Thursday, December 23, 2010

NFL Weekend Preview: Week 16

It's True Grit time in America! NFL teams hoping to ride to glory in Dallas this February have to get things in gear. I went 11-5 last week, which, although pretty good, was actually a slide for me. You better believe I'm going to be hunkering down for a good final two weeks. Speaking of True Grit, do yourself a favor. Just go see it immediately and thank me later. Now, on to the picks...

Panthers at Steelers – Troy Polamalu makes the Pittsburgh defense go as the Steelers are only 5-7 without him over the past few seasons. It will eternally seem odd to me that a safety can be that big of a difference maker, but he appears to be. A month ago, the Steelers looked like the class of the NFL, and now, while still very good, it seems less likely that they will win it all. They should however be able to take care of one of the worst teams in the NFL, even with a short week. Steelers 29 Panthers 13

Cowboys at Cardinals
– The NFL has given us a Christmas gift this year: A game so absolutely meaningless that you won’t anger your wife and family by ignoring them while watching football on Christmas. Really there is zero reason to pay any attention to this one on Christmas day. However, in case you are a compulsive football watcher. I’ll take the Cowboys to win this one in the desert on Jesus’ birthday. Cowboys 23 Cardinals 16

Redskins at Jaguars
– I am enjoying the Rex Grossman themed end to the Redskins season. I am not sure there is a better nickname in football than the Rex Cannon. Dude proved Mike Shanahan correct for at least one week, too. He threw for 4 touchdowns in a close loss to the Cowboys. As for the Jags, they blew a chance to wrap things up in the AFC South by falling to the Colts. I might have been more bummed out than Jaguars fans when Tyjuan Hagler picked up the onsides kick and ran it back for a touchdown. Sure, Hagler may have just killed their football season, but if the Colts just get the ball and kneel on it instead of scoring there, I would have predicted the exact final score to that game, which would have been my third perfecto of the year. Shame on you, Tyjuan. Although, it’s hard to stay mad at a kid named Tyjuan. Anyway, the Jags need this much more than the Skins, and I refuse to believe in the power of the Rex. Jaguars 26 Redskins 23

Lions at Dolphins
– Miami must be jubilant that this is their final home game. In what may be the strangest home record versus road record of all time, the Swimmin’ Mammals are 1-6 at home and 6-1 on the road. Even though this game is against the lowly Lions, I’m going to go with that trend. Lions 17 Dolphins 13

49ers at Rams
– Is it too much to ask that the Rams and Seahawks both lose this weekend merely so that we can have the novelty of a losing team make the NFL playoffs? I want this to happen if for no other reason than the sheer absurdity of next week having two 6-9 teams playing each other for a divisional championship in Week 17. No matter if it’s the Rams or the Seahawks they will be a huge underdog and will be kicked out of the playoffs quickly. 49ers 27 Rams 20

Titans at Chiefs
– The Chiefs need to lose one of their final home games to either the Titans or the Raiders, just for the good of the league. The NFL playoffs are more interesting with the Chargers involved than with the Chiefs. So, for the good of the republic, I’m going to predict the underdog Titans to topple the Chiefs. Titans 28 Chiefs 24

Jets at Bears
– Both of these teams should make the playoffs, and yet I don’t believe in either. Still, this should be a good game in Chicago, and the Bears need to win almost as badly as the Jets. I’ll take Chicago in a close one. Bears 17 Jets 16

Patriots at Bills
– New England should be able to keep rolling against the Bills, even if they barely try to do so. The Pats just need to keep it revved up enough to keep a modicum of momentum for the playoffs. Patriots 27 Bills 17

Ravens at Browns
– I wonder how much bile is still remaining in Cleveland for the franchise that relocated to Baltimore? I’d guess they were all hated out by directing their disgust towards LeBron, although I’d guess the welcome won’t be all that warm for the Ravens, still. Just like last month when LeBron stomped on their heart despite their hate, I think this happens again just because the Ravens are a better team than the Browns. Ravens 20 Browns 10

Texans at Broncos
– Thank God that the Broncos are at least giving Tim Tebow a shot at the end of this lost season. There is no other reason to care about this game other than to see how Tebow does in his first home start. The positive vibes towards him in Denver are off the charts, so I do believe that the team will be supported on Sunday just because he is playing. Even with Tebow, There is a limit to how much we can care about the Broncos remaining games this year. The Texans are emotionally fragile right now, but a date with the Broncos should be just what they need, as the Broncos just stink. Texans 30 Broncos 17

Chargers at Bengals
– The Chargers are winning the rest of their games. How do I know? Well, you might call it insider information, but I happen to have access to their schedule. The remaining games on this schedule are at the Bengals and at the Broncos. They aren’t losing those. Chargers 33 Bengals 10

Colts at Raiders
– The Raiders are a hard team to figure, as they have been bad for so long that now that they are a decent squad, we’re not quite sure how they’ll react with the possibility of going .500 or better exists. I think they have an excellent shot to beat the Colts who are not the same Colts as we have gotten used to over the past decade. I think Indy wins, but not by a lot. Colts 22 Raiders 17

Giants at Packers
– The Pack may be the beneficiaries of the lingering effects of one of the biggest letdowns in NFL regular season history. That game was awful, but lets go easy on Matt Dodge. Yes, he screwed up by punting to Desean Jackson with 14 seconds left in the game, but he didn’t allow the Eagles to score the prior three touchdowns in seven minutes that took a 31-10 Giants lead into a tie. Also, I hate anyone with such a stellar last name to have such a tough time. Hang in there, Matthew. That was kind of a brain dead punt, but you’re going to be alright. (To tell the truth, I was surprised the Giants didn’t put his butt on the unemployment line and pick up some other mediocre punter.) Packers 26 Giants 23

Seahawks at Buccaneers
– The Bucs really need a win and a ton of help to make the playoffs, the Seahawks are still in the thick of the hunt for a playoff game, despite being 6-8. The Hawks are so used to seeing their name near the top of the divisional standings despite winning less than 43% of their games that they probably think they can advance in the playoffs by losing at this point. Since I really want to see a 6-9 vs 6-9 for all the marbles, I’ll take the home team and K-State’s own Josh Freeman. Buccaneers 31 Seahawks 20

Vikings at Eagles
– NBC wanted this game on purpose? If there is a God, this will be the final primetime game of NFL’s career. If that God likes us, Brett will still be unable to play due to his injury suffered on Monday Night. I hate basing my theology on whether or not Brett Favre plays, but the way the announcers talk about his greatness, it almost seems as if higher powers are involved. Ugh, I’m so sick of that man. More importantly, the Eagles are playing. After that comeback win in the Meadowlands that immediately makes it’s way into the pantheon of greatest comebacks ever, I find myself cheering for the boys from Philly. The more we see this team, the more we see fun and exciting players like Mike Vick and Desean Jackson. In other words, when the Eagles win, we all win! I don’t know if I’m more excited to see the next pinball style huge play from Vick or what the next unconventional end zone entrance Jackson will provide for us. I really love the Eagles right now. Eagles 38 Vikings 17

Saints at Falcons
– Monday Night Football finally gets a doozy, as this one will have massive playoff implications for the NFC. On top of that, this should be a terrific game in theory. I’ll hope that is what happens, because close games with big stakes are one of the best things about the NFL. Saints 24 Falcons 21

Week 15: 11-5
Season to Date: 141-83

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