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.