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Here’s this week’s picks. As usual, picks are in bold.
Cleveland @ Pittsburgh
Boy was I wrong about the Steelers last week. That was a beatdown they put on the Bengals.
Houston @ Cincinnati
T.J. Yates makes enough plays, Arian Foster controls the clock, the Texans defense plays well enough to help the Texans move closer to a first round bye. The Bengals? It was fun while it lasted, and there’s always next year.
Minnesota @ Detroit
Lose to the Packers and Saints, okay. I’m not going to overreact about two straight losses to two of the elite NFC teams. The stupid personal foul penalties, offensive pass interferences, okay, the Lions are a team built on emotion. Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad. The good news? Every single wildcard contending team lost as well. When do I start to panic if I’m a Lions fan (which I am)? If they lose to Christian Ponder, regardless of whether Peterson plays.
New Orleans @ Tennessee
How is Drew Brees’ shoulder still attached to his arm? I like the Saints but they’re starting to get on my nerves. Maybe it’s the way Jimmy Graham walks around like he owns the place. There are people who can pull it off, Brees is one of them, Graham is not. Anyway, WELCOME BACK CJ2K, we have thoroughly missed you. The Titans have a real shot at the playoffs, I think I said that last week but it’s always good to repeat things. With CJ running the way he’s running and the passing game competent, they can really challenge for a wildcard.
Philadelphia @ Miami
Can Miami be this good? Can the Eagles be this bad? Mike Vick and Maclin should be back? Is there any way Tony Sporano saved his job?
Kansas City @ NY Jets
The Chiefs won on a hail mary, well not technically, but they scored seven points on that play. The Bears didn’t look capable of matching the point total. The Jets, on the other hand, had their season saved by vintage Rex Grossman. They appear to have the inside track at hte sixth and final playoff spot but can anyone really trust the Jets at this point? We know what type of team they are, and that’s: “not very good.”
New England @ Washington
Teams need to cover #87, you can’t just let him run down the middle uncovered, Colts. It’s a sad time to be a Redskins fan. Wait, it’s been sad for a long time already.
Atlanta @ Carolina
The Falcons loss to T.J. Yates in Week 13. How do you expect to be a playoff team if you can’t beat T.J. Yates? In other news, Superman Cam Newton just broke the quarterback rushing touchdown record. Wait broke isn’t the correct verb, he just shattered it. The future looks bright down in Carolina.
Tampa Bay @ Jacksonville
The battle of Florida. This game could be worse than Florida State-Florida, a game that featured 18 punts and five turnovers.
Indianapolis @ Baltimore
Terrell Suggs became the Ravens all-time sacks leader. Is there a more underrated overrated player? He’s overrated because sports experts talk about him like he’s Reggie White, and underrated because most casual football fans wouldn’t even name him as one of the three best players on the Ravens D.
Chicago @ Denver
Call me a believer in Tim Tebow. In a game where they were missing their best player, Von Miller, the defense was attrocious but they were rescued by their offense. I’m also a non-believer in the Bears offense minus Cutler and Forte.
Oakland @ Green Bay
Because… I watched Matt Moore pick their secondary apart.
Buffalo @ San Diego
Because I watched Philip Rivers play like Philip Rivers for the first time in a long time.
St. Louis @ Seattle
Because the Rams suck and the Seahawks are pretty damn competitive. And also because I enjoy Skittles very much, as much as I enjoy watching Lynch run angry.
San Francisco @ Arizona
I should probably stop calling these picks “Upset Specials,” seeing as how I cannot seem to get these right. But on we must go and this week’s “special” is the Arizona Cardinals. As some of you may know, I picked the Cardinals to win the NFC West and they’re right where I thought they’d be at about this time in the season. Nobody expected San Fran to be this good. It’s one thing to pick them to win the division, it’s another to predict that they’d be 10-2 and would have the division wrapped up already. Call it a letdown, a hangover, whatever you want to call it.
NY Giants @ Dallas
The Giants have the fifth worse defensive scoring record in the NFL. They have loss four straight. They can’t run the ball. They can’t stop the pass. They’re 6-6. The winner of this game takes first place in the NFC East with three games to play. Why do the Giants win? Because the coach of the Cowboys calls a timeout just as his kicker is about to attempt the game winning field goal. Because the team had 28 seconds left and 2 timeouts but instead of calling a timeout, they spiked the ball with 8 seconds left. Because the Cowboys are what they are, a talented team prone to big miskakes at critical moments.