Video: In Friday’s Flip Side, the Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi and CineSport’s Noah Coslov talk about the importance of beating the Bengals on Sunday and the credit Todd Haley deserves.
We have reached the end.
With the number of teams alive in the playoff picture shrinking by the week, we have followed each trend and pattern, attempting to catch reversals or ride the wave. We have even gone as far as factoring in the team’s psychological state entering each game — in essence, a ‘bounce-back candidate’ or a team ‘due for a letdown.’
In Week 17, there are few trends and fewer letdowns. By now, the season has run its course, and we are no longer in the depths of a novel, but approaching the back cover.
Most teams have actually been eliminated, while a handful fight for a pair of remaining spots. Some will try to close out the season in impressive fashion, hoping to create momentum to carry into next year, while others might already have their vacations booked for Monday morning.
Trying to decipher which team will actually show up for the game looks like an impossible task, given the circumstances. But, the reality of the final slate of games is that each team has one last chance to show the world something heading into the offseason. These last four quarters of football are auditions for some, and, as players will attest, can make or break careers.
Therefore, the finale of the regular season is an all-out blitz, featuring all 32 teams squaring off with the best dish they can bring to the table. Under those conditions, most extenuating factors are removed, forcing each team to stand alone with its strengths and weaknesses.
For the last sixty minutes of regular season football, teams will come out firing. Indeed, some will crumble faster than others, but the close to this year of football should bring a flurry of thrills in the form of upsets, spoilers, and desperation.
With that, we peek ahead to how each team’s book will conclude.
Below are predictions for each game against the spread. Spreads have been taken from various websites and are subject to change. The spread in parenthesis denotes the selected team and an asterisk denotes one of the week’s most confident picks.
*Confidence Picks: 3-2-1 (Season: 59-40-2)
All Picks Against Spread: 8-7-1 (Season: 134-102-4)