NFL Week 15 Picks and Analysis – FootballSaturday, December 17, 2011 23:39
Game picks for Week 15 of the 2011 NFL football season and more on helmet-to-helmet hits.
NFL 2011 Week 15 Picks & Analysis
I owe Roger Goodell an apology, but only a partial one.
Not because I have written strong words against his motives, character, intellect, and common sense–God knows every one of those words was brilliantly rendered and irrefutably accurate–but because I have failed to lay blame for the league’s hypocritical stance on helmet-to-helmet contact where it could also be laid–right at the two left feet of NFLPA Chief DeMaurice Smith.
Ultimately, the players who sign Smith’s check and allow Goodell to implement a misguided, biased, and two-faced policy on use of the helmet as a weapon in NFL games will find a flaming paper bag of blame at their feet, too.
For the record, I am all for getting the head out of the game, but all the ros- colored memories from Steelers’ beat writer Ed Bouchette and a veritable chorus of media experts that “insert HOFer’s name here never tackled” the way Harrison and his ilk do are flat out wrong.
Here is a link to the video of the classic Super Bowl XIII between the Steelers and Cowboys: http://www.hulu.com/watch/123933/greatest-games-1978-super-bowl-xiii#x-4,episode,1,0
I wrote down 12 timestamps at which there was direct and deliberate use of the head to tackle and dozens of other times in which players torpedoed and missed tackles that would have been direct head shots.
Here is a link to a plethora of classic NFL games: http://www.hulu.com/nfl/greatest-games
I watched portions of The Drive, The Fumble, Super Bowl III–a lot of head shots in that one–and other big games. Any objective viewer who does not see flagrant use of the helmet as a part of tackling technique is blind or stubborn.
Think About It
Twenty or forty years ago replay had not evolved into the visual phenomena it is today. When you see a “helmet-to-helmet” hit today, it is replayed ad nauseam until the millisecond of contact is isolated from the context of the tackle’s unique circumstance. (I know that I am repeating from a previous post but it is important.)
Besides this decontextualization, it is impossible to remove the head from a well-executed tackle. The head must go slightly to the left or right. If the runner shifts direction even a little, the head/facemask must meet the runner head on. If the tackler aims for the chest with his head up, as he should, the crown of the helmet will end up ramming the runner’s chin.
The point is that Roger Goodell is trying to bamboozle the NFL fan and avoid or muddle the inevitable lawsuits that are coming regarding chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) resulting from repeated helmet-to-helmet contact between offensive and defensive linemen and between running backs and defenders. Such “sub-concussive” blows to the brain start in Pee Wee League and continue all the way up to the NFL and even in a ten-game season number well into the thousands.
Here is the science:
Watch the video within the article. Almost every victim is a linemen or defender who suffered repeated head trauma in their football careers. They are typically not quarterbacks who take serious blows to the skull a few times a year.
I watch and listen to the NFLN on Sirius religiously and have never heard a serious discussion about CTE on satellite radio or any other medium controlled by the NFL.
Which brings us back to the NFLPA. Where is the leadership? Where is the clamor from the members of this so-called union? Why is Aaron Rodgers’s or Colt McCoy’s brain any more valuable than Adrian Petersen’s, Haloti Nata’s or Maurkice Pouncy’s?
A legitimate union that cared about all of its members would insist rules to protect quarterbacks and receivers be extended to all players.
To do so would create a sport far different than the one we have come to love.
Roger Goodell will never let that happen. He knows that he and the owners are, in essence, in the business of selling violence.
All the hoopla about James Harrison or Ray Lewis or any other isolated hit on a “defenseless” player is a Three Card Monty ruse to keep our eyes off the devastation of CTE and the NFL’s corporate responsibility for its proliferation.
I am sure the lawyers will figure out a fair, mutually beneficial resolution benefiting all aggrieved parties…
I hope you’re laughing.
Week 15 Picks
Last Week’s Picks
Finally the Gairzo had a good week, picking ten games correctly with one push. I still can’t believe Chicago blew that game against St. Timothy of Denver–who will be the subject of next week’s rant.
Here’s my scorecard…
Week 14: 10 – 5 – 1 (.667)
Overall Tally: 99 – 103 – 8 (.490)
Specials Tally: 31 – 24 – 1 (.564)
This Week’s Picks
Lock of the Week (8 – 6)
We snapped up the Cry Boys to spank the Bucs in one of this year’s easy calls. If you want other suggestions for Lock picks in Week 15, Atlanta, Green Bay, and the Holy Men are definite possibilities.
Upset Special (9 – 4 – 1)
We left ourselves only four possibilities, as this is a favorite-heavy weekend. We were tempted to take the Steelers in San Fran, but they are too banged up to make the Upset Special standard. We have a vision of the Ravens winning by a point on a field goal in San Diego and just don’t think the Panthers have the complete game to cover against Houston…although the Texans might be in for a let down after finally making the playoffs for the first time in their history.
That leaves us with the Jets and the short trip to Philadelphia. Oh God, we’ll actually be rooting for Rex Ryan. Oh well, we’re rooting for Rob Ryan, so what the hell. The Eagles are in mental disarray and can play with anyone. The Jets will be prepared and be the more physical team. The Airplanes win outright.
Jets 29, Eagles 20
Over/Under of the Week (7 – 7)
We started out gangbusters with this Special and then had to recover as we do now. Our two choices are the Over in San Diego and the Under by the Bay in San Francisco.
Joe Flacco and Phillip Rivers have been inconsistent and might not score 45 points.
The Niners have had trouble against every 3-4 defense they have faced, and even without the Devil incarnate, James Harrison, the Steelers will flex their defensive muscles and make life difficult for Alex Smith. The Niners can flex too, and Big Ben will be on the sideline.
Take the Under.
49ers 15, Steelers 14
Game of the Week (7 – 7)
With all due respect to a great Ravens squad and a Chargers group that may have corrected some serious problems, the Game of the Week honors go to the evil Patriots visiting the New American Holy Land at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
This one has everything, folks: The evil, sinister Bill Belichick versus nice guy John Fox; an underrated Broncos defense against the New England scoring machine; former playboy and hot-model marrier Tom Brady versus the Anointed One on Mount Tebow.
I’m agnostic. It’ll be over by half time.
Patriots 33, Broncos 14
My picks can be found below in italic…
NFL Lines For Week 15, 12/15 – 12/19, 2011
|Date & Time||Favorite||Line||Underdog||Total|
|12/15 8:25 ET||At Atlanta (W)||-10.5||Jacksonville||42.5|
|12/17 8:20 ET||Dallas LW (W)||-7||At Tampa Bay||47|
|12/18 1:00 ET||At NY Giants||-6.5||Washington||46.5|
|12/18 1:00 ET||Green Bay||-13.5||At Kansas City||46|
|12/18 1:00 ET||New Orleans||-7.5||At Minnesota||53|
|12/18 1:00 ET||At Chicago||-3.5||Seattle||36|
|12/18 1:00 ET||At Buffalo||-2||Miami||41|
|12/18 1:00 ET||At Houston||-6||Carolina||45|
|12/18 1:00 ET||Tennessee||-6.5||At Indianapolis||41.5|
|12/18 1:00 ET||Cincinnati||-7||At St. Louis||39.5|
|12/18 4:05 ET||Detroit||-1||At Oakland||47.5|
|12/18 4:15 ET||New England GW||-7.5||At Denver||47|
|12/18 4:15 ET||At Philadelphia US||-3||NY Jets||44|
|12/18 4:15 ET||At Arizona||-6.5||Cleveland||37.5|
|12/18 8:30 ET||Baltimore||-2 .5||At San Diego||44.5|
Monday Night Football Line
|12/19 8:35 ET||At San Francisco||-3 O/U||Pittsburgh||38.5|
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