Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons have played exceptionally well throughout the entire 2008 season, but after dropping a close 29-25 decision to the division rival Saints, I believe their playoff run is essentially over. The Buccaneers were soundly defeated last week versus the division leading Panthers and a second loss in as many weeks could have a profound affect on the clubs' playoff chances. The Bucs won handily in their fist battle, but this one is being played indoors in Atlanta and the Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, has improved a great deal with each passing game during his rookie season.
Falcons 20 – Buccaneers 17
Washington Redskins vs Cincinnati Bengals – The Skins, losers of four of the last five, will need to win out if they are to have any chance of making it to the playoff round. This is a tall order for a club that has been essentially offensively bankrupt for the past two months. The 1-11-1 Bengals have been essentially mailing it in over the past three weeks and I don’t expect them to turn it on with three games remaining in the season. The Redskins will prevail in this one, but I believe the playoffs are a long shot at best.
Redskins 24 – Bengals 10
Detroit Lions vs Indianapolis Colts – I felt the Lions would break into the win column in Week 16 of the season versus the Saints, but after watching their home losses at the hands of Tampa Bay and the Titans in the past month, I’m beginning to have my doubts. The Colts, on the other hand, have won six straight and should have little in the way of resistance at home versus the winless Lions
Colts 35 – Lions 17
San Diego Chargers vs Kansas City Chiefs – I almost went with the Chiefs playing at home against a Charger club who barely defeated them (20-19) in their first meeting. Ttheir two subsequent losses at home to the Saints and the Bills, didn't inspire much in the way of confidence. The Chargers will win this football game, simply because they have far better personnel, but don’t look for a silver lining in victory as I expect both franchises to undergo major changes during the off season.
Chargers 31 – Chiefs 21
Green Bay Packers vs Jacksonville Jaguars – The Packers have dropped three straight, including their last two at home, while the Jaguars have lost four straight and appeared to have quit in their losses to the Vikings, Texans and the Bears. The difference in this one I believe is the Packers ability to put points on the board. It should be a competitive match up between the two most disappointing clubs in their respective conferences.
Packers 24 – Jaguars 23
Seattle Seahawks vs St Louis Rams – Oh boy, this one ought to be real barn burner. The Seahawks have lost six straight while the home team Rams have dropped seven in a row after pulling off consecutive victories over the Redskins and Cowboys. The Rams just cannot put points on the board. Over the past five games, they have averaged less than nine points a game. That that is just not going to win you a lot of football games. Expect the fans to stay away in droves.
Seahawks 21 – Rams 20
San Francisco 49ers vs Miami Dolphins – The 49ers have won three of the last four including consecutive victories over AFC East foes the Jets and the Bills, but with six victories in the last seven contests the Dolphins, are still very much alive in the playoff hunt. With the exception of their loss to the Patriots, the defense has been, in a word, outstanding.
Dolphins 31 – 49ers 20
Buffalo Bills vs New York Jets – The Bills, losers in six of the last seven contests, do battle against a Jets club who just two weeks ago looked like a sure thing to capture a AFC East title. After two losses in sucession, though, the Jets now find themselves in a dog fight not only for a division title, but also a playoff birth. The Bills were upset at home in week nine and would like nothing better then to add to the Jets late season woes. The Bills have not scored a touchdown in either of their last two losses, both of which have been played at home. That doesn’t bode well for the boys from Buffalo.
Jets 21 – Buffalo 13
Tennessee Titans vs Houston Texans – This one is going to be a lot closer than most people expect. The Texans have won three straight and are particularly tough in Reliant Stadium, but the Titans are a far cry from the Browns, Jaguars and this year’s version of the Packers. Look for the Titans to end the streak in a far closer and more competitive contest then we witnessed in week three (31–12) of the season.
Titans 21 – Texans 17