Lines from sportsbetting.com as of 12/31/2011
Carolina (7) at New Orleans (-7) The Saints haven’t lost at home this year so don’t expect them to in this one. New Orleans wins and covers.
Buffalo (10.5) at New England (-10.5) Buffalo is eliminated from playoffs and the Patriots won their division and a first-round bye. New England wins and covers.
Chicago (1.5) at Minnesota (-1.5) This will be the last game of the season for these two teams. When Cutler and Forte went down so did the Bears, but they pull of this game and win.
NY Jets (3) at Miami (-3) The Jets are still alive for a wildcard spot so they cannot afford a loss, but face a Miami team that would love to spoil the Jets chances. NY wins but will not make playoffs.
San Francisco (-10.5) at St. Louis (10.5) St. Louis is awful and will not beat the 49ers who have become the surprise team of the year. San Fran wins and covers.
Detroit (-4) at Green Bay (4) Green Bay has already clinched the playoffs, home field advantage, won their division, and possess a first-round bye. Green Bay may sit every starter. Detroit wins and covers.
Washington (9) at Philadelphia (-9) Philly is playing pretty good but no chance at a playoff birth. Eagles win and cover.
Indianapolis (3.5) at Jacksonville (-3.5) Indy has won their last two games, in fact their only two games of the year. Jacksonville is a team that’s just as awful, but perhaps not as bad as the Colts this year. Jaguars win and cover.
Tennessee (-1) at Houston (1) The Titans still have hope for a playoffs spot so the Texans will have their hands full. Houston wins this game.
Seattle (3) at Arizona (-3) These two teams are battling it out for second place in the NFC West. Better luck next year guys. Arizona wins and covers.
Kansas City (3) at Denver (-3) Denver has to beat Kansas City to win the AFC West and make the playoffs. Tebow’s flaws continue to show. KC wins.
Tampa Bay (11) at Atlanta (-11) Tampa Bay has been a terrible team this year and their head coach may get the boot. Atlanta is playing great football and will be in the playoffs. Falcons win and cover.
Baltimore (-2) at Cincinnati (2) Baltimore is a lock for the playoffs, but Cincinnati is not so the Red Rocket needs to win one more game of his rookie regular season. The Ravens win this game and cover.
Pittsburgh (-6.5) at Cleveland (6.5)The Madden curse continued this year with Peyton Hillis falling victim and bringing the Browns down with him. Pittsburgh, a much better team, wins this game and covers.
San Diego (3) at Oakland (-3) San Diego has been eliminated from the playoffs but Oakland is still alive and needs a win and a Denver loss. San Diego has been playing better lately and should win this game.
Dallas (3) at NY Giants (-3) The Cowboys still have a shot at the wildcard, so they will be chomping at the bit for a win. Dallas pulls off the victory.
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay - QB
Rodgers put on an incredible display of domination in Week 16 as he obtained 283 passing Yards and 5 TD’s against an old-looking Chicago Bears defense. Going into Week 16 fantasy football owners were somewhat scared that Rodgers would play on a limited basis for precautionary reasons, but if you started him (which you absolutely should have) you should have definitely won a championship in 2011, unless the rest of your team just really sucks. For those owners that have their championship in Week 17, be weary of Rodgers and the Packers as they could easily sit for a majority of the game.
Lines from sportsbetting.com as of 12/23/2011
Oakland (2.5) at Kansas City (-2.5)
The Denver Broncos are in control of the AFC West and will clinch the division if they win their last two games, but if Denver loses both, these teams will greatly benefit from winning this game. Kansas City just stunned the Packers last week and may be a better team under Romeo, while Oakland lost a tough one to the Lions. KC appears to be reenergized, they win this game
Jacksonville (7) at Tennessee (-7)
Jacksonville is out of the playoff hunt, but the Titans still need to win if they want to have a chance. For the most part, the Jags have been awful this year and the Titans have been mediocre. Tennessee almost always needs Chris Johnson to have a big day to win, but can probably pull this one off with an average day. The Titans are a better team, they win and cover.
Miami (9.5) at New England (-9.5)
Brady brought the Broncos winning streak to an end in Week 15 and showed exactly why he is an elite quarterback. Miami has had a great surge in the 2nd half of the season thanks in part to Reggie Bush who is having a career year. New England will be too much for the Dolphins defense to handle. The Patriots win and cover.
Arizona (4) at Cincinnati (-4)
Both of these teams are still considered “in the hunt”, but odds are neither will make the playoffs. The Bengals have the best shot since they have the same record as the Jets, but Cincy will face a rejuvenated Cards team that has won 4 straight and would love to knock a team out of contention for the playoffs. Arizona wins again.
Denver (-2.5) at Buffalo (2.5)
Brady brought Tebow down to earth last week so we will see how he responds this week. Buffalo hasn’t won since Week 8 so the Broncos control of the AFC West should remain intact for the moment. Denver wins this game and covers.
St. Louis (off) at Pittsburgh (off)
Pittsburgh was dominated last week by the Niners keeping them tied with the Ravens at 10-4 in the AFC North, but Baltimore has swept the division so the Ravens remain in 1st. St. Louis is one of the worst teams in the league, so regardless if Big Ben is 100% the Steelers will still win this game.
NY Giants (3) at NY Jets (-3)
This battle of the New York teams (in Jersey) is our selection for this week’s Game to Watch. If the season ended now, the Jets would be in and the Giants would be out. The Giants desperately need a win and a Cowboy loss. The Jets are playing to keep their wildcard spot in the AFC. Giants win this game as the away team at their home stadium.
Minnesota (6.5) at Washington (-6.5)
This game is between two teams with 7 wins COMBINED. Washington is the favorite in this game, but I think that all depends on which Rex Grossman shows up. Rexy can put up a passer rating of 100+ one week and around 50 the next; Washington’s success depends on his play. A “good enough” Rex will show up, Skins win and cover.
Tampa Bay (7.5) at Carolina (-7.5)
Here is another matchup between two teams not playing in the post season. Tampa has nose dived and lost 8 games in a row, while Cam is still leading his Carolina team to the occasional win including 3 of their last 4. Carolina beats the Bucs and covers.
Cleveland (12.5) at Baltimore (-12.5)
Baltimore of course wants to keep their divisional lead over the Steelers, and what better way to accomplish that than to face the Browns. As you can see the Ravens are a heavy favorite and very well should be. Baltimore has not lost to a team in the AFC North and is not about to start now. Ravens win and cover.
San Diego (2) at Detroit (-2)
The Chargers, like every AFC West team, can still make the playoffs, but their chances still depend on Denver and Oakland losing. The Lions would currently be a wildcard team, but still needs to watch out for all the 7-7 teams in the NFC. The Chargers offense has finally come to life so Detroit had better be prepared. The Lions win at Ford Field and cover.
Philadelphia (1.5) at Dallas (-1.5)
Dallas controls their own destiny when it comes to making the playoffs as they lead the NFC East by 1 game. Because of the standings in the NFC East, if Philly can beat Dallas and the Giants lose, then Philly would be in second in the NFC East back by 1 game with a game left to play. Too bad for Philly they will not beat the Boys. Dallas wins and covers.
San Francisco (-2) at Seattle (2)
After watching what the 49ers did to the Steelers last week they should defeat the Seahawks this week, but Seattle is playing tough football lately and have climbed to .500 thanks to a 3 game win streak. Surprised the spread is so close, I’d put my money on San Fran winning and covering.
Chicago (12.5) at Green Bay (-12.5)
You can only imagine how big this game would have been if Cutler and Forte had not both been injured and the Bears perhaps would have won their last couple. Unfortunately the Bears offense can’t handle losing their two best players and this game swings heavily in Green Bay’s favor. The Packers win this one but don’t cover.
Atlanta (7) at New Orleans (-7)
Monday night’s matchup is going to be a great game to watch as we have two teams that will make the playoffs. Brees should make history this Monday as he only needs 304 yards to beat Dan Marino’s 27 year record for most passing yards in a single season. Brees has passed for more than 300 yards in 11 games this year and should reach that mark against the leagues 17th ranked passing defense. The Saints win and cover as we watch history on Monday Night Football.
Week 15’s Game of the Week goes to the Detroit Lions and the Oakland Raiders. Sure we could have gone with Arizona vs. Cleveland which was an overtime finish, or the Chiefs beating the undefeated Packers, maybe Indy’s first win against Tennessee? No we went with the Lions win over the Raiders since it has nearly solidified the Lions chance at the playoffs and blown the door open for any team in the AFC West, assuming Denver can’t win out.
Some of Detroit’s biggest playmakers came up huge in this game. Matthew Stafford threw for 391 yards and 4 TD’s without an interception, and Calvin Johnson had a Megatron type of day with 9 receptions for 214 yards and 2 TD’s. Oakland’s numbers on the other hand were not as impressive, but Carson Palmer did manage 367 yards and a TD while Darrius Heyward-Bay had 8 receptions for 155 yards and a TD. Neither team had a running back eclipse the 100 yard rushing mark.
With 6:19 remaining in the 1st quarter, the Raiders would strike first with a 12 yard TD run by Louis Murphy who would score the games only rushing TD. On Detroit’s ensuing drive they would go 80 yards on 7 plays with a 51 yard TD reception by who else…..Calvin Johnson. In the second quarter we would see touchdown receptions by Heyward-Bay for Oakland and Nate Burleson for Detroit bringing the game to 14-14. With 1:14 left in the 2nd Carson Palmer would put the Raiders in position for a 46 yard field goal that of course was no trouble for Janikowski who put his team up 17-14.
The 3rd quarter was pretty much all about the punters as neither team was able to position themselves for a score. At the beginning of the 4th the Lions still had the ball but would be forced to punt, and Oakland would take advantage by putting Janikowski in position for another field goal from 51 yards that he would boot through. The Lions, now down by 6, would start their next drive from their own 14 and on 3rd and 10 Stafford dropped back in the shotgun only to be sacked by Aaron Curry. Stafford would fumble the ball because of the sack and Curry would take the ball into the end zone for a defensive score.
Now with only 7:47 left in the game the Lions were down 14-27 and their chances of a win were diminishing. On the next drive however, Stafford would drive his Lions 71 yards down the field and hook up with Titus Young for a 3 yard TD pass that put the Lions within 6. The Raiders, now with the ball back, were not able to produce much offense and after 6 plays were forced to punt. With 2:14 left in the game Stafford again drove his Lions down the field, this time 98 yards and would connect with Calvin Johnson again for Stafford’s 4thTD of the game as well as the lead at 28-27. The game would pretty much be sealed at that point, but Oakland did still had :39 seconds left and managed to get Janikowski within field goal range. When I say within field goal range, I mean only Janikowski’s range as the attempt was 65 yards. The field goal attempt wouldn’t matter though as Ndamukong Suh, fresh off his suspension and having a mostly quite game, would get a finger on the ball ending the game.