I went a lousy 8-8 last week. That puts me at 106-70 for the season, for a winning percentage of just over 60%.
This week offers football fans some superb matchups. Of the ten early games, three are between division rivals battling for playoff spots. One of the late games features division rivals with winning records as well.
Now, on to the picks:
Sunday, Dec. 4
Atlanta 7-4 at Carolina 8-3 1:00 p.m.
Atlanta had lost two in a row before thumping the Lions on Thanksgiving. Carolina narrowly beat Buffalo last Sunday. The Falcons have had a few extra days to rest, but Carolina has the home-field advantage. This is a tough pick. But I'll go with Atlanta because Vick has always played well against Carolina, and Atlanta has a superior overall running game. (Memo to Atlanta's secondary: Be sure to double-cover Steve Smith!) FALCONS BY 1
Buffalo 4-7 at Miami 4-7 1:00 p.m.
Blah. I'll pick Miami, but only because they are playing at home and the Bills are winless on the road this season. DOLPHINS BY 6
Cincinnati 8-3 at Pittsburgh 7-4 1:00 p.m.
The Steelers need to win this game. If they lose, they fall two games behind Cincinnati in the battle to win the AFC North. But if they win, they are in control of their own playoff destiny, because they would hold the head-to-head tie-breaker over the Bengals. I think Pittsburgh will win this one because they know they have to, and they are playing at home. STEELERS BY 4
Dallas 7-4 at N.Y. Giants 7-4 1:00 p.m.
Both teams are coming off tough overtime losses. If the Giants lose, not only do they fall a game behind Dallas in the NFC East, but Dallas would hold the head-to-head tie-breaker as well. The Giants are an impressive 5-1 at home this season. I believe this will be a close one; maybe even another overtime game! GIANTS BY 3
Green Bay 2-9 at Chicago 8-3 1:00 p.m.
Chicago has won seven in a row, and are 5-1 at home this season. They also have an incredibly-potent defense that has given up just 22 points in the last three games combined. Green Bay will be lucky to get into the Red Zone, much less the end zone. BEARS BY 13