Both teams have played well lately and are still alive for the playoffs, though the Saints almost need a miracle heading into a rematch of the 2006 NFC Championship. Unfortunately for the Saints like that game before it, this one is in Chicago, and for a team that has not played well on the road all year that spells doom.
The NFC South has been a home field division, with the home teams winning every game between division rivals. Trends like that are too strong to go against, and the Buccaneers, might still be feeling the effects from Monday Night’s loss in Carolina. Look for a solid game from Matt Ryan as the Falcons get a big win.
The Redskins are reeling and there is trouble on in Washington as Coach Jim Zorn and star RB Clinton Portis are feuding. This could be the right team for the Bengals to get their second win of the season against, as the Bengals nightmare season is nearly over.
Quietly the Texans are finishing the season strong, and setting themselves up nicely for next year. Last week they put a nail in the Packers coffin, this week they will put a thorn in the Titans side. The same Titans already have AFC South locked up and face a big game next week against the Steelers; they are ripe for a stinker and an upset.
This spread is a bit ridiculous; 17 points is a lot of points to given even the awful Lions. This will likely be a blowout as the Colts should stay hot and win easily, but in the end the Lions will get a late cosmetic Touchdown, and find a way to get a backdoor cover.
Two mega disappointments just playing out the string; the Jaguars look like they have already packed their bag for the off-season, while Packers QB Aaron Rogers looks interested in playing well to set up next year. Look for that trend continues as Rogers has a strong game, and the Jags barely show up.
The Chiefs defense is bad, and a perfect patsy for the Chargers who are trying their best to salvage what has been a frustrating season. Look for one of the best games of the year out of LaDanian Tomlinson as the Chargers quest for .500 continues with a blowout win over the Chiefs.
The most wins a team ever had the year after going 1-15 is nine, with a win Sunday the Dolphins will equal that with two games to go. Although the spread may be a bit high as the 49ers are playing well for new Coach Mike Singletarry, they should find a way to win, as they take advantage of the early start.
The Jets who have lost two in a row following their big win in Nashville, desperately need a win. Fortunately for them they are playing the Bills, who are playing terrible football in the last few weeks. Look for the Jets to get back on track as they shut down the Bills lackluster offense.
Call this one the Pride Bowl, as the loser will take over sole possession of last place in the pathetic NFC Western Division. Despite hold 2-10 records the Seahawks have excuses with a load of injuries, while the Rams just are really a bunch of lambs that have no pride and don’t even try.
This game between two division leaders is a proving ground for the Cardinals who have benefited from playing in the worst division in the NFL. The Vikings may need it more as they are in a battle with the Bears, but with Gus Ferrotte banged up the Cardinals should be able to get the win at home.
Yet another defensive war for the Steelers. Coming off their battle against the Cowboys last week it may be a bit much to expect them to win this one in front of a hostile Baltimore crowd, as the Ravens still have a shot at the division title. Look for it to be close throughout with the home field being the difference in the end.
Trap Game Alert. The Panthers are coming off a Monday Night win in the division that gave them first place, and next week they face the Giants with a chance to earn home field in the NFC. In between a Broncos team that is a division leader in the AFC. It has no effect on the Panthers standing as a win against the Giants next week can still get them home field even if they drop this one at home, which they will as they get caught in the trap.
Upset alert. This year so far three teams, including the Patriots have gone on a two week road trip. All three have lost the second road game, and in each case played poorly. Earlier in the year it was the Pats losing in San Diego after a win in San Francisco. Coming off a tough win in Seattle the Patriots have stayed on the west coast as QB Matt Cassel dealt with the death of his father. I just got a feeling but I see a satisfying win for the Raiders this Sunday.
The Giants ship has hit rough waters for the first time following the Plaxico Burress shooting. While it will be hard to imagine them playing as bad as they did last week, it will be a tough game for them to win even if they brought their A game to Dallas, as the Cowboys are desperate and need the win just to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Eagles still have an outside chance at the playoffs and are finally playing like a playoff teams, while the Browns have quit and can’t wait to the off-season house cleaning. Things are so bad that Coach Romeo Crennel, GM Phil Savage, and several players are already talking to realtors about selling their house, and leaving town.