The beginning of 2011 marks the end of many teams’ seasons. Welcome to the week of the regular season for the 2010 NFL season. It’s been a whirlwind, that’s for sure. There’s been monumental upsets (Cleveland over New England….really?) and a lot of teams coming from no where (How about those Chiefs?). All in all it’s been a great season and I think the most fun season in recent memory. So, with that let’s take one final look around the entire league as I bring you my last picks for the regular season.
My picks will be in italics.
Panthers @ Falcons – All the Falcons have to do is beat the pitiful Panthers and they lock up the #1 seed in the NFC. Please understand that pitiful describes the Panthers in a very kind way. If it weren’t for the NFC West, they’d be 0-15 and look at 0-16. There is no way the Falcons lose this game unless Matt Ryan and company are all abducted or sleep past their alarm clocks. Give me the Falcons at home.
Bengals @ Ravens – Have the Bungles figured things out? I don’t think so. Have the Ravens? Yes. They’re finally remembering that Ray Rice is really good. The Ravens still have a shot at winning the AFC North and a first round bye and that alone will make this team play with a ton of heat. The Bungles will get murdered in this game. Give me the Ravens at home.
Steelers @ Browns – Unfortunately for the Ravens, the Steelers play the Browns. Now, I like what’s happening in Cleveland. I like Colt McCoy a lot. However, the Steelers are in a late season groove that makes them so dangerous. The Steelers can lock up the division and a first round bye with a win in Cleveland. Sorry Browns fans, give me the Steelers on the road.
Vikings @ Lions – The Lions are playing for pride at this point but they are playing incredibly well considering how poor they’ve been in the past. I can’t say enough about how much I love what’s happening in Detroit. Now, the Vikings showed a lot of heart last week in their win over the Eagles. However, the Lions are a tough team at home and, with the Vikings coming off an extra short week, I like the Lions at home.
Raiders @ Chiefs – The Chiefs can’t get a first round bye in the playoffs but they can slip down a seed should they lose the game against the Raiders. Good things are happening in Oakland but better things are happening in Kansas City. Give me the Chiefs at home.
Dolphins @ Patriots – On any other week, this would be a no brainer. But right now we have no idea if the Patriots will start any of their star players or not since they’ve locked up the #1 seed in the AFC. However, that is not Belichick’s style. He likes to win, especially against divisional opponents. This weekend will mark the last game of the Tony Sparanao era in Miami. Give me the Patriots at home.
Buccaneers @ Saints – The Saints have found their groove. The Buccaneers struggle mightily against teams with winning records. I’m not too good at basic math but I think that adds up in favor of the Saints. Look, I do like what’s happening in Tampa Bay. I’m a huge Josh Freeman fan. However, I think the Saints are going to embarrass them. Give me the Saints at home.
Bills @ Jets – There’s a lot of teams that aren’t making the playoffs that are showing some very good things. Buffalo is another one of those teams. They have a ton of fight in them. Oddly, they have more than the Jets in my opinion. However, I still think the Jets take care of them. They have too much talent on the defensive side of the ball for a backup QB to beat. Give me the Jets at home.
Chargers @ Broncos – Norv Turner is staying? Really? Wow San Diego. Now, how about that Tim Tebow? Listen, he’s not the most technically sound QB but neither is the QB he’ll be playing opposite of on Sunday, Phillip Rivers. Phillip Rivers is pretty darn good. And I think he’ll take care of the Broncos. Give me the Chargers on the road.
Bears @ Packers – By kickoff the Bears will know if they have a shot at the #1 seed or not. As previously mentioned, I don’t believe they will (They’d need both Atlanta and New Orleans to lose). Due to that, I think the Bears bench most of their starters against the Packers. Either way, I’d be taking the Packers to win but now I think they win big. Give me the Packers at home.
Jaguars @ Texans – The Jags will be without their stud rusher in Maurice Jones-Drew and very likely without QB David Garrard. The Texans will be without the best WR in the league, Andre Johnson. And to think, this could’ve been a good game. The Jaguars can still make the playoffs if they beat the Texans and the Colts lose to the Titans. I see neither of those things happening. Gary Kubiak knows that his seat his very hot and I think he gets his team prepared well enough to take it to an injury depleted Jaguars team. Give me the Texans at home.
Titans @ Colts – The Colts win and they’re in. The Titans are, well, bad. I still can’t quite figure out what happened to them but it sure wasn’t pretty. Peyton Manning will not lose this game and they will sneak into the playoffs. When’s the last time we heard that? Indy sneaking into the playoffs? Wow….what a strange season. Give me the Colts at home.
Cowboys @ Eagles – I didn’t write a huge preview for this game because of two things. I don’t have the time and I’m not going to try and figure out how a bunch of backups match up. That said, I still have a ton of faith in Kevin Kolb and I think he puts together a nice audition tape for the teams looking for a young QB to trade for. Give me the Eagles at home.
Cardinals @ 49ers – The 49ers will be riding the interim head coaching train. Given how bad the Cardinals are on the road, it could very well work. I won’t be surprised with any outcome in this game but I can’t bring myself to pick the Cardinals on the road. Man, I feel so bad for Larry Fitzgerald. How long until someone saves him by offering the Cardinals 1st and 3rd round picks? Give me the 49ers at home.
Giants @ Redskins – The Giants are not a good team and they will not make the playoffs. In other words, I’ve been right about them all season. Yes, I was just patting myself on the back. The Redskins have looked remarkably better offensively ever sine McNabb was benched but I don’t think it’ll help them this week. Tom Coughlin’s seat is already very warm since his team will be missing the playoffs again but a lose to the Redskins would seal his fate. Give me the Giants on the road.
Rams @ Seahawks – No matter which team wins this game, they will go down as one of the worst playoffs teams of all time. There is a true shot at a 7-9 team making the playoffs. Should the Seahawks win, that idea will become reality. Wow. That said, I don’t think they win. Charlie Whitehurst will not beat the Rams. The Rams will go to the playoffs. Concluding a bizarre 2010 regular season, give me the Rams on the road.
Last Week: 9-7