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By Dylan Malone
Happy Thanksgiving to all. I’m stuffed and I’ll be eating turkey sandwiches until they are coming out of my ears, but I don’t care because I love this time of year!
The NFL is just heating up and usually around this time the NBA regular season kicks in and adds a little flavor to my sports watching. With the lockout still making everyone angry, I’ve turned to college basketball to supplement my hoops hysteria. (My tar heels are still number one!)
But the NFL stories are about as juicy as the turkey meat was this year. Who are the Ravens? Really? They get embarrassed by a Jaguar team without a quarterback, then have to come from behind to beat the Cardinals and Seahawks. Then they put a second win up against their division rival Steelers this season followed by a mediocre performance against another rookie QB in Cincinatti? What team will show up against San Fran on Turkey Day, I asked myself. The good one it turns out. I’ve decided that they simply play to their opponents level. They are atop their division at the moment...at least until they get beat by a terrible Browns team next week? We’ll see.
The ‘Niners are still a good team. This week they simply got exposed to a defense that really put it to their line and they panicked. QB Alex Smith is lucky to be alive after getting sacked nine times in the game. Maybe he’s alive simply because Ray Lewis was out this week. Back to the drawing board for younger Harbaugh brother Jim, but I think we’ll be hearing more about this 49ers team soon.
I know that the Cowboys are supposed to be “America’s team,” but does that mean that if I can’t stand them that I’m a pigskin terrorist or something? I hope not because I’d like to tell Tony Romo where to go sometime. The ‘Boys win again, this time against a red-hot Dolphin team (Didn’t think I’d be saying that this year) that had won three straight, including last week’s win against a Bills team that looked to be headed for the playoffs for the first time since we thought all the lights in the world would go out due to “Y2K” in ‘99.
The Cowboys didn’t look graceful doing it, but they managed to set up a chip-shot field goal at the end of regulation to win in Dallas and remain in sole possession of first place for one more week.
And what about the Green Bay/Detroit game? It was never a question in my mind that Rodgers was a better quarterback at this point in his career than Stafford is right now, but I really thought that the upstart Lions would give their division rivals a better run than they did. Come on, Megatron! Where’s the hands?!
And don’t be fooled. The Packers LET the Lions score that touchdown at the end of the game so that the score would be a little closer than it really was in order to keep some sanity in a locker room that is probably getting bored at this point. I mean seriously, is there a guy on that roster that can’t catch a ball for Rodgers? Not that he isn’t one of the league’s elite quarterbacks, but when you have hall-of-famer Donald Driver, superstar Greg Jennings, a 6’5” tight end monster named Jermichael Finley who has the hands and moves of a wide receiver anyway, as well as a slew of young talent who are simply begging for Rodgers to throw them the ball and make them famous much the same way Pierre Garcon got his name out there thanks to Manning.
The Packers are the real deal, there’s no denying that now. The only question still remaining is whether or not they will go the distance to take their second consecutive Super Bowl or will they pull a New England and choke in the final game. The former sounds better than ending 18-1 with that ugly feeling of the one that got away.
The Lions, like the 49ers, I feel will still make the playoffs. The Bears are in serous trouble. The only way they make it is if they can hope Cutler comes back sooner than expected and they squeak out a few wins before he does. The Lions are in control of their own destiny. They win, they’re in. With teams like Philadelphia and New York struggling also right now, Detroit can easily steal a wildcard still. Watch out for my sleeper pick Atlanta, though...
Does anyone around here play any fantasy football? I asked some people that at a basketball game the other day. I love fantasy football, but I’m not really sure of the fan base here in Adams County. I’d love to hear from NFL fans about it, though. Send me your fantasy picks, your sleepers, your awesome fantasy team names, or even send me your thoughts on the NFL season in general, I don’t care.
Any comments will do. Just go online at www.decaturdailydemocrat.com and look for this column under blogs and leave a comment!