I am in mourning this morning. The season is over. Less than halfway through, it is all but decided. It is the Patriots and the Colts. Two undefeated teams. If the Colts can’t beat the Pats at home in week 9, it is likely that they will play them at Foxborough in January to decide the eventual Super Bowl winner. That is what the season has come down to. Gee, it was fun while it lasted.
Parity you say? The Patriots have won every game by at least 17 points. They are a Rolls Royce. The Colts are a BMW. The Cowboys and Steelers are Cadillacs. And the rest of the league is a Buy Here / Pay Here car lot on the poor side of town. Depressing.
The really bad part is that the Pats have already crushed the Cowboys, and they will play the Colts and Steelers during the season. There won’t be much mystery left by the time the playoffs roll around. The Pats will have proved themselves superior to the only teams that could seriously challenge them in the post-season. Let’s just give them the trophy right now and cancel the rest of the damn season.
The only real mystery is whether the Patriots can go undefeated. I usually roll my eyes when I hear people talking such nonsense at this point in the season. Hopeless dreamers. But it is absolutely worth discussion. When you are blowing teams out, and doubling them up on the scoreboard every week, without breaking a sweat, there is a lot of room for error. The Patriots are more capable than any team I can remember of having a “bad” game and still winning handily.
People are crowning Tom Brady the greatest QB in history, and his stats so far this season justify that thinking. But as with most great teams, the system is greater than the player. You could just as easily plug Jeff Garcia and Galloway into the Brady / Moss roles, and this team would likely not miss a beat. Injuries and potential injuries are a non factor to the Patriots. Kevin Faulk looked just as good as Maroney and Sammy Morris when he was pressed into heavy service against the Cowboys.
The Patriots could turn Ron Dayne into a fantasy star. And much like catsup on a bratwurst, that just isn’t right.
The Patriots are teflon.
And the NFL season is in cardiac arrest. The Colts are the only ones with a defibrillator. For the sake of the league, and everybody that is sick to death of watching the Patriots hoist the trophy, I hope the Colts have that thing good and charged up by week 9.
I really hope the Colts can put up a game, otherwise I may have to see what all this fuss is about hockey. Is the NHL still around? Maybe I will check that out.
Crazy as Hell Pick of the Week
Alright, the jig is up. I am 4-2 on the season, and I think it is time to pull the plug on this section of the column. If you are hitting 33%, that isn’t helping anybody except the people that are fading you. Do I really want that?
So instead of giving you some losing pick against the spread this week and furthering my humiliation, I have decided to put the bad predictions I give in this section to some good use. The world gives me lemons, I make lemonade.
Injuries will continue to decimate the NFL and in turn continue to destroy the hopes and dreams of fantasy players all throughout the land, especially mine.
The Patriots will go undefeated this season and win the Super Bowl 70-3. Tom Brady will break the TD record by week 13. Randy Moss will score 30 TD’s.
Bill Belichick will not only win the Coach of the Year award, he will be nominated for President of the United States and will win in a landslide after he sends his minions to the swing districts to dump Hillary’s ballot boxes in the river.
I will crash and burn in all of my fantasy leagues with a late season swoon that would give the New York Mets a reason to chuckle. I will not be winning any championships this season.
Senseless violence will continue in the world. We will find more ways to get involved. The government will continue to piss away our money like I have pissed away mine on gambling in the last couple of weeks.
Emmitt Smith will not only continue to hold a job at ESPN, but will take over Berman’s chair, carrying the show with his broadcasting prowess and command of the English language.
The current Monday Night Football announcing crew will have the longest running tenure in sports broadcasting history, except for Jaworski who will be replaced with Michael Irvin. We will all grow old with that dream team of Tirico, Kornheiser, and Irvin.
I will get the flu this winter, during the same time we are having another killer ice storm.
I will never win the lottery, but I will have erectile dysfunction.
Jessica Alba will not show up at my front door drunk, lost and lonely. And even if she did my wife would not go grab the video camera and offer to document.
Carrot Top will not get his ass kicked in a redneck bar.
I think that about covers it.
Oh, who am I kidding? Crazy as Hell Pick of the Week, I can’t quit you.
The Patriots are only 17 points favorites at the Dolphins. The Pats are 5-0 ATS, The Dolphins are 0-5. The best team in football. The worst team in football. This could be the most legendary ass kicking in the history of the NFL. I’m loathe to call anything in life a lock, except death. And death will certainly befall those who try to slay the mighty dragon this season. Seventeen points? Please. Maybe if Brady throws 5 interceptions and fumbles twice.
I use to think 17 points was a ridiculous number to lay in any NFL game. But what you are seeing is not an illusion. The Patriots are the greatest team in the history of football. Chris Collinsworth said so. It must be true. Do the math. If the Pats show up at the stadium they win by 17. Are you kidding me? I'm going to use a dirty word. Lock. Dolphins +17
There, take that Patriots!!
(insert Battle Hymn of the Republic music....his truth is marching on...)
10) Cardinals: Warner’s “savior” status lasted exactly one offensive series before the offensive line let him have a taste of the medicine Leinart got last week. Yeah, I could give the Cards a pass here considering they signed a guy off the street to back up Warner, and that guy was referring to his wrist band for the plays even as he walked up behind center. But when you get carved up by Vinny Testeverde, who the Panthers retrieved from the old folks home only days earlier, in your own house no less, I think you have some issues. You jacked up Big Ben and company, but you are mystified by the stylings of a guy that went to school with Moses?
9) Raiders: Well, that was a quick fall from grace. From first place in the division to last with one loss. They waved their magic wand over Ladanian Tomlinson and turned him back into LT. And Culpepper looked a lot like the bumbling stumbling version from ‘07. Note to the management. Your last four games are @ Green Bay, Indy, @Jax, and San Diego. You aren’t really going to consider throwing Jamarcus Russell out there for all that are you?
8) Saints: Finally sweet relief. A win. On the road no less. In front of a national audience. Nice. Would have been nicer if it hadn’t been against a washed up running back, a patchwork corps of receivers, and a head coach whom I suspect may be huffing glue between quarters. But hey, a win is a win.
7) Bears: I have to admit I didn’t see much of the Bears/Vikings game on Sunday. Apparently the Bears either could not figure out that Peterson was the Vikings only offensive weapon, or they just couldn’t stop him if they did. Griese has brought some much needed stability to the offense, but they would need Peyton Manning to overcome the deficiencies of the defense. The vaunted Bears allowed Peterson the 6th highest yards from scrimmage ever. 311 total rushing yards for the Vikings. Let that sink in. The Bears defense. Decimated by the Vikings. Right now would be an ideal time to remind all those that spent an 8th round fantasy draft pick on the Bears this year how foolish they look. But having drafted Devery Henderson in one of my leagues in the 8th round, I think I will just keep my mouth shut about all that.
6) Seahawks; 4th quarter. Seahawks down 18. 9 minutes left. Seahawks have 4th and 3 in their own territory against the Saints. Holmgren sends in the punter amid the boos of the fans, then changes his mind and sends the offense back onto the field. Unfortunately by then, the play clock was almost expired so Holmgren was forced to take a time out. After he had plenty of time to come up with a brilliant play during the time out, Chumley trots the offense back onto the field. The brilliant play call? A fullback run up the middle. No dice. And back came the boos. The Seattle fans know that the team is not good enough to overcome their personnel shortcomings, let alone stupefying coaching decisions.
5) Jets: Mangini is holding his hands over his ears and saying “lalalalalalalalala” while Jets nation cries, begs and pleads for Kellen Clemens. Mangini says the team’s problems are not confined to one player, and he has no intention inserting a quarterback that may bring about the possibility of a forward pass. Come to think of it, you are probably right Mangini. It probably isn’t Pennington’s fault the Jets suck. Maybe it is the head coaches fault. But denying Clemens a chance to prove that theory flawed might not be your best move at this point. Just a thought. Mangini feels that bringing in Clemens would send a message that he is throwing in the towel on this season. Uh, I hate to tell you this, but leaving Pennington in indicates that you are throwing in the towel for next season too. Let’s get real. You are 1-5 in the same division with the Patriots. The season is over. Give the people what they want before they start hating your guts. The only thing worse than being a loser, is being a loser that everybody except Pennington and his mother despises.
4) Bengals: One of the announcers in the Chiefs /Bengals game commented late in the contest that “LJ looks like the old LJ.” Yeah, against the Bengals defense Emmitt Smith could look like the old Emmitt Smith, Eric Dickerson could look like the old Eric Dickerson. Hell, I’d bet that if he had not been buried 16 years ago, Red Grange could probably look like the old Red Grange against the Bungles. Yeah, you heard me. Bungles. The really sad part is that this team actually has talent, unlike those loveable losers of past years. Unfortunately they also have a locker room of guys that are well versed in the art of the bad decision. They have the makings of a fine prison team, but not so much in the NFL.
3) Falcons: When the NFL put together the schedule, I’m sure they envisioned the Manning vs. Vick matchup as a good sell for Monday Night Football. Instead we got Manning vs. The Piano Man. This game was a dog that even PETA wouldn’t have tried to save.
2) Dolphins: Wouldn’t it be a beautiful irony if the Patriots went undefeated in the same season the Dolphins went winless? That would probably be the coolest thing ever. See there, now I have something for live for after all.
1) Rams: After the Lambs 22-3 drubbing at the hands of the Ravens, Marc Bulger claims he is ready to step back under center this week. My question is, why?