*Last week I managed to pull off the rare 7 win week including Thanksgiving and I look to keep the momentum going. Also last week, I opted for 4 favorites, while this week I'm taking all 5, including two that are a touchdown or more. Well I figure I deserve to take a few chances after such a successful week. If it doesn't work, then so be it. But here's to hopin'!*
Week 13 Picks
Chicago Bears (-6) over Green Bay Packers
New England Patriots (-10) over New York Jets
Jacksonville Jaguars (-2.5) over Cleveland Browns
Washington Redskins (-3.0) over St. Louis Rams
Tampa Bay Bucs (-3.5) over New Orleans Saints
Seattle Seahawks (-4) over Philadelphia Eagles
Monday Night: 7-6-0
GAME OF THE WEEK
Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers
*This is a premier battle in one of the best conferences in the NFL. Carolina is coming off of two shaky outings, a close win over Buffalo and a loss to the Chicago Bears. Atlanta on the other hand, is fresh off a blowout of the Lions on Thanksgiving, but still is surrounded by questions on whether or not they are properly using their star, Michael Vick. I've been surprised at the lack of talk this week about this game, with people choosing instead to focus on the Giants/Cowboys, Steelers/Bengals or even the Broncos/Chiefs game. While all of those games are equally important to their respective divisions, I think the winner of this game has the best chance this side of Seattle to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. If Jake Delhomme can find another WR he can depend on, or Mike Vick can find the right combination of pocket presence/elusiveness, one of these NFC South powers will be dancing in Detroit come February.
NFL News and Notes
*A lot of people are starting to ask the question of whether or not Tony Dungy should rest some of his stars with home field virtually locked up for his Colts in the AFC. Well not to sound selfish, but it would really help my fantasy team if he didn't. More importantly, the Colts have a chance to do something that no team has done in 33 years, and that's go undefeated. Now granted, going 16-0 means nothing if the Colts fall short in the playoffs, but I think they can do both. And there's that old saying "you never know unless you try", and I think the Colts owe it to themselves to try and be the first team ever to go 19-0 in one season. Naturally Colt fans and pundits alike will scream bloody murder if Marvin, Reggie, Edge or Peyton should get injured in a meaningless game at the end of the season, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't play. I am all in favor of sitting them from here on out once the Colts have a big lead in a game, but to sit them all together, well that would just be selling this team and their season short.
*So apparently when Steve Mariucci was told he wasn't going to be fired, it meant he wasn't going to be fired....for a few more days. The funny thing is, everyone knows that the person that should have been fired was Matt Millen. Millen has done nothing but lose, make poor draft picks, and hire coaches who have failed to turn his team into a winner. And it still boggles my mind that the Ford family gave Millen a 5 year extension before the season began, even though he had failed to produce a winning season. Truth is, Millen's winning % was higher with Mariucci coaching than it had been any other time during his tenure as GM, so why was it Mooch's fault? I'm just happy I don't like the Lions. But with each passing season, it becomes more understandable why the great Barry Sanders became so disenchanted with football and decided to hang 'em up well before his time.
*So Mike Holmgren says he "messed up" when explaining what NFL officials told him following Seattle's OT win against the Giants this past weekend. Originally, Holmgren came out and said that the NFL had apologized to him for messing up the TD calls of both Amani Toomer and Jeremy Shockey's catches. Then the NFL came out and said they made no such apology to the Seahawks head coach. If that weren't weird enough, Holmgren then said he expected to be fined, while the NFL said they didn't expect to fine him. I don't see a need for a fine here. Its clear that Holmgren was told something by somebody. Should he had made those comments public, no. And should he know better, probably. But seeing as his team won the game anyway, both he and the NFL should just let this situation go by the wayside. Its not like he came out and said they got it wrong and they suck, so let's all just move on.
*This whole Michael Irvin situation just boggles my mind. ESPN essentially suspended Irvin this weekend, after the incident this past weekend when Plano, TX police found a pipe and bags with marijuana residue in his car after pulling him over for speeding. The thing I don't get, is why Stuart Scott, in an attempt to help clear his friend's name, said the police found a "crack pipe" in Irvin's car. Nowhere in the police report does it say crack pipe, so where did the One Eyed Wonder get his information? My only guess is that maybe Irvin was afraid of being tested by ESPN for marijuana, because if he were tested for crack, there would be a good chance he could clear it out of his system in time. Either way, nobody is buying his story that the pipe wasn't his, or that it was his brother/friend/cousin/"brother"s. I mean if he had to pat this guy down before letting him in his house, what was he doing letting him in to begin with? Well I'm just going to go ahead and state the obvious, the pipe belonged to Nate Newton!
*Don't even try to tell me that shit isn't really screwy in St. Louis right now. Not only did they have an Ivy League QB (Ryan Fitzpatrick) lead them to a comeback win this past weekend, but the situation with Mike Martz is just plain weird. Fitzpatrick, whose dad is a rocket scientist (even though his dad went to Arizona St. and not an Ivy League school), is getting his first career start this weekend with both Marc Bulger and Jamie Martin on the shelf. Meanwhile, Mike Martz has made it known that he is healthy enough to return, but the Ram's front office is saying no way. First they said that he isn't healthy enough, but I think there is more to it. I said weeks ago that Martz had coached his last game in St. Louis, but apparently he doesn't read my blog. Still, I would be shocked if he returned to the sidelines in the Edward Jones Dome, let alone this season.
College Basketball Top 10
1. Duke (6-0) 1
2. UCONN (6-0) 2
3. Louisville (3-0) 3
4. Texas (7-0) 5
5. Boston College (6-0) 6
6. Villanova (4-0) 7
7. Indiana (4-1) 4
8. Memphis (6-1) 8
9. Florida (7-0) NR
10. Oklahoma (4-1) 9
just missed: Gonzaga, Iowa, Illinois
dropped: (10) Kentucky
**Hey Bruins fans, don't try to tell me this Joe Thornton trade was a huge deal. This just in, the Bruins suck, their management is awful, and any change has to be considered a good change. I'm not saying they got the better of this deal, or saying they got a raw deal. All I'm saying is things haven't been right in this organization in a while (see 30 coaches in 19 years), so why would we expect things to change? Just stop watching, I mean its hockey for crying out loud!**