With the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints meeting tonight, we might finally see a competitive Thursday night game.
11-5 last week, but actually happy about one of the losses with Dallas throwing the game away in Pittsburgh. Let's go to Week 15...
Chicago over New Orleans: Saints were impressive last week, but this is just what they do. They look great one week, then cannot close the deal next week, despite a great game from Drew Brees. Add to the fact that it'll be a bit nippy in Chicago, and I just don't see the Saints keeping their slim playoff hopes alive.
CAN'T MISS GAMES
Tampa Bay over Atlanta: Tough call, but I see last Monday's debacle in Carolina as a wake-up call for the Bucs. They won't have two bad defensive games in a row.
Tennessee over Houston: I almost picked the Texans last week in Green Bay, and I've been kicking myself all week over it. They are definitely a spoiler team. Who knew Matt Schaub had it in him to throw for over 400 yards in the frozen tundra? Did he even register 400 yards total this season prior to that game? Still, they're playing the Tennessee Titans. The only way the Titans lose is if they lack motivation, having already wrapped up the division and a first round bye. But I look for the old Houston team to beat the new one.
Miami over San Francisco: Don't look now, but the 49ers might actually have a future. Now that Alex Smith and Mike Nolan are gone, Mike Singletary might have found the franchise's first solid quarterback since Jeff Garcia. And unlike Garcia, Shaun Hill didn't need to hone his skills in Canada. But Miami is at home this week and tied for first place in the AFC East. I don't think they'll win the division, but it won't be because of this game.
Arizona over Minnesota: Ironically, this was the last playoff matchup in Cardinals history back in 1998. However, this time it'll be different. Arizona has the home field here, and the Vikings might have to start Tarvaris "My keester is so sore from sitting on the bench" Jackson.
Pittsburgh over Baltimore: Baltimore has been a surprise this season, and appear to be a definite contender. But they're not as good as the Steelers. I'm tempted to go with the Ravens at home, but after last Sunday's emotional come-from-behind victory, how can you go against the Steelers?
Carolina over Denver: Battle of two potential division winning teams. Denver has a strong offense, but a poor defense. Carolina has a strong defense, but mediocre offense. But I see the Carolina running game continuing to cause problems for the Denver rush defense.
Giants over Dallas: Big risk here. Maybe I should pick Dallas like I did last week so they'll lose again. Still, even if the Giants win, it might not be a good thing. After all, the Cowboys beat the Giants twice last year and look how that turned out. BUT, if the Giants win on Sunday night, it might just eliminate the Cowboys from the postseason. Wade Phillips, get your resume ready.
Jets over Bills: Let's see. After four weeks, the Bills looked like the lock in the AFC East and perhaps the conference in general. Now they find themselves in last place and a game under .500. A few weeks ago, the Jets defeated the undefeated Titans to take first place in the AFC East and looked like the best in the conference. Now, they are among a three-way tie for first in the division. But the one team not involved is Buffalo, who will see their season officially crumble this week.
Philadelphia over Cleveland: The NFL's a funny place. A few weeks ago, the Eagles were left for dead in Cincinnati. Now, they're right back in the thick of things. And to make things better, they play the Browns this week, who are one step away from calling up Vinny Testaverde to put on his old Browns uniform and take snaps.
IF THERE'S NOTHING ELSE ON TV
Green Bay over Jacksonville: Two teams who came off double-digit wins this season who now look like they'll have double-digit losses. I don't really care about this game or see any reason to talk about it. However, their respective mediocre play could cancel each other out and they might put together a good game.
Kansas City over San Diego: That's right. I'm going for the upset here. Sure, we all knew Kansas City would suck, but San Diego out of the playoffs? No way. The Chiefs are actually playing some entertaining games lately, and almost pulled one out against Denver last week. For the Chargers, officially finishing with a losing record for the first time since 2003 would be the final nail in the coffin for this bust season.
TOILET BOWL GAMES
Washington over Cincinnati: Clinton Portis should have less to complain about this week. He might be pulled again, but only because his team is up by so much.
Indianapolis over Detroit: And the 0-16 tour continues this week in Indiana. I think the Lions should forfeit now to save themselves a bus trip and do some Christmas shopping while they still have their jobs.
St. Louis over Seattle: I have absolutely nothing to say about this game. I'm only taking St. Louis because they're home and I think it would be funny to see Seattle, who had Super Bowl aspirations, finish even lower than the Rams.
New England over Oakland: Randy Moss returns to Oakland. You might have to remind him. I'm sure he had all memories of playing in Oakland surgically removed.
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