Friday, December 26, 2008

Short And Sweet

"Ludicrously speedy, or infectious with the slow-mo."

Hey everyone. This will probably be my shortest post ever. The thing about the holidays is that I actually have stuff to do, which is a pleasant change. However, it leaves me less time to get on here. So, here are my picks and a bit of an explanation. No stats, but you know where to go if you need them (Accuscore,,,, ESPN).

New England vs. Buffalo (1:00, CBS)

All the playoff scenarios are not worth a darn if the Pats can't beat Buffalo. Richard Seymour likely won't go, and that's a big loss. If you've watched the Pats in the last couple of games, you have to be at least conscious of the fact that the Pats have one of the better running games in the league right now, which has taken a ton of pressure off of Cassel. Getting Sammy Morris and LaMont Jordan back healthy has given a boost to this team. I know weather had something to do with it, but I nailed the fact that the secondary had one real good game in them. 30 yards for Kurt Warner...30. Marshawn Lynch is questionable, and he got real banged up last week against Denver. Buffalo will make this game interesting...initially. I don't expect them to be able to substain the energy they will get from the kickoff.

New England (-6)

St. Louis vs. Atlanta (1:00, FOX)

The Falcons are in the playoffs after their win last week in Minnesota. They still have a ton to play for though. With some help from Carolina, Atlanta can win the NFC South and move up to #2, assuring themselves a first-round bye. It's tough for me to be completely confident that the Falcons can cover a two-touchdown spread, regardless of who it's against. I think they'll win, but surprisingly, I think this will be kind of close.

St. Louis (+14)

Kansas City vs. Cincinnati (1:00, CBS)

Yikes. Well, it's on the board, so I have to pick it. I flipped a coin a couple of times, but then I kind of forgot what team was heads and what was tails. Hmmm...I think I'm going with Cincy. They were helpful last week, while KC did what it does best: Stay in games and then find ways to lose.

Cincinnati (-3)

Detroit vs. Green Bay (1:00, FOX)

My theory on Detroit was this: They played so hard against Minnesota and Indy, and they still couldn't win. Now they're completely out of gas, and basically willing to accept their fate as the worst team in the history of the NFL. Green Bay has lost so many games in a row that I lost count. Still, they can't lose to Detroit. Seriously, there may be a cheesehead mutiny if the Packers lose this game.

Green Bay (-10)

Tennessee vs. Indianapolis (1:00, CBS)

There is a very good chance that Vince Young will play in this game. This will be very interesting to see. Will this be the rebirth of VY, or is he going to be changed forever? It was sad to see his career take a sudden detour this year. No one really knows what to expect in this game, but I feel like Indy will jump out to an early lead, which is actually not good for the Colts. They play a lot better when they are coming from behind.

Tennessee (-2.5)

New York Giants vs. Minnesota (1:00, FOX)

The Vikings have been all over the place in the last few weeks. What was odd last week was that it was not Tarvaris Jackson that cost Minnesota the game, but Adrian Peterson, who is an MVP candidate. His fumbles killed the Vikes, and Atlanta made them pay. I think that Tom Coughlin will recognize that it is possible that he will see Minnesota again in the playoffs, and play most of his guys the entire game unless they are getting smoked. However, in the end, Minnesota has way too much to play for to not win this one.

Minnesota (-6)

Carolina vs. New Orleans (1:00, FOX)

This game is huge for Carolina. A win gets them the #2 position in the NFC. With that comes home-field advantage, which Carolina desperately needs this year (8-0 at home). The Saints are locked out of the playoffs, but the role of spoiler can sometimes be motivating for teams. Carolina has actually played well in New Orleans, winning their last two at the Superdome. Again, with home field advantage on the line, this is a game Carolina has to win.

Carolina (-3)

Cleveland vs. Pittsburgh (1:00, CBS)

I know Pittsburgh will be playing most of their second string players, but even so, they are way better than anything that Cleveland has. Cleveland hasn't scored an offensive touchdown in the last five games. I would not be surprised if they put up another zero in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh (-10)

Oakland vs. Tampa Bay (1:00, CBS)

Outside of the Super Bowl, Oakland has played Tampa extremely tough. Here's the thing: Tampa needs to win to have any chance at getting in the playoffs. That, coupled with the loss last week, should be enough motivation to get the win...but fourteen points? I'm not so sure about that.

Oakland (+13.5)

Chicago vs. Houston (1:00, FOX)

The Bears have had a nice run, but again, I still love Houston despite the fact that they were awful last week against Oakland. I've learned two things: One: A team will come out with a ton of motivation to prove their worth after losing to a really awful team. Two: A great team can have a substantially long luck streak where everything goes their way. A good team can have streak of luck, but it doesn't last nearly as long. I think Chicago is a good team, but not a great team.

Houston (-3)

Washington vs. San Francisco (4:15, FOX)

Washington had a big win last week against Philly, but I am so hesitant about picking an east coast team playing out west. However, the health of Frank Gore continues to linger, and the Niners barely got by the Rams last week.

Washington (+3)

Jacksonville vs. Baltimore (4:15, CBS)

Last week's game against Indy was indicative of how their season has gone. A game they should have won, and yet they let Indy off the hook ("We let 'em off the hook!"). The Ravens need a win to get a wild card spot, and while I think Jacksonville is a better team than their record indicates, and it is a bunch of points, I think Baltimore, coming off that huge win against Dallas, will bring their best game against the Jags.

Baltimore (-12.5)

Miami vs. New York Jets (4:15, CBS)

Just win baby.

New York (-3)

Dallas vs. Philadelphia (4:15, FOX)

Here's my problem with Philly right now: They have a really tough time stopping the intermediate passing game. The question will be if Romo has any sense to not force the ball down the field, and instead rely on Witten and Choice out of the backfield. Dallas was obviously atrocious against the run, but Brian Westbrook looked really banged up last week, and his effectiveness could be limited. What's interesting is that both teams were looking like they had turned everything around, and then last week, they both crumbled. This is another one where I really don't have any idea. I'm going with Dallas just because I think they were destined to make the playoffs since Romo got back. I mean how else can you explain every team in the running for the #6 seed losing last week after Dallas gave them all an opportunity with their loss on the Saturday prior?

Dallas (+1)

Seattle vs. Arizona (4:15, FOX)

Here's the thing: I'm not sure if it's possible to play worse than Arizona has the last two games and not expect anything out of them this week. I think Edgerrin James will return to his starting spot, and I expect something big from him. Seattle is coming off a huge win against the Jets (thank you by the way), and with all the emotions that came with the win, I think this will be a let down for them.

Arizona (-6)

Denver vs. San Diego (8:15, NBC)

No matter how you slice it, an 8-8 team is going to have a home game in the playoffs, and it will be one of these two teams. I still think Jay Cutler is an absolute phenom, but he simply does not have any running game. I mean they're down to their seventh-string running back...and I'm being completely serious when I say that...seventh-string. Denver has been just plain awful on defense this year. They have Champ Bailey back, which is helpful. The only thing is that he will likely be lined up against Chris Chambers, while the guy Rivers targets the most, Vincent Jackson, will have a huge mismatch against 'Dre Bly.

San Diego (-8)

Alright, again, I hope my results improve at least a little this week. I feel like the Cardinals. I looked good for a while, then the last two weeks, I was just terrible. So, I'm hoping for a bounce back from them...and myself this week. Happy holidays. Peace.


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