NFL Picks: These ones are for half the marbles!

Scott Feschuk Last week 3-1 Playoffs 5-3 Overall 134-105-9

Scott Reid Last week 1-3 Playoffs 2-6 Overall 114-125-9

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Green Bay (minus 3.5) at Chicago, Sunday, 3 p.m. ET

Forecast for kickoff: Cloudy, minus 6°C

Feschuk: During a normal week, the 16 NFL games are dissected by 100 talking heads on sports radio. But come the week of the conference championships, there are just two games being “analyzed” by 1,000 talking heads – or 1,001 when you factor in Tom Jackson’s evil twin who picked the Patriots last week. (Jackson hasn’t actually used that excuse yet, but it’s coming.) Bottom line – analysts can start talking themselves into worrying about things that aren’t worth worrying about. (A similar principle is behind how dozens of people have somehow talked themselves into believing Al Davis is still alive.)

Nightmare on Elm Street 6: Freddy vs. JaMarcus

To my fellow problem gamblers, I implore you: Do not allow yourself to be distracted by fascinating anecdotes about the structural integrity of the sod at Soldier Field and what happened when these two teams faced off for the first time back in 1647 or whenever. Focus on the big picture. Aaron Rodgers is superhuman, otherworldly and kind of turning me on even though I’m way straight. Jay Cutler last week threw two passes directly at Seattle defenders, who were obligated to act all casual and ignore them because that’s the vibe of the Pacific Northwest, dude. Cutler will make mistakes. Rodgers will make it count. And that photo of Al Davis will make you very uneasy about growing old. Pick: Green Bay.

Reid: I wouldn’t say you’re “way” straight. More like “haven’t gotten the right offer yet” straight. Nevertheless, you make a solid point: Aaron Rodgers was sent to Earth in a rocket ship from a solar system with a red sun. Due to our yellow sun and defensive schemes that give him too much time to move around in the pocket, he now has spectacular super-powers that he uses to demolish those who stand in his way. Let’s hope that soon includes not only the Bears defence but the ungodly coupling of Jesse James and Kat Von D.

She's the kind of girl you bring home to Mom Boucher

Supporters of Jay Culter – a vast collection that includes everyone from Jay Cutler to also Jay Cutler – point out that he played great last week. Every other human being is quick to notice that he’s not had two unblemished games since people were shocked to hear the rumours about John Travolta. Unless the Bears special teams pull off a miracle, Cutler will throw this game away. Pick: Green Bay.

New York Jets (plus 3.5) at Pittsburgh, Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET

Forecast for kickoff: flurries, minus 8°C

Reid: Question for ya – when Rex Ryan hears that Tom Brady played last week’s matchup with a broken foot does he feel it takes anything away from the Jets victory? Or does he just get wood? Vicious jokes that owe much to lost sums of wagered cash aside, you’ve got to hand it to the Jets secondary. They hung around the Pats receivers the way Rex Ryan hangs around the change room at Town Shoes. It didn’t really matter how long Brady got in the pocket. The New England quarterback simply had nowhere to throw the ball – other than Alge Crumpler who showed about as much interest in that first touchdown pass as Michelle Ryan shows in closed toe sandals. I have been wrongly predicting the Jets demise all year. So now is hardly any time to stop. Pittsburgh has the league’s top ranked run defence. Come this Sunday, Tomlinson and Green will be harder to find than work socks in the Ryan’s master bedroom. The Steelers will challenge Sanchez to beat them. And he’ll fail.  Look for a couple picks against New York in the second half. And look for Rex Ryan to be watching the Super Bowl like the rest of us – from the pedicure parlour. Pick: Pittsburgh.

Feschuk: Listen – I’d love to be able to pick the Jets here, and not just because it turns out Bart Scott is one of my favourite sitcom characters.

There’s going to be two long winter weeks between this Sunday and the Super Bowl and I’d much rather have them filled by Rex Ryan musing colourfully about the character of his men and the intoxicating allure of orthopedic shoes than by the boring black doctor guy from House. But let’s face it: the Jets played a perfect game last week against the Patriots. An absolutely perfect game. They can’t do it again, can they? Or can they? (Spoiler alert: no, they can’t.) The Steelers have a better power running game. And they have an actual pass rush, which will force Mark Sanchez to make an actual decision, which usually winds up in an interception or the ball missing the receiver by so much that it burns up on re-entry. Plus, how lame is that thing the Jets now do when they score – that “pretending to be an airplane” thing.

I know you’re supposed to have fun and be a kid out there – but you don’t have to be the slow kid that eats sand. There was a time when the football gods would allow such shenanigans and antics at the Super Bowl – but we all learned hard lessons with the Dirty Bird and the Ickey Shuffle. Never again. Pick: Pittsburgh.




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NFL Picks: These ones are for half the marbles!

  1. Wow, four foot jokes and no football analysis. Stick to being wrong about politics Maclean's. You're pathetic when it comes to being wrong about football.

  2. Was there just the four? Our apologies.

  3. Fun Aaron Rodgers fact:

    He has the top QB rating that anyone has ever had after their first 3 playoff games.

    He also currently owns the top career QB rating. (counts only those with 1500 attempts or more)

  4. Fun Aaron Rodgers fact:

    He has the top QB rating that anyone has ever had after their first 3 playoff games.

    He also currently owns the top career QB rating. (counts only those with 1500 attempts or more)

    • Check out Peter King's Monday Morning QB from this week (page 3).

      King compares Aaron Rodgers' first three years as QB in Green Bay to the BEST three years of Bart Starr and Brett Favre. Rodgers' first three years are arguably better than the best three years of those two. King points out that it's "interesting to note that Rodgers, in his first three years, threw for more yards than Favre did in the run he had of three straight MVP seasons, 1995-97".

      • Thanks for the link. If Aaron wins on Sunday he will also have as many road playoff victories as Favre had in his whole career.

        I feel blessed that my team replaced a HoF QB, with one that may turn out to be even better. He is quite humble too. When asked about being compared to Brady, Manning, and Brees he said, "I think we need some more hardware around here first.". Give the man a prize. That is exactly the right answer.

  5. The Green Bay vs. Chicago NFCCG is the Superbowl before the Superbowl.

    The two most storied franchises, with the oldest rivalry in football, go at it in the playoffs for the first time in over 70 years. Epic is too small a word.

    If the Pack were to lift the George Hallas trophy, in Chicago's own house, it would be one of the darkest days in Bears history. It might even be worse then them losing the Superbowl in 2006… maybe.

    When I read about a guy like George Hallas, it is hard for me to hate the Bears like I should. I almost have a kind of affection for them. It's not the visceral hatred like I feel for the Vikings, or Cowboys.

    Show me a guy who doesn't like Mike Ditka and those "Da Bears" SNL skits, and I show you a guy who doesn't like football, and has no sense of humour.

  6. The Green Bay vs. Chicago NFCCG is the Superbowl before the Superbowl.

    The two most storied franchises, with the oldest rivalry in football, go at it in the playoffs for the first time in over 70 years. Epic is too small a word.

    If the Pack were to lift the George Hallas trophy, in Chicago's own house, it would be one of the darkest days in Bears history. It might even be worse then them losing the Superbowl in 2006… maybe.

    When I read about a guy like George Hallas, it is hard for me to hate the Bears like I should. I almost have a kind of affection for them. It's not the visceral hatred like I feel for the Vikings, or Cowboys.

    Show me a guy who doesn't like Mike Ditka and those "Da Bears" SNL skits, and I show you a guy who doesn't like football, and has no sense of humour.

  7. It looks like they both picked right to me.

    Did you look at Feschuk's record up there at the top? He ain't always wrong. You try picking every game against the spread one year, add up your record, and see how knowledgable you are in comparison.

  8. I'm picking Green Bay versus New York. I suspect some old "flame" of Raepthli…. I mean Roethlisberger comes out and distracts him enough to come with a solid 12 for 20 and two picks with one TD. Meanwhile the Jets will throw three picks but will have more than enough alternative support to come up with the 23-10 victory. Green Bay versus Chicago is an easy one, Green Bay wins 45-21.

  9. I'm picking Green Bay versus New York. I suspect some old "flame" of Raepthli…. I mean Roethlisberger comes out and distracts him enough to come with a solid 12 for 20 and two picks with one TD. Meanwhile the Jets will throw three picks but will have more than enough alternative support to come up with the 23-10 victory. Green Bay versus Chicago is an easy one, Green Bay wins 45-21.

  10. I was SURE that the first complaint was going to be about the fact that there's only ONE picture of a scantily clad woman in this post. I mean, FOOTBALL ANALYSIS??? What's that got to do with anything?!?!?

  11. Actually there were definitely more than four. Good job!

    I presume Louie just miscounted.

  12. My bookie just called and said all the smart money just started flowing towards the Jets and the Bears….

  13. My bookie just called and said all the smart money just started flowing towards the Jets and the Bears….

  14. Stupid sexy Brady didn't lose because of some broken foot (though Rex Ryan must love the though of tending to him). He lost because his wild locks were hidden under the Winter dome he was provided with.

    It was as when Samson himself had been shorn of his hair.

    But in any case Tom Brady still gets to go home to:

    [youtube w4X0H3rnAB8&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4X0H3rnAB8&feature=related youtube]

  15. Stupid sexy Brady didn't lose because of some broken foot (though Rex Ryan must love the though of tending to him). He lost because his wild locks were hidden under the Winter dome he was provided with.

    It was as when Samson himself had been shorn of his hair.

    But in any case Tom Brady still gets to go home to:

    [youtube w4X0H3rnAB8&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4X0H3rnAB8&feature=related youtube]

    • How does that explain how Tom Bieber won three Superbowls with normal hair?

      All I can say about Gisele is that she better hope she doesn't get pregnant. Old Tom would just throw her over the side for a new "model".

  16. Another fun Aaron Rodgers fact. You can rearange the letters in his name to spell "A gonads error." Here it is in a sentence:

    Not having the testicular fortitutde to send the blitz more often was a gonads error that Lovey Smith will regret all off season.

  17. Another fun Aaron Rodgers fact. You can rearange the letters in his name to spell "A gonads error." Here it is in a sentence:

    Not having the testicular fortitutde to send the blitz more often was a gonads error that Lovey Smith will regret all off season.

  18. And one more Rodgers fact.

    Rodgers arrived from his red sunned planet on December 3rd 1983, the same day the extended version of Thriller, featuring Vincent Price, debuted on MTV.

    On October 25th 1993 Vincent Price left this earth as the Chicago Bears lost to the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football.

    If that doesn't help you know which side to place you money on for this contest, then I don't know what would.

  19. Check out Peter King's Monday Morning QB from this week (page 3).

    King compares Aaron Rodgers' first three years as QB in Green Bay to the BEST three years of Bart Starr and Brett Favre. Rodgers' first three years are arguably better than the best three years of those two. King points out that it's "interesting to note that Rodgers, in his first three years, threw for more yards than Favre did in the run he had of three straight MVP seasons, 1995-97".

  20. Last time in the 'burgh, the Jets scored 22 points. Seven of those points were from a kickoff return. So, they scored 15 'legit' points. And Troy Polamalu wasn't in the lineup. And only the Jets had something to play for. This time around, the Jets are up against the best run defense in football (and among the best in history with about 60 yards a game), in Pittsburgh, in the snow, in the wind, with that shaggy-haired devil Polamalu lurking here, there and everywhere, with a Super Bowl berth on the line. OH it warms the cockles of a Steelers fan's heart.

  21. How does that explain how Tom Bieber won three Superbowls with normal hair?

    All I can say about Gisele is that she better hope she doesn't get pregnant. Old Tom would just throw her over the side for a new "model".

  22. Thanks for the link. If Aaron wins on Sunday he will also have as many road playoff victories as Favre had in his whole career.

    I feel blessed that my team replaced a HoF QB, with one that may turn out to be even better. He is quite humble too. When asked about being compared to Brady, Manning, and Brees he said, "I think we need some more hardware around here first.". Give the man a prize. That is exactly the right answer.

  23. WOOOO!

  24. WOOOO!

  25. Wow, four foot jokes and no football analysis. Stick to being wrong about politics Maclean's. You're pathetic when it comes to being wrong about football.

    • Was there just the four? Our apologies.

      • Actually there were definitely more than four. Good job!

        I presume Louie just miscounted.

    • It looks like they both picked right to me.

      Did you look at Feschuk's record up there at the top? He ain't always wrong. You try picking every game against the spread one year, add up your record, and see how knowledgable you are in comparison.

    • I was SURE that the first complaint was going to be about the fact that there's only ONE picture of a scantily clad woman in this post. I mean, FOOTBALL ANALYSIS??? What's that got to do with anything?!?!?

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