Welcome to this week’s FOOTBALLDAY, in which we will honor a player who has probably ended his career, and on one of the worst kind of notes that don’t involve killing someone.
Jamal Lewis had a brilliant start to his career, taking over the starting RB job from Priest Holmes for the Baltimore Ravens and playing a key role in their Super Bowl XXXV win over the New York Giants. After a disappointing couple of seasons later on, he signed with the Browns, hoping to rejuvenate his ability to be a key factor to a dominant running game.
That didn’t happen.
After a productive first season with the Browns, with about 1,300 rushing yards and 9 TDs, Lewis began doing less and less. He barely broke 1,000 rushing yards last season, and this season he has been very sporadic, sharing more time with Jerome Harrison and other backs.
And now, it seems that his career ends on a concussion, on a team with no identity that’s frantically trying to get itself together and hope for a great draft next year, hoping to find the kind of turnaround success the Cincinnati Bengals, their in-state rival, stumbled upon this year. He finishes the season with 500 yards and no touchdowns. Lewis announced his retirement after this season last month, but it seems that his career will end this week.
Oh yeah, and remember that time he tried to sell cocaine?
It’s another blow to the Browns’ festering corpse of a season, with injuries to numerous players that include Shaun Rogers, Brodney Pool, Steve Heiden, and the popular rookie James Davis, who didn’t even get a chance to show off his potential in games. Hopefully Lewis can remember the glory days, if his concussion doesn’t take those memories away from him.
Phew, I really ragged on the Browns there, didn’t I? Sorry about that. Here’s your song, trying to remind you of the positives of that lovely city in Ohio. Just pretend all the Indians logos are Browns logos, maybe that will make you feel better.
Past Week Predictions
Week 1: 12-4
Week 2: 9-7
Week 3: 13-3
Week 4: 11-3
Week 5: 10-4
Week 6: 10-4
Week 7: 9-4
Week 8: 8-5
Week 9: 6-7
Week 10: 10-5
Week 11: 11-5
Week 12: 13-3
Some last-minute comebacks by the Falcons, Eagles, and Titans helped me get a really good week in picks. I’m still looking for that elusive perfect week, but let’s be real.
Here are the games. Times are in EST.
Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons, 1:00 PM
The Falcons are 5-0 at home, and I feel that they could pull an “upset.” I don’t really see this as an upset, though, because the Eagles aren’t that much better.
Atlanta over Philadelphia
St. Louis Rams at Chicago Bears, 1:00 PM
An easy win to help stuff away the concerns about Jay Cutler sucking so much. If they lose this game, look for fans calling to trade Cutler this off-season.
Chicago over St. Louis
Detroit Lions at Cincinnati Bengals, 1:00 PM
In this post, I said that there was a possibility of the Lions beating the Bengals, because the Bengals know how to screw up in situations where it seems impossible. I don’t really believe that now, seeing how both teams have played this season.
Cincinnati over Detroit
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts, 1:00 PM
Vince Young is on a tear with his Titans, but the Colts are honestly unstoppable. They can come back from any deficit, and actually seem to play better when they’re behind by a large margin. Young should play well, but won’t be able to do enough to quell the Colts.
Indianapolis over Tennessee
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs, 1:00 PM
I say this is an easy game to rebuild a winning streak again for Josh McDaniel’s team.
Denver over Kansas City
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins, 1:00 PM
One of the main things that has been a concern for this year’s Patriots is the fact that they have not won a “real” road game. They’re 1-4 on the road, and the one win was in London. Hopefully they can suppress Ricky Williams and his “I’m-going-to-fucking-do-everything-on-this-team-and-that-includes-throwing-interceptions” mode, because if they do that, Chad Henne can be easily pressured. The Patriots secondary is heinous right now, but hopefully they can stop 7-yard checkdowns.
New England over Miami
Oakland Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1:00 PM
Seems like an easy game with Roethlisberger coming back.
Pittsburgh over Oakland
New Orleans Saints at Washington Redskins, 1:00 PM
New Orleans over Washington
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers, 1:00 PM
Jake “INT” Delhomme isn’t playing due to a broken finger, so Matt Moore should be starting. I see this as an opportunity for the Buccaneers to get worse draft position and not suck as much as the Browns.
Tampa Bay over Carolina
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:00 PM
I expect a shootout, and hopefully no collapse by the Texans defense in the fourth quarter.
Houston over Jacksonville
San Diego Chargers at Cleveland Browns, 4:05 PM
Maybe the Chargers won’t show up, and the Browns will win by forfeit!
San Diego over Cleveland
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants, 4:15 PM
NFC East match-up. Who would have thought the Cowboys would be at the top of the division and the Giants would be trying to recover from a slump? I say the Cowboys keep on rolling. Eli Manning’s foot bothers him too much to let him be effective.
Dallas over New York
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks, 4:15 PM
This doesn’t look like a very good or important game. The 49ers take it because I like them more. No evidence to back up my pick, just opinion.
San Francisco over Seattle
Minnesota Vikings at Arizona Cardinals, 8:20 PM
Favre? Favre. Kurt Warner will probably still feel some effects from the concussion he suffered two weeks ago, despite whatever he says. Athletes hide that shit.
Minnesota over Arizona
Baltimore Ravens at Green Bay Packers, 8:30 PM
This should be a pretty good game, most likely a shoot-out. Rodgers and Flacco is a better matchup than you think. The Packers’ offensive line is incredibly frustrating because of how weak it is, and the Ravens should take advantage of that with blitzes and pass rushing. Look for another big game from Ray Rice and the Packers to throw a lot.
Baltimore over Green Bay