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I served in the US Navy from 2002-08; four of those years were as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator aboard an aircraft carrier. I engage in political activism in various Democratic circles when I am able to. I have a cat, and I am an uncle.

All opinions that I express are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization that I represent.

Friday, December 26, 2014


Divisional games are scheduled in Week 17 as they have since 2010 in order to ensure that the last week of the season has the games with the most impact on the playoffs.

This is the first season since NBC was awarded the Sunday Night NFL package in 2006 where no game originally scheduled in the Sunday Night game was flexed out. The only week where a Sunday game is flexed to Sunday Night was this week in the last week of the season. And that game is…


Panthers at Falcons

Well… someone has to win this division. Those are the rules for the NFL playoffs. Win your division, you are seeded 1-4. The NFC South winner will be seeded 4 and will host one of these teams in the playoffs: Seahawks or Cardinals. Though the NFC South champion will be at home for the playoffs, I am not liking their odds in advancing to the second round.

Jets at Dolphins

Both teams are out of the playoff race so why is this must watch?

Because of what could happen on Monday.

It was rumored that Miami coach Joe Philbin was going to be on the chopping block come Monday. The ownership gave a vote of confidence to Philbin, but there could some changes regarding his staff.

When asked about the future of his staff Philbin answered, "I'm concerned about the New York Jets."

Speaking of which, this could be the last game Rex Ryan is on the sidelines for the Jets. Ryan has guided the Jets to 2 AFC Championship appearances in 2009 and 2010 and a 24-14 record. Since then the Jets have finished at .500 twice and a 25-38 record. Right now the Jets are 3-12 and will be looking at finding a new head coach.

Chargers at Chiefs/Jaguars at Texans/Browns at Ravens

The Texans, Ravens, Chargers, and Chiefs will be doing some scoreboard watching. For the Chargers it is win and in (or tie and the Ravens lose or tie).

Meanwhile for the Chiefs, they need to beat San Diego, the Ravens lose, and the Texans lose or tie their game.

The Ravens need to beat the Browns and have the Chiefs beat the Chargers or the game end in a tie. The Ravens get in with a tie and the Chargers lose.

For the Texans, they need to beat the Jaguars, have the Ravens and Chargers lose.

Cardinals at 49ers/Rams at Seahawks

Since the Seahawks have completed the season sweep of the Cardinals, the only hope the Cardinals have at winning the NFC West is to beat the 49ers and the Rams beat the Seahawks. For the third time this season the Cardinals have given up 21 or more points and have a 0-3 record when doing so.

The Cardinals currently are 4th best in points against, but quarterback woes looks like it will sink this team come the playoffs.

The Rams did beat the Seahawks, but that was in St. Louis back in October. Boy that seems like ages ago. Seattle is currently on a 5 game winning streak and a win over the Rams plus other scenarios would give Seattle the NFC 1 seed. I think a lot of teams would dread having to go to Seattle for a playoff team.

Watching that game on Sunday night looks like the Seahawks could be back in Phoenix in February.

Raiders at Broncos

The Broncos faithful are panicking. Despite an 11-4 record, fans are fearing another playoff collapse.

With Denver's loss at Cincinnati, New England claimed the AFC 1 seed. Denver can still win a bye week with a win over the lowly Raiders, but Oakland has been playing better of late. Since starting the season 0-10, the Raiders are 3-2 having knocked the 49ers and Bills out of playoff contention. The Raiders are impacting the playoff race… just probably not in the way they are expecting.

I think Denver will win this game giving them the bye week to rest up for their playoff game, but another loss could cause fans grave concern and some panic.

Lions at Packers

The Lions have not won in the state of Wisconsin since 1991. That was also the last season Detroit won a playoff game. The winner of this game wins the NFC North while the loser will play in Wild Card Weekend.

Bengals at Steelers

The Bengals avoided this game being a win-and-in scenario with their win over the Broncos on Monday night. This game is now for the AFC North. Winner gets the division and the AFC 3-seed.

And now the picks.

Kickoff times are mountain time, games airing in Denver are noted by (DEN), and picks are in BOLD.

Week 17 is double doubleheader Sunday meaning both CBS and Fox air NFL doubleheaders. NFL television rules dictate that if the local team is playing at home then that game must be the only game that is airing in that time slot. The NFL released this information lifting that rule meaning that EVERY market will enjoy double doubleheader Sunday. Translation: I don't have to watch the Broncos curbstomp the Raiders and get to watch a more competitive game… on Fox…


Cowboys at Washington (DEN)
Bears at Vikings
Eagles at Giants
Jaguars at Texans
Saints at Buccaneers

Chargers at Chiefs (DEN)
Bills at Patriots
Browns at Ravens
Colts at Titans
Jets at Dolphins

Lions at Packers (DEN)
Cardinals at 49ers
Rams at Seahawks

Raiders at Broncos (DEN)
Panthers at Falcons

Bengals at Steelers

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