TULSA - Thank you Underdogs.
I went 10-6 in Week 14. Not bad. But how about those upset specials!
Carolina over Atlanta. Thank you.
How about Minnesota over Chicago. Not huge, but big enough to put in the upset column.
Washington over Baltimore. If Griffin stays healthy (and that's about 50-50 right now), Washington may make some noise at playoff time.
Did you hear the NFL is thinking about expanding the playoffs to 16 teams? That would water it down. If you ask me, it is perfect right now. We are already too close to teams under .500 getting in to the post-season.
Stop the crazy talk about more playoff teams!!!
On to this week's picks...
Cincinnati over Philadelphia - Eagles won their game for the second half of the season, back to being pitiful. Bengals blew a big chance last week against the Cowboys. Too many dropped passes, too many dropped Romo passes for interceptions, and the roughing penalty after tackling Dez Bryant was an embarrassment for the league. Bengals recover, 27-20.
NY Giants at Atlanta - Falcons doing the same thing they did in the past few years. Start out great, flutter at the end. This is a big one for both. Giants need it to stay on top of NFC East. ATL needs it to stave off the critics. Giants in a score-fest, 48-45.
Green Bay at Chicago - Something seems wrong with the Pack, and I can't put my finger on it. Can't knock Rodgers, they came from behind to beat a bad Lions team though, and that sort of thing scares me. Chicago in desperation mode right now. Bears win in freeze-fest, 28-27.
Washington at Cleveland - Have a feeling Griffin will not play Sunday. It is not inside information, I just think Shanahan would be playing with fire going with the gimpy QB, when there is so much future in RG-3. Why risk it? Cleveland getting better, especially if they keep it low-scoring. 13-10, Browns.
Minnesota at St. Louis - Rams strange outfit. On paper they don't seem like much. No WR, broken-down running game, but coach Fisher has these guys playing tough, including a no-name defense. Like Rams here in upset of AD and company, 19-16.
Jax at Miami - Could be worse game ever scheduled. Miami is better than 5-8, but Jax is worse than 2-11, if that's possible. My guess on attendance, 37,415. Lowest attendance for an NFL game you ask? This is the truth. While working in Green Bay in the mid-70's, I covered Packers at Atlanta when both teams were really bad. It was the last game of the season, pouring rain, and the amount of no-shows was a record. They kept track of those things back then - the no-shows, not the amount of rain. There were less than 5,000 fans at the old Fulton County Stadium, 48,000 no shows! Honest! Back to the game in Miami. Question. Which game will have the least amount of fans? This one or the Orange Bowl matchup between Northern Illinois and Florida State? Close, but I say this Sunday has the lower number. Speaking of low numbers. 10-7, Miami.
Tampa Bay at New Orleans - The going nowhere bowl. Saints may be inspired by the ruling to vacate suspensions of bounty-gate players, but coaches still in a pickle. Go New Orleans, but a squeaker, 34-31.
Denver at Baltimore - The Peyton Mannings are on a roll. Baltimore got stung last week in Washington. Ravens regroup, and beat Broncos B'more looking to make amends for poor play last few weeks. Lost two in a row, will not lose three. Ravens, 26-20.
Indianapolis at Houston - Boy, did Houston look horrible at New England or what? That happens though, over a long season. Indy about to hit the wall after a great season so far. Should have lost last week to bad Tennessee team. Texans in the romp, although I really like QB Luck. Houston, 42-20.
Detroit at Arizona - I said this a few paragraphs ago, " Could be worse game ever scheduled." I take that back. This is the worst game on the schedule. Motor City team about to blow an engine, at least a few gaskets. People say Zona quit last week. No team in the NFL should lose 58-0. No team! And that is exactly what Cards did last week. Pathetic. Can't pick them for that very reason. Lions win, without a roar, 24-12.
Carolina at San Diego - Chargers in last week, although a little late for the coach to keep his job. I took Chargers here because I think Carolina gets a little cocky, even though they are below .500. Not much on the line, but could be one of those entertainment contests. Kinda like Arena ball. Chargers, 39-37.
Seattle at Buffalo - Something about Pete Carroll that drives me nuts. His pre-game speeches. His post-game speeches. His interviews. Drives me crazy, I say. Buffalo is losing hope, not only of ever winning again this season, but also of keeping their team from moving to Toronto or LA. Seattle wins, darn it, 38-23.
Pittsburgh at Dallas - Big Ben worked out the kinks after layoff last week, and I see Pittsburgh playing lights out in this one. Steelers win, 29-20.
Kansas City at Oakland - Chiefs bad, Raiders worse. So why not have upset here. KC, 10-3.
NY Jets at Tennessee - Not really worth much commentary. Jets somehow keep playoff hopes alive with weakest schedule in NFL. Jets, 13-6.
San Fran at New England - Good Monday Night game. They say Patriots peaking, but 49er's not stiffs. Why is it New England always seems to play these big games at home? It's the conspiracy theorist in me. Pats, 37-26.
Have a good week!
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