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(By Rice World Staff)

by None, Rice, Gerry

     Last week was a fairly profitable week for us all. We all bagged double digits in wins, and the only reason Gerry has become Ass of the Week is because his lock lost by a larger margin! Yes! Heh heh... Anyways, the NFL playoffs just keep creeping closer every week. Ahhh man, Buffalo isn't playing this week. Sigh... I've lost my passion. I need my Bills. BUT, work before pleasure... let's see how we're doing so far (Gotta love None's comprehensive final comments):

Wins Losses Locks Back
None 109 64 8-4 ---
Gerry 106 67 6-6 3
Rice 104 69 6-6 5
kurupt 9 5 1-0 N/A


Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Gerry 10-5 - 9-6 - 8-6 + 11-3 +
None 9-6 + 10-5 + 9-5 + 12-2 -
Rice 8-7 + 11-4 - 8-6 - 10-4 -
kurupt N/A N/A N/A 9-5 +
Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
Gerry 7-7 - 4-10 + 10-4 + 8-6 -
None 6-8 + 9-5 + 10-4 - 10-4 +
Rice 7-7 + 5-9 + 9-5 - 7-7 -
kurupt N/A N/A N/A N/A
Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12
Gerry 6-8 - 13-2 + 10-5 + 10-5 -
None 7-7 - 8-7 + 8-7 - 11-4 +
Rice 9-5 + 9-6 + 11-4 + 10-5 -
kurupt N/A N/A N/A N/A


ass-of-the-week-13-gerry.jpg (31060 bytes)


steelerssmall.gif (1522 bytes)  vs  jagssmall.gif (1459 bytes)
Pitts. Steelers @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Gerry: Jacksonville
None: Jacksonville

Rice: Jacksonville

None: Alright, the AFC Central is not cool. Jacksonville’s only loss came against Tennessee, the only other respectable team in the division. These two are headed for a collision course that will decide the home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Pittsburgh’s just another fork in the road; it’s not even a bump. Kordell Stewart’s fall is a symbol of the Steelers’ fall.

Gerry: Darn me to heck, I wanted to take the Bungals so bad last week. Oh well. Screw Pittsburgh. The Haguars will continue to roll. Jimmy Smith man.......... he's proving he won't be mistaken for the ex-NYPD Blue star anymore.

Rice: This is a no brianer. The Steelers has had one hell of a rollercoaster season, sometimes looking good, sometimes looking like the Bengals (or worse!)... too bad they're in the lowest pits right now, while Jacksonville is flying high.

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Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears
Gerry: Green Bay
None: Green Bay

Rice: Green Bay

None: Didn’t the Bears surprise the Packers in Green Bay a couple of weeks ago? However, then was then, because Favre is finally healthy. They’re fighting for their playoff lives, and seemingly, the Bears have been eliminated from it. The Packers need every game, and they should beat the teams they should beat, and they will.

Gerry: The Packers are fighting for their playoff lives. They have to hang in there w/ TB, Minn, and Detroit. Favre and Freeman will hit their stride right about now.

Rice: Jim Miller's busted for steroid use! Brett Favre's never been better (at least, this season)... another no brainer.

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Indianapolis Colts @ Miami Dolphins
Gerry: Miami
None: Indianapolis

Rice: Miami

None: Here it is, the AFC East game of the year. By winning, Indianapolis opens up a two game lead over their closest opponent with only 4 games to go. Miami struggled mightily with Dan Marino last week, and though I’m sure he’ll step it back up against the Colts, I don’t think even that vaunted Miami defense can stop Manning. This game will show how good the Colts truly are. And I think they will show the world.

Gerry: Damn, I love the Colts, but Miami is the one team that could contain Edgerrin James and Marvin Harrison. Their run defense is solid, and Sam Madison is a freakin blanket on coverage.

Rice: Remember the last time Marino put in a horrible game? It was against Buffalo, and the next week, he promptly bounced right back. Indy looked vulnerable against the Jets last week, and this week, Miami's strong defense will clamp down en route to a big win at home.

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New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons
Gerry: New Orleans
None: Atlanta

Rice: Atlanta

None: This one’s actually hard to pick. But judging from the whip that the Saints took over and over last week against the Rams, and the fact that the Falcons have actually been competitive of late, I like the Falcons in this match up. They’re actually the better team, I think.

Gerry: The Saints always look good in the 1st half for some reason. They surprised me w/ a balanced passing attack, and if Ricky Williams is healthy, then the Saints can't lose this game.

Rice: If it wasn't for Kevin Greene, Chandler would have led the Falcons on an amazing comeback against the Panthers last week. The Saints have been on a free fall. Ricky is still hurt. They are away... those factor into a tough loss once again for New Orleans.

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New York Jets @ New York Giants
Gerry: NY Jets
None: NY Jets

Rice: NY Jets

None: I just changed my mind on account of three things. 1) The Jets’ defense held the Colts to only 13 points. 2) The Giants start crappy Kerry Collins. 3) I used the old "Giants need it more" last week against the Cardinals, and they still lost. So take the Jets at the Meadowlands.

Gerry: The Jets seem to be able to beat any team in the league, even though they're severely undermanned. These two teams share the same stadium, so there won't be home field advantage. Just a pure test of wills.

Rice: This one isn't as no-brainer, but I'm still pretty confident the Jets can pull this one out. They nearly scored an upset against the Colts, and the Giants have internal dispute.

49erssmall.gif (1436 bytes)  vs  bengalssmall.gif (1350 bytes)
San Francisco 49ers @ Cincinnati Bengals
Gerry: San Francisco
None: Cincinnati

Rice: Cincinnati

None: Damn, Cincy, they actually won last week. Regardless, these two teams are quite...bad. In’t believe I’m going against my book o’ football pick rules. Go ahead and take Cincinnati. I’ll probably smack myself upside the head come Monday, but I think the 49ers are too busy trying to break in that 3rd string quarterback, what’s his name...(who actually hasn’t been playing too badly) But the Bengals should win this one.

Gerry: They really are tanking their season. Wow. If that's the case, they must lose to the Bungals to secure at least a #2 pick. But damn, I think they'll look in the mirror and say, No way, not to the Bungals.

Rice: The Niners look terrible. It's actually sad to see such a proud dynasty of the 90's sink so low... The Bengals are climbing back, and compared to the Niners, at least they can score.

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St. Louis Rams @ Carolina Panthers
Gerry: St. Louis
None: St. Louis

Rice: St. Louis

None: Another week means another crappy and/or inconsistent defense to pick on for Kurt Warner. Carolina actually scored 34 against that awe-inspiring Falcons’ defense (note sarcasm), but the Rams’ defense is much better... and so is their offense. If Atlanta scored 28 on the Panthers, the Rams should score 43. last week against the Saints.

Gerry: This one's easy. Carolina will go through the air, but both Carruth and Muhammad are out (for way different reasons. Carruth tried to cap his wife. Muhammad hurt his hammy).

Rice: Soft, soft schedule St. Louis has. They're not going to win the Super Bowl this season... but then again, Marshall Faulk may have something to say about that. That guy is a monster player. Why don't they let him kick field goals too? Poor Panthers... coming off a nice win against Atlanta too.

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Tennessee Titans @ Baltimore Ravens
Gerry: Baltimore
None: Tennessee

Rice: Tennessee

None: Lessee... read the Pittsburgh at Jacksonville analysis, replace Jacksonville with Tennessee, Pittsburgh with Baltimore, and that’s about it. The point: The Ravens aren’t bad, but they won’t win against the Titans.

Gerry: Shit, they deserve to have a way better record. Their defense is playing well, but what do you expect when you play the NFL's best team? You basically have to outscore them, and the Ravens have show their offense is still breathing.

Rice: The Ravens are kind of a weird team... sometimes they look tough, but other times they look like mush. How many times have I said that consistency always wins out at the end? Eddie George hasn't been flashy, but he's been getting the job done. I'm putting my money with the Titans.

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Washington Redskins @ Detroit Lions
Gerry: Detroit
None: Washington

Rice: Detroit

None: Detroit doesn’t have the guns to keep up, nor the defense to stop them. Washington = shootout.

Gerry: The Redskins make every game too damn close. They need OT to beat the Eagles??? Gimme a break. I've noticed that Washington has lost their offensive superiority. Now it's "live and die" w/ Stephen Davis.

Rice: I have a weird feeling about this one. Washington relies too much on Stephen Davis. If the Lions are smart and shut him down, they'll force Brad Johnson to beat them in the air. I don't think they can do it.

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Philadelphia Eagles @ Arizona Cardinals
Gerry: Arizona
None: Philadelphia

Rice: Arizona

None: Philly has been pretty competitive of late, and though the Cardinals played good against the Giants last week, I doubt they can keep this up. Go Eagles.

Gerry: Jake the Snake is back, and ready show why people have called him the next Joe Montana. He's got a bit of that Captain Comeback mentality in him. The Cards are right on the verge of the playoffs. If they keep winning, they're in.

Rice: Jake the Snake all the way baby. Plummer ought to bring some consistency to a surprisingly resurgent Cardinals team. The Eagles hang tough each game, but you can't win if you suck!

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Kansas City @ Denver Broncos
Gerry: Denver
None: Kansas City

Rice: Denver

None: KC must win to stay in the playoff hunt, and so they will.

Gerry: The Broncos would like nothing better than to play the role of spoilers for the playoffs. They suck, but no one wants to play them. Too damn gritty and resilient.

Rice: Woo! Griese at Mile High baby... KC won a tough one at Oakland, but they're not going to be so lucky this time. It will be a close game, however. This is a traditional rivalry, so it'll be extra intense.

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Cleveland Browns @ San Diego Chargers
Gerry: San Diego
None: San Diego

Rice: San Diego

None: Ah, San Diego. Ryan Leaf came in Monday after his four-game suspension and genuinely apologized to his teammates and management. I really hope he gets back on track, because he does have tremendous talent. Also, now that Leaf has apparently put it behind him, I think that will serve to unite the team a little more. Against this Cleveland team that has showed signs of life at times, I think that’ll get it done. And that defense won’t hurt either.

Gerry: I want to take the Browns here, since they can pass on the Chargers. But fuck, Jim Harbaugh can really fucking pass on the Brownies. Won't be another 400 yard performance, but it'll be enough to nab SD a win.

Rice: Finally time for SD to win one. Cleveland sucks, their victories were sheer miracles. Harbaugh has been airing it out like mad. Looks like he can pull out a victory here.

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Seattle Seahawks @ Oakland Raiders
Gerry: Seattle
None: Seattle

Rice: Seattle

None: If Oakland had beaten the Chiefs last week, this would have become a huge showdown. It would be the Raiders against the division leading Seahawks, fighting for their playoff lives. However, it’s not. And while the Raiders are fighting for pride, the Seahawks are trying to get the first-round bye. They surprised me by losing last week to the Bucs, but this one’s important.

Gerry: The Seahawks have the Raiders' number. But damn, once again Oakland has shot themselves in the foot. How many times have they lost a game they had in the bag? They gotta be demoralized as hell over there.

Rice: I really wanted to take Oakland, but alas, the Seahawks are just too prolific. So they lost last week against the Bucs. Kitna had a bad day. Everybody wakes up on the wrong side of the bed occasionally. Seattle will bounce back.

cowboyssmall.gif (794 bytes)  vs  patssmall.gif (599 bytes)
Dallas Cowboys @ New England Patriots
Gerry: Dallas
None: Dallas

Rice: New England

None: New England’s season is done. The last 3 losses have each been devastating, and their team has been exposed as a weak team with a great quarterback. On the other hand, Dallas dominated the Miami offense from start to finish, and posted 20 points on the board on Thanksgiving. I think they’ll maul the Patriots.

Gerry: I usually just pick them out of blind faith, but this week I really like their chances. To beat the Patsies, all you gotta do is pressure Bledsoe and take away Terry Glenn. Deion Sanders will give them nightmares.

Rice: Muhaha... For some strange reason, Dallas is undefeatable at home, but on the road, they play like the Browns. Hrmph... New England will romp the Cowboys. Weird huh?

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Minn. Vikings @ Tampa Bay  Bucaneers
Gerry: Minnesota
None: Minnesota

Rice: Tampa Bay

None: If Tampa Bay can do what San Diego did last week against the Vikings, they have a chance to be successful. Well, the Chargers fell behind big early, but they did put 27 points on the board against a lackluster Vikings defense. Unfortunately, they gave up 35. And while I think the Bucs’ defense is better than the Chargers, I doubt their offense can put up double digits- let alone 27 points. So, it’s just a matter of pure firepower- take the Vikings.

Gerry: I woulda taken TB, but Shaun King ain't the answer. Eric Zeier ain't the answer either. Yes, I will be judged to Hell for this, but Trent Dilfer woulda been the savior. But instead TB will get beat by a nicely distributed passing attack led by Jeff George.

Rice: Tampa Bay's defense really scared me last week against the Seahawks. They were such monsters. The Vikings seem like they're rejuvenated, but it's fake. All of their games are close... unlike last year when they routinely blow people out. Too close... If any team can shut them down, it's the Bucanners.

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{ Bye week }

(sniff... sniff... )

None: OVERALL ANALYSIS- Let’s head back to the AFC playoff picture. Last week cleared a lot of stuff up, but now, we talk about positioning. Who gets the first round bye? One of the two will go to either Jax or Tenn (both Central) on account of their weak schedules. The other team must also be a division champion, so it’s either the East winner or the West (Seattle, at 8-3). Also, there’s the matter of the wild card home field advantage. Let’s break it down some more.

Colts (9-2): By winning Sunday at Miami, they practically clinch the division.

Miami (8-3): If they lose vs. the Colts, their record is the same as the Bills. However, since they lost both games against the Bills, the Bills jump above them. Thus, by losing Sunday, Miami loses that first-round bye, plus probably become the #6 seed in the playoffs.

Bills (8-4): If Miami beats the Colts, then the Bills have a chance to win the division. Why? The Colts would then have 3 losses. The Bills have one more clash with the Colts, and if they win, their records would be both 12-4. Their division record would thus be better than the Colts, and they become the number 2 or 3 seed in the playoffs, depending on the Seahawks.

    I’m discounting both the Chiefs and the Patriots (6-5) because New England has to play the Cowboys this week, and KC still have the Vikings and the Seahawks. I don’t think a 10-6 record is enough to make the playoffs. Final thing. AFC Central’s amazing fact: If the playoffs started today, Jacksonville and Tennessee will have combined for 2 games played against playoff teams! 2!!! And both are on Tennessee’s schedule (Win against unproven St. Louis, lost against Miami) And excluding their 2 meetings with each other, neither team will face anyone that even has a shot in hell make the playoffs! What does that mean in the long run? First round playoff upset.


Gerry's LOCK OF THE WEEK: Arizona -> Is this wussy? Hmmm........... based on the most recent power rankings it ain't. Jake Plummer is back. Rob Moore is back. Pittman might be back. Murrell is playing decent. They're at home. They can't lose! Or can they.........
None's LOCK OF THE WEEK: Cincinnati -> Damn, I couldn’t find any real good games. So I’ll make my little upset special my lock of the week. I think Cincy’s bad like hell, but so are the 49ers.
Rice's LOCK OF THE WEEK: Tampa Bay -> I remember the last time I locked this. I got raped so hard. Let's see if history repeats itself. =)