0-1 this week, 97-68 overall
Jovan Belcher 1987-2012
Obviously, the most tragic event of the 2012 season. The most jarring thing about this is that he did it in front of Romeo Crennel and Scott Pioli. It might seem cold and uncaring to carry on with the game at its regular time, but it’s probably the most convenient thing to do. It doesn’t create a short week and endanger 100 players involved more than necessary. The team can use that Monday and Tuesday to take their minds away from the game and go to his services. It’s an emotional game, and I’m pretty sure most of them would want to play to honor him and to feel normal for a few hours. There’s going to be more to say about this as the developments come in, and people are going to attach this to league hypocrisy and player safety just to get their faces on television, but we just don’t know enough about it yet. Chiefs 21, Panthers 17.
Seahawks at Bears – Bad matchup for Seattle, who relies on alot of athleticism on defense. The Bears don’t need you to chase them everywhere, rather they need you to physically challenge them. They’re going to eat Russell Wilson alive today. I kinda feel bad for him. Get ready to laugh at the height difference between he and Julius Peppers, because they’re going to be next to one another often this afternoon. Bears 31, Seahawks 10.
Colts at Lions – Probably the most entertaining game of the day. The Colts are for real enough that no one has a problem with them sneaking into the Wild Card spot to see what happens. They’re also marketable enough through their big play offense and the potential playoff meeting with Peyton’s Broncos. Don’t nobody have a problem with THAT. To their credit, they’ve transferred their coach’s unfortunate circumstances into a team-building experience. The Chiefs should take a page out of this book and run with it. It’s working, and we might be looking back on this Colts draft class as one of the best of all time. That Lions secondary is about to get it. Colts 37, Lions 31.
Vikings at Packers – Biiiiig game for the Packers. So big, that it appeared this past Sunday that the Packers quit at halftime to stay healthy for it. This is precisely the mediocre team Green Bay should be annihilating at home to get back into the division race. That Giants game was embarrassing, but blowing this one would be worse. Packers 41, Vikings 20.
Cardinals at Jets – If you don’t think the Jets are winning their next three games in dominant fashion just to set their fans up for a Week 16 home finale no-show against the Chargers, you just haven’t been watching them lately, and I can’t blame you. The Jets have derailed the talent pool they have by making their approach about anything to get attention from the New York media instead of winning football games, and it’s cost them dearly. You couldn’t blow this thing up if you wanted to. Jets 17, Cardinals 7.
Buccaneers at Broncos – Peyton’s been humming along for two months now, and I don’t see how a rookie head coach stops him in his own building. John Fox is inching towards a second consecutive SPTKF coach of the year award, and quite frankly, who has had to do a better coaching job week in and week out for the past two seasons to keep his team together than he? Slaps together an almost offensively base offense in 2011 and somehow rallies the defense around it, then opens up the offense in 2012 with a hall-of-famer, manages his ego, gets the whole team to rally around that, and never had a losing record through either. Broncos 34, Bucs 24.
Bengals at Chargers – Time to prove you’re in this for real, Cincy. You’ve played as well as any team in the league these past three weeks against teams that didn’t show up to play you. I’m not saying the Chargers are going to show up to play (an imposing assumption, really…), but I am saying that is a cross-country trek against a team with a quarterback who’s due for a good game. Keep the excellent balance on offense you’ve had, and keep generating that pass rush. Get into that playoff spot. Bengals 27, Chargers 26.
Eagles at Cowboys – Shame on NBC for not flexing this. Seriously. This was meant for playoff implications, not a shabby attempt at a ratings grab. Yes, these two teams hate each other, and yes, they’ll probably put on somewhat of a show, but to put a national showcase on Nick Foles and Bryce Brown against a team that might not even be good enough to beat them with the potential of hosting an hour’s worth of “Fire Andy” chants is just not what the night game is about. I’m not saying it isn’t going to be great television, just not great football. Cowboys 33, Eagles 14.
Buffalo, New England, San Francisco, Houston, Baltimore, Oakland
Weeden and the Browns! Palmer and the Raiders! Game 5 of the 1996 Eastern Conference Semifinals!