Jacked Up Picks: Week 17

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Posted by Jack Tumen

It’s the final week of the season and with plenty of playoff scenarios, there are some huge match-ups to pick with all divisional games. I’m 140-82-1 on the year.

Bills (8-7) @ Patriots (12-3): Buffalo has been a tough outing this year and they were closer to the playoffs than they’ve been in some time. Unfortunately they’ll have to wait until next year for another bid and I think New England closes out strong on their regular season. NE 24, BUF 21

Browns (7-8) @ Ravens (9-6): Baltimore let a big one get away last week to Houston and now need some help to get in the playoffs. The Browns are going with my boy, Connor Shaw, as their starting QB this week. Amidst the poor finish for Cleveland, I think they go into Baltimore and squash the Ravens’ chances altogether. CLE 23, BAL 19

Bears (5-10) @ Vikings (6-9): Marc Trestman is getting his pink slip tomorrow and Chicago is in the running for biggest disappointment this season. Vikings win with heart at home. MIN 28, CHI 13

Cowboys (11-4) @ Redskins (4-11): Dallas clinched the NFC East last week so Washington has no chance to play spoiler. It should still be a good game but the ‘Boys take care of business. DAL 27, WAS 21

Jaguars (3-12) @ Texans (8-7): Houston did right by beating the Ravens last week and are still in the running for a Wild Card spot. The Jaguars would love to play spoiler but Houston is just a better team. HOU 25, JAX 20

Colts (10-5) @ Titans (2-13): Andrew Luck wants to finish the season on a high note heading into the playoffs. The Titans were dismal this season with no veteran leadership in the first year of the Wiz regime. The future should be brighter. IND 33, TEN 17

Chargers (9-6) @ Chiefs (8-7): This is one of the most interesting games of the day with both teams still vying for a playoff spot. San Diego just needs to win and they’re in, while KC needs a bit of help. Alex Smith is out for this one but I still think Chase Daniel will surprise many. Arrowhead is a tough place to play for division rivals. Chiefs with a stunner. KC 23, SD 20, OT

Jets (3-12) @ Dolphins (8-7): Miami collapsed down the stretch and now everyone remembers why Joe Philbin’s job status was on thin ice to begin with. Despite some progress from Ryan Tannehill this year, Miami needs help on offense to get over the hump. In Rex Ryan’s final game as a Jet, his boys send him off on a high note. NYJ 24, MIA 19

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Saints (6-9) @ Bucs (2-13): New Orleans was another massive disappointment this year. Tampa Bay can secure the top pick in the draft with a loss at home today. I think they do just that. NO 26, TB 24

Eagles (9-6) @ Giants (6-9): Philly fans were hoping for a more meaningful finale in a season that went up in smoke. The Giants have a great young core of players for the future and I think the lack of weight in this game leaves the Eagles flat. NYG 24, PHI 21

Panthers (6-8-1) @ Falcons (6-9): This game is for the NFC South crown. Carolina has been quietly strong this month but the Falcons have dome field advantage in this one. Mike Smith’s tenure ends on a low note and the Panthers make the dance for the second year in a row. CAR 29, ATL 24

Raiders (2-13) @ Broncos (11-4): Oakland has a bright future with Derek Carr at the helm but this isn’t a game worth paying attention to today. DEN 27, OAK 17

Lions (11-4) @ Packers (11-4): This is an epic matchup for the NFC North crown. Detroit beat the Pack earlier this season but Aaron Rodgers at home is a different beast. Packers take the division on their home turf. GB 27, DET 23

Cardinals (11-4) @ 49ers (7-8): Arizona is still fighting for the division and the number one overall seed in the NFC. Ryan Lindley has his work cut out for him in Jim Harbaugh’s last game as a 9er. It’s a quarterback-driven league and the Cards are lacking in that department right now. SF 20, AZ 17

Rams (6-9) @ Seahawks (11-4): It’s been a full-season effort for Seattle to be back in position to re-claim the NFC West. A win at home today does just that and I don’t see any way the Rams can win this game with the Seattle home crowd behind them. SEA 23, STL 21

Bengals (10-4-1) @ Steelers (10-5): The AFC North has been one of the best battles all season long and it comes down to this bout between two heavy-weights. Pittsburgh’s offense has been the story of its season while the Bengals have been up-and-down all year despite losing only four games. It’ll be a playoff atmosphere in Pittsburgh and I think the home-field is what breaks the bank for the Steelers in this one as they snag the division title. PIT 33, CIN 27

Jacked Up Picks: Week 16

Al Bello/Getty Images

Al Bello/Getty Images

Posted by Jack Tumen

132-75-1 after Thursday

Eagles (9-5) @ Redskins (3-11): Philly needs to regain its confidence after dropping a big one to Dallas. Trying to keep the divisional crown in arm’s reach starts with beating the Redskins. It’s their only hope of making the postseason. PHI 28, WAS 24

Chargers (8-6) @ 49ers (7-7): The 9ers threw the towel in on their season last week. They’re merely playing spoiler against the wild-card-minded Chargers at home. San Diego wants it more. SD 22, SF 19

Ravens (9-5) @ Texans (7-7): Houston was playing well until they lost their top two quarterbacks for the year. Case Keenum isn’t exactly who you want under center with the playoffs still on the line. Baltimore continues taking care of business. BAL 27, HOU 17

Browns (7-7) @ Panthers (5-8-1): Johnny Manziel was magnificently awful in his first start. Like I’ve said for a while, he’s not an NFL quarterback. Send him to the wolves – or Panthers in this case. CAR 28, CLE 13

Lions (10-4) @ Bears (5-9): Jay Cutler could be the most expensive tush to ever ride the bench. Marc Trestman might be the hottest tush in the league. DET 31, CHI 16

Packers (10-4) @ Bucs (2-12): Green Bay dropped one against a top-tier defense in Buffalo last week. Tampa could be another trap game but the Bucs defense isn’t good enough. GB 27, TB 21

Chiefs (8-6) @ Steelers (9-5): Pittsburgh’s still clawing for the division while KC is on the fringes of the playoffs. I don’t love this matchup for Pittsburgh and I think they could slip up here at home. They’re one of the most unpredictable teams in the league. KC 24, PIT 23

Vikings (6-8) @ Dolphins (7-7): Miami got bitch-slapped by New England last week as the Dolphins’ wild card hopes all but went up in flames. The Vikings are a prideful squad and played Detroit tough last week. I like the Vikes to pull Miami even further down to Earth. MIN 26, MIA 19

Jason Miller/Getty Images

Jason Miller/Getty Images

Patriots (11-3) @ Jets (3-11): Likely the final home game of the Rex Ryan era for New York. The Jets nearly beat the Pats earlier in the season but I don’t think there’s enough left in the tank for a full-blown upset. NE 29, NYJ 14

Falcons (5-9) @ Saints (6-8): This is a huge game for the NFC South. Needless to say, it’s been an ugly year for this division and a Saints’ loss would cement a losing team in the playoffs for the NFC. The Falcons have been a mess all season after going on Hard Knocks but I think they go on the road and get a big win this week. ATL 34, NO 27

Giants (5-9) @ Rams (6-8): This one should be renamed as a court case: Odell Beckham Jr. vs. The St. Louis Rams. The verdict? NYG 24, STL 21

Bills (8-6) @ Raiders (2-12): It would be classic Bills for them to beat Aaron Rodgers one week and lose to Oakland the next. As much as I wanna pick the Raiders, the Bills should get ‘er done. BUF 20, OAK 17

Colts (10-4) @ Cowboys (10-4): A win for Dallas gives them a huge advantage going into the final week of the season. Indy clinched their division already and are padding the stats at this point. The only thing left to be determined for them is whether they’ll be the three or four seed in the AFC. Dallas probably wants this game more – but week 17 in the NFC East would be much more interesting with a loss. IND 28, DAL 27

Seahawks (10-4) @ Cardinals (11-3): This is a pretty epic culmination of the Seahawks’ season; going into the desert to try and take back the NFC West. With Ryan Lindley starting for Arizona, it’ll be up to Bruce Arians to win this game for Arizona from the sidelines. Seattle is back to Super Bowl form right now and there’s little that can stop them. SEA 23, AZ 17

Broncos (11-3) @ Bengals (9-4-1): Denver keeps taking care of business while Cinci has been quite two-faced this season. Lately, however, the Bengals are doing their thing and are coming off a decisive win over in-state rival, Cleveland. This is the pinnacle of the Bengals’ season and the Broncos are their toughest test yet. DEN 33, CIN 25

Thursday Night Pick

Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Posted by Jack Tumen

Titans (2-12) @ Jaguars (2-12):

With two weeks remaining, there’s a great chance the Titans end up right where I predicted them at; 2-14. That’s pending tonight’s game with the equally-petty Jaguars. With Charlie Whitehurst taking the helm, Tennessee is all but fixated on Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston at the top of May’s draft. This game is huge in terms of draft implications so losing is technically in both team’s interests. For the sake of home field, I’ll give Jacksonville the nod in this meaningless game. JAX 19, TEN 16

Jacked Up Picks: Week 15

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Posted by Jack Tumen

After a strong 12-3 record last week, I’m 120-71-1 overall.

Packers (10-3) @ Bills (7-6): This is a potential trap game for the Packers after Buffalo quietly lost to Denver by only a touchdown last week. The Bills can’t afford a loss if they want to stay in the hunt but Green Bay is simply too tall a task for the Bills to overcome, even at home. GB 27, BUF 24

Jaguars (2-11) @ Ravens (8-5): Baltimore is accustomed to taking care of business at this time of year. Jacksonville is an easy team to overlook but don’t expect the Ravens to let their guard down as they remain in the fight for the AFC North crown. BAL 28, JAX 16

Bengals (8-4-1) @ Browns (7-6): This excellent division showcases the battle for Ohio; one that Cleveland took the first time around. This time, the Brownies will have Johnny Football under center as he makes his first career start. I was right about Mike Pettine not making any QB changes for the majority of the season as this was unquestionably Hoyer’s team throughout; but with his dreadful play recently, a switch was in order as Cleveland’s playoff hopes dwindle. The Bengals’ D has a plus-matchup against a first-time starter. CIN 26, CLE 18

Buccaneers (2-11) @ Panthers (4-8-1): The Panthers are still in the running for the NFC South title, which is hard to believe. Derek Anderson starts this week in the wake of Cam Newton’s car accident. Anderson’s only other start this season was in week one – against Tampa Bay. Carolina won that game on the road; expect similar results at home. CAR 28, TB 21

Texans (7-6) @ Colts (9-4): Houston runs into one of the toughest opponents its schedule has to offer this season against their rival Colts. Andrew Luck showed true greatness last week in Cleveland, engineering a comeback win in the final moments. I expect their offense to explode this week as Houston won’t be able to score enough points to keep up. IND 34, HOU 24

Raiders (2-11) @ Chiefs (7-6): Kansas City’s loosening their grip on the Wildcard at the wrong time. After dropping a huge game in Oakland a couple weeks ago, the Raiders come into town for another bout. I expect the Chiefs to take care of business this time; but it might be too little too late. KC 27, OAK 21

Dolphins (7-6) @ Patriots (10-3): Miami beat the Pats way back in week one but the scripts are different now. The Dolphins let Baltimore come into their house last week and push them down the Wildcard standings as Miami’s late-season play has taken a dip. Wrong-place-wrong-time going into New England for the Fins. NE 35, MIA 24

Redskins (3-10) @ Giants (4-9): Washington has reached a new level of dysfunction. Facing one of the least dysfunctional teams in the league this week will put that into even more perspective. NYG 23, WAS 9

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Steelers (8-5) @ Falcons (5-8): Atlanta certainly gave the Packers a fight on Monday night but dreadful defense continued to be the story of the year for the Dirty Birds. Pittsburgh’s attack has been fairly two-faced this season, with spurts of offensive explosion at times while also becoming stagnant at others. The Steelers have amazingly had trouble with the NFC South this season and I think their inconsistencies show once again in the Georgia Dome. ATL 33, PIT 27

Broncos (10-3) @ Chargers (8-5): San Diego is a fighting squad and will need to put last Sunday’s loss to New England behind them. It’s a brutal stretch for the Bolts and I just don’t think they have the overall balance to defeat the rolling Broncos. DEN 29, SD 24

Jets (2-11) @ Titans (2-11): Both teams are vying for a top-five pick and will both be looking to draft Marcus Mariota or James Winston. At this moment, the Jets are the better team, if that’s even saying anything. NYJ 19, TEN 10

Vikings (6-7) @ Lions (9-4): This is a danger-zone for Detroit. The Vikings are a feisty squad and would love nothing more than to knock the Lions from the playoff race. Detroit has been very consistent this year on both sides of the ball and Minnesota will need to make some big plays if the want to pull the road upset. But after barely beating the Jets last week, I don’t have enough confidence in the Purple People Leaders to pick them. DET 26, MIN 23

49ers (7-6) @ Seahawks (9-4): This could be the end of the line for San Fran. The 9ers have looked as bad as they ever have in the Jim Harbaugh era and have a true test of character coming up against the Seahawks. Russell Wilson has turned Seattle’s ship around and this team is playing championship football again. Colin Kaepernick has been miserable the last month and will be heavily exploited this week if he doesn’t return to 2012 form. SEA 29, SF 23

Cowboys (9-4) @ Eagles (9-4): This one’s for all the marbles in the NFC East. Dallas needs to find a way to change their game plan after getting run out of their own building on Thanksgiving. The Eagles had a tough outing against the soaring Seahawks so they get a pass for their performance last week. I just don’t think that this is a good matchup in general for Dallas; they’ve been able to mask their defensive deficiencies all season by playing superb offense but the Eagles exploit that quite well. PHI 27, DAL 23

Saints (5-8) @ Bears (5-8): Two of the NFC’s biggest disappointments face off in this one. The only catch is the Saints are still fighting for the division title. Both defenses have been putrid this year so it should be a relatively high-scoring game. The difference could be home-field in this one. New Orleans’ defense has no confidence after letting Carolina plow them over for 41 points last week. Bears by a smidge. CHI 34, NO 31

Thursday Night Pick

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Posted by Jack Tumen

Cardinals (10-3) @ Rams (6-7)

So the Rams are all of a sudden one game behind San Francisco in the NFC West. At this moment, they’re probably the last team in the NFL that anybody wants to face. It’s an attribute to Chris Long’s return and Jeff Fisher’s fabulous coaching that finally have this defense playing up to its potential – coming off back-to-back shutouts.

Arizona out-clawed the Chiefs at home last week to get to 10 wins on the season; but it’s obvious that this team is a full notch worse without Carson Palmer at the helm. I have a very hard time believing that the Cardinals can go into St. Louis right now and win a game with the way the Rams are playing. The tense Cardinals fall to the loose Rams, opening the door for Seattle to reclaim what is rightfully theirs. STL 27, AZ 17

Jacked Up Picks: Week 14

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Posted by Jack Tumen

The playoff race gets tighter each week as I try to improve my overall record. After picking Dallas on Thursday, I’m 108-67-1 on the year.

Ravens (7-5) @ Dolphins (7-5): This is one of the biggest games of the week as far as the AFC Wild Card is concerned. Miami looked dreadful on Monday but was able to overcome nearly 300 yards rushing from the Jets to stay in it. Baltimore on the other hand couldn’t hold off the Chargers in a heartbreaking loss at home. Going into Miami will be a good litmus test for this Ravens’ squad to see if they’re ready for meaningful December football. I think they can play with a short memory and get the job done even without Haloti Ngata. BAL 26, MIA 24

Colts (8-4) @ Browns (7-5): The Browns are on shaky ground right now with their quarterback situation suddenly in question at the worst possible time. This would be a very different team with Johnny Manziel inserted at quarterback and I think it’s dangerously late in the season to change the winning formula with four weeks to go. They’ll have to face the music this week when the surging Colts come marching in. We might see the Browns’ true colors this week. IND 30, CLE 20

Panthers (3-8-1) @ Saints (5-7): The Saints finally came through on the road last week and get to come back home to face the reeling Panthers. At this point in the season, it’s hard to think Carolina brings anything to the table, even in a divisional game. New Orleans took care of them earlier this season and I don’t see the Panthers returning the favor. NO 31, CAR 16

Steelers (7-5) @ Bengals (8-3-1): Pittsburgh blew a major opportunity at home last week against an inferior NFC South opponent and can’t be feeling good about themselves right now. It’s not out of the question to think Mike Tomlin could get canned after the season but right now he has to focus on going into the jungle to face the division-leading Bengals – who also struggled with their NFC South opponent last week. This is always a hard-nose game; but I think Pittsburgh’s defensive lapses at home last week were far too glaring for a three-loss Bengal team to not take advantage at home. CIN 25, PIT 23

Buccaneers (2-10) @ Lions (8-4): Tampa Bay played a nice game last week; nearly pulling off the upset over Cinci. Unfortunately, Detroit is a different animal, particularly at home. DET 29, TB 17

Texans (6-6) @ Jaguars (2-10): After tossing six TD passes last week, Ryan Fitzpatrick may have Bill O’Brien wishing he hadn’t sacrificed a couple games to a first-time starter in Ryan Mallett. The rout was on against the inferior Titans and Jacksonville is in that bottom tier of the AFC with Tennessee. The Jaguars were able to beat the Giants last week but I think a “winning streak” might be out of the question for these cats. HOU 24, JAX 10

Jets (2-10) @ Vikings (5-7): Minnesota’s quietly getting it done this year with a young team a rookie head coach. Although 5-7 isn’t a playoff record, it’s a sign of progress for a rebuilding franchise. The Jets essentially played without a quarterback last week, rushing as they pleased but failing to do anything through the air. Minnesota’s been a tough outing at home this year and they’ll do what’s necessary to win as defensive minds Mike Zimmer and Rex Ryan face off. MIN 23, NYJ 19

Giants (3-9) @ Titans (2-10): This game comes from the NFL’s basement this week. Just a combined five wins this season, these two teams have been dreadful all year. Losing to Jacksonville last week was a new low for the Giants, who are in danger of dropping back-to-back games to the AFC’s worst. This game’s a true toss-up but injuries to the Titans’ receiving corps drop Zach Mettenberger’s stock a bit. JPP could be the difference-maker. NYG 17, TEN 10

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Rams (5-7) @ Redskins (3-9): St. Louis will come into Washington laughing in the face of the team that gave up their franchise for RGIII while the Rams continue using those picks to build a superb roster. This one will be ugly. STL 30, WAS 15

Bills (7-5) @ Broncos (9-3): Here we are in December and the Buffalo Bills are as close to the playoffs at this point in the season as they’ve been in recent memory. Unfortunately, Denver is not the team you want to face right now but Buffalo will play this one closer than people think. In fact, I think the Bills match up well with Denver, particularly on defense. Scoring more points than Peyton, however, is a different story. DEN 27, BUF 24

Chiefs (7-5) @ Cardinals (9-3): Arizona’s at a crossroads right now with Drew Stanton playing inept football and the Seahawks looking to rip back the division from the Card’s grip. Bruce Arians will have to really dumb it down this week as the capable Chiefs come to town. I think the friendly confines of home will be largely beneficial for Arizona and I think they get back on track and squeak one out over the Chiefs this week. John Brown needs another bomb-touchdown. AZ 23, KC 17

49ers (7-5) @ Raiders (1-11): This is a great rivalry in the Bay-Area. These teams unfortunately had to can their yearly preseason face-offs because of violence between the fan bases, which speaks volumes about how much these teams hate each other. I think this is sneakily a tough game for San Fran but they should find a way to win in the end. SF 27, OAK 23

Seahawks (8-4) @ Eagles (9-3): This is the game of the week by any standard. Seattle has retuned to championship form and are pushing to take back their division. The Eagles on the other hand dismantled the Cowboys on Thanksgiving but face a much tougher defense at home this week. This will be a great game but I think Philly needs another big defensive or special teams play to take this game. Seattle’s playing clean football right now. SEA 26, PHI 21

Patriots (9-3) @ Chargers (8-4): San Diego’s hot start has kept them at the front of the Wild Card hunt during their cold October. They’re still only a game behind Denver in the AFC West but it feels like a lot more than that. The Patriots are human after all as they couldn’t figure out Aaron Rodgers in Lambeau. Philip Rivers will need a big game to keep the Chargers in this one but I think New England will be too much to handle on defense. NE 28, SD 24

Falcons (5-7) @ Packers (9-3): Atlanta was able to take advantage of the stumbling Cardinals at home last week, which really isn’t as great of a win as it looks on paper. This will be a game to put the Falcons in their place. GB 45, ATL 23

Thursday Night Pick

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Posted by Jack Tumen

Cowboys (8-4) @ Bears (5-7)

Both teams played last Thursday and get a second straight Thursday kickoff. Chicago started strong in Detroit but couldn’t keep up with the Lions for four quarters; further solidifying their inferiority in the NFC this year. Given, they went up against one of the league’s best defenses and get a bit of a softer unit at home with the Cowboys.

Dallas needs to regroup after being dismantled by Philly on their own turf. It’s gonna be chilly up in Chicago and the Cowboys will have to rely upon their offensive line to pull this one out. Last week was really the first time we’ve seen that stout unit fall apart; allowing four sacks of Tony Romo. The strength of Chicago’s defense is its front seven so that’ll be a matchup to watch. In the end, I’ll take the consistency of the Dallas offense over the home-field advantage for Chicago.

DAL 23, CHI 17