Recap: Last week went with the Cowboys. Against an undefeated team whose coach probably asked them why they were 10-0 and undefeated in almost 365 days regular season if go back to last year, yet still not even a favorite (and in some places an underdog) against a debacle 3-7 team who’s not even very good at home. Which probably get then pretty riled. And rightly so.
This quote from a silly comedy movie, and tweeted by Tony Romo, inspired:
Here’s a better inspirational Tom Berenger movie:
This flick, a sort of far softer (and much nicer) “pulp fiction,” relied on an inspirational book which wouldn’t support a team like the Cowboys, who have made excuses (Romo’s not playing!) but would support a team like the Vikings, who don’t.
1. Seattle Seahawks (-2.5) at Minnesota Vikings:
3 points would be a more comfortable line here, since this game does involve a team that came within a 2nd & goal from the 1 yard line of winning its second Super Bowl in a row last year, and finished out the 2012 season by almost going to the championship game. A club now with its back up against the wall. But so far it’s not quite been the same team; while the Vikings have been quietly growing. This game will show whether that growth has continued.
2 Arizona Cardinals (-3.5) at St. Louis Rams
Sure the Rams might win, in, of course, true recent history Jeff FIsher fashion. The Jekyll and Hyde Rams, a moniker that’s been fitting since Fisher took over.
Now that they’re all but out of the playoff race, and can’t harm the Cardinals chances too badly even by beating them, they might yet win again and sweep. They outplayed the Cardinals (but lost) one of the two games last year and beat them by 2 points earlier this one.
The Cardinals remember that, and don’t like it. But the Rams seem to play this team well. They may again, but they’re still a a largely up and down but fairly mediocre team with no offense, and a defense that still doesn’t always tackle correctly. And going up against one of the best teams in the NFL, coming into the game knowing they will get the Rams best shot – which given the Rams history is a lot different than the Rams frequent mediocre ones.
And while beating the Cardinals seems to unfortunately define the Rams season for them – and why in part they’re a scary team for the Cardinals to play right now – keep in mind this is now Jeff Fisher’s 20th season as an NFL head coach. It’s included only 6 playoff appearances, and a Rams team that each year continues to do no better than the quick spike in improvement from its prior dismal depths it showed the first year Fisher, now in year four, took over.
3. Carolina Panthers (-6.5) at New Orleans Saints
And then there were none.
4. Denver Broncos (-5.5) at San Diego Chargers
Denver’s a very strong football team, but new QB Brock Osweiler is still somewhat unknown; and Denver’s also getting a lot of publicity off of beating an injury riddled Patriots team in a game they were solidly losing until near the end. And injury riddled or not, under QB Philip Rivers the Chargers have typically played pretty good football late in the season.
5. Indianapolis Colts (+9) At Pittsburgh Steelers
The way the Steelers have been playing, it’s hard to see them losing. Particularly considering the easier schedule the more questionable, and normally almost entirely Andrew Luck led Colts – now still playing with a so far successful but not taking the stats column by storm 40 year old quarterback – has had. But 9 points is still too many for a game that is far from a near lock.