Every Wednesday or Thursday during the 2017 season, Joe Caporoso will break down the upcoming week of NFL action. Unfasten the belts and prepare to gorge on another weekend of fandom, fantasy, gambling, tweeting, cheering, complaining…and complaining.
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Five games left. The stretch run is officially upon us and despite the drawn out “In The Hunt” graphics on CBS and FOX every week, the potential playoff field has narrowed to ten teams in the AFC and eight teams in the NFC. The realistic cut off right now in the AFC is 5-6 and in the NFC is 5-6. Sorry Jets, Miami, Houston, Green Bay, Dallas, Washington and Arizona, you are done.
Let’s take a stab at predicting how it will break out in both conferences and what RIVETING wild-card match-ups we could up having.
In the AFC, safe money is on New England finishing at 14-2 and getting the #1 seed. All of us Patriots haters need to hope either Pittsburgh or Buffalo can upset them when New England is in their building. Even in that scenario, the Patriots and Steelers are both getting a bye, it is jut a matter of who is #1 and #2.
Tennessee and Jacksonville are battling to either be the #3 or #5 seed. Both currently sit at 7-4. Both have one game left on their schedule where they will be underdogs (Tennessee vs. Los Angeles, Jacksonville vs. Seattle). This is likely being settled week 17 in Jacksonville (ohhhh SUNDAY NIGHT). Let’s go with the home team and assume Jacksonville gets the #3 seed, with the Titans ending up #5.
The AFC West has all of a sudden become interesting thanks to an Alex Smith inspired meltdown that has left Kansas City at 6-5, only one game ahead of Los Angeles and Oakland. I’m writing Oakland off and saying the Chargers continue their late season surge to take the #4 seed but the Chiefs do just enough to narrowly edge out Baltimore for the #6 seed, leaving us with Jacksonville vs. Kansas City and Tennessee and Los Angeles in round one.
In the NFC, the Eagles have another loss coming but will do enough to hold on to the #1 seed. Minnesota will also stay put at #2, splitting their next two and then winning their last three. New Orleans will finish ahead of the surging Falcons and Panthers for the #3 seed, leaving Seattle in the #4 seed after they complete a season sweep of the Rams, who will be the #5 seed. Finally, it will be Atlanta, not Carolina, who ultimately ends in the #6 spot. So round one we get New Orleans vs. Atlanta (FUN!) and Seattle vs. Rams (Also FUN!).
A Three Team Tease Is Always A Bad Idea But…
- Chargers (-8), Rams (-1), Minnesota (+9)
Stay betting against the Browns. The Rams defense should run roughshod over Blaine Gabbert. Minnesota isn’t getting enough respect with this line versus Atlanta. This will be a tight game.
- Washington (-2), Pittsburgh (-5)
Despite the “rivalry” Pittsburgh usually handles the Bengals. Dallas is a train wreck right now. Washington should win an ugly game.
- New Orleans (-4)
The Saints should bounce back after an ugly showing vs. the Rams. Carolina looked like crap last week despite beating the Jets.
- QB – Philip Rivers
- RB – Jordan Howard
- RB – Kareem Hunt
- WR – Marqise Lee
- WR – Keenan Allen
- WR – DeAndre Hopkins
- TE – Austin Seferian-Jenkins
- K – Justin Tucker
- D – Tennessee
Overrated Snack of the Week
This is a bit of a random one but here me out: If you are utilizing salsa, you are looking to add at least a little spice to your chip. What is the point of going mild with your salsa? Go medium. Go hot. If you are going mild and especially if you aren’t going chunky (fortunately the picture below is chunky), what is the point? You might as well put tomato sauce on your chip.
Random Internet Complaint
Survivor Pick Power Rankings
- Los Angeles Chargers
- Los Angles Rams
- New England Patriots
Survivor Status: Dead!
Random NFL GIF
I feel ya, brush.
- Robby Anderson will keep his TD streak going.
- Geno Smith and the Giants will not beat Oakland.
- Denver will end their losing streak thanks to Miami.
- Jimmy G will struggle in his first San Francisco start.
NFL/GM Coach Reminders
- It will all be over soon (Ben McAdoo!)
- You blew it with the Paxton Lynch pick (John Elway!)
- Start planning for next year with your personnel decisions (Todd Bowles!)
Photo Credit: NFL.com