21 December 2006

Weekly NFL Related Humiliation (Week SIXTEEN)

It's back. Time for the inconsistency of this year's crop of NFL teams to bedevil my skill at picking winners once again.

There are nine games that have playoff implications for both teams playing, so I'll risk guessing on all nine (My picks in orange).

Thursday 21st, December
Minnesota (6-8) at Green Bay (6-8) Green Bay -3.5
In what sick and sad world do both teams at 6-8 tonight still have a chance at a playoff spot? The NFC is really, really crappy this season. At least the loser can quit pretending to be a playoff team. I'm going with Green Bay for two main reasons, it's on the "Frozen Tundra", and the weather will be less than clement. Favre is better than anyone born in the South has a right to be in playing in bad weather. They still need a lot of help from the teams ahead of them to make the playoffs, but at least that dream won't end tonight. For Minnesota they can start thinking of next year.

Sunday 24th, December
Carolina (6-8) at Atlanta (7-7) Carolina +6.0
Again, another game with two teams that have played lousy of late and normally wouldn't be in any sort of playoff talk, but this isn't a normal year, and Atlanta can win out and still be on the outside looking in, or they can lose and still have a chance to make the playoffs at 8-8 depending how Philly and NYGiants do this week. Carolina has to win out and needs lots of help. There were moments this season where either one of these teams looked legit and to be a serious threat to the very vulnerable looking Chicago for the NFC Championship, but that was before Carolina dropped 4 in a row and Atlanta lost 4 of their last 6 games. Also I hate picking games involving the Falcons. Impossible to fathom, have they quit on their coach and are they determined to get him fired? Or, do they realize that they still have a shot to make the playoffs and once in, given Chicago's vulnerability on offense, all six teams from the NFC have a chance to get a trip to Miami to be spanked by whichever team wins the AFC? I'm guessing they've given up, I realize it's a bit unfair to leave Carolina out of this equation, and they'll have plenty to say about the outcome of this game, but this little summary is already pretty epic in length, so enough said.

Tennessee (7-7) at Buffalo (7-7) Buffalo -4.5
These are two of the hottest teams in football right now. Vince Young has looked very good, but it's going to be a chilly day up in Ralph Wilson Stadium (though not by Buffalo standards, by any means). The winner will still cling to a small shred of playoff hope, the loser is definitely out. The clincher for this is that my mother's family is from Buffalo (I know, that's not really a reason to pick the Bills, but I'm just not ready to jump on the Vince Young/Norm Chow bandwagon just yet).

New Orleans (9-5) at NY Giants (7-7) New Orleans +3.0
The Saints are already in the playoffs, but are still fighting to earn a first round bye. The Giants have the inside track on the last wild card slot, if they win out, they're in, but they won't win out. After demolishing Dallas two weeks ago, they the Saints couldn't do anything right last week, but they'll bounce back and look again like the second best (or best?) team in the NFC again this week. The Giants will look again like the team that's lost 5 of the last 6 games, yet even with a loss at home, they won't be out of the playoff picture just yet.

Baltimore (11-3) at Pittsburgh (7-7)
Baltimore +3.0
After their horrendous start, the Steelers are looking again like champions. But, Baltimore is a better team, and their defense will be able to overcome a resurgent Steelers offense. The big question hanging over this game is McNair's hand. It's injured, but won't keep him out of the game. If his accuracy, or ability to handle snaps, is effected that could mean big trouble for the Ravens. He's a football player, he'll tough it out and play fine. I can't believe the Steelers are favored in this, that's just crazy.

New England (10-4) at Jacksonville (8-6) Jacksonville -2.5
Jacksonville put themselves in a really bad position by losing to Tennessee last week, but should rebound at home against a very good New England team. But for their drubbing by Miami, the Pats look like a dangerous team come playoff time, but they're only getting one home game at most, so if they advance to the second round, they'll have to win on the road. Jacksonville will win, and give themselves. Let Sippican Cottage come here and tell me how foolish I am to pick against Tom Brady, I'm a man, I can take it.

Cincinnati (8-6) at Denver (8-6)
Cincinnati +3.0
After the storm this week that shutdown most of Denver, it looks like conditions for the game will be bone-chilling but calm and dry by game time. The loser of this game is going to be the best team not to make the playoffs this year. The Bengals have won 4 of 5, but that last loss was a tough thumping by the Colts on Monday night, while Denver has lost 4 of 5, but managed to win on the road in Arizona (not that hard to do) last week. Denver has lost most every game they've played against legit playoff teams this year, I don't think this game will be any different. Their defense was phenomenal earlier in the year, lately not so much. Carson Palmer looks healthier and healthier and he'll pick Denver apart (so long as he's not foolish enough to challenge Champ Bailey, and he's not).

San Diego (12-2) at Seattle (8-6) San Diego -4.5
San Diego, favored on the road, still have something to play for. They want and need home field for the entire playoffs, they do not want to have to face an AFC Championship game in Baltimore, and a loss here could mean just that. Seattle would clinch the NFC Lousy (West) division with a win or SF loss, but they won't do it here. The Seahawks may still make the playoffs, and even get back to the Superbowl, but it seems unlikely at this point, and losing this game won't make it seem any more likely (though if they win this game, they might be considered a contender again).

Philadelphia (8-6) at Dallas (9-5) Dallas -7.0
Dallas wins their division with a win here. Philadelphia won't be eliminated from wild-card hopes with a loss. Jeff Garcia can not possibly keep playing as well as he has. The Dallas defense will make him look like Jeff Garcia once again and Dallas will trounce the Eagles in Irving, Texas. Merry Christmas Cowboy fans! (and Bah Hum Bug Eagles fans)


SippicanCottage said...

OK, I will. There, I just did.

SippicanCottage said...