This is it - the final week of the 2012 regular season.
I have plenty of complaints with the NFL (I hate Thursday night football, I wish Joe Buck and Troy Aikman would go do something - anything - else, some of the rules make no goddamn sense, and they often don't seem to be applied equally, at least not if your name is Manning or Brady), but one thing I LOVE is that the final Sunday is *just* Sunday, it's all divisional and lots of playoff scenarios are on the line, at least for the NFC. (Things are pretty settled in the AFC.)
Meanwhile, the Eagles limp to the finish (both figuratively and literally), facing the Giants in New Jersey. And the Giants don't really have much to play for, either. Don't get me wrong - they aren't mathematically eliminated, and the G-men are going to win Sunday. But it is highly unlikely that the Cowboys, Bears, and Vikings will ALL lose.
Also, I'm expecting Andy Reid to be let go first thing Monday morning. You definitely did not read that here first - EVERYONE expects Andy Reid to be let go first thing Monday morning.
Buccaneers at Falcons: The Falcons have nothing to play for, and I'm guessing they'll rest their starters as a result, despite recent (Colts) evidence of what a mistake that usually is. I see the Bucs winning this one.
Jets at Bills: Rex Ryan's last game at the Jets head coach? Maybe. The Jets should be able to win this one, but with the QB mess (Sanchez is benched! No, he's the starting QB!), I figure morale is at an all-time low for Gang Green, and the Bills will sneak a win. Not that it really matters.
Ravens at Bengals: I don't think either team can improve their seeding with a win - Bengals will b #6, Ravens will be #4 - and honestly, although I'm sure no one wants to play the Pats right now, facing a divisional rival two weeks in a row is even worse. With both teams likely to rest some starters and not really be that invested in the outcome, I'm going with the Bengals at home.
Bears at Lions: I know I keep picking the Lions and they keep losing. I know the Bears are fighting for a playoff spot. I'm feeling Lions, but...gotta go Bears.
Texans at Colts: The Texans have stumbled a bit of late, but the bye and possibly homefield are on the line. They'll find a way to win, even against a highly motivated Colts team at home. I think.
Panthers at Saints: Nothing to play for but pride, but the Saints don't lose at home.
Browns at Steelers: Same and same.
Jaguars at Titans: Bleh. Also, Titans. Not that ANYONE will be watching this game.
Chief at Broncos: Broncos, definitely, who also still have a shot at both the bye and homefield.
Packers at Vikings: This is going to be a great game, I think. The Pack needs the win for the bye. The Vikings need the win for a wildcard spot, and all they have to do to get it *is* win. Logically, the Pack should win, but I think the Vikes will dig deep and surprise them.
Dolphins at Patriots: Patriots.
Raiders at Chargers: The Chargers will probably win at home, but it won't change the fact that Norv is going to be be fired on Monday, too.
Rams at Seahawks: Should've listened to myself last week and NOT picked against the Seahawks at home. Not making that mistake again. Seahawks.
Cardinals at 49ers: 49ers who, if I'm right about the Pack losing, will snake that bye week right out from under Green Bay.
Redskins at Cowboys: It's for all the NFC East marbles, and the Redskins GOT this one. The Cowboys will choke. Glad Monday's a day off, because this should be a great game that I'm going to stay up to see the end of and will probably be too hyped to sleep after.