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NFL Bargain Bets: Week 16
December 20th 2007
by Old Man Winner

These are already quasi-playoff games for some teams. And some teams have already given up and will begin the process of playing some inexperienced players to see what they can offer for next year. This tips the scale on a few games for this week.

Tennessee Titans -9 vs. NY Jets

Tennessee is in the hunt for a playoff spot if they can win and get a little help. They are playing at home against the Jets. The Jets covered the largest spread in NFL history last week when they only lost by 10 in NE. However, like Baltimore a few weeks back, this was the Jets private Superbowl. Look what the Ravens have done since that game - nothing. No, the Jets ran out of fuel last week, they are grounded. When Kellen Clemens went down last week, they lost their passing attack and now must once again look to Chad Pennington. He lost every game as a starter this year, except one - to the Dolphins, barely. Tennessee is a very physical team and should manhandle the line of scrimmage all day and run all over the Jets. I wouldn't doubt a score by the Titan defense after the Jets fall behind and start cheating on the short routes - the only one's Pennington can make. Haynesworth is a monster. Having him back in the line-up is worth about 4 or 5 points a game.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -7 @ San Francisco 49ers

The 49'ers didn't look bad last week. They played a very conservative game, running 37 times and throwing nothing but high percentage passes. However, they were playing the Cincy Bengals. I know the Bengals and they are no TB. This week will be different. Much like the Bucs win last week against ATL, they will crowd the line of scrimmage, commit to stopping the run and make the 49'ers beat them through the air, which they will not be able to do. Last week, the Falcons ran a total of 35 plays and held the ball for only 17 minutes. That is fewest number of plays and smallest TOP I've seen in years. The Bucs play the smartest football in the NFL. They should once again have fewer turnovers than their opponent and easily cover this spread. Garcia has been waiting to come back to San Francisco and remind them of what a mistake it was to let him go. That said, he is also smart enough to play within himself and will not try and be a hero. He'll just continue to be happy being a winner.

Cleveland Browns -3 at Cincinnati Bengals

This game will in no way resemble what we saw between these two teams earlier in the year when they racked up 96 pts. The weather will most definitely play a huge factor and should heavily favor the Cleveland Browns. It should be cold and very windy with the possibility of some snow or freezing rain. The Browns are showing recently that they love this weather. They have a beast of a RB in Jamal Lewis who is thriving against poor rush defense teams in inclement weather, and this should be another one. Seeing him in the snow at Buffalo last week brought back memories of Leroy Kelly. Cincy has relied on the passing game, and Mother Nature should take that away on Sunday. Look what happened in NE last week when the #1 passing team in the NFL was held to only 140 passing yards. The Bengals should be able to rack up some rushing yards on a porous Brown defense. However, this will be a game that should come down to the stronger, tougher back, and Lewis is all that - hands down.

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