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Packers stolen win should count for something in the final standings

October 4, 2012
By STEVE BROWNLEE - Journal Sports Staff ( , The Mining Journal

Since the NFL won't admit it really should take the blame for Green Bay's Monday night loss in Seattle last week, maybe I can broker an agreement to keep Packers' fans from placing a bounty on commissioner Roger Goodell's head.

Oops, sorry, New Orleans, that's probably a poor choice of words.

I noticed no fines were levied for Green Bay's criticism of the replacement refs that under normal circumstances would've come quickly. That tells me the bigwigs in New York at least understand the firestorm of criticism was at least justified, even if they can't bring themselves to say that out loud.

And since the NFL won't overturn the result of the game, here's my proposal - give the Packers a "golden ticket," specifically that any and all tiebreakers involving the Packers for playoff positioning are automatically won by Green Bay.

It would effectively render the Seattle game a tie. Say, for example, that the Packers are one of three teams at 11-5 to decide the No. 2 seed in the NFC, important because it grants a first-round playoff bye and home field in the second round.

It would be the same as if they were 11-4-1, which beats out any 11-5 team while losing to a 12-4 record.

Not perfect, but it's like when someone takes out your best player and all he gets is a 15-yard penalty and a $25,000 fine. It hardly makes up for him not playing the rest of the season.

Now that I'm solving the world's problems, let me see about getting more picks right than wrong:

Today, 8:20 p.m.

Arizona at St. Louis - Boy, such an intriguing matchup and most of us don't get to see it, since it's on the NFL Network. St. Louis is 2-0 at home while the Cardinals had to dodge an overtime bullet against Miami to get to 4-0 last weekend, so Rams, 20-17.

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Green Bay at Indianapolis - Indy had enough defense to beat Minnesota at home, but not Jacksonville or Chicago. How are they going to stop Green Bay? Packers, 42-22.

Miami at Cincinnati - A bad matchup for the Dolphins, since Cincy's defense might end up outscoring both offenses put together. Bengals, 24-10.

Baltimore at Kansas City - The Baltimore birds will look more like vultures the way they pick at the KC roadkill. Ravens, 34-7.

Tennessee at Minnesota - Each of these teams has returned a kickoff and a punt for a touchdown the past two weeks against Detroit. My prediction: all scores in this game will come from the offenses. Vikings, 23-16.

Cleveland at N.Y. Giants - If the Giants don't perk up now, they better buy some Louisiana swampland to cozy up next to New Orleans. Giants, 30-3.

Philadelphia at Pittsburgh - At 1-2, Pittsburgh holds the edge in desperation. Steelers, 27-23.

Atlanta at Washington - Too much pressure for RG III as the Redskins' defense gives up 31 points a game. Falcons, 33-27.

Sunday, 4 p.m.

Seattle at Carolina - How's this for logic? If Seattle had won in St. Louis last weekend, I wouldn't be picking them now. Seahawks, 30-21.

Chicago at Jacksonville - A Monday night upset winner going back on the road. Not a good bet, except this is Jacksonville. Bears, 19-17.

Denver at New England - Peyton Manning's getting better. But he's not all the way back quite yet. Patriots, 28-23.

Buffalo at San Francisco - The 49ers defense will be annoyed it couldn't post back-to-back shutouts when it falls behind 7-0. Don't annoy this unit. 49ers, 27-7.

Sunday, 8:20 p.m.

San Diego at New Orleans - Today's literary title applies to this game, "The Headless Horseman," even though the Chargers only play like they don't have a regular coach. Chargers, 38-34.

Monday, 8:30 p.m.

Houston at N.Y. Jets - Tim Tebow will be trotted out as QB just so the Jets don't get shut out two weeks in a row. Texans, 37-13.

Last week - 10-5, 67 percent. Season - 35-28, 56 percent.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246.



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