Who's heading to the playoffs and who's heading home? [FanIQ GameDay Live Week 17]
I'll be taking GameDay Live solo this week, as everyone was celebrating the holidays, and I didn't want to beg. Let's get right to it.
Carolina at Atlanta
This has trap game written all over it for the Panthers as they head into Atlanta for Tony Gonzalez's final game, division title and first round bye on the line. I have a feeling I should pick the Falcons, but I don't quite have the stones. Carolina it is.
Baltimore at Cincinnati
This is the first of three games where if the right team wins, the Steelers are eliminated. The Ravens don't clinch the 6th seed of mediocrity with a win, but obviously they need one. However, the Bengals are still playing for the 3rd seed and possibly even the 2nd. Given how terrible Baltimore looked last week, it's hard not to pick the Bengals here.
Houston at Tennessee
Woof. Avert your eyes unless your a Texans or Rams fan wondering about the #1 pick. Look on the bright side, Houston fans. You might soon have Bill O'Brien and Teddy Bridgewater.
Jacksonville at Indianapolis
With the caveat that they could in theory rest starters (it'll be hard for them to improve from the #4 seed) or randomly lay an egg, the Colts should win.
N.Y. Jets at Miami
As much as I don't want to root for Team Bully, a win by them eliminates the Steelers. The Jets, meanwhile, actually get to 8-8 with a win here. Rex Ryan can still coach a bit.
Detroit at Minnesota
Megatron is hurt and does anyone expect the rest of the Lions to show up? Vikings.
Washington at N.Y. Giants
Your dumpster fire Game of the Week. Giants to win and Eli to outpick Cousins 3-2. RGIII gets blamed for all 5 interceptions.
Pittsburgh at Cleveland
Pittsburgh, because these bastards are making the playoffs, aren't they?
Denver at Oakland
Do the Broncos still have something to play for and thus won't rest starters? *Checks* Yep, need a win for the #1 seed. Thus, Denver in a walk. Also, I recommend this book.
Also, there are eight teams in the league with 4 wins or less. Yeesh.
Buffalo at New England
Tampa Bay at New Orleans
So, the only thing separating the Saints from the playoffs is a home game against the Fighting Schiano Men? Yeah, I think the Saints can swing that.
San Francisco at Arizona
Cardinals, because it would be so Arizona to go 11-5 and still miss the playoffs.
Kansas City at San Diego
The Chiefs are locked into the #5 seed, and the Chargers absolutely must win. Chargers win, and if nothing else, eliminate the Steelers.
St. Louis at Seattle
The Seahawks aren't going to blow it again, right? The Rams are much better at home than on the road, right? Right?
Green Bay at Chicago
Aaron Rodgers is back. I have many thoughts on this, starting now:
a.) It made perfect sense to wait until he was healthy to come back. It's only through a string of luck and Detroit implosions that even give the Packers the chance they have today.
b.) I hope Rodgers isn't coming back too early because people were trying to make it out he's a wuss.
c.) If you thought that, you're an idiot.
d.) I have more respect for a Murray Chass Hall of Fame argument than any complaints about the "wussification of sports."
e.) Even with Rodgers's awesomeness and Flynn's limitations, I still worry he may suffer from timing issues. It's hard to miss eight weeks and come in cold with everything on the line.
f.) Regardless of the quarterback and whether the starting running back is the hobbled Eddie Lacy or James Starks, the Packers need to run the ball against Chicago's Swiss cheese run defense.
g.) Randall Cobb is also back from injury today, another potential boost.
h.) Clay Matthews is out, which isn't good for an already struggling defense than Jay Cutler is perfectly capable of cutting to ribbons.
i.) Whoever wins this game will be slaughtered by the Niners or Saints, and their playoff spot should be given to Arizona on principle.
j.) I'm picking the Packers because I have to, but I don't feel good about it.
k.) I hope I can maintain control of myself during the game. I actually did during last week's Pittsburgh debacle, so maybe, just maybe...
l.) This gimmick is well played out, so let's move on.
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Philadelphia at Dallas
We continue our Week 17 tradition of Dallas blowing a win-and-in game on the final Sunday Night game of the season. While I'm sure all non-Cowboys fans were already rooting for the Eagles, let me emphasize how much we need to that happen. If Kyle Orton wins this game, the Tony Romo hysteria will hit DEFCON 1. The amount of hot air and #HotSportsTakes will force all of us to seek refuge in the jungles of South America. Add that Orton was once benched for Tim Tebow, and we'll then be forced to Antarctica for relief. Hopefully the Cowboys crappy defense takes care of this problem.
If you read all that, I don't know whether to congratulate or pity you. Q it up here throughout Week 17.