Jesse: BEST WORST PICK OF LAST WEEK:“If this were at Houston, I’d lay them down as an ice cold lock…but the Pats always seem to struggle with teams that have decent defenses  The real question is, will Houston’s defense show up?  I think they will, but this will be a close one.” - Tom (Patriots 42, Texans 14)

The idiotic fiasco known as the Saints Bounty Scandal came to an ignominious end Tuesday, with former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue voiding the suspensions of the four players involved. Tagliabue asserted that the suspensions should have been reserved solely for coaches and management, who were responsible for the situation. Tagliabue also ruled that Commissioner Goodell’s findings were 100 percent correct. You have to admire Tagliabue’s attempt to help the Commissioner save face.

The bounty case was a desperate, phony attempt by the NFL to show that they cared about player safety, and it’s desperate phoniness was obvious to anyone paying attention. This case has been a cynical attempt by the league to prove that they’re cracking down on violence, which is impossible to prevent in a game where 6’ 5” 300 pound super-fast genetic freaks are constantly running into each other. If Goodell thought this dumb crusade would stem the oncoming tsunami of concussion lawsuits, he was wrong. He tried to shoot first and ask questions later, and ended up shooting himself in the foot.

Hitpoints

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nfl1510Thursday December 13th, 2012
Cincinnati Bengals(7-6) vs. Philadelphia Eagles(4-9)
Tom: Cincy had a shot at moving into a possible wildcard, if not division leading spot last week and then let Tony Slomo and the Cowboys erase a 9 point lead with about 6 minutes left.  This is why no one respects you as a football team yet.  Dalton made some dumb decisions with the ball, and it cost them.  Will it make them wiser?  We’ll see, as the Eagles also pulled one out of their ass last week and found a way to beat Tampa.  Good thing Carolina played Atlanta, otherwise, no team from the NFC South would have won.
Bengals
Clint:  The Eagles just won’t die.  When they seem like they won’t be able to have enough quality starters to get them through they seem to find someone new to keep them alive.  In all reality this team should have just given up after the first few weeks.  Let Andy Reid get what’s coming to him.  The Bengals are gonna eat the bird of prey all wrapped up, like Chipoltle style.
Bengals

Sunday December 16th
Green Bay Packers(9-4) vs. Chicago Bears(8-5)
Clint: Have the Bears fallen or what?  Once the unbeatable NFC team and now the talk is circling them not making a wild card seed.  The Packers pull one out in an uncharacteristic way last week.  Almost as many rushing yards as passing yards.  If they keep that up they will be damn hard to beat.  I see the Bears playing this game hard, but the Windy City will be a little colder yet after this game.
Packers
nfl155Tom: Where do the Packers keep finding these RBs?  One guy gets hurt, and then another guy steps in his place.  The Bears have really stumbled the past few weeks, and don’t look so unbeatable anymore.  And according to the Packers, they don’t have to worry about the Bears, because “Jay will just throw it to them [the Packer DBs].”  Sounds good to me.
Packers

Indianapolis Colts(9-4) vs. Houston Texans(11-2)
Tom: Houston still has the best record in the AFC, but those two losses were both beatdowns at the hands of teams with great offenses.  The loss of Brian Cushing may be affecting the Texans more than anyone thought, or maybe they just played really crappy offenses until Green Bay.  The Colts once again had to make a great comeback to win a game.  Will the Texans still be woozy from Monday night going into this divisional game?  I’m going with Houston just because it’s in Houston.  But this will be a good game, I believe.
Texans
Clint: I agree with with all the points Tom made.  See I don’t even need to do anything, as I am agreeing with him.  I also will be watching this great looking game.
Texans

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Denver Broncos(10-3) vs. Baltimore Ravens(9-4)
Clint: I go no further than Ray Rice pissing on the terrible towel and all the various kinds of voodoo magic that ensures they will not win a game the rest of the season. (This spot is normally reserved for Peyton Manning man love, but was postponed this week due to scary mojo)
Broncos
nfl159Tom: This is probably the hardest game left on the Broncos schedule…and it might not be so hard.  The Ravens defense may be even more of a disappointment than the Bears defense.  At least the Bears defense looked unbeatable at one point.  The Ravens defense is getting gashed by the run, which is making their secondary look bad.  And now here comes Peyton Manning.  QUOTH THE RAVEN!
Broncos

Jacksonville Jaguars(2-11) vs. Miami Dolphins(5-8)
Tom: Umm…Miami?
Dolphins
Clint: I don’t see it that easy.  In fact, as the Jaguars have been playing better as of late and the Dolphins have lost the ability to win, I am taking the away team.  The cats eat the fish.
Jaguars.

Washington Redskins(7-6) vs. Cleveland Browns(5-8)
Clint: The Redskins look like RGIII will be absent or at least one dimensional for this game.  The Skins are flat without him. Look for the Browns to continue to give their city hope that after the off-season changes this year, they will be competitive in 2013.
Browns
Tom: Kirk Cousins is not a bad QB but can he start and finish a game?  In mop-up duty vs. the Falcons he looked OK and had enough in the tank to beat the Ravens.  That QB draw took some cajones, I’ll tell you that much.  This is a difficult game to pick.  The Browns are definitely feeling better about themselves, and this is at home.  But I need to pick against Clint somewhere, and why not against Cleveland?
Redskins

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Minnesota Vikings(7-6) vs. St Louis Rams(6-6-1)
Tom: Minnesota shocked da Bears last week, and proved that they play best at home.  They’re not at home, but they’re in a dome.  St Louis beat San Fran in OT, and then had to struggle to beat Buffalo in Buffalo.  The Rams have been tough at home, but the Vikings last week finally seemed to figure out that running AP all day long and taking the game out of Ponder’s hands will lead to a win.  This one is a toss up for me…
Vikings
nfl156Clint: I have often considered the Rams stronger than what they have shown.  I think they have the ability to win the game, but without their star receiver playing at his peak, they appear to struggle to make it to OT.  The Vikings may be one dimensional, but they are nothing short of amazing when they depend on Peterson.
Vikings

Tampa Bay Buccaneers(6-7) vs. New Orleans Saints(5-8)
Clint: The Saints got sacrificed last week and Tampa lost to one of the worst teams in the NFL.  Both will be looking to right things and the Saints are now out of playoff contention but will probably do everything they can to screw the Bucs.  I have to go with the team with something left to play for.
Buccaneers
Tom: Ha ha, in an ironic twist of fate, I am Butch Cavendish to your Lone Ranger this week.  Bounty-gate is essentially over, the season is winding down, and if the Saints can’t make the playoffs, they’ll damn sure be happy to knock another divisional team out of it too.
Saints

New York Giants(8-5) vs. Atlanta Falcons(11-2)
Tom: Well, the Falcons, much like the Texans, got completely dominated last week.  Only the Panthers are a much more inferior team to Atlanta than New Engaland (RIP Charles Napier) was to Houston.  Were they looking ahead to the New York Football Giants?  The Giants proved last week that they can keep up offensively with teams that have no defense.  I continue to be blindly dedicated to my home town team, since they’re playing…well, at home.
Falcons
nfl152Clint: I don’t know what happened to the Falcons last week.  I even predicted the Falcons would lose another before the end of the season, but who thought it would be the Panthers.  The Giants began their freaky ramp up to the playoffs last week, so I have to go with my gut and take them.  Either way this should be a fun game to watch.
Giants

Seattle Seahawks(8-5) vs. Buffalo Bills(5-8)
Clint: Seattle shot, cooked and ate the Cardinals last week.  The Bills still strike me as a similarly struggling team that will give up instead of rising to the competition.  That continues here as the Seahawks look to find their way into the wildcard slot of the playoffs.
Seahawks
Tom: The good: Seattle’s defense eviscerated the Cardinals last week, forcing 8 turnovers and shutting them out.  The Bad: Seattle has to travel to Buffalo.  The Ugly: Seattle is 2-5 away from home.  The even Uglier: Ryan Fitzpatrick’s beard.  I just think Seattle’s defense is way too much for Buffalo.  Especially since the Rams’ defense was.
Seahawks

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Carolina Panthers(4-9) vs.San Diego Chargers(5-8)
Tom: Cam Newton thinks he’s a superstar again after ripping up the then 11-1 Falcons.  Phillip “Not Three” Rivers thinks he’s a superstar because, well, he’s Phillip Rivers.  The clash of the pouty egos is here, and Norv getting canned isn’t enough for the Chargers to win out…and if it is, they are even more horribly coached than we all believe.
Panthers
nfl1513Clint: The game of the one week overachievers.  This game is comparable to watching Len Wiseman vs Kevin Smith in a direct off.  One started with a bang and the other only got to close to success once..  No matter which way you look at it though, no one is watching.  Just to disagree with Tom (someone else can email me with the results because looking it up would take more time than it is worth)
Chargers

Detroit Lions(4-9) vs. Arizona Cardinals(4-9)
Clint: At one point towards the beginning of the season this would have seemed like an interesting game.  Not now.  The Lions play good enough to barely lose and the Cardinals aren’t even trying anymore.  I think KC has a two competitors for worst team in the league.
Lions
Tom:  We have seen teams rally around coaches and tragic events this season to win games they probably wouldn’t have otherwise.  I don’t know what either team has to rally around this week, other than “only three more weeks to go!”  I’ll go with the team who isn’t using a high school player as their QB.
Lions

Kansas City Chiefs(2-11) vs. Oakland Raiders(3-10)
Tom: The “Feh” bowl.  It’s in Oakland, so I’ll go with the Black Hole.
Raiders
Clint: In an amazing turn of events, the Chiefs decide to phone this one in.  Jamaal Charles is the only player and/or coach that gets on the plane to the bay.  After surprising the Raiders on the first drive with an 80 yard TD(they thought he was just there to tell them the Chiefs quit), he learns he can’t play 21 other positions.  He gives up like the rest of his team.  My pick for this week and the next two is anyone who plays against the Chiefs.
Raiders

nfl153Pittsburgh Steelers(7-6) vs. Dallas Cowboys(7-6)
Clint: The Cowboys hate us at this time of year.  I think they showed they are better than some think by beating the Bengals last week, which brings me to my point.  Steelers beat the teams they shouldn’t, and then lose or barely win the games against equal or poor competition.  Give them a shit team like the Chargers or the Chiefs and anything can happen.  I see them ending the hopes and dreams of playoffs for the Cowboys.
Steelers
Tom: Gotta agree with Clint–the Steelers have slipped into that “we can’t beat a team unless we’re fired up about playing them.”  The Bengals and Ravens saw this.  And Dallas is not exactly Seattle at home.  As an aside–I am really frustrated right now as a Steelers fan.  The response I saw post-game was veterans saying things like, “I want to see how this team responds.”  Are you kidding?  You guys have lost to the Browns, almost lost to the Chiefs, and then dumped a very winnable game at home vs. the Chargers, which would have put you right back in contention for the AFC North.  What the hell is there to respond about?  I hope Tomlin isn’t losing this team, as I do like him as a coach.  But something has to change–I think some of the veterans on the team are way too heavily leaned on, and either they have to move on, or those guys have to give way to new blood.  There, editorial over.
Steelers

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nfl1511San Francisco 49ers(9-3-1) vs. New England Patriots(10-3)
Tom: Wow, another big Sunday night game.  Could this be a possible Super Bowl preview?  The Pats are all happy after embarrassing the Texans, and the 49ers are riding high after holding on to beat the Dolphins.  The Pats defense is starting to come together just a bit, and this is in New England.  Can Brady repeat Monday night’s success?  I’m a sucker because I believe good defense > good offense.
49ers
Clint: The Pats are turning into the Saints of the AFC.  Their Defense is ok, but they are scoring like a lotto winner at a whorehouse.  I have to disagree with Tom, I can’t see the somewhat vulnerable 49ers stopping this high powered offense.
Patriots

nfl1512Monday December 17th, 2012
New York Jets(6-7) vs. Tennessee Titans(4-9)
Clint: Who really cares?  Two coaches that likely won’t be there next year fighting it out for their resumes.  I’m going to give the Titans a bigger benefit just because I can, and I don’t have any desire to care about this game.
Titans
Tom: Ye gods, what a miserable Monday night game.  And did you know the Jets can still make the playoffs?  And in a sick and twisted way, I want them to.  And then play New England the first round and get beat even worse than they did on Thanksgiving.  ‘Cause that’s the kinda guy I am.
Jets

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