This weekend’s schedule offers up a lot of potential great games.  With the playoffs fast approaching, many teams are playing for their life already.

This should be a prognosticator’s dream, right?  Riiiiiiiight!  (A little Dr. Evil humor there.)

Dr. Evil

Life on this side of the keyboard is so much easier when there are only a couple of games to choose from.  But this week, nearly every game can fit into one of the three categories.  Some games can even fit into two of them.

So what am I to do?  Where’s that fancy coin I keep stashed for moments like this?  Ah, there it is.  Now, let’s get down to business!

And the first winner is……..


This week’s Lock of the Week (11-2).

We’re starting with the easier category.  There are really only two games to choose from on this one.  And since I seem to get burned every time I go with New England to win or lose, I’m staying away from them this week (even though they should blow the Texans out in historical fashion.)

That only leaves one game to choose.  The red-hot (until last week) Carolina Panthers should completely shut down the Tampa Bay Bucs, keeping their firm hold on the #5 seed and their silly dreams of catching New Orleans alive and well.

Over the past six or seven weeks, there isn’t another team that has been as consistent as the Panthers.  That doesn’t mean that I think they’re the best team around (clearly), but they are a danger to play right now.

Newton is playing within his abilities for a change, which has allowed his supporting cast to shine and his turnovers to decrease, allowing his team the opportunity to win.

Meanwhile, the Bucs are the Bucs.  Regardless of whether they show glimpses of being a real football team every now and then, the cold hard truth is they are lucky to have three wins this season.

Don’t look for number four this week.  Carolina wins this one going away.


This week’s Upset of the Week (6-7).

In addition to my failed pick of Pittsburgh over Baltimore on Turkey Day, I have three more games this weekend where I went against the odds-makers.  Quite frankly, I was surprised by all three being upset picks, but then again, I always am.

I’ve got Chicago winning at Minnesota and Miami winning at the Jets.  But I don’t think many fans will care much about these outcomes, so I’ll go with my third choice.

The Arizona Cardinals will travel to Philadelphia and leave town with the W.

I know, I know, all the clichés have been coming out all weekend.  Historically, the Cards don’t travel to the east coast well.  Philly is just too darned cold this time of year.  Blah-blah-blah.

For those of you that don’t believe that football exists west of the windy city, I’ve got news for you.  Not only is the NFC West the best division in football, but every team in that division could contend for the division title in any of the other three divisions in the NFC.

Meanwhile, the Eagles are 6-5 in what cannot be argued to be the worst division in football.  They stink at home this season and their fans will turn on their team as soon as the Cards score.

I don’t care if there is a blizzard during the game, the better team will win this one.  And it ain’t the Eagles.


This week’s Game of the Week (7-6).

There are several games that could fill the shoes of this category.  Certainly the rematch of Denver at Kansas City will be on everyone’s radar.  But with the way these two teams melted down last week, this game has lost some of the luster it had only two weeks ago.

Then you’ve got St. Louis traveling to San Francisco, with both teams trying to stay alive in the playoff race.

But the game that can’t be denied to be the game of the week will be played in Seattle, where the New Orleans Saints travel to play the Seahawks.  The winner of this game will have the inside track to the #1 seed and home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

Considering that these two teams do not lose at home, that will be huge!

If this game were played a couple of weeks ago, I would have considered going with the upset and picking the Saints.  But the Hawks have seemed to turn things around and are resembling the team that most people, especially yours truly, believed them to be.

Both teams have an arsenal of offensive weapons, and the New Orleans defense is light years ahead of last season’s squad.  But there is no denying that Seattle has one of the best defensive units in the league, even with their latest round of suspensions.

Although there will be plenty of exciting plays on offense in this game, it will be the big plays on D that will decide things.  And that can only mean one thing.

Seattle wins the game and sets themselves up for a dominating run through the playoffs!


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