This dog learns his lesson

Dec 28, 2004 6:55 AM

Don’t turn your backs on the dogs.

Anyone who did last Sunday was burned badly, including myself. I thought last week favored the home teams and sided with the homies in 10 of 16 games. Bad idea. The home clubs lost 10 games to the road teams. The dawgs went 9-5-1.

Make sure you tred lightly on the thin ice of Week 17, where anything and everything could happen regarding starting players. There are about 10 teams with meaningful games this weekend and about 10 that could give a hoot about anything but staying healthy.

Make sure you pay off the holiday credit charges before making these unpredictable regular season finales!

49ers +14 at Patriots: What motivation would 49ers have to travel to snow country at this time of year? What motivation will Pats have now that they’ve cinched a first round bye? Maybe a long trek like this would be better served with Niners skiing lessons. Pats with no cares in the world or starters playing might be enough against brutal Niner team. PATRIOTS.

Steelers +3 at Bills: Steelers received everything they wanted under the Christmas tree, including home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Bills have won six straight and have played excellent at home. Why should the Steelers risk injuries here? BILLS.

Dolphins +9 at Ravens: Miami showed New England and Denver that it could compete with any team on a given day. This may be Dolphins day considering Jamal Lewis and Todd Heap have been nursing ankle sprains. News of Nick Saban headed south to coach Fish may bring warm and fuzzy feeling to all the little fishies! DOLPHINS.

Vikings -4 at Skins: Vikes may be able to lose this game and still jump into the money games at 8-8. It’s not a record that Vikes fans are proud of. Skins playing well at home. Slayed Giants and then came within a field goal of Eagles. SKINS.

Bengals +7 at Eagles: Can Philly advance to Super Bowl without TO? That’s what everyone wants to know. But unless they stay healthy in this final game, the question won’t be asked past Eagles first playoff game! Bengals received last minute reprieve against G-men. With Kitna still trying to prove himself worthy of a starting position, expect another buzzer-beater since Philly has little to prove. BENGALS.

Packers +2 at Bears: Lovie Smith said Chad Hutchinson is the Bears best QB. I’m sorry Lovie. I feel your pain. However, Packers don’t accomplish much with a win here. Main objective should be to come out of Chicago unscathed and ready for playoffs. BEARS.

Saints +7 at Panthers: Carolina would be in a great shape if not for a temporary malfunction at Atlanta two weeks ago. Panthers have still won six of last seven games. I’m looking for similar outcome these two produced in New Orleans about a month ago. PANTHERS.

Lions +3 at Titans: Lions have been a great money team the last five weeks. Harrington and Jones make for a powerful attack force whether by land or air. Titans lost two more offensive linemen from an already depleted group. LIONS.

Jets -2 at Rams: St. Louis has no backbone whether on the road or at home. Depending on the win or loss, Pennington deciding whether or not to talk with the media. But on the field, he’s giving 100 percent whether the Jets win or lose. JETS.

Browns +7 at Texans: Too little, too late, but the Texans have had few problems the last two games versus Bears and Jags. Luke McCown claims he’s improving, even though it’s not showing up in the stats or on the scoreboard. Luke needs some better surrounding talent before that’s going to happen. TEXANS.

Bucs +1 at Cards: Gruden’s mates are starting to jump ship in Tampa Bay. Simeon Rice’s comments that Gruden is running a loose ship have made the seas a little choppy. Plus, the Bucs have lost three straight. Cards are trying to shuffle the entire deck of their ship. CARDS.

Falcons +7 at Seahawks: Falcons showed how much incentive is left after being whipped by Saints. Seattle never wins at home when they need to, but has a great chance here since Atlanta has little reason to play Vick or anyone of importance. SEAHAWKS.

Colts +7 at Broncos: Denver was just messing with its fans in recent road losses with KC and San Diego. Broncos showed a glimpse of hope to their fans with solid win over Titans. Colts should have emotional collapse after come-from-behind win versus Chargers and Peyton’s TD pass record tucked neatly away. BRONCOS.

Jags +3 at Raiders: If Jags were going to play tough at all, it should have been last week against Houston. Jags have nothing without the threat of Fred Taylor. RAIDERS.

Chiefs -2 at Chargers: Expecting same type of close game these two generated not too long ago in Kansas City. Chargers eked out a three-point win and it wouldn’t surprise me if there was a repeat performance in San Diego. CHIEFS.

Cowboys +2 at Giants: Eli was thrown into the NFL fire a little early this season. I think he has played well enough to deserve to go out with a win. At least the Giants know who their QB of the future will be. Not sure Parcells has any clue. GIANTS.

Last week: 4-10-1

Season: 133-99-1