I hate this time of year in the NFL. Reason? We are in sight of the end of the regular season. Then it's playoff time, Super Bowl and the season is done. That's right...I was the kid that got pissed about Christmas being over before it was even over. I can't help it.
Colts over the Titans. It's the case of two reeling teams. The difference I believe is that Indy is desperate and Tennessee is past that point. They seem to be in the "I don't give a #$%# mode right now and even though Manning is just downright awful at the moment, I'll take him over whoever the Titans trot out there. Having said that......as someone who roots for the Colts, it is hard to watch them this year. They are grinding offensive plays out like never before. 5 yards. 2 yards, 7 yards. 1 yard. Mind you, these are all passes. Reggie Wayne is the only guy stretching the field for them and even he has dropped some critical passes. Garcon is not having the type of year I thought he would have considering he is a main target. Additionally, the running game is a joke. Here is where Manning's complex offense comes back to bite the Colts in the rear end. I believe they have passed on very talented runners in the draft and in free agency who they feel would not be suited for picking up the blocking schemes in a very complex offense. For the Colts pass protection is job A and job B for a running back. Picking up yards on the ground is an afterthought...... and that's killing them right now. Having Dallas Clark, Austin Collie, and Joseph Addai out with injury are key factors for sure, but think back to how Manning won his only Super Bowl. Remember a running back named Dominic Rhodes and how he tore up the vaunted Chicago Bears defense? I'm not saying he was a fantastic runner in his career, but he was awesome that day and he was just as responsible for that victory as Manning was. Watch the tape sometime. You'll agree.
p.s. I just googled Dominic Rhodes' name to make sure I spelled his name right and lo and behold I read that the Colts just resigned him due to the injuries to their running backs. You can't make this stuff up. Well....you can but why would I want to?
Browns over the Bills. The Bills are at home and despite their record they aren't pushovers. Still, even with Jake Delhomme trying to give the game away for Cleveland last week they managed to win it in a squeaker. I'm taking the Browns in another shocker to myself.
Steelers over the Bengals. The Steelers need to keep an eye on this one. The Bengals have a habit of playing them tough and they could be easy to overlook for a Pittsburgh team that just had one of the more impressive wins of the year over the Ravens. I can tell you one thing: a whole lot of women around the country saw Ben Roethlisberger's broken nose in the game and stood up applauded.
Packers over the Lions. It's a divisional game so I guess it could be tougher than it looks. But the Pack look really good to me.
Giants over the Vikings. I think NY ends Favre's season if he plays in this game. Their pass rush is relentless. The Vikes should play Tavaris Jackson, hand the ball to Adrian Peterson and prep for next year.
Bucs over the Redskins. Tampa still hasn't beat a team with a winning record. They're good but not playoff good. They've made progress this year and next year we might be talking about them as a sexy pick to compete for their division. There is nothing sexy about the Skins though. Not from El Creepo Eyes Shannahan to Albert Haynesworth's incredibly lazy and incredibly rich butt, to Donovon McNabb's rapidly disappearing career. .
---And by the way I loved the throwback creamsicle orange unis the Bucs wore last week. I would never advocate for it to come back full time (just like I think the powder blues for the Chargers isn't a good look week to week) but a little nostalgic homage to the 70s and 80s in Tampa was nice.......Even if that nostalgia invokes memories of total and complete futility.
Falcons over the Panthers. Kudos to the Panther punter who made TD saving tackle on a showboating Seahawk Leon Washington this past week. That highlight will be saved and packaged by him for Christmas gift dvd stocking stuffers.
-If the Falcons are truly serious contenders this year then this game shouldn't even be close.
Jags over the Raiders. If only the Raiders could just play teams in their own division. They own those guys! Too bad for them they have to go on the road to play a hot Jacksonville team. ---Hey can we all agree that the Saints picked the wrong Southern California running back in the draft a few years back? Reggie Bush is a dangerous weapon for the Saints when healthy but Maurice Jones Drew is the complete package. He was overlooked and overshadowed at UCLA by the flashier Bush at USC. But their numbers were comparable in college and it's not even close in the Pros. Drew by a mile.
49ers over the Seahawks. Seems like the Niners always play well at home against Seattle. Alex Smith is starting but that probably isn't exciting anyone in the Bay area.
Saints over the Rams. Bradford is not ready to take down the Saints at home.
Jets over the Dolphins. NY needs to show that the Pats game was a fluke. Too bad for them it wasn't. New England is a much better team with a living legend at QB. Mark Sanchize Sanchez at this point is talented but could not fill out Brady's jockstrap (metaphorically speaking).
Broncos over the Cards. the "win one for the interim coach" thing has worked so far this year for a couple of clubs so why not the Broncos? Hard to believe how far the Broncos have fallen the past couple of years. Wasn't too long ago we were thinking of them as a team with massive potential. Cutler at QB, Marshall at receiver. A opportunistic defense. It's not all McDaniels fault. But he did set some of the dominoes in motion and for that (and other stupid things) he probably did deserve to get whacked.
Chargers over the Chiefs. I wish K.C. could get this one but I have a feeling San Diego will continue to string people along with another shot of hope. I know the Chargers have gone deep in the playoffs a couple of times recently but it sure seems like they are one of the prime contenders for wasting the most of their talent over the past half decade.
Eagles over the Cowboys. The rebirth of John Kitana! Again! Yikes! Dallas is at home this week in the "House that Jerry Built" but I'm going with Vick and the Eagles. It's funner that way.
Ravens over the Texans. Arian Foster might have a tough time running against the Ravens.
Patriots over the Bears. I've said it and I've said it. And it makes me sick to say it. Tom Brady is the best QB in the league. Maybe the best QB of all time. Certainly the best QB in the past decade. Manning made it interesting for a couple of years but there just isn't any doubt that Brady is the best. He's unstoppable. He's calm, strong armed, tall, insanely accurate, has great timing and leaps tall buildings in his spare time. Had it not been for his season ending injury 2 years ago, he probably would have taken the Patriots back to the SuperBowl that year too. He had just come off the amazing 2007 year (re-writing the record book) and he had a good team that Matt Cassel ended up winning 11 games with as a backup. Last year was a bit of down year for him coming off the injury but he's back in form and .....and....and I need to throw up. I must control my hate. I must control my hate. It's all about baby steps in my anti-Patriot therapy.
Last Week: 13-3