The 'Stache Says:
Home team in caps
Cincinnati (-8.5) over SAN FRANCISCO
It saddens me that the 49ers ineptitude is the Patriots gain. I bet that the 49ers would give anything to go back in time and get back that 2008 first rounder they traded to New England for the 28th pick in the 2007 draft, used to take Joe Staley. Something tells me the 49ers wouldn’t do a top 5 pick in the 2008 draft for Joe Staley deal now. San Fran’s defense has joined their offense in sucking, and now there’s a sizable rift between Alex Smith and head coach Mike Nolan. Bad times in 49er land. Oh, and Shaun Hill will be starting this game for San Francisco.
NEW ORLEANS (-3.5) over Arizona
This is essentially a playoff game. The loser is pretty much done. It’s a tough game to call because we don’t know the status of Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald. If they both play they can take advantage of a weak Saints secondary. This seems like the type of game the Saints will shit the bed, but I’ll roll with them at home anyways.
Atlanta (+13.5) over TAMPA BAY
What a chicken-shit move by Bobby Petrino. At least coach the rest of the season. The guy didn’t even face his players one last time, but rather wrote them a note telling them he was leaving. The players are pissed, and rightfully so. I think use that aggression and play relatively well on Sunday.
Baltimore (-3.5) over MIAMI
Forget it. Miami sucks. I thought they would at least muster an adequate performance last week, but they couldn’t even do that. Cam Cameron is a terrible coach. We should have realized this once he took a punt returner with the 9th overall pick in the 2007 draft.
CLEVELAND (-5.5) over Buffalo
Who would have thought this game would have playoff implications. The Bills somehow are winning, which is a credit to head coach Dick Jauron. That team has been decimated by injuries and didn’t even have a lot of talent to begin with, and he has them at 7-6. The Browns keep rolling as well, and a wildcard matchup with the Steelers is looking increasingly likely. This is one game I hope I’m wrong on, as a Browns loss and Steelers win clinches the AFC North division for the Burgh.
Green Bay (-9.5) over ST. LOUIS
Ryan Grant has emerged as a pretty nice option for the Packers in the backfield. He makes defenses respect the run enough for Brett Favre to do his thing, and that’s really all Green Bay needs from the running game. The defense keeps playing well, and if I can get them at under 10 points against the Marc Bulger-less Rams, I’m going to take them every time.
PITTSBURGH (-3.5) over Jacksonville
One thing to worry about: all the Jacksonville receivers are tall. Really tall. Williams, Wilford, and Jones create matchup problems with their height, and we know that Ike’s weakness is locating the ball at its highest point and defending it. He usually struggles with the fade pass, so the Jaguars will definitely look at that as an option in the red zone. I’m hoping Tomlin can rally the team off a pretty bad loss last week, and get them in the right frame of mind to focus on this game, and this game only. The Jaguars have beat us the last two seasons with Tommy Maddox at QB in one game, and an obviously not ready Ben Roethlisberger (first game back from the motorcycle accident and appendix removal) in the other. This week, they’ll face the real Ben, one of the best QB’s in the league.
NEW ENGLAND (-23.5) over New York Jets
Originally I was going to go with the Jets, because there was supposed to be a huge snowstorm over the weekend in the Foxboro area. It looks like that snowstorm came a little early, and it seems that rain is more likely for the game on Sunday. As such, dipshit Brady (who should be bruised and batteredafter his fight with “I Want to Fight Tom Brady”) will look to throw the ball all over the field, and you know Belicheat will want to run up the score against the team that blew the lid of SpyGate.
Seattle (-7.5) over CAROLINA
Carolina can’t play on the road and they can’t play at home. Seattle may take their foot off the pedal because they won the NFC West last week, but I don’t think they will too much because they haven’t locked up the #3 seed yet. A win and a Bucs loss would do the trick, so expect the Seahawks to put forth an honest effort for at least this week. Honestly, they could mail it in and still beat the Panthers by more than a touchdown.
KANSAS CITY (+4) over Tennessee
The Titans gave that game to the Chargers last week, and as a result the Steelers have no margin for error if they want to hold on to the #3 seed. After starting 6-2, Tennessee is on a 1-4 skid and I think it might be a little too late to stop it.
Indianapolis (-10.5) over OAKLAND
I’ve been surprised by the Colts defense, which has played pretty well despite losing Dwight Freeney. The offense has done the same without Marvin Harrison. I would be quite shocked if the Colts don’t blowout the Raiders on Sunday.
Detroit (+10) over SAN DIEGO
It’s becoming clear that for the Chargers to go anywhere this season they’re going to have to win in spite of Philip Rivers. Yeah, he brought them back in the end last week, but he was miserable for the majority of the game. When you don’t have a good QB or good coach, you usually don’t go far anyways. Luckily for San Diego, they have an outstanding running back and a defense that is still formidable. Honestly, I don’t know if the Lions can keep it close, but I need to fill my underdog quota for the week so I’ll take them.
DALLAS (-10.5) over Philadelphia
The Cowboys always seem to dominate teams at home. I would probably still take them if this line was 14 points.
Washington (+4.5) over NEW YORK GIANTS
The Giants are solidly in the playoffs, while the Redskins are fighting for a spot. Todd Collins will get the start, but he’s spent quite a bit of time in Al Saunders system and played very well in relief last week. Washington will play a ball control game with Portis and their defense, and Collins will make a couple of plays to keep the Redskins in striking range throughout.
Chicago (+10) over MINNESOTA
This game is very appealing to the Stache. It might even warrant a money line bet. I’ve been burned by the Vikings many times this year, and this week it’s time for some revenge. My bet is Tarvaris Jackson and Brad Childress start to feel the heat of a playoff push. Of course, Adrian Peterson is there to bail them out, but ten points is still a lot. My gut is telling me the Bears win this game. I don’t know why.
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