December 21, 2009

Don’t be fooled

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

I wouldn’t be so quick to rush to judgement after Dallas’ big win on Saturday night over the previously undefeated New Orleans. The Saints are still a great team, ready to contend for the Super Bowl, and the Cowboys are still playing in December. Just because they’ve won a game, doesn’t mean we can certainly pencil them into the post-season yet. With games against two division rivals on tap, there is still a lot of work to be done. New Orleans is still in the NFC driver’s seat after Minnesota choked away a game that should have been winnable last night and maybe the weight of their undefeated run contributed to their loss. So, I wouldn’t be too quick to pick against them any time soon.

Also, in the most obvious news I saw yesterday, the Cowboys are looking at finding a new kicker after Nick Folk pulled a Suisham.

It may not have been the desired result, but the ending to the Bengals-Chargers game was fantastic. While it would have been nice to see Cincinnati win one for their fallen comrade, Chris Henry, Chad Ochocinco’s TD celebration will have to be enough for now. It was truly one of the most heart-warming moments of the season.

Big Ben Roethlisberger made up for a terrible decision and saved the Steelers’ season. After an amazingly awful decision to onside kick the ball when it wasn’t needed, Roethlisberger marched his team down the field on the final possession of the game and threw a brilliant TD pass to Mike Wallace with time dying. The real question about Pittsburgh now becomes: What kind of Steelers football is this? Over 500 yards of passing on the day? Where did the rock ‘em sock ‘em running game go?

Yesterday even featured a few happy moments for the Cleveland Browns, who have now won two games in a row; something considered unthinkable at the start of the season. After two kickoff return TDs, Josh Cribbs entered the record books as the career leader in the category with eight now. Then Jerome Harrison was able to rack up the third most rushing yards in a game ever. His 286 yards on the ground nearly matched his career total. But, the one thing that was most incredible about the Browns was their lack of a passing game in a win — again. In their three wins this season, Browns QBs have racked up a total of 179 yards in the air. Yes, that is from totals of 23, 90 and 66. Talk about inept.

I was completely prepared to write up a piece bashing JaMarcus Russell after seeing Charlie Frye go down with an injury, but to everyone’s surprise, Russell came through and helped the Raiders to a win over Denver. He might have won himself another chance to start, but the future is still grim for the former No. 1 overall pick.

St. Louis sure lucked out by losing yesterday. With Oakland, Cleveland and Tampa Bay all winning, the Rams are now on an inside track to the first overall pick. But which direction do you go? QB with a guy like Colt McCoy or defence with Ndamulong Suh?

Another team with an inside track is the Baltimore Ravens, who after destroying the lackadaisical Bears, are now sitting pretty ahead of this weeks losers. The Dolphins, Jaguars and Jets did nothing to help themselves and now Baltimore holds a coveted wild card spot and a chance to clinch next week with a win over Pittsburgh. And, even if they fail against the Steelers, a Week 17 game against Oakland should be a cake walk.

Finally, it was a surprisingly good week in terms of injuries. Usually Week 15 sees some overplayed guys finally buckle to nagging injuries, but when the Associated Press leads off their injury roundup with Michael Vick’s bruised thigh, you know nothing too important happened.

This week: 6-7-1 (With Giants -3 tonight)
This season: 121-91-2

1 Comment

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