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SPF's Week Sixteen Pre-Pregame Show

Posted: Dec 22, 2007

Dallas (12-2, 6-0 away)
Carolina (6-8, 2-5 home)

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This is a much better game than people might realize.  The Panthers just beat a playoff bound team at home last week.  The Panthers have found a way to win at home and they've found an effective QB who is under the age of 40.

This is Wade Phillips' biggest coaching test so far.  The Cowboys have rolled all season and faced little adversity.  Last week's loss to Philly showed signs that the Cowboys might have annointed themselves as Super Bowl participants a few weeks too early.

The Panthers have a lot on the line.  Fox is coaching for his job next year.  He won against Seattle, and he has Dallas and Tampa left - all playoff teams.  Winning out and finishing at 8-8 will make a strong statement that the Panthers are on the right track heading into 2008.

This should be a headknocker.


Cleveland (9-5, 3-4 away)
Cincinnati (5-9, 4-3 home)

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Cincy has been SPF's number one disappointment for 2007.  This team hasn't won two in a row all season.  They have only had one solid win all season (Tennessee).  Except for having the Ravens number, the Bengals have been the NFL's patsy team for 2007.

Something is horribly wrong with this team.  It has way too much talent to struggle like this.

Even though a win against in state rival Cleveland would be something to celebrate, it's hard for us to see it this way.  We would like to see the Bengals win because it helps other SPF teams like Tennessee, but the Bengals are such a mess that there are few silver linings.

SPF thinks the team needs to clean house on the locker room cancers and build around Carson Palmer in earnest.  We like Marvin Lewis keeping his job as well.

If Mike Brown thinks that another coach can win with this group, he is kidding himself.

Let's hope for a Bengals win, but we won't be surprised if they lose this week and next against Miami.

Houston (7-7, 2-5 away)
Indianapolis (12-2, 5-1 home)

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Both teams want this game badly.  Both teams are also peaking.  They are through their respective injury periods and have regrouped.

On paper, the Colts are clearly the stronger team.  Tony Dungy has made it a priority to beat division opponents.

Houston has all the elements to win this game.  They can control the clock with their offense, and they can pressure Peyton Manning.

This is a statement game for the Texans.  Let's see what kind of statement they make.

Oakland (4-10, 2-5 away)
Jacksonville (10-4, 5-2 home)

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Our former whipping boy team has made a strong turn towards greatness in the last two weeks.  Let's see if they can keep it going against Oakland.  Lane Kiffin's Raiders aren't pushovers despite their record.  However, if JaMarcus Russell starts, expect an easy win for the Jags

This is Jacksonville's final home game of 2007.  They should win out in style.

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

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Philly just showed Dallas that they are pretty good.  New Orleans has to decide if they are just a little better.  There is a lot on the line.  The wildcard race can heat up depending on Sunday Night's game (read on for that one).

The Saints need to keep winning to show that there core team is built around winners.  Drew Brees needs to show he was more than a one year wonder.

Philly like to pressure QBs as they showed against Tony Romo.  Smart QBs can make them pay.  Brees is one of those.

Let's see if he brings his A game.


Tampa Bay (9-5, 3-4 away)
San Francisco (4-10, 2-5 home)

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San Fran is a great test for the playoff bound Bucs.  They are very tough as Cincy found out.  They've had suspect QB play undermine their offense all year.  Now with decent play at that position, they have shown an ability to win games.

The Bucs are a mirror image of the Niners (great defense, suspect offense), but they've won the close games due to good QB play.  Winning this road game will continue to build confidence towards the playoffs.

Losing this leaves the Bucs feeling like a "one and done" team.

New York Jets (3-11, 1-6 away)
Tennessee (8-6, 4-3 home)

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The Titans need this game in a critical way.  A win guarantees an improvement over last season's record.  A loss mean their playoff drive is over.  A loss also means that the Titans would have to win on the road in Indy to finish above .500.

The Jets are pesky team.  The Titans need to show that they can handle pesky teams that aren't very good.

Miami (1-13, 0-7 away)
New England (14-0, 7-0 home)

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The Dolphins have turned their team over to a professional for the first time in a year.  Bill Parcells will turn this team around.

Youn can bet that the Tuna will be watching how his team plays against the league's best led by his former pupil, Bill Belichick.  He will be eyeing the players that compete, and those that lay down.

Expect to also detect a little sweat on Cam Cameron's brow, even in the chilly New England air.  He is on thin ice, and he should be.  Cameron has a two week run to see if he can show enough coaching smarts to hang around.

Hope is alive in south Florida, but not this week.  Another Patriots blow out will only serve to strengthen Parcells' resolve for 2008.

The Titans

Atlanta (3-11, 1-6 away)
Arizona (6-8, 4-2 home)
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Ugh.  SPF's soap opera team gets to go out to the desert and lose another game.

Rarely has a team been in such straights.  Win or lose, this team needs a complete and utter fumigation before 2008.


Washington (7-7, 3-4 away)
Minnesota (8-6, 5-2 home)
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Here is the game of the week.  The Redskins have finally found a winning formula with a QB change.  OC Al Saunders has shown that he can devise winning game plans now that he has a QB that he has personally schooled.  SPF says again that Joe Gibbs vanilla game planning has held the Redskins back all season.  It has cost them at least two or three wins.

The Vikings have a very good defense and a one dimensional offense.  The Redskins can make a strong playoff statement by winning this game.

A Redskin win keeps hope alive for New Orleans and Carolina, believe it or not.

related tags

North Carolina,
New Orleans,
Southern Pro Football,

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