Every Friday, my wife and I finalize our weekly NFL picks.
Yes, I have an advantage. But my bride ain’t bad. Apparently, she’s picked up a lot of knowledge over the three decades of our relationship. So here’s what we’ve got for the regular season’s final weekend.
Among the games that matter, we both picked our home team Eagles to defeat the Giants and clinch a first round bye—though we both have concerns. Jalen Hurts’ likely return may not be enough, particularly if the Giants take an early lead.
On Sunday night, we both like the Green Bay Packers, though we expect the gritty Lions to put up a fight. A Detroit loss would end the team’s season
In the AFC, we both picked the Jaguars to topple the Titans, mostly because Doug Pederson used to belong to our golf club and he coached Philly to the team’s one and only Lombardi Trophy. Not surprisingly, he’s near and dear to us.
We both picked the Bengals to beat the slumping Ravens, the Falcons to best the Bucs, and the Bills to put the Patriots out of their misery. The Seahawks should outscore the Rams to keep their playoff hopes alive, and the 49ers could beat the Cardinals with their practice squad. Mike Tomlin’s Steelers will likely dispatch the Browns in Pittsburgh, preserving his 16-season non-losing streak as a head coach.
Here’s where things get interesting. This time of year, it’s tough to win NFL games on the road, period—every year! That said, Barb and I both think San Diego will prevail in Denver, though they don’t need to win, and the Chiefs will roll over the Raiders, because they want a first round bye and are a much better team.
But in the remaining five games, Barb picked five road teams. In one of them, I agree. If Philly falls to New York, the Cowboys must beat the Commanders in Washington to clinch the NFC Eastern Division title and a possible first round bye. Stay tuned to see if the Cowboys have something to play for.
Elsewhere, the Vikings will arrive in Chicago with a banged up offensive line and a defense that has given up 19 more points than Minnesota’ss offense has scored. The valiant Vikings have already clinched a playoff berth. So I look for the Chicago Bears to run all over them in Soldier Field. Barbara thinks otherwise.
I think the Colts will win in Indy for their soon-to-be ex-head-coach but all-around nice guy Jeff Saturday. Barb likes the underdog Texans to find a way. The Saints showed me lots of heart on the road last week in Philly, so I think they’ll dispatch the Panthers in New Orleans. Barb is rooting for the road dog.
And in Miami, I like the Dolphins to outlast the once-promising New York Jets. Even their slightly-injured, second string QB Teddy Bridgewater is better than Joe Flacco or whoever else the Jets might line up behind center.
In closing, all this speculation about outcomes reminds me of one game that will not be played this weekend or ever for that matter—one that featured last week’s biggest winner.
Here’s to you Damar Hamlin. Get well and stay that way!
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