Week 16 Pick Results:
Chris: 143-59 (Missed Weeks 2,5)
Week 17 Preview
Detroit (10-5) [Ryan] @ Green Bay (14-1) [Chris, Daniel]
The biggest game with the smallest implications will probably be when Detroit and Green Bay face off in what will eventually become the battle of backups. Stafford and the Lions can only control one thing: whether they have a small chance at a home game should the two teams that make it out the NFC mess be Detroit and Atlanta. In that case I would assume that both teams sit their players down for the day, moreso the Lions than the Packers. The Packers have one week off while the Lions will turn around and play next week, Schwartz will probably allow his starters to play briefly, and then pull them out before anyone get seriously hurt.
Tennessee (9-6) @ Houston (10-5) [ALL]
The Texans are still playing for the 2-seed, if they win, and the Ravens and Steelers lose, they’ll take the 2-seed and get a first-round bye. They’ll need more out of rookie TJ Yates, who has been limited in the last few weeks, both Texans losses, but will have WR Andre Johnson back to help stretch the field. The Titans on the other hand are needing a win and a little help to get into the post-season, they would’ve controlled their own destiny if they were able to beat the once-lowly Colts a few weeks back.
New York Jets (8-7) [Daniel] @ Miami (5-10) [Ryan, Chris]
The Jets blew their shot at guaranteeing themselves a playoff spot with a loss last week against that other team from New York City, with that being said they have a small shot if they can beat the Dolphins. On the other side of that, the Dolphins aren’t going to the playoffs, but a good majority of them are fighting for jobs next year, whether with Miami or somewhere else. We know that Matt Moore is going to be replaced, so it will be interesting to see if he manages to make a statement for himself heading into free agency, especially in a time where the big names in the market are Garrard, Campbell, Garcia, Delhomme and Orton.
Carolina (6-9) @ New Orleans (12-3) [ALL]
The Saints still have a shot at a 1st-round bye if they can pull off the win and the 49ers manage to lose to St. Louis…..so it’s highly unlikely that that is going to happen. Regardless, the Panthers are coming into town as hot as any other team in the league down this stretch and putting up points in droves. The Saints should be careful and not take Carolina lightly if they want a shot at that 2-seed, the Panthers could sneak up from behind and pull off a huge upset win to finish their season 7-9.
Baltimore (11-4) @ Cincinnati (9-6)
The Ravens need a win to grab the first-round bye as either the 1-seed or 2-seed, a win and a loss from New England gives them the #1 seed while a straight up win gives them the #2 at least. The Bengals are the only team left in the AFC wildcard race that controls its own destiny, if they beat Baltimore at home, they get in, the 6th seed is theirs with no discussion. Should they lose? They open up the door for Tennessee, Oakland and the Jets.
Kansas City (6-9) [Ryan] @ Denver (8-7) [Daniel, Chris]
The big game that really should’ve been the Sunday Night Football game off story alone, is the matchup that pits Tim Tebow against the former Broncos starter, Kyle Orton. Orton was waived (due to his own requests) from the Broncos a few weeks back and found himself on the Chiefs after they finally realized that Tyler Palko was NOT the answer. After Todd Haley’s firing, and Romeo Crennel’s take over, Orton finally got his shot, and helped his team beat the Packers in one of the biggest upsets of the year. Although last week’s loss eliminated them from the playoffs, the Kansas City Chiefs have a shot to knock the Denver Broncos out of the playoffs, or at least the the AFC West title. A win here would give the Raiders the opportunity to take the crown. On the other side of things, Tim Tebow has managed to bring the Broncos back from the bottom to fight for the playoffs, but they’ve lost their last two games, decisively. The storyline coupled with the media’s love for Tim Tebow leaves me really confused when I try and figure out how this is not a Sunday Night Football game.
San Diego (7-8) [Chris, Daniel] @ Oakland (8-7) [Ryan]
The 2nd part of the two-part AFC West 2-game crown features the Chargers against the Raiders. The Chargers were eliminated last week when they got beatdown by the Detroit Lions at Ford field, they now have a chance to ruin the Raiders’ playoff hopes by simply beating them in the Black Hole. The Raiders on the other hand need a win and a Broncos loss to win the AFC West, however, they can still get in as a wildcard if the Broncos win, they just need a couple of others things to happen. So in short, they have to win.
Dallas (8-7) [Chris] @ New York Giants (8-7) [Ryan, Daniel]
The Sunday Night Football game chosen this week was chosen for the right reason: the winner of this game is in the playoff, the loser is out. NBC managed to pull this off last year, to mixed results (remember, it was 6-9 Seattle vs 6-9 St. Louis for the coveted NFC West) so one can’t blame them for wanting to try it a second time around. The Giants and Cowboys are both 8-7 this season, and cannot access a wildcard berth, they must win the NFC East if they want in. Tony Romo has been playing surprisingly well in the month of December, while Eli has been up and down as he has all season, but both teams have suspect defense, and an iffy running game, although the Giants are in better shape. Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs found a groove last week, if they can stay on that path they can pull off the win, let’s hope for entertainment sake that this one comes down to the last minute like last time.
The following games either don’t have playoff implications, or nobody really cares.
Buffalo (6-9) @ New England (12-3) – Bills are trying to put some kind of positive spin on this up and down season, Patriots are going for the #1 spot, they need a win to pull it off. (ALL NE)
Chicago (7-8) @ Minnesota (3-12) – The Bears are looking to give McCown a roster spot in 2012 after his Week 16 performance, if he does well enough against Minnesota, someone else may barter for his assistance as well. Ponder will start for Minnesota. (CHI: Ryan and Daniel; MIN: Chris)
Pittsburgh (11-4) @ Cleveland (4-11) – A Pittsburgh win gives them a shot at the AFC North and a first-round bye. If New England and Baltimore lose that gives Pittsburgh a shot at the #1 seed, that is the very reason why Ben Roethlisberger WILL start Sunday. Seneca Wallace will start for the injured Colt McCoy. (PIT: Ryan, Daniel; CLE: Chris)
Indianapolis (2-13) @ Jacksonville (4-11) – The Colts are suddenly unstoppable under the leadership of Daniel Orlovsky, and look to finish the season strong on a 3-game win streak, trust me, the players could care less about Andrew Luck. Jacksonville has been up and down under Mel Tucker, which is better than just down under Del Rio. (ALL IND)
Washington (5-10) @ Philadelphia (7-8) – Eagles were eliminated last week, but many players on the team have expressed their want to stay together and build on the 2012 season. (ALL PHI)
San Francisco (12-3) @ St. Louis (2-13) – The 49ers need a win to get the #2 seed and a bye week. A St. Louis loss would put them in contention for the #1 pick. (ALL SF)
Seattle (7-8) @ Arizona (7-8) – Tarvaris has one more game to prove to the Seahawks organization that he is their QB of the future, John Skelton is in the same situation. (ALL SEA)
Tampa Bay (4-11) @ Atlanta (9-6) – Atlanta needs a win to make themselves feel better, Tampa Bay needs a win to save Raheem Morris’s job. He doesn’t deserve to be fired, but 8 straight losses would do that to you. (ALL ATL)