Kickoff: Examiner Week 16 NFL preview 

Here is how The Examiner breaks down this week in the NFL.

WEEK 16 STORY LINES

1. Kansas City coach Herm Edwards told the team’s fans this week to "get over it," when asked about how they had reacted to the team’s losing. Edwards was forced to apologize, but it might be just the thing the Chiefs were looking for in order to move on from Edwards. The team is having one of its worst seasons in franchise history and no longer wins at home. Brought in to revive the wavering franchise, Edwards hasn’t been effective in his two seasons in K.C.

2. Terrell Owens vs. Jessica Simpson. Who’s going to win the battle between the prima donna and the Madonna wannabe? Owens, the Dallas Cowboys’ star receiver, blasted quarterback Tony Romo’s girlfriend this week for distracting her famous significant other. T.O. vs. Jessica isn’t exactly worthy of a cage match, but the words tossed around could be fun. Somehow, Jessica will likely be the smart one here and not get involved. But if she does stoop to T.O.’s level, this could get ugly.

3. Sean Taylor makes the Pro Bowl. With all of the bickering over who deserves to go to Hawaii and who doesn’t, there was no arguing that Taylor belonged to be with the stars. The Redskins safety, who was shot and killed last month, was having a career year.

Matt Palmer

GAME OF THE WEEK

Dolphins (1-13) at Patriots (14-0)

No one expects this game to be good, but as the Patriots march toward their undefeated season, the ghosts of the undefeated 1972 Dolphins will be out to put a hex on New England. The old Miami players cheered on their successors, now led by a quarterback named Cleo Lemon, to a victory over the Baltimore Ravens last week — their first win of the season — and will look to do the same this week.

— Matt Palmer

WEEK 16 PICKS

COWBOYS AT PANTHERS The Cowboys could scale things back as they begin their playoff march. They’ll still get a win. Cowboys 27, Panthers 17

BROWNS AT BENGALS The Ohio intrastate battle means far more for the surprising Browns. Browns 34, Bengals 24

CHIEFS AT LIONS The Matt Millen era has to end now, right? Please, somebody tell me I’m right. Chiefs 14, Lions 9

TEXANS AT COLTS The Texans pull out the surprise vs. the Colts, who have nothing to play for as their playoff seed is already set. Texans 30, Colts 28

PACKERS AT BEARS This could get ugly: Packers out to pay back Bears for one of their two losses this year. Packers 38, Bears 13

GIANTS AT BILLS It’s late in the season, Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin are calling the shots. Count on the Giants to fold. Bills 16, Giants 13

RAIDERS AT JAGUARS The Jaguars are a team to be feared come postseason time. Raiders not there — yet. Jaguars 20, Raiders 10

EAGLES AT SAINTS The Eagles make their typical late-season push that is way too late for their own good. Eagles 15, Saints 14

BUCCANEERS AT 49ERS Just another game to keep padding the Buccaneers’ over-inflated record.Buccaneers 26, 49ers 16

FALCONS AT CARDINALS The dirty birds are dreadful. Did Bill Parcells only back out because of a media leak? Cardinals 28, Falcons 6

DOLPHINS AT PATRIOTS The Dolphins’ win streak — now at one game — comes to an end. Patriots 49, Dolphins 13

RAVENS AT SEAHAWKS In case you’re counting, this will be the Ravens’ ninth straight loss. Seahawks 27, Ravens 16

JETS AT TITANS Man-genius isn’t looking so smart these days. Titans win, but come up just shy of a playoff berth again. Titans 20, Jets 13

REDSKINS AT VIKINGS Do you really think a hard-charging Redskins team coached by Joe Gibbs is going to lose in December? Redskins 23, Vikings 21

BRONCOS AT CHARGERS The Chargers are for real and could knock off the Patriots or Colts in the playoffs. Chargers 45, Broncos 22

— Matt Palmer

PLAYER TO WATCH

Reggie Bush is finding that he’s not so special in New Orleans anymore. Aaron Stecker has stepped up admirably while Bush has been out with a torn left knee ligament. Bush needs to play Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles to reassert his importance to the franchise, not only as the season closes, but for the future as well.

About The Author

Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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