by Patrick Stanton
JetNation Senior Columnist
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (9-4) @ NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (8-5)
The master of injury report manipulation is at it again as everyone, including Tom Brady himself, wonders how bad the injury to Brady really is. You can’t help but think of our friend “Baghdad Bob” when Belichick gives his injury reports. The Bucs have the better defense, Brady and the Patriots have the better offense. Flutie is a decent backup but can he beat Tampa? Iâ€™ll go with Tampa getting the win.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (8-5) @ NY GIANTS (9-4)
Yet, another late season classic as the Chiefs fight for playoff survival. The Giants are rolling and in control of their own destiny while the Chiefs cannot afford to lose a single game in the next 3 weeks. Larry Johnson is the real deal, but not against this Giants Defense. Eli and the Giants roll, putting KCâ€™s playoff hopes in jeopardy.
DENVER BRONCOS (10-3) @ BUFFALO BILLS (4-9)
Not that anyone thought J.P. Losman would be the second coming of Jim Kelly, but what in godâ€™s name has happened to the Bills this year? Theyâ€™ve quit and although itâ€™s not making the press, rumor has it that the Bills clubhouse is filled with an internal revolt. Fantasy note: This game is bad news for fantasy owners facing Denverâ€™s Mike Anderson in the playoffs this week. Broncos smoke the Bils.
ARIZONA CARDNIALS (4-9) @ HOUSTON TEXANS (1-12)
Why bother even writing about this game? Regardless of match up or impending outcome late in the game, the Texans will throw it anyways. Should be a good week for owners of Boldin and Fitzgerald and Warner and the Cards should torch the pathetic Texans.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (11-2) @ TENNESSEE TITANS (4-9)
Seattle has clinched the NFC West and is close to securing NFC home field advantage throughout the playoffs. This is a classic trap game setting as the Seahawks want to avoid getting caught looking forward to next weekâ€™s game against Indianapolis. Fortunately for Seattle, Tennessee is having one of its worst years in recent memory. Seahawks win.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (8-5) @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (13-0)
Rough game for the Chargers to keep their playoff hopes alive with. Iâ€™ve made the mistake of picking against the Colts twice and have been burnt both times. The Chargers are playing for their lives while the Colts are coasting. Doesnâ€™t matter, Colts win.
CAROLINA PANTHERS (9-4) @ SAN ANTONIO SAINTS (3-10)
The Todd Bouman era has begun for the Saints. Fortunately for Carolina, it couldnâ€™t come at a better time as they blew a golden opportunity last week and allowed Tampa Bay to slip back into the divisional race. The Saints are terrible and Johnny Unitas himself couldnâ€™t help that offense. Panthers win.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (8-5) @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS (8-5)
The reports of either teamâ€™s death have been greatly exaggerated. Both teams were left for dead in a sense and have roared back with new life. Both teams are in the thick of their respective wild card races and one team is coming away with a January golfing trip in their near future. As much fun as it has been, I think Minnesotaâ€™s magic ends this week. Steelers win.
N.Y. JETS (3-10) @ MIAMI DOLPHINS (6-7)
Ahh yes, itâ€™s the biannual South Florida Super Bowl for the Dolphins as they welcome their hated rival, our beloved NY Jets into town. Dolphins fans have become so used to losing that their game against the Jets has turned into their version of the big game. This rivalry has really gone south recently and I look forward to the day its intensity returns. As far as this game goes, Iâ€™ll make this easy: Brooks Bollinger, away from Giants Stadium and facing a decent defense. Dolphins win.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (5-8) @ ST. LOUIS RAMS (5-8)
This game reeks of ineptitude. I say cancel the game and have a pie eating contest on the 50 yard line between Andy Reid and Mike Martz. McMahon looked OK for the Eagles last week, right up until the part he fumbled the ball and cost the game. Against this Rams squad, he may just have another shot to win. Iâ€™ll say the Eagles pull it out.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (2-11) @ JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (9-4)
How big of idiots do select members of the Jags look like after running their mouths before the Colts game? Luckily for the Jags, the schedule makers placed a scrimmage on their schedule to get them back on track. Jags roll and get their 10th win.
CLEVELAND BROWNS (4-9) @ OAKLAND RAIDERS (4-9)
It may be Semper Fi for the Marine Corps, but itâ€™s Charlie Frye for the Browns. Trent Dilfer, do you see that red light blinking in the distance? Thatâ€™s your career dissipation indicator going off. Meanwhile in Oaktown, Kerry Collins is mysteriously renamed as the starter, causing Jets fans to formulate conspiracy theories. Browns come to town and win.
CINCINNATI BENGALS (10-3) @ DETROIT LIONS (4-9)
Viva La Revolution!!! If you donâ€™t watch this game just for the antics in the stands you are crazy. There is a well organized and highly publicized revolt brewing in Detroit that could give the Boston Tea Party a run for its money. The fans have had enough and have taken to the streets, literally. The movementâ€™s momentum has been building up all season long and the chasing (and subsequent tackling) of a fan with a â€œFire Millenâ€? sign by Ford Field Security has ignited a powder keg. In addition to an organized protest outside Ford Field Sunday, fans are uniting; wearing orange shirts with â€œFire Millenâ€? printed on it and have even taken out billboard ad near the stadium. Oh, Ford Field has decided to allow signs this week too. Call the National Guard. (Bengals win by the way).
DALLAS COWBOYS (8-5) @ WASHINGTON REDSKINS (7-6)
Away from the protests, we find ourselves with a game deep in tradition featuring two of the most prolific coaches in NFL history. Dallas found their offense last week and Tuna appears to have the â€˜Boys back on track while Joe Gibbs and the Skins are on playoff life support. I like the Cowboys in this game.
ATLANTA FALCONS (8-5) @ CHICAGO BEARS (9-4)
The Bears were exposed last week and have to be a little concerned as they move towards the playoffs. As great as their defense has been, itâ€™s painfully obvious that their offense cannot be trusted to step in when the defense has an ‘off’ week. For the Falcons, Vick is beat up but claims heâ€™s going to play regardless and may regret that decision as he steps onto Soldier Field. Schaub will be in before this day is over if you ask me. Regardless, Bears win.
GREEN BAY PACKERS (3-10) @ BALTIMORE RAVENS (4-9)
ABC cannot get out of the Monday Night Football business fast enough with games like this. After last weekâ€™s ATL vs. NO match up and next weekâ€™s NE @ NYJ thriller, can you blame them? While I have your attention, is it just me or have the Packers been on every other Monday and Sunday night game this year? Sounds like Favre is coming back for another year. I canâ€™t help but ask, Why? As ugly as this game will be, I like the Packers.
Last week: 8-8
Season To Date: 47-29