Girls and gentleman, it is time for the playoffs!
Verify that, it isn’t time for the playoffs, but it surely ought to be. In another yr, we would be speaking in regards to the playoffs proper now, however the NFL determined so as to add an 18th week to the schedule this yr, so now, you are getting an additional week of standard season picks. And because you’re now in all probability questioning, sure, I do get a bonus for writing an additional week of picks, but it surely seems I additionally lose 10% of that bonus for each choose I get fallacious, and now that I am saying that out loud, I in all probability want to fireside my agent, which really may get form of awkward since I would have to fireside myself.
In fact, even when I do hearth myself, it would not even qualify as probably the most weird firing of 2022 and that is as a result of that honor belongs to Antonio Brown, who form of obtained fired over the weekend although he hasn’t technically been fired but. Look, if you are going to lose your job, you would possibly as properly do it whereas working shirtless off a soccer area.
I’ve by no means give up a job in my life, but when I ever do, I’ll undoubtedly be doing it whereas shirtless.
I do not know what’s subsequent for Antonio Brown, however I do know what’s subsequent for us and that is this weeks picks, so let’s get them began.
Truly, earlier than we get to the Week 18 picks, this is a fast reminder you can try the weekly picks from each CBSSports.com NFL skilled by clicking right here. The explanation it’s best to click on over this week is as a result of there is a tight race brewing for the title of greatest straight-up picker for the 2021 season. After going 14-2 in Week 17, I’m now clinging to a two-game lead heading into the season’s ultimate week and so long as I do not collapse like a FedEx Area guardrail, I believe I can take residence the title.
If you happen to’ve by no means seen a FedEx Area guardrail collapse, that is what it appears like.
At this level, they need to in all probability simply tear the whole stadium down. In case your stadium is leaking sewage and nearly killing opposing quarterbacks with falling guardrails, that is when it is time to get a brand new one.
Alright that is sufficient stalling, let’s get to the picks. Oh, and simply to warn you, if I miss each choose this week, it is as a result of the ultimate week of the season is all the time probably the most troublesome week to foretell and that is principally as a result of I’ve no clue who might be taking part in for both group. I do not know which groups might be benching their starters, I do not know if dangerous groups have mentally checked out and I do not know why the Colts have not gained in Jacksonville since 2014. None of it is sensible.
NFL Week 18 picks
Kansas Metropolis (11-5) at Denver (7-9)
Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Kansas Metropolis Chiefs
If the Chiefs need to have any shot at incomes the highest total seed within the AFC, they need to win this sport. Alternatively, Denver has nothing to play for besides to possibly save Vic Fangio’s job, however primarily based on how this season has gone to date for the Broncos, I would say that is in all probability not going to be sufficient motivation for them.
Patrick Mahomes has by no means misplaced to the Broncos and the Chiefs have gained 12 straight video games towards Denver. I’ve made loads of dangerous choices in my life, however choosing the Broncos to win is not going to be considered one of them.
The choose: Chiefs 30-17 over Broncos
Dallas (11-5) at Philadelphia (9-7)
Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Selecting video games in Week 17 is principally a drunken crapshoot and in the event you want proof, simply take a look at this sport. I do not know if the Eagles might be resting their starters and I do not know if the Cowboys might be resting their starters, which suggests I do not know who’s going to win. I additionally do not know why the NFL put this sport within the prime-time Saturday slot. I do not need to spend my Saturday night time watching a glorified preseason sport after I could possibly be taking part in a drunken sport of Boggle.
If the Eagles win, they might transfer to the sixth seed within the NFC, however there isn’t any assure of that as a result of they will solely transfer up if the 49ers additionally lose. I am unable to learn Nick Siranni’s thoughts, which is bizarre as a result of I took an internet mind-reading class as soon as. Nevertheless, although I am unable to learn his thoughts, I do suppose the Eagles will find yourself resting their starters.
As for the Cowboys, they’re at present sitting within the four-spot within the NFC and even when they win, they’d solely transfer up if the Buccaneers or Rams find yourself dropping. If the Cowboys win and a kind of groups lose, that may push Dallas as much as three and in the event that they each lose, that may push the Cowboys as much as the two-seed.
Based mostly on some math I simply did in my head, I would say there’s about 50% probability that one group loses and a 5% probability that each of them lose and I believe what I am making an attempt to say right here is that I will not be shocked if the Cowboys relaxation their starters. That being stated, the Cowboys have been in an offensive stoop and I believe they may find yourself making an attempt to play their manner out of it. With that in thoughts, I count on the Cowboys to relaxation all their injured gamers. To be clear, I believe meaning we’ll see loads of starters play, however the Cowboys will relaxation anybody who’s banged up (Based mostly on final week’s harm report, that will be guys like Ezekiel Elliott, Tyron Smith and Demarcus Lawrence). I is also fully fallacious about all of this they usually would possibly let everybody play.
Anyway, I simply talked myself in circles making an attempt to determine who’s going to win this sport and after doing that, I am nonetheless not even certain who I need to choose. If this sport finally ends up being Gardner Minshew vs. Cooper Rush, I just like the Eagles, but when it is Dak Prescott vs. Jalen Hurts or Dak vs. Gardner, then I just like the Cowboys. I am taking the Cowboys.
The choose: Cowboys 26-23 over Eagles
Cincinnati (10-6) at Cleveland (7-9)
1 p.m. ET (Fox)
If the Chiefs win on Saturday, the Bengals will not have any shot on the prime seed within the AFC and if that occurs, I’ve to suppose they will relaxation their starters and that is primarily as a result of no quarterback has been crushed up extra this season than Joe Burrow. I imply, the man obtained hit so typically towards the Chiefs that his identify plate did not even survive the sport and let me simply say that it isn’t straightforward to lose a reputation plate in an NFL sport. I am fairly certain I’ve seen extra NFL gamers lose enamel than identify plates.
By way of 17 weeks, Burrow has been sacked an NFL-high 51 occasions. To place that in perspective, there’s solely two different quarterbacks this yr who’ve even been sacked 40 occasions (Ryan Tannehill and Baker Mayfield). If you happen to’re questioning why I am bringing this up, it is as a result of I believe the Bengals can be completely loopy to play Burrow on this sport. If Burrow does play, I do not suppose he’ll be on the sector for greater than 1 / 4 or two, which can open the door for the Browns to finish the season with a win. Understanding the Browns, they will attempt to shut the door on themselves, however I nonetheless suppose they win.
The choose: Browns 20-16 over Bengals
Inexperienced Bay (13-3) at Detroit (2-13-1)
1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Inexperienced Bay Packers
No sport has me extra confused in Week 18 than this one.
The Packers have already clinched the highest seed within the NFC and home-field benefit all through the playoffs, which suggests they actually don’t have anything to play for on this sport. I do know that, that, and Matt LaFleur is aware of that, which is why I may see them resting their starters. Nevertheless, I do not know if that is really going to occur and that is as a result of Aaron Rodgers has stated that he expects to play.
If you happen to’re questioning why Rodgers would need to play regardless of coping with an injured toe, I am guessing it is as a result of he would not need to get rusty. If he have been to sit down out Week 18, meaning he would not be again on the sector till Jan. 15 or 16 for the divisional spherical, which suggests he would go THREE WEEKS between video games.
If the Packers starters play, then I clearly will choose Inexperienced Bay, however there isn’t any assure that they will find yourself taking part in the whole sport. In the event that they get pulled, then I’ve to choose a winner in a sport between the Lions STARTERS and the Packers BACKUPS, which makes this choose far more troublesome than it ought to be.
I am unable to bear in mind the final time I picked the Lions to beat the Packers and I’ve determined I am not going to begin now.
The choose: Packers 22-19 over Lions
Indianapolis (9-7) at Jacksonville (2-14)
1 p.m. ET (CBS)
On paper, this sport looks as if a complete mismatch, but when there’s one group the Colts all the time appear to wrestle towards it is the Jaguars. For one, the Colts have not gained a sport in Jacksonville since 2014. Additionally, let’s not overlook that of their previous 33 video games, the Jaguars are:
- 2-2 towards the Colts.
- 2-27 towards everybody else.
There are loads of groups that might be rooting for the Jags to upset the Colts right here. For one, a Colts loss would give the Ravens and Steelers hope heading into their season finale.
One cause I hate choosing Week 18 video games is as a result of yearly, there all the time appears to be one loopy upset that nobody noticed coming. Nevertheless, I do not suppose we’ll see that upset on this sport.
The choose: Colts 30-13 over Jaguars
Tennessee (11-5) at Houston (4-12)
4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
If you have not been taking note of the Texans this season, which I am fairly certain describes most individuals, probably the most stunning factor about them is that they’ve really been taking part in OK soccer. For many groups, taking part in “OK soccer” is not precisely a praise, however when most individuals thought you have been going to be the worst group within the NFL, then taking part in OK soccer is unquestionably a great factor. Heading into Week 18, Tyrod Taylor and Davis Mills have already mixed to win as many video games as Deshaun Watson did final season.
Principally, what I am making an attempt to say right here is that I believe the Texans are higher than you suppose and can doubtless have the ability to maintain this shut. Nevertheless, the Titans will get the highest seed within the AFC with a win and no group wants the highest seed greater than the Titans (it provides them an additional week to get Derrick Henry wholesome), so I will need to take Tennessee.
The choose: Titans 27-20 over Texans
New Orleans (8-8) at Atlanta (7-9)
4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)
New Orleans Saints
The Saints nonetheless have an out of doors shot on the playoffs, so that they undoubtedly have one thing to play for, however the Falcons are a bitter rival, and I’ve to suppose that there is nothing everybody in Atlanta would love greater than to formally get rid of the Saints from playoff rivalry. The Saints offense has been completely abysmal over the previous few weeks and I hate choosing abysmal offenses to win video games, so I am rolling with THE FALCONS in an upset.
The choose: Falcons 19-16 over Saints
San Francisco (9-7) at L.A. Rams (12-4)
4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)
Los Angeles Rams
If each groups have been totally wholesome going into this sport, I would in all probability choose the 49ers right here and that is as a result of Kyle Shanahan has been completely dominant towards Sean McVay. The 49ers have gained 5 in a row on this sequence and that features a 31-10 victory again in November. The opposite cause to love the 49ers is as a result of that is principally a playoff sport for them: In the event that they lose, that might imply the tip of their season. That being stated, the Rams even have lots to play for and that is as a result of in the event that they win, they will clinch the NFC West title and a first-round residence sport within the playoffs.
My drawback with the 49ers is that I do not actually belief their quarterback scenario proper now. For this sport, they’re both going to have to begin somebody with an injured thumb (Jimmy Garoppolo) or a QB who has solely made two profession begins (Trey Lance). We noticed what Jimmy did together with his injured thumb towards the Titans and it wasn’t fairly: He began throwing passes to the opposite group. As for Lance, we noticed flashes of how good he may be on Sunday, however that was towards the Texans. The Rams are higher than the Texans, and on Sunday, I believe they’ll be higher than the 49ers by three factors.
The choose: Rams 26-23 over 49ers
Seattle (6-10) at Arizona (11-5)
4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)
The Cardinals have been probably the greatest group’s within the NFL this yr, properly, apart from after they’re taking part in at residence. In seven residence video games, the Playing cards are simply 3-4, which is senseless to me until everybody on the group hates Phoenix, however that is not potential, as a result of nobody hates Phoenix.
If the Cardinals win this sport, mixed with a Rams loss, they’d find yourself successful NFC West, which might give them a house sport within the playoffs, however the irony right here is that if there’s one group within the NFL which may not need a residence sport within the playoffs, it is the Cardinals, who’re 8-1 on the highway this yr. I believe what I am making an attempt to say right here is that I am not even certain the Cardinals need to win.
This could possibly be Russell Wilson’s ultimate sport ever with the Seahawks and if it goes something like his first 157 begins with the group, meaning this sport might be fully loopy and though I normally choose the Seahawks to win their loopy video games, this simply hasn’t been their yr.
The choose: Cardinals 33-30 over Seahawks
New England (10-6) at Miami (8-8)
4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
New England Patriots
The final time these two groups met got here again in Week 1 when Mac Jones was making his first profession begin and in that sport, the Patriots had a restricted offensive sport plan. Regardless that the Patriots had a rookie below heart, they nonetheless nearly gained — they misplaced 17-16 — they usually doubtless would have gained if Damien Harris did not fumble on the 11-yard line with three minutes left.
The Patriots offense has gotten significantly better since then, however I am unable to say the identical for the Dolphins. Even throughout their seven-game successful streak, the Dolphins’ had hassle scoring and after they lastly performed a great Titans group in Week 17, they could not rating in any respect (They misplaced 34-3). I do suppose they will rating greater than three factors on this sport, however not by a lot.
The choose: Patriots 24-10 over Dolphins
N.Y. Jets (4-12) at Buffalo (10-6)
4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
The Jets are taking part in the Payments, so I am not going to waste an excessive amount of time right here as a result of I believe everyone knows who I will choose to win this sport. The Payments will clinch the AFC East title with a win and when you will have an opportunity to clinch one thing like that, the Jets are undoubtedly the group you need to be taking part in.
The choose: Payments 30-20 over Jets
L.A. Chargers (9-7) at Las Vegas (9-7)
8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
Las Vegas Raiders
We solely get one winner-take-all sport in Week 18 and that is it! Truly, that is not fully true and that is as a result of there is a small probability that this sport may not find yourself being winner-take-all.
In what can be a nightmare state of affairs for the NFL, BOTH the Raiders and Chargers may find yourself making the playoffs if the Colts lose to the Jaguars. Though that the Colts dropping sounds unbelievable, let’s fake it occurs. In that case, the Raiders and Chargers would each make the playoffs, however ONLY IF THEY TIE. That is proper, a tie can be the perfect case state of affairs for each groups on this sport. Principally, if the Raiders and Chargers agreed to spend 4 quarters kneeling on each play, then the sport would finish in a 0-0 tie and each groups would make the playoffs.
Let’s all hope that occurs. In fact, if it would not occur, then meaning I really have to make a choose on this sport, so I am going to go forward and do this.
The Raiders have been one of many hottest groups within the NFL over the previous month. Not solely are they on a three-game successful streak, however they have been successful these video games with their protection. Offensively, this might flip right into a breakout sport for them. Not solely ought to they have the ability to run on the Chargers, however they will additionally doubtless be getting Darren Waller again, which might be an enormous enhance for a Raiders offense that has solely topped 23 factors ONE TIME since Oct. 25.
That is the most important NFL sport that is ever been performed in Las Vegas and as everyone knows, the home all the time wins in Vegas and that is being performed within the Raiders home, so I am taking them. Though if any extra Raiders gamers get in hassle this week, I may need to vary my choose.
The choose: Raiders 27-24 over Chargers
NFL Week 18 picks: All the remainder
Bears 20-17 over Vikings
Ravens 23-20 over Steelers
Buccaneers 24-13 over Panthers
Washington 23-16 over Giants
Finest choose: Final week, I predicted that the Bengals would clinch the AFC North by upsetting the Chiefs 34-31 and guess what occurred? The Bengals clinched the AFC North by upsetting the Chiefs 34-31.
That is proper, I PICKED THE EXACT FINAL SCORE OF THE GAME and I’ve determined I will have fun that by solely consuming Skyline Chili, Graeter’s ice cream and LaRosa’s pizza for the remainder of the yr. I do not know if it is even wholesome to reside on a food regimen that consists totally of chili, ice cream and pizza, however that is the one factor the folks of Cincinnati ever eat they usually all appear to be doing simply tremendous.
Worst choose: I went 14-2 final week so I used to be excited about scrapping the worst choose part, however I am not going to as a result of I really feel like I have to make enjoyable of myself for switching one of many picks I obtained fallacious. Once I wrote my picks final week, I predicted that the Raiders would beat the Colts 23-20 and that is EXACTLY what occurred, solely I did not get credit score for the win as a result of I CHANGED MY PICK. After Carson Wentz was cleared from the COVID checklist on Saturday, I picked the Colts to win 23-20 as an alternative of the Raiders and I’ve by no means been extra upset about any choose in my life. I hate the COVID checklist. I hate the Colts. I hate every little thing.
I am by no means choosing the Colts to win ever once more, properly, apart from this week, as a result of there isn’t any manner I am choosing them to lose to the Jaguars.
Lastly, in the event you guys have ever puzzled which groups I am really good at choosing, this is a fast look:
Groups I have been the perfect at choosing this yr: Texans (13-3), Jaguars (13-3), Dolphins (13-3), Packers (13-3), Steelers (12-3-1).
Longest present streak of choosing a group’s video games accurately: Jets, Ravens and Packers (Six straight video games picked accurately)
Groups I have been the worst at choosing this yr: Cardinals (6-10), Titans (7-9)), Saints (7-9), Washington (7-9), Raiders (7-9).
Straight up in Week 17: 14-2
SU total: 166-89-1
Towards the unfold in Week 17: 9-7
ATS total: 129-124-1
Actual rating predictions: 4
Actual rating, fallacious winner: 3