If you saw what I saw on Minnesota’s sideline during its Sunday night loss in week 15 against Carolina, you would agree Brett Favre has the final say when it comes to his playing time. Yes, he’s in his 19th year as a professional quarterback, and we can agree that he does have a competitive nature that is arguably second to none, but do those things give him a pass to undermine the authority of his head coach? Far be it from me to act as a Brad Childress apologist, but given the beating that Favre suffered at the hands of the Panthers (four sacks and an interception), the coach’s motives to rest Favre were nothing short of legitimate. Look at what the Vikings are trying to do. They want to secure as much home field advantage for the postseason as possible. While I believe Favre and Childress want the same thing, their approaches are different. I’m thinking Childress wants to preserve Favre as much as possible for the playoffs, while Favre sees himself as the Vikings’ best option in terms of quarterback productivity.
I can stand for some productivity myself as I broke even at 8-8 last week. Time to get back on track. With that said, here we go:
Titans over Chargers– As hot as San Diego has been, they’re due for one more loss. How will Tennessee pull that off, you ask? On the shoulders of arguably the league’s best running back Chris Johnson. It’ll be lights out for the Chargers’ rush defense, which ranks 21st against the run.
Bengals over Chiefs– In response to Chris Henry’s memorial this week, Cincinnati will resurrect the grit that has led to its surprising AFC North lead.
Saints over Buccaneers– The loss to Dallas will only serve as a wake up call to a New Orleans team that is looking to become more than a flash in the pan.
Falcons over Bills– Buffalo will start its third quarterback of the season, in the form of rookie Brian Brohm. I’m guessing the Bills are auditioning him to see if they can invest their future in him.
Texans over Dolphins– Unless Miami can find a way to put the clamps on Andre Johnson, I can’t see the Fish pulling this one off.
Packers over Seahawks– It was shocking to see Green Bay’s defense give away that nail biter against Pittsburgh last week. Seattle is too banged up to force another last minute thriller upon the Cheeseheads.
Panthers over Giants– Big Blue was big this past Monday night, but Carolina has the physicality to chop them and make them fall hard.
Browns over Raiders– What a week for the Dawg Pound! First, Jerome Harrison has a breakout game with 286 rushing yards and three touchdowns, then it’s announced that Mike Holmgren will be the Browns’ general manager. Will Cleveland finally turn the corner? Tune in starting September 2010 to find out.
Jaguars over Patriots– With New England’s defense being anything but a threat, Maurice Jones-Drew’s all around production and the emergence of receiver Mike Sims-Walker, look for Jacksonville to zero in on a wildcard slot.
Steelers over Ravens– Pittsburgh still has a chance to lock up a playoff spot of its own and what better way to do it than breaking even with its foe from Charm City?
Cardinals over Rams– In Larry Fitzgerald’s last two games, he’s combined for six catches, 58 yards and one touchdown. Isn’t a game with the Rams the perfect opportunity for him to remind us of who he is?
49ers over Lions– One can only imagine how good San Francisco could be if it had a quarterback that helped the offense compliment its defense.
Eagles over Broncos– I can’t think of anyone that’s going to be more wired for this game than Brian Dawkins. While he knows Donovan McNabb’s tendencies, I’m not so sure he has the inside scoop on Philly’s revamped supporting cast. It’ll be interesting to see how well Champ Bailey fairs against the speed of DeSean Jackson.
Colts over Jets– Standing as the lone undefeated team to chase history, Indianapolis’ defense should feast on the declining play of first year quarterback Mark Sanchez.
Cowboys over Redskins– Has Dallas finally exorcised its December demons? I can’t guarantee that, but nothing about Washington’s recent primetime performance tells me an upset will take place.
Vikings over Bears– Given the failure of communication between Favre and Childress, if you’re going with Minnesota, you’re hoping that ol’ number four doesn’t revert back to his gun slinging days and commit turnovers in the process.
To every member of the Take No Prisoners Sports Blog community, I wish you and your families a blessed, safe and Happy Holidays. Please take the time to appreciate the gifts you already have, as in the ones that don’t depreciate.
By Antoine Hoffman