Aaron It Out: Division Isn’t My Strong Suit

The postseason is a wonderful time of year, full of change for bad teams, hope for successful ones, and good football for everyone watching. Welcome to the divisional edition of Aaron It Out.

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Aaron It Out: Wild (card) and Crazy Guys

Welcome to a wild card, mini edition of AIO. I’m still on vacation and largely in denial of the real world, so I will have a longer column next week. Now, a few quick thoughts and your Wild Card picks.

The coaching changes we thought would happen did, except maybe for Jack Del Rio getting hosed by the Raiders for Jon Gruden, a man who hasn’t had a successful coaching year since before Del Rio started his first coaching job in Jacksonville.

Looking forward to seeing what happens especially in Indy, New York, and Arizona. The Cardinals are a solid QB away from rocking back to the playoffs and they have great experience carrying thru veteran QBs, so a Sam Bradford, Kirk Cousins, or Eli Manning signing makes a load of sense.

Here’s the picks:

TITANS AT CHIEFS – The Chiefs are not who you want to play in January – they are playing very well and look formidable. The Titans still pretty much stink and may be looking for a head coach soon. Chiefs win.

FALCONS AT RAMS – I don’t see a situation where the Falcons win. It’s a long trip to Los Angeles and the Rams are young and hungry. It should be a great offensive game. Rams win.

BILLS AT JAGUARS – This game should be over pretty quickly if the right Jags team shows up. If the one from the last couple of weeks comes, it could be interesting. However, if you ask me, the Jags are ready to make a postseason impression. Jaguars win.

PANTHERS AT SAINTS – This game should be fun and another shootout, but I will take the home team. Saints win.

Aaron It Out: Happy Thanksgiving

Thankful. I’m thankful for family, as this year has brought on another child. I’m thankful for the friends and family I have cultivated through my career and my church. I’m thankful to God for His grace. I’m thankful to Gavin for this outlet to write about the NFL, the greatest sport in the world (my opinion). And I’m thankful for you, the reader. Enjoy the long weekend, eat, sleep, watch football and basketball and I guess hockey if you have to, and don’t get trampled at the malls.

AARON IT OUT TWEET OF THE WEEK THAT GOT WAY MORE IMPRESSIONS THAN I THOUGHT:

AARON IT OUT TOP FIVE

  1. Eagles
  2. Vikings
  3. Patriots
  4. Jaguars
  5. Saints

AARON IT OUT BONUS TOP FIVE THANKSGIVING DESSERTS:

  1. Pecan Pie Cheesecake
  2. Pumpkin Pie (with whipped cream)
  3. Pecan Pie
  4. Apple Pie (plain or a la mode)
  5. Turkey Leg Shaped Cookies from Cinotti’s

PREVIEWS AND PICKS

VIKINGS @ LIONS – This is gonna be a really good game. The Lions are rocking a three-game winning streak and although they struggled a little against the Bears, they seem to be positioning themselves for an NFC Wild Card spot. However, the Vikings look unbeatable, and they are firing on all cylinders despite the injuries they’ve had all year. This will probably be the best Lions game we’ve had to watch on Thanksgiving in a long time, but here the Vikings win.

CHARGERS @ COWBOYS – This is an interesting matchup because the Chargers seemed to be playing really well last week, and the Cowboys are still reeling and trying to find their running game. However, the Chargers played the Bills, who kind of don’t have the leadership to bring them to success. Dallas is trying to stop a 2-game losing streak from turning into three. I think that in this case, in their house on Thanksgiving, the Cowboys win.

GIANTS @ REDSKINS – I still see the Giants being one big dismantling project at the end of this season, however, they did flash some competence against the Chiefs last week. The Redskins just sent a bunch of guys to injured reserve, and are running out of offensive players to throw the ball to. This is going to be my Turkey Day Upset Special – Giants win.

BROWNS @ BENGALS – This is a giant orange, brown, and black ball of BLAH for this otherwise pretty solid weekend of football. I hope you are able to watch something other than this if you so desire. Bengals win.

PANTHERS @ JETS – If the Panthers lose this game, I’ll call stuffing dressing for the rest of my life. Panthers win.

TITANS @ COLTS – This game is not quite as cut-and-dry as one might think, and both of these teams are trending in different directions. The Titans are coming off a tough prime-time loss against the Steelers, but also in their last seven games they are only scoring 19.4 points per game, trending way down from the start of the season. Also, Titans QB Marcus Mariota threw 4 interceptions against the Steelers last week. The Colts, conversely, have been able to score an average of 22.4 points per game in 7 out of 8 games, not counting when they were held scoreless by the Jaguars. I am gonna take the home team in this case, coming off more rest and more motivated to salvage their season. Colts win.

BUCS @ FALCONS – The Falcons looked pretty weak against an increasingly bad Seahawks team last week, but the Bucs are just stinky. This game will help Atlanta continue to fix their offensive struggles, and they should dominate in another game where Jameis Winston is “hurt.” Falcons win.

DOLPHINS @ PATRIOTS – The Dolphins have lost four games in a row, and have only managed to score an average of 16.25 points per each of those losses. They’ll need to do better against the Patriots, who have only scored below 20 points in one game this season. The interesting part here is that the rest of the AFC East always manages to give the Pats a run for their money; if Jay Cutler is healthy and cares enough, this may be an interesting game. However, no matter how interesting it can be, the Patriots should win.

BEARS @ EAGLES – Fly, Eagles, fly to another W against a team with an awful quarterbacking situation and a head coach that is probably going to be finding a new place at the end of the season. (Eagles win.)

BILLS @ CHIEFS – Kansas City looked awful against the Giants. The previously high-scoring, woo-hoo, fast Chiefs were slowed down by New York’s defense. The Bills are, for some reason, jobbing Tyrod Taylor, who was benched through no fault of his own (check out this great article by Dom Consentino for more). Their insistence on starting Nate Peterman is inexplicable, especially when he racks up 5 interceptions against the Chargers. Here is a chance for both teams to bounce back. Unfortunately for Buffalo, it will be KC. Chiefs win.

SEAHAWKS @ NINERS – Niners are bad, Seahawks are getting bad and their window is closing. However, in this stinker of a game, I guess the Seahawks win. But who knows.

BRONCOS @ RAIDERS – This game looked good on paper at the beginning of this year, when both teams were off to surprisingly good starts and the AFC West looked like a solid division. Then the rest of the season happened, the Raiders tripped and fell and never got back up, and the Broncos will be on their third quarterback. That’s right, the Osweiler Experiment is over and Paxton Lynch, future CFL backup, will start against the Raiders according to several reports. Well, that’s not gonna help Denver much, who has to get it together. I think Oakland will take advantage of Lynch’s inexperience here. Raiders win.

SAINTS @ RAMS – The Rams are going into another game against one of the best teams in the NFC, but the tale won’t be the same this time. New Orleans has started to rely heavily on the run as Drew “Salary Cap Albatross” Brees hasn’t quite synced up with whatever receiving corps is healthy that week. Los Angeles is pretty darn good against the run. While you would think Brees could beat them through the air, I think the more likely outcome is the Rams finding a way to edge the Saints here and bringing a win home. Rams win.

JAGUARS @ CARDINALS – The Jaguars have one of the best pass rushes in the league. The Cardinals are starting Blaine Gabbert (lol) at QB, who folds under pressure faster than a wet paper towel. I love the Cardinals’ wide receivers, but they won’t be enough to secure a win this week. This will be another Jaguars win.

PACKERS @ STEELERS – I am sure this was imagined to be a much better matchup when the schedule was first released, than it is now. Aaron Rodgers vs. Ben Roethlisberger would have made for a great game, but the Packers just got shut out at home and the Steelers beat the Titans pretty solidly last Thursday. I will favor the home team here and say that the Steelers win.

TEXANS @ RAVENS – The Texans got a surprising win against the Cardinals last week, but if you ask me that may be their only surprise win of the season. The Ravens are playing good football right now, somehow, and are trying to make a push into the playoffs. If the Texans didn’t have such an injury pileup this would be a much more interesting game, but it’s pretty clear to me that the Ravens win.

Aaron It Out: Midseason Musings

The 2017 NFL Season is officially halfway over, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Football (particularly, NFL football) is my absolute favorite sport, and I cannot believe that it is already halfway done. There have been many highlights, and some lowlights. This season has been amazing for a variety of reasons. Time to take a closer look at the overall NFL at the midway point in this week’s Aaron It Out.

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