Final NFC Wild Card Team and AFC Seeding To Finally Be Decided [NFL Sunday Live Thread]
Eric: When it comes to Week 17, I go by a simple formula: What does each team have to play for? As such, this week is probably when I'm at my least statistically inclined. You should all be thrilled by that.
Jess: Playoff scenarios confuse me anyway, and it's a crazy one in the NFC this year. I won't try to get all analytic on anyone either.
Let's do this.
Texans @ Colts
Eric: Intriguing game. The Texans are playing for the #1 seed, but their best player is having heart troubles (believe me, nothing to joke about there). The Colts have the 5th seed locked up, but have Chuck Pagano coming back. In the end, I'll note that the Colts are being outscored for the season, which almost always screams future regression, and take Houston.
Jess: What are the talking heads saying? That Houston has never won in Indy? I think this changes this week. They are a good team who suffered a tough loss last week. I think they bounce back today against the Colts, Pagano or not.
Bucs @ Falcons
Eric: I'm writing this on a Friday night after a night out. I have no idea if Atlanta is resting starters (and am too lazy to look), but either way I'll pick them because the Bucs are one of about 10 teams that appear to be in open implosion.
Jess: I'm sure Atlanta will be resting their starters, but I'm also pretty sure it won't matter.
Jets @ Bills
Eric: Greg McElroy has a concussion, which means we're back to Sanchez! Enjoy it, because it could be our last chance to openly laugh at him and the dumpster fire that is these Jets. (Pick: Bills)
Jess: What on earth is Rex Ryan doing? I'm not a big Tebow supporter myself, but he's got to be better than what Sanchez has been doing recently. The kid wants to play, if nothing else Sanchez should be benched for being awful, period, even if Rex himself went under center (there's a visual). Pretty sure the Bills win. If we have to watch Sanchez though, please let there be another butt fumble or something equally as entertaining.
Ravens @ Bengals
Eric: The Ravens in theory could get into the #3 seed, while the Bengals are locked into the #6 seed. Barring some eleven dimensional chess or some *bleep* like that, I like the Ravens. At least as much as one can like the Ravens in anything other than a bar fight.
Jess: ...but isn't eleven dimensional chess the very definition of the NFL this season? This might be a pretty good game, actually. I haven't seen much from either team but just because you said it would be weird if the Bengals win, I pick them.
Bears @ Lions
Eric: As much as I would love for Chicago to complete its collapse, the fact that the Lions are essentially just Stafford throwing to Megatron in triple coverage at this point means I have to pick the Bears.
Jess: Hmmm. Lions. Just because.
Jaguars @ Titans
Eric: Woof. (Pick: That this game wasn't actually played, and that all accounts of it were created by the Illuminati.)
Jess: I *knew* this would be your woof game! Jags, for my daughter.
Panthers @ Saints
Eric: This game doesn't mean anything,but the offenses are both good enough that it should at least be entertaining. As well as Carolina's been playing lately, I'll still take New Orleans, as they celebrate keeping Sean Payton away from the Cowboys.
Jess: 1) I think *because* this game isn't for anything but pride, we may see Cam Newton pouting. 2) Even when the Saints were awful to start the season and Brees was having a rough time emotionally, he still played his best. 3) The Sean Payton news is a boost. Saints win.
Eagles @ Giants
Eric: Andy Reid's (presumably) last game and the return of Michael Vick! Awesome. As much as we all feared the Giants, I think at this point they've proven that they are not that good. So what the hell? Eagles win, because that seems like the kind of thing these Eagles would do.
I'm aware I've likely just guaranteed a Giants-Packers playoff game somehow.
Jess: I like the Eagles pick...because it's insane on the surface but makes sense if you've been watching this season.
Browns @ Steelers
Eric: The Steelers may be out of the playoffs, but at least they get to beat up on someone named Thad Lewis!
/realizes that due to being in Northeast Ohio on Sunday, I'll have to watch this game
/haz a sad
Jess: Can this be my "Woof" game? No? You're right, I've never done that before...but if I did, this would be it. Only because I can't find it in myself to care. Didn't the Browns win the first game of this series? They'll probably split, but I pick the Browns again just for kicks.
Rams @ Seahawks
Eric: The Seahawks are this year's test case of the narrative that one must "peak at the right time" to win the Super Bowl. You know, unless they don't win the Super Bowl, in which case that narrative will be ignored for something else. For now, they will win because they are the better team and their home field advantage is off the charts. I'm not just saying that because Jess knows too much about me and I have to stay on her good side. Nope. No siree.
Jess: No need to say that on my account...we all know how crazy the 12th Man is. I'm nervous about this game. Not only will I not be there this week, but I just really hope the Hawks aren't overlooking the Rams as much as their fans are. St. Louis plays tough on the road, and they play tough against their division. It was Seattle's worst game of the season. However, between Sherm not getting into the Pro Bowl and winning his appeal, I have a feeling *he* will have a good game, anyway. And Russell Wilson might feel the need to prove himself against a team that picked him off 3 times last time they faced each other. As usual, I won't make a pick, and just know that I'm not as comfortable with this game as most of the fans.
Chiefs @ Broncos
Eric: The Broncos are playing for a first round bye, if not the #1 seed. The Chiefs are playing because they are contractually obligated to. Not a hard decision when you put it that way.
Jess: We may see a record score differential this week.
Packers @ Vikings
Eric: The facts about this game: 1.) The Packers clinch the #2 seed with a win; 2.) The Vikings clinch a playoff berth with a win; 3.) Adrian Peterson needs 208 yards to break Eric Dickerson's record; 4.) He ran for 211 the last time he played Green Bay; 5.) Aaron Rodgers is on fire; 6.) Jared Allen is my least favorite player outside of a certain quarterback with multiple accusations of sexual assault; 7.) Adrian Peterson is terrifying to this Packers fan; 8.) As a homer, I must pick the Packers, but I don't feel especially confident about it.
Jess: Am I correct in thinking the Packers have a tough time stopping the run this year? And the Vikings obviously aren't very good against the passing game. I don't see the Vikings calling one pass play this game, with AD looking to break the record. This game could easily be watched in its entirety on the RedZone Channel. I pick Green Bay, but I'm not necessarily confident either.
Dolphins @ Pats
Eric: The Pats are also in the #1 or #2 seed hunt. The Dolphins are mediocre as always. They might not blow them out, but New England should win without much difficulty.
Raiders @ Chargers
Eric: Woof. (Prediction: Anyone watching this game starts reevaluating their life midway through the second quarter.)
Jess: Two woofs in one week? Wow. I think the Chargers win big, cementing Turner's undeserved HC security yet another year.
Cardinals @ 49ers
Eric: The Niners haven't looked that great since the start of the second half or so in Foxboro. Going up against Brian Hoyer should fix that.
Jess: I was more disappointed in the Pats play in that game than I was impressed with the Niners - the entire game. The Pats are much better than they played, and I feel the Niners just got lucky. They're also beat up a bit. Cardinals D isn't bad but I'm not sure their offense can keep up...unless Hoyer is the new Flynn. (Praying)
Cowboys @ Redskins
Eric: For the second straight year the Cowboys face a win and in, lose and out game in Week 17 on Sunday Night Football. Obviously, the Romo-Garrett combination has had plenty of high profile failures over the years. However, DC is an especially snake bitten sports town. As examples I give you the Nationals in Game 5, the Capitals every postseason, and the Wizards entire existence. Which of these is going to give? I have no idea really, but I of course pick Washington, because I'd like to be allowed back in the city after I come back from New Year's.
Jess: I'm sure Romo will DERP this one and RGIII will come out shining.
We hope you've enjoyed our collaborative hosted final edition of the Pregame Show.
Wait, no, that's not right! We have a few treats for the upcoming playoff game threads too. Is your team already in, out, or are you waiting for the games today to find out? Q it up here for the final week of the NFL season!