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November 20, 2008
by Jeff Briggs
Thank God I did not have any real money on the Steelers-Chargers game, and only my pride. If I were a degenerate gambler who put thousands on that game, I’d want to drive to Scott Green’s house, kidnap him and put him in a room with Ugueth Urbina.
Part of me feels sorry for the NFL refs this year, since they have messed up several calls and most likely have received repeated death threats from nefarious characters; but the other part of me is astounded at how many mistakes they’ve made. It’s not quite at NBA officiating level, but something needs to be done by the league to address these officiating mishaps. In the extremely unlikely event that the Steelers or Chargers end up in a situation where the 7th tiebreaker for the playoffs needs to be used (point differential), and that botched call causes a team a playoff berth, Scott Green is probably going to have to change his name to Mr. Thompson and move to Terror Lake.
For the picks, if I go a perfect 16-0 this week, I’ll have a winning record on the season. Positive thinking.
Last week: 6-10
Lock of the week: 7-4
Home team in CAPS
STEELERS (-10) over Bengals
The Bengals defense has managed to hold it together for consecutive weeks. In no way can this be expected to continue.
BROWNS (-3) over Texans
Most exciting thing about this game: it might snow. Even with the worst of teams, HD football in the snow is entertaining to watch.
Bills (-3) over CHIEFS
These two have combined 10 straight losses (6 for KC, and 4 for Buffalo). At least someone has to win this one, because we all know there are no ties in the NFL.
Patriots (+2) over DOLPHINS
Last time these two met, the Dolphins embarrassed the Patriots as they unveiled the Wildcat offense. And as bad as the Patriots defense has been, I still just can’t see that happening again, unless maybe the Dolphins unveil the new Box Turtle offense this week.
COWBOYS (-10) over 49ers
I would like for Mike Singletary to prove me wrong for the third straight week about his team, but I fear the Cowboys might be ready to catch fire.
Buccaneers (-8.5) over LIONS
Has any player ever gone from possible fantasy free agent to a must-start player like Warrick Dunn has this week?
Eagles (+1) over RAVENS
Now that he knows about them, I think McNabb is due for another tie. But in reality, the Eagles are really good at playing bad enough to the point where people are about to quit on them, then suddenly looking really impressive for a week. This is that week.
Bears (-8) over RAMS
The horrible Rams are back. 11 turnovers in the last three weeks! 38.67 points allowed per game over those three weeks. Matt Forte hasn’t seen a defense like this since SMU.
Vikings (+2) over JAGUARS
Why exactly is Jacksonville favored here? Because they are at home, where they are 1-4 this year? Because they have a sub-par run defense and are playing against arguably the best running back in the NFL? Because you can’t run on the Vikings and the Jags have no passing game? Which one of these was the reason to favor Jacksonville again?
FALCONS (-1) over Panthers
Yes, the Panthers are 8-2, but they are only 2-2 on the road and have looked decidedly unimpressive in closer than necessary wins against inferior opponents the last two weeks.
BRONCOS (-9.5) over Raiders
Even the Broncos horrid defense can stop the passing attack of the Raiders. Last time the two met, the Broncos crushed the Raiders 41-14. The Raiders only hope of covering is a snowstorm that prevents any offense whatsoever, and the current forecast for Sunday is 55 degrees and sunny. LOCK OF THE WEEK.
Redskins (-3.5) over SEAHAWKS
I’m banking on the fact that Jim Zorn knows the ins and outs of the Seahawks offense, more than Seattle knows Jim Zorn. Also, Zorn probably knows Matt Hasselbeck better than he knows himself.
Giants (-3.5) over CARDINALS
It’s the second best passing offense versus the best passing defense. The Giants are the more complete team, and really look as if they can only stop themselves at this point. That said, Eli Manning is due for at least one more awful game this season, it’s just a matter of when.
Colts (+3) over CHARGERS
The Chargers have the 27th best (or 6th worst) rushing offense in the NFL. Tomlinson is no longer good. Sorry Charger fans, your teams window is closed, you are not good at football anymore. It’s 10 games into the season, LT is not going to ‘round into form,’ things aren’t going to turn around, and your coach is Norv Turner. As a Redskins fan, I can tell you, Norv doesn’t do consecutive winning seasons. But don't worry, he's coming back for 2009.
SAINTS (-2.5) over Packers
This should be an entertaining Monday night game, with two of the top-five scoring offenses facing off against one another. Will the Saints have their players facing possible steroid suspension? My guess is that Deuce McAllister, Will Smith and Charles Grant will end up playing. Combine that with the fact that Green Bay has only beat the Lions and the Seahawks on the road this year, and I like the Saints to cover.
I left out this game somehow. Thanks for the heads-up from commenter Tim.
TITANS (-5.5) over Jets
The Jets are arguably the best team the Titans have faced thus far this year, but the Titans at home are going to try to force Brett Favre to beat them. He will not. If the Jets do manage to win this game, the city of New York is going to go crazy with Jets vs. Giants Super Bowl stories. One thing I can predict is that these stories will become incredibly annoying, and Peter King's (and most of the staff at ESPN's) obsession with Brett Favre will become even more unhealthy.