Minnesota @ Green Bay on Thursday Night
In what could be Brett Favre's final home stand, he gets to take on the Minnesota Vikings and their top ranked rush defense. I guess Brett won't be scrambling anywhere in this one, eh? I am of the opinion Favre comes back for next year simply because he wants to break Dan Marino's TD record, and it'd be hard for him to do so in the final two games of this season. Travaris Jackson is getting his shot at playing QB in the NFL now, and in his first career start he gets to face a relatively weak defense. Not quite like Jay Cutler's first start, is it? Chester Taylor's 276 carries this season, a career-high, have apparently been wearing on him, since in recent weeks he has been getting beaten up. In the last game these two teams played, Brett Favre and Donald Driver hooked up for a 75+ yard TD completion. I'm expecting them to hook up again in this game as the Packers win at home, keeping their playoff hopes alive.
Kansas City @ Oakland on Saturday Night
Larry Johnson and his Chiefs just couldn't get anything going against the Chargers, although they did manage to play well enough on defense to confuse the heck out of Philip Rivers. But, in the end, it's how many points you score, and usually 3 FGs doesn't win a game for you. Raiders managed to lose by a shutout this time around. I think their fan count dropped from 27 to 20. And I'd also say ten of them are wearing paper bags over their heads. Anyway, KC needs to win to keep any semblance of playoff hopes alive, and Oakland needs to lose to keep their shot at the #1 overall pick. I'll oblige both teams and give the victory to KC on the road.
WEEKLY UPSET GAME- PITTSBURGH @ BALTIMORE
I'm going to try upsetting Baltimore again, and I think Pittsburgh can do it. Besides, wouldn't it be darn awesome for them to make the playoffs two years in a row in practically the same fashion? Willie Parker has been having an extremely good season and just got named to the Pro Bowl. That's a fairly good accomplishment for a 3rd-stringer in college, isn't it? Of course, if John Bunting had been smart enough, perhaps UNC would have played him more! Also, he was constantly getting injured in college. Congratulations are in order for Parker, though. Now he gets to go face Baltimore on the road, which is not a good match-up for most running backs. Steve McNair got a nasty looking hand injury last week. Somebody accidentally stepped on his hand and I thought I had heard the cleats had punctured through his hand. That sounds painful. He's altering his practice workloads to compensate, but I've heard he still expects to play. Good luck to him. Steelers win it and stay alive.
Carolina @ Atlanta
In a game that still has some minor playoff implications, as Atlanta has a shot at a wildcard and Carolina is still mathematically alive, two teams square off in the Georgia Dome. Both teams racked with injuries, but somehow staying afloat. Some good news: Mike Vick didn't make it to the Pro Bowl. Some bad news: DeAngelo Hall did. Oh well, you can't win ‘em all, right? So far as I know, Jake Delhomme's injury status has not changed and Chris Weinke will start again. That's not exactly wonderful news, but if we would just keep DeAngelo Williams and Steve Smith on the field at the same time for longer than one series a game, we could actually put up some points, people! I'm obviously going to go with Carolina here, so hopefully they can pull out a road miracle.
Chicago @ Detroit
That Bears defense probably got a huge talking-to after the meltdown against Tampa Bay, after giving up a 21-point lead. As such, I would assume they would come out ready to rock this week, especially against division rival Detroit. As for Detroit, I think I shall have to concede that franchise as a lost cause as long as Matt Millen is in charge. Right now they are in the front for that 1st overall pick of the draft. Wonder if they take Calvin Johnson? They could be somewhat justified, as 2 of their 3 first round WRs have been busts, Charles Rogers and Mike Williams. Anyway, I hope they don't or else the suicide rate in Detroit, Michigan will probably jump up a little bit. Chicago wins this one.
Indianapolis @ Houston
Finally! It took long enough for the Colts offense to get back in gear, but they did. You gotta love that Peyton Manning-Marvin Harrison combo, don't you? Their defense also apparently thought it prudent to show up for at least one game and held Rudi Johnson under 100 yards rushing. Andre Johnson managed to sneak into the Pro Bowl for Houston, but DeMeco Ryans got snubbed. Ryans leads the NFL with 138 tackles, and compared to Al Wilson, who made it in for the Broncos, Ryans has 40 more tackles, 2.5 more sacks, and 1 more INT to Wilson's 0. Maybe next year for Ryans, eh? In the end, though, Houston loses this game as the Colts keep playing for Home Field advantage.
New England @ Jacksonville
Man, those Jags annoy the heck out of me in attempting to pick for or against them. I must say that that was an ingenious way to lose, though. Reminds me of a Vikings game last year. New England blew out Houston, which I knew they would do. This could be a very close game, but the Patriots are getting on a hot streak now. On the other hand, Jacksonville could be looking for some revenge after losing in somewhat humiliating fashion to the Titans. I find it hard to believe that currently New England is the 4th seed in the AFC, and it's also fairly amazing that there're four ten-win teams in the AFC and only one in the NFC. Let's wrap this one up and go on to the next game, so I'll give New England a road victory and cringe as David Garrard throws 3 TDs and beats the Pats.
New Orleans @ NY Giants
Now here's a hard game to pick. On the one hand, I'd love to pick the Giants to whip up on the Saints. On the other hand, the Panthers need the Eagles or the Giants to lose out to have a shot at the playoffs, so it might be better for me to go with the Saints. Drew Brees has 4240 yards passing this season. He needs 760 more in 2 games. That is definitely possible, but you are talking about averaging 380 yards in both of the upcoming games. I'd much rather he throws for 500 against the Giants and 260 against the Panthers! Bet ya he wishes he could take back the Washington game, eh? That is one whale of an offense they've built up in New Orleans and they should be a juggernaut for awhile, barring injuries, of course. I'm going to go with New Orleans to beat the Giants, keeping the Panthers alive. Sorry Grandma!
Tampa Bay @ Cleveland
Ah, here's this week's version of the game nobody cares about. Well, except my friend who happens to be a Bucs fan. I guess he has some stake in this one. He's a little shell-shocked after what Tim Rattay did against the Bears. Due to that performance, Rattay is getting the opportunity to start this week against the Browns. Derek Anderson has also shown some good playing ability and fared well against the Ravens D. This game could almost be a bit of a mini-shootout, but for my friend I will pick Tampa Bay to win only their 4th game of the year. (Carolina still has more wins than you!)
Tennessee @ Buffalo
Well, Vince Young didn't have to create any highlight reels to beat the Jags, so we'll see what he pulls out of his bag for Christmas against the Bills. JP Losman has also been improving this year, which is good for the Bills. Travis Henry gets to go back and play against the team that got rid of him for Willis McGahee so that should definitely be some motivation for him to produce. Adam ‘Pacman' Jones has been having a heck of a season. I'm not sure I like his nickname but I like his playing style. It's hard for me to pick Buffalo to win a game, but it's also hard for me to pick against Tennessee, as they've stabbed me in the back whenever I have. Since my back has been hurting lately, I'd rather not have that happen. I pick the Titans to win it.
Washington @ St. Louis
That touchdown pass from Jason Campbell to Santana Moss was a thing of beauty against New Orleans. What a throw, Mr. Campbell, and Mr. Moss, the catch wasn't too shabby either. Despite that, I still don't think I needed to see it ten times from the guys at FOX, CBS, and NBC. Steven Jackson was running over, under, through, whatever it was, he was doing it against Oakland. The man is a B-E-A-S-T! It's too bad his team's only got 6 wins or some low total like that. Of course, at least he isn't in the Redskins' boat. Ladell Betts is another hot running back at the moment, with 549 yards rushing since Clinton Portis went out for the count. TJ Duckett might be wishing he were back in Atlanta. I am going to give this game to the Rams, as they beat the Redskins with a healthy dose of Steven Jackson.
Arizona @ San Francisco
Who would have thought that at the beginning of this year San Francisco would be playing for a chance at the divisional title and/or a playoff berth in Week Sixteen? I know I didn't think that, but if Seattle loses out and San Fran wins this week and next week, San Fran wins the division. Now that's cool. Matt Leinart and his Cards are quite ready to knock them out though, and the question is can they? Edgerrin James way back in week one against the 49ers rushed for 76 yards and a TD on 26 carries against the Niners, and should get a good shot at 100 yards again this week as the 49er D isn't that great against the rush. However, neither has the Cards D and Frank Gore has been very good for the 49ers so far this season. I think I'll give the win to San Fran at home, keeping the dream alive.
Cincinnati @ Denver
Now here's a big game between two teams fighting for their playoff lives. According to one guy for NBC though, I think it was Jerome Bettis, he doesn't think either of these teams make it in, which is an intriguing assumption and leads one to wonder just who rises out of the mist and takes those spots. Here's a simple answer. The loser of this game won't make it in! Jay Cutler threw an awesome bomb to Javon Walker for that 54 yard TD. I didn't realize he had an arm quite that good, that was a laser beam. Great throw, Jay "The Slash" Cutler. That Cincy-Indy game did not live up to its potential for me, especially considering the 45-37 thriller the Colts won last year. I am having a hard trouble figuring out who wins this game, so we'll flip a coin. Heads the Bengals win, tails the Broncos. The quarter came up tails.
San Diego @ Seattle
Congrats to all nine of the Chargers players who made it to the Pro Bowl, especially to Philip Rivers. Seattle is trying to beat the Super Bowl loser curse and the Madden cover curse by still salvaging this season, but I don't think they do it. The Chargers are still playing for home field advantage and won't rest their starters until Week 17 if in fact they do at all. LaDainian Tomlinson is just flat-out amazing, folks. He got a key block from rookie LT Marcus McNeill who should definitely win Offensive Rookie of the Year and then went almost un-touched 85 yards for a touchdown. People say he went untouched, but that's not true. As he went through the hole that Mack truck created, a Kansas City defensive-lineman reached around his blocker and got an arm on LaDainian's upper body. Like that's gonna stop him! LaDainian took it all the way, and the Chargers won. Chargers win this week also.
Christmas Day Double-Header Game One: Philly @ Dallas
Tony Romo somehow managed to get into the Pro Bowl despite playing 8 games. That practically proves that this is basically just a popularity contest now. Oh well, maybe eventually the NFL will shape up ‘little things' like poor officiating and a lame All-Star game. Like when I take it over in 25-30 years. Until then, suffer through it, fellow football fans. All right, all right, let's get to the game. Philly and Dallas are playing for the divisional title on Christmas Day. Well, I probably won't be able to watch it, but that's fine by me. Brian Westbrook has been having a career year for the Eagles. It's amazing what he can do when he stays on the field, isn't it? Jeff Garcia has been saving this franchise for several weeks but I don't think he will continue that, as I pick the Cowboys to win.
Christmas Day Double-Header Game Two: New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins
Now, despite the matchup, this actually appears to me to be a pretty cool game. Jason Taylor has been electric for the Dolphins D this year, and Chad Pennington has revived the Jets this season, giving the Jets a shot at the post-season. At home on Christmas Day, the Dolphins D will be extremely motivated to kick rear end, but then, the Jets will be wanting to get home and might come out all guns blazing to put the game away by halftime. This game will be close and I just don't know who pulls it out. It could obviously be either one of these teams, I know that for a fact. *Pauses to listen to ‘Time After Time' by Cyndi Lauper* This game is just like picking the Vikings game against the Jets last week, I could see either team pulling it out and it's hard to decide which one to go with. Last week I went with the Jets and they won…dare I trust that again? I think I will go with the Jets to win this week.
Last week I went 10-6 and am now 123-72 on the year.