So I take some time away and what happens? Everything in the NFL world goes haywire, and I barely survive Week 16, finishing 9-7 thanks to two or three upsets.
Who knows what will happen in Week 17, which is always the most difficult to predict, as some teams will lay down, some will unexpectedly rise up, some will rest stars, others will find players who are suddenly injured (read: we are not going to risk him in a meaningless game) and still others will feature on-the-edge-of-losinig-their-job players who will be hell-bent on making a personal statement to save or salvage their career.
Here we go …
SAINTS at FALCONS, 12 p.m., FOX
Hard to see how Atlanta would not to bummed after watching Minnesota knock them from the playoffs … SAINTS 21-20.
JETS at BILLS, 12 p.m., CBS
How sweet would it be for Rex Ryan if it was his team who kept New York from grabbing a wild card spot? Buffalo will be jacked-up to play the spoiler, but they won’t be able to pull it off … J-E-T-S 23-16.
BUCCANEERS at PANTHERS, 12 p.m., FOX
No way they lose two in a row … PANTHERS 30-10.
LIONS at BEARS, 12 p.m., FOX
Detriot has not won in both Wisconsin and Illinois in the same season since I was in junior high … DA BEARS 27-17.
RAVENS at BENGALS, 12 p.m., CBS
Rising up, at home, to beat your hated rival is one thing, but the Crows won’t be able to go out with a win against a Cincinnati team that, even without Dalton, can still be dangerous … BENGALS 26-18.
STEELERS at BROWNS, 12 p.m., CBS
Pittsburgh has to have this one and a Jets loss to make the playoffs. They will hold up their end Sunday, then spend the off season wondering how they lost twice to Baltimore … STEELERS 41-17.
REDSKINS at COWBOYS, 12 p.m., FOX
Haters of Dallas — and they are legion — will be shouting “You like that!” after this one … REDSKINS 24-17.
JAGUARS at TEXANS, 12 p.m., CBS
Houston enters their one-and-done playoffs on a high note … TEXANS 28-14.
TITANS at COLTS, 12 p.m., CBS
Tennessee is simply terrible, while Indy is simply bad … COLTS 20-12.
RAIDERS at CHIEFS, 12 p.m., CBS
Says here the streak — and under-acknowledged fine play of Alex Smith — will continue … CHIEFS 27-17.
PATRIOTS at DOLPHINS, 12 p.m., CBS
No way they are losing two in a row … PATS 34-13.
EAGLES at GIANTS, 12 p.m., FOX
My New York sources say the Coughlin era will be announced as over within 48 hours of the end of this game, regardless of outcome … GIANTS 22-19.
SEAHAWKS at CARDINALS, 3:25 p.m., FOX
Arizona will know that they will not be able to steal home field, so I expect plenty of playing time for reserves and a win for … SEAHAWKS 23-20.
CHARGERS at BRONCOS, 3:25 p.m., CBS
Wait, just wait … KCCI will force us to watch this meaningless match up instead of the game listed above … BRONCOS 19-9.
RAMS at FORTY-NINERS, 3:25 p.m., FOX
Will St. Louis win their last game as St. Louis? I say yes, in front of an embittered fan base that will fill less than half of the seats at the stadium which will host the Super Bowl is to played in … RAMS 25-21.
VIKINGS at PACKERS, 7:30 p.m., NBC
One team looked great last week and one looked very beatable. Even with a banged-up Lacy and a jumbled O-line Green Bay won the first meeting and, all things being equal … PACKERS 28-24.
Last week: 9-7. Season: 139-101 (.579).