Saturday, December 30, 2006

NFL Week 17

Well, it’s the final week of the regular season and there are still playoff spots open, two in the AFC and one in the NFC, which is a mess. The Giants get in with a win tonight, barring a statistical fluke Sunday. After a shaky first week making picks when I started in mid-November, I've had some decent success. I'll tabulate the numbers before I return with picks for Wildcard Weekend.

REDSKINS +2.5 over Giants: I have zero faith the Giants will show up tonight after the tankjob last week. I have even less faith in Tom Coughlin, who has to go. Redskins 27-7

JETS –12.5 over Raiders: Oakland has a decent defense and the Jets struggle to put up points. But with everything on the line, at home, against a 2-13 team, the Jets will be breathing fire from the outset. Happy New Year, Jet fans. Jets 34-13

BENGALS –6 over Steelers: Cincinnati still has a shot to get in the playoffs, albeit remote. They won’t take any chances after last week’s fiasco. Bengals 30-20

COWBOYS –12.5 over Lions: Cowboys are angry after the Christmas blowout at home, and need to get in gear before Wildcard game next week. Farewell, Matt Millen. Hello Brady Quinn. Cowboys 41-10

TEXANS –4 over Browns: Less said the better. Texans 23-10

CHIEFS –2.5 over Jaguars: Both still have remote playoff shot, but the Jags are dispirited and Chiefs are reliable at Arrowhead. Chiefs 23-17

Rams –2.5 over VIKINGS: Rams have a reasonable shot at making Wildcard with 8-8 mark, which they did two years ago, and seem to have a little momentum. Rams 27-21

SAINTS +3 over Panthers: Saints don’t have anything to play for, other than denying Panthers a possible playoff bid, which is enough for me, especially with them getting points at home. Saints 20-10

BUCS –3.5 over Seahawks: Long trip for a meaningless game for stumbling Seahawks, who are locked into the 4th seed in the NFC. They mail it in. Bucs 27-10

Patriots +3 over TITANS: Tennessee has had a remarkable run and has remote playoff shot, but New England still is playing for the third seed and has been gearing up for a playoff run. Experience wins out here, but look out for Titans next years. Patriots 21-20

Bills +9 over RAVENS: Baltimore can still get the No. 1 seed if Chargers lose (unlikely) and will play hard, but the Bills will air it out and keep things close. Ravens 27-23

COLTS –9 over Dolphins: Fish are done and Colts need to establish some confidence before the playoffs. They’re still playing for a No. 3 seed and likely date with Jets. Colts 34-16

Falcons +8 over EAGLES: Eagles will win NFC East with a victory, but are due to come back to earth, which they usually do in big home games. Falcons will find a way to lose the game, but this will come down to the wire. Eagles 26-23

BRONCOS –10.5 over 49ers: Denver isn’t assured anything yet, but may clinch before gametime. Still, they want momentum and Cutler is looking pretty good now. Broncos 37-14

CHARGERS –13.5 over Cardinals: San Diego will likely have to win to secure No. 1 seed in the AFC and won’t take any chances here. Tomlinson may not play much, but will do enough early to bring home a comfortable win. Chargers 33-13

BEARS –3 over Packers: Packers could actually get a Wildcard spot if things go right for them tonight and Sunday afternoon, but even though Bears have things sewn up in the NFC, they hate Green Bay too much to lay down. Bears 21-16

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