Week 17 Picks.
Last Week 8-8
Going into the final week of the season, it was hard to see the broader implications that have yet to play out. However even though the usual suspects are where we thought they would end up, there are few teams still playing for something in which either some variables outside of their control will factor in, help or, or simply winning their divisions will determine whether or not they make the playoffs. Nevertheless, it will make for some interesting storylines as the games are being played, and which also make for some exciting football. For some the fat lady has not sung her song yet, and perhaps a sighting or two will happen. Hey fat lady's need love too! Will the famed colloquialism ring true in an operatic crescendo that closes the season on a bang? Or can we summarize the NFL games this weekend by using Yogi Berra's saying "It ain't over till its over," and still come away with an exasperated feeling that leaves us begging for more? After last weeks unpredictable finishes, I say yes it is still a possibility, and so brace yourself for another wild finish.
The Panthers @ The Falcons
It is hard to Imagine Carolina having a let down, considering though they just lost Steve Smith to an injury. The Atlanta Falcons will want to close their season out on a positive note, seeing this will also be Tony Gonzalez's last game he suits up for. They will keep it interesting, but the Panthers have too much play for, and the defense will make sure to keep Matt Ryan in check to secure their division crown. Panthers
The Ravens lost a golden opportunity this past Sunday when they lost at home to the Patriots. Now because of that loss, they will need to play desperate in order to pull out a win to getting into the playoffs. Cincinnati so far is undefeated at home this year, and the margin in which the Bengals have won by an average close to double digits this season, which says that the Bengals play well at Home. They also have already secured a playoff spot as well as the division crown, so obviously the next question is what will the Bengals be playing for? However the Ravens playoff hopes are hanging by a thread and need to win this game in order to have any chance. What is a better pick? A team that will sit some players in order to rest them, or a team that is desperate to get into the playoffs? It depends who you ask! Ravens
The Texans are sure happy that their season is coming to a close, one in which they like to forget and go forward in addressing their issues in the off-season. The Titans are almost in the same position with the exception that they are a better team, who had a good game last week and a win or a loss will not change their draft position and will want to put on a strong performance to end the season a positive. Titans
The Jaguars are indeed an improved team thanks in large part to their coach, but the Colts are a better team, and will be looking to close out the season strong, in order to face The Chiefs in the first round Wild card playoff, and will not be looking past the Jaguars in order to accomplish that objective. Colts
The Jets @ Miami
The Jets Cromartie is talking trash that they want to play spoilers to Miami and crash their party. The way the Jets have played all season long, those words seem like hollow fodder and chances are Miami will look to close out the season on a good note. Considering they were shut out last week in Buffalo, and missed the opportunity to make a case for a playoff berth, now need a little help in order to accomplish that objective, and they still have a chance, with a Ravens Loss, or a San Diego win, so the importance of this game can not be overlooked for the Dolphins.
Has anything gone right for Washington this season? Which of course that question exacerbates the agonies and travails that Washington has suffered this season, the latest example when recently after playing well but losing to Dallas by one point tells the story so far. What is even worse, this year would have yielded a high draft pick for Washington had they not traded it away to St Louis in order to draft RGIII. It has to feel like getting kicked in the groin for Skin fans in what could have been a good chance to land a solid prospect such as a quarterback. The Giants will have a lot to address in the off-season such as their offensive line, and coach Coughlin will be back at the helm as well, so the Giants are expected to quietly end their season with a win at home. Giants
Could this game be the upset of the week, with the Browns avenging their earlier loss at home to the Steelers? Remember I showed the Browns love in earlier contests with the notion they would play a lot better, and time and time again they only have proven to disappoint. So with that said, I will conclude by not betting on that happening in Heinze field, and I would be surprised if somehow the Browns pulled off the upset in which I am sure they would to end the Steelers season. Steelers
The Bears losing to the Eagles last week was not terribly surprising when one considers how well the Eagles have played this season, and how bad the Bears defense has given up points, and so it was considered missed an opportunity for the Bears to separate themselves from the rest of the division. A winner take all is on the line for both teams, the oldest rivalry in the NFL, and now Rogers slated to start has been announced, coming back from an injury, Packers chances have increased considerably. But the Bears at home could see a similar atmosphere like the one we witnessed a few games ago on Monday night, where the Bears dominated, and got timely scoring from their big receivers. Bears
A lot of Questions going into the yet another off-season for the Raiders remain. At this point should anyone care? The Broncos have already sewn up the division and will be playing to securing the home field advantage. Business as usual approach will be the order of the day for Payton Manning and company, even though losing Von Miller is big loss, and probably will not effect the Broncos in the form of a let down, still Miller's absence may have consequences in the playoffs. Broncos
The Bills @ The Patriots
Coming off what is considered the Bills most dominant performance on defense by shutting out Miami, this past Sunday are now traveling to New England in what could be a very large statement going into next season should they win. New England on the other hand also had a solid game against the Ravens, and are now ready for the post season. Even though most prognosticators are predicting Patriots win, I still think the game will be a lot closer then people are willing to bet on, as well as Buffalo pulling off the upset, something in which they will no doubt be capable of. Wouldn't it be nice to see the Bills win just so that everyone who picked the Patriots to prove them wrong, making them look silly? Nobody is going to give the Bills a chance in this contest, then again the Bills can earn it! Bills
The Saints having lost 2 in a row, who were once in control of their division, now may be on the outside looking in as a wild card team, given that Carolina stands poised to win the division. The Buccaneers, have improved with their defense and the QB play, and have some things to build on going into the off-season. The Saints on the other hand will do well to make quick work and to makes its case for the best position come playoff time. Saints
Probably the most surprising in the NFL, is the way the Cardinals have been playing lately, and what is more impressive is being able to go into Seattle and pull off an upset win, something other teams dating back to last season have not been able to do, including San Francisco. The other thing that is working to Arizona's advantage is they already have been playing playoff football for the past month, and are battle hardened and stand a good chance in defeating the 49ers while having the home field advantage, something Arizona has done well with this season. The 49ers, yes have a great defense and are getting good play from their running and receiving game, and are built to go deep into the playoffs, but with Seattle a game ahead, and certainly will look to seal the division crown, the 49ers will not be able to improve their position with a win so logic says the hungrier team will prevail! Cardinals
The Chiefs @ The Chargers
This game is meaningless when you consider that the Chiefs are already sitting in the 5th spot in the playoff seeding. In all likelihood Reid will be looking to rest players and give more playing time to some of the Chiefs reserves. San Diego continues to roll, and should secure a win for that final playoff spot. Chargers
This is the game Seattle secures it's division, homefield advantage through out the playoffs, and being St. Louis is a divisional opponent, all the more important that the Seahawks take care of their business at home. Last weeks defeat was an aberration and the Seahawks will not succumb to losing two in a row and rattle their objectives. St Louis on the other hand will have their work cut out for them, but as well as they have been playing, it is too little too late for their heroics to matter. Seahawks
The Eagles @ The Cowboys
Now that there is a 90 percent chance that Tony Romo will not be the starter against the Philadelphia Eagles, but instead Kyle Orton will get the nod, the will of the Cowboys is one in which the season could not end soon enough, especially when you consider it will not make too much of a difference who starts at Quarterback in terms of the outcome. The Eagles score at will, and have a chance to lock up the division crown, with the Cowboy's well documented problems on defense, then it is easy to see that the Cowboys season is about to end with a whimper than on a bang! Eagles