DeShawn Jackson wins the bonehead play of the week award. The Philadelphia Eagles were penned deep in their own territory. Vince Young throws a Moon ball (high arcing pass) to DeShawn Jackson for 50 yard gain. As he runs out of bounds, he tosses the ball to one of the Giants assistant coaches. He gets flagged for taunting and costs his team 50 yards. This is the same guy who was benched because he completely missed the team meeting. Now, I don't know how much this guy gets paid to play football. I guarantee it's more than you and I get paid to do our jobs. He makes enough money that he can hire somebody to wake him up, help him get dressed and drive him to team meetings. At the same time, he is whining about not getting a new contract. I feel pretty confident that Andy Reid will let DeShawn Jackson go at the end of the year. No team needs this kind of headache.
By the way, many football fans have labeled Tony Romo as someone who can't deliver in the clutch. In the last two weeks, Tony Romo has performed brilliantly in the fourth quarter and on the final drive. The running game has been stymied the last two weeks. Yet, Tony Romo has managed to get the job done. So, now what do you have to say about Tony Romo? (I know, it's not December.)
Minnesota Vikings versus Atlanta Falcons – Adrian Peterson will not play. This game could get ugly fast. Atlanta should win easily.
Cleveland Browns versus Cincinnati Bengals – Cincinnati has something to prove. Cleveland needs a quarterback. Cincinnati should win this one.
Carolina Panthers versus Indianapolis Colts – This may be the Indianapolis Colts' last chance to win a game this year. Sure, we hear people say that one person doesn't matter and we point them to the Indianapolis Colts. This team is almost the exact same team as last year. The value of Peyton Manning is almost incalculable. Fortunately for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers, Peyton Manning is still on the sidelines. I look for the Carolina Panthers to figure out a way to win.
Houston Texans versus Jacksonville Jaguars – Matt Leinart will be starting for the Houston Texans. All I can do is shake my head and cry just a little bit for the Houston Texans. They've really been playing good football. Over the years, they seem to have been snakebitten more than any other team in the NFL. They lost Mario Williams, their All-Pro pass rusher, earlier this year. Matt Schaub was playing some really good football. Now, he's probably out for the year with a foot fracture. This game is going to be very close. Matt Leinart is going to have to make some plays. They're playing at Jacksonville. I just don't think that Blaine Gabbert is ready for the big time. I'm leaning towards the Houston Texans.
Buffalo Bills versus New York Jets – Whatever magic the Buffalo Bills had at the beginning of the year has completely run out. I don't know how they'll get their magic wand recharged or reenergized. The New York Jets are playing better football. The Jets should win this game. (I want to know if Mark Sanchez is ready for prime time. It seems that whenever this team really needs him to step up and play a great game, he can't do it.)
Arizona Cardinals versus St. Louis Rams – Toss-up.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus Tennessee Titans – I mentioned some time ago that Josh Freeman hasn't matured as much as I would've liked. I think that is obvious to everyone who follows football. Matt Hasselbeck is a game-time decision. He hurt his elbow last week. Hasselbeck can't play, so the Titans can't win. The Buccaneers need to get their running game going. I'm going to lean towards Tennessee since they're playing at home (with the caveat that Matt Hasselbeck must play and play well).
Chicago Bears versus Oakland Raiders – This should be a great game. Is Carson Palmer for real? This is the type of game where the Raiders really need their McFadden, who continues to be injured and is out for this game. The Chicago Bears somehow, someway have to tighten up their defense. Unfortunately, Jay Cutler broke the thumb on his throwing hand last week. He is out for at least five or six weeks. Caleb Hanie is starting at quarterback. Without some incredibly fluke plays, I just don't see how the Chicago Bears can win with Caleb Hanie. Oakland Raiders. (The Raiders will NOT kick to Devin Hester.)
Washington Redskins versus Seattle Seahawks – Washington played inspired football against the Dallas Cowboys. I don't think we'll see that same effort this week. The Seattle Seahawks are playing better. Seattle.
New England Patriots versus Philadelphia Eagles – This quite possibly may be the best game of the day. The Philadelphia Eagles are fighting for their playoff lives. I really don't think they have the luxury of losing another game. The good news is that they are playing at home. The bad news is that the New England Patriots seem to find a way to win every week. Michael Vick is still injured and on the sidelines for the Eagles. Vince Young will be starting. He will not be able to throw three interceptions and win. Vince Young will have to play perfectly. I just don't think he can do that. I look for Tom Brady to carve up the Eagles defense. New England Patriots will pull away in the second half.
Denver Broncos versus San Diego Chargers – I think that San Diego will stop the run and force Tim Tebow to throw the ball. The problem with a San Diego Charger offense has been their receivers. The receivers have been unable to get separation. This is a game in which Antonio Gates really needs to step up. He has to win his one-on-one matchups. I think San Diego will win this one at home.
Sunday Night Football
Pittsburgh Steelers versus Kansas City Chiefs – I don't think that this will be close. The Steelers – by a mile.
Monday Night Football
New York Giants versus New Orleans Saints – This may be the best Monday night matchup of the year, so far. The New Orleans Saints need to win this to stay ahead in their division. The New York Giants need to win this game in order to keep up with the resurgent Dallas Cowboys. Drew Brees is playing great football right now. He is either the best or the second best quarterback in the NFL, depending upon how you look at the statistics. Their defense brings a ton of pressure. Eli Manning is not as accurate when he's under pressure, but, as we saw against the San Francisco 49ers, he can still make some great throws under enormous pressure. I think with New Orleans' running game and or their variety of receivers that New Orleans has, I don't think that the New York Giants matchup well enough. I think New Orleans will win at home.