No Punt Intended: Week 12 NFL Picks
By Brody Burns
Last Week: 11-4 Season Record: 94-50
This week’s picks are guided by the pervasive nature of celebrity couples.
San Diego at Kansas City (-5) – John Mayer and Katy Perry – Unfortunately for the Chargers (John Mayer) it looks like another lost season. This team, which was on the precipice of the Super Bowl in 2008, hasn’t made it back to the playoffs since 2010. The Chiefs (Katy Perry) aren’t as good as their 9-1 record suggests though (try listening to any Katy Perry song – it’s nearly unbearable), and I think the Bolts are prime for the upset. My Pick: Chargers 27, Chiefs 24.
Thursday Night: New Orleans (-7.5) at Atlanta – Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively – The Saints (Ryan Reynolds) are easily the second best team in the NFC, and have rediscovered their winning ways after a down season. (See Reynolds bouncing back after the disastrous RIPD). On the other side, the Falcons (Blake Lively) should be better, are sexy on paper, and seemingly have all the right personnel – but cannot put anything together this year. My Pick: Saints 30, Falcons 20.
Pittsburgh at Cleveland (-2) – Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban – Pittsburgh (Nicole Kidman) may be past their prime with an aging team. Each win only puts them closer to mediocrity and further away from a top ten draft pick. The Browns (Keith Urban) are likeable to everyone, but outside of Clevelanders, who’s a Browns fan? (And, really, who is an Urban fan Outside of those who are already a country music fan?). My Pick: Steelers 24, Browns 20.
Tampa Bay at Detroit (-9.5) – Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell – Tampa Bay (Dax Shepard) has looked good in the last three weeks, but to be honest this team’s season was over in week four. While there may not be a team that is more attractive than the Lions (Kristen Bell) to watch on offense, but that’s all they do. This team won’t win in the playoffs. My Pick: Lions 30, Buccaneers 22.
Minnesota at Green Bay (-3.5) – Faith Hill and Tim McGraw – The Packers (Tim McGraw) are the standard for good football, having made the playoffs in 15 of the last 20 seasons. Over that same time period, every McGraw album has been in the top five of the Billboard 200. Minnesota (Faith Hill) is one of the biggest names, like Adrian Peterson, but the star is fading. My Pick: Vikings 22, Packers 20.
Chicago at St. Louis (-1) – Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick – The Rams (Matthew Broderick) haven’t mattered since the Kurt Warner era, the franchise’s last postseason appearance was in 2005, while the Bears (Sarah Jessica Parker) constantly remind you of how good their one Super Bowl team was in 1985 (like Parker and Sex in the City). My Pick: Bears 17, Rams 16.
Carolina (-3.5) at Miami – Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber – The Dolphins (Selena Gomez) are always poised with promise, but can’t win on a consistent basis. They’re a solid team, but may be too distracted in South Beach. The Panthers (Justin Bieber) may be the best team in the NFL outside of Seattle. The team plays both sides of the ball very well, and has a charismatic young star at QB in Newton. My Pick: Panthers 31, Dolphins 24.
NY Jets at Baltimore (-4) – Kim Kardashian and Kanye West – The Jets (Kim Kardashian) are leaders in the why-are-they-relevant-on-Sportscenter category. This directly parallels the noxious social pollutant that is Kim Kardashian (why do we care – this one goes out to you society). On the other side are the Ravens (Kanye West), who may be the most prideful team in recent memory; and pride is to West, as sand is to the beach. My Pick: Ravens 24, Jets 17.
Jacksonville at Houston (-10) – Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green – The Jaguars (Brian Austin Green) haven’t been relevant since the late nineties. The franchise has one playoff win this century. It makes you wonder how they even have a franchise; similarly, how did Austin Green ever land Fox? The Texans (Megan Fox) season has come unraveled, and the consensus is that they may truly be only a one-trick pony, like Fox and taking suggestive photographs. My Pick: Texans 26, Jaguars 20.
Tennessee at Oakland (-1.5) – Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger – The Titans (Avril Lavigne) hang around each year, playing mediocre football, with a star who is living off his past accomplishments (the Titans records for each of the last five seasons; 4-6, 6-10, 9-7, 6-10, 8-8). I’m sure Tennessee likes them, but outside of that, the Titans aren’t exactly wildly popular. The Raiders (Chad Kroeger) are easily the most hated team in the NFL, and Nickelback is easily the most hated band in rock n’ roll. The fit is too perfect. My Pick: Titans 20, Raiders 19.
Indianapolis at Arizona (-2.5) – Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudekis – Andrew Luck has the Colts (Jason Sudekis) playing well at 7-3, while they may not be elite level (A-list), they are certainly a playoff team (See Sudekis SNL bump). The Cardinals (Olivia Wilde) are one of the hottest teams in the NFL, and suddenly are tied with the Niners in the division. My Pick: Cardinals 24, Colts 23.
Dallas at NY Giants (-2.5) – Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner – There is no denying the Giants (Ben Affleck) are one of the elite franchises in the NFL, no matter your personal preferences. (He’s the next Batman; it’s time to accept that). The Cowboys meanwhile (Jennifer Garner) are living off past glory (see decade of the 1990s and the show Alias), and aren’t terrible relevant beyond these past successes (look up Garner’s filmography over the past five years – not exactly leading lady material). My Pick: Giants 24, Cowboys 20.
Sunday Night: Denver (-3) at New England – Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie – The Broncos (Brad Pitt) are perennial A-listers, having won two Super Bowls; the franchise is tied with the Niners with six Super Bowl appearances. Let’s be honest, they are also devilishly handsome in those fiery orange jerseys. The Patriots (Angelina Jolie) just keep winning; team of the decade is morphing into team of the entire 2000s. My Pick: Broncos 31, Patriots 28.
Monday Night: San Francisco (-4.5) at Washington – Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel – The Niners (Justin Timberlake) are incredibly talented but have fallen on hard times, (See Timberlake’s 20/20 pt. 2 album sales) recently having lost two in a row. At some point all stars/teams lose relevancy if they cannot keep winning. Washington (Jessica Biel) gets a significant amount of media coverage, and RGIII is everywhere, but do they deserve this amount of coverage? When was the last time you went to a movie solely because of Jessica Biel? Biel, like Washington, may be a bit overhyped. My Pick: Niners 27, Washington 20.