Survivor Pick of the Week:
PITTSBURGH over Cleveland
Most survivor pools are done and dusted, so we’ll cut right to the chase. Pittsburgh’s got the largest spread of any team I haven’t already used and has something to play for. Usually that’s a good thing. There are plenty of teams with large spreads this week, so you’ll have ample choices depending on whether or not you have teams left. But if you’ve made it this far, you probably don’t need much help from me.
Teams used: Indianapolis, New England, Denver, New Orleans, St. Louis, Seattle, Green Bay, San Francisco, and Dallas, Tennessee, Houston, Detroit, Philadelphia, Carolina, Baltimore, and San Diego
Locks of the Week:
Baltimore +6.5 over CINCINNATI
Both teams have something to play for here, but Baltimore needs to save face after playing their worst game of the season last week. Baltimore doesn't deserve to make the playoffs after playing an incredibly uneven season and looking pathetic offensively for most of the season. They should still be able to keep in range of this one.
San Francisco PK over ARIZONA
It’s a tough call here since both teams have something to play for and are playing well. Arizona’s win in Seattle last week was one of the most shocking wins of the season. It was completely the work of the defense as the offense that barely completed 50 percent of its passes and ran for only 3.2 yards per carry. Now they need to take down the 49ers and pray the Saints lose a home game to Tampa Bay. I just can’t get around the fact that the Cardinals could win 11 games with Carson Palmer. Sadly it looks as if they’re stuck with Palmer for another year because of the cap hit, but this would be the perfect place for someone like Jay Cutler to land. As for the game, I’m not backing the racists.
Reggie: San Francisco
Philadelphia -6.5 over DALLAS
Win or go home game No. 2 would’ve been much more fun if Tony Romo’s back wasn’t so messed up. I just can’t convince myself to take Kyle Orton here.
Trap Game of the Week:
ATLANTA +7 over Carolina
We're starting a theme for the week. Teams that have nothing to play for are 90-55-4 when facing teams in contention since 1978. With a record like I have this season, why not play the numbers? Carolina's got the division and a bye on the line here. Atlanta's season has been over for a while, but to their credit, they've been playing OK for the last four weeks since Steven Jackson and Roddy White came back.
Rest of the Picks:
MINNESOTA -3 over Detroit
It's the last game in Metrodome history, but does that really mean anything? It's not exactly one of the most legendary facilities in the league. It's known for the roof falling in. The Vikings lost the 1999 NFC Championship game there. I'm pretty sure the fans will embrace the new stadium easily. But they'll have one more win to enjoy first because Detroit's season ended last week and it's just going through the motions.
Washington +3.5 over N.Y. GIANTS
I still can't believe the Giants beat the Lions last week because their offense had produced only eight yards for a good majority of the second half. Washington's defense may be just as bad as Detroit's or slightly worse, but their offense should be good enough to make the Giants' offense pay for not being productive. Sorry St. Louis. I know you really want that second pick in the draft. Did Washington include their Christmas tree in the deal too?
Cleveland +7 over PITTSBURGH
We're continuing the theme of choosing the team with nothing to play for. The Steelers are somehow still alive to make the playoffs, which makes them think of all the games they let get away this year. The Browns, well they have the draft to look forward to. It’s become so common in Cleveland that they made a movie out of it.
TENNESSEE -7 over Houston
The Texans certainly deserve that No. 1 pick with what they've shown this season. That's about all the commentary this game deserves.
N.Y. Jets +6 over MIAMI
Maybe the next coach of the Jets will react more kindly to the idea than Jason Sudeikis suggests one should. Still you need to give Rex Ryan some credit for what he did with a team that has arguably the worst offensive weapons in football and a terrible secondary. The Jets should consider keeping Rex because it would only be worth a change if his players stopped playing hard for him, which hasn't been the case.
Jacksonville +12 over INDIANAPOLIS
It's quite fascinating that the Colts could be as high as the #2 seed given how poor they've looked at times this year. They played their second best game of the year last week in mastering the Chiefs in Kansas City, so maybe they're putting everything together at once. If only Trent Richardson was actually good. Still I'll take the points because the Jags are carefree on Sunday.
OAKLAND +12.5 over Denver
Here's another one with the varying interests of winning. Peyton Manning now gets another game to increase his touchdown record and go after Drew Brees' single season yardage record. He's only 265 yards away from that, so it should be attainable against the 26th best passing defense in the league.
Kansas City +9 over SAN DIEGO
It'll be like a final preseason game for Kansas City on Sunday. They'll only be playing their starters for a few series to keep them fresh for
Reggie: Kansas City
St. Louis +13 over SEATTLE
There’s much hope ahead for the Rams after another seven win season despite some injuries. They’ve got Washington’s #1 pick to look forward to. That RG3 trade doesn’t look so bad now, does it? Seattle at least has one game left to right the ship, but St. Louis can bring the defense almost as well as Arizona did.
Tampa Bay +12.5 over NEW ORLEANS
There’s no reason the Saints shouldn’t win this one to lock up a playoff spot. There’s just the question of motivation given that the Saints know what they’re supposed to do. Again I’m taking the team that's care free.
Reggie: New Orleans
Green Bay -2.5 over CHICAGO
Our win or go home game of the day got a major boost when Aaron Rodgers was deemed healthy enough to compete. Both teams should be able to bring the offensive punch and Rodgers won’t be that rusty because he’s been practicing to a certain extent. Both defenses are pretty bad, so I’ll take the quarterback I’ve got more faith in even if he hasn’t played for some weeks.
Buffalo +10 over NEW ENGLAND
The difference between the #1 seed and the #4 can be found in this game. New England may not lose to Buffalo, but the Bills have played pretty well in recent weeks and should use the running game to keep things close.
Last Week: 6-10
Reggie’s Picks: 123-117-2