This Penn State story is inescapable. It made me forget for a moment that there is a Thursday night NFL game this week. And, I love the Thursday game. It tweaks the fantasy nerds, and it gives me something to complain about. The NFL usually shines up a real nice turd to feature on Thursday night. This week Oakland is travelling to San Diego. Palmer vs. Rivers. Anything could happen. I imagine the public will be hammering the Chargers in this game, riding high on that offensive outburst last week, but I’d lend a word of caution. The Chargers are built on not covering spreads like the one tonight.
Anyway, I imagine most people will be happy to have an NFL game to watch tonight. Or, they’ll be happy to watch Parks & Rec or something of that nature. I’m not sure how many more ways we can frame what’s happening at Penn State, but I know the media will keep trying. They’re an enemy in this too for me. The blood in the water mentality. One guy had this story in April, it was largely ignored and then when it breaks for real, 3 million people start doing a Bob Woodward impression. Or something. I don’t have a wide array of journalistic analogies. The points are, the press are a bunch of reactionary flame fanners and football is meant to be a distraction–a form of entertainment. So, I’m hoping to be entertained tonight while I take a break from Penn State. I don’t trust the Raiders and Chargers to provide a decent game to watch, but I’m at least going to let them try to keep my attention.
The Contraction Special: Arizona @ Philadelphia.
The Colts are playing the Jags, and the Rams are playing the Browns. Both of those games are frightfully terrible, but I picked this game, because both of these organizations are a disgrace right now. How many years ago were the Cardinals in the Super Bowl? Three? And, granted that wasn’t a historically great team, but they almost won the damn thing and they had plenty of talent. Since then, they’ve stripped it all away. How does that happen? When a team like Arizona finally turns the corner, you’d think they’d hold onto that for dear life. Sure, losing Kurt Warner hurt, but they’ve failed to replace him and the team has gotten worse around the QB position. Derek Anderson? John Skelton? Max Hall? Richard Bartel (who)? Kevin Kolb? When is the cycle of awful going to end? I imagine after Larry Fitzgerald is safely past his prime.
And the Eagles? Are you kidding me? With that talent? I don’t care how bad the linebackers are. I don’t care if Juan Castillo is incompetent. Look around the league. You have teams scraping out wins with absolute slop, and the Eagles can only manage 3-5 with all that skill? It’s ridiculous. How many leads can you blow? I don’t know if Eagles fans are in shock, if they’ve bought into the fact that it’s all the fault of one unit, but if I was a supporter of this team, I’d be out of my mind. Biggest waste of a season I’ve ever seen.
The AFC Special: Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati.
Here we go. 6-2 vs. 6-3. Divisional Battle. Should be a classic, right? Nope. It’s the AFC North. When I saw the 5-2 Bengals were playing Tennessee last week I said, my god, Cincinnati’s going to be 6-2. And, here they are. How did they get to this point with Ginger Dilfer? I’m going to assume soft schedule. Let me check…yep. There it is. Their best win is probably slipping by the Bills. They’ve got 4 left with Steelers and Ravens. We are way ahead of ourselves on the Bengals. They’re getting none of the upstart love that Detroit is getting, and rightfully so–No Megatron in Cincy. I had a point here somewhere–right, see the Bengals really aren’t a 6-2 team. They’re an 8-win team that’s been all dolled up by a nice start. Do you want to watch sloppy and bi-polar Pittsburgh play a mediocre team with a rookie QB? Didn’t think so.
Game of the Week: Lions @ Bears.
I’m sorry, the Giants and Niners just doesn’t cut it for me. It’s an NFC version of an AFC special. The Giants were impressive in beating New England, but something about the cross-country trip and SF’s style of play turns me off. On the other hand, Detroit and Chicago is a huge divisional game with implications in the NFC wild-card race. I watched the Bears Monday night and they were entertaining. Their defense plays aggressive, they have great linebackers and something about Cutler is just interesting–regardless of how he’s playing. The Lions avoided a total free fall by dismantling Tebow, but this is the real deal. If they go into Chicago and win, they’re going to make the playoffs and would be a nightmare match-up for some teams.
Five Week 10 Fantasy Busts:
- Roy Helu
- Larry Fitzgerald
- LaGarrette Blount
- Wes Welker
- Ryan Fitzpatrick
Five Fantasy Risks to Take if You’re Desperate:
- Sam Bradford
- Laurent Robinson
- Donald Brown
- Mike Thomas
- Torrey Smith
Over/Under Lock of the Week (Record, 4-2): Denver/Kansas City over 41.5