The final weekend of the regular season brings us a potpouri of games, some meaningless, some important and one historical. There easily could have been two historical games but no, my Ravens had to go and lay another stinker against Miami, thereby eliminating the Dolphins from possible infamy. However, we still have the meaningless, yet historical Patriots-Giants game all to ourselves all over the networks Saturday night. It's almost reaching pay-per-view proportions with the NFL Network simulcasting it to two other major networks in order that everyone can witness history in the making. Trust me, even if the Giants needed this game to make the playoffs, it would still be a New England victory. New York is one and done in the playoffs anyway, as they have a lot of talent but one huge liability at this level of competition - Eli Manning. Sorry, Giants fans, but you will become a part of New England's historical season (along w/ my Ravens). As far as the rest of the games, the picks will be difficult as there are only a handful of games that will pit both teams utilizing their starters versus those who are either just playing out the string or preparing for the post season. With that in mind, here we go:
New England over NY Giants (Saturday night)
See above comments.
Philadelphia over Buffalo
McNabb's return has shown me that the Eagles would have been a force in the playoffs if he'd been healthy all season. Buffalo has had a decent season but won't do it on the road.
Cincinnati over Miami
I so want to pick the Dolphins to win one more but there's little reason to do so with the Bengals passing attack coming to town. Darn!
Tampa Bay over Carolina
I still think the Bucs reserves are better than the Panthers starters.
Chicago over New Orleans
The Saints couldn't get it done when it mattered at home last week, so what makes you think they can do it against a Bears team that is pretty angry they're not playing postseason football?
Houston over Jacksonville
The Jags are the better team, but have still lost something like six straight in Houston, so there's no reason to think they'll change that with their reserves in there.
Atlanta over Seattle
The Seahawks would probably prefer to mail this one in as they await the playoffs next week. Hopefully, Atlanta will have something to cheer about this season.
Green Bay over Detroit
This is still a division game and from what I saw from Aaron Rodgers in the Cowboys game, the Pack should still intercept Jon Kitna enough to win the game with their reserves.
Cleveland over San Francisco
Even though the Browns fate is out of their hands, they take their frustration out on a 49ers team that is down to their 4th or 5th (?) QB this season.
Minnesota over Denver
Boy, did the Vikings blow it last week, eh? Now they need to take care of the Broncos on the road, who'd love to push them out of the playoffs, and pray for the 'boys to beat the 'skins.
Washington over Dallas
I think the Redskins would win this game if both teams played their starters. Now with Dallas coasting and the Redskins needing this to seal their ticket to the postseason, it's a no-brainer. (PS-I'd love to see the hated 'skins lose and the Vikes sneak in!)
San Diego over Oakland
The Chargers still need to win this game to secure the third seed and avoid the Jaguars in the first round of the playoffs. Uh, I think that's enough motivation to go on the road and defeat the Raiders, don't you?
Arizona over St. Louis
This should be one of the better games of the weekend, as both teams have nothing to lose and will be playing to win. Look for a shootout, with the Cardinals defense only slightly better than the Rams.
NY Jets over Kansas City
Another game with two teams and nothing to lose by going all out. However, two anemic offenses will make it a lot less interesting than the previous one.
Indianapolis over Tennessee
I know that the Colts are resting pretty much everyone and the Titans need this to nail down the final Wild Card spot in the AFC, but...I still think the Colts reserves will play hard all out in their opportunity to prove they belong as part of the defending Super Bowl champs. Besides, I'm still not convinced that Titans QB Vince Young can lead this team to the postseason.
Note: Ravens-Steelers preview and pick tomorrow.
Season Record: 90-59
Last week: 10-5