Thank God I'm a rational fan with realistic expectations, and thankfully (I guess?) I have been beaten down by my team for so long that nothing can really shock me much anymore; otherwise Monday night may have involved a broken TV and an alcohol induced stupor.
That said; going into the game I honestly thought the Redskins could win until each play of the first quarter became increasingly soul-crushing. By the end of the quarter I felt helpless rather than upset. Honestly, a last minute loss or a 4th quarter collapse would have led to more anger than the complete fold from Monday's Redskins.
Here is the thing it did lead me to realize however, this Redskins team is no better than last year's 4-12 team. They still have the ability to look very good and a better ability to look utterly useless. They could have easily lost all of their games this season. I suppose the fact that they won four close games is a step in the right direction, unless of course they lose out and finish 4-12, no better than Jim Zorn and Jason Campbell.
At least I wasn't one of the people who thought McNabb and Shanahan would bring the Redskins immediately to the playoffs. Of course some of these fans are also the first ones to quit on the team and stop watching games. I will still watch every game and blindly hold out hope for a turnaround despite knowing it won't happen anytime soon.
Enough about the Redskins, let's talk about the rest of the NFL since it is way more interesting. This week I felt like I've had the least idea of who to pick, maybe that's a good thing?
Last Week: 6-8
Lock of the Week: 8-2
Home teams in CAPS
DOLPHINS (-1.5) over Bears
As far as third string QBs go, it doesn't get much better than Tyler Thigpen. While that is not a huge endorsement, the more important fact regarding this game is that the Bears are not good. Jay Cutler has looked like a good QB for two straight games. There's no way he can make it three straight.
Raiders (+7) over STEELERS
I'm still not sold on either of these teams. I keep expecting the Raiders to turn back into the Raiders, but since they are currently the hottest team in the NFL I gotta take them with the points. But if they end up losing by 30, that's what I get for trusting the Raiders.
Texans (+7) over JETS
The Jets keep almost losing (or actually losing in the case of the Packers game); they can't be trusted to cover a touchdown spread after needing OT to beat the Lions and Browns. In fact the way the NFL is going it's hard to say anyone should be favored by a TD, unless of course they are playing the Panthers.
Ravens (-10) over PANTHERS
Lock of the Week
Sure, the Ravens are only 2-3 on the road and haven't won by more than three on the road, but none of those games have been against the Panthers. Jimmy Clausen is questionable which means there is a chance the Panthers will have to go with another rookie, Tony Pike; either way Baltimore should force at least three turnovers and get at least one defensive TD, despite the fact that their defense doesn't seem to do those things anymore against non-Panthers.
Redskins (+7) over TITANS
Playing a road game is probably the best thing that could possibly happen for the Redskins right now. If they were at home they'd be vigorously booed right out of the gate. It's entirely possible the Redskins fold again this game. If there is any chance that they have a good coach or leader in the clubhouse it has to show itself now.
Lions (+6) over COWBOYS
I get that the Cowboys finally won a game and looked like a football team again last week, but I don't get how that entitles them to be a six-point favorite. Sure the Lions aren't very good, but they have played a lot of teams close, teams a hell of a lot better than the Cowboys.
Packers (-3) over VIKINGS
I was about to pick the Vikings, despite there being no reason to do so, but I can't make myself do it. Their 3-1 home record is a sham with wins of the Cardinals, Cowboys, and Lions. They looked positively awful last week. Of course this all means somehow they'll probably win; such is the NFL.
BENGALS (-5.5) over Bills
The Bills got a first win! Woo! While it would be classic Bills for them to get another win here and drop down to the fifth pick in the draft I don't see it happening. They now have some injuries to add to an already thin roster.
Browns (-1.5) over JAGUARS
Last week the Browns looked really good in losing and the Jaguars looked really lucky in winning. That Hail Mary was great for three reasons: the actual play, the mascot running into the end zone after Mike Thomas, and of course Gus Johnson's call, particularly the crazy 'Ha haaa' cackle at the end of it. Ultimately, the Jags are too mediocre and too erratic to win a third straight game and move to 6-4.
Cardinals (+8) over CHIEFS
A game that could certainly go either way, and by either way I mean the Chiefs win a close game or the Chiefs blow the Cardinals out of the building. I'm more inclined to think the Chiefs win a close ugly game, because those seem to be their specialty.
SAINTS (-11.5) over Seahawks
I hate picking the Saints with this big of a line, but when the Seahawks lose, they lose hard and there is no question they are going to lose this game, let's just say I'd be a lot happier if the spread was slightly smaller.
Falcons (-3) over RAMS
Somehow the Rams haven't really played anyone good yet this season, the closest thing being the Bucs. A team like the Falcons should handle the Rams, generate buzz as the best team in the league and then proceed to lose next week to the Packers.
Buccaneers (+3) over 49ERS
Sure the 49ers have won two straight, in fact they are undefeated with Troy Smith, but I still don't see them being the favorites here. The Bucs have only lost to the Steelers, Saints, and Falcons who are all significantly better than the 49ers. I'm still not giving the 49ers a pass for losing to the Panthers, even if they've changed QBs, I can't pick a team who lost to the Panthers against anyone halfway decent.
Colts (+3.5) over PATRIOTS
Both teams are flawed, in fact the Colts likely have more flaws, but the Patriots flaws play into the Colts strengths (weak passing defense vs. Manning). Also the Colts have gotten the better of the Pats more often than not in recent history. ALSO the Patriots are the popular pick as the best team in the NFL this week and all season the team that has held that title has been losing. No matter what this spread shouldn't be more than three.
EAGLES (-3) over Giants
The Eagles can't possibly be as good as they seemed last week, but I think I'm required by man law to pick the team that absolutely murdered my team the last week. If the Eagles score 65 points suddenly the Redskins won't look quite so bad.
Broncos (+10) over CHARGERS
Just when I was ready to bury the Broncos they come out and drop 49 points. No division is more confusing than the AFC West, anyone could beat anyone by 30 points and I wouldn't be shocked.