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December 18, 2008
by Jeff Briggs
The Pro Bowl rosters were announced on Tuesday and, no surprise, they are incorrect and stupid. First, the Honorable Mention Dumb Choices.
John Abraham not being selected at defensive end. He has had the best season of any DE in the NFL this year; generally that is something that is supposed to be rewarded with being selected to the Pro Bowl.
Ronnie Brown (827 yards) making the team, when Steve Slaton has clearly had a better year (1124 yards). At least Tomlinson didn’t make it.
Derrick Brooks at OLB. Brooks has had a great career, but there is a long list of more deserving players to go to the Pro Bowl this year (Karlos Dansby or Chad Greenway to name two).
As always, no one really knows what they are doing when voting for offensive linemen. In the NFC, Chris Samuels was selected to his seventh Pro Bowl, despite not being a Pro Bowl caliber tackle this year. In the AFC, Ryan Clady deserves to be selected over either starting T.
But the clear Number One Dumb Pick is Brett Favre. Not only is Favre undeserving, everyone knows it. Bloggers are saying it, columnists are saying it, everyone not wearing Brett Favre blinders is aware that he has no business being selected to the Pro Bowl. 47% of people who voted in an ESPN poll said Favre was the least deserving Pro Bowl selection. Yet there he is, booking his flight for Hawaii.
The invitation for top-rated AFC quarterbacks Phillip Rivers and Chad Pennington must have been lost in the mail. What statistic does Favre lead the AFC in? – Interceptions and interception-percentage (he does lead completion-percentage as well, I’ll give him that). If Brett Favre was anyone but Brett Favre, there is no way he would be a Pro Bowl QB this year.
All-star voting in all sports is damaged beyond repair. It has eroded to something akin to the race for 8th grade class president. Everyone votes for the popular kid, not the smart kid who might have an idea with what they are doing. If the awards don’t go to the deserving candidates, why do we have them?
Last week: 8-5-3
“Lock” of the week: 7-8 (4 straight losses)
Home team in CAPS.
Colts (-6) over JAGUARS
In Week 11 I said, “As bad as the Colts started the season, they are now entering a very easy stretch of their schedule and could easily be 11-4 headed into their Week 17 game against the Titans. This will inevitably lead to tons of ‘The Colts are Back’ stories and talk about how, now that Manning is healthy, they should be the favorites in the AFC. These stories will then prove to be incorrect when the Colts get crushed on the road in the second round of the playoffs.” Yep, I stand by that statement.
COWBOYS (-4.5) over Ravens
The poor Ravens are one of the top-four teams in the AFC, but will not make the playoffs because of some dumb AFC East team (ed. Note – Go Pats!).
Steelers (-1.5) over TITANS
The Titans are not the same dominating defense they have been all season when they’re without their top defensive tackles.
Dolphins (-4) over CHIEFS
The Chiefs really impressed me in finding a way to lose last week. They must really want that #2 draft pick.
PATRIOTS (-7.5) over Cardinals
Arizona is 4-19 in games played on the East coast since the 2000 season. I know, the Cardinals are a lot better this season than in the past. Well then, how about this fact: the Cardinals haven’t won on the East since Nov. 7, 2004. Yikes.
Bengals (+3) over BROWNS
On Tuesday, Braylon Edwards said that he is underappreciated in Cleveland. While making these remarks, Edwards dropped the microphone three times.
Eagles (-5) over REDSKINS
The Redskins are playing similar to the way Rocky began his training with Apollo in Rocky 3. They are just going through the motions and their heads aren’t in it. They are saying the right things, but they are missing something, missing that “eye of the tiger.” It’s like they are afraid of what will happen if they try their hardest, and lose.
49ers (-5.5) over RAMS
The Rams have been so unimpressive in the past weeks that they have fallen below the winless Lions in the RCS Power Ranking Averages.
VIKINGS (-3) over Falcons
This is the best week of NFL games that I can ever remember. Typically, a game like this, with playoff implications, would receive significant buzz in the week leading up to it, but not this week. A game that means everything to both teams playing is only the fourth biggest game of the week. I cannot wait to be the Laziest Man in America this weekend.
Saints (-6.5) over LIONS
Who isn’t rooting for 0-16?
GIANTS (-3) over Panthers
In all this talk about how the Panthers are part of the NFL elite now, I feel the fact that they aren’t good on the road has been forgotten. This game will remind everyone that when not in Charlotte, the Panthers are no better than an average team. LOCK OF THE WEEK.
Jets (-4.5) over SEAHAWKS
Karma says the Jets should get a loss. They had no business winning that game in Buffalo, but for some reason, the Bills decided to call the JP Lossman go-to play: rollout, fumble right.
Texans (-7) over RAIDERS
Two years ago, the Texans won their last two games, and gave Houston high hopes for 2007 and allowed them to entertain thoughts of the playoffs. Didn’t happen, but again, they gave the people of Houston hope for the 2008 playoffs by winning 3 of their last 4 games in ‘07. This year, no playoffs, but now the Texans might win their last six games and have the first winning record in franchise history. People of Houston, hopefully you’ve learned from your past mistakes.
BRONCOS (-7) over Bills
The enigma that is the Denver Broncos is either due for a loss at home to Buffalo, or a 38-10 throttling of the Bills.
BUCANEERS (-3.5) over Chargers
Yes, Tampa has lost two in a row, but both those games were on the road in the strong NFC South. Now they are back home, where they are 6-0, and are hosting the Chargers, who lost 58 minutes of a football game to the Chiefs last week.
BEARS (-4.5) over Packers
What happened to Green Bay? They’ve lost four straight and six of their last seven. Their only win since their bye week was a 37-3 beat down of these Bears. Expect some revenge on Monday night.