Reid Fischer's World of Rants

Looking at the sports world through orange colored glasses

Week Seventeen Picks

Posted by mizzou1028 on December 27, 2008

Obviously last week was an embarrassing week for yours truly’s football picking ability.  We’ll just skip over that and move on to this week’s picks.  My apologies for the quickie nature of the picks this week. 

Last Week: 6-10 (.375)  Season: 147-93-1 (.609)

– Patriots over Bills:  New England needs the game, Buffalo doesn’t.  The wind wil be howling  so the running game will be key.  The Patriots are red hot and wind is not going to slow them down.  New England needs a win and some help to make the playoffs.  They win the AFC East if they beat Buffalo and the Jets beat Miami.  They need a win and Batlimore loss to Jacksonville to get a wild card, and that means they’re doomed to be the second 11-5 team to miss the playoffs in NFL history (1985 Broncos). 

– Dolphins over Jets:  This is a tough game to figure, but the Jets have been fading fast for a month.  The Jets do not in fact control their own destiny, and even with a win need either a New England loss to Buffalo (not happening) or a Baltimore loss to Jacksonville (not happening).  This means a Jets win would help New England, and somehow I don’t think that’s not going to be sufficient motivation for gang green knowing that their win only helps their rival make the playoffs.  Miami is certainly the league’s biggest surprise, and the number of close games they’ve had this year will help them here.  This would mean a Miami home playoff game one season after going 1-15.  The top five teams in the 2009 draft will have hope. 

– Ravens over Jaguars:  Jacksonville used what remaining energy they had trying to beat the Colts.  They have nothing to play for in this one, and Baltimore rolls easily for a win and clinches a wild card spot.  Look out for the Ravens in the playoffs.  This is the team no one wants to play.

– Bengals over Chiefs:  Ugh.  If you’re stuck with this game in the CBS early slot, you have my sympathy.  Whoever wins this game is so inept they can’t even lose correctly, and will only make their 2009 draft position worse with a victory here.   

– Steelers over Browns:  Pittsburgh is locked into the two seed and will likely rest some guys.  Romeo Crennel will be on the sideline for what is sure to be his final game as Browns coach.  It will be interesting to see if the bye will help the Steelers make a playoff run.   

– Texans over Bears:  Chicago has more to play for, but even with a win they still need a Vikings loss or a bunch of other help.  Houston has been really up and down but I have a feeling they’ll finish strong here.  The Bears are just too inconsitent on offense to keep up with the Texans if their offense is clicking. 

– Titans over Colts: Both teams are locked into their playoff positions (Tennessee the number one seed, Colts the five seed).  Both teams are likely to rest players and that makes this difficult to pick.  Strangely enough, I take Vince Young over Jim Sorgi. 

– Chargers over Broncos:  Winner gets the AFC West title.  Right now the Chargers have the momentum and the Broncos don’t.  Denver missed its best chance when they failed to beat Buffalo last week.  San Diego is out for revenge after Denver’s wild 39-38 win in week two.  I do think the Broncos will come out with intensity, but the Chargers are playing very well on offense and I don’t think Denver will be able to keep up without a running game (seven Denver running backs on IR now).   The one thing the Broncos may have going for them is Norv Turner on the  other sideline, but even his ineptitude will not be enough to cause the Chargers to lose this one.  I hope I’m wrong on this one because I hate to see the Broncos miss the playoffs three straight years, and I also think an 8-8 Chargers team in the playoffs would be a shame while an 11-5 Patriots team could be out. 

– Buccaneers over Raiders: Tampa Bay keeps its hopes alive with a win.  It is hard to imagine the Raiders coming out with any intensity on the road, and the Buccaneers should win this one comfortably.  The Buccaneers will then need an Eagles win over Dallas in the late game to get a wild card spot. 

– Cowboys over Eagles:  Dallas is team turmoil this season, and it seems like we can never know which chemistry mix will be on the field each week.  That being said, the Cowboys know they will miss the playoffs if they don’t win this game, and they also know they are lucky to still be controlling their own destiny after last week’s loss.  I also don’t trust the Eagles after their listless performance last week in Washington.  This will sound odd, but I think the Cowboys can make a serious run if they do manage to make the playoffs. 

– Vikings over Giants: Minnesota wins the NFC North with a win here, but they also get in with a Chicago loss.  The Giants have clinched home field in the playoffs, so at the very least they will sit Brandon Jacobs and probably will rest more guys in the second half.  This game means much, much more to Minnesota and that’s why I like the Vikings to bounce back and win this one at home. 

– 49ers over Redskins: Mike Singletary should have the interim tag removed from his title.  He has done a great job restoring effort in that organization.  Washington bounced back nicely last week against the Eagles, but that is too little too late.   I like the Niners at home in this one where both teams have nothing to play for. 

– Packers over Lions:  The Lions can’t have much realistic hope of getting a road win at Lambeau, even if the Packers have hit the skids themselves down the stretch.  If Detroit has any pride whatsoever, they can find a way to win this game, but if they had pride it would have showed up last week in their last home game against the Saints.  Say hello to 0-16 Lions fans. 

– Falcons over Rams: Atlanta can actually win the NFC South with a win and a Carolina loss.  Either way they’ve clinched a playoff spot, a phenominal achievement considering how awful they were last season.  They’ll roll in this one against the hapless Rams. 

– Panthers over Saints:  Carolina wins the division if they can hold off the Saints.  This is an important game for the Panthers because they could fall to the five seed if they lose, whereas with a win they clinch a first round bye.  New Orelans poses a very tough challenge at home, where the Saints have not had any problem scoring points all season.  I think the Panthers will somehow find a way in this one, knowing the difficult road they face if they fail to win this one. 

– Cardinals over Seahawks: Arizona has clinched the NFC West, but they definitely aren’t playing like they deserve it.  Arizona was a complete embarassment last week in New England, and whoever gets the five seed in the NFC will probably be favored in Phoenix next weekend in the playoffs.  I think the Cardinals need to get their offense back on track and get some confidence in a big way this weekend or they are guaranteed toast next weekend.  The Seahawks got a win last week, but have nothing to play for here, and if Arizona plays to their true capaibility shouldn’t provide much resistance. 

So if my picks are right, here is how the first round of the playoffs would shape up:

AFC:   

BYE: Tennessee, Pittsburgh

(6) Baltimore at (3) Miami

(5) Indianapolis at (4) San Diego

NFC:

BYE: New York Giants, Carolina

(6) Dallas at (3) Minnesota

(5) Atlanta at (4) Arizona

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