NFL Picks - Week 18


SEASON: 164-92-1 (Which is a total of 257, so I mis-added at some point)





Kansas City at Denver

After 17 weeks all the teams in the league have normal, familiar records. Chiefs are 11-5? Ok, sure, I’ve heard of that one. Broncos 7-9? A classic! So I guess that’s that, season over? Nope! We’re tacking on one more. I should clarify though, the season is over for Denver. It was over the minute they had to employ Drew Lock's services. KC is still plenty relevant though, and they actually need this win to have any shot at a first round bye in the playoffs. Typical millennials, wanting to take time off from work. Unlike typical millennials though, I’m guessing they’ll do their part on Saturday, because again, the opposing quarterback is Drew Lock. 


Chiefs 23-13

Dallas at Philadelphia

Last Sunday the Cowboys were defeated at home by the Cardinals, and depending on how things shake out, they could be facing that same match-up in the first round of the playoffs next week. A frightening prospect for Dallas to be sure. Then again, any game against a winning team should be worrisome for the Cowboys. They have only one win against a team currently in playoff position in the NFC. The good news? That win came against these Eagles! Still I have the feeling that Dallas is going to get to the postseason and be like, “Oh so all these teams are just good then? This blows. We’re outta here.” I don’t blame them, the playoffs are stressful. 


Cowboys 24-20

Sunday Morning


Pittsburgh at Baltimore

The Ravens need a lot of help. And I’m not just talking about getting into the playoffs. These guys are seriously messed up. I heard they own every volume of Faces of Death. That’s the level of depravity we’re dealing with here. On the flip side, the Steelers need less outside assistance to reach the postseason, but both there’s and Baltimore’s hopes rely on the Jags beating the Colts. So in other words, this will be the last game either of these teams plays this season. 


Ravens 18-17

Cincinnati at Cleveland

The Bengals seem to rise to the occasion when they play good teams. But they’ve also lost to the Bears and Jets. Add those performances to a 3 point win over the Jags, and a 25 point loss to these Browns, and there’s cause for concern. The good news is, none of those sucks are going to be in the playoffs. If Cincy can keep showing up for big games, they should go far this January/February(?). And I mean that in the most literal sense. If they’re showing up, I’m guessing that means that they’re scheduled to play that day, which means they haven’t been eliminated. 


Bengals 27-16

Green Bay at Detroit

The Packers are 13-3 for the third straight season, the first three of the Matt Lafleur's tenure as head coach. That’s very impressive. However, it hasn’t worked out for them yet. They’ve lost in the conference championship game each of the past two seasons, which shouldn’t be dismissed as a failure, but I have to believe that if that’s their fate for a third straight year Green Bay will start to be saddled with the reputation of not being able to win the big one. Fortunately for them though, that ending to the season would surely result in Aaron Rodgers departing and the team getting to start fresh with Jordan Love. Which, of course, would mean that they won’t be involved in any “big ones” for some time, causing that rap to fall by the wayside. 


Lions 23-16

Tennessee at Houston 

Surprisingly the Titans need only a win over the lowly Texans to capture the #1 seed in the AFC and a first round bye in the playoffs. That seems wrong. Gonna double check ... Hmm no. It’s somehow correct, despite the fact that Tennessee has the 6th best point differential in the conference it currently sits atop. Does that matter? Maybe to the analytic nerds, but not to tough asses like you, me, and Mike Vrabel. Also, there’s a chance the Titans will get Derrick Henry back for the playoffs, which means you can throw most numbers out the window. Including 2, 16, and likely even 39. I could go on, but I think you get the point. And if you don’t it would take too long to explain. Oh you have plenty of time? Uh ... err ... Well I don’t! Let’s move on!


Titans 30-20

Indianapolis at Jacksonville 

The Jags can all but completely spoil the Colts’ playoff hopes by beating them. The Colts can all but spoil the Jags' #1 pick dreams by beating them. Seems mutually beneficial if Indy just wins, right? There should be some sort of meeting at half time if Jacksonville is winning, just to get everybody on the same page and make sure things play out correctly. I mean can you imagine if Indy misses the playoffs because they lost to the Jags?!? And what if Jacksonville ends up with the 2nd pick and has to take Kayvon Thibodeaux instead of Aidan Hutchinson?!? On second thought, maybe it wouldn’t matter if the Jags just won. But ya know, they’re the Jags, so ... probably not worth consideration. 


Colts 31-13

Chicago at Minnesota 

With the extra wild card there are even fewer Week 18 games that don’t involve a team still in contention. This is one of two such contests. But just try telling the Bears and Vikings that! Seriously, we should see if they know that nothing’s at stake. A lot of players say that they don’t read their press. Who knows, that could include standings. It’s possible that these guys are clueless as to the situation. They say ignorance is bliss, and I can see that argument, but there’s nothing blissful about showing up to the team facility on Monday and finding out there are no more games. 


Vikings 28-18

Washington at New York Giants

Remember what I just said about meaningless games? This is the other one.  So I have similar questions about these players’ awareness. To help them out I’ve a hired a sky writer to scrawl the NFL standings above MetLife Stadium. And to be safe I also told the guy to spell out every possible playoff scenario. Now that I think about it, I could probably simplify the message and save some money. As it stands now I’m out $13,000. It’s a steep price, but certainly worth it if you ask me. Though it was slightly concerning that when I paid the skywriter he said, “Yippee! Me likey the up front payments, cuz then I don’t gotta do the actual job.” I told him how dope I thought that was, but made him promise that he’d actually do mine. He told me, “We’ll see ...” as he crumpled up my instructions and tossed them in the trash. So, long story short, if you hear a buzz in the skies above MetLife on Sunday, look up, because you’re about to get educated on the NFL’s playoff picture, courtesy of yours truly. 


Washington 23-16

Sunday Afternoon


Seattle at Arizona

The Cardinals need a win and a loss by the Rams to start the playoffs at home. But should they want to? They’re 8-1 on the road, with the one loss coming against the Lions, a team that I’m almost certain they won’t have to deal with in the postseason. If the Cardinals can simply continue to be undefeated everywhere but Arizona and Detroit they’ll win the Super Bowl. Easier said than done? Maybe. But it’s worth a shot. And the best way to ensure they’ll be on the road in the playoffs is to lose this game. Just do it Cards, it’s in your best interest. 


Seahawks 24-20

New Orleans at Atlanta 

The Saints have a real shot at the playoffs. They need a win and a Niners loss to the Rams. Neither outcome is unreasonable. In fact, on their own, they could both be considered likely. But when you need a combination of results things start to get tricky. Also, rooting for another team to lose is really mean-spirited. Is a playoff spot worth losing your compassion? That’s the existential quandary Saints players will be wrestling with during this game. If you’re watching at home keep an eye out for thousand yard stares from the entire New Orleans roster while the Falcons run for repeated 80 yard touchdowns. Or, of course, the Saints could win, and if they do we’ll all know that they’re a bunch of heartless bastards. 


Saints 20-16

New York Jets at Buffalo

The Jets franchise has reached a heretofore unrealized depth. They’ve fallen so far that losing to them can drive an opposing player to remove half of their uniform, walk out of the stadium, and possibly quit football forever. It’s the first time someone has hit rock bottom in MetLife Stadium since WrestleMania 29, when the Rock fought John Cena. If you ask me the Jets should take a certain amount of pride in that. Ok, probably not, but what else can they take pride in at this point? 


Bills 33-17

San Francisco at Los Angeles Rams

Niners and Rammers, er wait, that's not right. Rammer? I hardly nine her! But seriously folks ... It's possible that these teams will meet next week in the playoffs, then again it's possible that San Francisco won't be in the playoffs at all. A loss here would put the Niners' season in serious jeopardy. They'd need the Falcons to beat the Saints to stay alive. Having your season in Matt Ryan's hands is not ideal, so it would behoove San Fran to just go ahead and win. 

49ers 28-20

New England at Miami

Sadly there is no path for the Dolphins to the playoffs now. What an effort though. From a 1-7 start to the brink of the postseason. Unfortunately they ran into a competent team last week in Tennessee, and that was just too much for them to overcome. Miami would have a decent shot in a hypothetical consolation tournament as they do very well against lousy teams. Unfortunately for the Dolphins that hypothetical tournament is just that, hypothetical, and even if it weren’t it would be rather pointless. Maybe that’s why it’s hypothetical. Miami can put a tiny feather in their cap by ending their season the way they started it, with a win over the Patriots. I’m not sure they’ll achieve that bookend though, because New England is another one of those pesky, competent teams. As a result, the Dolphins’ books will be falling all over the place for the whole offseason. 


Patriots 31-17

Carolina at Tampa Bay

The Bucs are coming off an interesting Sunday. They nearly lost to the Jets and came home with one less player than they left with. What are the odds that we see a headline 8 months from now about Antonio Brown suing the Bucs for a Super Bowl ring? Id say fairly low considering that would require Tampa to win the Super Bowl again, and Antonio Brown to find legal counsel willing to represent him. The Bucs don’t have much to play for here as they’re locked into either the 2 or 3 seed in the NFC. That should allow them to sit some of their star players, which will provide them rest, and reduce the risk of them walking off the field shirtless. 


Buccaneers 23-20

Sunday Night


Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas

Win and in. It's as simple as that. Or maybe not. Perhaps there are other possibilities. Let's turn to Cris Collinsworth to explore them all.

Chargers 35-27

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