Something for the Liver to ponder over the weekend:
Do I like Cowboys coach Wade Phillips taking his foot off the gas against the Jets?
I’ve been critical of Bill Belichick for running up scores, and I detest hypocrites more than anything in the world.
If the Cowboys had pushed for 50, I'd be ripping them for it.
Was 34-3 running up the score?
If you watched the game, you know that question shouldn’t even be asked.
The Jets were done in the second quarter. Phillips read Eric Mangini’s mind and waved the white flag for him—because Phillips is classy guy.
Would Belichick have continued to attack?
Does that demonstrate a killer instinct?
Who would you rather have running the show—a classy guy who knows when to say when, or an asshole who'll shove a knife down a team’s throat and keep it there until they bleed to death?
As it stands, I'm not sure I can see the Cowboys raising the Lombardi Trophy with Phillips in charge. Sure, Dallas is 10-1—but it’s still November, and Super Bowls aren’t won in November.
Then again, it could be worse.
Isiah Thomas could be their coach.
Only Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Kiefer Sutherland, Mike Leach, Bill Belichick, Bill Simmons, Roger Goodell, and Travis Henry's nine kids and nine mommas would be drunk enough to question the Esteemed Liver's picks.
Last week's record against the spread: 4-10-2
2007 record against the spread: 68-82-10
Yup, last week sucked—but I had a perfect Thanksgiving and sense redemption around the corner.
Sunday, November 25
New Orleans at Carolina (+3)
I think we can officially put the Saints talk to bed now.
Turns out everyone's trendy NFC pick was a one-year fraud. Even if the Saints squeeze into the playoffs, they aren’t in the same league as Dallas or Green Bay.
Speaking of disappointments...at least Carolina can use the Vinny excuse.
Pick: New Orleans
Denver (+2 1⁄2) at Chicago
I may wonder how Denver wins games—but dammit when I take them to cover against all odds (like against Pittsburgh and Tennessee), they come through for me.
The Broncos still might win the “Anybody want me?” division that is the AFC West...and earn the right to be Wild Card fodder. Meanwhile, Rex “Go get your fucking shinebox” Grossman is taking snaps for the Bears again.
Tennessee at Cincinnati (Pk)
The Amazing Vince and his Titans have shown themselves to be what they are: a team that revolves around an athletic QB, a decent running game, a bunch of WRs that couldn’t be picked out of a lineup by their mommas, and a good defense.
Tennessee can still compete for a Wild Card berth, but Vince can only do so much.
Cincinnati, on the other hand, has let me down one too many times. Next to San Diego, the Bengals have been the most disappointing team in the AFC.
Houston (+3 1⁄2) at Cleveland
The Browns are the feel-good story of the season...unless you’re a Cowboys fan.
Houston may be getting better, but injuries and inconsistent play has doomed them. The best news: Mario Williams has made great strides in his second year, while Reggie “Show me and my family the money” Bush has been underachieving.
Buffalo (+7 1⁄2) at Jacksonville
The Bills, bless their souls, were brought back to earth last Sunday.
Jacksonville is getting healthy at the right time, and still has an outside shot at challenging the banged-up Colts for the AFC South.
Oakland (+5 1⁄2) at Kansas City
And now for the AFC West matchuuuuuu...shit give me another Bloody Mary.
Minnesota (+7) at N.Y. Giants
The Giants still have a Wild Card prayer, which means they SHOULD wipe the floor with this Vikings team.
When the Giants should do something, that makes me nervous.
Seattle at St. Louis (+3)
The Seahawks lead the pathetic NFC West by a game over the Cardinals. The Rams have won two in a row after going winless to start the season, mostly because their offense is getting healthy and starting to put up points.
Pick: St. Louis
Washington (+3) at Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay is leading the putrid NFC South, but no one knows whether they're any good. Washington gave the Cowboys a run for their money, but you have to wonder if that was their last stand.
If the Bucs are for real, they should handle this scrappy but ailing Redskins team.
Pick: Tampa Bay
San Francisco (+10 1⁄2) at Arizona
And tell me again, Roger Goodell, why you only took away the Patriots OWN first-round pick in the aftermath of Spygate...and NOT the one they got from the 49ers?
Great message to send the league, Mr. Commish.
But I digress.
The 5-5 Cardinals are only a game out of first in the NFC West. Apparently no one plays decent football west of the Rockies anymore.
Baltimore (+9 1⁄2) at San Diego
The Chargers continue to underwhelm—and Norv Turner is dusting off his resume.
I’m starting to get serious George McFly vibes from Norv...and I’m not talking George at the END of Back to the Future.
That said, have you seen Baltimore recently? Especially after walking off the field in apparent victory before coming back to lose last week against Cleveland?
Pick: San Diego
Philadelphia (+22) at New England
This spread is Vegas' way of saying, “We don’t fucking care anymore—we dare you to take the Patriots.”
It's hard to believe this is the biggest NFL spread in 30 years. It's even harder to find a reason NOT to take the Patriots.
Whether or not Donovan McNabb plays, it’s going to be a long, boring night on NBC. I think I can hear the Patriots taunting the Eagles players the way Leon taunts Rick Deckard in Blade Runner:
“Wake up...time to die.”
Pick: New England
Monday, November 26
Miami (+16) at Pittsburgh
How the hell did the Steelers lose to that Jets team I just saw against the Cowboys?
Look for the Steelers to get inspired Gunnery Hartman-style on Monday night: Square their asses away and start shitting the city of Pittsburgh Tiffany cufflinks.
Still, 16 on the Steelers is a lot to lay.