EACH WEEK seven of us writers are asked to pick the NFL games. We also pick the college games, but for some of us, it has been a struggle to get to .500, so there's no need to get into that.
Anyway, in looking over this week's NFL contests, the Patriots-Colts stands out like a bulge in Peyton Manning's neck. Vegas Vic had the Patriots at minus-20 1/2 in the middle of the week; a number that almost surely will get higher. Huge lines are common in the colleges, but not the pros, for obvious reasons.
The largest recognized NFL point spread was the 24 the Steel-Curtain Steelers laid to the Buccaneers in 1976. Pittsburgh won the game 42-0 as the Bucs went 0-14 that year. In 1993, San Francisco was a 23-point fave in a 21-8 win over the Bungals.
The Eagles were 22-point underdogs when A.J. Feeley nearly engineered an upset of the undefeated Patriots in 2007. That number was higher in and around the Boston area and lower in the Delaware Valley, but in Vegas it was 22.
Manning hasn't quarterbacked for the Colts all season, which is the primary reason Indy is 0-11 and this week's line is so ridiculous. The Colts and Pats played the two previous seasons, with Manning and Tom Brady healthy, and the lines were three points each time. Now it's 20-something. They oughta put Manning in the Hall of Fame right now.
By the way, anybody have any advice on this week's Boise State-New Mexico game? The Broncos are laying 49. Forty-nine!
List of the day
The Occupy Movements are sure to love this little chart. Here are the 2011 money leaders in the various tours governing tennis, NASCAR and golf: Tour Money leaderAmount ATP Novak Djokovic. . . $11,019,803 Sprint Cup Carl Edwards. . . $8,485,989 PGA Luke Donald. . . $6,683,214 WTA Petra Kvitova. . . $5,145,943 LPGA Yani Tseng. . . $2,921,713 Senior PGA Tom Lehman. . . $2,081,526
This and that
Even after the blowout loss to the Patriots, the 4-7 Eagles have outscored their opponents, 257-251. The Seahawks, also 4-7, have been outscored, 232-185 . . . That said, Tim Tebow has more wins this year (five) than the Eagles . . . It's the holidays, a rotten time to catch the same virus Chris Pronger had.