The final week of NFL 2013 regular season has arrived. The playoff picture is still somewhat cloudy, especially in the NFC where only 3 teams have secured spots.
Aaron Rodgers returns as the Green Packers meet the Chicago Bears for the NFC North title. The Dallas Cowboys minus Tony Romo, who underwent back surgery earlier this week, travel to Philly to determine the NFC East Division winner. Look for a tight one, despite the absence of Romo.
Carolina Panthers (-6) at Atlanta Falcons
Matchup:The Panthers can clinch a first-round bye and the #2 spot with a win. The Falcons are setting up vacation plans after a very disappointing 2013 campaign.
Steve’s Pick: Carolina Panthers 34 Atlanta Falcons 16
Dan’s Pick: Carolina Panthers 23 Atlanta Falcons 20
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (-7)
Matchup:The Texans should have no interest in this one, much like the last 13 weeks. Tennessee has pride and should play hard.
Steve’s Pick: Titans 33 Texans 13
Dan’s Pick: Titans 28 Texans 18
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (-3)
Matchup:This game is for the NFC North and a trip to the playoffs. QB Aaron Rodgers returns for the Packers, but he could be a little rusty in his first week back off the collarbone injury. The Bears were demolished last week in Philadelphia. This is anyone’s guess.
Steve’s Pick: Bears 29 Packers 23
Dan’s Pick: Packers 30 Bears 27
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7)
Matchup:Believe or not the Steelers still have a shot at the playoffs. Well, not much of a shot, but still a chance. They need like 10 things to happen to get in, but small miracle they haven’t been eliminated. The Browns won’t mail it in because this is the Steelers.
Steve’s Pick: Steelers 24 Browns 20
Dan’s Pick: Steelers 30 Browns 17
Washington Redskins at New York Giants (3.5)
Matchup:These two teams can’t wait to finish it up and get on to 2014. Giants had nice win last week in Detroit, while the Skins have lost 7 straight.
Steve’s Pick: Giants 31 Redskins 13
Dan’s Pick: Giants 24 Redskins 17
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (-6)
Matchup:Both teams playing for something in this one. Cincinnati gets a bye with win and Patriot loss. That’s not likely, but that’s why they play the games. Baltimore has to beat Cincinnati and hope for loss by either the Chargers or Dolphins. The Patriot game is at 4:25 PM, so no scoreboard watching for the Bengals.
Steve’s Pick: Bengals 31 Ravens 17
Dan’s Pick: Bengals 28 Ravens 21
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (-11.5)
Matchup:The Colts are pretty much set. They can back in to the #2 seed with a win and loss by Patriots and Bengals. You could see some starters resting in second half if Cincinnati gets big lead on Baltimore.
Steve’s Pick: Colts 27 Jaguars 20
Dan’s Pick: Colts 30 Jaguars 17
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (-6.5)
Matchup:The Dolphins need this one, but if they would have won in Buffalo last week they would be in much better shape. The Jets are looking to go .500 and will definitely play hard against an AFC East Division foe that handled them a few weeks ago.
Steve’s Pick: Dolphins 24 Jets 23
Dan’s Pick: Dolphins 27 Jets 24
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (-3)
Matchup:The Detroit Lions had a total collapse losing their last 3 games and killing their playoff chances. Such a talented bunch, but totally self-destructive. Now that the pressure is off they could go out and score 70 in Minnesota.
Steve’s Pick: Lions 44 Vikings 23
Dan’s Pick: Lions 33 Vikings 27
Sunday 4:25 PM
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (-9)
Matchup:The Patriots finally woke up last week blasting the Baltimore Ravens last week 41-7. They need to win Sunday to clinch the two spot. The Bills seem to play hard every week, and will have no issue getting motivated for rival New England.
Steve’s Pick: Patriots 38 Bills 28
Dan’s Pick: Patriots 33 Bills 23
Tampa Bay at New Orleans Saints (-13)
Matchup:New Orleans is still not in the playoffs, and have actually lost 3 of their last 4. They should take care of business here against a weaker Tampa Bay team. The Saints just have to win and they’re in the playoffs.
Steve’s Pick: Saints 31 Buccaneers 20
Dan’s Pick: Saints 34 Buccaneers 20
Denver Broncos (-12) at Oakland Raiders
Matchup:The Broncos need a win to clinch the #1 spot in the AFC. Just win baby.
Steve’s Pick: Broncos 42 Raiders 23
Dan’s Pick: Broncos 40 Raiders 17
San Francisco (-1) at Arizona Cardinals
Matchup:The Arizona Cardinals need to win here and have the Saints lose. That’s probably not going to happen, but a great year for the Cardinals. They are team you would not want to play in the postseason.
Steve’s Pick: Cardinals 20 49ers 17
Dan’s Pick: 49ers 23 Cardinals 20
Kansas City at San Diego (-10)
Matchup:The Chargers are a big favorite because this game means nothing to the Chiefs. Meanwhile, this is a big one for San Diego, but they need help. They need to win and have both Baltimore and Miami lose.
Steve’s Pick: Chargers 33 Chiefs 16
Dan’s Pick: Chargers 27 Chiefs 20
St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-10.5)
Matchup:The Seahawks saw their own blood last week after getting popped in mouth by the Cardinals. They should get back to their winning ways against a spunky Rams bunch. They need the win to lock up home field in the NFC.
Steve’s Pick: Seahawks 30 Rams 20
Dan’s Pick: Seahawks 33 Rams 17
Sunday 8:30 PM
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5)
Matchup:The winner goes to the playoffs. Period. Ok, this would have been more interesting with Tony Romo in the lineup, but don’t count the Cowboys out. Everyone and their sister thinks the Eagles have this one in the bag. What usually happens is the team with the big injury plays incredibly hard that first week. Throw in the playoff implications, and we could see an upset.
Steve’s Pick: Cowboys 27 Eagles 26
Dan’s Pick: Eagles 33 Cowboys 20
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