Last week I went 11-5, picking the weekend games early. This week I don't need time to ponder the weekend game. Considering the holiday, I figured I'd just make it all one post.
I'm loving the home teams this week.
San Diego Chargers @ Tennessee Titans - This is going to be a tough game for the Chargers but I think they'll pull it off. The Titans are good, and their strong running game could easily be the kryptonite necessary to slow San Diego down. I'm not sure San Diego want to wait until week 17 to lock down a first round bye.
I'm taking the Chargers on the Road.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints - The Bucs picked up their second win of the 2009 season last week, while the Saints picked up their first loss of the 2009 season. Expect the Saints to pick up their 14th win, while the Bucs pick up their 13th loss. Easy pick.
I'm taking the Saints at Home.
Buffalo Bills @ Atlanta Falcons - The Bills have been tough the past few weeks, but the Falcons have more to prove. They definitely don't care about draft day positioning, and Matt Ryan has to be upset with the fact that he's been passed by in QB rankings by about six passers this week. He hasn't looked all that impressive in 2009, but he has a shot to set up a nice 2010 this week.
I'm taking the Falcons at Home.
Houston Texas @ Miami Dolphins - This is a tough game to call. The Dolphins have had headaches in the past at the hands of the Texans, but the Texans have to be the most disappointing team of the second half of the NFL season. Both teams need the win to stay alive, and I think the home team is going to benefit most.
I'm taking the Dolphins at Home.
Seattle Seahawks @ Green Bay Packers - For a while in the middle of the decade these two had a nice rivalry going. Holmgren and Hasselbeck were products of the Packers, Ahman Green was a product of the Seahawks. They met twice in the playoffs, the Packers won both times. They'll win again this time. The Seahawks may have spoiled the Jets 2008 this time last year, but they're too inconsistent this year to pick.
I'm taking the Packers at Home.
Carolina Panthers @ New York Giants - The Giants came out and dominated the Redskins on Monday Night, while the Panthers pulled off a nice upset against Minnesota. Neither team has been consistent lately, so winning two in a row seems out of reach for both. In a game like this you have to pick the more desperate team, especially when they're playing at home.
I'm taking the Giants at Home.
Oakland Raiders @ Cleveland Browns - This is Mangini's best shot to get to four wins for 2009, and a three game win streak to end the season may be what it takes to save his job. The Raiders have gotten it together lately, and this is a tough one to call. I'm going to go with the team that has the better QB situation. Wait, it's going to be Derek Anderson vs Charlie Frye? God forbid it's Anderson vs Russell. Um. If Losman plays I'm going with the Raiders. If not, it's the Browns.
I'm taking the Browns at Home.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ New England Patriots - Depending on what happens on Friday Night, this could be a huge game for the Patriots. A win with a Chargers loss and they'll be right in the hunt for an AFC first round bye. If they can get in contention for that Christmas gift, they'll take care of this one easily. If not, then it could be a little closer. The Jaguars can still make the playoffs, but the game is in New England.
I'm taking the Patriots at Home.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Cincinnati Bengals - The Bengals have looked bad lately, not awful, but all things considered they've dropped out of the first round bye race. A loss to the Chiefs and they may be in danger of losing their division. Fortunately for them, I think the Bengals will win this one. Hopefully their fan base gets to see it.
I'm taking the Bengals at Home.
Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers - This is going to be a huge game. The Ravens have been hot and cold in their pursuit of the playoffs. The Steelers have been cold as ice, yet somehow got back into the playoff race by beating the Packers at home last week. Last time these two teams played the Ravens beat the Ben-less Steelers. We saw the kind of impact Roethlisberger makes on his team last week, and he'll be playing this week.
I'm taking the Steelers at Home.
St. Louis Rams @ Arizona Cardinals - The Cardinals are going to end this one before half time. Anyone disagree?
I'm taking the Cardinals at Home.
Detroit Lions @ San Francisco 49ers - Granted the Lions aren't the worst team in the NFL, they're not far from it. The 49ers have won games like this most of the year, and they're going to do it again. The 9ers need to make progress next year. They're too talented to linger around mediocrity another year.
I'm taking the 49ers at Home.
New York Jets @ Indianapolis Colts - For the second week in a row I think the Colts are going to go all out. It's too early before the playoffs for them to start resting the important players. Expect them to take it easy on Joseph Addai, but Peyton still needs to make sure that Collie and Garcon are in rhythm, especially now that Anthony Gonzalez has been placed on IR. Peyton wants MVP #4 too. We saw that last week.
I'm taking the Colts at Home.
Denver Broncos @ Philadelphia Eagles - It's been quite a journey for both teams in 2009, and both are poised to make the playoffs this year. The Eagles are already in the playoffs, and the Broncos are in contention. An Eagles win can set them up for a home game, a Broncos win can essentially put them in the playoffs. I can't see the Broncos winning this one on the road though.
I'm taking the Eagles at Home.
Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins - This is harder than it looks. The Redskins just got killed by the Giants, and the Cowboys just had a big win. I still like the Cowboys though. They're the better team and they want to be in the playoffs.
I'm taking the Cowboys on the Road.
Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears - This year nothing has been more remedial than beating the Bears. The Vikings are unlikely to lose two in a row and force themselves into a hole week 17. I think they'll get this one done. I'm not sold on Favre in a high pressure game come January though.
I'm taking the Vikings on the Road.