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BASN NFL Picks: Week 17
By Tony McClean
Updated: December 28, 2006
NEW HAVEN, Ct. — Before this weekend is over, some radio DJ or sports video editor is going to pull the old Donna Summer hit “Last Dance” out of the archives. He or she will know doubt use this as a reference point to mention the last regular season weekend in the NFL.
Earlier this week, we tried to make sense of the remaining playoff races by explaining them in as basic terms as humanly possible. If you read them and don’t have a splitting headache, then we did our job. If your still dizzy and think I’m already talking too loud, oh well, we tried.
Suffice to say that the final pieces of the playoff puzzle will be decided over the next 48 to 72 hours. In fact, entering the final week of the season, 20 teams remain in contention for Super Bowl XLI — the most at this point in a season since the advent of the current 16-game schedule in 1978. The previous high in the category was 19 teams in 2002.
Let the games begin.
FACTOID OF THE WEEK
With four catches Sunday against Atlanta, Philadelphia’s Brian Westbrook (76 receptions; 1,214 rushing yards) will join St. Louis’ Steven Jackson (88; 1,386) as the first pair of players to attain 1,200 rushing yards and 80 receptions in the same season. Only five players in history have reached both milestones in the same year, including another Ram Marshall Faulk, who did it in four consecutive seasons (1998-2001).
A victory Sunday night for Brett Favre and the Packers would be the 147th of his career, tying for the second most in history. Which quarterback has the most career wins?
A. Fran Tarkenton
B. John Elway
C. Dan Marino
D. Johnny Unitas
(The answer comes at the end of the column).
LAST WEEK: 9-7 (146-90 overall)
A bad snap in Denver and lousy tackling in overtime at St. Louis cost us another chance at a double-digit win week. While we got burned by the Texans and probably shouldn’t have jumped on the Vikes, but we did go 2-0 on Christmas Day. We tried to warn you about the Titans and the Saints on the road. Shame on those who still don’t believe in the power of VY and the amazing boys from the Bayou.
GIANTS at REDSKINS
Listening to New York sports radio during the week, the woes of Big Blue have been blamed on Tom Coughlin, Tiki Barber, Eli Manning and other various folks. Even ARod has somehow been blamed for the collapse as well. (Not really!! Made you look!! Made you look!!) However a win at D.C. along with other scenarios too numerous to mention, New York would get in the postseason party. But let’s be serious, what have you seen over the last few weeks to make think that they could even muster enough offense to get by the Skins? Me neither.
JAGUARS at CHIEFS
Welcome to this year’s version of the Reverend Ike Bowl. Why is this the Reverend Ike Bowl you may ask? Because both teams will need to win and then pray for some teams to lose so they can reach the playoffs. It will be a long shot for whomever wins this game. Here’s something to chew on: The Chiefs are an NFL best 20-2 in December home games since 1995, having won 18 straight before losing to the Ravens a few weeks back. Somehow, I thing Reverend Herm will get it done. Pass the prayer cloths please.
RAIDERS at JETS
After eeking out a yawner at Miami, the Manginis of New Jersey are one win away from reaching the playoffs. A helluva accomplishment from the NFL’s new Golden Boy. Gang Green should really have their way with the godawful Raiders who have more than lived up to their bad billing. Rumors are swirling that Al “Just Freakin Score, Baby” Davis may send Coach Shell home after one season. While Art may want to finish the job he started, Davis could be doing him a favor by not having to watch this team anymore.
FALCONS at EAGLES
A few weeks ago this looked like a play-in game for the playoffs. Now it’s just a do-or-die game for the Dirty Birds or a coronation for Philly. The Iggles all but wrapped up the NFC East on Christmas Day after they went into Irving and smacked the Tuna Helpers with everything except the Yule Log. Atlanta fans may want to take a good look at Jim Mora Jr. because he’s likely gonna get that trip to Seattle he “mentioned” a few weeks back. And in the holiday spirit, Arthur Blank has graciously decided to make it a one-way trip.
PACKERS at BEARS
Let me just come out and say it: I think the NFL would to find a way to get Brett Favre and the Packers in the playoffs. They won’t come right out and say it, so I’ll say it for them. Now that we’ve gotten that off our chest, lets talk about the game itself. Can Green Bay go into Chi-Town and win? Considering the fact that the Bears have already clinched home-field and Lovie is looking to rest some of his starters, yes. It looks like I’ve answered my own question.
Titans over Patriots: The upset of the week. VY may not make the playoffs this year, but he’s gonna be a helluva lot to watch in 2007 and beyond.
Cowboys over Lions: RomoCop gets to pad his stats before facing a real defense in the playoffs.
Bengals over Steelers: No snow in the forecast, so get the snap down this week please!!
Texans over Browns: If Troy Smith is there for the taking, will either one of these teams pick him or pass on him? Just a thought.
Rams over Vikings: Here’s hoping that Tavaris Jackson will play a little better this week.
Saints over Panthers: Carolina will keep it close, but New Orleans should still prevail.
Seahawks over Bucs: Don’t look for Seattle to hang out that long in the playoffs this year.
Ravens over Bills: How ironic would it be if McNair faces VY in the playoffs? It could happen.
49ers over Broncos: Last week’s lucky win comes back to bite Denver where it hurts.
Colts over Dolphins: Indy will not make it to the Super Bowl. There, I’ve said it. I hope for TD’s sake I’m wrong.
Chargers over Cardinals: Get ready to hear about “The Marty Factor” over the next two weeks.
TRIVIA ANSWER: C. Miami’s Dan Marino has the most career wins by a quarterback with 148. John Elway is second with 147. After Favre, it’s Tarkenton with 125 followed by Unitas with 119.