Right down the list ...

Baltimore over New Orleans. Neither team should get too thrilled nor upset. Quality game and both are getting primed for the post season. However... the situation in the tight NFC South is making it difficult for the Saints but the next two weeks will show  whether they make it into the post season or not. Baltimore, meanwhile, is completely starting to look scary as long as they stay healthy. The next two weeks might make them division winner and first round bye recipient ... or just a scary play in team. This is the time when teams get into playoff form, and the Raven's offense has started to answer their woes and fix the biggest problem they have. 

Jets over Steelers. In the short term, it doesn't mean much. Over the next two weeks, it will mean playoff spots or byes as a result of tonights game. Both teams are similar as while neither team can seem to take care of business every week ... every single week both teams are scary. Heck .. it seems like every single game when the clock is below 10 minutes these teams are still within a score of making it or breaking it. Sure makes for good football.

Bengals over Browns. Can't look too much into this game. Both teams are out, both are playing for pride of their state, and both are just going to need another year to try and put the entire team back together. The Bengals have flash and talent .. but no team concept. The Browns have a strong and disciplined team concept, but no real play makers (a few, but all young). Not the worst game from either team .. but nothing special about grind it out and field goals in December.   

Bills over Dolphins. This is impressive but not surprising as some will make it out to be. The Bills are a solid team without real talent (who was their head coach last year again and what happened during the off season?) The Dolphins and the Packers are probably 2 of the top 10 teams in the league, and both will miss the playoffs due to strong division play, bad breaks and injuries. Look for strong improvements from this year to next year. 

Cowboys over Redskins. Two teams better than many give them credit for .. but their respective seasons have been over for a few weeks now. With headlining quarterbacks as Kitna and Grossman ... what did you expect? 

Titans over the Texans. This is the end of Gary Kubiak. Makes no real sense to fire him now, but I wouldn't be surprised to see  him out by tomorrow / Tuesday morning. You can't win them all .. but you also can't let Kerry Collins take you to the cleaners as Chris Johnson makes you look like a top draft pick type of team.

Colts over Jaguars. YES Peyton Manning is getting old. BUT... if you took away 3 of the top 5 wide receivers from any QB not named Rivers or Brady ... who still wins games week in and week out? He will be on the decline but the Colts are very much alive. The next two games should both be winnable (Oak and Ten), but the pressure of WIN OR GO HOME might be too much for a team that has been able to coast the last few years. Give Garrard all the credit in the world ... but he simply isn't a 400 yard passed nor does he have the talent around him to be that guy. If Jones-Drew only gets 15 carries .. it won't be a good day.

Chiefs over Rams. We got this one wrong. Can't hide it. Who would have thought that Matt Cassel would not only play just days after an emergency appendectomy surgery, but that he would also manage a game well enough to win? Maybe he can be a franchise quarterback after all?

Eagles over Giants. Both solid teams and this does little but help to figure out playoff rankings. Both are good and I bet both could see each other in the conference championship game the way that they both are playing. One last note ... can someone teach DeSean Jackson to wait until he actually goes into the end zone before he starts celebrating? Imagine if he would have had something bad happen due to a celebration before crossing the end zone plane ... ... you get it right?

Lions over Buccaneers. This makes no sense. The Lions are building but have no reason to play right now. The Buccaneers are fighting for their post season lives. Is Drew Stanton really as good as Josh Freeman? And weren't the Bucs the hottest things in the NFL just a few weeks ago? Both teams just seem too young in their own ways, but in 3 to 4 seasons, this could be a pair of NFC contenders. Don't laugh ... at least not too hard.

Panthers over Cardinals .... what is going on here? Fox is on the way out the door, and Whisenhunt needs a quarterback in this draft BAD or he is going to be feeling the hot-seat by game 3 of next year. Kurt Warner leaving combined with a trip to the superbowl just a few years ago does give him a free pass for the season I believe. One more thing ... hats off to the Panthers. They are a team playing BAD football right now, but if you didn't lose to them then you gotta tip your caps to a team winning when they have no talent and nothing left to play for but pride. 

Falcons over Seahawks. The Falcons just need to continue playing good football and keep everyone healthy. They aren't the best team in football and they aren't the clear favorites to win it all ... but they have been playing clean and efficient football. They win complete games. Seahawks fans ... the Pete Carroll experiment intrigues me. I have no idea if his Rah Rah spirit works in the pro's with paid athletes and a year round schedule ... but give him one more year. His team hasn't quit on him and he is showing some signs of life. Plus, it's still a new way of operating for him  as at USC he has 2 to 3 years before his new players had to play. (And they were paid heads and shoulders above the competition .... too soon?... I'm actually a big Pete Carroll fan in terms of him being a college coach and a community figure... it means nothing as a head NFL coach however...) 

Raiders over Broncos. Another team with an interim head coach that shows what it can do but doesn't exactly have the talent to do it. Tim Tebow will dominate the highlights until something called Christmas happens... but how ironic is it that the three most talked about quarterbacks this week will probably be Tebow, Vick, and Brady (with half a cup of Peyton Manning). Still ... Tim Tebow had one good game and will hope to continue to prove himself as well. Don't look too much into it. He played well against a good defense, but it was ONE GAME.

Chargers over 49ers. How simple was this one to call? We will definitely get some picks wrong (who doesn't) but the Chargers are getting healthy as the 49ers are a mediocre team in a sub par division, and can't even string together a week to week gameplan. 

More on the way tomorrow. Like always - I'd love to hear the thoughts!  
 


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