Crystal Ball

WEEK SEVENTEEN CRYSTAL BALL: GURU Says Farewell to Cousins Era, Embarks for NOLA

My friends, THE GURU is feeling sentimental this weekend, anticipating that the record-setting Kirk Cousins era will come to a sad conclusion on the road against the New York Giants.

No, the Skins won’t lose the game – this Jints team mailed it in well before yours truly got around to belatedly postmarking the Williams family Christmas cards. But that won’t take away from the sadness of the day as the Skins prepare to let their franchise quarterback walk.

I’ve been in the tank for Kirk since December of 2012 when he replaced an injured Robert Griffin and led the Skins to a huge comeback win over the Ravens. He further endeared himself to me the following week at Cleveland with 329 yards passing in a blowout win. His next starting nod, nearly a year later to the day, produced 248 first-half passing yards alone in a near upset of Atlanta.

He has been even more impressive since, breaking the Skins’ single-season passing yardage record two years in a row, setting the team’s career record for completion percentage, winning the 2015 NFC East division title and posting a TD-interception ratio of 81:33. Throw in a dozen rushing TDs as well and the fact that he is just a few yards from his third straight 4,000-yard passing season. And now he’ll be leaving for greener pastures, and in his prime, to boot.

No, I won’t be bidding Kirk adieu in person as I’ll be in New Orleans with THE FAIR CLAUDINE, THE TRE MAN and H-TOWN WILL and his family. Come Monday evening, we’ll be taking in Alabama-Clemson at the Superdome but, until that point, my football thoughts will be in the Meadowlands. Thanks for the memories, sir, it’s been fun.

After a 13-3 week, the season mark is 137-78 (.637). On to the games…




Houston (4-11) falls at Indianapolis (3-12). Despite their records, either of these clubs could still sneak into the playoffs with a win and a little help i.e. if a bout of typhoid fever swept across the league…

…New York Jets (5-10) loses at New England (12-3). Great move this week by the Jets to extend the contract of coach Todd Bowles. He’s a winner

…Cleveland (0-15) finishes its perfect season at Pittsburgh (12-3). Coach Hue Jackson said earlier this year that he’d jump in Lake Erie if the Browns finish worse than last year’s 1-15 performance, leaving me with one thing to say


Green Bay (7-8) loses a tough one at Dee-troit (8-7) as Mike McCarthy misses the playoffs for the first time in nine seasons…

…Chicago (5-10) gets crushed at Minnesota (12-3)…

…Skins (7-8) at Giants (2-13).This game looked like the swan song for Eli but new general manager Dave Gettleman has already committed to the veteran QB for 2018, something he may want to retract once he looks closely at the videotape. Count on at least two sacks for Kerrigan in this one. SKINS, 26-17

…Dallas (8-7) at Philadelphia (13-2).This week, Dallas owner Jerry Jones assured everyone that Jason Garrett will be back, sending Birds coach Doug Pederson to the training room with a lower back injury suffered while turning subsequent cartwheels. EAGLES, 24-20.

4:25 PM, CBS

Cincinnati (6-9) fails to show up at Baltimore (9-6) in the last game for Marvin Lewis. Count on Lewis to possibly get a new head coaching gig for the 2018 campaign, maybe in NYC

…Buffalo (8-7) wins at Miami (6-9)…

…Jacksonville (10-5) knocks host Tennessee (8-7)from the playoff race in the state’s biggest collapse since Elvis toppled over after one too many of these

…Kansas City (9-6) wins the finale at Denver (5-10)…

….Oakland (6-9) at Los Angeles Chargers (6-9).Take the home team – the Raiders have proven to be yet another phony from California. CHARGERS, 37-27.


4:25 PM, FOX

Carolina (11-4) loses to host Atlanta (9-5), pushing the Falcons into the playoffs…New Orleans (11-4) rolls over listless Tampa Bay (4-11)…San Francisco (5-10) wins at the Rams (11-4)…and Arizona (7-8) closes the Bruce Arians regime with a whimper at Seattle (9-6).



Georgia (12-1) vs. Oklahoma (12-1).I like this Oklahoma team, but their defense offers all the resistance of FATBACK HOBBS at the drive through window. DOGS, 40-37.


Alabama (11-1) vs. Clemson (12-1).
In my 47 years, I’ve learned two things: jalapeno soap shouldn’t be used on sensitive areas and never, ever bet against Nick Saban with weeks to prepare for a revenge game. TIDE, 23-22.

That’s it for this week, folks. Happy New Year and God bless!


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