Last Week's Projections
(10-6) Straight Up - 62.5%
(10-6) Against The Spread - 62.5%
Atlanta at Carolina (-3)
Carolina had a tougher than usual time winning last week.
The offense seems to be slowing a little but it still has Steve
Smith. They will try and run the ball against the Falcons defense
that is suspect against the run. It looks as though the torch has
been passed to Foster for the rest of the season although nothing
permanent has been mentioned out of the Panther camp. Look for Foster
and Smith to be good plays.
The Falcons totally dominated the Lions on Turkey Day and put a
coach out of business. It sort of looked like the Falcons could
have scored as much as they wanted against a Lions team that obviously
has no heart. They will be on the road but they typically do well
against the Panthers. I don’t see it that way this time. Vick
looked a little gimpy during the Lions game and was not throwing
as accurately as he had been the prior two weeks. However I like
Crumpler as he is becoming “Gates” like in the last
few weeks. Dunn seems to be losing carries again to Duckett however
he will still have a pretty good game.
Final Score: Panthers 28, Falcons
Buffalo at Miami (-4) 1:00
It looks like Miami is beginning to like the Williams and
Brown two-headed monster. The word on the street is that Miami is
thinking about keeping Williams and going with that backfield for
next year. If it is me I try to shop the guy and if I were a Brown
keeper league owner I would look for other options. They seem to
be moving the ball better from week to week and have found Randy
on several occasions. I look for more of the same in this game and
they win at home.
The Bills have sputtered this year and McGahee has not delivered
as promised. I remember some folks comparing him to Tomlinson early
in the preseason, which was ridiculous. But he is a good runner
and you hope that they figure out their defensive issues by next
year. I think they will get run over by a pretty good Miami ground
game and lose by a TD.
Final Score: Dolphins 21, Bills
Cincinnati (+3) at Pittsburgh
Big Ben in the gang ran into a buzzsaw in Indy last week. They
pretty much got run over by a train called the “Colts Express”.
They allowed Peyton an 80 yarder to Marvin right off the bat and
were never really in the game after the stupid on-side kick at
the start of the half. I think Cowher was an idiot for that one.
They really needed to set a running, smash-mouth, tone and Indy
proved they could do they same to Pittsburgh. They need to establish
the run with Parker and Bettis and do what they do best. Control
the game physically. They may pull it out against the Bengals
but they have to get in order…quick.
Palmer was on fire last week against the Bengals however the defense
was letting the Ravens run the ball too much for my taste. This
should have been more of a blow-put but they kept letting the
Ravens score and keep it semi-close. However this offense is a
fantasy dream. Play on these players, as again this offense is
top-notch against any defense. Again, I think they lose but barely.
Final Score: Steelers 27, Bengals
Dallas (+3) at N.Y. Giants
The Pokes blew another golden opportunity as they really played
a better game than the Broncos on Thanksgiving. But as usual this
young team has a problem-putting people away. The interception
for a TD was killer and made them travel up-hill all day. They
put up good offensive numbers against a great Broncs D. But losing
is losing and they got a gift from the Jay Feely and the Giants
and need this one to really put them ahead in the division. A
win in Gotham would put them essentially two games ahead. Play
Bledsoe, Jones, Whitten, Johnson, and Glenn
The Giants gagged one away in the land of microchips last Sunday.
Jay Feely looked stunned as he missed three field goals that would
have won the game. The Giants have a little bit of the Pokes in
them as they find ways to lose not win sometimes. You gotta like
this D at home and they will force some mistakes. However I think
they will give up some points to even the score. I look at this
as I like the Pokes D vs the Giants offense more than the Giants
D against the Pokes offense. Matter of taste.
Final Score: Pokes 30, Giants
Green Bay at Chicago
(-7) 1:00 p.m.
No brainer here as the Bears might not let the Packers score on
Sunday. This defense is ridiculous and they keep finding new way
to win games and shut opponents down. It was a close shave for
them last week and it came down to a field goal but they seem
to be a team of dynasty and they are plain devastating at home.
Look for them to run the ball like they stole something.
It is sad the see the state of events down in Lombardi land.
The Packers were not in the game at all last week and Brett Favre
was barely over 100 yards passing. It is just not going to get
any better this year as Gado came back to form and ran the ball
well. I just think they do not have the firepower to beat the
Bears and Favre will need more protection than he will get to
wait for has receivers to get open. Hence the fact he will be
eating turf for most of the day.
Final Score: Bears 21, Packers
Houston (+8) at Baltimore
Even with the Texans at 1-10, Dom Capers’ job is still apparently
safe, and Baltimore head coach Brian Billick is ready to pull
his hair out with all the problems the Ravens have dealt with
this year — crappy coaching not withstanding. The Texans
have little to get excited about other than Andre Johnson once
again emerging as a serious threat to opposing defenses. But since
the Ravens still have the seventh-ranked defense in the league,
I can’t recommend starting anyone but Johnson. The Ravens
should be able to procure decent performances from Jamal Lewis
and Derrick Mason, who is so due he’s being sent on fly
patterns by collection agencies. And yes, if there was any week
to start Kyle Boller, this would be the week.
Final Score: Ravens 23, Texans
Jacksonville (-3) at
Cleveland 1:00 p.m.
With the season ending injury to Byron Leftwich, the Jags turn
to capable backup David Garrard, who runs like the Dickens but
passes like Carl Pickens. The Jaguars, at 8-3, have won four in
a row and are in position to snag one of the two AFC wild-card
spots. With Garrard at the reins, it’s going to be a challenge,
since the 4th year man from East Carolina has just a career 67.9
QB rating. This week, however, he should be able to dispatch the
Browns and throw a TD to Jimmy Smith. Keep an eye on the RB situation,
as Fred Taylor is probable for Sunday, but Greg Jones has proven
capable of assuming the starting role. The Browns kept Trent Dilfer
out of practice Wednesday because of tendonitis and an undisclosed
problem in his right knee, and although boy wonder Charlie Frye
has been practicing with the starters, Romeo Crennel hasn’t
yet declared the local favorite (Frye went to Akron) the starter
yet. For now, Droughns is the only safe choice for Cleveland.
Final Score: Jaguars 24, Browns
Minnesota (-3) at Detroit
The Vikings are back, and judging from the way the Falcons tore
up the Lions on Thanksgiving, they should get yet another win
this week. Go ahead and start Brad Johnson, Marcus Robinson, Jermaine
Wiggins and Mewelde Moore. Travis Taylor is also an option, but
the three TDs thrown to Robinson last week have made it clear
who Johnson is looking for. The Lions only score last week came
from that ridiculous tip drill when WR Roy Williams came down
with the ball. Williams is probably the only guy you want starting
again this week, although Kevin Jones is still a possibility.
Final Score: Vikings 30, Lions
Tampa Bay (-3.5) at New
Orleans (Baton Rouge, LA) 1:00 pm
Trap game alert! While everything points to the Buccaneers this
week in Baton Rouge, I have a sneaking
suspicion the Saints are not just going to roll over and die for
Tampa Bay. The Bucs will get good games from Chris Simms, Cadillac
and Joey Galloway, whose career has seen a resurgence in Tampa.
At 7-4, the Bucs are in second place in the NFC South and are
poised for a wild card spot. The remaining schedule is a tough
one, with games in Carolina and New England, so this is a must-win.
The Saints come off a big win versus the Jets that they needed
for posterity, among other invaluable, self-actualizing personal
victories. Their best chance against Tampa is to cut down on turnovers
and win a low-scoring battle. Aaron Brooks, Antowain Smith and
Joe Horn are feasible options with little hope of really blowing
up for multiple scores.
Final Score: Bucs 20, Saints
(+16) at Indianapolis 1:00 p.m.
I know, I know — there’s no such thing as a sure thing.
And given the past history of undefeated teams hoping to glide
past crappy teams with easy victories, there’s the possibility
of an upset. But let’s get real. The Titans have virtually
no shot of supplying the offensive firepower to compete with the
Indy juggernaut. Steve McNair looked good last week and may compile
good numbers in garbage time, but don’t look for these guys
to put a one in the Colts loss column. The Colts have the usual
suspects as legitimate fantasy options each week, and everybody
knows who they are.
Final Score: Colts 37, Titans
(-1) at Kansas City 4:15 p.m.
The Broncos were lucky to get a win in Dallas on Thursday, and
anyone had told me Ron Dayne was going to bust a huge run in OT
to seal the Denver victory, I would have told him he was in a
tryptophan-induced haze. But win KC on the docket, they’ll
be hard pressed to win the same type of game. Start Plummer, Anderson,
Rod Smith and Jeb Putzier. The Chiefs looked solid against the
Pats last week, and I really believe they need to play the same
type of game against the Broncos — forcing Plummer into
mistakes through pocket pressure and capitalizing on turnovers.
Go with Green, Johnson, Kennison and Gonzalez.
Final Score: Chiefs 27, Broncos
N.Y. Jets (-10) at New
England 4:15 p.m.
No way Gang Green comes away win a win in Foxboro, although there’s
a chance they’ll cover. The Jets have more personnel problems
than the White House right now, and there’s really no respite
in sight. I think it’s okay to play Curtis Martin and Lavernues
Coles, but I wouldn’t extend that to the team’s other
offensive starters. The Pats will be looking to get back into
the playoff hunt with a win, and Brady, Heath Evans, Branch and
Watson are the best options. I smell a blowout, but that could
just be the Jets rotting away in the AFC East basement.
Final Score: Pats 30, Jets
(-3) at San Francisco 4:05 p.m.
Arizona is looking better. Warner again had a good game and Boldin
is a must-start every week. Both he and Fitz are getting a lot
of looks and will be good plays for the rest of the year. The
running game still sucks but it showed signs of life. I think
they should just go with the kid Arrington and see what he can
do for the rest of the year. They lost their cool a little against
the Jags and had a good chance to win if they had not. But that
is what Green needs to work on with this team that is still very
young. They should beat the 9ers with no problem.
The 9ers are better at home than on the road but they will not
be able to stop that offense. If they don’t find a way to
pressure Warner he will throw for 400 on them. They need to try
and run the ball better and keep that clock rolling but I doubt
it will happen. 9er fans need to look to next year and hope coach
Nolan can put it all together.
Final Score: Zona 35, 49ers
Washington (-3) at St.
Louis 4:05 p.m.
Well it looks like we have found another QB in St. Louis. Must
be the system right? Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for over 300 yards
in the St. Louis win last week. He found Holt and Bruce on numerous
occasions and played well. Don’t look for a repeat performance
this week. The Skins D will have none of that and will put some
mayor pressure on the youngster. Look for another leaky offensive
line issue and a lot of ice.
The Skins are not looking good, as they have lost three in a
row. They lost a heartbreaker against the LT train Chargers and
just couldn’t stop the great one. Giving up 180 yards to
him including the winning 40-yard score in overtime. They have
to get this game if they want to stay in the race for a playoff
spot. This is the perfect time to get the Rams as they as in the
midst of a QB change. Looks for some motivation and the offense
to run the ball with Portis and set up Brunell with plenty of
play action passes.
Final Score: Skins 27, Rams
Oakland (+11) at San
Diego 8:30 p.m.
Here’s a role that Oakland gets into — spoiler. For
the past few years, Oakland has won late-season games against
division rivals looking to lock up playoff spots, and this Sunday
night will be a great chance to continue that trend. The Raiders,
however, don’t have any way of stopping LT, Gates or Brees,
who will most definitely put together one of the big-number bonanzas
that they’ve become famous for. On offense, however, they
might get good performances from Collins, Jordan and Moss, who
is probable. The Chargers best options include the obvious triumvirate,
along with Keenan McCardell, who has racked up seven TDs this
year. Don’t overthink this one, since LT has a history of
slamming the Silver and Black.
Final Score: Chargers 38, Raiders
Seattle (-4) at Philadelphia
I would like to see Philly win, as I like Mike M at QB. But they
just don’t have the guns to stay with the charmed Seahawks.
The defense will eventually wear down and let Alexander go crazy.
The Seahawks have an underrated defense and will be licking it’s
chops against McMahon and loading up to stop Westbrook who is
really the only weapon the Eagles have right now.
As mentioned above the Seahawks were the beneficiaries of the
choke job by the Giants. They are on their way to wrapping up
home field and need to keep winning to keep ahead of the Bears.
They will look to run Alexander and control the clock and pressure
the Eagles offense into making mistakes. Ray Rhodes lives for
this kind of stuff and their defense will be a good play this
Final Score: Seahawks 30, Eagles