Don't have much time to write all this; so here's some brief thoughts from the world of sports.
1) Kyle VandenBosch was put on IR yesterday. He's the Lions 3rd best player. This sucks.
2) Suh was fined $15,000 for a perfectly legal tackle. My respect for Roger Goddell drops from a 98 to a 52 with this complete bullcrap. Un-Bee-Leave-A-Bull. Worst Fine I've ever seen.
3) Everyone is obsessed with saying "What is wrong with the Miami Heat?" because they started the year 9-8 and had a 3 game losing streak. Since then, they've won 6 straight. They just needed some time to get used to each other. Calm down everybody, it's not like they'll miss the playoffs. Worst case, they get the 3 seed. More likely they get the 2 seed. And they won't be easy to beat in a 7 game series. They're still the favorites no matter what their record is.
4) Everyone is obsessed with saying "What is wrong with Peyton Manning?" because he's thrown 11 INTs in his last 3 games. This might be more valid than the Miami thing, but it's still overblown. He really misses Dallas Clark and Austin Collie and has zero running game to lean on. It's not his fault. A lot of those picks were because of drops, tips, or pointless hailmarys. Don't overreact; he'll still be a force to be reckoned with and he'll still be in the playoffs.
5) I hope Favre's career is done, but I doubt it. That consecutive starts streak means more to him than his own health. What a freaking moron.
6) Shutup Derek Jeter. It must be so terrible to be paid $60 million to be a below-average shortshop. You had the 8th best batting average on your own team, and yet you're being paid more than $1 million per month. How awful.
7) Hate to break it to you, but Cliff Lee is 100% going to the Yankees. Why is this even considered a topic of debate?
8) A lot of interesting things happened last week in the NFL:
A) Tom Brady secured the MVP
B) Sam Bradford secured ROY
C) The following teams' slim playoff hopes were crushed: Miami, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, and Washington.
D) I went 9-7 against the spread, bringing me to 102-86-4 this year. I only really whiffed on 3 picks (IND-Dal, GB-SF, NYG-WAS). Atlanta only covered by 1; Carolina blew a 14 point lead; Tennessee apparently gave up on the season; and Chad Henne played his worst professional game. If I could have foreseen those strange occureneces, I might have been 13-3 ATS. Oh well.
9) My fantasy basketball team is doing well thanks to Kevin Love's nightly 20-20s and Blake Griffin's 30-15s. I'm dominating rebounds, despite wasting a draft pick on Chris Bosh. My biggest letdown has been #2 overall pick (NBA Draft pick, not fantasy pick) Evan Turner; he rarely scores more than 5 points. I'm dropping him today.
10) I essentially have a bye week in fantasy, after clinching the playoffs last week behind AP and Wayne's big games. Playoffs start next week. This week I'm resting my starters. I just hope I can convince their head coaches to do the same.
11) In the B League, I'll be in the playoffs if I win this week against Alaska. It's do-or-die. I'm glad my team is much better than his. Feeling good about my chances.
12) On to week 14's picks...
Indy (6-6) @ Tennessee (5-7) on THURSDAY
Predicted Line: IND by 2
Actual Line: IND by 3
In the last 5 weeks, these teams are a combined 1-9. The one win came against Cincinnati. Yikes.
Somebody's gotta win though, and I should probably take Peyton Manning over Kerry Collins. Random prediction: Randy Moss scores 2 TDs.
Browns (5-7) @ Bills (2-10)
Predicted Line: CLE by 3
Actual Line: BUF by 1
I can't figure this line out ... Cleveland is clearly the better team.
Last week was a major Coming Back Down To Earth week for Ryan Fitzpatrick (also for Kyle Orton, Dwayne Bowe, Rex Ryan, and Peyton Hillis) so hopefully the chatter about Buffalo keeping Fitz and not drafting a quarterback will stop. They CLEARLY need a quarterback; now the only issue is: will they get first dibs, or will Cincinnati? The 2011 Draft is shaping up to be interesting. Will Carolina keep Claussen or draft Luck #1? Will the Lions keep losing and take the best player in the draft, CB Patrick Peterson from LSU, with the #2 pick? Where will stud receiver AJ Green go? What about Mallet, Locker, Newton, and the other QBs? Will Minnesota and Washington take QBs? Will Oakland draft Usain Bolt? If the Lions don't get Peterson, will they address the secondary or the offensive line?
For this game, I'll take Cleveland. Peyton Hillis is still working on a Fantasy MVP season, and he won't stop now against the league's worst rushing defense.
Tampa Bay (7-5) @ Washington (5-7)
Predicted Line: WAS by 1.5
Actual Line: TB by 2.5
Hmm... five thoughts.
1) McNabb stinks. This is the worst season of his career, period. Since the secret's out with Carson Palmer, I guess I'll have to call Donovan 'The Secretly Terrible Donovan McNabb.' Will someone accuse me of being a racist if I do that?
2) Albert Haynesworth is a fat lazy piece of crap. But Mike Shanahan has also proven to be a terrible coach in this mess. What an ugly situation.
3) Washington can't stop the run and appears to be quitting on their coach (that's the new trend this year)
4) Tampa might be deflated after a crushing loss to Atlanta last week. They might come out flat.
5) Amazingly, Tampa has the better player at QB, RB, and WR in this matchup.
But I have no idea what to do, so I'm siding with the Home Dog.
Atlanta (10-2) @ Carolina (1-11)
Predicted Line: ATL by 12.5
Actual Line: ATL by 7.5
Whoa. I missed that line by 5 points. That doesn't happen too often. Guess I should take Atlanta and not overthink.
Oakland (6-6) @ Jacksonville (7-5)
Predicted Line: JAC by 4.5
Actual Line: JAC by 3
Both of these teams have a reasonable shot at winning their crap divisions, so this game is important. Too bad both teams stink. I'm taking Jags at home.
Packers (8-4) @ Lions (2-10)
Predicted Line: GB by 7.5
Actual Line: GB by 6.5
This line is a little high, don't you think? Considering Detroit has been able to keep games close and entertaining all season ... and considering we led New England and Chicago at halftime in consecutive weeks. I know Drew Stanton will continue to play like a video game (take the snap, immediately start running backwards, scramble aimlessly for 15 seconds, then throw) and I know KVB's injury really sucks, but Green Bay has some weaknesses of their own: they can't run the ball, they don't pass-protect very well, and the defense gives up some big plays. Calvin should have another score, Suh should wreak some havoc, and I like our chances to keep this game close. Ish. Maybe a 24-30 "thriller" although the outcome will never be in doubt. I'll take Detroit at home.
Giants (8-4) @ Vikings (5-7)
Predicted Line: who knows. Is Favre playing? I'll say NYG by 2
Actual Line: NYG by 2.5
I dunno ... I'll take the Vikings in the Upset of the Week. Who cares. All these picks stink today. Never mind, I'll take the Giants. I keep forgetting how much Favre sucks.
Cincinnati (2-10) @ Pittsburgh (9-3)
Predicted Line: PIT by 10.5
Actual Line: PIT by 8.5
The Bengals should be giving this game everything they have ... I'll take Cincy to cover, I guess. That's a big line for an offensive line with 4 injured starters.
Rams (6-6) @ Saints (9-3)
Predicted Line: NO by 6
Actual Line: NO by 9.5
Sheesh, that's the fourth line I've missed by more than 3 points. Some strange games this week. Either that or I'm just not focused. It has been a busy week - woke up at 4am yesterday and 4:30 today. Crazy stuff. By the way, Jack turned 1 on Tuesday. My son is one. How weird and simultaneously awesome.
I'm taking the Rams in this game. That line is way too high. Sam Bradford will likely never be a 9 point underdog again in his career. The Saints don't usually cover high spreads. This is all Rams. In fact, I'm making this the Upset of the Week. I think they might win outright.
Seahawks (6-6) @ 49ers (4-8)
Predicted Line: SF by 5
Actual Line: SF by 5.5
That's an awfully high line for a team that stinks, especially with Gore out for the year and yet another QB switch. They're going back to Alex Smith. He stinks, but should do okay against Seattle's horrible defense. I think San Fran wins this game. But I'm taking Seattle to cover. 6 points is too many.
Dolphins (6-6) @ Jets (9-3)
Predicted Line: NYJ by 7
Actual Line: NYJ by 5.5
Hmmm... let's see. Chad Henne stinks. Mark Sanchez stinks. Both teams can run the ball. Sounds like a fabulous, exciting game. I'm taking Miami to cover because that's simply too many points for the Jets offense to be giving.
Denver (3-9) @ Arizona (3-9)
Predicted Line: Pick em
Actual Line: DEN by 5.5
WHOA. Arizona is a homedog by almost 6 points? To Denver, who just fired their coach!?
I blame the Interim Coach Phenomenon. Since 1980 interim head coaches are something like 256-3 in their first game. Garrett and Frazier are two examples from this year. Everyone will expect Denver's interim coach Eric Studesville to follow suit. But unlike Dallas and Minnesota, Denver doesn't have a team loaded with talent. Josh McDaniels made sure to drive all the talent out of town and instead draft Tim Tebow.
So forget the Interim thing. I'm taking Arizona because even though they're the worst team in the NFL, they should NOT be 6 point underdogs at home against a terrible team. I would make this the Lock of the Week, but I don't exactly trust the legendary John Skelton as he makes his first start. But there's no way he could be worse than Derek Anderson, right?
Chiefs (8-4) @ Chargers (6-6)
Predicted Line: SD by 3
Actual Line: SD by 6.5
This is the biggest game of the year for both teams. Chargers will win and avenge their loss to KC way back in week 1, but I think 6 points is too high. Chiefs lose in OT, 27-30.
*EDIT* Brodie Croyle is starting, instead of Matt Cassel. I'm gonna switch the pick to San Diego.**
Patriots (10-2) @ Bears (9-3)
Predicted Line: NE by 4
Actual Line: NE by 3
If I made the lines, this would be New England by 10. And I'd pick New England.
Eagles (8-4) @ Cowboys (4-8)
Predicted Line: PHI by 3
Actual Line: PHI by 3.5
Throw out the records. Dallas is 3-1 since firing Wade and should be 4-0. They are a team that would have gone 12-4 with a competent coach. I'm done dissing Dallas.
But now they run into Michael Vick. Last week they had Peyton Manning. The week before they had Drew Brees. Come on, that's not even fair. I'm taking Dallas to win outright. Call me crazy.
Baltimore (8-4) @ Houston (5-7)
Predicted Line: BAL by 4
Actual Line: BAL by 3
Houston wins a Monday night shocker. Sure, why not.
Just so you know, I have zero confidence in my picks this week. Expecting to go 6-10 or worse. Bah. Go Lions, and go democracy!!