Influential NFL writer Peter King had a strange idea in his column on Monday: Make the field goal posts narrower, or assign different point values for field goals of varying distances.
King thinks that field goals are far too easy in the NFL. He notes that NFL kickers make 94% of field goals inside the 40-yard line. From the 40-to-49-yard line, they make 82.4%.
King's conclusion: " The field goal is simply not challenging enough... I can tell you the founding fathers of this game never dreamed the kickers would be so great that they would be good on 87 percent of their field goals through nearly half a season."
Personally, I think King's a bit off here. The field goal is fine as it is. It's always a thrilling end to a game when the kicker can win or lose it for your team.
King also suggests eliminating the point after the touchdown. I agree wholeheartedly with this. The PAT is totally stupid. It's rarely missed, and it's just a waste of time.
I think the NFL should kill the PAT. Either it should make a touchdown worth seven points, or it should force every team to go for two. Think about how exciting it would be to see a goal line stand after every touchdown! It would lead to a new level of strategy.
So, Roger Goodell, instead of setting up a team in London or extending the schedule to 18 games, let's get on this one: Kill the PAT.
Now, on to the picks! I got last night's pick wrong on Twitter. That makes my overall record 23-26-1 for the season. It's certainly not a winning record, but I wouldn't call it a totally lost cause either. If I can just string together a few winning weeks I'll be over .500, which is my goal by the end of the season.
But I'm not focused on the end of the season, I take it one pick at a time. One game at a time. Every pick is my Super Bowl pick, you know? No? Okay, let's move on...
All lines comes from the Las Vegas Hilton via Vegas Insider, and are up to date as of Friday morning. I don't actually bet on these games, and neither should you. This is for funsies as they say in the business.
Kansas City is on the road against the Buffalo Bills, who are 4-point underdogs.
Update: Initially I picked the Bills because they're really good at home. I thought Thad Lewis would be the QB for the Bills. That's not happening, now. So, I am changing my pick — take the Chiefs to eat up a crappy third string QB.
The pick: Chiefs -4
(New to gambling/lines? No worries, that means I think the Chiefs win by 4.)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
San Diego is on the road against the Washington Hogs, who are 1-point underdogs.
The Chargers have been disrespected all year long, and this line is just the latest example. Guess what? The Chargers aren't that bad. They're even slightly — gasp — good. They're certainly good enough to beat the Hogs by more than a point coming off a bye week.
While we're here, talking about the Hogs... The D.C. media seems to have turned on RGIII. From the Washington Post:
"Robert Griffin III used to be his team’s most uplifting player, but he is becoming a weight, maybe even a burden. Where is that fresh kid with the unbeatable combination of modesty and limitlessness? In his place is a player who’s coming off as an unteachable know-it-all."
The toothpick: Chargers -1
(So, this means that I think the Chargers win by 1 point or more.)
Pittsburgh is on the road against the New England Patriots, who are 6.5-point favorites.
Here's how bad it is for Tom Brady this year: In my fantasy football league, a guy who has Brady and Bucs rookie quarterback Mike Glennon decided to trade Brady and roll with Glennon the rest of the season! What? And the person making the trade won the league last year, so he's not a total dolt at fantasy football. The Steelers are pretty awful, but with 6.5 points, they should be able to get it done this week.
The lock: Steelers +6.5
(This means I like the Steelers to win, or lose by 6 or less.)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Indianapolis is on the road against the Houston Texans, who are 2.5-point underdogs.
It's a bad sign that I love road favorites this week, but it is what it is. Why pick against the Colts here? Two reasons: It's a division game and Colts receiver Reggie Wayne is out for the season, thus hurting Andrew Luck and Indy's offense. I think Luck is good enough to play well even without Wayne, so I'm rolling with the Colts (who might actually be a top-tier team).
The master lock: Colts -2.5
(This means I think the Colts win by 3 or more.)
Baltimore is on the road against the Cleveland Browns, who are 2.5-point underdogs.
The Browns are a weird team. They might be OK if they have competent QB. I'm not sure Jason Campbell is that competent, but he's competent enough to get it done, I hope, against the Ravens.
The guitar pick: Browns +2.5
(I like the Browns to win, or only lose by 2.)
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