Repent, for the end is nigh! We've reached Week Sixteen of the 2007 NFL season and it's been a quite a ride. Surprisingly, the Redskins are still technically in the playoff hunt with two games to go, and hey, the Dolphins finally won one! This week, playoff berths will be locked up for some and dreams will be shattered for others, as the dreaded words "There's always next year!" make their annual appearance.
In fantasy-land, it's championship week for many leagues, including our very own SCO league where Andrew and Pia will duke it out for the coveted title. In our experts pool, once again Nitin and Pia are tied for the lead, but Anshul lurks just one game behind. It looks like the fate of NFL predictions will come down right to the wire - we'll have to see if our 'Skins can keep up.
|Last week||Season total|
Thursday December 20, 2007
Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5) at St. Louis Rams (3-11)
Andrew says: The Steelers rebound from their first back-to-back losses all season with a resounding victory following a short week.
Nitin says: Who would have thought the Cleveland Browns would be up and fighting for AFC North domination with the Pittsburgh Steelers? Both have easy schedules the rest of the way; Big Ben needs to keep it together to hold on to a mere tiebreaker to win the division.
Pia says: After a disappointing loss last week, the Steelers will be reeling to go. I have a feeling the lackluster Rams won't pose as much of a threat as the Jaguars did a week ago.
Anshul says: The Steelers need to get back on track because the Browns are itching to win the division. St. Louis has been one of the biggest disappointments this season and should be an easy win for Pittsburgh.
Saturday December 22, 2007
Dallas Cowboys (12-2) at Carolina Panthers (6-8)
Nitin says: Dallas and Green Bay are neck and neck so the motivation is there. All evidence points away from another Carolina upset.
Pia says: The Cowboys have already clinched their division and a first-round bye, but there's still home field advantage to play for. The Panthers don't stand a chance.
Anshul says: Now Dallas needs to win to get home field advantage over the Packers. Carolina may have beaten the Seahawks last week and Dallas might have lost, but the Cowboys are going to run over the Panthers.
Sunday December 23, 2007
Houston Texans (7-7) at Indianapolis Colts (12-2)
Nitin says: Sage Rosenfels has been more consistent in play and health than Matt Schaub. Ron Dayne will be a big surprise in this upset over the injury-rattled Colts.
Pia says: The Colts aren't going to take it easy these remaining two weeks. After trying that strategy two years ago and performing poorly in the playoffs, Indy will be business as usual Sunday, which of course, is anything but the usual for Peyton and the gang.
Anshul says: The Colts have cemented their place as second in the AFC, but they need to improve their play in these last two weeks to take on the Patriots in the playoffs.
Green Bay Packers (12-2) at Chicago Bears (5-9)
|Green Bay||Green Bay||Green Bay||Green Bay|
Nitin says: Brian Urlacher and the Bears looked revitalized in last week's loss to the Vikings. But unlike Minnesota, Green Bay knows how to run and pass.
Pia says: The Packers certainly haven't forgotten that the Bears handed them one of their two losses this year, and with the Packers charged to get home field advantage, the slumping Bears team doesn't have much of a chance.
Anshul says: The Packers are all riled up now after the loss by Dallas. They are ready to jump on that chance to get home field advantage in the playoffs. Chicago should only help them and hurt Dallas.
Cleveland Browns (9-5) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-9)
Nitin says: Cleveland's defense has at least improved itself slightly since the Ohio Shootout in Week 2. Disgruntled Cincinnati WRs Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh have been held to zero touchdowns by less than intimidating pass defenses in the last three games.
Pia says: A sweep of the Bengals would be the perfect way for the Browns to clinch a playoff spot. From the eyebrow-raising 51-point game against Cincinnati in Week Two to now, the Browns have surprised a lot of people with their talent this year. It's time for them to have something to show for it.
Anshul says: The Browns' surge started with their win over the Bengals and this next win would cement their spot in the playoffs. This is a team that has been a major disappointment since it's re-entering the NFL in 1999, but now Cleveland fans have something else to cheer for than LeBron James.
Oakland Raiders (4-10) at Jacksonville Jaguars (10-4)
Nitin says: Fred Taylor got ripped off yet again in the Pro Bowl selection, but he's a class act that won't let it affect his game. In other news, JaMarcus Russell may get his first NFL start this week for Oakland.
Pia says: Christmas seems to have come early for the Jaguars. In order to clinch a playoff berth, they have the oh-so-difficult task of...playing at home and beating the Raiders.
Anshul says: Jacksonville is gunning again and after beating the Steelers, a home game against Oakland should be a good way for the team to rest.
New York Giants (9-5) at Buffalo Bills (7-7)
|Buffalo||Buffalo||New York||New York|
Nitin says: Kevin Everett will be in attendance as the Bills try to further ruin the final stretch for the New York Giants. The Giants lost a huge on-the-field leader in Jeremy Shockey last week and Eli can't afford to lose the tight end dumpoff option.
Pia says: For some reason, the Giants seem to do a lot better on the road (think six straight victories) than at home. Maybe it's because the opposing team's crowds are a lot nicer to Eli when he throws an interception. Whatever it is, the Giants are on the road and know they have to win to secure their playoff chances.
Anshul says: Coming off a loss to Washington, the G-men are still only one win away from clinching a playoff spot. A road game against the Bills is not exactly a walk in the park, but should give them the win they need to reach the playoffs once again.
Kansas City Chiefs (4-10) at Detroit Lions (6-8)
Nitin says: Even with Roy Williams down, the Lions' passing attack will overwhelm Ty Law and the Chiefs.
Pia says: Neither team is eligible for playoff contention, but egos will be high, as both teams started out the year strong. Jon Kitna may not get his 10-win prediction, but at least he has a good chance of bringing his team to .500.
Anshul says: Kitna's 10-win hopes are over and after the beatdown they received courtesy of the Chargers, it's no wonder. But the Chiefs are an even bigger disappointment and should help Kitna at least gain some confidence.
Philadelphia Eagles (6-8) at New Orleans Saints (7-7)
|Philadelphia||Philadelphia||New Orleans||New Orleans|
Nitin says: I forgot that Donovan McNabb used to be good until last week. He'll play the Grinch this year as the Eagles will try to knock New Orleans out of the playoff picture.
Pia says: Can you believe this is a rematch of an NFC divisional round playoff game from just last season? A year later and one's struggling to grab the last wild card spot, and the other's already eliminated from contention. The Saints have worked hard to bounce back from their awful start, however, and their determination should pay off in a win this week.
Anshul says: Remember when Reggie Bush was popped on a screen pass against the Eagles in the playoffs last season? Well good news for Bush, the Eagles won't be in the playoffs. The bad news: he may not be their either. The Saints need this win to keep their playoff dreams alive.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-5) at San Francisco 49ers (4-10)
|San Francisco||Tampa Bay||Tampa Bay||Tampa Bay|
Nitin says: Shaun Hill looked like a seasoned veteran, but Tampa Bay's defense has been forcing turnovers left and right. The league's worst offense won't fare well against the Bucs.
Pia says: Tampa Bay quarterback Jeff Garcia will play against his old team for the first time this Sunday. Considering the respective positions of the two teams now, I think he has to be pretty pleased with where he's landed up.
Anshul says: The 49ers are just an easy win for really any team this season, especially for the Bucs. The Bucs will take this win and try to roll into the playoffs with momentum.
Atlanta Falcons (3-11) at Arizona Cardinals (6-8)
Nitin says: The Falcons even got rejected by Bill Parcells who decided to join the 1-13 Dolphins. 1-13! Atlanta is the only team I feel bad for; I wouldn't mind a little of the "throw the season away" type of deal.
Pia says: There's low morale, and then there's low morale. With no chance of making the playoffs, reaching a .500 record, getting their star quarterback back soon or even having a regular head coach this season, the Falcons are in one sorry state.
Anshul says: Without a head coach, I don't see the Falcons really getting anywhere this season. Easy win for Arizona.
New York Jets (3-11) at Tennessee Titans (8-6)
Nitin says: The Jets won't have weather to help stop opponents again this week. The Titans won't make the playoffs but they will win this one.
Pia says: Tennessee has been struggling lately, but in a last-ditch attempt to reach the playoffs, the Titans will step it up against the far-more struggling Jets.
Anshul says: Congratulations to the Jets for holding the Patriots to only 20 points! But a loss is a loss and here they'll have another loss.
Baltimore Ravens (4-10) at Seattle Seahawks (9-5)
Nitin says: The loss to Miami has "just give up" written all over it.
Pia says: Baltimore will continue its slide, and finish out the season with 10 straight losses.
Anshul says: I'm still believing in the Ravens, even though they ruined Miami's perfect season.
Miami Dolphins (1-13) at New England Patriots (14-0)
|Miami||New England||New England||Miami|
Nitin says: Tom Brady will tie Peyton Manning's touchdown record this week. The Dolphins will double Randy Moss and let Wes Welker wreak havoc on his former team.
Pia says: So, the Dolphins beat the Ravens, and the Ravens almost beat the Patriots...so by that logic, the Dolphins will beat the Patriots? Except, no, not at all. The Patriots are unstoppable.
Anshul says: The Dolphins have won one and as they say, the first is always the hardest. I'm going to be optimistic and jump on any chance to go against the Patriots.
Washington Redskins (7-7) at Minnesota Vikings (8-6)
Nitin says: We'll see just how badly the Redskins want to make it to the playoffs after an emotionally challenging season here. We have to win this one. Look for the linebacker corps led by London Fletcher and Marcus Washington to stuff Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor.
Pia says: Last week wasn't pretty with the wind in New York, but Todd Collins still managed to stand up and bring in another win for the Redskins. This week's matchup is crucial, and I think Collins will once again prove his worth.
Anshul says: A must-win game for the Redskins if they want to reach the playoffs. Coming down the stretch it is going to take all Washington has got to make it, and here is where it starts.
Monday December 24, 3007
Denver Broncos (6-8) at San Diego Chargers (9-5)
|San Diego||San Diego||San Diego||San Diego|
Nitin says: LT and Darren Sproles went for over 100 yards rushing and two TDs each against the Lions last week. Denver's underachieving run defense doesn't stand a chance.
Pia says: Denver lost its chances to grab the AFC West last week. While the Broncos have nothing to play for now, the Chargers are looking to stay the number three seed for the playoffs. Looks like it'll be a Merry Christmas in San Diego.
Anshul says: San Diego absolutely destroyed the Lions last week, and the Broncos don't look ready to put up much more of a fight.
Andrew Kung. Andrew Kung is a rising Magnet junior who is psyched for a year of Chips Online. He has lived in New York, Michigan, and New Mexico prior to his current residence in Maryland. As a cynical sports fan, he is not often disappointed, but not … More »
Pia Nargundkar. Pia Nargundkar was Editor-in-Chief of Silver Chips Online during the 2007-2008 school year. More »
Nitin Sukumar. Nitin's middle name is Antonio Gates. More »