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NFL Preview Week 8:
Will the Real Football Please Stand Up    Share

28 October 2010

Denver Broncos at the San Francisco 49ers
Broadcast:  1:00 PM, CBS

This is one of those games that would probably never show up on my radar as remotely interesting.  Instead, this week, this game is being played in London.  That’s right, the limeys are getting a dose of American football in Wembley Stadium.  England is decidedly a soccer nation (I think they claim to have invented the sport - we’re the only people in the world that call the sport soccer, but we can because we have lots of thermonuclear weapons).  The NFL tries these things from time to time to gain excitement for the sport.  There is actually an NFL Europe that kind of serves like the minor leagues for the NFL.  Several players that can’t quite make a roster and need some more development go to Europe to play football until they get things figured out.  At any rate, for this game, both teams travel across several time zones to play in the land of bland food and strange sports that are played with your feet.

The 49ers are trying out a new quarterback, Troy Smith after the starter, Alex Smith got hurt.  Their record is 1-5, so at this point there’s little risk in trying something new.  Troy Smith won the Heisman Trophy (given to college football’s best player) but hasn’t amounted to much in the NFL.  He’ll also be linking up on the field again with his childhood friend, Ted Ginn.  They grew up together, played high school football together, and also both played at Ohio State University.  Troy will once again get to throw to Ted. 

Of course, the Denver Broncos will try to thwart their plans.  They will likely struggle in this endeavour (notice the British spelling).  Denver was blown-out last weekend by the Oakland Raiders, a team that has more issues than Time magazine.  As a result, this will likely be a sloppy game, not just because the teams are struggling, but because they have to travel to Europe and choke down unseasoned food before the game.  I can’t find a compelling reason why one team should win, but since I have to, I’ll go with the Broncos because their quarterback will be better.  Of course, if last week is any indication, just pick against me, and you’ll likely be right.

Pittsburgh Steelers at the New Orleans Saints
Broadcast:  8:20 PM, NBC

This is probably the best match-up of the weekend.  The Steelers are a good team, and now that Ben Roethlisberger is back, they seem to be poised to make an easy run to the play-offs.  Last weekend, they were able to go into an improving Miami Dolphin team’s home and win.

On the other hand, the Saints got beat in the upset of the weekend by the Cleveland Browns.  Cleveland has been a favorite band-geek, stuffed in the locker team over the past few years.  In fact, last weekend they started a rookie quarterback, Colt McCoy, a stand out from the University of Texas and still managed to do just fine.  Drew Brees, the Saints quarterback, threw a few interceptions and the Browns took full advantage.  The Saints won the Super Bowl last year, so the result was not expected.

This Sunday, Pittsburgh goes to New Orleans and you can bet the Saints are angry.  They’re going to want to extract revenge on the first kid that walks down the hallway.  The Steelers don’t play in the band, but they may still get stuffed in the locker.  I think the Saints bounce back from an embarrassing loss and beat the Steelers in New Orleans.
One Liner:  “It’s a good thing the Giants are doing well?” Referring to the San Francisco Giants playing for the World Series while the 49ers are abysmal.

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