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News » NFL GRIDIRON GUIDE: Lions will fulfill dream of negative perfection

NFL GRIDIRON GUIDE: Lions will fulfill dream of negative perfection

NFL GRIDIRON GUIDE: Lions will fulfill dream of negative perfection

Best bet


All picks against the spread

Dolphins (10-5)

at Jets (9-6)

Line: Jets by 3 Over/Under: 42 TV-Radio: Ch. 2, WABC (770), WEPN (1050), WRCN (103.9), 4:15 p.m.

Dread, the birthright of Jets fans, is home for the holidays. Beware the Ghost of Quarterbacks Past, because here come Chad and the hated Fish. How brutally ironic that the guy rejected for alleged savior Brett Favre could do the Jets in. It feels like a morality play, with retribution demanded by the gridiron gods. You're going to be punished, and you deserve it. Wait, a vision: The Jets trail by four with a minute left when Favre, off his back foot, heaves a wind-blown moon ball into triple coverage. Intercepted, and to all, a good night. The pick: Dolphins

Giants (12-3) at Vikings (9-6)

Line: Vikings by 6? Over/Under: 42 TV-Radio: Ch. 5, WFAN (660), 1 p.m.

The Giants have a long injury list and nothing to play for; a win puts Minnesota in the playoffs. Still, my gut feeling is the Giants will put up a fight and that mistake-prone Tarvaris Jackson will struggle under pressure. The pick: Giants

Lions (0-15) at Packers (5-10)

Line: Packers by 9? Over/Under: 43 1 p.m.

Compared to the relentless quest for negative perfection, playoff scenarios are so insignificant. Time to channel the late John Facenda, NFL Films' Voice of God: "Upon the frozen tundra where Lombardi became a legend, the Lions seek their own eternal destiny. Just remember, zombies are immortal, too." For 30 years I've dreamed of 0-16, only to have my heart broken every time. Detroit, loser of 17 straight at Green Bay, is on a mission. The pick: Packers

Playoff implications

Broncos (8-7) at Chargers (7-8)

Line: Chargers by 8 Over/Under: 50? TV-Radio: Ch. 4, WFAN (660), 8:15 p.m.

If not for Ed Hochuli's Week 2 boggle in Denver, San Diego already would have won the AFC West. Open the telecast with Hochuli running a defeat lap around the stadium as Chargers fans blow whistles. The defensively challenged Broncos blew chances to clinch the past two weeks. The pick: Chargers

Cowboys (9-6) at Eagles (8-6-1)

Line: Eagles by 1? Over/Under: 42? TV: Ch. 5, 4:15 p.m.

Why does everybody rip T.O.? You can't spell T-E-A-M without M-E. If Dallas wins, it clinches a wild card in this City of Brotherly Love hatefest. Visualize a 1954 gladiator movie: The Eagles, slowly bleeding to death, have enough left to take the 'Boys down with them. Tony Romo in an elimination game? Fall on your sword, Wade Phillips. The pick: Eagles

Patriots (10-5) at BILLS (7-8)

Line: Patriots by 6? Over/Under: 41 TV: Ch. 2, 1 p.m.

Wes Welker was penalized and fined $10,000 for doing a snow angel in the end zone. Merry Christmas from all the NFL's over-officious jerks. The Pats beat Buffalo for the 11th straight time, then hope the Jets crown them by beating Miami. Belichick rooting for Mangini ... it would be more touching than Scrooge giving his heart to Tiny Tim. The pick: Patriots

Jaguars (5-10) at Ravens (10-5)

Line: Ravens by 12? Over/Under: 35? 4:15 p.m.

Ray Lewis is making a list and checking it twice, and David Garrard is on it. A win gives the Ravens (5-2 ATS home) a wild card, and the Jags should roll over. The pick: Ravens

Panthers (11-4) at Saints (8-7)

Line: Panthers by 3 Over/Under: 53 1 p.m.

Home teams are 29 under .500 ATS. The NFC South is immune to that disease, especially in divisional play, when home teams are 9-1-1 ATS. Oppose the trend because Carolina (seven straight covers at New Orleans) wants the No. 2 seed. The pick: Panthers

Rams (2-13) at Falcons (10-5)

Line: Falcons by 14? Over/Under: 44 1 p.m.

If Carolina loses, a victory would make Atlanta the NFC South champion. Even the Dolphins' bounce-back isn't as shocking as the Falcons' instant turnaround with Mike Smith, Matt Ryan and Michael Turner. The pick: Falcons

Raiders (4-11) at BUCS (9-6)

Line: Bucs by 13 Over/Under: 39 1 p.m.

Here's a story that even John Clayton and Adam Schefter missed. Gridiron Guide exclusive: Al Davis flew to Africa last week to recruit Somali pirates for his special teams. Said Al: "Their courage on the high seas is in the grand tradition of the Raid-uhs of yesteryear." The fading Bucs' playoff hopes are very shaky. Maybe Oakland won't get blown out. The pick: Raiders

Bears (9-6) at Texans (7-8)

Line: Texans by 2? Over/Under: 46? 1 p.m.

A Minnesota defeat and a Chicago victory would make the Bears NFC North champs. They embody mediocrity, and their offense is unbearably dull. Finishing .500 would mean something to Houston, and Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson will burn a lousy pass defense. The pick: Texans

Meaningless events

Browns (4-11) at Steelers (11-4)

Line: Steelers by 10? Over/Under: 32 1 p.m.

Pittsburgh is angry after being slapped around in Tennessee. Sadist's delight: The league's top defense against an offense with no touchdowns in its past five games. Bruce Gradkowski, wear extra pads. The pick: Steelers

Titans (13-2) at Colts (11-4)

Line: Titans by 3 Over/Under: 38 1 p.m.

Both teams are locked in, with Tennessee the top seed and Indy No. 5. In a line shift you'd see only in Week 17, the Titans went from 3 1/2-point underdogs to 3-point favorites. Sounds as if somebody knows Peyton Manning won't play much. The pick: Titans

Chiefs (2-13) at Bengals (3-11-1)

Line: Bengals by 3 Over/Under: 38 1/2 1 p.m.

The nacho vendors will outnumber the masochistic fans at this "So Bad That It's Good" classic. Will the Chiefs play hard in what should be Herman Edwards' finale, and who cares? The pick: Bengals

REDSKINS (8-7) at 49ers (6-9)

Line: 49ers by 3 Over/Under: 37 1/2 4:15 p.m.

Favorites (112-120-6 ATS, 2 pick 'ems) went 5-11, and five with everything to play for (Cowboys, Jets, Broncos, Eagles, Bucs) lost straight-up. As Mike the Jets fan said: "Since when is Week 16 Upset Sunday?" Mike Singletary has fired up the young 49ers. The pick: 49ers

Seahawks (4-11) at CARDS (8-7)

Line: Cardinals by 6 Over/Under: 45 1/2 4:15 p.m.

Arizona, in the playoffs by default, is Team Happy to Be There. It should have forfeited to the Patriots instead of wasting the travel money. But the Cardinals don't want to start the postseason on a three-game skid, and maybe the injury-riddled Seahawks emptied their tank against the Jets in Mike Holmgren's home finale.

The pick: Cardinals

The picks

Our writers' picks for this week's NFL games | Best bet picks are in bold

Ed McNamara 115-119-6 best bets: 10-6

Dolphins Chargers Ravens Raiders Titans

Giants Eagles Panthers Texans Bengals

Packers Patriots Falcons Steelers49ers


Bob Glauber 115-119-6 best bets: 4-12

Dolphins Broncos Ravens Bucs Titans

Vikings Eagles Saints Bears Bengals

PackersPatriots FalconsSteelers49ers


Tom Rock 125-109-6 best bets: 7-9

Dolphins Broncos Jaguars Raiders Colts

Giants Eagles Panthers Bears Chiefs

Packers Patriots Rams Browns 49ers


Erik Boland 121-113-6 best bets: 4-11-1

Dolphins Broncos Jaguars Bucs Colts

Vikings Cowboys Panthers Bears Chiefs

Packers Patriots Rams Steelers 49ers


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 26, 2008

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