As we look into the week 13 of the NFL season I’m looking for some consistency. Not from a team or player, but from the league and it’s officials. While the NFL league administration gets a little too much flack for player behaviour, especially for players offending for the first time, because that is a relatively unpredictable, (Anyone who screws up a second time there is no excuse for and the NFL should be dealing with that with a far speedier process. See Aldon Smith.) the idea referees behaviour can’t be better controlled is ridiculous.
Fix this NFL, lock the refs in a hotel suite during the week with them reviewing tapes and if they don’t want to do that, take their whistle and show them where the door is. Fire them outright. That disaster in San Francisco last week was fucking ridiculous. Not only could they not figure out what down it was, they were soliciting suggestions from the head coaches as to what the actual down might be. I don’t know which member of the crew whose job it is to track down, but it’s one of them and it’s not the guy holding the down marker. So that guy? The guy who should have had the answer in half a second, fire him.
Instead they take the whole crew off a primetime game and send them to New England for the Pats Eagles game. They are still working. Do they get paid more for primetime games? Because they shouldn’t, why the fuck should there be incentives for officials. Should officials performance be reviewed? Certainly, but they shouldn’t be rewarded or punished by simply be reassigned. They are still working, is a big difference if they work Sunday at 4 or Sunday at night? Hell they are home earlier.
It’s another in a series of shitty NFL decisions that have come to mark the Roger Goodell era. Now while I don’t lay all the official issues at his feet because he very publicly acknowledge and anointed Dean Blandino as the head of officials and that he was going to fix officiating, but guess what, it’s not fucking working. The officials are getting worse, the game flow is getting upset and the product is diminished. The shield is diminished. The integrity of the game is diminished.
I love the game, I love watching it, I love seeing Odell Beckham Jr make amazing catches and I love the drama of Tom Brady seeming to almost begrudgingly get his team in field goal range with only 69 second to do it, but I want the NFL to care enough to show me they want to really fix the officiating problem, not just sort of, kind of, punish poorly performing officials by making them essentially listen to Coldplay. Oh wait, no that wasn’t their punishment, that’s the NFL’s punishment to all of us at halftime of the Super Bowl.
|GB (7-4) @ DET (4-7)|
- Wow the Packers are in trouble. Sure that wasn’t a pretty game for them weather wise, but the Bears figured it out. The Pack are better than the Bears talent wise and they should overcome that, but they didn’t and now they’re in a dogfight for the playoffs on the road against a Detroit team whose defense has rebounded to 2014 levels.
- I don’t want to start any Packers, between their recent sample size and the Lions defense, but if you are in a dogfight for a fantasy playoff spot you probably have to because you trusted Aaron Rodgers, Randall Cobb and Eddie Lacy.
- This reborn defense looks like the 2014 version which put up some numbers that were comparable to the 1985 Bears. I didn’t think they would be able to do it without their losses along the defensive line, but they have figured it out. It might save Jim Caldwell’s job, I hope not for the long term future of the Lions, but it might.
- Matt Stafford, Calvin Johnson are must starts. Maybe Eric Ebron and Golden Tate are decent plays if you are stuck, both could see the end zone.
Lions 28, Packers 24I’m not sure I’ll be able to finish this before the games kick off Sunday, but I’ll do my best, but here are my picks!
SUNDAY 1 PM GAMES
NEW YORK (AFC) (6-5) @ NEW YORK (NFC) (5-6) [+2.5]
Giants 24, Jets 20
ARIZONA (9-2) @ ST. LOUIS (4-7) [+5.5]
Cardinals 31, Rams 10
ATLANTA (6-5) @ TAMPA BAY (5-6) [-2]
Buccaneers 23, Falcons 16
SEATTLE (6-5) @ MINNESOTA (8-3) [+1]
Vikings 22, Seahawks 17
SAN FRANCISCO (3-7) @ CHICAGO (5-6) [-7]
Bears 38, 49ers 21
JACKSONVILLE (4-7) @ TENNESSEE (2-9) [-2.5]
Jaguars 27, Titans 26
HOUSTON (6-5) @ BUFFALO (5-6) [-3]
Texans 30, Bills 18
BALTIMORE (4-7) @ MIAMI (4-7) [-4]
Dolphins 37, Ravens 27
CINCINNATI (9-2) @ CLEVELAND (2-9) [+9.5]
Bengals 35, Browns 9
SUNDAY 4 PM GAMES
Chiefs 27, Raiders 21
Broncos 28, Chargers 13
Patriots 33, Eagles 13
Panthers 42, Saints 12
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Steelers 34, Colts 24
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Redskins 28, Cowboys 10