Friday, December 26, 2008

Smooth Joey Apollo's 2008 NFL Picks: Week 17

Last Week:
Aaron: 12-4 (0-1 vs. the spread)
Joe: 6-10 (1-0 vs. the spread)

Season to Date:
Aaron: 155-84-1 (6-10 vs. the spread)
Joe: 152-87-1 (9-7 vs. the spread)

God only knows how I took a three-game lead into the next-to-last week of the season and ended up on the cusp of Cameron taking yet another football-pickin' season out from under me. I blame it on my courageous decision not to pick conservatively. That's right, I was TOO BRAVE to win. It's down to a wing and a prayer as we pick the last slate of the regular season.

WEEK 17

Kansas City at Cincinnati
Aaron: If Chiefs coach Herm Edwards survives this season, he'll take his rightful place amongst the greatest can't-kill-'em Black horror movie villians of all time like Snoop Dogg's "Jimmy Bones", Eddie Murphy's "Vampire in Brooklyn" and the guy who played "Blackula". Pick: Cincinnati

Joe: Don't forget Angela Bassett in "She-Hulk"! Pick: Kansas City


Oakland at Tampa Bay
Aaron: A Raiders win here over former Oakland coach Jon Gruden (currently #3 on Al Davis' irrational list of enemies - one spot above Pete Rozelle's soul) would somehow justify the embarrassment of '08 as "progress" in their mind. Come on, other team. Pick: Tampa Bay

Joe: Can the Bucs win convincingly enough to fool people into betting on them in the Wild Card game? Pick: Tampa Bay


Cleveland at Pittsburgh
Aaron: I'm guessing Brady Quinn had it coming, as most pretty boy quarterbacks named "Brady" DO, in fact, have it coming. It's science. Pick: Pittsburgh

Joe: The Steelers, meanwhile, remain steadfast in their status as the league's least confidence-inspiring Super Bowl contender. Pick: Pittsburgh


New England at Buffalo
Aaron: The Bills' win last week in Denver kept the Chargers alive while torpedoing the Broncos fading playoff hopes. Buffalo's ill-advised Toronto road trip positioned Chad Pennington for a possible AFC East title. This final weekend is going to be SO exciting! Thanks, Bills! Pick: New England

Joe: The Bills winning here and sticking it to the Patriots and their fans, who have finally regained their customary smugness, would be maybe the sweetest thing a non-playoff team has ever done. Which is why it'll never happen. Pick: New England


St. Louis at Atlanta
Aaron: I'm about 17 weeks late to the party, but Matt Ryan's "Matty Ice" nickname is the single worst nickname in the history of the world. It's the kind of name you'd give your guy in the "create-a-wrestler" feature of some WWE PS3 game. And, his finisher would be "the frozen rope" - kind of an old school lariat. Pick: Atlanta

Joe: Dork. Pick: Atlanta


Chicago at Houston
Aaron: The previous three teams the Raiders have beaten this season have gone 2-1 in their very next game. You won't find stats like that anywhere, but here, gamblers. Pick: Houston

Joe: Seeing as I have become clinically incapable of picking a Texans game right this year, I'm going against my first, third, and fifth instincts. Pick: Chicago


Tennessee at Indianapolis
Aaron: Couldn't help but notice the words "Vince Young will play" on the ESPN crawl a few days ago. Good enough for me. Pick: Indianapolis

Joe: Me too. Pick: Indianapolis


N.Y. Giants at Minnesota
Aaron: With the Giants resting up for the playoffs, this looks like one of those games where Adrian Peterson can pad his stats and raise his '09 Madden and fantasy rankings. Pick: Minnesota

Joe: Not to mention Tarvaris Jackson gets another week to fool people into thinking he's a capable "caretaker" quarterback. Pick: Minnesota


Carolina at New Orleans
Aaron: Drew Brees should just give up his pipe dream of ever winning a Super Bowl with this Saints team. Dude could seriously leave the NFL, dig up a dozen or so Arena League receivers and barnstorm the country as the football Harlem Globetrotters. Pick: New Orleans

Joe: The proud highlight of my 2008 second-place fantasy football season? Waiving DeAngelo Williams after week 3. Good thing I was raised Catholic so I have no shortage of ideas for how I should best beat myself up for that one. Pick: Carolina


Detroit at Green Bay
Aaron: A Black president and an 0-16 team? In my lifetime? In the same year? Wonder if it'll be just as hard to buy a newspaper on December 29th. Pick: Green Bay

Joe: This has to go on that Great Moments in Sports Futility DVD, along with Pete Rose at Wrestlemania and Charlie Brown trying to kick that football. Pick: Green Bay


Seattle at Arizona
Aaron: Allow me to join the cacophony of voices who doubt that Arizona's novel concept of tanking the last two games of the regular season will be an effective way of building momentum into January. Pick: Seattle

Joe: It's still Arizona at home against a crappy team, though. Pick: Arizona


Dallas at Philadelphia
Aaron: Dammit, Redskins...THIS was supposed to be the game that exposed the ridiculous notion that Donovan McNabb's temporary benching had anything to do with his "resurgence." I was going to make nachos and everything! Pick: Dallas

Joe: Can we do a Top 10 Most Ridiculous Things About Donovan McNabb's Season list? I feel like it's just been one neverending parade of bullshit with that guy. Pick: Dallas


Miami at N.Y. Jets
Aaron: Late December games in The Meadowlands are the reason why Chad Pennington is playing in Miami. I'm beginning to think the last images of Brett Favre any of us will ever see involve a last-minute TD pass on Sunday. F*ck. Pick: NY Jets

Joe: No, the last image any of us will see of Brett Favre is the Brett-Favre-shaped cloud of dust in the middle of the field as he hastily announces his once-and-for-all retirement during the walking-off-the-field interview. Nothing like one season as a Jet to make you never want to play football again, for reals. Pick: NY Jets


Washington at San Francisco
Aaron: That whole "across three time zones" thing was something of a season-long punchline, but I can't imagine a worse trip for a non-playoff team on the final weekend than traveling across three...well, you know. Pick: San Francisco

Joe: And so here I am, with opportunities to gain ground on Cam dwindling, forced to pick the Redskins on the road against an inspired 49ers team. Sigh. Pick: Washington


Jacksonville at Baltimore
Aaron: I love Week #17 games in which Joe wouldn't dare pick differently than me. Pick: Baltimore

Joe: Merry Christmas to you too, you merciless bastard. Pick: Baltimore


Denver at San Diego
Aaron: Win and they're in. That's all the Chargers have to do to make the playoffs. The thing is, though, that this is just the type of game the Chargers have lost this season. Half of their 8 losses came in the last minute or two, while most of the others were against teams they should've beaten. Everything points to a San Diego win, which makes this an easy call. Pick: Denver

Joe: That all sounds plausibly true. And yet ... revenge for the Ed Hochuli game is the X factor there. Plus, now that my fantasy season is over, LT is free to go off for four touchdowns. So, yes, it's very possible that the outcome of this pickin' season will rest on the Chargers game. Gulp. Pick: San Diego


The Sure-Thing Suicide Spread:

Aaron: Denver (+8) at San Diego

Joe: Oakland (+13) at Tampa Bay

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