Week 14 (December 9):
- Tentative game: Detroit @ Green Bay
- Prospects: 4-7 v. 8-3. The Lions briefly looked to have escaped their mediocre start, but right now this game looks awfully lopsided.
- Likely protections: Bears-Vikings or Cardinals-Seahawks if anything, more likely the former (FOX) and Chargers-Steelers (CBS).
- Other possible games mentioned on last week’s Watch and their records: Saints (5-6)-Giants (7-4), Cowboys (5-6)-Bengals (6-5).
- Impact of Monday Night Football: Don’t make me laugh.
- Analysis: I wrote “the .500 teams absolutely have to win unless Bears-Vikings turns out to be unprotected”, and both lost. Saints-Giants looks like an interesting matchup, especially as the Saints have rallied after their disastrous start, but I don’t know that it’s good enough to overcome the tentative game bias. On the one hand, the Saints have been playing better than their record; on the other hand, the Giants would be maxed out, although it’s really doubtful Giants-Eagles gets flexed in Week 17.
- Final prediction: New Orleans Saints @ New York Giants, though I wouldn’t be surprised by no change.
- Actual selection: Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers (no change). (Let it be said that Bears-Vikings would have been a shoo-in had it not been protected.)