Up The Gut: Week 8

By Shaun Morash

The Watercooler

                  In the wake of Greg Hardy’s sideline blow up, Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, and Jason Garrett have tossed around the word “leader” and “contract extension.” Let the idiocy of that sink in.

Only in Dallas would this follow up be acceptable. Plain and simple, Greg Hardy doesn’t get it. His actions since his return of suspension prove that. Hardy is fortunate he isn’t in prison today after his accuser magically pulled away from showing up to court to further prosecute. Instead of Hardy learning his lesson and laying low, similarly to the way Mike Vick handled himself upon his release from prison, he has gone out of his way to be a tornado of bad energy.

There is no doubting Greg Hardy’s talent of rushing the passer, but when his actions become scary enough that coaches are getting pushed and Ownership defends him publicly over a coach, that says something about the organization. If he is in fact a leader of this team, then this team has no chance at any success. When the season ends in Dallas everyone will point to the Romo and Dez Bryant injuries as their down fall. While that is primarily correct, the idea that Greg Hardy of all people was publicly declared a leader should not go unnoticed.

Sorry Dallas, no Super Bowl again this year.

Ten Yard Gain

1- The New York Giants saw their alarming lack of pass rush vs Dallas Sunday and came to the realization playing hardball with Jason Pierre-Paul anymore. JPP is back on an incentive filled deal, and if he is at 60% of what he once was he gives the Giants a boost on their biggest weakness thus far.

2-The most dominating receiver in the NFL isn’t Dez Bryant, Calvin Johnson, or Odell Beckham jr. In fact he isn’t even technically a receiver at all. It’s Rob Gronkowski. Gronk put on another clinic on the “dominate,” Jets defense Sunday. He is the most uncover able player in the league at the moment.

3-The Oakland Raiders had the most impressive victory of Week 7. The San Diego Chargers are a mental puddle, but the future is as bright as it has been in 20 years with Derek Carr and Amari Cooper. Even in their last run to a Super Bowl an aging Rich Gannon was at the helm. The Raiders can realistically get some serious playoff experience this year if they play their cards right.

4- Colin Kaepernick’s time as a franchise quarterback effectively came to an end Thursday Night. He was once one of the NFL’s true rising stars. A Super Bowl appearance followed by another trip the NFC Championship game had him destined for stardom. Now it appears after this season the 49’ers would be idiots to carry on with him as their starting QB. Is he simply the next Ryan Fitzpatrick?

5- The Eagles could be a team that may want to consider resurrecting Colin Kaepernick. This is because Sam Bradford is not coming back to life anytime soon. Maybe in a different offense with lower expectations Bradford would be viewed differently. Off two torn ACL’s in a fast paced, read option offense, Bradford simply isn’t the answer.

6- The Rams had a show me kind of win at home Sunday. Typical mediocre teams find ways to win, but struggle in doing so vs inferior opponents. St.Louis did no such thing as Todd Gurly rammed the ball down the Brownies throats. At 3-3 the Rams are as interesting a Wild Card pick as any in the NFC.

7- The Indianapolis Colts may be the worst, most dysfunctional, franchise to ever host a playoff game in 2015. If they were in any other division, they may have fired Pagano already. Instead Indianapolis keeps getting their tails whipped while general managers and owners fight, all while they stay in control of the AFC South.

8- Kirk Cousins was named the NFC offensive player of the week. I don’t buy into him as a long term franchise quarterback. However, when you think of his career, it is unfair to declare he cannot be. He is taking steps in every week this season to get better, his 1st season without looking over his shoulder.

9- One game behind the 1st place Colts are the Jacksonville Jaguars. That came after the Jags big performance in London. Blake Bortles is not getting enough national attention for the strides he has taken in his 2nd year in the NFL as a legitimate quarterback.

10-The Baltimore Ravens were once again in a game only to lose. As I said in the picks segment last week, stop thinking the Ravens are good because they are in games. Bottom line is this is a bad football team and will continue to be through December.

Five Games To Chew On

5- Shrimp Po Boy’s Game of the Week: Giants @ Saints- With a win and some help this weekend the once left for dead Saints can climb to 7th in the NFC this weekend. Eli manning has never gone down to the Super Dome and won a game in his home. This is a different Saints team however. A Big Blue win puts them in a big time driver’s seat in the NFC East.

4- Mark Sanchez Hot Dog’s Game of the Week: Jets @ Raiders- The Raiders are becoming fun to watch again. This could be a classic let down week Jets teams of the past have had. They are coming off an emotional loss to the hated Patriots and flying cross country to play a spunky Raiders team. This is a big game in the AFC Wild Card picture.

3- Black Angus Steak Sirloin’s Game of the Week: Bengals @ Steelers- The return of Big Ben looks probable. It couldn’t come at a better time for the Steelers who need this game if they have any prayer of rebounding to win the North. The well-rested Bengals can begin to have the argument they are as good as the Pats with a statement road win here.

2- Whataburger’s Game of the Week: Seahawks @ Cowboys- This has been a week of controversy for the Cowboys. No shocker there. The fact is with the Giants having very winnable games the next two weeks in the Saints and Bucs, the Cowboys need to scratch across at least 2 wins out of their next 3 games to have any chance at a salvageable season, if it is even salvageable. The Seahawks are coming off extra rest and that could spell trouble in Arlington.

1- Denver Omelet Game of the Week: Packers @ Broncos- We get an epic Sunday Night football matchup in what easily is the bets matchup of the year to date. Two Hall of Fame quarterbacks, two very good defenses, and two 6-0 records are on the line. This is must watch TV and will be interesting to see if Peyton Manning has his best game of the year with all eyes on this one.

My Picks

3-1 was the record in Week 7, bringing my hot season total to 17-6 on the year. 11 games over .500 is clearly my high water mark at picking games since the inception of The DA Show. Looking to continue to make money this week with these picks:

Giants + 3 @ Saints: As I stated above Eli Manning has never won a game in New Orleans. That will change this week. The Saints as favorites is a sexy pick following their big win over the Colts. The Saints defense, however, had to hold on for dear life late to win that game. Odell Beckham has yet to truly breakout in a game this year and is practicing all week for the 1st time in three weeks. This game probably turns into a shootout, but Beckham changes the game in a big way finally. Giants win outright.

Titans +4 @ Texans: The Texans favored vs anybody is a lock the other way. The Titans played Atlanta tough at home last week and now travel to play a team in total disarray after the release of Ryan Mallett. Bill O’Brien looked defeated in his press conferences this week. If Houston wins this game its by a field goal at best. I’ll take the points all day with the Titans.

Falcons -7 vs Bucs: This is a pure gut instinct pick. No pun attended. Atlanta coming off a game in which they struggled on the road comes back home. Tampa Bay comes off a game in which they played well and collapsed now goes into Atlanta. People will expect Tampa Bay to keep this game close, I don’t.

Football Food of the Week

Mini Grilled Cheese. You may not get a simpler to make, better tasting football snack than this one. The inner child in us loves grilled cheese, whether you know it or not. Get a loaf of bread, some butter, a bunch of American Cheese and make classic Grilled cheese sandwiches like Mom would make. Slice each of them into quarters and put them on a platter and serve. These will be bite sized like a boneless wing, with your friends giving you an ingenious pat on the back as their taste buds celebrate.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy Week 8, as fast as it has come. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @MrazCBS.

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