Washington on deck. Winless Tampa Bay twice. The New York teams, both looking more beatable than they did a month ago. Carolina and Buffalo, 6-9 between them.
Now, of course, I no longer believe "ten wins should get the NFC South for Atlanta." That ship has probably sailed. But if we beat Philadelphia, all Atlanta's wild card hopes rely on is Tony Romo's down-the-stretch collapse and Eli Manning continuing to suck. So obviously, PLAYOFFS HERE WE COME.
Kansas City @ Jacksonville (-6 1/2). Famed UGA tailgate Tent City has a busy weekend ahead of itself. There's, of course, the historic matchup between Georgia and Tennessee Tech on Saturday. On Sunday, though, the action shifts to a site of actual football competence - the Georgia Dome. A couple of Tent Citizens - bloggers both prolific and not so much - are huge Washington Redskins fans, and the crowd is a'followin'. I'm just excited to revel in the huge starpower Washington brings. Jason Campbell! Colt Brennan! DeAngelo Hall!
Baltimore (-3) @ Cincinnati. Actually, I am vibrating. Just found out I have a reserved spot in line for next week's Stephen King book signing in Atlanta. Now I have seven torturous days ahead of me, trying to decide exactly what question to ask, and obsessing about all the ways I could screw it up. (I'm a fan.) PICK: Baltimore
Houston @ Indianapolis (-9). Netflix recommendation: "Monty Python: Almost the Truth." It's a brand new, six-part documentary about the British comedy troupe - and though I'm just two hours in, it's one of the best things I've seen this year. PICK: Houston
Green Bay (-9 1/2) @ Tampa Bay. PICK: Green Bay
Arizona @ Chicago (-3). Jay Cutler, your time is up. Perhaps you missed it, but my fantasy team's publicity office announced on Monday that Carson Palmer will get the start at QB for the foreseeable future. The Berman Stroke Hopers just need new leadership, not a simpering fat-face who apparently gets his jollies from throwing interceptions. So Mr. Palmer, don't let us down. We would also like to welcome Ronnie Brown and Chad Ochocinqo, acquired in a Wednesday trade for RB Steven Jackson. Truthfully, I'm still trying to find out why that was offered to me - I feel like I stole something. What am I missing? PICK: Arizona
Washington @ Atlanta (-10). I don't know, I'm a little nervous about this one. Ten points is a lot for a team coming off a short week, against one just coming off its bye. Maybe a 13-10 Falcons victory, but probably nothing more than that. Jason Campbell is back in SEC country, and who knows, that might provide a spark. The Redskins are actually a talented bunch, after all. PICK: Washington
Washington@ Atlanta (-10). Just fucking with you. The Redskins suck. Falcons by 30. Duh. PICK: Atlanta
Miami @ New England (-10 1/2). PICK: Miami
Carolina @ New Orleans (-13). PICK: New Orleans
Detroit @ Seattle (-10). The moment Crash won Best Picture, I officially gave up on the Oscars. I had come close a few times - Roberto Benigni beating Edward Norton, Million Dollar Baby over The Aviator, and A Beautiful Mind winning in the year of Memento, Mulholland Dr. and The Royal Tenenbaums (none of which were even nominated). But Paul Haggis' thuddingly obvious racial parable taking the top prize? DONE, GOOD SIRS. So I didn't really stress out over the recent decision to have 10 Best Picture nominees instead of the usual five. Retarded, right? I mean, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was nominated last year - that should be a signal you have trouble filling just five slots. So this week, it was announced Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin will co-host the show. Is that enough to save it? I'd be inclined to say yes, but I know they'll end up naming a dud like Star Trek as one of the 10 best, and I'll throw up. PICK: Detroit
Tennessee @ San Francisco (-4). "South Park" turned in a top 10 episode this week, and it really hit close to home. See, though I may be fiscally conservative, I'm pretty liberal socially - especially when it comes to gay rights. I'm for gay marriage, gay adoption, gays in the military, gays wherever the hell they want to be. Ain't hurting me, so I don't care. THAT SAID. Sorry, but I love the word "fag." It's hilarious. It's easy, abrupt, cutting - and just so, so funny. Sue me. Anyway, I've talked about this with a super-liberal friend, and he has the same condundrum. We know we shouldn't like the word, but my God, we just do. And after watching the latest "South Park," it's clear Matt Stone and Trey Parker have had a similar conversation. I won't spoil anything, just watch it. Fag. PICK: Tennessee
San Diego @ NY Giants (-5). PICK: NY Giants
Dallas @ Philadelphia (-3). PICK: Philadelphia
Pittsburgh (-3) @ Denver. PICK: Denver
Last week: 8-5-0