From the Bleachers NFL picks – Week 16
- Katherine Webb and the morbid depths of US sports 'journalism'
- Alabama to change their mantra ‘Roll Tide’ to ‘Part, Tide’.
- Guinness Book Of Records confirms: Seattle Seahawks have easily the most annoying fans
- Panthers unveil dominant new defensive play to win against the New England Patriots
- The Gladiator and the NCAA football player, 1,000s of years apart, but linked through eternity
From the Bleachers NFL picks – Week 16
NFL Week 15results 9-7
Season to date 145-77
The Christmas picks! Ho, ho, ho! Merry everything. Happy Christmas to all of you, the nice readers, the crazy readers, the angry readers, the psychotic readers, festive season greetings one and all! As usual, feel free to put your own picks in the comments section.
Digging deep into Santa’s sack on this one, ho, ho, ho! The Cowboys have won four of their last six since the big coaching change. They look like a decent NFL team all of a sudden. The Cardinals? But wait, the end of the NFL season draws close, what have this Dallas team to play for, on Christmas day, away from their families? Arizona will be playing for customers who paid to see them on Christmas day. That means something. Somehow, they find a way...
The pick: Cardinals 24-20
Patriots @ Bills
Before you dive in on this one, hold on to your sleighs just one second there. The Bills are on a modest but respectable two game win streak, and have been playing hard (if unlucky) football all season long. They are decent at home and will be no doubt motivated to beat their perennial AFC East bully. However, and it’s a Godzilla like ‘however’, there is something about the Patriots that turns Buffalo to wet snow mush in the clutch. Since 2001, the Bills are 1-18 against New England. September 2003, that’s the last time a Bills team beat New England. Hey, sure, streaks are there to be broken, but the Patriots are so close to the finish line, you can’t see their coaching staff allowing any slippage at this late stage.
The pick: Patriots 33-24
Jets @ Bears
What’s Santa bringing Rex Ryan for Christmas, a foot spa? Ho, ho, ho! Yes, yes, the Jets won in Pittsburgh last week, I’m a Lebowski, you’re a Lebowski (little inside, I know!), however the Steelers did drop the game winning touchdown in the end zone with 9 seconds left. Hey, the NFL is a results oriented business, and a win in Pittsburgh is a good result, no matter what. However, this feels like a Bears home win to me. Sanchez is babying his hand, and his ego after a couple of weeks of bashing by his home town fans and press, the same people who were deifying him pre-mini-slump. In the last seven games the Bears have lost once, to the Patriots, who if you haven’t noticed are putting a pretty decent season together. The Bears have beaten every body else in sight. I think they add the up-and-down Jets to their list this coming weekend.
The pick: Bears 17-13
Ravens @ Browns
Pop, goes the Weasel. Pop also goes the Browns season, with their last two losses to decrepit Bengals and Bills teams. The Ravens meanwhile are 4-1 in their last five, including a quality win over New Orleans. Only one way to look at this one.
The pick: Ravens 27-21
Titans @ Chiefs
Isn’t there always one confusing present every Christmas? One year I got a gift from a wit, a cap that looked a little small, inside the card it said, ‘If it don’t fit, change your head’. The Titans are as confusing as those confounding presents. How on earth did they beat the Texans? Things should be set straight this weekend, Kansas is working on making Arrowhead Stadium a fortress once more. No amount of Chris Johnson should change that.
The pick: Chiefs 35-24
49ers @ Rams
Really hard to decipher this one, both teams are equally inept, particularly of late. The situation is so bad, you have to turn to coin flipping, or random analysis, pros and cons. I was in San Francisco once, and it was nice, the people were pretty friendly. Pro, for them. The Rams gave the Patriots their first Superbowl win, pro for them! Christmas jolliness aside, the Panthers are clearly the key to this one. St Louis hammered them, the 49ers lost to them. See, easy! Rams in a Christmas avalanche of points with both teams playing for nothing but our entertainment.
The pick: Rams 28-24
Lions @ Dolphins
1-6 road team meets 1-6 home team! Sounds almost as bad as the awful TV lineup every Christmas. Is there anything worse than turgid Christmas specials of bad TV shows? Amazingly, the Dolphins have alternated wins and losses their last ten games. Spooky regularity. However, streaks are made to be broken. I absolutely love the potential of this Lions team and Miami look just confused enough to lose another home game.
The pick: Lions 20-17
Redskins @ Jaguars
The Jags badly need a win here and Santa has a little present for them in the form of the Redskins and their four game losing streak. Happy Holidays, Jags fans! There’s always next year, ‘Skins fans!
The pick: Jaguars 33-24
Chargers @ Bengals
A potential Christmas cracker for fans who like points. The Chargers have been banging out 30+ games more regularly than Harry Potter movies, while The Bungles have at least been scoring points during their Annus Horibilis. That over/under of 44 looks a little like South Korea right now, under serious threat.
The pick: Chargers 44-21
Texans @ Broncos
Tim Tebow made two really nice plays last week. He also only completed 50% of his passes and threw to some very bad spots. Guess which aspect the media focussed on? The Texans put up a stinker against a very shaky Tennessee team. Very hard to be confident about either of these two Christmas turkeys but home field and the Texans fold-up-chair job last week nudge Santa in the Bronco's direction.
The pick: Broncos 30-27
Colts @ Raiders
The Colts are struggling on the road, where they don't get to control crowd noise as they do at home, where they pipe in noise to suit there needs depending on the game situation. Everyone knows this, yet no one calls them out about it. It's kind of like Santa. Everyone knows he exists and all, but you hear some idiots saying he doesn't. The Raiders meanwhile, are very solid at home, and appear to be on to something, with their stifling defence and progressive run game. Doesn't it feel like there is one more twist to the Colts season?
The pick: Raiders 32-27
Giants @ Packers
The Packers played with great heart and Christmas spirit last week in their brave loss in New England. The Giants? Not so much. Regular readers will note I have been calling the Giants out for beating bad teams and losing to the good ones. Boy did they have their chance to shut me up last week. 28 Eagles fourth quarter points, not only is it confirmed, the Giants can't beat good NFL teams, we also know they have no testicular fortitude in the clutch. Tom Coughline blaming the loss on his punter just shows how out of touch he is, and what a grinch too. Note to Coughlin, there were 21 other points just previous to that where the punter didn't do anything wrong. Look at yourself in the mirror, you Christmas grinch you.
The pick: Packers 24-20
Seahawks @ Buccaneers
Buccaneers in a landslide. That's as short as Santa's presents listing for the following people. Terrell Owens, Sarah Palin, any of the loudmouth members of the Jets. One word. Coal.
The pick: Buccaneers 28-16
Vikings @ Eagles
This sure looked like a good game for the late one at seasons start, didn't it? Not so much now though, eh? I guess we can all watch Michael Vick run around making plays and petting puppies. I am stunned no one else is completely disgusted by Vick's latest puppy petting media friendly crusade. In case you didn't see, he asked his judge or parole officer or whatever if he could own a puppy. My answer to that would be he should be forced to adopt one of those visibly damaged dogs that were rescued from his dog fighting pound. Their faces are mangled, they have random chunks missing from their bodies. Vick should be forced to tend for one of those for the rest of its tragically shortened life. Happy Christmas Michael Vick, you might be fooling some people, but there's plenty of us out here who won't forget what you did.
The pick: Vikings 35-20
Saints @ Falcons
This is Santa's Christmas gift to the entire world. What a cracking showdown. The Saints are obviously a quality side, and they have righted their ship after a slow start. They score almost 30 pts every week. However, dig a little deeper. Their last eight games, they have beaten exactly one decent team, Pittsburgh several weeks ago. They have lost to Baltimore and Cleveland. The Falcons have got used to winning, they are on a eight game winning streak and are taking care of business at home. Really tough one to call but home field should propel the Falcons to a big, big win, confirming them as the class of the NFC. Side note - check out both these teams results the last ten games or so. The NFC is very weak this season, no? Some really, really bad teams. Barring a Saints, Falcons are Eagles miracle, the AFC is winning the Super Bowl.
The pick: Falcons 28-26
Other weeks to date:
Week 15 (9-7)
Week 14 (11-4)
Week 13 (11-4)
Week 12 (9-7)
Week 11 (14-2)
Week 10 (8-6)
Week 9 (10-3)
Week 8 (10-4)
Week 7 (10-4)
Week 6 (8-6)
Week 5 (8-6)
Week 4 (9-5)
Week 3 (8-8)
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