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Couch Groove’s NFL Week 9 Picks and Predictions

Wade Phillips and the Dallas Cowboys are having a disappointing season.Here’s the question we’ve all had on our minds this week:

Is Randy Moss better than our troops?

I ask this because of the story involving Randy Moss and the catering spread that was served to the Minnesota Vikings this past Friday, as their post-Friday practice ritual.

Tinucci’s, a delicatessen that provides catering, was hand-selected by one of its more well-known patrons, Minnesota Vikings center Matt Birk, to provide the spread for Vikings players, staff, and other members of the organization this past Friday.

As we all know, Randy Moss proceeded to create a scene by declaring the food unfit for his standards. A quote like “I wouldn’t feed this to my dog!” is certainly going to provide a sting to the Tenucci family, who were on hand serving the players.

Maybe Moss was mad because the team who traded him to the Vikings a month ago, the New England Patriots, was flourishing without him, while the Vikings are mired in a rut that is the polar opposite of their spectacular season a year ago.

But whatever the reason, Moss was still out of line in his treatment of these very nice people, who were providing a generous service for many hungry men.

Now, earlier, I asked if this meant that Randy Moss was better than our troops, and perhaps you’re wondering where that was going.

See, Randy Moss has already proven he’s better than Matt Birk. You know, because Birk chose the eatery due to his love of it, and if Moss is too good to eat it, then logic would seem to dictate that Moss is better than Birk, right?

Moss has proven that he’s better than the people who eat at both Tinucci locations, in Newport and Woodbury, Minnesota, since anyone who’s a repeat patron would seem to enjoy the food, and Moss wouldn’t give it to his dog, so now we know that Moss’ DOG is better than Tinucci patrons.

But according to Tinuccis’ website (http://www.tinuccis.com/) , the restaurant is part of a service called “Serving Our Troops”, providing catered meals for our troops in Iraq.

Now, think about this.

A restaurant that caters meals for men and women who have left their families behind to serve their country halfway around the world, and are living under dangerous circumstances, isn’t good enough for Randy Moss.

Now, chances are he didn’t know this when he stepped into the chow line. He probably never even heard of Tinucci’s.

But this is where he shows his ignorance.

Moss, upon seeing the food, immediately lashes out and humiliates these poor people, and his natural instinct was to criticize a free meal that was provided for him.

Moss could have simply left the facility and gone to a five star restaurant. He could have gotten a bottle of Gatorade, sat in the corner, and kept his mouth shut.

But he chose to make a scene.

And I applaud Brad Childress for dropping the ax on Moss, even if it cost them a third round pick and, potentially, could cost Childress his job.

Randy Moss makes millions and millions of dollars to play a children’s game. So does Matt Birk and so does every player in the NFL. But yet, it’s players like him that give the NFL athletes a reputation as “overpaid, whining millionaires”.

For men over the years like Warrick Dunn and Drew Brees who have provided charitable help to millions, to Kurt Warner and Jerry Rice who have been class acts on and off the field, to the thousands who have played and considered it a blessing to have football be their vocation in life, these men are often ignored when the media and the viewers want to play the “overpaid, whining millionaire” card.

Randy Moss, whose tastes in food, as well as his dog’s perceived taste in food, render him unable to eat the same food that our troops are happy to chow on, only reinforces that argument.

It doesn’t surprise me that Tennessee, needing a receiver with Kenny Britt injured, reached out to Moss, because Moss is an amazing player.

But for the Titans’ sake, I just hope the catering spread is up to snuff.

Speaking of up to snuff, I bounced back from a 7-7 outing in week seven to go 10-3 last week, though I had a couple major losses (Tennesee and Seattle).

It’s time to extend that winning percentage a little further, and have a nice hot turkey sandwich while doing it. See, THIS I wouldn’t feed my dog either, but that’s because I hate sharing.

WEEK 8: 10-3
FOR THE YEAR: 70-47

13. New England over Cleveland
I don’t care if the Browns had a bye or not. The Patriots are in full “we’re the best team in football, and we yield for no one” mode, and Bill Belichick will be damned if he’s going to let Eric Mangini beat him. Belichick got a nice ego boost from Randy Moss’ testimonial at Sunday’s press conference, and that should be enough to give Belichick some incentive to keep the aura of invincibility going. Tough as the Browns secondary can play, Tom Brady’s going to go over the middle with Wes Welker and Danny Woodhead, and put this thing away early.
SCORE: Patriots 37, Browns 17

12. New Orleans over Carolina
Drew Brees had a tale of two halves. In the first half against Pittsburgh, he was confused, and reaching for a miracle. When he came out of the tunnel for the second half, he was Robo-Brees, and the Steelers couldn’t do anything to stop him. The best defense in the NFL was suddenly powerless, as if they were firing bullets and they bounced of Brees’ torso. Now the Saints look scary again, barring a letdown, I see this one being ugly for the Panthers, not a close one like their earlier meeting.
SCORE: Saints 41, Panthers 17

11. New York Jets over Detroit
When you put up zero points after you’ve come off a bye week, and your coach is Rex Ryan, you’re in for one of the longest weeks of your life. To be fair, the Jets just couldn’t get anything going against the Packers, and it was a hard fought game on both sides. Don’t tell Coachasaurus Rex that, however, as he’s probably gotten six hours of sleep all week. The cure for such insomnia is to take a Lions team that’s flying high and rip them to shreds. This might be uglier than the beating Carolina’s going to incur.
SCORE: Jets 31, Lions 7

10. New York Giants over Seattle
Those Seahawks are a confusing bunch. Some weeks, they dominate on special teams and Matt Hasselbeck spreads the ball around to perfection. Other weeks, they look just as amateurish as they did last season. The Giants are coming off of a bye and, unlike their Meadowlands doppelgangers, will make the most of this opportunity. For the most part, I feel the run will kill Seattle, and Ahmad Bradshaw will help keep the Giants’ grip on the NFC East strong.
SCORE: Giants 27, Seahawks 13

9. Pittsburgh over Cincinnati
If the Bengals played up to expectations, this would be a marquee matchup. Instead, they’re a team of overrated failures, and they have to somehow pull it together against a Steelers team that’s smarting from Drew Brees’ personal resurrection. If you think Carson Palmer had the accuracy of Mr. Magoo playing billiards before, you haven’t seen anything yet. I’m setting Palmer’s interception over/under at 3.5. You’d only take the under if you were a true gambler.
SCORE: Steelers 28, Bengals 14

8. Chicago over Buffalo
Oh, Canada, how the Bears offense is bland. There’s three storylines in play here: can Jay Cutler return to early season form, can the Bills finally get a win to prevent going 0-16, and will Shawne Merriman find a way to look like a detoxified has-been in two different countries? The idea of Merriman, now out of San Diego, shoveling snow with his punier arms while Tila Tequila wraps herself in 15 wool blankets to stay warm, it makes me happy somehow. Oh, Bears win, just because.
SCORE: Bears 24, Bills 13

7. Green Bay over Dallas
Jerry Jones apologized to the fans for his team being 1-7. They’re actually 1-6 at the moment, but maybe he was just getting next Monday’s press conference out of the way. Jon Kitna’s braved cold air before playing in Cincinnati, but this is different circumstances. I’ll say this, though, I’d have the Packers higher on my ladder if I wasn’t so sure that Aaron Rodger’s INTs to a solid Dallas secondary would keep the Cowboys in the game. I think Dallas hangs in there for a while, but the Packers pull away in the fourth.
SCORE: Packers 21, Cowboys 10

6. Kansas City over Oakland
Finally, a Chiefs-Raiders game that has meaning. Oakland’s got an offense that’s suddenly producing, and the Chiefs defense is still a stonewall, so this game actually looks exciting. However, I think Oakland’s recent luck runs out. They can’t keep that pace going forever, and Kansas City has to be reeling from nearly allowing the Bills to end their winless streak. I think the Chiefs put up a little more offense in this one, and the deciding factor will be their running game wearing out the Raiders D.
SCORE: Chiefs 27, Raiders 17

5. Atlanta over Tampa Bay
This one’s do or die, because with the Saints coming on strong, Tampa ends up in deep third with a loss, and Atlanta may begin to spiral out. Both teams need this to build a strong case for the division crown, and as I said, the Saints are in juggernaut mode. After Tampa struggled to put away a crappy Cardinals team, I’ll take the Falcons. They’re rested, and Matt Ryan handles clutch situations well. Raheem Morris’ bravado about his team being the class of the NFC is going to get a reality check.
SCORE: Falcons 27, Buccaneers 17

4. Houston over San Diego
Well, there goes the Chargers’ winning streak. I’m not buying the whole “this is the time of year where the Chargers thrive” argument, and I don’t think Houston is either. The Texans, however, stupidly ran the ball in much of the second half on Monday when they were way behind on Indianapolis, so I wouldn’t call them a smart team by any means. Then again, the Chargers have Norv Turner, who’s a trump card for moronacy. In a tightly contested game, Houston’s offense overpowers San Diego’s dying defense.
SCORE: Texans 31, Chargers 24

3. Philadelphia over Indianapolis
I pick the Eagles for two reasons. One is their history of being a dominant squad after a bye week, and the other is that fact that I always pick them anyway. The Colts have been decimated on defense, and have held up very well to their credit, but unless they have an airtight gameplan for a healthy Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson, the Eagles have a chance to exploit some glaring weaknesses. I’m just glad that Kenny Britt’s not playing in this one.
SCORE: Eagles 27, Colts 21

2. Minnesota over Arizona
I’m picking the Vikes for the simple fact that karma can be a wonderful thing. After jettisoning Moss and standing up for the family deli, I think some kudos points will go Minne’s way. The Cardinals defense has been pretty good against the run, but this is the week where they face their truest test. The Vikings defense will finally step up and wreck Max Hall and/or Derek Anderson, so the Cards D will have a short field to work with. Can anyone say “fantasy day” for Adrian Peterson?
SCORE: Vikings 24, Cardinals 17

1. Miami over Baltimore
My upset pick of the week, and it’s a doozy. The Dolphins offense may not always get touchdowns, but Chad Henne’s in this zone right now where his level of cautious approach is benefitting the team. Sure the running game is stellar, and the shutdown defense is still a beast, but Henne’s lack of mistakes has been its biggest contributor as of late. I see Baltimore throwing blitzes at him, and Davone Bess and Brian Hartline taking passes in the flat for big gains. I smell a low scoring game, one decided in the final two minutes.
SCORE: Dolphins 14, Ravens 13

Justin Henry is the owner and (currently) sole writer of Couch Groove Football. He can be found on Facebook.com and Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/couchgroove

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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