The Reuters global sports blog
Tis the season, to be jolly and a 4-2 Week 13 has put the Lineman in the holiday spirit, The Lineman is also feeling pretty good about Week 14 because it looks like there are a few gifts. So in the spirit of giving, here are Week 14′s winners.
Last week: 4-2. Pick of the Week: 6-7
PICK OF THE WEEK:
Atlanta Falcons (10-2) at Carolina Panthers (11-1) (Line Falcons minus-7.5): The Falcons share the best record in the NFL, the Panthers own the worst.
What more can you say.
Merry Christmas everyone. Take this gift and give up the 7.5. Ho Ho Ho.
Green Bay Packers (8-4) at Detroit Lions (2-10) (Line Packers minus-6.5): This is not a fun time of year in the Motor City, when the snow and the losses start to really pile up.
The Lions have shown plenty of pluck this season making teams earn their wins but the end result has been the same – another losing season in Motown and the Packers do not come to town bearing gifts.
Another tough week made tougher by losing two games by a half-point each. Ouch.
If you believe in such things, this should be unlucky Week 13 but with the results last week, my luck cannot be any worse this Sunday.
Last week: 2-4. Pick of the Week: 5-7
PICK OF THE WEEK:
Chicago Bears (8-3) at Detroit Lions (2-9) (Line Bears minus-3.5): The Bears have come out of their mid-season hibernation stringing together four straight wins, including last week’s impressive decision over the high-flying Eagles.
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, a 3-3 Week 11 keeps us at .500 but we need to make a big move to get up the standings — and get ahead of Ms. Lineman who is leading by one game. Ouch.
Record: 33-33. Last week: 3-3. Pick of the Week: 4-7
PICK OF THE WEEK:
Tennessee Titans (5-5) at Houston Texans (4-6) (Line Texans minus-3.5): First off, it is difficult to back any team with a quarterback named Rusty and with Vince Young injured and in Jeff Fisher’s doghouse and backup Kerry Collins on the limp Rusty Smith will make his first career NFL start for the Titans.
I have to wonder about American sports fans sometimes. On Sunday, the New York Jets blew a 16-point lead to trail 27-23 with less than a minute to go and their fans flooded out of the stadium. It was a remarkable lack of faith in a team which had shown in the previous two weeks that it can win late, with victories in overtime.
The fans heading out of the Meadowlands to beat the traffic, missed quarterback Mark Sanchez lead a remarkable drive to victory. Sanchez connected with Braylon Edwards with a great 42-yard pass that brought the Jets to the Houston Texans’ six yard line with 16 seconds on the clock and he then found Santonio Holmes in the left corner of the end zone on the next play to win the game.
Big pat on the back for the ‘Wichita’ Lineman, who came in off the bench last week and produced a solid 4-2 that got our overall record back to .500.
So, as the ‘Wichita’ Lineman says, let’s look into the crystal pigskin and see where Week 11 leads us.
One of the things you quickly learn about American football is that there are a multitude of differences between the college game and the pro game — different rules, different traditions and a different atmosphere.
There is also one glaring difference that you hear very little reference made to. While college football is dominated by teams from the southern states, the NFL is traditionally won by teams from the industrial North.
With the esteemed Lineman licking some wounds in his bye week after a tough first half of the season, cousin ‘Wichita’ Lineman has strapped on the pads to join the fray for Week 10.
The crystal pigskin reveals that a couple of underdogs will have bite, dysfunctional quarterback situations produce opposite results and brotherly love will be sorely tested on the gridiron this weekend.
Flicking through the television channels in Budapest, Hungary, last week, it took just five clicks before I stumbled across live coverage of the Minnesota Vikings playing the New England Patriots.
It was somewhat unexpected that a game which has very little following in Eastern Europe would be live on television but I should have known better. That day, the Denver Broncos and the San Francisco 49ers had been playing in London and now that ESPN has a channel in the region, it is surely only natural they beam in live coverage of ‘America’s Game’.