I have a hard time accepting that it is officially Christmastime. Tomorrow the kids will start opening those Advent calendars with the doors on them, you know the ones with little chocolates behind them, to countdown the days until they open up a slew of presents under the tree. I used to love those things when I was kid, except for the one year that my mom cheaped out and bought ones that didn’t have any chocolate, just little pictures behind them. By December 6 my brother and I had stopped opening the doors, and just didn’t have any interest at all.
That’s a lesson for all of us young parents, if you’re going to do something fun for your children, don’t skimp on the chocolate. Don’t buy them Legoo’s, Barbara Dolls, or GI John. Kids know the difference, and in your heart, so do you. Is it really worth it to save a couple of bucks to see them get really excited and then have their expectant hearts destroyed when they see that they received the less expensive alternative? We’re on a budget, but I say, buy the real thing, you just don’t have to buy a billion of them. One or two video games is fine, you don’t have to get a dozen.
Speaking of gifts, we got one from the NFL Network last night. For the first time all year, an actually interesting match-up was broadcast on a Thursday night. Matt and I did pick it, I just hadn’t had time yet to finish this column. I took the Falcons, he took the Saints. As Troy Brown would say, “Bingo, I win again.” That will be added on to my lead, after last week’s 13-3 performance. Matt had a good week too, going 11-5 overall.
Matt: 111-63-1 (.637)
Minnesota at Green Bay: The Packers sure got it taken to them on Monday Night. The NY D-line was in Aaron Rodgers’ face all night long and the Pack looked bad. Here’s the thing, the Minnesota front four can’t create a push like JPP and Crew, and this is a must-win for Green Bay, and they’re at home. I foresee plenty of Lambeau Leaps and Ponder INTs.
- Rich’s Pick: Packers
- Matt’s Pick: Packers
San Francisco at St. Louis: The world hasn’t enjoyed a “Cappy” this much since Louis Gossett Jr.‘s tour de force in the first Iron Eagle movie. Speaking of which, has there ever been a more unbelievable action movie plot? A 16-year old kid commandeers an F-16 and leads a bombing run on a middle eastern country. Still, the Queen soundtrack was awesome, and who didn’t leave the theater 20-something years ago wanting to be a fighter pilot? I see plenty of strafing runs by the 49ers and they’ll drop a hellfire or two on the Rams.
- Rich’s Pick: 49ers
- Matt’s Pick: 49ers
Arizona at New York Jets: Fireman Ed really hung up his hat because he didn’t want to sit through this turnover fest waiting to happen. I’d be surprised if the two teams combine for more than 400 yards. I think the Sanchize will rebound from his embarrassing moment from last week and lead the Jets to a meaningless victory. Side note, hearing the New York media hound Sanchez about running into his own teammates’ backside in the game against the Patriots on Thanksgiving was hysterical. There’s a small part of me that really wishes I’d decided to try to make it as a New York beat writer just to enjoy days like that. However, I do like having a soul, so I don’t think I would have made it there.
- Rich’s Pick: Jets
- Matt’s Pick: Jets
New England at Miami: I’m bummed because I have a commitment that I can’t get out of that starts at 2:30 PM on Sunday and will miss the second half of the Pats game. My hope, which is very much a possibility, is that by that time the Pats have a big lead.
- Rich’s Pick: Patriots
- Matt’s Pick: Patriots
Houston at Tennessee: The Texans keep finding ways to win games that they should win by more, but they are winning. I think Shaub and Johnson won’t put up the crazy offensive output that they have the last few weeks, because they probably won’t have to. This seems like an Arian Foster game to me, and another win for Houston as they march to the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
- Rich’s Pick: Texans
- Matt’s Pick: Texans
Jacksonville at Buffalo: Blaine Gabbard may never take another NFL snap. Chad Henne has exploded the last few games and has made the Jags look like a bonafide NFL team, not an exceptionally good one, but at least a somewhat exciting one. Still, I don’t like it when teams from Florida go north is the winter, and that makes me believe that the Bills win behind a big CJ Spiller day
- Rich’s Pick: Bills
- Matt’s Pick: Jaguars
Seattle at Chicago: This game may not be the most entertaining game to watch, but it has some of the biggest playoff implications. I’m sure that the Seahawks will be pumped and jacked to play the Bears, but they’ve had a lot of off-the-field issues this week with PED abuse by their cornerbacks and even though those guys will play, I don’t think it bodes well for a Pete Carroll team to have headaches. Jay Cutler is due for a big day, and I think he and Brandon Marshall will eat up the Seahawks.
- Rich’s Pick: Bears
- Matt’s Pick: Bears
Indianapolis at Detroit: The Colts are not a good road team, plain and simple. They’re undoubtedly this year’s most improved team, thanks to Andrew Luck, but they have had their issues away from Lucas Oil. Stafford and Megatron will have a day, and the Lions keep their oh-so-slim playoff hopes alive.
- Rich’s Pick: Lions
- Matt’s Pick: Colts
Carolina at Kansas City: SuperCam gets yet another patsy to beat up on late in the year to help Panthers fans get through the winter and believe that maybe next year will be their year. Carolina looked decent on Monday Night Football, but that was against a horrid Philly team. Well, the Chiefs are even more horrid than the Eagles, so I’m taking the Panthers to win their second straight road game. In other news, we are closing in on the end of the Mayan calendar.
- Rich’s Pick: Panthers
- Matt’s Pick: Panthers
Tampa Bay at Denver: Now here’s a game worth watching. I may even eschew my regularly scheduled late game nap to take in all of this one (more on that nap later). Both of these teams have a lot to play for. I’m rolling with the Broncos, because I believe they have the best home field advantage in the NFL right now. Those fans are so pumped up. I was watching one of their games a couple of weeks back, and the CBS crew couldn’t use the end zone cameras because they were shaking too much. When your fans shake cameras, that means they’re doing their job. Manning will do his too.
- Rich’s Pick: Broncos
- Matt’s Pick: Broncos
Cleveland at Oakland: If the NFL were run like the Premier League, there’s a good chance that these teams would be relegated to the CFL and we’d be adding Saskatchewan and Toronto to the NFL next year. With that said, I just don’t think the Browns will create eight turnovers again to win a close one. You know your offense is bad when your D has eight takeaways and you still only win by a few points. Begrudgingly, I’m going with the Raiders.
- Rich’s Pick: Raiders
- Matt’s Pick: Raiders
Pittsburgh at Baltimore: There will be blood, because there always is with these teams. I just hope it isn’t new dad Ben Rothlesberger in the back of an ambulance. I believe he’ll play, and he shouldn’t. I know the Steelers want to keep playoff hope alive, and Charlie Batch is not going to win them any games, but this is a dangerous situation for Big Ben. I don’t like the guy, but I don’t want to see him die on the field. I’d sit another week. Back to that nap story, you know the how did they do that 30-yard screen to Ray Rice that kept the unbelievably luck Ravens in the driver’s seat for the No. 2 seed, ya I slept through that. Didn’t know about it until Monday, but I was refreshed when I woke up later.
- Rich’s Pick: Ravens
- Matt’s Pick:Ravens
Cincinnati at San Diego: I love the way that the Bengals are playing right now. AJ Green is a tour de force, and the Red Rifle is smart enough to get him the ball, a lot. They’re starting to run the ball better too, so I’ll take them over a team that has a dead man walking on the sidelines.
- Rich’s Pick: Bengals
- Matt’s Pick: Bengals
Philadelphia at Dallas: The Cowboys have the slimmest of hopes to make the playoffs, so at least they’re playing for something. The Eagles are terrible.
- Rich’s Pick: Cowboys
- Matt’s Pick: Cowboys
New York Giants at Washington: A fun MNF game. I’m taking the Giants, because they need to win, but I won’t be surprised if the Redskins find a way. RG3 is my favorite player to watch right now, and he’s going to make a couple of big plays on the big stage. In the end, I see Eli putting together a late drive to win a close one, something like 27-24.
- Rich’s Pick: Giants
- Matt’s Pick: Redskins
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.