I hate week 17...it's a crap shoot for a lot of the games, seeing as how some teams' backups can win games and some can't. There's only one game that has meaning for both teams, and that involves who's going to pick first in the draft. Son of a bitch...
10-6 last week, 156-84 overall. When you're right 65% of the time, you're wrong 35% of the time...
Denver at SAN DIEGO: Denver has the second round bye and is as high in the standings as they're going to go. With nothing to lose and nothing to gain, they play it like a preseason game. San Diego, on the other hand, has everything to lose. They're still in the fight for the sixth wildcard so they'll win this one. Chargers by 7.
NY GIANTS at Oakland: Jersey/A hasn't even clinched the division yet and I trust they'd much rather have their wildcard opponent (Sucs, Panties, Cowboys, or Redskins...all pretty tough teams) come to Jersey where they're 7-1. I think Norv Turner's finished no matter if he wins or loses this one, and Raiders management should start focusing their efforts on how the hell they're going to cut over $25 million in salaries to get under next season's cap as soon as this game ends. Jersey/A by 10.
Arizona at INDIANAPOLIS: Also in preseason action are the Colts and Cardinals. We should see Indy's first string for long enough that Indy goes up by a healthy enough margin to win. Indy doesn't play a meaningful game until two weeks from now and they sure don't want to go into the playoffs riding a 3 game losing skid and finishing behind Seattle in the standings. Lucky Charms by 14.
BALTIMORE at Cleveland: Second match between the Browns version 1.0 and the Browns version 2.0. I don't know how Cleveland's going to respond to being shut out 41-0, and Kyle Boller knows that the Ravens may bring in a quarterback in the offseason, so he'll need to finish the season strong. The only problem is that Baltimore is 0-7 on the road, but there's got to be a first time for everything. Browns version 1.0 by 7.
BUFFALO at NY Jets: Jersey/B's in the running for the top pick but a win here would totally screw it up for them...it may even screw up their chances for Matt Leinart or Vince Young. Buffalo beat the Bengals last week so they have momentum going into this one. Bills by 7.
CAROLINA at Atlanta: Carolina's gaffe against the Cowboys means they're now in a dogfight with the Succaqueers for a home playoff game. This game is meaningless to the Falcons because they're out...the only thing I'm worried about is that Jim Mora may throw everything he's got into winning this one, because the talk around Hotlanta is that his job is in danger. I'm one of the biggest Jim Mora fans around, but after the Tampa Bay game, I'm inclined to agree. You can't send six players to the Pro Bowl and miss the playoffs without something being foul in the coaching department...I said the exact same thing about Tom Higgins a year ago. I'm also one of the biggest referee fans around but I had no idea that the entire right side of an O-Line was allowed to move prior to the snap like what happened last week on Tampa Bay's game tying TD on 4th and 1...maybe somebody's who has reffed the American game could help me out on that one. The Panties could miss the playoffs with a loss here and wins by Washington and Dallas, so they'll want this game more than the Falcons...all they want out of this is to play spoiler. Panties by 3.
CHICAGO at Minnesota: Rex Grossman likely won't play the entire game...not that it matters since their passing game isn't a big part of the offence. The Vikings offence has been struggling lately and that should continue against the #1 defence in the league. Bears by 3.
Cincinnati at KANSAS CITY: There's actually quite a bit at stake here...if the Chargers and Steelers lose and the Chiefs win, they make the playoffs. A win for the Bengals means the #3 seed, but a loss and Patriots win means the #4 seed. Probably more advantageous for them to not have to play the Steelers in the first round, but they'll have to face the Jags next week having dropped their last two games. Chiefs by 7.
Detroit at PITTSBURGH: The sad thing is that Detroit's fast start to the season means they're not even going to pull a very good draft pick out of this disaster season. The Steelers have gone on a tear at just the right time of the season and will walk away with this one. Steelers by 21.
Miami at NEW ENGLAND: The Patriots got all their injured guys back and have won 9 home games in a row against divisional opponents. Pretty easy pick here, but the Fish held them within 7 in their last game. This game doesn't mean very much, so Patriots by 7 I guess.
New Orleans at TAMPA BAY: Lock of the Week. Easy win for the Succaqueers as New Orleans also wants Matt Leinart/Vince Young pretty badly. Succaqueers by 14.
SEATTLE at Green Bay: Tough to say. Green Bay's not a fun place to play in January. Seattle will be playing it preseason style and it could be Favre's last game ever. I think the Packers would want Reggie Bush just as bad as anyone. I think that Hasselbeck makes Seattle's receivers look good so Seneca Wallace isn't going to put up very good numbers, but if Alexander is in this game long enough I think they can hold on to win. Seahawks by 3.
Houston at SAN FRANCISCO: With the first selection in the 2006 NFL Entry Draft, the Houston Texans select...A loss here gives them the first overall pick...if they win and the rest of my picks are right, it'll be a four way tie between the Saints, Packers, Texans and Jets. In that case, the strength of schedule tie breaker would apply, which gives the Saints the first overall pick at the moment, and the Texans go all the way down to fourth. So the Texans better hope for another Kris Brown miracle kick or something, and I still think they'd trade the #1 pick if they get it. Squared Sevens by 3.
Tennessee at JACKSONVILLE: Flippy the Coin special. Flippy seems to think that Jacksonville's desire to get a win going into the playoffs will outweigh all the injuries to their offence. He also believes that Leftwich will play, and that Fred Taylor will tear a strip off the Titans #22 run defence. Jaguars by 3.
WASHINGTON at Philadelphia: The Skins have now won four in a row and if they win this one, they're in the playoffs because of their sweep of the Cowboys. That'll be enough incentive. Redskins by 10.
St. Louis at DALLAS: Everyone in Dallas should be cheering for the Eagles this week no matter how sick that thought makes them. If the Skins, Sucs, Panties, and Giants all win (as I have predicted), Dallas will be eliminated by the time this game rolls around. If the Skins or Panties lose, they need a win. But even if they are eliminated come game time, they still win because Les Mouflons have just been that bad this season. Cowboys by 7.
So there you have it...if I am right, next week's games will be:
Washington at Tampa Bay
Carolina at NY Giants
Pittsburgh at New England
Jacksonville at Cincinnati
I'm jetting off to the 934 tomorrow so that concludes You Can't Teach That for 2005. Happy New Year...I'll be back with my Falcons Year End Report, NHL Mid-Season Predictions and NFL Playoff Predictions in the next week.
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