The National Football League may be billing this game as the rematch of the "Fail Mary" replacement referee debacle, but true pigskin lovers know it's an eagerly anticipated battle of mercurial offense versus terrifying defense.
The million-dollar extravaganza that provides the occasion for the new Kevin Costner movie, Draft Day, used to be a simpler affair. Lord knows I wasn't qualified to run the American Football League draft. But I did.
The instant his verbal explosion of an interview hit, the predictable quickly happened with Seattle Seahawks all-pro cornerback Richard Sherman. In fact two predictable things happened with him in the aftermath of the interview.
Can the resurgent Miami Dolphins edge out the reigning Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens? Can the Cincinnati Bengals hang on to a season that should have seen them as undisputed divisional champions?
While one wouldn't seriously suggest making one's Week 8 NFL picks using a dartboard, football predictions for the 2013 season have proven best made using the SAT method: make your choice and don't second-guess yourself by referring to facts.
Pro football has a serious morality problem. I am not talking about promiscuous players or racist team nicknames. Nor am I referring to the "obscene" amounts of money changing hands between the masses obsessed with football and the sports industrial complex that keeps them supplied.
In the wake of the NFL's settlement of the first class action concussion lawsuit brought by former players over brain trauma, much has been declared and yet little has been clarified for those seeking to determine the concussion risks of playing sports.
Will perennial "winners" start to establish their territories while recent dismal "losers" begin to fall apart? Aside from the absolute top and the absolute bottom of the National Football League, the answer is "no."
I really like Rex Ryan but he aspires to something he will never be -- a great head coach. Ryan is one of the best defensive coordinators in professional football but he will never find success running an NFL team.
Normally I go with home underdogs and I'm not that impressed with the Bucs' offense after preseason. However, rookie Geno Smith is starting at quarterback for the Jets and they still don't have a running game. I expect the Bucs' D to have at least one pick six.