Last week marked a great week for us here at Bears 101. We selected 14 of the 16 games correctly and are looking to end the year on a high note. Our record to date is 140-81-1, and we have 16 more games to choose until the 2012-13 regular season is over.
Overall, it's been a rather exciting NFL season and last week was no different. Look at last week's games between Dallas and New Orleans, as well as Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Both games came down to the final whistle, which has been the norm this year.
It's the only week of the year where all the NFL's games take place on the same day. It also marks a time where all games will be divisional games. That aspect will make the final week that much more interesting so let's get into the picks.
We'll make our picks by division, starting with the AFC.
In what many would call a dud game, you have the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets. Mark Sanchez will once again take over the reigns as a starter, and perhaps he'll torch the Bills once again, as he did in Week 1. As for the New England Patriots and Dolphins, it won't be much of a contest. New England will look to to set the scoring record and will look to pile it on.
The AFC North will feature two playoff teams this year, but surprisingly one of them is not the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers will however beat the Browns to close the season on a respectable note. In the game between the two playoff teams — the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals — we like the Bengals despite the fact that the outcome won't change the seeding for either team.
The South also features a pair of playoff teams. We have the Houston Texans facing off against the Indianapolis Colts in the headliner from the division this week. They played two weeks ago and the Texans walked away victorious. There is no reason the same shouldn't happen as the Texans are fighting for the bye. The Tennessee Titans face the Jaguars and will win their final game of the year.
The AFC West has been a rather boring division this year as the Denver Broncos ran away with the title. They'll win their final game as they are also working for playoff seeding. The San Diego Chargers play the Raiders, who have been moving in the wrong direction. The Chargers will win, and we'll see if that keeps Norv Turner in town.
The NFC West will be rather exciting right down to the finish. Since the Seattle Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers last week, it made this round of games interesting for both teams. However, they should both win, keeping seeding exactly as is for the two teams.
In the South, every game will be meaningless. The Atlanta Falcons have already wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the NFC, and should rest their starters. Because of that, we like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to come away with a win. The New Orleans Saints have been hot as of late, and Drew Brees will have the team fighting to the end. They'll beat the Panthers.
In this division, both games can play a role in the playoff picture. The Chicago Bears play the lowly Lions and need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. If that isn't motivation enough for a team, why bother playing? Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings also need to win to keep their playoff hopes alive, but the Green Bay Packers need a win to lock up the No. 2 seed in the conference. Aaron Rodgers shows up in big games, and should do so today.
The NFC East features the biggest game of the week. But first, the New York Giants need to win to keep their playoff hopes alive, and they will do that. In the final week, the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins are playing for the division. It's the primetime game this week, so nobody will know the full playoff picture until that game is over. History says Washington will win, but in a surprise move we like Dallas. Maybe for once, Tony Romo won't choke.
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