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Friday, December 27, 2019

Week 17: #NFL Game Predictions (w/ spreads & analysis) REGULAR SEASON FINALE EDITION

Week 17: #NFL Game Predictions (w/ spreads & analysis)

  11-5 .688 (WINS); 10-5-1 .667 (ATS); 7-9 .438 (O/U)
154-84-1 .647 (WINS); 130-102-7 .560 (ATS); 127-109-3 .538 (O/U)
5-0  (1.000)
48-23-3 (.676)
Note/Key (when applicable): Statistical analysis based on the following metrics (abbreviations): Points scored (PF); points against (PA); Point differential (PD) Yards gained (YG); Yards allowed (YA); Red Zone TD efficiency (RZ); 3rd-down efficiency (3rd); Turnover ratio (TO); Time of possession (TOP); Yards per play (YPP); Sacks (S); Interceptions (INT); Penalty yards (PEN); Against the spread (ATS). *All images from Google with permission to reuse without license* Statistical sources include, but not limited to: Pro Football Reference; Pro Football Focus;;; Point spreads and over/under figures are taken from the opening lines via Vegas Insider

< Drake voice >
"TOP 5 TOP 5 TOP 5"
Pro Football Media will choose the Top 5 Betting Games of the Week for either the spread OR O/U denoted by an asterisk (*). Roll with our Top 5 and watch the money pile up all season!

Sam Darnold would like to hand this season off to someone else, perhaps the schoolgirl that gave him mono. 

New York Jets 6-9 (+1.5) @ Buffalo Bills 10-5 (36.5): Jets 20-14
Sunday, 1:00 PM, New Era Stadium, Buffalo, NY (Weather: 70% rain; low 50s)

Keys: The seeding is set and the Bills are the 5th seed, so they don’t stand to gain anything, but stand to lose everything to injury. So this number is surprising in that I’d be surprised if many of the Bills starters played. The Jets should jump at the chance to make it look like they had a halfway decent season if they finish 7-9, so look for the Jets to pull off the “upset” and the weather to produce the under.

Cleveland Browns 6-9 (-2.5) v. Cincinnati Bengals 1-14 (44.5): Browns 24-17
Sunday, 1:00 PM, Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH (Weather: 100% rain; low 60s)

Keys: No.

Green Bay Packers 12-3 (-12.5) @ Detroit Lions 3-11-1 (43): Packers 27-17

Sunday, 1:00 PM, Ford Field, Detroit, MI (Weather: Indoors)

Keys: So the Packers beat the Minnesota Vikings handily last week and proved they’re a legit 12-3 team, right? Wrong, but the Lions are no litmus test and the Packers are still in the hunt for a first round bye.

Los Angeles Chargers 5-10 (-8.5) @ Kansas City Chiefs 11-4 (44.5): Chiefs 23-14

Sunday, 1:00 PM, Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO (Weather: Mostly cloudy; low 40s)

Keys: The Chiefs still have work to do. They could clinch a first round bye with a win and a New England Patriots lose to the Miami Dolphins. Why is KC only giving 8.5 points then? Because the Chargers are healthy for the first time all season long. So are the Chiefs, which begs a few questions I don’t feel like asking. Seems to me even if Philip Rivers thinks this is his last game as a Charger, so what? The Chiefs are better, have a respectable defense for the first time in years (7th scoring defense) and are playing at home in 40-degree weather. Considering the circumstances the Chiefs should win easily or maybe it is time for those questions. 

(Image credit: ProFootballWeekly)

Chicago Bears 7-8 (+1.5) @ Minnesota Vikings 10-5 (37): Bears 21-20

Sunday, 1:00 PM, US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN (Weather: Indoors) 

Keys: The Vikings have the 6th seed locked and can’t move up because they lose the head-to-head tiebreaker to the Seattle Seahawks. That almost screams Bears victory to me, because the Vikings are as inconsistent as any 10-win team with that much paper talent and the Bears are trying to salvage pride as the enter a dark off-season rife with major disappointment and underachieving. Not to mention a young starting QB with a crisis of confidence issue. The 2018 Coach of the Year has a lot of work ahead of him, but no one can prevent injuries.

New Orleans Saints 12-3 (-13) @ Carolina Panthers 5-10 (46): Saints 24-21

Sunday, 1:00 PM, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC (Weather: 90% rain; high 60s)

Keys: The Saints have a chance at a first round bye, but not much of a chance in the pouring rain. Sorry, I meant a chance to cover. All eyes will be on Run CMC Sunday to see if he can gain 216 yards from scrimmage and take the single season record from Chris Johnson (2009: 2509 yards).

Atlanta Falcons 6-9 (-1) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7-8 (48): Bucs 28-27

Sunday, 1:00 PM, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL (Weather: Partly cloudy; low 80s)

Keys: Don’t believe in climate change? I use a team template for these articles and the template is from Week 1 last year (mid-September). The weather for this game at the end of December is the same – the low 80s. There’s nothing in this game for us besides two Jameis Winston INTs for the 30/30 Club. Will the Atlanta secondary, ranked 20th in INTs, be able to help Winston with that feat? Of course, Winston’s INTs don't discriminate.

Miami Dolphins 4-11 (-15.5) @ New England Patriots 12-3 (45): Patriots 27-10

Sunday, 1:00PM, Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA (Weather: Chance rain; low 50s)

Keys: The Patriots have a chance to secure the second seed and a first round bye, which they desperately need to get things in order before they likely play the Kansas City Chiefs again in the Divisional Round. End of story, although the story may be closer the 15.5 points, but not if you’re using NE’s record ATS in games favored by 10 or more points (5-1). 

The future is bright for these Baltimore Ravens, but will resting Lamar Jackson come back to bite them?

Pittsburgh Steelers 8-7 (-2) @ Baltimore Ravens 13-2 (38): Steelers 20-17

Sunday, 4:25 PM, M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD (Weather: 80% rain; mid-50s) 

Keys: The Ravens have locked up the top AFC seed and the Steelers need to win and the Tennessee Titans to lose to make it to the playoffs in a year no one on Earth expected the Steelers to do so. The Steelers will be playing against half of the Ravens, so they should be able to squeak out the win while sweating out the HOUvsTEN game on the jumbo-tron. Wow, the NFL can get lucky sometimes.

Washington Pigskins 3-12 (-11) @ Dallas Cowboys 7-8 (44.5): Cowboys 28-21
Sunday, 1:00 PM, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX (Weather: Indoors)
Keys: It’s amazing a team can score 10 or fewer points in 20% of your games and still be the top total offense and 8th in scoring. The Cowboys cannot lose Sunday or they face the most disappointing year in a long list of disappointing years spanning over 20 years. The Pigskins come in limping, but with Case Keenum back at the helm. For some reason that makes me think the Pigskins stand a chance...of covering. However, the money line would be a hilarious hit, and not even a crazy risk with these basket case Cowboys.

Tennessee Titans 8-7 (-3.5) @ Houston Texans 10-5 (45): Titans 27-20

Sunday, 4:25 PM, NRG Stadium, Houston, TX (Weather: Indoors)

Keys: The Titans just need to win and they’re in, but the Texans could win, and if the Chiefs lose, the Texans would slide into the 3rd seed and potentially avoid the Baltimore Ravens in the Divisional Round. That’s a lot to risk for a possibly futile situation. The Titans are a different team since Week 7, going 6-3 in their nine games since starting the season 2-4. Most of that has to do with Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry, and they’ll be at it again Sunday against a Texans team expected to rest most of their starters.

Indianapolis Colts 7-8 (-3.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars 5-10 (43): Colts 21-17

Sunday, 4:25 PM, TIAA Bank Stadium, Jacksonville, FL (Weather: 60% storms; high 60s) 

Keys: Things were so promising for the Colts, then went to hell with Andrew Luck’s preseason retirement, then became promising again, just to see the Colts end up exactly where Las Vegas had them pinned: 7.5 wins. The Colts wins O/U bettors and the greater Indianapolis area will be watching this game closely. The rest of the country will not.

Of course the NFC Least comes down to Week 17 and the winner of the division will either be 9-7 (Philadelphia) or 8-8 (Dallas).

Philadelphia Eagles 8-7 (-4.5) @ New York Giants 4-11 (45): Eagles 24-23
Sunday, 4:25 PM, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ (Weather: 40% rain; low 40s)
Keys: All the Eagles have to do is win and they win the NFC East and host a playoff game. If they lose and the Cowboys win they’ll lose the tiebreaker and miss the playoffs. That seems like a pretty simple task against a 4-11 team, but that team is a divisional opponent that would like nothing more than to ruin Philadelphia’s season, and at this point the Eagles have suffered so much attrition that they have about as much talent as the Giants, maybe less.

Oakland Raiders 7-8 (+3.5) @ Denver Broncos 6-9 (41): Broncos 23-20
Sunday, 4:25 PM, Mile High Stadium, Denver, CO (Weather: Sunny; high 30s)
Keys: If the Titans, Steelers and Jaguars all lose the Raiders are the 6th seed. Well, they have to also beat the Broncos, but I’m not even sure they can do that.

Arizona Cardinals 5-9-1 (+7) @ Los Angeles Rams 8-7 (48): Rams 27-23

Sunday, 4:25 PM, Los Angeles Memorial Stadium, Los Angeles, CA (Weather: Sunny; mid-60s)

Keys: Neither team is making the playoffs, one team’s dream is probably over and the other team’s rebuild is coming along at the expected pace, except for Cardinals bettors, who have gone 9-5-1 ATS. Look for that trend to continue Week 17. The Rams would like to salvage a 9-7 record in a division where two of the other three teams are literally battling in Week 17 for the what could be the top seed in the NFC and 9-7 would actually look pretty respectable when people look back years from now. Just kidding, no one will care as caring in anything has taken a generational exponential dive. Rams win; Cardinals cover. I bet the Rams can’t wait to share an empty stadium with the Chargers.

San Francisco 49ers 12-3 (+3) @ Seattle Seahawks 11-4 (47): 49ers 27-23
Sunday, 8:20 PM, Century Link Field, Seattle, WA (Weather: 20% rain; mid-50s)

Keys: The NFL saved the best for last, a battle for the NFC West crown and possibly the NFC’s top seed and home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Did I mention the return of Beast Mode? Seattle doesn’t deserve it. The most overrated team in the NFL (0.8 ppg point differential) has been exposed recently, losing two of their last three games by at least two TDs. The 49ers are by no means overrated, but have lost two games in the past four weeks, but one lose was to the AFC’s top seed (BAL). Regardless, save any Russell Wilson miracles, and he does apparently have a line to God, the 49ers have dominated on the road this year (6-1) while the Seahawks home field advantage (4-3) seems like a thing of the past. The 49ers have a chance to make a serious Super Bowl run and exact revenge on the Baltimore Ravens, but it starts with a win at Seattle in the last regular season game of the 2019 season. 

Stay tuned for Tuesday's Gone: Week 17 #NFL Game Reviews 2019 REGULAR SEASON FINALE EDITION coming Wednesday!



Wednesday, December 25, 2019


Tuesday's Gone: Week 16 #NFL Game Reviews

  11-5 .688 (WINS); 10-5-1 .667 (ATS); 7-9 .438 (O/U)
154-84-1 .647 (WINS); 130-102-7 .560 (ATS); 127-109-3 .538 (O/U)
5-0  (1.000)
48-23-3 (.676)
Note/Key (when applicable): Statistical analysis based on the following metrics (abbreviations): Points scored (PF); points against (PA); Point differential (PD) Yards gained (YG); Yards allowed (YA); Red Zone TD efficiency (RZ); 3rd-down efficiency (3rd); Turnover ratio (TO); Time of possession (TOP); Yards per play (YPP); Sacks (S); Interceptions (INT); Penalty yards (PEN); Against the spread (ATS). *All images from Google with permission to reuse without license* Statistical sources include, but not limited to: Pro Football Reference; Pro Football Focus;;; Point spreads and over/under figures are taken from the opening lines via Vegas Insider

< Drake voice >
"TOP 5 TOP 5 TOP 5"
Pro Football Media will choose the Top 5 Betting Games of the Week for either the spread OR O/U denoted by an asterisk (*). Roll with our Top 5 and watch the money pile up all season!

 How can you not love football field Jameis Winston, who stands to become the first member of the 30/30 Club (TD/INT) in NFL history?

Houston Texans 9-5 (-3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7-7 (53): Bucs 27-23 Bucs 23-20

Saturday, 1:00 PM, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL (Weather: 50% rain; low 70s)

Keys: The amazing thing about these two teams is that according to Pro Football Reference’s SRS metric (point differential/SoS equation on a neutral field) they're ranked 14th (HOU) and 15th (TB). The Texans bring a top-10 offense to Tampa Bay, the 30th ranked scoring defense, but the funny thing is, the Texans stellar running attack (6th ypa; 7th total yards) will face the only aspect of the Bucs defense that’s solid: their run defense (ATT: 3rd; YDS: 1st; TD: 9th; YPA: 2nd). The Bucs also take the ball away (6th), so the Texans have their work cut out for them if they want to seal up the AFC South. It’s funny talking about the Buccaneers takeaways since they give up it up more than anyone in the NFL (32nd) thanks to Jameis Winston (32nd INTs). Look for the Bucs to make the Texans sweat out the Tennessee Titans game and a possible Week 17 do-or-die, but unfortunately for the Bucs, their season has come down to Jameis Winston making the 30/30 Club or bust.

Oh, Jameis. Four more picks. A pick-six on the first drive of the game 48 seconds into it. It doesn't get much better than what we're witnessing with this guy. Winston now has 31 TDs and 28 INTs on the season, meaning statistically Winston should end up with 29.8666666666667 INTs on the season (1.867 INT/game). Come on Jameis, you can do it. Meanwhile, the Texans punched their playoff ticket and won the AFC South 

Buffalo Bills 10-4 (+6.5) @ New England Patriots 11-3 (38.5): Patriots 24-17 Patriots 24-17

Saturday, 4:35 PM, Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA (Weather: Sunny; low 30s)

Keys: Man oh man, the Bills could force the AFC East to Week 17. When’s the last time that happened? How about the last time the Bills offense was better than the Patriots offense. When was that, the early 90s? Well, it still hasn’t technically happened, but the Bills have a better running game, and the Patriots (18th) only rank four spots higher than the Bills (22nd) in total yards. The comparisons don’t end there. These defenses are two of the best in the NFL, the Patriots literally being the best, ranked 1st in scoring defense and yards allowed, in addition to takeaways, INTs and every metric of their opponents average drive (opponents starting position, time, plays, yards & points). The Bills are no slouches themselves, ranking in the top-3 in scoring defense, yards allowed, passing yards, passing TDs and passing ypa. The Patriots don’t turn it over, either, so the question really comes down to whether the Bills can handle the bright lights of Foxborough with the AFC East in the balance for the first time in decades. Probably not.

I'll let the perfect call do the talking for me. 

*Los Angeles Rams 8-6 (+6.5) @ San Francisco 49ers 11-3 (45): 49ers 26-23 49ers 34-31
Saturday, 8:35 PM, Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA (Weather: Cloudy; low 60s)
Keys: The 49ers completely blew it last week, both in their game v. the Atlanta Falcons, but also in their retention of the NFC’s top seed (SEA). They’ll be looking to get that back Saturday, but the Rams are fighting for their playoff lives, so expect a battle in the normally laid-back land of Central California. I hate it when people call the South Bay Area “Northern California” because I’ve lived in both areas, and it takes longer to get from SFO to Humboldt than it does from Philadelphia to Boston. Everyone knows the deal with these two teams, so will the QBs have time to throw it? Will the defenses make the big play? The 49ers are one of the three best teams in the NFL, both statistically and by the eye test; the Rams are mediocre statistically, but jump off the paper, personnel-wise. Los Angeles is capable of living up to the names on the jerseys, and have been much improved since the acquisition of Jalen Ramsey, but they’re still inconsistent and the 49ers have no weeks to waste, as banged up as they are. * = LAR COVER

One of the best games of the week, this NFC West battle changed leads four times, although not until the second half, and ultimately led to a 49ers win and the Rams becoming the latest Post-Super Bowl playoff victim. In fact, the Rams led the game until right before the end of the first half, but Robbie Gould kicked the game-winning FG as time expired and the Rams were sent packing. If you're not the New England Patriots and you make the Super Bowl, good luck the following season.

Jacksonville Jaguars 5-9 (+6.5) @ Atlanta Falcons 5-9 (46): Falcons 27-20 Falcons 24-12

Sunday, 1:00 PM, Mercedes Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA (Weather: Indoors) 

Keys: Can I interest you in two 5-9 teams? I didn’t think so. The Falcons should shred the Jaguars through the air and slow Leonard Fournette down on the ground. 

It's fitting the Falcons doubled up the score on the Jaguars because they also doubled up on pretty much everything else, too, except TOP. The Jaguars are in rebuild mode, and it started with the firing of Tom Coughlin. He can't be the one who signed off on Foles, can he???

The future looks bright for Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.

Baltimore Ravens 12-2 (-7) @ Cleveland Browns 6-8 (49): Ravens 30-20 Ravens 31-15

Sunday, 1:00 PM, First Energy Stadium, Cleveland, OH (Weather: Sunny; mid 40s)

Keys: The Ravens only have two losses on the season and one of them belongs to these Bad News Browns. That loss was also in Baltimore. I don’t care what Baker Mayfield has to prove. I don’t care if Landry Jones wants to pretend OBJ isn’t the worst thing to ever happen to Cleveland because they were actually getting somewhere before he showed up. I don’t care if Freddie “Soup” Kitchens could literally be working at one next year so the Browns want to do everything they can to salvage his season. The Ravens are going to kick the crap out of this Browns team, keep the top AFC seed and embarrass the Browns for being one of their only blemishes on the season. Member when the Ravens were once the Browns? I member. <Cue Toto’s “Africa”>

Four minutes into the 2Q the Browns led 6-0. A simple back-of-the-napkin calculation yields a 31-9 route the remaining 42 minutes and the Ravens proved they're the best team in the NFL and the Browns proved they're the most over-hyped team in NFL history. Lamar Jackson (3 PTDs; 108 rushing yards) led his team in passing and rushing again and all but sealed the 2019 MVP; the Ravens will need him going forward, as Baltimore may have lost Mark Ingram and Mark Andrews, who both left the game with injuries. 

Carolina Panthers 5-9 (+6.5) @ Indianapolis Colts 6-8 (46.5): Colts 24-23 Colts 38-6
Sunday, 1:00PM, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN (Weather: Indoors)

Keys: Five week ago these teams were 5-4, the Colts were still in control of their destiny and the Panthers were trying to figure out how to salvage their season after losing Cam Newton again to injury. Fast forward to Week 16 and the Panthers have lost all five weeks, they fired Ron Rivera and the Panthers have given up on 2019. The Colts have gone from being in the division mix to losing their last three games and essentially hoping they can get to 8-8 in a year when they started as dark horse Super Bowl contenders just to see Andrew Luck retire in the preseason and injuries ravage the team to noncompetitive levels. But this is a site that analyzes games from a betting perspective, so 6.5 points? Come on, Carolina hasn’t given up that much. Mediocre offense and poor defense (CAR), meet mediocre defense and poor offense (IND). Hey, at least the Panthers sack the QB (1st), which is another reason this number makes no sense. Maybe it’s because Kyle Allen is awful and the only thing the Colts do really well is stop the run.

Damn, the Panthers really gave up after they canned Riverboat Ron. Will Grier was tossed to the wolves and he ended up with 3 INTs, too, so clearly there's work to be done at QB. Suddenly Cam Newton's $20M cap hit seems like a steal, if he can stay on the field. Run CMC added another 173 yards from scrimmage, and will almost assuredly break the scrimmage yards record. If a white RB breaks the all-time scrimmage record for a terrible team and no one is around to see it, does it make a noise? Apparently not.

Cincinnati Bengals 1-13 (+3) @ Miami Dolphins 3-11 (45.5): Dolphins 24-20 Dolphins 38-35 OT

Sunday, 1:00 PM, Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL (Weather: 80% storms; high 70s)

Keys: The Formerly Known As The Tua But Now The Joe Borrow Bowl. Well, maybe. The Dolphins would have to lose to these Bengals and then the New England Patriots Week 17. Ummm, you be the judge of however this outcome pans out. 

With all due respect to the Bengals for trying, or maybe all due "What the hell are you doing?", was Cincinnati trying to screw up the number one pick, which is this Joe Borrow kid from Ohio? I think he's over-hyped, too, but come on, Cincinnati. 

Pittsburgh Steelers 8-6 (-3) @ New York Jets 5-9 (38.5): Steelers 20-17 Jets 16-10
Sunday, 1:00 PM, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ (Weather: Sunny; low 40s)
Keys: The Jets are really bad, while the Steelers are one of the best defenses in the NFL. The Steelers are also in control of their own playoff destiny. The Jets are the league’s top rushing defense, so the Streelers could have trouble scoring on the Jets, but the Steelers defense is suffocating, they lead the league in sacks and are 2nd in takeaways. In other words, Sam Darnold is about to be under siege. 

Pittsburgh's 2018 Team MVP dropped a crucial catch and with it the Steelers 2019 season. It wasn't going anywhere anyway with Mason Rudolph or Duck Dynasty, but you have to hand it to Mike Tomlin. After being considered by many to be a hype-man player's coach with tons of player talent and no coaching ability, which is clearly not true. In fact, one could argue Tomlin could be the Coach of the Year, despite the Steelers missing the playoffs. Can you believe the Jets finished 5-3 at home?

Drew Brees became the NFL's all-time leader in TD passes last week...for now.

New Orleans Saints 11-3 (-1) @ Tennessee Titans 8-6 (51): Titans 28-27 Saints 38-28
Sunday, 1:00 PM, Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN (Weather: 20% rain; low 50s)
Keys: It’s probably going to rain and the Titans are are currently the 7th seed, meaning the need many things to happen to make it into the playoffs and/or win the AFC South, and it doesn’t include losing to the Saints Week 16. If it doesn’t rain we might have a different story, but even so, Brees isn’t exactly an outdoor cat.

Nothing like nailing the score of the losing team when you picked that team to win. You win some, you lose some, but you live to fight another day. The Saints exploded for 21 3Q points, including two rushing TDs from Alvin Kamara, who must've been off looking for the Titanic the past few months, becaue no one's seen him until Sunday. It was a record-breaking day for the Saints and Michael Thomas, who broke the single-season record for pass receptions (143, Marvin Harrison) Sunday. The Titans lost a battle at home, but still "control" their own playoff "destiny", which is an oxymoron.

New York Giants 3-11 (+3) @ Washington Pigskins 3-11 (42): Giants 21-20 Giants 41-35 OT

Sunday, 1:00 PM, FedEx Field, Landover, MD (Weather: Sunny; low 50s)

Keys: Much like the CINvsMIA game, no one cares. Unlike that game, neither of these teams needs a franchise QB, so there isn’t even an entertaining tank to watch. The problem for the Giants is they’re on the road, rank 31st in TOs and the Pigskins rank 10th in takeaways. However, the Giants should also be able to stop the run because Adrian Peterson could be a scratch. What an awful game. 

It figures the two worst games of the week both went to OT and were shoot outs totaling 149 points. That about sums up the 2019 NFL betting season for most of us. Well, most of you. Danny Dimes was more like Danny Nickles, throwing 5 TDs and Saquon Barkley made a "Remember me?" appearance, rushing for 189 yards and a TD. Barkley now has 911 yards on his injury-shortened season and remains one of the few bright spots on this forgotten franchise. 

Detroit Lions 3-10-1 (+6.5) @ Denver Broncos 5-9 (37.5): Broncos 20-15 Broncos 27-17
Sunday, 4:05 PM, Mile High Stadium, Denver, CO (Weather: Partly cloudy; mid 60s)
Keys: I had too much faith in the Broncos and Drew Lock last week and my over-zealousness and the driving snow conspired to make a fool out of me. It only stands top reason the Broncos would be back home in Colorado this week to balmy 60-degree temperatures. The weather is getting harder to predict than these games, but don’t take my word for it, not that you would anyway because scientists have been warning us about climate change for 30 years. Wait. What were we talking about? Oh yeah, the NFL, which could be as dead as the Earth in another 30 years. I’m not so sure the Lions fans would care much...

Word on the street is they're bringing Matt Patricia back. Aah, ok. 

*Oakland Raiders 6-8 (+6.5) @ Los Angeles Chargers 5-9 (47): Chargers 24-17 Raiders 24-17
Sunday, 4:05 PM, Stub Hub Field, Carson, CA (Weather: 60% rain; low 60s)
Keys: This game wreaks of disappointment, from the way the Raiders lost their last game at Oakland Coliseum, to the fact the Chargers can’t fill their rented stadium, or sell any tickets to new their Los Angeles stadium, shared with the Rams like the New York Jets are married to the New York Giants. The Raiders have nothing left to play for in 2019, they’re away for the rest of the season and they’ll be missing some of their best players, specifically RoY candidate Josh Jacobs. At first glance 6.5 points might seem ridiculous, but the Chargers are finally healthy, the Raiders are certainly not, and truth be told, according to PFR’s Expected W-L metric, the Chargers should be a full three full games ahead of the Raiders, not a game behind them and clearly Las Vegas agrees. * = OAK COVER 

I meant the Raiders 24-17. Whatever, we still got the cover so no harm done. So long Chargers, and maybe Philip Rivers, who's contract is up at the end of the year. The "LA" Chargers need a splash, and quick, and Rivers isn't making that splash even if he has 15,000 more kids in the next 12 months and sells out most of the luxury suites with his immediate family. Tom Brady could be that splash. As in, you get splashed, wipe it away, and you're dry again almost instantly. 

It's do-or-almost-die time for Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys.

Dallas Cowboys 7-7 (-1) @ *Philadelphia Eagles 7-7 (47.5): Eagles 24-21 Eagles 17-9

Sunday, 4:25 PM, Lincoln Financial Stadium, Philadelphia, PA (Weather: Sunny; mid-40s)

Keys: Speaking of disappointments, these might be the two biggest disappointments in the NFL this season. Regardless, one of these teams will win the NFC East, and it could be with an 8-8 record, which is ridiculous for the amount of collective talent between these two teams. You could almost field an entire All-Star team between them, when healthy, and therein lies the key. The Eagles are nearly beat to death, but then again, they’re home, the Cowboys don’t have to win, and Dallas just did won, which can only mean the Eagles will likely pull the rabbit out of the hat and beat their third NFC East opponent in a row to stay alive in 2019. * = PHI WINS

From the misuse of Ezekiel Elliot, to the overrated Dak Prescott, to the amazing clapping robot Jason Garrett this Dallas Cowboys team deserves absolutely nothing, which can only mean they'll back into the NFC East "crown" next week and make the playoffs. The poor Eagles, on the other hand, have scrapped and clawed their way to a respectable record in spite of myriad injuries at key positions and will likely have to go home with their wings clipped and hope the seeds of doubt don't continue to sprout in Carson Wentz's brain.

*Arizona Cardinals 4-9-1 (+9.5) @ Seattle Seahawks 11-3 (48.5): Seahawks 27-23 Cardinals 27-13

Sunday, 4:25 PM, CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA (Weather: Mostly cloudy; mid-40s)

Keys: The Seahawks are the No.1 seed in the NFC, but who knows how long they’ll last at the top of the NFC log jam. There’s an even smaller version of Russell Wilson and it’s Kyler Murray, who might win the RoY award, because one of the biggest threats to his award has been injured (Josh Jacobs). Murray could break the rookie passing TD record, he’ll throw for 3,500 yards and rush for over 500 yards and will be responsible for over 20 TDs; RoY-type numbers. Well, Wilson has MVP-type numbers (31 TOT TDs; 5 INTs) and is single-handily leading a hyper-overachieving Seahawks team into the playoffs, possibly with a first-round bye. Bottom line: The Cardinals are 8-5-1 ATS and 9.5 points is too much. * = ARZ COVER

The Seahawks are picking a terrible time to show their true colors, while Cardinals wins over betters are cashing in. They should be, the Cardinals are now an amazing 9-5-1 ATS, the literal opposite of their true record. Fascinating stuff.

Kansas City Chiefs 10-4 (-4) @ Chicago Bears 7-7 (45): Chiefs 27-21 Chiefs 26-3
Sunday, 8:20 PM, Soldier Field, Chicago, IL (Weather: Clear; high 30s)
Keys: This game comes down to a simple concept: One of the league’s most dynamic offenses against one of the league’s best defenses. The problem is the Chiefs have suddenly become a top-10 scoring defense (Thanks to Denver and the snow) that also ranks 10th in takeaways. That doesn’t bode well for a terrible Bears offense that could find themselves trying to play catch up rather quickly if the Chiefs exploit the Bears few weaknesses, which include pass defense. There’s a reason the Chiefs are favored by four points on the road against one of the best defenses in the NFL, and it has a lot to do with reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes.

The Bears can't score and the Bears couldn't stop Patrick Mahomes (3 Total TDs) from scoring and so ends the Bears promising 2019 season. Never take anything for granted in the NFL because it stands for Not For Long.

*Green Bay Packers 11-3 (+4.5) @ Minnesota Vikings 10-4 (46.5): Vikings 27-23 Packers 23-10

Monday, 8:15 PM, US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN (Weather: Indoors) 

Keys: If the Packers win the game they’ll win the NFC North, but we all know it can’t end that easy. Maybe it could, because the Vikings will be without their star RB Dalvin Cook, but these bitter rivals play much better at home; in fact, the Vikings haven’t lost at home yet this season (6-0). Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are a different animal on the road, and the Vikings can’t afford to lose. * = GB COVER

All the Vikings had to do was win at home and they had a chance of winning the NFC North, but of course they couldn't do that against one of the most overrated teams this season in the Green Bay Packers. Seems like the entire NFC North may have been overrated.

Stay tuned for Week 17: #NFL Game Predictions (w/ spreads & analysis) 2019 REGULAR SEASON FINALE EDITION coming Friday!