One of the great things about the NFL season is that you can so often be so definitively wrong. This happened several times over to me on Sunday alone, but most notably in my cautious approach to Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick could still fizzle. Let’s be clear about that. Give teams time to plan for him instead of Alex Smith and let’s see him against a defense that isn’t as putrid as New Orleans, but it’s clear he was the right choice Sunday. The point being, maybe the head coach occasionally knows better than I do. Some other things I’ve gotten wrong this year:
1. Antonio Brown. I was incredibly high on Brown. Took him in fantasy. Patted myself on the back with vigor. He’s now hurt, but was mediocre while he was in there. Starting to wonder now if Brown was just a fad while teams focused too much on Mike Wallace.
2. I said this year, “The Good Thing About the Eagles is that they could beat anyone. If they make the playoffs, it’s not like they’ll be overmatched against anyone.” That’s a paraphrase, sometime around week four or five. As I write this the Eagles are hanging in against Carolina. Somewhat of a surprise. But, the Panthers stink. The Birds have been getting blown out on the regular. Never thought it’d get this bad.
3. The Ravens. If you go back and look at the Power Rankings from a month ago, or thereabouts, I started predicting the demise of the Ravens. Something about their defense being cooked. At press time, the Ravens are 9-2.
Enough of that, let’s get to the Main Course:
NFL Pick ‘Em Standings:
- JCK, 35-24-1
- DC, 33-26-1
- Kraft, 33-26-1
- Big Dub, 32-26-2
- Nichols, 33-27
- Grossy, 29-28-3
The “Jeff George 2.0” Pick of the Week: Kraft (Jacksonville +3.5)
Big week for Kraft, who got himself right back into this thing. Kraft always has a great feel for Jacksonville. Is it a little disturbing? Yes, but it certainly came in handy this week. All I need to see is, “Chad Henne at Home? Check.” Perhaps my fondness for Henne is a bit misplaced, but it’s clear that Jacksonville is a much better team with Henne at QB instead of Blaine Gabbert. Hell, they have viable fantasy receivers at this point. That hasn’t been the case since that cokehead Matt Jones. Check back in next week with Kraft to see if Henne can keep it going.
The “8-8 Is Not Acceptable,” Awful Pick of the Week: Grossy (Eagles +2.5)
I officially fell on the sword this week. It’d take about a 20-5 run for me to get back into this thing, and I just don’t see that happening. It’s like when people said the Eagles could make the playoffs if they finished 7-1. Technically yes, but NO. I really don’t know what I was thinking. I’m OK with my Denver and ATL picks, but from there things got a little foggy. Did I have a fever? Did I triple reverse go against my gut jinx myself? Perhaps. But picking the Eagles is inexcusable. I’d been picking against them and winning. Did it look too easy? It’s not just that the Eagles are playing poorly, they are very banged up. They have no discipline. All that played out in the 4th quarter and this was the best the Eagles have looked in a month. Says all you need to know. Only question is does Andy get the axe now that 8-8 is the ceiling.
The Definitive, Yet Arbitrary Top-10:
1. Atlanta, 10-1. Do the Bucs count as a quality win? Atlanta hasn’t had a convincing win in ages, but they are piling up wins in close games. Fourth quarter poise? Has to mean something.
2. Houston, 10-1. My other Super Bowl pick. So, I haven’t gotten everything wrong. Just most of the important stuff.
3. New York Giants, 7-4. Blew out opponents in two biggest tests of the year. What else matters?
4. San Francisco, 8-2-1. Kaepernick? We’ll see, but the Niners’ players look on-board, which could have been one of the deciding factors to make the switch.
5. Baltimore, 9-2. I still don’t think the Ravens are as good as their record, but they are plodding along and now Ray Lewis might return this season.
6. New England, 8-3. Patriots wins getting more convincing? Or, opponents getting weaker? The Pats beatdown of Sanchez and Company gave everyone a good chuckle.
7. Chicago, 8-3. Nice performance by the Bears, beating up on Minnesota, but I worry about them against elite competition.
8. Denver, 8-3. Not exactly a signature performance in Kansas City. The Broncos’ division is so bad we may not know what they have until the post-season.
9. Green Bay, 7-4. Big time speed bump for the Packers who need to figure out how to protect Rodgers better against a real pass rush.
10. Tampa Bay, 6-5. Watched them on Sunday and better than I thought. Welcome to the Top-10!
3-PT D.A. of the Week: Ryan Lindley.
Check out the D.A. link at the top of the page to check in on the heated playoff push and read about Arizona’s continued dominance of all things D.A.