2019 Pigskin Picks of Profundity…Week 15

Another Thursday night, another night making picks while actually watching football. Thank God the Thursday NFL game is usually not one we choose to discuss. That may change though since we’ll be strictly NFL the rest of the way. We both did fairly well picking last week’s conference title games. I was 5-2, while Zach was 4-3. We’ll be posting our annual College Football Bowl-A-Palooza in the coming days (I believe the first bowl game takes place next Friday), but as usual they are a separate entity from these picks. At any rate, I hope The Manoverse is having a pleasant holiday season and doing most of your shopping online. Enjoy.

My Season:     52-37

Zach’s Season:     45-44

 

 

 

 

 

Houston                      at                         Tennessee (-3)

I don’t think many football fans are surprised that the AFC South is up for grabs this late in the season, but there probably aren’t many that thought the Titans would be in the mix. I predicted they’d go 5-11 & finish dead last in the division, which was obviously way off base. Even more curious is the fact that they’re doing it with Ryan Tannehill under center after former first round pick Marcus Mariota was benched. I guess when you have a beast at running back like Derrick Henry that helps a whole lot. Let’s not shortchange the Texans though. At 8-5 they are tied with Tennessee atop the division. This is the first of two meetings in three weeks between these teams, which is peculiar scheduling indeed. Tennessee gets the requisite home field bump, but I’m still not sold on Tannehill. If Houston’s defense can keep Henry in check I think they walk away with a comfortable victory. Zach is a little concerned about Houston in the wake of their shockingly poor performance a week ago against Denver, but he thinks they’ll rebound and score the upset.

My Pick:     Houston

Z’s Pick:     Houston

 

 

 

Miami                           at                         NY Giants (-3)

I’m really trying to avoid focusing on the same half dozen teams these last few weeks so this unappealing game makes the cut. Giants’ rookie QB Daniel Jones is probably going to be back after missing last week’s game with a sprained ankle, but whether it is he or Eli Manning under center makes very little difference. The Dolphins are likely going to miss out on the #1 overall pick in next spring’s draft, but I’m not sure if that’s a positive or a negative. Both teams are a mess and might stay that way for the next couple of years. I hope this turns out to be a tight game decided late in the 4th quarter (or overtime)…otherwise it’s basically just a waste of everyone’s time. That being said, The Vibes are telling me to go with Miami. Zach thinks there may be a bit of FitzMagic left for the Dolphins and is also picking the upset.

My Pick:     Miami

Z’s Pick:     Miami

 

 

 

LA Rams                     at                         Dallas (even)

Jerry Jones is almost as bad of an owner as the clown that owns my Pittsburgh Pirates, although in a totally different way. Wherein Pirates’ ownership has neglected the franchise for years & refuses to spend money necessary to compete, Jones actually cares too much and thinks he’s way smarter than he is. The Cowboys would improve dramatically if he’d step down as general manager and let people who know what the hell they are doing run the team. That’s not going to happen though, and head coach Jason Garrett will be the sacrificial lamb. The funny thing is they might still make the playoffs since the entire NFC East is atrocious. The Rams aren’t going to be in the playoffs. On one hand that’s not surprising given the whole Super Bowl Curse thing, but on the other hand it is a dramatic departure from a year ago when head coach Sean McVay & quarterback Jared Goff were celebrated flavors of the month. It’s interesting that the ‘Boys can’t even score the usual three point home advantage…seems like the folks in Vegas have lost faith in them. It’s a tall order for the Rams to head into Texas with nothing to play for and face off against a team fighting for its life & a coach desperate to save his job, but that’ll make it all the more delightful when the visitors get the win. Zach concurs and foresees a blowout.

My Pick:     LA Rams

Z’s Pick:     LA Rams

 

 

 

Atlanta                         at                         San Francisco (-10.5)

I predicted that the 49ers would make the playoffs, but I had no idea they’d be this good and a legit Super Bowl contender. Conversely, the Falcons are much worse than I expected. Frisco isn’t going to lose at home, but the points are a bit of a concern. Double digit spreads are unusual in the NFL. Having said that, the Niners have won 7 of their 11 victories by ten points or more, so I’ll roll with it. Zach thinks the Falcons are slowly figuring things out, but sees Frisco scoring the victory…just not by ten points.

My Pick:     San Francisco

Z’s Pick:     Atlanta

 

 

 

Indianapolis                         at                         New Orleans (-9)

Indianapolis should title their 2019 highlight video “What If?”. What if Andrew Luck would have stuck around?? What if receiver TY Hilton hadn’t missed half the season with a calf injury?? What if RB Marlon Mack wasn’t so injury prone?? They are a better team than their record shows, but much like my Pittsburgh Steelers the deck has been stacked against them all season long and they just can’t catch a break. On the flip side the Saints have already clinched their division and have to be kicking themselves for that last second loss to San Francisco that’s going to cost them home field in the presumed NFC Championship (although anything can happen). I like Indy. They have potential and will probably be back in the playoff conversation next year, but it’s just not meant to be right now and they’re going up against a well-oiled machine. The points give me brief pause, but I like the Saints to get the job done on Monday night. Zach agrees.

My Pick:     New Orleans

Z’s Pick:     New Orleans

2017 Pigskin Picks of Profundity…..Week 15

Greetings fellow football fans!! Since we are picking the Thursday night game this week and I am woefully behind I shall not be verbose today. ‘Tis the season, and yours truly has been a busy elf without actually getting anything accomplished. I’ve been meaning to curb my inclination toward procrastination for years but haven’t quite gotten there yet. At any rate, I was 4-1 in picking the conference title games, while Zach was 3-2. I have a few thoughts about how all of that worked out, but I’ll include them with our bowl picks. Stay tuned. For the purposes of this fun little weekly competition we move on to the NFL for the stretch run. Enjoy.

My Season:        46-40

Z’s Season:        45-41

 

 

 

 

 

New Orleans (-1.5)     at      Atlanta

The NFC South is rather competitive. There’s a good chance that two teams from the division will end up in the playoffs, but finishing first would obviously be preferable. This is the Thursday night game, which players reportedly hate but fans kind of enjoy. It’s interesting to me that the Falcons aren’t favored on their home field. Zach likes the Saints’ running game to take some of the pressure off quarterback Drew Brees.

My Pick:     New Orleans

Z’s Pick:     New Orleans

 

 

 

Indianapolis                at      Buffalo (-3)

It’s been a rough year for the Colts. They are completely lost without quarterback Andrew Luck, but it seems like a 3-9 team probably has more than just one issue. Meanwhile, the Bills have dropped 4 out of the last 5 games and have not only fallen four games behind New England but wouldn’t even qualify for a wildcard if the season ended today. They also have quarterback issues, as the coaches are seesawing back & forth between Tyrod Taylor and rookie Nathan Peterman. Taylor is injured and might not be available this week, and that’s bad news for Buffalo. Zach is aware of the Bills’ quarterback conundrum, but believes that Indy is so bad it doesn’t matter.

My Pick:     Indianapolis

Z’s Pick:     Buffalo

 

 

 

Minnesota (-2.5)                   at      Carolina

Vikings’ QB Case Keenum has been a topic of conversation this week. Is he legit?? Or can he ever really shed the stank of “journeyman backup”?? He’s done pretty well so far in 2017, to the point that there’s buzz about a Vikings Super Bowl run, which would conclude in February on their home field. But let’s not count out the Panthers just yet. They’re right in the mix in the aforementioned NFC South and have won 4 out of their last 5. The matchup to watch is Carolina quarterback Cam Newton versus the Minnesota defense, and I am a firm believer that defense wins championships. Zach concurs.

My Pick:     Minnesota

Z’s Pick:     Minnesota

 

 

 

Philadelphia                at      L.A. Rams (-2)

In my season preview I predicted these teams to go a combined 11-21. Obviously I was wrong. Second year Rams QB Jared Goff has emerged as one of the best in the league, but of course so has Eagles QB Carson Wentz. I’m not sure Los Angeles has much of a home field advantage, but I can’t resist leaning in that direction. Zach thinks Philly will bounce back from last week’s loss and prove to be just a little better than the Rams.

My Pick:     L.A. Rams

Z’s Pick:     Philadelphia

 

 

 

Seattle                          at      Jacksonville (-3.5)

Ask most football fans and they’ll likely tell you they’re not quite ready to believe in the Jags just yet. It’s hard to get past the whole Blake Bortles thing. Conversely, the Legion of Boom has imploded and Seattle is a game behind in the NFC West, but a lot of folks would still consider them among the favorites to get to the Super Bowl. Fair?? Probably not, but that’s the situation. Jacksonville needs this win to quiet the doubters, while the Seahawks seeks to keep pace with the Rams. If the game were being played in Seattle it’d be an easy pick, but since it’s not there is reason for hesitation. Zach concurs.

My Pick:     Seattle

Z’s Pick:     Seattle

2015 Pigskin Picks of Profundity…..Week 6

football-introducing-the-science_1Damn you Clemson!! Last week was another mixed bag, although it skewed toward the lower end of “mixed”. Both Zach & I went 2-3. Notre Dame was stopped on a last second two point conversion, otherwise things might have looked a bit different. I also screwed up one of my NFL picks. Three years ago I said that Miami Dolphins’ “ownership made a horrible mistake hiring Joe Philbin as the new head coach”, and that “Philbin seems like a perfectly nice man, but traditionally very nice men don’t make successful NFL coaches.” This week, one day after losing to the NY Jets in London, Philbin was fired. I really am smarter than I look, which makes it all the more inexplicable why I picked the Dolphins in that game. Ah well…c’est la vie. Anyway, for the season our records look like this:

Me = 18-10           Z = 13-15

This week we’re going strictly with college football. No reason…that’s just how I decided to roll. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

Indiana at Penn St. (-6.5)
penn-state-logoThe Hoosiers darn near upset the alleged #1 team in the land last weekend, but once again Ohio St. escaped. Still, Indiana’sindiana record is a surprising 4-1. Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions are also 4-1, with only a season opening loss to Temple as a blemish on their record. If the same Indiana team that almost beat the Buckeyes last week shows up in Happy Valley the Lions are in deep trouble. However, that is the million dollar conundrum. Is Indiana for real or not?? And even if they are better than usual will there be a steep emotional dropoff after playing out of their minds a week ago?? Penn St. hasn’t played anyone good, so they are still a mystery as well. The home field is huge, and I’m not convinced that Indiana is legit, so I’m leaning toward the favorites. Conversely, Zach believes in Indiana’s defense and thinks they’ll get the job done.

My Pick – Penn St.
Z’s Pick – Indiana

 
Northwestern at Michigan (-8)
Northwestern_WildcatsI’m really intrigued by this game. I predicted that Jim Harbaugh would quickly fix a lot of what has ailed Michigan, and this is a tremendous opportunity to make a statement. However, the Wildcats are looking to make a statement as well. Sure they are undefeated thus far, but is anyone really buying it?? I suppose it’d be tempting for the Wolverines to look ahead to next week’s battle with in-state rival Michigan St., but I don’t think that’ll be a factor. This feels like a toss-up to me. I think the home field is a big advantage for Michigan…but 8 points big?? Probably not. Zach concurs.

My Pick – Northwestern
Z’s Pick – Northwestern

 
Wisconsin at Nebraska (-1.5)
nebraskaBoth teams are usually in the thick of the conference title discussion and oftentimes positioned for a national title run…but not WisconsinBadgersthis year. The Badgers are still adjusting to a new head coach & life without All-American RB Melvin Gordon. They already have two losses. The Cornhuskers also have a new head coach this season and have lost 3 games. This game might not mean all that much in the short term, but it might help the winner build to atleast a winning season and a solid bowl invitation. For the loser it will likely be another nail in a dismal year. I’ve got to go with the ‘Huskers to defend their turf. Conversely, Zach thinks it’ll be Wisconsin that bounces back to get a victory.

My Pick – Nebraska
Z’s Pick – Wisconsin

 
Miami, FL at Florida St. (-9)
miamiuIt’s a game that doesn’t mean as much as it did 15 or 20 years ago, but it still has meaning. The Seminoles probably aren’t going to make it to the four team playoff this year, but they are 4-0 so far. The Hurricanes have slowly been working their way back into relevance the past few years and are currently 3-1. This one is on ABC prime time Saturday night, so someone somewhere has high hopes that it’ll be entertaining & competitive. I think you can throw point spreads out the window when these two meet, and 9 points feels like a bit much. I have a feeling Florida St. will find a way to win, but it’ll be by a touchdown or less. Zach concurs.

My Pick – Miami, FL
Z’s Pick – Miami, FL

 

 

California at Utah (-7.5)
calApparently Cal QB Jared Goff is one of the top prospects going into next spring’s NFL Draft. I’ll just take the experts’ word on utahit since I’ve never seen the kid play. I have watched Utah and, like everyone else, am mildly surprised by how good they have been thus far. Both teams are undefeated, so it comes down to which one you believe in. If Goff wants to prove he’s an elite QB he’s got to lead his team to victories in games like this. I’ll roll the dice on that happening, and on Utah being overrated. Zach, on the other hand, believes the Utes will score another blowout win.

My Pick – California
Z’s Pick – Utah