December 26, 2010
Five pick-em selections against the number, plus a survivor opinion, that's how we roll.
Chargers -7.5 at Bengals: It would be a shame if the Chargers miss the playoffs because they might be the most dangerous team in the NFL right now, a juggernaut on both sides of the ball. What can the Bengals hang their hat on here? Carson Palmer(notes) looks shot, Terrell Owens(notes) is out, Chad Ochocinco(notes) has a bad ankle, Cedric Benson(notes) is a plodder at best. Blowout city.
Packers -3 vs. Giants: Two solid clubs but the Packers have desperation on their side, the ultimate motivator. My buddy Mike Salfino has some interesting thoughts about how Eli Manning(notes) and Aaron Rodgers(notes) fare in poor weather.
Seahawks +6.5 at Buccaneers: As bad as Seattle has played for most of the second half, the division is still there for the taking. The Tampa defense has been riddled with injury and can't stop anything right now - it's the worst rushing defense in the league on a per-carry basis and the Detroit passing game riddled these guys last week, too. Seattle can't get too frisky throwing the ball given the limitations of Matt Hasselbeck(notes), but it also has two runners who can be dangerous here.
Rams -2.5 versus Niners: St. Louis has been line-undervalued the entire season, while the opposite has been true with San Francisco. I'm a little concerned about Troy Smith's(notes) ability to make plays when the called option breaks down, but I also have a lot of respect for the intricate ways the Rams attack the pocket.
Saints +2.5 at Falcons: The New Orleans offense is getting healthy at the right time - the Saints have averaged 31 points a game since their Week 10 bye. A lot has been made of Atlanta's dominance at home, but the Falcons have gotten their share of breaks in the dome too - they were one or two plays away from losing to the Packers, Ravens, Bucs and Bengals (one-score games, all of them). It's a solid team through and through, but I refuse to accept them as a juggernaut. Let's grab the points.
Survivor: You've gotten 15 weeks on your own, I don't want to mess you up. But I'd look for a home team all else equal, unless you for some crazy reason still have San Diego available.
Last Week: 3-2 (41-32 season)