We here at Kevbo Industries (me here? I here? What.) are often asked: ‘Hey, how do you pick the games? What goes into your analysis, what leads you to your decisions?”
We’re not big on giving out our secrets, but I suppose it’s not too harmful to let you know. What we do is, for each game, we play a best-of-three game of rock-paper-scissors.
Of course, this isn’t true, but it is as effective as the usual studying, analyzing and poring over injury reports, weather conditions, etc that go into our picks. We might adopt the rock-paper-scissors approach in 2014.
Week 12 Picks
Baltimore 19 – New York 13
This is it. Proving time for these two inconsistent playoff hopes. My nod towards Baltimore is not only due to home field advantage, but also to the fact that, when it gets down to crunch time, with their backs against the wall, the Ravens have proven to be a better team than the Jets when they’re put in similar circumstances.
Pittsburgh 27 – Cleveland 17
Crunch time once again, and once again the nod goes to the team that has proven themselves capable in do-or-die situations. Despite the score, I’m less certain about this one, considering the Steelers have taken themselves out of a handful of games this year. I just don’t think they’ll let this one get away from them. Ben Roethlisberger, by the way, has only lost to the Cleveland Browns once in his entire career.
Detroit 24 – Tampa Bay 14
The NFC North is a logjam of three teams that have yet to truly separate from one another, and beating this improving Buccaneers team isn’t going to suddenly make the Lions front runners for the division. It isn’t going to hurt, either. They cannot lose this game and remain a legitimate threat down the stretch.
Minnesota 24 – Green Bay 20
Without Aaron Rodgers, the Packers are somehow more vulnerable in all three phases. It doesn’t compute, but the numbers don’t lie. As bad as the Vikings have been, they are always a different, more competitive team when they travel to Wisconsin. The stars align for Minnesota, Adrian Peterson plays above his groin injury and the Vikings find a way to stick a pin in the Packers’ bid for the division.
Houston 31 – Jacksonville 24
Three wins between these teams? I’m sorry, but Houston’s struggles are still confounding me this far into the season. If they lose this game, it’s time to seriously consider jettisoning a good portion of their roster and coaching staff. They’re playing for pride now, and if they can’t win for that, they can’t win for anything.
Kansas City 26 – San Diego 17
The Chargers are headed to a cold Kansas City to play a team that is far more equipped to play in cold weather. Hell, the Chiefs are just flat-out better, and the matchup is very favorable for their defense to harass Phillip Rivers out of his game while Alex Smith does his boring, vanilla, 5-8 yard completions thing. You know, the thing that works.
Miami 26 – Carolina 23
This one is going to seem like a total homer pick, but hear me out. I’m not saying the Panthers have less to play for, because each game won is another step closer to where you want to be. I just think, when you stack the chips, you realize Miami has to play with every last bit of their desperation in order to simply stay in the hunt for a wild card spot, while the Panthers can afford to let one slip by. That’s my rationalization, and if it doesn’t make sense to you, it might be because you’re not a Dolphins fan. There, I said it. I’m a homer this week….but there IS more to it than that.
St. Louis 33 – Chicago 27
Whaaaat? Yeah. I’m smelling Zac Stacy, Tavon Austin and a Bears defense that is going to be on the field just a little too long for Chicago to win this game. Of course, if the Bears can get Matt Forte going, this game could easily tip in the Bears’ favor. It’s a close matchup, and the pick goes for the home team.
Arizona 28 – Indianapolis 24
With time ticking away, Andrew Luck will have a chance at yet another last-minute dose of heroics. Meanwhile, the underrated, underappreciated, underdog Arizona Cardinals’ defense won’t let Luck have another last laugh. I like Carson Palmer to build off of a solid performance last week as well.
Oakland 28 – Tennessee 24
First throw: Scissors beats paper (for Oakland).
Second throw: Rock beats scissors (for Tennessee)
Third throw: Scissors beats paper (for Oakland. I was sure I’d go back to rock on that one, but I was wrong. But also right.)
New York 38 – Dallas 30
Unimaginable. A team who lost their first six games beating their division favorites? Well, this is the Giants we’re talking about, winners of four straight and playing inspired football. This is also the Cowboys we’re talking about, who are doomed to mediocrity and to losing games like this because of…well…what does the why matter? The results speak for themselves.
Denver 31 – New England 27
Brady Vs Manning? No. Bellicheck Versus Manning is more like it. Unbeknownst to many, the Hoodie’s defensive schemes are constantly in flux with his opponent on a weekly basis, and when it comes down to it, it will be his mind and his defensive players’ ability to execute versus maybe the sharpest offensive mind in the history of NFL quarterbacks. Peyton’s history in the Patriots’ hometown has been rough, but this is a different team, with a different skill set…and Manning is older, wiser, and better than he ever was because of it. Perhaps wiser than the Hooded Genius.
San Fransisco 38 – Washington 24
No, I don’t think the cross-country trip is going to stop Colin Kaepernick from switching the lights back on against the Redskins’ porous pass defense. Not at all. Not even a little bit.
Fantasy Start ’em/Sit ’em
Colin Kaepernick – QB – San Fransisco 49ers
Alex Smith – QB – Kansas City Chiefs
Zac Stacy – RB – St. Louis Rams
Andre Brown – RB – New York Giants
Dwayne Bowe – WR – Kansas City Chiefs
Larry Fitzgerald – WR – Arizona Cardinals
Garrett Graham – TE – Houston Texans
Delanie Walker – TE – Tennessee Titans
Justin Tucker – K – Baltimore Ravens
Pittsburgh Steelers D/ST
Ben Roethlisberger – QB – Pittsburgh Steelers
Josh McCown – QB – Chicago Bears
Ryan Matthews – RB – San Diego Chargers
Eddie Lacy – RB – Green Bay Packers
Keenan Allen – WR – San Diego Chargers
T.Y Hilton – WR – Indianapolis Colts
Heath Miller – TE – Pittsburgh Steelers
Charles Clay – TE – Miami Dolphins
Adam Vinatieri – K – Indianapolis Colts
Green Bay Packers D/ST