It’s hard to believe that the final week of the NFL regular season is upon is. It’s sad to think that football is almost over. Football for The Quarterback Blog staff ended a long time ago when we all realized our respective favorite teams were going to miss the playoffs.
John Spiggle went 11-5 in Week 16 to extend his lead by one more game over Chris Van Horn. Dan will need to make up 4 games on Cody to climb out of last place. Unanimous picks in Week 16 went 7-3.
Here are the updated standings through Week 16:
Chris Van Horn
NFL WEEK 17 STAFF PICKS
SUNDAY 12/29, 1:00PM, FOX: CAROLINA PANTHERS at ATLANTA FALCONS
CODY CLEMENT: The Panthers will win this game and lock up the #2 seed in the NFC.
DAN PLUTA: Carolina has won the NFC South. They’re in the playoffs with a first-round bye and home-field advantage until the NFC Championship (unless Seattle falls before then). They could win and hope for a Seattle loss and secure the #1 seed though. I think the Carolina Panthers has something to play for and defeats an Atlanta team with nothing to lose.
JOHN SPIGGLE: The Panthers can lock up the #2 seed with a win against an Atlanta team that will want to finish this disappointing season on a high note. I believe Atlanta will put up a good fight like they did against San Francisco last week, but I still see Carolina doing what it takes. Panthers get the win.
CHRIS VAN HORN: I’m not sure how John took the lead on me several weeks ago, but I’m sure he probably cheated to do so. In any event, the Panthers are looking to wrap up a 2-seed and the Falcons can’t lock up anything except a better draft pick with a loss. Carolina wins.
SUNDAY 12/29, 1:00PM, FOX: DETROIT LIONS at MINNESOTA VIKINGS
CODY CLEMENT: What in the wide, wide, world of sports happened to the Lions? They had the inside track to winning the NFC North and now they miss the playoffs. It is pretty obvious that Jim Schwartz needs to go (side note, no former Lions coach in the last 16 years has ever had another head coaching job, sorry Jim). On to the game itself. I have no clue who will win and don’t really care so I’m taking the Vikings just because.
DAN PLUTA: Both teams missed the playoffs and have been disappointing. Detroit still has the best WR in the game while Minnesota has the best RB. Detroit Lions.
JOHN SPIGGLE: The Lions are done in more ways than one. It is likely they will part ways with head coach Jim Schwartz following this game whether Detroit wins or not. I assume that this realization will effect their efforts. I’m going with Minnesota.
CHRIS VAN HORN: Jim Schwartz is probably coaching his last game for Detroit. So there’s that. I’ll go with the Lions in Schwartz’s swan song.
SUNDAY 12/29, 1:00PM, FOX: WASHINGTON REDSKINS at NEW YORK GIANTS
CODY CLEMENT: WOW! This is a bad game. Eli is a handful of interceptions away from 30, so there’s that. Kirk Cousins is actually playing halfway decent football I suppose. On a tangent here but, if you were RG3 wouldn’t you not want to be anywhere near a camera while these games are being played? I’m going to take Washington because Giant fans are the worst.
DAN PLUTA: Two bad teams playing for draft position. Washington can’t stop anything, so I’ll take the New York Giants for some sad reason.
JOHN SPIGGLE: : I doubt that many people predicted in the preseason that this game would mean so little come week 17. Unfortunately, it does mean very little. With that being said it’s still a division game, and you can bet that neither team would welcome a loss. I’ll take the Giants simply because they are the better team.
CHRIS VAN HORN: Football vomit. Kirk Cousins….Eli Manning. I’ll go with Washington. Why not?
SUNDAY 12/29, 1:00PM, CBS: BALTIMORE RAVENS at CINCINNATI BENGALS
CODY CLEMENT: Ah yes the first game of four that will affect my team’s playoff life. The Bengals are playing well at the moment and the Ravens were too until last week. Baltimore needs this game badly and Cincy can claim the #2 seed with a win. Cincy wins this one.
DAN PLUTA: If the Bengals lose, they’ll end up having to play Kansas City in the Wild Card, but if they win – it’s someone less good (Miami? Baltimore? San Diego?) Oh, and Baltimore is fighting for a spot in the postseason. Huge implications on this 1pm spot. I think the Cincinnati Bengals are the better team.
JOHN SPIGGLE: A couple of weeks ago the Ravens were playing like that team that starts getting hot at just the right time to make a splash in the postseason. Then last week happened. The Ravens are not going to be that team this year. The Bengals win.
CHRIS VAN HORN: Big game for Andy Dalton. Not only does Cincinnati need to win this game from a momentum stand point, but Dalton needs to play really well. I think both will happen. Bengals win.
SUNDAY 12/29, 1:00PM, CBS: HOUSTON TEXANS at TENNESSEE TITANS
CODY CLEMENT: Gross! Titans.
DAN PLUTA: Houston Texans end the losing in Week 17.
JOHN SPIGGLE: If the Texans lose they get the first overall pick in the draft. I don’t think that they will lose on purpose for this reason, but I do think they’ll lose. Tennessee wins.
CHRIS VAN HORN: Houston can smell the top pick in the draft. No way they will win and screw up the possibility of Teddy Bridgewater. Titans win.
SUNDAY 12/29, 1:00PM, CBS: JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS at INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
CODY CLEMENT: Indy played very well last week and they continue it this week. Colts beat the Jags.
DAN PLUTA: Colts win and Bengals loss means good things for Indy’s Super Bowl hopes. Both teams are in, but who they play is up for grabs. I like the Indianapolis Colts to beat a bad Jags team.
JOHN SPIGGLE: The Colts should win this game even though they don’t need to. Indianapolis.
CHRIS VAN HORN: I don’t know how to feel about the Colts heading into the playoffs. They have some great wins this season and also have some bad losses. They need to play well against a team they should beat. Indianapolis wins this one.
SUNDAY 12/29, 1:00PM, CBS: NEW YORK JETS at MIAMI DOLPHINS
CODY CLEMENT: Really need the Jets to win this game and I think they should. I’m going with John on this one Jets.
DAN PLUTA: Jets aren’t playing for anything, Miami Dolphins need this.
JOHN SPIGGLE: The Jets by one sad and lonely point.
CHRIS VAN HORN: I’m taking Miami because I’m sure that John will take the Jets by a stupid point and I’m four games back in the standings.
SUNDAY 12/29, 1:00PM, CBS: CLEVELAND BROWNS at PITTSBURGH STEELERS
CODY CLEMENT: At one point this season the Steelers were 0-4 and I gave up hope and hitched my horse to the Brian Hoyer led Cleveland Browns (oops, sorry Chris). While I will be happy if Pittsburgh somehow sneaks in I have lost the right to root for it to happen and to be ecstatic if it does, but Pittsburgh handles their end of the deal.
DAN PLUTA: It’s Chris vs. Cody here. I’m not making my football pick based on those two though, although I will pick one of their favorite teams, Pittsburgh Steelers.
JOHN SPIGGLE: The Steelers are definitely a long shot to make the playoffs. They need quite a few things out of their control to go their way. One thing they need and can control is to win this game. Win they will. Make the playoffs they probably won’t. Pittsburgh.
CHRIS VAN HORN: C’mon Cleveland. Can you please give me ONE reason to smile? Please? I remember when the Browns were 3-2 and in first place. That was a long freaking time ago. I will defy all logic and take Cleveland.
SUNDAY 12/29, 4:25PM, CBS: DENVER BRONCOS at OAKLAND RAIDERS
CODY CLEMENT: Broncos… next.
DAN PLUTA: Denver Broncos, hahahaha.
JOHN SPIGGLE: Oh please. Denver.
CHRIS VAN HORN: Broncos win, and I hate John Elway.
SUNDAY 12/29, 4:25PM, CBS: KANSAS CITY CHIEFS at SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
CODY CLEMENT: This is the game that should have Steeler fans concerned about their playoff hopes because the Chiefs are the only team locked into a playoff spot. The Chargers need this game to stay alive and will know what has happened before kickoff. Every game I have picked against Phil Rivers he has spit in my eye so I’m going reverse jinx and taking the Chargers to blow out the Chiefs.
DAN PLUTA: Ooh… The Chiefsters on the road in San Diego against a team with a glimmer of hope. A Chiefs win doesn’t put them anywhere, a loss doesn’t put them anywhere. Sounds to me like a game of rest, San Diego Chargers win.
JOHN SPIGGLE: It appears as though the Chiefs plan on limiting the reps some starters get during this game. That is all I need to know. San Diego.
CHRIS VAN HORN: Not expecting to see much from the Chiefs this week. I’d love to see Philip Rivers blow this game against the KC backups, but I don’t see it happening. Chargers win.
SUNDAY 12/29, 4:25PM, CBS: BUFFALO BILLS at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
CODY CLEMENT: What if Thad Lewis looks like Joe Montana reincarnate in this game? Does that make Bills fans nervous about their QB situation? Who cares… Patriots.
DAN PLUTA: I’ve chosen the Buffalo Bills every week and been wrong 9-times. Let’s make it 7 correct picks.
JOHN SPIGGLE: It would be nice to see New England lose once more before the end of the season, but I just don’t see it happening. Patriots.
CHRIS VAN HORN: New England…because there’s no way Buffalo wins this game.
SUNDAY 12/29, 4:25PM, FOX: GREEN BAY PACKERS at CHICAGO BEARS
CODY CLEMENT: This one if for all the NFC North marbles. Rodgers is coming back for this game and the line has already swung 6 points in the Packers favor. I think that the Packers get it done in the Windy City.
DAN PLUTA: Green Bay plays for the division here, Chicago is 8-7 and Green Bay is 7-7-1. The winner, well… wins. I heard rumblings about a Rodgers return, which helps sway my decision towards the Green Bay Packers.
JOHN SPIGGLE: The winner of this game takes the division. If that doesn’t make it interesting enough, Aaron Rodgers is back with the Packers after being out for several weeks with a broken collar bone. This will be a fun one to watch. I’m going with Green Bay.
CHRIS VAN HORN: Aaron Rodgers returns after missing seven weeks. I can’t believe that the Packers have a shot to win the division after trotting out Matt Flynn, Seneca Wallace and Scott Tolzein (Tolzine? Tolzien? Who cares). I think Rodgers gets it done against the team that knocked him out for half the season. Packers win.
SUNDAY 12/29, 4:25PM, FOX: TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS at NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
CODY CLEMENT: It’s crazy to think that the Saints could miss the playoffs if they lose, they won’t lose though. Saints by two touchdowns.
DAN PLUTA: The Saints could miss the playoffs with a loss here. But, they won’t lose – New Orleans Saints.
JOHN SPIGGLE: The Saints will win, but I think it is the last game they win this year. I expect them to be out of the playoffs quickly. New Orleans.
CHRIS VAN HORN: The Saints are at home. They haven’t lost at home all season. They need this game to make the playoffs. I’ll go with New Orleans.
SUNDAY 12/29, 4:25PM, FOX: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS at ARIZONA CARDINALS
CODY CLEMENT: The NFC West is stacked!!! Apparently I was wrong about Carson Palmer and for that I apologize. I think that this game will be close and I’m going to take Arizona in the upset.
DAN PLUTA: Arizona could win this game and miss the playoffs still, an 11-5 team missing the playoffs. I feel bad for them, but then remember that I am a Buffalo fan that hasn’t seen a postseason since I was 13. San Francisco 49ers win.
JOHN SPIGGLE: The Cardinals have suffered the consequences of being in arguably the toughest division in the NFL. They could potentially win 11 games but still be golfing in January. Arizona is still alive in terms of the playoffs, so they’ll be out for blood in this game. I think they do it. I’m a believer. Cardinals win.
CHRIS VAN HORN: Arizona has 10 wins with Carson Palmer at quarterback. Remarkable. The 49ers still have a chance to improve their playoff seeding, so I’ll go with them.
SUNDAY 12/29, 4:25PM, FOX: ST. LOUIS RAMS at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
CODY CLEMENT: The Rams are the NFL version of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. They win one week by 20 then lose the next by 30. I think the Seahawks are too good for them especially if they have a bad day.
DAN PLUTA: If Carolina wins, I think they can overtake the Seahawks, and Seattle does not want that to happen. That’s why the Seattle Seahawks will be the pesky Rams.
JOHN SPIGGLE: Seattle lost last week at home for the first time in a thousand years. Do you think they will let that happen two weeks in a row? Nah. Seattle gets the win and starts a new home win streak.
CHRIS VAN HORN: Seattle can wrap up the top spot in the NFC. No way they don’t get it done at home. Seahawks take this one.
SUNDAY 12/29, 8:30PM, FOX: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES at DALLAS COWBOYS
CODY CLEMENT: Kyle Orton… Nick Foles… It’s the NFC East Title Game on NBC. I think that the Eagles will have too much fire power.
DAN PLUTA: I’m not really interested in this game since I dislike both teams. But, I would prefer to see Dallas lose and I think the Eagles are far more explosive. I think the Philadelphia Eagles come out on top in a big way, like not even close, and it’s in Dallas.
JOHN SPIGGLE: The NFC East Title Game! The Cowboys are going to have to find a way to choke without Tony Romo. In the past they’ve had to do so with him. I am not so sure that Romo’s absence makes this game any tougher for the Cowboys, and I would have taken the Eagles anyway. Philadelphia wins.
CHRIS VAN HORN: No Romo, no playoffs for Dallas. Eagles win the NFC East.