NFL Outlook: Bandit's Blog
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NFL WEEK 17 OUTLOOK

 Well, we've come to the final week of the regular season which means another great year is about to pass us by as we turn our attention to the playoffs.  The final week is always a tricky one as we have to reevaluate our picks. This comes as a  factor of certain teams who have already established their playoff spot.  As a result, such teams might decide to rest some of their starters, or will have them play only a portion of the contest, or choose not to go at full strength by playing second stringers throughout the whole game. What may seem like an obvious, one-sided contest may in fact end with a different, not to mention unexpected, outcome.  It is imperative to consider these circumstances upon trying to decide winners, wether it's to win the office pool, your fantasy football league, or when placing your hard earned money on a wager.  With that said,  I hope everyone had a great season watching the NFL and may it only get better come post-season.  If your team did not make the playoffs this season, no worries..as they always say "There is always next year". Or the other proverbial quote "You can't win them all." I know my team, the Chiefs, had one of the more disappointing seasons to say the least.  Oh well, let's begin with the predictions..and like I always say "Beware of the Home Underdogs!!!" This blog is for entertainment purposes only and should be treated as such.

New England over NY GIANTS- Patriots are a win away from a historic season of 16-0.  Giants should give them a challenge for the early part of the game. But Brady and company will start to separate themselves in the latter half  and in the process embossed themselves in history along with the '72 Dolphins, who will no longer stand alone in accomplishing such a tremendous feat.   Along with the historical win, look for Brady to surpass Manning's TD record as I surmise he will throw for at least a couple of scores.  It's funny because earlier this season it seemed like as if Brady would smash Manning's TD record with ease as most of everyone thought he would pass 49 TD's long before the season ends.  I guess the weather and defenses have figured him out a little bit which has curbed his momentum.  The NFL network has now decided to broadcast this game nationwide on CBS and NBC, giving everyone a chance to witness history.  Wow, thanks NFL..it was all I wanted for Christmas.  Next season, how about giving everyone a chance to watch all the games?  Patriots   31     Giants  19

PHILADELPHIA over Buffalo- McNabb and company are starting to play excellent football but unfortunately it's a little too late.  Eagles      24        Bills       10

TAMPA BAY over Carolina- With the 4th seed already secured, Gruden's squad is looking forward to the postseason.  Even with the possibility of rested starters, I still like the Bucs at home.  Bucs   26    Panthers   16

Cincinnati over MIAMI- Dolphins are just plain terrible even at home.  They were very fortunate to get the overtime win much to the chagrin of Stover.  The Bengals are one of this year's biggest disappointments  but I feel they have the better all around team here.  Bengals   31     Dolphins   21

WASHINGTON over Dallas- The Skins can clinch a wild card spot with a victory as they own the tie-breaker over the Vikes.  Expect Washington to play with a determined effort over a Dallas team who will likely rest some of their starters.  I like Gibb's team to be focused as well as aggressive.   Redskins  27    Cowboys   17

GREEN BAY over Detroit- Packers have the no. 2 seed in the NFC, and although this is a meaningless game for them..I like the Lambeau crowd and weather to make it difficult for the visiting Lions.  Packers   34    Lions   20

HOUSTON over Jacksonville- Texans have exited themselves from the playoffs with a loss last week.  A meaningless game for Jacksonville who has already secured a wild card spot.  In a situation like this, I will go with the home team Texans to end their season on a positive note.   Texans    23      Jaguars     17

New Orleans over CHICAGO- Saints need a win here along with a loss by the Vikes and Skins.  In other words, they will need a miracle.  I say they get the win regardless, but will be praying for a lot of help.   Although Christmas is over, who knows, Santa might still be in town.   Saints    24    Bears    22

BALTIMORE over Pittsburgh-  Although the Steelers can move to the no. 3 spot with a win and a Chargers loss,  I feel Billick's team will be determined to end their season with a victory which they have not achieved in their last 9 games. Rookie troy Smith looks to make his first NFL start against a formidable defense.  At least he's got some mobility in the pocket.   As for the Steelers, I believe Najeh Davenport will serve them well come playoff time in place of the injured Parker.  Ravens   20    Steelers   16

Seattle over ATLANTA-  Holmgren's squad have clinched the no. 3 spot.  We should see reserves on the Seattle side of the ball.  The Falcons have had tough luck for the past couple of months, and they will be just glad to have their abysmal season end.     Seahawks   19    Falcons    17

CLEVELAND over San Francisco- The Browns' playoff fate is contingent solely on how Tennessee will fare on their Sunday night matchup with Indy.  Regardless of how Crennel's team do against a suddenly surging 49ers squad, they won't get  the wild card should the Titans win their matchup.  That loss to Cincinnati a week ago has definitely been detrimental to their playoff chances.  Despite their destiny resting on the hands of another team, Cleveland has a great chance at home to trounce the 49ers who are probably down another qb with an injured Shaun Hill, but wether Indianapolis can give Romeo Crennel's team a holiday gift remains to be seen.  But read on.     Browns  37     49ers   19

Tennessee over INDIANAPOLIS- With the possibility of Dungy resting his starters and a cameo appearance by Manning, I think Vince Young has enough of what it takes to drive his team into the playoffs.  The Colts have actually won 8 of the last 9 games against the Titans, but Jeff Fisher's bunch has played them tough in the earlier matchup this year in which they lost 22-20.  Look for Young to thrive under pressure and play smart football.  Titans should play aggressive on the D side as they should be capable of flustering a Jim Sorgi led Colt offense, leading to ineffective drives and minimal scoring chances.  With that in mind, Fisher's bunch should post enough points for their defense to sustain.  Look for LenDale White to be utilized frequently.  Titans sneak out of Indy with a victory and wild card berth much to the dismay of the Cleveland Browns.  Titans  20    Colts 16

DENVER over Minnesota-You can be assured the Vike's coaching staff will somehow monitor the Washington/Dallas matchup as this game progresses, and vice versa.  Both teams are slated for the later games.  I think Shanahan would do well playing spoiler, especially at home.  With "All Day" Peterson the only legitimate threat the Vikes have in their arsenal, look for the Denver D to focus on containing the rookie thus compelling T-Jackson to throw the ball.  Against defensive studs like Bailey, Bly, and Lynch...I'd almost feel sorry for the inexperienced QB.  Cutler, on the other hand, should pick apart a weak Vikings secondary with ease.  SPOILER alert here as Denver should get the victory.   Broncos    31    Vikings   17

San Diego over OAKLAND- Norv Turner would like to secure the number 3 spot, which they can possibly yield to a victorious Steelers team.  So expect enough effort on San Diego's side to sneak out a win here.  Don't expect much LT here as he will likely be rested for much of the game in favor of Sproles.  But who knows, I ain't the coach but it would be the smart move to do even though LT has the potential to lose the rushing title if Adrian "All Day" Peterson ends up with a monster game.   Chargers   23     Raiders   20

ARIZONA over St. Louis- Meaningless game for both.   Warner continues to impress. Will he be the starter next season?  With the way he is playing, he is gradually removing all doubt.   Cardinals   31    Rams   20

NY JETS  over Kansas City- My Chiefs are deplorable period.  I am just hoping for a good draft pick of a few offensive linemen, and I expect Brodie Croyle to mature as a starter next season.    Jets     19    Chiefs   16

Thanks for reading my blog. Please feel free to comment.  I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday season.  I would also like to wish everyone an early HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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