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Monday's game not right, but this guy isn't complaining

Posted: September 26, 2012 - 7:54pm  |  Updated: September 27, 2012 - 8:21am

It had to come to this didn’t it? The outcome of a game had to be decided by the ruling of a replacement official before the NFL got serious about the referee lockout. The outpour of fan discontent has provided Roger Goodell with a wonderful opportunity to do something incredibly sensible because the NFL’s flippant attitude towards a product that matters so greatly to literally tens of millions of people is outrageous. The integrity of an entire NFL season is hanging in the balance, no big deal. By now every football fan has seen the replay of the aptly coined “Inaccurate Reception” about a thousand times. Was it a catch, an Interception, simultaneous possession? The popular consensus is that the Green Bay Packers were victims of one of the worst calls in the history of the NFL. Was it really that bad? No, but it was questionable at best. The roughing the passer penalty which negated a game ending interception on the final drive was worse. The pass interference call a few plays later was comical. These were egregious errors by this rag tag crew of blurry eyed zebras. What’s lost in the chaos of the final play was just how awful the officials were for the entirety of the game. This was a staggering display of incompetence from start to finish. Again, it’s not the replacement officials fault. They’re overwhelmed and out of place. Let’s hope the NFL owners suffer from a brief moment of clarity, and fix this mess.

A lot of people have been coming into the Birch Ridge Pro-Shop in the last couple days in an attempt to coerce me into an admission of guilt on the Seattle Seahawks behalf, implying that Seahawks and their fans owe the football world an apology. That won’t happen. Let’s take a moment to review historical fact. In 1998, with a berth in the playoffs hanging in the balance, Seahawk defenders stopped New York Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde, well short of the end zone, winning the game for the good guys. Only the officials ruled that Testaverde had crossed the goal line for a touchdown! No part of Testaverde’s body came close to the goal line at any point of the play! Google it, see for yourself.

How about Superbowl XL when the Seahawks, playing the Pittsburgh Steelers, were victimized by officiating so poor that the head referee issued a public apology after the game! The back judge in that same game lived in Pittsburgh. You can’t make this stuff up! In the most vexing moment, Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw an interception, after which he was flagged for a 15-yard illegal block while tackling the interceptor. How can you get whistled for an illegal block when you’re tackling the ball carrier!? That’s not even a rule! To summarize, I do not feel the least bit bad about benefitting from a bad call. In fact, it’s quite refreshing.

It was another middling week against the spread leaving us at 21-25-2 for the season.

Cleveland Browns @
Baltimore Ravens -13

This is a game Baltimore should win by three touchdowns, but after Minnesota beat San Francisco last weekend you can’t take anything for granted. It’s tempting to take the points. The Ravens are coming off a big win against New England. Should we be leery of a letdown? Ravens win 27-16

Carolina Panthers @
Atlanta Falcons -8

Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers look to rebound from a dreadful performance last week against the New York Giants. Facing the red-hot Atlanta Falcons will pose a major problem. This looks like a different Falcons team, one capable of finally advancing beyond the first round of the playoffs. Falcons win 27-24

New England Patriots @
Buffalo Bills +5

If the New England Patriots fall to 1-3 can we all just admit that 2012 really will be the end of the world. I just don’t see anyway Tom Brady lets that happen. Buffalo lost emerging star C.J. Spiller last week to a shoulder injury. Patriots win 35-24

Minnesota Vikings @
Detroit Lions -5

The Vikings pulled off the upset of the early season by beating the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday. Second year starting quarterback Christian Ponder has played better than expected. Detroit’s play has been very uninspiring and now they may be without Matthew Stafford. Lions win 27-24

San Diego Chargers @
Kansas City Chiefs +1

Odds makers have this matchup as a virtual toss-up. The Chargers were exposed last weekend by a vastly superior Atlanta Falcons team. I’m not impressed by their wins over the Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Titans. Kansas City is returning home after a thrilling come from behind victory over the New Orleans Saints. Chiefs win 21-17

Seattle Seahawks @
St. Louis Rams +3

I really want to side with my Seahawks here, but I’m going to stick with what’s worked and keep picking the other team. I also want to wish Dave (Seahawks fan) and Sharon (Rams fan) Keating luck this weekend. Hopefully there won’t be too many contentious moments during the game. I’m rooting for you Dave. Sorry Sharon! Seahawks win 17-16

Tennessee Titans @
Houston Texans -12

Houston is playing the best football in the NFL right now. Tennessee is not, a trend that I anticipate to continue. Texans win 28-13

San Francisco 49ers @
New York Jets +5

I’m a little jaded after the 49ers mysterious defeat last weekend. The New York Jets are 2-1 thanks to Tim Tebow’s spirited cheerleading efforts from the sideline, but life won’t be as easy without Darelle Revis, who suffered a season ending knee injury against the Miami Dolphins. 49ers win 24-10

Oakland Raiders @
Denver Broncos -7

Robo Manning has struggled early in both of Denver’s losses this season. Do the Oakland Raiders have the ability to capitalize if the Broncos start slow again? The Raiders knocked me out of the ESPN Eliminator Challenge with a mind-numbing comeback to upset the Pittsburgh Steelers this past Sunday. I don’t expect a similar result in the Mile High City. Broncos win 31-17

Miami Dolphins @
Arizona Cardinals -6

The Cardinals are undefeated having defeated three quality teams and are only giving up 6 points at home to a struggling Miami team? Wave the red flag! It’s a tough game to predict with Dolphins running back Reggie Bush’s status still up in the air after suffering a minor knee injury. Cardinals win 17-13

Cincinnati Bengals @
Jacksonville Jaguars +3

Cincinnati has responded well after the beating they took against Baltimore opening weekend by winning two straight games. The Jaguars are coming off their first win of the season after defeating the Indianapolis Colts. Beware of the home dog here. Jaguars win 23-20

New Orleans Saints @
Green Bay Packers -8

The Saints are finding very creative ways to lose games and at times have looked overwhelmed by all the obstacles they’re facing this season. Can Green Bay rebound from their heartbreaking defeat last Monday? This is still a championship caliber team. Packers win 35-24

Washington Redskins @
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3

As great as Robert Griffin III has been the Redskins defense has been equally awful. Tampa Bay has lost two straight after winning the season opener. Rookie Head Coach Greg Schiano has already alienated himself from the rest of the league in less than month with his ridiculous “kneel down” defense. Buccaneers win 28-24

New York Giants @
Philadelphia Eagles -1

The Eagles look completely lost on offense. Michael Vick looks determined to set the NFL record for turnovers in a single season, and he’s off to a great start. The Giants are starting to resemble the Super Bowl winners from last year after crushing the Carolina Panthers. You can’t give New York extra possessions. That’s a recipe for failure. Giants win 35-21

Chicago Bears @
Dallas Cowboys -4

The week concludes with a match-up of two teams that despise prosperity. Both teams have tons of talent, but inconsistent play from the quarterback position is preventing them from taking the next step. Full disclosure, I have no clue. Dallas wins 27-20

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