Friday, December 31, 2010, 12:40 p.m.
By Ryan OHalloran
The Week 17 picks a tough slate to forecast considering the Tank It factor:
Giants (minus 4) at Redskins: Washington hasnt defeated Big Blue since December 2007 and hasnt really been competitive. But the Giants are in a free-fall following the Philadelphia collapse and Green Bay debacle. Redskins 24-20.Bengals (plus 9.5) at Ravens: Cincinnati has gone from 2009 AFC North winner to possibly firing Marvin Lewis early next week. The quarterback should go, too. Ravens 30-13.Raiders (plus 3.5) at Chiefs: Todd Haley deserves Coach of the Year consideration after Kansas City emerged to win the AFC West and a first playoff appearance in four years. Old friend Jason Campbell has an 83.9 passer rating for Oakland. Raiders 14-10.Dolphins (plus 3.5) at Patriots: Miami is probably glad it doesnt have to play any more home games (1-7 record this year) but the Dolphins wont be glad when New England rolls right over them. Patriots 44-14.Titans (plus 10) at Colts: Indianapolis needs a win to wrap up the AFC South and possibly set up an intriguing first-round match-up against Baltimore. The Colts have scored 30, 31 and 34 points during a three-game winning streak. Colts 16-12.
Jaguars (minus 2) at Texans: Jacksonvilles offense looked minor league last week against a rag-tag Redskins unit beset by injuries. Houston, meanwhile, has lost eight of nine games since a 4-2 start. Texans 37-21.Steelers (minus 5.5) at Browns: The game is whatever but keep an eye on Cleveland during the off-season the Brownies become relevant if Mike Holmgren can lure Jon Gruden out of the ESPN booth. Steelers 24-14.Vikings (plus 3.5) at Lions: Please, please, a thousand times please enough of the talk that Joe Webb could be the answer at quarterback next year for Minnesota. He made three plays against a listless Philadelphia team. Lions 23-10.Bears (plus 10) at Packers: Chicago has nothing to play for and Green Bay has everything to play for a win and the Packers are headed to St. LouisSeattle as a road playoff favorite. The Redskins beat both these teams, as unfathomable as that sounds. Packers 24-22.Cowboys (plus 7) at Eagles: Its like Stephen McGee against Kevin Kolb at the Linc. Philadelphia should be ashamed of itself after that performance Tuesday night just a complete no-show. Eagles 29-20.Bills (plus 1) at Jets: Who cares. Jets 20-7.Panthers (plus 14.5) at Falcons: Atlanta gets the NFCs top seed with a win over the lowly Panthers but after watching the Falcons Monday night, should anybody be scared of them? Not really. Falcons 24-14.Buccaneers (plus 7.5) at Saints: New Orleans may be the sixth seed in the NFC but just as the Saints were the chic team to be upset last year, they are the in pick to reach the Super Bowl this year. Theyre 7-1 in their last eight games. Saints 33-17.
Cardinals (plus 6.5) at 49ers: San Francisco is getting ready to start over (again) and one thing I got right this year was not buying the 49ers as a contender. Too many things wrong with this franchise to make the job that attractive. Cardinals 17-6.
Chargers (minus 3.5) at Broncos: Norv Turner somehow, someway will survive San Diegos pathetic season that included a 2-5 start and second-half lay-downs against Oakland and Cincinnati. Broncos 27-23.Rams (minus 3) at Seahawks: Biggest game of the week, the only one with winner is inloser is out ramifications. Have to believe the league office would like to St. Louis win and enter the playoffs 8-8 rather than Seattle win and enter with a 7-9 record. The Seahawks losses this year have been by 17, 17, 30, 34, 15, 18, 19, 16 and 23 points. Rams 31-24.
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