The contest is close: just a single game edge for the Readers.
The regular season record is getting tighter. Thanks to a win by the Staffers' Jess Place, the contest is now down to just a single game with the Readers holding the edge at 119-75-1 to the Staffers' 118-76-1. Let's see who strikes it big this week. This week, the Readers will be represented by 58_VonDoom_92. 58_VonDoom_92 writes:
58_VonDoom_92 likes long walks on the beach, watching Raider fans cry into their spiked shoulder pads, reminding KC fans that there is better BBQ out there and cheering for ex-Charger players as they win SB’s in other cities. But…his mild-mannered alter ego is brilliantly disguised as a father of 5, married to the greatest woman in the world. I live in Wyoming and work for a telecom company. Prior to that I spent 11 years in the US army, traveling to Korea and then spending 6+ years in Germany, as both a soldier and civilian. I am originally from Goodland Kansas and have been a Bronco fan as long as I can remember. I went to two games when I was a child at the old Mile High and we lost both (but I still had a blast). I would like to apologize in advance to Scott Payne, as his last name is a perfect homophone for what he is going to feel after the beat down he will experience at the end of this contest. READERS!!
Going against the Readers' 58_VonDoom_92 will be Staffer Kirk Davis. Kirk writes:
Kirk has been a Broncos fan for 30+ years. He found MHR while bouncing back from a debilitating attack of Lupus that tried to kill him. After that, the years of turmoil after the dismissal of Mike Shanahan didn't phase him one bit. He refused to let Lupus, Josh McDaniels or Tebowmania beat him and is enjoying a rebirth in spirit that rivals the current state of his favorite team. A regular consumer of the Orange and Blue Kool-Aid, the Kaptain steers the MHR Ship at the behest of the Guru.
And now, onto the picks.
58_VonDoom_92: Tiger against a bird? A bird with clipped wings and dull talons? No contest. AJ Green makes Namdi look like Andre Goodman (which way did he go) and Bengals win big. I also predict that the OC, ST coach, QB Coach, head Chef and equipment manager for the Eagles will be fired after the game.
Kirk: Cincy. No question.
58_VonDoom_92: You cant spell Elite without Eli. Matt Ryan is elite, as long as his running game is on fire, his D is great and the receivers are racking up the YAC. But Eli…the man can complete passes to helmets for goodness sakes. And the Giants D finally gets back on track and harasses Ryan into another 5 pick game and spends more time in his backfield than Turner does. This also has nothing to do with the Giants D starting on my fantasy team. Mere coincidence.
Kirk: The Falcons are 6-0 at Home, but the Giants are going on their typical late season surge. Matty Ice will spend next week in the Cold Tub. Giants in a close one.
58_VonDoom_92: Hey Santa…this is Jay. Yes..THAT Jay. You know..as a kid I asked for stuff like cars and trains, yet I always ended up with Barbies and dolls. So, I ask, for old times sake..can I have an offensive linemen or two? The ones I have now are…well..offensive. Clay Matthews in a Santa Hat: Send him a Barbie. Packers roll. Bears O-line is bad. The Pack’s line is pretty horrid as well, but I think Aaron is just too good for Jay to overcome. Oh, and Brandon Marshall is targeted 60 times. He catches 20, drops 20 and give up on the other 20.
Kirk: Division rivalries make it tough to choose and with a postseason berth at stake, doubly so. Da Bears are beat up more than the Packers, so I'm picking Green Bay.
58_VonDoom_92: I know…I know. Its sacrilege to pick the Browns over our beloved Shanny, but the Browns are hot right now, and there is no guarantee (to date) that RGIII is going to play. Cousins might be pretty good, but I think the Browns D slows down Morris enough to force Cousins to try and win the game, and while he may put up a valiant effort, it will be in vain. Weeden should do well against the 31st ranked pass D. If RGIII plays…Skins win. If not, they lose.
Kirk: Kirk Cousins shows the league that last week wasn't a fluke and out duels Brandon Weeden.
58_VonDoom_92: Luck has been really good lately. Really good. And the Colts D is not as bad as I thought they would be. But..the Texans just got destroyed on national TV, and Kubiak will have none of this. Texans come out fired up on D and O and remind people of why they were # in the power rankings for the past few weeks. Its possible that TY Hilton could take off though and have a great game in a losing effort (shameless fantasy plug).
Kirk: The Texans will ride the Colts in a tune up for the postseason.
58_VonDoom_92: This is not a revenge pick. This pick has nothing to do with the fact that Justin Blackmon let me down in fantasy. A LOT. This has to do with the fact that they have to resort to the name-on-a-strip-of-tape-stuck-to-the-helmet in the RB meeting room. I honestly, would not be surprised to go down to the cell phone kiosk and find a "starting at RB for Jags, back in a week" sign on Tatum Bell’s stool. Lauren Tannehills husband, (one of) Kim Kardashian’s ex-boyfriends and Co have a field day against the Jags. Oh…and Jason Babin ends up with more sacks and tackles that the rest of the Eagles D-line combined.
Kirk: The Jags don't have the teeth to stomach the Dolphins and Miami runs away with a victory.
58_VonDoom_92: NOLA is wounded for sure. Brees has not looked like himself the last couple weeks. But that Bucs secondary just gave up 380 yards to Nick Foles. Fans of defense….look away. Some Madden-type numbers expected from Brees, Freeman, Martin, V-Jax and NOLA’s 4 RB’s. Close game ending in a 135-130 score.
Kirk: Two teams on a 3-game losing streak will try to figure out who wants it more. Experience will win out as Drew Brees gets the Saints marching in.
58_VonDoom_92: Two letters. AP. What this guy has done is literally amazing. If they had a decent QB, they could be one of the best teams in the NFL. And that is another thing amazing about his play, he is doing it against 8 and even 9 man fronts due to horrendous QB play. They will miss Harvin for sure, but AD is a beast. Rams could be one of the best teams in the league if they played the 49ers every week. I don’t think they have the horses to get it done. In a battle of mascots with horns on their heads…the ones that come ashore in big boats win.
Kirk: The Rams over the one-dimensional Vikings. AP has a typical day, but can't carry the rudderless Vikes past the Rams.
58_VonDoom_92: This IS a revenge pick. I was excited when I got Larry Fitzgerald. My fantasy season is assured. Then…I was Kolbed, Skeltoned and now Lindleyed. But on the serious side, I am really looking forward to seeing a Megatron/Patrick Peterson showdown. That..will be about the only fun thing about this game. And at some point during this game, the Arizona GM is going to make a pleading, sobbing phone call to Kurt Warner. The call waiting beep on your phone Kurt? That is Larry. He is also crying.
Kirk: The Cards can't beat anyone.
58_VonDoom_92: This should not even be allowed. Can we just mercy rule this game now? The Amish Rifle must have forgotten that you have to actually put bullets in the gun for it to work. The Seahawks D..is killer. Fast, big, mean and apparently loaded with Adderall. It’s possible that Bills fans will need a dose of the stuff themselves after the first quarter. Seahawks can run the ball, Wilson is a legit NFL QB and that D…have I mentioned its pretty good?
Kirk: The Seahawks are great at Home, but not so great on the road. Still, Marshall Lynch can run and the upstate New York weather won't interrupt the running game.
58_VonDoom_92: Rivera will probably prefer the visiting locker room after this game. I am not a big fan of Cam, the whole showboating in the midst of a shellacking just rubs me the wrong way, but the guy is a dynamic QB. Hard to remember a guy that big, being that fast. I really hope the Chargers come out…er..charged up to leave Cam on the sidelines, but they cant run the ball to save their life, and the D is having trouble with 3rd down (allowing opponents to convert 42% of their 3rd down tries, 27th in the league). I would love to see the kitty cats lose so some big Charger O-linemen can do the superman bit. But I don’t think its going to happen.
Kirk: In a battle of the bottom feeders, the Chargers shock the Panthers.
58_VonDoom_92: This Steelers team is too proud, too experienced and too well coached to lay down in December. Plus, Dez may not be in the game. Again, tough times in Dallas though. Condolences and prayers to the families of the players affected by the tragedy there as well, things like this can make you realize what is important. I expect the emotionally drained Cowboys to fall flat in the 2nd game following the tragedy, ala KC vs the Browns. And like Crenell, I think this season is going to cost Garrett his job.
Kirk: The Steelers edge this one as Tony Romo folds like a cheap suit.
58_VonDoom_92: QB play. The Raiders have it, sort of, and the Chiefs don’t. At all. Why is Stanzi not in there? Its not like Quinn is setting the world on fire. Its been a tough year in KC, with the expectations and some solid offseason additions, but the wheels have come off both off the field and off. Condolences and prayers to the family of all affected, but mostly the little girl who is now parentless. Kudos to the KC brass and coaching staff for their handling of the Belcher tragedy, and as great as Romeo was in handling that, I don’t think it saves his job. As for the Raiders, Dennis Allen inherited a mess, and McKenzie has some work to do but they seem to be doing it the right way. Patiently, over time.
Kirk: Does anyone really care who wins this game? Maybe the denizens of the Black Hole. The Raiders win this.
58_VonDoom_92: Early SB preview? Some think so. Listen, the niners D is legit and scary. They can run the ball. But this caliber of a game comes down to QB play. And the Niners just brought a pistol (see what I did there???) to a Tank fight. The pats can beat you with TE’s, WR’, RB’s or Video Camera’s. Pick your poison. Alex Smith could find himself in the AFC West next year (KC maybe?) so Harbaugh may have to dust the cleats off next year and get back out there at QB after Colin goes Kaput. Brady wins. Again. Sigh.
Kirk: The Patriots are on a 7-game winning streak and are at Home. This game has top billing and should be one to watch. New England by a nose
58_VonDoom_92: We get to watch as Tim languishes behind a QB who is supposed to be a Sanchize QB, but is completing just about the same % of passes that Tebow does. This Jets team is a wreck. They have won 2 in a row, but I think it was mostly by accident. Or El Nino. Or the upcoming Mayan disaster. But Titans should win this one. Jake Locker could be pretty good, and CJ.5K is um….not the same, but they have Britt and a pretty decent defense. The other thing they have going for them? They are playing the Jets.
Kirk: The Jets are in meltdown mode and the Titans aren't much better. Tennessee
What Denver Must Do to Win
58_VonDoom_92: Run, Run, Run. I have to say, I am a bit concerned about our offense. They have not looked the same the last couple weeks. Moreno has done an admirable job filling in, but it looks like Willis is missed. It’s a good thing that we have the master of improv at the LOS. The Ravens D is not the same unit it has been in the past few years, though I expect a spirited effort it Lewis makes it back for this game (you see that Ty?). As a Bronco fan, I have endured many years of my team being called the Enver Broncos (no D), so JDR is pretty high on my list of favorite coaches. I hope he sticks around and we don’t go 8-8 in replacing DC’s, but here to hoping he becomes our very own Dick Lebau! We just need to keep playing the sticky man to man D on the back end and allow WolfeWoodyVonDoom to terrorize that "elite" QB across the LOS. I think we get this done.
Kirk: Just play smart football.
Good Luck to both of our Contestants.