NFL Picks: The Packers have some help in their pursuit of perfectionPublished 1:42pm Wednesday, December 14, 2011
I know last week I complained about the media’s coverage of Tim Tebow, and the average NFL fan should be a little disgusted with it.
Then I remembered something; my Green Bay Packers may somehow be avoiding some of the pressure of shooting for NFL perfection.
It wasn’t long ago when the New England Patriots where in Green Bay’s shoes. They were running the score up week after week and they looked like an unstoppable force that was destined to go 19-0.
The Pats almost matched that hype as they won their first 18 games. Then they ran into the New York Giants and their unstoppable offense came to halt as they lost a Super Bowl that they still haven’t recovered from.
I don’t think it led directly to their demise, but ESPN ran stories about the Pats and the ‘legacy’ of Tom Brady every other day. It’s probably because the Pats had won three recent Super Bowls and the Packers only have one in the last decade, but there was definitely more hype for that Pats team than this year’s Packers.
While the 2007 Pats and 2011 Packers both displayed greatness, the Packers are dodging the bullet of ESPN’s 24-7 hype machine. Thankfully for the Green Bay faithful, the man in Denver has everyone at ESPN coming up with opinions and argument s about him instead of gushing over the Packers and saying how great they are.
I don’t think this necessarily helps Green Bay win games, but it doesn’t hurt them either. Sometimes when you hear somebody say how good you are over and over again, you begin to believe it. You feel invincible.
But nobody is invincible in the NFL as only one team in history has gone undefeated through the playoffs and regular season, and the 1972 Dolphins only had to win 17 in a row.
In today’s sports world, the pressure of the spotlight can blow your ego far beyond what you’re capable of and it can put an abnormal amount of pressure on your players.
I hope the media continues its crush on Tebow. The Packers will calmly relax as they continue to put together one of the best seasons in NFL history.
Here are the picks:
Cincinnati at St. Louis
Remember when Sam Bradford was being called a can’t miss pro and he raked in one of the biggest rookie contracts in history? In 26 career starts he has 24 TDs and 21 interceptions with a passer rating of 74.2. I’m not saying he won’t eventually be pretty good, but maybe someone should use him as a lesson when talking about how great Andrew Luck is going to be right out of the gates.
BENGALS 24, RAMS 7
New Orleans at Minnesota
It’s a rematch of the NFC Title game from two years ago and one team is trying to get back to the Super Bowl and the other is having one of its worst seasons ever.
Gee, maybe it wasn’t a good idea to mortgage the entire future for a washed up Packer quarterback.
SAINTS 42, VIKINGS 17
Miami at Buffalo
This game doesn’t have much meaning, but I’ll go with the cold weather team at home against a warm weather team.
BILLS 17, DOLPHINS 13
Carolina at Houston
The Texans are starting to look like last year’s Packers, only better. They lost their best defensive player (Mario Williams) and have hardly had their best offensive player (Andre Johnson) on the field, yet their still tied for the best record in the AFC.
Oh yeah, they also lost their top two quarterbacks.
TEXANS 27, PANTHERS 16
Green Bay at Kansas City
The Packers will have their starters out by the fourth quarter.
PACKERS 33, CHIEFS 20
Washington at N.Y. Giants
While this could be a possible hangover game after the big win in Dallas, I think the Redskins used up all of their big plays for the season in last week’s loss to the Patriots.
GIANTS 24, REDSKINS 10
Tennessee at Indianapolis
The Titans will do what everyone else has done to the Colts this year. Beat them.
TITANS 27, COLTS 17
Seattle at Chicago
The Seahawks are playing their best football and the Bears don’t have an offensive playmaker on their active roster.
SEAHAWKS 17, BEARS 13
Detroit at Oakland
The Lions looked way too shaky against the Vikings for me to have faith in them. They had a plus five turnover advantage and still almost lost to a team that was led by Joe Webb.
RAIDERS 27, LIONS 24
Cleveland at Arizona
This game could be dropped from the schedule and nobody would complain.
CARDINALS 20, BROWNS 17
New York Jets at Philadelphia
The Eagles are starting to show a little fight, but the Jets run game should have its way.
JETS 26, EAGLES 17
New England at Denver
I’m going to go out on a limb and say this will be the highest rated game of the season. You have the hyped one known as Tebow taking on the legend that is Brady.
You have one of the league’s worst defenses, the Patriots, and one of the league’s better defenses, the Broncos.
This game will be decided by the likes of Von Miller, who will pressure Brady, and Champ Bailey, who will make Brady pay for hurried throws, but all you’re going to hear about is that lefty who wears his Christianity on his sleeve.
BRONCOS 30, PATRIOTS 27
Baltimore at San Diego
The Chargers are starting to put together their annual late season run.
CHARGERS 28, RAVENS 20
Pittsburgh at San Francisco
The 49ers are coming off a tough loss, but they need a big win on prime time for confidence sakes and this is their chance.
49ERS 13, STEELERS 6
Last week: 11-5; overall: 130-76