Tier I: Packers Game
Packers vs. Bears
The Packers are coming off the 4th straight victory. More importantly they are coming off a victory in the tied for second most penalized game in NFL History. Its good to see the Packers in control of their own destiny. On the other end, are the Packers bitter rival the Chicago Bears. Sure the Bears are terrible, they are definitely not making the playoffs at 5-7 and Jay Cutler is throwing interceptions like they are going out of style. However, this being a Packers-Bears game, the Bears are probably going to bring whatever passes for their A game. Still, I expect Cutler to throw for 3 touchdowns, 1 for the Bears and 2 for the Packers.
Packers 27 Bears 20
Tier II: Best Games of the Week
Bengals vs. Vikings
A interesting match-up of contrasts. On one end, the surprise Bengals who have gritted their way to several close wins. On the other end, a Vikings team that has been carried by the arm of Brett Favre. It was awesome to see my prediction of a Vikings loss actually come true Sunday against the Cards as Favre threw a couple of picks, expect an encore performance Sunday.
Bengals 17 Vikings 14 (OT)
Chargers vs. Cowboys
This one is a bit better on paper than reality. The Chargers haven't lost in two months and could do good enough to get a first-round bye (despite having Norv Turner as a head coach. The Cowboys are tied for the Eagles for first in a crowded NFC East but it's that time of the year where Tony Romo stops being good and the Cowboys promising season turns into failed hope.
Chargers 35 Cowboys 21
Eagles vs. Giants
Lots of wild card and NFC East implications with this one. Outcome of this game will go a long way to determine what these races look like. The Eagles win and they could be in first place (assuming the Cowboys lose), the Eagles lose we could have a 3-way tie for first and a very muddled wild card situation. The Giants lose and they are on the outside looking in, the Giants win they could force a tie for 1st. Pretty even game but Eagles get the edge as they've been playing better in the last few weeks.
Eagles 21 Giants 17
Tier III: Also Worth Checking Out
Broncos vs. Colts
Hard to see where the Broncos go from here. Are they the 6-0 team that proved everyone wrong or the teem that has struggled in the last six weeks. We probably won't know for sure regardless of what happens here. The Colts have yet to lose this year and I don't see them letting up until they clinch home-field for the playoffs.
Colts 35 Broncos 24
Dolphins vs. Jaguars
Based on playoff implications, this game should be ranked higher but it's difficult to get excited about a game involving the Jaguars. The Dolphins are coming off a good win against New England and have a prime opportunity to force their way into the playoff picture. The Jaguars have somehow won 7 games this year but still strike me as inferior to many of the 6-6 teams that are right behind them. Bad news for them, the Miami happens to be one of those teams.
Dolphins 28 Jaguars 14
Cardinals vs. 49ers
The Cardinals will be looking to put the nail in the 49ers coffin and win their second straight NFC West title. The 49ers are not going to go away quietly into the night and make it easy. Look for Alex Smith to have a big game and keep the Niners alive for another week.
49ers 42 Cardinals 35
Tier IV: Close Games, Bad Teams
Bills vs. Chiefs
If there was an award for the atrocious game of the week, this would be the runaway winner.
Bills 10 Chiefs 0
Jets vs. Buccaneers
Jets are worse than their 6-6 record as they finally realized Mark Sanchez is not the answer (at least in '09). A prime opportunity for Josh Freeman to get his team a second victory.
Buccaneers 24 Jets 21
Seahawks vs. Texans
Seahawks, its a must win for them. The Texans have failed at their umpteenth attempt of having their break out year and make the playoffs. Texans are the better team but the Seahawks have more to play for (albeit barely)
Seahawks 20 Texans 13
Redskins vs. Raiders
The Redskins blew their one opportunity of doing something great this year. The Raiders, while still terrible have shown some signs of life and improved from being atrocious to just being bad.
Raiders 24 Redskins 14
Tier V: The Blowouts
Panthers vs. Patriots
This Super Bowl rematch (from six years ago) is going to be a lot less interesting. The Panthers are riding out the string from a season derailed by Jake Delhomme throwing interceptions left and right. The Patriots haven't been the same since losing to the Saints a few weeks ago. The Patriots are clinging on to the AFC East as the Dolphins are suddenly a game behind. The Patriots may be struggling but they have more incentive to win and too much talent to lose to Carolina.
Patriots 31 Panthers 10
Lions vs. Ravens
The battle of the Packers last two opponents. The Lions , well they're the Lions. They won't make history again but they ain't going anywhere either. The Ravens have had a weak follow up to a strong 2008 but could still redeem themselves with a strong finish.
Ravens 28 Lions 10
Rams 1-11 vs. Titans 5-7
The Rams are playing for.......umm not sure what they're playing for. The Titans had a set back in their mad dash back from 0-6 and need to win out and catch more than a few breaks to make it. Expect a game considerably less exciting than their Super Bowl rematch from 10 years ago.
Titans 42 Rams 3