A lot of interesting things took place in the NFL this week, including some strange trades just before the Tuesday deadline, some shocking upsets and some big lineup changes.
The Oakland Raiders had their first home game last weekend since the death of owner Al Davis. The team came out with intensions of winning and they did, beating the Cleveland Browns, 24-10. This weekend, the Raiders take their 4-2 record into battle with division rivals the Kansas City Chiefs, while Cleveland takes its 2-3 record back to Cleveland as the Seattle Seahawks come to town.
A couple of big trades happened as the deadline grew close. The Oakland Raiders traded a first-round pick in the 2012 draft and another 2013 first-round pick for Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer. Now, I know the Raiders are desperate for a quarterback because Jason Campbell has a broken clavicle bone. But really? Palmer?
Palmer might have a couple of good games left in the tank, but he’s not the quarterback to look to if you need a season or two. Palmer hasn’t been good the past two seasons in Cincinnati. And since he whined his way out of Cincinnati (threatening that he would retire if he wasn’t traded, big whoop), why wouldn’t he do it in Oakland, too?
In addition, the Philadelphia Eagles traded running back Ronnie Brown to the Detroit Lions. The Eagles just picked up Brown this off-season. Why would they trade him away with virtually no playing time in Philly? And all the Eagles got out of it was Jerome Harrison (who is now once again playing for the team that traded him away last year) and a 7th round draft pick in 2013.
And the final big trade that happened was the St. Louis Rams trading just a 5th round draft pick for Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Lloyd. Either the Broncos weren’t that thrilled in keeping Lloyd on their roster, or the Rams weren’t really looking that hard for a talented wide receiver.
The San Francisco 49ers came into Detroit last week and beat the unbeaten Lions. The clock struck midnight on the Lions’ Cinderella story as the 49ers just played good ball.
But after the game was when things got heated. When the coaches and players go out and congratulate each other, they’re supposed to be courteous. But 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh wasn’t. He claims he put his hand out to shake, but from my perspective he intentionally shoved Lions Head Coach Jim Schwartz out of the way to get to the locker room. Then things really got going. Schwartz went charging after Harbaugh to try to talk to him, but Harbaugh hid behind some of his players in an attempt to evade him.
Later, during the press conference, Harbaugh tried to sugar coat what happened. “Personally, I can get better at the post-game handshake, and we’ll attempt to do that,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t think that there’s any reason for an apology.”
Well, the Lions take their first loss into Atlanta this weekend. And the 49ers take a 5-1 record into a bye week.
Finally, have you noticed that the NFL has played overseas games the past couple of years? I don’t understand why; it doesn’t accomplish anything. They already have the European Football League. Why do they need the NFL over there, too? NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says they’re trying to get Europe more interested in American football. But if they want to watch American football, they can watch it on the computer or, better yet, make them come over to America. The money they would bring could help our economy.
The Indianapolis Colts lost again last weekend, losing 27-17 to the Cincinnati Bengals. The Colts are now 0-6 and go down to the Big Easy and take on Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints on Sunday Night Football. And the Cincinnati Bengals take a 4-2 record into a bye week.
The St. Louis Rams lost again Sunday to the Green Bay Packers, 24-3. The Rams are now 0-5 and go down to Cowboys Stadium this weekend to take on Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys. The undefeated Green Bay Packers go into the Metrodome and take on rookie first-round pick Christian Ponder (who is making his first-ever career start) and the Minnesota Vikings.
The Miami Dolphins lost again Monday night to the Jets, 24-6. The Dolphins now 0-5 are staying home this weekend as the Denver Broncos come into town. So will the Dolphins get their first win this season this weekend? And the New York Jets, now 3-3, also stay at home as the San Diego Chargers come in to battle.
Last week, I didn’t do too hot. I went 4-11, which puts me at 54-38 for the season. But now here are my winning picks for this weekend. Again, my choices are in pink.
San Diego Chargers @ New York Jets
Chicago Bears @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium
Seattle Seahawks @ Cleveland Browns
Atlanta Falcons @ Detroit Lions
Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans
Washington Redskins @ Carolina Panthers
Denver Broncos @ Miami Dolphins
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Arizona Cardinals
Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders
Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings
St. Louis Rams @ Dallas Cowboys
Indianapolis Colts @ New Orleans Saints
Baltimore Ravens @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Byes: Bills, Bengals, Patriots, Giants, Eagles, 49ers