Brad's Picks was 11-5 last week. Here's the good, bad and ugly from that:
Raiders 31, Kansas City 10. Raiders end the season 6-0 against division opponents, but still didn't make the playoffs - first time that's happened - so they fired HC Tom Cable. Chiefs gave up 209 yards on the ground even though Raiders best RB, Darren McFadden, didn't play.
New England 38, Dolphins 7. Tom Brady played into the third quarter, and the Patriots were all over the Dolphins even though the Patriots top three receivers sat the game out.
Detroit 20, Vikings 13. Detroit is the cellar dweller of the NFC North no longer.
Atlanta 31, Panthers 10. Falcons took care of business to make sure they will enjoy a first round bye and home field throughout the playoffs. Panthers finished with 2 wins and will get the first pick in the draft next April, when daffodils will be popping up from the cold ground. At least in Colorado.
Steelers 41, Cleveland 10. Steelers seem ready for the playoffs, and get a bye to boot.
Baltimore 13, Bengals 7. A hard win for the Ravens. Are they ready for the playoffs?
San Francisco 38, Cardinals 7. Yawn.
Green Bay 10, Bears 3. With very little to play for, the Bears played their starters most of the game. Jay Cutler played the whole game, and Matt Forte most of it. But they made the Packers work hard for a game they needed to get into the playoffs. Bears have next week off, after all.
Giants 17, Washington 14. Giants needed a win and a Green Bay loss to make the playoffs. Mike Shanahan finishes his first year as HC of the Reds with a 6-10 record, a bit better than the 4-12 in 09.
Cowboys 14, Philadelphia 13. Yawn. Eagles rested a few players.
Uipolis 23, Titans 20. The 10-6 Colts have now won four in a row, by a total of 20 points. Good enough to make the playoffs.
the rest after the jump:
Chargers 33, Denver 28. It wasn't that close. Broncos will have the second pick in the draft next April, their highest pick since the merger back in the late 60's.
Buccaneers 23, New Orleans 13. Bucs needed a win and a loss by the Packers and Giants to make the playoffs. Bucs did a nice job of taking care of their end of that.
New York Jets 38, Bills 7. Jets made a bit of a statement. They didn't need this game to make the playoffs, but they stomped a division rival.
Houston 34, Jaguars 17. Jags had to play without QB David Garrard and RB Maurice Jones-Drew.
Seattle 16, Rams 6. This one was for a playoff spot.
Home teams won 10 last week. On the season, it's H 143, V 113. As noted last week, the final was AFC 34, NFC 30 on the season. Brad's Picks was 154-102 on the regular season.
the Wild Card playoff games: (Remember there is a new OT rule in place for the playoffs - if the receiving team kicks a field goal on it's first possession, the game does not end at that point)
the Saturday games:
at 2:30 MST:
New Orleans (11-5) at Seattle (7-9) - Las Vegas says the Saints will win by 10.5 points. Saints RB's Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas are on injured reserve, but Reggie Bush is healthy. Rookie TE Jimmy Graham is very iffy, but Jeremy Shockey has been practicing all week. Weather forecast is for rain in the morning, then showers through the afternoon. So maybe not too bad for the Domer Saints. Seahawks played at New Orleans on November 21 and lost 34-19.
I know almost nothing about the Seahawks, except that Matt Hasselbeck has been banged up but will likely start. And everyone says they play better at home than on the road, but actually they are only 5-3 at home this year. Reggie Bush will be backed up by Julius Jones, who was cut by the Seahawks earlier in the season. Might be interesting. Mostly I know not to pick against Drew Brees and his Saints here, although the location and weather might make it an interesting game.
at 6:00 MST:
New York Jets (11-5) at Uplis (10-6) - The Vegas line - Colts by 2.5. Peyton Manning is 5-1 against Jets HC Rex Ryan (including games where Ryan was the DC of the Ravens). Jets played at the Unplace last January 24 in the AFC Championship game, and lost 30-17. But the Jets were controlling the game until RB Shonn Greene left with a rib injury (Jets were up 17-13 in the middle of the third). Greene is healthy this week.
Colts have won four games in a row, by a total of 20 points (but you knew that).
Jets are 2-3 since November, but those games include a win at Pittsburgh and a close loss at Chicago.
Hard call here, but you really have to go with Manning and the Colts at the Unplace. Or do you? Colts had a hard time beating the Titans last week at the Unplace in a game they needed, while the Jets blasted the Bills in a game they didn't need.
the Sunday games:
at 11:00 MST:
Baltimore (12-4) at Kansas City (10-6) - Las Vegas says the Ravens win by three. I think the Chiefs really tried to win last week against the Raiders, even though they had the division sewn up. But if they had won that game, they would be facing the Jets this week instead of the Ravens, and I think that seemed like a better alternative to them. But the Raiders whupped them 31-10. Raiders ran for 209 yards on 37 carries. And here comes Ray Rice, who is in top form. Weather should be decent for Arrowhead at this time of year (30 or so, a little sun, a little snow). I'm taking the Ravens. Even though they had a hard time beating the Bengals last week.
at 2:30 MST:
Green Bay (10-6) at Philadelphia (10-6) - Las Vegas says the Eagles win by 2.5. Eagles O line gave up 49 sacks this year, 12 in the last two games. I'm taking the Packers. They haven't had much of a run game since Ryan Grant went down, except for Aaron Rodgers, who has rushed for 356 yards and 4 TD's this year.