There seems to be a disturbing trend among professional athletes involving domestic disturbances and resulting auto incidents. The issue is particularly problematic for big cats, starting with a Tiger and now having consumed a Bengal. As you undoubtedly have heard, 26-year-old Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry, the 15 to OchoCinco’s 85, has died from head injuries suffered from a fall out of the back of a pickup truck in Charlotte, N.C. Henry had a checkered past but, by all accounts, seemed to have turned a corner and been a productive and positive force for the Bengals and his nascent family. A sad and startling end to a young life.
Henry’s death adds an interesting, if morbid, layer of intrigue to Sundays Bengals/Bolts game in San Diego. Will Carson Palmer and the boys be amped up or flat? Will it matter in the face of the roll the Bolts are on? I think the Bengals will play well, but still not have enough to overcome Rivers and the suddenly resurgent LT. Meanwhile, Cincinnati’s division foe the Steelers will be hosting the Cheeseheads in the Big Ketchup Bottle. Curiously, the common assumption was that the Super Bowl team to fall off and tank this year would be the Cardinals; instead it is Pittsburgh. The Steelers need a win against the Pack to avoid their first six-game losing streak in a decade. Unfortunately, Green Bay has been getting much better offensive line play lately and Aaron Rodgers and his receivers are still red hot. The Cheesers are too much for Big Ben and the Stillers.
The best game may be tonight in a late season Saturday night tilt between the ‘Boys and the Who Dats down in the Big Easy. Drew Fookin Brees and the Bourbon Street Brawlers are still undefeated, but they have shown a few vulnerabilities of late. A win is a win though and they figure to get another one against Dallas. It is never a December to remember for Tony Romo and Wade Phillips; this should be the last one for that pairing. The Geezer and the Vikes visit the Panther den. Carolina, despite Jake Delhomme’s travails and now injury, have been playing decent ball; but not enough for this test, the Vikes should win.
If Bruce Gradkowski had not have gotten injured, I might have been inclined to take the Rayduhs over the Broncs, even at Mile High. Jamarcus Russell is effectively the taxi squad at this point and Oakland is going with Charlie Frye. That is not a recipe for success in the cold Denver December. The Pats visit TO and the Bills in a game which is only notable due to the shocking uncertainty surrounding the chemistry and strength of the once unflappable Pats. Say what you will about Bill Bels Brain Fart, they lost that game against the Peytons and have not been the same since. Tedy Bruschi was right, it did affect the mindset of the defense, which had enough issues this year to start with. Nevertheless, Tom Brady should get Randy Moss involved early and often and the Pats right the ship.
The Fish at the Titans should be a hard hitting and great game. Miami is 7-6 and still has playoff aspirations, while Tennessee is 6-7 and wants to finish out the season on a roll. Ricky Williams has been nails this year, but Tennessee has Chris Johnson. Chad Henne and Vince Young have both really come on late in the year, and both teams have good defenses. This game is a tossup and must see teevee for anybody who has it showing in their game package. Cards put another pasting on the Lions and the Chiefs have enough to overcome the hapless Brownies. Texans over the Lambs and Jets get by the Dirty Birds, who are pretty wounded with injuries to both Matt Ryan and Burner Turner. Looks like some nasty weather in Philly, which will not help the young 49ers; McNabb leads the Iggles to another win and they start preparing for the playoffs.
Here are a couple of Holiday stocking stuffers for you. Snoop Dogg visited Martha Stewart yesterday to – wait for it – cook some brownies. Seriously, you just gotta love it. Fer shizzle. Also, did you know there was an “Accidental Nudity Football League”? Me either, but I am all for that if it involves lingerie models.
Alright, that’s it for this week Wheelheads and lugnuts, Rip this joint.