Here are the 2009 NFL Week 17 CBS Sports "Audibles" with lead "NFL ON CBS" game analyst Phil Simms and "NFL Today" studio analyst Bill Cowher, as issued by CBS Sports.
(On Baltimore): Baltimore is as good as they were last year, and that's the team that went to the AFC Championship game. They could be 12-3 as easy as they are 8-7. If you said to me the Ravens are going to the Super Bowl, I can't say I'd be completely shocked if it happened. They are a dangerous team with a unique style, especially on defense. Of course, they have to win Sunday to get this thing going. If you think back to all their games: against New England; against Indianapolis, when they had about ten chances to beat them; an incredible loss to Pittsburgh, it keeps going and going. Of course they won some close ones too. I don't discount any of these players, or these wild card teams, when they go to the playoffs.
(On New York Giants): To say the Giants need an overhaul is just not the truth. At the worst they need to be tweaked. But they definitely do not need an overhaul. They had injuries in key situations and spots this year that they did not overcome. Listen, the team did lose a little bit of its edge and not making the playoffs, that's one way to get it back Any team that I've ever been around, played on, or covered, there is a group of five guys that kind of run the football team. And they run it with their work habits, the way they act, and maybe most importantly, with their play on the field. I don't think at this time I can name five guys on the Giants who are those guys. Now I could be wrong. They might have five that are leading, but it's not noticeable...I'm a pretty good fan and I couldn't pick them out for you.
(On New York Jets): The Bengals and the Patriots will both rest players. That is going to give the Jets a good opportunity to take advantage, which they did last week, and win.
(On some teams that need Playoff help): Houston, Denver and the Steelers have put themselves in a position where they need help. Unfortunately, the teams that they need help from don't have the same amount at stake as they do. Consequently, their fate is in a team that really doesn't have to win the game. I'm talking about the Cincinnati Bengals and the New England Patriots. They control the fate of a lot of people. As I used to always tell my teams, they earned that right. Just like the Indianapolis Colts earned the right to do whatever they needed to do to get themselves prepared for the playoffs. As a football team that needs help, when it's all said and done, if you don't get in, you reflect back on some of the games that you let get away; a missed opportunity here and there where you could have controlled your own fate.
(On Week 17 being so meaningful): It's wonderful for a Week 17 to have as many playoff-implication games as we have, particularly in the AFC, and even still now in the NFC with a bye week riding on the final results. The NFL playoff system is as good as you're going to have it. I've always said about the National Football League, as opposed to the other professional Leagues, you can play your way into the playoffs. In a lot of other Leagues you play your way out of the playoffs. That very clearly indicates to me that the NFL has the right amount of teams in the playoffs - not too many, not too few. Nothing is more evident than what we see in Week 17 with all the possible playoff implications that still exist.