Week 17 is only a day away and there are still four playoff spots up for grabs. The Cowboys and Eagles will face off in the NFC East to see who will take home the division crown and will sneak into the Playoffs. But that is not the only NFC division that has playoff berth implications. The Packers and Bears will battle to see will reign supreme in the NFC North and find their way into the Playoffs. In the AFC the Dolphins, Ravens, Chargers, and Steelers all still have a shot at the final wildcard spot. Who will make it? Well here is your answer via game by game breakdown.
With the return of Aaron Rodgers, I believe the Packers will roll over the Bears. The Bears were just blown out by the Eagles 54-11. And it is hard to pick which was worse for the Bears, their offense or defense. The Bears only gained 257 total yards against a poor Eagles defense. They also surrendered 514 yards to the Eagles offense. The Bears turned the ball over twice, once on a Jay Cutler interception and once on a lost fumble. I do not see the Bears Swiss cheese stopping Aaron Rodgers enough to hold the Packers under 30 points and I do not see Cutler leading the Bears offense down the field enough to contend with that. Packers win 31-20. It will be interesting to see how Bears fans and management react to Mark Trestmen’s decision of not leaving Josh McCown at Quarterback after Cutler returned.
As you may know Tony Romo has been placed on IR with a Herniated Disk in his back. The Dallas defense cannot stop a nosebleed. They have the 27th worst rush defense in the league, and the 31st ranked pass defense in the league. The Eagles have the 1st ranked rushing offense, which is led by All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy. The Eagles also have the 9th ranked passing attack led by the emerging Nick Foles. Every single thing points to picking the Eagles to win this game, but for some reason I feel like they choke this one away and King Neck Beard (Kyle Orton) leads the Cowboys to a miracle win. Cowboys win 27-24.
Sources are saying that Rex Ryan will likely be back as coach of the New York Jets, and I think that will fire up this Jets team. Tannehill is not good when he is under pressure, the Bills showed us that last weekend. The Dolphins allowed a season high 7 sacks to the Bills last week. And now the Dolphins have to work on stopping a very good Jets front 4 led by Mo Wilkerson? That will not happen. The Jets are playing with nothing to lose, and the Dolphins are playing with everything to lose, and I think that will be too much for this Dolphins team. Jets win 17-13, crushing Miami’s playoff chances.
Joe Flacco is not listed on the Ravens injury report with his knee injury, an injury that hobbled him against the Patriots last week, but that does not mean he is still not feeling it. The Bengals are a under the radar team that is still playing for the 2nd seed in the AFC. They have two talented outside wide receivers in A.J Green and Muhammad Sanu and Andy Dalton has been playing well as of late. And to put the icing on the cake, the Bengals are playing at home, where they are 7-0 this season. Patriots fans will not have to worry about playing the Ravens in the playoffs this year, as the Bengals will knock the Ravens out of playoff contention with a final score of 21-17 Bengals.
This game means absolutely nothing for the Kansas City Chiefs. They have locked in the 5th seed in the AFC, and are no longer in contention for the AFC West, as the Broncos have already sealed it up. The Chargers have already beaten the Chiefs at Arrowhead this season, and now the Chiefs have nothing to really play for. Chargers win 28-21.
As promising as the Browns season has started equals how bad it has ended. The Browns have no fight left in them and at this point could be playing for a higher pick in the upcoming draft. Steelers win 31-14.
So that puts the San Diego Chargers, The Green Bay Packers, and the Dallas Cowboys all in the playoffs. Lock all these picks in with anyone who will bet with you, and you will come away from Sunday like a bandit.
*A few other interesting match ups to watch this Sunday are the Arizona Cardinals vs the San Francisco 49ers and the New Orleans Saints vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Cardinals are the hottest team in football, going 8-1 over their past 9 games, and I bet they go 9-1 over their past ten games with a win over San Francisco this weekend. Now that leaves us with the New Orleans Saints vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to decide the fate of the Cardinals. If the Saints win, they are in, if they lose they are out. Luckily the Saints are at the Superdome where they are 7-0 on the season. The Saints will beat the Buccaneers which will leave the 11-5 Cardinals (if they beat San Francisco) on the outside looking in while the 8-7-1 Packers (if they beat the Bears) will be in the playoffs. Interesting how that works, huh?