Sunday, January 23, 2011

2011 NFL Playoff Prediction Battle AFC NFC Championship

Welcome to the 2011 NFL Playoff Prediction Battle, the AFC and NFC Championship version, the prognosticator's version of winning the NFC West.

Myself and Unfinished Rambler are 4-4 and Renal Failure is 2-6. That's a combined 10-14. But we are not trying to motivate teams to win like famed and professional ESPN pundit Tom Jackson. And we didn't have $1,000 riding on the Jets like he did.

NFC Championship Green Bay vs. Chicago

RF- Everyone's dick-riding the Pack, and for good reason. They've got a better QB and better receivers, but what they don't have is Devin Hester running back kickoffs and punts, and that's what the Bears will be riding to victory on Sunday. Plus, we're pretty sure Chris and Rambler will be voting for the Pack and we need some wins to chip away at being two games down to both of them.

Bears 20, Packers 17.

UR- Here, I'm going with the team whose QB was my QB in two leagues, and that's Aaron Rodgers. Plain and simple. Yes, the D's will come up big too, but in the end, A-Rod will lead the Pack to the Super Bowl.

Packers 37, Bears 34.

Chris- Brett Favre rescinds the filing of his retirement papers, spikes Aaron Rodgers' breakfast with 2 packages of Ex-Lax, dons a mask in his likeness and starts for the Packers but still manages to throw a late interception costing them a trip to the Super Bowl and completing perhaps the longest sentence in this blog's history.

Packers 34 Bears 31.

AFC Championship Pittsburgh vs. New York Jets

RF- Rex Ryan has smote us for not believing in him the last two weeks, and thus to show our penance to that maniacal madman we will cast our contrarian vote for his team to pull off the upset. And because if Ben Roethlisberger gets a third Super Bowl ring he might legally be allowed to drag non-consenting women into nightclub bathrooms to be his personal "center" for the evening, and that's just wrong.

Jets 17, Steelers 10

UR-I can't go against my state here or what's been my favorite team since the days of Terry Bradshaw, Lynn Swann and Franco Harris. But the real reason I'm going with the Steelers is Steel Curtain, starting with Troy Polamalu. On offense, Hines Ward is on fire right now and I can't go against him either.

Steelers 27, Jets 21.

Chris- Believing they won the Super Bowl last week, the Jets don't travel to Pittsburgh and become the first team in NFL history to skip a playoff game.

Steelers 0 (W by forfeit) Jets 0

(The Playoff Prediction Battle resumes Saturday, February 5th with the Super Bowl finale post.)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

2011 NFL Playoff Prediction Battle Divisional Round

Here we are again with the not-so-thrilling HBFFL battle of playoff predictions. This time it's the Divisional Round where men are men and sheep are nervous.

Last week, in the Wild Card Round I jumped out to an early lead with a 2-2 record. Unfinished Rambler and Renal Failure were both 1-3. And Marshawn Lynch went Mario Brothers crazy...

Let's start off this week with the most-anticipated match up on the slate...

Jets vs. Patriots

(Pic Credit: NY Post via Yahoo Sports.)
And frankly, Princess Leia should be Ines Sainz. And I know that is Darrelle Revis but it looks like the guy from Hootie and the Blowfish. Just sayin'.

RF- We apologize for doubting Rex Ryan last week, especially after we were the only ones who believed in the Jets in the playoffs last year. Shine on, you creepy cackling madman. But we've said it before and we'll say it again: All Tom Brady does is throw touchdowns and bang a supermodel. Their 45-3 win over the Jets was an aberration, but it was also a harbinger of what Bill Bellichek will do to you when he doesn't care for your mouth. And Rex Ryan never stops talking.

Patriots 31, Jets 17.

UR- Oooh, baby. This is the game of the week, no question. Rex Ryan vs. Bill Belichick. Tom Brady vs. Mark Sanchez. Wait? What was that last one? Nope, not even close. Brady blows Sanchez and the Jets away. This is the playoffs and the Patriots roll.

Patriots 42, Jets 21.

Chris- Rex Ryan asks to sniff Tom Brady's feet so he can find out what a Super Bowl smells like. Until Belichick and Brady retire that's as close as he will get to a championship.

Patriots 32, Jets 28.

Ravens vs. Steelers

RF- They split the season series, almost identical in stats for those two games. Ben Roethlisberger isn't Matt Cassel, who the Ravens slapped around last week, but the Ravens aren't some skinny co-ed girl that Big Ben can drag crying into a bathroom either. Another tight game, but we're going with the team with Ray Lewis, because we love those Old Spice commercials.

Ravens 24, Steelers 23.

UR- Basically, this week I'm going with whatever team's mascot isn't a bird. In the first game of the weekend, that means I'm going with the Steelers, but that's not the only reason or even the primary reason. Defenses will be key, no kidding, but I give the edge to the Steelers because of two big playmakers: Mike Wallace on offense and Troy Polamulu on defense. Those two will make at least one big play each and give the Steelers the win.

Steelers 17, Ravens 16.

Chris- The Perp Bowl. Ray Lewis vs. Big Ben.

Steelers 27, Ravens 21.

Seahawks vs. Bears

RF- Seattle proved us wrong last week, showing more grit and determination than we ever thought they had in them to beat the Super Bowl Champs. And good behavior should be rewarded. Plus the Seahawks have already beaten the Bears once this season, we don't see why they can't do it again. The Bears Defense and Special Teams are scary, but Jay Cutler (who we have previously referred to as the QB who doles out interceptions like they're radio promotion gifts) doesn't scare us in the least.

Seahawks 24, Bears 20

UR- Miraculously, the Seahawks soared past the Saints, but this week, they are going to be swatted down by the Bears, especially on defense. All of these games really will come down to defense and this one maybe only second to the Ravens and Steelers game.

I say Bears 27, Seahawks 19.

Chris- I can't believe one of these teams will be in the NFC Championship game next week.

Bears 30, Seahawks 20.

Packers vs. Falcons

RF- We heard someone somewhere say that they saw last weeks Packers/Eagles game as the real NFC Conference game, that whoever won that game would likely run the table to get to the Super Bowl. Plus, the Packers beat up the Eagles, the Eagles had previously beaten up the Falcons, therefore by the transitive property of the BCS computer system, the Packers should beat the Falcons, especially now that they've discovered how to run the ball.

Packers 28, Falcons 14.

UR- Out of all the matchups, this is the toughest one to predict, I think. You've got Matt Ryan vs. Aaron Rodgers with two high-powered offenses, but their defenses are no slouches either and are very underrated. I give this one to the Packers based on their defense, which will give them at least one big play, if not more.

Packers 37,Falcons 34.

Chris- In a baffling display of fans going too far, they throw cucumbers on the field in the fourth quarter as a physical representation of Matt Ryan's coolness under pressure. This leads to a 20-minute delay of the game, and the dramatic ending gets pre-empted by a Dancing with the Stars retrospective at 9pm. Except on the West Coast.  

Falcons 34, Packers 31.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

2011 NFL Playoff Prediction Battle Wild Card

Welcome to another year of HBFFL's annual NFL Prediction Battle, where we predict the outcome of each NFL playoff game by having midgets fight miniature lions. In a Colosseum.

But we couldn't afford that.

Instead we have myself Chris Cameron, Renal Failure, and the Unfinished Rambler going mano a mano a mano to see who can best predict the outcome of the NFL playoffs.

Here we go with the NFL Wild Card Round...

Jets vs. Colts

Renal Failure (RF): Last year Renal Failure was the ONLY team to pick the Jets to win their opening round game. Well, we're not going to do it again this year because Matt Sanchez has been dinged up and that Jets defense has looked way too vulnerable in recent weeks. Also, as much as we like Rex Ryan for being an utter madman, he cannot beat Peyton Manning.

Colts 27, Jets 17.

Unfinished Rambler (UR): Last year I chose who I thought would be the winners of the wild card games by mascots. This year I'm just going with my gut reaction for each game. Here, my gut says the Colts. No. 1 reason: Peyton Manning.

Colts 21, Jets 14.

Chris (Chris): Mark Sanchez develops a nasty foot fungus during the halftime locker speech and it totally grosses Rex Ryan out.

Colts 36, Jets 21.

Ravens vs. Chiefs

RF: We were going to pick the Ravens to win, but we said "No, let's be bold!" And being bold is why we are the People's Champion. And so by the power of Dwayne Bowe, we say that the Chiefs pull off the upset.

Chiefs 20, Ravens 17.

UR: Gut says Ravens based on D and RL, not on O, though.

Ravens 23, Chiefs 17.

Chris: The Chiefs take up the mantra of old time hockey, like Eddie Shore. But this is football.

Ravens 32, Chiefs 14.

Saints vs. Seahawks

RF: We like rooting for the underdog more than anyone on this blog, but the Seahawks did not get into the playoffs with grit and determination. They got in because they played in the weakest division ever and someone had to win it. Plus Drew Brees will be looking to reestablish the Saints as a serious contender after a regular season that made people believe New Orleans was a team to steal on.

Saints 45, Seahawks 13

UR: Super Bowl Champion defenders roll out the red carpet on what they hope to be their return to the championship...and might be. With Brees at the helm, Saints march over the Seahawks 38-17.

Saints 37, Seahawks 13

Chris: Pete Carroll mandates the practice squad dress up in three piece suits bearing the team colors and root on the team from the sideline with bullhorns and pom-poms.

Saints 37, Seahawks 3.

Packers vs. Eagles

RF: It's no secret that your People's Champ is an Eagles fan, however that Tuesday Night Minnesota game exposed how to beat the Eagles. And if anyone can exploit the Eagles weaknesses on defense, it's Aaron Rodgers. This one's a hard call to make, but you don't get to be the People's Champ without making hard decisions.

Packers 28, Eagles 24.

UR: Head says Packers, because after all, Aaron Rodgers was my quarterback this past season, but my gut says Michael Vick, the quarterback, I traded away to LOBO in two leagues this season, will lead the Iggles to victory. And so he shall.

Eagles 31, Packers 28.

Chris: Some radical cruelty to animals advocates stage a protest during the game, releasing ten pit bulls on the field during a crucial Eagles drive. Kevin Kolb finishes the game and lobs 3 interceptions despite the fact he only threw two passes.

Packers 31, Eagles 17

Monday, January 3, 2011

Week 17: A People's Retrospective on a Championship Season

by 2010 HBFFL Champion Renal Failure

If you missed the HBFFL championship game... our special Fantasy Football Battle Simulator has recreated it for you. LOBO is the creepy dark-haired girl who kicks fire, and Renal Failure is the flexible British blonde without pants...

It's time for the People and their champion to reflect on the 2010 season and reflect on what went right, what went wrong, and what went meh.

The Good

Draft Day: We started the year with a great draft, which is easy when you have the Number One pick. Chris Johnson ended the year third in RB scoring, Tom Brady was 6th in QB scoring and threw a few bears into space at key points in the season. Humor Bowl III MVP Dwayne Bowe put up outstanding numbers after a weak beginning to his season and when he wasn't being shut out in the last few weeks of the regular season, coming in second in WR scoring (and was a 5th round steal too). And Jason Witten paid dividends with our fourth-round pick, having the most points of any tight end not named Antonio Gates.

Free Agency: Two words: Brandon Lloyd. The highest scoring WR of 2010 (beating Dwayne Bowe by one point). We picked him up after losing Mark Clayton (who in his own right was a steady performer and nice pick-up) for the year and the People finally had not only stability at the wide receiver position but someone who could put up huge numbers. Brandon Jackson filled in nicely during Chris Johnson's bye week to get us past The Ramblers. And Fred Jackson had great numbers on our bench, making us wish we had a second flex spot so we could have played him.

Trades: Eli Manning and Marcedes Lewis for Peyton Hillis and Brandon Pettigrew. Hillis fizzled in the playoffs but he got us through the middle of the season where we won six of our last seven games to make the playoffs. Pettigrew was fine for us until Witten became Jon Kitna's best buddy. As for Eli Manning, he ended up being 7th in QB scoring just behind Tom Brady, but he wasn't enough to get Chris into the playoffs.

The second half off the season and playoffs: When it came time for the People's Champion to win or die, R. Failure won 6 of their last 7 games, scoring a redonkulous 825 points in that span to not only get into the playoffs but earn the 3rd seed over LOBO via the points tiebreaker. And while we've had much better games than ones we had in the playoffs, we won and that's all that matters.

Other HBFFL squads thought that Renal Failure, after their 2-5 start, was going to be the team to steal on in 2010. We took great steps to correct that misconception...

The Bad

Injuries: Ryan Grant, Clinton Portis, and Pierre Thomas were supposed to give us mad depth at running back. Then Grant went down for the season, Portis followed suit, and Thomas sat out for nine games with an ankle injury, eliminating all of our vaunted depth at running back within the first four weeks of the season. And then there was the aforementioned Mark Clayton season-ending injury as well to screw with our WR corps.

Free Agency: We let Kicker David Akers go when the Philly offense was in flux early in the season (he ended up being 2nd in kicker scoring). And we could never find a good defense to use either, changing it from week to week with little to show for our efforts aside from a few good weeks from the Kansas City Defense. Sure, Matt Bryant finished third in kicker points, but it was a distant third and Renal Failure is infamous for having strong kickers and defenses to burnish our credibility as The Wild Card (bitches!) of Fantasy Football because we've had the number one K and DEF the previous two seasons

Trades: Our memory is a bit hazy on this one, but we remember offering Rambler Peyton Hillis and Dwayne Bowe for Arian Foster and someone else who we can't recall - probably a receiver. Yeah, we're glad that one didn't go through. Also we made offers to LOBO for Stephen Jackson and Maurice Jones-Drew which, also in retrospect, we're also glad didn't go through either.

The whole first half of the season: Man, those were some brutal weeks. Getting blown out by the Bald Spots. Only putting up 48 points vs. La Machine (who we went 0-2 against this year, still not avenging our loss in Humor Bowl II). Losing to the Eunuchs before Don abandoned his team. If you had told us after some of those piss-poor performances that we'd end the regular season in third with the second-highest point total in the league, we'd probably would have laughed at you. And if you told us we'd not only be in the championship game but win it, we would have asked what you've been drinking and can we drink straight from its bottle.

Dramatization of the Renal Failure crew after losing to LOBO in Week 7 to fall to 2-5...

The Meh

Hines Ward made it onto our roster for the third straight season, but with the emergence of Mike Wallace in Pittsburgh Ward was made irrelevant most weeks. And we might as well not have made that trade with Chris for Sidney Rice. We thought he was going to heal up faster than he did, and by the time he was active again we were riding the Lloyd/Bowe Express to Playoff-Town. Sam Bradford did okay. There were a few weeks when either he had dominant weeks or shit-the-bed performances, but overall he was an adequate backup. Then there was Matt Stafford who was putting together some big number games... and then he immediately wrecked his shoulder upon landing on the People's Bench.

The total opposite of "meh" is Our Lady of Tight Denim Victory Ines Sainz...

But good, bad, or meh, in the end Renal Failure won the HBFFL Championship. We did what we set out to do, though we would have liked to have gotten a win against Chris (1-4 vs. La Machine in our last five). But we kept Rambler from beating us and we take great pride in that. 16 weeks of high expectations, tribulations, suffering, bottoming out, redemption, revival, and eventually glorious and ultimate victory... that was the Renal Failure season of 2010.

Thank You, Pain... the theme song to our 2010 season... because no one circles the wagons and suffers more than your People's Champion. That and the lead singer reminds us of Arch Enemy's Angela Gossow, though Angela has a scarier voice...

We're pretty sure we'll be around during the NFL playoffs to compete with some of the more active HBFFL owners to pick winners, squeezing out one last competition between this motley group of degenerates and men of questionable character. Until then, just remember who your daddy is.

Renal Failure had pretty much the exact same championship season in LOBO's FTWL league (going 2-5 to start the season, winning the next five, beating Rambler and LOBO in the playoffs)... except with a lot less interesting smack-talk and Ines Sainz pictures.