Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

16 Dec 2011

Week 15 Matchups: A Game of Toddler Chess

Sorry this is late. I was out Christmas shopping. I bought my kid Stratego. Stratego!

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 16 Dec 2011

21 comments, Last at 19 Dec 2011, 11:30am by Guido Merkens


by Guest789 (not verified) :: Fri, 12/16/2011 - 3:35pm

How are the Saints only favored by 6.5 over the Vikings?

by TimTheEnchanter (not verified) :: Fri, 12/16/2011 - 4:35pm

Bookies probably assume the Saints will be taking this game as lightly as the rest of us are.

by LionInAZ (not verified) :: Fri, 12/16/2011 - 7:06pm

Probably because it's in the Metrodome, where the Vikings still have the biggest home field advantage of any team in the NFL. This could be due to either:

1. The stadium is really noisy.

2. Playing in the Metrodome is so depressing that even the best teams go into a funk during the game.

by justanothersteve :: Fri, 12/16/2011 - 7:53pm

Opponents keep looking up in fear of another roof collapse.

by BJR :: Sat, 12/17/2011 - 1:58pm

The Saints defence is bad. Providing Peterson can go, the Vikings should be able to move the ball and score some points.

It's tough to see how Drew Brees won't obliterate the Vikings pass defence, however.

by Guido Merkens :: Fri, 12/16/2011 - 3:56pm

Seems like a week where a lot of bad teams are hosting decent teams - that's usually a recipe for some upsets. I like the pick of the Colts over the Titans, particularly if Rusty Smith ends up getting anywhere close to the field.

by ebongreen :: Fri, 12/16/2011 - 4:02pm

Upset? Of course I'd be upset if that happened, because it could turn into the least-competently-quarterbacked game of my lifetime. Yuck - watching Tebow chuck-and-pray would be like mainstreaming Aaron Rodgers by comparison.

by BJR :: Sat, 12/17/2011 - 2:03pm

I like the angle that the Colts will be playing super-hard this week against a divisional foe, desperate to avoid going 0-16. Whether that can overcome how bad they are I am less sure.

by Guido Merkens :: Mon, 12/19/2011 - 11:30am

Naaaaaaailed it!

by Nathan :: Fri, 12/16/2011 - 4:55pm

Stratego is great.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Fri, 12/16/2011 - 5:53pm

Reverse Stratego is better

by armchair journe... :: Sat, 12/17/2011 - 4:52pm

Second this. Recall playing that way for years, until someone got the bright idea to read the instructions. Wasn't much fun after that.

by Jonadan :: Fri, 12/16/2011 - 6:56pm

Stratego is the one strategy game I've never won. A girlfriend who I tried, perhaps unwisely, to introduce to gaming beat me the first time we played. I've avoided it ever since.

But perhaps I could beat Jason Garrett?

"When you absolutely don't know what to do any more, then it's time to panic." - Johann van der Wiel

by Joseph :: Fri, 12/16/2011 - 8:34pm

I always thought it was pretty easy (to compete at least--luck always plays a factor). One of my personal rules was to never attack a non-moving player with a #5 or better (lower #). Also, after killing two or three lesser men with a piece (which allows the opponent to maneuver a better soldier close enough to kill said piece), to be very careful--I could easily lose a high ranking soldier. I also keep my miners (#8's) toward the back of the board--they are only useful for killing bombs, so keep them safe. This also allows for easy deployment after 10-15 pieces of both armies are off the game board.

by DEW (not verified) :: Fri, 12/16/2011 - 8:11pm

While I think there's no chance of Patriots-Tebows turning into a 17-13 game, I live in terror of it turning out into the Minnesota game.

by Dennis :: Sat, 12/17/2011 - 8:34pm

I'm a Jets fan living in Denver, so this is the first time since Belichick took over that I am rooting for the Pats. I am so sick of Tebowmania. I hope the Pats crush them like the Lions did.

by justanothersteve :: Fri, 12/16/2011 - 8:14pm

I'm really looking forward to this week's Pats/Broncos game. I'm pretty sure Brady can put up his typical points even on the Broncos improved defense. But the Pats defense trying to stop Tebow, the classic movable object meets the (for the first 56 minutes) stoppable force, has me really curious. Will the Pats defense hold at least a few times so Brady can put up another 30+ points and put the game out of reach? Or will they continue their sieve-like ways and allow Tebow to look like an all-Pro (regardless of end result) and we'll be subjected to another week of Skip Bayless's claim that Tebow is going to be great, especially because Belichek is a defensive genius? (Skippy will ignore how badly the Pats defense has played much of this year because that's how Skippy rolls.) It really has me looking forward to Sunday as the Packers/Chiefs matchup looks ho-hum to even this Packers fan.

by Led :: Fri, 12/16/2011 - 10:31pm

"The N.F.L.’s angriest cheerleader" -- awesome.

by TomKelso :: Sat, 12/17/2011 - 11:00am

Submitted for your consideration:

Between toddler chess ("my horsy got magic powers and blow'd up all your pointy guys") and "John", this might be the best Tanier week ever -- and that includes "Who Watches the Walkthrough?".

by armchair journe... :: Sat, 12/17/2011 - 4:59pm

Definitely the best Matchups Preview. Mad Max crossing guard is classic. The NFL's angriest cheerleader line had me dying. But the Brees blurb was the most satisfying. Mike's in the zone this week.

by Jerry :: Sat, 12/17/2011 - 3:23pm

Do the spies in Stratego look like Sean Lee?