The final week of the regular season is upon us, bringing us ever closer to that dreadful point in the year where all we have is baseball to watch until football and hockey return in the late summer/early fall. This is the rare time of year where there’s always something to watch on TV, so savor it. What are we watching for this Sunday, you ask?
-The Browns can be the second team ever to go 0-16
-Patrick Mahomes will make his first career start against the Denver Broncos
-Pittsburgh is resting Ben Roethlisberger and LeVeon Bell against Cleveland
-New England will play everyone to try and lock up the #1 seed
Other storylines of note:
-Chuck Pagano is rumored to be on the way out in Indy
-Oakland is rumored to be pursuing Jon Gruden
There are some terrible games this week, huh?
Green Bay at Detroit (Lions -7)
The first of many games that at a glance, week 1 at least, one may have assumed that it would’ve been important. Alas, it is not. Nothing about Brett Hundley inspires confidence in me.
Droop’s pick: Lions
Texans at Colts (Colts -5.5)
The Texans will be without DeAndre Hopkins for this game and Chuck Pagano’s looking to go out on a high note because he’s getting fired. Houston is going to pull a fan out of the stands, throw a jersey on him, and tell him to play quarterback.
I’m just surprised Pagano made it this long, because i’d have fired him immediately after this:
How do I feel about this game?
-toilet flushing noise-
Droop’s pick: Colts
Bears at Vikings (Vikings -12.5)
It’s fitting that the John Fox era in Chicago ends in a stinker. What a disappointment. Chicago’s defense gives them a foundation to build upon, but in 2018 they have to find a way to actually move the ball on offense. They won’t get it done this week on the road.
Droop’s pick: Vikings
Jets at Pats (Pats -15)
Are the Jets tanking? Are they not tanking? Who knows anymore? The Jets surprised a lot of people, namely their fans, by winning more than 2 games this season. They also Jets’d themselves out of prime draft position. If revitalized Josh McCown was playing, I’d raise an eyebrow at the 15 point spread. Bryce Petty doesn’t scare me. Pats are playing everybody, still in the driver’s seat for the #1 seed. 40 year old Tom Terrific and the Pats roll at home.
Droop’s pick: Pats
Redskins at Giants (Redskins +3)
The Giants are going to mail this game in.
Droop’s pick: Redskins
Cowboys at Eagles (Eagles +3)
Terrible showing from Foles last week against the Raiders. Doug Pederson says he’s going to play everybody, presumably to give Foles more reps to help Philly avoid a playoff letdown. Dallas is primed to play spoiler here if Foles can’t get it together. I still like Philly here because their pass rush can give their offense plenty of bites out of the apple in this game.
Droop’s pick: Eagles
Browns at Steelers (Steelers -6)
No Roethlisberger and no LeVeon Bell for Pittsburgh today. Not that it matters, I don’t think. The Browns, even if they find themselves leading in this game somehow, are going to lose. I don’t know how it will happen, but it will happen. Poor Cleveland.
Droop’s pick: Steelers
Panthers at Falcons (Falcons -3.5)
This could very easily be a 3 point game all day, so take the points if you’re going to throw your hat in the ring on this one. It’s going to be a boring game for the most part and I’m not crazy about the matchup. I feel comfortable taking the Falcons at home though.
Droop’s pick: falcons
Bengals at Ravens (Ravens -9)
Baltimore’s in a win and win situation this week, which is exactly why I’m taking them. They have veteran leadership on this team and will get it done against an inferior opponent. Happy trails, Marvin Lewis!
Droop’s pick: Ravens
Buffalo at Miami (Bills +2)
Bills need a win to stay alive, but they need a lot of help. Miami can play spoiler, and I think they will today.
Droop’s pick: Dolphins
Saints at Buccaneers (Saints +5)
Only 5 points? FIVE??
Droop’s pick: Saints
Jaguars at Titans (Titans -2.5)
Can’t for the life of me figure out how/why the Titans, who continue to stumble, are favorites in this game. A two and a half point spread is equally hilarious.
Droop’s pick: Jags
Chiefs at Denver (Broncos -4)
I understand that this is Mahomes’s first start, but the way Denver’s defense has played down the stretch this season I’m not afraid for him. I think 4 points are manageable. Don’t let this being Mahomes’s first start discourage you – remember that the Broncos might have the worst QB situation in the league right now (I considered Houston but they will have DeSean Watson for the foreseeable future). KC is going to have to make a decision on Alex Smith sooner than later, don’t you think?
Droop’s pick: Chiefs
Raiders at Chargers (Chargers -7)
I like the Chargers, who still have something to play for, in this game. Oakland played Monday night, so they haven’t had as much rest. Yeah, the Chargers don’t really have a ‘home field advantage’, but I like LA in this game.
Droop’s pick: Chargers
49ers at Rams (49ers -4)
The Rams are resting all their starters, and Jimmy GQ is on FIRE. Am I dying inside as a Pats fan that the heir to Tom Brady is out west killing it as a starter? A little bit. Am I going to watch every 49ers game to remind myself every week what could’ve been? You bet.
Droop’s pick: 49ers
Cardinals at Seahawks (Seattle -9)
Bruce Arians, potentially in his last game for Arizona, could leave it all out on the field and try to play spoiler. Seattle still has post-season aspirations, are at home, and the Cardinals are banged up. I feel okay about taking Seattle here.
Droop’s pick: Seahawks
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