but that's neither here nor there....Week 15 of football should be less frustrating (assuming Kobe doesn't sign with the Steelers between now and Sunday).....on to the games
Tier I Packers Game:
Packers vs. Steelers
The Packers look to be peaking at the right time and ride into Sunday's game with a 5-game winning streak. Despite a 9-4 record, there is still work to do to get into the playoffs. The Bears game was a bit close but when Jay Cutler is the opposing QB, there is room for error.
How would I describe the Steelers. To paraphrase Tom Petty, they have been free-falling straight into nothing. Usually its the team that loses the Super Bowl that gets the year-after hangover. However, the Steelers are trend-setters and they are the team that is likely to miss the playoffs. With losses to Oakland, Kansas City and Cleveland....that's enough of a black eye that even the Redskins are pointing and laughing at this point.
Packers 31 Steelers 13
Tier II (A): The Undefeated Watch
Colts vs. Jaguars
The Colts are one of two teams that are trying to run the table (and bruise the inflated egos of the '72 Dolphins). The Jaguars are one of the worst playoff contending teams ever. The Colts are in the don't need to win but it wouldn't hurt to do so stage but someone needs to put the Jaguars in their place.
Colts 35 Jaguars 10
Saints vs. Cowboys
This game is probably gonna be more interesting. I could rationalize picking the Saints to lose on their dangerous tendency to play down to inferior competition ( and Tony Romo in December is pretty inferior). On the other hand, the Cowboys are worse at closing out games this time of year than the Milwaukee Bucks. Cowboys make it a game but lose when Romo throws a pick with less than two minutes left
Saints 28 Cowboys 24
Tier II(B): Best Game of the Week Where Both Teams Have Lost At Some Point This Year
Bengals vs. Chargers
The Bengals in the playoffs. Even though it actually happened a few years ago, it still seems bizarre to write those words. It will be good to see what Carson Palmer can do with a full playoff game.
The Chargers would also be in the run for an undefeated season, if September games didn't count in the standings. Besides the point, they are the hottest team right now and are the AFC representative in the peaking at the right time category. I don't see the Chargers losing (until the playoffs)
Chargers 21 Bengals 10
Tier III: Other Interesting Games
Dolphins vs. Titans
Two teams that are much better than their combined 13-13 records. If the D-Fish close out a couple more games earlier this year they would be cruising back to the playoffs. If the Titans didn't wait till week 7 to show up, they would be amongst the elite as well. However, none of the above happened and we get a match-up of two teams fighting for their lives. Titans get the edge because coming back from 0-6 would be unprecedented and pretty cool.
Titans 24 Dolphins 20
49ers vs. Eagles
The 49ers take the NFC label of team that was good enough to be in the playoffs but lost too many close games, too early. Still, that doesn't mean they are not going to try to make something out of it. Definitely my choice for breakout team of '10.
The Eagles have finally managed to take control of the NFC East after a wild Sunday Night Win against the Giants. The 49ers showed what they can do against playoff caliber competition on Monday and I see them staying alive for at least another week.
49ers 31 Eagles 28
Tier IV: Close Games, Bad Teams
Browns vs. Chiefs
Fun Fact: If you combine the Browns 2 wins and the Cheifs 3 wins, you would still not even be close to playoff competition. Even if you throw in both of Kansas City's wins last year, its a borderline at best cause. The Browns can hold their head up high by beating Pittsburgh and being 3 games away from the Mike Holmgren era. The Cheifs can hold their head up high by.....still thinking........still thinking.....um can I get back to you on this in say 2014?
Browns 7 Chiefs 0
Texans vs. Rams
Not sure which Texans team is going to show up and at 6-7 i'm over giving them benefit of the doubt. Its not like they'll need much against the Rams.
Texans 17 Rams 10
Falcons vs. Jets
The Falcons aren't a truly bad team and if they won a few more closer games, Turner didn't get injured, they didn't bottom out at the worst time, so on and so forth , they wouldn't be in the going nowhere fast category. Technically, the Jets are still in it but they've pretty much sputtered since losing to the Saints and I do not see them as a playoff team.
Falcons 24 Jets 20
Buccaneers vs. Seahawks
If a tree falls in the woods but no one is around, does it really fall? This sums up how I feel about this game.
Seahawks 21 Bucaneers 10
Tier V: Blow-Outs
Patriots vs. Bills
Patriots have the Dolphins right on their tails but still control their own destiny. The Bills are off to another non-playoff season. No surprises here.
Patriots 42 Bills 10
Cardinals vs. Lions
So thats what happens when you turn the ball over 7 times in a game. If we learned anything from the Lions-Ravens game last weekend, is the Lions are the perfect team to play if you are coming off a bad game.
Cardinals 38 Lions 0
Bears vs. Ravens
This season has shown that maybe the Bears were better off with Kyle Orton. In a related story, I have lost absolutely ZERO sleep over the Bears struggles and Jay Cutler's season. The Ravens are still in playoff contention (a.k.a they actually have something to play for).....the Ravens have frustrated me (when their kicker failed and as a result lost to the Vikings)...they have made me happy (by losing to the Packers)..........they improve to 8-6 (by beating the Bears)
Ravens 31 Bears 14
Raiders vs. Broncos
Game 1 of the JP Losman era. The cream of the UFL crop. The Broncos haven't done much in the last couple months but with their 6-0 cushion and an easy game against Mr. UFL coming up, they'll do just enough to lose in the first round.
Broncos 31 Raiders 7
Giants vs. Redskins
The Redskins, 3 more games until Jim Zorn is shown the door. Now time for a rant involving the Saints, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia and both New York Teams
In It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, the Gang are constantly concocting schemes to ruin the lives of those around them, (Case 1: Matthew Mara a.k.a Rickety Cricket who was a priest, quit the priesthood because Dee lied about being in love with him in the episode The Gang Exploits A Miracle, only to shoot him down afterwards and ended up being broke and homeless). This year, the Jets started 3-0, they fell for Mark Sanchez only to realize they were not ready for elite-status after single-handedly being destroyed by Darren Sharper and the Jets status as a great team was ruined.
Case 2: (The Waitress, who was in love with Dennis, only to have this exploited time and time again. To add on to the misery, Charlie has pretty much stalking her over the first 5 seasons time. 5 is also the number of games the Giants played (and won) before their game against the Saints. They gave up 48 points in that game and they are now 7-6.
What does this mean, The Saints ruin the seasons of teams crossing their paths and It's Always Sunny characters ruin the lives of the people that cross paths with them. End of Rant.
Giants 31 Redskins 10
Vikings vs. Panthers
Vikings are going through the motions until their playoff meltdown, Panthers going through the motions until they can get a better QB. Nothing to see here, move along.
Vikings 42 Panthers 20