The final week of the NFL regular season still sees so much to play for.
With spreads all over the place due to some teams resting starters, let’s try and make sense at the endof a crazy season…
(2021 Predictions W-L-D: 42-42-1 49%)
Cowboys (-7) @ Eagles – 01:15 Sunday Morning
We start off on a Sunday morning, with the Cowboys looking to beat up on an Eagles team who are also playoff bound. Dallas are almost certainly the #4 seed no matter what happens here, which may affect their performance slightly.
Even away from all that, it’s a matchup that could suit the Eagles especially at home. Their rushing game should find success against a team that allows 4.5 yards per carry and 14 rushes of over 20 yards, which is the second worst in the league. It’s been an above expectations year already for Philly and even if they lose here, they can keep it close.
Prediction: Cowboys 30 Eagles 27 (Eagles +7)
Steelers @ Ravens (-3.5) – 18:00
The ‘Zombie Steelers’ just won’t die! I haven’t been able to grasp a hold of them all season and I’m going to roll the dice one final time with their season hanging by a thread. They have to win and hope Jacksonville beats the Colts (I know) but if this is Big Ben Roethlisberger’s final game, you’d hope to see a last blaze of glory.
Sure fire Defensive Player of the Year TJ Watt needs two more sacks to take the single season sack record, even though he missed two full games this season through injury. Najee Harris is also starting to fully break out, going for 188 yards against the Browns. The Ravens have absolutely nosedived and have a slim chance of still making the postseason, but the chances are that both miss out. Though I see the Steelers keeping up their end of the bargain here.
Prediction: Steelers 24 Ravens 23 (Steelers +3.5)
Patriots (-7) @ Dolphins – 21:25
It’s party time in New England as they take their usual spot in the playoffs, even if it isn’t the #1 seed and with Tom Brady for once. They could still win the division if Buffalo inexplicably trips up against the Jets but either way they will be a dangerous opponent whomever they play, and it could well be the Bills and Patriots meeting for a third time in a couple of weeks…
The Dolphins played a good team and got found out, who knew? And so ended the weakest seven-game winning streak you will ever see. They won’t go in the tank but Hard Rock Stadium isn’t exactly a fortress and New England will be looking for momentum to head into Super Wild Card Weekend ™. Take the Patriots.
Prediction: Patriots 30 Dolphins 20 (Patriots -7)
Jets @ Bills (-17) – 21:25
No, I don’t see the Bills inexplicably tripping up, as earlier. But 17 points?! The highest spread of the weekend, above the Jags Colts game?? Okay. Did you see how well the Jets played against the Bucs? If the correct play call was executed (Jet sweep to Braxton Berrios rather than QB sneak), they probably get the 4th and 2 and beat Tampa, and everyone is talking about Antonio Brown ending a franchise's season, rather than Antonio Brown ending his own season.
The last three weeks have seen big improvement in Zach Wilson and the Jets as a whole and they’ve been more than competitive in all of those games. If we see another dodgy game from Josh Allen like we saw on Sunday (0 TDs, 3 INTs, 61.3 QB Rating), then you’d like to think this will be closer than a 17-point game.
Prediction: Jets 20 Bills 31 (Jets +17)
49ers @ Rams (-5) – 21:25
A HUGE game at SoFi Stadium: The Niners can derail the Rams playoff seeding and secure their own playoff spot in one move. If they slip up, the Saints are lying in wait to snatch their spot. We don’t currently know who will be under Center for San Fran, but no matter if it is Trey Lance or Jimmy G, I like the chances of this game being decided by a field goal either way.
Never forget that Kyle Shanahan owns Sean McVay. It’s been five straight wins for the Niners and that includes their previous meeting this season, where everyone thought that the Rams would continue to roll… Only for them to lose 31-10. I can’t quite get behind this going to a six-win streak because of the QB situation but as I said, a field goal in the dying seconds is how this gets decided.
Prediction: 49ers 24 Rams 26 (49ers +5)
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