Here are my Week 17 picks.
Oh and by the way, the Niners officially promoted WR Joe Hastings to the 53 man roster this morning. Good thing I waited until Saturday to make my picks – this changes everything.
49ers @ Rams: 49ers, 16-3. The Rams scored zero points against the Niners last time they played, so with the home field advantage they’ll score a field goal in this one. The Rams are the worst team in the NFL, hands down. Greg Roman praises their defense, saying it’s on the cutting edge schematically. What he means is the Rams are one of the few teams in the NFL which leaves receivers completed uncovered. They’re on the cutting edge of non-coverage. You can already see them leaving Brett Swain and Joe Hastings uncovered and both guys having big games. The main question is how early will Alex Smith and the offense put the game away so Colin Kaepernick can get some snaps at quarterback? I say that happens as early as the third quarter.
Panthers @ Saints: Saints. The Saints want the No. 2 seed and they’re playing at home where they’re pretty much unbeatable. The Panthers will score more than 20 points but it won’t be nearly enough to beat New Orleans.
Lions @ Packers: Lions. Green Bay has nothing to play for and the Lions do, plus they’re hot so I’m picking Detroit.
Jets @ Dolphins: Jets. The Jets won’t lose two games in a row to end the season.
Bears @ Vikings: Vikings. Neither team has anything to play for so I’m taking the home team.
Bills @ Patriots: Patriots.
Redskins @ Eagles: Washington couldn’t hold the Vikings to fewer than 30 points last week at home. They’re going to get blown out this week in Philadelphia.
Colts @ Jaguars: The Colts are going to win this one and put themselves out of the Suck-for-Luck race with three straight wins to finish the season.
Titans @ Texans: Titans. The Texans are limping into the playoffs and the Titans are fighting for a wild card spot. I’m picking the desperate team.
Seahawks @ Cardinals: The Seahawks are 3-4 on the road this season, and the Cardinals are 5-2 at home. I’m picking the home team.
Ravens @ Bengals: Bengals. All four of the Ravens losses have come on the road – they’re a different team away from home. The Bengals lost to the Ravens in Baltimore by just seven points six weeks ago. With the home field advantage, the Bengals will pull off the upset this Sunday.
Steelers @ Browns: Steelers. The Browns will keep it close with their 2nd ranked pass defense, but they’ll lose in the end.
Chiefs @ Broncos: Broncos: There’s no way Kyle Orton comes to Denver and beats Tim Tebow. Orton plays well and loses while Tebow plays poorly and wins. That’s the way it will go this Sunday.
Buccaneers @ Falcons: Falcons. So the Bucs have lost nine games in a row. This loss will make it ten straight to finish off the season.
Chargers @ Raiders: Raiders. It’s tough to know what you’re going to get from the Raiders. Sometimes they look like a top-ten team, other times they look bottom-ten. Hue Jackson definitely has not proven himself as a head coach, but I still think he’s better than Norv Turner. His Chargers teams have specialized in losing big games the last few years, and they don’t even have anything to play for in this one – they’re already eliminated from the playoffs. The good Raiders team will show up and take care of business at home.
Cowboys @ Giants: Giants. The Cowboys lost to the Giants in Dallas just three weeks ago. Now Tony Romo has a banged up throwing hand and the Cowboys have to play the Giants in the Meadowlands. This is must win game for both teams, so I’m taking Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin over Romo and Jason Garrett. Manning and Coughlin have won plenty of big games over the years, and Romo and Garrett have not.