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Week 14 (December 13):
- Tentative game: Philadelphia @ NY Giants
- Prospects: It’s an NFC East game (always=ratings), and while it doesn’t currently have the NFC East lead on the line it’s still a battle of playoff contenders. Still a pretty good shot to keep its spot—the Giants’ troubles might help it in the long run if the game would have become lopsided as opposed to 7-4 v. 6-5. However, there are strong flex contenders…
- Protected games: Chargers—Cowboys (CBS) and Packers-Bears (FOX).
- Other possible games mentioned on last week’s Watch and their records: Bengals (8-3)—Vikings (10-1); Broncos (7-4)—Colts (11-0); Saints (10-0)—Falcons (6-5), and Jags (6-5)—Dolphins (5-6).
- Impact of Monday Night Football: The prospects of Saints—Falcons depends on whether the Saints are still unbeaten. After tonight, that’s probably the Saints’ best chance for a loss.
- Analysis: The Broncos got back on track to stay ahead of the Falcons, and the Colts are still unbeaten, but picking them would shut NBC out of the Colts the rest of the year, although that’s not as much of a problem as it sounds given the only half-decent team the Colts face the rest of the way is already scheduled for NFL Network. With the Favre factor, Bengals-Vikings looks mighty compelling with both teams winning and appears to be the current favorite (but it would probably mean three straight weeks of Favre-mania and limit NBC’s ability to flex the Vikings in again later). The Giants’ loss makes a flex much more likely, and the NFL can’t go wrong with either Broncos-Colts or Bengals-Vikings.
- Final prediction: Denver Broncos @ Indianapolis Colts.
- Actual selection: Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants (no change). Not terribly surprising, given the problems with the other games and the NFL’s reticence to pull the flex, but still a bit less than what NBC could have gotten.