— First and foremost, my thoughts and condolences are with Adrian Peterson and Co, whose 2-year-old son passed away on Friday from injuries that are reported to be abuse. What a horrible tragedy and a senseless loss. Whoever is responsible for the child’s death deserves repercussions far more macabre than I’d care to depict on my blog. A lot of people around the NFL world are giving “All-Day” shit over his plan to play today against the Carolina Panthers. Listen, people deal with loss in different ways. I remember when Brett Favre’s father passed away on December 21, 2003 (I only remember so well because my own father died three days earlier) — Favre went out the next night on Monday Night Football and absolutely destroyed the Oakland Raiders in an emotionally fueled performance. I’m far from a Brett Favre fan, but that performance was inspiring to me. I bet you can expect a similar performance on the ground by “All-Day”.
— I watch quite a bit of Green Bay Packers football. Why is that, you ask? ‘Cause I’m a fan of Aaron Rodgers. He’s a bad motherfucker. Y’know who else is a bad motherfucker and NFL fans will soon realize this? The unheralded, relatively unknown (to the casual observer) defensive end Mike Neal. The Packers’ defense is atrocious and the biggest positive for that unit is the ability to rush the passer. Clay Matthews is the linchpin of that defense, but he’s out three to four weeks with a broken thumb. The guy that will step up is the aforementioned Mike Neal. Folks, trust your favorite writer Troy Sparks in this prediction. Neal is so athletic, quick, strong and versatile in that he’s able to play as a linebacker to complement his defensive end abilities, a hybrid one might say. Look out for him today against Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens.
— There’s a post I’ve already written about New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning that will be popping up in a couple of days. For that reason, I’ll reserve any thoughts on the Giants for now. They were beaten by the Chicago Bears last Thursday night and Manning played another awful game. 15 interceptions on the season in contrast to just 9 touchdowns. Look at what his brother is doing in Denver.
— My fellow St. Louis Rams fans are fucking delusional if they think the team is going to beat the Texans in Houston today. Matt Schaub might be playing like a junior varsity quarterback, but the Rams are 28th in the league in run defense, and as far as I know the Texans still have a man by the name of Arian Foster lining up. That Texans’ offense is due to demolish the Rams on the ground, which will set Schaub up for the pass, probably assuaging the hate he’s been getting from spoiled Texans fans. Hey Rams fans, call me a cynic, but listen, the Texans are going to win this game and we’ll have to watch our disappointing team fall to 2-4. I don’t like how Sam Bradford rolls his eyes on the sidelines when talking to Jeff Fisher or Brian Schottenheimer. He needs to speak up to his offensive line. I’m not sure about Bradford.
— Drew Brees and Tom Brady meet up this evening as the Saints visit the Patriots in Foxborough. Nice! Brees is 3-0 against the Patsies. The last time the two teams met was back in 2009, when the Saints blew out the Patsies in the middle of their Super Bowl run as Brees tossed five touchdown passes. I think today’s game will be much closer. Despite the Saints being a seemingly superior team in comparison to the Patriots, they are due for a loss and I’ll never count out Tommy Three-Rings: 21-20 Pats final.
— I have this eerily confident feeling the Browns can knock off the Lions today at home. If this game was in Detroit, I’d say the Lions could win heavily with a blowout, but the Lions are a rollercoaster team that doesn’t play nearly as well away as they do at home, which is the case for so many teams in the league. Browns win (no score prediction necessary).
— I have San Francisco and Seattle winning today, which is unfortunate. San Francisco hosts division rival Arizona and Seattle welcomes the Jake Locker-less Tennessee Titans. The Seahawks will probably finish the season 8-0 at home.
— If the Jets beat the Steelers today, consider me impressed. Listen, Pittsburgh is 0-4 and they need a win. Head coach of the Jets — Rex Ryan — has never beaten the Steelers, and he needs to get off the snide with a win today, but I’m skeptical that the Jets might be riding high on a personal emotional euphoria after sending the Atlanta Falcons to 1-4 last Monday night. It will likely be a low scoring game coming down to what all of these Jets games are boiling down to: Geno Smith’s passing efficiency and NOT turning the ball over. If the Smith throws accurate passes and doesn’t turn the ball over, I have the Jets winning, but again, the Steelers are hungrier than hell for a win and if there’s one defense that can halt a rookie quarterback’s success, it’s the new-age Steel Curtain, regardless of how damn slow and old they appear to be.
— The Broncos host the ailing Jaguars, who appear to be one of the worst teams in NFL history. Apparently this game has the largest spread in NFL history and the Broncos are expected to win by no less than 30 points. I’d love to see the Jags play well and put up a fight today, considering how annoying the talk over whether or not the top college football team could beat the worst NFL team is. Folks, the best college football team might have 6-8 NFL players, but the Jacksonville Jaguars have 53. Consider that.
— Another day at the office for the Chiefs today as they play the Raiders. They’ll remain undefeated.
— Packers/Ravens is being touted as the game of the week, but Colts/Chargers tomorrow night for Monday Night Football is more appealing and thus compelling. Andrew Luck vs. Phillip Rivers? Awesome!