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OK, so the Bengals are even getting my attention now

By Jared Bergstrom, Sports Editor

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The NFL featured some upsets that most people didn’t see coming last week. And then there were the nail-biters that went down to the final minutes and even seconds of the game.

The upsets? Consider the Denver Broncos over the San Diego Chargers in OT, the Oakland Raiders over the Chicago Bears, and the Baltimore Ravens over the San Francisco 49ers. Not to brag, but check my column from last week and you’ll find that I called two of the three upsets, but the the Ravens-49ers outcome surprised even me.

Besides the overtime game in San Diego, the other close games of the week were the Tennessee Titans over the Tampa Bay Bucs, the Arizona Cardinals over the St. Louis Rams, and the Pittsburgh Steelers over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Maybe bandwagons aren’t so bad

Now I know that it’s not cool to jump on the bandwagon when a team gets good, but a couple of teams are catching my eye, and frankly I wouldn’t mind seeing them win their division.

One of those teams is the Cincinnati Bengals, who went from a playoff team two years ago to a team that couldn’t even put together a .500 season last year. Now they’re playing well and actually beating some teams that they had trouble beating last year.

Then there’s the Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders. Yes, both teams are in the same division, but they both have been playing well as of late. Last year the teams combined for a record of 12-20, with the Raiders going 8-8.

And my final team is the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers are 9-2 so far this year, way better than their 6-10 record last year. But now the 49ers are cruising through their division. The 49ers have their division locked up well. It isn’t official, but if they win one more game, then the teams behind them can’t catch up.

And these teams can’t get traction

Then there are the teams that did so good last year, and this year they aren’t even playing good enough to earn their paychecks. Those teams are the 0-11 Indianapolis Colts, the 4-7 Philadelphia Eagles, the 4-7 San Diego Chargers, and the 4-7 Kansas City Chiefs.

All of the teams had winning records last year, and three of the four teams had a playoff berth. The teams above had a combined record of 29-25 last year. But now look at them; they have a record of 12-32. All the teams above are out of the playoffs anyway, so it doesn’t matter if they do anything the rest of the year.

Don’t look for the Colts to win a game this year. And now some question if it would be a good idea to trade either Peyton Manning or their first-round draft first pick. That’s stupid. Why in the world would you trade away the first-round draft pick or the face of their franchise? No team would trade an elite quarterback from their team just for a first-round pick. The New England Patriots won’t trade away Tom Brady, the Green Bay Packers won’t let go of Aaron Rodgers, and the New Orleans Saints won’t even think about letting go of Drew Brees.

What are the Colts going to trade for, Eli Manning just so they could have the brothers together? There just isn’t enough talent out there for anybody to trade away their good quarterback just for a first pick. Maybe they should have P. Manning teach Andrew Luck (if they do draft him) the ropes through his (P. Manning’s) eyes, but maybe they should also let Luck come in and try to run the offense his way.

In other news

Some things happened this week in the NFL that were pretty shocking and nobody saw them coming.

First of all, the Jacksonville Jaguars fired their coach of nine years Jack Del Rio. Del Rio is the team’s second coach in franchise history. Del Rio had a record of 69-73, with a 1-2 playoff record and a 3-8 start to this season. The interim coach for the rest of this season is Mel Tucker.

Another story is Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler saying that he’s done for the season after having surgery to repair his throwing hand earlier last week.

And do you remember the Thanksgiving game between the Packers and the Lions? Well, Detroit’s Ndamukong Suh wants to forget it. He is suspended for 2 games for his illegal hit on a Packers offensive lineman, and of course Suh is appealing it. Let’s see … by the time the appeal gets a decision, the 2 games will probably be over, so why appeal it?

And now another moment of silence for the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders lost four-time Pro Bowler defensive tackle Chester McGlockton. That is another death of an important person in the Raider family.

The winning picks

I went 9-7 last week and 100-64 on the year. Now I offer my winning picks in red and green.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Seattle Seahawks

Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Atlanta Falcons @ Houston Texans

New York Jets @ Washington Redskins

Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots

Oakland Raiders @ Miami Dolphins

Denver Broncos @ Minnesota Vikings

Tennessee Titans @ Buffalo Bills

Kansas City Chiefs @ Chicago Bears

Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys @ Arizona Cardinals

Green Bay Packers @ New York Giants

St. Louis Rams @ San Francisco 49ers

Detroit Lions @ New Orleans Saints

San Diego Chargers @ Jacksonville Jaguars

 

 Check back soon to read Bergstrom’s weekly sports column.

 

 

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OK, so the Bengals are even getting my attention now