* Lots of great games headline Week 9 of the National Football League, with division races heating up and teams starting already to turn their focus to home field advantage for the playoffs as well as positioning themselves for at least a spot in the field of 12 come January. Some of the better games include the monster showdown in New England between the Colts and Pats, an AFC North battle in Baltimore between the Bengals and Ravens, and an old fashioned midwest fight between KC and the Rams. I’ll post my picks about 8am Friday. Last week was a third consecutive average week, going 7-7 to bring my season mark to 71-41, still a pretty solid 30 games over .500.
* For those that have the time, I will be a guest today on High Heat Radio this afternoon to talk some NFL week 9. My appearance will be at 4:30pm Eastern. You can check out the show, which is very enjoyable overall and does a nice job on a wide variety of sports at www.highheatradio.com. They have live streaming so you can hear my guest shot at 4:30.
* One of the classiest players in the game is nearing the end of his career, as Jets running back Curtis Martin has shut it down for this season, and possibly his career. The 33-year-old has a bone-on-bone condition in his right knee that has caused him to miss this season and is putting the rest of his career on life support. A certain Hall of Fame back, Martin also is one of the nicest guys in the game, and one of the best. He is tied with Barry Sanders for 10 straight 1,000-yard seasons to start a career, and led the league in rushing just two seasons ago with 1,697 yards. He’ll for sure have a bust in Canton down the road.
* On to guys with no class, Adam “Pacman” Jones was suspended and fined heavily for spitting in a womans face at a nightclub last weekend. The misdemeanor assault charge was the third time he had been charged for an incident since the end of August. The Titans knew that they were taking a high risk guy in Jones when they chose him with the 6th pick of the draft in 2005, but I don’t know if they could have ever imagined even this type of off the field behavior for this dolt. The likely cost for being suspended for Jones will be one game check – $49,558. Trust me, if I was to lose that type for money for some 8th grade spitting incident, it would get my attention.
* Speaking of attention, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger got the attention of writers and media on Wednesday when for the first time he actually came out and stated he would never ride a motorcycle again. A good decision for a quarterback who is having one of the most bizarre seasons in NFL history. From the accident in June, to an emergency appendectomy one week before the start of the season, to yet another concussion two weeks ago – Ben has about seen it all when it comes to being hurt. His outing last week against the very weak Raiders showed that he simply was not ready to come back from the latest concussion, and hopefully for he and the Steelers a week of practice and getting back to normal will get him back to the form he was reaching before the concussion. Ben had thrown for 476 yards and five TD’s in the game and a half before the latest concussion. That is the form the QB will need to overcome a not-too-happy Broncos team coming to Heinz this weekend.
* There is starting to be some serious discontent in the Jungle, otherwise known as Cincinnati, about the 4-3 Bengals and where their season has gone. Wednesday franchise QB Carson Palmer took the blame for the problems the team is having on offense. “I haven’t been 100 percent, I haven’t been perfect,” Palmer said. “You can put all the blame you want on me.” Palmer ranks 7th in the league with 11 TD’s and 4 picks, but did have his first passer rating over 100 Sunday in a home loss to the Falcons. The Bengals are not making the big plays on offense, which can also be attributed to the protection that Palmer has been getting. They also have got to run the ball more with Rudi Johnson, as he had just 12 carries Sunday and is not being used enough. The Bengals have to win Sunday’s big AFC North showdown with the Ravens or fall two full games back in the division.