Welcome to the final regular season edition of the weekly Patch NFL Pick 'Em, where Fair Lawn residents and wannabe NFL prognosticators Stuart Pace, Steve Brown and Zak Koeske offer up their picks for three games each week, and dish out a little fantasy football advice to boot.
Because of the playoff implications in four of the games this final week of the NFL regular season, we chose all to pick winners for all four of them. No fantasy advice this week as most fantasy seasons ended last week.
Look for a special playoff segment of the Pick'Em coming up next week!
Happy Holidays to all!
This week's games are:
San Diego Chargers (7-8) @ Oakland Raiders (8-7)
Kansas City Chiefs (6-9) @ Denver Broncos (8-7)
Dallas Cowboys (8-7) @ New York Giants (8-7)
Baltimore Ravens (11-4) @ Cincinnati Bengals (9-6)
Stuart Pace’s Game Picks:
San Diego, Kansas City, New York Giants and Cincinnati
San Diego Chargers over Oakland Raiders -– Jeesh. How do you pick this one? Raiders won in San Diego earlier, but the Chargers can hurt the Raiders playoff chances by taking this one. San Diego is saying goodbye to Norv this week ( I am certain of this in my own mind) and this rivalry has always been a good one. No, I flipped a coin and the winner is….tails. Chargers win.
Kansas City over Denver Broncos -- GREAT GOOGLY MOOGLY! This is a heart choice here. My dad was a Chiefs fan and these guys are playing their hearts out for Romeo Crennel. So pops, this pick is for you. Chiefs over the Ponies in Tebow's last start as a Denver QB.
New York Giants over Dallas Cowboys -- One of two things happen here. NYGs go on another tear like they did when they last won the Super Bowl, or their D comes crashing down to earth. I don’t think the G Men make it far into the playoffs, but I think they best the over-rated Tony Romo. Eli is just that much better than Tony and Jason Pierre-Paul uses his Sasquatchian reach to pull the star off the Cowboys QB's helmet.
Cincinnati Bengals over Baltimore Ravens -- Ravens are 2 point faves in Cincinnati and they need a win to secure the second seed and a bye. Should they fail and the Steelers win, Steelers are second seed. I can’t imagine a world where the Bengals win this one. But I am picking them to upset the Ravens at home. The first time they met this season was a close game. I am taking the home team.
HAPPY NEW YEARS TO THE FANS OF FL PATCH PICKEM!
Steve Brown’s Picks:
Oakland, Kansas City, New York Giants and Baltimore
Oakland Raiders over San Diego Chargers – Nobody told San Diego that there was a game last week and they sure didn’t show up. Seemed like I was still on the appetizers and it was 24-0 So much for the December Charge of the Chargers. They have nothing left to play for except the ever-rousing Norv Turner pre-game speech where he will remind everyone what time the bus leaves after the game and offer to buy everyone an ice cream, win or lose, if they just try hard. Oakland has all sorts of crazy playoff scenarios but the simplest thing one can say about it is good things happen if Oakland wins. Just win boys. Oakland over the Chargers assuming the Chargers even bother to show up.
Kansas City Chiefs over Denver Broncos -- Wow, Tim Tebow fell through the water he was walking on with a big splash of ineptitude last week against a crumbling Buffalo team. The Chiefs put up one helluva good fight against one helluva average team in the Raiders. HMMM. I guess what one needs to look at here is motivation. The Chiefs are trying to save/win Romeo Crennel a head coaching job and Kyle Orton gets to go back to the team that shunned him and stick it to the Mile High fans. Denver clinches AFC West with a win or an OAK loss. Call me a Shakespearean fool, but I’ll take the Love of Romeo and revenge of a jilted QB as my winning formula everytime. Give me the Chefs, great googleymoogley!
New York Giants over Dallas Cowboys -- Romo or Nogo? Those are the choices Jason Garrett has for this week’s game and his playoff chances. There is no way the Cowpokes come in and arrest the Giants at home without a healthy-handed gunslinger at QB.
Other than a big play to victor Cruz, the Giants’ offense wasn’t terribly impressive against the Jets. And the defense was given a big old helping hand from Marty Schottenheimer’s decision to pass a gajillion times instead of sticking to the run with Greene and LT, who were averaging about 5 yards a pop.
But the defense put a ton of pressure on Sanchez and was robbed of two turnovers on a Holmes fumble and one of those amazing tuck rule calls that make every person who's ever played sandlot football go, “THAT WAS A FUMBLE." To sum it up, the Cowboys have a hurting QB, a coach being embarrassed by his over-egoed owner, are coming off a bad loss and are playing on the road. I’ll take the Giants to save Coughlin’s job, make the playoffs, cost Garrett his job and make me happy for the second week in a row.
Baltimore Ravens over Cincinnati Bengals -- Well I for one am having trouble believing that the Bengals are for real. I’d take Flacco over Dalton on my team in a big game. I’d take Ray Rice over anyone on the Bengals offense and that will give Flacco the luxury of a running game to fall back on. The Bengals squeaking out wins over St Louis and Arizona with a loss to Houston rounding out their last three games haven’t impressed in a long while. I think Cedric benson’s sub-4.0 yards per carry rushing average and lack of receiving skills puts too much pressure on rookie Andy Dalton in this big game. Give me the Birds over the Kitties in this one.
It has been a fun season picking these games and I hope all you Patch readers have enjoyed our picks. Cheers and Happy New Year to you all!
Zak Koeske's picks:
San Diego, Denver, Dallas and Baltimore
San Diego Chargers over Oakland Raiders -- Both of these teams stink, but I'm going to go with the Chargers. They're a more talented team. No team that profiles Carson Palmer and Michael Bush as its top two offensive weapons belongs in the playoffs. The last time these teams met, the Raiders went into San Diego and beat the Chargers. While the score was close, it was the only time all year that both Palmer and Bush had good games in the same week. I think San Diego will get up for this one on the revenge factor alone and come to play on Sunday.
Denver Broncos over Kansas City Chiefs -- Apparently it's trendy to hate on Tim Tebow now that he's lost badly in two straight games. Given Tebow's proclivity for gritting it out and winning big games, I think the exact opposite is true. Now's the time when Tebow wills his team into the playoffs. Makes for a great storyline at least.
This is going to be an ugly game, what with the combination of Tebow facing Kyle Orton in his return to Denver as a visiting Chief (a team that hasn't topped 20 points in two months, by the way). Tebow thrives when he goes up against crap offenses and can slug through these sorts of things. He'll pull this one out.
Dallas Cowboys over New York Giants -- I'm counting on Tony Romo and the Cowboys to be ready Sunday night to revenge their stinging Dec. 11 loss to the Giants. I'm picking against my better judgment, because I think the G Men are the better team, but I'm of the opinion that the Giants have this haplessness about them that inexplicably prevents them from prevailing in winnable games at crucial times. I hope I'm wrong, but I feel like a boring Cowboys team will be celebrating when this one's said and done.
Baltimore Ravens over Cincinnati Bengals -- The Bengals have only beaten one team with a winning record this season -- the Tennesse Titans (which isn't saying much). Against teams with winning records that aren't the Titans, they're 0-6. Even playing at home with a playoff berth on the line, I see no reason why this trend shouldn't continue Sunday. The Bengals are a middling team and should suffer the fate that middling teams do this time of year -- just missing out on the playoffs.
About Stuart Pace:
Stu has been played fantasy football for more than 15 years and also spent a number of years hosting a Fair Lawn TV show called "Electric Football" with Steve Brown. He's currently in four leagues. A die-hard Miami Dolphins fan ("The Dolphins make me cry"), Stu has a Miami Dolphins tattoo and a Dolphins cause bracelet ("The lost cause").
About Steve Brown:
Steve was co-host of "Electric Football", the highest-rated NFL-related YouTube video series shot in Fair Lawn that we are aware of. When he's not producing that cult favorite, he spends way too much time crying quietly in the closet after Viking's losses. Steve has come in second place in more Fantasy Leagues than anyone he knows of since he started playing in 1992, and is still famous among his friends for the ill-fated KiJana Carter No. 2 overall pick.
About Zak Koeske:
Zak's a 9-year fantasy football veteran who has made a tradition of producing pre-season Power Rankings and crafting league write-ups for his personal league the past few years. This season he took part in his first auction-style draft, and is still trying to recover from the damage of spending all of his money on his first four picks.