As we emerge from our turkey-induced comas we focus our gaze on the home stretch of the NFL season. For some teams - like our beloved Buccaneers, Jags and Dolphins - its a time to evaluate coaching staff and players while establishing a plan for the future.
Other teams - like the Packers, Niners, Patriots have the playoffs all but sewn up and are looking for positioning.
Then there's your bubble teams - like Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati and Atlanta, scrambling to find a seat at the post-season table.
It should be a fascinating race to the end of the 2011 campaign. If we've learned anything - expect the unexpected.
For example, I certainly didn't expect to be stinking up the joint with my upset specials this season.
I also didn't expect after a 1-2 start to the week to pull a 12-4 week out of my...uh bag of tricks.
Last Week: 12-4 75% Overall: 116-60 66% Upset Specials: 8-11 42% Bucs Picks: 7-4 63%
Seattle 20, Philadelphia 13 - The dream team is finally put out of it's misery for 2011. Could Andy Reid - one of the winningest coaches in the NFL - be in jeopardy?
Upset Special: Carolina 27, Tampa Bay 20 - The Bucs desperately need a victory and Josh Freeman is banged up. I'm half making this pick because of my upset special record. Reverse psychology or what have you...
Pittsburgh 20, Cincinnati 13 - The Bengals are like the 2010 Bucs, they've played well but haven't proven they can compete with the big boys. Steelers just do what they do.
Atlanta 30, Houston 13 - Houston, we have a problem (sorry, couldn't resist). Down to their third string QB and even worse - Jake Delhomme, the Texans are just trying to get through the rest of the season with playoff hopes intact. Falcons are starting to play ball at the right time.
NY Jets 23, Washington 13 - The Jests are trying to climb their way back into playoff contention and get an extra bye week in beautiful Washington, D.C. (or more accurately Landover).
New England 99, Indianapolis 17 - Oh if only this game was played two weeks later when my fantasy QB Tom Brady was starting his playoff game for the mighty Ghost Monkeys.
Oakland 23, Miami 20 - Miami had a nice little run but it's back to reality for Sparano's crew. Tony could be joining Del Rio at the unemployment office very soon.
Denver 17, Minnesota 6 - Lost in the Tebowmania is that the Broncos defense has suddenly become formidable. The Vikings just need to stop the drama and move to L.A. already.
Tennessee 16, Buffalo 6 - The Flaming Thumbtacks (thanks, BSPN) pulled one out of the fire against the struggling Bucs and look to keep pressure on the Texans while the wheels have fallen off the wagons of the Buffalo Bills.
Chicago 13, Kansas City 10 - Chicago gets an ugly win against the equally feo (it's spanish, look it up) Chefs (great googly moogly).
Baltimore 20, Cleveland 13 - The Ravens are facing a crappy opponent, which means they should lose. If Baltimore decides not to play down to their opponent's level, they should be able to beat the Browns.
Dallas 23, Arizona 13 - Man, it sure is nice to have the NFC West on your schedule - isn't it Cowboy fans?
Upset Special #2: NY Giants 33, Green Bay 30 - The G-men were humiliated by the Saints on Monday Night Football while the Packers continue their quest for perfection. Call it a hunch, but the Giants love spoiling perfect season bids and Green Bay does have some flaws on defense.
San Francisco 23, St. Louis 3 - The 49ers are legitimate for one reason - only 2 of their 9 wins have come against NFC West opponents. Now 4 of their last 5 are against division opponents. The first round bye seems to be in the cards for the Niners.
New Orleans 37, Detroit 13 - The Saints are unstoppable at home while sheer panic erupts in the streets of Motown as the Lions drop their 5th in 7 seven games.
San Diego 23, Jacksonville 13 - How in the world did Jacksonville get two Monday Night football games? Is the NFL ticked off at BSPN?