Roger Goodell has not done a very good job as the commissioner of the NFL. No, I'm not saying that because of all the fines and penalties against the Pittsburgh Steelers. I'm saying it because he hates fun, is inconsistent with punishments and is a hypocrite when it comes to player safety, as he preaches taking care of the players but then is a major supporter of expanding the regular season to 18 games.
|"Make sure you get Val Kilmer to play me in movie
'Goodell: The man who destroyed the NFL.'"
As poor a job he has done with the issues above, he has at least help make Week 17 in the NFL more interesting. Because he enacted that all teams play a divisional game in Week 17, the games have more meaning even when nine of the 12 playoffs spots have been filled.
We have the Steelers battling (former) rival Cleveland with a first-round bye on the line. The St. Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks meet to determine the NFC West champions, The Green Bay Packers need a win against the Chicago Bears to get in the playoffs and The Washington Redskins could eliminate the New York Giants from playoff contention. Although, you could say the Giants were eliminated when they blew a huge lead in the fourth quarter to the Philadelphia Eagles a few weeks ago. And that's not even all the intriguing games this week.
Speaking of this week's games, let's talk picks. I went 9-7 last week to improve to 110-124-6 for the season. So if I'll finish above .500 if I go 16-0 this week. No sweat!
Last week's biggest miss was taking the Eagles to cover (14.5 points) against the Minnesota Vikings. But I think everyone missed that one. This week's picks are below and the home teams are in caps.
KANSAS CITY (-3.5) over Oakland: The Chiefs have a playoff spot wrapped up and will probably rest some guys in this one. But the Raiders don't exactly have anything to play for either, so why would they try? This team hasn't had pride in 10 years.
|"Please kick us out of the game.
We stopped caring in Week 6."
NEW ENGLAND (-4) over Miami: Bill Belichick doesn't like to rest his starters and he is a dick. He is the anti-Dungy. The Patriots will play hard to ensure Tom Brady's regular season home record soars to new heights. Well, improves by a game.
Tennessee (+10) over INDIANAPOLIS: This is a terrible pick. So much for 16-0. I'm just worried about two things. One, the Colts aren't used to playing this many meaningful games in December. Second, I could see the team jumping out to a big lead early and then resting their starters, leading to Tennessee covering.
Cincinnati (+9.5) over BALTIMORE: Who knew that the Bengals still had some heart left this season? They crushed the San Diego Chargers last week and didn't look terrible. I expect the Ravens to let up when they see the Steelers crushing the Browns and their chance at a division crown going down in flames. If only the whole city of Baltimore could go down in flames. I think the nation's crime rate would drop significantly.
Pittsburgh (-5.5) over CLEVELAND: Just keep telling yourself "This is not 2009!"
DETROIT (-3) over MINNESOTA: The Vikings will be driving late in the game to win or tie with a touchdown when Brett Favre throws a bad interception. It happened in two of his last three farewell games, it will happen again.
New York Giants (-4) over WASHINGTON: Fighting for the sixth seed. Just how the Giants like it.
|You wouldn't be able to fire a
man with hair like that either.
HOUSTON (+1.5) over Jacksonville: Apparently, the Texans love Gary Kubiak and want him to remain their coach. David Garrard and Maurice Jones-Drew are out. Add these factors together and I could see Houston running away with this one. Then again, they could choke like they have the entire season.
GREEN BAY (-10) over Chicago: Lovie Smith says he's playing all of Chicago's starters. He kind of left out the part about how long they'll play though. I'm guessing a half. I hear Jay Cutler has a manicure appointment at 3 p.m. that day.
Dallas (-6.5) over PHILADELPHIA: Michael Vick might not play and the Eagles have no reason to play their starters. The Cowboys' Jason Garrett is coaching for the chance to keep his position in Dallas, so you know he is going to do everything he can to win this game.
Buffalo (+1) over NEW YORK JETS: I hate stories that have no news value but get played up like they are important. Who cares if Rex Ryan and his wife like feet? ESPN programming had segments dedicated to this topic for the past week, but they won't even post who scored in the night's NHL games on the Bottom Line.
|If you hadn't seen your feet since childhood,
you'd be obsessed with them too.
Tampa Bay (+7.5) over NEW ORLEANS: The Saints will win, but the Bucs are still fighting for a playoff spot. Despite some key injuries, they are going to play a tough game and make the Saints work for every point.
St. Louis (-3) over SEATTLE: Without hesitation, I'm taking Sam Bradford over Charlie Whitehurst with the NFC West title on the line.
SAN FRANCISCO (-6) over Arizona: Remember when I said that Week 17 had a lot of exciting games? This isn't one of them. Not even their fans care about this game.
San Diego (-3.5) over DENVER: Maybe this season will be a lesson for the Chargers. Maybe next year they'll actually start trying before October.
The Beatles - Ticket to Ride