Saturday, November 25, 2006

Bears Getting Closer to Home Field

The Chicago Bears have been the lone bright spot dotting the NFC horizon. While the rest of the conference flounders at .500 football, Da Bears have done nothing of the sort.

Except for a turnover plagued loss to the Dolphins, Chicago has defeated all comers with a brand of hard-nosed defense, characteristic of great Bears teams in the past, and a big-play offense that's capable of scoring in bunches, provided Rex Grossman is on his game.

The Bears face a key contest this week when they travel to New England to take on the Patriots. Chicago has faced a tough slate of late with road games against the Giants, Jets and now the Patriots. Despite that, here Chicago sets at 9-1 with a chance to move to 10-1 and a full three game lead over the suddenly surging Dallas Cowboys in the NFC race.

Home field is what the Bears want and believe you me, no team wants to go to Soldier Field in January for a playoff game. In order to do that the Patriots stand in the way.

Bill Belichick had a sit-down session with his troops after dropping two straight for the first time in 57 straight games. Whatever he said worked because New England came out like gangbusters last week and pitched a shutout over the Packers.

It's a big game for both teams and should be the highlight contest of week 12. As in all games between two decent teams, turnovers and penalties will play a key role.

There are plenty of excellent games on tap for any football connoisseur, so set back, grab your chips and dip, get your fantasy football sheets out and enjoy the games.

Here's the Corners predictions for week 12 in the NFL:

San Francisco at St. Louis
The 49ers have won three straight over the Rams and are on a roll that has seen San Fran move to 5-5 on the year. The Rams are in the mire, thanks to a five-game losing streak, the longest in the NFL. St. Louis needs this game real bad to stay alive in the playoff race and being at home should be the tonic they need against a hated rival. Winner: Rams.

Arizona at Minnesota
This game has all the makings of something nobody wants to watch. Give it to Minnesota at home. Winner: Vikings.

New Orleans at Atlanta
Two teams that have slid recently after hot starts. The Falcons are riding a three-game losing streak and have tons of inner turmoil as players take sides on the Michael Vick-Jim Mora fiasco. On the bright side, Vick is 5-1 lifetime against New Orleans, including 3-0 at home. On the down side, this team is fast coming apart at the seams. Winner: Saints.

Pittsburgh at Baltimore
The Steelers are on a late season surge just like last season, only this time they need to win to stay alive in the playoff picture. The Ravens defense will try and make sure the win streak stops in Baltimore. Winner: Ravens.

Jacksonville at Buffalo
J.P. Losman threw for over 300 yards last week in leading the Bills to victory. Neither of those things will happen against the Jacksonville defense. Winner: Jaguars.

Cincinnati at Cleveland
The all-time series is tied 33-33, but Cincy has won the last four games. Excuse me, make that five. Winner: Bengals.

Houston at New York Jets
The Texans have lost 16 straight road games and only average around 15-16 points a game. J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets! - Winner: Jets.

New York Giants at Tennessee
The rash of injuries and the lackluster play of Eli Manning have brought the Giants crashing back to reality, but New York still has enough left to handle the Titans. Winner: Giants.

Carolina at Washington
Carolina's front four going against Jason Campbell. Can you say train wreck? Winner: Panthers.

Oakland at San Diego
See L.T. Run. See L.T. score touchdowns. See L.T. break records. See L.T. crush the Raiders. Winner: Chargers.

Chicago at New England
The Bears are definitely the class of the NFC. The problem is - the NFC sucks. The Patriots are tough as nails at home and don't expect them to lose three out of four in Belichick's lifetime. Winner: Patriots.

Philadelphia at Indianapolis (Sunday night)
The Eagles have to go on the road without Donovan McNabb and play a Indy team that's coming off its first loss of the season and highly pissed off. Who do you think is going to win? Winner: Colts.

Green Bay at Seattle (Monday night)
Brett Favre is banged up but will play. Yeah, so what else is new. Seattle welcomes Matt Hasselbeck back into the starting lineup and with a jacked up crowd on Monday night, that should be more than enough for Holmgren and company to get the job done. Winner: Seahawks.

The Corner Lowdown
Last week: 8-8
Overall: 94-50

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