Two games to go and many races are still not decided yet. This kind of 11th-hour drama is what the NFL hoped for when they made parity a primary goal. This way they can continue to print money in as many markets as possible for as long as possible. If they cared about quality of product, the refereeing would be better, but hey, have another beer and a jersey! Last week I went 10-6, and stand at 139-84 for the year. Here’s the picks.
Texans at Bucs – Talk is that Jameis Winston will maybe be out of the league next year, but the way he can slap 400 passing yards on the board now and then makes me believe he will find suitors willing to gamble on him. Texans need to win out to take the division, and they should be able to handle Tampa. Pistols over Privateers.
Bills at Patriots – For New England, the barbarians are at the gates. The Bills know they are good, and getting better. They know they can stifle the Patriots’ 1-candlepower offense by taking away the very damaged Julian Edelman. Last time it took a blocked punt runback for New England to eke out a 16-10 win. Take away that special-teams score, and Buffalo wins 10-9. I hope NE’s D can score, or else. Bills win a shocker in the Hurt Locker.
Rams at Niners – LA brought Dallas back to life last week, big time. They will do the same for the Falcon-whomped 49ers, who need to lean on the ground game more to free up their receivers. The Bay bounces LA.
Giants at Redskins – Yawn…do we HAVE to watch another Eli Manning portrait in mediocrity? It’s like doing penance. I like the band 3-11, but not two football teams with that record. The Deadskins are still broken, but they will probably muster enough defense to hold on. Giants remain higher in the draft lottery.
Saints at Titans – Drew Brees keeps writing his memoirs, also known as the NFL record book. The Timeless Tosser hammered down Peyton Manning’s career marks last week over Indy, and as much as I like what the Titans are doing this season, I don’t think they can stop the Saints from marching in..to the endzone.
Ravens at Browns – Cleveland handed Baltimore one of their two losses this year. One word: PAYBACK! Action Jackson sends the Browns down to Losertown.
Panthers at Colts – In this who-cares game, Will Greer gets his first career start for Carolina. Might as well be Will Geer from The Waltons, for all the difference it will make in Charlotte. Look for the Colts to produce enough turnovers to feed an orphanage. Horseshoes are lucky this week.
Bengals at Dolphins – I don’t think Andy Dalton is horrible, but he lost his team the game last week with 4 picks. If Cincy goes Mixon-heavy in Miami, they win… If they want to win, since they sit atop the draft lottery. Bangles get their second win, and a tan to take home.
Steelers at Jets – Mike Tomlin is playing for a playoff berth, with no margin for error. His pass defense is solid, and Darnoldnucleosis will find passing yards hard to come by. Le’Veon Bell is a shadow of his former self, but this is his old team. Pittsburgh Steels a win in NY.
Jaguars at Falcons – The Falcons are spoilers this year, and the Jaguars smell like something that spoiled a long time ago. Peaches pummel the polka-dots.
Raiders at Chargers – Left coast acrimony in a fight with only pride on the line. Rivers should find holes in the Raider D for his bullets, and the Bolts’ ground game will bolster the air show. The Vegas Raiders have left the building.
Lions at Broncos – Matt Patricia has crashed and burned, like so many of his predecessors, in the coaches’ graveyard that is Detroit. He is going to find out that Blough does. Orange crushes the Lyin’s.
Cardinals at Seahawks – This is no trap game. We like the sparks of exciting new life Kyler Murray has brought, but this is a seeding game, and Seattle aims to put the division away. A road win is not in the Cards for Phoenix.
Cowboys at Eagles – Like two drowning men clawing at one life preserver, Dallas and Philly contend for the weakest division title this week. Dallas holds the tie-breaker, so the Eagles would have to win out and the Cowboys lose both. Not gonna happen. Dakota and Ezekiel devour the Cheesesteaks, as Philly wonders where their season Wentz.
Chiefs at Bears –DaBears can play defense, and KC will have to work for this win. I don’t see Falsebisky picking apart the Chiefs’ secondary with his pinpoint accuracy and overwhelming arm strength. Chiefs hang fresh bearskins on the wall.
Packers at Vikings – Another division as yet undecided. The Packers are in, and the Vikings will be. Question is, who takes the pennant? These teams are mirror images on the field; solid ground game, accurate passing, few interceptions, good at takeaways, etc. The absence of injured Dalvin Cook looms large here. Packers walk the razor’s edge to victory.
Enjoy the games!
-Pigskin Pundit (Nate Clark)