Week 17 picks

Believe it or not we are in the last week of the NFL season. The competition between my buddy Josh and I is very close so we’ll see who can bring home the all important and well deserved bragging rights of the 2013 regular season picks. A lot is at stake during the last week so if you have a fantasy football championship today, good luck. Or maybe your favorite team needs a win, just hopefully it isn’t the Bears. :)

1. Baltimore at Cincinnati- The Bengals still have a lot to play for which doesn’t bode well for the Ravens. The defending champs have been somewhat of an enigma this season and it’s unfortunate they run into the Bengals who I think make a big push to get that number 2 spot today. Bengals win. 

2. Green Bay at Chicago- He’s back, oh yea he is back. The bad man Aaron Rodgers returns for the first time since week 9 when he suffered his fractured collarbone against this Bears team. The Bears were embarrassed last week while the Packers might be confident for the first time since #12 has played. These games are rarely pretty but Eddie Lacy is your X-factor against a Bears defense giving up 162 yards per game on the ground. Pack bring home the NFC North crown.

3. San Francisco at Arizona- The Cardinals might be the biggest surprise of the season and could miss the playoffs even with 11 wins. The 49ers know how physical their division foes are and with a win and a Seahawks loss they bring home the NFC West crown. The Cardinals need to win and the Saints need to lose. I just don’t see the Cardinals offense doing enough on a beastly 49ers defense. San Fran gets the W.

4. Kansas City at San Diego- The Chiefs are the only team who doesn’t need to win today to either get in the playoffs or move up. They are stuck in the 5 seed. I don’t think Andy Reid is dumb enough to play his starters the whole game even though San Diego is a team I don’t think many people want to see. Ryan Matthews has given the Chargers a spark in the backfield to go along with Philip Rivers revitalized season. Chargers win but need help to get in the playoffs.

5. Philly at Dallas- Three straight years the Cowboys have had a win and in week 17 match-up. However this time we won’t have to hear about Tony Romo if he throws a game losing interception. He’s on IR and Kyle Orton will lead this team. Philly has to be licking its chops to avenge an ugly performance earlier this season. Dallas’ defense is horrid while Philly will be looking to unload on their rivals. Philly takes the NFC East title. 

Week 15 picks.

It isn’t a sexy slate of games this week outside of Josh and I’s weekly Ravens and Packers picks. So let’s get to it!

New England over Miami.

New Orleans over St. Louis. 

Dallas over Green Bay.

Cinci over Pittsburgh.

Lions over Baltimore. 

Week 13 picks

Picks from Thanksgiving:

1. Lions over Packers.

2. Ravens over Pittsburgh.

Sunday games.

1. Cincinnati over San Diego- The Chargers are still alive for a playoff spot while the Bengals are seeing a tighter race in the AFC North. The Bengals are coming off a bye while the Chargers are coming off a huge win over the Chiefs. The Bengals have too many weapons to lose this game.

2. Broncos over the Chiefs- The Chiefs have been a phenomenal story this year but the defense is struggling lately and gave up 41 points last week. The Broncos have a legit running game to go along with the insane amount of weapons on this team. With a banged up Tamba Hali and an offense that hasn’t proven to be able to come back from early deficits should allow the Broncos to get a good lead in the AFC West. 

3. New Orleans over Seattle- This could be the best game of the season. What’s at stake? Just a shot at having home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Seattle has a balanced offense but they are losing corners left and right to suspensions. The Saints have too many weapons for Seattle to account for Monday night. 

Can the Pack get a W with Tolzien?

Scott Tolzien is making his first NFL start tomorrow against the New York Giants. He flashed a strong arm last week and wasn’t afraid to take shots down the field. The Pack are struggling without Aaron Rodgers and they are going to need an all-around team performance to pull off a win against the suddenly surging New Yor Giants.

1. Takeaways- Remember when it was weird to see the Packers go a game without getting an interception? Me too, I miss those days. They are LAST in the NFL with only three picks on the year. Eli Manning has loved throwing to the guys in other jerseys for a good portion of the year. A nice pass rush should give the secondary to get some int’s and put the Packers offense in a good position. 

2. Balance- The Giants have a pretty good defense, ranking 11th against the run and the pass. A good combination of Eddie Lacy and James Starks will be a great way for this team to set up some play-action passing. Tolzien threw for almost 300 yards last week in just over three quarters of play. He has a nice relationship with some of the younger players such as Jarrett Boykin and tight end Brandon Bostick who is very athletically gifted. I expect Tolzien to play better tomorrow with a week of preparation. Lacy being a bulldozer will only help him as well.

3. Get off the field- The defense has been smacked in the mouth the last two weeks in the fourth quarter. They gave up a 9 minute drive to the Bears two weeks ago and a 9:30 minute drive to the Eagles last week who are known for their fast-pace approach. The D needs to dig deep and get stops on 3rd and long plays. They haven’t looked the same since Rodgers has gone down. Now it’s all about pride and just making a play. 

Packers keys to a win over the Bears.

There are few things during the year that make me get more excited than a Packers-Bears game. The Pack are looking for their 6th straight win over the Bears which would put the all-time record to 92-89-6 giving Green Bay a chance to tie the series up by the end of next season. Let’s take a look how the Pack can close the gap tonight.

1. Take some shots early- The Bears are giving up a mind-boggling 29.4 points per game this year. While the team is still doing well in the take-away department the Packers can try to end this one early with a few rainbow shots to Jordy Nelson. 

2. Cover up the ball- While this might seem like the most obvious thing to do in the world, the Bears have had some good success stripping the ball from Packer receivers. Just ask James Jones and Jermichael Finley. Bears cornerback Charles Tillman is the best in the league at punching the ball out a runner’s hands. If the Pack needs to sacrifice a few yards tonight to avoid the risk of a turnover then that is a win in my book.

3. Respect Josh McCown- McCown is not Jay Cutler but he is a backup that has had a lot of experience. He played well two weeks ago filling in for Cutler and has had two weeks to prepare for the Packers. Remember it was McCown’s touchdown pass to Nathan Poole in 2003 that beat the Minnesota Vikings and sent the Packers into the playoffs. Let’s hope we see that play more tonight than the Fail Mary.

  • Side note- Over/under four times we have to witness the Fail Mary tonight?
4. Packers corners vs. Marshall/Jeffrey- This is the deepest the Packers have been at cornerback during the Mike McCarthy era. They will have their hands full tonight with Brandon Marshall and the emergence of second-year man Alshon Jefferey. These guys have been one of the top wide-out duos in the league and are monsters at 6’4 and 6’3 respectively. 
 
I’ve got to go with the Packers tonight with the Bears having no Jay Cutler or Lance Briggs on defense. The Packers could be in a tad better shape tonight if James Jones is back but with the way Aaron Rodgers is playing I don’t think it matters who he throws to tonight. Pack 30 Bears- 20.