Week 15 NFL Picks

Mike “Jerk or Genius” Shanahan Edition

I suppose the only way you can get rid of both Donovan McNabb and Rex Grossman at the end of 2010 is to throw McNabb under the bus, and then to let Grossman actually play. Shanahan was “honest” to a fault when explaining the decision to bascially run over McNabb 4 or 5 times with several buses. No one can explain Mike’s letting Rex Grossman play in an NFL game.

The Real Winner: Andy Reid

Asked for an explanation, Shanahan turned to an impenetrable form of double (possibly triple) talk:

“I think there’s a lot of mistakes that you make. You really don’t know if you made a mistake, but if you do make one, you make it and you go on. What I want to do is evaluate where we’re at at the end of the season, then I will tell you if we erred or not.” (From ESPN).

You said it, Mike. That pretty much sums up the Washington Redskins under Daniel Snyder.


  • ST. LOUIS -3 over Kansas City. *Shrug* someone has to win.
  • Houston +2 over TENNESSEE. Maybe Jeff Fisher can coach the Broncos into obscurity next year.
  • Jacksonville +4 over INDIANAPOLIS. MJD, MJD, MJD. There. Now try to stop him.
  • Arizona +2½ over CAROLINA. The Panthers are listed as the favorite! Oh I see, they’re playing the Cardinals.
  • Clevlaned PICK EM over Cincinnati. I hate the Bungle. I hope their rebuilding process includes new team colors, uniform design and name.
  • Buffalo +5½ over MIAMI. Yeah, I think Miami will win. 9-6.
  • Philadelphia +3 over NY GIANTS. Giants turn the ball over too much, the Eagles take it away even more. Until that formula changes, I like the Eagles.
  • Dallas -9 over WASHINGTON. The Redskins are the worst organization in football. Not even the Bengals have Bungled everything as badly as Washington has.
  • TAMPA BAY -4 over Detroit. I like this Tampa team, and it starts with their quarterback.
  • New Orleans +2 over Baltimore. I don’t believe in the Ravens.


  • SEATTLE +6 over Atlanta. Maybe the Seattle Schizophrenics keep it close.
  • PITTSBURGH -4 over NY JETS. Woe to thee Mark Sanchez, why did you pick now to start doubting yourself?
  • OAKLAND -8 over Denver. Can you imagine the grin on Al Davis’ face if the Raider win 59-14 again?

Sunday Night

  • NEW ENGLAND -14 over Green Bay. I think Green Bay is going to fall out of playoff contention.

Monday Night

  • Chicago -7½ over MINNESOTA. *Yawn* Everybody’s whining about the Field, the Field Conditions, potential for injury, lack of luxury suites, etc.

NFL Week 15 (Already?!) Thursday Night Edition

The End Is Near

Already at Week 15, and still only 9 teams have been eliminated. Hard to believe that San Francisco, St. Louis and Seattle are not among those eliminated.

Poor Officiating and Michael Vick

I was stunned Sunday night during the Eagles-Cowboys tilt, when penalty after penalty went uncalled. Of course, I was biased in the Eagles direction. In particular, there was a missed facemask on Trent Cole, and, perhaps more egregiously, Anthony Spencer’s unnecessarily rough treatment of Michael Vick as Vick was going out of bounds.

I’ve watched football for a long, long time, and yes, that call can occasionally be missed. But only rarely. I don’t see running backs, or wideouts, or even kick returners getting roughed up like that. And if they do get roughed up like that, there’s a flag.

And there should have been a flag Sunday night. Vick was clearly letting up and clearly headed out of bounds. Is something more afoot here?

We'll Just Plop Our Hockey Rinks Right HERE

I find it difficult to blame the players. They will take anything they can get. Just ask James Harrison. But I am curious about the non-action of the referees. And I found someone else questioning this issue, too: Gregg Easterbrook, in this week’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback column (published at, of all places, ESPN, the Cartoon Network of Sport). Easterbrook writes:

Are officials, as Andy Reid contends, allowing hits on Vick that they would flag if against Tom Brady or Peyton Manning — or for that matter against other quarterbacks who run, such as Aaron Rodgers (55 rushing attempts) or Ryan Fitzpatrick (36 rushing attempts)? That zebras are letting Vick take illegal hits seems indisputable. It’s not just that officials regard Vick as a runner even when he’s in a passing stance — penalties should be called if defenders hit the knees or helmets of players in a passing stance. TMQ thinks there is a psychological factor, too. Vick is an African-American who has been to prison. Society devalues people of that description, and allows them to be treated in ways that others are not. This is subtly different from racism, but a factor nonetheless. Ex-convicts who show no remorse are one thing; Vick paid his debt and by appearances at least is a changed man. Yet officials seem to view him as someone who’s OK to try to harm. The NFL and its officials need to have a look in the mirror about this.

113,411 people turned out to watch the Michigan – Michigan State Hockey game. NFL (not to mention its Criminal Co-Conspirators, NCAA Division 1 and the BCS) Football is not the only game in town.


  • SAN DIEGO -10 over San Francisco. I have no clue about this game. Is anyone hurt? I can’t imagine San Francisco pulling out this road game, and quite frankly, don’t want to.

Week 14 NFL Picks

Norv “Peter Principle” Turner Tribute Edition

Today’s interesting tidbit: the San Diego Chargers – now 6-6 after last week’s debacle against the Raiders – have fallen out of oddsmakers’ favor, since the oddsmakers are sane. They’re now going at 15-1, down from last week’s 6-1.

On to our tribute: how much longer can Norv Turner last in San Diego? He’s a mediocre head coach who inherited superior talent from Marty Schottenheimer. Whoops. I mean he’s less than mediocre. Through last week, Norv has a career .480 winning percentrage, 96 wins against 104 losses (and 1 tie).

Brett Favre Did This

Marty has actually won more post-season games (5) in his career than Norv has (4). Of course that stat is a tad skewed, since Norv has only lost 4 games, whereas Marty lost 13.

Norv – and his defensive-minded doppleganger, Wade Phillips – are textbook examples of the Peter Principle. They have each risen to their level of incompetence, are aren’t likely to be head coaches again. Well, once Norv is released from his current duties.

P.S. I was too busy to turn in a pick for Thursday’s game, assuming there was one, which apparently there was but I could care less.


  • JACKSONVILLE -3½ over Oakland. Turns out the NFC West isn’t the only crappy division in football. The AFC South is pretty middling, too.
  • PITTSBURGH -8½ over Cincinnati. How many years – nay, decades – of experience to you need to know that me-first teammates make for bad teams.
  • New England -3 over CHICAGO. I figure this is the week the Real Jay Cutler shows up.
  • BUFFALO Pick ’em over Cleveland. A team that is currently 1-11 cut the Browns’ starting QB before this season.
  • Green Bay -7 over DETROIT. They are still the Lions after all.
  • Atlanta -7½ over CAROLINA. Woe, thy name is “Panther Fan”
  • Tampa Bay -1 over WASHINGTON. What about Mike Shanahan suggests he has head coaching skills any more? Or ever did, for that matter, when his QB isn’t named Elway?


  • St. Louis +9½ over NEW ORLEANS. I just don’t think the Rams will be blown off the field, and that’s a lotta points.
  • Seattle +5 over SAN FRANCISCO. Remember I said I could never take Seattle again this season? Oops. I forgot the 49er Rule – Mike Singletary is still the Head Coach.
  • Miami +5 over NY JETS. The Jets may win, but they aren’t scoring, and Sanchez looks shaky.
  • Denver -4 over ARIZONA. Too bad you can’t just cancel games.
  • Kansas City +10 over SAN DIEGO. I know they don’t have Cassel, but I have no faith in the Chargers. Run, Chiefs, run!

Sunday Night

  • DALLAS +3½ over Philadelphia. Maybe Reid has some Pickle Juice Magic somewhere. But I think we’re watching the beginning of the end of a Good Run for the Eagles. Vick’s blindside is protected, such as it is, by King Dunlap and Asante Samual is out.

Monday Night

  • MINNESOTA +3 over NY Giants, assuming someone picks up the Giants from the airport. And that the teams actually have some place to play since the Metrodome roof has collapsed.
  • Baltimore -3 over HOUSTON. Who will be watching this game?

Week 13 NFL Picks

25 26 Days Phillips-Free

Today’s interesting tidbit: the San Diego Chargers – currently 6-5 and in 2nd place in the AFC West – check in as 6-1 favorites to win Super Bowl 45. That’s tied with Atlanta, behind only the Patriots (at 9 to 2). If the playoffs started today, the Chargers wouldn’t make it – they’re seventh in the conference.

It’s hard to argue against the betting public here. Since losing by 3 to the Patriots way back on week 7, the Chargers have won 4 straight, scoring 133 points and giving up 76. Their remaining schedule: Raiders, Chiefs and 49ers – all at home. They close out on the road with games at – oh brother – the Bungles and at Denver.


  • Buffalo -5 over MINNESOTA. The Bills are playing tough, if occassionaly blasphemous, football.
  • MIAMI -5½ over Cleveland. The Browns are a spunky bunch, but they’re young, and young teams don’t win much on the road.

    "I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND IS THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!!"
  • Jacksonsville +3 over TENNESSEE. Let the Rusty Smith Era End! Jax is on top of the AFC North, and this is a Great Test for them. Terrible loss at NY Giants last week.
  • KANSAS CITY -8½ over Denver. The “handshake” game is about as exciting as it was ever gonna get for the Broncos this year.
  • Washington +7 over NY GIANTS. The Skins aren’t awful on the road, and the Giants do everything they can to lose games and somehow bungle their way to wins.
  • DETROIT +5 over Chicago. OK, I got beat badly taking the Lions and the points on Thanksgiving Day.
  • GREEN BAY -9 San Franciso.
  • New Orleans -6½ over CINCINNATI. Only 6½? Drew Brees isn’t dead is he?


  • TAMPA BAY +3 over Atlanta. The Young Bucs have only last badly twice this year. I think they’ll keep this division game close.
  • San Diego -13 over Oakland. Oh dear, this could get ugly.
  • SEATTLE -4½ over Carolina. Remember I said I could never take Seattle again this season? Oops. I forget the Panther Rule – the Panthers may not win a game again until 2012.
  • Dallas +5½ over INDIANAPOLIS. The Cowboys are no Chargers, but the Colts are no Colts any more. I don’t think they can run away from the Cowboys.
  • St. Louis -3 over ARIZONA. There’s nothing really to say about this game.

Sunday Night

  • BALTIMORE -3 over Pittsburgh. Baltimore is unbeaten at home. This is a tough game, but I think a close one. Looking for trends? Me either.

Monday Night

  • NY Jets +3½ over NEW ENGLAND. Remember last Monday? No? SF played Arizona? Derek Anderson went off on a rant? No? Nothing?