Tier I: Cheese Head Tier
Packers 6-4 vs. Lions 2-8
Yeah, the Packers did win against the 49ers on Sunday but did so in the least inspiring fashion possible. They looked poised to blow out the Niners at halftime only to come close to losing the game all together. Worse yet, Aaron Kampman and Al Harris were lost for the season. This places their D at a disadvantage but they do have a week to work out the kinks since they are playing the Lions.
The Lions managed to pull out a win mostly on the arm of Stafford with some assistance from Eric Mangini's inept coaching and the fact that they were playing an even more atrocious team in the Browns. Stafford is battling injury and is unlikely to play. The Lions look to fulfill the yearly tradition by getting blown out on Thanksgiving.
Packers 42 Lions 14
Tier II: Best Games of the Week
Giants 6-4 vs. Broncos 6-4
What looked to be a possible Super Bowl preview a few weeks ago has turned into a battle between two teams fighting for their playoff lives. The Giants managed to slow the bleeding by getting past Atlanta.
The Broncos have gone from elite to free-falling in four short weeks. The Broncos are coming off being straight out embarrassed by the Chargers. Both teams need this win...the Broncos need it worse but the Giants want it more.
Giants 28 Falcons 24
Steelers 6-4 vs. Ravens 5-5
Another game between two teams fighting for their playoff lives. The Steelers are coming off an embarrassing loss to Kansas City and Ben Roethlisberger is dealing with concussion issues. The Ravens are in an even more urgent situation but I still think they have a playoff run in them. The Steelers have too many issues surrounding them right now and Flacco is due for a big game.
Ravens 21 Steelers 14
Patriots 7-3 vs. Saints 10-0
One of the better Monday Night match-ups this year. The Patriots nearly knocked off the leagues other undefeated team a couple weeks ago but lost after a questionable 4th down play call. The Saints have been an elite team this year but they have a tendency to play down to their level of competition. The Saints too close for comfort game against St. Louis has me thinking the Saints will lose their first game sooner not later and the Patriots are likely to make the most out of a second chance to take down an undefeated team.
Patriots 35 Saints 24
Colts 10-0 vs. Texans 5-5
The Colts are rolling towards another playoff run. The Texans are an interesting team. They are equally capable of pulling the upset or pulling a no-show. The Texans will keep it interesting but theres too many holes in their running game and this will be enough for them to not beat Indy.
Colts 28 Texans 17
Cardinals 7-3 vs. Titans 4-6
The Cardinals look like they are going to coast to another NFC West title. The Titans are a team on a mission to give hope to future NFL teams that start 0-6. Although this was from 2008, this sums up this game for Arizona in the context of this season.
Titans 20 Cardinals 10
Bears 4-6 vs. Vikings 9-1
While the Bears are pretty much done for the season, when any mix of Minnesota, Chicago and Green Bay is involved....all conventional bets are off. In other words, this is my upset special of the week.
Bears 35 Vikings 28
Tier IV: Close Games, Bad Teams
Seahawks 3-7 vs. Rams 1-9
This takes the cake for the clunker game of the week. Last week's clunker game (Cleveland/Detroit actually turned out to be one of the better games of the week)......i'm attributing more to random chance more than a new trend. Expect this game to be unwatchable.
Seahawks 10 Rams 3
Panthers 4-6 vs. Jets 4-6
Anytime a failing New York team is involved it's at least worth checking out to see the train wreck.
Panthers 17 Jets 10
Jaguars 6-4 vs. 49ers 4-6
The Jaguars are coming off a last-second win against a bad Buffalo team. The 49ers playoff hopes are on life support (mainly due to the Niners habit of playing conservative until they fall behind by 3 touchdowns). While letting Alex Smith air it out give the Niners their best chance, i'm not quite sure that Mike Singletary feels the same way. The Niners lose due to too much early conservative play calling.
Jaguars 21 49ers 13
Tier V: Avoid these games (Unless you are a fan of these teams or there are fantasy implications and even then its a questionable decision to watch these games)
Raiders 3-7 vs. Cowboys 7-3
The Raiders are coming off a fluke win and have at least figured out that JaMarcus Russell is not the answer. The Cowboys have scored a whopping 14 points the last couple weeks but luckily for them one of those games was against the Redskins. Still, the Cowboys are too talented offensively to be this bad for more than a couple weeks.
Cowboys 31 Raiders 10
Buccaneers 1-9 vs. Falcons 5-5
Buccaneers are going nowhere, the Falcons are on the outside looking in on the playoff picture and have more talent.
Falcons 28 Buccaneers 0
Dolphins 5-5 vs. Bills 3-7
The Dolphins have been decimated by injuries to Chad Pennington and Ronnie Brown but still look to have a pulse. I wouldn't be surprised to see Ricky Williams carry this team to the playoffs. The Bills...well they're the same old Bills.
Dolphins 35 Bills 17
Browns 1-9 vs. Bengals 7-3
The Browns blew their best chance to win a game on Sunday. At this point they are counting down 6 games to the draft and the possible start to the Mike Holmgren era. The Bengals are coming off an embarrassing loss to an inferior Raiders team. The Bengals are going to take the frustration out on someone...it might as well be their bitter 1-9 cross state rivals.
Bengals 45 Browns 10
Redskins 3-7 vs. Eagles 6-4
At this point the Redskins are going in neutral until the inevitable end of the Jim Zorn era. The Eagles are in the thick of the playoff race. The Redskins aren't even close to having enough in them to play spoiler.
Eagles 31 Redskins 6
Chiefs 3-7 vs. Chargers 7-3
If nothing else the Chiefs managed to improve on last year's win total. On the other hand they went 2-14 last year so improvement doesn't say much. They pulled a win over Pittsburgh out of nowhere. San Diego is in high gear right now and have destroyed everything in their path for the last month and a half.
Chargers 42 Chiefs 10