As William Shakespeare once said, “parting is such a sweet sorrow”.
I am sad that the NFL regular season is coming to an end. And while I have the NBA and college basketball to ease my pain for the next five months, there is nothing – NOTHING – like the NFL.
Before I start boo-hooing like a baby, here is how I see the final week of the 2011 NFL season shaping out…
Games of the Week
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals. This has a few things riding on it. First, this will not only determine who wins the AFC North, but who will obtain that all-important #2 seed in the AFC. The Ravens need this in the worst way, given how their last three trips in the playoffs ended. The Bengals need this to just reach then playoffs. And while Cincinnati does control its own destiny, it is a young team who is frankly two years ahead of schedule.
The Bengals will finally have a sellout that does not involve my Pittsburgh Steelers coming to town, and Paul Brown Stadium will be rocking. Plus, the Ravens are “turrible” on the road. Baltimore lost to Seattle and Jacksonville – JACKSONVILLE! – on the road for Christ’s sake. And for that reason, I see the young Bengals beating the Ravens. The Bengals will reach the playoffs, while the Ravens will lose the AFC North to my Steelers. It’s a win-win scenario all the way around. Bengals 17, Ravens 14.
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants. This game will determine the NFC East champion – and sacrificial lamb to either Detroit or Atlanta in the playoffs. Both teams are so mediocre, an asterisk should be affixed to whoever wins what was a terrible division. That said, I like the Giants in this, a lot. Dallas is too damn inconsistent to have any type of faith in. Plus when was the last time Dallas did well in December? This will be Jason Garrett’s last game as coach of the Dallas Cowboys – and that may be a good thing to Cowboys fans. Giants 24, Cowboys 17.
“Who Gives a Damn?” Game of the Week
Colts at Jaguars. The only reason people will watch this game is to see if the Colts will mail this in to secure their spot in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes, a.k.a. “Suck for Luck”. Well, that and to feed a gambling addiction…
Ass-Whupping of the Week
Falcons over Buccaneers. Tampa Bay has quit on coach Raheem Morris. While the Falcons may be playing only for seeding (and possibly a tune-up) purposes, I’d be shocked if Tampa does not mail it in before halftime. It doesn’t look good for Brother Raheem’s future in Tampa. Falcons 30, Bucs 13.
Packers over Lions (if Green Bay rests its starters, then it’s Detroit all the way)
49ers over Lambs
Dolphins over Jets (the Jets know it’s over)
Patriots over Bills
Vikings over Bears
Saints over Panthers (if New Orleans rests Drew Brees, then Carolina should win)
Eagles over Redskins
Titans over Texans
Steelers over Browns (gotta get that AFC North title fellas!!!)
Chiefs over Broncos (this is the ultimate revenge game for Kyle Orton)
Raiders over Chargers (Raider Nation is returning to the playoffs for the first time in forever)
Cardinals over Seahawks (mediocrity rules!!!)
Last week: 8-7 (just horrible)
Year to date: 144-72