December 30, 2012

NFL Winners & Losers: Week 17

1) Cowboys (8-7) @ Redskins (9-6)
Welcome to the NFC East Championship Game! To make the playoffs, the Redskins need to either win or have losses by the Vikings and Bears. For the Cowboys it's much simpler: win and you're in.

Win and you're in. Sigh. Those have haunted the Cowboys in recent history. All they had to do in 2008 was beat the Eagles and they were in. They loss 44-6 in Philly. All they had to do in 2011 was beat the Giants and they were in. They loss 31-14 in New York. Now all they have to do is beat the Redskins in Washington and they're in.

I know you've heard it all over ESPN and NFL Network this week, but it should be noted that since 2000, the Cowboys are 2-10 in Week 17. That sounds bad until you realize the only 2 Week 17 victories came within the past 3 years (beat the Eagles in 2009 and 2010). Also, in the 2 previous win-and-you're-in scenarios the Cowboys faced, Tony Romo was hurt coming in (bruised back in 2008 and bruised throwing hand in 2009), this time he is healthy. Speaking of health, when the Cowboys and Redskins squared off on Thanksgiving Day, the 'Boys were missing both running back DeMarco Murray and center Ryan Cook, both of whom will play Sunday. I know you feel me leaning that way, so let me go ahead and confirm that I think the Cowboys go into the nation's capital and leave with a W. Cowboys winners, Redskins losers.

2) Packers (11-4) @ Vikings (9-6)
The Packers can clinch a first-round bye with a win or losses by the 49ers and Seahawks. The Vikings can clinch a playoff spots with a win or losses by the Bears, Cowboys, and Giants. Adrian Peterson can clinch the new single-season rushing record with 208 yards and/or a 2,000-yard season with 102 yards.

I think this will be a tight game, but in the end Christian Ponder won't be able to carry his team to victory and Adrian Peterson will fall short of Eric Dickerson. Packers winners, Vikings losers.

3) Texans (12-3) @ Colts (10-5)
Houston needs to win to clinch home-field advantage, and Indianapolis can't go up or down, but all I have to say about this game is ChuckStrong. Colts winners, Texans losers.

4) Bears (9-6) @ Lions (4-11)
Chicago needs a win and a Minnesota loss to make the playoffs, but for some reason they're trash talking the soup can that has nothing to play for. Sadly, I can't get too excited about a team that's loss 7 straight. Bears winners, Lions losers.

5) Eagles (4-11) @ Giants (8-7)
To make it back to the playoffs the Giants need a win and losses by the Cowboys, Vikings, and Bears. That's a pretty long shot, so I say the Giants no-show one last time and Mike Vick gets one last victory as an Eagle. Eagles winners, Giants losers.

6) Rams (7-7-1) @ Seahawks (10-5)
The Seahawks have an outside shot at winning the #2 seed with a win and losses by the Packers and 49ers, plus have a relatively young roster, so I'm sure they will won't be resting starters Sunday. Also, an undefeated season at home is on the line. Seahawks winners, Rams losers.

7) Dolphins (7-8) @ Patriots (11-4)
New England needs a win and a loss by either Denver or Houston to get a first-round bye. If both Denver and Houston lose, the New England would become the #1 seed and have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs because they beat both teams this season. Unfortunately, Denver plays Kansas City, so they won't be happening. Either way, the Pats need this game and I think they're going to get it, even though the Dolphins won't go down without a fight. Patriots winners, Dolphins losers.

8) Cardinals (5-10) @ 49ers (10-4-1)
The 49ers can grab a first-round bye with a win and a Packers loss, so they're definitely showing up to play after taking a vacation last week. 49ers winners, Cardinals losers.

9) Chiefs (2-13) @ Broncos (12-3)
All Denver needs is a win and they lock up the #2 seed in the AFC and a first round bye, and I don't see the lowly team in Kansas City stopping them from doing so. Broncos winners, Chiefs losers.

10) Ravens (10-5) @ Bengals (9-6)
Baltimore could move up to the #3 seed with a win and a New England loss, Cincinnati is locked into the #6 seed. Starters are supposed to play for both team, but I'm not sure how much, so I'm picking this game pretty much at random. Bengals winners, Ravens losers.

11) Panthers (6-9) @ Saints (7-8)
Even though this game means absolutely nothing for anyone (except maybe Ron Rivera), but I think this will still be one of the most exciting games of the week. I like New Orleans to win another shoot out. Saints winners, Panthers losers.

12) Browns (5-10) @ Steelers (7-8)
1) The Steelers aren't going to lose to the Browns twice in one season. 2) Thad Lewis is starting for the Browns. 3) Thad Lewis isn't beating the Steelers...or anyone else for that matter. Steelers winners, Browns losers.

13) Buccaneers (6-9) @ Falcons (13-2)
Atlanta has the top seed in the NFC locked up, thus nothing to play for Sunday, but Tampa has been playing like they've had nothing to play for since they last played Atlanta on November 25th. Falcons winners, Buccaneers losers.

14) Jets (6-9) @ Bills (5-10)
Apparently Greg McElroy suffered a concession last week and now Mark Sanchez is the starter again. Hooray!

Some are saying Sanchez is auditioning for a job, but I wouldn't be surprised if he was the Jets starting QB at the beginning of next season because they owe him too much damn money. Tough break niggas.

Anyway, the Bills haven't beat the Jets since the first time they faced Rex Ryan in 2009, so as much as I don't want to I have to take the Jets. Jets winners, Bills losers.

15) Raiders (4-11) @ Chargers (6-9)
Carson Palmer is out and I don't know who they're gonna start (but to be fair to myself, nearly do the Raiders), so I'll take the Chargers to win Norv Turner's farewell game. Chargers winners, Raiders losers.

16) Jaguars (2-13) @ Titans (5-10)
I don't even know, and like most people (including those in Jacksonville and Tennessee) I don't care. Titans winners, Jaguars losers.

This Week: 0-0 (.000)
Last Week: 10-6 (.625)
Season: 153-86-1 (.640)*

*Due to the Inaccurate Reception, these win/lose totals are fucked for the season.