The Colts should be ashamed of themselves for the way they played last week. Peyton Manning will start this week to keep his streak alive then it will be more Curtis Painter, and another loss as the Colts rest up for the playoffs, knowing if they fail to make the Super Bowl, the way they rested their starters at the end of the season will be the focus of even more criticism. The spread however, is a wee bit high for the awful Bills.
The Saints may have home field advantage in their back pocket, but they will be backing into the playoffs after losing their third straight. The Panthers playoffs hopes ended long ago, but Quarterback Matt Moore is trying to make a statement for 2010, and with the Saints possibly resting players he will get a good chance in the season finale.
The Jaguars season was over when they lost at home to the Colts, as they rested so much emotion on that game. The Browns are focused on finishing strong and saving as many jobs as possible as new football czar Mike Holmgren looks on and begins taking notes how to remake the Browns into a contender.
Avoiding ten losses may not be much, but it could be enough to save Lovie Smith’s job, as the Bears look to finish the season strong. The Lions have won twice this season, and are still a work in progress, and without Matt Stafford they look an awful lot like the 0-16 team from 2008.
The Patriots know they will have to play on Wild Card weekend, and resting players for them could be the focus as they face a Texans team that can still make the playoffs if they win and get some help in the jumbled AFC playoff picture. The Pats also have to play on the road where they have struggled all season, and will lose again.
The Steelers still have a shot at the postseason if all the cards land right. Of course the most important part is they must win this game. The Dolphins will battle them, but it won’t be enough as several injuries have deflated the Dolphins hopes in the second half of the season.
The Vikings are another playoff team that has sputtered down the stretch; they may even lose their first round bye. However, the Giants have finished the season looking even worse as their hopes died last week with a lackluster performance against the Panthers to close out Giant Stadium. With nothing to play for this week it could be even worse, as the Vikings will finish the season with a statement win.
With a win the 49ers can finish 8-8. It may not be much, but it is something they can build upon for next season. The Rams meanwhile are on the clock and with a great many needs as they will close the season, being one of the worst teams in NFL history at 1-15.
The Falcons may not be in the playoffs, but they have an awful lot to play for as they can finish with a 9-7 record, which will be the first time they will post a winning record two years in a row in franchise history, and after a season full of injuries that would be a nice achievement to rest their laurels upon.
Both these teams know they will be in the playoffs and could be focusing more on resting players than winning. With that in mind Cardinals backup Quarterback Matt Leinart could see allot of action, and he will take advantage of this and play well as he leads the Cardinals to a season ending victory.
Two teams finishing the season and heading into the playoffs, with the winner of this game winning the NFC East. The Eagles are on a roll and could be the team to beat in the NFC as a win will also get them a bye in the first round. The Cowboys have erased talk of a December swoon, but still have much to prove when the playoffs begin.
The Broncos can still make the playoffs, provided they win their final game. They are one team is still in control of its own destiny despite being among a slew of 8-7 or 7-8 teams in the AFC with some faint postseason hopes. The Broncos do have an easy win so that should be a boost as they slam the Chiefs at home.
The Ravens are another AFC team with hopes for the postseason entering the final week of the season; of course they will need some help elsewhere. However, the Ravens must win and that will be the easy part as they close out the season with the Raiders who will be just happy to be ending the season.
The Chargers are another team that could be looking to rest players as they focus in on the playoffs. However, unlike other teams resting stars it won’t matter as the Redskins have quit on the season several weeks ago as they are team heading into the off-season knowing there will be mass changes and the players and coaches are doing nothing to prove their worth for the 2010 season.
No team appears to be heading into the off-season playing worse than the Seahawks. The Titans also will be home for the playoffs but with a win they can finish 8-8, which would be quite an accomplishment after their dreadful 0-6 start. Look for the Titans to make every effort to feed Chris Johnson the ball as he needs 128 yards to reach the magical 2,000 yard milestone.
The Jets have playoff destiny in their hands as they face the Bengals in the final football game ever played at Giants Stadium. Last week the stadium’s primary tenant embarrassed themselves. The Jets have a history of soul crushing losses in the final week, but this week it won’t be the case as the Bengals will look to rest players for the playoffs next week. However, Jets fans will be sweating until the last minute as it will be a close game.