Indianapolis over Jacksonville
-Andrew Luck's not the media's backburner guy anymore. With the Redskins 3-6 and Shanahan shutting down operations essentially, the media turned their attention toward the rookie QB from STANFORD. I can't recall which broadcast team called Indy's game against Miami, but the color analyst remarked Andrew Luck's a smart quarterback because of his Stanford education. Chances are Luck would've been a smart quarterback if he played college ball anywhere else. Media folk love good pedigree, though. The Colts are 5-3 and playing for a coach battling cancer. I'm surprised it took this long for the lovefest to begin. I hope Pagano is on the sidelines for the December 30 game. Jacksonville shouldn't be too much a problem. Their best players have been traded or hurt (Mike Thomas and Jones-Drew). Indy lost the week after their comeback against Green Bay. The quick turnaround should definitely cause a horrible game for viewers, and maybe a three point Jags win. Of course, I'm not an idiot so I will pick Indy.
New York Giants over Cincinnati
-The Giants went from America's Darling to the team Eli Manning described as 'needs to get better' in one week. The wins, Eli said, masked some of the problems they need to correct. The Bengals are losers of four in a row and blew a fourth quarter lead against the Broncos. Marvin Lewis called out Dalton and Malauluga out for not being vocal leaders in the locker room. A.J. Green, meanwhile, is an amazing wide receiver. Everytime RedZone cuts to a Bengals score, Green is falling out of bounds, feet in, for the touchdown. His effort looks effortless. Cincy has a poor running game, and offensive line, and Dalton's touchdown throw was thrown under duress. The Bengals defense isn't as good as before, though Chicago went through a similar slump and now their defense is the toast of the NFL again.
Miami over Tennessee
-Chris Johnson's 80 yard touchdown run seemed like a mirage. I contemplated taking my fantasy frustrations to social media before remembering how little everyone else cares; then Johnson had that touchdown and all was well. David Murphy of The Daily News must've felt like a fool watching Chicago demolish the Hasselbeck-run Titan offense. In Friday's paper he wrote a few paragraphs about Hasselbeck's success against Chicago. The Associated Press' Teresa M. Walker didn't bother including quotes from the Titans about their own performance in her game story. Tennessee looked good before this game. Miami's a tough opponent, coming off a tough defeat. I think it'll be closer than some expect.
Minnesota over Detroit
-So, Christian Ponder threw for less than 70 yards in 2 of the last 3 games. Percy Harvin thinks the team is one-dimensional. They are, of course. Their early successes were a result of excellent special teams and defense. Stafford's not playing well either. Calvin Johnson continues getting tackled at the 1, which then inflates the value of Leshoure. I feel this is a lose-lose game for me; this happens every once in awhile. Maybe they'll tie. Brian Robison is my new favorite defensive end because of his totally normal post-sack celebration that was enhanced by his pony-tail.
New England over Buffalo
-This won't end well for Buffalo. Anyway, I watched the latest episode of The Walking Dead Tuesday night instead of Election coverage. The ending of the episode was spoiled for me, but I didn't really care that it was; I was not ready to be affected by anything involving Carl and Lori. But there I was, sitting on the couch, feeling significant emotion during Carl and Lori's goodbye, specifically how Carl hugged her like a little boy who'd scraped his knee and the only thing to make it better was Mom's embrace. Mazarra's been terrific as show-runner since Darabont left, evidenced by the writing in Lori's last two scenes. I'm now waiting for a LOST-style flashback to tell what Michonne and Andrea went through. Also, Andrea's still a horrible character. She's bringing down the Woodbury scenes, but if any character's going to be charmed by the Governor, it'll be her.
Atlanta over New Orleans
-Will the Saints turn their season around now? The defense won't inspire any fictional pop warner teams in any upcoming direct-to-dvd sports film. Marcus Hayes of The Daily News labeled their D the worst in the history of the NFL, which claim is about as well-researched as a 9th grade research paper written the night before. Don't let the Saints fool you. The Eagles are a horrible team on their worst days and mediocre on their best. Atlanta needs to lose sometime. If they lose to their biggest rivals, it puts the Saints back in the playoff picture, and creates all sorts of questions about what the 8-0 start masked. It's easier for Atlanta to take care of a business against a truly one dimensional team. The lone great aspect of the team is their passing game.
Tampa Bay over San Diego
-Once upon a time I would've taken to Twitter like a maniac during football Sundays, if Twitter existed. I went apeshit in high school during games. I walked into the halls on Monday just waiting to talk about everything that happened. I've mellowed in my mid-twenties, though. My Twitter feed is among the least interesting feeds; all I do is link to my reviews, occasionally retweet, gush about an amazing soccer play or player, or ask people who'll never respond me to questions. I tweeted, "Holy shit, Doug Martin" after his third touchdown run, and then it dawned on me how excited and into a Bucs game I was. There's no reason Martin can't rush for 200 yards against the Chargers. The second best part of the Bucs/Raiders was wondering if Martin's effort would be for nought. The Raiders kept coming back from double digit deficits (as they like to do). Oakland's Oakland though and they blew their chance to take the lead back. The Bucs got lucky facing two mediocre AFC West teams in consecutive weeks.
Denver over Carolina
-Denver's fourth quarter statistics are impressive. Manning's still able to stage comebacks in the fourth, and he's helped Team Jawn to first place. I'm salivating at the thought of Manning against the Panthers defense. As Fred Durst once sang, "Keep rollin', rollin', rollin'." I have no idea what happened in Carolina's last touchdown call. The article I read was unclear and confusing. Websites didn't seem to give a shit about whatever happened. It seemed like Carolina got a lucky TD that shouldn't have been, which would've changed the game since Washington scored 13. Since Cam Newton won, by the way, he's hated less by the media; but Peter King will have a field day scolding Newton for losing a game to his boy Peyton.
Baltimore over Oakland
-The Ravens annual preseason hype is a farce. I need to remember they'll start well and regress around Week 7. I heard praise for Dennis Allen again this week. In fact, it was basically the same praise I heard the week before. "Coach Allen's got this team buying in;" "Coach Allen is CREATING something to be excited about in Oakland." Allen's team was losing by two scores during that praise. Whenever a new coach isn't terrible, if he's mediocre, he'll be praised for creating something and getting the players to buy in; the assumption is players quit on every fired coach and need buy into a system again, like their compensation for the job isn't enough motivation. To be fair, CBS' color analyst, whose name I forget, mentioned Oakland's financial woes. Allen's coaching a team he hasn't remade to his liking, and he's still NEAR .500.
Seattle over New York Jets
-Russell Wilson's flawless at home. The Jets are never flawless. Seattle's not a perfect team, but they play well at whatever the stadium is called now. The Jets are fresh off a bye week, which allowed me to not think about the team even once. No Tebow nonsense. Rex Ryan was voted most overrated coach by a group of anonymous players. The Jets are unpredictable. One thinks they'll suck but then watch them put up 40 points. I'm just going with the home team.
Philadelphia over Dallas
-There isn't a Dallas Week like in previous years. Ike Reese lamented its absence on WIP today. He remembered wanting to destroy Dallas when they came up on the schedule. Dallas has been written about less than the Philadelphia Union in The Daily News. The narrative's changing now. It was abject horror and misery Tuesday and Wednesday. Barkann and Hofmann preached optimism, noting 3-5 isn't the worst record to have. 9-7 is the goal. Demarcus Ware might kill Michael Vick on Sunday. Peters blocked Ware last season. Demetress Bell will block Ware this Sunday. I like how Howie Roseman spun the Bell signing, explaining how Bell performed well in Buffalo, a team where Peters also succeeded, and therefore would play well. Bell's been terrible. The secondary should be able to intercept Romo once or twice, though. Both offenses will make incredible mistakes at horrible moments in the game. The best defense of the day will decide the victor.
San Francisco over St. Louis
-Neither team played last week. The Rams were recovering from their blowout loss in London. San Fran's Jim Harbaugh made his commercial debut. Allister released a new album last month in Japan. The band released it digitally on Tuesday in the U.S. They've been a band since the late 90s. Their first album was released in 1999. I saw them in 2002 at the Pontiac Grille. I'm amazed they're still making albums. If not for their success in Asia, the band's last album would've been Before The Blackout. Allister was part of the glory days of Drive Thru records. Their music, and other Drive Thru bands' music, were the soundtrack of my teenage years.
Houston over Chicago
-I heard two drive-time douche bags insult Charles Tillman for saying he'll miss a game for his wife's life. Mike Missanelli said he just needs to play 16 games and shouldn't miss any, as if all a professional football player does is play a season and then sits around for 9 months. Tillman's been the most exciting defensive player in the last month, and he's getting killed because he might voluntarily miss a game because of the birth of his child? I dare say this is a Super Bowl preview.
Pittsburgh over Kansas City
-Romeo Crennel fired himself as defensive coordinator earlier in the week in an effort to show the offense that he cares about them too. I don't think Crennel's going to be the head coach next season. KC struggles to score touchdowns. I'd bet no money on what I'm about to write, but KC's not going to score more than
Last Week: 10-4
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