Its that time again. The playoff races are shaping up by now. In the AFC its pretty clear that the West is decided, the East is getting close to done barring a NE meltdown, the winner of the North gets in and thats it, and the South is a tossup with 2nd place taking a wild card. That leaves one wildcard for Denver and the second place team in the East to fight for. In the NFC everything is up in the air. Minnesota had a chance to put things away but has dropped 3 straight. They'll still win because the Pack can't get things going. The East will come down to the Eagles and 'Boys. The Panthers are getting close to wrapping up the South. The West is wide open, but the Rams have a pretty easy schedule coming up. The wild cards are anyone's guess. This week's games: Titans over Jags Pretty easy one here. McNair is ripping teams up and the Titans have scored over 30 points in their last 6 games. Titans defense is shutting down running backs, which isn't good news for Taylor. Titans defense wins this one. Rams over Bears Rams can't let this game be a trap. They are far better than the Bears. As long as A-Train doesn't rip them a new one, this game should be over quickly. Bulger needs to produce a good game or two or Martz will put Warner back in. Rams defense continues it's takeaway's from last week. Eagles over Giants A classic NFC East matchup. It'll be close, because rivalry games like this are always close. But McNabb is getting it together, Philly WRs are catching passes, and the RB by committee seems to be working. The Giants have special teams problems (whats new), Barber can't hold on to the ball, and Shockey is out. With Shockey gone, less attention is needed from the defense, making it harder on Hilliard and Toomer. Panthers over Redskins I'm starting to believe in this Panther team. I've been skeptical because of their QB. Well, last week he lead a winning drive vs. the Bucs defense. Davis will want to come back and crush his old team. Washington's O-line better play like they did last week, or Ramsey will take another beating. Washington will have trouble scoring over 14 points. Buffalo over Houston Buffalo better start their run now or they're done. Otherwise, they still have a decent shot at the last wild card spot. Houston, as much as I like them, are still a mediocre team and won't be able to handle Henry. Bledsoe plays great at home (terrible on the road) so he'll have a good game. This Houston team could be pretty good in the next couple years. Miami over Baltimore Miami can key on Jamal Lewis because the Baltimore passing game won't cause any problems. Wright, the starting QB, hasn't played in the NFL since 2001. That means more turnovers and a loss for Baltimore. Miami only needs to score 13 points or so for the win. Ricky Williams will continue to struggle against another great defense. Ray Lewis is incredible, too bad he's wasted on a team that can't score. Cleveland over Arizona This could be a close game, but Cleveland is by far the better team. The Browns released their #1 WR this week, basically because him and he head coach can't get along. Willie Green is back for Cleveland and will help the running game. Clevelands defense is pretty good, and will hold the Cards in check. Shipp is the only hope Arizona has, if he can run and control the game the Cards could win a close one. Kansas City over Cincy Chad Johnson guaranteed a victory by the Bengals. All fine and dandy if you're playing a 5-4 team. But the Chiefs are 9-0 man, shut your mouth and play. In every faucet of this game the Chiefs are more talented. I see no reason why the Chiefs don't win this game. Priest has a big day, as does Rudi Johnson and the Chiefs go 10-0. New Orleans over Atlanta Because of the packed NFC the Saints still have a shot at a wild card. They'll need to win all but one of their games, but its possible. They'll start this week against the Vick-less Falcons. The parties over Falcons, back to reality after beating the Giants. Brooks, Horn and McAllister will take care of the Falcons terrible defense. The only saving grace for the Falcons is that the Saints defense isn't all that good either. Denver over San Diego Jake the Snake is back, and its about time. The Broncos went from one game behind KC when Plummer went down, to 4 games behind when he returns. He'll need to right the ship quickly if the Donkeys want a wild card berth. San Diego is a good warm up game. Portis and Plummer should have big games. By the way, don't go getting too worked up about Flutie. The Vikings defense has been playing poorly and, more importantly, they only had two days to prepare for Flutie (the Chargers were quiet about their starter until last Friday) The Broncos have a pretty good defense, although their depleted at LB. They've had a whole week to look at Flutie, and they'll be more effective in shutting him down. Colts over Jets The Colts need this game, and the Jets are done. Pennington has come on strong and proven he's the man the Jets need. The Colts, after a very disappointing loss, will come back with a vengence. Harrison is slightly injured, which doesn't help, but Manning will have plenty of weapons at his disposal and this game will be a two TD victory. Tampa Bay over Green Bay The Pack just aren't as good as they should be with a great QB, great O-line, All Pro RB, servicable WRs, and three talented TEs. Their defense isn't terrible, and they shouldn't be 4-5. That said, someone is leaving this game 4-6 and I doubt its the Bucs. While the Bucs offense isn't great, they'll do enough to win a close game. Seattle over Detroit The Lions just aren't good. Harrington needs help, and isn't getting it. Charles Rogers still is out, which is bad considering he's still the Lions leading WR although he only has played in half their games. Seattle is a decent team and hasn't lost at home. Alexander will have a big day, but the Seattle WRs need to use this practice game as a chance to get on track. They'll be needed later. Oakland over Minnesota Oaklands only wins have come at home. Minnesota has dropped three in a row. For some reason, call me crazy, I think Minnesota loses another game on the west coast. Theres something about travelling out west in consecutive weeks that effects teams (I've seen it happen to the Chiefs many times). I think it'll be a close game, but the Raiders manage a win. New England over Dallas This game has so many stories. Bill Parcells vs. Bill Biliceck. These two really hate each other, and they don't hide the fact. They coached together for so long, but once Biliceck turned down the Jets job that Parcells groomed him for its been all downhill. As for the teams, the Patriots are finding ways to win even though a new player goes on the IR every week. Their defense will shut down Carter and the 'Boys. The Dallas defense is (yardage wise) the best defense in the NFL. That won't matter as the Partiots in by a FG in a very low scoring game. 49ers over Steelers The Niners need this game, and the Steelers amazingly are still in the hunt for the AFC North title. I think that either Rattay or Garcia will have a hard time against a good Steelers defense. But the San Fran defense is pretty good as well, and will shut down Maddox and what ever RB Cower decides to use this week. 49ers get back in the hunt with a big Monday Night Football win.