Saturday, Dec. 23
N.Y. GIANTS 20, Jacksonville 19: New York (NFC East champs) not through yet, as Giants can still wrap up home-field edge throughout NFC playoffs. But after clinching East, they better get re-focused in a hurry, as it was the weather last week (more than Cincy) that slowed down Mark Brunell & Co. (Fred Taylor did get his ninth straight 100-yd. rushing game). Fassel would love to have Jags receivers for playoffs. JV coach Coughlin wants to avoid losing season.
DENVER 26, San Francisco 23: Denver needs to win to put pressure on Oakland Sunday. But S.F. is a couple plays away from a five-game winning streak going into this game. And although Niners havent played a cold-weather game TY, it must be noted "hot" QB Garcia (36 of 44, 402 YP last week; 30 TDs, only 9 ints. TY) is a CFL veteran and has a "hot" WR in Owens (record 20-283 last week!). Meanwhile, Denver defense is hardly dominating, with Broncos notching only one win in past eight games by more than 7 points. Late indications are that Denver would like to hold out Brian Griese (check status) at least one more game.
SEATTLE 27, Buffalo 20: Doesnt it seem somewhat strange that, despite all of Buffalos problems TY (QB controversy, weak pass pro, inconsistent running, poor STs production), owner Ralph Wilson would give a "vote of confidence" to HC Wade Phillips, who would then do the same to his staff? Answer: Yes. Meanwhile, Seattle HC Holmgren likes the way his team is developing, except for QB. With Bills (four straight losses; Flutie at QB this week?) forced to turn to youth on defense, favor the craftier Holmgren and Seahawks, who are learning to play in adverse weather conditions outdoors.