Looking at the ebb and flow of these teams this season, it's fairly obvious which way we have to go. When the 2-3 Eagles lost at home to 4-1 Washington (23-17) in October, it appeared as though there would be a seismic shift in the NFC East. Well, not so fast. The Birds, as everyone knows, have been en fuego the last three times out, winning and covering each game. The 'Skins, heading in the proverbial opposite direction, have dropped four of five since the bye week, and have covered only one of the previous six. Oh, and let's not forget that the Eagles have pretty much owned December under Andy Reid. The last 2 years, if the you look at the final three games of the season, including last week, the Birds are the picture of perfection, working on a gorgeous 7-0 run.
A bunch of people are counting Tampa Bay out of the Super Bowl party, but not us. Your loyal servant has done a good bit of research for this selection, and the Bucs look good ... real good. First, let's talk about the dramatic homefield advantage. Tampa has rolled to a perfect 6-0 record at home, and with the last two at Raymond James Stadium, Jon Gruden's troops just might be enjoying the postseason for the second straight year. The Bucs also have outscored their opponents by 11 points per game at home. When we look at San Diego, we see a team that lost three of its last five, with the two wins coming against the dregs of the NFL - Oakland (3-11) and Kansas City (2-12). But the final piece of the puzzle that pushed this into a best bet is that the Chargers have not won a game in the state of Florida since 1993.
Despite a 14-9 loss at Miami Sunday, San Francisco appears to be buying into Mike Singletary's system. The defense has really been the star attraction, allowing only 31 points over the last three games. And that fits perfectly against this pathetic bunch from St. Louis that has averaged only 10.5 points per game since the early part of November, and has covered only four of the previous 17.
When it comes to the NFC, you hear about the Giants, the Cowboys, the Panthers and the Bucs, but not much chatter about Minnesota. Unless, of course, you're following the disputed Senate contest. Well, the Vikes, very quietly, have won six of their last seven to take control of the North. And a victory here at home, where they have won five of their previous six, puts the Purple People in the playoffs for the time in 4 years.
How poignant! In his last home game before stepping down as coach of Seattle, Mike Holmgren will face Brett Favre, one of his greatest pupils. Back in Green Bay, Favre won three MVPs and a Super Bowl with Holmgren calling the shots. New York is still involved in a heated battle for the AFC East, while the Seahawks have already filled up their golf card. The Jets have covered seven of the last 10 on the road, and should coast to an easy W in Coffeetown.
You lose one game and all of a sudden you're an underdog at home? Did someone forget that Tennessee has covered six of the last seven, an outstanding 86 percent, as a home 'dog? We didn't!
Gonna give the boys from Motown one more chance. If they have any shot at avoiding the most embarrassing record in NFL history (0-16), this is it. Final home game against a team playing for nothing. But stay light.
Baltimore has had trouble (2-5) with high-quality teams all year, and Dallas is very high-quality.
Miami is looking ahead to the Jets next week, and since Kansas City has covered six of the last eight, we're buying the 'dog.
New England has covered only two of the previous 11 at home, and at 18 percent, you wanna look the other way.
If you even dare to make a wager on this game, I will make you watch replays of every Andy Reid news conference this year consecutively.
If we find out that New York RB Brandon Jacobs is almost 100 percent, then drop a few pennies on the Giants.
After winning the biggest game in franchise history against Tennessee Sunday, there's no way that Houston will be able to go full tilt here.
Homefield used to be dynamic in Denver. This season, the Broncs are only 4-3 straight up, and have not covered a spread (0-6-1)!