NFL week 17 open thread

posted at 12:31 pm on January 3, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

Jazz: Here we are, old friends, arriving at the final week of the regular season and it’s a nail biter all the way around. Last week was a heady mix of upsets which actually took me mentally away from the rather difficult circumstances I was dealing with and had me screaming until I was hoarse. In one of the more unlikely confluences of NFL events imaginable, the Jets rallied to beat the Patriots and the Ravens somehow defeated the Steelers, leaving New York’s fate in their own hands for a wild card slot in the AFC. Also, though I’m not entirely sure how it happened, I went 4-3 with my picks, taking me into the final regular season week with a record of 56-55, going above .500 for the first time all year. Let that be a lesson, kids. Santa Claus is real.

Ed: Santa Claus may be real, but my week was more like a visit from Krampus. The Steelers booted a game they should have won, and Kansas City and the J-E-T-S pretty much removed all of their other options. Now Pittsburgh has to win and get help, and I went 3-4 to take my season record to 75/37. About the only positive is that I managed to hoodwink Jazz into taking over the NFL threads again. Score.

Jazz: As I mentioned above, the fate of the Jets is in their own hands, but they’re not out of the woods yet. They still probably need to beat the Buffalo Bills (1:00 pm, CBS) who they already dropped one to earlier this season. If the Jets win or tie they are in. If the Steelers lose or tie, the Jets are in. But if the Jets lose and the Steelers win, Pittsburgh goes to the dance and the Jets watch it all on TV. Plus, they’re playing on the road, up on the shores of Lake Erie where the winds will be howling and the temperatures below freezing. But our new coach has had his eye on the prize and has most of the starters healthy. I’ll walk with my Jets toward one last victory, 26-13. The Steelers have a somewhat easier time of it, visiting the essentially hapless Cleveland Browns (1:00 pm, CBS) and they come in as an eleven point favorite. While I’d love to see the Browns man up to give the Jets a safety margin, if New York can’t beat the Bills when the chips are down they don’t deserve a shot. I’ll take the Steelers this week 32-12 in a romp. The Vikings travel to visit divisional rivals the Green Bay Packers (8:30 pm, NBC) and all the chips are on the table out there. Both teams are 10-5 going into the final battle for the NFC North Championship. The Pack is a 3 point favorite at home at Lambeau Field in January. That description alone should be enough to tell you that Green Bay will win, but it’s been a (late) season of miracles and I’m going to tip over the apple cart entirely, taking the Vikings to win this one in a frozen, close grudge match, 27-24 and punch their ticket to the post-season.

Ed: Well, Pittsburgh should be able to handle Cleveland on the road, but they should have handled the Ravens in Baltimore, too. Still, the Steelers should recover well enough from the embarrassment to beat the Browns, 33-17. That leaves us with the Bills hosting the J-E-T-S, who really have been playing well this season. I’ll go with the Bills at home to win 24-23 in a nailbiter. The Vikings hit the road to play the Pack for all the marbles in the NFC North, and this should be one heck of a game. Both are headed for the playoffs, but the winner gets a home game in the playoffs. They are pretty evenly matched, which means it comes down to two intangibles: home field and momentum. The Vikes are 3-2 since losing to the Pack at home, and the Pack is 3-2 as well, against arguably weaker teams. That leaves home field, so I’ll take the Pack 27-24, perhaps in OT.

Jazz: Four more games with mostly playoff implications to drag ourselves across the line one last time.

  • Chargers at Broncos (4:25 pm, CBS) – Denver can clinch the AFC West with a win or a tie here, OR if Kansas City loses or ties. The Broncos are a nine point favorite, and even though the Chargers have a history of being spoilers when they need to, it won’t happen this week. Broncos take it 24-14.
  • Ravens at Bengals (1:00 pm, FOX) – Cincinnati is trying to lock down a first round bye, which they can land with a win and Denver losing or tying, OR a tie with Denver losing OR they could even do it with a loss if both Denver loses AND the Chiefs win. Both of these quarterbacks have question marks over their heads at the moment, but Cincinnati just has too many other tools to draw on. Bengals win this one 27-20.
  • Raiders at Chiefs (4:25 pm, FOX) – If Kansas City wins this one AND Denver loses, they’ll clinch the AFC West. The Chiefs are a 7 point favorite, but Oakland has just spoiled too many dreams for a lot of folks this year. I’m taking this as my big upset pick and giving it to the Raiders 21-17.
  • Titans at Colts (1:00 pm, CBS) – Indianapolis is looking to clinch the AFC South today. There are some weird tiebreaker situations where they could do it if they tie, but mostly they need a win AND a Texans loss. The Titans have been allowing a LOT of points per game for the last month and not looking very good, but the Colts simply don’t have the muscle to take advantage of that defense this week. Titans win it 24-17.

Ed:

  • Chargers at Broncos (4:25 pm, CBS) – It’s a good rivalry and Brock Osweiler is no Peyton Manning, but he’s not bad either. Denver won a gut-check game against Cincinnati last week, so they should be able to handle the Chargers at home, 27-20.
  • Ravens at Bengals (1:00 pm, FOX) – Baltimore knocked off the Steelers at home last week, but the Bengals will be ready at home. Cincinnati 33-20 over Baltimore.
  • Raiders at Chiefs (4:25 pm, FOX) – The Chiefs made it into the playoffs with their win last week, but they could win their division if they beat the Raiders and the Broncos lose. KC will keep up their end of the potential deal by beating Oakland 26-20.
  • Titans at Colts (1:00 pm, CBS) – The Colts don’t have anything to win, but they’ll beat the hapless Titans nonetheless, 28-17.

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Go Lions! Next year’s the year!

Flange on January 3, 2016 at 12:33 PM

is a Carolina loss combined with an Arizona win too much to ask for?

GO CARDINALS!

Garyinaz66 on January 3, 2016 at 12:37 PM

If the Vikes tank the game, they get to go to DC and crush the (sensitivity alert) Redskins. If they win, then they host Seattle.
Decisions, decisions…..

Jag909 on January 3, 2016 at 12:45 PM

Of course, the 49ers are celebrating their decisions to get rid Harbaugh and the rest of their deadwood this season. After all, they don’t have to play next week. That makes it a ‘bye’, yes?

Jag909 on January 3, 2016 at 12:49 PM

Indianapolis is looking to clinch the AFC South today. There are some weird tiebreaker situations where they could do it if they tie, but mostly they need a win AND a Texans loss.

Jazz, you’re too kind to the Colts as to their clinch scenario. Because of the Strength of Victory and Strength of Schedule tiebreakers, these nine things must happen for them to clinch the lowly AFC South:

The Colts would have to beat the Titans.
The Texans have to lose to the Jaguars.
The Buffalo Bills have to beat the New York Jets.
The Miami Dolphins have to beat the New England Patriots.
The Baltimore Ravens have to beat the Bengals.
The Atlanta Falcons have to beat the New Orleans Saints.
The Oakland Raiders have to beat the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Denver Broncos have to beat the San Diego Chargers.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have to beat the Cleveland Browns.

As you can imagine, I’m hoping for a Texans win, but basically they don’t have to.

TXUS on January 3, 2016 at 12:50 PM

Put a hex on Rex.

Let’s do this. It’s a bit premature, but I’m ready to max-out my credit cards to be at the Superbowl. Let today pave the way. Gawd, I need a beer. And scotch.

JetBoy on January 3, 2016 at 1:02 PM

Gotta love the caption pic :D

DarkCurrent on January 3, 2016 at 1:05 PM

After all, they don’t have to play next week. That makes it a ‘bye’, yes?

Jag909 on January 3, 2016 at 12:49 PM

It makes it a good bye.

Flange on January 3, 2016 at 1:05 PM

Seattle has a tough game today, on the road at Arizona.

If they can overcome their terrible, no good, awful, pathetic performance of last week, and play more like their previous five straight wins, it’ll be a helluva game.

Go Hawks!

ugottabekiddingme on January 3, 2016 at 1:05 PM

It’s gonna be the Vikes by 2 over the Pack in a nailbiter.

whatcat on January 3, 2016 at 1:28 PM

At least after today my suffering will be over until July. Go Lions.

307wolverine on January 3, 2016 at 1:41 PM

Hmmm… ‘Skins up by 21 over Da Boys after Q1. Maybe things will tighten up later on after they put in the B Team. Or maybe this is the B Team. I dunno, I ain’t watchin’ that’s why they’re winnin’.

ExpressoBold on January 3, 2016 at 1:55 PM

Just shoot me now.
#HeadDesk

Jazz Shaw on January 3, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Let’s go Vikes!

gophergirl on January 3, 2016 at 2:30 PM

Just shoot me now.
#HeadDesk

Jazz Shaw on January 3, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Oh, hell no.

Jet fan’s code: We all share in the annual suffering. We’re all we have!

JetBoy on January 3, 2016 at 2:48 PM

PACKERS!

conservative tarheel on January 3, 2016 at 3:55 PM

Good friggin’ grief.

JetBoy on January 3, 2016 at 4:00 PM

But if the Jets lose and the Steelers win, Pittsburgh goes to the dance and the Jets watch it all on TV

Well sadly it looks like it’s over for the Jets until next season.

cat_owner on January 3, 2016 at 4:08 PM

Go Hawks!

ugottabekiddingme on January 3, 2016 at 1:05 PM

They really need the win. Don’t want them going in to the playoffs after losing two games in a row.

cat_owner on January 3, 2016 at 4:10 PM

Okay, the Jets game is over. Everyone is banned.

Jazz Shaw on January 3, 2016 at 4:10 PM

Tim for Tom Coughlin to go.

rbj on January 3, 2016 at 4:12 PM

Tim = Time. I’m blaming Coughlin for that too.

rbj on January 3, 2016 at 4:12 PM

But if the Jets lose and the Steelers win, Pittsburgh goes to the dance and the Jets watch it all on TV.

Thanks Buffalo Bills
Sorry Jazz but if it’s any consolation, the Jets have found
a real quarterback for the next few seasons.

Fred

jrsrigmvr on January 3, 2016 at 4:16 PM

Okay, the Jets game is over. Everyone is banned.

Jazz Shaw on January 3, 2016 at 4:10 PM

its ok Jazz, you can cheer for the Cardinals now.

Garyinaz66 on January 3, 2016 at 4:26 PM

I think it’s funny the Cheatriots lots to Miami.

cat_owner on January 3, 2016 at 5:17 PM

Go Lions! Next year’s the year!

Flange on January 3, 2016 at 12:33 PM

As we say every year.

samharker on January 3, 2016 at 5:18 PM

is a Carolina loss combined with an Arizona win too much to ask for?

GO CARDINALS!

Garyinaz66 on January 3, 2016 at 12:37 PM

Yep and yep!

GO ‘HAWKS!!

(Oh Christiennnnn….)

Shepherd Lover on January 3, 2016 at 6:09 PM

Shepherd Lover on January 3, 2016 at 6:09 PM

enjoy your road games

funny how you wait until things are decided to comment.

Garyinaz66 on January 3, 2016 at 6:28 PM

enjoy your road games

funny how you wait until things are decided to comment.

Garyinaz66 on January 3, 2016 at 6:28 PM

Been busy. I don’t sit all day on Hot Gas like some around here…

Shepherd Lover on January 3, 2016 at 6:38 PM

I think it’s funny the Cheatriots lots to Miami.

cat_owner on January 3, 2016 at 5:17 PM

That’s because Coach Belicheat sat a bunch of his players. He was trying to keep his team as healthy as possible for the upcoming playoffs.

And it’s not that “funny” that the Pats lost in Miami today; they do that all the time. In fact, they haven’t won in Miami since 2012. They lost there last season by an even greater margin (13 points) than they lost by today (10 points).

Open question re. the Patriots and the Broncos to all here:

Can anyone explain the hypocritical double standard in the Democrat Sports Media’s treatment and “reporting” of the recent Manning HGH story and the Brady DeflateGate story?

In the case of DeflateGate, the media (especially ESPN) immediately declared Tom Brady “Guilty Until Proven Innocent.”

But in the more recent HGH story, the media (especially ESPN) immediately declared Manning “Innocent Until Proven Guilty.”

And saying that Brady was singled out for “prior offenses” (Spygate) won’t work as an explanation, because Brady himself was not formally charged or singled out as a possible culprit in that case.

(Starts 20 acre field of Moondials)

Del Dolemonte on January 3, 2016 at 7:55 PM

Easy: Manning is likable; comes across as a nice guy. Brady, not so much; comes across as an arrogant ass.

smokeyblonde on January 3, 2016 at 7:59 PM

Plus the Manning story came from Al Jazeera – not exactly the most credible source.

smokeyblonde on January 3, 2016 at 8:00 PM

FINALLY!!!!

GO PACK GO!!!! :)

smokeyblonde on January 3, 2016 at 8:24 PM

Browns already cleaning house. Now, will they keep Johnny Screwup.

rbj on January 3, 2016 at 8:33 PM

REDSKINS! win!

My hopes are merely that the REDSKINS! get beyond the first round of the playoffs.

That being said, me secret hope is that they go all the way to the Superbowl. Imagine the hysteria among the SJWs if a team with a “hateful” name gets to the big game. Only thing that could be worse for them is if some team with an animal name were also to play.

There will be calls for boycott. There will be resolutions from the Santa Clara city council condemning the REDSKINS! appearance in their city. The left will go nuts. Blue Clinton will undoubtedly chime in support of the protesters. I want the chaos. That it means my REDSKINS! make it to the Superbowl is only a side benefit. :0

Happy Nomad on January 3, 2016 at 8:36 PM

Browns already cleaning house. Now, will they keep Johnny Screwup.

rbj on January 3, 2016 at 8:33 PM

IMO, no NFL team is sane in taking on good football players who come with baggage and distractions. Johnny Football is one example. Michael Sam is another. He claims that he was discriminated against in the draft because he is gay but the fact was that Sam was shopping a reality show with Oprah at the same time the draft was going on. Coaches want players, not off-field drama. It took the NFL intervening to get Sam (an okay player) a tryout gig with the Rams.

TCU’s Trevone Boykin is the next one in the hopper. When the draft comes around, do they want to deal with a player who makes more headlines off the field than they do on the field?

Happy Nomad on January 3, 2016 at 8:44 PM

Seahawks destroyed the Cardinals – yeah baby – how you like sum o dat?

johnnybgood on January 3, 2016 at 8:45 PM

…why do these Jet fans morn so much?
…do Lion fans have to introduce you to hankies?

JugEarsButtHurt on January 3, 2016 at 10:39 PM

Oh, Jazz…

bmmg39 on January 4, 2016 at 7:35 AM