1. Cincinnati Bengals By crushing the Bears, they stayed tied for first in the AFC North with the Steelers and are feeling good about themselves heading into their bye week. Best of all, the Bengals treated the nation to numerous shots of Sad Cutler. Oh, and Bears, let Cedric Benson be a lesson to you: do NOT EVER cut a running back who has sucked for three years and been a locker room cancer AGAIN. What were you thinking??? Idiots!
2. JaMarcus Russell In the fourth quarter of yesterday's blowout defeat of the Raiders, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez was spotted eating a hot dog on the bench. Now you know, JaMarcus: Oakland Coliseum vendors deliver to the bench. Your NFL career is about to get a lot more enjoyable.
3. Alex Smith News flash: the former No. 1 overall pick is not dead! Really! I saw him on the field yesterday for the 49ers! I guess those reports that he had passed away inside his house of starvation, his miniature hands too small and weak to open his door to leave or dial a phone, were untrue. Huh. Also, he threw three touchdowns in the second half yesterday, all to Vernon Davis. (Who is also apparently not dead! YAY!)
4. Jake Delhomme As always, you really blew. No touchdowns, three interceptions, and a loss. At home. To the Bills! Yet, you play in a league with JaMarcus Russell, Josh Johnson, Matt Cassel, Marc Bulger and Derek Anderson. All of them had worse quarterback ratings than you did on Sunday. Plus, Brett Favre and Jay Cutler stepped forward with some high-profile suck. And with all the teams on byes this week, you almost performed in the top-half of quarterbacks! Congratulations! (Now quit. For the sake of Panthers fans. If you've ever wanted to go out on a high, this is as high as it's going to get for you.)
5. Vikings fans You were given the gift of realistic expectations. Some of you had started to think that Brett Favre had become someone other than Brett Favre. Someone who is incapable of single-handedly snatching defeat from the jaws of victory at a moment's notice and then, as victory still tries to reach back and grab his teammates and pull them to safety, mowing over victory's head. You, of course, were wrong. Brett Favre is still Brett Favre. He will always be Brett Favre. Those of us lucky enough to root for teams he has not decided to parasite his way onto count on this fact. It fills us with great joy and schadenfreude. And it's good you realized this truth about Favre now and not during a "shocking" four-interception game in the NFC Championship Game. You will now experience less heartbreak this way. So let this game serve as a reminder: Adrian Peterson is your savior, not Brett Favre. (Not that Peterson is perfect. He fumbles a lot. And yesterday he outed himself as a Gay basher.) (EDIT: Here's a better example of Peterson's homophobia.)
Oh, and for good measure, and to compliment the beautiful art above:
1. The British You sold out a game to watch the crappy Tampa Bay Buccaneers play a team named in honor of people who overthrew your government in a sport you don't like? You are more pathetic than I thought. America has many problems, but I don't think you'd see a stadium filled here for a soccer match between West Ham United and the Kabul Death-To-Americas. U-S-A. U-S-freaking-A!
2. America But let's not get too high on ourselves. The British probably aren't subjected to those DirecTV commercials in which David Spade takes a dump all over Chris Farley's grave. You're stuck there with Chris Farley, David Spade? Well, we're stuck with you alive and Chris Farley dead. So we have it worse off. By a mile.
3. Miami Dolphins Two of Chad Henne's top targets in yesterday's choke loss to the Saints: Brian Hartline and Ted Ginn, Jr. Both from Ohio State. I'm wondering at what point in a BCS title game Miami scouts thought to themselves: "Now those are the players we need on this team!"
4. breast cancer Week 7 was the last week of NFL action in October. That means next week is November and Breast Cancer Awareness Month is OVER. NFL players no longer have to pretend to care about cancer, at least not any cancers not caused by steroids.
5. Ricky Williams The game against the Saints started perfectly. You were destroying them. Just like when you played for the Saints. But then at the end, everything fell apart. You were kind of like Cinderella.
1:00 p.m. ET
San Francisco at Houston (-3)
Michael Crabtree signed an incentive-laden deal with the 49ers. Many people ripped the contract, saying Crabtree could never meet most of the benchmarks. Foolish! Crabtree and his agent knew the Texans' secondary was on the schedule. He could be set for life by the middle of the third quarter.
My pick: San Francisco (and to win)
Green Bay at Cleveland (+7)
This year the Browns have been hit by swine flu. Last year it was staph infections. Hey, Browns, we get it that you're going to crap your pants out on the field every week. But at least dispose of them in a hygienic way. Your locker room has become a den of disease.
My pick: Green Bay***
San Diego at Kansas City (+5)
Norv Turner doesn't get any respect. And rightfully so, of course. He's horrible. But in all the attention being paid to Jim Zorn in Washington, NO ONE is mentioning how Zorn is stealing Turner's bit. Getting nothing out of a talented roster? Snyder was doing that routine 15 years ago in DC. Zorn is a hack. Come up with your own material, ZORN! (Although Sherman Lewis will have to deliver it for you now.)
My pick: San Diego
Indianapolis at St. Louis (+13)
And, once again, it's time to share with you footage from the St. Louis Rams highlights DVD. Enjoy.
My pick: Indianapolis
Minnesota at Pittsburgh (-5.5)
I have noticed that announcers are now referring to Ben Roethlisberger as a "gunslinger." I'm not sure if that is a compliment. But I do know that it means this week's game is a duel between our nation's top old gunslinger and top young gunslinger. It's like the Wild West. Women of Pittsburgh, hike up your cleavage, step out of the saloon and watch the duel.
Except for you:
There were saloons and brothels in the Old West. Not buffets.
My pick: Minnesota
New England at Tampa Bay (+14.5)
This counts as a home game for the Buccaneers even though it's being played in London. But if you've ever visited London and Tampa, you know there are many similarities between the two cities. For one, they are both located on water. And the second similarity is that neither city has an NFL franchise.
My pick: New England***
4:05 p.m. ET
New York Jets at Oakland (+6)
After they knocked off the Eagles last week, don't be surprised if the Raiders beat the Jets this week. You see, JaMarcus Russell hates green teams. They remind him of vegetables.
My pick: Oakland
Buffalo at Carolina (-7)
On the debut UFL game a few weeks ago, I saw a Las Vegas fan holding up a sign that read: "Hey Buffalo: Got JP? We do!" I thought they were being ironic. Perhaps not.
My pick: Carolina
4:15 p.m. ET
Chicago at Cincinnati (-1)
Cedric Benson says he was blackballed by the Bears after they cut him. The Bears deny it. I don't know. The Bears OFFICIAL records say that he only averaged 3.7 yards a carry over three seasons, and never ran for more than 674 yards in season. Pretty damning, if you ask me. How was Benson supposed to get another job with the Bears putting stuff like that out there?
My pick: Chicago (and to win)
Atlanta at Dallas (-4)
The Cowboys are 29-2 all-time when coming off a bye, so that's an encouraging sign for them in this game. No, that's actually not true. I just like to tell Cowboys fans fake things that will encourage them, only to then just remind them that their team is not very good and that they're stuck with a more famous version of Jake Delhomme for the foreseeable future. It puts a smile on my face. And I'm not at all ashamed of that.
My pick: Atlanta (and to win)
New Orleans at Miami (+6.5)
Fergie is now an owner of the Dolphins. Glad to see she put the money she earned from that DirecTV commercial to good use. Was it wise for Fergie to trade her last remaining shred of artistic credibility for money from a TV provider and ownership in the Dolphins? You better believe it. Think of all the new song possibilities.
My lumps, my lumps, my lovely Parcells lumps.
My pick: New Orleans***
8:20 p.m. ET
Arizona at New York Giants (-7)
Just a programming note: the usual Sunday Night Football intro with Faith Hill is being scratched in place of Eli Manning singing the Pull-Ups jingle to his former mentor: "Mr. War-ner WOW! I'm a big kid now!" Should be memorable.
My pick: Arizona
Philadelphia at Washington (+7)
For the first time this season and we're in Week 7 the Redskins have to play a team that's not winless. Although the Eagles just lost to the Raiders. So they pretty much have the look and feel of a winless team. Let's just say the Redskins are playing an NFL record seventh consecutive winless team, but put an asterisk beside it.
My pick: Philadelphia
The best part of the NFL playoffs last year was the Steelers winning the Super Bowl. But that's because I'm a Steelers fan.
For everyone else, the best part of the playoffs was the Giants losing because it gave us this pathetic Giants fan crying about their loss.
(Original YouTube video of that display here. NSFW language.)
Comedy Central's Tosh.0 caught up with this lard-encased 4-year-old girl to see how it is emotionally some nine months after Lil' Elisha and the Giants were eliminated by the Eagles in the first round of the playoffs.
The St Louis Rams played their hearts out against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, sending the game into overtime and losing by a field goal. Today quarterback Marc Bulger said that it was an emotional halftime speech by teammate Steven Jackson that inspired the team to “step up” and cover the daunting, yet manageable 4.5 point spread.
“At halftime, we were up 10-6 and getting ready to go back out on the field when Steven stood up and said a few words to us,” said Bulger. “He told us to while we could all sense the game slipping away from us, that we should keep fighting and make sure that, if nothing else, we cover the point spread. He told us it was only 4.5 points and that it was well within our reach, that some of our remaining and most loyal fans maybe had put money on us to cover, and that we had to do our best to have their back on their foolish decision. He was very fiery and emotional. It had an impact on me. I wanted to cover that point spread for Steven. We all did.”
Jackson ended his speech by guaranteeing the team would cover the point spread, a bold statement that lit a fire under his teammates.
“He was like ‘We WILL cover the point spread. That is a promise!’” said receiver Donnie Avery. “Then he punched the water cooler and kicked over a table and didn't even get hurt. I tell you I was pumped. We were all screaming and yelling. Coach Spagnuolo wrote ‘4.5’ on the white board and we exited that tunnel like a pack of wild dogs. If it wasn’t for that speech we probably would have lost by at least six, and that would have made for a somber plane ride home.”
Still, Rams players admitted that they were nervous when the game went into overtime and the Jags won the coin flip, creating the possibility that Jacksonville could score a touchdown and win by six.
“While some of our fans may have bet on us to cover, I'm sure none of them bet on us to win," said defensive end Chris Long. "We didn't want to screw them and make being a Rams fan even worse for them."
"We knew Jacksonville could easily break a big play against us at any moment," said defensive end Leonard Little. "So I huddled the defense together and said, ‘Guys, this is it. Remember what Steven said. We’re on the doorstep of covering the point spread here but let's try not lose by more than a field goal. We can do it!’ Then I barked like a dog because it’s something I saw Ray Lewis do once. I think it may have helped.”
Jackson dedicated the point-spread covering to all the bettors who didn’t believe they could do it.
“Nobody believed in us except the people in that locker room and a few degenerates and delusional Rams fans,” said Jackson. “Nobody! But that’s fine. We like it like that. And this Sunday, we’re going for two we're going to cover another point spread! Who are we playing? The Colts? Oh, well maybe we'll just shoot for keeping the game under the total points line. Our offense will do it's part, I know that."
ADD: Mohamed Massaquoi, WR, Browns Pick up a wide receiver on the Browns? Insane! Maybe not. In his past three games, Massaquoi has accounted for 55, 69 and 68-percent of his team's entire receiving yards respectively. That's amazing. Of course, it's the Browns so their offense generated only 414 total yards of passing over the past three games. Pathetic. Even for the Browns. And in the game Massaquoi had 69-percent, he only had one catch for 16 yards. But BUT can you imagine if the Browns even develop a semblance of an NFL-quality passing game? Unlikely, but if they did, Massaquoi would be averaging close to 200 yards a game and be the top fantasy receiver in football. And that's not the only advantage he provides. For those of you who think you can now make black jokes because "Oh, I voted for Obama, I'm not a racist" jackpot! You can now make all-Muslims-are-terrorists jokes, too! "Oh, please. I have Mohamed Massaquoi on my fantasy team. I don't hate the A-rabs."
1. Jets fans I bet you people are going to be getting another call at home from Rex Ryan soon! Exciting. Only he will be asking you to buy tickets. And it will be because he has been reassigned from head coach to junior ticket sales associate.
2. Vince Young He didn't get in the game until the last play of the third quarter when the Titans were down 59-0 even though he's the former No. 3 overall pick and 10 years younger than starter Kerry Collins. He clearly doesn't have his coach's confidence. And that's a badge of honor. I mean, have you watched Tennessee at all this year? Their coach has to be a total moron. He obviously has no eye for football talent.
3. Eli Manning He didn't want to get blown out in his return to his childhood home of New Orleans. But in going 14-for-31 with 178 yards and an interception in a 21-point loss, I'm sure Manning reminded a lot people of his father out there on the Superdome field. And people love reliving the old days, even if they were horrific.
4. Derek Anderson Last week you threw for only 23 yards and won by three. This week you had two different passes completed for 23 yards or longer! Impressive! Unfortunately, you lost by 13. However, you were able to cement your place in the game as the only quarterback deft enough toreallysuck and still win from time to time. Kerry Collins tried to challenge you this week and went 2-for-12 for minus-7 yards and an interception but lost by 59 points. Yes, 59 points. Minus-7 yards. Pathetic. He is not the artist you are. Your medium? A football field. Your paint? Feces.
5. Tom Brady Sure, winning 59-0 is nice. And throwing 6 TDs is nice. And setting an NFL record by throwing 5 TDs in one quarter is nice. But now Tom Brady gets to travel to London for a game against the Buccaneers. And you know what that means, don't you? SHOOOOOOOOPPING!
1. Sherman Lewis He is being handed the play-calling duties in Washington, D.C. You could say that's like being given control of the Titanic while it's sinking. Only that comparison isn't harsh enough. It's more like like umm being given control of the play-calling duties for the Washington Redskins. (That was the absolute worst thing I could think of. Sorry. Sort of redundant in this case.)
2. Oakland Raiders They beat the Eagles? Huh. And they're 2-4 now, not good but not out of the wildcard chase either. This team may have some expectations put on it now. And expectations cause stress. And stress causes punching.
3. Anyone who follows Bill Romanowski on Twitter during games Here is a sampling of actual Tweets from @billromanowski yesterday: "They need to pound in it." "Go Raiders!" "Howard and Morrison blitz and get a sack." "FG by Raiders. 13-6." "I like how they are running with Fargas." "Raiders kick the football for 3 pts." Boring, sporadic, insight-free play-by-play about a team that's on television but no one wants to watch. How does he only have 1,517 followers??? Are people turned off by the history of pill-popping and allegations of racism? Lighten up! He's actually amazingly boring!
4. The dong of Mike Sims-Walker Two weeks ago the Jaguars receiver had a career game with 7 catches for 91 yards and 2 TDs and Jacksonville won. Then last week he was forced to sit out because he was out with a woman and missed curfew and Jacksonville lost 41-0. Then this week he was back again and had 120 receiving yards in another Jaguars win. The pattern is clear: if Sims-Walker wants to get some, his football career is doomed. This poor guy might have to become the first football monk.
5. Mark Sanchez Five interceptions against the Bills. Three losses in a row. And it's obvious he struggles to throw a football outside of the Southern California climate. This guy is going under and he's going under fast. Fortunately, there is one person who can save him!
1:00 p.m. ET
Detroit at Green Bay (-13.5)
Aaron Rodgers refuses to pin the blame on his offensive line for his continued sackings. Typical battered wife syndrome.
My pick: Green Bay
New York Giants at New Orleans (-3)
Jeremy Shockey is the Saints' tight end, but Sean Payton should really consider playing him on defense this week. Eli Manning never performed too well when Shockey was on the field with him telling him he sucks.
My pick: New Orleans
Cleveland at Pittsburgh (-14)
Brady Quinn has put his house up for sale. Big deal. It was his doll house. He's growing up. Relax, Cleveland.
My pick: Pittsburgh
Houston at Cincinnati (-5)
I haven't been paying attention has Chad Ocho Cinco engaged in any trash talk with Texans defensive backs this week via Twitter? Are any of the Texans defensive backs on Twitter? Do the Texans have defensive backs?
My pick: Houston
Kansas City at Washington (-6.5)
Considering the current state of the Chiefs and Redskins, this game is a solemn reminder that the majority of our nation's Native American population was wiped out by disease and genocide. ZORN!
My pick: Washington
Carolina at Tampa Bay (+3)
A win here would push the Panthers to 2-3, a mark they hope will get them back on track to achieving some of their goals for the season. Wait, their goal wasn't to get the No. 1 overall draft pick in April's draft? Then why were the starting Jake Delhomme? Confusing.
My pick: Carolina
St. Louis at Jacksonville (-9.5)
Jacksonville receiver Mike Sims-Walker was suspended for last week's game for violating team rules. Reportedly he missed curfew Friday night because he was out with a woman. And the Jaguars suspended him for that. Amazing. They should be happy there's a woman all the way across the country in Seattle who has A) heard of the Jaguars; and B) wants to sleep with one. I don't even think they have women like that in Jacksonville.
My pick: Jacksonville
Baltimore at Minnesota (-2.5)
Brett Favre said this week that he admires Ray Lewis more than anyone else in the NFL. Sounds like the gunslinger wishes he was a knifeslinger.
My pick: Minnesota
4:05 p.m. ET
Arizona at Seattle (-3)
Arizona will have to deal with Seattle's 12th Man on Sunday. I don't think they'll have a problem. God considers Kurt Warner his 13th Disciple.
My pick: Arizona (and to win)
Philadelphia at Oakland (+14)
Rush Limbaugh lost out on his bid to buy an NFL team this week, in part due to his comments a few years ago on Donovan McNabb. But like Limbaugh or hate him, you have to admit that he was right. I mean, who else is tired of hearing all of these fawning stories about JaMarcus Russell? Am i the only one who has noticed he's just not that good? Stop being so racist, media!
My pick: Philadelphia
4:15 p.m. ET
Buffalo at New York Jets (-9.5)
Rex Ryan is losing the genius tag in New York even quicker than Eric Mangini did. I hope he least got a cameo on an HBO show. Does "Entourage" maybe have room for more annoying people?
My pick: New York Jets
Tennessee at New England (-9)
This game is evidence that judging schedule strength before the season starts is stupid. I mean, think about it, six weeks ago, people actually thought the Patriots were going to be really good. Idiots.
My pick: New England
8:20 p.m. ET
Chicago at Atlanta (-3)
Falcons owner Arthur Blank says he wants a new stadium already. I guess it would be The House That Matt Ryan Built. Expect the stadium to look like the inside of a Pottery Barn catalog.
My pick: Atlanta
Denver at San Diego (-3)
I thought Josh McDaniels wouldn't be able to keep up the enthusiasm he showed during the Patriots game. But then I remembered that this week he'll be able to visit the San Diego Zoo and Sea World. Little kids love that crap.
My pick: Denver (and to win)
Picture Huge XFL Player
Ever wonder why the XFL didn't succeed? Well besides this it was just a really stupid idea.