Friday, December 27, 2013

NFL Picks Week Seventeen: Adios to a Craptacular 2013 season

So before we get to the nitty gritty, I suppose I ought to explain that I didn't write an update last week because, er, what happened last week? Whatever it was, it took precedence, and the Giants actually ended up winning on Sunday afternoon, so part of me is wondering if perhaps the secret is that I should stop writing at all. Then again, I guess there's evidence to the contrary that superstitions are dumb and all. (Unrelated sidenote I just thought of: Was Weatherford properly handling a low snap on that game-winning field goal against the Niners a universal correction for the infamous Trey Junkin game nine years earlier?)

In any event, sorry that the four of you out there who bank on this for your entertainment (I'm looking at you, Evan) had to take a week off, but as the horrendous 2013 football season winds to a close, I am back and ready to throw both last week and this week's incorrect picks at you. Before you point out the absurdity of posting picks for several football games that happened a week ago, I want to make it clear these picks all come from my Yahoo picks league, which will be made clear by the fact that a large number of them, even after the fact, are wrong.

If you still are skeptical, you need more hobbies.

Before I get there, though, can we talk about how happy I am that this football season is nearly done with? It's not that 2013 was a bad year in general. I mean, my sister got married, I made four trips to California, I found out I'm going to be an uncle and ensured my nephew's life would be ruined by purchasing his first Mets jersey for him, and I made a trip to Africa, which was still great even though the airport burned down two days before I was supposed to leave.

But let's call a spade a spade here. I like sports a lot. And if we're talking about sports, this wasn't so great. The Devils missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs a yaer after a miracle run to the Stanley Cup Final, the Knicks are a colossal disaster, the Mets saw their first sign of pulling out of the darkness go under the knife with Tommy John surgery and, well, then there was football.

Both the New York Giants and the Northwestern Wildcats entered this season with high expectations. In the case of the Giants, there was the assumption, two seasons removed from a championship, they would once again be in the hunt for a division title. For Northwestern, after a 10-win season and the program's first bowl win in six-plus decades, the expectations were likely the highest the program had ever encountered. The results were a Giants season that opened with six straight losses, marking it dead before it really began, and a Northwestern team that started off 4-0 and was 20 minutes away from the biggest win, arguably, in program history before encountering disaster after disaster after disaster.

In the entire course of a year that saw the Giants (to this point) and Northwestern go a combined 11-16, my alma mater and my lifelong favorite team won in the same week a grand total of one time.

So, um, to put it mildly, I'm happy to wave this brutal fall goodbye and look toward the Devils being back in the playoff chase, an outdoor game against the Rangers at Yankee Stadium, a Mets team that should be markedly better than it was a year ago and a fall that cannot be nearly as disappointing as this one was when the calendar flips over to 2014 next week.

So yeah, football-wise, I'm more than ready to let this year drink away into the ether. Now, I'm not naive enough to think this is the worst football between two teams could ever be for me. After all, I'm pretty young. There are many more depressing and frustrating seasons in my future to go along with the good ones I'm sure. But as the Giants prepare for their final game of the season, let's jut say I'll be crossing my fingers that I never experience two simultaneous disasters like this again.

Then again, the Giants, with a win against Washington this Sunday, would finish the season going 7-3 in their last 10 games. Another Super Bowl run must be right around the corner, right? ...



Week 16 picks (correct picks in bold)

Miami (-3) over BUFFALO
CINCINNATI (-7.5) over Minnesota
Indianapolis (+6.5) over KANSAS CITY
ST. LOUIS (-5.5) over Tampa Bay
NY JETS (-2.5) over Cleveland
Dallas (-2.5) over WASHINGTON
CAROLINA (-3) over New Orleans
JACKSONVILLE (+5) over Tennessee
Denver (-10.5) over HOUSTON
NY Giants (+9) over DETROIT
SEATTLE (-10.5) over Arizona
GREEN BAY (even) over Pittsburgh
SAN DIEGO (-10) over Oakland
New England (+2.5) over BALTIMORE
Chicago (+3) over PHILADELPHIA
SAN FRANCISCO (-13) over Atlanta

Last week: 10-6-0
Season: 114-120-6

Carolina (-6.5) over ATLANTA
CINCINNATI (-6) over Baltimore
TENNESSEE (-7) over Houston
Jacksonville (+11.5) over INDIANAPOLIS
NY Jets (+6) over MIAMI
Detroit (+3) over MINNESOTA
NY GIANTS (-3.5) over Washington
PITTSBURGH (-7) over Cleveland
Green Bay (-3) over CHICAGO
Denver (-12.5) over OAKLAND
NEW ENGLAND (-9.5) over Buffalo
NEW ORLEANS (-12.5) over Tampa Bay
San Francisco (even) over ARIZONA
SAN DIEGO (-9.5) over Kansas City
SEATTLE (-10.5) over St. Louis
Philadelphia (-6.5) over DALLAS

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