The mind is a terrible thing, Part II – I forgot to post my NFL picks as well as my SEC picks last week. I picked 6 games right and 7 wrong, including not believing in my beloved Panthers when I should have (more on them later). The most infuriating team is no longer the Jaguars, it’s the Titans.

I went to a football game and a MLB trade deadline broke out.The NFL has never had much activity at the trading deadline, mainly because the nature of the NFL contracts (non-guaranteed money) leaves trades not as useful as in MLB or the NBA. This year, Garappalo finally got traded, and some big surprises – Jay Ajayi leaving Miami and Kelvin Benjamin leaving the Panthers. And so the NFL franchise in Buffalo, NC continues to build. Then there is the Browns. First, they agree to get absolutely hammered by Cinci-nasty in a trade, willing to give up a 2nd– and 3rd-round pick for AJ McCarron. (BTW, has there been ANY good ‘Bama QBs since Namath & Stabler? I can’t think of any.) Then, they forget to inform NFL HQ by the 4 PM deadline and the deal is rejected. I’m guessing Myles Garrett has a counter on his laptop counting down to March 2022 when he will be a free agent.

The Panthers curse – well, that would be me. Last week, after Atlanta took a 10-0 lead, Jonathan Stewart lost a fumble for the second time in the game, and the Panthers went scoreless in the 4th quarter like every other game this year, I turned the game off in frustration. I started working on other things. A couple hours later, I accidentally see on a website that we are up 20-10 with 5 minutes left. I turn the game back on. Atlanta has the ball, and goes 80 yards in about 5 seconds to close to 20-17. I shut the game off again. No one else scores, and we win. So I guess I’m not allowed to watch anymore. Fortunately for us, the next game is on Monday night, and I can’t stay up that late and still be mildly productive at work after the 5 AM alarm goes off. So since I won’t see most of the game, I’m sure we’ll win. Then we get our bye week. We’ll see how we do.

Do I have to say this? Yes I do. Shawn Payton is the Coach of the Year for the first half. With apologies to Doug Pederson, no one has out-performed like the Saints D. I think I’m about to be sick.

More devastation – Deshaun Watson tore his ACL in the shootout in Seattle and is done for the year. No one is saying it, but he’s probably done for the first month of 2018 as well. The last time someone tried to come back less than a year from an ACL was Bob Griffin. We know how that turned out. This is a bummer, because he is so exciting to watch. And bummer for Texans fans, who were seeing their first real quarterback play for their team since Steve McNair.

Power Rankings
1.    Philadelphia – Pretty clear & obvious #1.
2.    New England – Not dominating, but winning.
3.    Pittsburgh – See #2 above.
4.    Minnesota – Very stout defense. Will Teddy play this year?
5.    LA Rams – Such a night-and-day transformation on offense.
6.    New Orleans – I still hate them for their DC (“Go for the head”) and their Vicotin-gulping coach.
7.    Dallas – Zeke “vacation” on hold again. Hold must stay in place for them to win.
8.    Carolina – Defense still capable of record-setting numbers. Now if only Cam can get it on straight….
9.    Kansas City – Stumbling after the hot start. Need more stops on D.
10.  Jacksonville – Legit. With Watson down, they should run away with the division title.
11.  Buffalo – Bad loss, but still headed for the playoffs.
12.  Seattle – Where did the Jesus Juice offense go????
13.  Atlanta – Good, people are finally accusing them of having the Super Bowl Hangover.
14.  Detroit – Still a bit inconsistent.
15.  Tennessee – Now the hardest team to figure out.
16.  Washington – Big win on the road. Still no match for top-tier teams.
17.  Oakland – Remains to be seen if they have righted the ship.
18.  Chicago – Not only bad, but boring.
19.  Miami – Now they have no running game, and will surely miss the playoffs.
20.  Houston – They are toast without their QB.
21.  Green Bay – See #20 above.
22.  NY Jets – Like I said last week – these guys get 5 wins, Bowles should be Coach of the Year.
23.  LA Clippers/Chargers – See #18 above.
24.  Cincinnati – See #23 above.
25.  Baltimore – See #24 above.
26.  Tampa Bay – No team has done less with more than the Yucks.
27.  Indianapolis – This team is nothing to write home to Dearest Mother about.
28.  Arizona – Now that they can’t play Frisco anymore, we won’t hear from them.
29.  Denver – This team has clearly quit.
30.  San Francisco – Props to the defense for hanging in there in most games. We’ll see if Jimmy G helps.
31.  NY Giants – Only the Browns trade fiasco keeps this team from #32. Another squad that clearly quit.
32.  Cleveland – Remember “Manny being Manny” Ramirez? Well, now we have “Browns being Browns.”