NYG @ DAL (-7.5) Not sure where the spread comes from on this one. The Giants are on one of their little hot streaks and Dallas hasn’t shown up since the Packers game. As I noted last week, if the Giants ended up beating Tampa Bay and going to Dallas, the Giants would beat Dallas. The key will be the Giants defensive line shifting to a run-stopping line, not just a pass rush line. If Dallas returns to playing decently, however, Dallas does have Marion Barber and the Giants secondary isn’t necessarily top notch. Witten, as always will likely be a big factor, but his counterpart, Kevin Boss may steal the show. Giants to cover – Giants to win outright 35-24.
This may be my last chance to rip on Eli this year. He has sort of shut me up the last few weeks, but even while playing well, he looks like a loser. Nobody seems to have talked about it, but I wonder if Eli is playing a bit better now that Shockey isn’t around. Sideline shot after sideline shot used to show Shockey jabbering away at Eli presumably asking for more balls to be thrown to him. Without that moron in his ear, maybe Eli isn’t as distracted.
Can you imagine what a Manning Thanksgiving sounds like? Peyton: “Eli pass the gravy, would ya?”. Eli: “Mom, Peyton asked for the gravy but he saw I had it in my hand and was about to use it…God…”. Peyton: “Eli, grow up.” Archie: “Boys, relax. Eli, what did we talk about? You have to be tougher, have thicker skin – don’t be so quick to cry”. Eli: “I know dad, it’s just that, God, nobody understands”…leaves table…
SD @ INDY (-7.5) At the beginning of the year, I had San Diego in the Super Bowl. If they have to get through Indy and then NE, I would say chances of that coming true are minimal. However, I continue to be intrigued by what I regard as one of the quietest yet smartest player personnel moves of the year: trading for Chris Chambers. With Gates out last week, having Chambers as the new go-to guy has opened up an offense that was hurting at WR. While I wrote a few weeks back that LT’s anger problem may help propel them in the playoffs, I’m noticing that his blockers may just be so bad it won’t matter. It will be interesting though as they get Lorenzo Neal back this week and that could make a big difference for LT. But still, I think defensively, aside from a pick or two from Comrartie, San Diego will be overmatched and lose this game. It’s strange I just wrote this and picked Indy and suddenly I’m wondering if I should change that and pick SD to win. Weird feeling. Couldn’t happen, could it? Dungy is too thorough a coach to have his guys unprepared, right? But nobody is picking SD and they are playing with nothing to lose. And LT is LT. Ok, Rivers is Rivers though too – talked myself through it. Indy to win and cover 27-17.
JAX @ NE (-11.5) After Jax’s improbable last second comeback last week, they could either ride that momentum and make this a game or totally sputter-out. It’s like golf. Notice, when an amateur weekend golfer hits his approach shot off a tree by the green only to have it eventually end up 10 feet from the hole because of a lucky ricochet, he stands over that putt thinking “I should be in the woods right now, I didn’t deserve this, I didn’t even call backboard…” – and then 3-putts. When a pro golfer has the same thing happen, he steps up to the putt thinking “nice break, certain birdie, let’s get this to -6 now…” Now Jax should have won that game outright, but were it not for a few horrendous play-calls by Pitt, especially on the 2-point conversions, Jax could very well be at home this week. Anyway, the thought here is that good players/good teams take advantage of breaks and roll with them instead of feeling kind of guilty for benefitting from such fortune. This will be a real test for Jax – have they officially become a good team? We’ll find out this weekend. I do think they’ll cover, but NE will likely win 27-16.
SEA @ GB (-8.5) See here for pick.