November 16, 2012

The NFL playoffs are far from set

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

Anybody that says the playoff teams are set in the NFL doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

All week there have been columns in various publications and on websites proclaiming that certain teams had essentially clinched their spots in the post-season already. The last time I checked, it is still November and we have just under half of a season to play.

Last week showed us just how fickle a team’s fantasies can be. Four teams lost their QBs and each of them failed to win that game – I would say lost, but that’s not true since Colin Kaepernick and Niners tied the Rams.

So what would happen to a team like the Patriots if Tom Brady got concussed? Would you back them to win four more games with that terrible defence?

What about the Packers without Aaron Rodgers? Graham Harrell, his backup, has taken one snap this season and fumbled it.

What about the Falcon without Matt Ryan – who seem to have gotten by on luck for a bunch of wins – or the Broncos without Peyton Manning?

The fact is that even a single severe concussion could deeply damage a team’s playoff hopes, even if they seem like a lock right now. So don’t go thinking everything is set, no matter what a columnist might tell you. Now, what a blogger says on the other hand…

The lines are from 5Dimes and the home teams are in CAPS.

Philadelphia +3.5 over WASHINGTON

Call me crazy, but I think that the Eagles rally around Nick Foles and finally start performing. The rookie could do some damage against the Redskins poor defence.

Green Bay -3.5 over DETROIT

The Lions are in must-win territory, but it would take a lot more than they have to stop the Packers.

Arizona +10.5 over ATLANTA

The Falcons could come back from their first loss with a big F*** you game, but I like the Cardinals to play feisty in this one.

Tampa Bay (pick) over CAROLINA

The Bucs are rolling right now and have at least one week of explosive offence left in them.

Cleveland +9 over DALLAS

It was a bit ridiculous to say that the Cowboys are playoff contenders after beating the Eagles. This line is inflated because of that win.

ST. LOUIS -3.5 over New York Jets

Can we please end the Mark Sanchez era and just give Tim Tebow a chance? What’s the worst that can happen? The Jets’ season is already over.

NEW ENGLAND -10 over Indianapolis

After the Colts shaved their heads for a Chuckstrong boost last week, I can see a big letdown for a team that’s riding high on emotion.

HOUSTON -16.5 over Jacksonville

The Colts, who aren’t close to the Texans’ calibre, blew out the Jaguars in Jacksonville. What makes you think that the Jags can even keep it close in Houston?

Cincinnati -3.5 over KANSAS CITY

The poor Chiefs couldn’t even capitalize on having Byron Leftwich playing half of a game against them or getting the ball first in overtime.

OAKLAND +4.5 over New Orleans

The Saints bandwagon is filling up very quickly, but don’t forget how terrible their defence can be. Bet the ‘over’ on this one for sure.

DENVER -8.5 over San Diego

Can we really trust the Chargers to cover at Mile High? The Broncos defence is surprisingly strong this season.

Baltimore -3.5 over PITTSBURGH

Without Big Ben, the Steelers have little hope to win this one. It should be a rough and tough game, but the Ravens win it on the road.

SAN FRANCISCO (NL) over Chicago

This line is kind of up in the air with both starting quarterbacks having suffered concussions last week. If both backups go, I’d take Colin Kaepernick at home. He’s got potential to be a dynamic pivot in this league.

This week: 1-0
Last week: 6-7
This season: 67-75-5

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