The Broncos are aiming to win their fourth in a row. The Readers want to make it two straight. The Staffers want to get back on the winning track. Let's see how it plays out in Week 11 of the 2012 NFL Weekly Picks -- MHR Staff Vs Reader Competition This week our reader is that MHR member known as Firstfan. Firstfan writes:
Greetings Mile High report Readers. I was fortunate enough to attend the very first practice of the Broncos at Brooks Field in Golden in 1960 and I have been a Bronco fan ever since. I still converse with Goose Gonsoulin regularly. I live in Alaska and try to make it to one or two games a year.
Firstfan will be competing with Brian Shrout. Brian writes:
Hey everyone, you know me as the Staffer who keeps digging up little known Broncos facts from the fifty-three years that our beloved franchise has been competing. I am taking this week due to a communications snafu with the Staffer who was originally scheduled. Let it suffice to say that since I am also running the contest, this week will count as a win for the Readers.
And now, onto the picks.
Byes: Min, NYG, Sea, Ten
Firstfan: Miami has a better team with more talent. But, They are young, on the road and Tannehill is still a rookie.
Brian: After having had Fitzpatrick as my fantasy QB and having him tank every time I started him, I just cannot go with the Bills here. Miami takes it in a close one.
Firstfan: After last weeks loss, the Falcons will come out firing on all cylinders. Not even a close game.
Brian: Matt Ryan is my fantasy QB in one of my leagues this week, so I have to roll with the guy I drafted. Atlanta in a blowout.
Firstfan: Tampa Bay has the top rated offense in the NFC. josh Freeman may not be flashy, but he limits turnovers. He gets a ton of help from Doug (wouldn't he look good with a horse on his helmet?) Martin. The Ron Rivera era at Carolina may be coming to an end.
Brian: Cam Newton is my fantasy QB in my other league and he has let me down every time I've started him. Tampa Bay runs away with this one.
Firstfan: I hate picking this game. The Cleveland D is much better than many people realize and I can't stand Jerry Jones or his Cowboys. If I were a betin' man I would grab the Browns and the points, but my brain tells me
Brian: One of the guys I work with is a huge Cowboys fan. He told me that Romo has the best November record of any active NFL starter. So I'll trust in his team.
Firstfan: Let's see. The Lions have trouble scoring. They also seem to have trouble stopping the pass. The Packers have some guy throwing for them, Roberts or Rodney or - no I've got it Rogers, who seems to be a pretty good passer. I'll go with the Home team.
Brian: Rodgers vs Stafford? Do we need to say more?
Firstfan: The best v the worst. The Texans own the line of scrimmage - on both sides of the ball.
Brian: A one-loss team hosting a one-win team. This will get ugly.
Firstfan: I think the Chiefs are totally disheartened by the loss to the Big Ben less Steelers.
Brian: My son-in-law is a huge Chiefs fan. I'd like to pick them to put a smile on his face . . . but I just can't.
Firstfan: Next to the Cowboys, the Jets are my least favorite team. The Rams have a solid D Line and they are going against one of the worst O lines in the NFL. Plus, Rex Ryan may have lost control of the locker room.
Brian: Not even Tim Tebow can save the Jets. More of the downward spiral this week.
Firstfan: In a battle of coaches who you gonna call? Shannahan over Ried. Plus, Nick Foles?
Brian: Reid is coaching for his job. Foles wants to prove everyone wrong. And I just don't like Washington.
Firstfan: The Saints have Drew Brees. If oakland tries to stop him with nickel and dime packages, the Saints have Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory. Oh, and Darren Sproles is set to return this week. Not good news for our former coordinator.
Brian: Raiders? There is no way I can pick the Raiders and still claim to be a Broncos fan.Plus I have Brees starting in one of my fantasy leagues.
Firstfan: Indianapolis is a Cinderella story. But this week their luck runs out. Their chariot turns into a pumpkin pie and the clock turns midnight.
Brian: As much as I'd like to go with the popular pick of Andrew Luck . . . I can't bet against Brady at home.
Firstfan: The Steelers may even be more dependant upon their starting QB than our beloved Broncos. There is no way Brian Leftwich can survive with a porous O Line in front of him. Even against an injury decimated defense.
Brian: Baltimore's defense has a lot of holes. Pittsburgh's offense is missing its most important playmaker. Baltimore in a close one.
Firstfan: aka the replacement bowl. Kaepernick is the better backup. Plus I like the 49ers defense at home and Frank Gore is a real friend to a young back up QB.
Brian: What was originally heralded as a game between backup QBs is starting to look like a starter vs a backup. Got to go with the starter at home.
What Denver Must Do to Win
Firstfan: The keys for the Broncos Sunday: • Avoid turnovers. No interceptions. Put a handle on the rock when they give it to #23 (and the youngster too!) • Set up the run with the pass. Make the Chargers go to their nickel and dime packages and then run McGahee (the man who no longer fumbles) between the tackles and Hillman (who also no longer fumbles) around the ends. • Keep the pressure on Phyllis. I know of no other QB whose performance changes so drastically when he gets hurried. • Personal recommendation to fox/McCoy - Go with the no-huddle on the first drive.
Brian: Denver's recipe for success if very simple: continue to build on the successes of the last three weeks -- fast-paced, steady offense combined with a high-pressure defense and an explosive special teams unit. If the Broncos avoid mental mistakes, they will run away with this one.
Good Luck to both of our Contestants.