Detroit - 5 @ Green Bay
Detroit finds itself on the cusp of the playoffs and a likely trip to
meet the NFC East division winner. Green Bay will have little reason
to risk any players of significance but those that do play will give
the Lambeau faithful a reason to cheer. Matt Flynn looked impressive
in spot duty when called upon to fill in for Rodgers. This game
presents a good opportunity to engender himself to team's in need of a
quarterback and some hope. This game will come down to the wire.
Eric: DET 30 GB 27
Danny: DET 27 GB 20
Dallas @ New York Giants -3
"Past performance is no guarantee of future results" is a common
statement found in the fine print in almost any investment vehicle's
literature. This sort of disclaimer runs in the face of any
investment prospectus data. Open one up and almost everything you see
lists performance results over specified times periods and usually
comparisons to similar options. Dallas's past performance under
similar conditions gives cause for concern. Concern that borders on
The keys to victory appear identical for both teams. Both teams
require pressure on the quarterback to assist their under-staffed
secondaries. Neither team's secondary can hold its own against the
opposing receivers. Jason Pierre-Paul played like an all-pro over the
previous three weeks and Dallas left tackle Doug Free cannot seem to
hold his own with any sort of consistency since th team moved crafty
veteran Kyle Kosier to the right side of the line to aid the
development of Tyron Smith. Dallas lost starting left guard Montrae
Holland to a torn bicep last week and it appears Derrick Dockery will
get the start in his place. Simply stated, the Giants have a clearer
path to victory, Dallas collapse-demons aside. Weak blind side
protection combined with a badly swollen throwing hand which limits
grip strength gives major cause for concern in Dallas. Romo continues
to play well in spite of poor protection and a spotty running game.
He will put up some points but I cannot shake the feeling that the
Giants are going to keep him under duress and in pain most of the
night. Dallas isn't deep enough to overcome injuries and the coaching
staff cannot compensate for the lack of depth and talent in certain
positions. Giants roll.
Eric: DAL 13 NYG 30
Danny: DAL 24 NYG 30
San Francisco @ St. Louis +10.5
Kellen Clemens outplayed Sam Bradford in his limited opportunities
this season and it appears the Rams may end up with the number one
pick in the draft. I am not suggesting the Rams give up on Bradford.
However, it is likely the Rams will install a new coaching staff and
look to start the rebuilding process over yet again. Choosing the
Rams to cover does not indicate a feeling of confidence in this Rams
team but a lack of faith in the 49ers ability to blow teams out.
The 49ers reached 30 points in a game just twice this season. The
last 30 point plus game occurred in early October against the woeful
Bucs. The 49ers simply lack the offensive firepower to blow teams
Eric: SF 24 STL 17***************Lock
Danny: SF 26 STL 10
New York Jets @ Miami -3
The Dolphins continue to impress and the Jets to disappoint. Jason
Taylor announced this game will be his last and Tomlinson indicated it
might also be his final game. The Jets still hold an outside shot at
the playoffs but the Jets defense no longer scares anyone and the
offense is slow and prodding. I blame Rex Ryan for Rob Ryan. If Ryan
would not have overachieved these past two years his twin may still be
tooling around with the Cleveland Browns instead of running the
defense for the Cowboys. The Jets front office needs to get this team
younger and faster. They also need to consider the possibility of
bringing in someone to challenge Mark Sanchez and not a 60-year-old
Mark Brunell whose only reason to stave off retirement is to pay off
bad debts. The Dolphins may not have a chance at the playoffs, but
they're the better team in this matchup.
Eric: NYJ 20 MIA 24
Danny: NYJ 17 MIA 23************Lock
Chicago @ Minnesota -2
Josh McCown makes his triumphant return as will Chris Berman's
obligatory Josh "Tears of" McCown joke. A 1967 Motown song that
references Pagliac, no wonder Berman's such a hit with the kids.
Eric: CHI 10 MINN 17
Danny: CHI 17 MINN 20
Buffalo +11 @ New England
We've come an awfully long way since the Bills defeated the Patriots
in week 3. Back then the Bills were 3-0 and offensively unstoppable.
14 weeks and a 59 million dollar contract mistake extension later, the
Bills are back to being the Bills. Fortunately, CJ Spiller continues
to impress as the primary running back. The Patriots have trouble
stopping anyone defensively so look for a competitive game and the
Bills to give the Pats a slight scare.
Eric: BUF 30 NE 34
Danny: BUF 30 NE 35
Carolina @ New Orleans -7
Will Drew Brees play in the 2nd half when Payton sees the 49ers
dominating the Rams on the scoreboard? Not worth it risking Brees's
health for the #2 seed that the 49ers will lock up Sunday.
Eric: CAR 24 NO 34
Danny: CAR 31 NO 27
Washington +9 @ Philadelphia
Meaningless NFC East game could make for a lot of points. However,
both coaches are on the hot seat. And even though I think both of
their jobs are safe, I think a bad performance from either team would
turn into very negative media attention that neither coach wants to
have to deal with (on top of the current load they are dealing with).
Expect both teams to play hard today.
Eric: WASH 17 PHI 20**********Lock
Danny: WASH 20 PHI 31
Indianapolis +4 @ Jacksonville
It will be a much more interesting off season if the Colts lose and
wind up with the number 1 pick.
Eric: INDY 20 JAX 21
Danny: INDY 16 JAX 24
Tennessee -1.5 @ Houston
Houston won't take a three game skid into the playoffs. They will run
the ball all afternoon and head into the playoffs with a nice win
under their belts.
Eric: TENN 21 HOU 23
Danny: TENN 17 HOU 24*******Lock
Tampa Bay @ Atlanta -11 1/2
Atlanta is stuck in the #6 seed if Detroit wins. Chris Redman will
see a lot of game action if this is the case, so expect a closer game.
Eric: TB 13 ATL 27
Danny: TB 24 ATL 20
Baltimore -2 @ Cincinnati
Everyone and their mother is picking against the Bengals. This is a
solid public fade, take the red head.
Eric: BAL 27 CIN 21
Danny: BAL 16 CIN 20
Pittsburgh -6.5 @ Cleveland
Big Ben wants to take some reps in the first half. Some of the
Steelers defensive starters will get some time off in the second half
as well. I expect the Browns to give the Steelers a big time fight in
a meaningless game.
Eric: PITT 24 CLE 7
Danny: PITT 17 CLE 13
Kansas City +3 @ Denver
Tebow-time. Huge game in Denver. Matt Prater's foot will seal the
deal in the 4th quarter. I believe Tebow will have his guys playing
at a higher level on Sunday.
Eric: KC 7 DEN 10
Danny: KC 13 DEN 23
San Diego @ Oakland -3
Is Darren McFadden ever playing football again? I see Norv Turner
going out on a high note. Again, a solid public fade taking SD here.
Eric: SD 20 OAK 24
Danny: SD 24 OAK 20
Seattle -3 @ Arizona
Jackson vs Skelton on Sunday. Kolb was a waste of money for Arizona.
The defense of Seattle is too strong for this Cardinals offense. Earl
Thomas will shadow over Fitz all day. Seattle should win this game
Eric: SEA 20 ARI 13
Danny: SEA 24 ARI 10