I'm here filling in for Tad this week as we wrap up the NFL regular season games on Sunday. What a great year! I'm sure we'll see a recap article to go over all of the bold predictions that have been made throughout the course of this season.. and I'll add one of my own to the mix!
Week 17 – HERE WE GO!!!!!!!!!
(HOME TEAM IN ALL CAPS)
16 – New England over MIAMI – I still have no idea how the Dolphins made the playoffs, but my crystal ball tells me that they won't be there very long. The Patriots, on the other hand, are playing for the first or second seed in the AFC. They'll devastate the Dolphins, guaranteed.
15 – Seattle over SAN FRANCISCO – Seattle has already made the playoffs, but they can actually still clinch a first-round bye if all goes well for them. Needless to say, their shot at that and their baby food matchup against the 49ers should lead them to victory.
14 – WASHINGTON over New York (Giants) – The Giants have locked in their trip to the playoffs, but Washington still has a chance to get in. It's likely that the Giants don't go 100% in this matchup.
13 – Kansas City over SAN DIEGO – Should be no surprise to anyone, the Chiefs are still trying to up their playoff seed and the Chargers will finish 5-11.
12 – Arizona over LOS ANGELES – The Cardinals had plenty of issues this year, but nowhere near as many as the hapless Rams. Los Angeles will finish the season flailing their arms.
11 – ATLANTA over New Orleans – Drew Brees may be locking up a ridiculous 5,000-yard season this week, but Matt Ryan has been the story this year - carving up defenses left and right. Well, the Saints' defense is already plucked and skinned.
10 – TAMPA BAY over Carolina – Technically, the Buccaneers can still make the playoffs, whereas the Panthers are out of the running. Look for Tampa Bay to pull out as many stops as they possibly can to get the win on Sunday.
9 – INDIANAPOLIS over Jacksonville – More of the same here, the Jaguars are a dismal team and Luck and Co. will be out in full force, according to reports.
8 – MINNESOTA over Chicago – After starting so well, the Vikings fell off the map - but they can still manhandle a team that has even less of an idea who they are, the Chicago Bears.
7 – PHILADELPHIA over Dallas – Ahh, week 17. The Cowboys have no business playing their starters, so they may show up for a series but expect this game to be mostly in the hands of the butt-fumbler, Mark Sanchez.
6 – Green Bay over DETROIT – The Lions season wasn't half bad, unfortunately, they aren't as good as a surging Packers offense, who will likely win by a touchdown or more in this matchup. BOLD PREDICTION: TY MONTGOMERY SHOWS UP AGAIN WITH 2 TOUCHDOWNS.
5 – Houston over TENNESSEE – After Mariota went down, the Titans lost a lot of upside. They'll still have a great rushing attack with Murray and Henry but won't be able to overcome the Texans if they can't pass the ball.
4 – CINCINATTI over Baltimore – The Ravens have been kicked out of the playoffs after their skirmish on Christmas Day with the Steelers, and they very well might spend the entire game just padding Steve Smith's stats before he retires.
3 – Buffalo over NEW YORK (JETS) – Sometimes a team plays better after firing their coaches. Whether or not that's the case, it doesn't matter - the Jets are about as low as they can get. Hey look, everyone, it's E.J. Manuel vs. Ryan Fitzpatrick! Yay...
2 – DENVER over Oakland – The Raiders could have taken this game if they hadn't lost Derek Carr. Sorry, Oakland fans - better luck next year!
1 – PITTSBURGH over Cleveland – Normally, the Steelers would have all kinds of confidence points here against the worst team in the NFL, but it looks like Ben, Brown, and Bell will all be sitting on the sideline this week, resting up for the big show. I still think that the Steelers can eek out a win, but it's no longer assured.