CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 13: Cleveland Browns fans react after their 13-12 loss to the St. Louis Rams at Cleveland Browns Stadium on November 13, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
It's somehow Week 11, and in addition to a whole new week of lines to discuss, we have the Redskins, the litmus test for terrible football games, a showdown in Chicago, and the many, many faces of Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe.
We're back and somehow we're already approaching Week 11. In fact, Week 11 is already under way! The Tim Tebows Tebowed the Jets Thursday night in a Tebow-gasm that included healthy doses of Tebow throughout, with ol' Timmy coming through at the end for a
miracle Tebow that we won't soon forget.
But enough about that. Let's get to the picks. Last week we went 6-10 to tie the worst week of the season, which probably means the best week yet is right around the corner. Either that, or we've reached a tipping point and it's definitely all downhill from here.
As usual, all picks in BOLD.
Oakland at Minnesota (PK) ... So... The Raiders beat the Chargers on the road and looked better than they have all year, and the Vikings got shellacked by Green Bay, and have lost 3 of their last 4 games. This pick seems so obvious that I'm actually a little uncomfortable with it.
Buffalo at Miami (-1) ... Why do teams keep giving gigantic contracts to quarterbacks who may or may not pan out long-term? Matt Cassell (7 yrs, $63 million), Michael Vick (5 yrs, $86 million), Kevin Kolb (6 yrs, $65 million), and now Ryan Fitzpatrick, the highest paid player in Buffalo Bills history (6 yrs, $59 million). Do teams realize that paying these guys like elite quarterbacks won't actually make them elite? It's like sinking 30 grand into your Camry and hoping it turns into a Lexus.
Cincinnati at Baltimore (-8) ... Related: How much money has Joe Flacco cost himself over the past month? Like, 20 million, maybe? 30? The Ravens decided to wait until after this season until they negotiated an extension and ... man, tough break for Joe, huh? On the bright side, maybe this means they'll give an extra 30 million to Ray Rice and/or decide to hand him the ball more than five times.
Dallas at Washington (+8.5) ... You don't have to get all sanctimonious and preachy about it, but let's all take a moment to genuflect in the presence of the most overtly racist team name left in American life, and why it should definitely be changed sometime soon.
A new book called Showdown: JFK and the Integration Of The Washington Redskins looks at the history of NFL integration and the Redskins, who were the last NFL team to integrate. From a review earlier this month:
The nickname had been the brainchild of George Preston Marshall, a laundry magnate and flamboyant showman who had bought the Boston Braves football team in 1932. As his second head coach, Marshall hired William "Lone Star" Dietz, a journeyman coach at the collegiate level whose mother was most likely a Sioux. It was in "honor" of Dietz, who coached the team for just two seasons and who at Marshall’s urging willingly put on war paint and Indian feathers before home games, that Marshall changed the team’s name to the Redskins.
Yikes. And the original words to "Hail To The Redskins":
Hail to the Redskins,
Braves on the Warpath,
Fight for Old D.C.!…
Scalp ‘um, swamp ‘um, we will take’um big score….
DOUBLE YIKES. The Redskins have some of the most loyal fans in football, so even if it's hilarious, watching their team self-destruct every single year is also pretty cruel. But then you remember how awful Daniel Snyder is and that blatantly racist nickname, and I think the solution is clear--someone needs to buy the team from that miserable, power-drunk bastard of an owner and then immediately change the name. For karma's sake. For the fans' sake.
Carolina at Detroit (-8) ... It's pretty obvious that my Cam Newton retrospective was also a massive jinx, and there's no turning back now. At this point, if he can get through Sunday without getting maimed by Ndamukong, then no matter what else happens, it's gotta be considered a victory.
Tampa Bay at Green Bay (-15.5) ... We're about two weeks away from the Packers hitting "OMG are they gonna go UNDEFEATED?" territory, and it all comes back to Aaron Rodgers, who's playing as close to perfect as anyone has, ever. Too bad he's going to get injured by Ndamukong Suh on a deeply borderline hit, leading to the biggest Thanksgiving scandal since the coin toss controversy in 1998.
Jacksonville at Cleveland (PK) ... The litmus test for a terrible game: If they showed this game on closed circuit TVs in state prison, would the inmates even bother to watch? Maybe not, with this one.
Seattle at St. Louis (-2) ... Or this one.
Arizona at San Francisco (-11) ... Larry Fitzgerald, man.
It doesn't look that impressive until you realize how badly the ball was thrown, how impossible it would be to make that adjustment at full speed, and then make a finger-tip catch to win the game.
Larry Fitzgerald, man.
San Diego at Chicago (-3.5) ... The game will just be two men staring at each other for 60 minutes at the 50-yard line. First one will curse out his critics. Then the other will blame his offensive line. Then one will whine about the officials. Then one will slump his shoulders. Then one will scrunch his face into a confused frown, like he just smelled a bad fart. Then they will threaten to fight one another, pointing at each other's chest, yelling "HOLD ME BACK BRO!" to teammates who aren't there. This will continue for the final 35 minutes of the game, until one of them injures a hamstring and the other is declared the winner.
Cutler! Rivers! It's a douche-off!
Tennessee at Atlanta (-7) ... No idea what to make of either team here, so I'm going to take the points and hope that Chris Johnson's mini-comeback game was just the beginning. #ANALYSIS
Philadelphia at New York Giants (-4.5) ... The noble thing to do would be NOT playing Michael Vick and his broken ribs and the Eagles' broken dreams, but Andy Reid's got a job to save, so something tells me we'll see ol' no. 7 back there just like always, breaking down just a little bit more, taking an unfair amount of blame for a season that was sorta doomed from the outset.
Kansas City at New England (-16) ... The Patriots' final seven games:
In other words, there's a very real possibility that they run the table from here on out, everyone forgets how horrible their defense looked for the first half of the season, Tom Brady looks incredible again, and then everyone is SHOCKED when the Pats get upset in the second round of the playoffs. CAN'T WAIT!
Also, since there's nothing to say about Monday Night Football or the Kansas City Chiefs, here are few photos of Dwayne Bowe that I found on Getty Images this week. It's all from the same photo shoot with Jamie Squire, and it's all f***ing fantastic. Here he is jumping over the city.
Just hangin' out at the airport...
Loungin' at the park...
Whispering to the football...
Staring at a stain on his carpet...
Showing off his desktop background...
Every now and then I'll stumble across a cluster of photos from photo shoots like these, and they're all just completely out of control. (Donovan McNabb has some good ones, as does Darrelle Revis). I could look at awkwardly staged photos for YEARS before they even begin to get old. And SB Nation's given me all kinds of great opportunities to do cool stuff, but man, what I wouldn't give to be a part of just one photo shoot like this.
I mean seriously. You could watch Dwayne Bowe pose for his R&B album...
OR his comedy album.
And whatever happens in the NFL this weekend, I now totally love Dwayne Bowe.
OVERALL RECORD: 75-69-2