• Playoffs, Wildcards Ahead … Pigskin Pundit’s Picks, Week 17

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    Surge Summary: Playoff and wildcard slots are still being hardened up as the National Football League rolls into week number seventeen. And then there are those games that simply don’t much matter …

    by Pigskin Pundit

    Well, I wasn’t wrong about the Saints/Vikings game being the Jackass game…just wrong about who the jackass was.  Sean Payton called Taysom Hill’s number to run in from the 1-yard line to score what would have been Alvin Kamara’s 7th rushing touchdown in the game, making him the only player in NFL history to achieve this record.  It was a jerk call, you ask me.  As if Kamara hasn’t done EVERYTHING asked of him and more for this coach and team.  Payton has no excuse.  As expected, Dwayne Haskins’ poor judgment on and off the field cost him his job, much like Johnny Manziel.  Funky week, when teams like Cleveland who NEED a win get whacked by the NYJ.  I got whacked too, at 10-6.  I’m 157-83 heading into the last week of regulation, still hovering at 65%.  Better than Cam Newton, but not great.  Here are the picks.

    Falcons at Buccaneers – Neither team has anything to gain, except who Tampa will face Wildcard Week.  Preferable to host the lousy winner of the NFC Least than the Bears, so look for Brady & his skullers to hang in for the win.  Bucs chuck the Clucks.

    Cowboys at Giants – There is a third team in this game…WFT.  If they win, this game becomes an irrelevant purse-swinging kerfuffle between your great aunts Mildred and Hattie.  If WFT trips over their own laces again, they’re self-canceled and the winner here takes the division.  What makes this game interesting is the winner gets to root for Philly later on SNF.  Sixguns may be illegal in NYC, but the Cowboys win in a shootout.

    Jets at Patriots – If you told me anytime the last two years or even earlier this year that I would have to pick the Jets over the Patriots, I would have hit you with a cold mackerel.  Well, New England is that mackerel, lifeless and fisheyed, while the Jets seem to have lurched to life like Frankenstein’s green monster, finding a spark deep inside themselves.  I expect Darnold to play decent, and I expect Cam Newton to do what he has done all season, which is not pass.  I’m all done with New England’s one-dimensional offense.  The cupboard in Foxborough is as empty as the stadium.  Gang Green gets the last laugh here.

    Vikings at Lions – The Vikings played themselves out of contention this year, for no apparent reason.  Their fans should be purple with rage at such a needless disappointment, but there it is.  They will probably drub the toothless Cryins because one of the two Justins in contention for Offensive ROTY is Jefferson, and he could use one more strong showing to bolster his chances.  Thielin needs a little over 100 yards catching to reach 1,000, so this will set the tone for this clunker of a game.  Vikings get fresh Lion pelts to wear when vacation starts Monday.

    Steelers at Browns – Two words: Mason Rudolph.  Here’s two more: Chubb & Hunt.  It’s Make-or-Bake time for Mayfield, as the Browns’ first playoffs since the Carter Administration (seems like) are on the line, and Pittsburgh is at half-strength on the road.  If Cleveland blows this, nothing is fixed in Ohio.  If they win, as they should, then a whole new world opens to them.  Watch for the Garrett/Rudolph handshake after Cleveland takes care of business…It’ll make Belichick/Mangini look like a love fest.

    Ravens at Bengals – Let’s give the Bengals some love & respect for the way they have played this season.  There is new life in Cincinnati, and our prayers are that Burrow makes a complete recovery.  That said, the Ravens are ‘win & in’ and driving their own destiny, so expect a decisive outcome in this game.  Birds eat the cats this week.

    Dolphins at Bills – If McDermott sits his starters, Miami has a shot to grab a road win to get into the playoffs, a place they haven’t been since 2016.  For Buffalo, home advantage and a bye are on the table, something worthwhile if you ask division rival Bill Belichick.  Nobody wants to come to New England in January, and neither will they want to go to Orchard Park.  Great fans, horrendous weather.  I think McDermott plays his starters until the game is secured, then sits them.  This is Tua high a hill for the Dolphins’ rookie QB to get over.  Bills thrill in the Buffalo chill.

    Seahawks at 49ers – It seems like 49 is the number of players SF has lost this season to injury.  Part of being a good team is staying on the field, and with Glass Jimmy G at QB and the rest of the Band-Aid Bunch, the Niners just can’t compete.  Meanwhile up north, Seattle has found some defense to go with Mr. Wilson’s Touchdown Factory, and they continue to pull away from the pack.  Carroll barrels into the playoffs on a nice head of Seattle steam.

    Cardinals at Rams – Tough call.  It’s ‘win-and-in’ for either team, although LA can still make it with a loss.  Goff is gone (broken thumb), so LA starts untested rookie Wolford in a pressure cooker game.  I’m giving the edge to Zona, because Goff had trouble propelling his team downfield with a good hand…Arizona holds the Cards in this matchup.

    Jaguars at Colts – Must-win for the Colts to have a chance at post-season play.  Thank heavens for Jacksonville, who has been every team’s ‘best buddy’ this season.  They have won the Trevor Lawrence derby, so they can just have fun and play spoiler this week.  Can they stop the Colts from stampeding into a playoff berth?  Praaawbably not…Luck belongs to the Horseshoes.

    Titans at Texans – Tennessee has every reason to put this game away and clinch the division.  If they lose, it will take Coopers & Lybrand to figure out whether they make the playoffs or not.  All the more reason why the Incredible Deshaun Watson is likely to continue his phenomenal season and scare the bejeebers out of Vrabel’s team.  The man has no ‘quit’ in him, despite a horrible team and being stripped of his best weapon (Hopkins).  Tannehill will be indoors this week, and Derek Henry has a rushing title to defend, so when you dump all that into the playoff sausage maker, you get a Titanic victory.  Pass the mustard.

    Raiders at Broncos – Nothing to see here, as far as post-season consequences. Denver’s D continues to put the clamps on opposing teams, but Drew Lock has all but quashed his future here by his passing generosity, with more interceptions than td’s.  The Broncs are going to have to look elsewhere, and picking at #10 they may not find a viable 1st round QB candidate this draft.  Maybe Elway has a grandson coming along…Raiders play Bronc busters.

    Chargers at Chiefs – This is actually a game the Chargers might win.  KC sits Mahomes (and others), and the other Justin seeking Offensive POTY status will want to have a good game against a good team.  LA has played better of late, and I think they have a chance to knock off a sleepy Chiefs team.  Bolts grab a stealth win for Lynn.

    Packers at Bears – The loss of Big David Bakhtiari on Rodgers’ left side is a factor with DaBears’ pass pressure, but those same Bears are down two starting Cornerbacks. Packers want to secure home field throughout and a bye, and the Bears are win-and-in, so this game has meaning both ways, which makes it GOOD!  Grab a bratwurst or a Chicago hotdog buried in condiments, and enjoy some great heartland football.  Oh yes, the pick…Packers say ‘Cheese’ for the camera!

    Saints at Panthers – Saints have a bye and homefield at stake, while Carolina has golf on their minds at this point.  Kamara is out on Covid protocol, but there are still way too many weapons for the Panthers to neutralize.  Whodats are bad luck for black cats this week.

    WFT at Eagles –  All Washington needs is a win…well, actually they need a quarterback, too.  Haskins is available for the askin’, as he got the boot from Coach Rivera this week.  You know you’ve screwed up when your coach says ‘I’d rather have nobody than you.’  Twift can play some D with Chase Young, and their ground game is okay, and Philly is beat up again, missing Myles Sanders, Alshon Jeffrey and several other key players this week.  Love Hurts, as the song goes, and chances are he will hurt more when Rivera’s aggressive D gets after him.  Philly could be spoilers, but too many dominoes have to fall right for that to happen.  Twift gets a gift from the Feebles.

    Enjoy the games!

    -PP (Nate Clark)

    The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge

    Image:  CC0 Public Domain; https://pxhere.com/en/photo/551551

    Nathan Clark is a conservative commentator who resides with his wife in New Hampshire. He is passionate about preserving the vision of our nation’s Founders and advancing those tried and true principles deep into America’s future. His interests range broadly from flyfishing, cooking and shooting to pro sports, gardening, live music and fine-scale modeling.

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