Eye on the Enemy: Week 13

Well if we have to endure watching putrid football from our Bengals, couldn't we also be given the ability enjoy watching the rest of our division rivals also sucking?  Alas, it's not to be.  Only one of them sucks at all, and even they aren't that horrid.  And the other two are pretty good.

On the plus side, this was my first 3-0 week ever (I went 2-0 before but not 3-0) so I'm happy for that.  I could even call it something worthy of Thanksgiving, were I that type of horrid punster.  Oh wait, I am.

Of course, it was far closer than it should have been for all three teams.  If "The Joker" had worn his "Why So Serious?" shirt again, how many of you would bet money on him having made that catch in the endzone?  And let's give it up for the Panthers, who almost managed to beat the Browns.  Somebody joked about how since the Panthers are actually paying him more on his old contract than the Browns are on his new, it's only fitting he should toss them a few passes as well.  Fortunately for my record but unfortunately for our draft positioning, when it mattered the most John Kasay couldn't hit a kick he'd probably make 95 times out of 100, even in that stadium.  Only the Ravens had anything remotely like a dominating win, and even their game got a bit too close for comfort in the 4th... but they managed to run out the clock and escape with the win intact.

With my record back on the plus side at 12-10, let's see if i can keep it that way for awhile.

Cleveland Browns @ Miami Dolphins

Last week the Browns needed a miracle FG miss to squeak by the worst team in the NFL.  Granted, Delhomme's breathtaking ability to play pitch-and-catch with the wrong team was a huge part of that.  No, let's be fair, it was nearly all of it.  The rest of the team played pretty well.  Hillis set some records and everybody else tried to win.  But Delhomme tried his best to give the game away.  And with McCoy still not cleared to practice and Wallace still a bit iffy, he may get another chance to do it right this time.  If he does, maybe it will be time for the Browns to just go pure wildcat.  Would be appropriate considering the opponent of the week.

On the other hand, the only time the Dolphins have won at home all season they needed three QBs and the wildcat to pull off a bizarre victory over the Titans.  Sure they were robbed -- badly -- by horrid officiating vs. the Steelers, but aside from that they haven't really come close in any other home games.  So maybe the Browns have a bit of a chance.

Nah.  Not with Jake the Snake playing.  Dolphins 27, Browns 13.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens

How do you pick a team to root for in this game?  I don't know how the rest of you do it, but for me, all I can manage to do is pick somebody to root against.  Since my #4 favorite team of any week is whomever is playing the Steelers, that makes the pick fairly easy for who I want to win.

But will they?  It's hard to say.  Sure the game is at Baltimore, and the Ravens are so-far undefeated at that venue.  But considering who they have played at home so far (over half of them were putrid teams, and the rest were still poor), I can't exactly put much stock in that being some sort of good luck charm.

Still, the Steelers are beat to a pulp on the injury front, and while the Raven's aren't completely healthy they aren't nearly as beat up.  The Steeler OL now has both of the original starting tackles on IR, their DL also has injuries, they have tweaks and sprains and bumps everywhere else.  Even little ben is either playing through injury or pretending to, which may make him at least a bit less effective.  They should be about ready to start a slide into a well-deserved oblivion.  Will they?  Not sure.  If there truly was such a thing as karma, it would be absolutely guaranteed.  But they may get away with their blatant misrepresentations of the fine system for awhile longer yet.  I'm well past ready for Goodell to absolutely lower the boom on Tomlin.  Fine him half a mil and suspend him for the rest of the year.  Or more, even.  Would be perfectly fine by me.

Still, what happens off the field doesn't matter, what happens on is the key.  The Ravens are favored by 3, which given they are at home essentially means that Vegas views this as a pick-em game.  I have to agree.  It should be a good, close game for much of the contest.  But when in doubt go with either the healthier team or the home team, and with the Ravens being both I think they will win unless they shoot their own feet off (and they've tried a time or two this year to do just that).  Let's go with Ravens 31, Steelers 21.

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