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Sunday, December 19, 2004 

Games of the Day

Another day, another set of 3 games on TV...

Early Games

Seattle at New York could be fabulous or awful. I would not be surprised to see the Jets dominate this game, since Seattle can have trouble stopping people. But the Seahawks did a good job against the Vikings last week after getting embarassed by the Cowboys the week before. Both teams really need a win; Seattle cannot afford to give up the lead in their division, since there are plenty of teams with 8 losses waiting in the wings. The Jets only option is the wild-card, and their one-game lead over Baltimore and Denver is fairly slim considering that they finish up against New England and St. Louis, two teams that will be "up" for those games.

Late Games

Today is Jacksonville's last chance to stay alive, but it's a slim one. Green Bay needs a win to clinch a playoff spot, and they should have plenty of motivation. Today is their last home game of the season. Win and they are assured of no worse than a wild-card game on the road. Lose, and they will be forced to beat Minnesota in the Metrodome next week. Favre always seems to struggle there, and the Vikings have the speed to take advantage of the turf. Then, if that wasn't bad enough, the Packers have to travel to Chicago the day after New Year's. Not only did the Bears win the game in Lambeau this year, but Chicago is still alive in the playoff race and has win-able games against Houston and at Detroit.

Prime Time

Since my predictions are normally lousy anyway, I'll go out on a limb and say that Peyton will not break Marino's record tonight. Baltimore is a flawed team with a good defense, and they need this game a lot more than Indy. The Ravens are on the edge of the playoffs and have the toughest schedule of the AFC wild-card contenders:

NYJets 9-4 Sea, NE, at STL
Denver 8-5 at KC, at Tenn, Indy
Baltimore 8-5 at Indy, at Pitt, Miami
Buffalo 7-6 at Cinn, at SF, Pitt
Jacksonvile 7-6 at GB, Houston, at Oak

Sure, their last game should be a gimme, but it may not matter if they're 8-7 by then.

Indy has wrapped up their division, but unless NE or Pitt stumble badly, they are locked into the 3rd or 4th seed. The Colts should win tonight, but I'd be surprised if it was easy.

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