Sunday, December 29, 2013

NFL Picks: Week 17

Receivers Brandon Marshall (FANTASY TEAM ALERT!) and Alshon Jeffery (FANTASY TEAM ALERT!) will help the Bears surprise the returning Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in Chicago this week, propelling them into the playoffs. Photo from 
So, I picked the Dolphins last week in Buffalo. I had a bit of trepidation as I was writing that, but, I felt better about them than taking the Bills to cover. So what do you know? They decided to score 0 points. Thanks.

In usual Cowboys fashion, they won, but figured out a way not to cover against an awful Washington team.

I came out with a one point win in Carolina, which also propelled them to the second seed in the NFC playoffs. Once again, rolling with the Jaguars had great results for me, as they got me a one point victory as well.

I'm so incredibly done with the 2013 Lions. At least the Cowboys have a chance to salvage their season, and they didn't benefit from having the starting quarterbacks of both the Giants and Eagles get hurt for a good amount of the stretch run (well, Eli Manning may as well be hurt the way he's playing). Jim Schwartz should never get another head coaching job in the NFL. It's a disgrace that this Lions team, with all of its offensive talent, and one of the best defensive lines in football, should be 7-8. With their playoff hopes on the line, they lost in the Giants. Wow.

I'm not saying I called the Cardinals beating the Seahawks in Seattle last week, but I did say that they should keep it close. And that deserves some credit, right?

Speaking of keeping it close, the Ravens didn't against the Patriots. Unfortunately, I picked the Ravens in that contest. But, to balance it out, I picked the Eagles in what turned out to be a complete blowout.

I went 8-8 last week, putting me at 123-112-5 on the season. Let's end the year on a high note, and send it into the playoffs with some momentum!

UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS.

Panthers (-6) over FALCONS. Panthers = very good. Falcons = very bad. Very good > very bad. Plug in Panthers and Falcons and you get, Panthers > Falcons. Simple math. Carolina should finish off their great season by locking up the #2 seed in the NFC.

BENGALS (-6.5) over Ravens. I don't know what to expect from the Ravens coming off of their brutal performance against the Patriots. Even with a depleted defensive unit, the Bengals are easily the better team, and, against the bad Ravens defense, this game should be decidedly in favor of the Bengals. There's a possibility that Joe Flacco shows up and plays well, which would make this game closer, but I still don't see the Ravens winning, especially since Cincinnati has something to play for in terms of seeding. Unfortunately, a loss would most likely knock the defending Super Bowl Champions out of the playoffs, unless the Dolphins, Chargers, and Steelers all lose. That's what happens when you re-sign a wildly inconsistent, middle of the road quarterback to a huge extension! Obviously, you'll take the Super Bowl if you're a Ravens fan, but the next few years won't be fun with the roster hamstrung by Flacco's contract.

Texans (+7) over TITANS. Yes, the Texans have lost 13 in a row, but the Titans haven't looked too great recently. I can't bring myself to pick Ryan Fitzpatrick to cover a 7 point spread, so, go crazy Houston.

Jaguars (+11) over COLTS. The Colts are too inconsistent, so I'm rollin' with the Jags!!! Don't fail me now Henne!

Jets (+6.5) over DOLPHINS. When these teams played in New York, it was in the midst of the downfall of Geno Smith. After a great performance against the Browns last week, the Jets will be able to at least challenge the Dolphins this week. Full preview to come later.

Lions (+3) over VIKINGS. Apparently, I'm not done with the Lions. They are more talented than the Vikings, though I wouldn't but anything past a team coached by Jim Schwartz anymore. UPSET ALERT.

GIANTS (-3) over Washington Professional Football Team. Both teams stink, so, home team.

Browns (+7) over STEELERS. The Steelers aren't that much better than the Browns. Last time they played, the Steelers won 27-11, but that's partially because Jason Campbell got hurt, causing the Browns to resort to *gasp* Brandon Weeden for most of the game.

Packers (-3) over BEARS. Aaron Rodgers will probably be rusty, but it won't matter. Eddie Lacy is going to repeatedly gash this bad Bears run defense, and in this shootout, Rodgers is the difference. The Bears will put up enough points to match....

Wait a second.

BEARS (+3) over Packers. Sure, Aaron Rodgers is great, but again, there's no way that he's going to be completely on point. I have no qualms supporting the Bears offense despite their performance last week, because I'm throwing out last week's game as an anomaly. And the Bears defense is pretty good against the pass. Bear Down! UPSET ALERT. 

Broncos (-10.5) over RAIDERS. I considered taking the Raiders, especially with Terrelle Pryor announced as the starter. He's an offensive weapon, and this Broncos defense will have some trouble containing him, but you know, Peyton Manning. He'll have no trouble scoring all over this awful Oakland defense.

Bills (+9) over PATRIOTS. The Patriots are inconsistent and banged up, and the Bills are much better at times than their record states. You know, why not pull the trigger? UPSET ALERT.

Buccaneers (+12) over SAINTS. This line is too damn high. Saints win, but not as convincingly as Vegas seems to think they will.

49ers (-1) over CARDINALS. The Cardinals are really good, but unfortunately won't make the playoffs thanks to a Saints victory. As for this game, they certainly could win, but I'm sticking with the Niners, who are slightly better.

CHARGERS (-9) over Chiefs. The Chiefs have nothing to play for. If the Chargers don't beat the Kansas City B team by at least 10 after beating their A team earlier this year in Arrowhead, then something is seriously wrong here.

SEAHAWKS (-12) over Rams. The Seahawks will bounce back, and lock up the #1 seed.

COWBOYS (+7) over Eagles. Kyle Orton doesn't make it impossible for the Cowboys to win, because he's one of the best backups in the NFL, right up there with Matt Moore and Josh Freeman. No? Too much on the Freeman reference? As you can see, I miss when he was worth something.

Anyway, expect to see a lot of Demarco Murray from the Cowboys, and it should be pretty effective. The problem is that their defense will not be able to stop Nick Foles and the Eagles from scoring. It will be a shootout, and if Romo were playing, I'd take Dallas to win outright, but, at least Orton will keep it close.

Last Week: 8-8
Season: 123-112-5

As a bonus, because there are so many weird playoff scenarios going into this week's games, I'll tell you my predictions, based on my picks.


  1. Denver Broncos
  2. Cincinnati Bengals
  3. New England Patriots
  4. Indianapolis Colts
  5. Kansas City Chiefs
  6. Miami Dolphins
  1. Seattle Seahawks
  2. Carolina Panthers
  3. Philadelphia Eagles
  4. Chicago Bears
  5. San Francisco 49ers
  6. New Orleans Saints

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