Friday, November 22, 2013

The Informer vs The Question NFL Picks Challenge: Week 12

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning square off for the 14th time Sunday night.
 Ladies and gentlemen welcome to Week 12 of The Informer vs. The Question 2013 NFL Picks Challenge. There is no special gimmick this week; just some good clean football talk and a few incoherent Informer rants.

So without “Freddy Adu” here are our picks.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS @ DETROIT LIONS (-9)

“The Question”

In a year that hasn’t been my finest when it comes to forecasting NFL games, my worst call may have been pegging the Detroit Lions as one of my favorite picks last week.

Truth be told, it was a game the Lions should have easily won; except from some reason after overcoming a dismal start, they fall apart late and lost to an inferior Pittsburgh Steelers team.

That game, like this season, did not make any sense. I mean what was the Lions offensive strategy in the second half? Punt the ball as much as possible?

Here is an idea; Calvin Johnson was on pace for 358 yards receiving and four touchdowns, maybe try and throw him the ball once or twice.

Well this week they are at home against the Tampa Bay “Staph Infections”, so I am once again taking the Lions. This team should be refocused and they need this victory to stay on pace to win the NFC North.

Pick: Lions -9

“The Informer”

Which player is better?

Player A First 100 Games: 541 receptions 8,740 yards and 63 TD

Player B First 100 Games: 548 receptions 8,680 yards and 92 TD

The Informer can keep going just in case there is some doubt. Here are the same two players’ playoff stats through their first six seasons.

Player A: One Game 12 rec 212 yards and 2 TD

Player B: Six Games 28 rec 602 yards and 7 TD

Here is a fun stat.

Player A: Five 1,000 yards seasons first six years.

Player B: Six 1,000 yard seasons first six years.

So Player B had more receptions, touchdowns, thousand yard seasons while playing in six playoff games compared to just one for Player A.

Don’t get The Informer wrong; Player A is pretty darn impressive, 8,740 yards is nothing to scoff at, but judging by the numbers one would have no choice but to conclude that Player B is the more dynamic receiver through 100 games.

We can all agree on that right?

Now for the fun part; Player A is Lions WR Calvin Johnson and Player B is future Hall of Famer Randy Moss.

The Informer showed these stats in the hope that everyone who is jumping on the 'Johnson is better than Moss' bandwagon will slow their roll just a little.

Again, The Informer is not saying Johnson will not one day pass Randy on the all-time list. All he is saying is at this point in time Moss is still the best WR not named Jerry Rice to ever play in the National Football League.

Just in case you are still on the fence here is another stat.

Player A: Completed 4-8 passes for 106 yards and 2 TD and he returned one punt for a score.

Player B: Has never even thrown a pass or returned a punt.

This time Player A is Moss and Player B is Johnson. The Informer rests his case.

One last fun stat: Both Johnson and Moss have 12 games with 150+ yards receiving through their first 100 contests. It should also be noted that "Megatron" is currently tied for the NFL record with five 200+ yard games.

Despite what you may think from the above rant, The Informer can’t wait to see if Johnson can sustain his greatness and join Moss on the Mt. Everest of wide receivers.


JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS @ HOUSTON TEXANS (-10)

“The Question”

You wouldn’t think that the benching of Case Keenum would be a huge deal in the fantasy world; however, his benching directly impacted not one, but two of my fantasy squads.

Yup, I picked up good ole Case this past week thinking the Houston Texans were committed to the next “Brett Favre” (The Informer’s words not mine).

Boy was I wrong again. I guess that is why they call me “The Question?” Because I am always asking questions and not giving answers?

You may need to say those last two sentences "Ron Burgundy Upper-inflection teleprompter” style to understand the joke.

Hey speaking of Anchorman, is anyone else concerned The Informer has sold out and is now a corporate drone-sponsor for new up and coming movies? I mean did he really just write an entire NFL article showcasing Anchorman a month before the sequel comes out?

Whatever happened to the days of prison assaults jokes and drinking too much grown up orange juice? I think we should just start calling him “The Corporate Informer.” 

As for this football game, the only thing you need to know is Matt Schaub is the starting QB again. I repeat, “pick-six” Schaub is the starting quarterback for Houston.

The Texans are in trouble.

Pick: Jaguars +10

“The Informer”

Mr. Question you think me writing an Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy article a month before Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues comes out was bad, wait and see what happens next year before the release of Dumb and Dumber To.

And trust me; you don’t even want to imagine what is going to happen when they finally announce Ghostbusters 3 is filming. The Informer may actually write a 60,000 word breakdown on the scene where Ray is laying in bed and the ghost does . . . How should The Informer say this? Well . . . The Ghost does inappropriate biblical things to him.

Anyways, which means stop trying to confuse me with Ghostbusters talk, The Informer does have a small bone to pick with the national media.

Last Sunday, during the Texans 28-23 loss to the Oakland Raiders, wide receiver Andre Johnson walked off the field with over a minute left to play after getting into a heated on-field argument with the afore mentioned “pick six” Schaub.

The Informer did see that happen right? Okay good, just making sure this rant didn’t turn into another “Illegal Contact” situation where The Informer doesn’t have any idea what he is talking about.

Now since we all agree that Johnson walked off the field, The Informer has a question: Why in the heck is Andre not getting hammered by the media?

Do you all remember in 2005 when a man named Moss left a Minnesota Vikings loss with two seconds remaining on the clock? To this day people still try and say that is a reason he is not great because he quote, “quit on his team.”

In fact here is an article talking about Moss being childish and selfish and a bunch of other garbage that is not true.

So where is the outrage for Johnson? The Informer looked as hard as he could all week to find people calling out Andre for being selfish, childish and quitting on his team. 

You know what The Informer found?

Nothing.

Was Johnson the "Goat of the Week" in the great Peter King's “Monday Morning Quarterback” column? Nope in fact Johnson's childish act didn't even get mentioned. How about the always reliable Don Banks? Surely he blasted Johnson's selfish acts in his awesome “Sunday Snap Judgments” article?

Again that would be a big fat no. The Informer did find one article on ESPN that defended Johnson, saying he was just frustrated.

Do you want to know who is frustrated? The freaking Informer is frustrated.

People are literally using the incident in Washington as a reason Moss should not be a first ballot Hall of Famer, but here is a guy doing the exact same thing and not a single media member blasts him?

For the love of “Tebow” what is going on?

The Informer is pretty sure back in 2004 Skip Bayless was hospitalized with an exploded head after the Moss incident. Newspaper columnist, internet bloggers, radio and television hosts were all outraged by the disrespect Moss showed to his team, himself and to America in general.

Fast forward nine years and Andre Johnson gets commended for being a great teammate who was just frustrated with the situation?

What a joke.

The national media should be ashamed of themselves.

Walking off the field early is either a childish/selfish act of disgrace, or a frustrated player showing passion. It can’t be both just because one of the guys had a media-related bad reputation.

At this point the only way The Informer will be satisfied with this non-story is if everyone who called Moss out in 2004, yet kept their mouths shut this past week, admits that they were wrong and apologize to the “Great One.”

They can start their apology with a month long tribute to Moss by showing all of his college and pro games on the NFL Network.

The Informer thinks an apology with a tribute is a fair request after the way Moss was treated. 

Sorry, The Informer blacked out for a second; what were we talking about?

 Pick: Jags +10

MINNESOTA VIKINGS @ GREEN BAY PACKERS (-5)

“The Question”

Wow. I am just going to leave the above rant alone and go right into dissecting the Green Bay Packers-Vikings battle of terrible quarterbacks.

Aren’t the Packers starting some Tolstoy guy (Scott Tolzein)? Wasn’t Tolstoy a famous writer? Either way it is pretty impressive, not only can he write but he found time to make the Packers roster.

All jokes aside; this line makes it seem like Aaron Rodgers would be starting, but I assure you that is not the case.

I will be taking the Vikings as I don’t ever trust poets turned quarterbacks in the NFL.  Also, I think the Packers are a mess without Rodgers.

Green Bay has too many injuries and I believe even the Vikings can accidentally make things work this week.

Pick: Vikings +5

“The Informer”

Where is the “that escalated quickly” quote when you need it.

In my defense, The Informer is getting pretty tired of the national media deciding when to make something a story and when to pretend it didn’t happen.

Take for example Trent Richardson who has now played six sub-par games for the Indianapolis Colts, where he has yet to average over four yards-per-carry for an entire game.

Now forget the fact that Richardson is a 23-year-old workhorse tailback trying to figure out a new system with a crappy offensive line; the only thing anyone should focus on is the less than 4.0-ypc.

That is the story the main stream media is spinning.

Most notably they are all saying the Colts were absolutely stupid for trading away a first round pick because Richardson obviously is not a first round caliber running back. You can see this by looking at his first six games with his new team. 

In the mainstream's words, "he is terrible."

Do you know who is a great running back? Adrian Peterson. Don’t worry about the fact that he has had five games this season where he has averaged less than 4.0-ypc; he is still great. 

Or how about Darrin McFadden (5x), Ray Rice (8x), Eddie Lacy (5x) Maurice Jones-Drew (8x) Le’Veon Bell (5x). Every single one of the guys mentioned above has had numerous sub-par rushing games this year, yet you don’t hear the national media saying they are not NFL caliber running backs.

Should Richardson be doing better?

Yes, of course.

But you can’t single him out for a stat and then pretend the stat is not the same for other running backs. I mean do you guys think Adrian Peterson is washed up because he is not on pace for 2,100 yards this year?

Of course not, everyone agrees the guy is suffering behind a poor offensive line.

Just like Rice, Bell, McFadden and Jones-Drew. They are all still good backs, but when you play on bad teams your stats are going to suffer.

Why is The Informer so angry?
Now obviously the Colts are not a bad team, but that is due en large to Andrew Luck, not their banged up offensive line.

“Informer why are you so angry this week?

And why are you talking about Trent Richardson during the Vikings-Packers breakdown?

You do realize the Colts are not involved in this game? Can you please try and stay focused and talk about the task at hand?”

The Informer apologizes. That will be the last rant of the day, “Scouts-honor.”

Pick: Vikings +5

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS @ KANSAS CITY CHIEF (-4.5)

“The Question”

This is a game the Kansas City Chiefs need to be extra careful. This is a classic hangover/look ahead game all rolled into one.

The Chiefs are coming off a close game at Denver on Sunday night with a rematch looming in Arrowhead next week that will decide the division.

The San Diego Chargers on the other hand love to keep things close, unfortunately they just can’t seem to seal the deal.

This Chargers team can be scary and with the Broncos game next week, I see San Diego giving the Chiefs a scare.

Pick: Chargers +4.5

“The Informer’

Hmm . . . Warm weather teams playing in the cold and snow usually don’t fair to well.

Especially when that warm weather team is playing on the road for the second straight week. Or when said warm weather team is playing against one of the best teams in the NFL, Kansas City, who happens to be coming off a loss. 

Did The Informer mention that this is a must win divisional game if the Chiefs are going to keep pace with the Peyton Manning’s?

Oh and don’t forget, there is a very good chance that it will be very cold and snowy in K.C. on Sunday.

Pick: Chiefs -4.5

CAROLINA PANTHERS @ MIAMI DOLPHINS (+4)

“The Question”

Don’t do it . . . Don’t do it . . . Don’t do it . . .

Don’t do it . . . Don’t do it . . . Don’t do it . . .

Don’t do it . . . Don’t do it . . . Don’t do it . . .

Don’t do it . . . Don’t do it . . . Don’t do it . . .

Pick: Panthers -4 . . . Dang it all, I did it.

“The Informer”

Don’t worry Mr. Question; The Informer will listen to your advice.

For those wondering why “The Question” is upset with himself it is because this is a classic letdown road game for the Carolina Panthers.

They are coming off an emotional Monday Night Football victory over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

They are also traveling to South Beach (a kind of well known party spot) to face a Miami Dolphins team that everyone is overlooking even though they are 3-2 at home and seven of their 10 games this season have been decided by four points or fewer.

The Informer thinks this game will be closer than anticipated and in the end people will be jumping back on the “RT1” bandwagon.

Miami is about to "Ice Up Son."

Pick: Dolphins +4

PITTSBURGH STEELERS @ CLEVELAND BROWNS (-2)

“The Question”

I think the Cleveland Browns might actually be the better team. They have two guys that can impact the game immensely in Josh Gordon and Joe Haden.

Have you been watching these two guys this year? No matter who the Browns are playing, both of them have put their stamps on every game they played this season.

This week will be no different.

Give me the Browns giving the points.

Pick: Browns -2

“The Informer”

The Informer picked the Pittsburgh Steelers to make the playoffs so he really needs them to win this week. And since The Informer is terrible at picking NFL games this season, there is only one way to help make his preseason prediction come true.

Pick: Browns -2

CHICAGO BEARS @ ST. LOUIS RAMS (-1)

“The Question”

Who are the St. Louis Rams? Do they even know? One week they are world beaters the next they are losing by 21 points out of the gate.

I think the Chicago Bears are a more athletic team and will not need to grind the ball offensively like St. Louis. Watch for their two big wide outs to make some game changing plays downfield this week.

Give me the Bears.

Pick: Bears +1

“The Informer”

Does anyone else wonder what David Hasselhoff thinks about this game?


The Informer agrees with Mr. Hasselhoff. This game is going to be brutal to watch. If you are a diehard Bears fan who is going to choose to watch this travesty, then help pass the time by Google searching “Kendall Jenner Instagram” photos.

You can thank The Informer later. For those that don’t know, Kendall Jenner is the sister to Kanye West’s baby’s mama and wife Kim Kardashian who may or may not put up provocative photos on her internet page.

Getting back to football before my wife threatens to stab me in the face with a soldering iron, The Informer is taking the Bears since he is a Lions fans and he needs Chicago to start losing.

Pick: Bears -1

NEW YORK JETS @ BALTIMORE RAVENS (-3.5)

“The Question”

Let’s see every other week the New York Jets win . . . Big Gulps huh?

Pick: Jets +3.5

“The Informer”

Every other week you say? So The Informer is supposed to take the Jets on the road against the defending Super Bowl Champions?

The Informer has a counter argument for everyone: Geno Smith on the road . . . Geno Smith on the road . . . Geno Smith on the road  . . .

Pick: Ravens +3.5

TENNESSEE TITANS @ OAKLAND RAIDERS (-1)

“The Question”

You know that “it” factor some teams have that makes things go in their favor? Well the Oakland Raiders were a magical story with the “it” factor for some of this year, but the wheels have finally fallen off.

The Tennessee Titans will stick to their “run the ball” identity and this will be a game the Titans will win on the road.

Pick: Titans +1

“The Informer”

Is it just me or is there a lot of really bad football scheduled for Week 12? Seriously, the Titans against the Raiders? Is there anyone who actually wants to watch this debacle of a football game?

Hopefully for the sake of my sanity this game will get blacked-out. The Informer doesn’t mean just in Tennessee, he wants this game blacked-out worldwide.

Can someone get David Blaine on the phone?

The Informer has a feeling Blaine could use his magic to make this happen. Hey Dave, stop doing card tricks for President George Bush and start blacking out NFL games no one should be forced to watch.

Now that would be magic.

P.S. – The Informer highly, and I mean highly, recommends everyone watch the ABC special called David  Blaine: Real or Magic where he does magic tricks on the elite Hollywood stars.

The Informer is not lying when he says he spent the entire hour and a half glued to his chairs shaking his head, laughing hysterically in amazement and mumbling, “How is that possible?”

Either these guys are the best actors in the world (get it?) or Blaine is the greatest magician since Merlin.

If you are one of the unlucky few who is going to be forced to watch the Titans-Raiders game on Sunday, do yourself a favor and turn on David Blaine’s magic show instead.

You will not regret the choice.

Pick: Titans +1




INDIANAPOLIS COLTS @ ARIZONA CARDINALS (-2.5)

“The Question”

Oh my how quickly the NFL sours on a team.

Take for example the now struggling Colts. Where is all the Luck for MVP chatter now? That talk has really started to subside in the past few weeks. How about all the Colts are going to make the Super Bowl talk?

Heck, it has been at least a day since I read an article from The Informer about how great Mr. Luck’s “Kool-Aid” tastes, or how many rookie cards he owns of the Colts young quarterback.

I am going to take the Arizona Cardinals this week because they are a dangerous squad at home and the Colts slide is going to continue.

Pick: Cardinals -2.5

“The Informer”

So, the Cardinals are favored over a team that has beaten Denver, Seattle and San Francisco this season?

And you guys want to know why The Informer’s picks have sucked this year. Honestly there is no logical explanation for what has been happening through 11 weeks of the NFL.

Since The Informer has no idea what Colts team, or for that matter what Cardinals team is going to show up this week, he is sticking with his philosophy of always picking Andrew Luck.

Now if you will excuse me, "The Question" just reminded The Informer that he has some Kool-Aid to make.

Pick: Colts +2.5

DALLAS COWBOYS @ NEW YORK GIANTS(-2.5)

“The Question”

HOW DOES THIS GAME MATTER!!!?

The New York Giants started out the year 0-6 and yet this game is still important for their pursuit of the NFC East division title?

I guess the consensus is the Giants are coming around, but I do have one question about this team. Have they played any good teams on their current win streak?

Now don’t get me wrong Dallas fans, your Cowboys are not a good team by any means. With that said, they do at least play to their competition so this should be a dismal and mistake filled game.

 I am betting Eli Manning will out mistake Tony Romo in the “You Ugly" game of the week.

Pick: Cowboys +2.5

“The Informer”

These are the two teams The Informer predicted to win the NFC East at the beginning of the season.

Yes, The Informer picked two different teams. He said either the Cowboys would win and lose in the first round of the playoffs or the Giants would somehow back into the playoffs and then win the Super Bowl.

Right now The Informer is feeling pretty confident in both of those predictions. As for this week, The Informer is going to take the Giants because their offense is going to look very good against the banged-up Dallas defense.

Pick: Giants -2.5

DENVER BRONCOS @ NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (+2.5)

“The Question”

Manning in prime-time.

Pick: Broncos -2.5 (I am excited.)

“The Informer”

How excited is The Informer for this Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots AFC showdown you ask?

He is more excited than Brittney Spears on the Jay Leno Show.



Heck he is more excited than Carlton Banks when he gets to do his “Happy” dance.




The Informer is more excited than a kid finding out that it is his birthday.



Okay just one more: The Informer is more excited to watch Manning-Brady XIV than a person on the Maury Povich Show who just found out that HE IS NOT THE FATHER!!!



The Informer wants to point out that all the above photos and such are called GIF’s. He would also like to point out that he has no idea what in the hell “GIF” stands for. “Get images forever”? “Gee I’m Funny”? “Great Internet Fotos?" 

The Informer has no idea. Honestly when it comes to these new internet trends sometimes The Informer feels like Forrest Gump.



That photo is hilarious.

Any who, if you or someone you know has the ability to give The Informer the proper answer to what a “GIF” is please tweet @therealinformer.

Thank you and much appreciated.

Oh yea . . . The Informer almost forgot, Peyton Manning in prime-time equals The Lion King Lock of the Week.

Pick: LKLOTW Donkeys -2.5

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS @ WASHINGTON REDSKINS (+5.5)

“The Question”

The San Francisco 49ers are really good coming off of one loss. That means they should be really, really good coming off their first two-game regular season losing streak since Jim Harbaugh took over as head coach. 

Plus, this is a must win game for the Niners to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Pick: Niners -5.5

“The Informer”

Remember last year when everyone was saying things like RG3 is the greatest thing since the invention of fireworks? Along those same lines do you all remember when people started saying Colin Kaepernick was the next Randall Cunningham?

How quickly the times have changed.

Now people are talking about how inconsistent and unable to make the right decision RG3 has been. And regressing into a mediocre quarterback Kaepernick. Honestly, The Informer hates the part of being a sports writer (I am using that term very loosely) where we have to build someone up just to tear them down.

The reality of the situation is RG3 is still a young QB who is learning how to be great, after having one of his knees surgically repaired, while playing on a crappy team. Is he worse than last year? No, he is pretty much the same player; the only problem is this season the ball has not been bouncing his way.

And people in San Francisco who are saying the 49ers made a mistake letting Alex Smith go, please keep in mind that Kaepernick is less than a year removed from taking your team to the Super Bowl.

So, maybe we all just need to take a step back and let these young guys develop. Believe it or not, playing quarterback in the NFL is not an easy job.

Also The Informer would like to point out that Andrew Luck should have won the 2012 NFL Rookie of the Year award.

Now that we have covered the struggling quarterback situation, we can discuss the Monday Night Football game.

The 49ers are in desperate need of a win, while the Redskins are in desperate need of a loss so they can get a better draft pick.

The Informer hates taking the road favorite on Monday nights, but like “The Question” said there is no way the 49ers are losing three straight football games.

Pick: 49ers -5.5

Enjoy your NFL Sunday everyone; the one day of the week where all is right in the world.
 

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