Thursdays Picks are included, as most went 2-1 except me (1-2) and BucWild (3-0) who perfectly predicted the Broncos win! ...after the jump, our staff explain their picks!
Here are the Staff Picks...Can you do better? Lets hear yours!!
INDY at Hou. On the heels of Week 9 and Week 11 choke jobs to Indy and Tenn due to Kris Brown's yips, the Texans' season is at a crossroad. The question is, will they drop their heads and feel sorry for themselves, or will they come out fighting for their playoff lives? I think the latter of the two will happen, but Peyton Manning will make their valiant effort moot with a late 4th quarter scoring drive, effectively ending the Texans' playoff hopes. INDY 24, HOU 20.
Arizona at Tennessee - After an 0-6 start, Vince Young has the Titans thinking playoffs. The Cardinals have the 8th-ranked rush defense in the league, but Chris Johnson probably doesn’t care. Seeking his 9th straight win as a starter, look for Young to get it at home. Titans 23, Cardinals 16.
MIAMI at Buffalo - Firing a head coach midway through the season rarely works. Buffalo will try to overcome their disappointing season again on Sunday. Miami seems to have gotten their team together and are riding Ricky Williams as far as he takes them. Henne and company may not be explosive through the air but they are good enough to get the job done.
Cleveland at Cincinnati - Cincinnati is coming off a huge let-down against Oakland. The Browns are probably the best rebound team in the league. Expect to see a healthy dose of Bernard Scott and a fairly easy W for the Bengals.
Carolina at NY Jets - What is the Over/Under for picks in this game? 8? I'll take the over. If you love defensive battles and run-games, make sure you tune in. Both teams are strong on defense and average to bad on offense. NY is a tough place to win, but the Jets aren't great against the run which plays into the Panthers hands. Carolina...slightly.
SEATTLE at St. Louis- Two weak teams in one of the weakest division are positioning themselves for draft picks and next years 2 games that vary with the schedule. The Rams have a QB and Running back, and little else. Seattle is not sure what they have, and now rumors of Holmgren coming back could find Seattle GM Tim Ruskell finding his way back to Tampa Bay. The Rams have played the last couple games close, so maybe they are up to something. Rams 14-13
KC at CHARGERS- Make no mistake here, the KC Chiefs are working on finally improving their franchise stuck at the bottom for many years. But San Diego is in a fight for the playoffs again, with Denver folding (Thur result not included). LT and Philip Rivers and co have won 6 in a row. Make that 7.
Pittsburgh at BALTIMORE- Surprising Steelers find themselves one game BEHIND the Bengals, but one ahead of the Ravens. This is the night prime time game this week, and no amount of hype will be overhype in this one. Its as early a must-win game can be for these two teams. Pittsburgh passes a little better. Ravens run for a little more. Ravens must avoid a sweep; Terrible Towels bring their terrible brooms; Pittsburgh 19 Baltimore 16 OT
Tampa Bay at Atlanta
As much as I would like to take the Bucs here, I'm afraid I can't. We are just not a solid enough team right now to beat Atlanta, as beat up as they may be on defense. I do expect us to hang around to the third quarter or so. It shouldn't be a blowout like last week. Interested to see Raheem try his coordinator shoes on for this one.
Washington at Philly
Philly needs this one in a bad way to keep up with Dallas in the playoff race. Washington held the inconsistent Dallas offense to just seven points last week in a game that they deserved to win, so they may very well keep it close. I think the high flying tandem of Desean Jackson and Donovan McNabb will ultimately prove to be too much for the Redskins, who will most likely be hiring a new coach in the offseason.
Jacksonville at San Francisco
The Jaguars have to be the surprise team of the season. Left for dead, they currently sit in the first wild card spot in the AFC. They have improved their offensive line, but have a weak secondary. San Francisco's strength is stopping the run, but struggle to pass down the field. Close your eyes and throw a dart here.....49ers win with a big day from Gore.
Chicago at Minnesota
That sound you hear is Jeff George Jr.'s popularity in Chicago circling the drain. Cutler looks like a fraternity kid who just found out his dad lost his job and he'll have to work for his dues. Now, he's yelling at pledges and berating his girlfriend. Brett Favre recommends a fake retirement saga to get on whatever team he wants. Plus, Adrian Peterson helps. Vikings win big.
Mon- New England at New Orleans
New England is a mystery-killing bad teams and making everyone think, the Patriots are back. Then they play a good team and lose. This week, Belicheck pulls a motivational tactic and lines up Wes Welker at defensive tackle on a big fourth and one. Saints convert and the media gets dizzy at the thought of berating a three time Super Bowl winner again. Saints win bigger than expected.