Saturday, December 20, 2008

NFL Week 16

All sorts of games with playoff implications as we head into the final two weeks of the NFL season. Big games include tonight's Ravens-Cowboys matchup, the Steelers at Titans and Carolina heading to Giants Stadium Sunday with the NFC's No. 1 seed on the line.

We began the weeks barely covering with the Colts Thursday night and stand at 118-101-7 for the 2008 season.

COWBOYS -4 Ravens: Would love nothing more than to see Dallas lose in the final game at Texas Stadium but can't quite figure where the Ravens are going to get any offense against Cowboys defense that shut down the Giants last week. Cowboys 24-13

Steelers -2 TITANS: Two teams going in different directions. Steelers, who were getting a point when the lines first came out, are now favored largely due to the loss of Albert Haynesworth, a critical injury for Tennessee. Steelers can snag the top seed in the AFC by winning out. Steelers 20-17

CHIEFS +4 Dolphins: Fish won't get caught looking ahead to showdown with the Jets, but they never win big, so expect little scoring. Dolphins 13-10

PATRIOTS -7.5 Cardinals: Cardinals may be the worst division winner in years, staggering in only by benefit of having eight wins in the league's worst division. Patriots can go 11-5 and still not make the playoffs. Patriots 31-13

BROWNS -2.5 Bengals: Surely you have some last-minute shopping to do, right? Browns 20-14

49ers -5.5 RAMS: While you're out shopping, pick up some talent and send it to the sorry-ass, no-account Rams. 49ers 31-10

LIONS +7 Saints: Two games from perfection, boys. Don't screw it up now. Saints 27-24

BUCS -3.5 Chargers: Chargers have been sleepwalking all year, and playing another early east coast game virtually assures they'll still be sleepy. Bucs need it badly. Bucs 20-10

SEAHAWKS +4.5 Jets: Promises to be dreadful conditions in Seattle, so the Jets should keep it on the ground with Thomas Jones and Leon Washington. Still, this is the Jets we're dealing with, so they'll keep it interesting. Jets 17-14

Texans -7 RAIDERS: If Houston was in the NFC West, they'd probably win the division. As it stands, they could well have a winning season, their first. Texans 31-17

BRONCOS -6.5 Bills: Congratulations to the Bills. Not only did they pull the biggest blunder since The Fumble 30 years ago (at the same end of the field, ironically enough), they rewarded Coach Dick Jauron with a three-year extension after the game. Now that's some shrewd management. Broncos 34-14

Falcons +3.5 VIKINGS: Vikings line took a huge hit with Pat Williams going down, so expect potent Falcons run game to have a field day. Falcons 21-20

Eagles -5 REDSKINS: Eagles may win out and still not make the playoffs. Skins are mailing it in these days. Eagles 28-6

GIANTS -3 Panthers: Huge game and Giants are thankful to get Brandon Jacobs back. While 11-3, Carolina has been an iffy road team all year. It'll be cold and noisy in East Rutherford as Giants wrap up the top seed in the NFC. As always, The Olbermann Rule is in effect. Giants 27-20

BEARS -4 Packers: If Minnesota loses, Bears can grab a share of the NFC North lead with a win here. Packers just going through the motions. Bears 23-10

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