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Week 15

Week 15
Saturday Sunday, 4:00 PM EST
TB at NE - AD DAL at WAS - AD
KC at NYG - AD CIN at DET - CB
Sunday - 1:00 PM EST Sunday - 8:30 PM EST
CAR at NO - CB Monday - 9:00 PM EST
NYJ at MIA - CB GB at BAL - CB
PHI at STL - CB  
PIT at MIN - AD  
SD at IND - AD  
SEA at TEN - AD  
SF at JAX - AD  

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 1:30 p.m.
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 27

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 24

Denver (-9.5) at Buffalo 8:30 p.m
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 13

Arizona (-2) at Houston 1:00 p.m
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, Texans 17

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 defense.

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 14

N.Y. Jets at Miami (-9) 1:00 p.m
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 10

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 24

Pittsburgh (-3) at Minnesota 1:00 p.m.
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 17

San Diego (+7.5) at Indianapolis 1:00 p.m.
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 31 (OT)

Seattle (-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 early Sunday.

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 13

San 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 7

Dallas (+3) at Washington 4:15 p.m.
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 21

Cincinnati (-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 last week.

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 team.

Final Score: Bengals 32, Lions 16

Cleveland (+3) at Oakland 4:05 p.m
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 20

Atlanta (+3) at Chicago 8:30 p.m.
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 17

Green Bay (+3.5) at Baltimore 9:00 p.m
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 13