Survivor Pick of the Week:
SAN DIEGO over Oakland
It’s Week 16, so pickings are obviously slim when it comes to survivor. I’ve seen at least two survivor seasons end by taking the Chargers, but they’re clearly the best choice these week. Even though it’s a divisional game against Oakland, San Diego is playing for their playoff lives and they’re playing some damn good football right now. Oakland has head coaching issues, quarterback issues, and general talent issues. As long as San Diego doesn’t get complacent, and they shouldn’t because their playoff lives are still on the line, this should be relatively easy for them.
If you want to go in another direction, there’s Kansas City against the playoff-bound Colts. I think the Chiefs should have this pretty easily as you see below, but chances are you might not want to risk a large survivor pot on the shoulder of Alex Smith. I can’t blame you, but the selection is out there for you. The other big favorites (San Francisco, Seattle, Detroit, Denver) have probably already been used this year. Cincinnati might be the third option, but I don’t like them either. Which leads to…
Teams used: Indianapolis, New England, Denver, New Orleans, St. Louis, Seattle, Green Bay, San Francisco, and Dallas, Tennessee, Houston, Detroit, Philadelphia, Carolina, and Baltimore
Locks of the Week:
KANSAS CITY -7 over Indianapolis
Don't be fooled by the Colts just because they laid the wood on the worst team in the league last week. The potential preview of the AFC Wild Card weekend showdown (though the home teams will be reversed) will show the Chiefs are a step ahead. Kansas City can jump on you early, as we saw the last two weeks, and Indianapolis' propensity for slow starts doesn't bode well for them in this one.
Reggie: Kansas City
Minnesota +8 over Cincinnati
Don't look now, but Minnesota has played some very competitive football over the last four weeks. They're only 2-1-1 with their only loss being by three points. All the teams they faced are still in the playoff chase and it looks like Adrian Peterson will be back for this one so the offense should get a boost. Cincinnati should rebound off last week's poor affair, but they're offense lacks explosiveness at times to blow teams out. And now they’re onto their second choice punter. Let’s all pour one out for Kevin Huber…
SAN FRANCISCO -13 over Atlanta
It's the last game in Candlestick Park, so expect the home crowd to give their team an extra push this week. The Niners have beaten down on bad teams all year long and the Falcons are next up on the list. San Francisco's offense has kicked into an extra gear with the return of Michael Crabtree and Atlanta wasn't stopping teams to begin with.
Trap Game of the Week:
PHILADELPHIA -3.5 over Chicago
A lot can change by the time we get to Sunday Night's game. Either one or both of these teams could have the game not mean anything. Last week was mildly disturbing as the Eagles blew an opportunity by losing to Minnesota. There's a chance for redemption, however, in this high-scoring affair. Neither defense is great, but the Eagles force more turnovers and one of those should be the difference.
Rest of the Picks:
BUFFALO +3 over Miami
We can all give Miami credit for overcoming their locker room issues to be the favorite in the chase for the last AFC wild card spot. No one expected them to be here between that and their offensive line woes. Yet here they are with everyone giving them credit as they take on a Buffalo team starting a backup quarterback. There aren't exactly many veteran leaders in Miami, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Oh the letdown brewing is the Christmas gift they're looking for in Baltimore…
HOUSTON +11 over Denver
Last week's offensive performance from Denver was a little uneven. You can't blame the cold because Peyton looked quite fine in cold weather the previous week. Wes Welker was out, but Andre Caldwell filled in for him pretty well. Could San Diego's defense, one of the worst in the league, have found something? Plus there's always some lingering talk that Peyton performs worse against 3-4 defenses. Houston may be the biggest dumpster fire in sports, but I’m taking a shot here.
New Orleans +3 over CAROLINA
This would've been Carolina's game easily had New Orleans not laid a complete egg last week. Sean Payton is a better coach than that and you'd have to doubt he''ll let it happen again. Yes, it's on the road and outside of a dome, but Carolina aren't THAT explosive offensively. Carolina also isn’t known for having that great of a home field advantage. I’ve been there during a Giants game and there were just as many Giants fans. It doesn’t stack up to the usual three point home field advantage.
Reggie: New Orleans
JACKSONVILLE +5 over Tennessee
I dunno what it is about this Jacksonville team, but I'm ready to get on board. Or maybe I'm already on board. Last week's game was tough because the Jaguars were right there. With the way Tennessee's defense has been gashed by the run this year, look for Jordan Todman to blow up and keep this game close.
WASHINGTON +3 over Dallas
Two of the worst defenses in football face off in this one, which means we should get a shootout. It would take a lot to take the Cowboys after the way they’ve played in recent weeks, plus there’s KIRK COUSINS! (I know Reggie loves that…
Reggie: Kirk Cousins!
Cleveland +2.5 over N.Y. JETS
Last week was the final blow to the Jets’ season. I picture Josh Gordon running circles around their secondary all day long.
Tampa Bay -5 over ST. LOUIS
The Rams are a nice team in the dome, but the talent differential between these two teams is slim enough where I wouldn’t want to give more than a field goal.
Reggie: St. Louis
DETROIT -9.5 over N.Y. Giants
The Lions will be heartbroken after last week’s loss, but the Giants’ secondary and offensive woes should be the cure for what ailed them.
SEATTLE -10.5 over Arizona
Only two teams have lost to the Seahawks by less than seven points in games played in Seattle this year. Those two were games in which Seattle came in without a killer instinct because the opposition wasn’t worthy of it. Seattle has been destructive in the other games against better teams and the Cardinals 8-6 record should give Seattle an appetite. The division rival thing doesn’t hurt either.
GREEN BAY -2.5 over Pittsburgh
It looks like another week of Matt Flynn for the Packers, but Pittsburgh isn’t going to come out as strongly as last week. Green Bay has somehow steadied the ship in the last two and will look to stay alive in hopes that Rodgers come back for the finale.
Reggie: Green Bay
SAN DIEGO -10 over Oakland
The Chargers felt pretty good about their playoff chances after beating Denver last week, but wins by Baltimore and Miami have left them somewhat hopeless by now. Still they should be able to turn things up for an easy win against a team whose coach's job might be in jeopardy despite the Raiders owing millions to players who aren't on the team anymore.
New England +2.5 over BALTIMORE
The Patriots and their fans don't have a penalty to complain about with regards to their loss last week, so it's been a quiet week in the northeast as they prepare to take on last year's Super Bowl champ. Well quiet in New England that is. Baltimore’s been pretty noisy since Monday! But they barely squeak out these victories and eventually things won’t break their way even if Justin Tucker is awesome.
Reggie: New England
Last Week: 7-9
Reggie’s Picks: 114-110-2