We're in the home stretch now, with just five weeks to go. Last week, I rode a successful Thanksgiving into a 10-6 week, which will hopefully keep me above .500 for the remainder of the season. The Rams inability to score from 1st and Goal on the 4 and the weather in Pittsburgh didn't help, but I managed nonetheless.
The spreads go back to relatively normal levels this week, with only the Patriots giving double-digit points. I'm not sure that helps me, but let's find out, shall we?
Spreads again are taken from here.
Green Bay (+7) at Dallas - It's Favre vs. Romo! It's the NFL vs. Cable TV! However you want to spin it, in the end, it's a battle for home-field advantage in the NFC. Both offenses can put up points. I think Dallas will win the game, but giving 7 to a 10-1 team averaging nearly 34 points in its last 4 games? That seems a little excessive.
St. Louis (NL) vs Atlanta - I'm taking the no-line and treating it like a pick 'em. I'll check out the spreads later in the week to see if they've changed, but until then, this is my selection. While I'm still mad at St. Louis costing me the weekly high in my confidence pool last week, I'm still seeing them as a late-season spoiler. Not that Atlanta needs to be spoiled, but you get the point.
Buffalo (+6) at Washington - I have no idea how to judge this game. Everything with Sean Taylor is really just too much to try to wrap football logic around. So let's just go with this.
Minnesota (-3) vs Detroit - And now begins the slide to mediocrity for the Lions. It was a nice run, but this week, say hello to .500. Next week, say hello to the bottom of the NFC North. With Purple Jesus possibly returning, and Chester Taylor filling in anyways, the Vikings control the clock and hold Detroit's offense in check.
Houston (+4) at Tennessee - Well then... the Vince Young magic seems to have faded quickly, hasn't it? The Titans played every facet of the game poorly last week. Not sure what exactly has changed in a week. The Texans are slowly coming back around to the success they found at the beginning of the season. I'm sure Andre Johnson has played a part in that.
Indianapolis (-7) vs Jacksonville - Every year, the Jaguars seem to find themselves with an opportunity to lay claim to the division, and every year, Peyton and Co. just knock them back down. I don't see this season being any different. Playing at home after a long break, they'll have the Jaguars' number once again.
New York Jets (+1) at Miami - Dear God... I thought the Rams-Falcons matchup was depressing. This may be the best chance for Miami to win a game this year, but even here, I don't see it. Do the Dolphins have any healthy running backs? Two first year quarterbacks going at it? Ugh... go with the under...
San Diego (-5) at Kansas City - The Chargers put a smackdown on the Ravens last week, which probably isn't all that hard to do, but was impressive nonetheless. The Chiefs couldn't hold their own against the Raiders, which can't be a good sign. With Norv Turner and Herm Edwards manning the sidelines, you can't base this one on coaching, so let's just go with talent...
Philadelphia (-3) vs Seattle - I was thinking of going with the letdown game for the Eagles, but I still don't trust the Seahawks, even with their record. And now Alexander may be back? Is that supposed to make me feel better about their team? I liked them better when he was out.
San Francisco (+2.5) at Carolina - Sweet Jesus... Rams-Falcons, Dolphins-Jets... Now 49ers-Panthers? This is not going to be a pretty week of football. This matchup has one player that brings anything to the table... Frank Gore. For that, and that reason alone, I'm going with the 49ers.
New Orleans (-3) vs Tampa Bay - I still don't get the Saints. But you still have to fear their potential. Tampa Bay looked awful in their win against the Redskins last week, which isn't exactly a compliment. If Jeff Garcia is still dinged up, this isn't even close. Even if he plays, the Saints cover at home.
Cleveland (PK) at Arizona - Did you see how many points the 49ers just put up against the Cardinals? And now the Browns are coming to town? Which offense do you think is more impressive? Yeah, that's what I thought. Granted, the Cardinals offense is going up against the Browns defense, but you can always count on Warner for a few mistakes, and that'll end up costing them yet again.
Denver (-3.5) at Oakland - Outside of the Devin Hester disaster for the Broncos, Denver controlled the game against the Bears for a good 54 minutes. I don't see a Devin Hester on Oakland, although I am rooting for Justin Fargas for fantasy reasons. Nevertheless, Denver has too many weapons for the Raiders and they're starting to come around, even if it is too late.
New York Giants (-2) at Chicago - Well, thanks to the aforementioned Broncos, Devin Hester may never see a kick again. Now while a kick out of bounds may help most teams, it does little for the Bears. Eli can't possibly play as bad as he did last week, can he? I'm expecting a healthy dose of whatever running back is healthy for the Giants, which should be enough against the Bears banged up defense.
Cincinnati (+7.5) at Pittsburgh - The Bengals finally came through for me last week. I think they're finally coming together and will play the role of spoiler admirably for the rest of the season. They may not win this game, but this many points within the division? I'm sticking to my formula on that one.
New England (-20) at Baltimore - What's the difference between the Ravens and the Eagles? The Eagles can actually score. So yeah... you might know how to slow down the Patriots, but you can't stop them, and you'll need to score some points of your own. Baltimore can't do both of those things.
Last Week: 10-6