The Chargers winning streak in December is impressive, but it is due to end sooner or later, and playing on the road on Christmas Day is a tough chore to ask for any team. The Chargers have clinched the division and can afford a slip up before the playoffs while the Titans back to .500 after a 0-6 start can smell the playoffs. Look for a big game by Chris Johnson as the Titans win a close one.
The Falcons were eliminated from the playoffs last week, but still found a way to win on the road against the Jets and keep the hopes of second straight winning season alive. Those hopes should be able to go into the final week of the season as the Falcons should have no problem with the Bills, although the point spread may be a bit too high.
The Bengals have had a week to mourn the loss of Chris Henry, and have lost two tough games on the road. Coming home to face the Chiefs is the perfect set up for them to get back on the winning track. It is also the perfect set up for a blowout, look for this game to be over fast, as the Bengals win going away and win by allot.
Two horrendous teams that have played well over the past few weeks meet in a game that will only garner attention if somebody puts up huge individual stats again. The bad news for the Browns is they will be without QB Brady Quinn, whose season ended last week with a foot injury. Derek Anderson looked awful when he had his chance already and I don’t have any faith he will improve as the Raiders win again.
A meeting of two teams that have lost to the Buccaneers sees a Packers team that has recovered since, and they are looking to close in on a playoff spot, while the Seahawks look like a team that can’t wait to begin the off-season. On the road in Green Bay look for another lifeless Seahawk effort as the Packers run circles around them.
Despite losing in overtime last week the Dolphins continued to show their resilience as they overcame a 24-6 deficit to even send the game to OT on the road against the Titans. With the playoffs still a possibility the Dolphins will prove to be tougher than the Texans who in gut check situations this year have come up craps several times.
After last week’s loss to the Colts, the Jaguars could be mentally finished for the season. Not helping matters is the fact they have to face the Patriots in Foxboro. The Patriots have struggled at times, but are just one win from a division title, and playing at home where they have not lost this season, it will be hard to imagine the Jaguars getting the upset on the road.
Coming off their first loss of the season, the Saints will be looking to make a statement as they face the horrific Buccaneers. This game is going to get ugly fast as the Saints march up and down the field and light up the scoreboard while their defense takes advantage of the mistake prone Josh Freeman.
In what is likely their final game at Giants Stadium, the Giants face a must win game against the Panthers. Both teams are coming off impressive primetime wins, but what is important for the Giants, is it was the best game they played since starting 5-0. It will be hard to imagine another strong game from Panthers QB Matt Moore in a hostile situation as the Giants keep their playoff hopes alive with a solid win.
With their playoff hopes on life support the Steelers beat the Packers in the most dramatic fashion last week. Against the hated Ravens this week they can’t afford to slip up and lose. A few weeks ago in Baltimore the Steelers lost in overtime with Dennis Dixon starting at Quarterback; this time in Heinz Field with Ben Roethlisberger back under center the Steelers will win another close game to keep their Wild Card hopes alive.
The Cardinals have not had a ten win regular season since 1976 back then of course they call St. Louis home. The Rams who now call St. Louis home are looking like they are heading towards a 1-15 season. With a win Sunday the Cardinals will have their tenth win. The question is now will the Cardinals win but by how much and how much will Matt Leinart get to play with the Cards having everything wrapped up.
It has been a long time since the 49ers have been a double digit favorite. However, with the Lions coming to town without Matt Stafford it is the right time. Look for the 49ers defense to shutdown Daunte Culpepper, as the Lions appear to be already on vacation in their minds. At least this year they did not go 0-16. The 49ers may not be a playoff team this year but you can sense they are getting close and finishing the season strong will be their focus.
Peyton Manning may not play the entire games, as the Colts focus more on the Super Bowl than 16-0 despite being only two wins from a perfect regular season. Motivation and the home field may be enough to keep him in the game longer as Jets Coach Rex Ryan opened his mouth and commented about the Colts resting stars. It will be close and like they have all year the Colts will find a way to win as the Jets make the costly mistake again.
Brian Dawkins returns to Philadelphia and should get a warm reception from Eagle fans. However, the rest of the Broncos won’t be feeling any love in the City of Brotherly Love as the Eagles playing as well as anybody in the NFL moves a step closer to a division title with a sixth straight win. The Broncos who at one time were 6-0 are in danger of missing the playoffs again, as last week’s shocking loss to the Raiders put them in a confused jumble of teams in the AFC vying for the Wild Card.
After handing the Saints their first loss of the season the Cowboys should be reenergized as they control their own playoff fate. The Redskins on the other hand should hand back last week’s game checks after their embarrassing Monday Night performance against the Giants. In primetime again at home the Redskins face another division foe, and the result won’t be much better as the coaching staff and team are playing like a team just awaiting the axe to fall.
The Vikings have played poorly in their last two primetime games, as the Brett Favre December swoon appears to be affecting the entire team. However, in their primetime games the Bears have been worse as Jay Cutler has had trouble with interceptions. With the controversy surrounding Favre and his play calling the Vikings will refocus on getting back to basics running the ball with Adrian Peterson who usually has big games against the Bears.