So here we are, the final week of the regular season. Where does the time go? And also, a New Year and a new opportunity to redeem ourselves in the fantasy world. Sign up now if you're game!
So, all our football this weekend is on New Years Day (which I don't about you but for me is absolutely perfect for me) with three playoff positions still to play for, which I will order in:
Cincy currently own the 6th seed and could potentially be there without kicking a ball or even beating the Ravens, depending on results.
In the 6pm games the games that matter are: Jets (#9) vs. Dolphins (Sky Sports) and Tennessee (#8) at Houston. Jets and Titans both need a win and for Cincy and Oakland to lose, with the Titans also needing to lose for the Jets to get in.
The Dolphins would love to upset their division rivals and build on the excellent form they've had recently, so I'm not even sure the Jets even do their bit here. (Fins by 3)
The Titans face the already qualified Texans who again, would want to knock out a division rival, but their biggest concern is how bad they've been these past couple of games going into the playoffs. If they lose, they could find themselves facing the Titans AGAIN next week in the wildcard round, but they need some momentum for whoever they play, be it Cincy, Oakland, Tennessee or New York. Titans however will need it more, and given current form, could cause an upset here (Titans by 4-5)
So at the 9pm games, there are three crucial ties:
As mentioned, Cincy may not necessarily have to beat Baltimore if Oakland, Tennessee and New York all lose (possible) but it sure would help. Baltimore however also need the win to lock up the division (and number #1 seed if Buffalo pull off a miracle in New England - lol) to sweep the division and earn themselves a bye week and a home game. A.J Green will be fully active this time and obviously will be desperate to keep their playoff place (because if they lose and Oakland win, they are out) and also we're very inconsistent away from home. I would like to think after beating Pittsburgh and Cleveland away we can achieve our first ever AFC North sweep, but its going to be a real tough one. (Bmore by 3)
The other two important games are in the AFC West, where there could well be two playoff spots up for grabs. Denver are at home to Kansas and currently own the division, however they could still find themselves out of the playoffs entirely by the end of the day. Oh and what glorious twisted fate has lead the AFC West down to Tebow vs. Orton. What an incredible opportunity for Orton to shove it up Denver by potentially knocking them out of the playoffs completely, what sweet sweet justice he would feel. If Denver lose and Oakland win, Oakland take the division and Cincy would probably still take the wildcard. However, if Oakland lose then Denver can still clinch the division on 8-8, meaning for the second year running a West Coast team would get a home playoff game despite the lack of a winning season. San Diego will want to disrupt, but they are a complete mess with presumably heads rolling come January, so I'd imagine they won't have enough to deny Oakland, meaning Denver really will have to beat Kansas.
My prediction, Denver down by 10 with 5 minutes to go, Oakland and Cincy both winning, and then the ultimate Tebow Time gets Denver in to the playoffs (by 3)
Still following? Good. Here's the best/simplest one of the night:
Sunday Night Football sees a mouth-watering fail-fest between Dallas and the New York Giants, in a winner takes all* bro-down. As always, the NFC East has produced hilarious results, for the division with easily four of the "biggest" teams in the league and no one actually wanting to win the division or go to the playoffs lest they get found out. Giants have a terrible home record, Dallas are poor away from the dome, both are terrible during December (and this year is no different) this has the potential to be the game of the year. I honestly have no idea how this one will play out, literally anything could happen here, but it is inspired fate that this is the last prime-time regular season match. I hope its the Giants, but either way, I imagine my New Year hangover will be well and truly chased when I'm wooping & hollering at 4am for the second night in a row.
*Giants only need to draw to take the division and technically have a winning record.
Hope that all made sense. If not, fuck yrs.
Not much else to report, but at the other end of the table there is still the suck for luck race, which sees "hot" Indy take on the awful Jacksonville in a game no one will want to win (Indy by 4-5), and St. Louis who will probably be beaten by San Fran (even if they're not starters, the Rams are that bad) as they're competing for the #2 seed with the Saints (SF by 7). If they both win somehow, then Minnesota are in with a chance who play Chicago looking to salvage something from a disappointing season (Bears by 7).
Pittsburgh need to beat Cleveland to ensure they're in with a chance of the AFC North title and a bye, probably will (by 7)
Patriots only need a tie to ensure 1# seed and homefield advantage against Buffalo (NE by 7)
New Orleans need to beat Carolina and hope for a St. Louis win (lol) for number #2 and a bye, last chance to see CAM-Whoaaa-Cam. (NO by 7)
Detroit only need a tie against Green Bay's reserves to ensure the #5 seed in the NFC (Detroit by 4-5)
Atlanta need to beat Tampa and Detroit loss to go from #6 to #5. (Atlanta by 7)
Seattle at Arizona, both had reasonably decent seasons, will want to build on that (or go on holiday) (Zona by 3)
Washington at Philly, dream team of 2011 is over, but they'll want to finish strong at least (PHI by 7)
Happy New Year y'all!