I love how NFL football will be taking place 4 days a week from here to the end of the season, but it's rather difficult trying to make all the selections on a Wednesday night when there are still plenty of stories to be had before the majority of teams take the field. Of course, you, as a reader, don't really care, primarily because you don't exist, but that's a different story...
Anyways, we're a game into the last quarter of the season and you'd think by this point, you'd have a pretty good idea of what was going to happen with these teams, but that's obviously not the case. Other than the Patriots winning and the Dolphins losing, it's still pretty much a crap shoot. Let's see how I do this week...
Spreads for the week can be found here.
Denver (+1) at Houston - These two franchises are tightly bound together, due to the coaching relationship and, of course, Ron Dayne... Denver seems to play well at home and offer a glimmer of hope before letting their fan base again and again, but I'm going with them this week because I don't think Houston will be able to stop the Bronco rushing attack, while I'm still not sure who'll be running the ball for Houston.
Cincinnati (-8) at San Francisco - When your team loses Trent Dilfer and you honestly think "what do we do now?!", you know you're in trouble. There isn't much left for the 49ers this season, as it's been a waste of a season ever since they started 2-0. The Bengals aren't going anywhere either, but at least they've shown some life. And I'm counting on Rudi Johnson in this one, so don't let me down...
New Orleans (-3.5) vs Arizona - I'm thinking that when they don't have to worry about how they're going to get the ball to Reggie Bush, the Saints will do a better job of spreading the ball around, as they did on Monday night against the Falcons. Kurt Warner also spreads the ball around. Unfortunately, it's too often to the other team. Saints take care of the reeling Cardinals at home.
Atlanta (+12) at Tampa Bay - Yes, the Falcons are without a coach. Yes, Jeff Garcia is back for the Bucs. But I just get a feeling here that the Falcons will want to give their former coach a giant "F-you" as a parting gift. Sadly, it seems that Bobby Petrino did a better job at motivating his team by leaving than anything he did while on the job.
Baltimore (-3) at Miami - This game just made me throw up in my mouth, and that's without actually watching any of it yet. I want to go with the Dolphins, I really do... But the way they're playing, the injuries they've faced... Willis McGahee should run all over them this week.
Buffalo (-5.5) at Cleveland - I wasn't sure about the Browns early, then there was a short period where I thought they were solid, but I'm back to not knowing. Have they had an impressive victory in the last 2 months? They barely held off the Jets. Baltimore took them to OT. I'm officially concerned for the Browns. I think they've come back to earth. They play better at home, but Buffalo, when not playing New England, has been taking care of business lately.
Green Bay (-9.5) at St. Louis - Brett Favre in a dome is always a risky proposition, even if he's been shaking that label lately, but with their new-found running game, the Packers will want to continue to reassert their dominance, as they did last week against the Raiders.
Jacksonville (+4) at Pittsburgh - I only have one home team covering at this point. That has me a little worried, but I think I'm finally starting to buy into the Jaguars. Typically, that means they'll collapse in this game, but I'm going with them anyways. The Steelers will get caught trying to do too much. The Jaguars will just go about their business, knowing that they don't have much to lose.
New England (-24.5) vs New York Jets - I was wondering what this line was going to be since like Week 9. I think you could have made it 45 and I still would have gone with the Patriots. Is there any way that the Patriots let up off the gas in this game? In a way, wouldn't that be even more embarrassing to Mangini, if the Pats started taking knees in the 3rd quarter?
Seattle (-7) at Carolina - The Panthers stink at home. The Panthers also just stink. They've essentially mailed it in for the season while the Seahawks are still fighting for playoff positioning. Really, that's all I've got for this one... How much could I possibly say about Vinny Testeverde anyways? Uh, he's still old.
Tennessee (-4) at Kansas City - Here's another team that appears to have either given up or just lost so much of their team that they can't compete with anybody anymore. The Chiefs look done, which is what one of my fantasy teams is after Larry Johnson first sucked, then just went down completely. I knew that was going to happen... why didn't I just take Joseph Addai like I wanted to?
Indianapolis (-10.5) at Oakland - Seriously, why am I going with all the road teams? Well, I'm not changing that strategy here, with the Colts just getting into their late-season groove like last year and simply running over everybody. The Raiders are in rebuilding mode... not a good strategy when facing the world champs.
San Diego (-9.5) vs Detroit - I called the Ravens letdown against the Colts last week. I don't see this game being any different than that. Detroit let one slip away last week, all but ending their playoff hopes. The Chargers, lucky to get out of Week 14 with a win, won't let it get that close this week, as the Lions are emotionally done for the rest of this season.
Dallas (-10) vs Philadelphia - This game concerns me a bit, the divisional matchup is always tricky in the NFC East and you never know when Brian Westbrook is just going to go off. But the Cowboys crushed the Eagles in Philly and I don't see how either of these teams has changed much since that time.
New York Giants (-4) vs Washington - Both these teams have beaten the Bears in the last few weeks, but that's really not something to brag about. Although the Giants are two up on the Vikings for the #5 seed, the Vikings hold the tie-breaker and the Giants have that Patriots game looming, so a win here is key to try to lock up the better seed. The Redskins have a shot at the playoffs, but it's Todd Collins leading the charge... TODD COLLINS!
Minnesota (-9.5) vs Chicago - Kyle Orton, Garrett Wolfe... feel the excitement! This is what it's come down to for the Bears, as they're just playing out the string to see what they have for next season. The Vikings have their 2-runningback attack going up against a defense with no defensive tackles healthy enough to play. Um, that's not good. It's going to be a long Monday night for us Bears fans...
Last Week: 9-7