The Wall Street Journal thought they had a story when they rolled out the NFL’s plans to bring in a second Thursday night game and a possible deal with Netflix or Google. The NFL PR team quickly responded saying the whole situation was complete bupkis. But where there’s smoke, there’s fire, right?
Let’s start with the Thursday game. Ratings for a second Thursday night game probably wouldn’t be high if you make the assumption it would start after the first Thursday night game because of an exclusivity window. It would likely involve a West Coast team playing a home game and could create slightly higher ratings if that team was playing someone from the East Coast, but is that enough to make people care? The NFL does poorly enough with its Thursday night package; cutting out the eastern half of the country wouldn’t help.
Could things get a little fun or weird with if the extra Thursday package was sold to abnormal technology instead of a regular TV network? I love technology. In fact, this article was saved by Microsoft Word after a weird computer malfunction. Thankfully, I didn’t have to write it again. (Cue the joke from the peanut gallery: your picks suck so you shouldn’t have wasted your time in the first place.) People will watch the NFL if it ends up Netflix or Google. In 10 years, most of America might even be consuming all our NFL games via an iPad or a computer. (Personally, I need my 8 TVs at the bar, but that’s just me.) It’s a crazy idea that would generate some buzz and can’t hurt the NFL too much.
And that’s where this all comes together. More Thursday night games aren’t great for revenue and the players’ union will surely complain, but it’ll still generate more money. Anything the NFL does turns to gold and people can’t get enough of it. There may not be a great following on Thursday nights, but there’s still enough of a following for the NFL to generate more money than they do now with a second game. They don’t seem to hate the fact they’re doing it already, so I doubt they’d stop now.
Survivor Pick of the Week:
GREEN BAY over Cleveland
Admittedly it’s not the greatest week for survivor picks. Unlike last week, there doesn’t seem to be quite that many shoe-ins. Not that many people went with Houston last week and therefore most pools didn’t lose too many people when the Texans continued to fall into the abyss.
Green Bay may’ve lost Randall Cobb, but they’ve still got plenty of weapons. Eddie Lacy has shown well after back to back strong rushing weeks. This week’s opponents, the Browns, have only limited Baltimore and Cincinnati, two teams with mediocre offenses, so far this year. They struggled containing Detroit last week and have now given up 30 points in three of the last four games. To me, it’s the best of not so great options this week.
My second favorite would be the Dolphins, who should take care of business against Buffalo. Thad Lewis won’t have the mobility with a bum foot and the Dolphins have been very professional so far this year. Picking against the Jaguars seems to be a great way to win your survivor pool, but is it possible that San Diego has a bit of a hangover after Monday’s big win? They’re also coming east to play a 1 p.m. start on their short week. I can’t take Atlanta at home seriously after that Jets’ loss even if they are play a winless Tampa Bay. The Texas are in a freefall as mentioned above, but I’d rather save Alex Smith’s Chiefs for a team I knew had no semblance of offense. Finally, you could do worse than the Panthers because I think the Rams aren’t nearly as good as they played last week. But then you have to trust Ron Rivera.
Teams used: Indianapolis, New England, Denver, New Orleans, St. Louis, and Seattle
Thursday Night Pick:
ARIZONA +7 over Seattle
I’ll be the first to admit that my picks are tanking as quickly as the Texans. Back-to-back rough weeks have left me in a hole (boy, did Reggie really work me last week), but there’s 11 more weeks to make that up. The Seahawks have been a really strong team this year and their 5-1 record reflects that. Still, they haven’t been nearly as good on the road. They squeaked out wins in Carolina and Houston, while coming up short in Indianapolis. Covering seven points on the road isn’t the easiest thing in the world.
Arizona frustrates the hell out of me. Their four turnovers last week cost them the game and the spread despite the fact that San Francisco didn’t do much other than a couple long tosses to Vernon Davis. They won’t have to worry about an athletic tight end this week, so that’s something positive to look forward to. If only new coach Bruce Arians could teach his guys to hold on to that damn football then we’d be in business. It might better if Larry Fitzgerald plays because he can at least be a decoy for Richard Sherman while the other talent receivers attack what’s left of Seattle’s defense.
Reggie’s pick: Arizona
Last Week: 4-11