Found December 22, 2011 on Fox Sports Kansas City:
Last week straight up: 9-7Season straight up: 143-81Last week vs. spread: 12-4Seasons vs. spread: 119-102-3 TEXANS (-6 12) AT COLTS (Thursday night) T.J. Yates will try to bounce back after a poor outing last week. But it won't be easy. The Colts are playing better, and though they have nothing to play for, I'm suggesting theyll make it two straight. Colts 27, Texans 24 RAIDERS (1) AT CHIEFS The Raiders are reeling and this is a great time to catch them. Certainly the Raiders will play better than the last time these two teams met, when the Chiefs took advantage of a Raiders quarterback situation in flux and blew them out. Will the Chiefs play hard again for Romeo Crennel? Will they look as certain on offense again with Kyle Orton? Yes and yes. Chiefs 20, Raiders 16 STEVES EXTRA POINTS This is downright strange, but the Chiefs will manage to face the Raiders at a great timetwice. The first one in Oakland was that 28-0 wax job in which the Raiders were missing their quarterback, running back and kicker in other words, the entire offense. They were helpless and the Chiefs took advantage. Now here comes Oakland to Arrowhead, and the Raiders once again are a mess having just blown a game that might have gotten them into the playoffs. As my pal Flanny points out, the Chiefs SHOULD be going in the other direction. The guys are playing with gusto for Crennel and Orton provides some professional stability at QB. Lets not get carried away, though. The Chiefs still havent scored more than one TD in seven games, and nobodys suggesting this team is a juggernaut. That huge upset over the Packers was fun, but Green Bay was a battered shell of the team that has been in the best in football. Credit to the Chiefs for taking advantage, but as Crennel has pointed out, you cant just win one game and claim youve accomplished something. The Raiders are still physical, tough and most likely pretty annoyed and its good to remember that some goofy things have happened in this series over the years. Having provided all those warnings, however, this is a chance to bet on the Chiefs to win a game they should win. Thats the kind of wager that excites the wise guys. Go for it. --STEVE CAMERON BRONCOS (-3) AT BILLS OK, so Tim Tebow met his match with the Patriots. Playing the Bills is much more on his level. Plenty of folks are calling for a Bills mild upset here, but they are in such a dive, I can't see it. The Broncos have too much to play for. Sorry, Chiefs fans. Broncos 16, Bills 7 JAGS (7 12) AT TITANS The Titans get Chris Johnson back but Matt Hasselbeck is still dinged up, though he will start. Jake Locker is ready if Hasselbeck can't go, but it figures to be the Titans' ground game that will do the damage. Still, expect a close one. Titans 17, Jags 10 CARDS (5 12) AT BENGALS The Cards are playing good football because of a solid defense. The Bengals can't afford a loss as they hunt for the playoffs. Should be an interesting battle. Bengals will steal it at the end. Bengals 23, Cards 20 DOLPHINS (10 12) AT PATRIOTS Sorry, but I can't see the blowout here. The Dolphins' performance varies from week to week, but they will rise up to make the Patriots earn it. That Patriots' defense can be exposed. Patriots 31, Dolphins 23 BROWNS (13 12) AT RAVENS The Browns will be without Colt McCoy again, and will go with Seneca Wallace for the second straight week. That might actually help the Browns -- not that they can beat the Ravens. But Wallace is mobile and that might keep this one closer than most people think. Ravens 19, Browns 10 GIANTS (3) AT JETS There definitely will be a playoff atmosphere here, as both teams are in must-win mode. Just when the Giants figured they were back after beating the Cowboys on the road, they stunk up the joint at home against the Redskins. The Jets, too, assumed they had their season turned around until they got whipped by the Eagles. The quarterback match-up goes to the Giants, easily, but the Jets will find a way. Jets 20, Giants 16 VIKINGS (5 12) AT REDSKINS The Redskins are playing much better with Rex Grossman, and I can't see the Vikings putting up much of a fight. This one could get away fast. Redskins 30, Vikings 13 BUCS (7) AT PANTHERS Not much life left in the Tampa squad these days. Wow. All that promise from last year has vanished. Cam Newton and Carolina should romp. Panthers 28, Bucs 7 RAMS (OFF) AT STEELERS The Steelers keep saying Big Ben will play, though reports indicate otherwise. It won't matter. The Rams are starting Kellen Clemens again. The Steelers will do just enough to win. Steelers 20, Rams 6 CHARGERS (3) AT LIONS Two unpredictable teams. The Chargers are making their December charge, though it will be too late. The Lions' chances are much more realistic, if they don't slip up at home. They finish the season at Green Bay so this game is imperative. Lions 38, Chargers 33 49ERS (-3) AT SEAHAWKS Huge win by the 49ers last week, even if Big Ben wasn't himself. It was fun to see football important again in San Francisco. The 49ers still have a tiny shot at home-field advantage throughout (they must win out and Packers must lose out). That's enough motivation, perhaps, to dismiss a pesky Seahawks team. 49ers 21, Seahawks 17 EAGLES (3) AT COWBOYS The Eagles haven't been mathematically eliminated yet, but they will be by kickoff. Still, they should be angry enough to try to ruin someone elses season; namely, the Cowboys. Eagles 27, Cowboys 24 BEARS (12 12) AT PACKERS The Bears are going with Josh McCown at quarterback in hopes of reviving a dead offense. And with their season in tatters, the Bears can only hope to stick it to their arch rivals. The Packers, who are trying to seal home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, have an offensive line pieced together week by week. That will almost kill any chance at a ground game. And with no Greg Jennings, the Packers' passing game took a big step back. This will be a brutal fight. Packers 20, Bears 12 FALCONS (6 12) AT SAINTS These two teams know each other inside and out, and both expect this to be a track meet in New Orleans. The Falcons need a win to secure a playoff berth. They could still win the division and get a home playoff game. The Saints remain alive for the No. 2 seed. Should be a wild one. Saints 44, Falcons 35
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
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