Tuesday, December 6, 2016

NFL 2016-17 Season MNF Review & Week 14 Preview

Indianapolis 41, NY Jets 10 - Oh, man! This one was painful and embarrassing to watch. At least it was if you were routing for the New York Jets. What's the old joke about J-E-T-S standing for Just End The Season. We have now officially reached that point, with the Jets now being officially eliminated from playoff contention, with a full four weeks of the season left. One of the bright spots for Gang Green was that Bryce Petty got some playing time towards the end of the game, when it was well out of hand, and he had an impressive touchdown throw that could not have been prettier. Ryan Fitzpatrick was quoted as saying that he did not care about the bigger picture, as far as the Jets trying to get Petty some playing time, should he be given a chance to be the quarterback for the future. That said, this one was all Indianapolis, and they dominated basically from beginning to end. Andrew Luck had a very solid day, throwing for four touchdowns, and the Colts simply left no doubt in this one. Painful to watch!

Week 14 Preview:

Thursday Night Football - Oakland at Kansas City - This is a huge game for both teams, with enormous playoff implications. The Chiefs come in having won the earlier meeting between the two out in Oakland, and they now host the red hot Raiders at Arrowhead, which is always a tough place to play. The Raiders have been unbelievable, mounting one miracle, come from behind victory after another, but this game in Kansas City is different, and it could get out of hand if the Raiders spot the Chiefs a sizable lead. As impressive as Oakland has been - and they have been tremendously impressive to this point - it is hard to see them pulling off this road victory at KC. My pick: Kansas City

Pittsburgh at Buffalo - Another tough, tight game. Buffalo just lost a heart-breaker, and they need something to give them a jolt. Head coach Rex Ryan told his team that they would need to win out the rest of the way to have any realistic hopes of ending this franchise's record drought of playoff appearances (the last time that they went was back in 1999, when they lost in the "Music City Miracle"). Pittsburgh comes in pretty hot, having won three in a row, and being in a first-place tie with Baltimore in the AFC North. I would like to say Buffalo has a good chance, but I'm seeing the Steelers, and they look very hot. My pick: Pittsburgh

San Diego at Carolina - The Chargers have played some great football lately, despite last week's loss. And the Panthers have just experienced one disappointment after the other this year. After a promising season in which they just missed a Super Bowl title (and likely the culmination of one of the most successful seasons in NFL history), almost everyone expected them to do some amazing things this season. Now, however, with the playoffs out of reach, they need to play for pride. They just got humiliated at Seattle, but coming home, they should be able to get a win against San Diego at home. My pick: Carolina

Cincinnati at Cleveland - The Browns are running out of time and opportunities to avoid the distinction of going winless. That is a rare feat (if that's the right word for it), and they obviously want to avoid it. This may be their last, best chance at avoiding it, as the Bengals look vulnerable this season. Still, Cincy was a playoff team for five straight years, and that was for a reason. They looked mighty impressive in dismantling the Eagles last week, and unless something unusual happens, they should be able to get on top of the Browns this week. Sorry, Cleveland, but at least you got to enjoy very successful seasons for the Cavs and the Indians. My pick: Cincinnati

Chicago at Detroit - This game means almost nothing but pride for Chicago, while it means everything for the Lions. Detroit presently enjoys a two-game lead in the NFC North, but their last three games are all tough, which means that lead could evaporate quickly. So, with home field advantage and a weak team up for this week, it is imperative that Detroit does everything to avoid the possibility of a letdown. The Lions need this one in the worst way, because a loss this week could signal another late season collapse in confidence and results. But this year, I think the Lions are better than that. My pick: Detroit

Minnesota at Jacksonville - The Vikings needs this victory, and the Jaguars are just a terrible team. Jax needs to stop the bleeding and end this dreadful losing streak of theirs, and there are tougher teams to do that against than Minnesota. Still, the Vikings are the better team, and with so much riding on this one, it would be hard to go against them in this game. My pick: Minnesota

Arizona at Miami - Both teams need this one, as both teams are teetering on the edge, and cannot afford losing a single game. Miami has home field advantage, although they also got their butts handed to them in an embarrassing blowout loss at Baltimore. The Cardinals lost way too many games earlier this season, although they just got a big victory this past week against Washington. Still, the Cardinals have not been very good in games this year outside of Arizona, and the Dolphins are especially tough at home in Miami. Arizona can win this is they play at their best, but logically speaking, it is hard to go against the Dolphins at home. My pick: Miami

New Orleans at Tampa Bay - The Buccaneers are in fire right now, and they can essentially knock the Saints out of both the divisional and playoff race with a victory here. New Orleans needs this win in the worst way, if they are to have a chance to stay alive this year. But Tampa Bay is hot, and so much seems to be rolling their way this season. With home field advantage, and with a ton of momentum at this point in the season, the Bucs look unstoppable, although they now have to guard against a letdown. My pick: Tampa Bay

N.Y. Jets at San Francisco - The 49ers just lost a game at Chicago to basically determine which was the worst team in the NFC this season. The Jets, on the other hand, just got humiliated in front of their home fans by the Colts, and the loss officially knocked them out of the playoff hunt.  Both of these teams had horrendous years, although for Gang Green, a team that many figured would at least contend for a playoff spot this year, it has been more disappointing. Still, both teams are just trying to stop the bleeding and get a win under their belt. San Francisco has home field advantage, which should help, although the Jets are in the unfamiliar territory of being the better team entering this game. The Jets have actually been slightly better on the road this season then at home (or perhaps, it should be said that they have been slightly less dismal on the road than at home so far), and they should be able to produce a victory in this contest. My pick: NY Jets  

Washington at Philadelphia - Both teams enter this game on a losing streak that is seriously jeopardizing their playoff chances, although I get the impression that the Eagles are in much bigger trouble. Washington lost to some quality teams in respectable ways, while Philly just lost two games quite badly, which they needed to win. This is a must win for both teams, although for Philly, a loss here would assure a last place finish in the NFC East, and de facto, if not official, elimination from the playoffs. Washington is the better team, so I have to go with them. My pick: Washington

Houston at Indianapolis - The Colts are suddenly red hot, while the Texans are suddenly ice cold. Houston has been a suspect team all season, but their weaknesses have really been exposed in recent weeks.  Meanwhile, the Colts seem to be really coming on and playing their A-game, and with that kind of momentum, plus hoe field advantage to boot, it is kind of hard to see how Houston can even pull this one off. Barring a bit of a miracle, the Colts win and perhaps take over first place in the AFC South.  My pick: Indianapolis  

Denver at Tennessee - This should be a really good one! The Broncos have superior experience, and an incredible defense. The Titans have a developing young quarterback who seems to be coming into his own, while they have been surprising a lot of people this year, and are in the thick of the divisional race. Plus, they have home field advantage for this key game. That makes it a close call in a game that seems too tough to decide. But when in doubt, I will have to go with the defending champions, quarterback issues or no. My pick: Denver

Seattle at Green Bay - Big game, and really huge playoff implications! The Seahawks finally looked like the team that went to those two straight Super Bowls, while the Packers finally are looking like the team that has made the playoffs every years since the 2009 season. If this were in Seattle, it would likely be a wild one, but with the Seahawks enjoying a decisive advantage. Being in frigid Lambeau Field, the advantage swings the other way, and this will be a tough one for Seattle. Green Bay needs this game more, and with home field to boot, it would be hard to pick against them. My pick: Green Bay

Atlanta at L.A. Rams - The Falcons lost a heartbreaker last week to the Chiefs, and they now travel across the continent to visit Los Angeles and the struggling Rams. Atlanta, in a first place tie with the Bucs, need this win and simply cannot afford to lose. The Rams, in the meantime, cannot seem to win, and have to be very disappointed after prducing only one win in the last two or so months. Hard to see how they manage to win this one, for that matter. My pick: Atlanta

Sunday Night Football - Dallas at N.Y. Giants - A huge divisional showdown, and the stakes could hardly be higher for this past of the season! The Giants just had their six-game win streak ended by the Steelers, and at 8-4, they need to get some big wins. None could be bigger than with Dallas coming to town, riding the high of an 11-game win streak, the longest active such streak right now in the league, and the longest winning streak in Cowboys franchise history. If Dallas wins, they outright clinch the division title, and the G-Men would be in trouble, having dropped two straight. However, if the Giants win, they remain within the division race (albeit narrowly, with no margin for error), and they would be in the driver's seat for a playoff berth. Big game! My pick: NY Giants

Monday Night Football - Baltimore at New England - The Ravens are red hot, and the Patriots are red hot. I actually think that Baltimore has a chance here, as they have been playing lights out lately. For proof, just look at how easily they dismantled and dispatched the Dolphins last weekend, when Miami came in riding a six-game win streak. Still, this is Foxboro, this is Belichick and Brady, and it will not be easy by any stretch of the imagination. You have to figure the Pats are the favorites, although again, don't count the darkhorse Ravens out, because they could surprise. My pick: New England

1 comment:

  1. At one point the cameraman showed a couple of fans wearing "Just Endure The Suffering" shirts, which about sums it up.