NFL week 12 open thread

posted at 9:40 am on November 28, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Yes, I know this is an NFL thread, but I have to spend at least a moment savoring the Notre Dame win over USC at the LA Coliseum yesterday evening, because I was there.  This was actually the third time in a row that my Uncle Ted took me to the Coliseum; the previous two times, the Irish didn’t put up a lot of fight against powerhouse Trojan teams.  This time, the two squads were more evenly matched, and the Irish won a squeaker in the rain despite giving up four turnovers deep in their own territory during the game.

But it’s always fun to attend college football games, no matter the outcome, and no matter the venue.  USC has a great football tradition and a beautiful campus, and we spent a few hours at USC before the game soaking it all in.  The band played and marched around the campus, playing “Tusk” several times with the special USC chorus of “U-C-L-A sucks!”  At one stop, the crowd started handing beers to the band members, and an assistant band director named Chuy had a splendid time taking the beers away when he could find them and “redistributing” them to the crowd.  He saw me standing next to the band with my Irish cap and jersey, handed me one of the beers and said, “Welcome to LA,” while the people around me booed.  I had already popped the tab and taken a sip when the young woman who had given the beer to the band attempted to reclaim it.  She saw me sip it and started to leave, but then realized I was an Irish fan, at which point she gave me a light slap on the chest and took the beer back, giving it to a man standing next to me in full SC regalia, who chugged it in one fell swoop.  I yelled, “I got ONE sip of it!” while the crowd around all of us laughed.

We had a great time, as we did the past two games, and the people of SC should be commended for their support of a great tradition.

Meanwhile, I’ve hit a hot streak in my NFL picks.  I went 6-0 last week, and so far this week, I’m 3-0.  That puts my record this season to 42-28, and we’ll add a trio of predictions today to see how far this streak will go:

  • Steelers at Bills – Pittsburgh stopped a surprisingly good Oakland Raiders team in its tracks last week in a rout, and the Bills have struggled all season.  After putting together a complete effort last week, the Steelers have to guard against taking Buffalo for granted.  They can play tough, and could surprise an opponent that looks past them.  I’ll pick the Steelers to take care of business, 31-14.
  • Packers at Falcons – This may be one of the best games today.  Both teams are tough, resilient, and have reasons for optimism entering the game.  The Pack doesn’t play quite as well on the road as at home, while the Falcons are undefeated in their dome.  That will probably be the difference in a 27-24 Falcons win, and don’t be surprised if it goes to OT.
  • Vikings at Redskins – It’s the start of the Leslie Frazier era at the Vikings, but don’t expect to see the same kind of boost that the Cowboys got at the start of their Jason Garrett era.  The Vikings haven’t won a road game all year, but they do have one fortunate turn in Washington: the Redskins have a 2-3 record at home.  It may be the Bizarro World version of the Packers-Falcons contest.  The Redskins can get themselves back into wild-card contention with a win here, and I’ll pick them to beat the hapless and dysfunctional Vikes, 24-19.

Note: I won’t have time today for an Obamateurism poll, so we’ll do that tomorrow.


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Hey, the Seahawks can make the playoffs if they can finish .500 or better :-) Just get in and anything can happen. GO SEAHAWKS!

Ordinary1 on November 28, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Packers better preform today. Wisconsin fans are chanting Rose Bowl and it would be awesome if we could start thinking Super Bowl too.

sammypants on November 28, 2010 at 9:49 AM

Go Pack! My Saints need an Atlanta loss today.

Del Dolemonte on November 28, 2010 at 9:52 AM

Try seeing a home game at Penn State. Win or lose the fans are amazing.

faol on November 28, 2010 at 9:53 AM

Is the USC fight song the one Hugh Hewitt makes fun of all the time? As for the Redskins, Mr. Morrissey, don’t count on them for anything.

Cindy Munford on November 28, 2010 at 10:00 AM

USC rulez! If only because Mark Sanchez played there :P

My school (Maryland) the games were always fun to go to…we used to chant at WVU to “Go back…go back…go back into the woods hey hey”.

At least my Jetties got their loss…oops, their WIN…over with Thurs. night!

JetBoy on November 28, 2010 at 10:03 AM

Bills should win, since Ben is soft.

rightside on November 28, 2010 at 10:13 AM

My NY(NJ) Giants are on life support with so many injuries to the OL and WR. I still hope they can survive the next few weeks and get some healthy bodies back, but a 10-6 record may be needed to get into the playoffs this year (unless your in the NFC West).

ny59giants on November 28, 2010 at 10:18 AM

JetBoy on November 28, 2010 at 10:03 AM

Lay off WVU.
I feel bad for them since the NCAA will not allow their cheerleaders on the field.
(they keep trying to graze)

faol on November 28, 2010 at 10:22 AM

I love the college football environment and traditions.
And it’s games like last night’s when ND wins that make the USC eight-game winning streaks over the Irish that much more enjoyable. I hated seeing those dropped passes on USC’s final drive, but it won’t take away from my enjoyment of the rivalries and traditions.

Tom_OC on November 28, 2010 at 10:25 AM

We’re already planning a trip to South Bend next year to tailgate at the SC-ND game. We’ll see if we can make it happen.

Ed Morrissey on November 28, 2010 at 10:30 AM

The Irish are 0-1 at games I attended this year. Nice to see them finally beat USC.

JammieWearingFool on November 28, 2010 at 10:37 AM

I had a great weekend watching college football with my daddy. Just like old times. The best game was the Auburn win over Alabama. What an awesome comeback! And the Vols kept a 26-year streak alive! Love Coach Dooley (Lame Kitten is an ass).

GO STEELERS!!!

ladyingray on November 28, 2010 at 10:42 AM

Go Pack! This will be a tough one. But as sammypants noted, Cheeseheads everywhere are enjoying this football season rather a lot. Pasadena beckons for the Badgers.

Mr. D on November 28, 2010 at 10:47 AM

We have the annual Flordia vs Georgia game here in Jacksonville at the Jaguar stadium. The call it the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. It is quite the event, with its’ own little RV city.

Cindy Munford on November 28, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Go Pack! This will be a tough one. But as sammypants noted, Cheeseheads everywhere are enjoying this football season rather a lot. Pasadena beckons for the Badgers.

Mr. D on November 28, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Yeah. That was my kind of game yesterday. LOL

I’m hoping for a Packer win today, but this is one of the two I sort of have penciled in for a loss (along with the game against the Pats), since I don’t think they’ll be running the table the rest of the season.

I hope I’m wrong, though, and I really could be. They’ve been looking really good.

GO PACK GO!

capitalist piglet on November 28, 2010 at 11:05 AM

I love the college football environment and traditions.

Tom_OC on November 28, 2010 at 10:25 AM

Me too! There’s nothing like it!

capitalist piglet on November 28, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Since Mr. Morrissey has added a little college flare to the conversation, I’ll add mine as a longtime Pac 10 fan:

First of all, congrats to the Irish in their win over USC, and yes, it was about time.

If/when Oregon sails past Oregon St. next Saturday AND Auburn gets past South Carolina, (a big question mark considering how they had to muster an incredible comeback against Bama), these two teams should end up in the National Championship game. Oregon is averaging 50.1 ppg, while allowing 18.3, #1 and #15 respectfully in the nation. The Ducks did give up 31-32 points to Stanford and USC during the season, but still beat those teams soundly. National Championship Game—Oregon-45, Auburn-30.

Hey, the Seahawks can make the playoffs if they can finish .500 or better :-) Just get in and anything can happen. GO SEAHAWKS!

Ordinary1 on November 28, 2010 at 9:41 AM

The NFC WEST is pathetic this year, and an 8-8 team or worse might make it into the playoffs—for one game. On the NFL as a whole, there does seem to be a lot of parity this year, with no dominate teams winning with the swagger of a championship team—yet. The Jets and New England have been on a roll lately and look to emerge as the best in the AFC, (yes the Steelers and the Ravens might have something to say about this in the end), but again, no one looks dominate.

In the NFC, it’s a similar pattern with Atlanta and New Orleans taking charge with winning streaks and both with eight wins. Philly, Chicago, and Green Bay may also get into the mix in the playoffs, but again, there’s no 80′s Niners, (or the ’85 Bears), who creamed everyone in their paths.

Bottom line, the season is wide open ahead for “the winners”, but I wouldn’t put any money on who that will be.

Rovin on November 28, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Ed,

As a lifelong Trojan fan:
- I am glad you enjoyed the game
- We were down 30 scholarship, thx to Reggie Bush
- We were down our starting QB
- Worst weather I’ve seen in 30 years at the Coliseum, thinks Rams-Vikings 14-0 Minnesota win (I was at THAT game)
- If our receivers could catch a ball on the last drive, you lose
Time to start another streak; see you in South Bend next year!

Khun Joe on November 28, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Ed,

Last ad:

My Alma Mater (Navy) beat you 3 out the last 4…

Neener neener neener!

BEAT ARMY!!

Khun Joe on November 28, 2010 at 11:23 AM

First for the NFL, Go Packers and Ravens over Falcons and Bucs.

Second, World’s Largest Cocktail Party? The one significant thing about Death Valley (LSU’s Stadium) is that per Rohan Davies, “You can smell the bourbon coming out of the tunnel. It fills the air of the entire stadium.”

Rovin, I must disagree on the your Oregon over Auburn prediction. As each and every team which has faced an SEC team in the BCS Championship knows, it is generally a losing proposition. The PAC 10 has long be a weak conference except for one or two teams as the anomalies of the conference. The difference this year is that Auburn does not bring a dominant defense (should they defeat the better USC in the title game). Barring an injury to Newton, the Tigers/War Eagles are going to light up the scoreboard against Oregon. The only question being, “How well will Auburn’s defense fare against Oregon’s offense?”

Kermit on November 28, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Khun Joe, why hasn’t USC been given a death penalty like that issued against SMU years ago.

Kermit on November 28, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Go Bears.

BuckeyeSam on November 28, 2010 at 11:37 AM

ZZZ Saturday is the day football is played.

Inanemergencydial on November 28, 2010 at 11:50 AM

Vikings – eh. I do hope Frazier does well though.

Still really happy from yesterday cause my Gophers got the PIG!!!!!!

gophergirl on November 28, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Go Pack Go!

Keep on underestimating Green Bay! Points scored minus points given up is the best in the NFL.

jimmy the notable on November 28, 2010 at 12:13 PM

I had no idea it was raining in LA last night until I turned on the ND/USC game! You know, that’s not something we normally check for around here. :)

Very happy to see that Wisconsin will likely be in the Rose Bowl. IMO, they are the best team in the country right now and could would put on a show against any of the undefeateds. Looking forward to picking up a ticket to the game.

alflauren on November 28, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Ed: I’m one of the “townies” that enjoys watching ND win almost as much as I enjoy watching them lose. Coach Kelly just might whip that overrated team into shape, if the alums and boosters don’t whip him into submission first. Their freshman QB has been thrown into a crucible and we don’t know yet if he will be molded into a solid player or just melt into a blob. The next couple years will be interesting. The real tell will be how many promising high school players start committing to ND again.
O/T: My daughter talked about maybe going to ND, but I told her I’d only pay for her to go to a Catholic university.

Extrafishy on November 28, 2010 at 12:19 PM

O/T: My daughter talked about maybe going to ND, but I told her I’d only pay for her to go to a Catholic university.

Extrafishy on November 28, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Quote of the day!

Kermit on November 28, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Rovin, I must disagree on the your Oregon over Auburn prediction. As each and every team which has faced an SEC team in the BCS Championship knows, it is generally a losing proposition. The PAC 10 has long be a weak conference except for one or two teams as the anomalies of the conference. The difference this year is that Auburn does not bring a dominant defense (should they defeat the better USC in the title game). Barring an injury to Newton, the Tigers/War Eagles are going to light up the scoreboard against Oregon. The only question being, “How well will Auburn’s defense fare against Oregon’s offense?”
Kermit on November 28, 2010 at 11:30 AM

I always love it when you SEC fans show up with your “we’re dominate” bravado. Yes, the SEC had been pretty impressive with their records since 2003, no argument there. They’ve had a great run with their formula of playing half their season against patsies. Auburn still might get the ax for this pay for play scandal.

It’s too bad Stanford couldn’t play one of your SEC teams this year, they’d kick butt.

Khun Joe, why hasn’t USC been given a death penalty like that issued against SMU years ago.

Kermit on November 28, 2010 at 11:32 AM

One word: Money! (meaning how much the NCAA would lose without a USC program) Look at the draw the networks had in last night’s game between two weak teams, (USC and Notre Dame), when the OU-OSU game was far better viewing for “real college football fans”.

Rovin on November 28, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Is ND now in the NFL?

Akzed on November 28, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Khun Joe, why hasn’t USC been given a death penalty like that issued against SMU years ago.

Kermit on November 28, 2010 at 11:32 AM

From what I remember about the SMU Death Penalty, there was a LOT MORE involved, multiple recruits, systematic…

This was just for ONE athlete, and pretty severe…

My favorite USC-Notre Dame game was the day Anthony Davis scored MULIPLE TDs (6?) in a 55-24 victory… SC was down 24-7 at the half, A.D. (Anthony Davis, who SHOULD have won the Heisman that year, but the votes were in before the game) ran back the kickoff, and SC scored 35 points in the 3rd quarter…

Oh yeah…

Khun Joe on November 28, 2010 at 1:24 PM

My two favorite teams are UCLA and whoever is playing USC.

unclesmrgol on November 28, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Rovin, no argument about the POTENTIAL brewing at Auburn.

The conference schedule is the tougher than PAC 10 has had during my lifetime. No I don’t see Stanford or Oregon in the same league. No other conference has strength of schedule. Look it up.

The prostitution aspect of the NCAA is an astute observation.

Kermit on November 28, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Khun Joe on November 28, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Remember that game well KJ, one of the greatest second halfs in college football, and yes AD deserved the Heisman.

(I’d have to bet Morrissey remembers that game too :)

Rovin on November 28, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Is ND now in the NFL?

Akzed on November 28, 2010 at 1:17 PM

LOL, and don’t forget that today is Grey Cup Sunday up in Dave Drywall-Land. I’m sure Dave will pop a Labatt’s Blue for each of us.

Del Dolemonte on November 28, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Wow a former Bill Belichick coach fined for another Spygate type of deal. Who would have thought./

I hope since we all know it is no big deal that he fights the fine all the way and the he demands that the fired employee gets his job back./

CWforFreedom on November 28, 2010 at 2:28 PM

CWforFreedom on November 28, 2010 at 2:28 PM

Wow, I can set my clock by you, CW.

Hate to harsh your mellow, but the guy just caught and fired in Denver wasn’t even a Patriots employee when the Jets incident happened a few years ago-he was hired by the team later.

But it’s fun to see the Leftist media desperately trying to paint Denver’s problem as all New England’s fault!

Just curious-you seem to believe with a religious like fervor that the Patriots cheated in multiple games. Can you name the exact games they cheated in, in your opinion?

Del Dolemonte on November 28, 2010 at 2:45 PM

The OU/OSU game was one of Bedlam’s best. I’ve been a dyed-in-the-wool Sooner fan since the 70′s, and we hate all things orange. This year, I haven’t felt that way because I have a granddaughter going to OSU on an athletic scholarship. I felt OU would get beat there this year, but they pulled off the win. Congratulations to both teams – great game!

silvernana on November 28, 2010 at 3:53 PM

silvernana on November 28, 2010 at 3:53 PM

It was a good win for the Sooners!..:)

Dire Straits on November 28, 2010 at 4:00 PM

Steelers putting on a clinic of bad football.

forest on November 28, 2010 at 4:04 PM

The Brownies win! John Kasay misses a FG as time runs out.

This was only Carolina of course, but Cleveland was forced to use their backup QB, and Carolina had his number for the whole game because he used to start for them (Delhomme). He was sacked twice and intercepted twice. Cleveland got 3 sacks and one INT on his counterpart Jimmy Clausen.

Cleveland’s Peyton Hillis ran for 131 yards and 3 TDs. Also 6 receptions for another 63 yards.

Del Dolemonte on November 28, 2010 at 4:28 PM

silvernana on November 28, 2010 at 3:53 PM

I couldn’t believe it wasn’t on in my area. ABC showed USC/ND, and I figured at least one of the ESPNs would have Bedlam, but no dice.

forest on November 28, 2010 at 5:07 PM

Wasn’t that sweet how the Redskins welcome the Viking’s new coach.

Cindy Munford on November 28, 2010 at 5:38 PM

silvernana on November 28, 2010 at 3:53 PM

It was a good win for the Sooners!..:)

Dire Straits on November 28, 2010 at 4:00 PM

It was, but I expected we’d get beat. Our QB has been a little flaky away from home. Our coaching staff came up with some good stuff after being so predictable for so long. I believe there were four touchdowns scored in the last four minutes – unbelievable!

silvernana on November 28, 2010 at 6:02 PM

silvernana on November 28, 2010 at 3:53 PM

I couldn’t believe it wasn’t on in my area. ABC showed USC/ND, and I figured at least one of the ESPNs would have Bedlam, but no dice.

forest on November 28, 2010 at 5:07 PM

It was a great game for any football fan to watch. Sorry you were unable to get it – I had heard that from other people also. They said they watched it on their computer.

silvernana on November 28, 2010 at 6:06 PM

Yeah Ed, you guys finally got one. Congrats, it was a long time coming. I was at the game too but lucky enough to have my season tickets under the press box, so no rain for the wife and I.

The USC/ND game is always a lot of fun. Best national rivalry game in the country. So much tradition at both schools.

Captain Kirock on November 28, 2010 at 7:34 PM

Good Job Chiefs!

Keep playing like that and we will be in Arlington TX come Febuary 6th, watching Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe bringing in the TDs…

Wolftech on November 28, 2010 at 7:38 PM

Khun Joe, why hasn’t USC been given a death penalty like that issued against SMU years ago.

Kermit on November 28, 2010 at 11:32 AM
From what I remember about the SMU Death Penalty, there was a LOT MORE involved, multiple recruits, systematic…

This was just for ONE athlete, and pretty severe…

Five years ago, Sports Illustrated marked the 20th anniversary of the Death Penalty handed down to SMU and remarked that because of the devastation to the SMU program it may never be implemented again. The triggering of the Death Penalty is two major infractions in five years. At the date of printing, Alabama at that time had four major infractions.

itsspideyman on November 28, 2010 at 8:47 PM

just a reminder to all the Seahawk fans out there….

We’re still here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtu20Ejv3SI&playnext=1&list=PLDAEA8B1885F3119A&index=29

GO RAMS!!!

stlpatriot on November 28, 2010 at 9:06 PM

O/T: My daughter talked about maybe going to ND, but I told her I’d only pay for her to go to a Catholic university.

Extrafishy on November 28, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Quote of the day!

Kermit on November 28, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Totally. My daughter is at ND and you are so totally right, Extrafishy. So.Totally.Right.

Jaibones on November 29, 2010 at 1:21 AM

Also – Beeearrrrssssss!

Jaibones on November 29, 2010 at 1:22 AM

People ran, people hit, people threw, people caught, people kicked.

Jacoby Ford committed grand larceny.

Freelancer on November 29, 2010 at 11:20 AM