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Week 14 Picks, Part I

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NFL Network Wins by Default
Tacit Acceptance Follows Outcry

Last week, when two 10-1 teams were playing a Thursday night game seen only on NFL Network, there was a repeat uproar from Thanksgiving. That the game was available only on NFL Network was unfair, and the NFL was screwing up, and the fans would riot in the streets until things changed.

This week, thing's changed. A pair of 5-7 teams square off, and I haven't seen or heard a single word about the people getting cheated of watching it. The NFL won.

Next week, it's Denver at Houston, both currently 5-7 [sound of crickets], and the following week it's 9-3 Pittsburgh at 3-9 St. Louis [sound of silence]. So the sound of incessant whining in Week 17 will fall on deaf ears. The NFL won.

Here's tonight's pick:

Thursday, Dec. 6
Chicago Bears (5-7) at Washington Redskins (5-7), 8:00 p.m.
Playing with emotion is one thing. Playing while utterly exhausted it something else. Washington has their work cut out with all the traveling they've done to attend Sean Taylor's funeral. Neither team has played particularly well, and a loss is virtual elimination from playoff contention. Washington may get a boost from the home fans, and that may sustain them, but they're running on empty. Chicago has played better in recent weeks, but they're no sure thing.
Prediction: Bears, 17-13.