Ralph Malbrough / Contributing Writer
No intro this week as LSU faces another Top 5 team and the Saints have a huge Monday Night game. Let’s get right to it.
Last Week: 0-5
LSU (-14) vs. Arkansas: Les Miles went and did it again. Just when I thought he couldn’t top the grass eating, the going for it on fourth down, forgetting football is a timed sport, and delivering the best Tiger team of my lifetime he topped it all against Ole Miss. LSU was leading Ole Miss 52-3 with five minutes left and the Tigers were on the Rebel s 1 yard line when Les broke out the ‘Pity’ offense. The pity offense is the latest and greatest in cutting edge offensive football. It’s more devastating than the wildcat or the spread and way more enjoyable.
The ‘pity’ offense involves taking a knee four straight times and handing the ball back to your opponent with as little time on the clock as possible because they are so pathetic being on the same field with them any longer than necessary is insulting to everyone. I must say unveiling this new offense against Ole Miss, maybe LSU’s most hated rival, was magical. The only thing better would have been for Miles to call time out, point at Houston Nutt and laugh. I rarely say this about another man Les Miles, but I love you.
The Arkansas game is only concerning if LSU plays bad. The Razorbacks aren’t beating LSU unless the Tigers give them a couple of turnovers or blow some assignments on defense.
The Razorbacks could have lost to Ole Miss as they trailed 17-0. Granted this was before the Rebels quit on the 2011 season but trailing Ole Miss by double digits at any time is laughable. While they could have lost to Ole Miss, they SHOULD HAVE lost to Vandy. The Commodores were about to put the nail in the Razorback coffin but fumbled on the goal line before they could go up two scores late.
I’d actually be more worried about this game if Arkansas wasn’t #3 in the BCS. The Friday afternoon kickoff post Thanksgiving in Tiger Stadium is usually not a very intimidating atmosphere. Maybe everyone is exhausted from all the food and seeing relatives they don’t like. I’m not sure exactly why I just know the post Thanksgiving Friday crowd is nowhere near a normal LSU crowd. This week I think LSU fans knowing what’s on the line will give the game an electric feel or at least I hope so.
You want an actual breakdown of the game? I don’t think Arkansas’ offensive line can block LSU’s defensive line and I don’t think their defense can stop LSU’s run game without committing 8 or 9 guys to the task.
LSU rises to the occasion again.
New Orleans (-7) vs. New York Giants: The Saints get their first of two straight primetime games. This game features a team that can’t run (Giants average 83 yards per game) against the team who can’t stop the run (Saints allow NFL worst 5.2 yards per carry).
The 2011 Saints are a killing machine at home and that’s even if you take out the humiliation of the Colts.
Eli Manning is right at the beginning of his yearly stretch where he’s awful and Giant fans hate him. He might get Ahmad Bradshaw back to help the running game. The Giants have some nice receivers but the Saints have shown the ability to actually get to the quarterback when they play at home.
In two weeks we will know if the Saints are a legit Super Bowl team or they will be fighting just to make the playoffs. If Saints protect Drew Brees from the Giants very good pass rush and can force Eli into third and long they’ll win. The Saints do both of those things very well in the Superdome so I’ll take them here.
Denver (+6.5) at San Diego: In my fantasy football league I traded away Phillip Rivers early in the year thinking I could ride Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. Awful idea but I did get Mike Wallace in return for Rivers and grabbed DeMarco Murray on waivers. Guess who my QB is? Tim Tebow. I’m on the Tebow train out of desperation. Can he carry me to playoff glory? Doubtful, but I can’t deny he’s really fun to have as a fantasy QB. Just when you are cursing yourself for starting him BOOM he runs for a 30 yard touchdown and like magic he has a solid fantasy score. No quarterback ever tried harder to throw 10 yard passes into the ground.
While every expert tries to yell the loudest, “Tebow can’t win long-term!” I have a question, “What if Tebow could go from his current throwing ability of F- to say a B- could he be a solid quarterback?
I feel like he could. If he could just make basic NFL throws combined with his running ability and his late game magic he could get a team to 10-6. Yeah, Denver is running the college spread offense but Tebow had wide open receivers against a good Jets defense he just couldn’t complete the throws. I’m not saying he could win a Super Bowl but wouldn’t you rather have a Tim Tebow who could go say 12-20 and make plays running than say a healthy Matt Cassel?
Minnesota (+9) vs. Atlanta: The Falcons are so freaking boring. I think the reason Mike Smith goes for every fourth down is to keep fans in the Georgia Dome awake. Vikings keep this one close.
Houston (-3) vs. Jacksonville: Why the Texans? I believe in Matt Leinart but mostly I believe in the Jags complete lack of an NFL offense.
Detroit (+6.5) vs. Green Bay: When was the last time the Lions played a game even close to this big? I have no idea. This is their Super Bowl. Their fans will be crazy excited to finally have a Thanksgiving game not be embarrassed to go to. Husbands will be yelled at all across America as we are unable to ignore the Lions game and help prepare Thanksgiving dinner.
Ralph Malbrough is a Saints fan living in Houston. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, find him on facebook, follow him on twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/MilneMalbrough or download his podcast at Itunes.