After just two incorrect picks over the two weeks prior, last week I came back down to earth, going 3-3. I’m now 35-24-3 on the year. I think the whole craziness going down in the NBA distracted me. Honestly, it was a tough time to focus on football. No excuses this for these picks, but I did have some questionable Mexican food.
Redskins (+7) vs. GIANTS — In case you missed it, I said Eli Manning was the most clutch quarterback in the NFL. But as I alluded to in that column, his defense never gives him a break. He has so many clutch situations because his defense constantly puts him in those situations. The Giants have only two wins by a double-digit margin. Aside from those two games, the Giants greatest margin of victory is only four. And the last time these two teams played, Rex Grossman threw for 305 yards and 2 TD’s in a Redskins 28-14 win, one of the few times this season Rex Grossman has felt good about being Rex Grossman.
RAIDERS (+1.5) vs. Lions — Raiders fans can’t really criticize Suh for being dirty. Fans of the team whose legacy is based on being a franchise that has fostered a ragtag bunch of hooligans and outlaws for much of its existence can’t knock the NFL’s current biggest outlaw. Suh is probably one of the greatest Raiders never to have actually played for the Raiders.
EAGLES (-3) vs. Jets — The Golden Globe nominations came out yesterday, and Moneyball got four nods. In that movie, Philip Seymour Hoffman made Art Howe look like an absolute dope. I only bring Hoffman up because I feel like if a movie was made about either of these teams, Hoffman would be the perfect casting for both Andy Reid and Rex Ryan. What would movies about the Eagles and Jets even be about, though?
Well for the Eagles, that one’s easy: “The Michael Vick Story: In and Out of the Doghouse,” starring Hoffman as Reid, Anthony Mackie as Vick, Morgan Freeman as the narrator/Tony Dungy, Paula Patton as Vick’s made-up love interest who has no real-life counterpart (so typical of Hollywood) and Jaden Smith as DeSean Jackson. Yeah, I know Jaden Smith is only 13 years old. PETA protests outside of this movie’s premiere.
Figuring a movie premise for a Jets movie is more difficult. My best guess is one that’s a character-driven story that follows the team for a season (a la Major League), preferably last season. Hoffman as Ryan, Mary Steenburgen as Ryan’s wife, Ramon Rodriguez as Mark Sanchez, Andre 3000 as Antonio Cromartie, Mike Epps as Darrelle Revis, Tyrese as LaDanian Tomlinson, Bart Scott as himself. Rated R for strong language, drug use and a foot fetish scene.
BRONCOS (+7) vs. Patriots — Tom Brady is 1-5 lifetime against the Broncos while Bill Belichick is 3-6. But I’m not picking the Broncos because of those figures. Those are irrelevant, useless statistics for this game, for one reason and one reason only: Timothy Richard Tebow. That statement and its cheesiness probably just made all of you barf. But these are the Patriots! Brady! Belichick! Surely Tebow doesn’t have that much magic. To that I say, Why not? Tebow’s done nothing but defy logic since he became the starter. Plus, New England has the last-ranked defense in the league. So nothing is out of the question when Turbo Tim is under center. Did I just invent a new nickname?
By the way, why haven’t the Republicans approached Tim Tebow to run for president. He’d easily be the most likeable guy out of the whole lot of Republican candidates. Plus, he’s squeaky clean and doesn’t have any skeletons. You have the election today and Obama wins easily. Throw Tebow in the mix, and it probably comes down to Ohio, in which case Obama still probably wins (interesting state, Urban Meyer could endorse Tebow, but fans might still be bitter over 2006.) And don’t try to pretend like you think Tebow’s not a Republican. You know he’s a Republican.
Ravens (+3) vs. CHARGERS — As bad as the Chargers have looked all season, they’re still in it in the whacky AFC West. And for the first time all year, Phillip Rivers is playing like the Phillip Rivers we know (7 TD’s, 0 int’s in the last three games). But here’s the thing. The Ravens are neither the Bills nor Jaguars. Plus, Ray Lewis is expected to return for this game after a four-game absence due to turf toe. It was his first time being sidelined in three seasons. I pray for the safety of some Chargers players this week. Lewis might have gone Jack-Nicholson-in-The Shining crazy during that layoff. Also, even David Letterman is now making “Fire Norv Turner” jokes.
Steelers (+2.5) vs. 49ERS — Big Ben remains a question mark for this game after sustaining a high ankle sprain last Thursday. Why is this even a question? We know he’s going to play. This is a guy who survived a motorcycle accident that should have killed him and still was able to play football when the season started. This is a huge game for the Steelers with them still in the hunt for a first-round bye. Roethlisberger plays. Earlier this week a photo surfaced of Greg Oden on crutches for the Blazers team photo. I want to think Ben Roethlisberger playing on crutches is a more trustworthy quarterback than Alex Smith. Shots!