This week has dragged with no football on Thursday/Saturday. Week 17 of the NFL is finally here. This is by far the most meaningful Week 17 in recent history with 6 playoff spots up for grabs.
Here are my straight-up picks for games with PLAYOFFS implications.
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees breaks Dan Marino's record for most passing yards in a season and makes his claim for NFL MVP as Nawlins wins 34-31.
St. Louis Rams at Atlanta Falcons: Matty Ice and Turner the Burner tear up St. Louis to clinch the NFC South and a first round bye. Falcons 35-14.
New England at Buffalo Bills: The Patriots clinch the AFC East title with a New England win and Miami loss or tie OR New England tie and Miami loss. The Patriots clinch a wild-card spot with a New England win and Baltimore loss or tie OR New England tie and Baltimore loss. As I write this, they are expecting 60 MPH winds with goal posts knocked down. This means that the game will be won in the trenches. Can the Patriots win in the trenches? Buffalo's run D ranks #19 in the NFL and has given up 17 TDs. The Pats' run D is ranked # 13 in the NFL with only 8 TDs given up. Give me a Patriots win in the Wind Bowl. NE 16-6.
New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings: Much to the chagrin of Bears fans, Minnesota wins by virtue of the vaGiants resting their players. Minny Sota wins the NFC North. Minnesota 28-14.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Baltimore Ravens: Coming off their huge win at the Texas Stadium finale, Baltimore wins handily as Joe "Skinny" Flacco joins my boy Matty Ice as a rookie in the Playoffs. Sorry Jets and Dolphins fans--You're out. Baltimore 21-7.
Chicago Bears at Houston Texans: Bears win this ultimately meaningless game (due to the Vikings winning). Chicago 21-17
Oakland Raiders at Tampa Bay Bucs: Tampa Bay wins handily, keeping their playoff hopes alive until the conclusion of Dallas/bEagles game. Tampa 24-7.
Miami Doplhins at New York Jets: By virtue of the NE and Baltimore wins, this game is meaningless. If it does become meaningful, Dolphins win as Pennington's small arm outduels the Gunslinger and #1 NFL Girly Man Brett Favre into retirement. Dolphins 24-21
Dallas Cowboys at Philidelphia Eagles: #2 NFL Girly Man always plays well against Philly and today will be no exception. By virtue of the Tampa Bay and Minnesota games, Philly can't get into The Tournament. However, they play tough in Andy Reid's (and maybe McNabb's) last game ever in Philly. Dallas wins 31-28.
Enver at San Diego: The Ed Hockuli Bowl. Karma proves a bitch for the Broncos as LT and Rivers tear up the 27th ranked Enver defense (there is no D in Denver). San Diego 34-24
Atlanta--NFC South and First Round Bye, New England--AFC East, Baltimore--AFC Wildcard, Minnesota--NFC North, Dallas--NFC Wildcard, San Diego--AFC West
GO COWBOYS! GO FALCONS!
EDIT: 5:53 PM: I am now officially a Falcons fan!