Blood On The Gridiron: Jets Show Some Class
Drop the first two letters from “Class” and you’ll know how I really feel. In slapping Braylon Edwards on the wrist, the Jets organization embarrassed themselves, their fans and the league by throwing morality and ethics right out the window and shamelessly flaunting their “win at all costs” mentality.
If Edwards had been disciplined and forced to miss last week’s game for his DUI arrest, as he should have been, then there is no way the Jets go into to Miami in Week 3 and win. I guess you have to you’ve got to hand it to Rex Ryan. The only thing the Jets coach cares about is winning football games. I don’t blame him. That’s what he’s paid to do.
I have heard all about the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement this week and it is clear: under the current CBA, a player cannot be suspended or deactivated for a first-time alcohol-related offense.
But it’s a major flaw in the system when a team owner can hide behind a provision in the CBA meant to protect players in order to justify his own abhorrent “win at all costs” attitude.
Yes, this was Edwards’ first “alcohol-related” offense, but he is on probation for punching a guy outside a Cleveland nightclub in October 2009.
This is not an “alleged” incident. Edwards pleaded no contest to aggravated disorderly conduct. He assaulted another man outside a nightclub. But I guess “nightclub-related” isn’t “alcohol-related” so Edwards gets a slap on the wrist from the Jets, sits out the first quarter of the game against Miami, then goes on to play a major role in the Jets victory. Ugh!
It’s baffling. I thought Roger Goodell was the “New Sheriff in Town” when it came to player conduct? His track record speaks for itself, and for better or worse his approach has been no-nonsense.
While Goodell’s “no thugs allowed” policies have been undermined this week, there has barely been a word from the commissioner. I say, “barely” because I couldn’t find anything. It’s too bad.
Goodell has put a lot of time and effort into protecting the NFL’s image, but all his hard work and the precedent he has set with Ben Rothlisberger, Adam Jones, Michael Vick, etc., has been virtually decimated in one fell swoop.
NFL Picks Week 4
Last Week: 2-4
Cleveland Browns (-3) vs. Cincinnati Bengals: If there’s one pick I’m proud of through the first three weeks, it was picking the Browns last week against the Ravens. Yes, the Browns lost but they were 10 ½ point underdogs and lost by eight. The Browns are 0-3 but and did a few things the Jets and Bengals couldn’t do against Baltimore. They put up 17 points on the Mighty Ravens D but they let the lowly Ravens offense score 24 points (they scored 10 points in both of their previous two games). Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment but I saw the Bengals pathetic performance against the Patriots in Week 1. If Peyton Hillis can build on his performance against the Ravens this could be a fun game to watch. Pick: Browns
New York Jets (-5 ) at Buffalo Bills: In his last two games, Mark Sanchez has begun to emerge as an outstanding, young NFL quarterback. His success has come on the road against a good Dolphins defense and at home against a poor Patriots defense. Numbers aside, he has led the Jets to two straight wins against tough division rivals and has looked very sharp in the process. He’ll have one more division rival to take care of and one more week to hone his skills before he has to face two of the toughest defenses in the NFL (Week 5 against the Vikings and Week 7 against the Packers). By Week 8 we should have a better sense of how far Mark Sanchez can lead his team. Pick: Jets
Atlanta Falcons (-7 ) vs. San Francisco 49ers: With a win on the road over the reigning Super Bowl Champs in Week 3, the Falcons are hotter than Shannon Tweed circa 1984. I got burned by the Atlanta in Week 1 and have been hesitant to go near them every since. On the other hand, I’ve been lucky picking games that involve the 49ers (e.g., correctly picking them to cover at home against the aforementioned Saints). I don’t think the numbers tell the whole story with the 49ers (ranked 31st out of 32 teams in both points allowed and points scored) and I still believe that Mike Singletary is a very good NFL coach. However the Niners, and specifically Alex Smith, should be on the rise but instead they seem to be a franchise in transition. It’s not too late to turn it around in San Francisco but it’s not going to happen on the road this week in Atlanta. It pains me to be so impressed with a Boston College graduate but I can’t help myself. Pick: Falcons.
Indianapolis Colts (- 7 ) at Jacksonville Jaguars: Two teams that screwed me royally last week and played a major role in my winning percentage plummeting from .500 to .200. The Colts don’t “wow!” me but last week they took care of Denver on the road and the Jaguars looked absolutely putrid against a resurrected Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles. Yes, I was harsh on Vick and he surprised the hell out of me but he’s still no Peyton Manning. This game should be all Colts all day. Makes me wonder how the Patriots could be 14 point favorites on the road in Buffalo one week and the comparable Colts are only 7 point favorites on the road against a team that appears to be equally as hapless as the Bills. How bad are the Jaguars? I don’t know but they did claim Trent Edwards (formerly of the Bills) off waivers and it would appear that David Garrard’s future in Jacksonville will be short lived. Pick: Colts
Houston Texans (+3 ½) at Oakland Raiders: The Texans are scoring points (77 points is good for 6th in the NFL) but they’re also giving up points (ranked 26th in the NFL with 78 points). They seem to be a team on the rise with wins against the Colts (at home) and the Redskins (on the road) despite last week’s setback to a Cowboy team that was facing a “must win” situation. A win against the Raiders could go a long way in proving that the Texans are for real and what better team to face when your team is in need of getting things back on track. Pick: Texans
Monday Night Football
New England Patriots (+1 ) at Miami Dolphins: This may be a purely parochial view but for my money, New England vs. Miami is one of the great rivalries in football. These two teams have met nine times on Monday Night Football with the 5-4 edge going to Miami. The Dolphins are coming off a tough loss at home to the Jets despite the fact that Chad Henne and Brandon Marshall torched the Revis-less Jets secondary. Miami needs a win to stay in the AFC East hunt. New England is a woeful 2-7 in away games going back to 2009 and there are myriad questions about the Patriots defense. The Patriots need to turn their road woes around quickly if they hope to maintain their dominance in the AFC East and make it into the playoffs.
Nothing new here; a division rivalry, both teams with a lot lose/gain but I like the Patriots focus this week. In his weekly press conference, Tom Brady said, “We can’t make mistakes. I think when you’re on the road and momentum is tough to gain and pretty easy to give away you can’t really make those types of plays. That’s what we’re focusing on this week… there can’t be mistakes.” Pick: Patriots
*Note: My weekly NFL picks are strictly for entertainment purposes only, folks. I do not bet on football, but you are free to do whatever you damn well like. As always, thanks to CBS Sports for providing me with great websites for research and the odds used in this blog. I’m not getting paid here folks, I truly like CBS’s frequently updated NFL Odds page. Check it out if you’re interested http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/odds
David H. Bloodsworth is a writer, communications professional and blogger for 985thesportshub.com. You can contact him via email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him (now and then) on Twitter @dhbrockton.