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A Balanced Diet of Tasty Cliff-Hangers

Mill Woods

Posted on October 28, 2020 16:58

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Last week, my record rang up to 12-2, my best tally of the year. Not to belittle my own NFL game-picking skills, I must point out that six games (almost half) were decided by 3 points or fewer. This is more evidence of the tasty phenomenon I have dubbed “extreme parity”. How about another sample?

Win or lose, every NFL fan should celebrate the balanced diet that is NFL parity. Last weekend was delicious, but let's now sit down to a feast called “Week Eight.” Ready or not, we are about to stick a fork in the first half of this unusual 2020 season. After dinner, we can gather in the library for coffee — and put in place a few more pieces of the postseason puzzle. 
 
Our bounty starts early Sunday with a heaping helping of meat and potatoes: the Ravens (5-1) and the undefeated Steelers. My mouth waters as I look forward to finding out if that blitzing Steeler defense can rattle intrepid Raven QB Lamar Jackson — or will the soaring Ravens end up picking Pittsburgh's carcass? 
 
My Sunday “upset” special involves a grudge match between the Vikings (1-5) and the Packers 5-1). Although the Packers lead in the NFC North, I think the division race is up for grabs, so let's dig in — but get the antacids ready.
 
In the weekend’s best inter-conference offering, the Colts (4-2) and Lions, (3-3) go hunting. These are two well-rounded teams that remain relevant in the playoff quest. 
 
Also on the menu is a tart AFC treat featuring the Raiders (3-3) and the Browns (5-2). Meanwhile, over there in the AFC East dish, the suddenly vulnerable Patriots (2-4) badly need a win against the Bills (5-2).
 
And, later Sunday, we must loosen our belts and make room for the Seahawks (5-1) and Bears (5-2) — each relishing a chance for redemption. But if they are going to season their winning records and forget those sour losses, they will have to top two very rich NFC opponents — the 49ers (4-3) and Saints (4-2). 
 
Here is the entire menu — and, of course, my personal selections.

Away                     Home              My Pick
 
1.     Falcons            Panthers          Falcons                                   
2.     Steelers           Ravens             Ravens                        
3.     Rams               Dolphins          Rams                                     
4.     Jets                  Chiefs              Chiefs                         
5.     Vikings             Packers            Vikings                        
6.     Colts                Lions                Lions                           
7.     Raiders            Browns            Browns                                   
8.     Titans              Bengals           Titans                        
9.     Patriots           Bills                 Bills                             
10.  Chargers          Broncos           Chargers                     
11.  49ers               Seahawks        49ers
12.  Saints              Bears               Saints                        
13.  Cowboys         Eagles              Eagles                         
14.  Bucs                Giants              Bucs               
 
What about that “loser bowl”: the Dallas-Philly meeting on SNF? I feel there was just no reason for the NFL cooks to hope this matchup would be appetizing to anyone besides fans from those cities. So, I reserve the right to skip that foul-tasting course. Also, forgive me if I don't hang around to witness the likely beheading of the Giants by those unsavory Buccaneers on that very public plank that we call MNF.
 
Fortunately, the tasty Sunday games will be enough to sate our weekly hunger for multiple courses — not just one — of balanced NFL action.
 
Add a glass of wine and indulge. As for me, make it a beer, please!

Mill Woods

Posted on October 28, 2020 16:58

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