The final week of the NFL is here. I lost my super bowl, and his week I don’t have fantasy football to worry about, I can just enjoy watching and trying to predict the games. Everybody plays a division opponent, some fighting for it, others for a wild card, and some are just too bad to even have a chance and gave up, and others already clinched the division and are resting the good players on the team, although the home field clinching Patriots have never done that, and may still play their key guys. But Denver has a better lock as they fight the lowly Raiders for a first round bye. So, lets get to the games. Want to see what the playoffs look like with my picks? See my Patriots-Jets recap post, calculate it yourself or enter my picks into the ESPN Playoff Machine, but the easiest thing to do is just to go the playoff picture my picks create at the end of my post.
Lock Of The Week
Oakland, 0, Denver, 41
I can see a shutout coming here. I think I can simply explain this extreme lock in just a couple paragraphs. Oakland stinks, they’re playing for nothing, even after last week’s upset over the Bills, this week’s Pats opponent that I predicted. But Denver is playing for a first round bye. The Colts are 10-5 and Denver is 11-4. So if Denver loses and the Colts win, they both sit at 11-5. Wait. Never mind, he Broncos beat Andrew Luck and his men, in Week 1. That means Denver clinched the tiebreaker. I bet both teams will win today though. Neither team has anything to play for, but trust me, even using underdogs Denver’s better.
The Broncos never run out of good players, at least not this year. Some teams can beat them, but not at home and not a Raiders team that’s won less games than Denver’s lost. I don’t even have to get into it. Denver clinched it. Trust me. Can you name one healthy productor on Oakland? I can’t. But I don’t think I can name a starter on Denver who’s worse than any Raiders guy. And they have Peyton Manning, CJ Anderson, DeMaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Julius Thomas on offense, even Montee Ball if he plays. On defense, they have Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware and Aqib Talib, and had Champ Bailey. So, I don’t think Oakland has any oppurtunity at winning, or maybe even scoring a single point.
Other Locks To Note:New England over Buffalo, New Orleans over Tampa Bay, Indianapolis over Tennessee
Upset Of The Week
Dallas, 20, Washington, 21
I know, I’ve been under rating this Cowboys squad all season, this is a whole new leaf for the Cowboys, they started over and became good again. The Redskins have nothing to play for, yeah, neither does Dallas.
I could see the Redskins beating them again after their performance in Dallas. I see DeSean Jackson having a monster game, even Pierre Garçon, Jordan Reed and Niles Paul could do something, because RG3 will pass, a lot, especially early in when they think they’re surely toast. Alfred Morris should rush with the rock a little bit though, as they take the lead. Besides, the Cowboys don’t have a trusting rush defense, and even their rating in pass defense is low. I’d expect a good amount of offense from the Redskins.
The Cowboys offense is different though. Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and even the recovering DeMarco Murray will star. The Redskins defense cannot stop that, although Ryan Kerrigan might bug Dez Bryant a little though, then you just throw the ball to Jason Witten. Witten, I’d say is almost like Romo’s second string receiver, over Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams. So, although it doesn’t say so, it should be high scoring and close, but the ‘Skins should win by a nose.
Other Upset To Note:San Francisco(who I know now stinks), over Arizona(who is in a slump)
The Rest Of The Games
Buffalo, 10, New England, 41- New England has nothing to play for and the Bills do, but Brady and the Pats still have it locked in after the Bills’ embarrassing loss to the lowly Raiders
NY Jets, 17, Miami, 20- The Jets stink and are out and Miami still has something to play for! The Dolphins won, and you’re crazy if you believe otherwise.
Cincinnati, 27, Pittsburgh, 31- In this now Sunday Night finale game, both teams come in strong fighting for a crazy good division, so the Steelers should win due to home field advantages.
Cleveland, 17, Baltimore, 27- Cleveland is beginning to stink again and especially in Baltimore, the Ravens should win.
Indianapolis, 31, Tennessee, 20-Even in Tennessee, the Colts should win as a division leader with the Titans now having the worst record in the entire NFL.
Jacksonville, 3, Houston, 20- Houston’s still in the hunt. the Jags are out. Houston should win in this low scoring clash of defenses, the Texans having star defensive lineman JJ Watt, who may be having his best season of his career.
San Diego, 27, Kansas City, 31-Both teams are playing for a wild card, although neither of them could get one, but with home field advantages, the Chiefs should win a close game.
Philadelphia, 31, NY Giants, 27- The Giants are hot and still at home, and neither team has much to play for, but Philly was close, so they’ll win, even after losing to the Redskins, who are just as bad.
Detroit, 17, Green Bay, 41- It’s not a lock, especially after defeat in Detroit, but that was early when the Pack stunk. After having a lock twice in a row, they have another decent chance at winning.
Chicago, 31, Minnesota, 20- I would normally say home team wins in a close meaningless matchup like this, but I actually believe in the Bears. Better luck next year, which I think will be the year in Chicago, for all sports, from the Cubs to the Bears to the Bulls, Blackhawks and White Sox.
New Orleans, 31, Tampa Bay, 17- Although I’d normally pick the home team in a meaningless game like this, as this whole division is this year, but I think the Saints, I mean the Aints have a good matchup, and should win,
Carolina, 21, Atlanta, 24- In this close division matchup, I say the home team, the Falcons should win, as Matt Ryan is improving again, although it’s a great matchup for opposing quarterback Cam Newton. It’s a good one for any QB.
St. Louis, 14, Seattle, 41- This is almost a lock, but with St. Louis upsetting many teams, including the Broncos and Niners, even after last week’s embarrassing loss to the Giants, I can’t call it one. I still call it a fair win for Seattle, even though the score is lock quality.
Arizona, 24, San Francisco, 38-I can feel a big upset coming, as the Cardinals continue to struggle, although the Niners stink too and don’t have a chance but the Cardinals are fighting for playoff berth.
Playoff Picture With My Predictions
1.New England Patriots 13-3
2.Denver Broncos 12-4
3.Pittsburgh Steelers 11-5
4.Indianapolis Colts 11-5
5.Cincinnati Bengals 10-5-1
6.Baltimore Ravens 10-6
1.Seattle Seahawks 12-4
2.Green Bay Packers 12-4
3.Dallas Cowboys 11-5
4.Atlanta Falcons 7-9
5.Arizona Cardinals 11-5
6.Detroit Lions 11-5