The hustle and bustle of the holiday season isn’t just on parties and shopping. Yes, it takes its toll on all of us who have to write columns. Here the fat guy sits on Sunday morning at eight o’clock in the morning banging on keys. This week’s early deadline throws a wrench into my routine. Let’s not forget the two parties I attended and the last one, I missed curfew, if you know what I mean. I also have another party to attend at one o’clock this afternoon. This party will be a bit more relaxed as the tension of the Lions attempting to claim a playoff berth has been lifted.
The Philadelphia Eagles gave the Detroit Lions the biggest gift of all losing to the Washington Redskins late Saturday afternoon. The Philadelphia loss clinched a spot for the lovable Lions and to be honest, I had mixed emotions. One emotion was I had the Eagles as my survivor pick and their loss cost me some “entertainment purposes only” money. The other guy has to win today though, or we split, so not all is lost just yet. The second thing is, I did not want the Lions to back into this playoff spot. I wanted them to have to beat the Chicago Bears today in Chicago and earn it. If they come out and play a stinker of a game today and lose, I am flushing all my New Year’s diet plans down the toilet. I mean, let’s be serious, the Bears have benched Jay Cutler for Jimmy Clausen! It is Santa Clause season and he has Clause in his name. I mean, it looks like an easy win when you consider Clausen hasn’t even started a game since 2010. My simple mind keeps reverting back to a guy named Matt Flynn of the Packers, who lit the Lions up like a Christmas tree and earned himself a big fat contract bigger than Santa’s belly. Oh, do I remember that day well. It was disgusting. I really feel that both Green Bay and Detroit should win setting up a show down for the NFC North title in Green Bay next Sunday.
I realize the Lions have chances of winning in Green Bay are about the same as plate of fudge making it through the entire day on my kitchen counter. I mean, when was the last win up in Green Bay? Yes, it was December 15, 1991 and Rodney Peete was the quarterback. Barry Sanders rushed for 96 yards and Aaron Rodgers was eight years old.
The Lions will have a chance to end the 22 years of frustration with the number-two seed in the NFC on the line. Man, I just want to see what this Lions’ team really has in its competitive bellies. Let’s also throw in that I want to see a home playoff game or two! It’s the season of asking for gifts and a Lions win in Green Bay would do it for me!
I also want to say the job coach Jim Caldwell has done is nothing short of amazing. He has a calm approach and it’s working. Think about it for a minute. The dumb penalties have been eliminated for the most part. The defense is top notch and some of that credit has to go to the defensive coordinator. Coach Caldwell has taught Stafford to limit his mistakes under center. The only negative is the offensive coordinator’s play calling has been brutal in my opinion. Joe Lombardi needs to improve in that area if the Lions are to improve. My last thing is, I wonder if Ken Whisenhunt is enjoying coaching the Tennessee Titans? They are a solid 2-13 and stink. I would think a Jim Caldwell Christmas card has already been sent to Mr. Whisenhunt. Kenny will be fired at Tennessee before coach Caldwell’s tenure is up in Motown! Thanks, Kenny, for turning your nose at the Detroit Lions!
This week’s picks and spreads are 100 percent mine since the lines for next week’s games are not out yet!
Here are this week’s NFL selections….
GREEN BAY – 7 over Detroit
Jacksonville + 4 over HOUSTON
PITTSBURGH – 3 over Cincinnati
Indianapolis – 6 over TENNESSEE
BALTIMORE – 7 over Cleveland
NEW ENGLAND – 9.5 over Buffalo
MIAMI – 7 over New York Jets
ATLANTA – 3 over Carolina
MINNESOTA – 4 over Chicago
KANSAS CITY – 6 over San Diego
Philadelphia – 3 over NY GIANTS
Dallas – 6 over
New Orleans- 8 over TAMPA BAY
SEATTLE – 9 over St. Louis
SAN FRAN – 3 over Arizona
Oakland + 11 over DENVER