Things are heating up in the DDDC Challenge. I'm in a tie with Craig for first place, but Derry and Dan aren't far behind. This week's games are going to be a real challenge to pick correctly. First of all, there's some really great matchups and second there's some games that are skewed a little bit based on the teams' playoff standings. Oh well, here it goes:
Colts at Jaguars - Even though they're pretty much a lock to make the playoffs, there's still a lot for the Colts to play for. Playoff seeding is very important.
Ravens at Cowboys - Many think Steelers-Titans is the game of the week, but not me. I think this one is the most fascinating game of the week. Both teams need a win to stay in the wild card picture. Both teams have been playing great defense lately. Both teams can also score some points (never thought I would say that about the Ravens). This was a tough pick.
Bengals at Browns - Why don't they just let these two teams have the last two weeks of the season off?
49ers at Rams - San Francisco seems headed in the right direction. Now, they're just playing for momentum and possibly a permanent job for Mike Singletary.
Saints at Lions - I don't know about all the tiebreakers, but based solely on records the Saints are not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet, so they still have a little to play for. Plus, you don't want to be the first team to lose to the Lions this season.
Steelers at Titans - I've been saying it for several weeks, but I think the Steelers are for real. Now, I'm starting to think they're the best team in the NFL. Their schedule has been brutal and yet they're 11-3. I think the Titans peaked too early.
Dolphins at Chiefs - Part of the reason I want the Dolphins to win is because I want to see the Patriots, Jets and Dolphins all tied for the lead in the division going into the last week of the season. Plus, the Jets and Dolphins play next week and I think the only way the Dolphins make the playoffs is to win that game.
Cardinals at Patriots - Cardinals have clinched their division and playoff spot, but the Patriots still have EVERYTHING to play for. Plus, the Cardinals don't appear to be as good as I once thought they were.
Chargers at Buccaneers - I think the Chargers' playoff hopes die this week.
Texans at Raiders - Another meaningless game, except that the Texans have been hot lately and may want to keep that going for some momentum heading into next season.
Bills at Broncos - Broncos nearly have the division clinched, but not quite so I think they play hard this week and then possibly take it easy on the Chargers next week if they clinch.
Jets at Seahawks - Again, Jets need every win they can get. I think they own the tiebreakers over the Dolphins and Patriots, so they control their own destiny.
Falcons at Vikings - Falcons aren't out of the playoff picture and the Vikings haven't clinched their division so this could be a really good game.
Eagles at Redskins - Somehow, Philly still has a shot at the playoffs.
Panthers at Giants - This is another candidate for game of the week because this game determines the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs. Giants' defense is too good to let this one get away.
Packers at Bears - Ugh. It kills me to do this, but I think the Packers have a hard time beating a motivated Bears squad in Chicago. I'd rather see Chicago win the division than the Vikings too.