by Ryan Meehan
Detroit Lions defensive end Ndomakung Suh met with NFL officials Tuesday. Supposedly, the emphasis of the meeting was to review game film of specific plays with the Commissioner in order to gain a better understanding on the League’s perspective and rules when it comes to defensive play. Suh claimed that he walked away from the meeting with a better understanding of the “ins and outs” of officiating. This could be 100% correct and still be complete bullshit. If he did walk out of the meeting with a better understanding that’s great, but really if he didn’t, what was he going to say? That they didn’t explain it to him well enough and then wait for yet another fine from the commissioner’s office? I discussed this with my brother in law last night and we are both subscribing to the thought that this was essentially a well crafted PR made by a guy who was quickly developing a nasty reputation as a dirty player. Let’s examine what will be happening ON the field this weekend. NY Jets (4-3) at Buffalo (5-2)
So far haven’t heard any of the ridiculous smack talk that we’re becoming so accustomed to hearing out of the Jets’ camp. I’d be guessing that would be the case because 1) Rex Ryan might have realized that providing so much bulletin board material for the other team isn’t a good idea, and 2) Coming off of a shutout against the Redskins, it’s very possible the Bills might end up slapping the fuck out of the Jets Sunday. Which is fine with me…I still haven’t seen that epic performance from Mark Sanchez that we’ve been waiting for and on the annoying scale the Jets are somewhere bewteen sitting next to someone with halitosis who breathes heavily and being tazered to death while any Mariah Carey song plays in the background. Maybe they love to be hated, but why? That’s clearly not what the league wants as their main goal is to sell as many jerseys and beanies as humanly possible. Jets lose another one.
Bills 26, Jets 14
Seattle (2-5) at Dallas (3-4)
You have to figure that Dallas won’t come out as weak as they did in the Philly game. Tony Romo may be able to talk smooth to the media, but when an opposing defense has him figured out, he struggles to come up with a plan B. However, the Seahawks are terrible and play very poorly on the road. Plus, Jerry Jones is pissed right now. Fun fact: DeMarcus Ware is on pace to break Michael Strahan’s single season sack record, which is fine with me. Every team in the NFC West that isn’t the 49ers has a point differential of minus 40 or worse. So when it seems like we mention that division blows ass every week, it’s well justified. Kind of want to pick a shutout here but it should be insulting enough to assume that the Seahawks won’t even see the endzone.
Cowboys 28, Seahawks 6
Atlanta (4-3) at Indianapolis (0-8)
Attention to anyone involved with fantasy football hooliganism should start Matt Ryan if they have the opportunity. He should have a field day against the Colts, who haven’t won a game all year. All you really need to know here is that the Colts are 31st against the run and the Falcons have Michael Turner. I’ve developed this bizarre theory that if you play home games in a dome, playing in another team’s dome isn’t really a road game unless you’re playing the Saints. All of the conditions are the same and you never have to worry about the elements. Besides, the RCA dome isn’t exactly as rockin’ as it used to be to say the very least. I would guess if you wanted Colts tickets right now it would be very easy to make that happen.
Falcons 33, Colts 16
Miami (0-7) at Kansas City (4-3)
Just a month ago I was convinced that KC was one of the worst teams in the league. And it wasn’t just their record, they were playing horrid. Now they have the chance to win five in a row for the first time in eight years. Additionally, they own the tiebreaker over the Chargers as of right now. As for the Dolphins, any team that is better on the road than they are at home is beyond suspect unless there’s some unusual circumstance present. Miami has virtually no running game: Their lead rusher is Reggie Bush with 335 yards and NO touchdowns. Ouch. Speaking of touchdowns, Chad Henne’s only thrown four all season long. Unbelievable. Almost as unbelievable as me picking the Dolphins to score 10 points.
Chiefs 41, Dolphins 10
San Francisco (6-1) at Washington (3-4)
Washington’s stock is plummeting and the 49ers are just one loss from being in the discussion of number one in the power rankings. Frank Gore has been pure gold all year and may very well win the rushing title. The Redskins are in a really shitty place because they have two guys competing for their starting QB job that would be third stringers just about everywhere else around the league. I still say it was a great move to ditch Grossman, I’m just not sure ditching him for Beck was a fantastic tactical decision. Alex Smith is having a good year, not putting up unbelievable numbers, but he’s a in a similar situationsuch as Flacco or Sanchez where the offense is based around the running game so he doesn’t have to be Joe Montana. Regardless, you’re going to see a big day out of him and the 49ers winning percentage will improve to .875.
49ers 27, Redskins 12
Cleveland (3-4) at Houston (5-3)
So I have to figure the Texans win this one, which means they will be 6-3, which also means it would be very hard for them to blow this division at the hands of the Titans. Head coach Gary Kubiak said Friday that Andre Johnson will not play in this game, and that same day Browns running back Peyton Hillis got hurt again in practice, once again activating the Madden curse. And when it comes to throwing for any distance Colt McCoy is pretty much worthless. This game can be found on Sirius XM Satellite Radio on Channel 137. That’s all I got for this one.
Texans 24, Browns 9
Tampa Bay (4-3) at New Orleans (5-3)
Who’s the more talented team? The Saints. Who’s got the bigger playmakers? The Saints. Will either of those things matter this week? I doubt it. To be honest, I’m calling this a lock if LeGarette Blount gets back. The NFC South is the new NFC East. It’s a fucking complete mess. The top three teams could easily make it to the playoffs and the worst team in the division isn’t even bad, they’ve just lost a ton of close games. So it’s hard for me to pick any game Falcons/Saints/Bucs. Although I have to admit, I like Tampa to sweep the Saints this year. Keep in mind Drew Brees could go apeshit any second and make me sound like the clueless douchebag that I really am as opposed to the semi-educated sprotswriter I’d like to believe I am.
Buccaneers 28, Saints 27 (you may notice that’s sort of a bullshit score that I pick a lot when I feel two teams are very evenly matched. That’s definitely the case)
Denver (2-5) at Oakland (4-3)
There’s this new craze that the Lions started last week called “Tebowing” where a player from the opposing squad makes a prayer-like motion in the sacked or tackled player’s direction. Truth be told, I don’t have a problem with this mockery of the man’s faith. What I will start to get upset about is if these same guys are interviewed right after the game and say “I just want to give all of the glory to Jesus”. Really asshole? An hour ago you were making fun of someone praising him and now he’s your best bud? Fuck you. I believe the Raiders are on the way down, and fast. Also Darren McFadden probably won’t play here.
Broncos 20, Raiders 18
Cincinnati (5-2) at Tennessee (4-3)
Man, I hope so…As stated earlier this week, Andy Dalton is flying way under the radar due to all of the coverage other rookie quarterbacks such as Cam Newton and Christian Ponder are getting. But the real story here has been the Bengals stifling run defense. Also, the Bengals will get Cedric Benson back after serving his one game suspension. An interesting matchup is going to be Cortland Finegan covering AJ Green. Almost interesting enough to force me to watch a Titans game. But in all seriousness, this game is going to be a hgue bullshit check for whoever loses it: Both teams are performing much better than expected and are still looking up at a team (or in Cincinnati’s case two teams) within their respective divisions that is a lot better than they are. Something’s Got to Give.
Bengals 25, Titans 21
NY Giants (5-2) at New England (5-2)
This should be a lot of fun. The Patriots average 29 points a game but are ranked 32nd in the league defensively. (See, I told you Roethlisberger wasn’t that good) Manning is third in the league in passer rating behind only Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, who he’ll be up against this week. Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw will start this week despite a cracked bone in his foot. Now that Hakeem Nicks is doubtful for this week, Mario Manningham is going to have to have a huge Sunday afternoon in order for the Giants to win. If he gets injured, then I don’t what New York is going to do. I expect Tom Brady to have a huge day coming off that loss in Pittsburgh. Plus, the Patriots rarely lose two in a row.
Patriots 24, Giants 23St. Louis (1-6) at Arizona (1-6)
I’m pretty hyped I don’t have to sit through this one. This is usually the part where I compare one team’s strengths to another team’s weaknesses. All you should really know is the Rams were able to shove the Saints around last week, and the Cardinals have lost a lot of close games. This won’t be one of them.
Rams 34, Cardinals 10Green Bay (7-0) at San Diego (4-3)
The Chargers are falling out of the “watch out for these guys” conversation more and more with each passing week. I haven’t seen one single power ranking where the Packers aren’t ranked number one. Their defense still struggles at times, but winning football games is a team effort and as long as they can come away with more points at the end of the game, having the 31st ranked passing defense in the NFL shouldn’t matter. If this was any other 4-3 team I might be more inclined to pick the upset here. The Packers look like a million bucks on the cover of SI.
Packers 30, Chargers 11Baltimore (5-2) at Pittsburgh (6-2)
The Steelers should have the edge here coming off of a huge win against the Patriots, but this matchup is always an awfully heated battle. Big Ben’s stats from last week appear a bit inflated, as the Patriots’ defense is still struggling to come up with an identity nine weeks into the season. But remember, this is the team that represented a very strong AFC in the Super Bowl last year and came very close to winning it all. And their defense has stepped up their level of play, particularly Lamar Woodley who will sit this game while continuing to monitor that hamstring issue. The Ravens forced seven turnovers in the first meeting and although that defense reamins strong, I cetainly wouldn’t count on getting that many takeaways this time around. But for some reason I just don’t see this game being as awesome as a lot of people are expecting. I can forsee many fans wanting this one to be a barnburner and leaving fairly disappointed.
Steelers 24, Ravens 13
Chicago (4-3) at Philadelphia (3-4)
You could make the argument that if the Eagles lose this game they won’t make the playoffs. I don’t believe they will lose, but I would understand how motivation would start to disappear when you hit five losses. Especially for a team that expected to finish 12-4 or much better. I’ve heard some people around here bitching about the fact that the Eagles are seven and a half point favorites, but you have to look at momentum instead of records, and nobody in the NFL has more momentum like Philly.
Eagles 22, Bears 19
Bye Weeks: Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings
The Lions should be fine, I don’t think Cliff Avril needs any more practice being a dick. The Panthers will be teaching Cam Newton how to draw a W since he’s got just about everything else figured out. And I don’t give a shit what the Jaguars or Vikings are doing in weeks where they’re playing, so obviously I’m not too concerned with what they’ll be working on in the bye.
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