AIKEN, SOUTH CAROLINA, November 14, 2013 — Titletown is in trouble, and they know it. For over two decades, the house that Vince Lombardi built has had stable play at the quarterback position. Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers both brought the Lombardi Trophy home. Yet the broken collarbone Rodgers suffered has the Packers in dire straits at the signal-caller position.
Seneca Wallace was a capable backup until he got injured last week. The third string quarterback is Scott Tolzien. Mike McCarthy has not publicly stated that he knew who Tolzien was until he had to play real professional football during a live game for the first time.
Imagine the scene in the Packers locker room after last week’s loss.
Anonymous assistant coach: “Should we call…”
Mike McCarthy: “Don’t even say his name!”
AC: He has to be bored sitting on his Mississippi tractor all day.”
MM: Not for all the gold in Kiln or Green Bay!”
AC: “Can’t we just call Favre?”
MM: “You’re fired! Clean out your desk!”
Attempts to see if Rodgers could play while using a motorized wheelchair never got past the league office or NFLPA.
The visit to Walmart failed, so the next step was a Craigslist ad.
“Wisconsin, Green Bay. Wanted: A quarterback to run the West Coast Offense. No heavy lifting or arm-strength required. Must throw repetitive dink and dunk passes even though the defense knows they are coming. Must throw the same four-yard pass on every single 1st and 10. Any third downs longer than five yards, we will allow the quarterback to take a knee and then we will punt. Quarterbacks not named Matt Leinart are encouraged to apply. Base salary plus medical and dental.”
Matt Flynn answered the ad. He had one great game as a Packer a few years ago. Now he gets to back up Tolzien. The choices were Flynn and Favre, and McCarthy went with the guy not currently collecting Social Security. This could be a blessing. When Don “Magic Man” Majkowski went down, Favre came in. Maybe the Tolzien era will bring a new dynasty.
Aaron Rodgers is drowning in “get well immediately” cards.
Now for the rest of the NFL 2013 Week 11 Preview, dedicated to the dearly departed Todd Christiansen. The point spreads are courtesy of “The Linemakers,” with all times EST.
Thursday, November 14, 8:30pm
Indianapolis Colts (-3) at Tennessee Titans—Both of these teams were shocked last week at home. Indy got throttled by an inconsistent Rams team while Tennessee lost to previously winless Jacksonville. The Titans are at home, so take the Colts. Colts cover
Sunday, November 17, 1:00 p.m.
New York Jets (-1.5) at Buffalo Bills—Ed Reed reunites with Rex Ryan. Meanwhile, E.J. Manuel is back for the Bills. The Jets play to the level of their competition, and the Bills are not that good. That is enough for the Bills to win. Upset special, Bills win outright
Baltimore Ravens at Chicago Bears (-3)— Baltimore is a mess, and Chicago with Jay Cutler back actually has a chance to do something. Bears cover
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-6)—The Bengals have again shown they are not as good as their initial start, but Cleveland is still Cleveland. Jason Campbell can play, but going on the road and winning is too much to ask of the Browns. Bengals win but fail to cover
Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans (-7)—The Texans have collapsed, losing seven straight games. Gary Kubiak’s heart troubles will be cured by playing the Oakland Raiders, who have no heart whatsoever. These teams played in Houston the day after Al Davis died. The Raiders won on the final play in what was the last inspired effort in the history of Oakland football. Texans win but fail to cover
Arizona Cardinals (-7) at Jacksonville Jaguars—The Jacksonville juggernaut won last week to get to 1-8. Seven more wins gets them to 8-8. Not going to happen. Cardinals win but fail to cover
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5)—Nick Foles has been setting the NFL ablaze. RGIII has been struggling. This could get ugly quickly. Eagles cover
Detroit Lions (-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers—Pittsburgh has no offensive line, and Ben Roethlisberger is getting pounded. Now he faces Ndamokung Suh and company. That is before Matthew Stafford even throws to Calvin Megatron Johnson. Lions cover
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers—The 2013 Buccaneers have one more win than the 1976 Bucs, and the 1977 Bucs actually won two straight. Atlanta is done, but asking consecutive wins of this Greg Schiano team may be too much to ask.
San Diego Chargers (-1.5) at Miami Dolphins—Miami has become engulfed in the bullying scandal, losing to previously winless Tampa. San Diego keeps underachieving because they are San Diego. Philip Rivers will throw the winning touchdown pass, but we are not sure as to which team. Chargers cover
San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints (-2.5)—The 49ers have a defense, but they got belted last week at home by Carolina. The Saints pinball machine offense should overwhelm the 49ers. Saints cover
Green Bay Packers at New York Giants (-6)—Three weeks ago this was an easy win for Green Bay. Now the Giant have won three straight after an 0-6 start. This could come down to who wants it least. Giants win but fail to cover
Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks (-13)—Minnesota is very bad. Seattle is very good. Minnesota has Christian Ponder. Seattle has Richard Sherman. League rules prevent canceling this game, and Seattle boredome could allow this to be a minor blowout rather than a major one. Seahawks win but fail to cover
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (-8) is the Sunday night game. Can the Chiefs defense stop Peyton Manning? Will Walrus Lite Andy Reid’s West Coast Offense dink and dunk Denver’s defense to death? Definitely not on both counts. Broncos win but fail to cover
Monday, November 18, 8:30 p.m.
New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers (-2.5) is the Monday night game. Carolina has won five straight, and their manhandling of San Francisco in a gutty win will have the home crowd roaring. Tom Brady and Bill Bellichick will not be fazed. Upset special, Patriots win outright
Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities. Read more from Eric at his TYGRRRR EXPRESS blog. Follow us on Twitter @wtcommunities
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