The final two weeks tend to be a crazy couple of weeks of football. This is where we learn which teams go down kicking and screaming and which just fade away. Then, of course, there is trying to determine which teams have mailed it in for the season and which are still playing for pride.
San Francisco 49ers @ Detroit Lions
One of the teams I trust the least in the NFL is these 49ers and with them being on the road it becomes an easy pick in favor of the Lions. Matthew Stafford should have a quality day against the 49ers defense that tends to be atrocious outside of Levi Stadium.
Broncos issue statement on Peyton Manning
"Peyton does things the right way," the Denver Broncos said in a statement Sunday.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens
One team I think is still playing with a lot of pride is the Ravens and I think they'll give the Steelers fits in this game. I believe the Steelers will still come out on top, but its going to be closer than it should be based on the records of the two teams.
Dallas Cowboys @ Buffalo Bills
I wouldn't pick the Cowboys to beat anyone, so I won't be starting a new trend this week. The Bills can be hit or miss, but they clearly have the talent at skill positions and should win a nail biter at home today. The Cowboys just have too many injuries.
Chicago Bears @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bears defense has stepped up in recent weeks in defending the pass, but I fully expect the Buccaneers to give Doug Martin the ball over and over and over as he pursues the NFL rushing title. This is a game that Tampa Bay will win.
Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons
Upset alert! The Panthers are going to lose a game before the playoffs. Granted, the Falcons are roundly terrible and fraudulent, but even bad teams can beat good teams every now and then. Being at home, with the playoffs still on the line for Atlanta, this game has upset written all over it. The Falcons could lol themselves out of a win though, so I would not be surprised to see Carolina 15-0 after today.
Cleveland Browns @ Kansas City Chiefs
Can you say Johnny Football? Kurt Warner can and he says that Manziel will light up the Chiefs defense today. I'm doubtful the Browns will score more than 10 points on the road, but it was fun to think about the Chiefs falling flat on their face in this one.
Indianapolis Colts @ Miami Dolphins
This is a game the Colts must have and the Dolphins certainly look like a team that has mailed it in for the year. Surprisingly, the Colts defense has been on a tear for a month or so. Though they are playing on the road, I think the Colts need this game far more than the Dolphins right now.
New England Patriots @ New York Jets
Tom Brady will be without Julian Edleman, Danny Amendola and the Patriots defense is without both Patrick Chung and Devin McCourty. If the Jets don't win this game at home, then they have no business being in the playoff hunt anyway.
Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans
The Texans will be rolling with Brandon Weeden today. This is a game I think the Titans might actually win, but it was hard to pick a three win team this late in the season. They tend to find ways to lose. The Texans, meanwhile, must continue to win to stay ahead of the Colts in the AFC South.
Who are you rooting for in these early games?