NFL Picks. Week 17, 2014
Well, here we go.
Carolina @ Atlanta- Atlanta.
Don't look now, but the Panthers are on a bit of a winning streak! That Ron Rivera really likes December.
However, in the NFC South Championship, I've gotta roll with the home team.
Matty Ice needs to win a playoff game for once, and against a Panthers team that relies exclusively on a rookie receiver, he'll have his chances.
Cleveland @ Baltimore- Baltimore.
Well, the Ravens need a lot of help to have hope for the playoffs, and they've got nobody to blame but themselves.
It's sad but true.
Regardless of the Browns QB, they are playing without heart and the Ravens are really damn tough at home.
Dallas @ Washington- Dallas.
The Cowboys need to win this game to keep their name in the first round bye hat, and despite an impressive showing from the Skins last week, the Cowboys will be chock full of confidence after what they did to the team formerly known as the Indianapolis Colts.
Indianapolis @ Tennessee- Indianapolis.
The Titans almost had their chance last week.
They. Came. This. Damn. Close.
But... Unfortunately, the Colts probably won't be resting their starters and the Titans will get steamrolled.
Detroit @ Green Bay- Green Bay.
The Packers are too damn good at home, and I just really struggle to see the Lions go out into snowy Green Bay and execute that offense. Detroit is a good team, but one that has been too damn sloppy and inconsistent this year.
Jacksonville @ Houston- Houston.
The Texans absolutely destroyed the Ravens last week.
Who the hell saw THAT coming?
Case Keenum is good enough to beat a Jags team that might be lying down for draft stock, and JJ Watt will have a field day as he solidifies his portfolio for DPOTY and potentially MVP
San Diego @ Kansas City- San Diego.
The Chiefs were broken last week.
It's sad and I hate to say it, but you really have to blame Andy Reid.
Your entire offense revolves around dinking, dunking, and then a deep ball...
You've got the first two right... but zero TDs for wideouts?
That hasn't happened since... I don't think they sold sliced bread yet...
San Diego NEEDS this win to get in, they NEED IT.
And Arrowhead or no, they will get it.
New York (Jets) @ Miami- Miami.
Don't make me laugh.
My high school had more talent at QB than the Jets do, and going down to sunny Miami where they're coming off of an emotional week 16 win?
Chicago @ Minnesota- Minnesota.
Do I have to?
The Bears locker room is a mess, their best receiver is done for the year, they don't have a QB, and the Vikings are a good young team trying to prove their building towards something.
Buffalo @ New England- New England.
Bill Belichick has never been one to rest starters late in the season, and that won't start now.
Seeing as the game is in New England, there's no way that the Bills offense will be able to move ball effectively enough to pull this monumental upset off.
I mean.... They did just lose to the Raiders.
Philadelphia @ New York (Giants)- Philadelphia.
The Giants are a terrible team, the Eagles surrendered their season to the Redskins, and the media wants to shove ODB down our throats some more.
Please Philly, please save us from overrated rookie hype.
I say their flashy Chip Kelly offense is good enough to take advantage of a bad giants defense.
Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh- Cincinnati.
THE AFC NORTH CHAMPIONSHIP!
After what the Bengals did to the Steelers on Monday night, I would be a fool to pick against them in a clutch game against Big Ben.
The Steelers turn the ball over too often and give up a couple big plays through the air, possibly to AJ Green.
New Orleans @ Tampa Bay- New Orleans.
Neither team has anything to play for, and I'd love to see the Bucs shell out and just beat up the Saints... But they just don't have the firepower and should probably think about getting a QB.
Oakland @ Denver- Denver.
I wanted to bet on Oakland so freaking bad in this game.
But they're 0-2 after wins this year... and the Broncos have something to play for.
If it snows or is windy, the Raiders might be able to grind out a win... But I won't get my hopes up.
Arizona @ San Francisco- San Francisco.
If the Cardinals had any QB depth at all, I would pick them, but Lindley looked god awful last week, and unless they find a miracle (Hey Tim Tebow) QB in Free Agency, it won't be fun to watch
Ol' Harbs gets one more win in San Fran (er... Santa Clara) before leaving to coach the Raiders/Wolverines.
St. Louis @ Seattle- Seattle.
If the game wasn't in Seattle, I might think about a potential upset here, but the Hawks know how important this game is and I think the Giants might have beaten the life out of the Rams last week.
The Seahawks pull out another physical win and likely lock up the number one seed in the NFC.
Mr. Fleegle, it's been a lot of fun, we've had our ups and downs and competitive weeks, and in a few days, we'll know who the best in the world really is.
Well......now or never I suppose. You know, I could try to pull off some crazy picking strategy, pick a bunch of upsets, hope they happen, steal the season long win, or perhaps lose by 7-8. But no, I'll pick the games like I've been doing all year, and hope that Ryan and I have enough differences that I can turn a 3 game deficit into a win. But either way, here goes.....
Cleveland @ Baltimore: I have no idea what the hell has happened to my Ravens on offense. It's like they've forgotten how to play as a unit. Joe Flacco had one of the worst halves of football I've ever seen in that first half last week. Plus, we couldn't run. And we couldn't block. And we were just terrible and let a FOURTH STRING QB BEAT US. *deep breath*......if the Ravens wind up missing the playoffs, they will have deserved it with how they've finished the year. As for this game, Cleveland has no clue yet who their QB is going to be, and I would like to think the Ravens offense can do just enough to beat that. Baltimore wins the finale, then waits for help.
Dallas @ Washington: Congrats to the Cowboys for winning the NFC East!!!!! What a whooping they put on Andrew Luck and the Colts last week. Some/most people are even talking up Tony Romo for league MVP. And Washington, they played spoiler and knocked the Eagles right out of the playoffs last week. Dallas could still potentially be the #2 seed if things work out right this weekend, starting with the Boys getting a W over DC, which I think they will. Cowboys win.
Indianapolis @ Tennessee: Are the Colts really that good? Seriously though, look at who their wins and losses are against. They currently have just ONE victory, out of 10, against a playoff team (Cincy, who I still don't buy into because, lets face it, Andy Dalton). And 4 of their 5 losses have come to playoff teams (a home loss to Philly was the 5th loss), 3 of which were by 17+ points. So.....are they really that good? With the Colts pretty much locked into the 4 seed (Denver owns the tiebreaker, as does Pittsburgh, and an 11th win by Cincy would make them 11-4-1), I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of the starters get rested in this game. But that being said, the Titans are trash, and even if the Colts play their backups I think they do enough to win. Indy gets the W.
Jacksonville @ Houston: J.J. Watt vs. the Jags offense? Check, please? Texans win.
San Diego @ Kansas City: Boy, what a game! The Chargers got a miraculous comeback over the 49ers last week to set up this win and in game over the Chiefs. Philip Rivers has injury concerns (a bulging disk, ouch) which could be bad. Plus, this game is in the Sea Of Red. Plus, I need a San Diego loss for my Ravens to get in the playoffs. PLUS, I can't stand Philip Rivers! Is that enough plusses? I think the Chiefs crash the party and Rivers finds a way to choke the postseason berth away for San Diego. Chiefs win a close one at home.
NY Jets @ Miami: So long Rex Ryan. Good luck at your new coaching job! Dolphins win big and end the Ryan Era in New York with a whimper, unlike the way that it started.
Chicago @ Minnesota: Clausen, Cutler, McMahon, The Popcorn Vendor, and back and forth Chicago goes at QB. As for Minnesota, that offense played a hell of a game last week, but couldn't win in the end against Miami (thanks to the punter for a blocked punt for safety with less than a minute left!!!!!) This game.....it's tough. I think this could be one of those swing games in the picks. I've been on Da Bears wagon a lot this year, but I can't do it this week. Too much drama, too much inconsistency, and the Vikings are playing better football. Period. Minnesota ends the regular season with the same record as the NFC South champion (true story) by getting a W over Chicago.
Buffalo @ New England: And heeeeeeeere is where these picks get tricky! The Patriots have absolutely nothing to play for, having locked up the 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. I expect Brady and Company will get a breather in this game at some point. And Buffalo, well, they have a pretty good football team, and could end their season on a high note with a W in New England. Normally, I wouldn't do this, HOWEVER, all factors taken into account, I truly believe the Bills can.....and WILL.....win this game. Buffalo ends the season with a W.
Philadelphia @ NY Giants: Boy, how quickly things change in the NFL. On Thanksgiving night, the Eagles were flying high (pun intended) after stomping the archrival Cowboys by 23 points on the road to get to 9-3 and the lead in the NFC East. Fast forward to week 17, and the Cowboys are NFC East Champs, while the Eagles are getting set to play a meaningless game against the Giants, after 3 straight losses have dropped the Eagles to 9-6 and out of the playoff hunt. As for the Giants? They come in winners of 3 in a row, and have the home crowd advantage for this game. And you know what? I think they take the momentum and ride it to a season ending W in front of the home fans. Listen, the Eagles offense has the pieces, but Sanchez is still a liability, and the defense has been showing holes over the last few weeks. I think the Giants can expose this, Eli can outplay Sanchez, and the Giants can help complete an epic Philly collapse with a season ending win.
New Orleans @ Tampa Bay: Talk about meaningless, this game is just that. Not even going to waste time, Saints lay waste to the Bucs and get the W.
Carolina @ Atlanta: Ahhhhh yes, one of 3 games to decide division winners this week! Honestly, I don't think this game is going to be all that close. The Falcons offense is finally clicking at the right time this year, and I think that you put them in the dome and they blow the doors off the Panthers this week. Atlanta will remain undefeated against the division, win this game, get to 7-9, and get to host a team that will be either 12-4 or 11-5. Makes sense, right?!?!?
Detroit @ Green Bay: The second division championship game!!!!! Detroit has by far been passing my expectations all season long, and now sits at 11-4 with a playoff berth in hand and a chance to host the NFC North trophy. BUT, they have to go to Green Bay and win, somewhere they haven't won at in about 3 forevers. I think the Lions have a great chance to win this game. The Packers have been looking slightly vulnerable in recent weeks, which at the very least gives Detroit a chance. But in the end, it will be too much Aaron Rodgers for the Lions to overcome. Packers win, claim the NFC North, and hope for some help from Washington to claim a first round bye.
Oakland @ Denver: Bad news for Oakland, Cincy beat Denver on MNF, meaning that, accompanied with Pitt/Cincy being flexed to SNF this week, the Broncos will still have something to play for in this game. Meaning that Manning and the defense will still play a while. Meaning that the Raiders will lose. Sorry Ryan. Denver wins.
Arizona @ San Francisco: The 49ers have completely mailed in this season. Yet, they can still be spoilers and ruin whatever chances the Cardinals have of being NFC West champions this week. It's no secret I've picked against Arizona all season long (not on purpose) so why break tradition now??? I think the 49ers get the W, as much as I hate to say it, and keep Arizona reeling with no momentum heading into the playoffs. San Fran wins.
St. Louis @ Seattle: Welcome back to the top seed in the NFC, Seattle! Sorry we ever doubted you! Listen, I'm not saying the Rams have no chance in this game, because they already beat Seattle this year, but that was before this Seahawks defense started to absolutely destroy people, and before Russell Wilson stepped to the next level, and before Marshawn Lynch said "yeah" a bunch of times before returning to BEAST MODE. Seahawks win, and make alllllll of their playoff opponents have to go through the dreaded 12th Man.
Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh: And here we go, the final winner take all division title game showdown of the week!!! Boy, how lucky was NBC to have Pittsburgh playing for the division title? The Steelers draw well as it is, but add a winner take all effect to the game and look out ratings spike! 3 weeks ago, the Steelers went to Cincy and blew the doors off the Bengals by 3 touchdowns. That, however, has been the only loss for the Bengals in the last 6 games, as they have gone 5-1 down the closing stretch and 7-2 over their last 9. I think this game will be closer than the first meeting, but, as much as I hate Pittsburgh, I expect a similar result. Steelers win, take the AFC North, and, based on my picks, send the Bengals to Indy in the playoffs (and the Colts already beat the Bengals 27-0 this year).
Been a pleasure picking against you this year, Ryan. Lets see one last swing of picks this week! What say you?
Ryan vs. Fleegle.
I picked San Diego, he picked Kansas City.
I picked New England, he picked Buffalo.
I picked the Eagles, and he picked the Giants.
I picked the Bengals, and he picked the Steelers.
There's a chance that Fleegle nails his picks and wins the best in the world challenge.
A very think one, but one nonetheless.