Silver Chips Online

NFL Week Fourteen predictions

Mike Wilbon in the house!

By Abe Schwadron, Online Managing Editor, Josh Zipin, Online Managing Sports Editor and Pia Nargundkar, Online Editor-in-Chief
December 7, 2006
NFL Picks are going big-time, people. We are renaming week fourteen "All-Star week." Why? Last Tuesday, the SCO sports staff had the honor and privilege of meeting one of the best local and national sportswriters we know, and a guy that we look up to: Michael Wilbon. Cool, we thought, happy just to have shaken his hand and introduced ourselves. We happened to mention to him that we wrote a weekly NFL picks story with PTI-like banter. To our surprise, Wilbon was so interested he offered to join in the fun. Between writing for the Washington Post, arguing with Tony Kornheiser on television and dabbling in NBA coverage for ESPN, he found the time to send us his picks for this week. No, this is not a joke, these are Mike Wilbon's real picks. Naturally, we've stepped up our game for this week, and Phil even sent in his picks on time.

Sportswriter Michael Wilbon with some Silver Chips staff at The Washington Post. From left to right: Phil Allen, Pia Nargundkar, Elsi Wu, Payal Patnaik, Abe Schwadron and Josh Zipin.
Sportswriter Michael Wilbon with some Silver Chips staff at The Washington Post. From left to right: Phil Allen, Pia Nargundkar, Elsi Wu, Payal Patnaik, Abe Schwadron and Josh Zipin.


Overall
Josh 113-78
Abe 111-80
Pia 120-71
Phil 114-77


Last Week
Josh 9-7
Abe 11-5
Pia 8-8
Phil 10-6



Thursday, December 7, 2006

Cleveland Browns (4-8) at Pittsburgh Steelers (5-7)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's PickWilbon's Pick
Pittsburgh Cleveland Pittsburgh Pittsburgh-


Josh says: Okay, the defending Super Bowl Champs better win this one. Against an unknown backup quarterback, a loss here could solidify the reality that the Steelers are not the team they were during last year's stretch run. Besides, they're playing the freakin' Browns!

Abe says: At first glance, this game is a no-brainer. But with no Hines Ward, no Troy Polamalu, no Ryan Clark and no Cedrick Wilson, I have to just say "No" to the Steelers.

Pia says: It seems the only way this sad Pittsburgh team wins is against inexperienced quarterbacks, so luckily for them, the Browns might have to start their second-string quarterback since Charlie Frye was injured in the last game.

Phil says: The Browns and Steelers, though virtually eliminated from the playoff race, each are coming off upset wins. Pittsburgh, even with key injuries to Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu, is the more talented and dedicated team, which should be the reasons they come out with a victory.

Wilbon says: -

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Atlanta Falcons (6-6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-9)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's PickWilbon's Pick
Atlanta Atlanta Atlanta AtlantaAtlanta


Josh says: I have a lot in common with NFL defensive coordinators: I can't figure out Mike Vick. One week he flips the bird to his own fans and the next he runs and passes to victory. Do what you do and don't make such a fool of yourself Mikey.

Abe says: Honestly, Jerious Norwood should apologize for breaking Vernon Fox's and Carlos Rogers' ankles.

Pia says: The Falcons snapped a four-game losing streak, and hopefully Michael Vick's bad attitude, with last week's comeback win against the Redskins. Atlanta is still eyeing the playoff picture and a rout of Tampa Bay will get them just where they want.

Phil says: Mr. Inconsistent put together a solid game against the Skins in the Falcons' comeback victory, and while the Bucs typically have his number, the growing necessity to win in light of the upcoming playoffs should bring the best out of him.

Wilbon says: Atlanta, on the road, over Tampa Bay.

Baltimore Ravens (9-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (7-5)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's PickWilbon's Pick
Kansas City Kansas City Baltimore Kansas CityKansas City


Josh says: Last week Baltimore's offense was about as pathetic as me being the only one to pick them. Hopefully they'll muster some offense against LJizzle and the Chiefs.

Abe says: Solid rule of thumb for picking NFL games: KC doesn't lose at home in December. Ever.

Pia says: Baltimore temporarily lost their chance to clinch their division with a loss to AFC North rival Cincinnati in last week's Thursday game. They're going to have to wait until at least next week to be able to have that chance again, but in the mean time they need to win this game. Seeing as KC has gone into a late season slump (losing to Cleveland?!), it shouldn't be too hard.

Phil says: At Arrowhead I think not.

Wilbon says: I'm taking the Chiefs playing at home over Baltimore.

Indianapolis Colts (10-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (7-5)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's PickWilbon's Pick
Indianapolis Jacksonville Indianapolis IndianapolisIndianapolis


Josh says: Jacksonville is another bipolar team. One week they look unbeatable, and the next they look like the Texans. Maurice Jones-Drew is a sparkplug for their offense, but the Colts just have too many weapons for the Jags. By the way, when I Addai, I hope I go to heaven. I had to put that in there, sorry.

Abe says: The Jags are infinitely better at home than they are on the road, and Indy is coasting into the playoffs. Oddly enough, Jacksonville's only home loss came at the hands of the Texans. But even so, the Jags are fourth in the NFL in total defense and fourth in points allowed.

Pia says: I'm sure the Colts got a thorough beating for last week's lost to Tennessee and are ready to clinch their division with a win over Jacksonville.

Phil says: I know the Jags get up for big games, I say it every week in my picks, but I just don't see Dungy and Manning allowing the Colts to drop two straight.

Wilbon says: Colts over Jags in another really, really tough call.

Minnesota Vikings (5-7) at Detroit Lions (2-10)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's PickWilbon's Pick
Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota MinnesotaDetroit


Josh says: Detroit's struggles continue. At this point I would pick Pia and some magnets to beat them.

Abe says: Is there any point to leaving Jon Kitna in at QB for the Lions? Why not see what you've got behind him? Oh wait, the Lions might not be totally out of the playoff hunt in the NFC…

Pia says: If there was an award for the game with the suckiest quarterbacks, I think I know which game would win…

Phil says: Mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, Detroit has nothing to play for, while a hot streak by the Vikings could slide them into a wild card spot. Motivation takes this one.

Wilbon says: The Lions are pathetic, but they should win at home over Minnesota.

New England Patriots (9-3) at Miami Dolphins (5-7)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's PickWilbon's Pick
New England New England New England New EnglandMiami


Josh says: Vince Wilfork is like a gargoyle: he's tough, impossible to push over, and it hurts like hell if he falls on you. Also, the Pats have a guy by the name of Brady who isn't all that bad.

Abe says: Troy Brown is playing corner once again for the Pats. Just out of respect to him and his athletic ability at 35, I like New England.

Pia says: Dating to the 2001 season, New England is 35-6 in games after Thanksgiving. Well it's after Thanksgiving and 5-7 Miami doesn't look like it's posing any threat.

Phil says: I was tempted to take the upset pick because the Dolphins always muster a little extra for the Pats, but let's be serious. New England has found a solid run game to balance their always potent air attack and with their consistent defense this one shouldn't even be that close.

Wilbon says: Miami over the Patriots.

New York Giants (6-6) at Carolina Panthers (6-6)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's PickWilbon's Pick
Carolina Carolina New York CarolinaCarolina


Josh says: Both teams are reeling. Jake Del-homie as I call him has struggled in particular, tossing an interception into the endzone to seal his team's fate on MNF. The Panthers have given up 97 points in the fourth quarter this season, by far tops in the league, and can't seem to hold a lead late in games. However bad the Panthers seem, they are nothing compared to the Giants. Besides the fact that they've been losing left and right and Eli Manning seems to be moving backward in his development, players are now playing the blame game with coaches and each other. Last week Michael Strahan called out Plaxico Burress for being lazy, and then blew up at a reporter when he asked him about it. Right now the Giants have about as much chemistry as Britney and K-Fed. My point is that the Panthers are less dysfunctional than the Giants, so they have the edge in this game.

Abe says: You know when you drop a bouncy ball down a flight of stairs? Yeah, that's what the Giants are doing.

Pia says: With Carolina starting either an injured quarterback or an inexperienced one, the Giants chance for another W looks good.

Phil says: Both teams are struggling and will be looking for answers in this critical game between playoff hopefuls. While the Panthers last week were only a few feet away from victory and seem to be just a few tweaks away from success, the Giants appear to be coming apart at the seams. With DeAngelo Willams hitting his stride and Steve Smith playing like his old self, Carolina will grab the W.

Wilbon says: Carolina over the Giants in the most difficult decision of the week.

Oakland Raiders (2-10) at Cincinnati Bengals (7-5)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's PickWilbon's Pick
Cincinnati Cincinnati Cincinnati CincinnatiCincinnati


Josh says: The Bengals might as well do salsa together because they are hot, hot, hot. Now if only they could cut down on those arrests…

Abe says: The Raiders have apparently gone over to their "Black Hole" cheering section and jumped in.

Pia says: Cincinnati is picking up some late season steam, and well, Oakland never had any to begin with.

Phil says: The Bengals have Carson Palmer the Raiders have Aaron Brooks. That pretty much sums it up.

Wilbon says: Bengals big over the Raiders.

Philadelphia Eagles (6-6) at Washington Redskins (4-8)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's PickWilbon's Pick
Washington Washington Philadelphia WashingtonPhiladelphia


Josh says: Jeff Garcia looked like the Pro-Bowler of old on MNF against the Panthers last week, scrambling and making throws. I'm just hoping Sean Taylor hit sticks him or Brian Westbrook and eliminates any chance of an Eagles win.

Abe says: I've determined that the Redskins only win totally meaningless games.

Pia says: Eagles fan rejoiced and their hopes for a playoff spot were restored after Jeff Garcia's stellar performance last week. Unfortunately Eagles fans suck and no one cares about their hopes being restored. Even more unfortunately, the Redskins are probably still going to lose.

Phil says: I think we can, I think we can, I think we can.

Wilbon says: I'm taking the Eagles over the Redskins because Philly now has a shot at making the playoffs and really ought to come into this game desperately. It's difficult for a team, after winning on Monday Night, to go on the road and beat a division team. But I'm playing a hunch with the Eagles.

Tennessee Titans (5-7) at Houston Texans (4-8)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's PickWilbon's Pick
Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee TennesseeTennessee


Josh says: Vince Young. What can you say? He's not dominating statistically, but he is a natural leader and he has pulled off some amazing upsets this year. Tennessee over Indy?!? Whoever picked that must have made a killing.

Abe says: Vince Young is bringin' sexy (quarter)back.

Pia says: So let's see. Tennessee has QB Vince Young and a kicker who can win games with 60-yard boots. Houston has…wait…come back to me on this one.

Phil says: The Vince Young show takes its act to Houston. Last week David Carr and the entire Texans offense were exposed after gaining only negative five passing yards. If the Titans can shut the Texans run game down and force them to pass, this one should be over.

Wilbon says: I'm taking the Titans and the red-hot Vince Young over Houston.

Green Bay Packers (4-8) at San Francisco 49ers (5-7)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's PickWilbon's Pick
San Francisco San Francisco San Francisco San FranciscoSan Francisco


Josh says: San Francisco: 49, Green Bay: swiss cheese.

Abe says: Gore for President. Again.

Pia says: Brett Favre, Brett Favre, Brett Favre. Why did you come back?

Phil says: The Packers are slipping into obscurity, and while it's a long shot the 49ers still have a chance.

Wilbon says: 49ers over the Packers.

Seattle Seahawks (8-4) at Arizona Cardinals (3-9)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's PickWilbon's Pick
Seattle Seattle Seattle SeattleSeattle


Josh says: Pimp Don Magic Shaun Alexander will smack the Cards around.

Abe says: I don't care what kinda contraption the Cardinals built for a stadium down there in Phoenix, but unless it can play defense 'Zona won't win this game.

Pia says: It's a travesty that a Super Bowl team with this easy of a schedule is only 8-4.

Phil says: The Seahawks are back on track and the Cardinals won't faze them.

Wilbon says: Seattle over Arizona.

Buffalo Bills (5-7) at New York Jets (7-5)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's PickWilbon's Pick
New York New York New York New YorkNew York


Josh says: I heart New York.

Abe says: Something about watching Patrick Ramsey squirm away on the sidelines brings me joy.

Pia says: The Jets are in prime position to snatch up the last AFC playoff spot. With games against Buffalo, Minnesota, Miami and Oakland left, first-year coach Eric Mangini is sitting real pretty.

Phil says: J E T S Jets Jets Jets.

Wilbon says: Jets over the Bills.

Denver Broncos (7-5) at San Diego Chargers (10-2)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's PickWilbon's Pick
San Diego San Diego San Diego San DiegoSan Diego


Josh says: Why didn't Martyball work this well in Washington? Oh yeah, that LT character.

Abe says: When Jay Cutler sees Shawne Merriman barreling down at him unblocked and at full speed, he will most definitely pee his pants. Somebody get that guy a diaper.

Pia says: LaDainian Tomlinson cannot be stopped.

Phil says: LT. You can't stop him and apparently containing him is out of the question. The MVP to be will take over.

Wilbon says: Chargers over Broncos.

New Orleans Saints (8-4) at Dallas Cowboys (8-4)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's PickWilbon's Pick
Dallas New Orleans Dallas New OrleansDallas


Josh says: As much as it pains me to pick Big D, I'm hopping aboard the Tony Romo train.

Abe says: When the Saints come marching in, Drew Brees will feed Reggie Bush in the flats and exploit Roy Williams deep all night long. Booyah!

Pia says: Tony Romo came in mid-season to replace a stagnant Drew Bledsoe. Drew Brees came in at the beginning of the season to rev up a stagnant New Orleans team. And boy, have these two quarterbacks exceeded expectations! Yet Dallas is too hot to be stopped right now as they go for their fifth straight win and a guaranteed trip to the playoffs Sunday.

Phil says: Bush finally lived up to the hype last week and should pose match up problems for the Cowboys. If Dallas focuses on stopping the Saints' backs, then Drew Brees will find a now healthy Marques Colston for his scores. If their defense can contain Romo, which is by no means a marginal task, the Saints will come away on top.

Wilbon says: I want to pick the Saints, but have to go with the Cowboys at home over New Orleans.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Chicago Bears (10-2) at St. Louis Rams (5-7)

Josh's Pick Abe's Pick Pia's Pick Phil's PickWilbon's Pick
Chicago Chicago Chicago ChicagoChicago


Josh says: In case you hadn't noticed, Devin Hester has surpassed Dante Hall as the NFL's best return man. Yeah, boy can run for days.

Abe says: Snow, rain, grass or turf, the Bears find a way to win every week, whether by special teams, defense or the occasional big play on offense. Sunday should be no different.

Pia says: Chicago continues on its coast of what must be the easiest path to the top playoff seed ever – St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Detroit and Green Bay.

Phil says: In the last five games Rex Grossman has turned the ball over 18 times, and the Bears still went 3-2. Imagine if he plays even half decent!

Wilbon says: The Bears over St. Louis on Monday Night.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/7001