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Goose Picks'em: Week 13

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

Brandon Marchand, or the" Goose" as we affectionately call him, is a football fan "extraordinaire," watching the NFL action every week, managing a middling fantasy football team and participating in his annual family pick'em league.

Although the Goose is probably best described as an average football fan, with his spot on the 2001 McQuaid Jesuit freshmen football scout team counting as the only thing on his resume that could be even remotely called "playing experience," he has managed to be somewhat successful at picking the results from week to week.


So without further adieu, here's my roommate and resident armchair quarterback's week 13 "expert" football picks.


Typically, going 11-5 in a week isn't too bad, but considering I went out on a limb and picked three underdogs and all of them lost--thanks a lot guys--I must admit I'm a bit disappointed. Well, let's hope this week turns out to be a little better.

 

(Home team in caps)

 

New Jersey Jets over BUFFALO BILLS

This was a surprisingly difficult game to pick. The Bills are coming off their most impressive win so far this season and the Jets just snapped their most recent losing streak with a win over Carolina. Both teams have been terrible for most of the season but have shown signs of life recently. Terrell Owens has emerged as the favorite target of Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick which gives the Bills some big play potential. Meanwhile, Jets QB Mark Sanchez has also improved and is not likely to throw six interceptions like he did last time these guys met. The deciding factor here may be the running game, where the Jets rank second in the league against a Buffalo rushing defense ranking a dead-last, 32nd. The game is essentially in a neutral site tonight as it will be played at the Rogers Center in Toronto, Canada. Technically, this is an international game...I guess.

 

Denver Broncos over KANSAS CITY CHEIFS

The Broncos put on quite the show this Thanksgiving, absolutely embarrassing Eli and the Giants. It looks like Kyle Orton is feeling fine and these guys appear to be back on the ball. This comes just in time for the Broncos to wallop the rebuilding Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

 

PITTSBURGH STEELERS over Oakland Raiders

Roethlisberger being a last minute scratch last Saturday probably hurt quite a few people--myself included--but the young and inexperienced Dennis Dixon was so surprisingly good that I'd still pick them to win again even if I knew for a fact that Ben was still out. You can say that Dixon's boneheaded interception in overtime cost the Steelers the game, but honestly, how many of us expected him to even lead them into overtime? Oh, and this week they are at home, against the Raiders. The Raiders are so bad, that a group of fans got together the $5,500/month to put up a billboard calling for Al Davis to relinquish the GM position. I think that the guys at http://messagetoal.com/ are perhaps my favorite fan group in the NFL. Good job guys!


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Well done guys

 

Houston Texans over JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Before we pronounce the skidding Texans as dead, let's take a look at their opponents on their three game losing streak: lost by three at Indianapolis, lost by 3 against Tennessee, lost by eight to Indianapolis. That's a rough stretch, but the losses were slim against quality opponents. The Jaguars, meanwhile, have continued their Jekyll and Hyde routine. If the playoffs started now, they are in as a wild card team, but how this can be completely baffles me. This team is not good. They just got blown out by the 49ers who, by the way, have only won one other game since Week Four: a 10-6 win over a Bears team where the 49ers needed four interceptions just to stay in it and a fifth to pull out the win. Yet they dominated the Jaguars. Way to go Jacksonville.

 

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS over Tennessee Titans

It is very tempting to pick the Titans here. They have been playing phenomenally and QB Vince Young is making a solid case to be the permanent starter for them. Unfortunately for the Titans, Peyton Manning still has something to play for as the Colts have neither locked up a first round bye in the playoffs nor home-field advantage yet. If this game was in another two or three weeks, I think I go with Tennessee, but with something still on the line for the Colts, I just don't see Manning taking his foot off the pedal just yet.

 

Philadelphia Eagles over ATLANTA FALCONS

The Falcons need this win badly as their rough schedule and some tough losses lately have put them behind in the playoff race. Unfortunately for them, they will be missing star QB Matt Ryan. The NFC East title is still up for grabs, so look for Donovan McNabb to push his team to challenge the Cowboy's lead in the division.

 

CINCINNATI BENGALS over Detroit Lions

Cedric Benson is back. Larry Johnson was great last week. The Lions are the Lions. None of this bodes well for Detroit. The Bengals are the number two team in the AFC right now and they hope to put some distance between them and San Diego--as well as increase their lead in the AFC North--with a win against the Lions. With disgruntled RB Larry Johnson joining the team and rushing for over 100 yards last week--perhaps he is no longer disgruntled, but is now very gruntled--as well as Ced returning, the Bengals could win this without throwing a pass--which would be awesome. I want to see it. Come on Marvin Lewis, bench your QB and just run all day.

 

New Orleans Saints over WASHINGTON REDSKINS

How impressive were the Saints on Monday night? They are the best team in the league right now--sorry Pey-Pey and the Colts, it's true--and they will keep on rolling. There are only two more teams on their schedule with winning records and the Redskins are most definitely not one of them. If Drew Brees wants the immortality of an undefeated season, he can't overlook the little guys like Washington, and don't expect him to. The Redskins have a surprisingly good pass defense, so expect a lot of little tweaks to the Saints playbook with a more balanced rushing attack and maybe a few screen passes as well. Even if the Redskins shut down the Saints offense, we have to remember that the one thing the 'Skins hate is scoring. With the 15.5 points per game they are currently averaging, I sometimes wonder if they would actually prefer kneeling or punting from the one-yard line because it sure seems like they are afraid of that end zone.

 

CAROLINA PANTHERS over Tampa Bay Buccaneers

If the Panthers win out, they still have a small chance of making it into the playoffs. Unfortunately, it's not going to happen, QB Jake Delhomme will be cut and head coach John Fox will be let go. BUT, for a moment, let's pretend that they still believe that they are in it. Delhomme is out with injury, but this may honestly improve their play. Fox will be forced to keep the ball on the ground, which just so happens to be the best part of this team. The Buccaneers have a terrible rush defense, which should show little resistance to the strong Panthers running game. Bucs QB Josh Freeman has been impressive, so expect him to try and keep his guys in it, but I just don't see them being able to pull off the win.

 

CHICAGO BEARS over St. Louis Rams

It's been a long time since I've picked out hometown boys to come up with a win, but it's also been a long time since they've played a team as incompetent as the Rams. With a quarterback who throws to the opposition more than anyone else in the league, internal controversy over the remarks of their star linebacker, and a hometown desperate for a good team, the Bears have a lot on their shoulders. Fortunately, the Rams are terrible. But be forewarned Chicago Bears, if you somehow manage to screw this up____. I'll just leave it at that. You can fill in the blank.


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"Angry Mob" could fit in a blank... just saying...

 

San Diego Chargers over CLEVELAND BROWNS*

The Chargers finally own the top spot in their division, having won six straight games to put them there. The Browns, meanwhile, have claimed the title of "Worst Team in the League" and have done nothing to show how they plan to change that. They just lost RB Jamal Lewis for the season--and forever--as his head injury will most likely force his retirement. Meanwhile on offense, they are ranked 31st for points scored, 23rd for yards gained, 31st for passing and 24th for rushing--which will likely suffer from Lewis's absence. On defense, they are a shade better, coming in at 27th for points allowed, 31st for yards, 24th for pass defense and 29th in rushing defense. Basically, that's just a long way of saying that this team is terrible and will not be winning this weekend.


San Francisco 49ers over SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

The 49ers managed to win a game last week by destroying the playoff contending Jacksonville Jaguars. Now they face the terrible Seahawks of RainyTown. Will they be able to hold up against a team that wasn't very good before it was saddled with injuries? I think so. Somehow, the 49ers are back in the playoff hunt despite their long losing streak, and head coach Mike Singletary wants to keep their chances alive. If I played for that man, I'd make sure I didn't disappoint him. He is a seriously scary dude.

 

Minnesota Vikings over ARIZONA CARDINALS

This is a big game for both teams. Despite being in the same conference as the Saints, the Vikings have a chance of becoming top dog if they win out and the Saints drop a game or two. The Cardinals, on the other hand, are fighting to keep their lead in the NFC West on their way to another playoff berth. This will be a tough game for Arizona, whether or not star QB Kurt Warner is able to play.

 

DALLAS COWBOYS over New Jersey Giants

I can't seem to figure out what is wrong with the Giants, but they have been plummeting for a few weeks now. They are on a 1-5 stretch after starting the season 5-0. Meanwhile, the Cowboys have been playing well and should be able to further their lead in the NFC East.

 

New England Patriots over MIAMI DOLPHINS

The Patriots looked horrid on Monday night against the Saints, but a lot of that was just the Saints being good. The Dolphins haven't been playing well, as they just got blown out 31-14 by the Bills--I realize that most of those points came in the fourth quarter, but still, it's the Bills. The Patriots tend to struggle in Miami, but with the AFC East not decided yet--usually the Patriots have it wrapped up at this point--the Patriots cannot afford to lose this one and they won't.

 

GREEN BAY PACKERS over Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens just barely managed to win a close one against Pittsburgh's practice squad quarterback by intercepting him in overtime. Does this make you feel like they deserve to be in the playoff hunt? While the Packers haven't been great either, QB Aaron Rogers has been a top performer in the league and the team is fighting to remain alive with a few good NFC teams on their tail trying to take the Wild Card spot.

 

Suicide Pool Pick 'o the Week: San Diego over Cleveland*


Last Week: 11-5

Season: 120-55


Peyton Manning Award for Best Performance, Week 12: Peyton Manning

Peyton just seems to will his team to win. Down at halftime? That's cool. We'll just score four touchdowns in a row. The Colts could be down by 30 or 40 to pretty much any team in the league at half time and I still wouldn't count them out. Peyton knows how to rally his team and has done so, well enough, this season to keep the Colts 11-0 so far.

 

Degenerate Gambler UFL Pick:


Congratulations to Las Vegas Locomotives, UFL Champions!

As a Bills fan, it's hard for me to stomach JP Losman as the championship winning quarterback in any league--especially if he beat my Florida Tuskers to do it. My only solace is that he's still not in the NFL--though this may help him get back in.

 

Last Week: 0-1

Season: 4-1


Congratulations to the Montreal Alouettes, CFL Champions!


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I have nothing to say about the new CFL champions and apparently neither does any one else...so...Picture!


Random Thoughts for Week 13:

  • As the kids would say, mad props to Dennis Dixon this week--they still do say that, right?--for his performance in Baltimore. Sure, his interception cost his team the game, but there is no way he should have even been in that situation. Baltimore prides itself on its defense, but we just saw it get shredded to pieces by a guy who has spent most of his career on the practice squad. I don't know what the future is for Dixon, but I think all of Pittsburgh is breathing a sigh of relief that he can actually play.

  • Additional props--yo--to Vince Young for one of the most exciting finishes all year in his comeback, last minute drive to topple the Cardinals. With everything that happened last year, in addition to his off-the-field issues, I am pleasantly surprised at how much he has matured. The Titans are 5-0 since he took over after their 0-6 start--that's a 5-6 record for you math wizards out there--and somehow have a chance to make it into the playoffs. Their future is pretty much in their hands, as they can still get 10 wins, but it will be a tough test this week in Indianapolis.

  • The UFL concluded its first season on Friday with the Las Vegas Locomotives beating the undefeated Florida Tuskers for the championship. The UFL is a risky venture, but they seem to be doing everything right--except those uniforms, I mean, seriously guys, those are terrible--but the future of the league is still in question. I, for one, love it and would like very much for it to continue. There are plans for expansion teams for next year and I hope that this league can become a sort of minor-league football organization providing opportunities for the young, the has-beens and the never-wills. Like an island of misfit football players. Veteran players in the sunset of their careers may be able to play for a few more years with the league and young guns from college can try to prove why they should be making the big money in the NFL. It's the best of both worlds and I really hope it can last.

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I've heard that spotted elephant has a hell of an arm



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4 Comments

Goose said:

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"But be forewarned Chicago Bears, if you somehow manage to screw this up____. "
Ok, let's fill in the blanks. Things I was thinking when I wrote this:
I will get a mob to take out the coaches and players.
I will do unspeakable things in front of Soldier Field.
I will renounce all fanship/favoritism I have towards the team.
I will plead for the return of Kyle Orton.
etc...

Chasse Rehwinkel said:

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Plead for the return of Orton? I will plead for the return of the Cardinals and for the Bears to be sent back to Decatur!

forecaster said:

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forecaster said:

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Pessimists are never truly disappointed. and the Bears can frequently be counted upon to disappoint.

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