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Yikes! Upon further review, week 15 turned out to be disasterous for NFL favorites and prediction makers. My picks finished up below .500 for the first time this season. 7-9 ate away at my percentages (season total now 143-81). Losers won and favorites embarrassed.
Playoff picture: NFC - 4 teams are locked in. Division clinchers Arizona (West), New Orleans (South) and Minnesota (North). Philadelphia (East) controls their own destiny. NFC Wild Card is down to three teams. Green Bay needs one more win to clinch. Dallas leads NY by one game but Giants own the tie-breaker having beaten the Cowboys twice this season.
AFC - Two teams have clinched division titles, Indianapolis (South) and San Diego (West). New England (East) clinches with one more win or a loss by East rivals. North division had looked to be a lock for Cincinnati but they're suddenly slumping (9-5) with Baltimore (8-6) getting hot. Wild Card picture is complicated. Baltimore and Denver are 8-6 and control their own fate. Close behind but needing help are six teams with 7-7 records. Week 16 should go a long way towards determining who makes this years' playoffs.
Time to pick Week 16 winners and losers (home in CAPS):
TENNESSEE 31 San Diego 27 (Friday) - BAH HUMBUG to the NFL scheduling scrooges who determined it was best to put this game on NFL Network instead of Christmas day by CBS, NBC, FOX or ESPN. So, if you're not paying extra or NFL Network or live in an area not offered NFL Network you're/we're scrooged out of watching (or being able to break away from family to visit a local watering hole to view) the AFC's two hottest teams square off. Tennessee began 0-6 and have won 7 of last 8. San Diego comes in riding a 9 game streak. Titans need this one to stay alive. Titans prevail in one of the best games of the year.
ATLANTA 20 Buffalo 14 (Sunday) - Nothing special here. Banged up Falcons vs boring Bills.
CINCINNATI 24 Kansas City 23 - Bengals (9-5) seemed like a lock to wrap up AFC North two weeks ago. This is a must win game vs KC and fantasy sleeper RB Jamaal Charles. Charles has td's in 4 straight and 5 of 6 games.
CLEVELAND 27 Oakland 16 - Browns 41-34 big play game vs KC was their first win scoring more than 13 points. Oakland stunned Denver 20-19. Both teams represent two of weakest NFL has to offer.
GREEN BAY 33 Seattle 14 - Packers (9-5) clinch wild card birth. Big game for Aaron Rodgers who should receive his share of MVP votes. Seattle (5-9) has been terrible once again in '09.
PITTSBURGH 27 Baltimore 24 - Steelers survived last weekends game and are clinging on life support. Ravens need this game to keep post season hopes alive. Big time rivalry game will showcase many bone crunching hits.
MIAMI 23 Houston 21 - This game can go either way. Run happy Miami will try dominating time of possession with their brutal ground game. If it works, they stand a good chance of winning. Texans hope Schaub to Johnson can burn Dolphins weak seconday for big plays.
NEW ENGLAND 30 Jacksonville 20 - One positive thing can be said about winning ugly. It's still a win. Pats have had plenty of ugly victories. Here's their chance to play a fluid game at home to wrap up AFC East. Third loss in a row eliminates Jags (7-7).
NEW ORLEANS 48 Tampa Bay 7 - Saints undefeated season came to an end vs Dallas. They'll take out their frustrations vs a severely overmatched Bucs team.
GIANTS 27 Carolina 17 - Giants need a win to stay alive. They usually have a tough time vs sub .500 teams. NY hopes for a repeat performance emulating their MNF slaughter vs Washington. Panthers trying to be spoilers. This is not a game I'd bet on.
SAN FRANCISCO 27 Detroit 13 - It's been an up and down year for the suddenly pass happy 49ers. Detroit continues to hope better days are coming. One can always hope.
ARIZONA 33 St Louis 3 - Warner torches former team again. RB Wells has been solid taking over for fumble prone Hightower.
INDIANAPOLIS 28 Jets 10 - Colts to remain unbeaten. Jets season comes to an end.
PHILADELPHIA 30 Denver 24 - A game of big plays. Eagles lock up NFC East.
WASHINGTON 28 Dallas 27 - Yep, I'm going with the 'Skins. Washington coming off of a low. Cowboys off a high. This often spells upset... especially when two big time rivals take the field. Dallas kicking game loses yet another contest and puts their season in jeopardy.
Minnesota 27 CHICAGO 10 - (MNF) - There's a tiff brewing in Minnesota after 2 straight defeats (11-3). Vikes were once my pick to represent NFC in Super Bowl. They get the job done on Monday night in the Windy City.
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