The Reuters global sports blog
OK, OK; the shine of a 5-1 opening week is really starting to dim but after three weeks the Lineman is still batting .500.
But like the Atlanta Falcons, we get our season turned around in Week Four. Good Luck.
Record: 9-9. Last week 2-4
Pick of the Week: 2-1
PICK OF THE WEEK
New Orleans Saints (2-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2) (Line Saints minus-7.5)
Let’s do the math together.
The Saints have scored 104 points and are averaging 34.7 points a game. The Jaguars have scored 29 points for an average of 9.7 points.
Tis the season so, the Lineman is getting a little help from his friends this week.
Ms. Lineman, who has her bookie on speed dial and is a sparkling 5-1 the last two weeks, is willing to share her secrets (this one time only, she claims) while the G-Man has been eagerly waiting for the chance to atone for his dismal 1-5 showing filling in for the Lineman last season.
Well, here we are at the end of the regular season staring at a .500 record. Let’s go out with a bang.
PICK OF THE WEEK
Chicago Bears (6-9) at Detroit Lions (2-13) (Line Bears minus 2 1/2)
End of season games between two teams with nothing to play for are always tricky but I can’t imagine the Bears losing this one to their NFC North rivals.
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.
Record: 12-6. Last week: 5-1. Pick of the Week: 2-1
PICK OF THE WEEK
Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-3) (Line Browns plus-5 1/2)
Now that the Detroit Lions finally have a win, the Browns have taken the crown as the NFL’s worst team. Winless Rams and Chiefs are contenders but the Browns are making a strong bid for the number one pick in next year’s draft. Bengals meanwhile are one fluky tipped pass away from starting the season a perfect 3-0.
Italian soccer club AC Milan played the famous music from the Champions League in their dressing room on Sunday to try to motivate the players. The only thing was they weren’t playing in the Champions League — it was a domestic match at home to Bologna.
Milan have stuttered in Italy for a few years now but they won the Champions League, Europe’s top club trophy, in 2007 and had produced a good performance to beat Olympique Marseille in the same competition the previous week.
Well, the Lineman got the season off to a perfect start (click the link). Steelers get the win, Titans cover, score one for the Lineman.
We will bask in the glory while it lasts because the Lineman understands this is just the first play in a long season. Let’s hope we are still on the right side of the scoreboard come Tuesday.
Most football experts will tell you that it takes three full years to evaluate an NFL draft class, but don’t tell that to the media, who are only too happy to provide the instant gratification of a thumbs up or down analysis after less than 72 hours.
Draft guru Mel Kiper of ESPN gave the Green Bay Packers his highest grade, an A, based primarily on their top two picks of defensive tackle B.J. Raji and outside linebacker Clay Matthews. While the Oakland Raiders, who selected the speedy, but unpolished wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bay with the seventh overall pick and the Dallas Cowboys, who didn’t have a pick until the third round after trading away earlier selections, both received the lowest mark of D.