by Ryan Meehan
The St. Louis Rams filed a complaint with the NFL Tuesday regarding a play in which they believed New York Giants safety Deon Grant and linebacker Jacquian Williams supposedly faked an injury to slow down their hurry up offense. The NFL responded Wednesday afternoon with a new policy-based statement issuing a memo to all 32 teams which read: “Going forward, be advised that should the league office determine that there is reasonable cause, all those suspected of being involved in faking injuries will be summoned promptly to this office … to discuss the matter. Those found to be violators will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action for conduct detrimental to the game. We have been fortunate that teams and players have consistently complied with the spirit of the rule over the years and this has not been an issue for the NFL. We are determined to take all necessary steps to ensure that it does not become an issue.” It’s consistent with a lot of the NFL’s previous press releases as it’s confusing as fuck, hypocritical, extremely wordy and makes very little sense.
I’ve already made it clear in previous posts that there is no good way to assure that faking injuries won’t happen in the NFL. Especially now with the mandatory concussion tests and all of the other new safety measures in place. You can’t enforce intent, i.e. you can’t read a player’s mind. Sure it’s a problem and one of these days it’s going to happen in a playoff game during a crucial moment in a playoff game or in a Super Bowl, but what franchise wouldn’t trade a draft pick or the amount of money for a fine for a postseason victory? There is no way to fix this, it’s part of the game and it will most likely never go away.
So now that you know I didn’t have anything better to lead this week than that bullshit, here are my predictions for week three:
Jacksonville (1-1) at Carolina (0-2)
If my calculations are correct, given the amount of yardage Cam Newton has been able to amass against San Francisco and Green Bay, he should be able to throw for at least 780 yards against the Jaguars on Sunday afternoon. Blaine Gabbert will make his first professional start in this game devoid of all the pressure media attention that you’d usually expect from any of the other 32 teams. I’m going to say that Cam puts up some great stats again but this time comes away with a win.
Panthers 30, Jaguars 12
Houston (2-0) at New Orleans (1-1)
This should be one hell of a game. As Wesley Willis once said “It’s gonna be a demon hellride!” N’Awlins smacked the Bears around at home last week, and the way the Saints play in the Superdome is hard to bet against. As I said in the last wrapup, this Ben Tate kid from Houston is doing a hell of a job stepping up in Arian Foster’s place while he recovers from that hamstring injury. Tate is likely to start again and Foster may not play at all.
Saints 28, Texans 27
San Francisco (1-1) at Cincinnati (0-2)
Do you remember when your mother used to cook you dinner and there was always one part of it that you didn’t want to eat? That’s how I feel writing about this game. I honestly couldn’t give a fuck who wins. It’s the “green beans” of week three.
49ers 14, Browns 13
Miami (0-2) at Cleveland (1-1)
The poor Dolphins. Not only have they started the season losing their first two games, but no one else in their division has lost yet. It won’t get any easier here either…as they’ll be facing Peyton Hillis with a run defense that still has a couple of years to go before it’s even a work in progress. If anybody has any information about the Browns feel free to email me.
Browns 23, Dolphins 16
New England (2-0) at Buffalo (2-0)
This week I read a piece about how great it was that Buffalo and Detroit have something to smile about in the midst of being hurt severely by the downturn in the US economy. Reality check: This is where one of the feel good stories of the year hits a brick wall. Back to the factory…if it’s still open.
Patriots 32, Bills 17
New York Giants (1-1) at Philadelphia (1-1)
Even after last weekend, I’m still scared of the Eagles. If Vick feels good enough to play, he’ll start…but the question is if Justin Tuck is able to get around that offensive line, will he finish? Personally I think the Giants are so banged up it won’t matter…WR Domenik Hixon is out for the year and Mario Mannigham should be out for an extended period of time as well. They did pick up Brandon Stokley but he’s hardly a number one go-to guy. Philly has a lot of issues to fix on defense, particularly preventing third down conversions late in the game and tackling in general.
Eagles 34, Giants 22
Denver (1-1) at Tennessee (1-1)
I’m going to be a complete dick here and call this one ending in a tie, something that any warm-blooded American sports fan should hate. I’ll even go as far as to say that each team will miss an extra point. Haseelbeck’s outing against the Ravens last week was a fluke, not a sign of things to come. As for the Broncos, nah…nevermind…
Broncos 20, Titans 20
Detroit (2-0) at Minnesota (0-2)
The Vikings are only 0-2? I would have figured they’d have found a way to lose at least 6 or seven games by this point. This is a great opportunity for Matthew Stafford to take that next step against a guy who’s been playing in the league for quite some time and has been to the Super Bowl and countless championship games. He has the chance to look Donovan McNabb right in the face and say “At this point in your career, I’m better than you now.” If Minnesota could somehow get 45-50 carries out of Adrian Peterson they might be able to win this one, but then they’ll REALLY have to pay him the big bucks next year. Of course I’m kidding, that franchise doesn’t have any money.
Lions 24, Vikings 14
NY Jets (2-0) at Oakland (1-1)
The Raiders are going to have to bounce back from a heartbreaking loss last week in the final seconds against the Bills. But if anyone can do it, it’s a team that doesn’t have any general rules for their players. Mark Sanchez will struggle again this week. I like a good defensive underdog at home, but not a lot of people would have the balls to pick against the Jets right now.
Jets 25, Oakland 10
Kansas City (0-2) at San Diego (1-1)
As know by now, everything about the Chiefs is ripe for the picking. San Diego couldn’t have had their schedule set up any better: They got New England out of the way early nd then get to face the Chiefs in the second week. From a ground perspective, Darren Sproles is slowly becoming a star in this league. Not only are the Chargers a fan favorite amongst neutral spectators, but all of the fantasy football geeks think he’s a fucking God as well. And this game is in Southern California? Tough room…
Chargers 38, Kansas City 10
Baltimore (1-1) at St. Louis (0-2)
The Ravens were last week’s “What the Fuck?” moment as they lost to the Titans, proof that the better team doesn’t always win. It’s sort of a chain reaction here as the Ravens beat the shit out of the Steelers in week one, who took it out on Seattle while the Ravens were busy getting lit up by Tennessee. Therefore by the theory of transitivity, Baltimore should kill the Rams. Speaking of the Rams, I did like the patience I saw out of Sam Bradford in the Monday Night Football game last week. Not only does he hide his frustration, he’s also not a pussy: When he gets popped late he doesn’t get up and immediately throw a fit because there’s no roughing the passer flag on the field. He still doesn’t have a chance this weekend.
Ravens 36, Rams 11
Atlanta (1-1) at Tampa Bay (1-1)
Nobody in the NFL has more momentum heading into week three as Atlanta does. They came back from a ten point deficit against this supposed “Dream Team” in a very symbolic fashion where their ex-quarterback left the game with an injury, but not before pointing at the scoreboard first. The Bucs won last week and Josh Freeman had a QBR of 91.2. The quote of the week had to come from Tampa left tackle Donald Penn who said “It’s good the game starts at 4 because we usually don’t start playing until 3:30” That’s radio gold right there.
Falcons 21, Bucs 16
Green Bay (2-0) at Chicago (1-1)
Aaron Rodgers will waltz right into Jay Cutler’s house and eat his dog on Sunday. Last year’s NFC championship game was a bit misleading because it suggested that the Packers were only a touchdown better than the Bears, which wasn’t the case then, and it isn’t now either. Plus, the Packers aren’t as banged up as they were in late January.
Packers 31, Bears 17
Arizona (1-1) at Seattle (0-2)
So by now we’ve seen the statistics from last week about how atrocious the Seahawks were on both sides of the football. Now let’s stop being so goddamned negative and talk about Kevin Kolb. There, we just talked about him. See?
Cardinals 29, Seahawks 7
Pittsburgh (1-1) at Indianapolis (0-2)
You can pump in all of the crowd noise you want. You can give everybody the same stupid blue T-shirt with something incredibly pretentious like “we believe” written all over the front of it. Criss Angel, David Blaine, and David Copperfield could appear out of thin air during the coin toss but all of the magic in the world isn’t going to put Peyton Manning in uniform. This should be one boring ass football game. Yet another case where the reverse flex scheduling should be in effect all season long.
Steelers 20, Colts 6
Washington (2-0) at Dallas (1-1)
The Cowboys seem to play quarter by quarter. The question is: Can they get enough good quarters against a fringe team like the Redskins to come up with a W? It’s at home so I’m going to say yes here. Even with as much shit as I’ve talked about the Rexplosion in DC, he’ll put up some good but not great numbers in this one. I can see him having some red zone issues throughout the evening. On media day DeAngelo Hall’s dumbass informed the press that he’d be focusing extra attention on going after Tony Romo’s injured ribs, which has to have the Commish thrilled. In a perfect world, someone like D’Angelo Hall would be sentenced to clean assholes at a homeless shelter for the rest of his life.
Cowboys 27, Redskins 23
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