That crisp smell in the air…is playoffs coming. Teams know now is the time to galvanize, organize, and mobilize for post-season play. If your team isn’t hitting its stride by now, it will either miss the playoffs completely or bow out early. I went 12-4 last week, and stand at 129-78 (63%) for the season. Here are the picks.
Jets at Ravens – The carrion eaters of Baltimore feast on the gangrene that is Gang Green.
Eagles at Redskins – The Shmeagles have a chance to get to the dance, if they can enhance their stance and advance. The Deadskins won’t stop them this week. Eagles make big ‘womp em’ on the Redskins.
Bears at Packers – Mitchell Throwbiski had a decent game beating Dallas, but these Packers are pushing hard for a first-round bye. The only good bear is one in the rear-view mirror. Green Bay packs the endzone, while the Bears pack their bags.
Texans at Titans – Hot game! The Texans peaked against the Patriots, and then jumped the shark in Denver. I like the Titans to wrest control of the division from Houston this week, on the razor’s edge of better execution and toughness.
Seahawks at Panthers – Seattle needs this one, and the Panthers are out of anthers for this year, as Daffy duck would say. Carolina’s pass rush is good, McCaffrey is good, but dangit, that’s all. Squawks rock.
Patriots at Bengals – Now that the Pats have video-recorded all the Bangles’ key personnel changes, they should be able to thump them….Are you kidding me? Who needs to cheat-scout this 1-12 team (besides the Jets)? New England rangles the Bangles. Just another manic Sunday…
Bucs at Lions – Tampa has had some memorable games this season, with Jameis racking up some serious aerial yards….some to the other team, even. He may lead the league in fresh hot turnovers, but Detroit is just a shambles of a team, coming apart at the seams, it seems. Look for David to Blough it Sunday. Jolly Rogers carve up Matt’s Patricians.
Dolphins at Giants – I want Eli to retire with a losing record, because he IS a mediocre QB and his stats and record prove it. All this yack about him in the Hall of Fame is nauseating to me, as if Canton is now handing out participation trophies. Still, Miami is missing Parker, and has garbage for run and pass defense, so between Saquon Barkley’s legs and whatever fumes Manning has left in his rusty old gas tank, the Giants should win this. But I hope not….
Broncos at Chiefs – Denver…so dangerous, because they can defense really well. Pat Mahomes didn’t light it up in Massachusetts last week, because of the Patriot D. He got enough for a win, but no more (only 3 pts in entire second half). Denver will lose, but KC can be beat by stout defense and 18-23 points. Chiefs avoid getting scalped at home.
Jaguars at Raiders – Sacksonville is in free-fall. QB controversy, poor secondary, etc. Oakland has shown us who THEY really are, as well. Gave us hope…then lit it and watched it burn. Horrible, meaningless game; hey, maybe we’ll see the Mustache play again. Gruden’s grubbers grab a grinder.
Vikings at Chargers – It doesn’t matter which Chargers team shows up this week, the Purple Punishers are going to pursue points and prevent penalties while they pound the Pacific pigskinners.
Browns at Cardinals – Cleveland needs teams like Arizona to help them get wins, boost confidence, and improve morale. Of course, the Cardinals need exactly the same thing. Baker should have his way with Zona’s secondary, as Chubb chugs for another high-gain game.
Falcons at Niners – the Falcons are flying into a storm. SF took other peoples’ opinion of them to a new level last week, defeating the Saints on the road. This team is dangerous, deep and balanced. Falcons get plucked.
Rams at Cowboys – Rome is burning…Nero Jones is fiddling while his team burns down, underperforming while he reassures his failed coach. LA Rams a road win in Dallas, while the Greek tragedy that is the Cowboys spirals downward.
Bills at Steelers – Anyone who doesn’t take the Bills serious hasn’t been watching. This team has taken burly defense and gradually sharpened up their youthful offense, to become a team nobody wants to face. Same can be said of the Steelers, for overcoming so much adversity the last 24 months and putting a quality product on the field each week. I like the Steelers to win at home, but not by a lot. Two teams no contender wants to face right now.
Colts at Saints – Poor Indy, they are falling down after such a nice start. Unfortunately, this week they play a just-vanquished Saints team looking to regain their self-respect, and Frank Reich will find it hard to establish any kind of momentum. Saints pitch the Horseshoes.
Enjoy the games!
-Pigskin Pundit (Nate Clark)