FOOTBALL — 23 December 2012

Storylines: Perhaps of all the weeks in the regular season, this week will be the most intense. For playoff bound teams, this is the week to solidify a spot in playoffs; for teams in the playoff hunt such as the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Chicago Bears, the margin of error is slim; their playoff fate can be decided this week with a win or loss to their respective teams

The Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cincinnati Bengals game Sunday is essentially a playoff game because of its implications on the overall Wild Card picture in the AFC. If the Steelers win, they are back in the drivers seat to lock in the last wild card spot in the AFC; if they lose, they are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, giving the Bengals the last playoff position in the AFC. The stakes in this game are huge, which sets the stage for a game no one should dare miss.

For a Chicago Bears team whom was once thought of as a potential Superbowl Contender, they now find themselves in a position to potentially replicate the same disaster that took place around this time last year. No doubt their game this week against the Arizona Cardinals is a very winnable game, but thus far from what we have seen with this Bears team, anything is possible.

Eli Manning and the New York Giants are currently entangled in a very tight NFC playoff race that include both the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys. For the defending Superbowl champions, their road to solidifying the top spot in their division takes a difficult turn as they visit the Baltimore Ravens, whom have also had their own struggles as of late losing 3 of their last 4 games. But Baltimore may get the boost they need heading into the playoff, as future Hall of famer Ray Lewis is set to make his return against the Giants.

The never-ending soap opera of the New York Jets, took a new turn when it was annouced that second-year pro Greg McElroy would start against the San Diego Chargers, over backup quarterback Tim Tebow. The intriguing aspect of this match will be the how will a Jets team coming off a disappointing performance on Monday eliminating them from playoff contention, will respond to a very competitive Chargers team led by Philip Rivers

Several weeks ago, the Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys were perceived by many as playoff pretenders, but after 3 straights wins which included a dramatic overtime victory over the Steelers last week, the Cowboys find themselves back in thick of the NFC playoff picture. Will this game be a breeze for the Cowboys, or will Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints spoil the Cowboys playoff run.


NFL Week 16 Score Predictions

Jets vs. Chargers – There not much to this game that needs to be said. This should be a fun game for Philip Rivers.

Falcons vs. Lions – Calvin Johnson will break Jerry Rice’s receiving yards record, I just don’t see it happening against the Falcons Cornerbacks.

Raiders vs. Panthers – I believe this will be an ugly affair that will benefit the Raiders.

*Saints vs. Cowboys – Despite the amazing winning streaks the Cowboys have put together, I do not think they’ll be ready for a Quarterback like Drew Brees.

Titans vs. Packers – Look, if you watched their offensive performance against the Jets, you would understand why the Titans will not matchup well with the Packers. More to the point, they are playing against Aaron Rodgers and not Mark Sanchez.

Vikings vs. Texans – For some reason, I see Adrian Peterson having a big rushing day against JJ Watt and the Texans defense. It will be a close affair, a very intriguing one, and one that I dub as being one of the best games of the 2012 season.

Patriots vs Jaguars – Unless the coach Belichick opts to sit Tom Brady and the rest the starters, this game will be very ugly for Jacksonville.

Colts vs. Chiefs – Well, at least Aarowhead will have the chance to watch rookie sensation Andrew Luck.

Bills vs. Dolphins – At this point the Bills have nothing to play for; even so, I believe they would still find a way to lose.

Redskins vs. Eagles – With the potential return of RGIII in this game, and the fact that this team is just as potent with their backup, I don’t see this game going any other way than a victory for the Redskins.

Bengals vs. Steelers – Generally the Steelers have Andy Dalton number. But with the absence of Ike Taylor, the task of covering AJ Green will fall with Cortez Allen which is a bit of a mismatch. Injuries have also plagued this team all year long, so this game may not go in the Steelers favor.

Rams vs. Buccaneers – St. Louis have made big strides considering how their season began; the Buccaneers on the other hand have regressed considerably.

Browns vs. Broncos – From what was informed about this game, the Broncos plan on using their backups in this game, which I believe will give the Browns somewhat of a chance. Now if they change their mind and use Payton Manning , this will be a bad experience for Cleveland fans.

Bears vs. Cardinals- Despite Arizona’s record, this game will be far more difficult for Jay Cutler and co.

Giants vs. Ravens – Putting aside the fact that the Ravens have lost 3 of its last 4 games. I see Victor Cruz presenting a big problem for the Ravens corners. On defense, the Giants have Jason-Pierre Paul and Justin Tuck creating problems for the Ravens o-line and Joe Flacco . Overall this will be a very competitive game that will go in the Giants favor.

49ers vs. Seahawks – I underestimated Colin Kaepernick last week and as a result he defeated arguably the best team in the NFL. This game will be very intense and highly competitive; at the end, the 49ers will find a way to win.

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KelechiAnozie

An avid sports enthusiast for over 20 years. I am heavily involved in Kickboxing and other forms of recreational activity. I am honored to be a part of Elite Sports Tours and blog about sports. Follow me on Twitter - @kanozie80

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