10 November 2006

Weekly NFL Related Humiliation (Week TEN) With Bonus Playoff Picks Humiliation Added

No more bye weeks, every team has eight games left to play. A lot can change in half of a season.

My overall, not so hard to predict predictions: Every team 6-2 and better will make the playoffs. Every team 2-6 or worse will miss the playoffs. There, I went way out on a limb with that one.

In the NFC that means NYGiants, Chicago and New Orleans are my only definite playoff teams, and Detroit, Tampa Bay and Arizona are the only teams definitely out of the playoffs. There are a bunch of mediocre teams battling for the final three NFC playoff spots. The NFC West is so bad that I think the 49ers still have a legitimate shot at winning that division and whichever team out of St. Louis, Seattle or San Francisco wins that division, they'll be sure to lose their only playoff game. As far as the two wild card teams, I'm leaning towards Atlanta and Dallas as putting together a winning streak good enough to put them in the playoffs.

In the AFC the season is basically over already for all but eight teams. New England, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Denver and San Diego will be playoff teams. That leaves three teams to fight for one wild card spot, Cincinnati, Jacksonville and Kansas City. I still think the Bengals can turn it around as Carson Palmer gets closer to 100% and they figure out a way to utilize their talent better. But, I wouldn't be surprised to see KC or Jacksonville take the last wild card, either.

There are only four contests where both teams are .500 or better. So those shall be the four on which I risk humiliation.

San Diego at Cincinnati (+1)
This game is critical for both teams. Cincinnati (4-4) playoff hopes will be severely compromised with a loss here. Likewise for San Diego (6-2) to have any hope of winning their division instead of Denver, then they must win contests like this one. The Bengals were demoralized in their last game, does that mean a rebound, or a slide into meaninglessness. I know Cincinnati can play better than they did last week, and they will. The Bengals won't fail at home, even against a solid Chargers team. Cincinnati (+1)

NY Jets at New England (-10.5)

A lousy rainy day is forecast for Foxboro this Sunday. In other words, perfect Patriots weather (the only way it would be better is if it were about 10 above zero, with snow flurries). New England (6-2) lost at home, and was bit by the turnover bug last week. That won't happen two weeks in a row. The NY Jets (4-4) just don't seem like a team that can pull of an upset of this kind on the road. They also don't look like a team that will finish strong and challenge for a wild card slot, so they'll just continue with another mediocre season. The only question, then, is the spread. In bad weather, low scores tend to follow, but I think New England wants to make a statement so they'll win by better than 3 touchdowns against a Jets team that is over matched on both sides of the ball. New England (-10.5)

St. Louis at Seattle (-3)
Both these teams have talent, and both these teams suck. Neither of these teams deserve to make the playoffs at this point, but there's a good chance that the winner of this contest will end up being the NFC West division winner. St. Louis (4-4) have lost three in a row, but Bulger has put up monster numbers over that time. Seattle (5-3) handed the Rams one of those defeats in week six. Seattle has lost three of their last five games and don't look like the same team that played in the Superbowl (and aren't due to injuries). I think St. Louis will do enough to avenge their loss against the Seahawks earlier this season, both these teams still kind of suck, though, that's why despite the 49ers being the 49ers, I still think they have a shot at the playoffs. St. Louis (+3)

Chicago at NY Giants (pick em)
Chicago (7-1) looked great earlier in the season, but now look awful. Their defense are still Monsters, but Rex Grossman has been pretty monstrous himself. The NY Giants (6-2) have played well and are talented on both sides of the ball. But their offensive line, despite being one of the best lines in football, won't be able to prevent Eli Manning from getting pressured into bad passes and too many turnovers. I'm making this pick based on the expectation that Urlacher will play despite his sprained toe, and that it won't slow him down too much. Rex Grossman can't possibly continue to play as badly as he did the past two games, it's just not possible. Chicago (pick em)

That's it, another week, another four picks, now it's time to wait and see.

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