Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Informer vs The Question 2013 NFL Picks Challenge: Week 17

Will the return of Aaron Rodgers lead to a NFC North Championship for the Green Bay Packers?

Ladies and gentlemen The Informer is not going to waste your time with a long winded opening rant.

It is Week 17 of the NFL Season so we all know what is at stake; there are 13 games with playoff implications including Packers-Bears fighting for the NFC North title and the Cowboys-Eagles doing the same for the "NFC Least".

Also, and obviously most importantly, The Informer has a chance at a .500 year if by the grace of the good "Tebow" he can go 12-4 with his picks this week.

In the semi-changed words of that guy from Meet the Parents: "Its a big shot week."

So without "Freddy Adu", here is Week 17 of The Informer vs. The Question's 2013 NFL Picks Challenge.

CAROLINA PANTHERS @ ATLANTA FALCONS (+7)

“The Question”

A Carolina Panthers victory means they will win the NFC South, receive a first round bye and possibly, with some help, get home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

If the Atlanta Falcons win they will get a worse draft pick.

Since the Panthers are playing for a lot this week I think they should be able to put Atlanta out of their misery fairly easily.

I almost forget: “Miss Informer” do you remember at the beginning of the year when I said the Falcons were going to be bad this season and you laughed at me and then picked the them to make the Super Bowl?

I just wanted to remind you, in case you forgot, that the team you picked to reach the Super Bowl is about to finish 4-12.

Pick: Panthers -7

“The Informer”

Wow a low blow right out of the gates from The Question.

It looks like someone is trying to get into The Informer’s head hoping for a massive choke job with his Week 17 picks.

Why does he want The Informer to choke? Because heading into Week 17 we both have identical 114-122-6 records.

The identical records is important to us because whoever loses the picks challenge not only loses bragging rights, but they also have to pay the other guys entry fee into our fantasy basketball league.

You read that correctly; The Informer has a friendly-wager with The Question on who will win their picks contest, with the loser having to pay their way into a money fantasy basketball league. Obviously, this would be the point of the article where someone should email The Informer the phone number for 1-800-Betsoff.

Getting back to the picks, The Informer would like to think The Question is right and the Panthers will show up and dominate this game. I mean, if they are the second best team in the NFC, then they need to prove they can beat one of the bottom feeders with a first round bye in the 2014 NFL Playoffs at stake.

Pick: Panthers -7

On Sunday the NFL says goodbye to a first ballot Hall of Famer.
The Informer note – We need to give a special shout-out to Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez who will be playing in his final game of a historically great 17-year NFL career. Gonzalez will retire with the second most receptions in NFL history (1,321), while also being one of only five players to reach 15,000 yards receiving. Also, to top it all off, Gonzalez is retiring with the sixth most touchdowns catches (111) ever.

Pretty good career for a guy who once thought his future would be in the NBA (Along with football, Gonzalez played basketball at the University of California).

GREEN BAY PACKERS @ CHICAGO BEARS (+4.5)

“The Question”

I only need four words to describe why I am picking this game the way that I am: “Aaron Rodgers is back.”

That’s a good enough reason as any.

Pick: Packers -4.5

“The Informer”

Did you know that Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler is 1-7 in his career vs. the Green Bay Packers? Did you know in those games Cutler has 8 TD passes compared to 17 interceptions?

Did you know that Aaron Rodgers is 9-2 against the Bears (Chicago won earlier this season 27-20 in a game Rodgers threw 2 passes before breaking his collarbone so technically the record is 9-3)? Did you also know that Rodgers has not lost to the Bears since 2010 (Again technically he lost earlier in the year, but you get the idea)?

Throw in the revenge factor, Chicago did break the guys collarbone earlier this year, with the fact that the Bears have stopped playing defense in December and this game has all the makings of Packers victory.

The Informer only has one more question: Does anyone else think the 4th-seeded Packers will be one of the best Super Bowl bets?

Don’t forget, back in 2010 when the Packers won the Super Bowl they backed into the playoffs at 9-7 before Rodgers got hot and led his team to the Championship.

Pick: Packers -4.5

HOUSTON TEXANS @ TENNESSEE TITANS (-7)

There is only one good reason to watch this game and it involves the words “Heavy Gambling.” Since this is a garbage game that no one cares about we are not going to waste time discussing it.

Picks: Both The Question and The Informer are taking the Texans

CLEVELAND BROWNS @ PITTSBURGH STEELERS (-7)

“The Question”

So let me get this straight: If the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New York Jets and the Cincinnati Bengals all win then the Steelers will make the playoffs after starting the season 2-6? That absolute absurd scenario is about par for the course with this crazy NFL season.

Pick: Steelers -7

“The Informer”

Going back to preseason predictions; The Informer predicted the Steelers and Miami Dolphins would make the playoffs while the Baltimore Ravens would finish 8-8 and miss the dance all together. (The Ravens finishing 8-8 was the prediction that led to the people on Google+ calling me “The Miss-Informer.”)

Well . . . If the Bengals handle business at home on Sunday, then either the Dolphins or Steelers would make the playoffs while the Ravens would finish 8-8 and miss the dance all together.

So while it is true that The Informer had some pretty bad predictions this season, there is still a chance that he wasn’t all wrong.

(F.Y.I - If the Packers, Cowboys, 49ers and Saints win while the Panthers and Seahawks lose then The Informer will have went 8 for 8 picking division winners.)

Knowing how The Informer's predictions usually turnout, on Sunday the Steelers and Dolphins will probably lose, followed by Joe Flacco doing Flacco things while leading the Ravens into the playoffs where they will no doubt make the AFC Title Game and thus The Informer will once again be known as “The Miss-Informer.”

Like The Question said, this season has been absolutely absurd.

Pick: Browns +7

WASHINGTON REDSKINS @ NEW YORK GIANTS (-3.5)

“The Question”

After the Washington Redskins win this game are people going to start asking whether or not Kirk Cousins, not RG3, is the future in Washington?

Pick: Redskins +3.5

“The Informer”

The answer is no.

Listen what happened to RG3-10 this year is the media made his rookie season out to be something we have never seen before (We had from Cam Newton, Andrew Luck and Michael Vick) and thus built him so high that the only place for him to go was down.

Add in the fact that the guy was coming off of a knee injury and one should have expected a step backwards.

The thing is; Washington’s problems this season were not because of RG3-10, they were because their defense was atrocious, their offensive line was not good and Mike Shanahan refused to ride Alfred Morris like he did a year ago. 

“Informer you know this game means absolutely nothing: So why in the bluest of blue hells are you still talking about it? No one cares about RG3, "Elite Manning", or either of these two teams. Move on.”

That is a very good points figment of my imagination.

Pick: Giants -3.5

The Informer apologizes for wasting everyone's time, so to make up for it here is a song about a duck trying to buy some grapes. The Informer promises one listen and you will forgive him. 




BALTIMORE RAVENS @ CINCINNATI BENGALS (-6)

“The Question”

A.J. “The Sickness” Green is a stud. And I really like the Cincinnati Bengals at home.

“The Informer”

First of all Mr. Question you are correct, "The Sickness" is definitely a stud.

Did you know that if Green catches three passes today he will have 259 receptions for his career? For those wondering, 259 would represent the most catches ever by a receiver after his third year in the NFL.

On top of that, A.J. only needs 76 yards receiving to set the Bengals franchise record for most yards in a season, and he is only 15 yards from moving into second place (He would pass Torry Holt) for most yards through the first three season of a players career.

The Informer is not exaggerating when he says "The Sickness" is hands down one of the best young WR to ever play in the NFL.

(The Informer note - In case you were wondering, the great, and future first ballot Hall of Famer, Randy Moss has the most yards receiving through his first three NFL seasons with 4,163 yards. And yes, the only reason The Informer included the three year yards stats was so he could mention how awesome Randy Moss was.)  

Speaking of great young players breaking franchise records, Cincinnati quarterback Andy "The Red-Headed Gunslinger" Dalton only needs 117 yards passing and two touchdowns to set the Bengals franchise marks in those categories. It maybe time for The Informer to stop calling Dalton a bad quarterback.

Moving on, the Bengals have been around since 1968, yet this is the first year that they have ever scored 40+ points four times in a single season. Furthermore, all four of those 40 point games came while playing at home; which is a big reason the Bengals are currently 7-0 at home on the season.

With that said, just like Jason, Freddy, the Candyman, Ghostface, Hellraiser, Pee Wee Herman and every other mid-80’s horror movie monster, these Baltimore Ravens are not going to die easily.

In the words of the mad Russian from the poker movie Rounders: “Hanging around . . . Hanging around . . . The Ravens have alligator blood.”

Pick: Ravens +6

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (-11.5)

Since this game means pretty much nothing in the grand scheme of things, instead of talking about it The Informer is going to play a video of NFL MVP Peyton Manning playing football with some kids.

Why you ask? Because the NFL MVP Peyton Manning is really awesome and the video is really funny –that’s why.



"It's gonna be there forever." Classic Manning. 

Pick: Both The Question and The Informer are taking the Jaguars

NEW YORK JETS @ MIAMI DOLPHINS (-6.5)

“The Question”

There is no way to prove this or any factual evidence to support the theory, but I really think the Jets are rooting for the Steelers.

And I really think they are going to spoil the Dolphins season on Sunday.

Pick: Jets +6.5

“The Informer”

Ryan “RT1” Tannehill is going to get his nine wins just like The Informer predicted. However, The Informer is thinking they are going to do it in dramatic fashion which means a close game.

Pick: Jets +6.5

DETROIT LIONS @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS (-3.5)

“The Question”

The Minnesota Vikings are a frisky team that should play good at home. Plus, the Detroit Lions are falling apart worse than one of The Informer’s Lion King Locks of the Week.

Pick: Vikings -3.5

“The Informer”

The Informer is going to ignore The Question’s insults and just get right to Calvin Johnson. The only reason to watch this game on Sunday is to see if the Lions great can set a couple of NFL records.

If Johnson has at least eight yards receiving he will become the first player in NFL history to have 1,500 yards receiving in three straight seasons.

Even more impressive, if Johnson has 108+ yards receiving on Sunday he will become the first player in the history of the NFL to have at least 1,600 yards receiving in three separate seasons. That is right; not Jerry Rice, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Marvin Harrison or any other NFL receiver has ever recorded three seasons of at least 1,600 yards.

(Another The Informer note – Torry Holt, Marvin Harrison and Johnson are the only players to ever have two seasons over 1,600 yards. Total there have been 15 seasons where a WR had at least 1,600 yards. Also it should be noted that Josh Gordon is eight yards away from 1,600 on the year.)

Needless to say, history is knocking at Calvin Johnson’s door on Sunday and The Informer has a feeling "Megatron" is going to answer.

Pick: Lions +3.5

BUFFALO BILLS @ NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-9)

“The Question”

I am thinking the Buffalo Bills will be able to hang close as the New England Patriots will be looking ahead to the playoffs.

Picks: Bills +9

“The Informer”

28-0, 49-21 and 38-7

Those are the scores of the Patriots Week 17 games for the past three seasons.

Basically, the trend is saying that New England likes to play their best football in Week 17 heading into the playoffs. Plus, with a victory and a Broncos loss the Pats will be the #1 seed.

Trust The Informer, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady will be ready to go this week, which is why New England is the first of two Lion King Locks of the Week.

Pick: LKLOTW Pats -9

TAMPA BAY @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-12.5)

“The Question”

Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints will put this game to bed early and leave no doubt. Remember if the Saints lose and the Arizona Cardinals win, then the Saints will not make the playoffs.

I don’t see a scenario where Brees and the Saints don’t make the playoffs.

Pick: Saints -12.5

“The Informer”

Drew Brees needs 219 yards to surpass the 5,000 yard passing mark for the third straight season. To put that in perspective; Joe Montana, John Elway, Brett Favre, Dan Marino, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Dan Fouts, Aaron Rodgers, Terry Bradshaw, Troy Aikman, Steve Young, Warren Moon, Jim Kelly and Tim Tebow have combined to throw for 5,000 yards THREE TIMES TOTAL (Marino, Brady and Manning). 

The Informer knows that Manning is hands down the unanimous MVP this season, but one of these years we should really think about giving the honor to the best quarterback not named Manning in the NFL. 

As for the game, The Informer said he had multiple Lion King Locks of the Week.

Pick: LKLOTW #2 Saints -12.5

DENVER BRONCOS @ OAKLAND RAIDERS (+12.5)

“The Question”

I am going to keep this simple; the Denver Broncos will take care of business and lock up the #1 seed in the AFC.

Pick: Broncos -12.5

“The Informer”

Did The Informer say he had two Lion King Locks of the Week? Maybe we should make it three?

Keep in mind MVP Peyton Manning needs 266 yards to break Brees' NFL record for most passing yards and the Broncos need 18 points to set the mark for the most points scored in a single NFL season.

The Informer thinks they will set both marks in the first half and coast to victory over the Terrell Pryor led Oakland Raiders.

Pick: LKLOTW #3 Donkeys -12.5

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS @ ARIZONA CARDINALS (-1)

“The Question”

I may be wishful thinking, but a San Francisco 49ers victory coupled with losses by Carolina (Playing without Steve Smith mind you) and the Seattle Seahawks would make the 49ers the #1 overall seed in the NFC.

In order for the dream scenario to happen, my 49ers have to take care of business on the road Sunday.

Pick: 49ers +1

“The Informer”

If the Arizona Cardinals win and the Saints win, the Cardinals will become only the second team since the NFL merger (Joining the 2008 New England Patriots) to win 11 games and not make the playoffs.

As much as The Informer wants to see Bruce “All I do is win 11 games a year” Arians coach his way into a new nickname and out of the playoffs, this game has all the makings of a classic letdown performance after the Cards pulled the monster upset over the Seahawks last week.

Plus this 49ers team is rounding into playoff form.

Pick: 49ers -1

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS @ SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (-9.5)

The Informer and The Question are both taking the San  Diego Chargers (-9.5) due to the fact that the Kansas City Chiefs are going to be playing their second string while the Chargers will be playing with a small possibility of making the playoffs.

One more note about this game: If Jamaal Charles has 100+ total yards in this game he will join Emmitt Smith as the second player to ever have 13 games in a single season with 100+ total yards of offense. Now The Informer knows he has been all in on Manning for MVP (Still the case), but Charles deserves to get a mention as the NFL's best non-quarterback this season.

Picks: Chargers -9.5

ST LOUIS RAMS @ SEADDERALL SEAHAWKS (-10.5)

“The Question”

Seattle needs this game to keep home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Plus they are not about to lose two straight home games to end the season.

Pick: Seahawks -10.5

“The Informer”

The Informer does not know when it is going to happen, but at some point in the very near future NFL teams are going to realize that Russell Wilson and his bland cast of receivers are not going to beat them and the Seadderall Seahawks offense will get exposed for being what it has been all year –mediocre.

In the words of Forest Gump, “That is all The Informer has to say about that.”

Pick: Rams +10.5

P.S. - Did you guys see how The Informer is calling them the Seadderal Seahawks because all of their players keep getting suspended for HGH Adderall? The Informer doesn't care who you are that is funny.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES @ DALLAS COWBOYS (+6.5)

“The Question”

I know Tony Romo is out, but the Dallas Cowboys always play to their competition.

Pick: Cowboys +6.5

“The Informer”

Since 2008 the Cowboys are 0-3 in Week 17 games that decide the division. In those games they have been outscored 103-38. Now they have to play for the division title without their star quarterback? That can’t be good for them. 

The Philadelphia Eagles on the other hand are coming into this game as one of the hottest offenses in football. They have the NFL’s leading rusher (LeSean McCoy), they have a back-up quarterback who has thrown 26 TD passes with only 2 interceptions and they just destroyed the Chicago Bears on national T.V.

It is no wonder 70 percent of the public is backing a 6.5 point road favorite on prime-time.

So why is The Informer picking the Cowboys? Because at the beginning of the season The Informer picked Dallas to win the NFC East. During his prediction he said it would come down to a Week 17 showdown and that this time the Cowboys would prevail.

Well . . . There is no reason for The Informer to go back on his prediction now.

Therefore, The Informer is banking on the year of the back-up quarterback to continue and for Kyle Orton to channel his inner Thad Lewis, Brian Hoyer, Case “Brett Favre” Keenum, Matt Cassel, Matt Flynn, Jason Campbell and Jonathan Moxon while making just enough plays to earn Jerry’s boys a trip to the postseason.

Pick: Cowboys +6.5

It has been a great year y'all . . . How about we let Eminem take us into 2014?


Enjoy the last NFL Sunday of 2013. 

Happy New Years from The Informer and the voice inside his head.

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