Last Week's Projections
(11-5) Straight Up - 68.7%
(6-8-2) Against The Spread - 42.8%
Tampa Bay (+4.5) at New England
Both teams lead their respective divisions and are bound
for the playoffs, and although this game’s most serious implications
do involve clinching playoff spots, it could also mean an additional
home game during the postseason. The Bucs are 9-4 and are tied for
the lead in the NFC South with Carolina, who they beat last week.
Simms, Galloway and Cadillac are still the guys to play.
The Patriots, at 8-5, can clinch the AFC East with a win Saturday
or a Miami loss Sunday at home to the New York Jets. Despite being
hit hard by injuries all season, they are still holding it together,
and their defense looked outstanding at Buffalo. Brady should be
fine, although Flutie came in for some relief last week, and the
tough QB, Dillon, Branch and Watson are still the best plays. It
looked like 2001 all over again when Troy Brown and Christian Fauria
both showed up with TD receptions last week, but I wouldn’t
count on two in a row from those senior citizens.
Final Score: Pats 23, Bucs
Kansas City (+3) at N.Y.
Giants 5:00 p.m.
This is a huge game for both teams with obvious playoff implications.
The Chiefs have distinct fantasy starters in Green, Johnson, Gonzalez
and Kennison, but as a team they play on an emotional roller coaster.
They’ve split with Denver, beat New England, and lost to Dallas.
Next week, they’ll try to avenge the loss to San Diego with
a win at home, but the Giants, unfortunately, come first. They have
the firepower to beat the Giants, but the NFC East teams always
play tough later in the season.
The Giants also have no-brainer starts from a fantasy perspective,
including Manning, Barber, Shockey, and Burress. I don’t think
the Boys in Blue will manhandle the chiefs, but home field advantage
is important, since they’ve only lost one game in giants Stadium
this season — the debacle versus Minnesota. If the Giants
can cut down on turnovers, they should prevail.
Final Score: Giants 30, Chiefs
Denver (-9.5) at Buffalo
Buffalo ran into a train last week in the rolling Patriots. Look
out for them, as they seem to be getting better as they get healthy.
But back to Buffalo, they look very lost offensively and I don’t
think Moulds is the issue. McGahee had 3 yards…not a mis-print…3.
The self-proclaimed, “best in the game”, has been
no better than James Mungro this year. They run into another buzzsaw
this week and will get embarrassed.
The Broncos had a tough time with Baltimore, which had to be a
little concerning. Maybe looking ahead to their match up with
the Chargers. Heck I don’t know. I just know they played
like crap. Denver has to find a way to run the ball better. Get
some pressure off Plummer and leave it up to the defense. But
I think it gets back on track this week.
Final Score: Broncos 28, Bills
Arizona (-2) at Houston
Weird game for the Texans against the Titans last week. There
is a lot of chatter that they are throwing to get their grubby
hands on Bush. I don’t think so. I just think that they
choked like they have been doing all year. Shanking a kick means
nothing. But they are playing surprisingly better ball the last
few weeks. If they really wanted to throw the game they would
not be a position to win. They would just get the hell beat out
of them. I like Davis in this game. Maybe Johnson and Carr if
you are desperate.
The resurrection of Kurt Warner continues. He didn’t throw
for over 300 last week but he still had some decent numbers. The
man you have to start is Boldin. He has become the go-to guy again
and has surpassed Fitz. The still have no running game but it
really doesn’t matter. They are playing much better ball
all together. But I see them having some problems this week. Houston
did a good job on the Titans offense that is not bad and I see
them holding the Cardinals down a little.
Final Score: Cardinals 24,
Carolina (no line) at
New Orleans 1:00 p.m
There are rumors about that the Saints have had enough of the
Brooks act. He didn’t have horrible numbers last week but
most where because they were behind so early. Bouman will get
the start, which doesn’t bode, too well for folks that have
Stallworth and Horn starting in the playoffs. You will see a decline
for this week as it usually takes a new QB a couple of weeks to
get it going. I would look elsewhere. Especially against this
Carolina’s offense has come to a grinding halt. They are
one dimensional with the pass and that hasn’t been that
good. They need to get back to tossing it down the field and getting
some balance. The best medicine for a bad run game is the Saints
D. They are horrible and gave up a ton against the Falcons. Look
for the offense to get back on track and feel free to start the
skill position fellows.
Final Score: Panthers 30, Saints
N.Y. Jets at Miami (-9)
You have to like what you are seeing from the Dolphins. They came
in and won a big one on the road from a team that most think might
be one of the best in the league. Funny thing is they really had
nothing to play for but still found the motivation to play well.
They held LT the great in check and really mad the Chargers throw
much more than they would like. The only person that really hurt
them was Gates and the Jets have no Gates, or LT, or Brees, or
anything for that matter. Look for Chambers to be the man.
The Jets are horrible and should hope for Leinert. That is about
the only thing they have to look forward to. They did get a gift
from the Raiders simply because Tuiasisopo is not Collins. The
one thing this team can hang their hat on is a good defense that
doesn’t allow a lot of points or yards. This will be close
with not much offense scored.
Final Score: Dolphins 21, Jets
Philadelphia (+3.5) at
St. Louis 1:00 p.m
You have to hand it to the Eagles. They played hard and never
mailed it in. That is a credit to Coach Reid. They took the Giants
to OT and held their ground. The problem with the Eagles are Eagles
fans. I get sick of e-mails every time you criticize this franchise.
They believe that everything their team does is perfect and they
deserve no second-guessing. Simple fact is that there is a reason
for all the up roar. Pay your players that have made you (not
TO or an overrated Kearse). They will put players faith that you
take care of the people that take care of you. We will see how
they handle things next year. At some point you have to pay somebody…besides
lining your owners pockets.
If you pick up Fitzpatrick you must have been disappointed last
week. He was embarrassed by the Vikes defense, which forced a
“Favre-like” 5 interceptions. Expect he had much less
flare than Favre. This offense sucks and will have problems against
an Eagles team that has somehow found a way to stay motivated
for their owner. I would stray from most of these players except
for Jackson and Holt.
Final Score: Eagles 28, Rams
Pittsburgh (-3) at Minnesota
With six wins in a row, Minnesota is the modern-day Lazarus of
the NFL. They lost their best receiver to Oakland in the offseason,
lost running backs to injuries and drug use, lost their franchise
QB to a season-ending knee injury, and lost their innocence on
the Love boat. Now they face their toughest opponent since the
shame of that balmy, fateful October day on Lake Minnetonka, the
Steel Curtain. The Steelers got another solid performance from
Jerome Bettis, whose nine NFL lives should be up by the end of
this year. After pulling a Vintage Bettis against the Bears, the
Bus earned his fourth NFL Player of the Week award in 13 seasons.
He could do the same thing against the Vikings, although the Metrodome
will be noisy, and the Steelers were apparently bothered by the
noise in Indianapolis. Go with Big Ben, the Bus, and Hines Ward,
but no one else, except the defense.
The Vikings have climbed right back into the NFC North race, and
Brad Johnson has been great in relief of Culpepper. Johnson, Wiggins
and K. Robinson are the safest plays, although I don’t think
they’ll make it seven in a row.
Final Score: Steelers 24, Vikings
San Diego (+7.5) at Indianapolis
Looks like I got all the serious games this week. While Indianapolis
has sealed up virtually every advantage there is in the postseason
(they haven’t yet earned immunity), the Chargers need a
win badly in the hotly contested AFC West. The Chargers have Drew
Brees, LT, Gates and McCardell, and if anyone has the winning
formula versus a juggernaut like the Colts, it’s San Diego.
The Colts are 13-0 and headed straight into the annals of NFL
history. They’ll only be forgotten if they blow it in the
playoffs and become the only team to remain undefeated this late
and lose the big one. I like the usual suspects in Indy, and I
really like this game’s fourth quarter, bound to be one
of the best this season. I think we might see overtime —
in fact, I’m calling it right now.
Final Score: Colts 34, Chargers
(-7) at Tennessee 1:00 p.m.
The Seahawks should roll over the Titans in Adelphia, even though
three of Tennessee’s four wins are at home. Hasselbeck was
awesome on Sunday, Alexander’s been great all year, and
Jurevicius has found his niche. I see big totals from all three,
unless Darrell Jackson supplants Joe J. and Engram is still the
#2. Watch the injury report and make your decision Saturday or
The Titans might possibly get garbage points from McNair, who
has done nothing in his last two weeks, but it doesn’t really
look good for any of the Titans. A pretty much useless game, but
I’m sure somebody’s going to be watching with the
fantasy playoffs on the line in many leagues around the globe.
Final Score: Seahawks 31, Titans
Francisco (+15.5) at Jacksonville 1:00 p.m.
Yucky. Watching this game will remind many of the spoonfuls of
disgusting medicine mommy tried to feed them in grade school.
Just don’t vomit before you get a chance to eat some chicken
wings and laugh at the 49ers ineptitude. The 49ers only possible
option, and I can’t stress this enough, is Brandon Lloyd,
and that’s only if he plays, doesn’t die in the first
half and the Jaguars get up by at least 20. The Jaguars have several
options, including Garrard, Jimmy Smith, and whomever starts at
RB, Jones or Taylor.
Final Score: Jags 33, Niners
Dallas (+3) at Washington
The classic Cowboys-Redskins matchup usually needs a reiteration
that it’s a classic matchup, but this week, there’s
no need. The playoffs are within reach of both teams, but only
one of these two will go. Despite the Turkey Day loss, The Cowboys
have a lot to be thankful for. Bledsoe was magnificent against
the Chiefs last week, and Parcells coached a hell of a game. But
it was the interference call on fourth down in the game’s
waning moments that clinched their win.
This week, I like Bledsoe, Glenn, Keyshawn, Barber (if he starts)
and the possible resurgence of Julius Jones, if Barber doesn’t
start in his place. The Redskins will probably play smash mouth
football against the Cowboys and pound Portis. If Brunell can
escape the Dallas pass rush, he’ll be fine, but Santana
Moss should get his, regardless. Watch Moss’s status as
the weekend progresses, and if he’s fine, go with him.
Final Score: Cowboys 24, Redskins
(-8) at Detroit 4:05 p.m
The Bengals won but played very bad. Palmer broke a lot of folks
hearts last week. He may have cost some owners their league. They
went often to Rudi and he did not disappoint. With a big 169 yards
rushing and a TD. They will be looking to rebound and against
the Lions should be the trick. Look for Palmer to throw early
and often. Play all skill players if you are still in it after
Detroit became another footnote in the Favre legacy. They let
the Pack drive down twice, once for the tie and another for the
win. Pretty stupid. Just think if Favre had better players. Garcia
has no zip on his passes and is not the answer. They will struggle
against this defense and a Bengals team that feels a little upset
they didn’t play better last week. Play nobody from this
Final Score: Bengals 32, Lions
Cleveland (+3) at Oakland
I like the Browns. They played a heck of a game against the Bengals
last week and had a goo chance to pull it out. Frye is a good-looking
kid and will be the future of this franchise. They can win this
one if they keep their offense balanced and play a spirited game
on defense as they did last week. The Raiders offense is not as
good as the Bengals and they need to stop the run first. Lamont
Jordan is the head of the snake. They will chop it off.
The Raiders have a coach that is a lame duck. Mark it up for
Norv. He will go back to Collins this week but so what. They still
will struggle against this pretty good defense and I bet they
get burned on a regular basis on defense. Cleveland will pound
the ball and the Raiders will not have a chance to stop them.
Moss needs to get healthy for next year and pray they pull off
a deal with the Jets that includes Collins for the firs round
pick. I smell a QB with that pick.
Final Score: Browns 23, Raiders
Atlanta (+3) at Chicago
Here’s Michael Vick’s chance to prove just how tough
he is. Mora said this week that Vick’s bruised ribs, suffered
in the Falcons' 36-17 win over the Saints when he tackled Jason
Craft, shouldn’t sideline the shifty QB. The Falcons will
definitely need Vick to be healthy against the Bears, who boast
a great defense and the lead in the NFC North. I like Atlanta’s
chances this week, especially since I believe that Vick is a big
game quarterback. Go with Vick, Crumpler and Dunn, but watch out
for those goalline carries by Duckett.
The Bears won’t see big numbers from Kyle Orton, and it’s
really about time for him to lose them a game. I do, however,
like Muhammed and Thomas Jones, who should provide the only offense
Chicago can muster. The Bears have lost to Washington, Cincinnati,
Cleveland and Pittsburgh, and they’re bound to drop this
one versus Atlanta.
Final Score: Falcons 20, Bears
Green Bay (+3.5) at Baltimore
Green Bay pulled another one off. Picked on the Lions in OT and
put another one in the bank. I think they will control the Baltimore
(giggle, giggle) run game and will put up some points. Boller
is another young pup with no future. The Ravens will get rid of
their coach as well and will be looking for a veteran in the off-season.
Jamal Lewis didn’t even make it in the lineup. Oh how the
mighty have fallen.
As said above the Ravens have no passing game and no run game,
which equals no offense period. Its over for this generation of
Ravens. That means it is time to start over.
Final Score: Pack 26, Ravens