Welcome back, football fans, to our quasi-professional football picks! Each week we will pick game winners based on Vegas over/under lines, and add some the greatest preview commentary in the world! That’s right, ESPN, we said it.
Our token Brit Rob Wheatley to the top of the leader-board, and everyone else is finally above .500 going into Week 14. Well, almost everyone else.
Thursday, December 6th, 2012
Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders
LINE: Broncos by 11
Evil Peyton Manning:
One again, the Denver Broncos have locked up the AFC West. This time, the excitement had to do with how good the team is with Peyton Manning at the helm, not how bad the competition is with Tim Tebow at the helm. Yes, Tim Tebow helped the Broncos win the AFC West last year. Somehow.
Rob Wheatley: Broncos-WIN
Steve Elle: Broncos-WIN
Sunday, December 9th, 2012
St. Louis Rams @ Buffalo Bills
LINE: Bills by 3
Since I picked the Bills here I suppose I have to say something in support of them. Here goes: wow, that Marv Levy (aka: dad) is some coach! Jim Kelly? Not so bad for a guy with a horse mouth! Bruce Smith? He’s a stud, no need for a qualifier there. Oh wait, that was in the ‘90’s – a lifetime ago in football parlance. Hmm, what about this year’s Bills? Well there’s their Harvard grad QB. He helps during chess matches off season; there’s Mario Williams, he helps by occupying a blocker; etc. I should probably mention the Rams here. Actually, I think I’m changing my mind – I’m picking the Rams. Bradford, Chris Long, Steven Jackson, we’ll see what they can do in this uninspiring match-up.
Rob Wheatley: Bills-LOSS
Darby Shaw: Rams-WIN
Evil Peyton Manning: Rams-WIN
Dallas Cowboys @ Cincinnati Bengals
LINE: Bengals by 3
Here you are, folks. This is what late-season football is all about. Here we have two mediocre teams, coming off of last year’s mediocre performances, looking to edge their way into the playoffs where they can get soundly beaten in the wild card round. The similarity of the two teams is eerie; the Bengals have had alternating four-game streaks of beating bad teams and losing to bad teams. The Cowboys have alternated from game-to-game between beating bad teams and losing to teams with talent. The Bengals have a ginger QB. The Cowboys are coached by a former ginger QB. Which is to say he’s a former QB, not a former ginger. That shit stays with you FOREVER. For the Bengals, this game is a must-win, as they have already penciled in expected losses for the last two games of the season.
Rob Wheatley: Cowboys-WIN
Steve Elle: Bengals-LOSS
Evil Peyton Manning: Cowboys-WIN
Kansas City Chiefs @ Cleveland Browns
LINE: Browns by 7
It seems wrong to make jokes about the Chiefs, considering the tragedy they’re dealing with currently. But I can’t help it that their entire season is a tragedy, so let’s move on. For most coaches and players, a game against a former team is an opportunity for redemption. Particularly when said coach/player was traded, not resigned, or flat-out shitcanned. For Romeo Crennel, Brady Quinn, and Peyton Hillis, this could be the perfect grudge match… if they had any measure of coaching talent/playing ability. Ultimately, the game will come down to which team can manage to turn the ball over less, or which team’s clueless lineman can stumble into the endzone with the ball without meaning to.
Rob Wheatley: Chiefs-LOSS
Steve Elle: Browns-WIN
Evil Peyton Manning: Browns-WIN
Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts
LINE: Colts by 6
Well, I’m back folks, did y’all miss me ? I had to take a two week break from the excitement of the NFL due to outside interference, (although they still haven’t proven anything in Court). I’ve also been in mourning since the end of the Formula One season, and now with the news of the Royal sick and the fact that England has now entered ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ with snowfalls of over a millimeter deep (more on these stories later), it’s been hard to find the time to sit down and make up a load of crude jokes about animal genitalia, which let’s face it, is usually the general gist of my NFL commentaries. It’s been nice to see however, that during my absence, the other writers here at The Owl have raised their game and clawed back on my once magnificent lead, in a once-and-for-all bid to prove to the world that this NFL thing is more than a game of just random chance and meaningless tactics. So who shall I pick for this one ? Well, the Colts are named after a type of horse, and horses usually have massive dicks, so Colts to win.
Darby Shaw: Colts-LOSS
Steve Elle: Colts-LOSS
Evil Peyton Manning: Colts-LOSS
Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings
LINE: Bears by 3
Evil Peyton Manning:
I’ve always been in awe of how Bears players seem to actually look like bears. This is even more apparent when seeing Brian Urlacher yelling as he is forced out of a game due to injury. This will be a big hit when defending against Adrian Peterson, who reminded everyone why they tried to draft him to their fantasy team by running for 210 yards.
Rob Wheatley: Bears-LOSS
Darby Shaw: Vikings-WIN
Steve Elle: Bears-LOSS
San Diego Chargers @ Pittsburgh Steelers
ESPN’s wrap-up of last-week’s Steelers game described backup Charlie Batch as a “cagey quarterback.” There are many descriptions I would want used about my quarterback. Talented. Strong. Heroic. Intelligent. Dashingly handsome. Well-endowed. Campaniform. But “cagey” is nowhere on the list. Thankfully for the Steelers, they have two things going for them. One, reformed-alleged-sexual-assaulter and presumably-consented-to-new-baby-daddy Ben Roethlisberger returns to lead the Steelers, and two, the NFL scheduled a scrimmage against a JV high school team from California this week.
Rob Wheatley: Steelers-LOSS
Steve Elle: Steelers-LOSS
Evil Peyton Manning: Steelers-LOSS
Philadelphia Eagles @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
LINE: Buccaneers by 8
The Eagles were a thorn in the Bucs’ side for many years and many games. Then came the NFC Championship game in 2002 where Ronde Barber saved the day for the Bucs and helped get them to the Super Bowl. Both teams’ fortunes have changed since then. The Bucs have a new coach and attitude; the Eagles will soon have the same. Closing in on the 10th anniversary of the Bucs Super Bowl victory they hope to help the Eagles get to that next stage just a bit quicker.
Rob Wheatley: Eagles-WIN
Darby Shaw: Buccaneers-LOSS
Evil Peyton Manning: Eagles-WIN
Baltimore Ravens @ Washington Redskins
LINE: Redskins by 3
One should always be careful not to confuse the Baltimore Ravens with the Indian dish of Raven Balti. I speak from bitter experience on this, following a recent disaster at my local curry-house. I glanced over the menu, ordering some poppadoms and pickles, a nice Saag bhaji, a Chicken Tikka, and then was distracted momentarily by a stray chilli, but that was all it took. Imagine my horror when the waiter arrived at the table, groaning under the weight of a whole football team, complete with shoulder pads, shining helmets, and old men with clipboards. Very soon the whole restaurant was in uproar, as play after play unfolded, other diners dodging to avoid being hit in the head by flying balls and tables being moved around to form a makeshift 10 yard line. Next time, I’m gonna stick to fish & chips.
Darby Shaw: Redskins-LOSS
Steve Elle: Ravens-WIN
Evil Peyton Manning: Ravens-WIN
Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers
LINE: Falcons by 4
Evil Peyton Manning:
The Falcons have yet to begin their seasonal disappearing act, and after beating the Saints for the first time in a hundred years (in Super Bowl years) we may not see it. This team looks to be legit, unlike the Panthers, who looked liked the most legit team with a losing record last year.
Rob Wheatley: Falcons-LOSS
Darby Shaw: Falcons-LOSS
Steve Elle: Panthers-WIN
New York Jets @ Jacksonville Jaguars
LINE: Jets by 3
Evil Peyton Manning:
With the controversy surrounding Mark Sanchez holding a clipboard for the 4th quarter while Greg McElroy engineered the lone score that put the Jets ahead of the Cardinals, it seems odd that people are clamoring for Tim Tebow to start even with busted ribs. Yes, Tim Tebow is still the story in Jet camp, and will be until the end of the season. Meanwhile, the Jaguars remembered that they wanted the #1 draft pick this year, and promptly lost last week.
Rob Wheatley: Jets-WIN
Darby Shaw: Jaguars-LOSS
Steve Elle: Jaguars-LOSS
Miami Dolphins @ San Francisco 49ers
LINE: 49ers by 10
Do the Fins have a chance in this game? Of course. Is it likely they’ll win? No. the Dolphins have to exploit the inexperience of new starter Colin Kaepernick. They have to limit his movement outside the pocket; they have to force him into bad throws; they have to then score on a good 49er defense. Good luck, happy marine mammals.
Rob Wheatley: 49ers-WIN
Darby Shaw: Dolphins-LOSS
Evil Peyton Manning: Dolphins-LOSS
New Orleans Saints @ New York Giants
LINE: Giants by 5
Aah, the Saints, with all their Saintly goodness, appointed by the Gods, shining down on us mere mortals in the same way as, say, the German (sorry, British) Royal Family. Speaking of which, the news this week (and for the next nine months) has been full of the announcement of the birth of the Royal morning sickness. Yes, it seems that Prince Harry (or is it William ?), and his lovely wife, The Princess Of The Kate Of The Middletons, are expecting a pile of sick, and it’s a huge national occasion. To hell with the crumbling economy, the million or so lost illegal immigrants, the overflowing prisons, and the fact we have a raging dick as a Prime Minister, no, none of this matters anymore, because we are about to become the proud owners of a pile of Princess puke any year now. The newscasters have already taken on that appalling sugary tone and fawning smiley arse licking that can only mean one thing: A ‘Royal’ story. It’s not like we’ve already had our fill, what with the Queens 150th birthday, her 90th wedding anniversary and her Diamond jubilee, all happening last year. No, we must have more and more, until the saccharine overload treatment turns the whole nation into diabetics with bleeding hands and knees from all that crawling, bowing and scraping. Dammit, there goes my Knighthood.
Darby Shaw: Saints-LOSS
Steve Elle: Giants-WIN
Evil Peyton Manning: Giants-WIN
Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks
LINE: Seahawks by 11
Listen, the Cardinals haven’t won since week 4. And they’re the Cardinals.
Rob Wheatley: Seahawks-WIN
Steve Elle: Seahawks-WIN
Evil Peyton Manning: Seahawks-WIN
Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers
LINE: Packers by 7
Aah, the Lions, or as we like to say over here in England, The English Lions. I imagine that’s because Lions are generally lazy and spend two thirds of their lives asleep, or complaining about the weather, and that Lions are traditionally totally useless in the snow. Did you know that this week, the UK has suffered almost two millimeters of snow ! Yes, I know, what a disaster. Schools have shut down, buses have exploded, bridges have collapsed and over 24 million old people have died in less than three hours. It’s no surprise though, I mean, Britain is a tiny island in the North Sea, without any double glazing, and this winter thing happens totally randomly every October through to March without any warning at all, apart from historical records, meteorological predictions, and streets full of moaning Lions. It’s tricky stuff though, this snow, I mean, it looks all warm and fluffy and nice, but then it suddenly becomes this horrible cold,slippy stuff that takes over the country and ruins all our lives. Enough of this moaning though, I’m off to stick my head in the fridge until it’s over.
Darby Shaw: Packers-LOSS
Steve Elle: Packers-LOSS
Evil Peyton Manning: Lions-WIN
Monday, December 10th, 2012
Houston Texans @ New England Patriots
LINE: Patriots by 4
Wow, this should be a good game. By the smallest of margins I think the Texans may eke out a win. Not because I think they’re the better team necessarily, more because I think opportunity will strike for them. I think these teams may meet again in a little over a month. It will be a different story then. But Tom Brady is a new daddy and he probably still has his hi-pro glow. We shall see.
Rob Wheatley: Patriots-WIN
Darby Shaw: Texans-LOSS
Evil Peyton Manning: Texans-LOSS
Rob Wheatley: 106-101
Darby Shaw: 102-105
Steve Elle: 102-105
Evil Peyton Manning: 101-106