After a long Yule week of holiday ho-ho-ho-ing, I'm barely getting this week's picks under the wire. (As of this writing, I still haven't recapped last week's picks, but I'll get to it in wrap-up.) Most of Sunday's games are, at best, slap-fights over seeding, but the real heavy lifting is over for 5 teams in each conference ... that is until next weekend. The Pats, Broncos, Colts, Bengals and Steelers are in. The Cowboys, Seahawks, Packers, Lions and Cardinals are likewise also playing in the New Year. With the exception of New England, it's difficult to say how much home field will help anyone this year, so the seeding will simply be what it is.
Very much like the fictionalized Cleveland Indians in the movie "Major League", the Browns have basically imploded. They have suspended their most talented receiver. Benched the quarterback who got them into playoff contention, and then benched the disaster of the Manziel clown show. So now, they start a rookie in the final game. They should be easy pickens for the Ravens. But the BlackBirds aren't going forward without some help from Kansas City over San Diego, help they are not likely to get. It's probably just me, but I find the chase for the NFC South more intriguing. Atlanta and Carolina face the same decision, win and host a game. Regardless of how much I despise teams with a losing record being in the playoffs, always hosting a home game, I think Atlanta stands a better chance of winning that playoff game. The question is whether or not they stand a chance at home against Carolina.
Enough Jabber! Picks ...
Cleveland (7-8) at Baltimore (9-6) - Ravens (10-20, Ravens)
Dallas (11-4) at Washington (4-11) - Cowboys (44-17, Cowboys)
Indianapolis (10-5) at Tennessee (2-13) - Colts (27-10, Colts)
New Orleans (6-9) at Tampa Bay (2-13) - Saints (23-20, Saints)
Philadelphia (9-6) at New York Giants (6-9) - Eagles (34-26, Eagles)
Buffalo (8-7) at New England (12-3) - Patriots (17-9, Bills)
Jacksonville (3-12) at Houston (8-7) - Texans (17-23, Texans)
San Diego (9-6) at Kansas City (8-7) - Chargers (7-19, Chiefs)
New York Jets (3-12) at Miami (8-7) - Dolphins (37-24, Jets)
Chicago (5-10) at Minnesota (6-9) - Vikings (9-13, Vikings)
Oakland (3-12) at Denver (11-4) - Broncos (14-47, Broncos)
Arizona (11-4) at San Fransisco (7-6) - Niners (17-20, 49ers)
Detroit (11-4) at Green Bay (11-4) - Packers (20-30, Packers)
St. Louis (6-9) at Seattle (11-4) - Seahawks (6-20, Seahawks)
Carolina (6-8-1) at Atlanta (6-9) - Falcons (34-3, Panthers)
Cincinnati (10-4-1) at Pittsburgh (10-5) - Steelers (17-27, Steelers)
Last Week's Score: 10 - 6, 53% Overall: 162 - 78, 68%