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Sunday’s American Football Conference (AFC) championship game (15:00 ET) between the high-powered New England Patriots and ferocious Baltimore Ravens is more than just a clash between two rivals battling for a place in the Super Bowl.
Over here in Europe, interest in NFL has grown markedly this year if Twitter trends are taken into account. Maybe the annual game in Wembley has boosted UK interest along with better live coverage on satellite TV but the players themselves deserve credit.
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)
OK, it is not exactly the big week I was looking for but 3-3 at least has the Lineman heading back in the right direction. But catch a look at the Pick of the Week 3-1 (soon to be 4-1).
Good tipping to all.
Record: 12-12. Last week 3-3
Pick of the Week: 3-1
PICK OF THE WEEK
San Diego Chargers (3-1) at Denver Broncos (1-3)
Maybe I am one of those guys who keeps banging his head against the wall but for the second time in three weeks I am backing the Chargers as my sure thing.
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.
Bill Belichick has been crucified metaphorically by many pundits and fans for his gamble late in a National Football League game against the unbeaten Indianapolis Colts, but one top economist says the coach many previously called a genius made the right decision Sunday even if it backfired on him.
Belichick chose to have the Patriots go for a first down late in the fourth quarter with his team deep in its own territory and clinging to a lead on the road. New England failed to convert and the Colts immediately drove for the winning score in its 35-34 victory. And the second guessing began.
With the New England Patriots leading the surging Indianapolis Colts 34-28 with just over two minutes to play and staring at a fourth and two gamble on their own 28 yard line, was Bill Belichick’s decision to go for the first down rather than punt the ball away the right one?
Right or wrong, “The Call” sparked a debate more heated than healthcare reform across the United States on Monday and threatens to rage on for weeks to come as fans and commentators try to get inside one of the NFL’s greatest minds and get the answer to one question; “What was he thinking?”
The Lineman had been in a bit of slump the last three weeks. After a very solid start to the season he has picked just six winners the last three weeks.We were hit hard by upsets last week (give me a break Raiders and Bills both picking up wins). But we are still ..500 on the season and Pick of the Week is back at .500.
Record: 18-18. Last week 2-4. Pick of the Week: 3-3
PICK OF THE WEEK:
New Orleans Saints (5-0) at Miami Dolphins (2-3) (Line Saints minus 6 1/2): OK, am I missing something? The Saints have won every game by more than 14 points, last week they torched the unbeaten New York Giants 48-27 and quarterback Drew Brees has put on an air-tossing 13 touchdowns including four against the New Yorkers, who came into the Big Easy with the NFL’s top ranked defence.