By Derek Lofland
There was plenty that was said about some of the so-called playoff teams this weekend.
From Arizona getting destroyed at Foxborough to the Cowboys possibly playing themselves out of a playoff spot, there is no clear favorite as to who will make the postseason. That proves the theory that nothing is a sure thing in the NFL. Even the Lions might win one…but probably not.
My 2008 record after 16 weeks is 156-83.
Denver (8-7) at San Diego (7-8): I can’t even believe that this game means anything. I can’t believe Denver couldn’t secure a win against Buffalo. I can’t believe San Diego went east and played well in Tampa Bay. San Diego has been good at home.
They beat the Jets and Patriots there. They almost beat Carolina and Indianapolis there. They are starting to play good football. They have won their last three games by a combined score of 97-52.
The Broncos are decent on the road. They have beaten the Raiders, Browns, Falcons, and Jets on the road to secure a 4-3 record. They are going in the opposite direction. Since beating the Jets 34-17 they are 1-2 and been outscored 57-77. I like the Chargers in this game. The Broncos only won 39-38 in Denver and need a terrible call at the end to win that game.
San Diego finally looks to be playing some decent ball. They are certainly playing better than Denver at the moment. I think whoever wins this game will be bounced by the Colts in the first round. That said, I think the Chargers complete a very improbable comeback. Winner: San Diego
Detroit (0-15) at Green Bay (5-10): This makes the top part of my list, because of the historical significance of the game. If the Lions can go to Green Bay and lose we will have our first winless team since the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-14) and the first 0-16 team in NFL history. Detroit is going to visit a place they haven’t won since 1991. The Lions are 0-16 in the regular season and 0-1 in the playoffs at Green Bay / Milwaukee since that last win.
The Packers are losing close games every week. Monday Night’s loss marked their fifth straight loss and their fourth consecutive loss by four points or less. The problem is the Lions aren’t playing close games. Only one loss in their last seven has been by seven points or less. I look for the Packers to help the Lions complete history and to finish up a very traumatic season on a positive note. Winner: Green Bay
Carolina (11-4) at New Orleans (8-7): Carolina needs this win to secure the second seed, especially seeing St. Louis has a very small chance of beating Atlanta on the road. The only thing the Saints are playing for is to see if Drew Brees can break Dan Marino’s 1984 single season passing yardage record. Brees needs 402 yards passing to break that record.
I like the Panthers in this game. They are running the ball very well and do a good job of stopping the pass. I think this veteran team will seize the moment so that they don’t have to play a road game next week in Arizona. I think Brees ends up about 100 yards short of the 5,084. What he has a better chance of doing is becoming only the second player in NFL history to surpass 5,000 yards. Winner: Carolina