Saturday, December 31, 2005

Sportszilla's NFL Picks: Week 17
By Zach

So here we are for the last time in the regular season, and questions abound. Can Ben catch me in the picks standings? Can I finish over .500? Did anyone ever read these? As always, home teams are bolded.

This Week:

Ben: 0-0
Zach: 0-0

NFL Picks Week 17
Chargers -11 vs. Broncos
Ben: Chargers. It’s over for the Chargers, but Marty insists they’ll be playing the starters this week. The same can’t be said for the Broncos. Bradlee Van Pelt probably will get extended time in this one. Since the Chargers are the CU Buffalos, I’m going with the Bolts.
Zach: Chargers. Need a meaningless win in December after you’ve already been eliminated from playoff contention? Call Marty Schottenheimer at 1-800-DEC-FADE.

Raiders + 8.5 vs. Giants
Ben: Giants. The Giants aren’t as good as people in New York think they are. That will get shown in the postseason. But this week they get a bad Raiders team that has quit on the season. With no LaMont Jordan and a banged up Randy Moss, you wonder if they’ll just forfeit fifteen minutes before kickoff. Honestly, would anyone care? That’s Week 17 for you.
Zach: Giants. God, I’d love to see the Raiders pull the big upset here, but as Ben illustrated, the Raiders are trying to get Norv Turner fired.

Colts -7 vs. Cardinals
Ben: Colts. If Jim Sorgi puts up 250 yards and 3 TDs this week, do you think some team would give up a draft pick for him this offseason? Just putting it out there.
Zach: Cardinals. Yeah, the Cardinals are bad, but I’m not ready to say they’re worse than another team’s second squad, even the Colts.

Browns +3 vs. Ravens
Ben: Ravens. Zach is trying to convince me Kyle Boller could become a good QB. Maybe, but I still say two good games does not make a career. The Browns are an inconsistent young football team. I don’t like them here.
Zach: Ravens. Ok, so maybe they’re the team (not the Cardinals) who will record a couple of nice wins well after being eliminated from contention, only to unnecessarily raise expectations for next year.

Jets +1.5 vs. Bills
Ben: Bills. Unfortunately for the Jets, (or perhaps fortunately if they manage to get the #1 pick) their defense is now nearly as banged up as their offense. Dwayne Robertson and Shaun Ellis are done, leaving John Abraham as the only good player on that line. The Bills are inconsistent but have looked a little better with Kelly Holcomb at QB. Did I mention the Jets didn’t have a first down in the first half Monday night?
Zach: Bills. I’m not sure which is more impressive. The fact that Ben has actually watched every Jets game this year, or that I’ve managed to find something to say about the Jets each Monday on my radio show.

Falcons +3.5 vs. Panthers
Ben: Falcons. My gut and head says the Panthers, which is why I’m picking the Falcons. The NFC South has been the impossible for me to read this year so I’m throwing logic out the window and going against what I would normally do. Considering my record, I probably should have started doing that a while ago.
Zach: Panthers. Though it wouldn’t shock me at all if the Panthers continued their collapse, I’d rather see Atlanta avoid breaking one of the cooler streaks in the NFL. So far, they’ve never managed consecutive winning seasons.

Vikings -4.5 vs. Bears
Ben: Bears. The Vikings are back to being the Vikings again. Guess Brad Johnson isn’t the answer after all huh?
Zach: Vikings. Now we’ll finally get to see Kyle Orton in his natural environment…quarterbacking when the game means nothing.

Chiefs -7.5 vs. Bengals
Ben: Chiefs. The Bengals have nothing to play for, and even if they did it would be a tough game at Arrowhead in December. The Chiefs are most likely done, needing the Steelers and Chargers both to lose to get in. But they’ll play hard and with that high flying offense against the Bengals’ porous defense, it should be a nice day for Trent Green.
Zach: Chiefs. Larry Johnson’s quest to make Priest Holmes irrelevant rolls on.

Steelers -13.5 vs. Lions
Ben: Steelers. Last time I’ll be able to write this in a Lions’ pick: Joey Harrington sucks. Also the last time I’ll be able to write this in a Lions’ pick: Jeff Garcia sucks.
Zach: Lions. I just don’t like that big of a spread. Also, the Lions are decent at stopping the run, particularly inside.

Patriots -5.5 vs. Dolphins
Ben: Patriots.: Nick Saban has the Fish playing well. But it’s Miami up north in December. That’s an automatic pick against, even if they do have a habit of making Tom Brady look bad.
Zach: Patriots. But Nick Saban deserves some serious consideration for Coach of the Year, considering the fact that at the very least he got a Miami team that most picked to finish last in the division to 8-8 at worst, and a team that people will be watching out for next season.

Buccaneers -13.5 vs. Saints
Ben: Buccaneers. Hopefully the last time I’ll be able to say this: Jim Haslett sucks. Seriously as I pointed out in my AFC Report this week, this Saints team stinks, not because of Katrina, but because they were poorly put together to start with. Oh and they’re poorly coached. Hopefully they take care of that this offseason. They have a shot at the #1 pick if Houston loses. It’s a good place to start. (By not taking Reggie Bush seeing as they already have an Al- Pro running back named Deuce McAllister)
Zach: Saints. The Bucs will win, but for some reason I see one more decent effort coming from a Saints team that will need some sort of positive feeling heading into a long and tumultuous offseason.

49ers +1.5 vs. Texans
Ben: 49ers. The game of the week. Seriously. I mean the winner here is the definite loser of the biggest sweepstakes in the NFL. Actually, Frank Gore probably already knocked the Niners out of that spot already, which is good for his job security next year. The Texans have been playing better as of late. So has Alex Smith. Will he finally throw a TD pass this season? See what I mean? This game is full of interesting stories and subplots.
Zach: Texans. Because I want to see strength of schedule listed in the standings next year.

Jaguars -3.5 vs. Titans
Ben: Jaguars.: Will Byron Leftwich play? If so what does he have? That’s about all there is interest wise-with this one.
Zach: Jaguars. Ben forgot potentially Steve McNair’s last game for the Titans (though that’s not likely).

Packers -5 vs. Seahawks
Ben: Packers. Seahawks have nothing to play for. This might be Brett Farve’s last game. Maybe he’ll go out throwing a TD and not a pick.
Zach: Seahawks. A long, long time ago I said I’d never pick against the Hawks all year long and damnit, I’m following through on that promise.

Eagles +8 vs. Redskins
Ben: Eagles. Rivalry game. The Skins have been inconsistent this year, so I’m hesitant to pick them on the road giving up 8. Besides, it gives me an excuse to pick the Commish one last time.
Zach: Redskins. It may be a rivalry game, but the Eagles packed up the tents weeks ago. The Redskins will head into the NFC playoffs a very dangerous squad.

Cowboys -12.5 vs. Rams
Ben: Rams. The Rams stink defensively but they can still move the ball for a ton of yards. Dallas may well be finished by the time this game starts. There are too many unknowns for such a big line.
Zach: Rams. Ben said it all.

Last Week:

Ben: 5-9-2
Zach: 9-5-2


Ben: 84-99-9
Zach: 92-91-9


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