The Reuters global sports blog
Not bad last week as the Lineman continued to undo some of the damage done by fill in Wichita Lineman in Week 10.
So keeping with the Thanksgiving theme, no turkeys among this week’s picks.
Record: 33-33. Last week 3-3; Pick of the Week: 9-2
PICK OF THE WEEK
Minnesota Vikings (2-8) at Atlanta Falcons (5-5) (Line Falcons minus-9.5)
Let’s make this simple; no Adrian Peterson equals no chance for the Vikes.
Without All Pro running back Peterson, who is doubtful with a high ankle sprain, Minnesota’s rookie quarterback Christian Ponder has little to work with and could be in for a long afternoon against an improving Atlanta defence looking to boost its sack stats.
After a sputtering start, Falcons QB Matt Ryan has finally found some rhythm tossing for 300-yards the last two weeks and should have another productive day against a leaky Vikings 28th ranked pass defence.
Week Eight was full of surprises, not many of them pleasant. The St. Louis Rams taking down the New Orleans Saints was the big shocker while the New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens managed to escape with wins but were unimpressive failing to cover.
It all it added up to a disappointing 2-4 week but we bounce back in Week Nine.
Record: 25-23; Last week 2-4; Pick of the Week: 6-2
PICK OF THE WEEK
Atlanta Falcons (4-3) at Indianapolis Colts (0-8)
(Line Falcons minus-7.5)
Record: 7-5. Last week 2-4; Pick of the Week: 2-0
PICK OF THE WEEK
Kansas City Chiefs (0-2) at San Diego Chargers (1-1)
(Line: Chargers minus-14.5)
The Lineman is only sure of one thing this weekend and that is that football fans are in for a real treat with all four games shaping up as potential classics.
It was a rough ride for home teams last weekend with only the Seattle Seahawks surviving and who says you need an elite quarterback to win in the playoffs.
The NFL’s website really is a model in what a modern sports league should offer its fans and among the many handy features is a playoff picture that shows exactly what the situation would be if the season ended now.
As it stands, the top team in the AFC is the 9-2 New York Jets while in the NFC, the Atlanta Falcons are in control with 9-2. Both teams are almost assured a place in the playoffs but have they got what it takes to go all the way to Dallas?
Well, the Lineman was back on track last week with a satisfying 4-2 performance that should have been 5-1 (Come on, who would EVER pick the Bucs to do in the Pack). At first glance – and second – this looks the toughest test so far this season with compelling stats to go both ways on a number of games. But no sitting on the fence, so here we go.
Record: 29-25. Last week 4-2. Pick of the Week: 5-4
PICK OF THE WEEK:
Denver Broncos (6-2) at Washington Redskins (2-6) (Line Broncos minus 3 1/2) I was not one of those getting all gushy about the Broncos 6-0 start to the season and two straight losses — albeit to tough opponents — have brought the Mile High boys back to earth.
Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick’s prison sentence followed by house arrest for participating and bankrolling a dog-fighting operation officially ended on Monday July 20.
It took exactly one night for Vick’s name to be once again embroiled in controversy. Vick’s Virginia-based lawyer Lawrence Woodward denied reports that his client spent his first night of freedom at a Virginia Beach strip club. “It is absolutely, categorically false,” Woodward said.
Should a man, having paid his debt to society for a crime he says he regrets, be forbidden from resuming a career at which he excels; a career for which his crime in no way disqualifies him (in the way that an embezzlement conviction might disqualify an accountant)?