Well kids, the NFL season is over. I can't believe it's already been 18 weeks since it started. Feels like it was only a month ago....
We'll start with the 20 losers who didn't make the playoffs. Some played like shit all year, some sorta played like shit, and others played well, just not well enough. a bunch need coaches, and 1 team, San Diego, needs a city to play in.
The top 20 picks for next year's draft look like this (the list I posted in the last thread was sort of inaccurate. Close, but not correct):
2. San Francisco
5. Tennessee (from Los Angeles (Goff trade))
6. New York Jets
7. San Diego
11. New Orleans
12. Cleveland (from Philadelphia (Wentz trade))
14. Philadelphia (from Minnesota (Bradford trade))
14. Indianapolis (The order of PHI+IND will be determined by a coin flip)
19. Tampa Bay
Now, onto the playoff teams!
Of course, we start out with 4 teams on the bye. New England and Dallas have home field in the AFC+NFC respectively. Kansas City and Atlanta also have the byes as the 2 seeds.
Oakland @ Houston (-3.5) (Saturday 4:35 ESPN) - Oakland was playing some amazing football this year. That offense was churning out points like crazy. Then in Week 16, Carr broke his fibula. The offense looked anemic last week with Matt McGloin, but good(bad?) news! McGloin got hurt in Week 17 so now rookie Connor Cook gets his first NFL start against Houston. Houston is also coming into the playoffs with QB questions. Osweiler was benched in Week 15 for Tom Savage, who became their starting QB. Then Savage got a concussion in Week 17 thanks to a QB sneak in a meaningless game. Now, Osweiler is back under center. These teams met already this year on a Monday night in Mexico City back on November 21. Oakland came out victorious with some help from the refs. Connor Cook is the big question mark though. If he can play competently, I like Oakland to advance.
Detroit @ Seattle (-8) (Saturday 8:15 NBC) Detroit comes into the playoffs with a bit of a stumble. They were NFC North leaders for much of the late season until the Packers surged past them in the final week. Detroit has a high powered offense with Stat Padford and the best white running back in the league. Seattle comes in with double-digit wins again, but they don't look like the Seattle teams we're used to the past few years. RWils is healthy again but the defense isn't as intimidating as in years past. The O-Line is not good this year either. I'm going with Fatface and the Lions in a major upset here.
Miami @ Pittsburgh (-10) (Sunday 1:05 CBS) Miami also has troubles at QB. Tannehill injured his knee a few weeks ago and Matt Moore has been filling in since. Since Moore has been in, Miami is 2-1 however. Miami surprised people this year, especially after starting 1-4. They broke that streak by beating this same Pittsburgh team 30-15 in Miami back in Week 6. Pittsburgh hasn't been that flashy this year. They have one of the best WR/RB combos in the league though. The 3 'Bs' of Ben/Bell/Brown are a lethal combination in the playoffs. Pitt has won 7 in a row and I like them to make it 8 in the 20 degree weather.
New York @ Green Bay (-4.5) (Sunday 4:40 Fox) Apparently WC round is a good round for regular season rematches. The Giants lost @GB back in Week 5 by 7. Since that loss, New York is 9-2. New York was solidly in the playoffs and have been playing great football. Their defense has been nothing short of fantastic. They, of course, go as their QB goes. Eli can go for 3 or 4 TDs or 3 or 4 INTs. Their fate relies on him. Green Bay had lost 5 of 6 after the Giants game. Then AR12 came out with his run the table comments. Since then, they did just that. 6 wins by an average of over 13 points per win. Their offense looks like the GB offense of old (re: the last few years). Their defense is susceptible as always, but their offense can put up points with the best of them. AR12 seems healthy and they finally have some semblance of a running game with Ty Montgomery in the backfield. This is the hardest game to pick for me, but I'm gonna go with Green Bay.