The end is near. This week some games don’t matter as much, but final records in pick’em will be determined by predicting the unpredictable. This week some teams will rest players, others are out of everything, so they have nothing to play for. Will the teams that usually win pull away, or will the teams that need a win get one? I’m 148-88-2. Last year, I was 154-102. Keep reading, and tell me how you think I’ll finish the season, and if I’ll surpass my 2015 performance.
Lock Of The Week
Seahawks, 24, 49ers, 6
There’s something that you have to pay attention to this week before picking a lock. The Steelers, Cowboys and maybe the Giants will be resting or limiting starters. The Seahawks have something to play for. The first round bye. They can still grab it with a win and a Falcons loss. The 49ers will not be able to catch a Seahawks team in full swing, even at home. The defense will stuff them, and they won’t be able to score even close to what the Seahawks will, and Seattle doesn’t even always score that much. I know Seattle struggles on the road, but this isn’t like any other road game. It’s a much smaller challenge, and they’re going to treat it like any other game.
Upset Of The Week
Saints, 27, Falcons, 20
Meanwhile, the Falcons can try and grab the 2nd seed with a win. But I think the Saints will win this one. I know you’re thinking: why would the Saints even try? Well, it’s always nice to end the season with a win, and a lot of times, when the Falcons have a good season, it doesn’t end well, whether that ends during the regular season or playoffs. I see no reason for the Saints to rest any of their starting offense, and their offense will score a lot against a decent defense that I find inconsistent. The Falcons may not be able to catch the Saints’ offense, and even on the road, I think the Saints will win. I haven’t felt like Matt Ryan and the Falcons have been great all year, and they have choked in some games. I predicted that they would choke a lot more than they did, but they’re due to choke based on how little they have. This is a good offense they’re facing, and even with an easy defensive match-up for the Falcons offense, the Saints should score more.
The Other Games
Bengals, 27, Ravens, 26
Neither of these teams have anything to play for, but the Bengals offense has been good and they’ve had nothing to play for in weeks. This is Steve Smith Sr.’s last game, but the Bengals defense is much better, and too good for the Ravens.
Steelers, 27, Browns, 26
The Steelers may not be starting all their best players, but even the Steelers’ backups can beat the Browns in Pittsburgh. I just don’t think the Browns have the capacity for just the Steelers’ impressive offensive starters, or their depth, which will factor into this game.
Titans, 30, Texans, 27
The Titans are out of the playoffs, but I was impressed by Matt Cassel’s attempt to comeback last week, and I think if the o-line is good, the Titans can score enough to beat the Texans in Tennessee. The Texans offense is good, but is it good enough for the Titans’? Even with how good the Houston defense is? I think maybe.
Jaguars, 30, Colts, 26
The Jags got a very impressive win last week, and they are clearly determined to try. I think they have something on the Colts, they did grab a win over Indy. Against a not so good defense, the Jags offense will thrive and grab them a win.
Patriots, 34, Dolphins, 23
The Patriots know to treat this game like any other after last year. They’ll be more motivated to win and not blow their chances for the home field advantage. Matt Moore will probably also be overwhelmed as he hasn’t faced the Pats in years.
Bills, 20, Jets, 16
Even without Tyrod Taylor, the Bills should still win this. They should have LeSean McCoy in a big workload, and really I think they may treat this as a “dress rehearsal” for next year’s offensive scheme. They should be able to top Bryce Petty and the Jets with this offensive setup.
Vikings, 38, Bears, 20
The Vikings are typically a lower scoring team, but they’re facing one of the worst defenses in the league. Their offense will really prove hidden dominance in this game, signs of what the offense was a year ago. This is also a good defensive match-up for the Vikings, and I don’t think the Bears have a chance even with how badly the Vikings have played. Remember, this is in Minnesota.
Buccaneers, 24, Panthers, 19
The Buccaneers do have a very slim chance at making the playoffs, but they will take advantage of that chance. I don’t think the Panthers will be able to keep up with Tampa Bay in this game, similar to their other duel this season. Tampa Bay will be playing their best complimentary football. This game will be like the opposite of last season when the Bucs couldn’t keep up with Carolina.
Eagles, 30, Cowboys, 27
With the Cowboys resting their starters, they won’t be as good as Pittsburgh is in the same situation. The Eagles are also a better team and they will be trying like the Browns. I think the Eagles offense will show qualities of their early season performance and look good. But one thing that we’ve definitely learned is that going undefeated early doesn’t mean a thing, so the Eagles might not find quite the same momentum.
Chiefs, 30, Chargers, 24
The Chiefs are playing for a division title, and the Chargers will be overwhelmed by the Chiefs defense and won’t keep up with the Chiefs offense as they dominate San Diego’s defense. After what happened this season, whatever the Chargers had on the Chiefs in Week 1 in Kansas City won’t come back to them, especially in such an important game for the Chiefs. That was the start of the season. This is the end of the season.
Broncos, 30, Raiders, 22
Without Derek Carr, what to the Raiders have on Denver? The Raiders will likely look more like the mediocre 2015 Raiders team, and even in Denver, against a QB-less Broncos squad, the Denver offense is too much for them, no matter how hard their best players play.
Cardinals, 27, Rams, 24
It would be embarrassing for the Cardinals to lose this last game, and I think they have the offense capability to. If they lost this game, that means they would be swept by the Rams this season. They’re not going to let that happen.
Redskins, 26, Giants, 23
Last time these teams played, the Redskins outdid the Giants in all match-ups. In Washington, when the Giants don’t have much to play for, the Redskins will dominate these match-ups. They have the Giants’ formula, just as the Giants have the Cowboys’.
Sunday Night Football
Lions, 34, Packers, 31
Both these offenses are amazing, and both these defenses have improved. I think it will come down to home field advantage here, so the Lions will just edge out the Packers in this divisional rivalry.