Another week, another controversy. Take your pick this week. From refs screwing up a few calls, to the whole Case Keenum thing, to the Bills headsets going out on Monday sparking another Patriots “scandal”. I’m not a Pats fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I am getting tired of hearing all of the hate going against the Patriots. It happens to nearly all teams that enjoy sustained success, minus the Spurs.

The first two sets of scandals are real problems that the NFL needs to address. The fact that each week it feels like there are multiple games that are either decided by a missed/botched call, or there are just glaring errors. Officiating should not be getting in the way of outcomes of games. Fans are going to complain about the refs no matter what, especially when their favorite team is playing… that is an absolute. The problem is when nearly all fans, regardless of their favorite team, recognize that the refs are screwing up calls and games. When you can get nearly all fans to agree on something, you know its a problem.

The Case Keenum thing was a whole separate conundrum . Like seriously, that was a dumpster fire. The league claims that they have been cracking down on the concussion issue, but this says otherwise. I thought the league said that they had people watching in the stands specifically looking for this sort of thing? If they do, should those people be fired? Sounds drastic, but if the league is that serious about the safety of their players(and evidence/history says they aren’t) then that would be an appropriate course of action. I can’t say this enough, but Concussion is the movie at the top of my movie watching priority list for when I get back home form my first semester at college.

This will probably go up after Thursday, but I am taking the Eagles, Panthers and Packers(hoping for the reverse jinx here) for my TNF picks(editing note: wow, I am never picking the Eagles again this season… like seriously F%*k!!! F*@k the Eagles and Chip Kelly!)

Second editing note: Re: the Romo injury. If he is indeed out for the year, can we rule out karma as the cause of the injury. By now, it is basically fact that Jerry Jones sold his sold to win a Super Bowl took a gamble on Greg Hardy in order to advance further in the playoffs. He has been a productive player, but the off the field stuff has completely overshadowed anything he has done on it. In my psychology class this year, we learned about the just world theory, whch means exactly what it sounds like. It states that good things happen to people who deserve them, and bad things happen to those who deserve them. Now, I don’t know if Jerry Jones is a bad person, but at the same time I have a good idea. This tweet exists and went viral for a reason. I root for Romo, but I think his injury was karma for Jerry Jones. He got to see how good his team could have been this season, only to have it taken away from him. Karma.

No power rankings this week, but here are my final thoughts on the NFL:

  1. It seems like yesterday that the Vikings were getting blasted by the 49ers on opening day, but they are 7-3.
  2. So could the Texans win the AFC South? Well yes, but will they? I have no idea.
  3. The Giants won on Thursday as well right? The Eagles look broken, and it looks like the Cowboys season ended with Romo’s on Thanksgiving. now they only have to compete with Washington for the division title. Not many people predicted that back in August/early September.
  4. some people are already thinking ahead just a little to a potential Panther/Patriots undefeated super bowl battle. Let’s get to the playoffs with each of these teams undefeated first, since neither of them are guaranteed to win out. Do the Patriots go for 16-0 if they already have homefield clinched? It will be interested to watch.
  5. Da Bears!
  6. In Bill Simmons fashion, here are the teams I have crossed off for this season: Browns, Ravens, Dolphins, Titans, Chargers, Cowboys, Lions, 49ers, and Saints. The Buccaneers are very close to being on this list as well.
  7. The teams that I have circled as teams that are surefire playoff teams are the Patriots, Bengals, Broncos, Panthers, and Cardinals. The last four or so weeks of the regular season will be full of games that matter to nearly every team.
  8. Things on the line for this Monday Night’s game between the Ravens and Browns is… who gets the inside track for a higher pick. That’s about it honestly. The Ravens have been destroyed by injuries, and the Browns are the Browns. This is an ugly game, and I wish that ESPN could get the rights to flex  games at this point in the season.

Non- NFL thoughts for the week:

  1. the last couple of weeks for college football have been crazy. Hopefully the Buckeyes can get back into the race, but if they don’t it looks like the winner of the big 10, Clemson/Bama(if they win out) would all head to the playoff. That leaves one spot for either Oklahoma or Notre Dame(unless you believe Baylor or Oklahoma State would make the playoff. They could, but I have my doubts). Both have played well this year, but if the Sooner win Saturday, they will have swept the top Big 12 teams. A loss to Texas is the lone blemish, but the committee showed last year they were willing to overlook a loss. I think that Oklahoma is the team to get in.
  2. The final rankings will look like this: Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma, Michigan State. I think that the winner of that Oklahoma/Alabama has a really good shot of winning the title.
  3. Holy crap the Warriors are good. I will say this until the day I die, or until the Warriors finish the season and the playoffs undefeated: That 72 win Bulls team is better than this year’s Warriors team. Golden State does not have a defensive star to throw at Jordan, and that Bulls team would have two elite defensive players to throw at the splash Bros. Plus the Bulls that year were a good rebounding team, something you need to do to beat this Warriors team.
  4. Unpopular opinion: The Warriors could be better off without signing KD, but they could be screwed either way. The players they would need to give up to sign KD could disrupt the whole TEAM chemistry thing. Plus, KD is not the best fit for their offense, but whatever.
  5. Patrick Kane is one of the most explosive players in the NHL and is a joy to watch play. I wish I was able to watch more hockey, college/TV schedule gets in the way of that, simply to get more Patrick Kane in my life. The rest of the Blackhawks are playing well also, but Kane is the centerpiece. This Blackhawks team has reached the Spurs level: all the Blackhawks need to do is make the playoffs and then they will figure it out from there.

Ted Van Green(@TVG_5)

Spark Sports NFL Analyst

logo