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SPF's Week Seventeen Pre-Pregame Show

Posted: Dec 28, 2007

 Playoffs and draft slots.  It's all on the line in a strange season-ending weekend in the Footprint.


Jacksonville (11-4, 5-2 away)
Houston (7-8, 5-2 home)

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Is this the year that the Texans have a non-losing season?  On a normal day - no.  However, Jacksonville's playoff status is already determined.  The Texans can only hope that the Jags might rest some of their starters for extended periods.

Still, the Jags are on a roll.  Jack Del Rio has pressed the right buttons this season.  If he chooses to let this game go, SPF won't question it.  (He's proved us wrong all season so we guess we should give him a break now.)

SPF still expects the Jags to win.  The AFC South has become the most competitive division in football.  There are no signs of that letting up barring serious injuries to the four teams in question.  The Jags have become the solid number two in this division.  They want to send a message for next year.

The Texans are still looking for their first division win of the season.  Get it, and they have their first non-losing season.  They want it bad, but they wanted last week's game against the Colts and flamed out instead.

Cincinnati (6-9, 1-6 away)
Miami (1-14, 1-6 home)

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Cincy needs this game badly.  The difference between 6-10 and 7-9 may only be one game, but the perception of double digit versus single digit losses is cavernous.  The Bengals are the better team by a mile.  SPF expects them to show it.

Meanwhile, the heat in Miami won't be from the ever-present sunshine.  The Big Tuna is already casting a shadow over the players and coaches.  The fact that he won't be coaching the team makes it even tougher for anyone to hang around into next year.  Parcells will be expecting his coach to know how to do things without having to hover. 

This should be the last home game for Cam Cameron Show.  That's reason alone for Dolfans to celebrate.

Carolina (6-9, 4-3 away)
Tampa Bay (9-6, 6-1 home)

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Carolina will win this one.  Gruden has already shown that he will pack up his tent and rest his starters.  The Bucs are one of the thinnest teams in the NFL playoffs.  They can't afford to lose anyone.

With a home game against the Giants already set for the following weekend, the Bucs won't feel bad turning their season ender into a glorified pre-season game.

As we already mentioned 7-9 feels miles better than 6-10.  John Fox needs all the good feeling he can get.

The NFC South will be up for grabs in 2008.  The Panthers want to show that there in the mix.

New Orleans (7-8, 4-3 away)
Chicago (6-9, 3-4 home)

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The Saints might be the team that gets it done in 2008's NFC South.  They lost their chance in 2007 due to injuries, lackluster early season play, and inconsistency.

This is a rematch of the NFC title game, and SPF expects that it still will have meaning for both teams.  The Bears want that 7-9 as badly as every other 6-9 team wants it.  The Saints would like to finish with a non-losing record.

SPF expects the Saints to fall short in the Chicago cold.  The Saints will need some tweaking this off season.

Seattle (10-5, 3-4 away)
Atlanta (3-12, 2-5 home)

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Here's one team that won't compete for the NFC South anytime soon - the Falcons!

Seattle has shown that they are happy to sleepwalk through the rest of this season.  The NFC West has become a joke.  The Seahawks roll on, year after year, but don't scare anyone come playoff time.

Atlanta is in complete disarray.  They aren't playing for a whole lot.  Their coaching staff won't be there next year.  Their GM won't be either, at least not in any player personnel role.

They might win the game, but does it matter?  With five or six draft slots on the line, SPF thinks it is in the Falcons' best interest to lose this game and hope for the #2 pick.  Replenishing talent through the draft will be critical if this franchise ever hopes to pick itself off the mat.


St. Louis (3-12, 2-5 away)
Arizona (7-8, 5-2 home)
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In the interest of saving the best for last, we wil quickly cover the Rams last game now.  This team's inaugural year in the SPF family has been a less than stellar showing.  This whole franchise needs an overhaul.

Looking at their roster, there is no reason that the Rams should be as bad as they are.  It's one thing when you have a lack of talent (see the Falcons and the Dolphins), but it's another when teams lose with talent on the roster.

The Rams 2-0 post bye week start after beginning 0-8 has quickly fallen apart.  They are now 3-4 since the bye week.  Most games they aren't even in by the end.

It's time to say goodbye to Scott Linehan.  There is nothing in his record or resume that indicates he is a future Super Bowl caliber coach.

Like the Falcons, the Rams are best off losing to secure a good draft pick in 2008.  We're sure that the Cardinals will oblige them with a sound defeat.

Dallas (13-2, 7-0 away)
Washington (8-7, 4-3 home)

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Here it is - the Joe Gibbs redemption game!  Gibbs has been plagued all season with poor decisions, injuries, tragedy, and bad game plans.  Somehow, he has found a winning team that is peaking just at the right time.

The Redskins will win and go into the playoffs with more confidence than most #6 seeds.  The Cowboys will rest their starters because they are banged up already.  Rust won't concern Wade Phillips because the team already has next week off.

Washington heads out to Seattle for what could be an expected win, especially if Todd Collins continues to show his grasp of OC Al Saunders offense.  A win there and they would face Dallas again.

Maybe Wade Phillips should try to win this one after all...


Tennessee (9-6, 4-3 away)
Indianapolis (13-2, 6-1 home)

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Here's another tough rebound-type game.  The Colts should be looking to rest their starters, but a loss here send the Titans into the playoffs.  It is very possible that the Colts could play them again in two weeks.

The Colts would like to finish with an undefeated record against their division.  Since it is the NFL's toughest, they make a statement by dominating it.

SPF thinks that Jeff Fisher's boys will find a way to win.  As long as they can keep it close in the first half, they should be able to bring it home once the Colts begin to rest their starters.

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