San Francisco got an early Christmas gift Monday night from Arizona. Actually, the 49ers got seven gifts. Maybe the Cardinals thought they were giving out Hanukkah presents. 'Zona fumbled seven times, lost five, and Kurt Warner threw two interceptions. That ain't gonna happen Sunday. Not against the most potent offense in the NFL the last 2 weeks. The Birds have put 79 points on the board against the Giants and Falcons, and there's no reason to expect anything less than 30-something Sunday. Donovan McNabb loves to play against the Niners. The last three times D-Mac has faced San Fran (42-3 win in 2005, 38-24 win in 2006, and a 40-26 win last season), he has posted ridiculous numbers. How about a passer rating of 121.9 with nine touchdowns and only one interception? Looking for another Double D (Donovan & DeSean) explosion.
Denver leads the AFC wild-card race at the moment, and will come up with a huge, best-bet effort against the hated Silver & Black. We were looking at Oakland after covering two of three, but when QB Bruce Gradkowski went down against the Redskins last week, we look no more. The Raiders will not turn to JaMarcus Russell, mainly because his last outing against the Broncos was a disaster. He was sacked three times, picked twice and came up on the short end of a 23-3 score. So, now Oakland gives the keys to Charlie Frye, who has not thrown a pass in the regular season since October 2008. Man, what a shot of confidence for that offense! Denver has won 11 of the last 14 against the Raiders, seven of the last nine at home, which is really no big surprise after looking at Oakland's pathetic 11-43 record on the road since 2003.
The only number we know we will not see this week is seven stinkin' turnovers from Arizona. How about these numbers: The Cardinals have been a solid investment on the road this season, covering four of six, with one push. Not so much for Detroit at home. The Lions have covered only three of the last 15 in Motown, and with the worst defense in the league, by a mile (the only team to allow more than 400 points), 'Zona should win by at least two dozen.
Looking for a big bounce from Seattle after a lousy effort in a 34-7 loss at Houston Sunday. And the Seahawks have the perfect patsy in Tampa Bay. The Bucs are averaging 4 points per game the last two weeks, are working on an 0-5 streak on the road, and have covered only one of the last six against Seattle. Need more? The 'Hawks are covering at 75 percent rate (six of the last eight) in Coffee-town.
"Win one for Fewell" is the battle cry in Buffalo. Since taking over for Dick Jauron, Perry Fewell has guided the Buffs to a pair of wins in the last three games, while the Pats are 0-5 on the road this season in the U.S.
Kinda like the roll that Washington is on, and not the roll New York is on. The Redskins are working on a fabulous 5-0 spread run, while the Giants have covered only one of the last eight. Also don't like the fact that New York's defense has become low-end Swiss cheese, allowing a staggering total of 126 points (31 points per game) in the four games since the bye week.
Beating Carolina, Tampa Bay and Buffalo ain't gonna impress anyone, and neither will the New Yorkers' recent spread record at home, covering only three of the last nine.
New Orleans' average victory margin at home this season? How 15+ per game, more than enough to cover this spot.
Look for Pitt to bounce back after last week's embarrassment at Cleveland.
If Vince Young gets upgraded from questionable to probable, we would upgrade this pick a few notches.
Would like to jump a double-digit 'dog, but Chicago is on an 0-6 spread run.
Not too hard to peg this as our "Monopoly Money"-only game.
Anyone care to guess who is gonna QB for St. Louis? Ever hear of Keith Null (five picks last week)?
A touchdown seems like a lot to give to a division leader, even though they will be playing with heavy hearts.