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Saturday, 31 December 2011

Week 17 picks + Play-off scenarios

If you survived your family Christmas and didn’t get in too much trouble for trying to watch Sunday Night Football instead of play board games with elderly relatives then you’re in for the best time in the NFL regular season. Watching commentators, analysts and talking-heads try and explain all the different permutations for who can make the play-offs and what seed they’ll all be. Nothing is as amazing as listening to Brian Billick or Troy Aikman try and explain that if Team A lose to Team B then Team X will get in because their strength of schedule is better than Team Y’s, then get it wrong and have an argument with their commentary partner. So we here at The Pulling Linemen have worked it all out for you so that you'll know where you stand.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Week 16 Picks

Merry Christmas, Chanukah, Kwaanza, Saturnalia and/or Festivus from The Pulling Linemen! Instead of presents, we bring you picks for week 16. Sorry, we lost the receipt, so you can't trade it for anything else.





Toby Durant
Phil Gaskin
Gur Samuel
Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts
Texans
Texans
Texans
Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens
Ravens
Ravens
Ravens
Denver Broncos @ Buffalo Bills
Broncos
Broncos
Broncos
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers
Panthers
Panthers
Panthers
Arizona Cardinals @ Cincinnati Bengals
Bengals
Bengals
Bengals
Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Cheifs
Chiefs
Raiders
Chiefs
Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots
Patriots
Patriots
Patriots
New York Giants @ New York Jets
Jets
Jets
Jets
St Louis Rams @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers
Steelers
Steelers
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans
Titans
Titans
Titans
Minnesota Vikings @ Washington Redskins
Redskins
Redskins
Redskins
San Diego Chargers @ Detroit Lions
Chargers
Lions
Chargers
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
Eagles
Cowboys
Cowboys
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
49ers
49ers
49ers
Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers
Packers
Packers
Bears
Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints
Saints
Saints
Saints








Last Week:
9-7
9-7
10-6
Overall:
143-68
139-72
134-77

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Week 15 picks & Play-off picture.

Week 15, and the list of teams with a chance of the play-offs is getting smaller and smaller.

In the NFC Green Bay, San Fran and New Orleans have all booked themselves a spot, leaving 3 up for grabs. However amazingly, the 5-8 Eagles are still alive. They would hold the tiebreakers were they to win out and the Cowboys and Giants both finish 8-8 too. Such a scenario isn’t too outrageous, but does require one of the 2 to lose in week 15 and 16 and then beat the other in week 17’s big showdown.

The feisty Arizona Cardinals are still alive too and could sneak a wildcard spot were the Falcons or Lions to slip up, as could last year’s NFC West champs the Seattle Seahawks providing they win out. But it looks like the wildcard spots belong to Atlanta and Detroit now that the Bears have been ravaged by injury enough to turn them from contenders to laughing stocks on offense.

The AFC is a bit more up in the air. Even if they were to lose the rest of their games Houston, Baltimore and Pittsburgh are in, although rights to the AFC North title are still up for grabs. The Patriots will win the AFC East with one more win or one more Jets loss while the AFC West is still a 3 team race between the Denver Tebows, Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers. The Jets, Bengals and Titans can all take the 6th seed but would need to win out and hope the others slip (The Jets are currently the 6th seed as things stand).

While all the talk this week has been about “Brady vs. Tebow” which has done nothing but irritate us (is there really a conversation here? 1 guy has 3 rings, 2 MVP’s and a bunch of records, the other has a sub-50 completion percentage) we think the most entertaining game will be Detroit @ Oakland. These are the 2 most penalised teams in the NFL who are prone to serious errors between and after the whistles. So sit back and enjoy the awfulness of Carson Palmer and the dirtiness of Ndamukong Suh.


Toby Durant
Phil Gaskin
Gur Samuel
Jaguars @ Falcons
Falcons
Falcons
Falcons
Cowboys @ Bucs
Cowboys
Cowboys
Cowboys
Panthers @ Texans
Texans
Texans
Texans
Redskins @ Giants
Giants
Giants
Giants
Dolphins @ Bills
Dolphins
Dolphins
Dolphins
Seahawks @ Bears
Seahawks
Bears
Seahawks
Saints @ Vikings
Saints
Saints
Saints
Bengals @ Rams
Bengals
Bengals
Bengals
Titans @ Colts
Titans
Titans
Titans
Packers @ Chiefs
Packers
Packers
Packers
Lions @ Raiders
Lions
Lions
Lions
Patriots @ Tebows Broncos
Patriots
Patriots
Patriots
Jets @ Eagles
Jets
Eagles
Jets
Browns @ Cardinals
Cardinals
Cardinals
Cardinals
Ravens @ Chargers
Ravens
Ravens
Ravens
Steelers @ 49ers
Steelers
Steelers
49ers




Last Week:
11-5
10-6
12-4
Overall:
134-61
130-65
124-71

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Week 14 Picks

Pulling Linemen Picks for week 14. Toby pulls ahead of Phil with a 3-game lead, while Gur slightly closes the gap and is now only in third by 8 games, but still looks by far the most likely to have to undertake the third place forfeit.. 





Toby Durant
Phil Gaskin
Gur Samuel
Colts @ Ravens
Ravens
Ravens
Ravens
Falcons @ Panthers
Falcons
Falcons
Falcons
Texans @ Bengals
Bengals
Bengals
Texans
Vikings @ Lions
Lions
Lions
Lions
Bucs @ Jaguars
Bucs
Bucs
Bucs
Eagles @ Dolphins
Dolphins
Eagles
Dolphins
Cheifs @ Jets
Jets
Jets
Jets
Saints @ Titans
Saints
Saints
Saints
Patriots @ Redskins
Patriots
Patriots
Patriots
49ers @ Cardinals
49ers
49ers
49ers
Bears @ Broncos
Broncos
Bears
Broncos
Raiders @ Packers
Packers
Packers
Packers
Bills @ Chargers
Chargers
Chargers
Chargers
Giants @ Cowboys
Giants
Cowboys
Giants
Rams @ Seahawks
Seahawks
Seahawks
Seahawks








Last Week
12-4
9-7
11-5
Overall
123-56
120-59
112-67

Sunday, 4 December 2011

December power rankings + Week 13 picks

Nick Collins, overjoyed at hearing that the Packers have
been placed top of the Pulling Linemen power rankings
for the fourth straight month
It's December, and that can only mean one thing: the latest edition of our monthly power rankings. Unsurprisingly, the Packers were still the unanimous choice for the top spot, while the Colts manage to cling on to the No. 32 spot through their unrivaled and unrelenting commitment to drafting Andrew Luck. The biggest drop in ranking by far is the Buffalo Bills, who drop a whopping 18 places as their season nosedives into utter mediocrity, while the Denver Broncos jump up 13 spots on the back of a lights-out defence and a cunning offensive strategy, based on the concept "run the ball for fifty five minutes until the DBs are so bored they'll get involved in stopping the run and forget to leave someone to cover Eric Decker". Very sneaky, John Fox. Very sneaky.

You'll also find below our picks for Week 13; Phil and Toby are now neck and neck at 111-52 in predictions on the season, while Gur trails at little behind at 101-62.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

NFL Intro Music and Thursday night picks

We all used to watch WWF (The pandas can suck it, it’s still WWF to us) when we were younger, and remember the times that some idiot would be in the centre of the ring spouting off about how much better than everyone he was, or how the incumbent champ was nothing but a chump. And then the sound of breaking glass and out comes Stone Cold! That feeling of hearing your favourite wrestlers intro music needs to translate to the NFL. So here are our suggestions for certain players, teams and coach’s intro music. Some are funny, others obscure, and some are a little bit close to the mark. Also, our TNF picks.

Larry Fitz is the undisputed king of the
desert state
Ndamukong Suh – Can I Kick It? Tribe Called Quest

Carson Palmer – Back In Black AC/DC

Larry Fitzgerald – Enter Sandman Metallica
Peyton Manning – Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now The Smiths ­
Chris Johnson – Money For Nothing Dire Straits
Maurice Jones-Drew – Tiny Dancer Elton John
Tim Tebow – Superstition Stevie Wonder
Steven Jackson – Here I Go Again (On My Own) White Snake
Jay Cutler – Under My Thumb The Rolling Stones
Patrick Willis – Muscle Museum Muse
Aaron Rodgers – Oh My Gosh Basement Jaxx – Undefeated Deaf Leopard
Plaxico Burress – Gimme Back My Bullets Lynyrd Skynyrd
Jacksonville Jaguars – On The Road Again ­­Willie Neslon
This is the only good thing about 2011 in Jacksonville
Bill Belichick – Sympathy For The Devil The Rolling Stones
Cleveland Browns – What Difference Does It Make? The Smiths
Laurence Taylor – What’s (her) Age Again? Blink 182
2005 Vikings – I’m On A Boat The Lonely Island, T Pain
Von Miller – Killing In the Name Of Rage Against The Machine
Houston Texans – SOS Rihanna
Kyle Orton – New In Town Little Boots
Jim Caldwell – I Don’t Like Monday’s The Boomtown Rats
Mark Sanchez – The Pretender Foo Fighters
St. Louis – Dead In The Water Numerous
Picks: Toby Durant; Eagles, Phil Gaskin; Eagles, Gur Samuel; Seahawks.
Got other suggestions? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Pulling Linemen Picks: Week 12

This week we're not going in-depth on a game or two and saying why it will be good. Instead we implore you, via any means necessary, to watch as much as you can of: Texans @ Jags, Bears @ Raiders and Steelers @ Chiefs. The reason is that Houston, Chicago and Kansas have all lost their Pro-Bowl (that's right folks, Matt Cassel made the 2010 Pro-Bowl) quarterbacks and in their place are the unkowns, the washed up and just perhaps the plain awful.
Caleb Hanie's number is twice that of Cutler's, so surely
he's twice as good at football...
With Jay Cutler sidelined due to thumb surgery on his throwing hand his back-up Caleb Hanie is thrust into the key position of a team on a roll. Chicago have won 5 in a row after Mike Martz finally learnt to ease up on the 7 step-drop, deep routes that were getting Cutler hammered in the backfield. With the emphasis on the red-hot Matt Forte and their ever tough defense Chicago don't really need to change anything now Hanie's in. And in his one appearance for the Bears Hanie put in a good performance in a high pressure situation against Green Bay in last year's NFC Championship Game. He should be ok, but you really never know. The Raiders defense is a tough nut to crack on the ground and Forte could find the going tough as they stack the box and try to force the game into Hanie's hands. If that happens then watch out!
This is the 4th picture that comes up when you google
image search Matt Leinart. him with a helmet on
throwing a football? 37th...


In Houston things were going great, even with Andre Johnson sidelined and Mario Williams out both sides of the ball were clicking and with the Colts no longer posing their usual road block the Texans were on their way to their first division crown. Then quarterback Matt Schaub did something bad with Liz Frank, or something along those lines. Anyway, he's injured. And now look who's back, South Carolina's favourite party boy Matt Leinart. Much hyped out of college Matt Leinart's career never really took off. Some say he never got a fair shot in Arizona, what with some dude called Kurt Warner there too, before he got the boot in favour of Derek Anderson (ouch). Leinart does have the talent to perform, and a good platform with the league's best running attack. But rumour has it that he turned down the chance to take the starters role up in Seattle this year, in favour of back-up duty in Houston. If that's true then it's a huge red flag, this guy clearly doesn't have the desire that most in the NFL do to be the best he can be. Even if that isn't true the handful of stats Leinart has put up don't warm the heart: 57.1 completion percentage, 14 TD's, 20 INT's and just 6.5 yards per attempt. The Jags defense is playing really well right now and if it can slow Arian Foster and Ben Tate then Leinart will have to put some points up... And he's not been great at that in the NFL.
If Tyler Palko thought monday night was rough then
he's in for a shock this week as the Steel Curtain comes
to town.
For those of you who didn't see the start of what i'm sure will be a highly successful forgettable career on monday night, Tyler Palko stinks. And guess what, he stunk vs. the worst pass defense in the league. This week however he faces Dick LeBeau and his motley crew of hard-hitting, zone-blitzing animals. This isn't going to be one for the faint hearted. But what might be even better viewing than that will be if Kyle Orton, claimed off of waivers this week, it thrown into the fire. Orton is, on a good day, an average QB. But thrown into an offense where he doesn't even know the blitz pick up calls? T-rouble.

So don't watch Tom Brady or Cam Newton. Don't settle down and watch the safe and secure play of Matt Ryan. We all love watching people fall over on youtube, or situational comedies where characters get in way over their heads, THIS IS BOTH!!!


Toby Durant
Phil Gaskin
Gur Samuel
Packers @ Lions
Packers
Lions
Packers
Dolphins @ Cowboys
Cowboys
Cowboys
Cowboys
49ers @ Ravens
Ravens
Ravens
49ers
Vikings @ Falcons
Falcons
Falcons
Falcons
Panthers @ Colts
Panthers
Panthers
Panthers
Bills @ Jets
Jets
Jets
Jets
Bucs @ Titans
Titans
Titans
Bucs
Redskins @ Seahawks
Seahawks
Seahawks
Seahawks
Broncos @ Chargers
Broncos
Chargers
Broncos
Browns @ Bengals
Bengals
Bengals
Bengals
Texans @ Jaguars
Texans
Texans
Texans
Cardinals @ Rams
Cardinals
Rams
Cardinals
Bears @ Raiders
Raiders
Raiders
Bears
Patriots @ Eagles
Patriots
Patriots
Patriots
Steelers @ Chiefs
Steelers
Steelers
Steelers
Giants @ Saints
Saints
Saints
Saints




Last Week:
10-4
11-3
9-5
Overall:
96-51
99-48
89-58

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Roundtable: Who Can Stop The Packers?

Toby Durant:
All signs point to a repeat. But who has the best shot
at stopping the Packers?
Hello and welcome to our first roundtable in quite some time. Today’s topic of discussion is just who has the best chance of beating the currently undefeated Green Bay Packers.

When the defending Super Bowl champs next take to the field in anger it will be 361 days since they last lost a game when Aaron Rodgers played all 60 minutes. The advanced stats on Aaron Rodgers this year are incredible, putting him on a par with the record-breaking seasons of Peyton Manning in 2004 and Tom Brady’s 2007 and 2010 campaigns. He’s the clear MVP of this season. But how do you combat him and the rest of a stellar squad?

We’ll put forward the teams we each think have the best shot at pulling off a win against the Packers, not necessarily who we think will beat them first this season. So… Go!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Sack It Off - Rams Done Before Thanksgiving. Again.

The hardest thing about summing up the Rams at the moment is where to begin. At 0-5, things looked bleak, at 2-7 there was a glimmer of hope, but after defeat to the Seahawks the season is basically over before Thanksgiving. Again. Here are just a few of my musings brought on by Sunday’s game.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Week 11 picks & Game of the Week

Toby Durant's Game of the Week: Buffalo Bills (5-4) @ Miami Dolphins (2-7)


These are 2 teams heading in completely different directions. The Bills are falling back to earth HARD after a great start to the season. They've been completely overmatched in their last 2 games and badly beaten. Their offense is getting very predictable and what had been a fantastic offensive line has been decimated by injuries; the latest of which was to centre Eric Wood who had been playing at a pro-bowl level this year. The re-shuffling of the O-Line is a big concern to fantasy owners of Fred Jackson (like myself) and is beginning to make that $50million + deal for Ryan Fitzpatrick look a little pre-mature.
Eric Wood was on my pro-bowl ballot, but a
knee injury has shut him down for the year
As for the Dolphins, things are finally starting to click. The defense that many pundits expected to be one of the best has finally started playing like it can. Karlos Dansby has stepped up his game recently and is claiming he's the best linebacker in the NFL (keep shouting it and someone might believe you mate, but not us. Not by a long shot). Matt Moore is proving to be an effective QB and even more surprisingly they're actually getting some production out of Reggie Bush, for now.

After Thursday's defeat for the Jets, and with Cincy likely to drop a game or two over the next few weeks the play-off window isn't completely closed for Buffalo, but it's starting to look less and less likely. But if they can't fix their defense (27th vs. pass, 23rd vs run) soon then it will slam shut for another year. The turnovers they've bee thriving off of have dried up and that has really hurt them. I'm going for a Dolphins win, but only just.



Toby Durant
Phil Gaskin
Gur Samuel
Jets @ Broncos
Jets
Jets
Jets
Bengals @ Ravens
Ravens
Ravens
Bengals
Jaguars @ Browns
Jaguars
Browns
Jaguars
Panthers @ Lions
Lions
Lions
Lions
Bucs @ Packers
Packers
Packers
Packers
Bills @ Dolphins
Dolphins
Dolphins
Bills
Raiders @ Vikings
Raiders
Raiders
Raiders
Cowboys @ Redskins
Cowboys
Cowboys
Cowboys
Cardinals @ 49ers
49ers
49ers
49ers
Seahawks @ Rams
Rams
Rams
Seahawks
Titans @ Falcons
Falcons
Falcons
Falcons
Chargers @ Bears
Bears
Bears
Bears
Eagles @ Giants
Giants
Giants
Giants
Chiefs @ Patriots
Patriots
Patriots
Patriots




Last Week:
9-7
7-9
10-6
Overall:
86-47
88-35
80-53