Friday, December 14, 2007

Clement’s Weekly Picks and Prognostications…Week 15

I must admit I was a little downtrodden this weekend, largely in part due to the absence of college football. While the games don’t get me as excited as they once did, I missed the picks - especially, the correct ones.

However, professional football has begun its playoff push. We had a basic playoff elimination game last Thursday (Chicago losing to Washington) and plenty others.

In fact, several division champions (Cowboys, Packers, Seahawks) were crowned and a wild-card spot was essentially clinched in the NFC and AFC (Giants and Jaguars).

You can also reasonably pencil in Tampa Bay in the NFC South, Indy as champs of the AFC South, and then, it gets interesting.

Did You …
-Believe Trent Edwards would be making a playoff push for a wild-card spot?
-Ditto for Tarvaris Jackson?
-Ever believe we could see 16-0 and 0-16 in the same season?
-Have a QB toss 45 TDs and come 4th in MVP voting (Tony Romo)?
-See LT deface a teammate mere hours before a 60 Minutes special promoting him as a class act?
-Envision Derek Anderson and the Browns making a realistic push for 11-5?

Whether you did or didn’t, it’s predictions time!

NFL Picks: [26-14-2]
Buffalo @ Cleveland [-5.5]

Credit: Yahoo! Sports

At 7-6 and 8-5 respectively, both squads are neck-deep in the thick of the wild-card race. The Browns may have more to win, but the Bills obviously have more to lose. With an important tie-breaker possibly coming in hand for the victor, I always look to two things -- momentum and the location. While Buffalo is sizzling, the Browns will be at home and their big offense will easily outscore the Bills.

Washington @ NY Giants [-4.5]

Credit: Yahoo! Sports

Clinging to their playoff lives, the Skins walked away last Thursday with a hard-fought victory and a 10-day lay-off in between games. The Giants walked away with a W (which may have been more an Eagle loss); yet effectively clinched a wild-card spot. Likely the five seed, the Giants will have plenty to play for in the upcoming weeks. However, I don’t expect the Giants to cover this spread, even at home.

Arizona @ New Orleans [-3]

Credit: Yahoo! Sports

While the NFC South is likely the possession of the Buccaneers, both of these squads are fighting for their playoff lives this weekend on Bourbon Street. As inconsistent as any pair of teams, the Saints offense needs to score first while the Cardinals need their big-play wideouts to remain healthy this weekend. I’ll get bit again likely, but the ‘Aints are the pick this weekend.

3 Must Starts and Must Sits
…Last Week…
Lee Evans: Betting against the Dolphins is the second safest bet all year.
Sidney Rice: Not so much…
Reggie Bush: His replacement Aaron Stecker was a decent last-second plug.

…This Week…
Plaxico Burress: Injuries or not, he’s too lethal a target.
Aaron Stecker: Speaking of him…
Anthony Gonzalez: Manning knows he’ll need this guy down the stretch, healthy Harrison or not.

…Last Week…
Reggie Williams: Strike one.
Warrick Dunn: Foul ball. Strike two.
Texans QBs: Strike three…I’m out.

…This Week…
Todd Collins: There are a lot of QB issues out there, but don’t start him (even in a 2QB league).
Jerry Porter: Not even in a flex position would I start him this week.
Chris Henry: Another flex guy who isn’t worth the risk this season.

Until next time…

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