Folks, we made it. The final week of the NFL’s final week of the regular season is now upon us. We are here, and we are ready. Prediction time.
Browns (7-7-1) @ Ravens (9-6) BAL -6
Winners of four games in a row, the Browns are arguably the hottest team in the AFC right now. They have been playing with such an impressive offense of late, and Baker Mayfield is exuding great confidence. If their defense can step up and pressure Lamar, while limiting Baltimore’s historically-impressive run game, they will have a good shot to win.
Fresh off beating the 11-3 Chargers, the Ravens record is a little less striking on paper, but if you look at how well they have played in the past five weeks, nobody has executed better. Gus Edwards has been a wild-man running the ball, while Lamar Jackson has busted through with a few big ones each game. He just had his first 200-yard passing game in start #5 vs. LA, and they will sure need another one today, as the Browns sure score a lot. They would love to end their playoff drought.
Prediction: Ravens win a close one to clinch AFC North, give CLE a losing record.
Colts (9-6) @ Titans (9-6) IND -3
Who would of thought that these teams would be battling for a playoff spot in week 17!? With how the season started for the Colts, its magical that they are here, winners of 8 out of nine games overall. Andrew Luck is looking like an MVP candidate in his return, while Frank Reich has made him look very good with his Playcalling. They finally have an O-Line! The defense executes well, and Marlon Mack is one impressive run-finisher.
The Titans will likely have to rely on Blaine Gabbert, barring a miracle, as a thumb injury which left his hand feeling totally numb will keep Marcus Mariota out. The team has dealt with injuries at the QB position all season, but here they are, in a win-or-go-home play-in game, at the end of the regular season. It will be about defense and Derrick Henry for Mike Vrabel’s guys.
Prediction: Luck wills Colts back to playoffs for first time in four years, since Deflategate.
Bears (11-4) @ Vikings (8-6-1) MIN -5
Chicago has won three games in a row, and thanks to the return of Mitchell Trubisky, they have their offensive mojo back. Khalil Mack has continued to be unbelievably dominant, leading an elite defensive unit to some very big things. The team lacks weakness on the defensive side of things with playmakers all along the secondary. They are still fighting with the Rams to try and get the #2 seed, so they will play their best in the hopes of a week off.
Minnesota has it pretty simple. Win and they are in. If they lose and the Eagles win, Philly will complete the comeback after a horrific start to the year, to claim the #6 spot. If we see Nick Foles in the playoffs again, truly anything can happen. After how he totally torched Houston last week, we know he is in full form. Kirk Cousins is going to need to turn in his best effort of the year to help his team today.
Prediction: Bears win, Minnesota misses playoffs.