14 December 2006

2006 Week 15 Picks

GAAAAAHHHH! It's Thursday already! You know, philly.com recently hosted a panel to address the question: "Can football shoot itself in the foot?" A fellow female football fan (boy was that some major alliteration!) responded: "The NFL is already moving in a way that could remove the luster. Diluting the Sunday product, by putting games on Thursdays and Saturdays in addition to Monday night reduces the special quality of the one big day that the game used to have."

I couldn't agree more. In week 15, we move into 4 night games (Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday) in addition to the more traditional Sunday afternoon games.

Now I love me some football, don't get me wrong. I'll never forget the day that I knew I'd converted Chef Spouse. It was Sunday, February 2, 2003, the week after the Super Bowl from the 2002 season, and he looked at me with this lost puppy expression on his face and asked: "Now what are we going to do on Sundays?" Indeed, my friend, indeed.

But, see, that's my point. Sundays are for football. You cook something slow-simmered and yummy, lay in a goodly supply of beer, call all your closest friends, get a fire going in the fireplace, put on your team paraphernalia, and settle in for an afternoon of good old gridiron conflict.

Now? There are more days with football than without. And it's like I explained to Chef Spouse: the Peeps are ONLY for Easter. Just Born might make ghosties and pumpkins and Christmas trees and whatnot, but if you don't keep it to just the chicks and bunnies just in the spring, it's not special any more.

But I digress. Ahem.

Tonight's game: yeah, Seattle just lost to the 4-9 Cardinals (right after beating the Broncos, and how weird is that?), but I just don't see them losing to the 49ers. What a craptacular division! I'm actually watching this game right now - early in the first quarter - and MAN is Bryant Gumbel bad. I'm going to have to apologize to the MNF ESPN crew.

SaNF (see, I have to use bizarre acronyms now, too): once again, we need both teams to lose to help us in the playoff race, but I'm always going to have to pick against the Cowboys. And at this point Mike Vick has no competition for providing the entire offense, because everyone else is injured. He's going to have to snap the ball to himself, block for himself, and then throw the ball to himself. I sure hope he can kick, too!

Moving on to the Sunday games...

Can we take the Giants? Yeah, I think so. Garcia's starting to remind me a little bit of Tom Brady: do just enough to win. It's working so far. And the Giants are still a locker room disaster, and they still have an IR list so long Tom Coughlin's had to switch to legal-size paper. If our faulty D can pull together any kind of a decent game plan, we should be able to shred their secondary on offense for enough points to win this one. And if we beat the Giants, and the Cowboys can manage to lose to the Falcons, you know where that puts us...

Edited to add: saw Jaws on Sports Center this morning in the Coors Light Cold, Hard Facts segment, and he "pulled out his Eagles pom-poms" and called for us to run the table into the playoffs. I had to laugh. I'm mean, I'm a MAJOR homer, and that took even me aback! Way to back your team, though, man!

There's no way the Ravens don't crush the Browns, even given how up and down every team but the Chargers has been this season.

Lions at Packers? Most Painful Game of the Week.

Texans at Patriots? OK, the Texans are also going to be in pain, and the Pats should enjoy picking up an easy win before the tough road stretch against the Jags and Titans to end their season.

Speaking of the Jags and Titans, I'm picking Tennessee. Talk about getting hot late in the season! They're playing at home and on a 4 game winning streak, and you have to figure the Jags' offense is still tired from scoring all those points on the Colts last week.

I should care more about the Dolphins/Bills game, but I don't.

Can the Vikings hold off the Jets? If they want to stay alive in the playoff race, they need to. But who knows if they will? More inconsistent teams. Of course, the Jets have to be steaming after that ridiculous loss to the Bills last week, so I suspect they're going to come out swinging and take the Vikings' playoff chances with them.

Who gets to beat the Panthers next? That would be the Steelers. Yeah, they've been struggling this season, but not that badly.

Bucs at Bears. Ow. Chuckie's boys gonna get KILLED with a vengeance. Even if Rex posts another 1.3.

Skins at Saints. Double ow. Bet Joe Gibbs wishes he'd never come out of retirement. Skins! Throw the rest of your games to improve your draft...oh wait, you traded away all your picks for Adam Archuleta, didn't you? Oops.

Hey! Jay Cutler should get to win his first game this week! I mean, it's just not possible for the Cardinals to post two upsets in a row, right?

The Rams should have no trouble with the Raiders - hell, my grandma would have no trouble with the Raiders - but it's too late. Do not pass go, do not advance to the post-season.

Herm, Herm, Herm. I don't know that moving from the Jets to the Chiefs really accomplished anything. Particularly since your upcoming loss to the Chargers this week will have your team playing just well enough to miss the playoffs...again.

Now this should be a good game. Notice I said should be. But given the fact that the Colts couldn't put the hurt on a bunch of toddlers who decided to make a break for it, Rudy Johnson should have a big day. Bengals should kill, dropping the Colts within reach - possibly - of the Jags.

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