Saturday, December 19, 2009
The Show Must Go On
Dallas Cowboys @ New Orleans Saints
The Cowboys need this game to stay in the playoff hunt, and so the coaches have a better chance of keeping their jobs in 2010. The problem is that they are facing the undefeated Saints who are intent on reaching perfection.
Saints 41 Cowboys 30
Chicago Bears @ Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens now control their playoff destiny, thanks to the Jaguars losing Thursday to Indianapolis. Expect the Ravens veterans to cajole the team to victory this week.
Ravens 27 Bears 21
New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills
The Patriots have looked almost dull the last month, which does not bode well for a team trying to gain momentum into the playoffs. The Bills have played much better football after they changed coaches. If New England doesn't win thos game, especially in sound fashion, then no one will be looking for them to go far into the post season.
Patriots 27 Bills 17
Arizona Cardinals @ Detroit Lions
The Cardinals are very good on the road, and the Lions are fresh off a game they got blown out in. This is a match up of one team who as Super Bowl dreams against a team looking forward to 2010.
Cardinals 41 Lions 17
Cleveland Browns @ Kansas City Chiefs
The only question here is who will play with pride and who wants the better draft pick.
Chiefs 27 Browns 24
Atlanta Falcons @ New York Jets
The Falcons season is over, but the Jets are still hanging onto playoff hopes by a thread. Expect the Jets to win the battle in the trenches, because they will want it more.
Jets 24 Falcons 20
Miami Dolphins @ Tennessee Titans
If you love smash mouth football, then tune into this game. Both teams rely on the run to win, but Miami has a slightly better defense. Tennessee needs Chris Johnson to explode and carry them to victory, something he has done a great deal of this year.
Dolphins 27 Titans 21
Houston Texans @ Saint Louis Rams
Both teams are making plans for next year. The Rams may play their rookie quarterback again, but Houston is the better squad.
Texans 34 Rams 13
San Francisco 49ers @ Philadelphia Eagles
The 49ers still have very slight playoff hopes, but the Eagles are looking to win the NFC East and gain momentum.
Eagles 26 49ers 17
Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos
The Raiders are like a yo-yo. You never know which team will show up. Denver needs this to keep up on the heels of the red hot Chargers.
Broncos 31 Raiders 17
Cincinnati Bengals @ San Diego Chargers
Game Of The Week
The Bengals come into this game with a heavy heart over the recent death of teammate Chris Henry. Though they have a hold on their division, they did not play well last week. A death in the family either inspires a team to rally or crumbles them completely. Facing the Chargers days after Henry dying makes the Bengals task even harder. San Diego has wn 16 straight games in December. A streak I think stops now in memory of Henry.
Bengals 34 Chargers 30
Green Bay Packers @ Pittsburgh Steelers
The Packers have been playing good football lately, while the Steelers have not. The defending champions will not be easy to beat, because they are mad at their recent performances, but Green Bay can win if they have some semblance of a running game.
Packers 27 Steelers 24
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Seattle Seahawks
This is a battle of the two 1976 expansion teams. Much like then, neither team will go to the playoffs this year.
Seahawks 27 Buccaneers 14
Minnesota Vikings @ Carolina Panthers
Panther fans may be witnessing the end of the John Fox Era. The team has played poorly all year, and a change of head coaches may be eminent. The Vikings are coming off an impressive drubbing of a very good Cincinnati team, and look to keep the ball rolling forward into the playoffs.
Vikings 37 Panthers 20
New York Giants @ Washington Redskins
The Giants couldn't be facing their longest divisional rivals at the worst time. The Redskins finally rid themselves of the incompetent Vinny Cerrato, replacing him with Bruce Allen. Bruce is the son of Redskins legendary Hall Of Fame head coach George Allen. The Redskins players will be playing for their 2010 jobs, knowing Allen will be looking to get rid of more dead weight in the organization.
The one chink in Washington's sound defensive armor is they can give up long passes. New York's Eli Manning should look long often to his young receivers. The Giants really need this win to keep afloat in their division, but the NFC East has a long history of bottom dwellers ruining the playoff hopes of their known foes.
Redskins 24 Giants 20
Last week I went 12-3, and am 130-59 overall.
The NFL news this week, besides the unfortunate death of Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry, is how the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints are both closing in on accomplishing undefeated regular season records. Both teams have stated they will attempt to close the deal at full force, though the Colts rested several key defensive players throughout the entire game versus the Jacksonville Jaguars this past Thursday.
Both teams have good defenses, and excellent quarterbacks. What separates the Saints from the Colts is the offensive line and running game. Indianapolis has not run the ball well often this year, and have relied on the arm and brain of quarterback Peyton Manning. New Orleans uses Pierre Thomas and Mike Bell as their primary runners, but lately the versatile Reggie Bush has provided them an extra excellent weapon in their deep offensive arsenal.
If these teams end up staying undefeated and meeting in the Super Bowl, the Saints would probably be slightly favored. Though Miami Dolphins great Mercury Morris is hoping this does not occur, so he can keep breaking out the champagne, this match up would help the NFL greatly. It has been a mostly mediocre season, thanks to all the rule changes and constant replays, so a Saints versus Colts battle would truly help wash out the stale taste of the 2009 season.
NFL Power Rankings
1. New Orleans Saints
2. Indianapolis Colts
3. Minnesota Vikings
4. San Diego Chargers
5. Philadelphia Eagles
6. Cincinnati Bengals
7. New England Patriots
8. Denver Broncos
9. Dallas Cowboys
10. Green Bay Packers
11. Baltimore Ravens
12. Arizona Cardinals
13. New York Giants
14. Miami Dolphins
15. New York Jets
16. Jacksonville Jaguars
17. Tennessee Titans
18. Pittsburgh Steelers
19. Atlanta Falcons
20. San Francisco 49ers
21. Houston Texans
22. Seattle Seahawks
23. Buffalo Bills
24. Chicago Bears
25. Carolina Panthers
26. Kansas City Chiefs
27. Washington Redskins
28. Detroit Lions
29. Oakland Raiders
30. Cleveland Browns
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
32. Saint Louis Rams