This is the final week of the NFL season, and I have yet to get every game right for a week. I have come close on a couple of occasions, but the goal of a perfect week has since eluded me. Last week I didn’t do well at all, I had my worst week of picks ever with ten incorrect picks. I won’t let a bad week hinder my progress so here is my final shot at a perfect week. In the first games of week seventeen the Texans will defeat the Jaguars, the Steelers will beat the Browns, and the Jets will defeat the Bills. The Patriots will win against the Dolphins, the Titans will beat the Colts, and the Bengals will defeat the Ravens. The Redskins will beat the Cowboys, the Falcons will defeat the Saints, the Lions will beat the Bears, and the Giants will end their season with a win over the Eagles. In the late afternoon games of this week the Rams will blow out the 49ers, the Panthers will win a close game against the Buccaneers, the Chiefs will win against the Raiders, the Broncos will blow out the Chargers, and the Cardinals will defeat the Seahawks. On this last Sunday of the season, most of the games have little importance, almost every game features two teams with nothing to play for other than pride, the Sunday night game is possibly the only important game this week. On Sunday night the Packers and the Vikings will be playing for the NFC North title, and I expect the Vikings to come away with a big win. This is the final week of regular season football, after this the real tournament starts, I can’t wait for the playoffs.
There are two weeks left in this football season, and as the year dwindles down so goes my chances of perfection. Last week was one of my best weeks yet as I managed to select 12 correct games out of the 16, and I hope to build on that success as I race towards a perfect week. This week starts with a Christmas Eve matchup of the Raiders and the Chargers, I expect the Raiders to start their Christmas on a happy note with a big win. Saturday’s game features two teams vying for the NFC East title, with the Eagles facing the Redskins. I expect the Eagles to win the game and to keep their playoff chances alive. On the Sunday after Christmas the NFL gave to me, a full slate of action packed games. In the first Sunday game the Dolphins will defeat the Colts in a close one, the Buccaneers will defeat the Bears, and the Chiefs will dismantle the Browns in a blowout. In a northeastern grudge match between the Jets and the Patriots, I expect the Patriots to come home with a win. The Cowboys will defeat the Bills, the Panthers will beat the Falcons by a large margin, and the Lions will defeat the 49ers. The Texans will defeat the Titans in a shockingly playoff relevant game, and the Steelers will defeat their long time rival Ravens. The late afternoon games look to be quite exciting, even though all of the teams playing are not in playoff contention. In the first game, the electrifying Jaguars offense will win big against the porous Saints defense, the second game will be a defensive battle but the stronger Seahawks will defeat the Rams, and in the final afternoon matchup the Cardinals will defeat the Packers in a very close game. The Sunday night game features the Vikings and the Giants, and while my head wants to pick the Vikings, I must go with my fandom and choose the Giants, hopefully they can keep the playoff hope alive. In the final game of the week, we have a Monday night matchup of the Bengals and the Broncos, while both of these teams are playoff bound, injuries have considerably hurt their team depth. I expect the Broncos to win this game due to their strong defense, however this game will have an incredibly low combined score. There is only one week to go after this one, I think this week seems like a perfect time for a perfect week. Merry Christmas Everyone, enjoy the games.
During this past weekend of football there were some fantastic games, and there was no game more interesting than the game between the undefeated Panthers and the Giants. The Giants were down by 28 points in the second half, and they managed to fight back to tie the game in the fourth quarter, ultimately to lose the game by three points. Aside from the action going on during the actual matchup, there was quite a brawl going on between two of the stars of the game. Odell Beckham Jr and Josh Norman seemed to be having their own personal battle, which led to multiple personal foul penalties and dozens of penalty yards. There is speculation about the events that caused all of this animosity and while no official report has been made available publicly, the outcome of the game’s extracurricular activities will be the one game suspension of Odell Beckham. The Giants will be missing their most explosive offensive weapon for a crucial Sunday night game, and I don’t think the NFL correctly assessed the situation before handing down the punishment. I understand that the league wants to show that they do not play favorites when it comes to punishing players, but they already failed in proving this point by allowing Odell to complete the game. Both Norman and Beckham should have been ejected from the game on Sunday, but since the NFL wanted to keep its stars on the field they allowed these players to literally fight each other throughout the game. Perhaps it is due to poor officiating, or a lack of control by coaches, but these players should have been dealt with before the league had a chance to step in. I know that I am speaking from the point of view of a Giants fan, and that I am personally upset with the fact that Beckham will miss a game, but I think the league should have at least punished both players for their roles in this scuffle if anyone at all. I don’t condone the actions of Beckham, but I do believe that it takes two to fight, and the fact that the league only punished one combatant is a bit alarming. The NFL needs to better instruct their officiating crews when it comes to fights on the field, if the league doesn’t want players in this already brutal sport to fight, then they must start ejecting them before the fights escalate. The NFL is a contact sport and players get emotionally heated, I don’t think a suspension is warranted in most cases, especially when two players are allowed to “duke it out” all game long. Hopefully Beckham will win his appeal this week, or else Sunday’s Giants game will be much less interesting and competitive.
The Heisman Memorial Trophy ceremony took place last night in New York City. The Heisman Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding college football player of the season, based on the votes of qualified sports writers and former trophy winners. While there are thousands of players eligible for the trophy, finalists are chosen based on the number of votes they receive. The three finalists for this year’s trophy were Alabama’s Derrick Henry, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey, all three of these players were outstanding all season. Early in the season it was almost certain than Leonard Fournette of LSU would be the runaway Heisman winner, but after his poor performance in a game at Alabama, Derrick Henry became the consensus favorite. Henry won the Heisman in a landslide, but I don’t think the voters got it right. While Henry’s play was tremendous, the Heisman is generally awarded to the best player who has the biggest impact on the best team, and that player in my eyes was Deshaun Watson. Watson lead the nation’s best team to an undefeated season, and he did everything you could ask a quarterback to do. Watson’s leadership was impeccable and his numbers were terrific, but he only managed to gain 148 first place votes to Henry’s 378. McCaffrey also played extremely well this season, but he suffered from the fact that most voters rarely get a chance to see the games played on the west coast live. Derrick Henry had a fantastic season and he definitely put up numbers deserving of the Heisman Trophy, I just think the voters should be required to pay closer attention to the players at the top of their list in order to make the best informed votes. Henry was great for most of the season, but Watson was perfect for the entire year. Now that the season has finally come to an end and the awards have been given out, Deshaun Watson will have a chance in the playoffs to prove that he should have had more Heisman votes, while Derrick Henry will be tasked with proving that he deserved the honor of raising this prestigious trophy.
Last week was one of the most exciting weeks of the season so far. I managed to get nine out of my sixteen predictions correct, and most of them were with almost pinpoint accuracy. I still have a few more weeks to improve my pick percentage so I will get right into it. The first game of this week features two very good teams fighting for prime playoff position, I expect the Cardinals to defeat the Vikings by at least two touchdowns. On Sunday, I expect to see the Lions defeat the Rams, the Bears win against the Redskins, and the Bills winning over the Eagles. The NFL’s only remaining undefeated team, the Panthers, will face off against the Falcons who are currently on a five game losing streak, and I expect both streaks to remain intact. The 49ers will win a close game against the Browns, The Buccaneers will continue their hot streak with a win against the Saints, the Seahawks will beat the Ravens, and the Chiefs will get a big blowout win against the Chargers. The Jaguars will defeat the Colts, the Titans will win a close game against the Jets, and the Steelers will defeat the Bengals by a close margin in a huge divisional matchup. Sunday’s late afternoon games seem to be predictable enough, as we will see a couple of contenders facing off against weaker opposition. I expect the Broncos to win against the Raiders by less than a touchdown, and I believe the Packers will put up a huge score as they defeat the Cowboys. The Sunday night game pits the Texans against the heavily injured Patriots, who happen to be coming in with their first two game losing streak in years, I expect the Patriots to win this game, but they will make enough mistakes to keep it close. The last game of the week is going to be an important one for the Giants, as their season hinges on their ability to secure a win against the sometimes formidable Dolphins, the Giants will win this game and make a statement that they are better than they have been showing. There you have it for my week fourteen picks, I will definitely enjoy this week’s games, hopefully this will be the perfect week.
The NFL is split into eight divisions, and every year each of these divisions is required to crown a champion. It is a given that the best team in the division will have earned the right to host a playoff game, but with the state of the NFC East, it is not only difficult, but also absurd to label any of the four teams a champion. The NFC East currently has three teams tied for first place, and the forth team is only one game back, that seems reasonable until you realize that all four of these teams have more losses than wins this season. The NFC East has been plagued with poor play and damaging injuries, and while some teams have managed to play relatively solid football, huge mistakes have cost this division many crucial games. I personally have a stake in the outcome of this division because my favorite team, the Giants, happens to be mired in the mess of “contenders” for the title. The Giants are quite possibly the most frustrating team in the NFL, as they have lost five games this season while holding a lead within the last 72 seconds. I understand that anything is possible when it comes to sports, but the NFC East has given football fans all over America a reason to shut off their televisions in disgust. The football season is winding down, and as this awful division fights feebly to decide a champion, all of the other NFL teams and fans will be left with the realization that a team with a losing record will be awarded with home field advantage for at least one game in the playoffs.
The retirement of legendary athletes, such as Kobe Bryant and Derek Jeter was inevitable, and while athletes of the past have generally faded into obscurity, these two are dead set on keeping their names in sports. Once Derek Jeter retired he created a publication that is basically an open forum for athletes to voice their opinions and beliefs directly to fans. The Player’s Tribune, gives professional athletes unlimited space to speak on whatever topic they feel is important, but as we have seen with Twitter, that is not always a great idea. So far little controversy has come from the Tribune, but since players now have their own forum to address fans, they are starting to lock out sports media. The lockout of sports writers is in effect is taking a massive toll on what we consider legitimate writing, and giving rise to sites like TMZ. What was once a case of a reporter walking up to an athlete and asking a question has now been reduced to tabloids speculating on what players do with their nightlife, and this is all due to the fact that some of these athletes have become too pompous to speak to a reporter. I am not fully on the side of reporters because they can sometimes create a story that is not there, but when athletes make a reporters job difficult, sometimes the only way to get a story is to make one up. I understand the idea behind The Player’s Tribune, and now that it is being backed by both Derek Jeter and Kobe, it will get more publicity, but I think athletes should be careful about locking out reporters. Reporters may have a reputation to uphold, but when they start losing their jobs to a player run site, they may start using some underhanded tactics to break that big story nobody should have heard about.
The Philladelpia 76ers now hold the record for longest losing steak of any team in any American professional sport. This team is currently 0 – 17 for the season, and they have lost 27 straight games dating back to the end of last season. The futility of this organization was once seen as a plot to amass a group of young talented number one picks, but that idea seems to have backfired in a terrible way. The Sixers seem to have nothing going for them at the moment, the team has had several early picks in the draft over the last decade, but injuries have left the team with many young players that have no position on the court. It doesn’t help that the team has drafted a center in consecutive drafts, and traded for another high draft pick that can essentially play the same position. The true issue with the 76ers is that they absolutely lack direction, this team is like a talented child that has no idea what they plan to do with their life. If the owner of this franchise ever wants to put a serviceable team on the court, they need to get new coaching, get a new GM, and get a plan of action. The 76ers have been losing for so long that it is their culture, I don’t expect the losing ways to end anytime soon, but anything is possible once a legitimate plan of action is put into place. I know it seems like a long shot, but the 76ers may be one management change away from being a championship team.
Last week was my worst of all in terms of NFL picks, and based on the recent trend, my picks seem to be getting worse and worse. I managed to predict only six correct games out of fourteen, and if the tread holds true, I will only have five correct this week. I am still set on getting at least one perfect week this season so this week, with every team playing once again, I am determined to get it right. Week twelve of the NFL season starts with the great tradition that is Thanksgiving football. There are three games being played this Thanksgiving so I will be expecting a day full of football, food, and family. In the first game to be played, I expect the Lions to defeat the Eagles, and in the late afternoon matchup of the Cowboys and Panthers, I fully expect the Panthers to put up a large score and keep their undefeated season going. Game three of Thanksgiving is an NFC North matchup of the Bears and Packers, and while the Bears have played well as of late, they will fall to the Packers in this game. As for the first of the Sunday games the Bills will beat the Chiefs in a blowout, the Bengals will defeat the Rams, and the Texans will win a close game against the Saints. The surging Buccaneers will defeat the Colts, the Chargers will beat the Jaguars, and the Dolphins will defeat the Jets. The Vikings will win an interesting game against the Falcons, and in a pivotal game for the weak NFC East division title, the Giants will defeat the Redskins. The Raiders will beat the Titans, the Cardinals will dismantle the much weaker 49ers, and the Steelers will win a close game against the Seahawks. As for the primetime games, we start with an interesting matchup of the undefeated Patriots and the Broncos, I expect the Broncos defense to hold strong against the heavily injured Patriot lineup and get a big win. The Monday night game will be something of a snoozer as two teams with lost seasons look to battle for the bottom of their division. I expect the Ravens to win the final game of the week against the Browns, even though they will be playing short handed. There you have it for my week twelve picks, hopefully I can break the streak of terrible weeks, enjoy the extended Thanksgiving weekend everybody.
Last week was my worse week yet with only 7 out of 14 games correct for Week 10. The games of last week were extremely exciting as most of them were won within the last minute, or by a low score differential, I definitely didn’t expect to be as entertained as I was with the games. I fell like I would have had a better percentage of correct picks if the ball had a few favorable bounces, but I will make up for my poor picks with a perfect week this time. Tonight’s game features a showdown of two of the NFL’s least interesting teams, the Jaguars and the Titans, and I expect a Jaguars win in a blowout. Sunday is when all of the real excitement begins, as several teams will be fighting for position in an intriguing playoff race. The Rams will defeat the Ravens, The undefeated Panthers will beat the Redskins, and the Bears will defeat the Peyton Manning-less Broncos. The Cowboys will extend their losing streak to eight against the Dolphins, The Raiders will defeat the Lions, and the Jets will win against the Texans. The Falcons will return to their winning ways against the Colts, the Buccaneers will defeat the Eagles, and the Chiefs will win against the Chargers. In a battle for NFC North supremacy and prime playoff position, the surprisingly good Vikings will be taking on the reeling Packers. I expect the Vikings to come away with a huge home win over their long time rivals. The Seahawks will beat the 49ers in a low scoring matchup, and in the primetime games the Cardinals will defeat the Bengals, and the Bills will win against the undefeated Patriots in a huge upset. My picks are in, hopefully I can do much better than 50% this week and for the rest of the season.