Sunday, December 28, 2008

Dan's Humbug Picks

The offseason begins early for the Raiders this year - technically speaking, that is. We'll hardly have our breakfast burritos finished by the time the Raiders depart an 80-degree (!) field in Tampa. Of course, we've been lamenting another early end to our season for a good eight weeks by now, but at least we get one more opportunity to see if JaMarcus can play.

Interestingly, the Raiders' two leaders - Al Davis and Nnamdi Asomugha - have gotten their offseasons started even earlier. It is said that Al is not dead, he's just injured and plotting implementation of his ambitious offseason plan. Unfortunately, Nnamdi may be plotting his ambitious offseason plan as well.

Per the headline, I'm setting low expectations for our LIVE BLOG EVENT today.

Oakland at Tampa Bay - this is the way the Raiders have done it all year: win a game they were expected to lose. Look good doing it. Lots of promise from a few well-placed, emerging stars. "They are finally turning the corner." Then lay an ugly egg that starts the Raider fan suicide watch anew. Road games, particularly late in the season, have been hideous. So as much as I'd love to say that the team is coming around, playing with heart, needs to take something positive into the offseason...instead I'll bet with the money and say the Raiders fall on their faces in front of Gannon, Gruden, Kiffin, and NOT Al Davis, 34-9.

Washington at San Francisco - as Sllaacs says, the Bay Area teams are better at the end of the season than they were at the beginning. But the Forty-Niners looked rather poor falling way behind against the hapless Rams last week. Sure, they rallied to win on a near hail mary. But, fittingly, Jay Glazer is reporting at this very moment that a Singletary deal could be done today and that Martz is out. It would be incredibly York-esque for the 49ers to lose ugly at home and then look foolish making a big announcement to lock in the current coaching situation for next year. Washington 27-10.

Detroit at Green Bay - the Lions haven't won in Green Bay since 1991. I stopped subscribing to the, "They can't go 0-16!" theory after the Thanksgiving debacle. The Packers are a talented team. BUT...for some reason the Packers just don't know how to win football games. They even found a way to lose last week against the Bears, in a game they dominated in every way but the score. So I'm going to do it. Lions win, 27-26.

Denver at San Diego - who saw this coming? At some stage, I'm sure I predicted that San Diego would come back and win the AFC West, but not once they were 4-8 with the Broncos at 8-4 - or whatever it was. Well, here they are. As much as I love to see Shanahan squirm after ANOTHER failure (how many playoff wins without Elway?), I just can't stand that Philip Rivers guy. But at the risk of losing an opportunity for Norv to come back to Oakland and mentor JaMarcus, I'm picking San Diego, 31-21.

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