All I can say is I am glad I am not a professional handicapper. With the final week of the NFL regular season always comes speculation about who will play how long.
Normally, the Colts would be a 21-point favorite over the pitiful Cardinals. However, the Colts have already clinched home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. Therefore, Peyton Manning may play one quarter, if that.
The Chargers a 10-point favorite against the Broncos? I’m sure Denver will rest a lot of defensive starters but the only way they’re a 10-point dog to San Diego is if the practice squad fills in.
On the bright side, NFL Week 17 is symbolic for another reason: NO MORE FANATASY FOOTBALL GEEKS! Since most NFL stars are rested the final week of the regular season, the Fantasy Footballers usually wrap up their playoffs by Week 15 or 16. It’s one of the most pathetic displays I see when I witness grown men sitting at a bar, clipboard in hand, screaming “DOES ANYONE KNOW WHO SCORED THAT TOUCHDOWN FOR THE COLTS???!!”
Please be advised that the following picks against the point spread are not to be referenced for placing bets.
Broncos (+10) at Chargers: Since the Broncos have already secured a playoff spot they will rest several defensive starters. In fact, they will be amongst the Navy soldiers in the stands.
Giants (-9) at Raiders: How injury ravaged are the Giants at linebacker? They are considering calling Lawrence Taylor out of retirement, drug induced stupor or not.
Cardinals (+6 ½) at Colts: The lousy Cardinals have two outstanding young wide receivers in Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. I haven’t seen such a waste of talent since Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty starred in “Ishtar”.
Ravens (-3) at Browns: After successfully groveling to Ravens management to stay on as coach another year, Brian Billick can become an egomaniac again.
Panthers (-4) at Falcons: If Falcons coach Jim Mora make a cell phone call from the sidelines this week, he will merely be checking on his tee time at Augusta.
Bills (-1) at Jets: On the Bills’ official web site, the fan poll question is “Should the Bills activate rookie RB Lionel Gates vs. the NY Jets?” A better question: Are you even going to bother watching two terrible teams play a meaningless game where the only interest is whether or not some stiff named Lionel Gates will play?
But that’s just me.
Bears (+3 ½) at Vikings: When I think of the Bears defense going up against the Vikings’ mediocre offensive line, I think “hot knife through warm butter.”
Again, that’s just me
Bengals (+7) at Chiefs: How long has it been since the Bengals played in a meaningful game? It was the game where they ended the football career of Bo Jackson…… of the Los Angeles Raiders.
Lions (+14) at Steelers: The Lions winning percentage is .266 in the five seasons Matt Miller has been President and GM. Not bad-------IF YOU’RE A MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL HITTER!
Dolphins (+6) at Patriots: Prior to the game, the Patriots and their fans will pay tribute to the 1985 AFC championship team. Yeah, there’s nothing more inspirational than a team who lost by 36 points in a Super Bowl.
Saints (+14) at Buccaneers: In what may be his last game as Saints coach, Jim Haslett will view the game from the big pirate ship in “Buccaneers Cove”.
Texans (-2) at 49ers: How much does Texans coach Dom Capers want this season to end? He’s more excited about his post game meal at the Bubba Gump Shrimp in Fisherman’s Wharf.
Titans (+3) at Jaguars: How much do these two teams dislike each other? Instead of coin toss to determine who gets the opening kickoff, the two clubs would prefer a “Battle Royal.”
Seahawks (+3) at Packers: If Brett Favre decides to retire at the end of this season he will start his own magazine entitled “Interceptions Aficionado”.
Redskins (-7) at Eagles: In this game for the Eagles there will be no Donovan McNabb, no Terrell Owens, and no Brian Westbrook. Kind of like going to see the Rolling Stones without Mick, Keith and Charlie.
Rams (+12 ½) at Cowboys: Bill Parcells refuses to speculate on whether or not he will retire as Cowboys coach. However, he doesn’t mind telling you he recently had his teeth capped.
Last week: 11-4-1