Small victories in a season of damnation

TREVOR BUNKE -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:00 PM ET

While the Colts have fallen from the ranks of the unbeaten, NFL Picks still sports an unblemished record.

All right, I'll concede that winning 13 games before suffering your first loss is a lot more impressive, but, hey, my Suicide Pick record is 15-0.

And if you consider that last week's pick was Jacksonville (a 10-9 winner over brutal San Francisco), you could say I fluked into the good fortune.

In this season of brutality, however, I'll take any victory, no matter how small.

On to the Week 16 picks:

Buffalo (+14) at Cincinnati: The Bengals are playing for a first-round bye. The Bills waved bye about seven weeks ago. Buffalo has lost 6-of-7 games and has been outscored 210-113 during that stretch, or by an average score of 30-16. Cincinnati should crack 40 points this weekend. BENGALS

Pittsburgh (-7) at Cleveland: The Browns are bit of a scary team. They've hung around against some opponents they probably shouldn't have in the past month, including the Bengals and Jaguars. The Steelers are desperate for a victory to keep their playoff destiny in their own hands, but they'll have to work for it. BROWNS

San Diego (Pick) at Kansas City: Despite two straight losses that have struck a serious blow to the Chiefs' playoff chances, those defeats were on the road. At home, Kansas City has a 5-1 record, including impressive wins over the Patriots and Broncos in their past two at Arrowhead Stadium. With Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson (chest) a bit gimpy, and the team's likely letdown after being the first club to knock off the Colts, I'm afraid San Diego's season ends tomorrow. CHIEFS

Tennessee (+5.5) at Miami: Despite four straight wins, the Dolphins' margin of victory during their late-season surge is only 4.8 points. In other words, expect another close game. TITANS

Jacksonville (-6) at Houston: The Jaguars are not to be trusted. They'll beat the Texans, but if their recent play against weak teams (look no further than last week's 10-9 win -- at home no less -- over the 2-12 49ers) is any indication of what the outcome of this game will be, it will be by a whisker. Houston, despite its 2-12 record, is 7-7 against the spread. TEXANS

Detroit (+3) at New Orleans: The Millen Man March in Detroit had to one of the most hilarious things I'd seen in a long time. The Saints can all but seal Lions GM Matt Millen's fate. SAINTS

Dallas (+5) at Carolina: The Cowboys' season crashed and burned in Washington last week. The Panthers managed to wrest back control of the NFC South and aren't about to let that get away again. PANTHERS

NY Giants (+3) at Washington: Even though the Redskins put the boots to the Cowboys last weekend, I can't get my head around the 206-yard rushing performance Giants RB Tiki Barber hung on Washington back in October in a 36-0 mashing. And Barber is coming off an even better 220-yard game last week vs. the Chiefs. GIANTS

Atlanta (+3) at Tampa Bay: Both teams are coming off brutal performances last week, but things look far better for the Bucs. Working in the Bucs' favour is the fact they've already beaten the Falcons in Atlanta and that the Falcons haven't beaten a team with an above-.500 record since Week 4. BUCCANEERS

San Francisco (+9) at St. Louis: If the 49ers could stay within a point of the playoff-bound Jaguars last week, surely they can stay within 10 vs. the Rams -- a team the Niners beat 28-25 in the season opener for one of their two victories this season. 49ERS

Philadelphia (+1) at Arizona: The Cardinals have lost 3-of-4 and 6-of-8 games. And now they'll have to make do without QB Kurt Warner (knee) for the rest of the season. EAGLES

Indianapolis (+7.5) at Seattle: The Colts, with nothing to play for after already clinching home-field advantage in the AFC, are expected to rest a number of starters vs. Seattle. The Seahawks need the win to clinch home-field advantage in the NFC. SEAHAWKS

Oakland (+13) at Denver: The Broncos, who have already beaten the Raiders in Oakland by 14 points this season (31-17 Nov. 13), will more than likely need to win tomorrow to keep pace with the Bengals in the race for a first-round playoff bye (an edge Denver has right now by virtue of its better record vs. AFC foes). Oakland will likely be without its only consistent offensive threat, RB LaMont Jordan (turf toe). BRONCOS

Chicago (-6.5) at Green Bay: After watching the Packers turn in maybe the most embarrassing performance of the season by any NFL team -- Green Bay quit vs. the Ravens -- I can't touch them in a game where the Bears need the win to clinch a playoff spot. BEARS

Minnesota (+3) at Baltimore: With the Vikings fighting for their playoff lives, I've got to take the points. No matter how well the Ravens played in their destruction of the Packers, I can't see them turning in two straight awesome performances. VIKINGS

New England (-5) at NY Jets: While the Patriots have very little to play for -- they still might have an outside shot at a first-round bye come Monday night -- QB Tom Brady heads into Week 16 as the NFL's passing leader by 262 yards over the Colts' Peyton Manning (3,888-3,626). A good game vs. the Jets should seal the yardage title for Brady. PATRIOTS

Last Week: 11-5.

Season: 109-109-6.

Best Bet: Tampa Bay.

Best Bets: 7-8 after 2.5-point underdog Dallas lost 35-7 to Washington.

Suicide Pick: Cincinnati.

Suicide Picks: 15-0 after Jacksonville beat San Francisco 10-9.

trevor.bunke@ott.sunpub.com


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