Pocket Doppler Prognosticators – Week 17
Each week last season, the 3 Founding Fathers of Pocket Doppler (Wally, Harland O. Dog & Chris Richards), Senior Angel Colleen and favored stepson Rich would square off in picking the winner of the Packers, Sunday night & MNF games in an attempt to prove their football acumen and entertain. We’re going to make another valiant attempt at it this year. Unfortunately Chris had to bow out for this season (or happily escaped, take your pick) so Angel Kelly has joined the team. Like always, we’ll keep a running tally throughout the season.
Welcome to this week’s edition of the Pocket Doppler Prognosticators. Entering into Week 17 the current standings are:
Harland O. Dog: 33
Kelly and Rich fall behind (that’s what happens when you don’t submit your picks, or in some cases happens anyway) and Wally aced all of his, so he takes a slim lead as we go into the final week of the regular season.
Harland O. Dog
Buccaneers @ Falcons (make up game) – After a respectable 6-4 start to their season, Tampa Bay has lost 5 games in row to fall out of playoff contention. Apparently head coach Greg Schiano has been spending too much time advising NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about how to eliminate kickoffs from the sport and not enough time directing his own team. At least now we know why Schiano was so intent on attacking the ‘victory formation’ earlier this season-he must’ve anticipated he’d be seeing a lot of it. The Bucs played Atlanta tough at home last month, but the only way they win this one is if the Falcons mail it in (which actually isn’t out of the realm of possibility).
Packers @ Vi-queens – Veteran Green Bay center Jeff Saturday made history this week for being quite possibly the only player ever selected for the Pro Bowl immediately after losing his starting job on the offensive line to Evan Dietrich-Smith. That’s the NFL’s way of saying ‘thanks for playing; please accept this trip to Hawaii as our lovely parting gift’. Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson has a chance to make some history of his own this week as he’s within striking distance of Eric Dickerson’s NFL record for rushing yards in a season. Both teams can still advance their playoff hopes with a win, though the Vikings need one just to insure that they get in. Queens’ QB Christian Ponder has played better since he handed the last matchup to the Packers but ‘efficient’ isn’t going to cut it here; he’s going to need to make some plays for Minnesota to emerge victorious. Frankly, I don’t think he has it in him. Peterson will give the Packers fits as usual but he’ll come up short of the record. Likewise, the Vikings will fall short of a win.
Cowboys @ Redskins – Every time I’m ready to buy into a team as the favorite in the NFC (Giants, 49ers), they proceed to turn around and falter. I’m now convinced that there is no such animal in the conference. One could make the argument right now that Washington might be the most dangerous team to face. Rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III leads the most efficient offense in the league. It also doesn’t hurt that the Redskins possess the top ranked rushing attack. Dallas has played better over the course of the last month but, really, they had nowhere to go but ‘up’. The ‘Boys could still take the division by winning this game but I don’t envision it. In keeping with our ‘historical theme’, even though they play in the NFC East, the Native Americans get even here with the Cowboys for taking the ‘West’ from them.
Harland O. Dog’s picks: Falcons, Packers & Native Americans
Bucs @ Falcons (make up game) – The Falcons are in the position the Packers were last year with everything pretty much wrapped up & the only thing to play for is keeping players healthy. The Bucs are already eliminated from the playoffs so really have nothing to play for either. This should be a really boring game. I’m going to go with the Falcons here because it’s in Atlanta.
Packers @ Vikings – Unlike the above game, this game does have some plot interest to it. Packers playing for the #2 seed, the Vikings playing to get into the playoffs. As I said this morning in the DD, I like this scenario a lot more than last year’s final game of the season. Just as importantly, if the Packers win they’ll have a final record of 12-4 which is the record I picked for them at the beginning of the season so of course I’m picking the Packers here.
Dallas @ Washington – Another game with something on the line as the winner will win the NFC East & the playoff berth that goes with it. The Cowboys actually have more to play for though as a win is the only way they get into the postseason. The Redskins could still get in with a loss if both the Vikings & Bears lose. I don’t think it’ll come down to that though as the Redskins will send Dallas packing for the 2012 season while RGIII heads to the playoffs his rookie year.
Wally’s Picks: Falcons, Packers & Redskins
Bucs @ Falcons (make up game) – While I think Atlanta does not deserve the #1 power ranking right now, let’s face it–the Bucs just stink and may or may not be worse than the other Bucks and are playing for the draft at this point. That said, it could be a very boring game if the Dirty Birds rest some starters (and I hope they take a page and kill any and all momentum doing so.) Anyhow, boring game, don’t really care.
Packers @ Vikings – Ah, the Humpdome, former home of the Minnesota Golden Rodents. Raise your hand if you cackled like a little kid when it collapsed a few years back. AP wants to break the record, but the Packers want a first round bye, so you do the math. In any other circumstance I’d want him to shatter the record but 1) never been a Dickerson fan and he’s being a weenie about Peterson closing in on him and 2) We have Clay Matthews. Unlike last year, the Packers are getting their act together and are starting to surge at the right time. Meanwhile, Jared Allen woke up this morning and realized that Christian Ponder is still their quarterback.
Cowboys @ Redskins – How cute that Dallas thinks it still has a chance at the postseason. Meanwhile some wisenheimer has decided that RGIII is better than Aaron Rodgers. Isn’t that just adorable? Enough with NFCE delusions of grandeur…Jerry Jones has already promised to not grind Jason Garrett into cat food for yet another lackluster season. I guess they still have a chance if Pluto lines up with Jupiter.
Kelly’s picks: Falcons, Packers & Redskins
Bucs @ Falcons – I admit, as editor of this fine series I picked this game because I thought it would be tough to pick a winner. Despite my colleagues’ scorn, I stand by that. Atlanta is nowhere near as good as their record, and while the Bucs may be out of the playoffs, they have still had some moments this season where they showed promise, their stupid coach and his antics notwithstanding. I’m probably going down in flames here, but I’m picking the Bucs.
Packers @ Vikings – I hope @missannielynn takes Ragnar’s horn and shoves it….well, you get the idea. The idea that the Vikings are flirting with playoff hopes is laughable to me, given what I’ve seen of Christian Ponder’s play. AD (All Day, as Jim Trotter points out) is fantastic, but he can’t carry this team on his back, doe. The Packers are peaking and they want that #2 seed badly, and as far as Idaho State University alumni go, EDS > Jared Allen. Packers are going to annihilate the Vikings.
Cowboys @ Redskins – Nothing I like better than watching Tony Romo implode, which I think will indeed be the case here. The Redskins seem to be much better than the Cowboys, RGIII is impressive and as long as Jerry Jones makes football decisions for his team, the Cowgirls won’t make it in the playoffs.
Colleen’s picks: Bucs, Packers & Redskins
Rich was ‘out of the country’ getting into trouble, apparently, so his picks this week are short and to the point: