Thursday, September 04, 2008

Smooth Joey Apollo's 2008 NFL Picks: Week 1

Okay, so, as you recall, my good buddy Aaron Cameron and I have been picking the full slate of NFL games for the past two seasons. Whose predictive skills have come out on top the last two years? That doesn't matter right now. The point is, we're back for more.

One little tweak this season: since Cam's so fond of the point spreads (red flag for a gambling addiction, just saying), we're each picking one game each week as our...what's it called, Cam? The "Sure Thing Suicide Spread"? Think of it as our Stone Cold Lock of the Week (it is a big lock...).

Anyway, onto our picks for Week 1:

Washington at N.Y. Giants
Joe: So the Redskins are betting the season on the arm of Jason Campbell, while the defending Super Bowl champs have a defense so depleted by free agency, retirement, and injury that they'll soon be looking to Rick Moranis for depth. Look it up. I'd bet on a SUper Bowl hangover for the G-Men, but Washington's going to have one of those 7-9, "once these guys learn the West Coast Offense business is sure gonna pick up!" seasons. Pick: NY Giants

Aaron: Seven months after winning the greatest Super Bowl of all time, the Giants are still playing the no respect card? Really? Their plucky underdog schtick was only adorable when lined up across from the Brady/Belichick Axis of Evil. Now, with a $25,000 championship ring on their fingers and the eternal gratitude of 44 out of 50 states, they think they're going to sneak up on someone? Pick: NY Giants

Seattle at Buffalo
Aaron: Lots of talk about the Bills being one of the obligatory "surprise teams" in '08. Is QB Trent Edwards still on salary? Does Buffalo still feature the teeniest linebackers in the business? Yes to both, you say? Pick: Seattle

Joe: My pick-against-the-Bills reverse-jinx strategy proved to be too inconsistent to sustain (kind of like the 7-9 Bills). But I'm also not confident to play the homer each week. Which leaves me having to pick each week's game on its own merits. Let me tell you, that shit is for the birds. Pick: Buffalo

Detroit at Atlanta
Aaron: New Falcons QB Matt Ryan is being asked to revive an entire franchise, win over an indifferent fan base and, someday, bring the first ever Super Bowl championship to the ATL. Notre Dame ain't on your schedule this year, yo. Pick: Detroit

Joe: The Falcons in the midst of a whole lot of restructuring, with the new QB, RB, coach, and now having to compete for hometown attention with the Real Housewives of Atlanta. But I have picking Detroit on the road. Pick: Atlanta

Cincinnati at Baltimore
Aaron: When did Chad Johnson Ocho Cinco go from entertaining and relevant to overrated, attention-seeking minstrel? And, why can't Bengals management hire Big Rick and Deelishis to complete my analogy? Pick: Cincinnati

Joe: And for the third season in a row, I remain mystified at your lack of appreciation for the one-man carnival of joy that is the Ocho Cinco experience. Props to the VH1 references, though. Pick: Cincinnati

St. Louis at Philadelphia
Aaron: Hey, it's Week #1. This means it's time for the Eagles to unrealistically raise expectations of Philly fans in advance of the team's eventual season-deflating loss which spirals them into oblivion. On an unrelated note, good luck in Dallas next week, Mr. McNabb. Pick: Philadelphia

Joe: Everybody keeps saying the Rams can't possibly be as bad as they were last season. I guess that's the difference with me. I look at the 2008 Rams and say "Why not?" Pick: Philadelphia

Houston at Pittsburgh
Aaron: Is Ben Roethlisberger the least attractive good quarterback since John Elway? Seriously, his head looks like a loaf of bread that needs 15 more minutes in the oven. What? This is a blog! You expect me to be catty. Pick: Pittsburgh

Joe: Yeah, but if he were any more attractive, he'd be getting shit for doing beer bongs with college girls. That's right, people: Matt Leinart is being unfairly persecuted for his good looks. You know it's true. (By the way, I'm pretty sure I'm picking the Steelers to make the Super Bowl.) Pick: Pittsburgh

Jacksonville at Tennessee
Aaron: Is it my imagination or has everyone abandoned the Vince Young bandwagon? There weren't even that many preseason stories on how Young's "more confident than ever", including adjectives like "pivotal" and nouns like "crossroads". Heaven help us if the liberal media loses a Black QB to champion. Pick: Jacksonville

Joe: I'd like to know how Jacksonville is supposed to ascend to Super Bowl contender status with Jerry Porter as the class of their WR crop. I ask you! That being said, there's a reason nobody's picking Tennessee to return to the playoffs. Pick: Jacksonville

Tampa Bay at New Orleans
Aaron: Wait...Saints QB Drew Brees threw for more than 4,000 yards last year? When did this happen? It sure as hell wasn't during any of the ten weeks he killed my '07 fantasy team. How did I miss the headlines of his six straight 660 yard games to end the season? Pick: New Orleans

Joe: Well Drew and his shape-shifting birthmark are my fantasy team's problem now. In other news, with Warrick Dunn, Joey Galloway, Ike Hilliard, Derrick Brooks, and Jeff Garcia, Tampa Bay takes the mantle as the NFL's oldest team. On the bright side, I think that means they're qualified to be President. Pick: New Orleans

Kansas City at New England
Aaron: Guess who has the easiest schedule in the league this season? OK, I get that the Pats can't be blamed for the AFC East, but why do they get the same dregs of the West Coast as even the worst teams in their division? And, is anyone else shocked that the networks haven't started the hype for Week #2's Favre/Brady match-up yet? Pick: New England

Joe: In case you were curious, the humiliating and wholly satisfying defeat of the Patriots in the Super Bowl hasn't dulled my hatred any. Pick: New England

N.Y. Jets at Miami
Aaron: I know who's lining up under center for the Jets. I know that their flawed erstwhile QB Chad Pennington is only a Miami stopgap for a season or two. And, I know that any team depending on RB Ricky Williams is going to lose three of every four. Meh. Joe always kills me in Week #1, anyway. Pick: Miami

Joe: Cam makes the pick I wanted to here. Instead, looks like I'll be erring on the side of pessimism. Pick: NY Jets

Arizona at San Francisco
Aaron: Call me crazy, but I think the Kurt Warner to Boldin/Fitzgerald combo will win more games than people think. OK, well, they'll win games against teams as awful as San Francisco. Pick: Arizona

Joe: Even though I mentioned The Passion of Matt Leinart's Pretty Face up there, I do think the Cards are probably better off with Warner in the short term. Good thing they were only a game or two away from the Super Bowl last year, right? Pick: Arizona

Carolina at San Diego
Aaron: For a supposed Super Bowl contender, the Chargers have a lot of question marks. There are injuries on both sides of the ball and the '07 team relied on a TON of career years from players not likely to repeat them. You stay classy, LaDanian. Pick: San Diego

Joe: Aw, I missed the rabid Charger-hating in these columns. I really did. That being said, I'm with Cam: the Chargers are a better bet for a letdown season than a Super Bowl trip. Pick: San Diego

Dallas at Cleveland
Aaron: As good as I think the Cowboys will be this year, they can't hold a candle to those hookers-n-coke fueled teams of 10-15 years ago. That there are still people up in arms about the 'Boys bringing in Pac-Man, Tank, and TO is just some damn fine amnesia. Pick: Dallas

Joe: I keep wanting to pick Dallas to win the Super Bowl, but as long as Wade Phillips and Jessica Simpson are within a hundred miles of Texas Stadium's famed half-assed dome, I won't be able to feel good about it. Pick: Dallas

Chicago at Indianapolis
Aaron: Hey, two Black head coaches! On Opening Weekend! You don't care? Racist. Pick: Indianapolis

Joe: The fall from Super Bowl to Game I Could Give a Shit ABout is a precipitous one indeed. Pick: Indianapolis

Minnesota at Green Bay
Aaron: Just to recap: Packers QB Aaron Rodgers survived Brett Favre's petulant attempts to sabotage him AND has told Packers fans to get behind him or STFU. Looks like I've found this year's "team to root for until Al Davis dies". Pick: Green Bay

Joe: I'm with you in spirit, Cam, but I think the growing pains will last a bit longer for Job Aaron Rodgers. Pick: Minnesota


Denver at Oakland
Aaron: The Raiders always play the Broncos tough. I'm pretty sure they covered the spread in both of their meetings last year. Sadly, the Broncos are just three point favorites, so Oakland ain't winning and ain't covering. Pick: Denver

Joe: Call me crazy, but I think Oakland's resurgence comes this season. Too bad their so-called fans are so faithless. Are the other face-painting weirdos this fickle? Pick: Oakland


The Sure Thing Suicide Spread

Aaron: Seattle (-1) at Buffalo. This one stinks of last year's Bills opener, when a plucky and precious Buffalo squad lost on a last second FG to Denver. 22-20, Seattle.

Joe: Dallas (-5.5) at Cleveland. I'm pulling for Cleveland to buck the predictions of a letdown season, but Dallas has them outgunned, badly.

7 comments:

jessica said...

Wow, Aaron. Thanks for the sly geography test! And I mean that sincerely. I'm going with Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire.

I think that's right. Right?

That Bootleg Guy said...

YES~! All of the teeny states that weren't big enough by themselves, so they decided to form a geographic gang called "New England". Let us all tremble under the spectre of their autumn foliage and the funny way they talk.

NYOne said...

Man, I am SO ready for football season. That's all. :-)

jessica said...

As always, I'm an NCAA girl (USC? Seriously can blow me.), but I did help my boyfriend round out his fantasy football team and he swears it's going to crush the league. He can't be saying that for my benefit, because he knows I don't care.

Emily said...

GO GIANTS!!!!!!!!

And, by the by, I'm from the tiny toe of Connecticut (you know, where all the people live) and we wouldn't root for the Patriots EVER (unless they were playing the Cowboys, of course).

BIG BLUE!!!!!

That Bootleg Guy said...

I appear to be establishing a first week record for sucking ass.

I am not awesome.

Joe Reid said...

You know, I'm so happy about how things went today (and not just what happened to Tom Brady either) that I'm not even going to do any taunting about your woefully misguided Spread pick.