Why are the Chicago bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers playing their game in London? (As in England.)
According to a hard-hitting report from hard-hitting NFL Network reporter Albert Breer (posted on the NFL's website, a well-known hotbed of hard-hitting reporting):
"Football ranks somewhere around seventh or eighth in popularity, with [NFL Vice-president of International Chris] Parsons sizing up the top five sports in the U.K. as soccer, golf, tennis, cricket and rugby. To put that in perspective, it's roughly in the area where soccer ranks as a spectator sport in the U.S."
Oh, so British stadiums are filled with expatriate Americans, the way soccer games are attended by expatriate Latinos here?
Sorry to sound skeptical, but there was the World League, NFL Europe...and now, the Bears and the Bucs.
If the Brits want to spend good money watching large men mangle each other, they have rugby, where they do it without pads, and the House of Commons, where they do it with pinstripe suits and snappy repartee.
Somehow the Bucs are 4-2 despite being outscored in the aggregate, so I will take Chicago and spot the generous one point.
The Jets take on the Chargers at the Meadowlands. Will Philip Rivers play? Can the Jets run? I don't know, but the Jets need this game rather badly if they wish to keep pace with New England and Buffalo, so NY minus another generous one point.
Car - 2.5 vs. Was
Hou +3 at Ten
Mia even vs. Den. The Dolphins have to win sometime, and this seems like the best opportunity.
Det - 3.5 vs. Atl
KC + 3.5 at Oak: I know, but the Raiders are without their place kicker and have an incipient QB controversy brewing.
Pit -4 at AZ
Sea +3 at Cle
Dal - 13.5 vs. StL: I hate these double-digit spreads, but the Rams are truly bad.
GB - 9.5 at Min : I heard some happy horseshit abot the Vikes keeping this close but I'm not buying it, tempting though the home underdog status is.
NO - 13.5 vs. Ind: Now you want bad, see "Colts." (Also "rudderless.")
Bal -8 at Jax: Ravens are the most solid team in the league.