4-1 in my top 5 gimmie games, but after that, well, things weren’t shiny, happy, and warm like Christmas gifts are supposed to be, that’s for sure. I needed a strong Monday to lift me over the top… This is how it worked out.
Bengals over the Broncos (win)
Bears over the Lions (win)
Chiefs over the Raiders (win)
Colts over the Texans (loss)
Ravens over the Steelers (win)
Minnesota Vikings (+3.5) @ Green Bay Packers: (win) Tarvaris Jackson didn’t do to well, but the Vikings played the Packers, and therefore, Jackson’s poor starting performance was just good enough to cover by a couple points in Green Bay.
Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5) @ Oakland Raiders: (win) “Larry Johnson is running for the Chiefs who have to win or face a sure exit from playoff hopes. Justin Fargas is running for the Raiders, who, ah, are never going to win again this year.” LJ was great against a good Raider defense, and the Chiefs easily covered, winning by 11 on the road.
Baltimore Ravens (+3.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers: (win) “I know the Steelers are coming on strong of late, but really, do wins over Tampa Bay, Cleveland, and Carolina really count? No.” The Steelers were bad once again, as the Ravens proved the point I was trying to make, beating sub par teams doesn’t make the Steelers good. The Ravens smoked Pittsburgh.
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-6): (loss) The Falcons are probably the most inconsistent football team in the league. With the talent they have, scoring 3 points against the Panthers in Atlanta is just flat out pathetic. What do the Falcons need to be winners in the NFC? When you can’t beat a Chris Weinke led team, you’re in trouble.
Chicago Bears (-4) at Detroit Lions: (win) “Is this some kind of sick joke?” It wasn’t a joke. The Lions hung in there until the very end, but the Bears won by 6, making me sweat one out, but ending the game with a smile was just fine with me.
Indianapolis Colts (-9) @ Houston Texans: (loss) What were the Colts up to in Houston? After slanging the Bengals last week on MNF, the Colts just weren’t ready for Ron Dayne. Ron “freaking” Dayne for God’s sake. 3 shots of Jack D later and Mike Vanderjagt will be calling Peyton Manning just some drunk quarterback running his mouth.
New England Patriots at Jacksonville Jaguars (-2.5): (loss) It was close, and I thought the Jags were on a comeback trail, but behind is not a thing Jacksonville is good at coming back from, and that’s why Byron Leftwich will get his starting gig back when he’s healthy. Maurice Drew has been the best freshman running back this season. YEAH, that’s right, you herd it right. Consistent and explosive, just like cornbread, ain’t nothing wrong with that.
New Orleans Saints (+3) at New York Giants: (win) “I just don’t see how the Saints are underdogs here. I don’t think the Giants have a chance to make the playoffs, so it’s not as if they’ll be playing with extra umph. And Drew Brees has been shredding suspect secondaries all season long, and the Giants certainly have one of those. Look for Drew and the Saints to perform well in a bounce back game.” The Saints just flat out dominated this game. New York started off hot, but after that, Eli was Eli, the Giant defense was bad, and the Saints smashed their running game right down the throat of the pathetic Giants.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3) at Cleveland Browns: (win) “With Tim Rattay getting the starting nod, I actually believe the Buccaneers are a tough team.” And what can I say? They looked good. The Browns couldn’t handle the Buccaneer pressure, and Tim Rattay looked like a young signal caller playing for a chance at a starting gig. He played well.
Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills (-4.5): (loss) The Bills, like many other teams, couldn’t tame the ghost of Vincent Young. This rookie is a winner, something that’s unteachable. Mr. Young has done enough to get it done all year, but yesterday he was more than anyone expected. An amazing run, some pin-point passes, and a “we can’t lose” attitude took down the Bills in Buffalo.
Washington Redskins (+2) at St. Louis Rams: (loss) Steven Jackson was just too much. The Redskins didn’t have an answer for 1 handed catches and Reggie Bush type open field moves for touchdowns. Oh, and how about that power? The game went into overtime, but a game winning touchdown run for SJ was all she wrote in St. Louis.
Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers (-4): (loss) San Francisco couldn’t take advantage of a Hawks loss, as the Cardinals managed to upset a team making a run at the playoffs. When will Arizona play as well as they can for an entire year? Next year? Nope. It’ll always be next year, if you know what I mean.
Cincinnati Bengals (+3) at Denver Broncos: (win) I like Jay Culter, but he won’t be able to shred the Bengals defense like Peyton Manning did last Monday Night. And there is no way the Bengals come out as flat as a tire for the second straight week in a row, especially with their playoff lives on the line. This spread is like giving the game away. Thanks for free money, fellas.
San Diego Chargers (-4) at Seattle Seahawks: (loss) A late touchdown pass ousted the Hawks, while the final score, 20-17, was just enough to make me a loser by a point. Phillip Rivers has really struggled of late, so if he wants to help his Chargers win, he better get back to the confident and accurate passes he threw the first 10 games of the season.
Philadelphia Eagles (+7) at Dallas Cowboys: (WIN) I love it. A- I’m the most competitive guy this side of Mike Jordan, and I love to win while hating to lose, but B- and more importantly, Cowboy suffering and Eagle playoffs certainty without their star quarterback, plus a TO tantrum that has a Randy Moss of Owens trade in the cards, wow, this can’t get any better!
New York Jets (+2.5) at Miami Dolphins: The Jets struggled to a boring win in Miami, but since this game pushes me over the top for the week, landing me at 9-7, I’ll bust out one of these… “Yippy Kye Eye Yay!” Okay, got it out, for all those who took bets on my winners… “Congrats!”