#3: Cleveland over Cincinnati
(14-3: buf, TB, AZ, GB, MN, PIT, LAR, KC, no, DAL, LAC, ind, PHL,
SEA, SF, NYJ, CHI)
Bengals have clinched the AFC North. Barring a total collapse
by the Kansas City in Denver (Sat) and the Titans in Houston,
a game that will be played concurrently with this one, the Bengals
will be slated as a three or a four seed and no chance of a bye
in the first week of the playoffs.
With Joe Burrow
already ruled out, what do you think they will do in the second
half, especially if they fall behind early? You got itÖ sit the
rest of the starters.
In Week 18 of the season, and if you are still playing for a part
of your pool, forget the statistics. This one is pure gut. Subs
are in, starters are sitting, and COVID can impact your bet easily
up until game time. Then again, you could have a player take off
his gear and do a striptease in the end zone. I digress (it cost
me my Championship game as I had Cooks on the bench).
This is a game that Cleveland wants to win. Itís their rivals.
For them, itís the playoffs. As such, take the home team
while the Bengals rest for the playoffs the following week.
#2: Tennessee over Houston
(13-4: TB, GB, DEN, no, NE, LAR, bal, cin, MIA, BUF, CLE, DAL,
IND, LAC, az, PHI, SF)
Titans are currently the #1 seed in the AFC and while they might
like to take it easy this week in preparation for the playoffs,
the bigger reward is the one and only bye next week should they
While Houston, the 30th ranked scoring offense has played well
under Davis Mills, and Brandin Cooks is back to being true number
one receiver, these two will be hard pressed to score against
the 6th ranked defense with Rex Burkhard running the ball. This
team is trying to see what they have on the roster while the Titans
are playing for a week off.
Take the Titans in spite of the rivalry game. Mike Vrabel knows
too well what that extra rest is worth.
#1: New Orleans over Atlanta
(14-3: SF, CLE, CAR, BUF, TB, KC, AZ, LAR, dal, IND, ten, BAL,
MN, GB, MIA, lac, NE)
a New Orleans Saints team that spent a month in Dallas due to
a hurricane, lost their starting quarterback for the season and
was down their best player for almost a month, they should feel
extremely lucky to be playing the last weekend of the season with
a chance to make the playoffs.
The Saints canít be watching the scoreboard, even though
they will need help from the Rams, who are playing for the NFC
West Title against the 49ers. A Win by the Saints, and a 49ers
loss in LA, a very real possibility, and you can strike up the
band ďOh when the Saints, come marchin inÖ.Ē
Without retired Drew Brees, and all of the issues this season,
it would be a heck of feat in the first year post Brees.
Meanwhile, Matt Ryan and the rest of the Falcons will definitely
do their best to play spoiler with their visitors from the Big
Easy. But if everything plays out as expected with the Rams against
the 49ers, the Saints should put the pedal down to take the last
It should be noted that in reviewing the teams that were available
to me in the #1 spot this week, the only team I could pick that
was favored that I hadnít chosen all season was the Saints.
Goes to show you, that if you make it to the end, hopefully you
were smart enough to plan ahead and leave an obvious choice for