By Shaun Morash
The Odell Beckham Jr hot takes since Monday night have been sizzling. OBJ needs to mature and not allow opponents or the referees to take him out of the game mentally. I believe that time will come, hopefully sooner rather than later.
However, the crux of what Odell Beckham Jr is unhappy about is actually true and he does have a leg to stand on. Just how far out of bounds does Beckham have to be when getting hit for a flag to be thrown in support of him? Just how late after a whistle is he allowed to be cheap shot? Both of those instances happened in the last two weeks sparking Beckham to grow agitated. Does he need to calm down? Of course, but that doesn’t change the fact referees need to do their job and not then make Beckham look like the total guilty offender, because he isn’t.
It takes a village they say, and when it comes to Beckham it starts with him, but continues with referees doing the job they are paid handsomely to do.
Ten Yard Gain
1-One aspect of the Monday Night game not being discussed is that the Vikings are frauds. Sure the defense is great, but in the end this team showed its warts. Blair Walsh may be the worst kicker in football and that offense could not more inept. The idea the Giants shot themselves in the foot all night and were a healthy corner active away in that game from it being tied in the 4th quarter should raise eye brows the Vikings way.
2- Speaking of frauds there is no bigger fraudulent 3-1 team in the NFL than the Rams. Much like the Vikings, the Rams defense is dialing all of the right buttons. Boy does their offense stink too. Todd Gurley cannot find any hole to run through and their receivers scream mediocrity.
3-The Raiders are 3-0 on the road this season following yet another back and forth affair where Derek Carr to Michael Crabtree proved to be the difference. The defense showed signs of waking up in Baltimore. When you stash away multiple tough road wins in this league that usually results in a playoff spot.
4- If you are left in a Survivor pool at work or with your friends this week congratulations. If you are left and don’t pick the Patriots this week than you should have your head examined. There are very few times an NFL schedule gift falls in your lap with no chance at losing, that happens with Tom Brady returning to face Cleveland Sunday.
5- A strength of the New York Jets has become one of the biggest weaknesses and liabilities in the NFL, that being the secondary. A hobbled Russell Wilson went into Met Life stadium and torched the Jets defensive backs with some targets nobody had heard of before 2:30pm eastern Sunday. It may be good night the lights on New York’s season if Antonio Brown embarrasses them on Sunday.
6- Rex Ryan wanted to build a bully, and has looked like a fool in doing so for most of his Bills tenure. However in warmups on Sunday that bully could not have looked less foolish. Once again Patriots arrogance reared its ugly head when Jacoby Brissett decided to run through the Bills half of the field in warmups. The Bills gave him a good shove and a pregame tussle was on. The Bills were in the right there, for once.
7-Gus Bradley saved his job and the Jaguars season with the team’s resilient win in London last week. That win did more than buy time, the win, even at 1-3, has lifted the Jaguars into contention in the AFC South, a division where on paper they are the most talented.
8-The Lions are who we thought they are: An NFL team who should be picking Top 5 in the draft with an occasional surprise win and decent performance. That was never more clear when they became the 1st team the lowly Bears defeated on Sunday. Matt Stafford continues to be Jekyll and Hyde and that defense plays well enough to tease you but burn you in the end.
9- Another week, another step backward for Jameis Winston and the Bucs. Of course I was the idiot that picked them to upset Denver; of course I was once again wrong. Winston needs the game to slow down for him right now because everything he is doing simply is not working. A once hyped season is turning into a lost one in Tampa Bay.
10-I never bought into the Super Bowl loser having a major let down season theory that was tossed around for the Panthers. They seemed too good across the board. Well now I may not be bagging on their season but my eye brow is officially raised. It isn’t even Cam Newton’s injuries and the offense, it’s the idea a once dominant defense is allowing a wide receiver to exploit them for 300 yards. Do they really miss Josh Norman that badly?
Five Games to Chew On
5 Fish Tacos Game of the Week: Bills @ Rams: These two teams are near mirror images. Offensively they are struggling, neither with a big play wide receiver, and both with running backs who could be performing much better. Both have coaches who should be on the hot seat, and yet here are both teams red hot and feeling better about themselves than they should be. The winner of this game will start to be taken more seriously than they currently are.
4 Toilet Seat Kielbasas Game of the Week: Giants @ Packers: The Gmen have had a week of disaster and controversy as the Odell Beckham story has grown. There is no better way to shake that kind of feeling than a win on the road, and in this venue Eli Manning is no stranger to big moments. The Packers however are coming in well rested off of their bye week and trying to keep as much pace with the Vikings as possible.
3 Crab Cakes Game of the Week: Redskins @ Ravens: This rare rivalry has a lot of meaning this weekend as the Ravens look to avoid a 2 game losing streak and the Redskins try to win their 3rd in a row and officially revive their season. A Josh Norman vs Steve Smith Sr. matchup could be one for the ages as far as feistiness goes.
2 Texas Steaks Game of the Week: Bengals @ Cowboys: It’s time for the Cowboys to strap on their big boy shoes and step up a weight class as their check down offense tries to keep pace with the damage AJ Green can cause the Dallas secondary. For the Bengals, this game is about scoring touchdowns. The Dolphins game last Thursday was closer than it had to be because they settled for field goals. If they settle this week the Cowboys will be able to capitalize.
1 Colorado Omelet Game of the Week: Falcons @ Broncos: The most fun offense to watch through four weeks is traveling to take on perhaps the best defense in football. That makes this the game of the week with the most bang for your tv buck. The Falcons already proved their offense can travel out west when they beat the Raiders in Week 2. If they manage to have Julio put on an aerial assault and keep Von Miller from wrecking the game it will be time to talk about the Falcons as perhaps the best team in football.
Another 0-3 week for me has me now at 2-9-1 for the season. This week I’m picking 4 games to get me back in the hunt.
Patriots -10.5 @ Browns: This game is going to get ugly. I expect the Browns to play it like their Super Bowl, and keep it close into the 2nd quarter. However, once Tom gets his groove back this game will run away from Cleveland in a hurry and I don’t expect Belichick to keep his foot off the pedal. This will be a personal vendetta game for Brady on the rest of the league.
Bears +4.5 @ Colts: Interesting fact heading into this game: The Colts became the 1st team since the NFL began to play games in London that elected not to use their bye week in the week following their trip. I think that backfires for them this week. 4 and a half points is way too much for this team to lay, even at home. Give me the Bears and he points over the tired Colts.
Bengals -1 @ Cowboys: As I stated earlier, things rae about to get real for the Cowboys. Without a true down field passing game I expect the Cowboys to fall behind early in this game and never get back in it. They do not have the pass rush to slow down the Bengals pass game, and Geno Atkins could eat up what is becoming a beat up Cowboys defensive line. 1 point is essentially a pick em making this game even tastier to pick.
Giants +7.5 @ Packers: The Packers should win this game but by more than a touchdown with the way their secondary looks right now I don’t see that happening. Odell Beckham Jr and the Giants will make an effort to get OBJ the ball early in this game to ease the tension of this bad week. The Giants will put up points in this game and may win this thing, but will for sure cover this big number.
Football Food of the Week
Ultimate Queso Dip. I love mixing in a dip from time to time on the football food of the week, and let’s just say by Week 5 we are due. If you don’t like Queso it may be time to check into a mental facility because what I am about go deliver is beyond simple and what all of your friends will be talking about when they leave your football get-together.
Get a block, or multiple blocks of Velveeta original cheese. (Depending on how big of a dip you need.) Purchase a tomato as well as some ground beef and taco seasoning. Brown the beef with the taco seasoning and chop your tomato into small pieces. Then take either a small crock pot, or even regular kitchen pot and throw the block(s) of velveeta in there with the beef and the bits of tomato allowing the entire concoction to melt, ooze, and gooze together until the cheese is perfectly loose.
You can serve this in a bowl or right in the crock pot if need be with the tortilla chip of your choice. Unlike canned queso dips in the chip aisle, you can taste the freshness and gooeyness of this dip like no dip you have ever had before. You will have goosebumps underneath your jersey all afternoon with every bite. Trust me on this one, dips and I have been through a lot together.
Thanks for reading as always, enjoy your football weekend. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @MrazCBS