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In Wilbon's World

Lions-Browns surprisingly entertaining

Now that was a very nice weekend of football, Saturday and Sunday. Any Saturday when Notre Dame and Michigan lose while Northwestern wins to finish the season 8-4 and charge into bowl season is pretty dreamy for me.

But even if we forget about my personal triumphs, the weekend was chock full of drama, from Ole Miss over LSU and UCONN over Notre Dame on Saturday to the Redskins nearly scoring an upset in Dallas and that thriller between the Browns and Lions Sunday. Yes, thriller. Friday, I said on PTI I'd rather go antiquing than watch the Browns and Lions, a pair of 1-8 losers, play one another. By the time the second quarter of that game rolled around I couldn't take my eyes off of it.

3 Best Games

Lions over Browns: I know, I know, the result didn't matter one bit. Still, it was the best game of the day, hands down. Thank God for the Red Zone channel on DirecTV. The Browns seemed to have an insurmountable lead, the Lions roared back. The Lions led, the Browns got an incredibly clutch play from Joshua Cribbs, the best player in the league playing on a bad team. . . . The the ending: a bogus pass interference penalty on a desperate pass by the Lions gave Detroit the ball at the one with :00 on the clock. Matt Stafford nearly had his left arm ripped off and had to leave the field, meaning backup Dante Culpepper would have to run the final play of the game. But wait. The Browns called time to set their defense. Stafford ran back onto the field even though he was mouthing the words "It popped out" presumably meaning his left shoulder. Even so, Stafford threw his fourth TD pass of the day to win the game. Such a great game.

Giants over Falcons: Ah, nothing like the first scent of desperation among playoff teams that started the season well then fell apart. The Giants defense, ranked No. 1, gave up two late TDs to Atlanta and the G-Men teetered on the verge of season disaster until getting the win in OT. Eli Manning needed to show up . . . and did.

Colts over Ravens: Baltimore had every chance, about four of them to be precise, to win this game and blew every one of them, right down to Ed Reed's botched unnecessary lateral attempt in the final minute. The worst of the blunders, though, had to be Joe Flacco's red-zone interception that prevented the Ravens from going ahead with a field goal. Okay, Peyton Manning would have had 2 ½ minutes to take the Colts down the field but the decision to have Flacco throw instead of just run the ball a couple of times to take time away from Manning was a killer.

3 Picks I Nailed

Cowboys over Redskins: "Cowboys will win a close one" was the exact language. Well, does it get closer than 7-6? Goodness, the Cowboys are a fragile bunch. And what happened to their offense? They were essentially shut out last week by the Packers, then went home and were blanked by the Redskins for nearly 50-some minutes. The Redskins played with a ton of heart and defense, but again, not enough offense. At least we don't have to endure an entire week of "Can they make the playoffs" silliness.

Dolphins over Panthers: Miami got a huge win Thursday night, even though the Dolphins are now playing the rest of the season without Wildcat catalyst Ronnie Brown .. .. . Dolphins were 2-4 last year and wound up reaching the playoffs with 11 wins. They're 5-5 now, and even though they've got a tough schedule remaining there's something scary about the Fish.

Jaguars over Bills: Jags are 6-4 and ahead of the Ravens in the wild-card chase...Heck, for that matter they're tied with the defending champion Steelers in the wild-card chase.

3 Picks I Blew

Well, I only missed three games all week and they were crushers.

Bengals over Raiders: I said to myself when I took Cincy..."Don't take Cincy."

They can't be trusted; they'll go to the west coast and play like a bunch of dogs, like the Bengals always do the moment you count on their sorry behinds. And I TOOK THE BUMS ANYWAY. It's the worst loss of the week by a million miles, set up because a Bengals return man fumbled the kickoff after the Raiders had tied. What dogs. They're the Bengals. Not as much has changed as their record indicates.

Steelers over Chiefs: What makes the Bengals loss even worse is that the Steelers lost earlier in the day. They looked worn out by the end of the game...almost lazy. Big Ben apparently suffered a concussion. Could the champs be falling apart before our eyes?

Ravens over Colts: I picked well. It was a damn smart pick; the Ravens blew this for me, stone cold choked again on another close game...the third such choke this season...

By

Michael Wilbon

 |  November 22, 2009; 7:48 PM ET  |  Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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