Today's Games

Weeksixteen

Nfl Preview

December 26, 2004|By KEN MURRAY | KEN MURRAY,SUN STAFF

GAMES OF THE WEEK

Chargers (11-3) vs. Colts (11-3)

Line: Colts by 7

Lowdown: The furor around Peyton Manning's pursuit of Dan Marino's single-season touchdown pass record has died to a dull roar, but should revive with the arrival of the Chargers' No. 26 pass defense. With LaDainian Tomlinson, the Chargers were perfect for the snow and the cold of Cleveland last week. They're not so perfect for the slick RCA Dome carpet, however. San Diego quarterback Drew Brees will see Colts DE Dwight Freeney (15 sacks) all day.

The pick: Colts

Patriots (12-2) at Jets (10-4)

Line: Patriots by 1 1/2

Lowdown: Jets QB Chad Pennington decided it was payback time with the New York media last week. The best way to win that fight is to beat a good team, and he gets another chance today. The Patriots' patchwork secondary finally cracked in the last four minutes in Miami. New England desperately needs CB Ty Law back for the playoffs.

The pick: Jets

WORTH SEEING

Texans (6-8) at Jaguars (8-6)

Line: Jaguars by 7

Lowdown: RB Fred Taylor had a thigh bruise and just three carries in Week 8 as the Jaguars abandoned the run and lost to the Texans, 20-6. Taylor is healthy this time (165 rushing yards at Green Bay), and that means the Jaguars will run often. After losing three straight, Jacksonville has won two in a row.

The pick: Jaguars

Falcons (11-3) at Saints (6-8)

Line: Saints by 4 1/2

Lowdown: The Falcons want to rest QB Michael Vick's sore left shoulder and other assorted injuries in a game that doesn't matter to them. The Saints are appreciative because they're still in the NFC playoff hunt and Vick has destroyed them three times in his career already.

The pick: Saints

Panthers (6-8) at Buccaneers (5-9)

Line: Bucs by 3

Lowdown: Carolina is protecting the sixth seed in the NFC, while the Bucs are questioning their coach. This could be a grudge match, but the Panthers have much more to play for.

The pick: Panthers

Cardinals (5-9) at Seahawks (7-7)

Line: Seahawks by 7

Lowdown: As curious as it seems, the Cardinals still have a remote shot at the division title. For Seattle, it never should have reached this point. But QB Matt Hasselbeck has an injured elbow, and the Seahawks haven't shown much fight down the stretch.

The pick: Cardinals

HIT SNOOZE ALARM

Bills (8-6) at 49ers (2-12)

Line: Bills by 11

Lowdown: The 49ers are closing in on the first pick in the draft and the Bills are trying to keep their playoff hopes alive. Buffalo should win today, but lose out on making the postseason. The 49ers need a lot more than the first pick to be good again.

The pick: Bills

Browns (3-11) at Dolphins (3-11)

Line: Dolphins by 7 1/2

Lowdown: Nick Saban would rather see the Dolphins lose this game and get the second pick in the draft, but the Browns are more deserving and they'll get the pick.

The pick: Dolphins

Giants (5-9) at Bengals (6-8)

Line: Bengals by 5 1/2

Lowdown: The Giants were relieved when QB Eli Manning showed a pulse against the Steelers last week. But that doesn't change the fact the Giants have lost seven in a row.

The pick: Bengals

Bears (5-9) at Lions (5-9)

Line: Lions by 6

Lowdown: The Bears have replaced the Ravens as the worst passing team in the league.

The pick: Lions

- Ken Murray

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.