And for the most part, that perfectly sums up what it was like last year. Wasn't how horrible Bryant Gumbel is at being a play-by-play announcer the only memorable aspect of the NFL Network broadcasting games last year?
Now, I'm sure last night's Cowboys-Packers game has the NFL positively beaming this morning. That game had a playoff-type atmosphere and was thoroughly entertaining from beginning to end. How could anyone say something about a game like that?
They're right. Hey, if it weren't for Brett Favre getting hurt (could lack of prep time have something to do with him not recognizing a Cowboys' blitz package?), the referees being utterly incompetent, and Bryant Gumbel, last night's game would've been perfect.
Thursday night: 0-1
Last Week: 10-6
2007 Season: 82-88-6
And now the Lions are just a game ahead of the Vikings and Bears, and will need to go 4-1 in order to fulfill Jon Kitna's prophecy of a 10-win season. Just like I thought in August, that 10-win and a trip to the playoffs won't happen for the Lions this year. Kitna may have Jesus on his side, but the Vikings have Purple Jesus. And everyone knows Purple Jesus > regular Jesus.
It's science. (Editor steps away from column to avoid lightning blast) Pick: Vikings -3 ½
Do you see the pattern at work here? We're thirteen weeks into the season and the Eagles are yet to string two good games together. Additionally, the only offensive weapon the Eagles have (Brian Westbrook) hasn't practiced all week due to a knee injury. I'm not saying it's going to be as easy as the 42-0 shellacking the ‘Hawks laid on the Iggles two years ago, but I do think it's a game the Seahawks will win outright. Pick: Seahawks +3
San Diego (-5 ½) at Kansas City – If there was a low-point in the San Diego Chargers season this year, it was getting stomped 30-16 at home to the Kansas City Chiefs in week 4. Things have changed for both the Chargers and Chiefs since then (Chargers are 5-2, Chiefs are 2-5), and I think that this is going to be a "revenge" game for San Diego, who actually need this win to keep ahead of the 5-6 Denver Broncos in the "no, you take it" race in the AFC West. Pick: Chargers -5 ½
NY Jets at Miami (-1 ½) – I'm sure Cam Cameron isn't rooting for his team to finish 0-16, since that would be a historically embarrassing mark that would pretty much ensure that he never gets another head coaching gig in the NFL or any other level of organized football.
However, when you're 0-10, and the score is 0-0 late in the 4th quarter, and a delay of game penalty has pushed you back into an area of the field where the footing actually improves the likelihood of your veteran kicker making the field goal, you have to take the points, don't you?
You can't put the ball in the hands of your rookie quarterback, who was making his second NFL start, on a 4th and 1 play on the road against the NFL's best defense, which is exactly what Cameron did. So maybe he is rooting for that 0-16 record. Pick: Jets +1 ½
Jacksonville at Indianapolis (-7) – It kind of surprised me that the Colts were giving this many points to the Jaguars, because there's this belief that the Jags always keep it close when they play Indianapolis. Then I looked at their last 5 meetings and found that in the four games the Colts won, they've done so by margins of 7, 8, 7 and 22 points.
San Francisco at Carolina (-3) – It's sort of sad, but when I found
out that Carolina Panthers quarterback Vinny Testaverde woke up on Sunday
with a bad back, and David Carr was going to replace him, I wanted to change
my pick to the Saints last week. Pick: 49ers +3 (Don't worry,
can be an unrestricted free agent after the season, and there's no denying
how valuable he is. In the 1st half of the season,
Haynesworth is expected to play this week. Pick: Titans -4
A local TV blackout. Pick: Rams -4
Pedro Taylor, Sean Taylor's father, flew up to
But why, after he already returned a punt for a touchdown, would you kick the ball to him again? I'll applaud you for challenging him, but once you get burnt, you have to play it smart from then on. Pick: Raiders +3 ½
NY Giants (-2 ½) at Chicago – Speaking of Devin Hester, if there was going to be one head coach who misses the memo that Hester is the only legitimate scoring threat the Bears have, wouldn't the smart money be on that coach being Tom Coughlin?
In the same way that even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut, I think the Giants realize that as long as Hester doesn't touch the ball, they'll win. Pick: Giants -2 ½
Tampa Bay at New Orleans (-3 ½) – Injuries have been the story for the Buccaneers all season long, and now they've hit them in the one place they could least afford: Jeff Garcia? Garcia's back is so sore, he can't throw a football, which is not how Jon Gruden wanted to go into this week's game against the schizophrenic New Orleans Saints. Pick: Saints -3 ½
"Normally I wear protection, but then
I thought ‘When am I going to make it back to
With that in mind, who thought it was a good idea to place sod on top of sod, and not expect drainage problems? Pick: Steelers -7
New England (-20 ½) at Baltimore – I'm sure after the scare the Patriots got from the Philadelphia Eagles this week, Vegas is seeing a lot of action on the Baltimore Ravens plus the 20 ½ points this week. Sorry, but I'm not buying it.