Note: This week’s column will be very short due to several factors – a Thursday game, the author getting ready to go out of town in a few days, and the author feeling incredibly lazy. Please submit any complaints and/or computer viruses to Blogcritics Magazine Sports Editor Matt Sussman. Bonus points for attaching nude photographs of passable transsexuals.
Here are my picks for the NFL's Week 15:
*Thursday, December 13, 2007*
Denver (6-7) at Houston (6-7) – 8:15 pm (Sheridan's line: Houston by 1) [Worth Watching!]
Denver crushed the Chiefs last week, 41-7. The Broncos are just 2-4 on the road this season. Houston beat Tampa Bay last week. They are 4-2 at home this year. Sure thing first-ballot Hall of Famer Sage Rosenfels will start under center again this week for the Texans.
RJ's Pick – Houston by 11
*Saturday, December 15, 2007*
Cincinnati (5-8) at San Francisco (3-10) – 8:15 pm (Sheridan's line: Cincinnati by 8) [Worth Missing]
The Bengals are just 1-5 on the road this season. But the 49ers have gone 1-5 at home.
RJ's Pick – Cincinnati by 4
*Sunday, December 16, 2007*
Arizona (6-7) at New Orleans (6-7) – 1:00 pm (Sheridan's line: New Orleans by 3.5) [Worth Watching!]
Arizona got spanked by the Seahawks last week, and now they only have a slim chance of making the postseason as a Wild Card. The Cardinals are just 2-5 on the road. New Orleans beat Atlanta on MNF last week to keep their meager playoff hopes alive. The Saints have lost four of six at home so far this season.
RJ's Pick – New Orleans by 1
Atlanta (3-10) at Tampa Bay (8-5) – 1:00 pm (Sheridan's line: Tampa Bay by 12) [Worth Missing]
It's been an interesting week for the Atlanta Falcons organization. They got blown out at home on MNF to a mediocre team, Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison, and their head coach, Bobby Petrino, resigned, meaning Emmitt Thomas will act as interim head coach for the remainder of the season. Atlanta is 1-5 on the road and has dropped four straight. (The curse of Joey Harrington lives on!) Tampa Bay is 5-1 at home and Jeff Garcia is expected to return this week.
RJ's Pick – Tampa Bay by 17
RJ'S LAME-GAME OF THE WEEK: Baltimore (4-9) at Miami (0-13) – 1:00 pm (Sheridan's line: Baltimore by 3) [Worth Watching!]
Baltimore has lost seven straight after a 4-2 start. They are just 1-5 on the road, and their offense is near the bottom of the league in most categories. This game is Miami's best remaining shot at avoiding an 0-16 season, but it isn't their last shot. After this week, the Dolphins play at New England (LOL), but then close out the season at home against the Bengals, which is at least arguably a winnable game for them. Still, they'd love to get it done this week instead of waiting until the last week of the season. I suspect they'll throw everything they've got into this game, knowing that an almost ritualistic slaughter awaits them next Sunday at the hands of Belichick's boys.
RJ's Pick – Miami by 4
Buffalo (7-6) at Cleveland (8-5) – 1:00 pm (Sheridan's line: Cleveland by 5.5) [MUST SEE]
The Bills have won two in a row, have a winning record, and are in the hunt for a Wild Card spot despite having allowed 76 more points than they have scored this season. The Browns have won three of their last four, have a winning record, and could possibly even win their division despite having allowed the most points and yards per game in the NFL. Cleveland is 5-1 at home, and has a vastly superior offense.
RJ's Pick – Cleveland by 9
Green Bay (11-2) at Saint Louis (3-10) – 1:00 pm (Sheridan's line: Green Bay by 9.5) [Worth Missing]
The Packers stomped Oakland last week, 38-7. The Rams lost to the Bengals last week with rookie Brock Berlin starting under center. The only question in this one is what the margin of victory will be.
RJ's Pick – Green Bay by 13
RJ'S GAME OF THE WEEK: Jacksonville (9-4) at Pittsburgh (9-4) – 1:00 pm (Sheridan's line: Pittsburgh by 4) [MUST SEE]
Jacksonville needs a win to make sure they stay a game ahead of Cleveland for the fifth seed Wild Card spot. Pittsburgh needs a win to make sure they stay a game ahead of Cleveland in the AFC North. (Both teams will be rooting for Buffalo this week.) Anyway, it should be a good, close, low-scoring game. I give the advantage to the Steelers only because they are 7-0 at home.
RJ's Pick – Pittsburgh by 1
New York Jets (3-10) at New England (13-0) – 1:00 pm (Sheridan's line: New England by 24.5) [MUST SEE]
Two words: Revenge Game. Bill Belichick has had this date circled on his calendar (probably in elven blood) ever since Jets head coach Eric
Mangina Mangini blew the whistle on "Tapegate" after the first week of the season. There will be no debate about whether or not the Patriots are "running up the score" this week; Belichick will put triple digits up on the scoreboard if he can. This ain't gonna be pretty. I don't care what the spread is, the Patriots are going to cover.
RJ's Pick – New England by 42
Seattle (9-4) at Carolina (5-8) – 1:00 pm (Sheridan's line: Seattle by 7) [Worth Missing]
Seattle has clinched their division. They have won five in a row. The only question is whether they'll get the third or fourth seed in the NFC playoffs. Carolina has been virtually eliminated from playoff contention after their ugly loss last week at Jacksonville. They are just 1-5 at home this season.
RJ's Pick – Seattle by 20
Tennessee (7-6) at Kansas City (4-9) – 1:00 pm (Sheridan's line: Tennessee by 4) [Worth Missing]
Tennessee lost a heart-breaker last week to San Diego in overtime. Vince Young looked awful as usual. The Titans have now lost four of their last five, and would find themselves missing the playoffs if the season ended today. They desperately need to win this game. Kansas City has dropped six straight, and they are just 2-5 at home this season. They have scored the second-fewest points in the NFL.
RJ's Pick – Tennessee by 8
Indianapolis (11-2) at Oakland (4-9) – 4:05 pm (Sheridan's line: Indianapolis by 10.5) [Worth Missing]
Indianapolis has all but secured yet another division title and a playoff bye. Oakland, on the other hand, is awful.
RJ's Pick – Indianapolis by 15
Detroit (6-7) at San Diego (8-5) – 4:15 pm (Sheridan's line: San Diego by 9.5) [Worth Watching!]
Detroit lost an absolute heart-breaker last week to the Cowboys, 28-27. If I was still capable of feeling normal human emotions, I would have wept. Thankfully, as a lifelong Lions fan, I am bereft of all affect during Sundays in December. San Diego is 5-1 at home this season, while the Lions are 2-4 on the road. I see little reason to expect anything other than a blowout by the Chargers. However, hope springs eternal among the
terminally neurotic Lions faithful.
RJ's Pick – Detroit by 3
Philadelphia (5-8) at Dallas (12-1) – 4:15 pm (Sheridan's line: Dallas by 10) [Worth Missing]
The Eagles have dropped three straight, and have been pretty much eliminated from playoff contention. The Cowboys had a scare last week at Detroit, but were still able to pull out the last-minute win. Tony Romo has become sort of a secular god to Cowboys fans. I hear the most popular new sex toy among women in the Dallas area is a Tony Romo bobblehead. (Andrea Kremer apparently prefers the Tom Brady bobblehead. To each her own.)
RJ's Pick – Dallas by 14
Washington (6-7) at New York Giants (9-4) – 8:15 pm (Sheridan's line: New York Giants by 4) [Worth Watching!]
Hey, the Redskins actually won a game last week! They had dropped four in a row prior to that. At 6-7, they still have a credible chance of getting the final Wild Card playoff berth in the
CFL NFC. The Giants have all but sewn up the fifth seed Wild Card spot. Expect a close one.
RJ's Pick – New York Giants by 2
*Monday, December 17, 2007*
Chicago (5-8) at Minnesota (7-6) – 8:30 pm (Sheridan's line: Minnesota by 9.5) [Worth Watching!]
The Bears are pretty much finished for the season after last week's loss. From the Super Bowl to last place in the NFC North in just one year; such is life in the present-day NFL. The Vikings have won four in a row, and would make the playoffs as the sixth seed if the season ended today. However, the season does not end today; there are still three more games to be played. QB Tarvaris Jackson has actually looked pretty good in his last three outings, so he's certainly due to have a four-interception game. Rookie RB Adrian Peterson was held to just 3 yards on 14 carries last week, showing just how inconsistent he can be. I'm going with the upset.
RJ's Pick – Chicago by 3
2007 Weekly Results
Week One – 11-5
Week Two – 9-7
Week Three – 10-6
Week Four – 7-7
Week Five – 9-5
Week Six – 10-3
Week Seven – 9-5
Week Eight – 10-3
Week Nine – 9-5
Week Ten – 7-7
Week Eleven – 10-6
Week Twelve – 10-6
Week Thirteen – 7-9
Week Fourteen – 12-4