The playoffs are just around the corner and we still don't have a clear view of who's going to be there. The number of games you won in your division does not matter this year. It's been proven all season that even the best franchises can and will get tripped up. Several teams have an excellent chance of going on. Other teams that have no chance at all would love to be the designated spoiler.
Having said that, here are my predicted winners and spoilers for this week:
Cleveland Browns vs Buffalo Bills: The poor Bills. They have some pretty decent talent, but have failed to find any chemistry that lasts longer than two plays. Cleveland has been hot and cold, but when they're hot, they are really hot. The Browns will bring a warming trend to Buffalo this week. Cleveland wins by 17
Cincinnati Bengals vs Pittsburgh Steelers: How in the holy ham sandwich can the Bengals, a team with so much superlative talent, be 2-10? And how can a team that is so darn old be 9-3? The answer is simple. The Bengals concentrate on hype and VH1. The Steelers concentrate on winning football games. They let their fans create the hype for them. Pittsburgh wins by 20
Green Bay Packers vs Detroit Lions: I want to say that I am very proud of the Lions. They didn't win many games this year, but they played darn good football. Unfortunately, the only role left for them this season is designated spoiler because they have lost far too many games to be a playoff contender. I'm sure they will do better next year. As for Sunday, they don't have a chance. Green Bay wins by 3
New York Giants vs Minnesota Vikings: I am not a big fan of Eli Manning, and I am even less of a fan of Brett Favre. Eli Manning's QB skills don't exactly live up to the hype, and that's when you are not comparing him to his more talented brother, Peyton Manning. As for Brett Favre, I really wish he would just go sit down someplace and heal. It's painful to watch him play, because we all know something on his person is broken, sprained, bruised or just plain old doesn't work.
Although I am not crazy about Eli and the boys, the Giants are much healthier. New York Giants win by 7
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Washington Redskins: Two teams that desperately need to win a game, and also hope that the current division leaders lose. Tampa has the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints in their division, which is a very ugly scenario for the Bucs. Atlanta is on fire, New Orleans is generating some heat as well, and it will be hard work for anybody to defeat them now.
Washington is not playing consistent football, and that is making their playoff goal more like a fading dream. Sunday, Tampa will make it a dream deferred. Tampa wins by 10
Atlanta Falcons vs Carolina Panthers: As I said before, Atlanta is hot. The Panthers are comatose. They won't even got to be a designated spoiler. At this point, Carolina's only purpose is to make the other team's winning stats look better. Atlanta wins by 21
Oakland Raiders vs Jacksonville Jaguars: Jacksonville has a problem. They are leading their division by one game against the Indianapolis Colts. You know, the Colts who have Peyton "Watch me pull a win out of my hat at the last second" Manning. The Jaguars have GOT to win this one, or else. If Jacksonville loses against Oakland, they will lose their momentum for the rest of the season and fall into football oblivion.
Oakland is in a weird position where their division is still up for grabs. They know it and they will play like they want it. However, this is a road game for them and they are HORRENDOUS on the road. Jacksonville wins by 13
Seattle Seahawks vs San Francisco 49ers: Oh, this is gonna be an ugly game, folks. ANYBODY in this division could make it to the play offs and either one of these teams could be a designated spoiler. But first, one of them has to "spoil" the other one.
This is a hard one to call because both teams have been so lousy this year. When all else fails, root for the home team, so... San Francisco 49ers win by 10
St. Louis Rams vs New Orleans Saints: Seattle and San Francisco will be salivating over the outcome of this game. The Rams are the current NFC West leaders, but they could easily be dethroned by playoff time. It's very important that the Rams win all of their games from this point on. Important, but not probable.
The Saints are on a five game winning streak and looking forward to number six. Do the Rams really think they are gonna beat the Saints in the Superdome? Oh come on now. Not gonna happen. New Orleans Saints win by 14
Miami Dolphins vs New York Jets: Well, last week we saw that Mark Sanchez is not the football deity most people thought he was. Yeah, we all know they played against the Patriots, but couldn't the Jets score just a little more than three lousy points?
Miami is not in the same category with the Jets, not by a long shot. But they are in the same division, and this could get ugly for the Jets. Miami is almost at the point where they have nothing to lose, and would happily love to spoil the Jets chances at the play offs. It won't happen. The Jets got this: New York Jets win by 10
Denver Broncos vs Arizona Cardinals: Oh, who cares? If this game is playing in my area, I will start cleaning my oven. Or my porch. ANYTHING but watch this game. The root for the home team rule applies here. Arizona wins by 3
New England Patriots vs Chicago Bears: I can't stand Tom Brady and I haven't liked Chicago since Week 1 when they cheated the Detroit Lions out of a touchdown. Both teams seem to be heading to division titles, if not conference titles. Heck, maybe even the Super Bowl. Just kidding, Chicago. You won't make it to the Super Bowl. The Patriots will show you why this Sunday. You all just ain't good enough. New England Patriots win by 13
Philadelphia Eagles vs Dallas Cowboys: THIS is the game of the week at my house. Most of my friends are Cowboys fans and the crap talking has started already (I am a Michael Vick fan, and not a bandwagon fan. I saw him play while he was in high school.). The Bears proved that Michael Vick was not invincible. The Cowboys have finally started playing football after playing in a zombie like state for most of the season. They are in the same division, and this is gonna get ugly. The Eagles need to win because they need to assert themselves as the division leader. The Cowboys need to win because they need to keep the Eagles from winning the division.
The Cowboys watched the Bears/Eagles game with great interest. So there IS a way to stop Michael Vick! Question is, does Dallas have the talent to do it? I say no. Philadelphia Eagles win by 10
Baltimore Ravens vs Houston Texans: Let us bow our heads. Heavenly Football God, please show some mercy on the Houston Texans and do not let them get beat up quite so badly by the Ravens. We know it is in your divine will (and Baltimore's superior talent) that the Ravens will win, and win decidedly. We ask that you spare the Texans some pride, and at least let them score a field goal. In the end zone's name we pray. Baltimore wins by 17