- Jack Dempsey/AP
We’re three weeks away from the end of the regular season and it’s time to announce it: the Broncos, your reigning Super Bowl champs, are going to miss the playoffs.
Their schedule down the stretch is just brutal. They have the Patriots at home this weekend, followed by the Chiefs on the road, and then the Raiders. Even if they can win one of those games, that’ll only give them nine wins, meaning they’ll need the Dolphins (who have the Pats, Bills, and Jets) to win just one of their final three games.
Considering Ryan Tannehill is sidelined for at least one week, it’s certainly not impossible, but seems hard to imagine. The Ravens are lurking, but at 7-6 they’ll probably need to win out (Eagles, Bengals, Steelers) to get to 10 wins.
And so, that means the Dolphins sneak in, and have to play the Steelers – whom they’ve already beat! – in the first round.
In other news, I went 10-4-1 last week to push my overall record on the season to 104-94-6.
Enjoy the games!
LAST WEEK: 10-4-1
Los Angeles Rams (+16) at Seattle Seahawks (Thursday, 8:25 p.m. ET)
- Seahawks Twitter
Here’s the poetic description of the violently green Color Rush jerseys Seattle will wear tonight, courtesy of the Seahawks website:
Here in the Pacific Northwest,
Green surrounds us,
Green sustains us,
Green drives us forward…
As powerful, enduring and energizing as
the brightest greens of our region
We Are Blue,
We Are Green,
WE ARE 12
THE PICK: Rams +16
Miami Dolphins (-2.5) at New York Jets (Saturday, 8:25 p.m. ET)
- Gene Puskar/AP
The Jets are reportedly fawning over UNC quarterback Mitch Trubinsky, who has one year of experience as a college starter. I thought they drafted their franchise quarterback last year?
The pick: Dolphins -2.5
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
- Bill Wippert/AP
If Tom Brady is getting MVP buzz, why isn’t Le’Veon Bell?
The pick: Steelers -3
Detroit Lions (+4) at New York Giants (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
- Ron Schwane/AP
Here’s something: Ben McAdoo wore a “Benny with the good hair” t-shirt to practice this week after New Jersey governor Chris Christie made fun of his haircut and mustache on local NJ talk radio. Happy holidays!
The pick: Giants -4
Philadelphia Eagles (+6) at Baltimore Ravens (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
- Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Carson Wentz has thrown nine interceptions and four touchdowns over his last six games.
The pick: Ravens -6
Green Bay Packers (-6) at Chicago Bears (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
- Nam Y. Huh/AP
This game is projected to be the coldest in Bears history. The team is 3-10. Hats off to the fans that make the trek to Soldier Field for this one.
The pick: Packers -6
Indianapolis Colts (+4.5) at Minnesota Vikings (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
- Ben Hoskins/Getty
The Colts are 6-7 and, barring a miracle, going to miss the playoffs. Jim Irsay says they could be 10-3 “if the ball bounces a little bit differently.” Whatever you say!
The pick: Colts +4.5
Cleveland Browns (+10) at Buffalo Bills (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
- David Richard/AP
At this point I’m just flat-out rooting for the Browns to win one game. Could they do it here? Probably not, but you never know!
The pick: Bills -10
Tennessee Titans (+5.5) at Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
- Charlie Riedel/AP
Chiefs vs. Pats in New England for the AFC Championship is going to be super, super fun.
The pick: Chiefs -5.5
Jacksonville Jaguars (+6) at Houston Texans (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
- Stephen B. Morton/AP
This is really something:
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) December 14, 2016
The pick: Houston -6
New Orleans Saints (+2.5) at Arizona Cardinals (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
- Michael Reaves/Getty
Nothing to see here.
The pick: Saints -2.5
San Francisco 49ers (+14) at Atlanta Falcons (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
- Kevin C. Cox/Getty
The pick: Falcons -14
New England Patriots (-3) at Denver Broncos (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
- Weston Kenney/AP
The Patriots always have trouble in Denver, and the Broncos aren’t really going to fall out of the playoffs this easily, right?
The pick: Broncos +3
Oakland Raiders (-2.5) at San Diego Chargers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
- Brian Bahr/Getty
Are we worried about Derek Carr’s finger yet?
The pick: Raiders -2.5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+7) at Dallas Cowboys (Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET)
- Sean M. Haffey/Getty
Game of the week! I like the Bucs to win outright! Why not?
The pick: Buccaneers +7
Carolina Panthers (+6.5) at Washington Redskins (Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET)
- Bob Leverone/AP
I’ll take Cam Newton in primetime.
The pick: Panthers +6.5
Now check out this week’s power rankings…
- Charles Krupa/AP