Written last week:
I did see today on Facilebook the results of an NFl poll asking whether the Browns should start Hoyer or Manziel. Only one state in these fine fifty chose Hoyer. Yes, that would be Montana. Come this Sunday, we'll find out if we're all smarter than the Browns coaching staff.
We have our answer, and yes, Montanans are smarter than the Browns coaching staff. Merrell Hoge couldn't have put it better:
"You have first round hype with sixth round talent"
Coach Pettine is stuck now. The Browns are all but mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, and Manziel must start at least one more game. Hopefully, JMoney can gain some confidence from his O-line and run a more wide open game suited to his playing ability. Still, I have to be believe that starting him against the Bengals was one of the worst coaching decisions I've ever witnessed. Maybe this would the time to mention Jay Cutler, but others have aklready taken better shots.
The Broncos, Patriots and Colts all own their divisions, now. The Cardinals are assured a game in January as well. The 'Niners are now eliminated from the playoffs; Philadelphia is on the outside looking in. And, as of this weekend, the Detroit Lions have the number 2 seed in the NFC. Frankly, one has to consider the Bills over the Packers to be the upset of the decade. Green Bay has been playing dominant offense, stymying even very good defensive groups. Buffalo turned the tables on them defensively, confusing, harrassing and thwarting Aaron Rodgers at every turn, handing Rodgers his ~worst~ game to date as a professional quarterback. A week ago, I would have predicted Green Bay to take home field advantage all the way to the Super Bowl against either the Patriots or the Broncos. Now, it is possible that the Pack might be a wildcard hopeful. And so it goes in the age of NFL parity.
On the flip-side of those seeking to excell, this week we get the futility bowl. 2 teams striving desperately for the number 2 draft pick meet on Thursday night. The Buccaneers have the first pick, and with upcoming games against the Packers and Saints, they likely have that pick well in hand. But Jacksonville and Tennessee are playing up for pride, or down for the pick. One way or the other, it should be fun.
There are TOO many tough games to pick this week to have any level comfort about my choices. Still, I only trail 3 of ESPNs resident experts in accuracy, so there's that.
Just a personal observation but *Dog-damn it* do I hate Saturday pro games.
Tennessee (2-12) at Jacksonville (2-12) - Jaguars
Philadelphia (9-5) at Washington (3-11) - Eagles
San Diego (8-6) at San Fransisco (7-7) - Chargers
Baltimore (9-5) at Houston (7-7) - Ravens
Green Bay (10-4) at Tampa Bay (2-12) - Packers
Kansas City (8-6) at Pittsburgh (9-5) - Steelers
Cleveland (7-7) at Carolina (5-8-1) - Panthers
Detroit (10-4) at Chicago (5-9) - Lions
Minnesota (8-8) at Miami (7-7) - Dolphins
Atlanta (5-9) at New Orleans (6-8) - Saints
New England (11-3) at New York Jets (3-11) - Patriots
New York Giants (5-9) at St. Louis (6-8) - Rams
Indianapolis (10-4) at Dallas (10-4) - Cowboys
Buffalo (8-6) at Oakland (2-12) - Bills
Seattle (10-4) at Arizona (11-3) - Seahawks
Denver (11-3) at Cincinnati (9-4-1) - Broncos
Last Week's score: 13 - 3, 81% Overall: 152 - 72, 67%