Thursday, December 06, 2007

NFL 2007 - Week 14, Part II

Dolphins @ BILLS -7

The Dolphins are probably have enough talent to beat Buffalo (they only lost by 3 to the Bills a few weeks ago), but, Miami lost by 27 at home to a bad Jets team and hasn't won all year. I don't think you can justify picking them at this point. And when I say "I don't think you can justify picking them at this point," I mean "I don't think you can justify picking them at this point." I totally could justify it; I just don't feel like doing so.

RAMS @ Bengals -6

The Rams are on a 3-1 roll and, since the start of Week 3, have only lost to one team with a losing record. The Bengals are tough to predict, they're up one week and down the next, but they're certainly capable of stinking. And their record is only one game better than the Rams'.

COWBOYS @ Lions +10.5

The Lions were 6-2, but oh, how far they've sunk. I would blame Jon Kitna's Halloween costume, but, after all of that hullabaloo the Lions won their next game 44-7. And the other two entities I usually blame for anything that's wrong -- hippies and/or President Clinton -- really don't seem to have any culpability here, no matter how hard I try to make that argument work.

Of course, where the Lions are concerned, the traditional scapegoat over the last few years has been general manager Matt Millen, but, it's even difficult to blame Millen for a 6-2 to 6-6 freefall.

Now, the Lions are 6-6 and no longer really in the driver's seat for a playoff spot in the NFC. And they're 10.5-point underdogs, at home. Poor Lions fans. Wouldn't you rather just have your team be bad, like usual, than to tease you with a 6-2 start and then fall apart?

Raiders @ PACKERS -10

Well, congratulations to Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Brett Favre. Now, even as a Vikings fan you can't really hate Brett Favre no matter how hard you try, and, certainly, one has to admit that he is currently having the third best year of any quarterback in the NFL.

The SI Sportsman of the Year award hasn't meant anything for a while, but, really might as well just go ahead and rename it the What the Hell Does Roger Federer Have To Do? Award. At this point, the magazine is just embarrassing itself.

BUCCANEERS @ Texans +3

Tampa Bay's been looking pretty good lately. And that's about all I've got for this one.

Panthers @ JAGUARS -10.5

Jacksonville's good, Carolina's not, 10.5 is pretty high but I'll take it. Also, it should be noted that Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio kind of looks like a gigantic version of my cousin Phil.

Giants @ EAGLES -3

So, the Giants are actually 2-1 over the course of their annual Tom Coughlin late-season choke job, which I've decided actually started with that 16-10 win over the Lions (and not with their 31-20 loss to Dallas the week before). I say the slide continues this week against the Eagles, who might not quite be the disasters I'd pegged them as.

And the fact that the 8-4 Giants are underdogs at the 5-7 Eagles leads me to believe that everyone thinks that the annual Tom Coughlin late-season choke job is nigh (if not necessarily taking place as we speak).

CHARGERS @ Titans pk

I read something that some Charger said about how the team is cooking now, everybody's firing on all cylinders, and all that. That's good enough for me. Seeing as how the Titans weren't particularly dominant last week, even with Albert Haynesworth back in the lineup, I'll take San Diego.

VIKINGS @ 49ers +9

Back when I was watching Minnesota lose 34-0 at Green Bay in a game that featured Adrian Peterson going out with an injury, did I think there was much of a chance that the Vikings would be tied for a playoff spot and favored by nine points on the road any time soon?

I did not.

I said I'd pick against the Vikes every week just for misery insurance, but, they looked so good last week, and the 49ers are so bad, that I just can't stick to that. So allow me to throw up the most powerful jinx in the history of this column and pick the Vikings to continue to stay hot.

I'm sorry in advance, people of Minnesota.

Cardinals @ SEAHAWKS -7

This is essentially a must-win game for the Cardinals. So, if form holds, it looks like a big win for Seattle.

Steelers @ PATRIOTS -10.5

Everyone's saying this is the one that the Patriots might lose. They've been saying that for a while, even as the Patriots escaped by the skin of their teeth the last two weeks. I don't have trouble imagining the Patriots winning this one by at least two touchdowns, though.

Chiefs @ BRONCOS -6.5

Both these teams had points in the season where it looked like they might end up being good after all, despite their bad starts. Both these teams now appear to be pretty bad. But the Chiefs have lost five in a row and are freefalling, so, let's just pick against them, huh?

BROWNS @ Jets +3

Cleveland really, really needs this one to stay out front of the pack in the playoff hunt. They shouldn't have lost to the Cardinals last week; they can't possibly afford to lose to the Jets on Sunday.

COLTS @ Ravens +9

I'm actually going to be in Indianapolis this weekend. That has nothing whatsoever to do with this game (the Colts themselves won't even be in Indianapolis this weekend), but, it bears mentioning.

The Colts really aren't at full strength, but it's hard to imagine the Ravens won't be at least a little demoralized by the Monday Night Football loss to the Patriots.

SAINTS @ Falcons +4

Yikes. Well, the Saints still sort of have a chance to make the playoffs if they win out and get a lot of help, so, at least they've still got something to play for.

The five I feel good (or, if not good, better than the others) about:

Raiders @ PACKERS -10
BUCCANEERS @ Texans +3
Giants @ EAGLES -3
Cardinals @ SEAHAWKS -7
BROWNS @ Jets +3

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