Tagged with "Picks & Predictions"
BlackBandit20s NFL Divisional Playoff Picks
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions

Yeah, I know I split the four games, and should have known better on both the ones I lost. The degree of difficulty is steeper now as the best 8 teams in the NFL are left after the wild card round. Washington was the only divisional winner that did not survive the wild card round. This weekend of doubleheaders is the best weekend of the football season. Odds are provided by bodog.net and are for comparison and entertainment purposes only.

NFL SCHEDULE Ė DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF WEEKEND

Saturday, January 12

†AFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF

Ravens (11-6 #4, AFC North Champ) @ #1 Denver Broncos (13-3 #1 AFC West Champ)

Sports Authority Field @ Mile High, Denver 4:30 (CBS)

Favorite Broncos by 10

Last Week Ravens defeated AFC #1 Wild Card Colts 24-9, Denver had a bye as the AFC #1 seed

Playoff History: The Ravens defeated the Broncos 21-3 in the 2001 AFC Wild Card Round

Fast Facts BAL: DEN: Denver has yielded 237.3 total yards and 13.5 points during a six-game home winning streak

Most of the eyes wont be on the matchup at first it will be on the temperature gage where it is well publicized that Peyton Manning is 0-3 in playoff games in which the kickoff temp is under 40 degree. Even in midday (2:30 MT kickoff) it will still be a frigid 17 degrees on Saturday. Manning †didnít exactly torch the Ravens defense earlier this season in Baltimore in week 15, he threw for a modest 208 yards in their 34-17 win it was the Broncos defense that played lights out. They have been the unsung heroes of the Broncos 11 game win streak never giving up more than 24 in any game. Bottom line, I donít trust Joe Flacco. He has played good enough to garner wins when needed but I donít think that they will be able to get Ray Rice on track against the Broncos defense when its needed

Pick-Denver

NFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF

Packers (12-5, #3 NFC North Champ) @ 49ers (11-4-1 #2 NFC West Champ)

Candlestick Park, San Francisco 8:00 (FOX)

Favorite 49ers by 3

Last Week Packers defeated NFC #2 Wild Card Vikings 24-10, 49ers had a bye as the NFC †#2 seed

Playoff History The Packers have won four of the five playoff meetings, most recently a 25-15 win in Green Bay in the 2001 wild card round

Fast Facts GB/SF: Packers QB Aaron Rodgers grew up a Niners fan and was in attendance for the Packers last playoff visit to San Francisco, the only Niners only playoff win in the series in the 1998 Wild Card round.

This might be the best game of the divisional round, Aaron Rodgers is still playing with a chip on his shoulder after his favorite boyhood team passed on him with the first pick. He gets a chance to really stick it to them as the player he was passed on for Alex Smith is cooling his heels on the Niners bench watching Colin Kaepernick lead the Niners to an NFC West title. Rodgers and the Pack looked almost bored in stuffing a QB-less Vikes squad last Saturday but the curve gets considerably steeper facing a tough Niners defense that aside from a beatdown in Seattle have played pretty well. I know that I picked the Niners to make the Super Bowl and I really like their balance in the run and passing game. I said that I didnít trust Flacco in the earlier game, I cant trust Kaepernick in his first playoff game against a battle tested Aaron Rodgers (with that chip) even at home. The Packers will win a tight game.

Pick-Green Bay

Sunday, January 13

NFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF

Seahawks (12-5, #5 NFC Wild Card) @ Falcons (13-3, #1 NFC South Champ)

Georgia Dome, Atlanta 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Falcons by 3

Last Week Seahawks defeated NFC East Champ Redskins 24-14, Falcons had a bye as the NFC #1seed

Playoff History: First Postseason Meeting, last regular season meeting was 2011 won by the Falcons 30-28 in Seattle

Fast Facts SEA: Attempting to be the 2nd NFC West Coast based team to win consecutive playoff games in the Eastern Time Zone (1989 Rams won in Philly and New York)††ATL: TE Tony Gonzalez is 0-

The Seahawks are riding a 6 game win streak and Russell Wilson has quietly come into his own as bona fide star in this league. Has there been a more maligned #1 seed than the Falcons? After winning their first eight, the Falcons went a pedestrian.5-3 on the back half of their schedule. Matty Ice is starting to catch more and more hell for his repeated playoff failures. The Seahawks defense is tough and after spotting the Redskins a 14-0 lead roared back to win their Wild Card matchup. But I cant give the Seahawks all the credit. Playing a hobbled RGIII on a horrid field the Seahawks had to simply sit back and wait for the Redskins to crack. I cant see them pulling off a second road upset. The Falcons are a flawed #1 team to be sure but they can win a track meet which I get the feeling that the Seahawks will try to doÖand fail.

Pick-Atlanta

AFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF

Texans (13-4, #3 AFC South Champ) @ Patriots (12-4, #2 AFC East Champ)

Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, MA 4:30 (CBS)

Favorite Patriots by 10

Last Week Texans defeated the #2 AFC Wild Card Bengals 19-13, Patriots had a bye as the AFC #2 seed

Playoff History: First playoff meeting, last regular season meeting Patriots defeated Texans 42-14 in week 14

Fast Fact NE: With a win QB Tom Brady can pass boyhood idol Joe Montana for most playoff wins (currently tied at 16 wins apiece) HOU: DE JJ Watt led the NFL with 20 Ĺ but had none of Tom Brady in their week 14 meeting this season.

The Texans are putting on a brave face, with the us against the world mentality. They may even get a break on the weather as they may be playing under a climate mild for Foxboro in January. The Texans are a decent team but they faded badly down the stretch and only a more anemic showing from the Bengals in the wild card round got them a win. They can not be that anemic against the Pats. Brady will direct his pinpoint offense and points will come plenty. I doubt that the Texans will be able to put points up to match.

Pick-New England

Last Week: 2-2

BlackBandit20's NFL Wild Card Round Picks
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions

There is a line that is apropo for this time of the football year. Ive always liked the line Chuck D dropped in the obscure Janet Jackson song "New Agenda" Where he stated "Time to step it up. Step it cause its playoff time!" The time for talk is over, the pretenders and fake contender have been sent to the sidelines. After the NFL's 32 teams have played a total of 256 games and now only 12 teams are left. Eight are playing this weekend and four others are sacked out on their respective couches, barcoloungers and recliners feigning detached interest but wondering which of the four winners that they will face. The full weekend of doubleheaders starts Saturday. This is the NFL Playoffs, for the football junkies this is the where the money is made. In an interesting side note all four of the matchups, the foes have faced each other in the playoffs previously. All odds are provided by bodog.net for entertainment & comparision

NFL SCHEDULE Ė WILD CARD WEEKEND

Saturday, January 5

AFC WILD CARD PLAYOFF

#6 Cincinnati Bengals (10-6, #2 AFC Wild Card) @ #3 Houston Texans (12-4, AFC South Champion)

Reliant Stadium, Houston 4:30 (NBC)

Favorite Texans by 5

Last Week Bengals defeated Ravens 23-16, Texans lost to Colts 28-16

Previous Playoff Meetings Texans defeated Bengals 31-10 in the 2011 AFC Wild Card Round

Fast Facts CIN: Bengals have the longest playoff winless drought, their last playoff win was in the 1990 wild card round against the then Houston Oilers

Hou: Texans are 7-0 when RB Arian Foster rushes for better than 100 yards, he had 153 in the playoff meeting last year.

The Bengals, return the playoffs in their first non-strike consecutive playoff appearances with a quiet confidence and went 7-1 in the back half of their schedule to claim the wild card. The Texans on the other hand, stumbled down the stretch losing 3 of their last 4 after an 11-1 start. Matt Schaub has not played at the fearsome level he was during the Texans torrid start and the defense while still solid under the leadership of JJ Watt has suddenly gotten a bit suspect and have given up 20 or more points in their 3 late losses. The Bengals arenít offensively fierce past AJ Green being the only credible target of Red Dalton and the serviceable running of BenJarvus Green-Ellis. I know that I picked the Texans to make the Super Bowl but something keeps telling me that they are lacking confidence and if hit in the mouth early may fold. Do the Bengals finally get their first ever road playoff win here??? I cant do it! I would love to be wrong here but something tells me that the Bengals are overdue for a flat performance.

Pick-Houston

NFC WILD CARD PLAYOFF

#6 Minnesota Vikings (10-6, #2 NFC Wild Card) @ #3 Green Bay Packers (11-5, NFC North Champion)

Lambeau Field, Green Bay (8:00 NBC)

Favorite Packers by 6

Last Week Vikings defeated Packers 37-34

Previous Playoff Meeting: Vikings defeated Packers 31-17 in the 2004 NFC Wild Card Round

Fast Facts MIN: Vikings have yet to win a game outdoors this season. Their 3 road wins were at Detroit, St. Louis and Houston (closed roof) GB: In his last five games against the Vikings, QB Aaron Rodgers has completed 74.7% of his passes with 16 TDS & just 1 interception. His QB rating a blistering 132.5

The Vikings have rode the near record running of Adrian Peterson to an improbable playoff berth, winning a thrilling game against their hated rivals, they face this same team with the stakes just as high but now upped ante for both teams. The Packers have played solid pretty much all season but have a tendency to mentally wander at times. Aaron Rodgers has been his usual dependable self and directs an offense that can score in bunches. Both teams sport defenses that can play good and have fiery point men in Jared Allen for the Vikes and Clay Matthews for the Pack. The question is which Vikings QB will show up, if itís the skittish Christian Ponder that threw 2 damaging interceptions in Lambeau the Pack rolls to an easy win in spite of what running Peterson has. If itís the serviceable Ponder that kept the turnovers to nil and kept the Packers defense honest with smart throws they have a shot. Im gambling that the Vikes use Peterson to pound the rock and keep the ball away from Rodgers and company and steal a massive upset.

Pick-Minnesota

Sunday, January 6

AFC WILD CARD PLAYOFF

#5 Indianapolis Colts (11-5, #1 AFC Wild Card) @ #4 Baltimore Ravens (10-6 AFC North Champion)

M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Ravens by 5Ĺ

Last Week Ravens lost to Bengals 23-17, Colts defeated Texans 28-16

Playoff History: Colts have won both playoff meetings, most recently 20-3 in the 2009 AFC Divisional Round.

Fast Facts BAL: Making their 5th consecutive playoff appearance, the longest current streak in the NFL.

IND: Only 2nd team in NFL history to have made playoffs the season after winning 2 games or fewer

The Ravens sputtered down the stretch and needed a blowout of the fading G-Men to hold off the hard charging Bengals to win their division. The Colts are a team that were the feel good story of the year playing inspired ball under their coach Chuck Pagano who battled leukemia and came back late. Im nowhere near sold on Joe Flacco, he is a decent QB to be sure but I think that the Ravens offense shouldnít revolve around him as they are under utilizing the redoubtable running of the rugged Ray Rice. Andrew Luck is going to be a big time quarterback and the Colts look to be in good hands under his stewardship, but the Colts are a little over their collective heads add to boot the Baltimore crown will be extra amped watching the final home game of the incompararble Ray Lewis. The Ravens should be able to run at will on the weak Colts run defense, and the Ravens defense will be playing at a fever pitch. The Ravens should be able grind out the win with few problems.

Pick-Baltimore

NFC WILD CARD PLAYOFF

#5 Seattle Seahawks (11-5, #1 NFC Wild Card) @ #4 Washington Redskins (10-6, NFC East Champion)

FedEx Field; Landover, MD 4:30 (FOX)

Favorite Seahawks by 3

Last Week Seahawks defeated Rams 20-13, Redskins defeated Cowboys 28-18

Playoff History: Seahawks have won both playoff meetings most recently 35-14 in the 2007 Wild Card round

Fast Facts SEA: The Seahawks have lost their last 8 road playoff games, their only road win was their first ever playoff win against Miami in 1983.

WAS: QB Robert Griffin III set a rookie record for QB rating (104.2) and rushing yards (815)

The Redskins thumped their despised rivals in front of a deliriously happy home crowd to win their first divisional crown since late last century (Thatís not hyperbole, they last won the NFC East in 1999 when their opponent were still in the AFC) RGII has been the heart and soul of the offense but fellow rookie Alfred Morris is the underrated engine that fuels the leagues top running game. RGIII is a bit hobbled with a slightly bum knee and it has limited his scrambling potential but he is still a wily passer out of the pocket. The Seahawks have their own rookie phenom in Russell Wilson who has been playing solid all season and they have been scoring points at a frenetic pace coming down the stretch. The problem I have is that the Seahawks donít play well outside of Seattle going 3-5 with their only road wins being at Carolina, at a fading Chicago and in Toronto against the Bills which was pretty much a vanilla neutral site. I want to say the Seahawks are the one team that could give the Niners trouble. But there is something that tells me that the Redskins will be a tough team to beat at home.

Pick-Washington

Last Week: 14-2 (Lock & Upset Correct)

Regular Season Final Total: 167-88-1

Locks: 13-4

Upsets: 7-11

BlackBandit20s Week 17 NFL Picks
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions

Cue the old Kenny Loggins songÖ ďThis Is ItĒ The 2012 regular season draws to a close with this slate of Sunday games. All the AFC playoff spots have been spoken for with the Colts and Bengals claiming the wild card spots, but the matter of the byes and home field advantage are still very much up for grabs. In the NFC one wild card slot is left and the NFC East title is still up for grabs. All this weekís games are on Sunday as the NFL decided a few years ago to stop having the season end with a Monday nighter for fear of a playoff bound team being at a disadvantage prepping for a playoff game on a short week. As correctly predicted the Cowboys-Redskins game will be the Sunday Night finale and the stakes couldnít be higher. This game could have the potential of a win or go home. Using the flex schedule the Dolphins-Patriots game and the Packers-Vikings matchup were moved to the later slots. Both networks get doubleheaders this week so get ready for wall to wall football. †All odds are provided from bodog.net and are for entertainment and comparison purposes only. If you spend the New Yearís money having to pay back your bookies, thatís on you. Donít call me if you get took.

NFL SCHEDULE Ė WEEK 17

Sunday, December 30

Ravens (10-5) @ Bengals (9-6)

Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Bengals by 3

Last Week Ravens defeated Giants 33-14; Bengals defeated Steelers 13-10

Fast Fact Something has to give; the Bengals have allowed an average of 58 yards rushing over their last four games, the Ravens rushed for 224 yards in their last win.

Playoff Implications: Both teams have clinched playoff spots, Ravens can move to #3 spot with win and NE Loss

Both teams are headed for the postseason, so expect a game played close to the vest. Joe Flacco may try to get his passing groove on the way he did back in September. The Bengals will really have to work hard to contain the rugged running of Ray Rice. (Unintentional alliteration). Considering that both teams will try to keep the injuries to a minimum. Itís a tough call to make here, but Ill gamble that the Bengals will play a little bit better at home and squeak a win out.

Pick-Cincinnati

Panthers (6-9) @ Saints (7-8)

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Saints by 6

Last Week Panthers defeated Raiders 17-6, Saints defeated Cowboys 34-31 in OT

Fast Fact The Saints have given up 6512 yards in total offense, 281 yards shy of the infamous record set by the 1981 Baltimore ColtsÖSaints interim coach Joe Vitt was a coach on that team as well.

Considering that the Saints were all but left for dead after an 0-4 start the fact that they could have a breakeven season is saying something. The Saints offense is still very much high powered but their defense is still very much a mess. That said, facing a Panthers team that is still full of questions on both sides of the ball, Iím not real sold on the Panthers going into the Big Easy and getting a win.

Pick-New Orleans

Bears (9-6) @ Lions (4-11)

Ford Field, Detroit 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Bears by 3

Last Week Bears defeated Cardinals 28-13, Lions lost to Falcons 31-18

Fast Fact The Lions have given up an average of 31.9 points during their 7 game losing skid.

Playoff Implications Bears clinch #2 wild card with win and MIN loss

The Bears are trying their best to blow a 7-1 start and miss the playoffs, but they need help.† The Lions are still playing hard but are wasting the brilliant efforts of Calvin ďMegatronĒ Johnson and Matthew Stafford. The Bears seem to win in spite of Jay Cutler; itís the big play ball hawking defense that has been bailing them out of games more often than not. I have some strange feeling that the Bears with more and more injuries including those to Matt Forte, Brian Urlacher and Peanut Tillman, this game would be a lot closer than one would assume.

Pick-Chicago

Browns (5-10) @ Steelers (7-8)

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite No Line

Last Week Browns lost to Broncos 34-12, Steelers lost to Bengals 13-10

Fast Fact The Browns have not won in Pittsburgh since 2003

The Browns got thumped by the Broncos to no oneís surprise, while the Steelers lost a slugfest with the Bengals. Neither team has anything to really play for, but the Steelers might want revenge for a stunning upset that the Browns handed them last month. To tell you the truth, Iím not real sure on the Steelers being all there for the season finale. Though I do think that they may be able to grind out a win against the Browns,

Pick-Pittsburgh

Texans (12-3) @ Colts (10-5)

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Texans by 7

Last Week Texans lost to Vikings 23-6, Colts defeated Chiefs 20-13

Fast Fact The Texans have never won in Indianapolis, even last yearís 2-14 Colts team knocked off the playoff bound Texans in Indy last December.

Playoff Implications Both teams have clinched playoff spots; Texans can clinch #1 seed with win

With both teams headed to the postseason, like in the Bengals-Ravens contest expect both teams to play it pretty conservatively. The Texans are still trying to figure how much they will need or use RB Arian Foster who left the Vikings game with an irregular heartbeat. Iím thinking that the Colts will play the Texans tough just to prime for the playoffs. Though the Texans are still battling for the #1 seed, something tells me that the Texans will play just unfocused enough to slip.

Pick-Indianapolis

Jaguars (2-13) @ Titans (5-10)

LP Field, Nashville 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Titans by 4

Last Week Jaguars lost to Patriots 23-16, Titans lost to Packers 55-7

Fast Fact

It seems the end of the season canít come fast enough for both these teams. The Jags played the Pats tough in a loss while the Titans took about an awful beating as they could have gotten and the seat got real hot under head coach Mike Munchak. The Titans are bad thatís true but its asking a little too much to ask the Jags to win on the road.

Pick-Tennessee

NY Jets (6-9) @ Bills (5-10)

Ralph Wilson Stadium; Orchard Park, NY 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Bills by 3Ĺ

Last Week Jets lost to Chargers 27-17, Bills lost to Dolphins 24-10

Fast Fact The Jets allowed 11 sacks against the Chargers, tying a team record set during a replacement game in 1987.

Both teams are trudging to the end of forgettable seasons, the Jets jeering grinning preening head coach simply refuses to use Tim Tebow even in a lost cause like this season ender. †The shattered Mark Sanchez will get the start and one has to wonder if heís even mentally ready to QB this team. The Bills just have been playing so inconsistently itís hard to get a read on them, still I think that their offense will be able to plod through this one and get a win.

Pick-Buffalo

Eagles (4-11) @ NY Giants (8-7)

MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, NJ 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Giants by 7

Last Week Eagles lost to Redskins 27-20, Giants lost to Ravens 33-14

Fast Fact The Eagles have won in their last five appearances in New York against the Giants

Playoff Implications Giants clinch playoff berth with win and losses by MIN, CHI AND DAL

The Eagles are fading away but are still playing hard down the stretch; Michael Vick is auditioning for another job, no matter what he says to the media. The G-Men were in firm control of their playoff destiny three weeks ago but have taken a pair of hellacious road beatings and now need a truckload of help in addition to winning this game. I think that they get the win; they arenít bad enough to lose to this woeful squad.

Pick-New York Giants

Buccaneers (6-9) @ Falcons (13-2)

Georgia Dome, Atlanta 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite No line provided

Last Week Buccaneers lost to Rams 28-13, Falcons defeated Lions 31-18

Fast Fact A Falcons win would tie their 1998 Super Bowl team for most wins in a season.

The Falcons toyed with the Lions before pulling away late for the win while the Bucs are coming apart down the stretch in Greg Schianoís first season. With the #1 seed already in their pocket, one has to wonder how much the Falcons are going to play their starters in an otherwise meaningless game. I think the Falcons, who are tough at home will dawdle just long enough to make it look interesting but have more than enough to beat a Bucs team that just doesnít measure up.

Pick-Atlanta

Cardinals (5-10) @ 49ers (10-4-1)

Candlestick Park, San Francisco 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite 49ers by 17

Last Week Cardinals lost to Bears 28-13, 49ers lost to Seahawks 42-13

Fast Fact The Cardinals have gone six games without a touchdown pass.

Playoff Implications 49ers clinch NFC West with win and clinch #2 seed with first round bye with win AND GB loss

The Cards just gave a bucketload of turnovers and points to the Bears in another loss while the Niners took a frightful beating on their second straight primetime appearance. The Niners need to shake off the memories of that loss and focus on a sad sack Cards squad that is a shadow of the team rolled to an NFC title as a lovable underdog in 2008. The Niners user their mulligan last week and will spare the Cards no quarter.

Pick-San Francisco (Lock of the Week)

Packers (11-4) @ Vikings (9-6)

Mall of America Field @ HHH Metrodome, Minneapolis 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite Packers by 3†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Last Week Packers defeated Titans 55-7; Vikings defeated Texans 23-6

Fast Fact With 102 rushing yards, Vikings Adrian Peterson would become the 8th NFL running back to surpass 2000 rushing yards.

Playoff Implications Packers clinch #2 seed and first round bye with win

The Vikings are caught in between Petersonís outside chance at breaking the 28 year old rushing record held by Eric Dickerson and getting the offense moving similar to the efficient one that frustrated the Texans. The Packers are coming in after a thorough beatdown of the Titans. The Packers have already clinched a home playoff game; itís the bye thatís on the line. If the Vikings win, they could likely face the Packers in Lambeau the very next week. In a pick that is more heart than head, I think the Vikes become the 2nd team this year to go from double digit losses to double digit wins and a playoff berth. Will AP get

2K or 2105? I think the former but not the latter, but the Vikes win will salve that

Pick-Minnesota (Upset of the Week)

Chiefs (2-13) @ Broncos (12-3)

Sports Authority Field @ Mile High, Denver 4:25 (CBS)

Favorite Broncos by 16

Last Week Chiefs lost to Colts 20-13, Broncos defeated Browns 34-12

Fast Fact The Chiefs are trying to avoid tying a franchise worst 2-14 season, while the Broncos are attempting to have their best record since 2005

Playoff Implications Broncos clinch 1st round bye with win or NE loss.

This has all the makings of a classic mismatch, but the Chiefs play teams tough in spite of their horrid record, but this is another case of asking too much of a bad team on the road versus a much much better team. The Broncos are trying to secure a round 1 bye and should have no real problems with the woeful Chiefs.

Pick-Denver

Dolphins (7-8) @ Patriots (11-4)

Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, MA 4:25 (CBS)

Favorite Patriots by 10

Last Week Dolphins defeated Bills 24-10; Patriots defeated Jaguars 23-16

Fast Fact The Patriots gained a total of 23 first downs last week against Jacksonville, a season low

Playoff Implications Patriots have clinched AFC East can clinch 1st round bye with win and losses by EITHER DEN or HOU, clinches #1 seed with win and losses by HOU AND DEN

The Pats have to fight off general boredom as they have locked their division down long ago but need a load of help to get a bye. The Pats are just going through the motions ahead of the playoffs. The Dolphins are much improved but not so much that they can go into Foxboro and win.

Pick-New England

Raiders (4-11) @ Chargers (6-9)

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego 4:25 (CBS)

Favorite No Line provided

Last Week Raiders lost to Panthers 17-6, Chargers defeated Jets 27-17

Fast Fact Chargers QB Philip Rivers has thrown for 3455 yards this season and will likely miss the 4000 yard passing mark for the 1st time since 2007.

Both teams are headed nowhere but the Raiders are just playing horrible. The Chargers havenít played like gang busters themselves but they are at least playing at some competent level. The Raiders are considering using Terrelle Pryor at QB. That in itself should tell you how far the Raiders have sunk. The Chargers at home playing their hated instate rivals will relish the chance to lay a real beating down.

Pick-San Diego

Rams (7-7-1) @ Seahawks (10-5)

Century Link Field, Seattle 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite Seahawks by 11

Last Week Rams defeated Buccaneers 28-13; Seahawks defeated Niners 42-13

Fast Fact The Seahawks scored 150 points in their last three games, the most in a three game span since the Los Angeles Rams scored 163 from October 22-November 5 1950.

Playoff Implications Seahawks have clinched playoff spot, can win NFC West with win AND SF loss, get first round bye with win AND losses by BOTH SF & GB

The Seahawks just showed out on Sunday Night and thrashed the Niners in front of a deliriously thrilled home crowd. The Rams are vastly improved and look as if they could put up a real fight here but the Seahawks are the better team on both sides of the ball. Russell Wilson has this team playing on a focused playoff like level.

Pick-Seattle

Cowboys (8-7) @ Redskins (9-6)

FedEx Field; Landover, MD 8:20 (NBC)

Favorite Redskins by 3Ĺ

Last Week Cowboys lost to Saints 34-31 in OT, Redskins defeated Eagles 27-20

Fast Fact Since 2000, Dallas is 2-10 in season ending games.

Playoff Implications Winner of this game is NFC East Champion

The media canít help themselves; they are so in love with the Pokes and the possibility that Tony Romo can finally redeem himself in the playoffs that they ignore the fact that this is a seriously flawed team. RGIII is getting close to folk hero status in the DC area and the Redskins are on the precipice of their first division title since 1999. Though Dez Bryant has seemingly channeled Michael Irvin and been making plays at an incredible clip. There is something that I just do not trust about the Cowboys. When the money is on the line, the Pokes have come up short more often than not as of late. Facing a full house on the road, I just feel that the Cowboys will just not do the deed and Tony Romo will again fall on his face when he needs to step up.

Pick-Washington

Last Week: 10-6 (Lock Correct, Upset Incorrect)

Overall 153-86-1

Locks: 12-4

Upsets 6-10

BlackBandit20s Week 16 NFL Picks
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions

First of all, apologies are in order for my inconsistencies in my picks, I have been juggling a number of projects and have neglected at times fully checking my picks.††It seems that I would laud one team yet mystfyingly will pick the opposite. As the season winds down, please be assured that the next 32 picks will be researched and proofread for accuracy. While I can never guarantee that they will fall correct, you can be assured the picks that I will make are the ones that I think will win. You will see complete picks from this end. There are no more Thursday games, thankfully. The first game of the week is a Saturday nighter, to replace what would be a Christmas Eve game in the Motor City. With the playoff picture getting more defined, I have listed the playoff implications that a win would clinch. The odds are still provided by bodog.net as they have fairly reliable odds, but they are for entertainment and comparison purposes only. If I really need to explain why I say this, you need to leave the odds and betting alone. In any case, from this end of the keyboard to yours Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

NFL SCHEDULE Ė WEEK 16

Saturday, December 22

Falcons (12-2) @ Lions (4-10)

Ford Field, Detroit 8:30 (ESPN)

Favorite Falcons by 4Ĺ

Last Week Falcons defeated Giants 34-0, Lions lost to Cardinals 38-10

Fast Fact With two regular-season games, Gonzalez, 36, needs 120 receiving yards to reach 1,000 for the season. He also needs two touchdowns to reach 10 on the season. According to ESPN Stat & Information, no player in NFL history has had 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in a season at 36 or older.

Playoff Implications: Falcons have clinched NFC South, clinch 1st round bye and home field advantage with win.

The Falcons quieted a lot of doubters, your humble scribe included with a rousing rout of the Giants, now are in full control of the NFC playoff road going through their crib. The Lions flat embarrassed themselves with a pitiful performance against a wholly beatable Cards team. The Falcons are in no mood to play around and will pound the Lions to be able to rest their starters next week.

Pick-Atlanta

Sunday, December 23

Bills (5-9) @ Dolphins (6-8)

SunLife Stadium; Miami Gardens, FL

Favorite Dolphins by 4Ĺ

Last Week Bills lost to Seahawks 50-17, Dolphins defeated Jaguars 24-3

Fast Fact Bills are the first team since the 1986 Jets to give up 45 or more points four times

The Bills just looked a hot mess getting trampled by the Seahawks in front of a disinterested crowd in Toronto, the Dolphins are content taking ugly wins as opposed to pretty losses and are incredibly still barely in the playoff hunt and need to have a mathematical miracle occur to make it but are still playing for a little something. The Bills beat this same crew in Orchard Park a few weeks ago but I donít think that they are playing with the same purpose.

Pick-Miami

Bengals (8-6) @ Steelers (7-7)

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Steelers by 4

Last Week Bengals defeated Eagles 34-13, Steelers lost to Cowboys 27-24 in OT

Fast Fact Bengals have only made the playoffs in back to back years one time in 1981-82

Playoff Implications Bengals clinch playoff berth with win

The Steelers have gone from playoff sure thing about a month ago to sliding badly. The Bengals are kicking themselves for a loss to Dallas that wouldíve actually had them in the playoffs ahead of this game. The Bengals take advantage of enough of their oppositionís miscues to pile up points as they did against the Eagles, and the Steelers under normal circumstances as of late are miscue prone. The thing is this, the Bengals are afraid of the Steelers, and the Steelers seem to get a quiet confidence about them when they face the Bengals. The Bengals have so much to play for and the Steelers are still trying to salvage their season, which just for some reason doesnít bode well for the visitors. I would love to be wrong, but give the Bengals bad luck history and their predilection to freeze up against the SteelersÖ

Pick-Pittsburgh

Colts (9-5) @ Chiefs (2-12)

Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Colts by 7

Last Week Colts lost to Texans 27-13, Chiefs lost to Raiders 15-0

Fast Fact These two teams once played an entire playoff game (2004 AFC Divisional Round) without either team punting

Playoff Implications Colts clinch playoff spot with win

The Colts got housed in Houston but are still very much in control of their playoff destiny. The Chiefs more or less quit weeks ago and are playing out the string. The Colts are simply put the better and will prove it in spades.

Pick-Indianapolis

Minnesota (8-6) @ Houston (12-2)

Reliant Stadium, Houston 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Texans by 9

Last Week Vikings defeated Bears 21-13; Texans defeated Colts 27-13

Fast Fact In just 14 games, Vikings RB Adrian Peterson broke his own team single season rushing record of 1760 yards set in 2007; AP has 1812 yards so far this season.

Playoff Implications Texans clinch #1 AFC seed with win

Adrian Peterson is a BEAST! Sorry, as an unabashed Vikings fan I had to get that out. But most football pundits (I even have a buddy whoís a diehard Packer fan who is an admirer of AP) will agree with me and know that Peterson has carried the Vikings to the brink of an improbable playoff berth. The Texans bounced back strong from their primetime humiliation at the hands of the Pats to whip the Colts and clinch their division. This is likely the best defense that Peterson and the Vikes will face all year and as much as I would love to be wrong. I can see the Texans loading up the box to stop AP and daring the super weak Vikings pass game to beat them. On the road, I canít see the Vikes pulling that off.

Pick-Houston

Patriots (10-4) @ Jaguars (2-12)

EverBank Field, Jacksonville 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Patriots by 14Ĺ

Last Week Patriots lost to 49ers 41-34, Jaguars lost to Dolphins 24-3

Fast Fact Patriots are 6-0 and averaging 39.5 points a game when facing teams with a losing record this year.

The Jaguars are cursing the schedule maker; they are facing an angry Pats team annoyed after losing a shootout with the Niners that snapped a decade long December home winning streak. The Jags are offensively inept and the Pats are in no mood to be charitable. This game will get ugly really fast.

Pick-New England

Saints (6-8) @ Cowboys (8-6)

Cowboys Stadium; Arlington, TX 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Cowboys by 3

Last Week Saints defeated Buccaneers 41-0; Cowboys defeated Steelers 27-24 in OT

Fast Fact The Saints have won 6 of the last 7 meetings

Living on the edge, the Pokes seem to keep flirting with but averting disaster. They have been playing better as of late and have been winning games by the slimmest of margins.††QB Tony Romo has played well recently throwing 12 touchdowns against only 3 Interceptions in the last six games. The Pokes have Averaged 29.5 ppg and went 5-1 in that stretch. In throttling the Bucs, Saints snapped a 3 game slide that has pretty much destroyed any slim hopes that they had for a playoff spot. I donít trust the Saints weak defense especially a rejuvenated Cowboy offense. The sycophantic media wonks will continue to laud the Pokes and delude themselves further that this is a quality playoff team especially after this win.

Pick-Dallas

Raiders (4-10) @ Panthers (5-9)

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Panthers by 9

Last Week Panthers defeated Chargers 31-7; Raiders defeated Chiefs 15-0

Fast Fact The Raiders have been outscored 200-95 in six road games, any shock they are 1-5 on the road? Both teams are coming off of relatively easy wins, both teams. Cam Newton is looking like he is finally shaking his sophomore slump. This is the Raiders 5th trip to the Eastern Time zone, and theyíve gotten hammered each time. I see no reason why it wonít happen again.

Pick-Carolina

Chargers (5-9) @ NY Jets (6-8)

MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, NJ, 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Jets by 1

Last Week Chargers lost to Panthers 31-7, Jets lost to Titans 14-10

Fast Fact The Chargers have won six of their last seven visits in New York

The NFL couldnít flex out of this snoozer game fast enough. The Jets are just a mess the grins and jeers from their head coach have long gone. The Sanchez era could very well be over in Gotham and even the sainted Tebow is wanting out too. Into this mess come the Chargers finishing a slow painful season of their own. Greg McElroy gets the start for the Jets and I am already on record of my distrust of West Coast teams going east for early games. This should mean an easy win for the Jets, right? Ummmm no, Iím seeing another Jets flameout and the Chargers getting the close win

Pick-San Diego

Rams (6-7-1) @ Buccaneers (6-8)

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Buccaneers by 3

Last Week Rams lost to Vikings 36-22, Buccaneers lost to Saints 41-0

Fast Fact The Rams are 2-7 outside the NFC West but unbeaten in it (4-0-1)

Both teams were harboring playoff dreams for a minute but the Rams got ran over by AP and the Vikes while the Bucs shamed themselves with a woeful performance against the Saints. The former let the games best back run for north of two bills, nothing unusual there but the Bucs had close to 400 yards of offense and didnít score a point! Itís hard to figure which team will show up on either side. Both teams are showing growth from dismal seasons previous. I will go with the fact the Rams still arenít real good on the road and even worse outside of their division.

Pick-Tampa Bay

Titans (5-9) @ Packers (10-4)

Lambeau Field, Green Bay 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite No Line provided

Last Week Titans defeated Jets 14-10; Packers defeated Bears 21-13

Fast Fact The Titans have won the last three meetings

The Packers have wrapped up the NFC North and are more or less cooling their heels until the playoffs, the Titans inconsistent season took an uptick as they slogged out an ugly win against the Jets. The Packers have their flaws and have a tendency to mentally wander against lesser opponents but I see no real reason to see them losing against a Titans squad that doesnít measure up

Pick-Green Bay

Redskins (8-6) @ Eagles (4-10)

Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Redskins by 6Ĺ

Last Week Redskins defeated Browns 38-21, Eagles lost to Bengals 34-13

Fast Fact Eagles have double digit losses for only the 3rd time in the Andy Reid era

The Redskins looked sharp in wearing down the Browns and have been bolstered by the return to health by RGIII, the Redskins have to keep themselves from looking past the woeful Eagles to their super huge showdown with the Pokes next week (Thatís the game that will get flexed to the primetimeÖyou heard it here first) Meanwhile the Eagles have had the thousand yard stare for a long time. With this being the home finale and likely the end of the Andy Reid and Michael Vick era in Philly the natives will just let all the invective fly here. †I think that no matter who is the starting quarterback for the Redskins, they are just better than the Eagles.

Pick-Washington

Browns (5-9) @ Broncos (11-3)

Sports Authority Field @ Mile High, Denver 4:05 (CBS)

Favorite Broncos by 13

Last Week Browns lost to Redskins 38-21, Broncos defeated Ravens 34-17

Fast Fact-Broncos have won the last nine meetings

The Broncos are on a serious roll, having won ten straight. Peyton Manning is playing out of his mind and the Broncos are riding the crest of his excellence. The Browns are playing much better than at the beginning of the season, but they still got housed by the Redskins. The Broncos are better on both sides of the ball, and can put points on the board in a hurry. That is something that the Browns simply do not have the capacity to do. Add the fact that the Browns havenít been able to beat the Broncos in better than 2 decades, may lead some to think that the Browns are due; this scribe isnít one of them

Pick-Denver (Lock of the Week)

Bears (8-6) @ Cardinals (5-9)

University of Phoenix; Glendale, AZ 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite Bears by 6

Last Week Bears lost to Packers 21-13, Cardinals defeated Lions 38-10

Fast Fact December has not been a good month for the Bears in the last six years; the Bears are a mediocre 10-14 in December since their Super Bowl run in 2006.

The Bears are fading badlyÖagain. Their weak effort against the Pack is symptomatic of their downfall from a 7-1 start; the Cards finally broke their long streak with a rousing rout of the Lions. I canít see the Cards doing that sort of thing again, their defense wonít get a chance to cash in on so many opportunities. The Bears are bad but I canít see them coming apart against this bad a team.

Pick-Chicago

NY Giants (8-6) @ Ravens (9-5)

M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite Giants by 3

Last Week Giants lost to Falcons 34-0, Ravens lost to Broncos 34-17

Fast Fact The Ravens once had a 16 game win streak, now have lost back to back home games and are on their longest losing streak since 2007.

Playoff Implications Ravens win AFC North with win

The question now is which team is coming apart faster; both teams took awful beatings to playoff bound teams. The Ravens are playoff bound but still need to win more to clinch the AFC North, the G-Men are still need help to make the playoff and †Eli Manning aint helping matter having just looked awful against the rowdy Falcon defense. The Ravens Joe Flacco, for that matter is looking more and more lost every week. This is a tough game to call, because for reasons that no one really knows the Ravens are wasting the talent of Ray Rice. The G-Men are a team that keeps looking like that they are waiting until the last possible minute to turn on the switch to meld into a playoff/Super Bowl contender. I think that the Ravens trouble are deeper than they really want to let on and the G-Men who have an annoying tendency to dawdle before playing their best ball are just good enough to stay in the playoff picture.

Pick-New York Giants

49ers (10-3-1) @ Seahawks (9-5)

CenturyLink Field, Seattle 8:20 (NBC)

Favorite 49ers by 1

Last Week 49ers defeated Patriots 41-34; Seahawks defeated Bills 50-17

Fast Fact The Seahawks are the first team to score 50+ in back to back games since the 1950 Giants

Playoff Implications 49ers clinch division and 1st round bye with win; Seahawks clinch playoff spot with win.

This game was flexed into primetime, would you have rather had seen the Chargers-Jets?

The NFL loves the ability to flex games and this high stakes NFC West showdown is exactly the type of game that they had in mind. Both teams are fun to watch and have developed a decent rivalry of sorts. The Seahawks coming full of fire after ringing up 108-17 margin in their last two games, but the curve gets much much steeper here. The Niners defense is tough but it can be scored on. Iím expecting a tight game with points at a premium. The Seahawks are super tough at home, but the Niners are turning the intensity up past a level the Seahawks arenít ready for. This is an upset only because the Seahawks are so tough at home.

Pick-San Francisco (Upset of the Week)

Last Week: 11-5 (Lock and Upset Incorrect)

Overall 143-80-1

Locks: 11-4

Upsets 6-9

BlackBandit20s NFL Week 15 Picks
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL PIcks & Predictions

With 3 weeks left in the regular season, the schedule has seemed to coalesce and there are a bevy, no smorgasboard, no a plentiful bounty of quality football games. The NFL has never has this many games this late in the season pitting teams with winning record count Ďem 6 games between teams with winning recordsÖsave for maybe the last week of the season the stakes couldnít be higher. There isnít a lot hype needed on my part, just enjoy these games. The odds are as usual provided by bodog.net for entertainment and comparison purposes only. Its too close to Christmas to try to hit me up to help you pay your bookie if you bet the lines and lose the kiddies Christmas presents.

Sunday, December 16

Broncos (10-3) @ Ravens (9-4)

M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Broncos by 3

Last Week Broncos defeated Raiders 26-13, Ravens lost to the Redskins 31-28

Fast Fact The Broncos have never beaten the Ravens in Baltimore, the last win the Broncos had in Baltimore was John Elwayís rookie season in 1983, the last year the Colts were in Baltimore.

Both teams are streaking but in different directions. The Broncos are riding the peerless passing of Peyton Manning to an eight game winning streak. The Ravens have lost back to back games by 3 points each and the questions are cropping up quick. This is a tough game to call, but I think that the Broncos can pull out a tight win, there are just too many questions about Joe Flacco being a big money QB.

Pick-Denver

Packers (9-4) @ Bears (8-5)

Soldier Field, Chicago 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Packers by 3

Last Week Packers defeated Lions 27-20, Bears lost to Vikings 21-14

Fast Fact Packers have won 6 of the last 7 meetings

The Pack are nowhere near their 1 loss juggernaut from last year but keeping it together just enough to keep their divisional rivals at bay. The Bears are a mess looking more and more like a fraud, as their offense is being exposed as its usual inept self. Since the defense is starting to show treads with Brian Urlacher and Peanut Tillman out with injuries. Add the fact the Jay Cutler is a question mark to play (again) I just cant see the Bears winning, they will keep it close but Da Bears ainít winning here.

Pick-Green Bay

Colts (9-4) @ Texans (11-2)

Reliant Stadium, Houston 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Texans by 9

Last Week Colts defeated Titans 27-23, Texans lost to Patriots 42-14

Fast Fact Colts QB Andrew Luck is the first #1 pick QB to have a winning season in his rookie season

Playoff Implications Texans can clinch AFC South with win

The Colts are growing by leaps and bounds and far exceeding any expectations, and are firmly in control of their playoff destiny. Meanwhile the Texans have taken a pair of primetime losses and bad ones as the only blemishes of their otherwise spotless record. Im starting to doubt the validity of the Texans legitimacy as a quality team, as they seem to have a real problem beating quality teams. Their two signature wins against the Ravens and Bears are teams that are now fading badly.Tthe problem here is that the Colts with all their youthful exuberance are still a young team facing a dangerous defense on the road. I like the Colts to be sure but Im not quite ready to bank on them in an uber hostile venue like Houston.

Pick-Houston

Jaguars (2-11) @ Dolphins (5-8)

SunLife Stadium; Miami Gardens, FL 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Dolphins by 7

Last Week Jaguars lost to Jets 17-10, Dolphins lost to 49ers 27-13

Fast Fact Forget the North Florida-South Florida type in-state rivalry. These teams have only faced each other 4 times in the regular season and split the meetings.

This is a ho-hum game as the Jags are sleepwalking through more games and the Dolphins have trouble playing a complete game. The Jags offense is still a shambles and facing a decent Dolphins defense this will be highlighted. The Dolphins may not have a stellar offense but its plenty enough to wear down a sad-sack Jags defense that if the Jets can put points on the Dolphins will have no trouble doing the same.

Pick-Miami

Vikings (7-6) @ Rams (6-6-1)

Edward Jones Dome, St. .Louis 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Rams by 3

Last Week Vikings defeated Bears 21-14, Rams defeated Bills 15-12

Fast Fact The Rams three-game winning streak has come despite only four offensive TDs, but opponents have been limited to 14.0 points per game in that span.

The Vikings broke their skid by doing what theyíve always been doing riding the redoubtable Adrian Peterson to as many yards as they can get and hoping that they can milk leads. With no real passing game to speak of the Vikes are living on their running game and defense. The Rams are winning ugly and their offense is just as non-existant. Im leery of banking on the Vikes because of their inconsistent passing game and knowing that the Rams improving defense will stack the box. But Im going with them because the Rams offense will struggle with the Vikes solid defensive unit.

Pick-Minnesota

NY Giants (8-5) @ Falcons (11-2)

Georgia Dome, Atlanta 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Falcons by 1

Last Week Giants defeated Saints 52-27, Falcons lost to Panthers 30-20

Fast Fact The Falcons clinched their third straight playoff berth last and are on their longest playoff run in team history.

The Giants offense and special teams came together in a rousing rout of the Saints while the Falcons took a lackluster loss in Carolina. I wish I could put more faith in Matty Ice but the Falcons sometimes donít play like an 11 win team with a division title already in their pocket. Eli Manning can be the most frustrating quarterback to figure, playing solid most weeks but sometimes making puzzling mistakes. Donít ask me why but this smells like an upset. The Giants play tough on the road and the Falcons while tough at home are looking like they are coasting.

Pick-New York Giants (Upset of the Week)

Buccaneers (6-7) @ Saints (5-8)

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans 1:00 FOX

Favorite Saints by 3 Ĺ

Last Week Buccaneers lost to Eagles 23-21, Saints lost to Giants 52-27

Fast Fact The Bucs have blown leads in the fourth quarter four times this season

Both teams are coming off humiliating losses, the Bucs losing to the lowly Eagles while the Saints got housed by the G-Men. Both teams are on the very fringe of the playoff chase so this is pretty much a knockout game for both teams. Im banking on Drew Brees being able to strafe the weak Bucs secondary or big yards and the Bucs not being able to hang offensively.

Pick-New Orleans

Redskins (7-6) @ Browns (5-8)

Browns Stadium, Cleveland 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite No Line due to questionable status of RGIII

Last Week Redskins defeated Ravens 31-28, Browns defeated Chiefs 30-7

Fast Fact The Browns 30-7 win was their largest margin of victory since 2003

The Redskins are reluctant to press RGIII into action if they can help it but are trying to stay in the NFC playoff picture, facing a fast improving Browns team this win is far from a given without their dynamic QB. Im going to gamble that the Skins will be able cobble enough offense to slog thru to a win.

Pick-Washington

Panthers (4-9) @ Chargers (5-8)

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego 4:05 (FOX)

Favorite Chargers by 3

Last Week Panthers defeated Falcons 30-20, Chargers defeated Steelers 34-24

Fast Fact The Chargers have yet to beat the Panthers at home (0-2)

Both teams coming off stunning upsets of playoff contending teams, but neither are anywhere close to being real contenders themselves. Cam Newton played like a beast last week but its anyones guess if he will repeat the feat on the road. This is a tough one to call and I know Im likely to regret it either way I call this game.

Pick-San Diego

Lions (4-9) @ Cardinals (4-9)

University of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, AZ 4:05 FOX

Favorite Cardinals by 7

Last Week Lions lost to Packers 27-20, Cardinals lost to Seahwaks 58-0

Fast Fact The Cards have won the last five meetings in Arizona

The Lions again found a way to lose again, this time after having the lead on the Pack at Lambea while the Seahawks to a frightful beating in Seattle and have more or less just folded up tents for the season. Now while The Lions arenít scaring anyone this season and have played wildly inconsistent often but give them some credit they are competing hard in every game. I think Matthew Stafford will have fun riddling the weak Cards defense. The Cards are a shell of the team that started 4-0

Pick-Detroit (Lock of the week)

Seahawks (8-5) vs. Bills (5-8)

Rogers Centre; Toronto Ontario, Canada 4:05 (FOX)

Favorite Seahawks by 6

Last Week Seahawks defeated Cardinals 58-0, Bills lost to Rams 15-12

Fast Fact The Seahawks 58 points last week broke the franchise record for scoring in a game set in 1977 against Buffalo

The Seahawks are feeling all kinds of froggy after a woodshed treatment of the Cards and are very much in the playoff hunt, the Bills are pretty much done after a lackluster effort against the Rams. This is a trap game for the Seahawks with a flexed into primetime showdown with the Niners looming, its easy to assume that they might get caught looking ahead to this game. Also the west coast team heading east rule might be in effect. But for some reason I think th

Chiefs (2-11) @ Raiders (3-10)

O.co Coliseum, Oalkand

Favorite Raiders by 3

Last Week Chiefs lost to Browns 30-7, Raiders lost to Broncos 26-13

Fast Fact The Chiefs are winless against conference opponents (0-9)

This old school rivalry is probably one that is good in name only, both teams are sleepwalking through the latter quarter of the season. Carson Palmer continues to throw bushels of passes but is usually so far behind that it makes no matter. The Chiefs are the only team in the conference that could be labeled worse. The Raiders should win this tossup only because the Chiefs are just not a good road team, neither team is that good but the Chiefs are marginally worse.

Pick-Oakland

Pittsburgh (7-6) @ Dallas (7-6)

Cowboys Stadium; Arlington, TX 4:25 (CBS)

Favorite Steelers by 2

Last Week Cowboys defeated Bengals 20-19, Steelers lost to Chargers 34-24

Fast Fact One or both these teams have played in 16 of 46 Super Bowls (8 each)

This classic matchup features 2 teams that are trying desperately to stay in the playoff hunt, the Steelers have a much much better handle on their playoff destiny than the inconsistent Pokes do but the Steelers have all sorts of problems with the return of Big Ben. Hes back but has developed happy feet and has had a nasty predilection for making untimely turnovers and other preventable mistakes. Im not real sold on the Pokes (when am I ever?) But I have the bad feeling that they are going to pull out an unlikey win over a Steeler team I think is fading down the stretch and keep their media sycophantic wonks drooling over their playoff possibilities however improbable.

Pick-Dallas

San Francisco (9-3-1) @ New England (10-3) 8:20 NBC

Gilette Stadium; Foxboro, MA 8:20 (NBC)

Favorite Patriots by 4Ĺ

Last Week 49ers defeated Dolphins 27-13, Patriots defeated Texans 42-13

Fast Fact The Patriots have won the last three meetings in the series after snapping a Niners 6 game win streak.

Easily the most intriguing matchup of the week, the Niners head way east to face a top AFC team. The Niners have seemed to settle in on using Colin Kaepernick at QB and their offense is moving along nicely, now the Pats offense hasnít had any real trouble moving but will face their stiffest test against a powerhouse Niner defense. Tom Brady will not be able to sit in the pocket picking out receivers at will like he did in his surgical dissection of the Texans on Monday Night. I like the Niners and their defense, as well as their quietly efficient offense, but even with the Pats on a short week, Im not secure in picking a west coast team coming east. It doesnít always pan out (see Chargers-Steelers last week) but Im not betting against an East Coast team at home in December against a West Coast team.

Pick-New England

Monday, December 17

NY Jets (6-7) @ Titans (4-9)

LP Field, Nashville 8:30 (ESPN)

Favorite Titans by 1Ĺ

Last Week Jets defeated Jaguars 17-10, Titans lost to Colts 27-23

Fast Fact The Jets have won three of the four meetings in Nashville.

The grins and jeers are starting to come back to the Jets coach as they have somehow wormed their way back into the fringes of the playoff hunt. The Titans keep losing tight and close games. The question of the appearance of Tim Tebow continues to haunt the Jets and their lack of offense is still a big big problem, Playing a weka schedule the Jets are fooling themselves into thinking that they are a legit playoff team. Im going to take a chance here and say that playing on primetime exposed them as the fraud everyone knows that they are and the Titans pull the mild upset.

Pick-Tennessee

Last Week: 11-5 (Lock correct, upset not selected

Overall:132-75-1

Locks:11-3

Upsets:6-8

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