This week is the start of playoffs in most leagues. I congratulate you if you are in the hunt this time of year and console you if your season didn’t go as planned. Do you need a hug? Hopefully you learned a thing or two this year that will lead you to return next season with a better understanding of this game. I learn something every year.
None of us have a crystal ball except maybe Tony Holm. There is quite a bit of speculation about where he keeps it. I’m sure you envision it on his desk as a paper weight. I think that may be way too accessible to folks. So the answer must be some place less obvious like a safe or a locking file cabinet. I can just tell you that I don’t have access from my sattellite office here on the west coast. So you can bet that I haven’t seen it and don’t have access to it. That being said, I’m going to share some of the things that I learned this year and do my best impersonation of the prognosticator and pick Sunday’s games.
Lesson number One:
Cross off all Redskins’ running backs from consideration for next year. I don’t care if Roy Helu has seven TD’s in the final four games. You don’t need to put yourself in that position. If there is more than one to choose from, you can’t tell how the ball will be distibuted. I’ll never buy again period.
Lesson number Two:
You don’t need any part of the Packer ground game. It’s not the staple there and no one needs a John Kuhn 1 yard Touchdown.They haven’t done much and Mike McCarthy has been sniffing the sharpie in his cap before each game and at half time.
Lesson number Three:
Don’t continue to start receivers on teams that rely on one quarterback when that QB gets hurt. Reggie Wayne, Dwayne Bowe, Pierre Garcon, and Andre Johnson. I understand that you have a lot invested and you need someone who is going to play but most teams are set up with only one serviceable signal caller. There are plenty of slot receivers with a marquee field general throwing to them. Suck it up before you get a zero.
Lesson number Four:
Understand that owners will always panic after losing a few games and drop marquee players. This is your opportunity to get something for nothing. Don’t wait until you look at the matchups and his previous stats just make the acquisition. I lost out on Steve Johnson because I was wondering why someone would drop him and started looking at the matchups. Meanwhile, he got swooped under my nose.
So I said I learn a few new things every year. Those were the most frustrating lessons that I learned this year. One I could have avoided by staying away from Coach Mike Shannahan. I knew better when he was in Denver. Change of scenery can sometimes fool you but yep he’s the same old guy trying to prove that he can turn an undrafted rb into gold. The only problem is that he is running out of teams to screw up. I’m not saying the Redskins have much going for them with or without him.
Let’s get onto the games and hope my immitation crystal ball has some luster left. It’s pretty dusty as I only try this about once a season.
Houston @ Cinncinati
This will probably be the Adrian Foster show. Neither defense gives up many points to the skill positions. I’m calling for rookie sensation A.J. Green to again showcase his skills. sprinkle in some Cedric Benson and a few targets for Jermaine Gresham. Low scoring snoozer of a game here. Lots of defensive stands and some serious grinding just the way the Bengals like it.
Bengals 20, Texans 17
Minnesota @ Detroit
Minnesota is looking for enough healthy players to just suit up. Without AP and Ponder, who are both questionable, It looks like a very Lion weekend. I like the air attack and would feel comfortable starting just about anyone on the offense side of the ball for the Lions. Stafford, Johnson, Bureleson, and a splash of Titus Young. Check Kevin Smith‘s status before you plug in Maurice Morris. You never know with Smith, it’s a boom or bust play. Lions won’t need his services either way. Percy Harvin is kind of a unknown here. He is playing so well but without a QB, It may be too risky.
Lions 31, Vikings 20