By Jeff Risdon
Last Week: 4-9. Really?!? Ugh. 35-26 at the quarter pole of the season.
Gambling Update: I might have been awful straight up, but my wagering choices were significantly better. The Colts and Chiefs both came home winners. On $2250 in wagers I brought home $2500, a tidy little profit on an otherwise dismal forecast. I’m now at $11,500 after starting at $10,000.
- Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-9.5): I was impressed with Teddy Bridgewater in his starting debut, leading the Vikings to several scoring drives as they scorched the Falcons. However, he injured his ankle in that win and now has to play the rival Packers on a short week. Green Bay’s defense is vulnerable, but I think they’ll hit their stride in Lambeau Field against a wobbled rookie. I also like how Green Bay’s offense worked out some kinks last week against the Bears. Aaron Rodgers looked more dialed in and accurate, making quicker decisions and doing a better job of putting the ball where only Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb could get it. Minnesota’s defense can’t hold up if that same Rodgers appears at home. It’s not a lock that happens, but it’s more likely to occur than not.
The Thursday night games have been brutally one-sided affairs so far. I think the Vikings will keep this interesting. It might even keep me awake past halftime.
Packers 27, Vikings 17
- Houston Texans at Dallas Cowboys (-5.5): The best thing about the Texans is the defensive front. Aside from J.J. Watt, the best player in the game today, fellow linemen Jared Crick and Tim Jamison are both showing they can get into the backfield. But Dallas has arguably the best offensive line in the league. If anyone can neutralize Watt, it’s the Cowboys. Add in how well the Cowboys run the football with league leader DeMarco Murray and I think the Dallas offense will be just fine. Their apparent commitment to the run will really pay off here. When they do go with the play action pass, Texans safety D.J. Swearinger will not be able to handle Dez Bryant or Terrance Williams.
Houston’s offense is sporadically decent but makes mistakes. Dallas isn’t great on D but they have speed, and that presents problems for the Texans. Andre Johnson isn’t running away from anyone anymore, and other than Nuke Hopkins they lack a home run threat. When an opposing offense only has one viable field stretcher, the Dallas D can handle it. There is legit fear the Cowboys will be unable to handle their recent relative success, but I think that epic fail comes in another week or two.
Cowboys 29, Texans 21
- Arizona Cardinals at Denver Broncos (-7.5): The Cardinals are undefeated and coming off a bye week. They’re a handful offensively even with Drew Stanton at the controls, thanks to the emergence of Michael Floyd and John Brown as great receiving accomplices to Larry Fitzgerald. The improved offensive line and the versatile rushing attack provides real balance.
All of that is great, but the Cardinals are not winning this game. Peyton Manning and the Broncos are also coming off a bye. They’re at home and have had time to dissect Arizona’s fine defense. Manning will not be caught unaware, and that gives Denver a major advantage. He will throw for his 500th career touchdown in this game, likely before halftime. Only Brett Favre has thrown more. No way he loses on a day where he notches such a historic mark. I really like the Cardinals but I’m not sure this game will be close unless the visitors can score on defense or special teams.
Broncos 30, Cardinals 20
- Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts (-4): It’s gone largely unnoticed thanks to the quality (or lack thereof) of the opponents, but Andrew Luck has been amazing the last two weeks:
The Ravens offer stiffer competition, but Luck should still have a strong game at home. Baltimore will also find some success in the passing game. The apparent rediscovery of Torrey Smith last week makes them even more dangerous, and the Colts don’t have anyone who can even remotely cover bombastic Steve Smith. This one figures to be a shootout, and always go with the better QB in a shootout.
Colts 36, Ravens 33
- Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans (-2.5): Total gut hunch here--the Browns off the bye pick up the road win. I really like their defense against Tennessee’s punchless offense.
Browns 20, Titans 16
- Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants (-3.5): The Falcons suffered some major hits last week. They lost starting center Joe Hawley, right tackle Lamar Holmes and safety William Moore in last week’s loss in Minnesota. I have a hard time seeing them right the leaking ship with another road game against a quickly improving Giants team. New York has won two straight and the offense is really coming around. They also lead the league in takeaways, while Falcons QB Matt Ryan has thrown all five of his INTs on the road. His QB Rating on the road (67.2) is less than half of what it is at home (142.2), and it’s not like the Vikings are world-beaters in the secondary. I’ll take the Giants for $1000.
Giants 38, Falcons 17
- Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions (-7.5): Former Lions coach Jim Schwartz now runs the Bills defense, and he returns to Motown with his hands full. The Lions offense has been more efficient even though the offensive line is not playing well. Matthew Stafford looks smarter and more fundamentally sound in the new offense. Schwartz was not well-liked by many offensive players (I’m biting my tongue off here in not saying more), and you can bet they’re looking to exploit his new defense.
Then there’s Detroit’s own defense, No. 1 in the league in fewest yards allowed per game by 20 yards over the next closest team (San Francisco, for the curious). It ranks 3rd in sack percentage and has allowed only one pass play longer than 20 yards all season. They do a fantastic job of tackling the receiver quickly. That skill matters a lot in this one, as the Bills have several solid weapons. Freshly unretired QB Kyle Orton, who takes over for mistake-plagued E.J. Manuel, gets a tough draw in his first game.
Lions 27, Bills 17
- Chicago Bears at Carolina Panthers (-2.5): I’m internet friends with Bears blogger Andrew Dannehy, and we had a nice exchange about the Panthers this week. He was wondering how in the world they beat my Lions, because since that pretty dominant performance in Week 2 the Panthers have been awful on both sides of the ball. They’ve given up 75 points to Pittsburgh and Baltimore in the last two weeks, and neither of those offenses is as talented as Chicago’s. Mr. Dannehy was really struggling with the outlier that was the Lions game. Can they really dial that effort up again?
I think the potential is certainly there for a Panther reawakening. Luke Kuechly has not played well the last two weeks, and I believe the reigning Defensive Player of the Year will bounce back with a vengeance. The bookmakers clearly still believe in them, though the line might be more of a reflection of how poorly Chicago’s defense played against Green Bay. At some books the money has even moved the line a little in favor of the home team. I’ll side with the money when there are so many unpredictable moving parts at play.
Panthers 24, Bears 21
- St. Louis Rams at Philadelphia Eagles (-7.5): It still boggles my mind that the supposed strength of the Rams, their highly touted defensive line, is one of the worst in football so far. Pro Football Focus grades them 31st out of 32 in run defense, and they rank dead last with just one sack in three games. They’re also dead last in passes defended and 27th in turnovers created. Philly’s offensive line is horrible with all its injuries, but I’m not sure the Rams will be able to exploit it. I suspect surprising Rams backup QB Austin Davis will keep it close, enough that I will put $500 on the underdog to cover. But I don’t see them winning outright, not when the Eagles can manufacture points like they did against the 49ers in Week 4.
Eagles 24, Rams 20
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (-10.5): Enjoy that win over Pittsburgh last week, Bucs fans. You might not see another one for a while. It won’t happen in New Orleans, even though Rob Ryan’s defense is back to being its typical terrible self.
Saints 37, Buccaneers 24
- Kansas City Chiefs at San Francisco 49ers (-7.5): As I was reminded this week (thanks El Turco) my picks on every 49ers game have ben horribly wrong. I’m 0-4 and the hyperbole in either direction on their 2-2 record looks foolish in retrospect. In light of a month of downright lousy analysis about San Francisco, I’m calling this one based simply on my gut impression when I typed out the initial matchup. Bet on it, or against it, at your peril.
49ers 30, Chiefs 20
- New York Jets at San Diego Chargers (-8): One of the hidden stories thus far is just how well Philip Rivers is playing in leading the Chargers to a 3-1 record. He’s a viable MVP candidate, leading the league in passer rating at 114.1 thanks in part to a 9/1 TD-to-INT ratio. Rivers is completing over 7-% of his passes and he’s doing so while throwing the ball all over the field, not just on safe quick-hit routes. His line does a decent job giving him time, and he’s doing a fantastic job reading the coverage and finding the holes.
Every accolade I just bestowed upon Rivers does not apply to Jets QB Geno Smith. It wouldn’t apply to Mike Vick either, Jets fans. This is going to be a long plane ride home for Rex Ryan’s boys.
Chargers 27, Jets 13
- Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots (-3): Most everyone watched the public humiliation of Tom Brady and the New England passing game on Monday night in Kansas City. It doesn’t get any easier with the rested Bengals coming to town. Cincinnati leads the league in opposing yards per pass attempt, and they’ve had a bye week to prepare for Brady and his underwhelming supporting cast.
It sure seems like the Bengals should win and stay in the undefeated ranks. But I refuse to write off the Patriots and Bill Belichick. I think New England’s defense will play to its potential in this one. They are a cornered animal, and Brady is still dangerous. So is the defense, and I’m worried about some post-bye rust from Andy Dalton and the Bengals offense. This is the proverbial middle finger from the cocksure Brady to all the people throwing dirt on the Patriots.
Patriots 26, Bengals 20
- Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars (+6.5): Last week the Steelers somehow allowed the woeful Buccaneers to pull off an improbable comeback to seize their first victory. Can the same happen this week with another winless Florida team?
If Pittsburgh cannot curb the penalties and mental errors, it very well could. The Jaguars have been atrocious; their -94 point differential in just four games is one of the five worst in the Super Bowl era. Yet they seem to have an offensive pulse with rookie QB Blake Bortles, and the Steelers defense is both injury-plagued and undisciplined. Unfortunately for Jacksonville, their own defense has been even worse. A big game from LeVeon Bell should save Pittsburgh from further ignominy, but don’t be too confident about it.
Steelers 34, Jaguars 28
- Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins (+8.5): Washington QB Kirk Cousins was badly overmatched and confused by the Giants defense. Now he has to face Seattle a week after turning the ball over five times. Yeah, good luck with that. I think the Skins defense will play better but they can only do so much. Halftime = bedtime in this likely yawner. I’ll put $500 on it. You could double the 8.5 and I’d still take it.
Seahawks 37, Ethnic Slurs 17
Giants -3.5 for $1000
Rams +7.5 for $500
Seahawks +8.5 for $500
I no longer pick college games, but here are a handful of bonus picks:
Alabama 29, Ole Miss 10
East Carolina 66, SMU 6
Mississippi State 31, Texas A&M 30
Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, IQ
By Christopher Reina
Our NFL Team Rankings are based entirely on the The Trench Counter, which is an objective formula measuring average yards per pass and run on both offense and defense, along with first downs registered and given up, turnovers for and against, and total penalty yards.
Over time, The Trench Counter rankings begin to closely resemble the standings but goes even further to determine which teams are truly the best when on the line of scrimmage.
The chief aim of the Trench Counter is to take the subjective out of the equation and even the somewhat fluky nature of teams actually scoring points, which is of course the whole point on a game-by-game basis.
With a +17.3 against the Carolina Panthers in the Steve Smith Game, the Baltimore Ravens slid up between the inactive Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals.
The Miami Dolphins, New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers all made significant gains in the rankings by posting a +20 differential in Week 4.
Week 4 Rankings
1. Cincinnati Bengals: 10.5
2. Baltimore Ravens: 8.1
3. Arizona Cardinals: 8.1
4. Seattle Seahawks: 7.4
5. Miami Dolphins: 7.0
6. Chicago Bears: 5.7
7. Indianapolis Colts: 3.6
8. Dallas Cowboys: 3.4
9. New Orleans Saints: 3.0
10. Minnesota Vikings: 2.9
11. Detroit Lions: 2.9
12. San Diego Chargers: 2.5
13. New York Giants: 2.3
14. San Francisco 49ers: 2.1
15. Kansas City Chiefs: 1.8
16. Cleveland Browns: 0.6
17. Green Bay Packers: -0.2
18. Atlanta Falcons: -0.8
19. Washington Redskins: -1.2
20. Buffalo Bills: -1.5
21. Denver Broncos: -2.1
22. Pittsburgh Steelers: -2.2
23. Houston Texans: -2.3
24. Philadelphia Eagles: -2.5
25. New York Jets: -4.2
26. Tennessee Titans: -4.3
27. New England Patriots: -4.5
28. Carolina Panthers: -5.4
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: -6.5
30. Oakland Raiders: -8.2
31. Jacksonville Jaguars: -10.5
32. St. Louis Rams: -12.4
Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, IQ, Stats
By Jeff Risdon
For once the focus is almost exclusively on the field, even in a week where six teams had ridiculously premature bye weeks. It was a great day of action, following an exciting Saturday collegiate slate.
$.01--The San Francisco 49ers desperately needed a win, no easy task with the high-flying Philadelphia Eagles coming to town. The home team has been skittish and mistake prone in a disappointing 1-2 start. They got it all right in a 26-21 win that puts them back on solid ground.
The Niners absolutely dominated the action. At one point in the fourth quarter they had run 73 plays to 37 for Philadelphia, nearly tripling the time of possession. This is the aggressive, assertive but disciplined defense we have come to expect from San Francisco instead of the penalty-plagued, confused mess they’ve been for most of the first three weeks. Philly could not run the ball, period.
Colin Kaepernick was also more decisive and effective quarterbacking the Niners. He was not perfect, not even close; a bad pick-six to Malcolm Jenkins in the first half is what kept the punchless Eagles in the game.
The Eagles desperately missed their starting offensive line, which was missing four regulars in their positions. Nick Foles took a pounding behind the makeshift line, including one hit from Justin Smith that forced a deep ball to hang for an easy pick. They had just 5 first downs with 5 minutes to go in the game.
So how did they almost win? The aforementioned pick six provided one touchdown, while a fantastic punt return by Darren Sproles posted another. He was even facemasked as the catch point but still sprinted past the entire Niners team on the return. Their other TD came on a blocked punt in the end zone, and the Eagles very nearly blocked another. They mounted one great drive in the fourth quarter, though it wound up bearing no points thanks to some ponderous play selection from coach Chip Kelly.
$.02--Aaron Rodgers told Packers fans to “R-E-L-A-X” during the week, trying to assuage the fears of a very spooked Green Bay fan base. They had reason to be worried, as Rodgers was coming off a dreadful loss to Detroit and hadn’t really looked sharp all season.
Rodgers certainly looked relaxed against the rival Bears. He was darn near perfect in shredding the overmatched Chicago defense. Rodgers went 22-for-28 for 302 yards and 4 TDs. Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson--still the only two viable weapons at his disposal--both caught two TDs and topped 10 yards receiving. The Packers didn’t have to punt once all game.
The Bears didn’t punt either, but probably would have preferred a couple instead of the mistakes they made. The two interceptions will stick to Jay Cutler, but neither should be considered his fault. The second one in particular was a case of Brandon Marshall running the wrong route, and the Packers made him pay for it.
It was an important 38-17 win for Green Bay, keeping them from falling too far behind the front-running Lions. Notching a divisional road win and getting back to .500 are strong feats that I wasn’t sure they could pull off.
But before Packers fans get too excited, heed your quarterback’s channeling of Matthew McConaughey and relax a bit. There are still major problems for the Packers. Eddie Lacy remains visionless as a runner, averaging under three yards per carry against a defense that entered the week giving up five per rush. Nobody else but Cobb or Nelson are ever open on any route. Chicago converted 7-of-11 third downs and posted 33 first downs, running for 235 yards. Green Bay was flagged for 9 penalties, and that number could easily have been doubled. Still, a win is a win for a team that desperately needed one.
$.03--Just when you thought Tampa Bay was a serious threat to challenge to 0-16 Lions of 2008 as the only winless team in 16-game NFL history, they traveled to Pittsburgh and pulled off a miracle win.
It took a colossal collapse by the sloppy Steelers, who held a seemingly comfortable 24-20 lead with under two minutes to play after holding off Bucs backup QB Mike Glennon on 4th down from the Pittsburgh 14. Here’s the blow-by-blow:
-predictable run for 2 yards, Tampa timeout
-false start penalty
-short pass play to force Tampa’s final timeout
-shotgun/concession run to set up 4th down at the 19
-atrocious punt by Brad Wing, who has had his share of clutch clunkers dating back to his LSU days
-Tampa takes over, incomplete on first down
-Louis Murphy gets wide open and gains 41 as Troy Polamalu badly misreads his coverage responsibility
-two plays later, Glennon finds Vincent Jackson for the game winner on a great out route in the front corner of the end zone
Pittsburgh committed 13 penalties for 125 yards. Mike Tomlin once again provided a seething postgame presser, blaming himself for not having the team ready to play or focused enough to win. I said it earlier and I’ll say it again: at some point the Pittsburgh management is going to hold Tomlin accountable for his repeated, self-admitted failures as a coach.
$.04--It’s not often a defensive player commands legitimate MVP consideration, but J.J. Watt is no ordinary defensive player. The Texans' defensive end made one of the biggest plays of the young season with his awesome pick-six of E.J. Manuel in Houston’s 23-17 win over Buffalo. Watt leapt up and corralled a lazy throw by Manuel, then took off and returned in 80 yards to put the slow-starting Texans into a lead they would not relinquish.
Watt was once again completely dominant as a pass rushing force. As Albert Breer of the NFL Network noted during the game, Watt hit Manuel six times in the first half alone. He spearheaded a strong third down defense that consistently got off the field without allowing further damage.
The Texans are 3-1, already notching more wins than they did in all of 2013. With the coaching change and the numerous personnel changes around him, Watt is now the unquestioned face of the franchise. No player in the league at any position is better at his job than what Watt is at defensive end. Just for good measure, he’s also caught a touchdown pass as a tight end, too.
If you measure the MVP by how the team would perform without him, Watt is the runaway leader. The Houston offense remains sputtering, with Arian Foster and Andre Johnson both in and out of the lineup. Their secondary gives up too many big plays (looking at you D.J. Swearinger). Take Watt off the Texans and I’m not sure they have even one win. Thanks to his outstanding play they stand 3-1 and in first place in the two-horse race that is the AFC South. If they can hold off Andrew Luck (fantastic again in pounding the hapless Titans) and the Colts, Watt will certainly deserve serious MVP consideration.
$.05--Sunday Night Football, in Twitter form…
There really isn’t a lot to add to it. Dallas blew the doors off New Orleans, completely dominating both sides of the ball. It was 31-3 after three quarters before the Saints finally decided to play some recognizable football. New Orleans made it interesting for a bit before a bizarre fake punt killed their chances.
The Cowboys are a surprising 3-1 while the Saints are an equally surprising 1-3. Even stranger is that it’s the Dallas defense stepping up, along with a great running game keyed by an outstanding offensive line and the hard-charging Demarco Murray, the league’s leading rusher. Tony Romo has basically been just a bit player, albeit a pretty effective one.
$.06--Another Thursday night, another blowout. This one was a little more unexpected, however. The Giants went down to Washington and scalped the Skins 45-14.
I’m not sure which is the bigger surprise, the sudden competence of the New York offense or the stark collapse of the Ethnic Slurs on both sides of the ball. For the Giants, the young line is starting to congeal. It helps that Eli Manning is clearly getting more comfortable at getting the ball out quickly and in rhythm. During the preseason and in the opener vs. Detroit, Eli clearly had no feel for the beat of the offense. When he tried throwing quickly, he looked like, well, Eli Manning rapping and dancing.
In this game, he eviscerated Washington’s heretofore solid defense with the short passing game. Per ESPN Radio, Manning completed 21-of-27 attempts which were thrown less than 10 yards, and at least one of those incompletions was a drop. That’s feeling the rhythm. Eli danced with tight end Larry Donnell as if they’d been partners for years, a tango Washington could not stop.
Kirk Cousins, on the other hand...
Washington’s celebrated backup quarterback put on a perfect demonstration why he will forever be a backup quarterback. He accounted for five turnovers and converted just one 3rd down in 8 attempts. He might still be staring at Pierre Garcon from Quentin Demps’ pick. Their thin defense really missed DeAngelo Hall, as well as any competent safety play. They’re one of my biggest disappointments at the quarter point, a team I thought could legitimately challenge for a playoff berth. Instead they look outclassed and heading in the wrong direction, and it goes far beyond the RG3 injury.
$.07--ESPN suspended Bill Simmons for three weeks for “violating journalistic principles”. In his weekly podcast, Simmons profanely called Roger Goodell a liar. That in and of itself isn’t enough to merit a suspension; Skip Bayless utters far more ridiculous things every day on First Take, albeit without the coarse language.
Simmons then challenged his superiors at ESPN to do something about it. He wildly proclaimed he will “go public” if they do anything.
Consider his arrogant, foolish bluff called. It’s been almost a week and Simmons is being unusually quiet. Whatever he was going to take public apparently wasn’t compelling enough, or he bit off more than he can chew with his unequivocal beatdown by his employer.
This is a very intriguing case going forward. ESPN paid Simmons millions to retain him and develop his Grantland site, which is often a journalistic gem. He’s a key force behind the exceptional “30 for 30” series. But he’s also an incorrigible, overbearing and unctuous raconteur, completely in love with himself and drunk on his power. This is not his first time driving right through the roadblocks of common sense and self-restraint. It won’t be his last, either. ESPN has to loathe knowing that Simmons knows he has enough power to act the way he does and throw it back in their faces like a laughing monkey flinging poo. They can’t fire him, even though they probably should.
--How powerful is the NFL? Here in the Grand Rapids TV market, the 1 pm lineup looked like this:
Make $$ in Real Estate!
Best Blower Ever!
Lions vs. Jets
They’re not even trying to fight the NFL. At least two weeks ago the ABC affiliate showed Moulin Rouge, something baby boomer women might actually watch.
--Jared Allen missed the Packers/Bears game with pneumonia. He was reported to weight just 237 pounds, 30 pounds under his listed weight. Now that’s an illness.
--I love the Rob Lowe DirecTV ads, where he is his normal incredible-looking self as well as various other creepy incarnations. They’re not as awesome as the Russian billionaire with the miniature giraffe, but close.
--Congrats to Colts wideout Reggie Wayne, who passed Henry Ellard for 10th on the all-time receiving yardage list.
--Very nice debut start for Teddy Bridgewater in Minnesota. The rookie became the first member of the QB Class of 2014 to throw for 300 yards in leading the Vikings a win over the Falcons.
--I advised everyone to do whatever they could to get Steve Smith into their fantasy lineups in his first game against his old Panthers team. Seven catches, 139 yards, two TDs. You’re welcome.
In lieu of a bunch of brief tidbits, here is a current Top 10 overall prospect list. This is how I see them so far, after a month of college football. Do not mistake this for a mock draft order, though it would not surprise me at all if No. 1 here went No. 1 in May.
1. Leonard Williams, DT, USC
2. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon
3. Landon Collins, S, Alabama
4. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
5. Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa
6. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
7. P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State
8. Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M
9. A.J. Cann, G, South Carolina
10. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
Jameis Winston misses the cut, and I sincerely hope he stays in school because he is not ready for the responsibility of being the leader of a college team, let alone a NFL team.
$.10--If you’re like me you are probably sick of all the political ads overwhelming the airwaves these days. Here in Michigan we have a spirited battle for a Senate seat and a gubernatorial contest which is getting uglier by the week. In one morning newscast last week 14 of the 16 commercials were political in nature. One of them even said something about the actual candidate endorsing the spot.
I’m not going to tell you how to vote. But before you flip the dial or mark the box, do your fellow Americans a favor: educate yourself. Explore where the money is coming from on both sides of an election. Do a little research on who is funneling the funds to particular candidates, and try and ascertain why.
Dig into where the mega corporations and big-time donors hold their interests. Why are they spending millions supporting this person? What will they expect in return? Weigh that with what you value, and understand that the person you are voting more is little more than a storefront for the cash behind their ability to get elected.
I would love to not be so cynical, but it’s too easy to find the inherent corruption of seemingly good people. Unfortunately both parties repulse me with their catering to special interests and the fringes of society, while I’m somewhere in the vast majority who reside in the middle.
Despite that, I continue to feed the beast. I vote, even in primaries. I have called my congressman and even had breakfast with my state senator. I’ve gone to local government meetings. I’ve contributed to candidates I support. I still desperately cling to the notion that democracy can work, even the perverted, monetarily hijacked version we have in America today.
Help me believe. Don’t blindly follow the talk radio charlatans or giant news conglomerates who thrive on gullible sheep. Think for yourself. Vote for you, not who someone tells you. Be informed. Be a better American.
Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, IQ
Previewing and predicting Bears/Packers, Eagles/49ers, Cowboys/Saints, Panthers/Ravens, Patriots/Chiefs and the rest of the Week 4 schedule.
The Cardinals are 3-0 and rank No. 2 in the Trench Counter behind the Bengals and ahead of their NFC West rivals in Seattle.
On the Seahawks beating Denver again, the 49ers beating themselves against Arizona, Cincinnati continuing its run, Detroit's defense and of course Roger Goodell's nightmare.
A Super Bowl rematch for the first time since 1997 headlines the week's games that include 49ers/Cardinals, Packers/Lions, Chargers/Bills, while the Saints and Colts avoid dropping to 0-3.
The Bengals and Redskins climbed to first and second in the rankings after huge Trench Counter differentials in Week 2
On all of the most important storylines from the weeks games, including Jay Cutler and the Bears, the Chargers beating Seattle, the Jets losing at Green Bay and more.