The media industry has further secured its state of pettiness. To be more specific, the NFL branch of said industry drew unnecessary attention to a gesture of sportsmanship and admiration at the conclusion of the Sunday night NFC East battle between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. Dallas running back Tashard Choice was seen getting a piece of paraphernalia autographed by none other than Philadelphia’s own Michael Vick. Immediately, issue was taken with this exchange, accompanied by tones of skepticism and suggestions of inferiority on Choice’s part. Is the media that malnourished when it comes to finding a story?

Does it really matter what Choice’s reasoning is for getting Michael Vick’s autograph? Couldn’t this be equated to Sam Bradford praising Tom Brady after a game between the two? The silencing of overblown, rumor mongering journalism is long overdue. Now on to more important matters:

Chargers over 49ers- This time of year just favors San Diego.

Ravens over Saints- Baltimore’s defense is allowing offenses to put up significant points, something it’s never done in its history. Look for a sense of urgency to kick in, getting the Ravens back in the win column.

Panthers over Cardinals- Given how up and down Arizona’s season has been, one more let down will rear its ugly head before season’s end.

Browns over Bengals- In this game, I always take physicality over finesse…then again, has there been anything about Cincinnati’s season that qualifies as pretty?

Cowboys over Redskins- One team has new life while the other is in need of an overhaul…roster wise. I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Jaguars over Colts- At the beginning of the season, I called for the dethroning of the Indianapolis Colts. While that forecast seems to be intact, I can’t say the same for the team I had as the culprit behind Indianapolis’ demise. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you your 2010 AFC South Champions, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Bills over Dolphins- Miami’s offense is still trying to find itself while Buffalo’s is showing a glimpse of promise going into the future.

Eagles over Giants- Whatever faith I had in Eli Manning has evaporated.

Rams over Chiefs- Both teams aspire to shock the league and win their divisions. The uncertainty of Matt Cassel’s status thanks to a recent appendectomy limits Kansas City’s chances. Meanwhile, barring any unforeseen circumstances, Sam Bradford is showing he could be a quality quarterback for years to come.

Buccaneers over Lions- Tampa Bay’s success this season can be mostly attributed to its knack for beating the teams they’re supposed to. Detroit, as competitive as that group is, falls under the .500 bar, so give another one to the red and pewter.

Texans over Titans- Houston isn’t facing a high-powered offense this week, so it avoids falling into the depths of the AFC South.

Falcons over Seahawks– I know the ol’ cliché says “Any Given Sunday”, but can anyone find a reason to think an upset can take place here?

Raiders over Broncos- The last time these two met, Oakland hung 59 points on Denver. I won’t say they’ll match or shatter the last score, but I’m sure the Raiders will try.

Steelers over Jets- New York’s offense is coming apart at the wrong point of the season. Couple that with facing a team that knows how to operate in the last quarter of the regular season and Gang Green could find themselves on the outside looking in come January.

Patriots over Packers- If not for Aaron Rodgers’ concussion, I’d go the other way. I do not like backup Matt Flynn’s changes against New England’s defense, who despite its ranking among defenses (27th) know how to seize opportunities. Wasn’t this supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Pats?

Bears over Vikings- Given all that is happening in the NFC North, there’s no way Chicago relinquish the reigns of its division.

It’s clutch time and 7-9 records, as was the case last week, are not conducive to my annual agenda. There are three weeks left, so enough with the under .500 marks. As always, enjoy the games and we’ll get back into it next week.

By Antoine Hoffman


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