Pocket Doppler Prognosticators: Week 17
Each Friday during the football season the 3 founding fathers of Pocket Doppler (yours truly, BigSnakeMan & Chris Richards) will pick the winners of the Packers, Sunday night & MNF games with a running tally through out the season.
Welcome to this week’s edition of the Pocket Doppler Prognosticators. Entering Week 17 the current standings are:
Still the same on the leaderboard here as we each only picked up 1 from last week’s picks. With our last week of picks, barring a total collapse, I’m hoping to hold my lead and be crowned King of the Regular Season Pocket Doppler Prognosticators, with all the rights and responsibilities that come with it…which will be the right to drink beer and responsibility to finish the beer I start. It will be a heavy task but I will gladly accept it should it come to pass.
We will be having a post-season version of the PDP each week to continue the charade of us thinking we know something about football and may be shaking up the format and participants up a bit as well. More on that to come next week. For now though, let’s get to our final regular season offerings.
In a desperate, last ditch attempt to catch Wally in the standings (within which is concealed a pathetic cry for ‘help’), BigSnakeMan has decided to pick the games the opposite of how I anticipate our fearless leader will pick them. The capsules, however, will reveal the way I really expect the games to go. That way, I can still claim a moral victory when Wally tries to lord his ‘expertise’ over me. Pretty ingenious, huh? Or would that be disingenuous? Either way, I’ve got nothing to lose……
Bears over Packers – Alright, stop that booing; remember what I wrote above. ( And keep those crowds back behind the ropes!) Now I’m not going to disparage Chicago the way that many Packers fans have done this season. No, I’m going to do it in an entirely different way. Sure, the Bears have had an incredible run of good fortune this year. But you have to give them props for taking advantage of every last single little goddam break that fate has seen fit to throw their way. (Not that I’m bitter or anything) Unlike my friend Chris who is picking the Bears because he’s actually afraid they might win, I’m doing it largely to screw with Wally. We all remember the Week 3 meeting at Soldier Field. The Packers had 18 ( count ‘em, 18! ) penalties whistled against them plus one crucial James Jones fumble that repeatedly stalled Packer scoring drives. And yet, the Bears still had to go down to the last minute to win the game….by 3 points….. AT HOME! No doubt the Bears are playing marginally better as they’ve gained momentum through their ‘pact with the devil’ season. But the Packers put together their most complete performance of the year just last week and look to be peaking at exactly the right time. There is a school of thought that since the Bears have already clinched a bye week, they’ll choose to rest their starters against Green Bay. I don’t expect that to happen; at least at first. But once the Packers begin to establish control over this game, saving their starters for the playoffs will start to look like a pretty good idea for Bears’ coach Lovie ( Don’t call him Mrs. Howell ) Smith.
Buccaneers over Saints – Okay, while unlikely this one might actually happen. On the surface, this should be a no-brainer (a term with which I am intimately familiar) for the Saints. They’re at home, coming off a big win last week at Atlanta, and are clearly the superior team. But New Orleans has already locked up their playoff spot while Tampa Bay still has everything to play for. At this time of the year, that can make up for a lot of shortcomings. The Bucs just might be able to channel some of the luck that will abandon the Bears this week.
Seadawgs over Rams - The NFL’s worst nightmare come true. In fact, I nearly choked just typing that. Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league hierarchy have to be rooting mighty hard for the Rams in this one if only to preserve some integrity for the post-season. Seattle actually looked good early in the season-about the first hour and a half of it. The fact that they still have an almost realistic shot at the playoffs is a testament to the debacle that is the NFC Worst. Even ‘Dawgs WR Mike Williams admitted this game is not exactly like playing for the Rose Bowl while still maintaining that the West was extremely competitive. I guess you have to concede that point once you take into consideration that every team in the division su….,er, was sub-par. By comparison, St. Louis almost looks like a competent NFL franchise. At least they have an up and coming quarterback in rookie Sam Bradford, who has acquitted himself much better than the Rams had a right to expect. I’ve been accused in the past of looking like Seattle coach Pete Carroll (I think it’s the gray hair) but I can’t back my doppelganger here. With a win in this game, the Rams can get back to C-level; that should help appease the league’s broadcast partners.
Packers over Bears – Just as last week, I’m picking the Packers for no other reason than to not do so means the season is over. Fandom aside, I still think the Packers are the better team and besides playing for their play-off lives have something to prove in that what happened in Soldier Field earlier this season was an aberration.
Saints over Buccaneers – Last week I made my non-Packers picks based solely on Fantasy Football. Seeing as Fantasy is over now (I won my league as well, thank you very much) I may actually have to put some thought into these now…who are we kidding, right? Saints have the hot hand though right now and while the Bucs are still playing for their chance at the play-offs should the Packers stumble, it will come to naught as Brees & Company will get the win at home.
Rams over Seahawks – This is a shamockery I tell you, that either of these teams are actually play-off material but that’s what it comes down to. Simply because Sam Bradford helped my (Championship) Fantasy team out when I used him that one week while Stafford & Vick were out, I’ll go with the Rams here.
Bears over Packers – I posted on this at length during the week: http://pocketdoppler.com/2010/12/27/ive-found-the-horseshoe/ Nothing has happened to change my mind. In fact, if anything, MN’s improbable win on the road over PHL only underscored to me that CHI has made some sort of Faustian Bargain. I don’t know why that would change this Sunday.
Buccaneers over Saints – The only thing more mysterious to me in the NFC than CHI’s great season is the solid season TB is putting up. From 3-13 in 2009 to 9-6 and on the cusp of the post-season in 2011 — props to the pewter clad. I don’t think they are a better team than NO, but the Saints ain’t got nothing for which to play: They are locked into the #5 seed and will have to play on the road the following week. It would seem like a good time for Sean Payton to rest his starters as much as possible, opening the door for TB to steal one in the Superdome. So, reluctantly, I will go with TB on the road.
Rams over Seahawks – For reasons that Pete Rozelle took with him to the grave, this game will be for the NFC West “title.” Astonishingly, the “winner” of the division will not have a winning record. In fact, the “champion” might have a losing record if SEA somehow manages to win behind David Whitehurst’s son. However, even with their 12th Man flag flying, I am not buying the Seahawks. That’s not a bold endorsement for the Rams, either. But I think they are the better team. And, besides, I like their logo. So, gritting my teeth, lowering my horns and charging head-long into the groin of the Seattle 12th Man, I think STL rams the ‘Hawks.