Last week of the 2010 regular season and all teams want to do what I've been doing lately, and that is to finish strong. Four weeks now with at least ten correct picks, including back-to-back eleven win weeks. In addition, my "Upset Special Pick of the Week" came through last week when I had the Cincinnati Bengals upsetting the San Diego Chargers and knocking them from the post season. Hitting at well over 60%, I'd be a rich man if I were a betting man. Alas, I'm not and therefore,...I'm not.
I'll pick and pan the Ravens final regular season game hosting those aforementioned Bengals but for now, let's get to it:
Steelers over Browns: I know, I am wishing for an upset but couldn't pick Cleveland, who looked awful against the Ravens, to beat Pittsburgh, Troy or no Troy. Sorry.
Colts over Titans: Another game I'd like to see the upset come in on, but no way Peyton Manning lets a depleted Tennessee team come into Indianapolis and knock them out of the playoffs. Looks like the Ravens are headed to Indy next week. Unless...I start 0-3.
Texans over Jaguars: Houston is actually favored in this game despite the fact Jacksonville could still win the AFC South. However, without both David Garrard and Maurice Jones-Drew, I can't see them outscoring a high-powered Texans offense.
Falcons over Panthers: Atlanta's reserves could beat Carolina's starters, so watch them do so as Matty Ice rests up for part of the game once it is out of reach, which should be early.
Vikings over Lions: According to the oddsmakers, this will be considered an upset, so here we are with my first "Upset Special Pick of the Week." I like what I saw from Minnesota rookie QB Joe Webb, and the Detroit, while on a two-game road winning streak, are still not that good.
Chiefs over Raiders: Kansas City may have cinched the AFC West, but would like nothing better than to finish the regular season undefeated at home and send Oakland home to wonder if they can compete in 2011.
Patriots over Dolphins: Another home undefeated team, New England will rest their starters for a part of this and Miami still won't have a chance to end a very disappointing season on a better note.
Saints over Buccaneers: Tampa Bay came close in a surprisingly good year, but New Orleans is fighting to return to the Big Game and won't back down at home and you can believe they will be a very dangerous playoff team.
Jets over Bills: If Mark Sanchez doesn't go all game for New York in this meaningless game, reserve QB Mark Brunell may actually make them better, but it all won't make a difference to Buffalo, who will lose either way.
Broncos over Chargers: One of a bunch of meaningless games, but I like what I've seen from rookie QB Tim Tebow, whom I said after the 2010 NFL Draft will be a surprisingly good QB and has started to look that way already, while nothing makes me giddy like seeing the whiny look on Philip Rivers' face.
Packers over Bears: Green Bay needs this game a lot more than Chicago and is at home, so how can the Pack lose this game? They can't and won't, and Aaron Rodgers will make sure of it, showing the huge difference between him and Jay Cutler.
Eagles over Cowboys: There's a better than average chance that Michael Vick will not play but backup Kevin Kolb was a starter way back in this season and Dallas is down to what, their third-string QB themselves?
49ers over Cardinals: Yawn....whatever.
Redskins over Giants: Another "Upset Special Pick of the Week" as Washington's Rex Grossman is making Mike Shanahan look like a genius and New York always finds a way to tank at some critical point of the season and sits at home for the playoffs after this one. Ouch.
Seahawks over Rams (Sunday Night Football): Surprisingly, despite this game being in Seattle, rates as an "Upset Special" with St. Louis actually favored to win this game and the AFC West. While the Rams are the popular and certainly flashier pick, I think the Seahawks have one more decent game in them at home in front of a crowd excited to see their 7-9 team get to and even host a playoff game. This game will prove that playoff seeding needs to be re-examined for the future.
Last week: 11-5
Season record: 148-90