You may have noticed that I took another bye last weekend. It was completely unintentional. Time simply got away from me. I was busy with other things, and for some reason became enamored with getting the bowl preview finished even though it could have waited a few more days. Ah well…c’est la vie.
College football is over except for the bowl games so for the next few weeks we’ll concentrate exclusively on the NFL, which is in the home stretch of their season. Thus far I have a dismal 38-58-1 record, meaning I’d pretty much have to be perfect these last three weeks to break even, which of course is extremely unlikely. However, I’ll do my best and try to finish on a high note.
Green Bay (-2.5) at Chicago
These two teams seem to be going in opposite directions. The Packers have overcome a shaky start and won 7 out of their past 8 games. The Bears have lost 4 out of their last 5 and are looking every bit as mediocre as I predicted they’d be. The loss of All-Pro LB Brian Urlacher has obviously not helped. Even with the home field I’d be surprised if Chicago pulled this one out, so I’ll take the favorites to cover.
Atlanta (-2) vs. NY Giants
Can the Giants do it again?? For some reason they have been able to peak at the right time and get hot in the playoffs on more than one occasion the past several years. I have never bought the Falcons as a legitimate Super Bowl contender even though they have done better than I thought they might and already have a playoff spot all sewn up. I’m going to roll the dice and bet that New York will continue their late season heroics.
New Orleans (-3.5) vs. Tampa Bay
I’ve said all along that the Saints would get off to a rough start but still end up in the playoffs. That prediction is beginning to look a bit shaky. This is absolutely a must win for both clubs if they hope to sneak into a wildcard spot. Both teams are in the midst of three game losing skids, so something’s got to give here. I am usually one to stand behind my predictions, usually to my own detriment. However, at this point I have more confidence in the Bucs than New Orleans, so that’s the pick.
St. Louis (-3) vs. Minnesota
Neither of these teams is going to the playoffs, but both have shown glimmers of hope at times thus far. Vikings’ RB Adrian Peterson is a beast and has made a remarkable comeback from tearing his ACL last Christmas Eve. The Rams are riding a three game winning streak, including a surprising overtime victory over division leading San Francisco a couple of weeks ago. St. Louis may be the hotter team and have the home field, but the vibes are telling me to pick Minnesota, so I shall.
Denver (-3) at Baltimore
I predicted a division crown for the Peyton Manning led Broncos and because the rest of the competition is even worse than I thought Denver has already clinched. They’ve also won an incredible eight games in a row. That’s not easy to do in the NFL no matter who your QB is. Conversely the Ravens have lost their last two games and the injuries are piling up. This is a real toss up, but I have to go with Denver.
Houston (-10) vs. Indianapolis
Both teams look to be heading to the post-season, although the division title is still up for grabs. What intrigues me here is the massive point spread. Colts’ QB Andrew Luck has had a tremendous rookie campaign and the team is on a three game winning streak, so I am hard pressed to figure out just why the folks in Vegas are being so disrespectful. I’m not buying it. Houston may win , but they aren’t going to do it by double digit points.
New England (4.5) vs. San Francisco
The hated Patriots are at it again. Just when everyone thinks that maybe they have plateaued and may be headed toward the downside they rise up and look as good as ever. They have won seven games in a row and are as good as any team in the league. Meanwhile the 49ers haven’t been quite as invincible as most thought they’d be and are actually in a real battle for their division with the surprising Seattle Seahawks. This is another vibe game where The Voices are telling me something different than what logic would seem to dictate. I have nothing to lose at this point so to heck with playing it safe. I’ll go out on a limb and pick the underdogs.
- NFL Pigskin Preview Week 9: Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints (bleacherreport.com)
- The Thinking Man’s Guide: NFL Week 15 Predictions (bleacherreport.com)
- proof of NFL free predictions – Pigskin Pick’em contest (expertsatpredictions.wordpress.com)
- Don Banks: 12 critical games ahead for playoff bubble teams (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
- NFL “Six Pack” Picks Week 14… (stevenjeffries.wordpress.com)
- Extra Points: Cameron’s exit means more heat on Flacco (sunherald.com)
- Playoff wish list: Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers tops (blogs.nfl.com)