I think ultimately this media obsession with bashing Tebow comes down to 2 things, where he was drafted and the fact he's outspoken about his faith. Let's deal with the draft first. Does anyone think we'd hear 1/8th of the stuff we do about Tebow if he was drafted in the 3rd round? No, we wouldn't. But, is it Tim's fault that the Broncos drafted him in the 1st round? Should he have said "you know, thanks and everything, but I'm not really 1st round material. See if I'm there in the 3rd round and then draft me."? Along the same lines, why are Hawks fans so upset with Aaron Curry? 95% of the anger/frustration was that he was the 4th overall pick and that decision is squarely in the lap of Tim Ruskell and Jim Mora.
Secondly, and I know this will be a touchy subject, Tebow's ridiculed for how he chooses to display his faith. He wore the eye black patches in college with scripture verses referenced. He did a Super Bowl commercial with his mom encouraging people to think twice before having an abortion. He does thank Jesus Christ in many interviews. Am I missing the egregious violation he's committed? Wouldn't we as NFL fans prefer more Tim Tebow's than Pacman Jones (or Tank Johnson, or Rae Carruth, or half the Bengals roster)? How much hand-wringing do we hear from the national media when someone else gets arrested? I'm curious if we'd see this level of negative feelings outwardly spoken if Tebow were Jewish or Muslim. If he were to engage in a Muslim prayer on the sidelines, would we see that mocked when Tebow was sacked? If we did, I guarantee there would be universal outrage on every ESPN show the next morning. But mocking Christianity? That's ok apparently.
Ok, sorry, had to get that off my chest. On to the picks for the week. We have a bit of an anomaly this week where all but one game features a home favorite.
Dallas -7 at WASHINGTON: The Redskins walked that tightrope early in the year, but they've done their yearly falling off the cliff. Dallas was very impressive last week against Buffalo and now Dallas can smell a division title.
SAN FRANCISCO -9.5 vs. Arizona: Ok, we'll try a different tactic this week with the team that occupies America's Crappiest Stadium. Maybe if I pick them, they'll actually lose a game. I'll tip my cap though to Jim Harbaugh at this point. A rookie head coach coming from college (and when was the last time that worked out) with no mini-camps and a limited training camp has started 8-1. It's impressive to see what he's done with a roster that hasn't changed much from when Nolan and Singletary were there and they couldn't get anything done.
Jacksonville +1.5 at CLEVELAND: The Cleveland Benny Hill's (did you see how they lost last week against the Rams?) are a mess. If Jim Harbaugh's on one end of the rookie head coach with no mini-camp scale, Pat Shurmer's on the complete opposite end. In good conscience I can't pick them even at home. How did the Hawks lose to that team. Oh, that's right, Charlie was under center that game.
CHICAGO -3.5 vs. San Diego: Yikes, what a fall from grace for Philip Rivers. I don't know if it's the injuries on his offensive line, the money in Vincent Jackson's pocket slowing him down, or the fact that Norv Turner finally penetrated his force field, but he's been sub-par this year. If there's one bit of advice I'd give the Bolts, it'd be don't punt to Devin Hester. It's almost better to have a Ruben Rodriguez -5 yard punt (ironically that was against San Diego) than to punt the ball to Hester in the middle of the field.
Oakland +1 at MINNESOTA: I had to look at this twice to make sure I'd seen this correctly. This is most definitely in Elmer Fudd territory. Be vewy, vewy quiet. Apparently Vegas forgot about what happens to teams that lose on the previous Monday night. The Raiders are atop the division and the Vikings are looking towards next year. Expect another big day from Michael Bush and another tough learning day for Christian Ponder.
Buffalo +2.5 at MIAMI: How is a team that got its first win 2 weeks ago favored against anyone not named Indianapolis? Buffalo needs a win to keep New England in its sights and with Miami being completely inept at home, the Bills get the nod.
NY GIANTS -6 vs. Philadelphia: It might be wrong, but I kind of smiled when it came out thatVick had broken ribs. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. With at best a limited Vick and the Giants sensing the opportunity to put the dagger in the Dream Team's season, I'll hitch my betting wagon to Eli and lay the lumber.
Carolina +7 at DETROIT: Sounds like Matthew Stafford may not play (where have we heard that before?) or if he does he could be limited. Time for Cam Newton and his fake smile and stupid Superman end zone celebration to take advantage and win (or at least keep it close for gambling purposes).
BALTIMORE -6.5 vs. Cincinnati: I'm thinking John Harbaugh may have gotten the Ravens attention after that egg they laid at Seahawks Stadium. Maybe he got the attention of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron too. Maybe you want to run Ray Rice more than 5 times. Maybe Joe Flacco throwing 50+ times isn't the best idea for a win. But this is a division game so the Ravens won't overlook the Bengals and their ginger leader.
GREEN BAY -14 vs. Tampa Bay: The old Bay of Pigs game (copyright Chris Berman). This Packers team is looking eerily similar to the '07 Patriots. You almost can't set the line high enough. Throw on top of that the Bucs don't do well when the temp is under 40 degrees (gameday forecast is for 36 degrees) and that's a recipe for taking the Pack and if Vegas will let you, tease that to 21 points.
ATLANTA -6 vs. Tennessee: Well, we had our Bill Belichick Memorial Brain Fart last week with the Falcons. In overtime, going for it on 4th and less than 1 on his own 29 yard line. Yes, we know Drew Brees is good. Very possible he moves the ball 40-50 yards to set up a game winning field goal if you punt. Remind me what the chances are Drew Brees wins if you give him the ball on your 29 yard line. What, it's 100%? Mike Smith learns from his mistakes and takes it out on Matt Hasselbeck's Titans.
NEW ENGLAND -14.5 vs. Kansas City: Do the Patriots ever play on Sunday afternoon anymore? They're like the Jets where they don't make appearances on CBS or Fox except for a couple games a year. Normally, this line would be too high with a team with the league's worst defense, but with Cassel out for the Chiefs, Brady at home, and Monday night, I'd take the Pats by at least 3 touchdowns.
ST. LOUIS -3 vs. Seattle: Like the 49ers, we're trying the old reverse psychology with the pick of the Rams. The main goal for the Hawks needs to be shutting down Steven Jackson. The Rams have 11 guys on injured reserve so you'd like to think the Hawks have a chance. But, t