Hurray! The craziness of this year's football season seems like its coming to and end. Winning teams are winning (or die trying), and lesser talented franchises are playing up to their level of competence (or lack of.)
A year ago, we could actually predict who was sure fire bet to be the in playoffs. Not so much this year. No one team has really stood out this year, but that is about to change. The playoffs are a lot closer than we think, and players are are about to start showing up to play, and showing off on the field.
It's going to make for some really good football. Especially this particular season. because in almost every division, the playoff seats are up for grabs. They are going to play their little hearts out.
Having put in my two cents, here are my predictions for Week 12:
New England at Detroit
Let me say this: The Lions have played much better than their stats say. New England has not played as well as their stats say. However, Tom Brady's boy's are infinitely more talented than Detroit, so the outcome of this game is a no brainer. It won't even be close.
New England 35 - Detroit 17
New Orleans at Dallas
Three weeks ago, this would have been so very easy to call. And then, something wonderful happened in Cowboy-land: They actually woke up and started playing like the talented group of young men that they are. It's amazing what can inspire you when your coach gets fired. People start thinking, "Oh crap, who's next?"
The Cowboys started playing like their jobs depended on it, because for a few of them, it did. The Saints had no such drama, and they have been playing rather well all season, even without Reggie Bush (who may return this week). They will do well in Dallas, and by that, I mean they will win. But it will be close.
New Orleans 31 - Dallas 28
Cincinnati at New York Jets
More than halfway through the season, we are all asking ourselves, "What in the world happened to the Bengals?" How in the heck does a team, with that much talent, win only TWO GAMES? They might make it three games, but it won't be against the Mark Sanchez Mafia. The Jets are one of the few teams that showed up to play EVERY GAME THIS SEASON. I've seen Chad "Ocho-Oh-No" on VH1 more than I've seen him in the end zone.
Cincinnati 21 - New York Jets 35
Green Bay at Atlanta
This is the game of the week. The Packers have performed great all season, and the Falcon's have been consistently brilliant, even in the games they lost. Atlanta has not lost at home in a coon's age. Green Bay plays well on the road. When both teams are equally good, I gotta go with the home team. But I'm a little queasy about it.
Green Bay 24 - Atlanta 28
Pittsburgh at Buffalo
(In my best Gomer Pyle voice): Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! Y'all didn't expect the Bills to win against the Bengals, did ya (I did!)? I knew they had one more win in 'em somewhere, and the hapless Bengals made the perfect foil. But, I'm sorry, Buffalo. There will be no more wins for you this season. Definately not against the Steelers.
Pittsburgh 35 - Buffalo 17
Carolina at Cleveland
Cleveland started off the season rather rocky, and then perked up about during Week 8. And, even though they lost to the Jaguars last week, they still played a very good game. The Panthers, on the other hand, started off the season rather rocky, and stayed rather rocky. And they will continue to rock this weekend.
Carolina 10 - Cleveland 27
Jacksonville at New York Giants
This is part one of the family soap opera "Manning: A Football Family Redeems Itself." Yeah, the G-men lost last week, but for cryin' out loud, it was to Michael Vick's Eagles! There is no shame in losing to a team with a QB that darn good. David Garrard is not nearly of the same caliber as Mr. Vick, and he is also not on the same caliber as Eli Manning.
One of my biggest complaints about the Jaguars has been their O-line.Although it has MUCH improved over the last month, the Giants' offense is much, much better. And we all know that Jacksonville is horrid on the road. Besides, its cold in New Jersey. Them Sunshine State Boys cannot function in temperatures under 65 degrees.
Jacksonville 10 - New York Giants 33
Minneapolis at Washington
If we could just get Brett Favre to sit down, the Vikings might win a game. Brett has done more harm then good. The Redskins are still smarting over that humiliating loss to the Eagles two weeks ago, and they are out for blood. Besides, they have to make sure that they win more games than Dallas, just so they can rub it in the Cowboys' faces.
Minneapolis 17 - Washington 38
Tennessee at Houston
The era of Rusty Smith begins today. The rookie QB makes his debut after former QB Vince Young decided to have a meltdown and a one man walk out. Keep walking, Vince. No franchise needs a prima donna with a hissy fit. We are coming to the part of the season where each game is increasingly important, and solidarity among team members is paramount.
The Texans have been hot and cold all year, (mostly cold) but they should handle themselves well against the Titans, even with Randy Moss' assistance. Rusty Smith is too new and too green. At least, the Texans all know each others chemistry.
Tennessee 13 - Houston 27
Miami at Oakland
Two teams that has made my head spin all season. I just KNEW that the Dolphins were going to take the NFL by storm this year. And I thought Oakland...well, honestly, I never really thought about the Raiders much. But by Week 6, things started to turn around.for both teams. And, then they did a u-turn. I don't know WHAT to think now. But I gotta pick one of 'em. Home team advantage rule goes here.
Miami 10 - Oakland 17
St Louis at Denver
(Sigh) The Rams are yet another team that managed to start the season with promise and then fall. The Broncos started off backwards, and then moon walked their way into a couple of wins. Either one of these teams could win, because they are almost equally mediocre. However, home team advantage will not work here. St Louis is just a tad bit more talented.
St Louis 28 - Denver 21
Philadelphia at Chicago
Oh this is gonna be a fun game. The Bears are FINALLY acting like they wanna get some games and just in the middle of their rise, they have to take on Michael "Who Needs To Borrow My O-Line Because I Don't Need 'Em" Vick.
There isn't a person in the football watching world who thinks Jay Cutler is a better QB than Micheal Vick. The Eagles' defense is treacherous, even on a bad day. This will be a fun game to watch, if only to see how badly Chicago loses.
Philadelphia 28 - Chicago 17
The Buccaneers: another team that is headed on a downward spiral. The spinning will continue in Baltimore. Ray Lewis and the Ravens are much too organized to let a sea-saw team like Tampa Bay come to their house and win.
Tampa Bay 10 - Baltimore 30
I had completely forgotten about this game. That's because both teams have been rather forgettable lately, unless you are an avid follower of their division. Just like most of the other teams that started off the season on fire, Kansas has cooked themselves into the cauldron of mediocrity. Seattle has been mediocre all season.
Kansas has been horrible on the road this season, but that is going to change. Remember, they still think they are play off contenders. They are gonna play like it.
Kansas City 28 - Seattle 17
San Diego at Indianapolis
Part II of "Manning: A Football Dynasty Redeems Itself." I don't know what got into Peyton Manning last week. I was on the edge of my couch, waiting on "The Magic Of Manning" to come through against the Patriots, and what does Peyton do? He passes the ball right into the waiting hands of the other team. My heart dropped. And so did the chicken wing I was munching on.
I can't blame it all on Peyton, though. The Colts' key players are injured. Peyton has been through many personnel changes over the last six weeks, and he just got one face confused for another ("Addai, is that YOU?"). I promise you that won't happen this week.
Peyton Manning is rumored to be a contender for this year's MVP award, and so is Chargers QB Philip Rivers. I like Rivers and all, but I believe in the Power of Peyton, and he will no doubt show Mr. Rivers how an MVP is supposed to play.
San Diego - 13 - Indianapolis 30
San Francisco at Arizona
OH, WHO CARES? I'm so disappointed in the 49ers that I want to start pulling out my weave. My heart cannot take anymore loses. Since this is a Monday Night Game, I will watch Dancing with the Stars, read a book, or clean the lint out of my navel.
San Francisco 7 - Arizona 17
By the way, I got 10 our of 16 correct last week.
Until next time.