January 3rd, 2010
The final season comes to an end, and this is always a tough week for picks, since different teams have different things at stake and different approaches to games that “don’t matter.”
Colts @ Buffalo(-8)
I think the Bills are so bad that the Colts can play their practice squad and only lose by a TD, so I’ll take the points.
Saints @ Carolina(-7)
New Orleans has nothing to play for and the Panthers, while eliminated, actually do, which is making sure that Fox really gets to keep his job. They’ll be up for the Saints’ second team, and will cover.
Jaguars @ Cleveland(-1.5)
Absolutely everything has to go right in terms of other teams for the Jags to make the playoffs, but that slim chance will keep them ahead in this game. Give the ball to MJD!!
Bears @ Detroit(+3)
The Bears aren’t very good, but the Lions remain terrible; give the points.
Patriots @ Texans(-7)
So, I’ll be at this game, and it could be really interesting. The Pats secondary is bad, and the Texans can throw. Houston’s real problem has been closing out games, but will New England be resting their key guys by then? Also, the Pats have been horrible on the road this year. So much uncertainty… I like the Texans to win, but I cannot in good conscience give that many points, so I’ll be picking the Pats.
Steelers @ Miami(+3)
Will Polamalu actually play? That’s clearly the big question here. In this game it probably matters less than in some other matchups because the Dolphins don’t throw that much. I just hate the way the Steelers have been all over the place this season, and I think it should cos them, so I’ll take the Dolphins here.
Giants @ Minnesota(-8)
Err, I don’t know if people have noticed this, but the Vikings are looking mighty dysfunctional of late. The Giants still have some heart left, so I like them to keep it closer than this.
Niners @ St. Louis(+8)
The Rams won’t even try to win this because they won’t want to jeopardize that first overall pick. Oh, and the also suck, so it won’t be a problem. Niners blow them out.
Falcons @ Tampa(+2)
Atlanta looked good last week, but playing the Bills often has that effect. The Bucs seem to have a little fight in them, but I think the Falcons can cover the small spread.
Eagles @ Dallas(-3)
Ahh, the official “we’re just as clueless as everyone else” spread, home team by three. Dunno, it’s actually a big game because the Iggles could take the #2 seed if the Vikings stumble, which they easily could. On the other hand, Dallas seems to have gotten over their December woes, and hey, it’s not December anymore anyway. If the Vikings lose then the Eagles will have it locked up and will rest guys. If the Vikings win, the Eagles will go all-out for the #2 seed. So, my pick hinges on whether the Vikings win… ugh. I don’t like the Vikes to cover the big number, but will they actually lose? Hard choice. Can’t do it, have to take the points.
Packers @ Arizona(-3.5)
Weird, seems like too many points in a game that neither team needs for anything. Err, wait, if both the Vikings and the Eagles lose, they can get the #2 seed, whereas the Packers have nothing at all on the line. In fact, the seeding is such that the Packers will face the Cards in Arizona if the seeding doesn’t change, so with that possibility on the table for Green Bay, they’ll play close to the vest and won’t show anything. OK, I’ve talked myself into it, Cards cover.
Chefs @ Denver(-11)
Really? Eleven? I mean, yeah, KC is bad, but that seems a little excessive, especially with the Broncos in self-destruct mode at the moment. I’ll take 11 points, that’s way too many to give here.
Ravens @ Oakland(+10.5)
Baltimore is playing for their playoff lives, and I believe Oakland is back to JaMarcus at QB. Give the big number.
Redskins @ San Diego(-3.5)
The Bolts have the #2 spot wrapped up and will sit guys. A lot of the guys on the Skins are playing for their jobs next season. Take the points.
Titans @ Seattle(+4)
Err, has nobody seen the Seabags the last few weeks? They’re… atrocious, and CJ has a shot at the 2000 yard mark, so Tennessee, while having no shot at the playoffs, will still be going for it. I’d give 8 here no problem, so 4 is a gimme.
Bengals @ New Jersey Jets(-10)
Wow, that’s a big number, but Cincy has already checked out for this game, no matter what anybody is saying in public. Nice for the Jets to be handed two games at the end of the season to lock up their playoff spot, isn’t it? Total BS, but what can you do? Ugh, give the points.