Welcome to 2012 and the final week of the NFL regular season. This has been the oddest season ever with teams looking like world beaters for 4 weeks, then bottom feeders for 4. We have watched one major record fall and plenty of team offensive records being shattered around the league. However all this offense will eventually beget someone playing some good defense as we head to the final playoff 12. So without further adieu…lets look at this last slate of games for 2011.
Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers With homefield advantage locked up for the NFC side of the ledger, we don’t see the Packers playing Rodgers into the second half. Matter of fact it was just reported that Matt Flynn will start in Rodgers place. Detroit wants to win this game and keep the momentum going as they head to their first postseason since 1999. So we pick the Lions!! Do you know who was the starting quarterback for Detroit in 1999?? Charlie Batch
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns We say that about Charlie Batch because he might be in for Roethlisberger in the second half so Ben can get healthy for the playoffs. The Browns defense keeps it close..but like their season, not enough offense to capitalize. Steelers win.
Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans Texans are moving in the right direction and T.J. Yates out of North Carolina looks better than most people thought he would. The Titans want to play spoiler but they may just want to go home as the second half commences and the Texans are up. Texans in this one.
Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars The Colts are trying their hardest to blow the Andrew Luck sweepstakes with their back to back wins. However if you have been watching the Jacksonville team all year, they bring a defense and the NFL’s leading rusher in Maurice Jones Drew. With a chance at a rushing title the Jags will feed him the ball and Blaine Gabbert is growing as a young quarterback. Back to the losing ways for the Colts…Jags win
New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins After all the Rex Ryan talk and bravado, the Jets season is on life support. They make the playoffs if the building with the Bengals playing in it collapses, the Broncos charter plane goes down, and every single Oakland Raider develops small pox. Not going to happen. The defense has been porous this year and if you have watched the Miami Dolphins they play with fire. No team outside of New England wants to spoil the Jets season worse than the Dolphins. Look for Matt Moore to lead an efficient offense in Jason Taylor’s last game. The Dolphins will play with emotion, as will Taylor who played the last two years with the Jets. Dolphins win big!
Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings Looks like two teams headed in similar directions until you remind yourself that Adrian Peterson tore ligaments in his leg and is out. The Bears offense played well last week with McCown at quarterback and showcased several tough runners in the loss to the Packers. Without their big gun in Peterson the Bears defense will swallow Christian Ponder. Like the Bears in this one big!
Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots Man September was a long time ago when Buffalo ended the streak of 16 losses to New England. However injuries to Fred Jackson and some inconsistent receiver play has led to a promising season coming undone. Tom Brady will be fired up to get to 5,000 yards and possibly catch Drew Brees who may be rested. Buffalo’s achile’s heal has been their pass defense and this is the wrong time to go to New England. Gronkowski and Brady should have a good day. Despite our CEO in the other room yelling, we pick the Patriots in a tune up for the playoffs.
Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Something is in the air. Just have a strange feeling that Cam Newton is going to get hot in this one… The Saints really went after the Falcons, the division and the record all in one night for Drew Brees. Depending on the 49ers game, it may not even be worth it for Brees to continue playing. That withstanding we think they come out flat and Cam Newton gives the NFL a going away present with an upset down on the Bayou. Panthers for Coach Ron Rivera
Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles In the last “I can’t believe it’s not butter” bowl of the year, Michael Vick and the “Dream team” host the Redskins who have lost their way after a good start. The injury to RB Ron Hightower turned the season on the Redskins yet they field one of the stronger defensive fronts. NFL leading tackler London Fletcher will be after LeSean “Shady” McCoy along with Rocky McIntosh (The [[_]]) but the secondary can’t stay with Vick’s fleet of receivers. Remember last year’s 58-29 win by Philly?? Eagles
San Francisco 49ers @ St Louis Rams Dude…seriously?? Niners in Steve Spagnuolo’s last game as Rams head coach.
Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals Something in the air about this game also. The Ravens seem to be missing fire when they play away from home. This team lost to the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars and the tentative Tennessee Titans (try saying that 3 times) and Cincinnati fields a top 10 defense. Steeler fans may get their wish in this one and we’re choosing the Bengals in a mild upset here.
Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals Who really cares??? Both teams are playing better as of late… we’re taking the Cardinals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons We hope this game can live up to last year’s late season classic. Fights, personal fouls, lots of hitting. Falcons need to win to go into the playoffs and clear their mind of the loss last week to the Saints. Matt Ryan and Michael Turner are the difference. What happened to the Bucs this year?? Falcons win it
Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos Tebow magic went up in smoke in Buffalo last week and they may still have a hangover. More than that Kyle Orton had to be up all night just waiting to kick his former team’ s ass and will be ready to go. In a game with playoff implications there is a chance at an upset here and we think Kansas City will pull it off.
San Diego Chargers @ Oakland Raiders: Hate to be the bearer of bad news but the Chargers hard play of the last few weeks will disappear this afternoon in Oakland. Carson Palmer in the first game nearly set the record for fewest passes and have a perfect efficiency rating. That game came after the one where Rex Ryan called out Norv Turner and the Jets came back to win it. We know they surprised the Ravens but they will be bludgeoned on the ground again. Norv should be gone after this game. Raiders son!!
Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants Alright first things first…Romo’s throwing hand is still giving him problems and he has to go out in the cold and face New York?? That’s almost game over until you realize the Cowboys have failed to win meaningful games in December dating back to 2007. In the head of most Cowboy fans was the last time they faced a division opponent on the road with a chance to make the playoffs. What happened there?? A 41-6 beatdown from the Philadelphia Eagles who showed that when push came to shove, the Cowboys have little fight. Couple that with a “possibly” hot up and down Eli Manning and the Cowboys should be down big by the end of three quarters. Giants in a loud Meadowlands…
There you have it…. The first picks of the New Year come on the last Sunday of the regular season. Happy New Year everyone and enjoy the games….