Thursday, December 02, 2010

Thursday Night Football pick (and two articles you should read)

The weather outside is frightful. Actually it's not. It's snowing like crap and that's awesome. But in all that drama I've only just remembered that I have to do my pick for the Thursday Night game, so here it is: Houston Texans @ Philadelphia Eagles: What we have is another offense vs. offense clash. Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy versus Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson and Arian Foster. But really we don't need to talk about any of those guys. You know who they are and you know what they can do. This game will be decided by defense -- or in the Texans case -- a lack of defense. The names we need to be concerned with are guys like Trent Cole, Juqua Parker, Brandon Graham, Antonio Dixon, Darryl Tapp, Brodrick Bunkley, Trevor Laws, Mike Patterson, Stewart Bradley, Ernie Sims, Omar Gaither, Nate Allen, Trevard Lindley, Quintin Mikell and Asante Samuel (and the rest of the Eagles D). Because (I know, grammar) these are the men that are going to be the difference makers in this game. Simply put, the Eagles have a better pass rush, they play better run defense, they play better pass defense and they create more turnovers. The Texans defense only looks good when it's playing teams like the Rusty Smith led Titans last week. Outside of Mario Williams, name me a Texans defensive linemen? Outside of Brian Cushing, name me a linebacker? Outside of Glover Quin or Bernard Pollard, name me a Texans defensive back? Nobody knows who they are because they're names hardly get mentioned. A big reason for that is not that they're hidden in the shadow of the Texans offense, it's because they don't do anything of note. You very rarely see the Texans defense making big plays to help their team, and they've earned a reputation for being porous. That then is the issue I see. I can reasonably foresee the Eagles defense making some plays. I can reasonably foresee the Eagles D getting a few sacks. I can reasonably foresee Asante Samuel getting a pick. But the Texans? All I can reasonably foresee is a lot of blown coverages and highlight reels of Michael Vick tearing them up through the air and on the ground. In a game where two potentially high powered offenses will duke it out, one or two big plays on defense could swing the balance in favour of one team or the other. An interception, or a sack that leads to a three and out could give one side that extra scoring possession they need get their noses in front and allow themselves to play a more balanced offense. On that note, I have to side with Philadelphia. Eagles win. (and because I hate the Texans). Now I have just enough time before I go back to frolicking in the snow to point you in the direction of two interesting articles. The first is from and covers Hines Ward speaking out against the leagues policy -- or seemingly lack thereof -- on fines. It's an interesting read and Ward makes some valid points. The next is from and includes a video. In my opinion it is the single finest example of why Mike Florio should be locked away in a box somewhere cold and quiet. Not long ago, Florio used to be ok. But ever since moving up into the ranks of NBC where he now occasionally gets to appear on television, he has since become almost a mouthpiece for Rodger Goodell and "The League". The comments section on the article tells its own story, as long time readers make their thoughts and feelings regarding Florio and Goodell known. Tomorrow I shall be back to do my picks for the weekend and also to recap the Thursday Night game, providing I don't wander off and get lost in a blizzard. Or just spend too much time having fun in the snow. Till then, Have a great day everyone.

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