Crybaby not a good look for face of NFL

Steve Brownlee

Mr. State Farm Insurance, Head & Shoulders shampoo and Subway sandwiches seemed a bit hot under the collar after an offsides penalty was called on his team Sunday.

If you haven’t heard about it, you’d think the whole thing is quite silly.

Well, as far as I’m concerned, it is.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who’s got to be the top commercial endorser today, was irate that the refs flagged one of his players for lining up in the neutral zone on what turned into a trick play that would’ve secured a touchdown in what became Buffalo’s victory.

If it’s close on the call of offsides, I can see why he might be upset. It wasn’t, and besides, when it comes to the line of scrimmage, like the goal line, there’s a very clear line of demarcation there.

You don’t give a guy a touchdown because he almost made it to the goal line. He’s either in or he’s out.

If he would’ve argued that one of his receivers hadn’t been contacted more than five yards from the line of scrimmage, then sure, you could see that there might be an argument that you let it go if it was really 4 1/2 yards or 5 1/2 yards.

Those are guesstimates on the fly.

But the line of scrimmage is plain for everyone to see — including the guys lining up for the play.

My other part of this argument against Mahomes’ complaint — which he backtracked on a day later saying it wasn’t a good look to be so upset — is that the penalty call has to come at the moment the ball is snapped, not five or 10 or 15 seconds later when the trick play develops into a highlight reel moment.

Can you imagine if the refs on a snap-of-the-ball penalty waited till the play was over to even begin considering throwing the flag? What kind of calls of a rigged system would we be hearing then?

Now let’s take a look at the upcoming slate of games after a week where the line of predicting correctly was quite fuzzy, especially after both the Dolphins and Packers were unexpectedly knocked off on Monday night:


Today, 8:15 p.m.

Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas — Every time I think I’ve got the Chargers figured out, along comes another really sucky team to test their ability to pull defeat from the jaws of victory. So who do you like less, a team that loses no matter what advantage they’re given — the Chargers — or the team that allowed three points last weekend — Las Vegas — and lost. With the Chargers without Justin Herbert, I’ve got to go with the Raiders, 10-6.


Saturday, 1 p.m.

Minnesota at Cincinnati — On the flip side, the Vikings posted a shutout of the Raiders and needed a field goal in the final two minutes, I believe it was, to rescue their win from those jaws of defeat. And Cincy has found a credible backup QB in Jake Browning, the closest last name I’ve seen in sports to my own, Brownlee, in a few years. Bengals, 23-16.


Saturday, 4:30 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Indianapolis — Speaking of credible backup QBs … wait, no, I thought Pittsburgh’s Mitch Trubisky was one, but hd didn’t show it vs. the Pats. Indy is competitive, just not that great. Competitive should be enough against this version of the Steelers. Colts, 19-15.


Saturday, 8:15 p.m.

Denver at Detroit — What to make of the Lions, losers of two of their last three after their once-in-a-generation 8-2 start? Well, they’ve certainly come back to their toothless pussycat ways of turning the ball over at the most inopportune times. And Denver’s defense has made hay by producing a lot of turnovers — that’s what the difference has been since their horrendous start this season.

Then I thought, I’m reading that the Broncos are still just about dead last in the league in yards allowed. How do you think Miami got to their 70 points against this team? I see Detroit turning the ball over two more times than Russell Wilson will … and still winning because they’ll roll up 500 yards despite that. Lions, 31-27.


Sunday, 1 p.m.

Atlanta at Carolina — Speaking of toothless pussycats, I think these Panthers qualify. Falcons, 27-16.


Chicago at Cleveland — Two teams that have righted the ship after sailing straight into the rocky shoreline earlier this season. I like Joe Flacco taking advantage of the Bears defense, for some reason, though. Browns, 24-20.


Tampa Bay at Green Bay — Just the antidote for the bad taste in your mouth, Packers fans. A NFC South team showing up on your doorstep on a frigid December day. Packers, 24-19.


New York Jets at Miami — Miami better be annoyed after losing to Tennessee on Monday night. And what can the Jets’ offense do about an annoyed opponent? I can hear them now like a little kid complaining to Mom: “Aaron, will you come here? There’s a mean man out on the porch and he wants to talk to Dad?” Dolphins, 30-22.


New York Giants at New Orleans — This normally looks like a good ambush game, a team with a weak offense showing up in a loud dome. But the Giants might do the squashing of the often inept Saints’ offense instead. Giants, 23-20.


Houston at Tennessee — The rising stock of the Texans may just come thudding back to earth with the concussion suffered by rookie QB C.J. Stroud. But can the Titans take advantage, especially considering my “reverse momentum” should make them easy pickings after their upset of Miami. Hmm. Let’s go Texans, 24-21.


Kansas City at New England — This was supposed to be the Monday night game until the NFL “flexed” it out of there. With the way KC is reeling, maybe this wouldn’t have been such a terrible matchup. Naw, I can see this as a candidate for the second 3-0 final score in as many weeks. Chiefs, 20-16.


Sunday, 4 p.m.

San Francisco at Arizona — It’s one thing for the Cardinals to beat Pittsburgh. It’s a whole ‘nother to take on the hottest team in the league. 49ers, 33-22.


Washington at Los Angeles Rams — The Rams shouldn’t let an overtime loss to Baltimore derail their new-found success, especially with the Commanders coming to town. Rams, 29-23.


Dallas at Buffalo — Will the Cowboys’ dog-and-pony show travel well? It should considering the Bills’ defense is such an accommodating bunch. Cowboys, 34-28.


Sunday, 8:20 p.m.

Baltimore at Jacksonville — While Trevor Lawrence was able to play last week despite his sore ankle, his team looked about as bad as I thought they would when I assumed the star QB couldn’t play. And now they’ve moved up a whole class from playing Cleveland to playing Baltimore. And on prime-time TV, to boot. Ravens, 31-24.


Monday, 8:15 p.m.

Philadelphia at Seattle — The way the Eagles have been beaten up and thrown around the last few weeks, I’d be worried. Except this is by far the easiest game Philly has played in at least a month after having had to face the Cowboys, 49ers, Bills and Chiefs and the Cowboys again since the start of November. Eagles, 34-25.


Last week — 7-8, 47 percent. Season — 129-79, 62 percent.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 552. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.


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