After an abysmal week of predictions that failed, yielding less than 5 wins, I have become a little smitten as to the various aberrations I witnessed with much scorn, but also with anxious enthusiasm as to ask what the hell just happened? Just when you think is doesn't happen anymore, I am finally becoming a believer that there is parody in the NFL again, for lack of a better term. Now reflecting back on the games, like returning to the site of a major disaster, as result of a category 5 Hurricane wreaking havoc all over the place, (which by the way is no joking matter) it is time to assess the damage, and what the costs will be for the major cleanups. Ever wonder why God (or for non believers "the Universe") always targets trailer parks when it relates to Hurricanes and Tornados? Is it because it wants to create more trailer park trash to be strewn about like dirty laundry in a Brooklyn hotel? Or is it to send a broader message that nature has a way of selective design to give us something that we once knew but had to relearn again? Then again we can use another analogy such as Florida being the catch drain for all the raw sewage that floats down from the rest of the country, and we wouldn't miss a beat on counting on some sort of breaking news coverage that never fails to give us those unsavory headlines where we have become addicted to know more. There I said it, and therefore I regress, only to hear death threats coming about sent to my next address that I submitted to the eyewitness protection program. This week is about trying to pick up the pieces and learn what needs to be done in order to correct my past transgressions. Maybe with a little rehab, and practicing the 13-step program, can I begin a new life amended and whole again, in hopes salvation is waiting for me somewhere between Las Vegas and Amarillo Texas.
After last weeks performance of the Tavon Austin show, it is pretty safe to say that The Colts didn't have an answer for someone who scored 3 touchdowns of at least 50 yards, a feat that was only achieved by two others in the history of the NFL. The Colts were rather traumatized by the time the Rams racked up 38 points going into the 4th quarter and by then the odds were insurmountable. To add insult to injury, the Colts rushing attack only managed to garner an embarrassing 18 yards, and despite Luck's 343 yards on the day, throwing 3 interceptions is like a death sentence where one becomes stranded in the Mojave, with the next town being 45 miles on foot where one needs to get to as a life saving measure. With no water, no cell phone, and not a passing car in sight, then you can see that survival and the odds of it are very slim to none. But for Colts fans, there is solace in knowing that at least you didn't have sit through a game to be the victims of losing to Jacksonville before the home crowd. Four turnovers by the Titans is the same as watching a post menopausal scarecrow do its best impersonation of Cher on steroids at say the age of 100 for a bunch of toothless grins in a town called Muleshoe. Never mind, I apologize in advance for putting that image into your head, but now that Levitre is playing for the Titans, and is possibly thinking to himself that staying in Buffalo could have been worth more in self dignity then the extra dollars he signed up for, then you can start putting things in proper perspective. Now with Fitzpatrick starting once again for an injured Jake Locker who just can't stay healthy when his life depends on it, now this game becomes a rescue mission with no return flight. With Indy still very much in control, and hey, I'd much rather be sitting at 6-3 then lets say 4-5, I don't think Indy will be looking past this game in order to take care of business.
The Bills performance in Pittsburgh was one that can be forgotten fairly easily, if you use the analogy of the old west. No one circles the wagons like the Bills do, except this time all there was, were a heard of bison's grazing in the plains. One by one they get picked off by so called Buffalo hunters positioned at long range at the end of rail cars who have been commissioned by the federal government to kill as many Buffalo's as possible. The strategy is to starve the natives of their one provision in hopes it gives them a decided advantage in the on coming war. Winter is coming and it is going to be a long one, with no other diversions to look forward to (See the Sabres) so instead, the natives decided to try their hand at Gorilla war tactics and inflict as much damage as possible before retreating to the unknown destinations to wait out the frigid doldrums of the shortest days. What many don't know and are unsuspecting is that the natives are amassing behind the hills and planning very carefully for a surprise sneak attack, and Buffalo Bill, has assembled a formidable posse of his own to aide the natives in their final conquest. Much of Buffalo Bill's trust among the Native's is his admiration for their way of life that is worth fighting for and preserving. That is what waits when the new season begins, but in the meantime, like all warriors do, they lick their wounds, retreat and live to fight another day, at least there is no shame in doing that. The Jets, on the other hand, have no idea what awaits them, and may soon find out that what was once considered a sure win, may now be put on notice that they are no longer on their home turf. The Bills should take comfort in that revenge is sweeter than a thousand Krispy Crème's a certain NJ governor submits his overindulgence to. At least Rex knows a thing or two about that, and he can relate.
The battle of Ohio rages on, and all we are left to wonder is what is there to look forward to in this game? Except that Cincinnati and that once famed radio station, not much happens outside of their two-team town, well except if you consider the strip clubs across the river that happens to create fodder for the local newspapers of the occasional scandals involving famous athletes and political adversaries running for office, then you might assess the situation a little different. That out of boredom a little trouble is needed every now and then to break up the monotony of mundane routines that most citizens begin to loathe. Yes it is true, the great city of Cincinnati is a great place for raising a family, and to fall in line in a life less than ordinary, to say you bought a house on the hill, with white picket fences, and now you will be living the dream with your June Cleaver trophy wife. Good old American values couldn't get better than this, and there is still hope that the Bengals will represent those values well when Cleveland comes to town, mind you, a team coming off a bye, well rested, and probably with Wheeden as their starting QB. Marvin Lewis is going to have to dig deeper into his philosophical repertoire to conjure up another inspiring analogy to win the hearts and minds of his teams confidence if he hopes to salvage this season and put a stop to this losing skid he now finds himself embroiled in. That bomb to AJ Green to send the game into overtime was a thing of beauty and almost always sends a dagger into the hearts of the opposing team, but with a defense decimated with so many injuries, their luck ran out as they failed to stop the Ravens will to score the go ahead field goal in an overtime heartbreaker. (Please not a Bills reference here, times are indeed changing for the better! How is that for optimism?) The caveat here for Bengal fans, is that at least your team is playing against Wheeden and will have time to regroup to give them a fighting chance. On a conciliatory note the Bengals are seething, frothing at the mouth to revenge that earlier lopsided loss to the Browns and should have plenty of motivation playing at home. Bengals
Skins@ The Eagles
Did you catch the story last week out a local Alabama news affiliate of a man going blind because of a deer? Yeah I know, I had to read further as to figure out what the hell happened, when learning a man from that state was keeping six deer as pets, including a 6 point Buck. Well, as you could imagine what was going through my mind when I stopped at the 6 point Buck part, and said to myself that this could not possibly end well when it involves a buck in a rut. As the story further reveals that the man was trying to get along nice with his pet 6 point Buck when all of sudden he was attacked and almost gored to death by it, including getting punctured in one of his optical nerves possibly causing him to be permanently blind in one eye. The lesson of this story is you just can't fix stupid, and not a good idea to have deer or for that matter any wild animal as a pet. I think the Skins, while dealing with another creature with horns is only coincidental, but I thought is was worth mentioning that Washington's performance was something compared to stupid. Especially when you consider that they were up 27 to 14 in the 3rd quarter, then get flag eight times for 63 yards worth in penalties. Now consider this, I think Shanahan has a replica of himself that is similar to a Mr. Marbles (a ventriloquist wooden personality that has a high pitched voice and is angry) and is running the show. In his press clip; "You can't do that," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. "You've got to keep your poise. You make mistakes like that and so often it will cost you the game." Then his mouth is seen frivolously moving up and down. chattering something incoherent, continuously, feverishly, trailing off in the distance, with his eyes rolling around in maniacal spasms as he is being carried away for no other reasons than to restrain him from further exposure to the media.
When assessing the Eagles, and my stupidity for not picking them last week, as I might have, I am almost willing to consider trading places with that guy who was gored by the deer. (No not really, it isn't that bad, but close enough) except my logic on that one is not totally lost on the faint of heart, especially if you factor in Nick Foles performance as of late, and now it is becoming obviously clear that he actually may be for real. The problem for me is when you factor in their (Eagles) 5 wins with the exception of a loss to the Broncos, all of them have been on the road. Now they will be home facing another team whose performance as of late, is nothing short of disappointment. Something tells me that Philly for all intensive purposes has to win at home eventually, and when you consider everything else, like Michael Vick and his earlier performance then one gets the sense that the Eagles are a different team. If Foles continues his stellar play of not throwing an interception, and winning games in candid fashion, Michael Vick actually may have a hard time reclaiming the starting role once he is deemed healthy enough to play again. Also talking about Foles not throwing an interception in the last 16 TD passes, is a mark shared with Payton Manning who accomplished that feat earlier this season. Pretty remarkable when you think about it and most improbable coming from a QB with less than 13 starts and has yet to prove that he belongs as the Eagles unquestionable starter. Still there is hesitancy on my part, to give Foles and the Eagles the benefit of the doubt, and I might want to reconsider what it is that I like about this team. Names like Shady McCoy and Riley Cooper are ones that I would expect to hear from a WWF Promo tournament; then again the NFL maybe slowly progressing towards that trajectory given the various rules and the penalties that are being called is leaving an impression that the NFL is becoming arbitrary. This time, though, I am going with the Eagles at home in hopes that indeed I am witnessing something special developing. Or not.
Now that the Lions are in control of the North with a 6-3 record to boot, having beat Chicago for the season series sweep, and a Arronless Packers team, then a case could be made that the Lions could very well win their division outright. Something that hasn't happened since 1993, when a guy name Barry Sanders was their running back and another guy named Wayne Fontes was their coach. Also an interesting note to take away from this past Sunday's game is that the last time the Lions won at Soldier field was when Calvin Johnson was just starting his career aka Megatron, so in a sense maybe its a sign that the Lions are coming full circle and are finally turning the corner despite their 3 previous losses, 2 of which were decided by less then 4 points and one in which this team is not quite figured out a way to beat Green Bay on the road which was the only game they lost by double digits. However that being said, when looking at the rest of their remaining games, then it becomes obvious that it is not inconceivable to see this team finish with a possible 12-4 record. Of course I say that with cautious optimism, if for no other reason, it's the Lions we are talking about here. So maybe 10-6 will get it done as well and it is easy to see that they may be peaking at the right time, and easily control their own destiny. It is hard to argue Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, Tulloch, Young, Ansah (although out with an injury) presents a much formidable front for any opposing offense, and are living up to the mascots roar with a bite reputation. Just ask Brandon Marshall, as he's still thinking enough of the Lions to make disparaging statements about the City of Detroits economic problems enough so that he couldn't find any other way to make people feel bad, to self deflect the painful loss to a team they have loved to beat on for so long. Now consider the Pitt game again it becomes another road game for this team, and that has to be worth something for Steeler fans, as evidenced by their past Sunday performance. However again I say that with a certain degree trepidation as well, because we are not sure what team will show up to play. Ok even though again I am saying Pittsburgh, just because they are playing at home, and against the Lions. But being a toss up, I will take heads that the Lions win.
Atlanta @ Buccaneers
Ok aside from the fact the Falcons season is one that can be best summarized as a summer romance that ended before it began, and therefore sleeping on a bed of fiberglass insulation on a hot sultry night might help one forget the panicked anxieties, the lost appetites and that, that, that one, who could have been the one, but now has other things in mind, just not you, is not escaping your thoughts to relieve you of your miseries, so self mutilation feels better than say getting up on stage pouring petroleum jelly on themselves and passing it off as a urine analysis. Just what Falcon fans are feeling at the moment, while their teams season all but declared excrement in the back dumpster at Mr. Chens restaurant, that was just lit on fire by a couple of unidentified pranksters who fit the description of Steve Buscemi and a guy named Freezie, then its easy to say that it couldn't get any worse for them. Just when you think it can't get any worse for Falcon fans, I would argue yes it could, and that would be losing to the hapless Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team so bad that losing to them would actually be hitting below rock bottom, and I am not sure any team would recover from such a humiliating proposition. Is it possible that the Falcons could lose? Sure it is! Just as possible as Miley Cyrus announcing that she is now trying her hand at being a porn star. Nothing should surprise us anymore, and even if Tampa Bay manages to win this game, then at least we know that they are no longer tied with Jacksonville in getting the first overall pick in next years draft. Still, one has to wonder if Atlanta has more dignity than losing and manages to gut this one out so that we can all have a collective sigh, to stave off another week of near fatal disasters.
Arizona @ Jaguars
So now with the over jubilant Jaguars getting their first win, all things can go back to normal. From the way this Jacksonville team celebrated their win by giving out game balls to every person who was in the close vicinity of receiving one, you would think that they just won the championship. Hell, I would venture to guess that they will be giving out game balls for the rest of the season in celebration of this one win, because I don't anticipate it will get any better than this. Anyone lets say inclusive, like, the grocery clerk, the night watchmen at the chemical plan, Mrs. Billingsworth at the post office, little Betsy on her skateboard, and all the neighborhoods of ordinary citizens who probably don't even follow football, or for that matter the Jags who will receive a game ball just for the sheer joy of it. Enjoy it while it lasts, because a Jaguar never changes its spots, well, at least for now, because never saying never is like a prognostication that there is some glimmer of hope that this franchise finds a way, like 20 years from now to actually correct their course, then I guess it is possible. Arizona Cardinals on the other hand, are still very much under the radar to the common laymen casual observer, but to the writers, sports pundits and everything in-between are starting to look twice at a team that is quietly making a case for itself that maybe they have a chance at a wild card this season. I say don't hold your breath, but at 6-5 and a win in Jacksonville then we could possibly be including Arizona in that conversation. With the exception of a guy name Kiko, Tyrann Mathieu is having a stellar rookie season, and may be the finalist to receive such accolades, that of course if a guy name Kiko doesn't have any more interceptions or continues with surprises. Also Arians has finally turned things around, considering at one point, this team was in serious trouble a year ago, but now with Carson Palmer comfortably settled in and stabilizing the QB position, and the defense playing with consistency, what was considered an easy out for many teams, are now finding out that they may have their work cut for them when facing the Arizona Cardinals and shouldn't be taken lightly. That is not to say that Arizona is not still a work in progress, but rest assured they are progressing forward. Going from the arid climate to one of stuffy swamps, the bog might make things sluggish at first, but the Cards should win this contest because simply they are the better team, and every game from here on out is important. Is it in the "Cards?" Time will tell.
You know a team is bad when Lechler, the punter for Houston is receiving high fives for surpassing 50,000 yards, no small feat mind you, but that in of itself should not be dominating conversations around the water cooler come Monday morning, and it certainly should be nothing to be proud of I were Houston. As if we haven't been put to sleep already having to sit through another Wade Phillips press conference, by the time we get past the barely audible one line responses from him, its already is a snoozer, and by the time I woke up I was wondering if the conference started yet. Once we manage to wipe the drool from the corner of our mouths, then we can figure out the boring unimaginative style in which Houston executed their offensive game plan. The moral of this story, is you stick to what was working for you in the 1st half and go with it in the 2nd then maybe the outcome would have been different, instead Houston decided to try something different that ultimately backfired. Why they didn't stick with their running game we will never know, and even when I went back to look at the transcript of what Wade said, it did not reveal much except he was soft spoken, barely audible which might explain the difference between being in a coma, and having the best dreams during Golf matches, both are equal in their comatose inducements to easily forget that there was even a game that was played. Now Oakland comes to town, with not much to be joyous about either, hell I couldn't even tell you who their coach was until I finally with much angst had to look it up, just goes to show that relevancy is as good as your team plays and the tally in the win loss column. Upon further review of this past Sunday's game with the Giants, Woodson gives a sermon on the mount, that still had people talking well after the game concluded. Is it possible the Raiders are becoming more of a gospel revival church in desperation to find inspiration and belief, for its parishioners are striving for redemption by seeking ways to cast off their flaws? Woodson, for all intensive purposes is trying to lead his flock to sanctimonious rewards, only to be confounded with more struggles that has him resolved to seeking divine intervention as an answer. Oh well when all else fails turning to prayer may be the best option. Texans
The shit storm of Miami is now being exacerbated by their play on the field, and losing to Tamp Bay has hit a new low. It would seem that this team is more focused on their PR campaign of putting out the fire of the Incognito and Martin soap opera than actually addressing the myriad of issues that this team is faced with. Talk about deep shit, one would have to invest in a pair of Wellingtons' just to wade through it to survive this colossal calamity. Also not to ad insult to injury but talk about a bad investment going south, one would have better chances at penny stocks then to expect bigger returns from this trash heap waiting to be buried at a landfill. I don't see it getting much better either as all the world awaits for Martin's first public statement since this tabloid drama broke, another week of media frenzy seeking to perpetuate something bigger than what it should be continues to feed upon an organization lost in chaos, and questioning itself in why they couldn't police their own as things are spiraling out of control. The match-up between Denver and San Diego this past Sunday didn't quite live up to the expectations few were expecting, a gun slinging all out high scoring affair with a last minute down to the wire conclusion. Instead we get the opposite, an anti climatic ending filled with utter disappointment. Phillip Rivers failed to rise above and have his best game, and the defense missed tackles left and right to give Denver a 28 to 20 victory. Even though the Chargers did not get blown out, it is hard to say that this was a moral victory when you factor in all the issues this team faces, essentially a last minute reshuffling of the Offensive line, and rookie mistakes on defense, then you might have half a team that is competing on one leg and an arm tied behind their back. Although 2-3 on the road so far, The Chargers better be placing a high priority on this game, because facing the prospects of going into Kansas City to face the Chiefs the following week would all be certain ending any hopes to having playoff aspirations.
49er's @ The Saints
For as well as the 49er's have been playing this season, every now and then along comes a team who are on a mission without any luggage. That team of course being the Carolina Panthers, winners of the last 5 who were the buzz saw defense that 49er's did not expect to run into. The fact that they were in Kapernick's Grill all day, is telling of many stories here, beginning with San Fran's chink in the armor had been exposed, if you rattle Kapernick, like say with 6 sacks and blanketed man on man coverage, chances are your team stands a good chance coming out on top as the victors, all things considered if that's a defense that is yet to yield more than 12 points per game in their last 3 and then you can say that is just plain nasty! I mean downright nasty! I can't imagine what 49er's fans are thinking or feeling after that game, I might be tempted to use as a comparison such as when watching a Chinese actor in a made for TV Drama, and the character just finds out that his girlfriend has absconded with his loot and fled to a country when they don't issue visa's to Chinese nationals. Watching a Chinese man throw a temper tantrum, with arms flailing about, kicking and shouting, cursing for trusting and falling in love with a foreigner, with more flailing arms, as if he were a washing machine in the torrent cycle, then you might get the idea that watching this episode is just too painful. Also, have you ever seen a Chinese woman running in high heels, to catch the train? Hilarious by most accounts watching her extremities in sudden jerk motions going in all different directions contorting in different angles generally not a very pretty thing to witness by most estimates. Now on to New Orleans, a team considered by most sports pundits, of having a pretty good time of it and scoring at will, mind you by margins that is just off the charts. One thing is clear though, that no one can stop the Saints at home. Well at least they can savor that, because after this week, they will have to go on the road to face an even tougher place, and another team that has a spotless record at home and fighting for NFC supremacy that being the Seattle Seahawks. More on that later, so at the rate things are going, San Fran may be facing the real prospects of playing as a Wild Card team, with Seattle, and now New Orleans current surge in the standings, it is becoming increasingly clear who the number 1 and Number 2 seeds will be going into the playoffs 6 to 7 weeks from now. Then again, that is subject to change if anything happens again like what we witnessed this past week then things will get a little bit more interesting. New Orleans are pacing themselves for the time being, and are in a wait and see mode if that parody plays into their favor when the regular season concludes. Sorry 49er fans, but prepare for the worse and hope for the best, as the prospects of a two game losing streak seems to be eminent. Saints
Packers @ The Giants
Arronless Packers, going into New York and facing the Giants, winners of 3 straight and one would assume that the Giants are quietly slugging away to get to even ground facing improbable odds to overcome their dastardly start. Packers are desperate, and rumors are flying around that Matt Flynn may be in the house. It is hard to imagine that much will improve for the Packers given their other injuries that they are dealing with, then again, they are facing Eli Manning who has really at times shown he is capable of self destruction, to the point that people were starting to become worried about his well being, such as having suicidal thoughts or his state of mind. Like that time when he looked like he was going to cry during a press conference following the loss to the Bears when he just couldn't throw a football into soup sandwich, let alone a magnetized target designed specifically for him, and you can imagine that one was hard to take or sit through. So who knows, maybe Eli has finally turned the corner, and when it is all said and done, the Giants may make the playoffs after all, and repeat what they did a few years ago. Although sadly, I am not one of those who believes that will happen again. If it did, I swear I will quit watching football and move to Alaska. As far as this game is concerned, I have as much enthusiasm for this game as I would for wanting to purchase and read a book about Barak Obama, which is about nothing at all, more fluff and no substance. When there is no sense, there is no sense at all! Giants
Vikings @ The Seahawks
Considering that these two teams are in different places, both literally and figuratively, and to add to that, Seattle's home field advantage, then there is no point in trying to make a case for Minnesota having a chance in this game. Last weeks game, while admitting I am still waiting for the smoke to clear on what I consider a fox hole that was doused with napalm, was just an aberration. Really I mean that, this team is not that good, and of course I am not sure what to make of Adrian Petersons son tragedy, as something that is telling of a much larger issue in a subterranean bowel of the culture of professional athletes who always seem to find themselves in paternity suits of illegitimate children, and promiscuous wanton of gold diggers who are seeking a pay day so that they can continue to live their lavished lifestyles of a make believe Kardashian world they think is real. Still a tragedy no matter how you summarize it, and not sure what kind of an affect it has had on Peterson and the rest of the Vikings who probably would be better served to just forget about this season. Also consider the Vikings problem at Quarterback, Christian Ponder has pretty much not been able to stay healthy all this season as he is currently suffering from a dislocated shoulder in which he is on record as saying that he thinks he can play next week against the Seahawks. Yeah, ok, good luck with that one! I mean it! Really!
The Chiefs @ The Broncos
Any Chiefs fans knows that going into Denver, Mile high of all places, is going to be a tall order, considering the high efficiency that Manning is playing as of late, bad ankle and all. Although, we can make a case that Kansas City, still the only undefeated team in the NFL has a chance to stay undefeated and walk out of Denver with a victory. They are coming off a Bye, and are pretty much healthy for the most part, and have the leagues number one ranked defense. Then of course you get the story of Bowe getting arrested for pot and you might get suspicious that a breaking story might be the impetus for a bad week ahead. The again on the contrary, a case can also be made that Kansas City has not faced any real good teams, with the exception of the Bills, who for lack of reasoning practically gift wrapped that game for them, and that facing the likes of Denver who will no doubt like to make a statement of their own (As if they haven't been doing that all season) about the future seedings come playoff time thenI guess you can begin to rationalize that the Chiefs are facing a very if not the most important game of this season so far. Lets face it, both of these teams are going to the playoffs so it is a matter of who will have the better record, and who will blink first. At least Kansas City Chiefs if all else fails can get this one out of the way, remove the bull eye target on their backs and get ready for San Diego at Arrowhead the following week. Not expecting miracles, but if Kansas City does manage to win, then it will reveal even more story lines to come. Broncos
Patriots @ The Panthers
Now this is a game I can sink my teeth into, if for no other reason I am so sick and tired of seeing any Boston team in the post season. Not only that, I had enough of seeing pretty boys like Tom Brady with his wife Giselle steal all the headlines as being the perfect couple, something akin to how Hollywood likes to parade their pearl white teeth, tanned perfect bodies, and project the image of self righteousness, or the overdosed self indulgence when they become attention starved brats who need to create a false narratives about themselves. There was a time when I did like the Patriots, but when Spygate emerged as the coup detat that was the fial act for me, that respect has waned in recent years, especially when you consider the hoodie Bellicheat always wears, and that fact the rules, and the refs always seem to favor Brady, like an overbearing protective parent that wants nothing but the best but to screw everybody else in order to give the advantage to their kids. Its enough to make one puke, let alone send an anonymous package with frozen dog poop inside in hopes one grabs the contents expecting to be surprised by something wonderful. (Warning do not try that yourself, it has been known to attract swat teams crashing your front door at 4am) Really, I am talking about when your dog, in winter time has crapped in the back yard, and because it is so cold, and you are too lazy to clean it up, then the sit just accumulates on harden snow that has turned into a sheet of ice, and it is so cold outside that the dog excrement freezes, hardening it to a nice solid, making it easier to scoop it up, put it in a box, and package it as a present to someone you despise. That someone being Brady, and seeing the look on his face when he discovers that what he grabs out of the box, in anticipation of getting something special is not pleasant, would be priceless and worth the price of admission. That also includes seeing the sad faces of Boston fans, and any other regional people who consider themselves Patriot fans couldn't be a happy moment worth living for. Am I hoping this happens on Monday night when they face the Panthers? I am not only hoping, I am expecting it! The way the Panthers are playing right now, and the fact they just beat one of the elite teams in their house, and now get to come back home to take on the Patriots, I really, really, really, like my odds and chances of happy endings! (not to be mistaken with Japanese massage parlor reference) Patriots have not faced a team like the Panthers ferocious defense this season, and Brady will be in for a long day, that is of course the Refs are not there to protect him and baby him like a spoiled frat boy, then I expect Brady's jersey to be very grassed stained by the time this is over! Believe me, I have this game circled on my calendar as the game of the year! At least in my world that holds true, not sure about yours and there is bound to be disagreements on this. Here is hoping that Carolina is for real, will indeed have another outing as they did in San Francisco, and that the natural order of the world and the Universe will be restored, to free us of this evil tyranny that we have become so enslaved to for far too long! Panthers