Each Saturday morning during the NFL season, we’ll wake up early, take a hearty cut at predicting the unpredictable league, wince at how it went the week before and ponder the definition of insanity.

This normally is where I’d blather on about the picks this week or the picks last week or how the Browns might come within 49 points of their first win or how it felt to pick the Vikings not to sleepwalk through the Colts game or …

But I’m heading into Green Bay. I don’t want to miss my fireman’s bucket. Merry Christmas. Enjoy and ignore the picks.



Vikings plus-6 1/2 at Packers: The Pick: Packers 27, Vikings 24

Why?: Well, as you can tell by last week’s pick — is it bad to pick a 9-point win in a 28-point loss? — I’m one of the several who are still searching for 53 Purple pulses. Perhaps the Vikings had extra time to soul search last night during those several hours on the tarmac as hostages of an airline and a city in serious need of a sturdy ladder. If nothing else, they should re-sign John Sullivan. I’ve heard Sully can land a plane anywhere. Even Appleton. … As for the game, the absolute guess this week is the Packers’ crazy run of takeaways — they have 10 takeaways and no giveaways in the past two weeks — will have to slow down just through the law of averages. If the Vikings can win or tie the turnover battle and play with the passion and energy they completely lacked at home last week, the Packers’ defense is extremely vulnerable. In those circumstances, I do think it will be a close game. But I wouldn’t bet against Aaron Rodgers at home in December with the playoffs within reach.

LAST WEEK: Colts plus-4 1/2 at Vikings: The Pick: Vikings 28, Colts 19. The Result: Colts 34, Vikings 6. Record: 5-7.


Falcons minus-1 1/2 at Panthers: The Pick: Panthers 31, Falcons 27

Why?: Cam is down to only two more chances to over-celebrate. So dance, young fella, dance. The Panthers appeared to be back in rhythm Monday night against the Redskins. They’re also at home and I’m sure they’ll want to spread some of their misery to the Falcons.

LAST WEEK: Patriots minus-2 1/2 at Broncos: The Pick: Broncos 24, Patriots 21.  The Result: Patriots 16, Broncos 3. Record: 4-10.

Other picks:

Redskins minus-3 1/2 at Bears: Redskins by 7

Titans minus-4 1/2 at Jaguars: Titans by 10

Chargers minus-6 1/2 at Browns: Chargers by 50

Jets plus-16 1/2 at Patriots: Patriots by 35

Dolphins plus-3 1/2 at Bills: Dolphins by 7

Colts plus-3 1/2 at Raiders: Raiders by 14

49ers plus-3 1/2 at Rams: 49ers by 3

Cardinals plus-8 1/2 at Seahawks: Seahawks by 9

Buccaneers plus-2 1/2 at Saints: Saints by 7

Bengals plus-1 1/2 at Texans: Texans by 3

Ravens plus-4 1/2 at Steelers: Steelers by 7

Broncos plus-4 1/2 at Chiefs: Chiefs by 10

Lions plus-7 1/2 at Cowboys: Cowboys by 10

Record Last week/season: 8-7 / 104-75-2

Vs. spread Last week/season: 6-9 / 85-96

CRAIG’S LIST: NFL Power Rankings

1, Patriots (12-2)

2, Cowboys (12-2)

3, Raiders (11-3)

4, Falcons (9-5)

5, Steelers (9-5)

6, Titans (8-6)

7, Chiefs (10-4)

8, Lions (9-5)

9, Ravens (8-6)

10, Packers (8-6)

11, Buccaneers (8-6)

12, Seahawks (9-4-1)

13, Dolphins (9-5)

14, Broncos (8-6)

15, Texans (8-6)

16, Eagles (6-9)

17, Giants (10-5)

18, Colts (7-7)

19, Panthers (6-8)

20, Redskins (7-6-1)

21, Bills (7-7)

22, Vikings (7-7)

23, Saints (6-8)

24, Bengals (5-8-1)

25, Cardinals (5-8-1)

26, Chargers (5-9)

27, Jets (4-10)

28, Bears (3-11)

29, Rams (4-10)

30, Jaguars (2-12)

31, 49ers (1-13)

32, Browns (0-14)

Older Post

Adrian Peterson ruled out in Lambeau; Harrison Smith, Stefon Diggs questionable for Vikings

Newer Post

Harrison Smith, Stefon Diggs will play for Vikings against Packers