Quiet here on the blog lately but NFL season gets my butt back in gear. Doing NFL picks started on the radio show in 2008 and then I moved it over to the blog. The name came from a listener who asked if I’d ever thought of using “Carnell Knowledge” as the name for a segment. Works for this so I’ve used it the past few seasons.
On Twitter, I picked Denver over Baltimore on Thursday. I’ll use Twitter to make the Thursday picks since that game is so much earlier than the majority of the week. For those new, I just pick winners. No point spreads. I list the games, then my pick followed by any comments I might have.
OAKLAND AT INDIANAPOLIS
Indy made the playoffs last year at 11-5. However they were outscored by opponents by 30 points. Huh? No wonder many people like me picked them to lose in that playoff game. They were beat by the eventual Super Bowl champions 24-9. Meanwhile the Raiders are the Raiders.
MINNESOTA AT DETROIT
Vikings made the playoffs thanks to Peterson but Ponder is still their QB. Lions I think is an 8-8 team who will surprise Minnesota in Week 1.
MIAMI AT CLEVELAND
2 teams who should be better than last year, just going with the Browns on a whim.
CINCINNATI AT CHICAGO
Quietly the Bengals have made the playoffs 2 years in a row. Even I forgot about that until the pre-season. Chicago has Jay Cutler and I’m never sold on him.
SEATTLE AT CAROLINA
Super Bowl contender against one of the most overrated QB in the league, easy pick for me.
KANSAS CITY AT JACKSONVILLE
Andy Reid now coaching KC with Alex Smith. A QB who has won a Super Bowl, well he lost his job to the guy who got them to the big game but a ring is a ring. Jaguars are airing the NFL Red Zone channel on their jumbotron during home games. All you need to know about that franchise.
TAMPA BAY AT NY JETS
Neither team I have much faith in this season. A pick em.
ATLANTA AT NEW ORLEANS
Sean Peyton back as head coach after his suspension, New Orleans had one of the worst defenses ever last season. So they can’t be that bad again.
TENNESSEE AT PITTSBURGH
Who do the Titans have at quarterback? Jake Locker or Ryan Fitzpatrick. Dog’s breakfast there.
NEW ENGLAND AT BUFFALO
Pats usually pound the Bills so that’s enough time on this one.
GREEN BAY AT SAN FRANCISCO
49ers spanked the Packers in the playoffs last season and this game is San Francisco so I’ll go with them.
ARIZONA AT ST. LOUIS
Carson Palmer now in Arizona. Cardinals were in such bad shape that Palmer is a big upgrade. In one of the strangest stats of 2012, what team in the NFC West had the best division record? It wasn’t Seattle or San Francisco, it was the Rams who were 4-1-1. Go figure.
NY GIANTS AT DALLAS
Early season big games, Dallas likes to show up. End of the season is a different matter altogether as we’ve seen many times.
PHILADELPHIA AT WASHINGTON
My team is the Redskins but I don’t know what to expect in Week 1 with RGIII. And the Eagles a re a mystery too since new coach Chip Kelly has kept things under wrap. Flip a coin and I went with Philly.
HOUSTON AT SAN DIEGO
Chargers finally fired Norv Turner and GM A.J. Smith. Too little, too late for the Chargers. And it is now 10 years ago when they traded Eli Manning to the Giants and got Phillip Rivers. Eli wasn’t going to play for them so can’t blame them too much for that. However San Diego later on letting Drew Brees leave and going with Rivers? Not the best decision.
Houston is a team I never believe in. Last year was that comical Monday Night game against the Patriots. Where they showed up all wearing custom made Letterman jackets like a high school team, and proceeded to get their ass kicked 42-14. Playoff time they get the Patriots again and lose 41-28.
They did make the playoffs however, so this week I’ll pick them over San Diego.
Another year of a blog on Super Bowl Sunday with myself and others doing picks.
But first up, somehow on January 16th, 2012 I predicted the media coverage of this year’s game.
I decided before the 2012 AFC/NFC Championship games to write on what the possible Super Bowl
storylines could be. Since Baltimore-San Francisco was an option last season this was what I
thought might happen.
“49ers-Ravens. By far, the one the media would have the easiest time with. John Harbaugh, coach
of the Ravens. Jim Harbaugh, coach of the 49ers. 2 brothers against each other. They played each
other this season on Thanksgiving Night, so they can grab the videos done for that week and
recycle them quite easily. Piece of cake.”
Got that one correct. I’ve seen those Thanksgiving clips so much during the last 2 weeks it’s
crazy. John and Jim before the game, the brothers with their parents after the game, etc. It
took 12 months but that paragraph came true.
I’ve gone back and forth on who might win. First other people and their choices.
One of the many Queen’s Alumni that are around, Andrew Bucholtz. Who runs the Yahoo! Canada
“55 Yard Line” blog.
“I’ll go San Fran 28, Baltimore 24. Kaepernick and Gore too tough for Ravens to stop, in my
Matthew Bisson, who I used to work with at the CFRC Sports department. Now a News Editor at 1310
News in Ottawa.
“Cheering for the 49ers, but expecting a Ravens win. Just seems to be their year. Hope I’m
Another Queen’s/CFRC Alumni, Julie Stewart-Binks. Sports Anchor on CTV Regina and also
involved in hockey scouting.
My Scouting Geekery: A Brief History
Julie went with the 49ers as did Jody Vance who is now at Breakfast Television at City in
Formerly known as CityTV. They all dropped the “TV” part of the station name this month. Just
“City” now. One of those random little tweaks a company will do.
Up next a pick from Natalie Thomas, who is on maternity leave from The Weather Network. Someone
who defeated me in 2011 doing NHL playoff picks on this blog. You can look that up and see.
She had it clinched before the finals. We both picked Boston over Vancouver since obviously
that was the only choice.
“Hmmmm. I’m out of the loop…but I’ll take Baltimore. :)”
Since Natalie just had a baby girl in January that explains her being out of the loop. Finally BJ Stewart,
Weather Network Morning Show Producer
“Geography says I should go with the Ravens…but I kinda like the 49ers grit. Think I’ll go with SF”
I’m picking Baltimore to win, 24-13. I can see 49ers winning but after the Ravens knocked off Manning
and Brady in back to back weeks they are on a roll. Also the 49ers defense hasn’t been great lately.
I’ll be rooting for the Niners since Ray Lewis is unbearably annoying at this point.
Since I predicted the media coverage a year ago, I will predict the shot from this game that will be
run for years to come. The handshake or hug at the end of the game between the coaches. Easy
prediction of course. One brother just won the biggest game of his life, and the other one
just lost it. You never see the coach’s handshake in the highlight package but every channel
will be showing that on Monday morning.
NFC/AFC Championship today. 3 out of the 4 teams were all in the same place last season. For all the talk of “parity” we get a rematch of Patriots/Ravens and the 49ers are back again after losing to the Giants a year ago. Both games are tough to call, so I could 2-0 or 0-2 pretty easily.
Ravens at Patriots
Baltimore always plays well against New England. Steam rolled them in the playoffs 4 years ago. Almost beat them a year ago to make the Super Bowl. The Week 3 game where Baltimore won in Foxboro was one of the ‘replacement ref’ games. Which I haven’t heard one person mention this week. A win is a win, but that game was one of the worst games when it cames to the officials. The game dragged, it was on national TV Sunday Night with the announcers pointing out the bad calls. And at one point the crowd started a “BULLSH*T” chant after a call. What crowd gets that riled up about Week 3? And Bill Belichick grabbed an official after the game. It was that bad.
Saying that, I am picking New England. Pats easily beat Houston last week. And they had a first round bye. Usually that can help a team, but Baltimore is also coming off a Double Overtime game. A game where running back Ray Rice said it was one of the toughest games he’d ever been in with the cold conditions. I see their run of playoff wins coming to an end.
No way I’m picking a team that messed up like that. Atlanta was up by 2 so a long Seattle field goal would’ve won it for the Seahawks. 49ers are better coached than that.
Divisional Weekend, which doesn’t have the same ring as ‘Wild Card’ Weekend. We’re stuck with the name though.
Baltimore at Denver
Peyton Manning’s playoff record, 9-10. Cold weather playoff games where the temperature is below 40F, 0-3. Amount of times he’s been ‘one and done’ in the post season, SEVEN. That`s a lot for one of the so-called greatest quarterbacks of all time. Heck, Eli has twice as many Super Bowl rings as him.
Denver is on an 11 game winning streak, however how many of those wins against winning teams? Two. And by the end of the year the Broncos had the 2nd easiest strength of schedule in the NFL. Colts last week came in with 11 wins, and Baltimore beat them pretty soundly.
Houston at New England
No chance I`d put money down on Houston after not showing up earlier in the season against the Pats. And barely beating the Bengals last week. Not much else to add.
Seattle at Atlanta
It`s Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. If you’ve read the blog during the season you know I’m no fan of them. Seattle playing great and this is a road game in a dome. Which negates a lot of home field. Falcons had Green Bay at home couple seasons ago, didn’t help them any.
Green Bay at San Francisco
Aaron Rodgers against the team he grew up rooting for, and who ended up drafting Alex Smith over him. Smith is on the bench right now by the way. Rodgers is a guy who holds a grudge very easily as the 60 Minutes piece on him showed. So now he gets one of his BIGGEST grudges in the playoffs. Not a recipe for good things.
Also San Fran’s defense hasn’t been that good lately. Giving up 34 points to New England, then 42 points against Seattle. Ended the season with a 27-13 win over Arizona, a team whose coach and GM were fired the following day so not exactly a good team. A shootout with Green Bay is not a good idea.
Almost typed 2012 in the title. Back to picking NFL games after a 2 week absence.
Bengals at Texans
After all these years it is time to pull out a saying. Houston, we have a problem. Had a chance for a bye and lost to the Colts last week. Had a chance to be 1st seed in the AFC and pissed that away over the course of December. Had a chance to prove critics wrong against the Patriots on national TV, lost 42-14. I can’t pick Houston against the Bengals.
Vikings at Packers
Minnesota beating Green Bay 2 weeks in a row? Their quarterback Christian Ponder did play well last Sunday. Odds of that happening a week later I’d say is slim.
Colts at Ravens
Former Baltimore Colts vs Baltimore’s current team. Head coach of Indy, Chuck Pagano vs the team he was a coach with the previous 4 seasons. Neither team I believe in. Ravens do have a lot more playoff experience so I’ll pick them.
Seahawks at Redskins
Which team on a streak do I go with? Washington, just because they are home. Seattle 2-5 on the road, I don’t count the Toronto win against the Bills as a road game. That was neutral site as anyone here in Ontario would tell you. It was a game they were trying to sell tickets to by the fact a one hit wonder was playing halftime.
And I’m not picking against Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris. Seattle can win, however that road record is just not good enough for me to pick them.
Funny thing happened as 2012 wrapped up, missed blogging about the last 2 NFL weekends. Funny because last Sunday’s blog was done and written. Somehow got home Sunday morning and forgot to post it. Time I realized that was Sunday night so too late to post.
Last week of the season didn’t have much intrigue as usual. AFC playoff teams were all set in stone, just playing for seeding. Redskins/Cowboys was the marquee match, and that wasn’t till Sunday night. Thought about doing Week 17 and with me working over the holidays decided to take a break. I worked December 21st through 25th, so got done with work Boxing Day around 7am. Christmas flies by when that happens.
Happy to say my Redskins won, and a season I had written off in the pre-season as “this will be a season for Robert Griffin III to learn”. Playoffs weren’t on my mind. First NFC east title since 1999? A pleasant surprise over the holidays.
2012 was the year I returned to the east coast. Hit Moncton for ECMA 2012. I still didn’t write a blog post about it. Finally getting the pics together from the trip. Might just post the pictures as a blog post. Trying to write about a trip that involved me riding a train from Kingston to Moncton and back along with ECMA week would be a long story. Just pictures might work better.
Happy New Year to everyone. Lucky ’13.
Giants at Falcons
NY spanked Atlanta in the playoffs last year. Atlanta/Houston are in the same boat. Teams with a lot of wins that don’t really come across as that great.
Packers at Bears
Chicago continued to slide last week, I correctly picked Minnesota to beat them.
Redskins at Browns
Almost picked Cleveland. Robert Griffin III is out for this game, Kirk Cousins is starting. Reason I’ll go with the Skins is that the Browns defense game planned for RGIII and now that is thrown out the window. I see a close, low scoring game.
Vikings at Rams
Minnesota has a QB who quite frankly, sucks. Christian Ponder has 12 INT, 14TD and 3 fumbles. But they have Adrian Peterson so that makes up for Ponder.
Jaguars at Dolphins
2 teams going nowhere.
Bucs at Saints
New Orleans pretty much out of it, so it’s up to them to keep their division rivals from getting in the playoffs.
Broncos at Ravens
Manning over Flacco.
Colts at Texans
After a humiliating loss on Monday they should have enough to beat the Colts. Houston for some reason kept pumping up last Monday’s game against the Patriots as they’re biggest game ever. They’ll learn now to tone it down when it comes to hype.
Seahawks at Bills in Toronto
The Bills in Toronto series. It’s been so badly handled as a Redskins fan I had no interest in seeing Bills/Skins last year at SkyDome. This season they did smarten up and lower ticket prices. Finally. The ads for it have been selling the game on a halftime show with a soon to be flash in the pan. I’m not even typing the song or his name. It’s been driven into the ground anyway.
Needless to say I’m picking Seattle.
Lions at Cardinals
Larry Fitzgerald stuck on that Arizona team. He must be having a long year.
Panthers at Chargers
With San Diego out watch them win some meaningless games now.
Steelers at Cowboys
Pittsburgh lost to Cleveland last week so they should be teed up for Dallas.
Chiefs at Raiders
49ers at Patriots
They smacked around Houston in New England, and now they have another night game at home.
Jets at Titans
Jets still have a shot at the playoffs, amazingly.