The NFL must be thrilled they put the Indianapolis Colts in so many primetime games late in the season. After appearing on Thursday Night Football, they have a road game on Saturday against the Baltimore Ravens. Even when the Colts play well they can’t get the win, as they have dropped five separate ten-point leads. They won’t need to worry about it this week as the Ravens will take control from the start by pressuring Jacoby Brissett.
The Green Bay Packers have packed up their hopes and put them in storage until next season as Aaron Rodgers after playing one game and losing was shut down, with Green Bay’s playoff elimination. The Minnesota Vikings, meanwhile have a division title in hand and are looking for a first-round bye and home field as they hope to play Super Bowl LII in their home stadium. The Vikings will get the win, but the Packers will keep it close at Lambeau Field.
As the season hits its final stretch, the Carolina Panthers are playing their best football, holding a record of 10-4 as they are battling neck and neck with the Saints for the NFC South. As the season enters the final two weeks, three teams from the South could make the playoffs. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 4-10 are the odd team out, in what has been a brutally disappointing season. The Bucs played well on Monday but fell short of a win over the Falcons. Expect a similar result this week.
The struggles of the Cleveland Browns are well documented 4-47 since Thanksgiving of 2014, 1-29 in 30 games under coach Hue Jackson. The Browns won a game on December 13, 2015. Since that win the Browns have one win, meanwhile, there have been three Star Wars movies released. The last Browns win was last Christmas Eve against a team that no longer exists (San Diego Chargers). Can the Browns get another Christmas win? Akeem Hicks of the Chicago Bears say no, and at Soldier Field, a win by Cleveland will likely bring the ghost of George Halas to haunt John Fox in his sleep.
At 8-6 the Detroit Lions still have an outside shot at making the playoffs. The Cincinnati Bengals meanwhile have mentally shutdown and began looking towards the future. In the final home game of the season look for an emotional send off for longtime coach Marvin Lewis. Just kidding look for the Bengals to commit several penalties that cost them big time as they mail in another lackluster performance which will allow the Lions to waltz their way to an easy win.
After a two-month sleepwalk in the middle of the season, the Kansas City Chiefs that started the season 5-0 appears to be back, as they need just one more win to clinch a second straight AFC West Championship. Meanwhile, the Miami Dolphins are having a similar return, sadly it’s the return of a terrible uncaring horrendous lackluster horrific horrible atrocious terrible brutal putrid play quarterback in Jay Cutler.
With two weeks left the Buffalo Bills at 8-6 are in position to make the playoff for the first time since 1999. However, they have to win two tough road games to reach their playoff destination. This includes this week in Foxboro. The New England Patriots meanwhile finish the season with two home games and with wins will not have to play on the road again until the Super Bowl. The Patriots own the Bills and will continue their dominance with another easy win on Sunday.
The New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons have been bitter rivals for 50 years. For much of their history, the two teams struggled but took pleasure in beating each other up. This year both teams can make the playoffs. The Falcons won the first round two weeks ago and need a win to clinch a playoff berth. The Saints meanwhile, the lead the NFC South and are battling the Panthers at 10-4. With a win, they too can clinch a playoff berth and move closer to winning the division. The teams tend to split every year and this season will be no different as the Saints win in the Superdome.
The Los Angeles Chargers suffered a major letdown last week as they were beaten up by the Chiefs and lost out on a shot to win the AFC West. Now the Chargers need to regroup and win their last two games to get in the playoffs. The Chargers have a tough task going across the country to take on the New York Jets. The Jets are finished in the playoff chase but can make some noise as they give a good effort most weeks. The Chargers need to come out strong and get the Jets on their heels if they want to win, look for Phillip Rivers to accomplish that as the Chargers keep hope alive.
Coming off a satisfying beatdown of the Seahawks in Seattle, the Los Angeles Rams just need to win one more game to wrap up the NFC West. The Tennessee Titans come home losing two straight road games in the NFC West and need a win to get their playoff hopes back on track and to keep any chance of winning the AFC South alive. On paper, it would seem the Rams are red hot and roll the struggling Titans, but this is one of those games that have upset written all over it. Look for the Titans to get a big game from Marcus Mariota to get the win.
Two teams putting the finishing touches on disappointing seasons play in Week 16 with nothing on the line. The Denver Broncos have won their last two games, after a nightmarish eight-game losing streak. However, both wins came against teams that were limping along themselves. The Washington Redskins are also in that position, though they managed a win last week at home. The Redskins should get the win at home in this one too, but it will not be one that makes fans of any team excited.
With a win, the Jacksonville Jaguars can clinch the AFC South. The San Francisco 49ers, meanwhile come in with three straight wins with Jimmy Garoppolo as their starting quarterback. The Jaguars have been getting good play from Blake Bortles at home, but on the road, he still has something to prove. Look for the Jaguars playoff express to hit a little pothole, as Jimmy G continues to make fans for the 49ers salivate at what the hope is a bright future.
Last week Eli Manning, played his best game of the season but had nothing to show for it as the New York Giants special teams faltered in a heartbreaking loss to the Eagles at home. Heading on the rod for the final time in 2017, they face an Arizona Cardinals team that has had their own frustrations. The Cardinals come into this one a little banged up in a season full of injuries. Look for Eli Manning looking to finish strong have another big game, this time he will get his team the win in the desert.
After six weeks, Ezekiel Elliott is back, and the Dallas Cowboys could not be happier as they still hold out hope of making the playoffs, needing to win their final two and get lots of help. The Seattle Seahawks are in a similar position after two straight losses, including that ugly loss to the Rams at home last week. In that loss, the Seahawks had no answers for Todd Gurley. Facing a fresh and inspired Elliott this week, look for more of the same as the Cowboys roll all over the crumbling Seahawks at Jerry’s World.
Last week the Pittsburgh Steelers lost a chance to get home-field advantage throughout the playoffs as Jesse James’ touchdown was overturned on a controversial review, that left everyone asking just what is a catch. The Steelers should not have to worry about the game coming down to hair-splitting a catch as they look to keep the heat on the Patriots by beating up on a Houston Texans team that has been shattered tattered and splattered across the field all season due to injuries.
Carson Wentz maybe out the rest of the season, but the Philadelphia Eagles coming home after three straight road games are closing in on home-field throughout the playoffs. In his first start, last week at the Meadowlands Nick Foles was solid, as the Eagles did not miss a beat. Facing an Oakland Raiders team that has been a major disappointment, look for Foles to tear apart the Raiders porous secondary to get the Eagles one step closer to having the road to Super Bowl LII come through Lincoln Financial Field.