FIWK the NFL: Revenge of the losers!

Last week I went 3-1, no thanks to any of my actual analysis. The Seahawks and Jets both won last week despite throwing more interceptions than their opponents. Drew Brees threw for 404 yards, two TDs and no picks. The Seahawks had 77 yards on 20 carries, and their 3.85 yards per carry just barely beat the Saints 3.5 yards per carry...until Marshawn Lynch had the slowest, awesomest run of the year. My postliminary analysis determined that the Saints inability to score a touchdown from inside the 10 yard line led to their downfall. Garrett Hartley kicked three field goals of less than 30 yards, while the Seahawks scored one extra touchdown and settled for one fewer field goal. When I said to look at how the Jets offense does against the Colts defense to determine the winner, I guess I could point to the last drive and say that New York's ability to drive the field to score a field goal as time expired made the difference. But really, I think it was the Jets defense holding the Colts to one offensive touchdown that made the difference. So I think I'm taking a hiatus from my normal analysis and metrics when I make my predictions this week. It just so happens that every game this week is a rematch of a regular season game and my bold prediction for the week is that every loser gets revenge. In every game, the team that lost the previous matchup will emerge victorious. Well, it's not really that bold of a prediction since the Patriots & Jets and Steelers & Ravens split their regular season series and I'm picking the 8-9 Seahwaks to lose. So no matter who I pick in the AFC games it will satisfy my prediction. And I'm picking the Seahawks to lose. With their playoff victory, Seattle still has a sub-.500 record. In fact, for them to get over .500 they will have to make it to the Super Bowl. Seriously, how the hell did the Seahawks beat a playoff team? And then I'm picking the Packers because I think they are a better team. At least those are my straight up picks. As for Against The Spread...

Baltimore @ Pittsburgh (-3.5): Ok, so I'm picking the Steelers to win this game. Ben Roethlisberger is better than Joe Facco, the Steelers run game is better or the same as the Ravens run game. (Although I do think Ray Rice is a little more talented than Rashard Mendenhall.) And the Steeler's defense is better than the Ravens defense, thanks to Troy Polamalu's hair acting as a 12th man on the field. But everyone is looking at this game screaming that it's going to be a three point game. The Ravens and Steelers always end up as a three point game. Everyone except Bill Simmons. He's going against the crowd, which I usually like to do. And I have no idea where the hell Yahoo is getting their odds, because it looks like everyone else has the Steelers -3. But, I'm consistent and a man of my word. So, I'm going to try and figure out if the Steelers will win by 3.5 or more. And honestly, I got nothing. I like the idea of going against Simmons as much as I like the idea of going against the crowd. But the lines never really moved. So it seems like half the crowd is saying the Steelers are significantly better than the Ravens and half are saying it's the Ravens or a super close game. Screw it. It's late and I don't think I'm going to come up with a great reason to choose one or the other. I think the Steelers are the better team, they win and the cover.
Not so bold prediction: Ray Rice or Rashard Mendenhall gets 10 carries.
Bold prediction: Someone scores two touchdowns.

Green Bay @ Atlanta (-2.5): The Packers are better. Home field isn't as much of an advantage as you think. Be careful of Atlanta's special teams. The Packers have a better quarterback and a better defense. The Packers cover.
Not so bold prediction: Aaron Rodgers throws a touchdown.
Bold prediction: Starks or whatever his name is has more rushing yards than Michael Turner.

Seattle @ Chicago (-10): I refuse to believe the Seahawks are any good. I refuse it. I used to like Matt Hasselbeck. I really did. I have proof. Then he got old and had back problems. And he always wears a baseball hat because he's bald. And missed a lot of games and was undependable due to the injury risk. But I guess he's back now. But Julius Peppers has kind of lived up to his HUGE free agent contract, unlike the huge contract given to the huge free agent defensive lineman in Washington. And the game is in Chicago. And the Bears are led by the second coming of Lord Voldemort. I say the Bears defense wins this game in spite of Jay Cutler. And they cover too, sure, what the hell? why not?
Not so bold prediction: Jay-no...Matt-no..other Matt-no...ummm...Desmond Clark? Hester? Marshawn Lynch? YES! There we go. Marshawn Lynch does not score a touchdown as long as his 67 yard run last week.
Bold prediction: Julius Peppers gets two sacks.

New York @ New England (-8.5): Lots of people have been passing around this research by Michael David Smith of the Wall Street Journal. Basically teams that lose by 35 or more in the regular season will lose by at least ten to the same team in the playoffs. Every single time. I mean, if that's not enough evidence to take the Patriots, I don't know what is. What's that you say? It's only happened five times? In the history of the NFL? Ok, so maybe there is something to be said about sample sizes. Still, the Patriots are scary good. Beat New York by double digits scary good. I'll take the Pats to cover.
Not so bold prediction: Tom Brady throws a touchdown.
Bold prediction: Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski combine for two touchdowns.

Wow...I kind of failed with this one. I don't like my Steelers or Packers pick. And Jay Cutler giving 10 points doesn't exactly inspire confidence. So I am reserving the right to change my prediction. Except that I really think the games are a coin flip, so why bother actually flipping a coin and switching, when I can just forget who I picked, watch and enjoy a couple great games, then come back and see who I actually picked. In fact, that's the mind set I'm taking. I'm going to forget who I picked and check back Sunday evening. And I know you'll forgive me if I go 4-0.


  1. Watching the Steelers-Ravens game I alternated between loving and regretting my pick about 5 times. Steelers up 7-0? That's right, they are going to score touchdowns and not settle for field goals like the Ravens. Tie game? That's ok, the Steelers will score when they get the ball back. Ravens score again? Dammit, this is going to be a 3 point game...fucking Yahoo and their 3.5. Ravens up 21-7. Dammit, the Ravens are going to win outright...the Steelers can't give the ball up twice and expect to win this game. Steelers tie it up late in the game? Someone is going to kick a field goal to win this thing. Still tied? I wonder how the 3.5 points will play in the new overtime? Steelers score a late touchdown? Who did I pick again?

  2. Reason #17 the Patriots are scary good. Alge Crumpler chasing the Jets linebacker down from way back to prevent a touchdown, which eventually nets zero points for the Jets. Great coaching.

  3. I'm happy for LaDainian Tomlinson...stupid Jets.

  4. Can you explain to me what happened in that Patriots game? Like, did the Pats just pretend to be good for the last 8 weeks of the season? Were they secretly not good that whole time?

    Why did Alge Crumpler suddenly become a big part of their offense? Why did Gronkowski start dropping passes? Since when does Tom Brady throw a pick on a screen pass? What just happened?

  5. I'm going to say that Rex Ryan and the Jets did a great job of unpredictably blitzing/rushing or dropping multiple guys into coverage. There were many times where Brady had all day to throw, then settles for a two yard pass. Other times he's looking to throw and gets sacked, or throws before the pressure gets to him and the receiver wasn't even ready for the ball.

  6. Aaron I forgot to ask how you did in picks this week? I was 3-1 but the team I wanted to lose most, the Jets, won. So it feels like a pyrrhic victory to me.

  7. Nevermind, we had the exact same picks. Oh well.