Is it me, or is officiating getting worse across the board in every sport? The NBA is at times unwatchable due to inconsistent officiating. The NHL might be the worst of all the sports. MLB strike zones are a complete crapshoot.
And the NFL…don’t get me started on the NFL. From the Vrable no-hold holding call to the “You can’t advance a fumble” no-touchdown in the Steelers game, NFL officials had another pretty bad week last week.
The Steelers didn’t have too much time to complain about the stolen touchdown (yes, they won the game…but in theory it could impact a tie-breaker), as the NFL has them playing a scrimmage against the Bungles in this week’s edition of Thursday Night Football.
CIN @ PIT
So, I go to a bar expecting to watch the football game, but something like two bars in the entire state of New Hampshire have the NFL Network. So, I didn't get to watch the game.
I did, however, watch the Celtics destroy the Pistons...for whatever that's worth.
Apparently, the Steelers won 27-10. Not exactly unexpected.
As for this weekend’s games…
HOU @ CLE
The Browns are coming off an emotional win against the formerly good Buffalo Bills. Of course, you could also say that they were a 56 yard field goal away from losing to the formerly good Buffalo Bills, and they’re the only team the Bills have been able to run the ball on all season.
But they didn’t quit!
TB @ DET
Here’s a prediction. By this time next week, you’ll be reading all about the resurgent Tampa Bay offense. The “experts” will tell you how good Jeff Garcia has been. Cadillac Williams will look like a pro-bowler, and the “experts” will declare him healthy and ready to lead the Bucs to the playoffs.
Then you’ll come here, and I’ll remind you that they were playing the Detroit Lions. Talk about a buzz-kill.
CHI @ STL
Sometimes you have to look hard for reasons to want to watch a game (assuming you’re not a fan of either team). Under most circumstances, this would be one of those games. But I have Kyle Orton starting for my fantasy team against the first place team this week. And he’s playing the hapless Rams’ defense.
I’m actually excited to watch….
BUF @ KC
Marshawn Lynch blew up last week, rushing for over 100 yards for the first time this season. It’s amazing how bad the Bills running game is considering how good their running back is.
My gut tells me the Bills will blow out the Chiefs. My head reminds me that the Bills stink and the Chiefs appear to have learned how to score points.
Then again, my head tells me never to bet on Herm Edwards.
MIN @ JAC
When I guaranteed the Jags would lose last week, some of their fans got a little upset. Apparently, the only team that’s guaranteed to lose every week is the Lions. I should have mentioned that the Jags had at least a small chance of winning.
So, with that in mind, this week the Jags have at least a small chance of winning.
PHI @ BAL
A tie game last week? Seriously? A tie? Against the Bengals? 13 points against the Bengals defense over 5 quarters of football? Are you kidding me?
Baltimore will finally put the Eagles out of their misery, as a loss this week will basically drop them out of playoff contention. And thank God. If I have to hear from one more Donovan McNabb apologist I will not be held responsible for how I respond!
NYJ @ TEN
Favre was spectacular last week. If he played like that every week, the Jets would be a force. Unfortunately, Favre doesn’t play like that every week.
NE @ MIA
Gut-check time for the Patriots. Regardless of what the loud-mouthed Dolphins linebacker has to say, the Patriots are a better team than the Dolphins. They need this win. If they lose, they’re likely out of the playoffs. If they win, they’re back in the AFC East driver’s seat.
The Fins are just happy to be playing meaningful games in November. The Patriots, and their potentially franchised this offseason quarterback, need to put the Dolphins back in their place.
SF @ DAL
Wait a minute…if the Cowboys feed the ball to their all-world running back, they can actually win games? Who knew?!?!? The 49ers destroyed the Rams last week, the Rams beat the Cowboys earlier this year. I smell upset.
OAK @ DEN
If you’re a fantasy football player, and statistics show that most of us are, then you need to go find yourself a running back from either the Broncos or the Raiders and pick him up for this weekend. If both teams were smart enough to hand the ball off every down, neither team would be stopped all night.
The only team more pathetic against the run than Denver is Oakland…
NYG @ ARI
I’m not sure the Giants are getting the attention they deserve. They won the Super Bowl last season, now they’re destroying the NFL this season. Yes, they had that one blip against the Browns, but outside of that game they’ve been tremendous.
Arizona will put up a fight, but can you really envision their defense stopping the Giants’ running game? Me either.
CAR @ ATL
The 8-2 Panthers face the 6-4 Falcons in what will probably be the best, more entertaining, and most meaningful game of the weekend. The Falcons, Mike Vick’s old team, and the Panthers, who had Vinny Testaverde for a large chunk of last season.
My how the times have changed.
The Falcons are fantastic at home. I think they pull off the upset, which means the Panther and Bucs will likely be tied at 8-3, with the Falcons right behind them at 7-4.
Could the NFC South put three teams into the playoffs?
WAS @ SEA
Remember when the Seahawks had one of the best home field advantages in the NFL? Not anymore. This season, they’re 1-4 at home. They’re also 1-4 on the road. How symmetrical.
Just when you think the Redskins are competitors, they go and lose two games in a row. If they lose this week, which admittedly is unlikely, they’re probably on the outside looking in come playoff time.
IND @ SD
The Dolphins, Patriots, Ravens, and Colts are all 6-4 and tied for the two wild card spots in the AFC. The Bills are right behind them at 5-5. The Jags, Browns, and Chargers are all two games back at 4-6.
Translation: If the Chargers lose to the Colts, they are DONE. D-O-N-E, done.
That’s right. I put the kybosh on the whole thing back in August when I said they were the best team in the AFC. You’re welcome, rest of the AFC.
GB @ NO
These two teams expected to be far better than 5-5 coming into this game. Fortunately for the Packers, 5-5 means first place in the NFC North. Unfortunately for the Saints, 5-5 means season’s probably over in the NFC South.
The Packers have a better defense and a better running game. The Saints have a marginally better passing game. I’m not seeing how the Saints will be able to hang on to whatever slim hope they have for making the playoffs.
The Packers should roll….