Ah, it's Thursday...Week 14 in the NFL...and I'm in a "what does it all mean" state of mind...but I've also got a million things to do right now with the Holidays approaching, and work getting busy, so I'll have to make things kind of quick this week. Most of you are saying, "good, I don't know if I could take another War and Peace length post", while the rest of you are saying, "What the hell is War and Peace?".
Before we get onto the picks, sadly Mr. Peeps was detained another week at his mother's. He tried to explain that he'll be back for the holidays, but she gave him the whole "I raised you, picked the ticks off you, and taught you to eat termites with a stick" routine, and he gave in. Mama's boy.
Cleveland at Pittsburgh
Thursday night football...its Forgettable
As in, I keep forgetting there is a Thursday night game...
And the games themselves have been just as forgettable...
And the NFL Network is worrying that we'll forget about them...
But they don't have any Bears games this year, so I could care less.
Atlanta at Tampa Bay
Let's see, a loss to the Bucs last year knocked the Falcons from the playoffs...could the Bucs do it 2 years in a row?
If the Falcons miss the playoffs again, who will shoulder the most blame? Mora? Knapp? Vick?
Let the finger pointing begin...Bucs sneak one out against the Falcons, and the pressure cooker gets turned up a couple notches in Hotlanta.
Philadelphia at Washington
Gotta love late season football games that have no excitement and almost no impact on the playoff race. Folks, I give you Eagles-Redskins!!
So does anyone really believe that Jeff Garcia is going to lead the Eagles to the playoffs? Me neither. Would it make a great story? Sure. Especially with the, although tenous, connection to TO...it's a story the media would eat up...think about it...
Eagles sneak into the playoffs, aided by great play by Garcia. All the media starts in on the "After TO alienated them, the Eagles and Garcia found each other, and what they found was a playoff spot." I know, it's a really dumb story...and it pains me to think about it...but if they make the playoffs, and heaven forbid...if they played TO...that would be the story. Some dumb as rocks sideline reporter would read it off a cue card, and try to make something of it.
Just so I don't have to listen to that, I'll pick the Redskins here. I like the Rookie to get his second win, this one at the hands of a division foe, fighting for their playoffs lives...these are the games that always sneak up and bite you.
NY Giants at Carolina
Not too long ago, this was looking like it was going to be a good game. Remember when both these teams were 6-4? This game looked like it could be a big game for playoff seeding...and it is, just that it's for the last seed, instead of the 2nd seed.
Basically, both teams are playing with their hands around their throats...it's just a matter of determining which team is cutting off more oxygen...
I'm going to say that the Giants grip is far tighter....so the Panthers show up, no not the imitation version that has lost 6 games, the Super Bowl contender that has won 6 games....and beat the Giants. The New York media starts to flame Eli...wait, they already are? Right....they start to flame Coughlin...wait they already are? Okay, the team starts bickering and pointing fingers...damn, 0-3...how about they just sink out of the playoffs.
Indianapolis at Jacksonville
So allow me a moment of "I told you so"...
The Titans came in, ran the ball, and beat the Colts...yeah, it took a miracle FG...but they played them really tough, and won in the end, just like a certain someone stated last week. Colts fans, please take note, this is why your team isn't going to the Super Bowl. This is exactly how they are going to get beat in the playoffs...just keep running the ball through that week interior D...until Indy can stop the run, they aren't going anywhere.
But hell, what do I know? I cheer for a team that has a future grocery bagger at QB.
The Colts though, sneak out the win here...as Jacksonville seems to be on a "Play good, follow it up with a stinker..." routine this year. So just when you thought the team was making some noise Jags fans...they'll fall on their face...
New England at Miami
Man, at the beginning of the season everyone had this game circled as the "battle for the AFC East comes to a head"...what a difference a season makes...and since I'm tired of ragging on Joey and Daunte....
The other day while I was walking to the bus, this guy was running the opposite way, obviously trying to catch a bus or hurrying to meet someone...and you know what thought went through my head?
"Man, I could make a great open field tackle on that guy."
I had this overwhelming urge, to just breakdown, sprint towards him, and lay him out. There was nothing wrong with the guy, I wished him no ill will...but the thought was there for 3 reasons...
- I miss playing football and I haven't even been able to get my Madden or NCAA fix in for quite a while.
- Imagine the look on his face and on everyone else, if I just laid the guy out? Come on, that would be priceless...just look of, "holy crap that guy is nuts"...with hopefully a few "...but nice tackle" comments thrown in.
- Finally, cause I'm slightly nuts, and think about these things while I walk to the bus.
Anyway, the Pats win this game. Yes I know the Fins have been playing better, and making a great 2nd half surge, but the Pats need this to wrap up the division, so they'll take care of business.
Minnesota at Detroit
So last week we were treated to one of the worse QB battles of all time...and this week shows no promise of improving on that....but at least Rex isn't involved.
I'm going to take the Lions here...what's my reason? They're the Lions; they're going to win this game, just so they can screw up their draft position. You see, some teams just can't do anything right, as this is one of those teams. Hey, I made it a whole Lions preview without mentioning Millen....damn.
Baltimore at Kansas City
Well, the Ravens had the chance to finish off the Bengals last week, and win the division in the process...and they failed. Not only breathing new life into the Bengals, but opening the door a crack to a real fight at the end of the season.
Now the Ravens have to go into KC, never an easy place to play, and face a Chiefs team that is fighting to stay in the playoff race...these are always hard games.
Meanwhile, I think Herm still has a few timeouts left from last week...has anyone told Herm that they don't carry over? Maybe he figured they would be more useful against the Ravens...
The Ravens take care of business this week...the KC D is just not playing very well, and we all know that the Ravens bring the lumber on D. Plus, LJ is the real deal, but the Ravens D will clamp down on the rest of the team, and limit the Chiefs offensively.
Tennessee at Houston
VY has arrived. He's the real deal. Does anyone besides me call him VY? Well, I'm going to keep doing it till either he gets a cool nickname, or VY catches on.
Houston...let me take you to an alternate universe for a second...
...it's April, the NFL Draft is just a few days away...
...you ignore conventional wisdom and deicde not to pick Reggie Bush with the first pick, and announce you have reached an agreement with...
...Hometown hero Vince Young...
...Later that day, you trade David Carr for several draft picks, and further revamp the team...
...VY has a few growing pains early in the season, as he's the starter from day one...
...But by about midseason it's evident that not only is he the real deal, but that he's single handedly changing the course of the franchise...
...it's a pretty picture isn't it?
Back to reality, VY is on the other team, and he'll be victorious. The Texans will be closer to getting another go at the 1st pick in the draft, but won't have any hometown hero to ride to their rescue this time...but hey, they've got Marion Williams.
Oakland at Cincinnati
Oakland fans...some here, little closer...okay, gotta level with you...you have no QB. And your line is not good. It makes it really hard to have any kind of offense when those things are true. But hey, John Shoop has experience at this sort of thing, he coached Jim Miller for Christ sake.
Unfortunately, the Bengals are in town, and they know how to score in bunches.
Bengals win, and the Raider Nation gets closer to hearing the words "With the 1st pick in the 2007 NFL Draft the Oakland Raiders select...Brady Quinn from the University of Norte Dame" And when that moment comes...please refrain from tears Raiders fans, it's not you...but know, that you'll have the same problem you have today, no QB.
Seattle at Arizona
Is anyone else sad that it's been awhile since Denny Green has gone nuts in a press conference? Start asking this man about the Bears again, or something...just get him screaming, it was some of the best TV and Youtube of the year.
Seattle is starting to click, beating the Broncos was a big win, and man Josh Brown is a clutch kicker. These guys are going to be ready come playoff time, the big question is how many games will they have at home?
The Hawks win this one, and unless something totally whacky happens, we go another week with out Denny just going ballistic.
Green Bay at San Francisco
Wow...this is an exciting game. Thank god the Hawks game is on at the same time, or I might be forced to watch this stinker.
The Niners take this one...Favre, you should walk towards the light...it'll be okay...do you hear your family calling for you...go to them...yes, I know you don't have the TD record yet...just walk toward the damn light already.
Denver at San Diego
Well, the Jay Cutler era got off to a fantastic start. Sort of started like the Plummer era ended...funny how that works. You mean changing QBs doesn't always work? For every Romo, there's a Cutler? And the running game stinks? And the D isn't as stout as it was earlier? Hmm...and changing the QB doesn't fix those things? Damn.
And now the Cutler and Co go into San Diego...with the triumphant return of Shawn Merriman...not good.
The Chargers keep on rolling, and the Broncos start their slide that will find them out of the playoffs by season's end.
Buffalo at NY Jets
Let me explain the Jets philosophy again for those that don't remember ...always play hard so that you sneak out a couple you shouldn't win...and remember that you have no playmakers, so you'll lose a couple you shouldn't.
This is a game the Jets should win...and will.
New Orleans at Dallas
Talk about a big game for these teams...the winner has the leg up for the #2 seed in the playoffs...the loser, thrown back into the mix with the rest of the castoffs.
I have this little rule about hype...it's often too much, that's why they call it hype. This week we've been treated to story after story about the Cowboys being the team to beat, and how Romo will lead them to the promise land. They had features on ESPN.com and the Sporting News...
And maybe they will, they sure look the part right now...but hype like this very often jobs up and bites you or your arse.
The Saints pull off a big upset, going into Dallas and wrestling one away from the Boys...just throwing more confusion into the NFC playoff picture.
Chicago at St. Louis
First the good news...
Bears on Monday night, means I get to watch them, no questions asked. And the team I'll be watching is the 2006 NFC North Division Champs!!!
Now the bad news...
I won't get to watch Tommie Harris (possibly out for the season) or Mike Brown (definitely out) do their thing, but I do get to watch Rex do his thing. Crap. Even worse, I have to listen to Joe T, Tony and Mike talk about all of the above....double crap.
Lovie, I hope you know what you're doing...I'm putting my faith in you, hoping that you know the game of football better than me...and I hope you do as you're getting paid to know it...I'm going to trust you that keeping Rex in there is the right thing to do. Maybe in a few weeks I'll look back at my post trashing Rex and eat my words...
But I really doubt that right now. But I'll let you do your thing Lovie, you did win the division, and you are in prime position to secure home field throughout...so I'll leave you alone...for now.
Can I just say, I love the D of this team? Is there a D you would want on your team more than this one? If they didn't have the human turnover machine on Offense, it would be amazing what this team could do. This D just seems to find a away to take the ball away whenever it needs it...and to make the game changing play.
And I haven't even mentioned Devin "Who's Dante Hall?" Hester.
Oh yeah, I forgot, I won't really get to watch the game...cause ESPN will be too busy pimping ABC shows, and celebs...the game is just an after thought....strange that the "World wide leader in Sports" would treat the game as an after thought...
That lousy programming aside, the Bears will find away to win this one...their D is that good, and the Rams have been playing that bad. And it is the Christmas season, and miracles do happen...so maybe Rex becomes possessed with the spirit of Johnny U.
Hey, a guy can dream can't he?