Thursday, October 18, 2007

NFL 2007 - Week 7

Ravens @ BILLS +3

The Bills aren't really all that bad, and the Ravens aren't really all that good. I guess I don't have anything else to add as far as this game is concerned.

BUCCANEERS @ Lions -2.5

I remain unconvinced that this Lions team is playoff-caliber. When last we saw them they were at Washington, a probable second-tier playoff team, losing 34-3. I had to double-check the line on this game to make sure that I hadn't read it wrong, and that the Lions were actually favored.

That said, there was a write-up about Buccaneers quarterback Jeff Garcia in Sports Illustrated this week, and they mentioned his Playboy Playmate wife. Now, it's no secret that Garcia is very, very stereotypically gay. Whether he's actually gay I have no idea, but, Garcia and his wife put me in mind of a former NFL quarterback named Cade McNown, whom my wife swears is gay (she knew somebody who knew stuff, or something). Well, McNown has a history with Playboy Playmates as well.

Again, I don't know anything about either of these guys, but, if I were a gay NFL quarterback and didn't want to be, I'd probably think, "Gee, what would a straight guy do? I know... Playboy Playmates!", not realizing that an actual, sane straight guy who can attract that caliber of woman would go for someone who is good-looking enough to have been a Playmate, but was psychologically healthy enough to be uninterested in pursuing such a thing.

I don't bring this up to slam Garcia or McNown in any way (well, McNown I do. He played for UCLA and the Bears). I only bring it up in the interest of furthering my pet cause: making it okay for active athletes to be openly gay. I've written on this topic before, but, I grow increasingly frustrated. I only use Garcia as an example because he's hilariously, cartoonishly gay, whether or not he is actually a homosexual, but, obviously there are athletes in the NBA, NFL, MLB or NHL who are currently playing, and are currently gay. I say the onus is as much on them as it is on anybody. Somebody needs to be brave enough to come out, so that others can. I don't know why this issue gets me so worked up, but, it does. It's enough to make me wish I were a gay NFL player, so I could do something about it.

(and not like a kicker, or something. A real guy)

TITANS @ Texans +1.5

Vince Young will probably play for the Titans, so the "Madden Curse" stuff was probably a bit premature. The Titans lost a tough one last week, but they're still a good team. Meanwhile, the Texans' only win in over a month was against the lowly Dolphins. If the Titans want to be a playoff team (and who doesn't, really?), they don't need to lose two in a row and fall to 3-3.

Patriots @ DOLPHINS +16.5

"But you just said that the Dolphins were lowly! Just two sentences ago!" I know, I know. But the Patriots can't keep doing what they're doing, can they? This is the week. If the Dolphins defense shows up even a tiny little bit, this is the week. I know you're supposed to keep going with a winner until they don't win. But this is the week.

49ers @ GIANTS -9

The 49ers, in their last three games, have lost to an increasingly bad caliber of opponent: first Pittsburgh, then Seattle, then Baltimore.

(Sure, you could argue that Baltimore is superior to Seattle -- in terms of NFL football, and only in terms of NFL football -- but why spoil a cute premise for me?).

The Giants, meanwhile, are looking like contenders. Who would have thought that Tiki Barber was actually their problem? Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning must be glad to be rid of that blowhard, and they're playing like it. Well; coaching like it, in Coughlin's case.

FALCONS @ Saints -9

Atlanta has kept most of their games close, and the Saints aren't all of a sudden good just because they beat the Seahawks. The Seahawks aren't that good. Besides, since when has dumping Joey Harrington not worked out for a football team?

Cardinals @ REDSKINS -8.5

This line is awfully high, but the Redskins ought to bounce back from a tough loss in Green Bay last week.

Besides, the Cardinals are just signing backup quarterbacks at random. This week they asked for anyone who was married to somebody on "The View." They happened to get lucky and land an actual former NFL quarterback, but, still. Pretty risky strategy, Cardinals.

Jets @ BENGALS -6

The Bengals still have some talent on offense. That should be enough to get by, at least this week.

And the Jets are just done, aren't they? I have a feeling that if "The Sopranos" hadn't gone off the air last summer, Jets coach Eric Mangini would be getting whacked pretty soon.

(by the way: what could the folks from "The Sopranos" have been thinking? "Hey, the Jets went 10-6 last season! Their coach is clearly a genius who will be around forever; why don't we awkwardly shoehorn him in to the second-to-last episode of this TV show that'll be watched and analyzed for generations to come? There's no chance that'll ever seem like bad decision!")

CHIEFS @ Raiders -2.5

The Chiefs are kind of good now. I'm still not sure about the Raiders; hopefully this game will help sort things out as far as that's concerned.

Vikings @ COWBOYS -9.5

This line can't be high enough. The Vikings can't stop anybody from passing the ball, and passing the ball is something the Cowboys do fairly well. Lost in all the Adrian Peterson hype is the fact that the Vikings had a 14-point lead with four minutes remaining and allowed Brian Griese -- Brian Griese!! -- to throw for 114 yards worth of touchdown passes in less than a minute. No way the Vikings should have won last week; no way they'll stay close this week.

Plus, after that beating they took at the hands of the Patriots, the Cowboys are going to be like an alcoholic dad whose boss yells at him one too many times; they're going to be coming home mad, looking to exercise their authority on someone who can't fight back.

And yes, I just compared the Vikings' pass defense to a scared nine-year-old, which is probably unfair to scared nine-year-olds the world over.

BEARS @ Eagles -5

The Bears aren't horrible now all of a sudden, just because The Second Coming of Eric Dickerson had the game of his life against them. I called the Eagles "disasters" last week, and I stand by that.

Rams @ SEAHAWKS -9

Every few weeks the Rams keep one close. And the Seahawks aren't that good. Still. I picked the Rams last week; once bitten, twice shy.

Although that would be the only thing the Rams could possibly to do disappoint people any further, wouldn't it? Everyone finally realizes they really, really stink and there's no excuse to pick them again for the rest of the year, then they go out and stay with the Seahawks, just to screw with everybody? Just when you thought the Rams couldn't get any more frustrating...

STEELERS @ Broncos +3.5

Are the Steelers really as good as they've looked? Are the Broncos really as bad as they've looked? We'll find out.

COLTS @ Jaguars +3

I know the Jaguars are famous for playing the Colts though, but, the Colts probably know that too. They're coming off a bye, they've had two weeks to prepare, and if they're going to win the game they're going to win it by three or more.

The five I feel good (or, if not good, better than the others) about:

BUCCANEERS @ Lions -2.5
TITANS @ Texans +1.5
49ers @ GIANTS -9
Vikings @ COWBOYS -9.5
COLTS @ Jaguars +3

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