida St.

Florida_State_SeminolesBefore the season began this game looked like it could decide a playoff spot. Unfortunately the Seminoles have dropped a couple of games and clemsonare unlikely to re-enter the playoff conversation. However the Tigers, despite a few close shaves, remain undefeated and very much in the playoff hunt. As much as I’d love to stick with my pre-season choice and pick Clemson The Vibes are reminding me that this game is in Tallahassee, that Florida St. is still a very good team, & that Clemson has been on the cusp of losing a couple of times and their luck can’t run on forever. Zach believes the Seminoles will put up a good fight but Clemson will be too much in the 4th quarter.

My Pick:     Florida St.

Z’s Pick:     Clemson

 

 

Kansas City (-2.5)      at                Indianapolis

The Chiefs were one of my pre-season Super Bowl picks, but thus far they are an underwhelming 4-2 and trailing both the Raiders & Broncos in the AFC West. The kc-chiefs-logoColts aren’t much better. At 3-4 they still have a chance to win their division as I predicted only because the Texans aren’t very good. It is interesting that Indy is a home underdog. If the folks in Vegas aren’t going to respect them why should I?? Zach likes the Chiefs to outcoach the opponent and snag a victory.

My Pick:     Kansas City

Z’s Pick:     Kansas City

 

 

Oakland             at                Tampa Bay (-1.5)

The Raiders have been fairly impressive in what seems to be the culmination of a decade long rebuild, leading their division at 5-2. The Bucs have been…alright. They raidersare 3-3 and occasionally show flashes of…something. Whatever it is they aren’t there yet and Oakland is ahead of their progress by a country mile. Zach notes that Tampa has suffered some key injuries and thinks the Raiders will be a playoff team.

My Pick:     Oakland

Z’s Pick:     Oakland

 

 

Arizona               at                Carolina (-2.5)

Many pundits thought the Cards were a Super Bowl favorite this season, but so far they’ve looked rather mediocre. The Panthers have been even worse, following in the footsteps of other Super Bowl losers of the past by stinking up the joint the following year. I have no idea what the problem is, but it is irrefutable that a problem exists.nflarizonacardinals Carolina is probably already out of playoff contention, but Arizona can still recover and win their division. This looks like a tossup on paper, but I’m gonna go with the visiting underdogs. Zach agrees. He likes the Cardinals’ defense to lead them to victory.

My Pick:     Arizona

Z’s Pick:     Arizona