NFL Office Pool Picks - Week 16
by Trevor Whenham - 12/22/2009
It wasn't a great week last week thanks to some unexpected and truly bizarre games. Dallas? Oakland?!? Tampa Bay?! Carolina?!?!? I hope that this week will be a better one, though I'm not totally optimistic. The last couple weeks of the NFL season are so hard to call because you can never be sure of he motivation of teams and the intensity that those with little to play for will play with. Nonetheless, let's fearlessly give it a try:
San Diego at Tennessee - This game is our Christmas present from the NFL, so make sure that you have finished your turkey in time for the 7:30 pm EST start. The Titans desperately need a win here, but they are up against one of the hottest teams in the league. It should be a tight, exciting game, but I have to give the edge to San Diego. Take the Chargers.
Buffalo at Atlanta - The Falcons played one of the least interesting games of the season last week against the Jets. They won that one, though, and they did it in New York. The Bills aren't as good as the Jets, and the Falcons get home cooking again, so they should be fine. Take the Falcons.
Kansas City at Cincinnati - I won't waste my time or yours. Cincinnati is pretty good. Kansas City really isn't. Take the Bengals.
Oakland at Cleveland - Cleveland will be without Brady Quinn, and they can't rely on superhuman performances from Cribbs or Harrison again to bail them out. I hate trusting Oakland, but they are the better team here. Take the Raiders.
Seattle at Green Bay - The Seahawks totally quit last Sunday, and that was at home against a bad team. On the road against a good team is a recipe for disaster. Take the Packers.
Houston at Miami - This is a tough game. Both teams have the ability to be very good, but they also can be frustratingly bad. Houston won and Miami lost last weekend, but the Dolphins actually looked considerably better than the Texans despite the results. Take the Dolphins.
Carolina at New York Giants - The Panthers had a very impressive win over Minnesota last week, and Julius Peppers was as good as he has ever been. The Giants looked as good as they have all year, too. Either team could take it, but New York is the better overall team, and they are at home. Take the Giants.
Jacksonville at New England - The Jags will be desperate for a win, but New England is coming off a good game, are very tough at home, and could use a win as well. Jacksonville gave Indianapolis a tough test and will do the same here, but New England should be able to persevere. Take the Patriots.
Tampa Bay at New Orleans - If the Saints can't win this one, and win it easily, then they aren't the team we thought they were. Take the Saints.
Baltimore at Pittsburgh - This game couldn't be more important for either team. A loss would be fatal for the Steelers, and bad for the Ravens. Pittsburgh is coming off a huge game, but I expect a bit of a letdown after that performance. This is truly a coin flip, but I'll take the Ravens.
St. Louis at Arizona - The Cardinals don't have a whole lot left to play for, but they should be able to win this game regardless of their motivation. Take the Cardinals.
Detroit at San Francisco - The season is over for both squads, so it's all about pride here. San Francisco has the chance to close out strong and finish at .500, and I think that that will be motivation enough. Take the Niners.
N.Y. Jets at Indianapolis - This is a very tough game to call. The Colts are obviously the better team, but it's not likely that Peyton Manning will play the whole game, and the backup situation isn't pretty there. I still think that they have enough to beat the Jets, though, and I suspect that the pursuit of 16-0 is more motivation than they are admitting. Take the Colts.
Denver at Philadelphia - The Broncos really need a win here, but if they can't beat the Raiders at home then it's hard to imagine them beating the suddenly impressive Eagles on the road. Take the Eagles.
Dallas at Washington - The Redskins forgot to show up on Monday night, and it's hard to believe that their coaching situation is anything other than a massive distraction. Dallas showed a lot in their big win at New Orleans, so it will be interesting to see if they can build on that. Take the Cowboys.
Minnesota at Chicago - The Vikings have been lousy in two of the last three weeks. Luckily for them, the Bears have been really lousy all season, and are getting worse as time passes. The Bears are the remedy for all that is plaguing Minnesota. Take the Vikings.