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NFL Picks Week 12, Thursday Edition: 'Greek' says ...


Just when I think that this might be a slow week in the NFL for a Thursday night game, the Bengals come through again. Chad Johnson has been deactivated for tonight's game for violating a team rule.

Now I'm not out here as a Chad Johnson apologist. The guy can be a jerk, and a distraction, but is not a bad guy, and is a really good receiver when the team needs him. A team that is completely out of control, and has become the punch line of the NFL now decides they need to play hardball with arguably their best player.

This is the same team that re-signed Chris Henry after he was arrested again in the offseason, suspended by the league, and released by the team. This is the same team that released Rudi Johnson with no running back on the roster ready to take over so they signed Cedric Benson; the same Cedric Benson that was arrested twice in a span of 2 months for public intoxication/dui.

Yet, Chad Johnson misses a meeting or is late for his flight (those details are sketchy, since that kind of behavior is an embarrassment to the team) and the team decides that enough is enough.

This team is the biggest joke in the NFL, and for that to be the case in a league that includes the Lions is quite an accomplishment. I remember when the Bengals were actually a model franchise in the '80s. It is absolutely amazing how so many franchises can completely lose their way for so long in a league designed around parity. At some point the league needs to step in and do something about franchises like the Bengals. This is the most successful sport in America, and there is no reason for any team to not put a competitive squad on the field for decades at a time.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh (-11)

Last week: 4-12

Season: 82-74-4