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November 06, 2008
by Jeff Briggs
It’s an early edition of Gamblor this week, thanks to the start of Thursday night games. Last week was more of the same for Gamblor, another week with another losing record. During the games there was a period of time when the Bengals, Chiefs, and Lions were all winning their games. Two of the three still managed to find ways to lose; good thing, otherwise the world might have collapsed on itself.
In this, the season of questionable quarterbacks seeing playing time (16 teams have used their backup for at least a significant portion of a game) it only makes sense that the king of “questionable” quarterbacks makes his way into the news. Yes, Ryan Leaf, who had managed to get back to living a normal life after being the butt of the majority of NFL jokes for year, has put another ugly chapter in his life. Leaf, the QB coach at West Texas A&M, has gone on leave indefinitely to ‘deal with personal issues’ after asking a player on the team if he could have one of his pain pills. Maybe Leaf’s pain stemmed from seeing so many bad quarterbacks getting playing time and realizing that he is just as bad of a QB, but isn’t getting his chance to play awful football, throw interceptions, and destroy a team’s season with the rest of them.
Last week: 6-8
Lock of the week: 5-4
Home team in CAPS
Broncos (+3) over BROWNS
The Thursday night special matches the Broncos against the debut of the Brady Quinn era in Cleveland. Remember the Broncos team who could make anyone a 1,000-yard running back? That team is dead. Last week they had 12 rushes for 14 yards. They also have one of the worst defenses in the league, which would seem like a good time to give a new QB his first start, let Brady Quinn get accustomed to not sitting on the bench. Unfortunately, I don’t expect much from Brady. If he didn’t get the nod after Derek Anderson’s horrible start to the season, it’s a sign he might not be ready. Another sign he might not be ready was the less than ringing endorsement he got from head coach Romeo Crennel, who said “I hope the guy doesn't fall on his face, but if he falls on his face you have to do something because I can't play quarterback." Sounds like Quinn has really been wowing the coaching staff. LOCK OF THE WEEK.
LIONS (+7) over Jaguars
The Jaguars have gone from confusing to straight out bad. The Lions are starting Daunte Culpepper, who has been with the team for less than a week. I’m not sure he’ll have a full grasp on the playbook, but at least he will be familiar with the surrounding Great Lakes.
Titans (-3) over BEARS
When Grossman gets pressured early, he tends to fall into his ‘Screw it, I’m going deep’ mode. That’s not wise against a strong defense like the Titans.
PATRIOTS (-4) over Bills
Being a Bills fan has to be incredibly frustrating right now. Your team starts the season 5-1, and you have what looks like two easy division games coming up. At that point you are thinking about being 7-1 headed into this game against the reigning super-villain of the AFC East, the Patriots. Unfortunately, you can’t even muster up one win against the Jets and Dolphins. Now you are staring in the face of a New England team that hasn’t lost back-to-back games in two years (and only once in six years). Oh, and the team might move to Toronto. Bills fans, I hope you enjoyed the early season ride. If the Bills don't win this game, at least the Sabres are doing well, right?
FALCONS (-1) over Saints
People love the Saints for their exciting and explosive passing offense, but the Falcons are the better team, and they are at home, where they are 3-0 against the spread, while New Orleans is 0-3 against the spread on the road.
Rams (+9) over JETS
The Jets keep winning games despite Brett Favre. Now is about the time they make sure people know that they aren’t very good by losing to a bad team.
DOLPHINS(-9) over Seahawks
The Seahawks have less passing yards than the Raiders. Between the Seahawks, UW, and WSU, living in the state of Washington and watching football this year has to be more painful than having a bear give you a tonsillectomy.
VIKINGS (-2) over Packers
With Kyle Orton out for at least two weeks, the winner of this game has a good chance to take the driver’s seat in the NFC North (and then promptly lose in the Divisional Round of the playoffs).
Panthers (-8.5) over RAIDERS
How the Raiders have even two wins is astounding.
Chiefs (+15) over CHARGERS
I know the Chiefs are awful, I say it every week. But the Chargers don’t deserve 15 points – they aren’t very good either.
STEELERS (-3) over Colts
This is the only line I could find for this game since Big Ben’s status is uncertain. The Steelers should win this game with or without him; in fact, Leftwich looked considerably better than Roethlisberger on Monday. And as a friend pointed out, Leftwich also looked a lot like Thud Butt from ‘Hook'.
Giants (+3) over EAGLES
I have yet to see evidence of why the Eagles deserve to be favored against the Giants. People are high on the Eagles right now because they have beaten the 49ers, Falcons (at home), and Seahawks soundly. Yes, the Falcons are decent, but the Giants are considerably better; and beating the 49ers and Seahawks is on the same level of impressive as learning how to drink water.
TEXANS (+1) over Ravens
It’s the match up that was supposed to happen in Week 2, but then Hurricane Ike happened. If it had happened before Katrina, it would be remembered for being incredibly destructive. Ike is only behind Katrina and Andrew in terms of cost of damage. Hopefully the Texans will get a win for the people of Houston.
CARDINALS (-9.5) over 49ers
If I were a 49ers fan, I would like what Mike Singletary is doing. They need direction and accountability. Those are not things you can build over night, or even over two weeks. They will struggle through the rest of the season before things can begin to be turned around.