NFL Week 17: aka “Do or Die Week”

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December 30, 2012 by stevietz93

It’s the last week of the NFL season. Seventeen teams are already looking forward to their off-seasons, ten teams have already clinched their berth in the tournament for the Lombardi trophy and five teams will be battling it out for the final two playoff spots in the NFC.

Just to get the AFC out of the way early, let’s talk about it first. Number one, the playoff teams are already set; Texans, Broncos, Patriots, Ravens, and the wildcards, Colts and Bengals.

Before everyone starts going on about how the Texans can end up without a bye even after being in first basically the whole year, the chances they lose in Indianapolis this week are slim. The Colts are locked into the five-seed, no matter what happens. Whether they win or lose, they’re probably playing the Ravens in the wildcard round, so there’s no need to go 100 per cent in a game where you’d rather get out healthy and lose than win and have someone like Andrew Luck get injured by JJ Watt while he’s trying to break the single-season sack record.

And those of you who are hoping the Patriots will get a bye? Assuming the Texans beat the Colts, the Broncos need to lose to Kansas City (HA!).

Now, on to the NFC playoff picture.

With two spots left, the five teams battling it out have a giant week ahead of them.

The Vikings, Bears and Giants are all battling for the final wildcard, with the Vikings being the only ones that control their own destiny. They win, they’re in. Sorry Chicago and New York. The second spot will go to the winner of the Cowboys/Redskins game on Sunday night.

My take on the wildcard is this. The Giants need a TONNE of help to get in. They need the Vikings, Bears and Cowboys all to lose. They’ve played horribly all year, and they don’t even deserve to be in the playoff picture. How do you follow a 50-burger against the Saints by laying consecutive duds against the Falcons and Ravens? They weren’t even competitive in either of those games. That being said, does anyone in the NFC want the Giants to make the playoffs? I mean, they can demolish Green Bay or San Francisco on any given week, considering what they did to both teams earlier in the year. Either way, I still don’t see them making the playoffs, and here’s why.

The Vikings will lose to Green Bay. I don’t care if Adrian Peterson needs 208 yards to break the single-season rushing record. Aaron Rodgers gets to play in a dome where he is absolutely lethal. Oh, and if the Packers win, they lock up the two-seed and a bye. If the Vikings fall down 14 points early (which I see happening), then the game will rest on Christian Ponder’s shoulders. That’s a lofty situation to overcome for a quarterback who’s yards-per-attempt is less than his rusher’s yards-per-attempt. The Vikings have been winning despite Christian Ponder, not because of him. And Rodgers is riding a high.

The Bears will beat Detroit. The Lions have one goal in this game, and one goal only. Get Calvin Johnson to 2,000 yards. Nobody on the team will admit that, but in a season that has been a complete laugher, it will be one bright spot to look back on. The defense has been abysmal and the offense has turned the ball over all year (the Bears thrive on turnovers). The Bears are also in the playoffs with a win and a Vikings loss. They’re playing for a shot at the Super Bowl, they’re playing for their coach Lovie Smith who has been under heavy scrutiny lately and they’re playing for their dignity, which may be lost if they miss the playoffs after a 7-1 start.

Lastly, the Redskins and Cowboys. I really want Dallas to win. I mean, how can you not feel bad for Tony Romo? He’s like a puppy that you can’t stay angry at even if he pisses on your carpet. And then the Redskins. How can you bet against Robert Griffin III? The rookie-of-the-year candidate has been downright filthy (good filthy) all year. And his Redskins are riding a six-game win streak. And they’re playing at home. And the Cowboys are banged up like crazy.

When it comes to picking this game, it’s really tough for me. I mean, it’s the Cowboys. Classic Cowboys would be to lose this game in dramatic fashion. But then, classic Cowboys will be to WIN the game in dramatic fashion. I’m going to go against the grain and pick the Cowboys, saying this will be the year they finally break out of their nearly two-decade long funk.

I hope I’m right with everything here. If I am, “YEAAAAA BOYS, I’M A GENIUS!”

If I’m wrong, “What do you want from me, it’s impossible to pick everything right.”

Anyways, Let’s Go Cowboys! And if you win, Good Luck Against Seattle. Zoiks Scooby!

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