Well, the Thanksgiving Day games went about swimmingly as could have been expected. For the sake of my picks, here’s to hoping Sunday winds up in the same fashion:
[As always, road teams are in CAPS, and all game lines come courtesy of bodog.eu.]
Colts (-4) over TITANS
Browns (-7) over JAGUARS
BUCS (+7.5) over Panthers
BEARS (+1) over Vikings
Eagles (-3) over CARDINALS
Jets (-1) over DOLPHINS
PATRIOTS (-9) over Texans
Bills (-3.5) over FALCONS
49ers (-8) over RAMS
Chiefs (+6) over BRONCOS
BENGALS (+1) over Chargers
GIANTS (-1) over Redskins
Seahawks (-5) over SAINTS
The NFL landscape has changed over the last couple of weeks, and as a Chiefs fan, it’s gotten a little realer than even I want to believe. Two Sunday nights ago, losing by 10 on the road in Denver, I wasn’t as dejected as I thought I was going to be, because let’s be honest: Should I really have expected the Chiefs to beat the Broncos? Probably not.
But then last week happened, a crushing 41-38 loss at home to the Chargers. Again, it’s not a complete shock. But why did it have to happen like it did? I gave an excessive amount of ground to the Football Gods to let me down easily this year after a 9-0 start for my Chiefs. The problem with following a 10-point loss to the Broncos with a last minute, 3-point loss to Philip Rivers and the Chargers is, it tells me Kansas City is still pretty damn good. Not undefeated-type good, but certainly good enough to be one of the two representing wild card teams in the AFC. But if I’m keeping it real with myself, if the Chiefs are good, but not good enough to win a Super Bowl, then I’d rather just have them be the worst team in the NFL — like last season.
And that’s sort of where I’m at psychologically when it comes to football right now.
While teams like Minnesota and Atlanta, and Jacksonville and Houston each stand at 2-9 — all vying for the #1 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft — my favorite team is 9-2, tied for the best record in the league, and still I’m finding a way to look at them in an intellectually frustrating light. That is a first world problems meme if I’ve ever seen one.
It all comes down this twisted worldview I have, maybe or maybe not exclusive to professional sports. It basically believes if you aren’t going to be the best, you might as well be the worst for a little while, to give yourself a better shot of being the best down the road. And when I say you I mean the teams your root for.
So that’s where I’m coming from. The Chiefs are really good this year, and in no way am I giving up on their chances this season, but it would be an easier team to invest my Sundays in if I thought we had a realistic chance at winning it all, or if we were just pathetically bad and I could build up hope for the future. If that makes sense. Because that’s how the story unfolded last year, and the hope I generated or felt or whatever put me in the position I’m in now. Now that My Team is one of the best in the NFL. So in a sense I guess I got what I asked for. I forgot what I’m complaining about.
This is how I objectively view the top-4 teams in each league:
Other than that, what is there to say?