Bounties!? What bounties? We don’t need no stinkin’ bounties!
There surely must be some interesting behind-the-scenes politics involved in getting a former commissioner to circumvent the authority of the current commissioner.
So it’s just the coaches that talked them all into this, huh? Everybody has pretty much decided that it’s all going to be on Gregg Williams (which I suppose we can all live with since he makes such a great villain) and everyone else can just evade any professional (or personal) responsibility for the choices made to deliberately attempt to hurt somebody for money.
Better yet, blame it on the Saints’ water boy and that way the new word for scapegoat can be Bobby Boucher. That makes as much sense.
Following the foolishness of this week’s “news,” fortunately the NFL’s Week 15 schedule looks like one of the best opportunities we’ve had in a really long time to see the best playing competitive games with several playoff slots still to be decided.
Let’s hope they turn out a bit better than that vaunted Texans-Patriots fiasco Monday night. I still can’t believe that one.
Speaking of faulty predictions, two weeks at 10-6 each has brought my average down slightly to .648 (that’s 133 up and 72 down). I have learned to expect the Bengals to disappoint me, but when the Falcons and Steelers flame out, I know it’s a bad week.
Bengals at Eagles – Here we go again, wondering how the NFL Network could possibly hype this thing into any kind of meaningful draw for an audience.
Last week Cincinnati could have found itself in the prime spot for a wild card slot and, instead of dealing with prosperity, they just had to give up 10 points in the final minutes when they had a nine point lead, but that’s the Bengals at home for you. (The karma of Commonwealth Stadium obviously migrates north on Sundays.)
Since Cincy plays both the Steelers and Ravens in the coming weeks, their playoff destiny is still in their hands, but if they lose this one, fate gives them the ol’ fickle finger routine. (You know, that Ancient Rome thumbs-down thing.)
While Philadelphia may indeed just be going through the motions, they looked pretty good at it beating Tampa Bay last week. When you’re at the bottom there’s only one direction left, but after an eight game losing streak it’s hard to believe they have any kind of winning streak in them. Even at home. Even against Cincinnati.
Colts at Texans – This is the one where Ricky comes home and tells Lucy she “has a lot of ‘splainin’ to do!” Oh wait! That’s pretty much in all of them.
Houston! Start ‘splainin’!! Then get to work and start redeeming yourselves. Indy will be a good test, but the Colts still make too many mistakes and if the Texans are as good as we (and they) thought they were this one shouldn’t get out of hand early.
Besides, now is not the time to start losing divisional games. Gee, talk about embarrassing!
Jaguars at Dolphins – Two-thirds of Florida should care about what goes on in Miami this Sunday, but the fact is that in the state with the keys, only college football really gets attention. Without Maurice Jones-Drew there’s still little chance Jacksonville can make a big enough dent in the Dolphins’ defense.
Broncos at Ravens – Baltimore appears to be in full-blown panic mode with the real possibility they could lose their last five games and fail to make the playoffs after a 9-2 start. How else to explain firing an offensive coordinator at the conclusion of Week 14?
The Ravens’ defense is still plenty tough; it’s just got a lot more holes and less speed than in prior years. You know – the age thing. Their offense still doesn’t create enough of a vertical threat and Joe Flacco still makes too many short-sighted decisions.
As for Denver, if injuries don’t get them at the end, they’ll be in it to the finish, and should get the W in this one.
Vikings at Rams – Adrian Peterson is running with a take-no-prisoners attitude. As long as his quarterback doesn’t turn things over, the Minnesota defense can play the field position/waiting game with the St. Louis offense. The Rams have been playing very well at home. The offense still isn’t much, but they have a decent defense and a great kicker.
The Rams have great potential to keep games close and take their shots at the field goals late. It’s a formula that works while Jeff Fisher builds for something more interesting, because learning to win is the most important knowledge a football team can possess. They haven’t had that in a long time.
These two are competitive and should be an entertaining show. Neither team is going anywhere in the post-season, though both still have a shot to get there – well, until this game is over anyway. Rams stay alive, but I’m just being a homer.
Redskins at Browns – With RG3 in the lineup, Cleveland lacks enough speed on defense to keep up with all the cover responsibilities a player like that creates. Without him, the Browns are strong enough to stop everything else Washington can do.
On the other side of the ball, it’s risky to take a chance on Washington’s defense but there’s just not enough ammunition in the Browns’ pack to convince me to go hunt with them. And, sad to say, Cleveland has never played particularly well at home.