Thursday, December 29, 2005

NFL Rankings: Thursday, December 29, 2005

Picks are in a couple of days late this week, what with it being the holiday season and all. But the good news is that the entire three-man crew is back this week, and that Da Bears have made their way into the Top 5 on every list, so Greg can rest easy.

A few comments on the week that was:

• There's one thing I want to add to Grabia's comments about the "end" of Monday Night Football on ABC. The one thing that led to MNF's decline, more so than the explosion of cable television, the loss of Howard Cosell, and John Madden's precipitous decline as an announcer, is parity in the NFL. Back in the day, you could schedule big games throughout the season on Monday Night because you generally could tell who the best teams were going to be. Now, it's a total crapshoot. That's why Monday Night Football finished up its ABC run with two meaningless games, you just don't know how the good teams from the previous year are going to perform this time around.

• There could be a photo finish in the Reggie Bush sweepstakes, with the possibility that the Texans, Niners, Saints, Packers, and Jets will all end up tied at 3-13, bringing in the vaunted strength of schedule tiebreaker. The way things look now, the Saints would "win" out, and land the first overall pick. Of course, the stupid 49ers will probably win again, handing the Heisman Winner to Houston, and dropping San Fran into the 5th position in the draft.

• Back to games with playoff implications, the Chiefs remain alive by the slimmest of threads after beating a Chargers team that was completely flat on Saturday. San Diego laid an egg in the most important game of the year, and the blame for that should primarily fall on the coaching staff. So let me be the umpteenth person to say that Marty Schottenheimer is holding yet another team back from reaching its potential. As for the Chiefs, when you're playoff hopes depend on the team ahead of you losing to Detroit at home, you probably shouldn't be counting on extending your season.

• The weirdest part of the Bucs-Falcons Overtime was not the fumble, blocked Field Goal, or missed Field Goal at the other end of the field. The weirdest part was that Kevin, using his Confucius-like prognostication skills, actually predicted that the Bucs would fumble that opening kickoff. Had he called the missed chipshot by Todd Peterson, I would have been really spooked.

• If momentum matters at all going into the playoffs, don't bet your money on Carolina, assuming they get by the Falcons this week, or the Giants - two teams who have been sputtering down the stretch. The Redskins are hot, but will likely have to win three times on the road to make the Super Bowl (since the G-Men will beat Oakland to clinch the division), which is a daunting task. So if you're looking for a dark horse in the NFC, put some money on the Bucs to win the NFC - especially if they get to host a wild card game.

Now, onto the picks:

Alex Abboud
Dishonourable Mention: San Francisco 49ers (thanks for ruining your chances of landing Reggie Bush. I hate you)
Honourable Mention: Jacksonville Jaguars
5. Chicago Bears
4. New England Patriots
3. Denver Broncos
2. Indianapolis Colts
1. Seattle Seahawks

Kevin Kimmis
Honourable Mention: Pittsburgh Steelers (a potential playoff sleeper?...Probably not)
5. New England Patriots (as I get physically ill thinking of another NE Super Bowl)
4. Da Bears
3. Denver Broncos
2. Indianapolis Colts
1. THE Seattle Seahawks

Andy Grabia
Honourable Mention: New England Patriots
5. Chicago Bears
4. Seattle Seahawks
3. Cincinnatti Bengals
2. Denver Broncos
1. Indianapolis Colts

Picks following Week 15 can be seen here.


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