14-2 last week. 0-1 this week, and from one of the most impressive showings of the year.
The game I was predicting the Chargers to play in their first encounter with Denver instead happened in the more unlikely situation of their second. San Diego played keep away brilliantly, just as they had in the past against Philly and other offenses they knew they couldn’t outgun. That puts a ton of pressure on the Jets to keep up with both San Diego AND a Baltimore team they’ve already lost to. If I thought the Jets had any fight in them, I’d take them to be competitive against a Carolina team that won’t explode away from them. They don’t. Panthers 34, Jets 13.
I’m spending this weekend in Rosemont, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago near O’Hare, to take an ankle arthroscopy course. I’ve been anticipating this for almost a year and it hasn’t disappointed. The faculty are great, the lectures are sound, the materials they give us are useful, and I’ve been shuttled like royalty everywhere I’ve had to go. I haven’t spent a dime yet!
However getting there wasn’t half the fun…
I was hoping my circle of friends was large enough that someone would have had the experience I had with Spirit Airlines and warned everyone within shooting distance about it. The Cannon Brothers from Secret of Mana would have been a better flight.
Spirit ropes you in with a low fare, and doesn’t tell you about the extortionate $50 fee they charge for you to put your own bag in an overhead compartment. This, of course, is only to force you into the $45 fee to check the bag in. This is a practice that is duplicitous and should be illegal, but Spirit doesn’t seem to mind rubbing it in with an enormous ad at the gate regarding how you could have only paid $30 if you checked your bag in online in advance. You know, AFTER YOU CHECKED YOUR BAG IN. Once inside, its clear you’re getting what you paid for. No one on this flight was expecting luxury or even average treatment, but Christ, charging $7 for a cup of ice and mouthing the blowing noise you would make inflating a lifevest during the safety instructions were juvenile.
Equally fraudulent is the Redskins front office’s handling of the Robert Griffin III situation, which they caused by letting him defiantly run out onto the field without being examined by Dr. James Andrews last year. I personally don’t think Kirk Cousins is better, but if the report about Shanahan leaving after last year because he felt he put the team in a good place is true, he’s going to do everything in his power to get draft picks out of him. Redskins 27, Falcons 21
Atop the division, the Eagles have a real chance to pull away against a likely Petersonless Vikings team in I s own brand of QB disarray. Despite a revolutionary offense and n enviable winning streak, I don’t think people are talking enough about Philly as contenders. They’re going to scorch Minnesota’s awful secondary, and their remaining schedule isn’t too daunting. Eagles 41, Vikings 24
I am far from innovative in wanting to detail to you how lame Santa Con is, especially since it’s not really a convention at all. If you want to dress up, treat people like shit, get drunk, and parade through your city like you mean something when you don’t, just join the Ku Klux Klan. Bill Burr calls days like this “amateur night” (St. Patrick’s day, New Year’s Eve), where people who don’t casually drink and don’t know their limits pick a stupid irrelevant reason to go get shitfaced and turn themselves into everyone else’s problem.
Ben Roethlisberger’s amateur nights are behind him, as he’s ditched taking advantage of drunk college girls in the bathroom for the highbrow pastime of throwing his offensive coordinator to the wolves. A lot of people think the Steelers will stand tall at home here, but to me, this is the same “uniform game” the Dolphins impressively won last week. Cincinnati has been real balanced as of late, and I think they’ll finally look like the contenders they’ve been on paper all year. Bengals 23, Steelers 17.
With said last week’s win in hand, the Dolphins now have to both keep up with Baltimore and prove they belong facing the Patriots at home. New England was far from impressive last week, so it’s unlikely that they will be caught in a lull. I think Belichick is going to capitalize on the weakened right side of Miami’s offensive line and really cause problems on Tannehill’s open side. Miami won’t score big as a result, so Brady won’t have to put the team on his back. Pats 29, Fish 19
I also like Cleveland to get bulldozed by Chicago this week. Joe Haden can’t cover everyone, and I can’t imagine Chris Ogbonnaya having a four quarter field day on the ground. Bears 31, Browns 20
Texans +5.5 at Colts – I can’t see Houston showing up big on the road in December. Indy licks both Houston and some wounds. Colts 30, Texans 17
Bills -2.5 at Jaguars – Don’t know why Buffalo’s favored here. They’ve been an awful road team. Jaguars 24, Bills 17.
Seahawks -7 at Giants – Feels like a game the Giants would look great in the first half of, then do something colossally stupid on the final drive of and lose. Seahawks 27, Giants 23
Chiefs -5.5 at Raiders – Will probably be closer than it should be, but Reid is too good to get nipped in this one. Chiefs 28, Raiders 17
Saints -6.5 at Rams – The last time the Saints went to St. Louis, they got their asses handed to them with a similar game plan to what Jeff Fisher is doing now. It makes me weary of picking a blowout, but it’s still a dome. Saints 27, Rams 21
Packers +6.5 at Cowboys – Romo HAS to bounce back here statistically in a big way. The team’s toughness has been questioned after no-showing in the cold, and any hint of a December collapse will be pervasive and distracting. Time to put it on your back. Cowboys 29, Packers 20
Cardinals -3 at Titans – If there’s one home dog to take, it’s Tennessee. They have the corners to contain Arizona’s receivers, and much of Arizona’s exploits this year have come at home. Titans 24, Cardinals 21
Steve can’t stay away from Bills/Jags and neither can I.