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LOOKING AT WEEK 8 IN THE NFL
by Trace Armstrong on October 27, 2011 a 2:06 PM

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Week 7 contained some of the worst professional football we have seen in many years. Bottom feeder played bottom feeder, and good teams blew out teams that had no business being on the field. We also had two of the worst offensive games in the history of the NFL where there was NO INCLINENT WEATHER!!! Relatedly, a friend of mine asked if I had noticed none of the broadcasters or analysts are talking about the lockout effect on some of these teams. He mused there may have been a conspiracy from the NFL down to the networks saying to not mention the lockout because we want to pretend it never happened. After some of the other events that occurred over the weekend, I believe it.

The above paragraph leads me to this. Roger Goodell is the worst commissioner in NFL history. He enforces stupid rules, blatantly ignores others, and arbitrarily fines people he likes or dislikes. Want proof? Here we go. I avoided talking about handshake-gate but now it cannot be. Both of those coaches acted like idiots and should have been fined $10,000 on the basis that they are coaches and needed to act professional while on that field. Fast forward to this week and the Green Bay Packersí Clay Matthews was fined $5,000 for wearing yellow cleats. Now, I know they have uniform rules but seriously? Two coaches fight on the field (something two players would be slapped with fines on mind you) and they get nothing while Matthews gets fined for wearing yellow cleats? Hereís the even dumber part of this. The NFL has an official at every game whose only job in the press box BEFORE KICK OFF is to scan the benches and look for uniform violations. Those yellow shoes should have stuck out like a sore thumb. His job is to call down to the sidelines and tell a member of the Packersí staff that Matthews cleats are not compliant and he needs to go back and get one of his 500 other pairs of cleats and put those on. The fact that the uniform official said nothing about the cleats and Matthews gets hit with a fine afterwards is stupid. Iíll take another step further as to why I despise Goodell. Troy Polamalu is fined $10,000 for borrowing a team doctorís phone on the sideline to call his wife and let her know that heís ok after suffering a vicious hit to the head that took him out of the game because itís against the rules for a player to have a cell phone on the sideline. Why in the blue hell is Goodell enforcing these stupid rules that have no bearing on game outcomes and are not making the league look bad? The only one who looks like the bad guy here is Roger. He actually fined a guy for calling his wife to tell her he was ok after getting KNOCKED OUT OF A GAME AFTER A HIT TO THE HEAD!!!! I usually am not so vicious but for the good of the NFL and its players, this man has got to go and go soon. If the man was fair and spread punishment evenly it would be one thing, but Roger loves to dole out what he feels like doling out. Címon NFL Board, oust this idiot so we can get back to debating whether Tim Tebow is a good quarterback or not instead of discussing handshake-gate, etc. weeks in a row because of Rogerís inconsistency.

Now that Iíve gotten that rant out, letís look at Week 7. I went 7-6 in picks this week bringing me up to 68-35 on the year.

So apparently Detroit canít stop the run. The Falcons once again ran the ball, controlled the clock, and kept Detroit from gaining any momentum while keeping the dreadful Atlanta defense off the field. Good win for Atlanta and itís a bit sad to see the wheels coming off the bus in Detroit. We probably should have seen this coming but Detroit canít run the ball. Atlanta smartly laid back in coverage and took away Staffordís options and it carried them to a win. Iím still not calling Atlanta good, but they certainly have proven me wrong in that their game preparations are getting better.

I canít stand Tim Tebow and I am now convinced the Dolphins do not want to win. Both teams played like utter garbage then with 4 minutes to go and being down 15, Tebow brings to life the offense, scores a touchdown, recovers an extra point, scores another touchdown, delivers a baby, circumcises a small child, then runs in the 2 point conversion to send the game into OT where the Broncos eventually kick the winning field goal. Iím still nauseous writing about it now. How the Dolphins didnít know that on the 2 point conversion with no running backs in the backfield that Tebow seven yards back from the line of scrimmage wasnít going to run that ball straight ahead is beyond me. To top it off, the Dolphins had in their NICKEL package instead of a goal line package on a 2 point conversion. Fire that whole coaching staff and burn that sucker to the ground because it doesnít deserve to work in the NFL. If I were a Dolphinsí player, I would be embarrassed because this game was a travesty.

Wow, the Titans looked terrible and Houston rode the Arian Foster train all the way to a 41-7 win. I still think the Titans are the better team and Houston will collapse but for now, the Texans will tease their fan base.

The Bears gained a solid win in London. They rode Forte once again and it worked. Tampa couldnít stop him and it bought Cutler time because they Bucs were unable to blitz at will. Iím slowly buying into the Bears now. If the Lions choke, the Bears are in line to go 9-7 and grab that playoff spot. Josh Freeman played horribly once again. He has to be more consistent or Tampa will be mired into the mediocre status they currently find themselves in.

Just when I thought the Dolphins would put up the worst performance of the week, we get the barn burning game of Seattle and Cleveland. How is it that Cleveland can run Hardesty 33 times in one game and he only gets 95 yards? There is no rational explanation. Now we also know why Tarvaris Jackson is playing instead of Chuckie Whitehurst. Heís dreadful and actually made Tarvaris look good. Due to this, I am banning myself from making fun of Tarvaris for at least one week. In this day and age, we should never have a game that ends 6-3 and both should be held accountable for the rest of the year for this horrible performance.

Well surprise, surprise. Norv Turner and the Chargers collapsed en route to a Jets win. The Jets in the second half finally look like the Jets should look. Glad to see they finally remembered how to run the ball.

What can be said about Washington at this point? They had a nice tease that things could be different this year and instead the Redskins nation gets the same old story of the last ten years: promises, followed by injuries, and then a 6-10 record. Great win by the Panthers. They are finally starting to fire on all cylinders and it will be interesting to see where they go from here.

Arizona is truly awful. How these guys are considered a football team is beyond me.

Iím now mad at myself for picking the Raiders last week. Why I thought Palmer would be effective if he played and that Kyle Boller could manage is a game is beyond me. I must have drunk NyQuil before writing my column last week.

The Rams are terrible. Nothing more can be said.

Itís time for the homerism to kick in. Christian Ponder looked good. He looked better than McNabb and appears to have a good grasp of the offense. If the Vikings secondary wasnít horrendous (Did you see that play where Jennings was wide open with no one around him for 20 yards and he leisurely jogged into the end zone? Great job secondary!), this team might actually have the ability to go on a run with A.P. playing like a man possessed.

How can the Colts really be this bad? 62-7 on national television is not good. The Colts just guaranteed me they could go 0-16 this year. That defense is awful and the average Saints defense put pressure on Painter on all night long.

Now, itís time to cut the mustard. Baltimoreís defense is the best in the league; the problem is their offense is one of the worst. Flacco is a bad quarterback. He shows signs of competence but all night long in good weather, the Jags defense shut down the Edgar Allen Poes. If Iím a Ravens fan Iíd be making billboards that say: ďPlay the Flacco nevermore, nevermore. Sign a good quarterback to run a competent offense forevermore, forevermore.Ē Games like this remind me why I picked Pittsburgh to win the AFC East in my pre-season predictions (Which I abandoned Week 1 but have now come back around on as ďright all alongĒ).

Now that weíve looked at Week 7, letís throw darts at the board that is Week 8.

Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts

After the performance against Indy, Iím having a hard time picking the Colts BUT the Titans did not look much better. Johnson has disappeared and Britt is out. Can I really pick the Titans to win this one? Yes, but reluctantly and hereís why. Realistically, the Colts only have 3 more shots to win a game this season. They have Atlanta, Jacksonville, a bye week, Carolina, New England, Baltimore, Tennessee, Houston, and Jacksonville. Out of all those games, maybe two are winnable at most. You know what, screw it.

Winner: Indianapolis by 1 (could be subject to change).

St. Louis Rams vs. New Orleans Saints

There is no way the Saints lose this game.

Winner: New Orleans by 21.

New York Giants vs. Miami Dolphins

After the Bronco Debacle in South Beach, itís hard to pick the Dolphins over anyone.

Winner: New York Giants by 7.

Carolina Panthers vs. Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings offense is good enough to get it done and I expect A.P. to run all over the place. Get ready for a shootout with a 42-38 capability because both of these defenses are dreadful. However, Carolina has a better chance of the big passing plays on a very weak Minnesota secondary. If the Panthers get the ball back, Iím counting on the last minute TD for the win.

Winner: Carolina by 4.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Arizona Cardinals

Ray Lewis will have a knife to Flaccoís throat if the offense chokes this one away.

Winner: Baltimore by 14.

Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Yes, the Jags beat the Ravens. Doesnít mean much when their offense is that bad and they limped by kicking 4 FGs.

Winner: Houston by 10.

Buffalo Bills vs. Washington Redskins

Iím officially giving up on the Ďskins to be any good. There are too many injuries, not enough talent, and bad quarterbacks. Game is in Toronto too, just FYI.

Winner: Buffalo by 7.

Denver Broncos vs. Detroit Lions

This is a good bounce back opportunity for the Lions. They need another win after their most recent loss. The Broncos played like garbage until the final 3 minutes of the game against Miami.

Winner: Detroit by 7.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New England

FINALLY A GOOD GAME!!! The Steelers are at home and should have a significant advantage but New England usually gets up for the Steelers. The Pats defense should allow the Steelers to move the ball offensively but it begs the question, will good Tom Brady show up, or will bad Tom Brady show up? I know New England beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh last year but that wonít matter much on Sunday. Upset special alertÖ

Winner: Pittsburgh by 3.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Cleveland Browns

YeahÖ

Winner: San Francisco by 10.

Seattle Seahawks vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Itís hard to pick the Seahawks this week even though they are at home. The uncertainty of Tarvaris or Whitehurst under center makes it harder to pick. *sigh*

Winner: Cincinnati by 1.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys

Philly is coming off the bye but it hasnít meant much to any team this year. Over 60% of the teams this year have lost coming off the bye. Dallas has found a running game and the Eagles are still filled with question marks. Iím not sure Iím right but for whatever reasonÖ

Winner: Dallas by 3.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Diego Chargers

After the Jets collapse, San Diego needs to bounce back with a win. Itís in KC so it will be very red and very loud on Monday night. KC only lost by 3 in SD and since then have peeled off 3 straight wins, 2 of which were on the road. Upset special #2Ö

Winner: Kansas City by 3.

Games of the Week: Philly vs. Cowboyz because it should be competitive and Steelers vs. Pats for the same reason.



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