One final week of the NFL, one final week of picks against the spread. As always, the line I'm using is the line given by Yahoo for the pick 'em league I participate in. Disclaimer: I have a chance to win this league but I need to be creative with a few picks. You'll likely pick up on that.
16 points - Indianapolis (-4.5) over Jacksonville
Lets go all-in with the Colts, as an 8-8 record seems fitting for this team. They've got a capable quarterback, they've got capable weapons, but everything else, sans Adam Vinatieri, is a mess. A win at home seems like a resonable ask against a disappointing Jacksonville team.
15 points - San Diego ( 5.5) over Kansas City
Phillip Rivers likes to play the spoiler role, as unfortunately that's the situation he nearly always finds himself in. I wonder how we'll remember Rivers in 20 years among this generation of quarterbacks. Is he Stan Humphries? Steve DeBerg? I think somewhere in there. A recognizable name but lost in the shuffle among those who were able to win more consistently.
14 points - New York Jets ( 3.5) over Buffalo
So to my understanding, Rex Ryan was fired so that Tyrod Taylor would be benched because the Bills don't want him to get hurt as that would guarantee a large portion of his contract. Thus, EJ Manuel is getting the start. I was likely going to take the Bills until I read a report that Manuel was throwing passes to Watkins in practice and kept sailing balls into a nearby camera. I'll go Jets.
13 points - Arizona (-6.0) over Los Angeles
I started a Madden franchise with the Rams and it's literally all I want to talk about to anyone right now. I will spare you the details....
.... except for the detail that I gave up a 3rd round pick and got Joe Callahan, Jeff #JANIS, and Ty Montgomery in return!
12 points - Seattle (-9.5) over San Francisco
It's another high line for Seattle, especially on the road. But I'll go with a Seattle team playing for seeding over a San Francisco team that could get the number one overall pick in the draft.
11 points - Baltimore ( 2.5) over Cincinnati
What a mess for Cincinnati this season has become. Is there anyway Marvin Lewis survives yet again?
10 points - Cleveland ( 5.5) over Pittsburgh
Okay, I'll take the Browns. Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and Le'Veon Bell are all sitting so that levels the playing field considerably. I know the Browns fans may rather have the number one overall pick, but if you're the Browns and you have the chance to end this season on a two-game winning streak, that's a no-brainer. Actually I just assume that trying to win every time you play is a no-brainer but I've found there a lot more people out there that would rather "tank" than win.
9 points - Tampa Bay (-6.0) over Carolina
Here's another where I wanted to take the other result. This one is tough. But ultimately I see Tampa deserving to end their season on a high note and Carolina not.
8 points - Minnesota (-5.0) over Chicago
Last year I predicted the Vikings to win ten games, was called a Vikings fan, yet was right in my prediction. This year I said that the Vikings defense is not elite, then was called a homer, but was also right. I will never get over that, clearly.
7 points - Miami (+9.5) over New England
Brock Rademann shoutout. Who's Brock? He knows who he is, and that's what matters. He tweeted me Friday during the show that Tom Brady is 0-3 in his last three games against Miami. So I will take Miami. Oh wait, I now see that he also tweeted me, "....which is why Miami will probably lose". Well, they might, but I'll take them versus the spread. For Brock.
6 points - Denver (-1.5) over Oakland
Was pretty strong on Oakland here but I'm going to switch at the last minute. It's at Denver. The Raiders are staring Matt McGloin. That's enough for me.
5 points - Green Bay (-3.5) over Detroit
Detroit's whole season has been coming back from deficits in the 4th quarter, and here they are now in the final act of their season, the underdog at home against a divisional foe. I can see Detroit winning this game, very easily I can see that. And maybe they do six, seven, eight times out of ten. But with the way Aaron Rodgers is rolling, I have to go with the Packers. Green Bay 31, Detroit 26. Just enough to cover.
4 points - Atlanta (-6.5) over New Orleans
This is a hate pick. I want Matt Ryan to do bad but my feeling is he'll "lock up" the MVP voting with a win here. Obviously I think Matt Ryan being the MVP is stupid. He's having great numbers but that offense and the backfield is doing just as much work. Offensive Player of the Year? Sure. Player of the Year all-around? That's okay too. But I think Rodgers is more VALUABLE to his team than Ryan his, so my vote would go to Aaron.
3 points - Washington (-8.0) over New York Giants
A Washington loss would lock up a playoff spot for the Packers which would be awesome, which is why I don't think it will happen.
2 points - Houston ( 3.0) over Tennessee
Tom Savage preseason game!
1 point - Philadelphia (-4.0) over Dallas
Dallas is an extremely better football team, but 13-3 sounds more realistic to me than 14-2 with just two losses to the Giants. So let's give Philly the win against Dak, or Sanchez, or Romo, or whoever.