If misery loves company then it’s a good thing Andy and I write for the same site because my picks in week 16 were even more abysmal as the 7-9 mark moves the season ledger to 156-80-1. If baseball has the Mendoza line then pigskin prognostications should have a “Meatloaf” line as my personal goal every season when selecting NFL games is to be correct two out of every three times, as alas, ‘two out three ain’t bad’. A 12-4 mark would be needed attain that aggregate.
St.Louis @ Atlanta: Michael Turner, Matt Ryan and company are rolling and will be a tough out in the playoffs. If the Panthers had taken care of the situation in the Jersey swamps this game would have no meaning for the Falcons. But with the possiblity of stealing the NFC South with another Panther slip up makes this game very meaningful after all. The Rams on the other hand should be a little extra deflated after giving away a late lead last week against the 49ers and will just be looking to get this one over with if Atlanta gets going early. Atlanta 35 St. Louis 13
New England @ Buffalo: The Pats have managed to hang in the hunt, though all things considered they are not in control of their destiny but a win here is vital to their chances at gettting into the big dance. The Bills on the other hand are looking to play spoiler and with this game being at home the potential for drama increases.
Pats 26 Bills 24
Kansas City @ Cincinnati: I’m willing to pick it, just as long as I don’t have to watch this gridiron atrocity. Bengals 24 Chiefs 20
Detroit @ Green Bay: The 50 year curse of Bobby Layne becomes complete. Packers 31 Lions 0
Tennessee @ Indianapolis: Two teams with nothing to play for who will not be taking any chances, nor will they want to give anything away since a rematch in the playoffs is a distinct possibility. Give Indy the nod since they are at home. Colts 20 Titans 14
NY Giants @ Minnesota: The Giants are set, Minnesota missed their chance last week. This game will be tight early, but there will be limited reps for the Giants starters so look for Adrian Peterson to have a big 2nd half and for the Vikings to ground out the win. Vikings 20 Giants 10
Carolina @ New Orleans: The Panthers have placed themselves in a little bit of a pickle. The Saints while being eliminated from contention are seeking to make history as Drew Brees can break the record for most passing yards in a season though it would take a monster effort to pull off the feat. What it will all add up to in the end is a wild afternoon in the house of the rising sun. Panthers 39 Saints 38
Cleveland @ Pittsburgh: Even with this game having no bearing on the Steelers seeding I still expect this to get ugly. Steelers 27 Browns 3
Oakland @ Tampa Bay: Remember the episode of ‘What’s Happening’ when Dwayne tells someone to bet on the Buccaneers against the Raiders because he likes their helmets. Well Oakland has always had and will always have better helmets, but it is the Bucs who are far and away the better team. Bucs 23 Raiders 10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3zPBBDEYfQ
Chicago @ Houston: The Texans are more than capable of dashing the Bears playoff asperations and if they had taken care of the Raiders on the road then I would be much more willing to take them in this spot. But the stinker of an effort from last week combined with the Bears playing with a little of the strange Chi-town magic that seems to surface about every third season suggest the Bears will find a way almost in spite of themselves to pull this one out. Bears 24 Texans 21
Washington @ San Francisco: Despite the Skins somehow winning last week against the Eagles this is still a case of two teams going in opposite directions as the Skins offense is still MIA. The 49ers on the other hand just seem to find ways to get it done and are really buying into what Mike Singletary is selling. 49ers 21 Skins 13
Jacksonville @ Baltimore: The Ravens will use this game as a nice tune up for the postseason, expect a well rested Jaguar team to give them some problems but the Ravens are just too physical. Baltimore 24 Jacksonville 14
Miami @ NY Jets: Over the years these teams have played some great games at the end of the season. With this basically being a playoff game I feel another classic is in the offing. Recent trends suggest this is Miami’s game to lose as the Dolphins are surging while the Jets are struggling and the New York press has been all over the Jets in the way that only Gothams greatest scribes can. Bur when Brett Favre went to the Great White Way this is the type of challange he was looking for.
Jets 31`Dolphins 28
Dallas @ Philadelphia: It is amazing just how many games this week will have a playoff intensity to them, add this NFC East slobberknocker to the list. Both teams are kicking themselves after squandering chances to solidify their playoff situation, especially the Eagles. The plotlines are numerous. Can Romo handle the pressure, which Donovan McNabb will show up, and can the Cowboys stop the run when it counts? Confused? You won’t be http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_JhwUpIjbY
Cowboys 28 Eagles 24
Seattle @ Arizona: The Cards have nothing to play for but really need to get a win to restore their confidence for the postseason. Cards 31 Seahawks 24
Denver @ San Diego: Two teams in completely different directions. The first time around these teams played the most controversial game of the season. This time though there will be no controversy. San Diego 30 Denver 21