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In Wilbon's World

Redskins, Bears are done

Thankfully during Thanksgiving weekend we started to lose some pretty dreadful teams from a playoff race they shouldn't be in anyway.

For those of you clinging to some deranged notion the Washington Redskins could run the table and finish 9-7, turn out the lights. The Redskins are done. My team, the Bears, are out of their misery (and mine), too, now that they've lost six of their last seven games. You miss the playoffs three straight times in this day-and-age, and everybody, GM and the coaching staff, should be fired, plain and simple.

The Dolphins were my dark horse team to start the season; they're out, too, after losing in Buffalo. Carolina? Out. Jake Delhomme has turned into Rex Grossman. Houston? Bye-bye. One of my two wild-card teams in the AFC is history after losing a 17-0 lead at home to Indy. The sooner the NFL gets rid of the pretenders the better.

Best Games

Falcons over Buccaneers: Should it have come to a fourth-down, season-hanging-by-a-thread touchdown pass? No. Matt Ryan brought an 11-1 home record into this game. Problem was, Ryan got KO'd early in the game (as did RB Michael Turner) and backup Chris Redman had to keep the season alive with his pass to Roddy White with fewer than 30 seconds left. Nothing like the smell of desperation to make a game exciting; it helps when it's a division game and the opponent has absolutely nothing to lose.

Colts over Texans: We keep waiting for the Colts to drop a game. Okay, I do. You can't win 'em all, right? Maybe the Colts can. Even though Houston is only 5-6 after three straight losses, Houston had legit wild-card aspirations...and still would had they won this game. But Peyton Manning's pair of touchdown passes led the Colts to their fifth straight come-from-behind victory...But who was working this game, the SEC refs. A couple egregiously bad calls against Houston probably turned this game, which is a shame.

Titans over Cardinals: Streaks are the story of this NFL season...Tennessee was down to fourth down from the shadow of its own goal line, and another fourth-and-four with 40 seconds to play and miraculously found a way to drive the length of the field, 99 yards, to win its fifth consecutive game against an Arizona team that had been undefeated on the road this season. The way the Titans won yesterday makes you wonder if anybody can beat them the rest of this regular season, including the Colts. This drive was Elway-esque. Young could not have been better. Could not. He was Hall of Fame good on that play and you wonder if this is the game that is going to propel him to being a championship-calibert QB for the immediate future.

3 Picks I Nailed

Titans over Cardinals: Okay, it wasn't "convincing" as I predicted. In fact, when Vince Young started the series at his own 1 after a downed put, I figured this pick was dead in the water...Still, not enough can be said about the best game of the weekend, and probably one of the three best games of the year. Matt Leinart didn't even know until Sunday morning he was going to be playing but turned in his best game since . . . USC. Another sidebar: Young vs. Leinart. Why in the world did Fox think Bears-at-Vikings, with the Bears stinking like they do, was worthy of being the Joe Buck-Troy Aikman game-of-the-week?

Eagles over Redskins: Closer than I expected, though that's the nature of division play. The NFC East is the most overrated division out there; not one of the four teams is actually any good. Say this for the Redskins: they appear to really like and respect their head coach...and the substitutes who are playing have done so pretty impressively. They beat Denver and took the Cowboys and Eagles to the brink. Still, the Eagles have better players and had just enough to separate from the Redskins.

Niners over Jaguars: A couple of really bad losses (like the one on the last play of the game at Minnesota) could really cost the Niners a spot in the playoffs. When the 49ers are good, they're actually a threat to anybody.

3 Picks I Blew

Texans over Colts: Done with picking against the Colts for awhile. The defense is opportunistic. Peyton Manning has added a flair for fourth quarter drama to everything else he has. Houston should have beaten Indy twice instead winds up 0-2 and out of the playoff chase.

Miami over Buffalo: I sure didn't foresee Chad Henne throwing threw three picks nor this new interim Bills coach throwing the ball all over the yard in an offensive explosion for the Bills...#$%*&#@$%ˆ$#@!!!

Rams over Seahawks: Never ever under any circumstances take a team quarterbacks by Kyle Boller. Never. Ever.


Michael Wilbon

 |  November 29, 2009; 7:58 PM ET  |  Category:  NFL , Post Pro Picks Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Your were really close on the Redskins vs Eagles game...only off by the OT period. I just wanted to know if you or any of the other readers listen to the Redskin's game on the radio. Sonny J., Sam H., Larry M., and "Doc" are hilarious. They actually make the game interesting. Sonny is the NFL's version of Bill Walton...his opinionated comments go from one extreme to the other (liking a call to not liking a call)! It even makes the games more dramatic during rare wins and heart-breaking after futile losses. Everyone should try it sometime...let me know what you think!?!?!?

Posted by: haycoach | December 1, 2009 1:04 PM
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For all the smashing you did on Belichick's decision recently, people need to check out the decisions made by Bucs coach Raheem Morris in the 4th quarter yesterday. Fake punt on 4 and 8 from ATL39 leading by 4. 51yd FG att (miss) with 2:34 left leading by 4. Both situations demanded TBY pin ATL deep.

Clearly this clown has no business coaching in the NFL with this style of game management. He coached like he was behind by 4 not ahead by 4. At least Belichick's defense was playing bad - TBY defense was actually playing good for once this year.

I guess you get a media pass when your team has only won one game.

Posted by: ARCstats | November 30, 2009 8:28 PM
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Why did Fox show Vikings-Bears as the Game of the Week? Two words: Brett Favre. Personally, I also would rather have watched Titans-Cardinals, but the media man-crush on Favre means he's always going to be the featured guy.

Posted by: acoberst1 | November 30, 2009 4:00 PM
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Mike- I have to disagree about the Dolphins being out of it. Losing to Buffalo is certainly a huge set back, but when you look at the rest of the AFC a 5-6 team still has a chance if they run the tables (except Houston who cannot win the big games).

I am still not sold on Jacksonville or Denver (you are dead right about the NFC East; whipping the Giants is hardly bouncing back). Baltimore has proven that if they win one week, then you better pick against them the next week because they cannot find consistency. Pittsburgh simply hinges on Big Ben's status; if healthy they easily get the 5th seed, if not they could just as easily miss the playoffs with a very difficult final 3 games (including Baltimore on a winning week and AT Miami). Right now I see the Titans as a bigger threat to the Dolphins.

With the race this tight 5 games is A LOT. I am going to stick with the Steelers and Dolphins (plus I would like one of my two Super Bowl picks, Miami and Atlanta, to at least make the playoffs).

Posted by: mcgratsp | November 30, 2009 2:00 PM
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Take up commenting on something you know something about - like maybe tiddlywinks!

Posted by: eganastos50 | November 30, 2009 9:07 AM
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The Redskins could have won. (
They need to get rid of pretender players.!

Posted by: Tobor58 | November 30, 2009 5:51 AM
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Mike - since the 14-game schedule, the Bears teams that have given up either 40 twice in a season or averaged giving up 25 in a season are 1964, 1969, 1973, 1975, 1997, and 2009. The five previous teams, the coach did not get fired at the end of the season.

There is no way that they will fire Lovie Smith with no 1st or 2nd round draft choice for a new coach, and a possible lockout in 2011. We're going to have to sadly wait it out a la the Abe Gibron era.

Posted by: flyertalk | November 29, 2009 9:24 PM
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